Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hope and Inheritance

Seeing the devastation and the pain caused by the storms that ripped through our state on April 27th is heart wrenching. It is such an immense amount of suffering and loss that it is more than difficult for my limited human self to process. As we love, serve, give, and pray together, we must "weep with those who weep" and grieve over the great losses they suffer. And we must rejoice with those who are rejoicing at the miracle of survival and grace of being spared.

This brings me to my knees, asking God to renew in me each day a passion for Him and His word, for people and the Gospel, for His will in my life and His glory to be known and shown to the nations. Life is truly fleeting, and so much of the "stuff" that we waste our energy and time upon is insignificant.

What matters today and every day is this. Our hope lies in Jesus Christ, His Resurrection, and the grace of salvation offered to us. What will we do with this great gift of grace? God does not need us, but we desperately need Him for every beat of our hearts, for every step we take, for every moment we are breathing. Our hope is a living hope, and the gift of salvation is offered to us.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls." --1 Peter 1:3-9

I pray you have trusted in Jesus Christ alone by God's grace alone through faith alone for the salvation of your soul, for your redemption from the punishment we all deserve as sinners. It is real, it is true, and it is not living a set of rules, going to church every time the doors are open, being a deacon's child, or performing good deeds to outweigh our bad ones. Nothing we can do will ever make us good enough to become the children of a holy God whose very nature rejects any darkness or sin. But in His great mercy, He provides a way for us to be justified--made right with Him through the sacrifice of Jesus, who knew no sin but became sin for us! PRAISE BE TO GOD!

I've done the church "thing", I've been the rule follower, and I've lost myself in religion. But I am so thankful that God continued to speak to me and show me the redeeming power of His grace that only comes through trusting in and knowing Him. It is his work in me, and I could never be more grateful or filled with peace (even in the midst of figurative and literal storms) at knowing He is my Lord and has given me an inheritance as his child that will never fade, spoil, or be taken away. I echo another friend's recent post when I say that I would love to talk more with anyone who would like to hear the redeeming story of God's work in my life or has questions for me about my faith. Email me if you are searching, skeptical, or just curious. Grace and Peace to you as you face the storms in your life.

Loving and Learning,



Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sunday is coming...

Yesterday was Friday, but Sunday is coming.

Too many words in my heart and mind, not enough words to ever express the gratitude and overwhelming love I have for Jesus Christ.

He became sin and bore the wrath of God that I deserved.

He, by His grace alone, has saved me and transformed me and made me a child of God.

"This is all my hope and peace, nothing but the blood of Jesus. This is all my righteousness, nothing but the blood of Jesus."

"Jesus is "‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:11-12

JESUS is LORD and we desperately need HIM!



Loving and Overwhelmed with Gratitude,

Friday, April 15, 2011

Nothing to Prove

I heard this song the other day, and as I listened the tears began to fall. It reminds me so much of my Mama and the things she taught me about life and faith and love and God. If you are a "newer" friend or a new reader of my blog, you may not know that my Mama went home to be with Jesus just 10 days after being diagnosed with Leukemia, when I was 20 and my sister 16. She was a breath of fresh air who had a beautiful and loving heart. The message of this song is so like what she tried to teach me. I wish I had listened more to her when she was here, but I am thankful for the beauty and joy that she brought to my life, and for the HOPE I have in Jesus and His resurrection that means I will see her again.

Even if all of the lyrics don't exactly fit (she didn't teach me how to fish, my Daddy did), these lyrics ring true when I think of her life and how she lived. More than sixteen years later, I miss her still and hold tightly to the memories I have of her laughter, her funny impressions of the witches in Macbeth, her words of encouragement, her soprano voice singing along to James Taylor songs, her love of beautiful words and music, and her unselfish heart that gave so much to everyone around her. Although she left us to go home long before I would have chosen, she most certainly left a legacy of love that endures.



Nothing to Prove by Dan Dean
You taught me how to ride a bike
Tie my shoes and fly a kite
How to swim, and how to fish
To see a star and make a wish
Said it's okay to make mistakes
Just don't get stuck in yesterday
Forgive, forget, and move ahead
Because life is what you make of it
Now you're gone, and all I have
Are memories I hold dear
But if I'm quiet, I hear your voice
Still ringing in my ears

Saying live with no excuses
Love with no regrets
Laugh a lot and leave this life
With nothing left unsaid
Make this world a better place
Don't be afraid to cry
And when it's finally time, to say goodbye
Nothing to prove, nothing to lose
Nothing to hide

You see, life cannot be measured by
The place you live, the car you drive
The thing that counts the day you die
It's who you are, and what's inside
So tell the truth, don't ever lie
Integrity at any price
Your word's, your bond, your highest price
So guard it close, and live your life
So many things, I learned from you
About life and love and play,
But I learned more by how you lived
Then what I heard you say
__________________________________________________________

Thank you, Lord for your grace that means I have nothing to prove, because it is not about me--it's about YOU! And thank you for the love that you poured into my life through the person of my mother.
Still Learning,

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thank You. See what God has done?

I am posting some video below from Anderson's birthday party, and I just want to begin this post by saying (or shouting)"THANK YOU" to every single person who gave financially and of your time so that our family could bring him home! I still thank God continually for each family who sacrificed, each person who was obedient, and every one of you who prayed and gave and served and showed love to our new son and our family during our long and bumpy journey. Please know that God used you and that we continue to pray for your families and God's work in your lives. Anderson is truly a blessing who brings so much laughter and joy to our family and to so many other people, too. Please continue to pray for Anderson's development as he grows. We love and appreciate you from the bottom of our hearts. God's grace and love displayed in you are what made this possible! PRAISE THE LORD!


video



Loving and Learning,

About Me

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I love Jesus Christ, am a seeker of beauty, and am a grateful child of God who would be lost and hopeless were it not for His grace. I am learning to walk in love, see interruptions as divine appointments, and value people and relationships above agendas and results. I pray my life is grace-filled, and brings joy and encouragement to everyone I know and meet. We are a family of 6, built by God through love, birth, and adoption, living in the beauty and the struggle that accompanies parenting kids from hard places. Got questions? Email me at loveandtots3@gmail.com.

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