living today in light of that day

living today in light of that day

Friday, November 22, 2013

Ephesians 1:3-23

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Psalm 37 & 27

Trust in the LORD, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
 ...
The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
when he delights in his way;
though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
for the Lord upholds his hand.
(Psalm 37:3-7a, 23-24)
 
 
You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!
 ...
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
(Psalm 27:8-9, 14)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

living today: Changing Seasons


Enjoying this autumn's gorgeous displays of vibrant colors in the sky, trees, and fields as we transition from summer to winter. They're tangible reminders that other seasons of change and unknowns display the beauty of my never-changing and all-knowing God. And like a child gleefully jumping in piles of leaves (weee!), they create opportunity to trustingly and delightfully enjoy every good gift that "comes down from the Father of lights," including sweetly simple and small joys. And guess what? The giver of each of these good things gives me the ultimate gift, which enables and enhances each simple joy: Christ himself!!! 
Pure happiness to let God be God, man be man, and freely work and play like a little kid as your Daddy takes care of everything big and small. 

" 'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus." 
"He walks with me and he talks with me and he tells me I am his own."

Some fun stuff recently:

Teresa and I made the pastors a meal for belated Pastor Appreciation (Nov 7th)  
Just a sample of the gorgeousness.

video
Hot Apple Cider over the fire! (Saturday Nov 9)

video
Recruiting some babysitting help. (Monday Nov 11)

Ahh-mazing pseudo office space for a few minutes on Thursday.

Making Cup Pies (think cupcakes, but pies!) with Erin Friday night then watching Pushing Daisies.
Fun-sized!
Peach Pie Fully Crusted or w/ Chocolate Chip Cookie Crust;
Pumpkin Pie; and Coconut Cream Pie w/ Mandarin Orange Topper

Started building a little StoryTime Kids Corner. Two videos uploaded so far on a YouTube playlist here

Friday, October 25, 2013

Jesus Is the Greatest Ever

I visited my friends Lem & Cindi James this past Sunday. Thankful how God ministered to me in that time, particularly through his preached word exalting Christ in my heart. Here is a near-transcription from the end of Ian McConnell's sermon at Grace Bible Church in NE Philly. It's from the first service (we were at second).

 

 
 
 
 
 
Hebrews 1:1-3
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

You need Jesus to keep you together. …
Are you trusting Jesus to keep you together? Your marriage, your kids, your resources/finances, those you care about together? He upholds us across the board.
 
