Thursday, October 21, 2010

Adolescence

Adolescence is described as a period or stage of development preceding maturity.

Recently I heard statistics that point to the fact that adolescence is not ending at 18, 19 or 20. We have begun to see adolescence clear into the 30s. This idea was foreign a few generations ago. Teenage years were a time of apprenticeship and beginning of responsibility.  Girls were married at 14,15 or 16 and society thought nothing of it. Why? Their period of development preceding maturity was a child. They expected more of them by the time they became teens. 


Maturity is not a black and white moment defined by reaching a certain age. Maturity is the achieving a certain level of character that defines you as trustworthy. Maturity is having self-control. Self-control to do what you need to and refrain from those things you don't. 


I have noticed a lack in teaching children to be mature. The Bible says even a child is known by their doings. I fear that we are going to see adolescence reach far into middle age if the direction of parent rearing doesn't change. By the grace of God, I hope to raise my kids to glorify Him. When I discipline Benjamin for his lack of control, I do so to better his life that he may be behaving as more of an adult at 13 than most adults are. 


One of my favorite quotations on maturity.

What is maturity ? Maturity is the ability to control anger and settle differences without violence or destruction. Maturity is patience. It is the willingness to pass up immediate pleasure in favor of the long-term gain. Maturity is perseverance, the ability to sweat out a project or a situation in spite of heavy opposition and discouraging set-backs. Maturity is the capacity to face unpleasantness and frustration, discomfort and defeat, without complaint or collapse. Maturity is humility. It is being big enough to say, "I was wrong." And, when right, the mature person need not experience the satisfaction of saying, "I told you so."

Maturity is the ability to make a decision and stand by it. The immature spend their lives exploring endless possibilities; then they do nothing.

Maturity means dependability, keeping one's word, coming through in a crisis. The immature are masters of the alibi. They are the confused and the disorganized. Their lives are a maze of broken promises, former friends, unfinished business, and good intentions that somehow never materialize.

Maturity is the art of living in peace with that which we cannot change, the courage to change that which should be changed -- and the wisdom to know the difference.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Friendship with God

 I experienced a painful breaking of a friendship in my life. I have been reading through a True Woman Movement book which points out that all trials in our life are chosen for us by God. I had been learning to accept this season in my life as a gift from God.

This weekend at True Woman Conference was an incredible working of God stripping things from my life. So painful and so beautiful at the same time. Through the sovereignty of God, I went alone to this conference. I couldn't even find anyone I knew. I had left phone numbers at home to be able to even contact them. God isolated me.

A speaker asked us to pray with those around us about things when needed to surrender to God. Those around me gathered with people they came with. In that instance, I felt utterly isolated and alone. God revealed that I desired friendship with people more than friendship with Him. I felt extremely lonely. I began to surrender with the crying out in my heart that I will give this up, but I need you. Please don't leave me all alone. God revealed that I had a hard time releasing this friendship in my heart, though I had physically a long time ago. I was clinging to an idol.

I made it to the prayer room and fell to my knees and my body shook in sobs. I repented of idolatry and felt a painful cutting away of flesh and then peace. Rarely did I sit next to another woman in the conference, though I was never alone. We were asked to hold hands with those around us to pray. Again women were connecting with those they came with and the woman next to me distracted by the people next to her. This time, however, I was holding the hand of God and in complete peace. I smiled as I closed my eyes and soon after felt a woman's hand join mine. The sweetness of God.  I am looking forward to the continuing of a much deeper relationship with God.

"As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth after thee"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Brokenness by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

I am beginning to think any sermon by a leader I admire named "Brokenness" if definitely worth listening to.
This is the first of the message. Worth listening to the whole message.

May I be broken before God!

Friday, September 3, 2010

An Act of Kindness

When we moved to East Texas from the crowded city life, there were many strange differences. Things that are just normal to small town folks that they don't even notice them. However, come from a big city and it seems weird.  It was strange to see a hog running along the side of a highway. Nice little differences like not having to plan a whole day around getting your car registered. I actually had to double check that I was at the right building when I saw there was no one in line.

