Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Women are Emotional

I can totally understand where this women is coming from...well maybe not totally. But sometimes you just can't help but cry at the end of I mean, at the end of a movie.


A lot has been going on the past couple weeks! I got insurance January 1st and there were several things that I knew I needed to sort out with my health. One of those things was to get a growth cut out of my lip and let me tell you, it hurts! I've been on vicadin for 6 days straight and I cry whenever I eat or brush my teeth. I think by the end of this I will be a very skinny woman with terrible, terrible cavities. Last night I almost couldn't stand it anymore and I was just crying and praying and hoping something would change. Leslie sent me a bunch of verses to read through that would help me think of the Lord in the midst of physical pain and I'm excited to read those this morning.

I've also been dealing with some gastrointestinal issues for the last year and a half and went of gluten for most of 2009. I had to see a gastroenterologist for this and Chris and I have been driving back and forth to Idaho Falls for these appointments. The time with Chris has been really encouraging and we have had some great conversations sitting in the car with each other for hours. We are supposed to get the results back from those procedures by the end of this week. I'm looking forward to all of this being over!

It's been a struggle to not be able to work, to be drugged most of the day, and to not be able to talk (as much as I want to at least). But I'm learning to trust the Lord that this is only a season that He has for me and I can be faithful even in that. Sometimes I feel like I have squandered my time during this, and I'm sure that in a lot of ways I have, but I'm trying to remember that it's okay to rest. I have been able to get a ton of things done around the house and that's exciting! Mike and Debbie bought us new book shelves for Christmas and we've been getting those set up--they look SO great! I've been obsessively cleaning house and I even organized all our paper work and files. This was no small task. I love it when Chris comes home and I have company again...not that Frazier isn't good company. I'm trying to make nice dinners for him then I eat mac and cheese or a smoothie because I can't really chew. Tonight I'm making an elk roast! I hope it turns out okay.

Monday, January 18, 2010

1000 Graces

Seeing that it's Monday, I'll continue my thankfulness list!

5. I'm thankful that God has no wrath towards me!
6. I'm thankful that God asks us to do things his way, and then he lets us experience joy and contentment in doing things his way.
7. I'm thankful that Chris does the dishes
8. I'm thankful that all the doctors I've had to see lately are covered under my insurance.
9. I'm thankful that we live in Jackson
10. I'm thankful that I get to spend the day with Chris
holy experience

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Elementary Truths

Do you ever learn something about God and then think, "Wow, how did I not know that for the last six years??" That's happened to me a couple times in the past few weeks. I've been learning more about God's mercy and the glory of the cross. In church the other day Eric said that when we sin God has no wrath towards us. For some reason when I sin I always think He does. I know that he hates sin and I know that my sin hurts him, but he definitely doesn't have wrath towards me. Why doesn't he? Because he poured out all his wrath on Jesus on the cross. I love this truth. In the past six years I have often found myself avoiding God after I know that I sinned because I really felt like he hated me. I don't know why I thought this way! No one ever told me that he hated me when I sinned. God's love is so amazing and so divine and when I sin he wants nothing more than that I would run to him. His kindness truly does lead us to repentance.

Friday I was listening to Grace To You on confessing sins and MacArthur said that when we sin we don't have to ask God's forgiveness. We only confess our sin and agree with him that we sinned against him. This is amazing too! This really pointed me to the cross. Truly, ALL my sin was forgiven on the cross. When I sin I get to thank him that he already paid for my sin and that I'm covered by the blood of Jesus. Sometimes I felt like I was not forgiven until I went to God and asked for forgiveness. This really blows my mind and makes me so thankful.

I know these are super elementary truths to the Gospel, but sometimes they just hit you. It sounded so profound when I was reminded of these things. Once again, it humbles me. It humbles me that I don't have to do anything and there is nothing I can do to seek favor from God. His love for me is based solely on his love for his Son Jesus. How inconsequential I am! He saved me from my sin and death only to grant me complete righteousness in Christ. Thank you Lord!

Friday, January 15, 2010

epic fail pictures
see more Epic Fails

Wounded and Humble...

Because I've been thinking through the issue of confrontation lately, last night I thought about some of the things that I have been exhorted in that the Lord has used to completely transform my life. Chris has been reminding me lately that when I am confronted I need to view that person who is calling me to grow as someone who has the Holy Spirit and who God is using to grow me. God's Word convicts us and changes us, but one means that he uses to grow us is through people who are aware of our sin and shortcomings. It helps me to receive exhortation when I see that this person is sacrificing their own comforts to come to me and it's not easy to confront. I don't want to discourage them by responding pridefully.

My relationships with family and friends was completely transformed when God prompted a faithful sister to come to me and humbly exhort me to not choose who I want to love based on whether or not I like someone, but to choose to love everyone who God puts in my life. I went from treating people out of sinful pride that wanted to be served and preferred myself over everyone else, to seeing each person as an opportunity to demonstrate Christ's impartiality and to consider others as more important than myself.

The way that I viewed money and stuff was transformed when God put it in the heart of a faithful brother to exhort Chris and I to give with liberality out of the abundance that God has given us. Chris and I have experienced so much joy through this life lesson even though it was hard to hear initially. We are now free to give more and more of our money away to people in need and to the church because we have a God who wants to provide and wants his children to give freely. We often feel like one of our ministries is simply to work hard so that we have more to give and to let people borrow our stuff whenever it's needed. This is in no way to say that we are uber-godly and have it all figured out, but only to show that we were NOTHING like this before someone confronted us.

