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: June, 2013

Want to Change the World? Sponsor a Child

Want to Change the World? Sponsor a Child

What an interesting read on if sponsoring a child is making an actual effect…

When You’re in the Crosshairs of Anxiety

When You’re in the Crosshairs of Anxiety

The Lord of glory unifies creation under the reign of Christ in the Holy Spirit’s bond of peace; the Devil, on the other hand, comes to steal, kill and destroy. He divides and conquers. It is a strategy that has been around from the inception of sin. The Son of Man sows good seed into his field, producing a harvest of life that redounds to God’s glory; the Devil sows weeds that threaten to choke it out. Such is the pattern. The Father extends his hand of redemption to subdue and organize the chaotic creation under his care; sin manufactures more and more chaos.

When the chaos of sin engages one’s soul, anxiety naturally follows. The word translatedanxiety in Philippians 4:6 comes from the Greek word merimnao. It gathers meaning from the words merizo “to divide” and nous “mind.” This divided mind is the unhappy condition of the man whom the Apostle James describes as “double-minded, unstable in all his ways” (1:8). Such instability routinely focuses on the object of anxiety to the exclusion of God. In such moments, the sick feeling in our stomach and shortness of breath in our chest confirms that flaming darts have pierced our spiritual armor. We’ve been hit, and we are in trouble.

 

Jesus says, “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Why nothing? Because without Christ we are stuck in the underworld of anxiety without hope of release. Sure, one can pretend to have escaped anxiety, distracting himself through drink or amusement, but these merely provide a momentary release. Only in childlike dependence on Christ, expressed through humble prayer, do we realize genuine liberation.

When you’re in the crosshairs of anxiety, get alone with God, read aloud his promises of salvation—which are more certain than the breath that we breathe—and, as you cast your cares upon him, may the peace of Christ be yours.

 

Been feeling a bit anxious lately……

Forgiveness?

Time and time again, I find myself asking, “Why is it so hard for me to forgive?”

What’s so hard about saying those two words,

I’m sorry

and meaning it.

It’s seems it is all but a simple action, but we all know too well that it is a complex notion that buries deep within one self. It’s obviously more than just two words put together to complete a phrase. What’s behind them? What do I feel like I am losing by saying it? Do I think I’m “losing” and that there is actually someone who is “right” and someone who is “wrong”? Does my pride get in the way of this, blinding me when I should be stepping down. And instead I puff myself up even more as if I am in a fierce battle.

My once innocent child-like notion to trust others easily has been tainted and corrupted. I don’t trust easily, even is a struggle to completely trust in God. And not just that, if you lose my trust, the thought of recovering that trust is unthinkable. My inability to trust, I think, goes hand-in-hand with my inability to forgive. Because if there’s a need for me to forgive someone, it means some sort of trust has been broken, no? Some sort of betrayal, maybe insignificant, maybe not. Whatever the case, something was lost. And for someone to gain that back, I would say, its near impossible, at this moment in time.

I want to change that though. What could a person do so inexplicably wrong that their trust cannot be regained? If anything, we murder God on a daily basis with our words and our actions, and we’re redeemed, we’re saved from damnation of Hell. So compared to that, what individuals do onto us is nothing compared to what we do onto God. Its so much more worse, more than we’d ever know.

So knowing all this (in my head), you would think my heart would naturally follow. But of course not. Oh the folly of humans. Sin. Sin in its greatest disguise. It makes you think you are in control, that you are able to steer yourself away from temptations, and maybe you can in more occasions than not, but then, in the deep darkness, it waits, patiently, for the right opportune to strike and watch you fall aimlessly into sin.

But what next? We get back up with the help of God’s strength and his grace. He brushes us off and tells us we’re renewed again in His image and we are made perfect through Him. We (hopefully) learn from our mistakes and continue to struggle with Christ alongside. This, all I know, but in practice? Well, that’s a different story.

This is definitely my story, where I keep failing over and over again. To the point of exhaustion and frustration. I want to overcome it the next time around. Tomorrow, I say. Tomorrow I’ll forgive them. I’ll trust them. But then sin overtakes me and I’m once again bitter, sad, angry, and everything I shouldn’t be. But fortunately, that’s not where the story ends. The story is continual, where I do fail, but with each failure comes with some form of redemption in my heart. To see my own failure and to recognize the depth of my own sin. All because of Him, an amazing savior that has come for me.

I guess what brought upon this post, is the video below. A beautiful story about redemption and forgiveness, when it seems like all hope is lost. When betrayal strikes, and trust is gone. How do you start up again? How do you forgive? How do you learn to trust once again? When I think about those questions, I come up blank, I honestly don’t know how. Because it’s all through Him, and Him alone.

Just watching the video, and watching forgiveness/trust being redeemed right in front of you is amazing. It reminds us that truly God is here, in the now, and He is redeeming and sanctifying our thoughts, our actions, our worthlessness in all the hours of the day. He doesn’t come at the end to reap the benefits, but is with us through the whole process, beginning to end, in all the gritty and dirtyness of it. It gives me much hope for myself. Because sometimes it hard to see that light at the end of the tunnel, when darkness surrounds you, but alas, it is there, He is there. I’m hopeful that one day I’ll be healed and restored in the likeness of Him.

Even in our worst, He brings out our best.

When Love leads

David and Marlena, on the brink of divorce, discover where true Love and satisfaction are found in this story of redemption and forgiveness.
To view more stories visit: austinstone.org/stories

 

And to see a Godly man that could have easily chosen a different path, chose to stick it through…“Christ did not stop pursuing and loving the church, so i’m not gonna stop pursing and loving my wife…”

I’ve learned th…

I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as ‘making a life’

– Maya Angelou

I am convinced …

I am convinced that most people do not grow up…We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies, and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias.

― Maya Angelou

Kings Kaleidoscope – “All Glory Be to Christ”

What Makes God Proud

What Makes God Proud

When we desire this city more than we desire all that this world can give, God is not ashamed to be called our God. When we make much of all he promises to be for us, he is proud to be our God. This is good news.

So open your eyes to the better country and the city of God, and let yourself desire it with all your heart. God will not be ashamed to be called your God.

How We Imagined the Internet Before the Internet Even Existed

How We Imagined the Internet Before the Internet Even Existed

Korean pastor fighting epidemic of abandoned babies with anonymous ‘Baby Box’

Lee Jong-rak is a Korean pastor in South Korea. A simple man with a huge purpose, Pastor Jong-rak saw a devastating problem. He thought of a way he could change it, and he became a prophetic voice to his society. His story is a story of faith. A story of hope. A story of love. And when you hear this heroic tale, you just may never be the same.

Lee Jong-rak is the creator of the Baby Box. His Baby Box is the first and only box in Korea that is for collecting abandoned babies who are physically or mentally handicapped or are just unwanted by their mothers.

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/korean-pastor