Here in East Texas it is tradition that if a funeral procession is on the way from the funeral home to the grave sight that every car on both sides of the road will stop until they pass. I wish I could say someone had warned me of this tradition as I was toodling down the road with my children and had a woman from the funeral procession let me know in unrepeatable words how unhappy she was with me. The awkward embarrasment of knowing I had done something wrong, as well as the stares from the cars along the side of the road who I am sure heard the chastisement, made me seek out a reason to my offense.

I don't know if the way I was introduced to this tradition soured my thinking about it. However, I came to dread seeing the headlights coming or the police leading a procession of cars. It seemed ridiculous to me. Why stop everyone's day for someone you don't know? Respect? It's not like the dead person cares! Needless to say, my attitude definitely didn't reflect one a child of God's should.

Fast forward a couple years. My grandma died. I was blessed to have moved into the town where she lived and get to know her as an adult. I spend many days driving her to her doctor's appointment in the next town over and enjoying lunch with her. She was apologized for taking my time away from raising my family of four girls. I always told her it was my pleasure. It truly was. It was time I HAD to make to talk. So many times, I mean to spend time with people, but life gets in the way. I cherish those days.

As we drove from the church to the family grave yard to bury her, I was now on the other side of the tradition. This city girl was able to experience the act of kindness of simple country people who took a moment out of their busy day to show compassion for those grieving. This hard heart got it! As we turned down a small country road, the only cars driving down the road were those from the funeral. Yet, a man got off his tractor and stood with his hat in his hand and bowed his head while we all drove by. I cried. Not only for my grandma but for someone who touched me so deeply by honest compassion.

I softened a lot that day. I thank God for little moments that impact my heart and help mold me into a person that better reflects Him. I might not understand many things in life, yet, I can die to myself. I can think of others first. I can give acts of kindness. I can pray for people I don't know who are going through a tough situation.

Monday, August 30, 2010

True Woman Movement - Chapter 3

I have skipped a couple chapters and might post about them later. This has been a hard "assignment" for me. How do I respond in any adequate fashion to such eloquently written chapters?

Now to sum up this chapter. Do I just say Sovereignty of God?  Yet the Sovereignty of God is so completely overwhelming where do we even start to comprehend that. Yet even a minuscule tidbit can so drastically throw my life in a spin that changes me forever.

What is a true woman? One that trusts so completely that God is in such control, that He CHOSE every difficult situation we are in to HIS glory in us. I can rest in my struggles because He wants me to go through them. That is so reassuring, that is the basis of my hope and my joy. It is what allows me to hum praises in the hardest of days.

Praying that I learn to live God-centered because in realty God is the center of all things. Isn't that the essence of sovereignty?  If I truly grasp this, my life will reflect it. It will change the way I react to a difficult person, a trying situation, physical pain or emotional heartache because I know He is allowing this for my good and to work His good in me.

I finish with the song of Phillips, Craig and Dean playing in my head. You are God Alone!

You are God Alone!
From before time began
You were on your throne
You are God alone
in the good times and bad
You are on your throne.


I am looking forward to Fort Worth, TX this October. Love to see you there or at one close to you!
http://www.truewoman.com/

Friday, August 27, 2010

History through netflix

We started Truthquest History this year and are thoroughly enjoying it. I love supplementing with hands on and movies when possible. We read the "true" stories and find it fun to find the discrepancies in the fiction and sometimes liberally influenced movies. Surprisingly we have found some really good historically Christian based movies as well. This is a good supplement to any history you are doing.

Movies are sometimes very hard to classify into specific time periods because they don't write down the exact times on most descriptions. I am trying to figure out the best way to classify these. However, I have found while studying history if we are in the general area it doesn't seem to matter. I have listed dates as closed as I could. If the movie is about someone, I have listed the years they have lived. Depending if the movie is a life story or just a part of their life will determine the years it covers.

TQ - Truthquest Recommended    FFF Feature Films for Families    DI Download Instantly


8 BC to 600 AD Drive Thru History: Greece and the Word Christian based.
                           Drive Thru History: East Meets West

1324 - 1384    John Wycliffe John Wycliffe (1320-1384) was a theologian and early proponent of reform in the Roman Catholic Church during the 14th century. He initiated the first translation of the Bible into the English language and is considered the main precursor of the Protestant Reformation.Movie has good reviews. Looks Christian based.
              


