4.19.2014

He came to bring us life

He came to bring us life.

But how many times have I thought He was here to try and destroy it? Or that in the waiting, in the pain, there was no hope. How I had forgotten the power of Him and His resurrection. How numb I have been to it.

But I woke up with renewed hope. A reminder that His mercies are new every morning. That my sin is not greater than my Savior and that, yes, the Savior died, but He didn't stay dead.

Even death couldn't contain Him.

So on this Saturday we wait. We wait for Sunday. We wait for the celebration of His resurrection. We wait for Him. We've been waiting for hope and Hope has a name and a face and He died for you and for me. Thank You, Jesus!

Sometimes that waiting is longer than a day and sometimes we (I) can't see why He doesn't just show up already but in everything He has a plan.

He died to give you life. He died to make a relationship with you possible. He died to make our sinful state one of waiting and not permanence. Because we won't stay this way forever.

We can say hallelujah together. Amen? 

"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ..." - Philippians 3:20

4.18.2014

The faithfulness of our God

I'm listening to Kari Jobe, crossing the street, and out of no where a car hits me.

You think I'm kidding?

Nope.

Instantly, my mind goes crazy. Shock ensues.

I just got hit by a car. Oh my gosh! God, please help me.

I'm on the road. I'm looking at the back tire of the car that hasn't stopped yet and I hear, "Roll." So I did. I rolled out of the way.

I stand up and then the driver of the car hops out to ask if I'm okay. I say yes and they ask if they can give me a ride home. Um, no thanks. You just hit me, so I think I'll walk.

I make my way to the side of the road where I can examine myself to see what injuries I may have. A messed up ankle and a pretty nice looking scrape to my leg.

But that was all.

Compared to what could have happened, broken bone(s), broken face, head injuries, or death... I couldn't help but say thank You, Lord over and over. Because of His goodness and faithfulness and grace I lived. Hallelujah!

As this holy week continues I've had more gratitude in my heart than I've had in a long time. My Sunday school teacher told my class to read Psalm 136 every day this week. I didn't just read it, though. I was blessed enough to live it. Thank You, Father!!

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever." - Psalm 136:1

4.17.2014

Girl at the end of the world - book review

Girl at the end of the world by Elizabeth Esther is a book where the author, Elizabeth, is
telling her story of how she was raised in what almost sounds like a cult and how she found redemption from it.

I got half way through the book and stopped. I was disappointed by various things but I felt like many of the stories included in this book are not very appropriate. In the context of a conversation at the beginning of the book there is a use of God's name in vain that I thought the publisher should not have included.

Many people have said that this book is hard to put down, but I would have to disagree. This is someones story, I know that, and it will be told from an honest perspective, and I understand that. However, I think some of the stories included were a bit too much in regards to information and some sexual context.

I wouldn't recommend this book to anybody under the age of 18 just because I think it's a very adult subject matter. Maybe this book was just a little too much for me. Some people need to hear the very blunt, honest stories with nothing left to the imagination, but I'm just not one of those people.


Note: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

4.16.2014

Raw Faith - book review

What if you are a Christian and get cancer. You know what God's Word says about giving thanks in all circumstances but right now you're just not okay. What then?

Raw Faith written by Kasey Van Norman tells you her story and what happened to her.

Kasey gets the call that she has cancer and that really rocks her world (but not in a good way, obviously). She then embarks on a journey of brokenness, pain, and triumphs. She begins looking at her faith and wondering what makes it real. She begins to ask the reader to take this journey of "raw faith" with her and invites the reader to be honest and open to the Lord as they go through the process.

Kasey feels kind of like a good friend who is there to pat you on the back and let you know, "It's okay to not be okay." I really was blessed by what I read on each page.

Her honesty, heart, and writing style make this book a must-read for all women and I would dare to say many men. Pick up a copy if you haven't already. You won't regret it.

*Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. All views expressed are mine.

4.15.2014

Light flickering in the dark

Four walls and darkness surround. You huddle in this space, scared to breathe, bracing yourself for the panic, the fear, and the pain that you've come to know for so long. 

But then something happens.

There is that little corner you're huddled in a light begins to flicker. First, it's just a little flick and then gone. But you let yourself relax a little, hoping against hope that maybe this time it'll come back- and stay.

As you continue straining those beautiful eyes in the darkness the light flickers again... and again... and again.

Faith and hope turn on and you start to breathe a little easier. 

His presence seems a little stronger and then fear seems a little weaker and you praise- for the first time in a long time- real, true, authentic praise to this God of light, though your voice be strained from the weeks of sobbing and the prayers that seemed unending. 

Because what looks hopeless and faithless and dark and scary, might be for a season, but keep the faith even when it's hard because one day His Light will shine brighter than ever before and you can sing the thanks loud and clear. 

"Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD." 
- Psalm 27:14

4.08.2014

In due time...

Do you ever feel like you're stuck on a merry-go-round that is just messy and not always so fun and the name of it is called 'life'?

Yeah. And I've told people that and written it in my journal and prayed it and sobbed over it and been angry about it.

When my future seems to be going as I would like it (i.e. how I have it planned in my head) but then that "next step" takes longer than expected to actually happen, then I get discouraged and sad and panic sometimes ensues.

I was reading 1 Samuel 1 this morning and was greatly encouraged by the story of Hannah. One verse really stood out,

"So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.” (emphasis mine)

ESV says, "in due time". Hannah prayed, she sought the Lord, she begged for a child and then in due time she received it. I'm not saying God always grants our requests this way because sometimes He says no, but I was so encouraged to know that not only are our prayers heard, but God answers them... just not always in an instant (as I, and probably you, would prefer).

I don't know what you're praying for or waiting for but there is hope. Draw near, be patient, and wait, for in due time, if the Lord wills, you will receive... a job, or joy. A child, or a friend becoming His child. An opportunity, or a laugh.

Thank You, Lord, for hearing our prayers and answering them. Help us to be patient and wait, and hope, and endure. Amen.