Grave Clothes or Grace Clothes

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The rain fell hard as I drove on my way to Tuesday night Bible Study last week. The sound of the rain grew louder as it beat down faster; I strained to see my way through the darkness and rain. The weather paralleled my own stormy soul. I was first quiet as every possible thought that could depress my soul welled up within me. Thoughts of past and present failures, thoughts of things in lives of those close to me… struggles in my own life that I wondered if I’d ever be free from. Lies, disparities, thoughts of “you can’t” or “you’ll never.” You get the picture… As the rain fell harder and harder, my soul grew more and more overwhelmed.

The last thing I wanted to do was go to Bible study, I complained to myself. I began voicing my complaints and despairs to the Lord… and just as I could barely see before me in the physical realm, neither could I see past the storm that raged within.

Then it hit me – I ought to praise the Lord and thank Him, instead of allowing myself to sink into a state of depression. I sighed deeply, and began doing what I should have done from the start. I praised the Lord. I praised Him for Who He is, and what He has done. I thanked Him for things He had given me or people He had brought into my life. Anything He brought to mind.

And as I began to praise Him, my heart went from one of turmoil to one of peace and quiet joy.

Psalm 42 came to my mind and then out my lips…

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him,
my salvation and my God.

The whole Psalm resonated so much with me…

I arrived at Bible study with a heart much more prepared to seek the Lord and learn about Him. I could’ve danced through the rain as I walked into the church building.

The lesson for that evening was on John 11 – the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. There were many points throughout the study that stuck out to me, but for the purpose of this post I will just share one:

Imagine for a moment the scene – Mary and Martha are grieving, Jesus weeps with them, but then instructs them to roll the stone away. Martha questions Him, reminding Jesus that there would be a bad odor with the decay having set in. He tells her that if she believes she will see the glory of God. So they roll the stone away.

After Jesus prays and gives thanks to His Father, He fixes His gaze on the entrance of the tomb. He cries out with a loud, commanding voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And because He is God, He can command the dead to come to life again. (It was speculated that one of the reasons Jesus called Lazarus by name is that everyone in the grave would have risen had He not been specific! This is the power of a few words spoken by our God!) The man that was a few moments ago dead, walks out of the tomb, called to life by Jesus.

What happened next made me stop and think. The Bible describes Lazarus still wrapped in grave clothes. Jesus, seeing this, tells those with Him to unbind Lazarus from the grave clothes and let him go. Why would he that was no longer dead walk about any longer in grave clothes?! And yet, how often do Christians walk about in grave clothes – in all the things that characterized us when we were dead in our sins? But now Jesus has called us to LIFE. We are no longer dead! Let us put off all those things that are of the grave – the depression, anxiety, anger, lust, greed, sexual immorality, pride, selfishiness, being pleasers of man and not of God, etc… And let us put on Christ’s robe of righteousness. We are no longer of the grave, we have life because of grace.

There I was that evening, wearing the disparity and hopelessness of one not alive in Christ… through His strength, I instead put on the garment of praise. He has called us to life, friend. Life eternal. Life abundant. Not just a free pass from hell, but to LIFE.

Jesus said to Martha, “I AM the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

I pray your reply is what Martha answered, “Yes, Lord; I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, Who is coming into the world.”

May those of us that believe and are called to life by Jesus, walk and live in His life.

~Grace Elizabeth

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New Beginning :)

I sit here in our front living room in the quiet of a house in which most have gone to bed. The light from the Christmas tree casts a warm, inviting glow about the room, it beckons me to come and sit a while. Ah, this room holds so many memories…

Thanks to the encouragement of a friend, I will brush the dust and cobwebs off this old blog and attemp to write again… I do miss writing here.

It is strange to me coming back here after two years to post again… reading through some of the posts, I almost feel it were another person. How strange it is to look at your past self. I am not entirely different, no… but sometimes I feel that these past two years have aged me a good deal. I have grown a lot, questioned and learned so many things. I have cried many tears and made mistakes I never dreamed I would. I have embarked on the adventure of becoming a midwife. I have lived in another country for a month. I have lost people and friendships and made new ones.

