Friday, October 27, 2006

Withered Hands

Reading in Mark this morning - chapter 3.
The first part tells of Jesus healing a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath. The Pharisees of course didn't like it very much. But...He did anyway...then He went away with His disciples. Why didn't He stay and heal the rest of the sick in the synagogue? Then I came immediately to "I came to do the will of the One who sent Me." Why didn't my heart break for the other ones who had withered hands, broken hearts, sick tummies...I just came immediately to theology - b/c it was not God's will the Jesus heal all of the sick that day. Lord...pray I always come to theology and the Word - but don't let me have a callous heart to the hurt, sick, lonely, and dying.

Mark 4 - Worries and desires for other things (besides Jesus) choke the Word. The Word says do not be anxious about anything...not moving to FL, not money, not husband, not job, nothing...
Do not let my concerns over pithy things in this world choke the Word from my life and heart.

May I have the confidence in God that Jesus had in his Father when He said "Hush, be still".

Confidence in God - Let God arise, his enemies be scattered - may He be praised!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Recent themes in personal Worship

I've been reading in a couple things for my personal worship times:
My Utmost For His Highest
A Year with CS Lewis
Valley of Vision
Praying the Names of Jesus
The Psalms

I'm also keeping a prayer journal which helps me stay focused in prayer b/c I tend to my mind that is. So, writing it down helps me focus and be more articulate in my prayers.
Complete Surrender
Bearer of Image
Complete Satisfaction

I read this this morning in Utmost: (and I thought of how Billy and Phyllis reacted to it when they read it together in a much warmer St. Augustine)
we are here to exhibit one thing - the absolute captivity of our lives to Jesus Christ

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Terah's b-day at Maggiano's

Happy Birthday Terah! You are so special to me and I am so thankful for you and that God has blessed me by your friendship. Even when you "fake" blowing out a b-day candle just for me! Thank you!
This next picture is me, Jess (welcome back to NC), Terah, Nicole, and Maggie. I sometimes think I just don't fit in b/c I'm not nearly as stylish as you guys - but oh well. Maybe you can rub off on me before I head back to the good state.
Then the picture is half of the Hohman's - I think there are 8 total - but this is just 4 of them.
Then we have Camden - my biggest fan - I wish he was just 30 years older - oh, well. He is Terah's nephew. His birthday is only 2 days after mine - see we were just meant to be friends!
Terah - many blessings - thanks for letting me share it with you today and for ruining your surprise lunch! :)

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tomlin and the Fair

Well, this will be my last time - at least as a NC resident - going to the NC State Fair. It is the annual fun with fried foods and country music in Raleigh. I love it. Thankfully it was cold for the first night at the fair and free parking b/c there was nothing at Carter Finley that night. Whoohoo.
This wasn't even supposed to be a picture of Terah - but it turned out pretty cool. The next is of the fair food queen herself - Maggie. She loves it. Last year she says she spent 75$ just on fair food and she looks great! :) This is funnel cake - I had one piece - it was yummy. This was us eating roasted corn - the best thing at the fair by far!

Tomlin was better than I thought. I liked his new stuff. I was convicted at the outset at how I judge other worshippers. People clapping or hooting and hollering. What are they doing all that for - Tomlin or God? But, you know - its not my place to know - God knows my heart - that is all I have to worry about - my heart and my standing before God.

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Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Scones

These were very yummy. I made them twice. Not planning on it, but ended up doing them twice.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp each cinnamon, ginger
1 tsp baking powder
2 pinches each of salt, baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter, pieced
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
1/3 cup pecans
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
sugar (for sprinkling on top).

Heat oven to 350. Lightly spray scone pan with baking spray. Mix together dry ingredients, cut in butter till gravely mix. Create well in center, and mix in wet ingredients. Fold in chips and nuts. Spoon into pan, sprinkle with sugar, bake for about 20 minutes.

I put in more pumpkin and buttermilk and they turned out more like muffins - so depending on how you like your scones - add wet ingredients accordingly. Definitely a keeper! Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 13, 2006

do my actions oppose grace?

tomlin concert tonight at the State Fair (along with some roasted corn and friends) so I'm using this morning to listen to some Tomlin stuff on my iTunes. I love iTunes cause it just plays and plays - you never have to put another CD in - good technology stuff!