1685 to 1750  Glory to God Alone: The Life of J.S. Bach - An overview of the life of Bach - Christian based.

1776 to           Drive Thru History: Discovering America's Founders - Christian based

Through the 1800s you have the Pioneer Years, most are around the middle to later in the century. Cover after the Civil war which ended in 1865. The Homestead Act was passed in 1862 to encourage moving west.  So I am just going to name this section the
Pioneer Years

In 1842 Seven Alone Based on a true story, Seven Alone tells the emotional story of one family's struggle during the Wagon Train days of the Old West. In the course of a grueling trip across country from Missouri to Oregon, a family is torn apart by the death of the parents. The children are forced to fend for themselves in order to stay alive, but they soldier on, determined to fulfill their parents' dreams of a new life and continue the journey they started. DI

1809-1882 Charles Darwin The Voyage that Shook the World This is done from a Christian point of view, very good. I would recommend for 7th or older. It is a very well done documentary.

Expelled - No Intelligence Allowed Another evolution/creation documentary done recently It is a PG rating. Don't remember why. It was worth watching though.

1820 to 1910  Florence Nightingale - This was a great movie, though a little long and slow at times 2 1/2 hours but an enjoyable movie, other than the love. interests it is historically accurate. It shows a little of the Crimean War as well.  It does touch on her faith in God, but only briefly in a few places.

1837 to 1901  Queen Victoria - The Young Victoria. A nicely done film. Very clean. It has a PG rating. One "d" word and one use of God's name in vain.

1839 to 18?     Nickolas Nickleby This is historical fiction based on a book by Charles Dickens. It gives a good view of the poor portrayal of the poor of that era. Though only PG, use parental discretion viewing this one. It does portray drinking, abuse of children and a suicidal hanging. It has some tough messages in it but it does glorify loyalty, family, character and faith in God. We enjoyed this movie.

1854 to 1856 Crimean War Charge of the Light Brigade. TQ DI Historical Fiction

1860 to 1864?         Lyddie FFF A Canadian girl goes to work in a cotton factory to try and save the family farm. Borders on America and touches on slavery as well.

1861              Civil War Era  Little Women Great classic of Louisa May Alcott. There are other versions on Netflix. I am only familiar with this one.

                      From the Civil War to Rights Movements in the 60s. The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman  Based on the novel by Ernest J. Gaines, this highly acclaimed TV drama follows the life of Jane Pittman, a black woman born into slavery in the South during the 1850s who lives long enough to see the genesis of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. In 1962, 110-year-old Jane (Cicely Tyson) tells her story to a journalist (Michael Murphy). PG rating. I would not recommend this to young children. There are some scenes of violence that might be frightening. One scene in particular shows the whole group of blacks viciously killed. Not gory by today's standards at all, but still disturbing, but historically accurate.  Actually I wouldn't let my kids see this until possibly jr high/highschool unless I fast forwarded. You might prewatch and fast forward through the scene. It is a very well done movie. It is fiction. DI



1867 to 1951 The Story of Amy Carmichael This was a short movie that touches on highlight's of Amy's life and a lot on Dohnavur Fellowship, it's foundation by Amy and currently. An interesting movie and definitely Christian.

1900 -          Anne of Green Gables. Historical Fiction. Setting on Price Edward Island, Canada. An idea of country Canadian life. Fun family movie. The sequels are great as well

1900-1924 Cheaper by the Dozen.  DI This is such a fun classic of a movie.  It is an amazingly accurate portrayel of the family. Mary died in real life at 6 and they have her in the movie the whole time (only difference). It gives a good feel for that time period.

1902-1970 Gladys Alward The Inn of Sixth Happiness. DI Film set in 1930s in China. A story of an English woman who became a missionary to China and rescues orphans there. Very good film, the romance, again is a Hollywood thing. It never happened and she was upset to have one portrayed.

1927 - C    Beyond the Next Mountain  This movie examines Rochunga Pudaite's life and his mission to bring the gospel to his people, the Hmar of northeast India. Branded as ruthless heathens by the British at the end of the 19th century, the Hmar were forever changed when a copy of John's Gospel made its way into their village. Rochunga's father, Chawnga, adopted Christianity and believed that his son was chosen by God to bring Christianity to the entire village.