But through everything, God has remained faithful. He is so good to me. I would’ve given up on me a long time ago, but He doesn’t. Like the story of the prodigal son, the Father always welcomes me back, running to me with open arms.

It has been a crazy season of life, friend. And as humbling as some of things I’ve been through have been, I don’t think I would change any of it. Does not our Lord use all for good to those that love Him?

One of the highlights of this time has definitely been midwifery training… I have fallen in love with the process of pregnancy and birth, amazed at what our bodies are capable of, and blown away by the strength of the women I have watched and assisted give birth. It is such a privilege to be invited into such and intimate and sacred part of a woman’s life. I have rejoiced with many mothers after a successful delivery, comforted those that did not have the birth they planned, and wept with one mom as she held her 17 week old miscarried son in her hands. So much imprinted on my mind forever.

Midwifery is raw. Real. It isn’t glamorous most of the time… It’s sweaty, bloody, and messy. It’s real people that get stretch marks and have lives that aren’t perfect. It’s me stumbling out the door at 2am headed to a birth looking like a disaster, and coming home wiped out but with a full heart. And it’s watching the mom as she transforms from the sheer pain of labor to the complete joy of having her child in her arms in only  a moment – something I know I will never tire of seeing. I’ll stop on this subject for now, but I am sure it is something I shall write a great deal more on. 🙂

Ah… it’s 2017. How ever did that happen?…. I wonder what this year will hold for me. I am determined to be content in whatever lot I am given, and live the fullest I can where the Lord has placed me. And more than anything, that I may know Him more. Oh… There is such excitement in a fresh new year. 🙂 

I did not intend to just ramble on about things…. I’ll leave you with the last verse I read last year, and the one I’m clinging to right now – 

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

That makes me smile. So much freedom in that. We are made new in Christ.

So here’s to a new year, renewed in Christ. May He freshen your zeal and devotion to Him… may we truly say the words of Elisabeth Elliot – “I have one desire now – to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.”

-Grace 🙂

“Fourteen-Eleven”

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I hesitate to write this post.

Why? Because it’s a little embarrassing.

I have been given a lot. That is an understatement. In the way of earthly goods, I live in a really nice house, I have a closet full of clothes, I have plenty of food… I could go on and on. I also have a family that for some bazaar reason is crazy about me. But those are small in comparison to the fact that God has placed me in a home that loves and follows after Him. I was born into a home that already believed that the Bible is the True Word of God, and that Jesus is the Messiah. I can’t describe just how overwhelming it is. God has literately poured out blessing upon blessing on me.

So often I think and ask “Why God? Why would You give me so much when others have so little?”

And then He says, “You have been given much so you can give much. You are to be my hands and feet, giving all for My sake if I ask it of you. You are to love the unlovable, touch the untouchables, reach the unreachables. The poor, the desolate, the unpopular, the ugly and unwanted. That is your mission, Grace. Your life is to be spent reaching those for My glory. Those whom the world esteems the lowest are highest in My Kingdom – treat them as royalty.”

That’s my mission. That’s my calling in life.

But no, I don’t always live with that attitude. There are plenty of days I sit on the throne of my life and selfishly run it.

Like last Thursday…

Early that afternoon there was a battle raging in my soul; I won’t go into all the details now for time sake. But I was angry with myself and throwing a royal pity-party. Honestly, it was the display of selfishness you’d expect to see from a 4-year-old, not an almost 20-year-old. But God in His grace did not leave me there. After many selfish tears and thoughts rooted in pride, He opened my eyes to my selfishness and areas of my life I was clinging onto.

Selfishness.

I repented. I surrendered.

There was much joy in that.

Lord, try me again. Try me again. I’m ready. I’m surrendered.

He did.

(Oh praise Him for that! When you ask Him for trials or testing to grow you, be sure that He will.)

And even though I’d asked Him, I wasn’t prepared for the area of my heart He’d touch next.

