Sunday, August 11, 2013


Testimony of an anonymous friar in a Nebraska monastery
(written later in his life)...

If I had my life to live over again, I'd try to make more mistakes next time.
I would relax, I would limber up, I would be sillier than I have been on this trip.
I know of very few things I would take seriously. I would take more trips. I would be crazier. I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers, and watch more sunsets.
I would do more walking and looking.
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would have more actual troubles, and fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I'm one of those people who lives life prophylactically and sensibly hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I've had my moments, and if I had to do it over again I'd have more of them.
In fact, I'd try to have nothing else, just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead each day. I've been one of those people who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle, a gargle, a raincoat, aspirin, and a parachute.
If I had to do it over again I would go places, do things, and travel lighter than I have.
If I had my life to live over I would start barefooted earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.
I would play hookey more. I wouldn't make such good grades, except by accident. I would ride on more merry-go-rounds. I'd pick more daisies.

I hope that at the end of my life, I don't have similar things to say. How about you?

"Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 46:10

Allow the Lord, not stress or worry, to direct your day-to-day life!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Submission & Inward Beauty

"Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious."
(1 Peter 3:1-4 ESV)

These are a few of the verses my pastor preached on today. You can see that the message of this passage is directed toward wives, but I actually got a lot out of it even as a single woman. I wanted to share it on my blog to hopefully bless others with what the Lord is teaching and challenging me in.

To begin, here are some of my notes from the sermon. I spaced them out to hopefully make them easier to follow as you read them:

Wives, your submission is a powerful ministry to your husband and very precious in God's sight.
Wives must submit to their husbands as a powerful Gospel witness.
Wives must submit even amidst suffering.

It's not about your happiness. It's about the glory of God and your holiness.
If you're living out your purpose for the glory of God, He will bring joy and contentment.

This passage is not only to wives with unbelieving husbands.
Believing husbands are ALSO impacted by their wives submission.

It is a wife's conduct that is most powerful.
Not her persuasive words but her persuasive life...

Right submission begins with a fear of the Lord.
Holy conduct is powerful. When the wife is living a holy and Godly life, the husband sees these things and is impacted.

A wife's primary responsibility is her inward beauty not outward.
Outward appearance can be destructive and deceiving.
Certain adornments can draw unnecessary attention.
Outward appearance should not be first priority. If we're focused most on the outward, there are other things we are likely neglecting that are more important.

A wife's focus should not be on what is perishable but what is imperishable.
Appearance seems to be everything in this world. A lot of relationships are built on appearance which is lead by infatuation rather than wisdom.
(There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.)

The "imperishable" isn't always evident immediately. You may need to be around it awhile to see it. Also you must be of like mind to see it.
What is it? A quiet and gentle spirit.

Examples were given of what it means to have a quiet and gentle spirit.

It is this inner beauty that God highly values. We need to value what God values!

Wives have a vital ministry to the kingdom of God!
God's Word says that this is very precious in His sight.

Submission to husbands has always been the pattern of Godly women. (1 Peter 3:5,6)
Holy women of past focused on inward beauty and submission. They focused on making themselves beautiful inwardly.

So...submission to husbands and inner beauty are the main focus. Now it could be easy for me to believe this doesn't apply to me yet because I'm not married. I can definitely use this passage to encourage many of my friends who are already married. But...I COULD be married one day as I would like to be. Yet, God may not plan for me to ever be married which I am open to if He never brings along a man who can lead me in the way that I desire to be lead Spiritually. Either way, I still believe that this can apply to me in many ways.

Wives are called to submit to their husbands. Am I submitting to the authorities that God has placed in my life at the current time? Am I submitting to God in humble obedience to the things that He calls me to do today? Am I surrounding myself with examples of Godly married women who are faithfully submitting to their own husbands?
There is much I can learn about submission as a single woman, and the more I learn NOW the more prepared I'll be should I one day become married!