Ps 59
Did you know that the evil burp in the Bible - I love all these little oddities found in Scripture.
"My God - in his lovingkindness - will meet me" I love the thought of God's lovingkindness - it is covenantal love - He can't go against it. It's the love He shows Abraham and Moses and David and me when Jesus was on the cross. He will meet me with perfect everlasting faithful love.

The heavens declare your glory - even now as the Tomlin song says "star creator, mountain maker, wind breather, you made it all." The very earth will cry out to be reunited with its Creater. Even the rocks will cry out.
"Give me to feel a need of his continual saviorhood" - This goes with what I was blogging yesterday - I can't put any good forth apart from the work of Jesus in my life - what makes me think I'm better than Job, Peter, and the Publican - I'm no better than they - I am just as vile, and perishing, and a sinner.
"Often knowingly opposing thy authority" - I sin so much while knowing it. Whether it is sleeping past the snooze alarm when I know I have to get up, or evil thoughts (sin working in me while I sleep), anger and impatience, pride, gossip, etc. It never ends.

Boy - this little pamphlet Phyllis gave - describes me to a "t".
"a Stubborn unteachable spirit, sarcastic expressions, driving commanding spirit." I know God has worked in me to still my Spirit some over the years, but God is still at work because I am still sinning in this life - all for me." These things listed are a sign of living for myself - not letting Christ live in me."

JP - "The biblical role of past grace - especially the cross - is to guarantee the certainty of future grace - Rom 8.32). That is what I live on every day. Praise God for infinite grace!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Dying to self by grace

Nailed my glory to his cross - that is a perfect way to start a quiet time. That is a line from a Caedmon's Call song "I Boast No More". We die - we are dead - Christ died and now lives again. We boast in the cross and Him crucified - Gal 6.14

From the little pamplet Phyllis gave "The stirrings of anger or impatience". That is so me, in my car, in my house, at work especially, in church even...when will this living for self cease?

Enduring pain - what do we learn from it. There have been two painful relationships in my time in NC and I've learned one truth from them, "Above all else, guard your heart for out of it flows the spring of life." That is a wise saying from the preacher in Prov 4.23. Both times I did not heed this sound advice, I was hurt. Those pains stay with me, having learned from them - I know it is now harder to give my heart away. Some people call it mistrust, I call it heading warning. There is a difference. "It is well, with my soul" by the Shanes is playing right now. God - you have used obstacles of pain in my life to teach me more about You. Thank you for bringing me through it and you more glory.

If I believe wholeheartedly in the complete work of salvation in Christ's death on the cross (which I do), why do I put myself in the mix in sanctification? That is the entire work of the Spirit - I have no imput apart from grace. 1 Cor 15.10 - even the good I do - that is grace. Grace is a free gift - nothing that I can earn (Eph 2.8-10). Make yourself all in my life.

Ps 58
"Surely there is reward for the righteous". May I count on God to vindicate my works (see above). May I not seek the praise of men - because that would be pride, not put myself out there - wait on God for His purposes in my life. Not want to seek the harm of the wicked - but knowing His glory will come from it. He is all - He will reign.

The call of the gospel is to die to self. you think I would have it down by now - of leaving self and clinging to Christ - but daily I seek my own gain. When will I die to myself. When will I let the Spirit kill me. When will the release happen of pride, selfish gain, anger, hypocrisy, worldliness, etc. I want you more than these things - what steps do I need to take in my life (grace) to reconcile that want to my actions

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

a craving for your renown - only Jesus

Silence - a very hard discipline for me to work on (in grace), but also one that I don't like a lot when God gives it in answer to prayer. This is what OC talks about today. Intimacy with Christ sometimes comes with silence. So, why do I fall away so quickly when He is being silent?

Words for the wind - JP talks about the passage in Job about reproving words. Taking from that - how often do we speak words mades for the wind. Words that aren't true, evident of a passionate life for Jesus. Words that aren't edifcation for those who hear them. Words that don't speak the truth of the WORD. May we speak less, think more, and know our words matter - hopefully our's aren't made for the wind.