That evening, I ran an errand to Joann’s craft and fabric store with my Mom and sister. I wandered my way into the clearance fabrics, and after a while I noticed a man passed by.

“How are you doing, this evening?” An employee asked.

“I’m alive, and that’s saying a lot,” replied the middle-aged black man.

His clothes were worn, but not tattered. A construction-worker vest peaked out beneath his dark coat. Our eyes met. I smiled. “Hi.” “Hello.”

He hesitated for a few seconds and then walked up to me. “I’m being bashful… I’m sorry. I need to ask you something. Ok, I’m just going to say it. I need “fourteen-eleven”… My brain locked up for a second as he continued talking about things. What in the world is a “fourteen-eleven?” He mentioned something about his job, something about his house, and needing just “fourteen-eleven” more for a place he and his wife could stay the night.

It hit me. Oh, it’s $14.11. He’s asking for fourteen dollars and 11 cents.

I panicked. No one had ever approached me asking for money before. The thought crossed my mind “what if he’s just making it up?” It was awkward. It was inconvenient. I didn’t really know what to do.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t really have cash on me.” I replied knowing full well that I had some.

“Oh that’s ok, I’m sorry to bother you. I know God will provide someway.”

“I’m so sorry,” I said again sympathetically, almost tagging on a “I’ll pray for you.”

Are you not disgusted?! That I would pretend to hurt and sympathize with him, all the while knowing I had what he needed? It makes my stomach turn.

There I stood in the fabric isle transfixed, replaying the whole scene over in my mind again. What have I done? Out of my selfishness I lied. I’ve been selfish with what God has freely given me. What would Jesus have done?

What if that were Jesus?

I felt sick. What if it had been Jesus? I would have gladly given what was asked and more. But what does His Word say? Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these, you have done it unto Me. (Matt 25)

I pulled out my wallet to see how much cash I had in it.

Fourteen dollars. No way.

I grabbed it and some change and started searching for him. I ran around the store, I checked outside. I looked around the store again, combing every isle. I check outside again. He was gone, no where to be found. The golden opportunity to show be the hands and feet of Christ was gone. I missed it because I was to consumed with myself and my wants. I did not have an outward focus.

How different it could have been if I had let the Lord truly sit on the throne that day… “Here Lord, my life–take it, spend it, use it!!! Make a fool out of it for Your sake if You wish. Only let it be Yours today.” If I had been living with the behavior of heaven–where those whom the world despises and call out as inconvenient are held high, and precious. Oh how different would my response have been!

Twice that day God showed me areas of my life that were tangled in selfishness. Twice I was so consumed with myself that I didn’t see what God was doing around me. Even as I type there are things He’s wanting me to pry my grubby little fingers off of. It’s going to be uncomfortable, it’s going to be inconvenient. But so was the Cross, and that’s what we’re called to do.

 Luke 9:23 – And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Deny ourselves and carry a cross? Yes… And follow Him. And when you follow Him, you too will wind up at Calvary.
I’m not really sure how to end this post… These are things that I’m still learning and haven’t mastered yet. But slowly I’m learning to answer “Yes Lord, I’m willing” when He asks something of me. I have far to grow, and know I will be challenged from the moment I rise tomorrow morning.
So while this might be the end of this post, it’s the beginning of asking for the eyes and heart of Christ. It’s the start of asking Him to so fill me, that He lives and works through me.
Oh friend, won’t you join me?
-Grace Elizabeth

A look at the cross…

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Somedays I feel it deeper than others…

I feel the effects of this sin cursed world. I feel the hurt and brokenness of so many around me. I even feel the pain of my own sin tainted life and am haunted by my failures…

But this evening I turn back to the Cross; it seems so long since I walked the road to Calvary. I forget the gravity of what happened there so easily. I take Salvation for granted and begin living under the law again, not grace. I try to be “good enough” for God so He’ll love and accept me, so I can be close to Him. But at the foot of the Cross life begins to make sense again, and the broken seems redeemable. At the Cross the impossible became possible. At the Cross grace abounds where once the law and sin abounded.

