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Thoughts from Luther and Calvin...

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"If anyone attempted to rule the world by the gospel and to abolish all temporal law and sword on the plea that all are baptized and Christian, and that, according to the gospel, there shall be among them no law or sword - or need for either - pray tell me, friend, what would he be doing? He would be loosing the ropes and chains of the savage wild beasts and letting them bite and mangle everyone, meanwhile insisting that they were harmless, tame, and gentle creatures; but I would have the proof in my wounds. Just so would the wicked under the name of Christian abuse evangelical freedom, carry on their rascality, and insist that they were Christians subject neither to law nor sword, as some are already raving and ranting.



To such a one we must say: Certainly it is true that Christians, so far as they themselves are concerned, are subject neither to law nor sword, and have need of neither. But take heed and first fill the world with real Christians before you attempt to rule it in…

Sit Quietly With Me...

Sit quietly with Me, letting all your fears and worries bubble up to the surface of your consciousness. There, in the light of My Presence, the bubbles pop and disappear. However, some fears surface over and over again, especially fear of the future. You tend to project yourself mentally into the next day, week, month, year, decade; and you visualize yourself coping badly in those times. What you are seeing is a false image, because it doesn't include Me. Those gloomy times that you imagine will not come to pass, since My Presence will be with you at all times.
When a future-oriented worry assails you, capture it and disarm it by suffusing the Light of My Presence  into that mental image. Say to yourself, "Jesus will be with me then and there. With His help, I can cope!" Then, come home to the present moment, where you can enjoy Peace in My Presence.

Luke 12:22-26; Deuteronomy 31:6; 2 Corinthians 10:5

Jesus Calling: Sarah Young

Just Breathing...

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I had to step away from working on what feels to be the longest paper of my life. However, come Tuesday morning my semester is over and I will feel like a new woman. It will be through the grace of God alone that I get done what I need to get done.

I'm sitting at home burning my Cassia Clove candle, I have the windows open because it is a beautiful 60 degree weather out and the sun is shining. I could hear the wind chimes and wind blowing in the trees and I cannot help but stop and just marvel at the God we serve. It was a rough night for me last night...lack of sleep, stressed out with school papers, Zoe's eye problem (my dog), trying to move out, knowing I need to save more, I want to get in shape, all those sorts of shenanigans. I just had to STOP and realize that through Christ I still have joy admist the business and life things. My life is not going to slow down any time soon and I still have a year of school left.

I realized I had begun to lose focus of "just brea…

Some of my Favorite Quotes as of Late...

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C.S. Lewis: Let us always long to hear the stories of grace in others' lives. Every conversion is the story of a blessed defeat.
Martin Luther: I've held many things n my hands, & I've lost them all; but whatever I've placed n God's hands, that I still possess.


"If we are to have any satisfying and lasting understanding of life, it must be divinely given." AW Tozer

God orchestrates ALL things. We're not in control of ANYTHING. Our role: strive to respond faithfully to what He's doing. - Trip Lee

Couples don’t fall out of love so much as they fall out of repentance – Gary Thomas

One of the consequences of covetousness is that it destroys the capacity to discern sufficiency. -James MacDonald

"Foolishness controls the man who is open to no one's counsel & the person who sees little need to study God's Word" - Paul Tripp

We trust God's purposes, so we don't fear present circumstances.
The beauty of having been made brand–new…

Patience...A Lasting Virtue

PATIENCE

A LASTING VIRTUE

By R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

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Most of us recognize that patience is one of the cardinal Christian virtues – we’re just in no hurry to obtain it. Others just define patience as a delay in getting what we want. As Margaret Thatcher once famously remarked: “I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.” In today’s fast-paced society and self-centered culture, patience is quickly disappearing, even among Christians.

Patience is not optional for the Christian. The apostle Paul repeatedly commanded Christians to demonstrate patience to each other. In fact, this is a critical test of Christian authenticity. True Christian character, the very evidence of regeneration, is seen in authentic patience.

In the New Testament, the apostle Paul instructed the Ephesian Christians to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentl…

Maturing...leads to hope!