1939-1945 - World War II
The Hiding Place  In World War II-era Holland, Corrie ten Boom (Jeannette Clift, in a Golden Globe-nominated role) and her family of Christian watchmakers are quietly sheltering Jews in their small house. But when the Nazis discover the family's secret, it could mean certain death for everyone. Based on a true story, this gripping drama follows Corrie and her sister (Julie Harris) as they endure the horrors of a concentration camp and a true test of their faith.  Christian based. Some tough scenes/themes for younger kids PG. Parental discretion.

Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Ulrich Tukur) pays the ultimate price for speaking out against the Nazi party in this dramatization of the German Lutheran minister's life. The clergyman actively opposes Hitler's regime, heroically condemning its atrocities. On many occasions, he has the opportunity to keep his peace and save his own life, but he stands by his moral convictions and is eventually hanged by the Nazis one month before the end of the war. (I haven't watched this... looks Christian and good. So parental discretion)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Natural Recipes

A couple recipes I am finding to save us money.
I like Zoot (at our Walmart). I use 1/3 bar, it is bigger than the Fels-Naptha bar which I found at Kroger. I like the smell of it.

This I took from the Duggar family page.
Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value
4 Cups - hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)
*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - in some stores or may be purchased online here (at Meijer.com). Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!

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I put vinegar in a Downey ball and it works great for softening and odors. This is a must for my husband's work shirts.
Also a couple hints for a dryer softener.
Cut dryer sheets in half.
Take a bottle of softener, dilute with two parts water. Cut a couple sponges in half. Dip one in diluted fabric softener. Squeeze out and throw in dryer.

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I don't know if you have tried those Color Catcher sheets. I saw a cool tip on a comment on a website. She by accident found out that you can use cheap dried baby wipes and throw them in the wash. They work just as well for a fraction of the cost. I haven't had a chance to try it yet.

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Just started using a homemade dishwasher soap. It seems to work pretty well so far.
1 c. washing soda
1 c. borax
1 c. salt
4 packages of Koolaid lemonade unsweetened packages. (don't use a color, it might dye things) You need the citric acid in it to keep dishes from being cloudy. If you have pure citric acid you can use a comparable amount of this.

NOTE: This worked well for a few weeks. Then the dishes seemed to quite getting as clean and had a film on them. I tried more vinegar, kool aid. No avail. We went back to soap. I left on here to see if someone else wants to try and maybe tweak to work. Let me know if you have found something that has worked for you... also if you have hard or soft water.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Voices of the True Woman Movement





I feel privileged to share in blogging this new book by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I pray that God will use this time to encourage and challenge me. I also pray that through His work in me, I might be able to encourage someone else. I realize that I can only be a vessel of His work. I am the tool, He is the master.

I pray that during the next few weeks or months that God will challenge me and others to become woman for change, woman that will challenge the norm in society. I pray He will will rise us up as models that point to a better calling, a higher standard that in every fraction in our lives will glorify Him!!

All glory to God who never accepts "good enough"!!

Sacred Influence



I have just finished the book Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas. Every woman needs to read this book.

This book will challenge you to be the best God would have you be. It will stretch you the standard God has for every believer. It will practically show you how to live as a wife. It will give you a new view on what marriage is all about. Holiness over happiness.

If you want to be stretched, challenged and changed beyond what any marriage book has done for you in the past, this is a must read. I plan on reading this book at least every couple years. I encourage you to read it and see for yourself!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Daily mundane pursuit of holiness

As God seems to continually bring holiness to my attention, I find that I am thinking about it in the littlest things. Pursuit of holiness happens every moment of everyday. "Consider it all joy" in every situation can be overwhelming.

As I was putting away pots and pans from last night's dinner, I started to grumble about the lack of space in my kitchen which causes me to put pans away in the most awkward cupboard. "Happiness or holiness" came to mind.  I then, at the prompting of God, thanked him for the dishes that are often dirty with more than enough food, evident by my bulging waistline. My girls are probably tired of hearing "Are you pursuing your happiness or holiness".