I was just reading “Boy Meets Girl” by Joshua Harris (such a thought provoking book), and it had this excerpt in it from another book called “When God Weeps” by Steven Estes and Joni Eareckson Tada. It brought me to tears, repentance and praise; and so I thought maybe, just maybe it might bless you too. Oh friend, stop and linger at the cross…

The face that Moses had begged to see – was forbidden to see – was slapped bloody (Exodus 33:19-20)

The thorns that God had sent to curse the earth’s rebellion now twisted around his brow…

“On your back with you!” One raises a mallet to sink the spike. But the soldier’s heart must continue pumping as he readies the prisoner’s wrist. Someone must sustain the soldier’s life minute by minute, for no man has this power on his own. Who supplies breath to his lungs? Who gives energy to his cells? Who holds his molecules together? Only by the Son do “all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). The victim wills that the soldier live on – he grants the warrior’s continued existence. The man swings.

As the man swings, the Son recalls how he and the Father first designed the medial nerve of the human forearm – the sensations it would be capable of. The design proves flawless – the nerves perform exquisitely. “Up you go!” They lift the cross. God is on display in his underwear and can scarcely breathe.

But these pains are a mere warm-up to his other and growing dread. He begins to feel a foreign sensation. Somewhere during this day an unearthly foul odor began to waft, not around his nose, but his heart. He feels dirty. Human wickedness starts to crawl upon his spotless being – the living excrement from our souls. The apple of his Father’s eye turns brown with rot.

His Father! He must face his Father like this!

From heaven the Father now rouses himself like a lion disturbed, shakes His mane, and roars against the shriveling remnant of a man hanging on a cross.Never has the Son seen the Father look at him so, never felt even the least of his hot breath. But the roar shakes the unseen world and darkens the visible sky. The Son does not recognize these eyes.

“Son of Man! Why have you behaved so? You have cheated, lusted, stolen, gossiped – murdered, envied, hated, lied. You have cursed, robbed, over-spent, overeaten – fornicated, disobeyed, embezzled, and blasphemed. Oh the duties you have shirked, the children you have abandoned! Who has ever so ignored the poor, so played the coward, so belittled my name? Have you ever held a razor tongue? What a self-righteous, pitiful drunk – you, who moles young boys, peddle killer drugs, travel in cliques, and mock your parents. Who gave you the boldness to rig elections, foment revolutions, torture animals, and worship demons? Does the list never end!

Splitting families, raping virgins, acting smugly, playing the pimp – buying politicians, practicing exhortation, filming pornography, accepting bribes. You have burned down buildings, perfected terrorist tactics, founded false religions, traded in slaves – relishing each morsel and bragging about it all. I hate, loathe these things in you! Disgust for everything about you consumes me! Can you not feel my wrath?

Of course the Son is innocent He is blamelessness itself. The Father knows this. But the divine pair have an agreement, and the unthinkable must now take place. Jesus will be treated as if personally responsible for every sin ever committed.

The Father watches as his heart’s treasure, the mirror image of himself, sinks drowning into raw, liquid sin. Jehovah’s stored rage against humankind from every century explodes in a single direction.

“Father! Father! Why have you forsaken me?!”

But heaven stops its ears. The Son stares up at the One who cannot, who will not, reach down or reply.

The Trinity had planned it. The Son had endured it. The Spirit enabled Him. The Father rejected the Son whom He loved. Jesus, the God-man from Nazareth, perished. The Father accepted His sacrifice for sin and was satisfied. The Rescue was accomplished.

Close your eyes for a moment. Drink the whole scene in.

I can’t even describe my own thoughts right now – so I won’t – I’ll leave you to think and pray and worship.

But oh how remembering what He did for me – what He did for us causes me to love Him more. Why wouldn’t I gladly obey every command and request my Jesus gives after what He has done?

I pray your heart is encouraged, friend. Encouraged to love Him more, pressed into greater obedience, and left gazing at the cross. Don’t ever look away. Don’t ever forget.