Finally, the way that I view service in ministry is completely different because a faithful sister exhorted me to serve hard trusting God that he will not withhold any good thing from me and that he will give me rest and joy even when I serve wholeheartedly. Again, what joy there is in serving the body of Christ without fear! If I had not be specifically exhorted to serve to the point that I'm a little uncomfortable, then I wouldn't have grown in maturity.

It was refreshing for me to think through how life changing biblical exhortation and encouragement has been in my life over the last several years. I really want to be more humble and more receptive when people lovingly point out how I can grow. It's hard because I love my sin and I don't want to be uncomfortable, but there certainly is joy in doing what serves my Savior.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Faithful are the wounds of a friend...

If I had to identify my giftedness I would say part of my gift is exhortation and encouragement. I feel so inclined to speak truth into people's lives that I often need to hold back so as not to speak too quickly and without prayer. Sometimes my words have hurt people. My words have often hurt my husband. One of the things about me that makes me so sad is that I too often speak out of anger and frustration then out of love and grace. I want to be faithful to the Lord to use my giftedness and to speak truth into people's lives, but also to be patient and prayerful and wait on the Lord to change people.

A friend and I have been studying 2 Corinthians together and today we met to talk about chapter 7. This is probably the most thorough passage in Scripture that talks about repentance. In 1 Corinthians Paul spends most of the letter rebuking and exhorting the church at Corinth because they were caught in sin. This letter he often points out how much he loves them and how he longs to see their growth in Christ. He knows that he said a lot of things that were hard for them to hear, but he sees now that they have repented and they have REAL fruit of repentance. They are right with God and they can experience the joy of the Lord now!

This was a great reminder to me to stay faithful to speak truth into people's lives even though it's hard and scary and I'm afraid people will hate me. I know that I'm sinful and I know that I can often speak "truth" out of pride and anger, but I want to be faithful to speak truth when my heart is right and their is a genuine need in another person's life for them to hear what God might have to say to them. Chris often reminds me of this Proverb, "Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances." I'm learning to slow down, pray for others and search my own heart before I jump into exhortation.

My memory verse this week is Proverbs 27:5-6. I'm thankful that God wants us to be faithful to speak truth into each other's lives even when they may not want to hear it. I'm thankful that he gives us clear instruction on how to do it. And I'm thankful for the faithful wounds of friends that love me dearly.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Planning Again...

Like I mentioned before, I love to plan. I decided in order to make my blogging time purposeful, I want to participate in a 1000 Graces. Every Monday this group of believers sets their hearts on being thankful to the Lord by listing the many things in their lives they have to be thankful for. I know it's not Monday, but I'll start now!
1. A husband that has so clearly been given to me for the purpose of growing me in Christ likeness
2. A church that loves Jesus and wants to live in Gospel community
3. Chris' job... thank you Lord that your ways are higher than our ways and that we can trust you with each decision made!
4. My down jacket
holy experience

Shelter in the Time of Storm

When I get new running shoes I suddenly have a deep desire to run. When I get new climbing gear, I'm always up for climbing. I decided that maybe if I get a new blog, I'll be excited enough about it to actually use it! I was kind of tired of Wordpress and I wanted something more lovely... which I think I achieved quite nicely with this new background. I've been thinking lately that I need to be better about jotting down my thoughts and more specifically about "spurring one another on to love and good deeds." I have a few friends who have blogs that are so encouraging and I really want to follow in their step and use this as a venue to encourage others and at the same time keep everyone updated on what Chris and I have been up to.

I just finished reading a book by Paul Tripp called, "Shelter in the Time of Storm". The whole book is on Psalm 27 and what it means to suffer well. I have been so encouraged by the simple truths found in this Psalm! I can often respond sinfully when God's plans are different mine...and I ALWAYS have a plan. Whether it is a plan for an evening with Chris, a morning run, or a day at work, I always have my heart set on something. God is once again teaching me the simple truth of his Sovereignty. His plans are better than mine and his ways are so much higher. When my plan doesn't work out quite like I wanted it to, I can trust that it wasn't the best plan after all. Praise the Lord for this! I'm so thankful that I serve a God who is wiser than me and who is motivated out of love when he ordains difficult things to happen to me.

On a side note, last night Chris and I were watching some videos of prosperity Gospel teachers and it struck me how very anti-Gospel these men and women are. God is so clear in his word that he wants us to suffer. When we suffer we become more like Jesus! To tell the world that God only wants for us what WE want for us (health and wealth) is taking God off the throne and replacing him with man. This is such a shallow and wrong view of God. John Piper said the other day that when we get to heaven we won't look back at our suffering and think, "Oh, now I see why God allowed me to suffer in that way." Rather, we'll look back at our lives and see no suffering at all. We'll only see circumstances ordained by a loving God that He gave us sufficient grace to endure and that made us more like the most perfect being to ever walk the earth. This is such an encouragement to me! It redefines suffering from a man-centered, self-serving view, to a God-centered, God-glorifying view of suffering.