I am learning to thank God for the overdemanding kids that cause me to die to myself. I am praising God for the amount of home schooling two teens, parenting with an autistic child, keeping up with a toddler and trying to keep a house that has caused me to evaluate what is important and force me to learn to be disciplined.

I am starting to see God in the smallest details. The man today that seemed to be purposely walking as slow as possible across the parking lot was no longer an irritation. I thought of holiness as I seek to glorify God in patience.

The daily, often mundane, life is full of God's lessons if we only seek to focus on Him in every moment of the day. I am finding that as James says "faith without works is dead", my faith lived in the smallest things will someday give fruit to even larger things. Praise to God for His faithfulness and hand on my life.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Meditations on James

One of the benefits to scripture memorization is the ability to redeem seemingly idle time. As I was rocking my sick baby to sleep, I was meditating on some verses in James.
Jam 1:2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
Jam 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
Jam 1:4 And let  endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Trials is what according to verse 3? It is the testing of your faith. Anything that tests your faith and remember according to James 1:13-15 that all things are trials unless we respond sinfully to them then they are temptations.. As Hebrews 14:23 states that all things not of faith are sin, so we are to respond in all things in faith.

What happens in the testing of faith is endurance. We will be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. What a promise! Something to remember when I struggle with just the routines of a day. Character is built in routine, mundane routine. Not only that, I am being tested to become perfect and complete.

What does James 1:12 say? Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

What happens after perseverance/endurance? Once approved, we receive a crown of life. Crown is a picture - the eternal blessedness which will be given as a prize to the genuine servants of God and Christ: the crown (wreath) which is the reward of the righteousness (Strong's). What is the crown of life - it is the proof of salvation. It amazes me how often proof of salvation is in the Bible when you look for it.

Look at verse 12 closely, who is the crown for. Yes for those who endure, but also to those "the Lord has promised to those who Love Him". It is a PROMISE to those who love Him!! Yet it is only given to those who endure. What a beautiful picture here! Those who love God will endure!

It supports verse Philipians 1:6. He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion.

God sees the whole picture - the end result. He is at work, even now. Respond to trial in faith to cooperate with God's work. Rejoice,believer, God is there with you in trial to His glory. To His glory we will receive the crown of life.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

My dreamiest spot

My daughter and her husband moved out of our small town to about 15 minutes in the country. One of my favorites things about the change is the drive. The back way from our house to hers takes me by my favorite spot. It has hills and you can actually see them. Usually there are so many trees, it is hard to see anything for very far.

I dream of owning a country house out in those hills. I dream of cows, chickens, goats, a horse and a huge garden. I dream of being able to feed my family off the land and getting back to the basics. I dream of it so deeply sometimes, I can feel an ache inside.

I read a quip, probably on facebook, a little while ago that said, "God's gifts are better than man's best dreams!". Isn't that comforting!! I don't know why we don't have that perfect house in my perfect spot. However, I do know that God is sovereign and His love is perfect. He knows so much more than I do.  He knows whether my dream would bring joy or sorrow. He knows whether my dream would build or destroy my character. He knows whether it would bring pleasure or hardship. He is so good!

I can learn to be content in His perfect will.
Hebrews 13:5
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
1 Timothy 6:8
And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.

Be content. That is an impossible command in our human flesh. However, in God's strength, in His working in my heart, it is not only possible but very probable. I can trust in the perfect Father to provide for me perfectly. If I never see that dream house here on earth, I know I have a mansion over the hill with a Father that owns the cattle on a thousand hills.

Friday, April 16, 2010

God is enough!

Testing! Trials! Stretching! Hardship! Pain!

Those words don't seem to bring vision of much joy. These are things I would like to avoid at all costs. Yet, scripture has them in a different light for a believer. They bring growth. Much growth if we submit to the trials God brings. He allows them to strengthen us and to draw us to Him.

I have endured much pain in the last six weeks. Trials that have cut deep into my soul. Piercing far more than I thought would be what I could bear. Times I was so perplexed in it. Can sin in another's life bear fruit in ours? A resounding YES if I choose to respond in a way that God would desire. It is hard to respond as God would chose though. It is hard to honor Him when our souls are so raw that the slightest brush causes to writhe in pain.

