Beauty from ashes

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a] 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. – Isaiah 61: 1-3

Month: August, 2012

More Thoughts on Friends Who Fail You

By: John Piper

Last Sunday’s message struck a chord with many when I spoke of Christian friends letting you down. I argued that sometimes they forsake you never to return — like Demas. He loved “the present world,” and so abandoned the great apostle who craved the Lord’s appearing more than he craved the world (2 Timothy 4:8).

And, even more relevant, we saw that many friends let you down but can and should remain your friends and your partners in ministry. Paul said that nobody from his team or from the church in Rome showed up to stand by him at his trial (2 Timothy 4:16). Nobody. Not Luke or Eubulus or Pudens or Linus or Claudia or any of “the brothers” (2 Timothy 4:21).

Nevertheless Paul graciously includes them with himself in greeting Timothy, and writes, “May it not be charged against them!” (2 Timothy 4:16). Amazing. Beautiful. Their fellowship survived this painful moment of abandonment.

After the sermon one of my own partners in ministry, Amanda Knoke, Director of Communications at Bethlehem, pointed me to C. S. Lewis’s wise words on this issue. Here’s what he said to “An American Lady.”

I think what one has to remember when people “hurt” one is that in 99 cases out of a 100 they intended to hurt very much less, or not at all, and are often quite unconscious of the whole thing. I’ve learned this from the cases in which I was the “hurter.” When I have been really wicked and angry and meant to be nasty, the other party never cared or even didn’t notice. On the other hand, when I have found out afterwards that I had deeply hurt someone, it has dearly always been quite unconscious on my part. (C. S. Lewis, Letters to an American Lady, Grand Rapids, 1967, 57)

Amanda connected this with Proverbs. 19:11, “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”

Yes. And we should keep our eyes fixed on Jesus who was abandoned by all 11 of his apostles, and was denied by Peter. Then he built the church on them!

We look to Jesus not only because he was the great model of holding onto friends who let him down, but also because he died and rose again to be the joyful bond of broken and restored friendships.

So keep Jesus before your eyes, and pray this into your heart: “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends” (1 Corinthians 13:7–8).

Whatever you do, don’t let the failure of your Christian friends become the basis for abandoning the one Friend who never fails.

http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/more-thoughts-on-friends-who-fail-you

what I constantly wrestle with…God break my heart for what breaks yours…

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August 29, 2012…

August 29, 2012 12am

All I can do is pray…

frustrating at times, but also humbling as well. Knowing that I’m not in control does give me comfort as well, because it sure would fail if I was. 

God, please use this opportunity to break me down and to remind myself that I can’t do anything in my power. And if anything, my reasonings have selfish motives behind them. You know what is best for him, and you know what he needs. I pray for healing….

(didnt post last night due to falling asleep…) 

Your love never fails, it…

Your love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me.

Whatever you do, work at …

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive and inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Colossians 3:23-24

“Is prayer your steering…

“Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?”

a little left behind

Everyone around me is in grad school or in some sort of school somewhat. I feel a little left behind. Although I will be taking a class or two this semester, it’s not the same. I feel like I’ve been trying for a long time to get back to school and I actually would love to go back. I want to major in architecture and do something with my life.

I’m getting a little antsy.

What I’m a little afraid of is what if ‘architecture’ is not part of what God has planned for me.

Five Reasons Why Catechisms Are Important

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The English word “catechize” simply means to teach biblical truth in an orderly way. In his introduction to The Baptist Catechism, John Piper explains the biblical support for a pattern of doctrine: there is a “pattern of teaching” (Romans 6:17), a “pattern of sound words” (2 Timothy 1:13).

But not only is there a precedent, such authoritative instruction is absolutely vital. Pastor John gives five reasons why:

  1. We are required to “continue in the faith, stable and steadfast” (Colossians 1:23).
  2. We are urged to “attain to the unity of the… knowledge of the Son of God…so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:13-14).
  3. There are many deceivers (1 John 2:26).
  4. There are difficult doctrines “which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16).
  5. Leaders must be raised up who can “give instruction in sound doctrine and also confute those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9).

Download “The Baptist Catechism” with Commentary from John Piper (PDF).

http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/five-reasons-why-catechisms-are-important

Unexpected beauty

12:30pm

I guess to continue my thoughts from my last post, man these past few months have been a ride, to say the least. Many things have happened, many of which I never expected or could have even imagined them happening just 4 months earlier.

Just when I think I’m good, know what I’m doing & where I’m going, and I think “I got this”, God just throws me a fast one and makes me realize again, I am utterly lost and weak when I’m the one trying to be in the driver’s seat.  Through my own accomplishments, nothing can be achieved, because I’m not the God of my own life. I have no idea what to do and I’m just driving aimlessly, however, I’m thinking/pretending/convincing myself that I know where I’m going, I just need to drive and I’m good.  My dependence should not be on myself and by my own efforts, but on on Him and Him alone.  A continual reminder of that is needed as I continue to fail in this aspect of my life, in my failure to trust in Him alone. However, that’s not where the story ends. It doesn’t end with me failing and losing everything, but with God reaching out for me, even though I fail him everyday, every hour. His unconditional love and patience for me is so amazing, I don’t think I can even fathom what this could feel like. To be always the one that’s giving and expecting nothing, absolutely nothing in return. Giving His undeserving love to me, when I’ve done nothing right. That’s the gospel right there. The good news. I deserve to plunge into the depths of Hell and even more. But for some unknown reason, He decided to save me, a sinner like me, by sending His precious son down to a die a shameful death in my place. All my bad identity and sickness is placed upon Him and all His great identity comes to us- double imputation.

There is beauty found in the most unexpected of times and situations…

I feel so unworthy to be called Your child, Lord. For a child wouldn’t be like this to their “abba” Father.

Some time to write…

August 16, 2012     1pm

Yes, I haven’t posted in awhile. Today is the first day that I feel like I actually have time to write in here.

It felt very weird to wake up this morning and not feel like I have to be somewhere (summer school/RFM). It felt weird not to feel incredibly busy and rushed.

Oh man, these past 2 months flew by very quickly. I can’t believe that it’s already mid-August.