Saturday, July 30, 2011

Through little I can change the world, one soul at a time.

56. Getting sucked into a really good book

 57.  raindrops slowly dripping down my face

 58. A good massage, whether professional or just at home

59. A feeling after a good adjustment.

60. Helping people achieve their dreams

This is one I've just realized. Recently, I reached my 3 year anniversary at Life University's Library (now named the Sid E. & Nell K. Williams library) and after befriending on Facebook a few graduating students to keep in touch I understand why God has placed me there. Seeing the passion and joy really speaks to me.

It lets you know although I am not much, I do much...
Through little I can change the world, one soul at a time. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Amazing Grace Glowing Throughout History

Amazing Grace Lyrics
John Newton (1725-1807)
Stanza 6 anon.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
Two different  renditions of the same song, but there is such power in them, power we often tend to forget. Something God has really brought home for me today is the power in His forgiveness He gives unto us freely.

A book I read recently, Unmerited Favor by Joseph Prince, really helps shed a bright light upon the amazing simplicity of His grace.  He freely forgives us, past, present, future. Done. It's hard to grasp within a world where you are told you have to earn everything. A friend who is now reading the book reminded me of this today, something I needed.

But this Christ earned.

The book I'm currently reading is On the Eve of Adam by Dr. J.R.Church, quite an amazing book so far.  There is so many interesting concepts within the pages of just the first four chapters that I cannot fully describe all of them, but some that apply for this that have spoken within me are these:

Excerpt from Chapter 2:
Since Adam is a prophetic figure of Jesus Christ, Eve, his bride, must be a type of New Testament Christianity--the bride of Christ. Adam gave life to Eve. In like manner, Christ gave eternal life to us. As Eve was taken from the side of Adam, New Testament Christianity has been taken from the riven side of Christ:
"But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5)
According to the Scriptures, Eve was deceived in the fall, yet Adam was not. Adam was willing to take her sin upon himself. The sin of Eve was accounted to Adam. He was willing to become identified with her sin. In like manner, Jesus took our sin upon Himself, that He might become our substitute, and suffer our consequences.
 Chapter 4 goes into the life of Joseph from the Old Testament and compares it to the life of Christ.  Something I had never considered. There are far too many similarities to bring them all to light here (you'll have to read the book) here are some facts:
  • The story of Joseph starts in Genesis chapter 30, the ministry of Christ starts at age 30.
  • The 30th chapter of Genesis is represented by the Hebrew alphabet letter chet referring to "a new beginning" representing the First Advent of Christ.
  • Both Joseph & Christ had miracle births 
    • "And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach: And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son" (Genesis 30:22-24)
  • Rachel's (Joseph's mom) name, meaning "ewe lamb" lends to the view that Joseph was born as a lamb. In like manner Christ is the "lamb of God".
  • Joseph was the beloved son, as Christ is God's beloved Son
  • Joseph was sold for 20 pieces of silver and Christ was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver.
  • Joseph was stripped of his coat of many colors, was thrown into a pit to die but came out alive, later having his coat dipped in blood and presented to his father.

    Christ was stripped of His clothes (John 19:23-24) and in a similar manner, Christ was placed in a tomb--a place of death--but was resurrected! And when Christ returns, He will be wearing His vesture dipped in blood:
    • "And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood" (Revelation 19:13)
  • Joseph became a servant to Potiphar, as Christ took upon Himself the form of a servant

    The comparisons continue but the one I want to focus on is at the end:
  • Joseph kept Benjamin and pressed his brothers to confess their guilt concerning him and express love for their father (Genesis 44:27-31). Once they confessed their sin, he then reveals himself to them and freely forgives them (Genesis 45:1-9). Joseph and his brothers are an allegory of God's great program for the nation of Israel.

    After Jacob's death [their father], they were fearful that Joseph would seek revenge. However, their fears were groundless.

    And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive" (Genesis 50:19-20)
    Excerpt from Chapter 4:
    It is hard for some people to accept the fact that God freely forgives, but He does. Salvation has no strings attached. We are forgiven because of the blood of Christ, who died once and for all. We need not fear falling from God's grace. Joseph is clear about his forgiveness to the brothers and thus, presents a prophetic message to us about the love of Christ. There is no greater picture of Christ to be found in the pages of the Old Testament.

 Now rereading the lyrics of the song Amazing listening to the words of the song Grace Like Rain...the words have a whole new meaning. The amazing love of our God, it's liberating, it's freeing, and it's something we have ALWAYS had, we have NOW, and we will FOREVER keep.  Amen.

Monday, July 25, 2011

It's In The Little Things

It's funny how the little things you do everyday mindlessly, the things you don't think twice upon, can affect others.

