Friday, December 31

A Perfect Gift

James 1:17 (NIV)
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

She's here! Our darling little bundle arrived just a few weeks ago! Children are such an amazing blessing and I can't thank God enough for my sweet girls.

Sunday, November 28

It is because of Him

I'm less than a week and a half away from my due date; exciting! Below is an excerpt from an article by David Brickner, the Executive Director of Jews for Jesus. I also included a passage I read recently in 1 Corinthians. It is very encouraging to me that the power of the Gospel is not limited by our human wisdom!

"Please do not let anyone discourage you from giving a verbal witness on the grounds that you must first prove yourself worthy by your actions. In reality, good works and good words spring from the same place and the two go together. One is not more important than the other, nor does God tell us that they need to follow a certain order to be effective. It is His Spirit that wins hearts and it is only through His power that anything we say or do will make a difference." - Brickner, David.
Christmas Warfare. 29 November 2010. Jews for Jesus.

1 Corinthians 1:27-2:5
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith
might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

Tuesday, November 16

Make Thy Paths Known

Since my due date is fast approaching, I plan to use upcoming posts to share devotionals and articles by some of my favorite Christian writers. The devotional below was posted earlier this month on Elisabeth Elliot's Daily Devotional site:

Title: How to Discover What God Wants

Author: Elisabeth Elliot

A young woman came in great perplexity to a Scottish preacher, asking how she could resolve the question of her own desires when they seemed to be in such contradiction to the will of God. He took out a slip of paper, wrote two words on it, handed it to her with the request that she sit down for ten minutes, ponder the words, cross out one of them, and bring the slip back to him. She sat down and read: No Lord. Which to cross out? It did not take her long to see that if she was saying No she could not say Lord, and if she wanted to call Him Lord, she could not say No.

No question comes up more often among Christian young people who face what seem to be limitless options than this one of how to discover what God wants them to do. What, exactly, is one's calling?

There are two very simple conditions to discovering the will of God. Paul states them clearly in his letter to the Romans, chapter 12. The first is in verse 1 (Jerusalem Bible): "... offering your living bodies as a holy sacrifice, truly pleasing to God." The place to start is by putting yourself utterly and unconditionally at God's disposal. You say Yes Lord. You turn over all the rights at the very beginning. Once that's settled you can go on to the second, in verse 2: "Do not model yourselves on the behavior of the world around you, but let your behavior change, modelled by your new mind." I said that the conditions were simple. I did not say they were easy. Exchanging a No Lord for a Yes Lord has often been painful for me. But I do want a "new mind"--one that takes its cues from the Word of God, not the mass media. I pray for a clear eye to see through the fog of popular opinion, and a will strong enough to withstand the currents--a will surrendered, laid alongside Christ's. He is my model. This means a different set of ambitions, a different definition of happiness, a different standard of judgment altogether. Behavior will change, and very likely it will change enough to make me appear rather odd--but then my Master was thought very odd.

Paul goes on to say that these conditions are "the only way to discover the will of God and know what is good, what it is that God wants, what is the perfect thing to do." No wonder we scratch our heads and ask, "What is the secret of knowing the will of God?" We haven't started at the right place--the offering of that all-inclusive sacrifice, our very bodies, and then the resolute refusal of the world's values.

"Make Thy paths known to me, O Lord; teach me Thy ways. Lead me in Thy truth and teach me; Thou art God my Savior."

Psalm 25:4, 5, NEB

"When we cannot see our way
Let us trust and still obey;
He who bids us forward go
Cannot fail the way to show.
Though the sea be deep and wide,
Though a passage seem denied,
Fearless let us still proceed,
Since the Lord vouchsafes to lead."


"If there is any man who fears the Lord, he shall be shown the path that he should choose."

Psalm 25:12, NEB

Tuesday, November 9

Glad News

In Psalm 40, David publicly praises the Lord for his deliverance and faithfulness. It was a great reminder that I need to remember to share the blessings and mercies the Lord has shown me with my fellow believers. It is good to share both our burdens AND our joys; let us encourage one another with all He has done for us!

Psalm 40:9-10
I have told the glad news of deliverance
in the great congregation;
behold, I have not restrained my lips,
as you know, O LORD.
I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.

Sunday, October 31

The Skies Proclaim

alm 19:1-4a (NIV)

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.

There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.

Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.

Wednesday, October 27

Flawless Perfection

I'm currently reading through the Psalms and I love reading verses about the flawless perfection of God's word. In a far from perfect world, it is wonderful to know we can find sustenance and joy in Him. He brings light to the darkness and strength to the weak!

Psalm 18:28-30 (NIV)
You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.

With your help I can advance against a troop;
with my God I can scale a wall.

As for God, his way is perfect;
the word of the LORD is flawless.
He is a shield
for all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 19:7-9 (ESV)
The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.

The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.

The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever.
The ordinances of the LORD are sure
and altogether righteous.