Trinity - VofV starts out with a prayer for the Trinity. The author speaks of every part of the trinity. One is not without the other. We wouldn't know of God without Jesus and the Spirit, we wouldn't be able to be with God without the death and resurrection of Jesus and for the Spirit making us aware of our sin. We wouldn't be here at alll without the Father - speaking through the Son to create the world - us, in His image. How often do we downplay one of the triune Godhead. One is not more important than the other - they are all One GOD. All HOLY

Ps 57
v.2 - My God accomplishes all things for me. That is TRUTH. Now, it has to be heard with right hears and a motived heart for the glory of God. God wants to accomplish Jesus in us. He will do what it takes.
v.7 - My heart is steadfast (and he says it twice). How often do I despair, forget, leave behind, run ahead. Steadfast is not one of the words I would use to describe my heart toward God and not to the world. Sometimes I think I am more steadfast to the world than I am to the One who conquered the world. Create in me a steadfast heart o God. Only Jesus - the pearl of greatest price.

Today - dealing with sin at work, getting back in the swing of things with eating, putting aside self and doing things that need to be done - but working on having a non-prideful attitude while doing it. Loving yourself is easy - if we are to love others as ourselves it should be easy too. But, its not. Lord, work that in me as only your Hand can do. Pride - oh, the downfall. Seeking other's praise. The only praise I need to seek or even should CRAVE is God's. His is the only one that matters. The first song I recall hearing tonight - one of the lines is "give me a thirst for your glory". This is not for my glory, but for His - for His name will be praised in all the earth.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

a beautiful lighthouse

These are pictures of the St. Augustine Lighthouse. I love the ones with the trees.
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Pics from St. Aug

This is the front (or back) of the new 1200 seater Christian Life Center from Old Beach Road. It is 3 story, you can see it from the top of the lighthouse, it is a very nice building. The next is Devan. I got to know her in 7th grade Sunday School, then we started a one-on-one Bible study (of a Max Lucado book) at her house. I went over there on Tuesday nights, ate dinner with them (her mom, Dawn, is a great cook) and then we went to her room to study the Bible. The next is Billy and Phyllis. Next to my parents - the 2 greatest fans and two greatest impactors on me for the glory of God. The last is the view from the lighthouse.

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St. Aug wrap up (pictures)

What a perfect weekend. As you can see from these pictures - the weather in St. Aug was beautiful - picture perfect.
We went bike riding all the way around St. Augustine, my girl Devan (in pictures) helped lead worship for the Edge service, my Gators was a blast to watch it with Billy and Phyllis, Jeremy and Katie - and to have little Eden running around! Church was good on Sunday, chilled with Devan and then chilled some more at the Robshaw house. Rode more and climbed this beautiful lighthouse on Monday - my first time doing it.
It was very peaceful to get from my mentors and my friends this weekend. Knowing I'm supposed to be back in FL. Who knows if I'll ever move back to St. Aug, but the food, family, friends, weather, beach, and church sure do make it sound great.
Thank you Jesus for a perfect weekend! :)
These pictures: the new Christian Life Center at Anastasia Baptist Church. The first girl God allowed in my life to disciple - Devan. She is now a student at Flagler, on the college ministry team, and leads worship. Phyllis, Billy, and me in their back yard with the plant behind us. This plant started out as a little potted thing I was given that I gave to them when I moved to a place I didn't have a yard. It now is huge! Then its the lighthouse (sorry you have to look sideways) and then the view looking out north toward Vilano, Ponte Vedra, and the Atlantic! :)

Tuesday reflections

Jamming in my head this morning to a DC Talk song "In the Light". OC said this morning that when we are in the light (walking in obedience) - sin is dead. Isn't that what the Word says: dwell in God, walk in Light, defeat sin on a daily basis...choose Right living. Love His righteousness, choose Life over death, be holy for He is holy.
Obedience, rejoicing, praying without ceasing, living peacefully, hating life and not clinging to it, loving others as ourselves - more importantly as Christ loved us...those are all choices. Will I walk in obedience today - through the Grace of God. Resting in God's life - in me. The Spirit will pursue me to obey and love God.
"Daily walking close to thee, I am weak but you are strong (I am dead without you), I'll be satisfied, just a closer walk with thee."
Do we plea to God for a stronger pursuit of Him. That was one of my prayer requests for the Robshaws this weekend - that I would pursue and thirst - more than anything. That I would hunger. Do we? do I? what other things do we pursue after?
An important, independent spirit? This came from the first paragraph in a littly pamphlet Phyllis gave me yesterday. Do I think of myself better than others, Christians or non-Christians? YES. I'll just answer the question rightly. With the unsaved who irritate me and do ungodly things, I know I'm better. Not always remembering I was the same way before Christ. With Christians I brag on what I do...not always remembering that the good work in me is grace as well. May have to read Humility by CJ Mahaney again coming up as everything I hear and think about reminds me of how prideful I am.
Ps 56.12
"Your vows are binding upon me, O God, I will render thank offerings to you."
His promises, truths, commands, words, are BINDING upon me. This is what I really admire in Phyllis. She is not a theologian by any means to know all the big words or discussions that are filling the seminary classrooms. But, she KNOWS the WORD - she believes, claims, trusts in the promises of God. They are binding upon her. She takes her very stance in them. But then the Psalmist immediately says he will praise. We don't often think of something binding and praiseworthy. But, the Word gives life.
As I come to this Tuesday at 6.35a - I have the chance to obey, praise, live in humilty and praise in the binding vows of God upon my life, today. Oh God let me do it.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Something to brag about?

