So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

my soul finds rest in God alone

my soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from Him.
He is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

I "found" God gave me this verse tonight in the midst of crying out to Him over my lack of vision for the future and lack of peace in the present. I've been going through a lot lately as I seek Him and learn to surrender every little piece of me and the dreams that I've built up over the years to His will. And I'm not gonna lie, it's been painful. But His peace and joy have been even greater than that pain. Tonight, I was quickly reminded that the only reason I lose direction or become confused is because I lose sight of Him. Or because I ran from Him. Never run from God, He's the only one who can save you. I've tried to live without Him, it's impossible. (Don't take that as a challenge too see if you can make it without Him ;) He alone is our rock and salvation, and joy comes from that hope. <3

Monday, March 19, 2012

first steps

To You O Lord I lift up my soul;
Psalm 25:1

And thus it begins... I am so captivated by this Psalm in which David pours his heart out to God. Verse one is only nine words, but the more I ponder it the more meaningful it becomes. This one short verse is more than a mere statement of what David is doing.

It's his first step towards surrender. It's the beginning of his recognition of sin and his helpless spiritual condition, the admittance and realization that, ultimately, God alone has the power to save him.

First steps... first steps... how beautiful they are. And how beautiful is the future they lead to. ♥

Psalm 25; a plea for guidance and mercy, a hope and peace in Him :)

Psalm 25

To you, O Lord I lift up my soul;
in You I trust O my God.
Do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.

No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame
but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.

Show me your ways O Lord,
teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.

Remember, O Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.

Remember not the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to Your love remember me,
for You are good, O Lord.

Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore He instructs sinners in His ways.

He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them His way.

All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
for those who keep the demands of His covenant.

For the sake of Your name, O Lord,
forgive me, though my iniquity is great.

Who then, is the man that fears the Lord?
He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.

He will spend his days in prosperity,
and his descendants will inherit the land.

The Lord confides in those who fear Him;
He makes His covenant known to them.

My eyes are ever on the Lord,
for only He will release my feet from the snare.

Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.

The troubles of my heart have multiplied,
free me from my anguish.

Look upon my affliction and distress
and take away all my sins.

See how my enemies have increased
and how fiercely they hate me!

Guard my life and rescue me;
let me not be put to shame,
for I take refuge in You.

May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my hope is in You.

Redeem Israel, O God,
from all their troubles!

Wow. There is so much good stuff in there I don't even know where to begin. I think I might will take a couple days and go more into depth as to what this Psalm means to me and the things God has shown me through it. For a little back story, I stumbled upon this Psalm in 10th or 11th grade and it became the cry of my heart for guidance, especially with college looming in the near future. Now, a year after I've graduated high school, I've rediscovered it, and it has become my plea and peace as I look forward to my uncertain future. I thank God for the grace and forgiveness He's given me for past sins (and will continue to give me ;) and the hope I have in the fact that He is holding my heart and will instruct me step by step. Day after day our God is faithful <3

Friday, March 16, 2012

favorite psalm

This is my favorite psalm right now. It's so powerful. Just read it and let the words sink into your heart. It's changed my life <3

Psalm 32

Blessed is he
whose transgressions are forgiven
whose sins are covered

Blessed is the man
whose sin the Lord does not count against him
and in whose spirit is no deceit

When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.

For day and night
Your hand was heavy upon me
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer

Then I acknowledged my sin to You
and did not cover up my iniquity
I said "I will confess
my transgressions to the Lord" -
and You forgave
the guilt of my sin

Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to You
while You may be found;
surely when the mighty waters rise,
they will not reach him.

You are my hiding place;
You will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance

I will instruct you and teach you in the way
you should go;
I will counsel you and watch over you.

Do not be like the horse or the mule,
which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
or they will not come to you.

Many are the woes of the wicked,
but the Lord's unfailing love
surrounds those who trust in Him.

Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you
sing, all you who are upright in heart!

Monday, March 12, 2012

our God is stronger

First off let me just apologize for not posting on here in over a week! I have had so much going on, and selfishly have focused on those things above writing some sweet things God has told me on here. Forgive me?? :)

Anywho, I'm really glad to be back.