~Grace Elizabeth

The Lord is my Shepherd

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Howdy, friend. *smile* I feel deeply sorry for anyone who still checks and reads my blog after all my inconsistency. It’s not that I don’t like blogging or don’t have anything to blog about, I just can’t seem to ever get to it. With finishing up high-school priorities change. But tonight I need a productive break from the norm–hence blogging.

Lately (for close to two months now?), I’ve been going hard at doing the right things, maximizing my time, being really disciplined, and generally making every single second count. It’s been great and I’ve gotten so much accomplished Spiritually, academically, around my home, and etc. But I have been left feeling burnt out and like I can’t do it anymore. I simply am not enough. Weary.

I am so thankful to serve a God I can bring everything to–every burden, every care. After I poured my heart out to Him and finally stopped long enough to listen to Him, He brought great encouragement to my heart. I thought I’d share just a few of the thoughts and verses He brought to mind–nothing really structured or profound. I encourage you to really read the Scripture passages instead of just skimming them over.

He reminded me that He is my Shepherd.

For thus saith the Lord GOD: Behold, I, even I will both search my sheep, and seek them out.

As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.

I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.

I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God.

I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment. (Ezekiel 34:11-16

There is something so indescribably comforting as seeing Jesus as my precious Shepherd. I feel like a lamb–completely and utterly helpless. Prone to wander. So weak. This verse in Isaiah is so precious to me:

He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. (Isaiah 40:11)

Oh how I want so much to just be carried in the arms of my Shepherd, Yeshua! He is the God that feeds, carries, and gently leads those who are weak and broken. Oh indeed, Jesus, will You not carry me?

The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul… (Psalm 23:1-3a)

Oh the riches of His Word! I cannot begin to describe the depth of what the passages mean to me or how I have prayed and prayed them back to God. How beautiful to lie down in green pastures, and to be led by still waters? He is the restorer of my soul…and how my soul needs restoring right now. When I see Who my Shepherd is, I truly want nothing but Him.

Just one more and I’ll close for tonight–

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matt 11:28-30)

He offers rest for the weary, for the heavy laden. Yep, that’s me. Does His yoke not sound wonderfully beautiful? Does not your heart cry within you “Lord, let me take up Your yoke!?”

Rest well, friend. I know I will tonight. I look forward to tomorrow for I am carried in the arms of my Shepherd. He feeds me. He is so understanding, and listens to my desperate cries. He strengthens me in my weakness. He restores my soul. He rescues me.

And you know what? It makes me love Him all the more.

Resting in Him,

Grace Elizabeth

 

 

More important than service…

I realize that it has been a few months since I posted on my poor little blog… Summer has been busy and full–but it has been a good summer.

Lately because of my brother’s recommendation, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the Gospels. Yesterday I was in Luke 10, and revisited a familiar story.

Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.

And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.

But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10: 38-42

After I read it, I realized something dreadful.

I’ve become Martha.

Every time I’ve read that story, I’ve judged Martha and thought, “She had Jesus right there in her house–what was she doing not basking in His presence?!” But I realize, that’s what I’ve done. This summer I’ve had a lot of opportunity for ministry, all of which has blessed me so much. I’ve been to a few different seminars/conferences and learned a lot. It’s all been good.

But…

I’ve become so busy in service and ministry that I haven’t made the time to just sit at the feet of Jesus and worship Him. Just to sit in awe of Him and listen to what He has to say. I feel I’ve done a lot of talking to Him lately, but how much listening have I done lately?

“Grace, Grace, you are careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

That’s what I want, to be a Mary again. To be one that sits at the feet of God and just listens. One whose  focus is steadfast on the Master…one whose heart is full of worship.

“Be still,” He calls, “and know that I am God.”

“Be still, my little “Martha-Grace”…be still. Sit at My feet and listen.”

