June 5, 2008

A New Day & New Outlook!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 2:48 am by graceabounds

It amazes me how easily one day it is to feel defeated and the next to feel so much differnt. The world seems to make a little more sense and the problems of yesterday are seen as so tragic. In the light of how God is working His plan comes a little more in focus. ‘

Days that seem rough followed by good days makes me think of those who check out of this world into eternity b/c they feel that tomorrow won’t be any different. Sometimes tomorrow isn’t different it is simply God changes us instead of changes our situation.

Satan would love for us to believe that we are a lost cause and that tomorrow won’t be any better than today and yesterday were. My heart breaks at those who are contemplating those thoughts. I was one who thought those thoughts and even followed through and listened to the lies of Satan. That life is better without me. That I am always going to feel this pain and this misery that I can’t shake. So I listened to myself and attempted to take my own life.

I don’t know why God spared my life b/c it surely isn’t any more valuable than anyone elses. I am thankful for the days that I can look back and see how God has changed me and used these dark days to show me His love that is unconditional.

I am thankful that I am able to relate to and pray for those who are hurting and feel their world is spinning out of control. God loves you and cares for you. He wants you to hear Him calling you to Himself. Ask God to show Himself to you and to help you through these dark days. And then look for Him.

June 4, 2008

Pottery

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 2:49 am by graceabounds

Today has been a tough day for me. In general while being here, I have felt okay with our roomates and the other families living around us. This week has been quite different. I have felt singled out as the one who gets a little drug through the mud or made an example of. I feel as if they listen and wait for me to say something and then twinge at my words. I feel that they are taken in a way that isn’t what I was trying to say. We are suppose to be drawing closer in our groups but I feel that I am closing up.

I loved how at home people loved and understood us. My words were understood and their meaning was comprehended. I can’t imagine when we move out of the country how much I will miss being understood and loved for who I am in the Lord, not for what I am not yet.

I thank God for these hard days because He is gracious enough to work on me bit by bit. Piece by piece. Molding all the while continously reshaping me into the creation He desires me to be. My part is to sit on the potter’s wheel and to not jump off while He fashions me. It is so easy for me to jump of into my feelings and partake in sinful acts instead of bringing Him glory. Oh Lord keep me back from sin.

June 3, 2008

All tongues shall confess…

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 5:14 am by graceabounds

Romans 14: 11 “…every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”

How beautiful it has been to hear the tongues confessing that Christ is Lord! Being around other believers from different places all around the world has been an extreme blessing to me. Hearing them pray to God in their heart language has touched me and opened me to see things I hadn’t seen before.

We were going around the room praying and a woman from Spain began praying. She started off by saying in Spanish- I love you Lord… she paused… and preceded to speak in words I couldn’t understand but I was moved to tears. Her slowness and the sincerity were teaching me how to pray.

Today, as I sat in a meeting with three different  other nationalities besides American again I was moved. Listening to prayers being lifted up in Korean. Last night we had an African Worship and the custom was to pray all at the same time. How awesome that the God of the universe understands us all uniquely and knows us intimately. I am amazed at how beautiful we are made and the simple prayers of other believers point me closer to Him and increase my desire to know Him more intimately.

What a great God we (all nations, tribes, and tongues) serve!

December 2, 2007

LEARNING TO FOLLOW

Posted in DEVOTIONS, THOUGHTS tagged , , , , , at 6:51 pm by graceabounds

I have often heard that sheep are extremely dumb. I can speak for myself and say I have made some really dumb mistakes.  Just as sheep look towards the shepherd for protection, nourishment, and guidance we should also keep our eyes fixed on the good shepherd. Psalm 23 is a beautiful Psalm which teaches us the benefits of following a shepherd.

Psalm 23 

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

This is symbolic of the Christian walk.  Isn’t it comforting to know we don’t have to worry, want, and struggle?  If the Lord is your shepherd you will not want.  If your eyes are focused on Him you will have everything you need. However, nowhere does it say life will be easy. But we are told that we can rest in Him.  The world is a tough place and life gets hard but we can always find rest in God. 

Look again at verse four.   Hard times will come, but we don’t have to fear; He will comfort us.  Charles H. Spurgeon says in the Treasury of David this, “…it is not “the valley of death,” but “the valley of the shadow of death,” for death in its substance has been removed, and only the shadow of it remains.  Some one has said that when there is a shadow there must be light somewhere, and so there is.  Death stands by the side of the highway in which we have to travel, and the light of heaven shining upon him throws a shadow across our path; let us then rejoice that there is light beyond.  Nobody is afraid of a shadow, for a shadow cannot stop a man’s pathway even for a moment.  The shadow of a dog cannot bite; the shadow of a sword cannot kill; the shadow of death cannot destroy us.”[1]   Jesus, our Savior, not only came to save us from sin, but from the effects of sin.  As you know, our world is at times cruel, hard, and painful to bear.  These are the effects of sin.  We have great news!   

Luke 4:18“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 

Despite everything, we have Him to bring our hurts, sadness, weariness, depression, broken lives, crushed dreams, and struggles.

Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”  That sounds like me at times.  I am often in need of healing.  Right now, you can allow Him to heal you emotionally. Is there any pain that you are holding on to? Or do you feel your problems are too big or small for God? Now is a great time to turn them over to Him.  He is waiting to hear from us and to begin to work afresh and anew in your life- we must turn it over to Him.