This morning a friend of mine, Chelsi, posted about how just an unconscious smile blessed someone that day.  Something she not only didn't think about, but is self-conscious about also!  I remember working at QuikTrip and, while in the middle of a fight on the checkstand, I did my fake happy girly voice and smiled, with the usual greeting to the lady who came in and walked up to my register. As we finished the transaction she thanked me, and was so appreciative to see someone who actually was happy and loved their job, how rare that was.  It made me feel a tink bad honestly for faking it but it also actually changed my mood too!  Not only did the Lord use me to brighten up her day but He innocently used her to change my attitude and cheer me up!

Today at lunch, after eating I did my usual walking around the library reading, and passed a student who told me I inspired him to try walking while he read and now he loved it!  I can't recall how long I've walked around that library reading various books over the past 3 years, but to think that something so simple, God can use to reach others, amazes me.

But then He does it for me the little things He blesses me with.  A beautiful painted sky every morning or the glowing of the moon and stars at night, uniquely crafted each time.  A bird bathing in a puddle, a lighting bug's cute little butt all lit up, honey bees, flowers, the sound of rain drops and the flash of a lightening, or even just the secondhand unprovoked compliment from my mother.

"For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”"
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 NKJV

"Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen." 
1 Timothy 1:16-17 KJV

Monday, July 18, 2011

Offering Me

I offer you my essence
I offer you my strength
I offer you my selfishness
I offer you my pain

my story is laid before you
my life displayed before you
my broken spirit is healed before you
my tears captured before you

You fill my hands with healing
You fill my heart with love
You fill my soul with forgiveness
You fill my eyes with light

" And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: for all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had" Luke 21:3-4 KJV

"And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question." Mark 12:32-34 KJV

"Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, that I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God." Romans 15:15-17 KJV

"Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour...For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light" Ephesians 5:1,8 KJV

"Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me." Philippians 2:16-18 KJV
" For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin."
Hebrews 10:14-18 KJV

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Your Breath Takes My Breath Away

Your breath takes my breath away,
blowing oh so gently through every strand of hair,
numbered and named by You.
Walking underneath Your covering, 
part of me yearns for You,
in ways which are incomprehensible, untouchable.

Only You understand this feeling from within.
A love deeper than I can fathom grabs hold of my soul,
through the quiet I hear you,
through the forest I see your face,
as it smiles upon me.
The warmth of your embrace.

Take time to love me,
take time to notice I'm there.
To feel my presence within you,
beside you,
before you,
following after you,
protecting you,
holding you.

You are the peace amongst the chaos of my inner spirit,
Calming the storm within my mind's eye.
Grasping hold of the only true parts of me,
piecing me, molding me back together into the shape of Your palm,
each crease and wrinkle defining who I am.

How can we feel alone?  Today I realized that alone is not a state of being of a state of mind. We can be physically alone or alone within a crowd, alone within our minds.

I needed peace.  His peace.

Walking on the trail today, absorbing Him, getting some quality God time in where I feel the most at peace. I could feel Him there, just loving me,
enjoying me.

I needed that, I needed the warmth of Him and His love, His presence.  There I finally grasped the concept that every time I felt alone in my life,

He was there.

I felt the sadness He felt as I ignored and rejected His love so I could cry in my self-imposed misery.   But even with all that, His overwhelming love and affection comforting me, pressing us forward. 

No, I wont live in the past mistakes I've made. I wont dwell on the pain of my own past, but on the pain of His as we continue down this nature trail, trees and nature singing His we walk hand in hand. 

more of the happy

43. ROFLOLing...or getting a bad case of the uncontrollable giggles

44. Monty Python & stupid dry humor

45. Peanut butter & natural fruit jam on a good quality whole grain bread

46. All kinds of berries

 47. Kiwis and the way the fuzz feels against my cheek

48. Hoodies, especially my old black Led Zeppelin hoodie, may it RIP

49. Audrey Hepburn & her movies

50. All of God's amazing creatures

51. birds singing their songs to the Lord

52. Pedicures and getting my toes painted cute with my family
(especially matching toes with Tina teehee)

53. Getting into deep conversations involving the silliest subjects
(this is to you Elena =]~ )

54. A freshly cleaned (& organized) home

55. Water, especially a cold glass of it :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Power of His Perfection

On my way to work one morning, while gazing upon the Lord's painted morning sky for me, I heard a verse of a song I've heard many times before but in a different light. One I don't know that I agree with...

"perfection is my enemy"

Now I don't know what song it was, just some chick's on the Fish radio station really (probably better I don't know) but it made me begin to think, why does humanity have to have such a love/hate relationship to the idea and concept of  'perfection'?