Monday, September 27

Filled with Joy & Peace and Overflowing with Hope

Romans 15:13 (NIV)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Jude 24-25 (NIV)
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

Tuesday, August 31

The Word of the Lord Remains Forever

1 Peter 1:20-25 (ESV)
He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for

"All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
but the word of the Lord remains forever."

And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

Wednesday, July 28


When editing my photos, I'm always struck anew with wonder at the beauty of the flowers of the fields. May I never cease to be awed by the splendor of God's creation!

Psalm 148:7-14 (ESV)
Praise the LORD from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy wind fulfilling his word!

Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
Beasts and all livestock,
creeping things and flying birds!

Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
Young men and maidens together,
old men and children!

Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
his majesty is above earth and heaven.
He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his saints,
for the people of Israel who are near to him.
Praise the LORD!

Saturday, June 19

To him who has no might...

As several of you have probably heard - we're expecting! We're very excited (ref. my April 1 post), and our daughter can't wait to find out if she's going to have a baby sister or a baby brother. This pregnancy has been much more difficult than my first and I've been sick for going on ten weeks now.

This week I received a thoughtful note of encouragement from a dear friend and she included the verses below. I must confess that although these are very familiar to me, I haven't given thought to them at all recently. This proves to me yet again how I can never read the Bible enough. A passage I might be tempted to think of as an old standard can become a source of new refreshment. I hope you will be refreshed as well.

Isaiah 40:28-31 (ESV)

Have you not known? Have you not heard?

The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.

Even youths shall faint and be weary,

and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

Tuesday, June 15

Who was and is and is to come!

Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!
Revelation 4:8b (NIV)

As I mentioned in a previous post sometime just half a verse is enough to keep you thinking all day long. This verse from Revelation is quite simply nothing short of amazing. It gives me such a sense of joy and assurance to quote it aloud during trying times. How comforting it is to know our God cannot be contained by the constraints of time!

Tuesday, April 20

Slow Down

I haven't been feeling well this week and I've realized how hard it is for me to slow down. The song below by Third Day sums up my stuggle best. I'll post more on this topic soon.

Slow Down
by: Third Day, Revelation album, track 2

Tell me to slow down
If you think that the road that I'm on is going nowhere
Tell me to slow down
If you know that I'm going too fast for my own good
Tell me to slow down
If the way is leading to a dead end
Tell me to slow down
Turn around, let me change the way I'm going

Oh, I don't want to let go
Of all the things that I know
Are keeping me away from my life
Oh, I don't want to slow down
No, I don't want to look around
But I can't seem to work it out
So help me, God

Tell me to slow down
If you see that I'm running too fast in the wrong race
Tell me to slow down
If you think that I can't keep up with my own pace
Tell me to slow down
'Cause you know if there's ever any question
Tell me slow down
Turn around, and I'm changing my direction

Oh, I don't want to let go
Of all the things that I know
Are keeping me away from my life
Oh, I don't want to slow down
No, I don't want to look around
But I can't seem to work it out
So help me, God

Thursday, April 1

Life and breath and everything!

Praise to the Lord who gives us life!

Acts 17:24-28 (ESV)
The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for 'In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we are indeed his offspring.'

Psalm 127:3 (ESV)
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.

Friday, March 19

Wisdom from above is...

James 3 begins with a somber warning against the misuse of our tongue particularly against using our tongue to curse others and stir up dissension. The chapter ends with a contrast of worldly wisdom vs. wisdom from above. One of the things I love about the Word is that it contains both specific admonishments to guard ourselves from unrighteous acts, as well as specific disciplines to cultivate and pursue.

James 3:13-18 (ESV)
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Sunday, February 28

Equipped with everything good for every good work

What a wonderful and generous God we serve! So many times he reminds us that he provides all that we need to follow him; he preserves us through his word and by his might. I pray these scriptures would encourage you as you persevere in pursuing his will.
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Hebrews 13:20-21 (ESV)

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)

Grace be with all of you. Hebrews 13:25 (ESV)

Sunday, February 7

The Radiance of the Glory of God!

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. Hebrews 1:3a (ESV)

Typically I don't like to cut off a verse in the middle, but this sentence alone gives me an overwhelming amount of wonderful revelation to meditate on. I pray that it would bless your hearts as well. Grace & peace to each of you this lovely Sunday evening!

Wednesday, January 6

Gentleness & Repentance

Lately I've been doing a lot of thinking about how I want to characterize my involvement in the pro-life movement. Through my time in the Word, prayer, and conversations with family and friends, I am convinced that any ministry I commit to must have the gospel at it's heart. Regarding abortion, it can become a temptation to vilify opponents instead of desiring for them to find freedom in Christ. The verses below from 2 Timothy 2 give excellent advice on how to correct opponents of the truth: with gentleness. I pray that I would keep the gospel in the forefront of my heart not just in my pro-life pursuits but in all aspects of my life. Once I was a captive but now I have been reconciled; may this be my hope for all!

2 Timothy 2:24-26 (ESV)
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
Colossians 1:21-23 (NIV)
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation — if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.