Today I was reading in Matthew 13 about the parable of the sower, and one part of the Scripture really jumped out at me:

Blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.      Matthew 13:16-17

And it just kinda made me think. To give some background, I've thought a lot about the balance between our efforts and God's grace. Obviously, we can't save ourselves (Eph. 2:8-9). But at some point every individual has to make a choice to accept the grace which we have so lavishly been given.

I also know that sometimes it seems near impossible to overcome the pride, shame, or sin in our lives to even begin to cling to that hope of salvation. With a quick look over of chapters 1-12, I counted twelve times where Jesus healed people, two of which are times where the Bible says something like Jesus healed "every disease and sickness." So that's a whole lot of people. A bit of a side trail from my main point though...

When you are physically sick in real life, sometimes a friend has to take you to the doctor because you cannot take yourself. You also must acknowledge that you are sick in order to go to the doctor in the first place. But even if you don't think you're sick, sometimes that friend intervenes and makes you go anyways.

If you really think about it, those people were sick (spiritually and often physically, demon-possessed, mute, deaf, and in some cases unable to bring themselves to Jesus. The faith of the centurion healed his servant who was at home paralyzed. He had to come to Jesus on their behalf. (Mat. 8:5-13)When Jesus heals a paralytic in chapter 9, (Mat. 9:1-7) it was the man's friends who brought him to Jesus. When Jesus heals the two demon-possessed men at the tombs, the demons speak to Jesus. The men don't even speak for themselves! (Mat. 8:28-34) How then could they have come to Jesus on their own while still under such bondage?

Which brings me to believe this: We cannot come to God purely on based on our own will power. We are not strong enough to even lift up our head and see our Savior or hear His voice until He opens our eyes and unclogs our ears. After all even "prophets and righteous men longed" to see and hear what the disciples did but couldn't. (Mat. 13:17)

In Matthew 11 Jesus says "I praise you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to the little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure." (Mat. 11:25-26)

Basically, it is God who works in us to soften our hearts and make us willing and able to accept Him, and become the "little children" in verse 26 who understand His word. (Mat. 11:27) He will bring us friends to tell us the truth of His word, to pray for us ardently even as we are in darkness. He will break through and do whatever it takes to get us back and get our attention, for nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. (Rom. 8:38-39) This is why our eyes and ears are "blessed" if we can see and hear Him.

Hallelujah to the Savior who never gives up on us, despite our inability to even reach out to Him without His help. :) <3

All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Matthew 11:27

Sunday, March 4, 2012

when life hurts

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

This post has been clanging around in my head since Monday. But I’m not gonna lie, I just couldn’t find the words to write it. And I knew that in writing this, I needed to be believing what I was writing. Sometimes it’s hard to remember, and sometimes my silly heart would rather try and fix things myself or hurt than realize that


He is healer. He is our everything.

Tonight, I was reading through a bunch of letters from a retreat I went on three years ago. At the end of the retreat, everyone received a bag of letters from our friends and family saying they loved us, encouraging us, telling us good things they saw in our character, and often giving advice.

One letter in particular was from my Grandma Bubbles. (Yes Bubbles. I used to call her than when I was little and it just kinda stuck for me. All the other grandkids call her Nana, but she's still my Grandma Bubbles. I love you! ;))

It gave some of the most powerful advice. Ever. In the midst of all the happier things, she also said this sweet line:
"Life can throw us some surprises time to time and some of those times will not be easy and God will allow us to suffer. The suffering He allows us to go through is meant to strengthen our faith in Him. I pray that you will remember to keep your faith in God and His will for your life when your time of suffering and trials come. Remember to look to Jesus for your strength and direction."
The wisdom of a grandmother. <3 There's really two things there. First of all, trials, despite the pain they cause, are sometimes the best thing that could have ever happened to us. Without them, how would we ever come to know God?? They are nothing compared to who He is and what He is doing in us.

And secondly, to kinda tie back into the verse at the beginning, trials are meant to drive us to God. Wait... that's basically what I said in the last paragraph... oh well.

So, trials drive us to Him. We can't blame Him or grow angry, because He is the only one we need. He is always there to hold our broken heart, and save the crushed in Spirit.

Just turn to Him. <3