[1] Charles H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, Volume I p. 355

November 29, 2007

HAIRLESS HOMESCHOOL MOTHER

Posted in homeschool, PARENTING tagged , , , , , at 9:18 pm by graceabounds

I am sure I am not alone when I claim I was about to be a hairless homeschool mother. Most people think I am nuts to homeschool anyways so becoming a bald young mother won’t make me too much farther out there. I truly did feel that I was about to pull my hair out as I was teaching my youngest to read. Lets see we had tears, fussing, and him saying he couldn’t possible read these words I had in front of him. Feeling myself becoming discouraged I went to my room, shut the door, and hit the floor. Why? No, I wasn’t about to throw a fit of equivalent size to my son but rather to go to my Father and ask him to help me. I had only a few seconds to ask God to help me before there was fussing outside my door. I picked myself off the floor with a renewed commitment as to why I homeschool. I don’t homeschool because it is fun, I think my kids will be smarter, or for any other reason than I believe it is what God wants personally for my family.

We sat back down at the table and I was about to help him and out spurts the sounds of the letters and he sounds out the majority of the words before him. Agh! I won’t have to be bald after all. I can simply rest in God and allow Him to see me through the small and large task of the day!

The Beginnings- Genesis 1-2

Posted in DEVOTIONS tagged , , , , , , at 3:23 pm by graceabounds

Although Adam and Eve fell into the temptation of sin, we should remember God will help us to overcome temptation if we ask for His help. Read Genesis 3. The Serpent, Satan, began by questioning what God had told Adam. Eve was then tempted (in verse six) when she saw that the tree was good, desirable, and the fruit would make her wise. As Christians we need to check every thought we have, and see if it goes along with God’s Word. Satan deceived Eve by telling her the truth as well as a lie. It was true that they would know the difference between good and evil, but if they disobeyed God there would be a penalty, death. They were allowed to eat from all the trees except one. Eve believed that by disobeying God it would make her happier than obeying Him. Sin was brought into the world because they ate from the tree going against God. Look at verse seven “they now knew they were naked.” There would be consequences because they had sinned. God was coming to spend time with them but now there would have to be a penalty for their sins. Jesus would later pay that price. They were no longer allowed to be in the Garden of Eden due to their sins.There is no point in trying to hide your sins from God, it is impossible. In turn, she and Adam suffered the consequences, yet God still loved and cared for them. He made them clothes from animals, which seems a lot more comfortable than fig leaves! That is God loving us and caring for us despite how we hurt and disappoint Him.

In the garden they were allowed to eat from every single tree but one. Notice in verse two that the word “trees” is plural. The other trees were also pleasant to the eyes and good for fruit. God didn’t put the tree there and say, “Okay, it is here to tempt you.” No, God had given them plenty of good things, because He is good. God created us with a free will to worship Him. Many of us have struggled with why God would create something He knew would mess up and choose to sin. God desires true worship and praise from us. He wants us to praise Him as God because we have come to the realization that He truly deserves it. Remember, He wants a true intimate relationship with you.

Take a few minutes and examine your heart. Is there any sin you are trying to cover up with the fig leaves? Do you pretend you are okay and that you don’t need Him? God is waiting for us. Whenever we are open and naked by confessing our sins it restores our relationship with Him. He is ready to remove the uncomfortable fig leaves and cover us in fur. Why don’t you say or write out a prayer confessing any sin in your life, and allow God’s forgiveness to wash over you.

Genesis 3

Posted in DEVOTIONS tagged , , , , , , at 3:21 pm by graceabounds

Although Adam and Eve fell into the temptation of sin, we should remember God will help us to overcome temptation if we ask for His help. Read Genesis 3. The Serpent, Satan, began by questioning what God had told Adam. Eve was then tempted (in verse six) when she saw that the tree was good, desirable, and the fruit would make her wise. As Christians we need to check every thought we have, and see if it goes along with God’s Word. Satan deceived Eve by telling her the truth as well as a lie. It was true that they would know the difference between good and evil, but if they disobeyed God there would be a penalty, death. They were allowed to eat from all the trees except one. Eve believed that by disobeying God it would make her happier than obeying Him. Sin was brought into the world because they ate from the tree going against God. Look at verse seven “they now knew they were naked.” There would be consequences because they had sinned. God was coming to spend time with them but now there would have to be a penalty for their sins. Jesus would later pay that price. They were no longer allowed to be in the Garden of Eden due to their sins.There is no point in trying to hide your sins from God, it is impossible. In turn, she and Adam suffered the consequences, yet God still loved and cared for them. He made them clothes from animals, which seems a lot more comfortable than fig leaves! That is God loving us and caring for us despite how we hurt and disappoint Him.

In the garden they were allowed to eat from every single tree but one. Notice in verse two that the word “trees” is plural. The other trees were also pleasant to the eyes and good for fruit. God didn’t put the tree there and say, “Okay, it is here to tempt you.” No, God had given them plenty of good things, because He is good. God created us with a free will to worship Him. Many of us have struggled with why God would create something He knew would mess up and choose to sin. God desires true worship and praise from us. He wants us to praise Him as God because we have come to the realization that He truly deserves it. Remember, He wants a true intimate relationship with you.

Take a few minutes and examine your heart. Is there any sin you are trying to cover up with the fig leaves? Do you pretend you are okay and that you don’t need Him? God is waiting for us. Whenever we are open and naked by confessing our sins it restores our relationship with Him. He is ready to remove the uncomfortable fig leaves and cover us in fur. Why don’t you say or write out a prayer confessing any sin in your life, and allow God’s forgiveness to wash over you.