Well friend, that’s all for now… By God’s grace, this coming week will be much different. Don’t be a Martha, take time, real time (more than 5 minutes) to just bask in the presence of our Lord. He has so much He longs to show and teach us, and He will fill you up so that He may pour you out in service to others. And trust me, your service will have a far greater impact when you worship first.

Are you a Martha, or a Mary?

Crucified with Christ,

Grace

Gal. 2:20, Ps. 16:11

A New Year’s prayer

Ah, it is 11:49 PM, almost the New Year…what a year this has been. The Lord has brought me so far. So far. And as I look at the new year ahead, I see that I have so far to go. So far.

This song describes what I want for the New Year; this is one of the things that if I could write poetry, I would have written this.

A Passion For Thee

Set my heart, O dear Father,
On Thee, and Thee only,
Give me a thirst for Thy presence divine.
Lord, keep my focus on loving Thee wholly,
Purge me from earth; Turn my heart after Thine.

A passion for Thee;
O Lord, set a fire in my soul, and a thirst for my God.
Hear Thou my prayer, Lord, Thy power impart.
Not just to serve, but to love Thee with all of my heart.

Father fill with Thy Spirit, and fit me for service,
Let love for Christ every motive inspire,
Teach me to follow in selfless submission,
Be Thou my joy and my soul’s one desire.

A passion for Thee;
O Lord, set a fire in my soul, and a thirst for my God.
Hear Thou my prayer, Lord, Thy power impart.
Not just to serve, but to love Thee with all of my heart.

This song is definitely my prayer for this coming year–I want my heart to burn with an all-consuming passion to know and love God. I want to serve Him with a motive of love, and not of pride. I want Jesus to be my true joy and my soul’s one desire.

O Lord, I thank you so much for this year; it’s been wonderful. In fact, it’s been the best year of my life. After last year I didn’t think life could get any better…but oh! Every year walking by Your side gets sweeter still.
 Abba, don’t let me stray, please draw me closer to You. This year You have taught me much…You have taught me how to die daily, how to be a leader, how show others Your love, and how in Your presence is fullness of joy…You have held my hand, guided me, and carried me…You have been so patient with me gently teaching me truths over and over again untill I realize that You’re trying to teach me.
It gives me so much joy to know that You continue to hold my hand and guide me in this new year. May I grow to love you more. Oh make me a vessel of Your glory! May people see You and not me.

Well I’ve had a wonderful evening, and a wonderful year; but I’m ready–bring on the new year!

Hello twenty-twelve!

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Lord, may You be glorified in every aspect of my life this coming year.

-Grace
Psalm 16:11, Galatians 2:20

And my sisters and I start the countdown….

Arise My Beloved, and Come Away~

 

Will you arise when He calls you?

Right now, the most important thing in my life is my romance with Jesus Christ. Oh yes, He is all that matters. My heart sees Scripture through different eyes now; it’s all one big love letter from God to me. And when I’m in-love with Christ, I jump up in the morning and eagerly read His Word, just as I imagine it’ll be like when someday I’ll receive letters from my earthly prince. Oh that everyday was like that! *sigh*

I love this passage from Song of Solomon; my Jesus is so good. This is what I think of when I’m daunted with insecurites, or simply feel alone. It helps a lot knowing how Christ–my Prince, sees me.

10 My beloved spoke, and said to me:

      “ Rise up, my love, my fair one,
      And come away.
       11 For lo, the winter is past,
      The rain is over and gone.
       12 The flowers appear on the earth;
      The time of singing has come,
      And the voice of the turtledove
      Is heard in our land.
       13 The fig tree puts forth her green figs,
      And the vines with the tender grapes
      Give a good smell.
      Rise up, my love, my fair one,
      And come away!
       14“ O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
      In the secret places of the cliff,
      Let me see your face,
      Let me hear your voice;
      For your voice is sweet,
      And your face is lovely.”

Some mornings when I wake, I know God woke just for the purpose of spending time with Him and this passage comes to me. I can almost hear Jesus say with an outstretched hand, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away! I have so many wonderful treasures to show you, dear Grace.”