Yet as He heals me with His love and washes me in His word, my mind begins to clear. I see His goodness in the timing of a well spoken word, a sermon preached just for me, the gently comfort of His Spirit. God is enough! If all friends leave me and no one is left to stand by my side, God is enough! If I lose all I have and in the eyes of the world seem destitute, God is enough! I am beginning to see that maybe that is what He wanted me to learn all along. His sovereignty chooses those to enter my life, the turns my life will take and maybe just to show me ... God is enough! Oh how glorious to realize and all praise belongs to Him as I really understand who HE IS to even be able to say something so deeply profound as... God is enough!

Sheltered Kids

Spring! The time for planting. Have you ever planted a small tree? It needs extra protection. Many times you will see a fence around it to protect it from nibbling animals. Often it will have a stake next to it to support it. It just needs the time to establish the roots. It is unable to protect itself or weather the disasters, natural or man-made, that happen to come along.

I couldn't help but think how that reminds me of being a parent. It is my job to shelter my kids until they have deep enough roots to weather life's storms. I am to protect them just as God protects us. 1 Corinthians 10:13 
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. He doesn't give us more than we can handle.

When a tree is small the fence covers almost all of it, as it grows the branches start to poke out and expand over the edge of the fencing. Eventually the fence comes down, if the roots have been deeply watered and healthy, the trunk strong, it will be ready to weather many a storm and give shade to many. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Consider it all joy!

Jam 1:2
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
Jam 1:3
knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
Jam 1:4
But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Trials. I feel I have had my fair share of them lately. We all do at some point in our lives. Health issues, work pressure, trouble with friends, financial problems, failures, sin struggles .. the list goes on and on. Sometimes we rush into things causing our own sort of mayhem and chaos to deal with. Other times, trials just seem to encompass us from all directions. They blow in from seemingly nowhere.

I was reading in John MacArthur's commentary. A trial becomes a temptation when we chose to react to a trial with a wrong human response. It changed my outlook on the struggles I am going through. How can I glorify God in this right now? What is the response He is looking for in me at this moment? Is this a trial God can use in my life or am I making it a temptation to feed my fleshly responses?

Count it all joy! Greek says count or consider and think it all joy is a choice. How can I in the midst of pain and struggle ... consider it joy! I must realize that I am not here for my happiness. I am here for my Savior's pleasure ... to glorify Him. Is there really anything else I would rather do? May I consider it joy because I know God works all things together for His good and mine! I may consider it joy because He is working in me to be perfect and complete! I may consider it joy because He is building endurance.

When I was a preteen we had a pool put in our backyard. One of my favorite things to do in the pool when I was all alone was to swim laps underwater. I liked to see how far I could get on one breath. It would be a lap to start and as I built lung capacity it would grow and grow to several laps. There were times I was so determined to beat my last feat, I would hold my breath until I thought my lungs would burst and it seemed I wouldn't make to the surface. That breath was always glorious. I would look back to see if I beat my last record. Making one lap was child's play now :o)

There are times I don't think I will make it. Times I think I can't wait for the next breath. It is too hard. Yet when I finally do. That glorious breath!! I can look back and see how I have come. I can see the flesh being stripped from my body and His glory shining through! Praises to Him!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mercy

My heart does rend the pain of sin that clutches at our soul
Who can climb free from it and finally be made whole
The reaches of the dark stained arms stretch far beyond our sight
It suffocates and twists and tears with a mighty fight

Oh! To tear away the scars it burrows in our minds
Lies piercing deep within our soul wrapping us in binds
Destroying all within our reach because we cannot see
But, alas, I beg who has the strength to finally set us free?

Not one, not one of mortal man can break the bond of sin
Oh, agony untold, of death that churns within
Deep within the heart, its darkness who can face?
This turmoil has to fall completely on Your Grace

Crushed beneath the weight I bear, broken deep within my soul
Yet through death, victory comes, and then He makes me whole
Oh life so sweet, He paid a price, He paid a price for me!
Liberating mercy, You died to set me free!

Oh beloved, don’t you know, you must call upon His name
Throw yourself on the cross and never be the same
You think you have the answers, yet you do not see
In Christ Alone! Through Christ Alone! By Christ alone! We’re finally set free!