I like how Pastor Rick stated that it's not about our happiness but about the glory of God and our personal holiness. This can also be applied to other areas of life, but it encourages me as a person who would like to be married. I am reminded that marriage isn't any better or easier than being single, but may in fact be more difficult. So it's encouraging to be more thankful for the place that God has put me for the time being. I know that God's ultimate purpose for me is to make me more like Christ, not to make me happy in this life. And though He does bless us with happiness, He may allow for pain in life to bring about the holiness that He desires which will ultimately bring more joy to me although I may not see it or like it in the moment!

Right submission begins with fear of the Lord. Now THIS applies to all of us! It's really cool too because this is something that the Lord has been teaching me already in the past few weeks. I've been reminded that fear of God is the only fear I must have and that I need not fear man in any way- what man may do or what man may think of me. God's opinion and God's approval is the only ONE that matters. So to be learning more about fearing God and having more reverence for Him is much needed in my life and a way in which this passage can apply to me whether or not I may get married!

A wife's primary responsibility is her inward beauty. Ok, so this applies to single women too. This is one of the things that most impacted me from the sermon because I AM single and I would like to attract the right man. But what qualities am I displaying in my life to attract that right man? Am I displaying the qualities that are listed in this passage that a wife is to have? Because, for one thing, if I am displaying them now, they will be more easy to display if I ever do get married. But even more importantly(at least for where I am at), if I am displaying them now I will be more likely to draw the right kind of attention and not attention from the kind of guy that I would never want to be married to! I too focused on my outward appearance? Am I more consumed with looking good outwardly than looking good inwardly?
I like how Pastor said that we must be of like mind to see it...So the right guy will be of the right mind to notice these things that are beautiful and precious and valuable to God. Therefore, they'll also be precious to him!
And should it not be the Lord's will for me to be married, it's still the best way to live to bless everyone else that I come in contact with because I'll be more focused on God and on serving Him (which includes serving others) rather than being focused on myself.

I desire to follow the pattern of Godly women who are all throughout the pages of Scripture and also the Godly women of ages past and those in my life today that God has given to me to look up to, encourage, and learn from! I am very grateful for my Grandma and for my own mom who have given me great examples of what it means to be a submissive wife with this inward beauty.

I think that this inward beauty is a gift from God and also something that we have to strive for if we desire to have it in our lives.
And for those of you who are married, I'm sure that submission to your husband isn't easy. But remember that it is honoring and glorifying to God, and He tells you that you must submit first to Him and then to your husband. It is something that you may have to prayerfully strive for every day, but will be blessed by God for setting aside your own selfishness at times and following God no matter what the cost!
And to the other single girls out there, be encouraged! God's timing is best and He knows what He is doing in your life and in the life of your future husband if He has one planned for you. Strive to be the best woman that you can be for the glory of God and that's all that matters. Life isn't about us. It's about Him. He is working on us to make us holy...Sometimes it can be a rough road, but it will be worth it all in the end when we come face to face with our Savior!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Most Wonderful Message Ever to be Heard!

This is a repost from several Christmases ago, but It's definitely worth sharing again!

Another word to you all from my book "Knowing God." I actually read this chapter about God incarnate(in human form) a couple months ago. But it is something that I went back and reread because it has everything to do with the Christmas season for this is what Christmas is all about.
It is all too easy for us to get wrapped up in the world's definition of Christmas when we are surrounded by it every day everywhere we go. Let's take the time to meditate on our Savior and the reason why we even have Christmas and why we as Christians may have true "joy" in our hearts as we celebrate the birth of our Lord. May we be reminded of what it meant for Him to come to earth to die, and let's pray that the Lord will use us to share this hope with others who are in need of salvation.
Merry CHRISTmas!

"The Word became flesh." (Jn 1:14) God became man.
The Christmas message rests on the staggering fact that the child in the manger was- GOD.