With His strength I will crucify my fleshly desire for more sleep, take His hand, rise up, and go with Him. Isn’t it truly wonderful that God Almighty loves us, saves us, and wants to spend time with us? His love and goodness towards us is truly unfathomable.

O Lord, set my heart on fire for You! Give me a love for You that precedes everything else. Rip my flesh away, no matter how painful. Oh, give me a love for You. a.l.o.n.e.

In Your presence is fullness of joy. Absolute fullness of joy.

Blessings,

Grace

Psalm 16:11

Bits and pieces~

My heart is so full of joy right now. So full. Mmm…Jesus, I love you. Thank You for leading me closer to You today, and being so patient with me, even through tears and the desperation I felt today.

 This evening I got to errands with my Dad; we had a wonderful time. Daddy, you are so wise, and have such a heart for God. Everyday I marvel at how I ever got you for a dad; God is so good to me. Please know that I pray for you everyday as you lead our family. Talking of spiritual things with you is the best.

 On another note, we got to try our first batch of homemade sauerkraut today! Can you say “yum?” J

 

This quote from Charles Spurgeon literally stopped me in my tracts when I read it the other day:

 “If you never have sleepless hours, if you never have weeping eyes, if your hearts never swell as if they would burst, you need not anticipate that you will be called zealous. You do not know the beginning of true zeal, for the foundation of Christian zeal likes in the heart. The heart must be heavy with grief and yet must beat high with holy ardor. The heart must be vehement in desire, panting continually for God’s glory, or else we shall never attain to anything like the zeal which God would have us know.”

 I want to be this kind Christian. I long to be dynamic, radical, zealous…I want to be a true follower of Christ. May I be the kind of Christian, who, when knees tire in prayer, fall flat on their face before their King and keep on praying. May I be a real Christian ready to give up all comfort for the sake of Christ, and not shy from persecution. Oh, may all of my life glorify Him.

 

Also, this video clip I watched the other day really encouraged me so I thought I’d share it. I can not tell you how encouraging it is to see young people zealously living for Christ, and willing to give all to Him. Even if that means giving up seemingly fun things like dating just for the sake of being in a relationship. Relational purity is so important, and is something that I don’t think is stressed enough. Anyway, had I more time, eloquence, and wisdom I would write more about this; but for now I’ll leave it at that for now.

 

One last thing and I’ll be done. This verse has been popping up in my mind recently:

“And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 1 Timothy 6:8

 I realize I have so much more than food and clothes, and yet, so often I am discontent. Right now though, I am perfectly content. God provides well beyond my needs; I am so blessed! That said, it would still be pretty neat to get this for Christmas. *smile*

Well that’s it; please excuse me for the randomness of this post! Have a wonderful weekend; and “whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

In Christ,

Grace

Psalm 16:11

A walk, and thoughts on eternity

Yesterday was a beautiful fall day, perfect for a walk. So I did, I went on a walk with my Savior, Jesus Christ.

The perfect bench for just the two of us to sit and talk.

Everything, no matter how small sang the praises of their Creator. I love that you can see His beauty in everything.

I long for a closer relationship with God. 

I long to love Him more.

When I go outside and take a look at God’s creation, it reminds me just how big He is, and how small I am…

…and my heart floods with love for Him.

“Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul. While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being…Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth forever.” Psalm 146:1-2,6

(Mr. Squirrel seemed to be enjoying the afternoon, too.)

Fall is a beautiful season, but soon all the leaves will fall off the trees and be gone. After that, the leaves will crumble into dust and be replaced with new leaves in the Spring. It makes me remember the words of James 4:14:

 “…For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”

Is my vapor of a life counting for eternity? Am I making the best use of my time? Oh! How much precious time have I wasted on frivolous pursuits that won’t matter a week from now, much less eternity.

“Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am.” Psalm 39:4

This is my prayer, that I would live in constant awareness of how fleeting life is, and that I all I do would bring honor and glory to God.

Time is short. Life is fleeting. Live for Christ.

All for Christ’s glory,

Grace