Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Blogging Break

Some call it blogging suicide. I'm choosing to view it as an opportunity for Christ to fill me up so I can continue to pour out.

In the words of the lovely Holley Gerth: "Jesus promises us 'living water' that fills us up with what we need to offer others (John 7:38). We can always go to him—not just in the times when we can get away for a significant time but also moment-to-moment."

There are also birthdays to celebrate, a valentine to kiss and a son to welcome home. Oh, how I have joy-filled moments ahead of me in the coming weeks. I intend to savor each and every one.

Below are recent images shared on my blog Facebook page to leave you with for now. I will remain semi-active on the page during my blogging break if you want to join me there.

Original photo by friend and co-worker Judd Johnson

Original photo by friend and co-worker Judd Johnson

Do you see a theme in the images? The theme I see . . . God has everything we need no matter the need. Trust in Him. He is faithful.

You make my life richer, friends. Thank you!

I will return mid-March.

P.s. If you missed my last post, you can catch up here: Remember His Faithfulness

  Share |

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Remember His Faithfulness

I sit here in my office and stare at a picture of me and my husband which sits on my desk.

The picture was taken a month before he departed for his first deployment. A photo session offered by a friend became much more than a photo session. The photos captured tender moments between the two of us knowing our See-You-Later moment neared.

There are other pictures scattered around my desk too.

Our last gathering as a family happened in August 2013. It feels like many moons ago.

Soon we will gather again to welcome home our eldest son from his deployment. When I daydream about the day (which I do often) it leads to tears every single time.

At the same time, there’s much remembering these days. I remember the good and not-so-good seasons of the twenty six years with my husband and raising two children together. The not-so-good seasons are preferred forgotten. But God has us remember to see His faithfulness. Like He did with the Israelites, He wants us to remember how He delivered us.

We preserve our faith and trust in God by remembering His grace in our lives. And we make His grace known for generations to come. It’s what brings me here to tell our story.

“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children.” ~~ Deuteronomy 4:9

Oh, the grace . . . undeserved grace.

We have experienced our share of trials and temptations. In our four years as Christ followers, our faith has been challenged and it will continue to be challenged for years to come.

For this reason we “hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23). We fight for our faith always, not only in the not-so-good times.

How do we fight for our faith?

We fight for our faith by remembering. We remember that God did not promise a trouble free walk with Him. We are promised the direct opposite by Jesus in John 16:33. He does promise to walk us through the storms of life toward an eternal life with Him.

“Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” ~~ 1 Timothy 6:12

I keep identifying with the Israelites.

In Leviticus 9 when the glory of the Lord appeared to all the Israelites (v. 23) it says they “shouted for joy and fell facedown” (v. 24).

Whether I look back or look forward, I see the glory of the Lord. For God is in all things. He’s omniscient: past, present and future. He is Immanuel, God with us. What else should our response be to such grace other than to fall on our knees with shouts of joy?

And “though [we] have not seen him, [we] love him; and even though [we] do not now see him now, [we] believe in him and are filled with inexpressible and glorious joy, for [we] are receiving the end result of [our] faith, the salvation of [our] souls.” ~~ 1 Peter 1:8-9

This is faith: Faith is belief in the one and only true God without actually seeing Him.

So, again, how do we fight for our faith?

We believe even though we do not see Him.
We remember His faithfulness in bringing us this far.
And we trust Him with the un-known future.

Trust requires us to put aside our own desires for His. We deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Him (Luke 9:23) because He has proven Himself faithful. We have come to know His ways are far better than our ways.

When we fight for our faith the result is a deeper and more intimate walk with Him. Oh, how He wants us to know Him. And there's always more for us to know. We are never complete in the task of knowing Him.

Knowing God makes all the difference no matter what we face, for over time our faith becomes bigger than our fears. And when God leads us straight into our deepest fear we are better equipped to trust that He knows what He's doing. We can respond to His call saying: "I will follow you no matter the cost because my trust is in You."

This is why we can consider it “pure joy” when we face trials, because we know the testing of our faith produces perseverance (James 1:2).

So “Let perseverance finish its work so that [we] may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” ~~ James 1:3

How do you fight for your faith? How do you persevere during trials?

  Share |