"[ Noah Pleases God ] This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God." Genesis 6:9 NKJV

"As for God, His way is perfect;The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. For who is God, except the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God? God is my strength and power,[e] And He makes my[f] way perfect." 2 Samuel 22:31-33 NKJV

" I will behave wisely in a perfect way. Oh, when will You come to me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart." Psalm 101:2 NKJV

"Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." Matthew 5:48 NKJV
"Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." 2 Corinthians 7:1 NKJV

"Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. " Colossians 1:28 NKJV

"Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this we will[a] do if God permits." Hebrew 6:1-3 NKJV

" But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." James 1:4 NKJV

" But may[a] the God of all grace, who called us[b] to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you." 1 Peter 5:10 NKJV

If we are to have the mind of Christ, be the light of Christ, and Christ-like then how can we say that perfection is our enemy when He is perfection.

"though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him" Hebrews 5:8-9 NKJV

Why can't we have an unobtainable goal and not such negativism towards it. What's wrong with reaching for the stars?

Being someone who has issues with perfectionism, I think what we need is balance.  We tend to either obsess over or avoid perfection altogether.  

Strive always try to be perfect with the realization that you are never going to be able to reach it.  Focus on Christ's perfection and His perfect work for us as our example. That is the key.

As long as we keep our focus on Him and His perfection, and realize that He lives within us, within our hearts, perfection isn't such a scary thought.  It is only when we take our focus off of Him who is perfect and start to look toward our own ability to be perfect (or failed attempts to be honestly) that we begin to breed such disapproval for the concept.  Because it is through our attempts to be perfect we realize our failures and shortcomings. We no longer can lie to ourselves or others.  

Christ's perfection is not our enemy, its what keeps us going in this life...all we do and are is based around this. We are called to love perfectly, without fear. Live perfectly, without sin (through the cleansing blood of Christ and God's amazing grace).  This is not a bad calling, and it isn't an impossible calling, for God has not given us anything we cannot accomplish...through Him!

I'm amazed and proud to say I've finally gotten to a place in my life where I've made peace with perfection. It does not control me or my life, yet I strive toward the goal, keeping my Focus upon Him who is my perfect example.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Powerful Joy

41. Thunderstorms & Lightning

There is something about lightning, about a thunderstorm to me that I find amazing.  I think it comes the closest to really representing what the fear of God is really about.  The power behind them, the glorious light & sound.  Power to kill you in an instant, & yet such amazing beauty.

For me, its indescribable.  But I hope in some inner level with each of us, understandable.

42. My sister Elena.

I am afraid I don't tell her quite as often as I should, but I am so proud of her for all that she has come from & done.  She is such a strong person, & no matter how many times or how deep she fell she was always willing to pick herself back up & press forward.  She's accomplished so much, & is one of the most beautiful people I have seen. Passion & drive, interesting, unique, silly & quirky, a deep thinker & someone I look up to.  I see the hand of God upon her so much, I think He took extra time when forming her, adding intricate details that we will never completely be able to discover them all.

I am proud that He chose to bless me with being her little sister.

Solar Powered Light of Christ

After waiting for my dear Lieba to pee for over an hour this morning, going to bed probably around 2am & waking around 6:40am, my lack of sleep started to get to me as frustration crept in. Finally heading inside covered in insect bites, I cannot say I bonded with nature quite like I had planned on.  So I had to reevaluate my decision to run outside this morning or not.

As I finally headed out the door intending to drive to the gym, I felt a tugging at me, the Lord pushing me toward the trail, and I decided that I shouldn't start off my morning in that kind of mood, I needed to bond with God...I needed some time just Him & me, some quiet time where I feel the most, at home. 

It started off normal, except I had no iPod, headphones, ID bracelet, no heart rate monitor, no water belt, just me.  With the heat down I ran faster than I have for awhile, just finding comfort in His presence. No divine revelations for I don't need them now, just Him holding me as I went.  Turning at my halfway mark I started just talking to God, and realized-I am a solar powered light of Christ, refueling myself with each run! 
After this I had a desire to just sign hymns to Him, and as various old songs played through my head, one stuck out.

Jesus Loves Me

Jesus loves me this I know,
for the Bible tells me so,
little ones to Him belong,
they are weak, but He is strong!
Yes, Jesus loves me,
yes, Jesus loves me,
yes, Jesus loves me,
for the Bible tells me so.

Its funny how such a simple childhood song can have such truth.  So many of my problems have arose from me forgetting these simple truths.  So many would've been kept from so much pain had we just remembered these simple truths.  Jesus does love me, we belong to Him no matter what.  We may be weak, we may fail, fall down, screw up, make mistakes, but He is strong, He is with us, holding us, & covering us no matter what and He will get us through every & all situations that arise in our lives. 

Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves you,
Yes, Jesus loves all

And if we would just read, absorb, take in & think upon His word the Holy Bible we would remember these & learn so much more about Him, feel so much more of Him.