I am tempted on a daily basis to believe the lie that I hold myself up. Here’s what happens when I try to hold myself up, and when I try to hold up others that I feel I am responsible for – I do have a degree of responsibility, but I can’t do for them what only Jesus can do for them. Here’s what happens when I try to hold people up:  guess what I do? I drop things! And when I drop things, I’m tall, they break.
What are you trying to hold up right now that only Jesus can hold up? What are you trying to keep together that only Jesus can keep together? It’s all in where you depend. You say, “well, I have responsibility” yes, you do…you do have a responsibility to work hard to make your marriage work. You do have a responsibility to work hard to raise your kids and to discipline them and point them in the direction of following Jesus. You do need to work hard at your job to have money so you can provide for your needs. You do need to work, but there’s a way of working where I trust in myself and a way of working where I trust in Jesus, and they’re completely different. Psalm 127: “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” … Here’s how we trust in him to uphold us as we commit ourselves to our responsibilities: We do our responsibilities in active trust, in conscience dependence on Jesus who holds everything together.
Here’s what you do not want. You don’t want a team of pastors here who act like it’s their ultimate responsibility to hold you together. And here’s what we don’t want. We don’t want you to trust in us to hold you together because we can’t.  But Jesus can. So what’s the greatest thing we can do for one another? What’s the greatest way we can encourage one another? What’s the greatest way we can exhort one another? Ready? Here you go: Look to Jesus. I want to point you to Jesus. I need you to point me to Jesus. I need to point others to Jesus, because he’s the one who holds us up.
Since he’s the one upholding all things and carrying everything to its intended end, I also need to trust in Jesus not just to hold me up but to take me where I should go. So he keeps me going and takes me to where I should be going. Are you actively trusting in Jesus to lead you and guide you, take you. I think sometimes we are tempted to think Jesus is messing the script up. You’re not writing the script; Jesus is. ..He’s writing the script, upholding us, and taking our lives to their God-appointed end. And here’s what we know about Jesus, He doesn’t mess up. Jesus Christ has never made a mistake upholding things, and he won’t make the first mistake in your life. You can be guaranteed of that. He will uphold you, and he will take you where he has you. Isn’t that relieving? So you can go through the dark night of your soul; you can through that suffering; you can go through that pain – it’s still painful; it still hurts; there’s still unkowns – but here’s what you can do, you can trust in the one who’s going to take you, and your family, and this church to their appointed end. He’s not going to mess it up.
(recap)
·         God is speaking to us. He’s speaking to us through Jesus
·         He’s upholding  the universe by the word of his power, and
·         What he wants us to hear is that Jesus is the sustainer and orchestrator of everything.
He’s holding us up, church. …if you feel like you’re falling. If you feel like your life is ripping apart at the seams, I have good news for you: Jesus will hold you together. He’ll hold you together. He doesn’t promise to take away all the suffering. He doesn’t promise to take away all the hurt. He doesn’t promise health, wealth, and prosperity. He promises to uphold you and take your life to its appointed end, and he won’t mess up.
You can trust in him. You can hope in him. He’s the greatest ever.
 

 
photo: evening walk on Creek Hill Road (no edit); Tue Oct 15

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"No Greater Joy"


"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." (3 John 1:4)

I may be no mom, but it brings refreshment and contented joy to my soul to see those I care for walking in faith and truth. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Stories within The Story

This old post of mine came to my mind today.

It's so true. Relationships are such a privilege. Loving is costly, but so worth it. God weaves some quite astounding stories into his one grand story of redemption. What a kind grace of him to grant perspective and vision for the high calling of a rough road - and what freedom and joy to know he's making something beautiful out of his children that we cannot always see in the moment. He is faithful. His promises will stand. 

"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." - John 15:12-13

Oh Father, use my ransomed life in any way You choose, 
and let my song forever be: my only boast is You!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"He led them forth by the right way."

Morning & Evening
"He led them forth by the right way." — Psalms 107:7

Changeful experience often leads the anxious believer to enquire "Why is it thus with me?" I looked for light, but lo, darkness came; for peace, but behold trouble. I said in my heart, my mountain standeth firm, I shall never be moved. Lord, thou dost hide thy face, and I am troubled. It was but yesterday that I could read my title clear; to-day my evidences are bedimmed, and my hopes are clouded. Yesterday I could climb to Pisgah's top, and view the landscape o'er, and rejoice with confidence in my future inheritance; to-day, my spirit has no hopes, but many fears; no joys, but much distress. Is this part of God's plan with me? Can this be the way in which God would bring me to heaven? Yes, it is even so. The eclipse of your faith, the darkness of your mind, the fainting of your hope, all these things are but parts of God's method of making you ripe for the great inheritance upon which you shall soon enter. These trials are for the testing and strengthening of your faith-they are waves that wash you further upon the rock-they are winds which waft your ship the more swiftly towards the desired haven. According to David's words, so it might be said of you, "so he bringeth them to their desired haven." By honour and dishonour, by evil report and by good report, by plenty and by poverty, by joy and by distress, by persecution and by peace, by all these things is the life of your souls maintained, and by each of these are you helped on your way. Oh, think not, believer, that your sorrows are out of God's plan; they are necessary parts of it. "We must, through much tribulation, enter the kingdom." Learn, then, even to "count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations."
"O let my trembling soul be still,
And wait thy wise, thy holy will!
I cannot, Lord, thy purpose see,
Yet all is well since ruled by thee."