Ok - I got this from a Dad (and former boss) at my church - his blog. I just got mad and sorry for them when I read this. Go be appalled (sp?) at it too.
Why in the world would you brag about killing a helpless, defenseless, baby? I just don't get it. I know some women who have had abortions and when they tell me they certainly aren't bragging about it - they are sorry, remorseful, guilt-ridden, if they have sought God's grace and forgiveness - then they are free and forgiven. But, never bragging.
What is our country coming to? When women in our country want to be single mothers, head of Fortune 500 companies, pastors of local churches, work outside the home but still head of the PTA, dress crappy for their husbands but dress up to see the cable guy or the co-worker the cubicle down from them?
I know we live in a sinful world - one dead and dying and going to hell - so let's go, people who are saved by the death of Christ on a tree...raise up, raise up your family to love God, most of all - brag on Jesus - not your sin.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Playing with bubbles

My roomie said that I picked such a depressing book to read tonight.
Vanity upon vanities...has that been part of my life in NC?
Anyway...I'm TIRED today. Not sleepy tired or physically worn out from exercising (although I am taking a break today), I'm just spiritually exhausted. It hit me all at once this afternoon.
I'm tired of striving to have people think better of me.
I'm tired of being hurt
I'm tired of being sinful
I'm tired of living in a sinful world where people kill each other for no apparant reason (other than the fact they probably don't know Jesus).
I'm tired, plain and simple.
So, I thought of this little acronym:
T - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
I - Incline my heart to fear Your Name
R - Restore unto me the joy of your salvation
E - Ecclesiastes (I actually thought of cease striving, end striving - and that brought me to Ecc)
D - Die to self - for to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Then, the youth pastor at my church in St. Aug preached on resting in Jesus yesterday. I haven't heard it yet, but Matt 11.28-30 is a great passage. Rest in Jesus - his yoke is light, his burden light to carry. Resting in Jesus is better than striving after vanity (bubbles that pop and leave nothing when they hit the ground). Resting in Jesus is better than anything. So, why do I do so little of it.
Vanity of vanities...maybe a depressing book. But, Solomon (or the preacher) thought he had it all too at one point - he found out later he didn't.
Do I really think that all these things are better for I know my worth is not equal to how much I weigh, how many people I know, what classes I teach, how many girls I disciple, how many women's conferences I lead, etc. But, why do I act on that sometimes - or strive after that?
Ecclesiastes: by The Preacher (or the Holy Spirit in another words)
1.3 What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?
1.14-15 I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind. What is crooked cannot be made straight,and what is lacking cannot be counted
2.11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.
2.23-23 What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.
3.2b - a time to pluck up what is planted (have I quit planting, now am working on sowing and plucking up)?
3.11 - He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end
4.1-3 Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them. And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.
5.1-3 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes with much business, and a fool's voice with many words. (stuck right in the middle of this book is a reminder that God is God - He is just and holy - we are sinful man.)
10.5-7 - There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were an error proceeding from the ruler: folly is set in many high places, and the rich sit in a low place. I have seen slaves on horses, and princes walking on the ground like slaves
12.8 - (key verse) Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity.
12.13 - A good note to end on for Solomon - Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. But oh, it is so hard. But for Grace

In the words of Chris Rice..."weak and wounded sinner, lost and left to die"..."come, cry to Jesus". And I'll add... Rest in Jesus