Fed and forgiven

This is just a raw journal entry from today. Because not everyday is perfect.

Tuesday
Jan 14th, 2014

How can I be so foolish as to not fill my life with the Words of God? How can I afford not to be memorizing and meditating on God’s Word daily?

There is no victory to the unfed, malnourished warrior.

These past few days as I have been struggling, I have asked God why it is so hard to follow Him. Why when He proclaimed “my yoke is easy and my burden is light?”

God as a loving Father sets a plate of rich food before us– His Word, His very presence. But instead of being still, of feeding on the food He has provided, I foolishly hop up and run out into the battle very near starvation. And I wonder why I fail.

It’s be strong in the Lord and int the power of His might.

Not mine.

And yet I push and push in my own strength until I collapse, too weak to move on.

I begin to wonder where He’s been. I am frustrated with myself for failing again. And in one black moment I believe that victory in the Christian life doesn’t exists.

He approaches me so tenderly. Tears fill His eyes as He sees His beloved weak and beaten in a state of delirium.

And He draws me back to His side.

He forgives me.
He loves me.
He feeds me.

And today I choose to thank God for what I most detest in life–failure. Because failing always ends up bringing me back to Jesus’ side.

Oh Abba, how prone to wander, prone to fail I am. Teach me to feed on Your Word and dwell in Your presence! I praise You for being so faithful to me and always–ALWAYS drawing me back to Yourself. Your mercies are renewed EVERY morning. Great is Your faithfulness. Selah.

Romans Challenge~

Last month I had the opportunity to help out at the Mally’s Bright Light’s conferences for girls. (If you want to know more about their ministry you can go to their website– http://www.tomorrowsforefathers.com/).

The long and short of it is that it was an amazing time. Lives were truly changed. The first part of the week was a conference geared towards younger girls. The biggest thing that impacted the sweet gals on my team was to make a commitment to read their Bibles daily.

I had never been good about making God’s Word a priority in my life until the beginning of 2011. My new year’s resolution was a vow to God to spend at least 5 minutes in His Word everyday that year. Since then, by God’s grace I have not missed a single day. It has impacted my life so much, and always reminds me where my focus ought to be and Who’s life this is.

That being said, Grace Mally is starting a “Romans Challenge” next month. I love a good challenge and thought I’d share this one with you. Basically, during the month of September you read Romans 1-8 everyday (you can head over to her blog to find out more about it). . Eight chapters is a good amount of reading. As a slow reader that could easily take me 30 minutes to an hour each day.

Romans 1-8 hold some passages that are very close to my heart. How wonderful would it be to daily reading and meditating on these rich passages? We sit down to watch a movie or TV show–why not use that time to immerse ourselves instead in the Word of God? What do we have to lose?

So who wants to join me? Saturate yourself in the Word of God!

I’d love to know if you do this too (comment and let me know!). And if you don’t do Romans challenge, I do encourage you to be faithful in the Word and press on to know the Lord. In the end, He is all that matters.

Love and blessings,

Grace

Oh taste and see

I just have one question for y’all this evening…it’s something that has been growing within my heart the last few weeks.

Have you tasted Who the Lord is?

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I’m sure you’ve heard the Truth many, many times that God is good. Do you know this as merely a fact about God, or have you tasted it, have you experienced His goodness?

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. Psalm 34:8

Have you tasted that the Lord is gracious (1Pet. 2:3), awesome, loving, true, and real?

Do you really know the Lord for yourself? Meaning, have you learned Who God is by a first-hand relationship, or simply by what you have read or others have taught you?

Who is God to you? What aspects about Him can you say you know because you have spent time with Him? Perhaps He is just God to you right now. Perhaps He is your Savior or Strength. Perhaps He is your Truest Friend, or the Husband of your soul.

Wherever you are in your relationship with Him, I encourage you to press on to know Him better. To really know Him for yourself, not just what others have told you about Him. To know God deeply and intimately. To know His heart.

And when you know His heart, you will know how He feels about sin, you will know what to pray, and I promise, you will be changed.

Like Paul, may we count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus. And may we never get to a place where we stop getting to know God.

In Christ,

Grace

A little girl and a loving God

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There have been many moments in my life that have greatly impacted me. But this one stands out among them all, for without this one, all those other things would not have impacted me the same way. I wrote this today as a writing project my brother started this month. So without further ado, I give you one of my fondest memories, whether you care or not. : )

It was more waiting than my five year old heart could endure. Why wasn’t Dad back from work yet? What could be taking so long? Didn’t he know how important this was?

My mind wandered over the last day and a half; so much to think about. It started the night before as I lay in bed listening to Richard and Melody talk in the bathroom. Their nightly custom, as I recall, was to talk while getting ready for bed; in my mind these conversations were sacred, and a privilege of highest degree to listen to. This night the subject was on Eternity, Heaven, and Hell.

Fear stole into my heart as I listened and realized with a horror never experienced—I am not ready to die.

Belief in God is one thing, but asking Him to cleanse you of your sins and live inside of you is another thing entirely. Yes, I believed in God, but I knew that if I died that night I would not be ready to meet my Creator.