The baby born at Bethlehem was God made man. The Word had become flesh: a real human baby. He had not ceased to be God; He was no less God than before; but He had begun to be man. He was not now God MINUS some elements of His deity, but God PLUS all that He had made His own by taking manhood to Himself.

He became poor. We see now what it meant for the Son of God to empty Himself and become poor. It meant laying aside of glory. It meant love to the uttermost for unlovely human beings, that they through His poverty might become rich.
The Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity- hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory- because at the Father's will Jesus Christ became poor and was born in a stable so that thirty years later He might hang on a cross. It is the most wonderful message that the world has ever heard, or will hear.

We talk glibly of the "Christmas spirit," rarely meaning more by this than sentimental jollity on a family basis. But what we have said makes it clear that the phrase should carry a tremendous weight of meaning. It ought to mean the reproducing in human lives of the temper of Him who for our sake became poor at the first Christmas. And the Christmas spirit itself ought to be the mark of every Christian all the year round.

The Christmas spirit is the spirit of those who, like their Master, live their whole lives on the principle of making themselves poor- spending and being spent- to enrich their fellow humans, giving time, trouble, care and concern, to do good to others- and not just their own friends- in whatever way there seems need.

"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich." 2 Corinthians 8:9

"Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:5

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Still You Love Me

STILL YOU LOVE ME by Aaron Shust

I've never felt so undeserving
Than when You called out for me
I've never been more unworthy
When You reached down for me
I'm lifting hands, stained and dirty
To touch my Savior's face
And I know now, I am touching grace

You see everything I do
But still You love me
You hear everything that I say
But still You want me
You know all my darkest secrets
That I try so hard to hide
You know everything I am
But still You love me, still You love me

Amazing love, how can it be
That You would die for me
Amazing grace, oh, the mystery
My blinded eyes now see
When I fall, when I stumble
I struggle to my feet
Just to find grace is lifting me

You see everything I do
But still You love me
You hear everything that I say
But still You want me
You know all my darkest secrets
That I try so hard to hide
You know everything I am
But still You love me

There's nothing I can say
To make You turn away
There's nowhere I can go
You're never far away

You see everything I do
But still You love me
You hear everything I say
But still You want me

You know all my darkest secrets
That I try so hard to hide
You know everything I am
But still You love me, still You love me
Still You love me

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Where Do You Place Your Hope?

[I have typed up an excerpt from Paul David Tripp's book "Forever" out of the chapter, "Hope Can't Live Without Forever." I hope as I share this, that it will be challenging to you as it was to me when I read it. Also, I highly recommend this particular book. It is one of the most influential/life-changing books that I have ever read...and I read a lot of books!]

If you are God's child, you can have hope in the middle of all the tough things you face, not only because in all of those moments God is with you, but also because the cross of Jesus guarantees you that all that is broken will be made new forever. You can live today knowing that you have a future that is beyond the boundaries of your wildest imagination. If you are God's child, you have hope because God is hope, and you have a hope that will last forever because He has defeated the one thing that will stand between you and forever: death.

Sadly, many of us who by God's grace have been given hope don't live as if we have it. We look for hope where hope can't be found. We place our hope in things that can never deliver. We live hopelessly because we fail to live with forever in view. We live for the next vacation, the next thrilling experience, the next stunning achievement. We put our hope in the hands of flawed and finite people, burdening our relationships with expectations that they can never deliver. We ask inanimate objects to give us reason to get up in the morning, but they never can.

Sure, the things in which we put our hope give us a temporary buzz and a temporary rest, but reality always hits. These things all disappoint us in the end. No matter how wonderful the situations in our life are, no matter how beautiful our possessions are, no matter how exciting our experiences are, no matter how fulfilling our accomplishments are, and no matter how loving the people in our lives are, they will only satisfy us temporarily. They simply cannot carry our hope. How different would your life and mine be if we remembered that everything that exists in the created world is meant to be a finger pointing us to the only place where hope can be found?

John Waller- Because God Is Good

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28