Monday, November 26, 2012

Let Jesus' Glory Shine

"From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger." Psalm 8:2

Lately, Titus has showed a sweet sensitivity to the things of the Lord. His prayers, his conversations, his questions...they all reflect a heart that is contemplating the greatness of God...and a desire to know Him and be with Him one day. There is nothing more precious to our ears or eyes than hearing and seeing our kids pursue Christ. Our prayer is that their child-like faith blooms into saving faith at a young age!

Titus wrote this praise song to Jesus a couple of weeks ago. When my brother Paul, and his wife, Sarah, came to visit...Paul was an AMAZING uncle and took the time to compose music to go with Titus' words. I actually have had the tune "stuck" in my head this past really is beautiful! 

Here are the lyrics:

Let Jesus' Glory Shine 

We want to know Your praises; 
How great is our God.
We live for You, Jesus;
How great is our God.

We want you to be lifted, 
Shining forth your glory;
I feel the sun that You have made!

We lift you higher, 
We will worship You forever!
I praise you, Jesus, You reign!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Faithful Men, Faithful Words

"....those who act faithfully are His delight."  Proverbs 12:22b

My heart is so full of thanksgiving for the blessing it is to be surrounded by godly men and women. They are everywhere...praise the our church, writing books, preaching messages that we can listen to over the internet....the opportunities to be encouraged in Christ through the examples of others seem just about endless!

Here is a highlight of some dear faithful men and their faithful words:

- Pastor John MacArthur shared some fantastic thoughts on the election and the world as we know it. It's just 11 minutes long but it's jam packed with insightful wisdom and truth on today's culture!

What Now?

- Bryan preached a passionate message on Philippians 1 a couple of Sundays ago....what a blessing to my own heart as well as convicting as he shared with us what it truly means to be "Together in Truth".

Together in Truth

- My heart continues to be refreshed and my thinking renewed by the prayers of Pastor Scotty Smith. Here is an excerpt from his prayer on Sunday that has stayed in the forefront of my mind these last few days:

 "Lord Jesus, you are so kind, compassionate, and forgiving of me. May the fragrant aroma of the sacrifice you made for me on the cross to permeate all my relationships. You’re not calling us to change or fix anyone. You’re calling us to live as a broken perfume bottle, through whom the aroma of grace will bring your gentling and transforming presence. Show me how to boast in you and in my weakness, that I might freely and gladly live as a servant of others."

Sunday, November 4, 2012

"My flesh hanging all out"

There have been many complaints made that facebook users and bloggers do not always show us a REAL picture of what their life is like. They share their highlights, the funny moments, the sweet sayings of their kids, the trips they went on, and the great pictures they took...BUT...they don't share the other side....the time they yelled at their kids (and it was the 10th time that day, actually), the fighting, the complaining, the ruined dinner, the embarrassing situation, the gossiping. You know, those moments when your "flesh" hangs all out of you and you can't stuff it back in fast enough!

Well, let there be no doubt about it...this post is an honest look at "my flesh hanging all out". I wish it were pretty...but it's not.

The last couple of months I have really been struggling with a complaining spirit.

Work at the school has truly been so wonderful....but it takes so many hours out of each day...and leaves that much less for that much more that needs to be done at home. Let the struggle begin:

"How come these kids can't do a better job picking up after themselves? This is ridiculous!"

"Unbelievable, I just cleaned off the counter and now look at it!"

"I just want a day with no demands. Is that even possible?!"

"Lord, I just wish there was some extra money so we could get take out and I wouldn't have to cook every night."

"Why does it take so long to make a meal that is consumed in minutes?!"

"There is so much to clean in this house!"

"I am so tired...I don't think I can help with one more homework project."

"Can't the kids just figure it out on their own?!"

"Why does life have to be so hard?"

Pretty ugly, huh? Lots of flesh hanging out and not a lot of sweet fruit of the Spirit to be found anywhere! Sure, a lot of these thoughts never even leave my head...but many do. But, even if no one knew about my complaining heart...God does...and He calls me to please Him not only in my actions but in the thoughts of my heart!(Psalm 19:14)

The Lord has convicted me that my attitude truly does not have anything to do with my situation but the status of my heart. And, as the Lord has humbled me, He's made it clear that my heart has been set on one thing...ME.

My dad said something in church this morning that rang with deep truth:

"False gospels seek to satisfy the flesh. But God's Word is clear. The flesh must DIE in order for my soul to be truly satisfied."

I was forgetting that. I have been living, loving my own soul instead of loving Christ most of all. I have been living for myself, instead of considering other's more important than myself. I have been clinging to my weaknesses and crying over them instead of clinging to Christ who gives GREAT strength in those weaknesses. I have been seeing the daily tasks of life as drudgery and "exhaustion makers" instead of seeing them as gifts of grace, as jobs tailored made for me by the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

Had I been taking my thoughts captive (instead of listening to them) I would have found joy (not in the jobs, necessarily) but in knowing I was "doing my work heartily for the Lord", "toiling with all HIS energy that He powerfully works in me", and bringing Him glory whether I "eat or drink or whatever I do".

John Newton put it this way:

"If two angels were to receive at the same moment a commission from God, one to go down and rule earth's grandest empire, the other to go and sweep the streets of it's meanest village; it would be a matter of entire indifference to each which service fell to his lot: the post of ruler or the post of scavenger; for the joy of the angels lies only in obedience to God's will." 

O Lord, I know that there is victory in You. But only when I see you as the treasure above all treasures. Only when I cling to you as my whole portion. Only when I have no other gods before You...including myself. Forgive my complaining heart and help me to walk with joy before You!

"My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody!" Psalm 57:7