Tearfully, I called out to one I esteemed as knowing everything. “Richard…Richard…”
Like a knight, my older brother came to my aid. Upon listening to my distress, he advised me to go speak with Dad, and assured me that he wouldn’t be upset that I had gotten up from bed. So I quietly crept down the stairs and entered my Dad’s office.

The colors of the room appeared in dull blues and grays with the only light in the room coming from a computer monitor. “Daddy–” my pathetic voice whimpered. “I w-want to g-go to heaven.” I climbed in my father’s lap and we began to talk. I asked questions, he answered them, then he asked questions to see if I understood. We talked of our sinfulness and need for a Savoir, about God’s love in sending His Son to die, and how He took the full punishment of our sins. After a good while, he prayed with me and sent me to bed, promising that we would talk more in the morning.

Like a hound dog, I ran downstairs first thing in the morning to find my father. I spotted him. There he was in the kitchen juicing carrots! With his hands still orange from the carrots we sat down on the couch to talk. We revisited the same things we talked about the night before. Enough talk. After all, I was five—which was so much older than four— wasn’t I big enough to understand everything? I just wanted to pray already! He left for work with another promise that we would continue this when he came home.

Anxiously, I awaited my father’s return; the day could not have seemed longer. The new information played through my mind again and again as I contemplated it all. This was a matter of utmost importance, and I knew my life was about to change forever. What was that? My heart skipped a beat. The door opened; a familiar voice. Yes–it was him! Still a few minutes passed until we both went to his office. In the quiet of that room he led me in a prayer.

I repeated each phrase slowly with great reverence meaning each word I said. “Dear God, please forgive me of my sins, and cleanse my heart. I believe in You and that You sent Your only Son, Jesus, to die in my place. Please come and live inside my heart and make me your child. I want to be your disciple.” Memory fails me of the exact words, but they don’t really matter. It is not the prayer that saves you; it is only God that can save you.

Joy washed over me as the love of Christ penetrated my little believing heart. Yes, I was overwhelmed with indescribable love and joy–pure joy—more than a five year old could contain. I would never be the same again. Never. My feet were swift as I ran to tell all in the household this great news. So much more special than any gift or toy, I had a relationship with God and I knew I would spend the rest of my life serving and loving Him.

Overwhelmed

Overwhelmed by Your greatness. Overwhelmed by Your love. I see Your hand, Your artistry in people’s lives. You are the Master at taking something lost, ugly, broken, and defiled and turning it into something beautiful.

I find myself in awe of You, asking why.

Why do You love us? Why do You heal us? I don’t understand, Lord…I don’t understand. You are altogether wonderful, beautiful…words cease…You are good.

I pray, You answer, and lives are transformed. You are good.

The God of this universe actually delights in me…how wonderful is that?? I was created for His pleasure! (Rev. 4:11) These are truths that I can scarcely comprehend or bring myself to believe. This truth brought me so much freedom… I don’t have to try to be like someone else, or measure up to the worlds standards. It gives God upmost pleasure when I be just exactly whom God created me to be.

I love this passage in Psalm 139:17-18:

How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with Thee.

God’s thoughts toward me number more than the sand? If so, then God is constantly thinking about me. I find myself in awe not really knowing how to respond or what to say.

This holy, holy, holy God is in-love with this sinner. He wants to spend time with me. He holds my hand. He carries me. He feeds me. He constantly gives me good gifts. He takes pleasure in me, and is always thinks of me.

Even after I murdered His Son.

I can’t begin to fathom this kind of love…I find myself speechless. He is so great and powerful, yet so gentle, so loving. He truly is beyond my comprehension. I’m glad I serve a God that can’t fit inside my mind.

Even in the midst of struggles this past week He has been so faithful bringing me encouragement just when I need it. Like on Wednesday I had but just said “Lord, I feel so alone” when in walked two vessels to encourage me. He’s been doing a lot of things like that lately. I am truly overwhelmed with His goodness. Oh praise the Lord, for He is good.

More than anything I want to know God; I want to be close to His heart.

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye. Being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Eph. 3:17-19

I want that. Mmm…Abba, teach me Your love so that I may be filled with You.

There’s so much on my heart right now, more than I know how to articulate. I’m not sure if this qualifies as a post or not…this may not make any sense to anyone but me. Oh well… may you find yourself in-love, in-awe, and overwhelmed with God, friend.

Our God is great. Selah.

In His love and by His blood,

Grace

Five Minute Friday: Ache

Here are the rules:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & leave an encouraging comment.

 

~Start~

Ache.

This word seems so familiar… I think everyone can identify. So much pain goes on—so many people I wish I could hold and heal…

But for me personally, what is this ache I’m feeling? I described an ache within my soul over the past few weeks in my journal.

It’s the ache to know God.

This yearning, this ache, this longing…this hunger to know God. How could it even be possible for us to know God? Just that fact overwhelms me. We serve an awesome God that is knowable.

Ah Lord, cause me to know You! Draw me near to Yourself, and fill this ache within my heart.

This aching for You.

~Stop~

Still not much for 5 minutes…: ) There’s just so much for me to think about there, that I can hardly write.

Have a lovely weekend, friend, and may you grow in Him.

In Christ,

Grace