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“Maturity in Christ should prepare and equip one for change, not debilitate him. Maturity in Christ, then, should lead to hope." ~ Adams

This made me think a lot and is so true...think on this...biblically search it out. I believe the more we see Christ in our lives and put Him first the more we begin to put our lives in perspective and see what hope we have in the Lord.

the veil he tore...

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I was listening to this song this morning on the way to work and it got me realizing that I serve an amazing God. I never have thought about it before but the song starts off with us, how he searches us, and knows us and loves us even when we fail. Then it goes on to say what the Lord has done for us despite who we are. He chose us before everything and our sin. He chose to save us and bring us in communion with the Lord for eternity. Not only did he do this for us, but he did it at His greatest suffering. It is something I think about, but today it hit me really hard, that at that moment in time on the cross, He was thinking of me and you and how much He loved us. At that moment He tore the veil and made a way for us to live in union with the Father. What sacrifice and love! I am forever changed because of this!

Oh Lord You've searched me
You know my ways
Even when I fail You
I know You love me

Your holy presence
Surrounding it
In every season
I know You love me

You go before me
You shiel…

"Quiet you with His love"

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“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quietyou with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."
(Zephaniah 3:17) In daily moments of life I hope to remember this! This is one of my most favorite verses. It speaks so much truth, but so much love. It makes me want to sit alone with the Lord and tune all else out and just soak in WHO HE IS! Let's not forget to take moments daily to do that!

Still I will sing...

C. H. Spurgeon

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"God, my Maker, who giveth songs in the night."—Job 35:10.

ANY man can sing in the day. When the cup is full, man draws inspiration from it. When wealth rolls in abundance around him, any man can praise the God who gives a plenteous harvest or sends home a loaded argosy. It is easy enough for an Aeolian harp to whisper music when the winds blow—the difficulty is for music to swell forth when no wind is stirring. It is easy to sing when we can read the notes by daylight; but he is skilful who sings when there is not a ray of light to read by—who sings from his heart. No man can make a song in the night of himself; he may attempt it, but he will find that a song in the night must be divinely inspired. Let all things go well, I can weave songs, fashioning them wherever I go out of the flowers that grow upon my path; but put me in a desert, where no green thing grows, and wherewith sh…

Jesus Calling...

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I wanted to share with you something my Mother passes out to everyone and rightly so. It is a wonderful devotional by Sarah Young and I would recommend everyone owning one! Here are a few blurps from it.

Refresh yourself in the Peace of My Presence.


This Peace can be your portion at all times and in all circumstances. Learn to hide in the secret of My Presence, even as you carry out your duties in the world. I am both with you and within you. I go before you to open up the way, and I also walk alongside you. There could never be another companion as devoted as I am.

Because I am your constant Companion, there should be a lightness to your step that is observable to others. Do not be weighed down with problems and unresolved issues, for I am your burden-bearer. In the world you have trials and distress, but don't let them get you down. I have conquered the world and deprived it of power to harm you. In Me you may have confident Peace.

Psalm 31:19-20 (NASB); John 16:33 (AMP)

I want yo…

God Sustains...

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A.H. Strong said: "Christ is the originator and upholder of the universe...In him it consists, or holds together, from hour to hour. The steady will of Christ constitutes the law of the universe and makes it a cosmos instead of a chaos, just as his will brought it into being in the beginning."

He...brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them missing. Isaiah 40:26
God constantly sustains His creation."He himself gives all men life and breath and everything else...For in Him we live and move and have our being." Acts 17:25,28 He supplies our food, we know that our times are in His hands and He cares about every moment of every day. We serve an amazing and sovereign God. As I was reminded today, there is nothing that compares to living in the moment by moments with Christ. We cannot do it on our own, because our plans will be frustrated, but with Him He works all things for His good …

Christ’s Glory Lifts the Shamed

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I love this and wanted to share this with you!

By: Winston Smith

Biblically speaking, glory and shame are two things that couldn’t be more different. Shame is about defilement. We feel shame because of things we’ve done or had done to us that make us feel dirty, worthless, and afraid. Our instinct in shame is to cover up and hide. We beg not to be looked upon let alone touched. Glory, on the other hand, is about what is beautiful, good, and noble. Glorious things are proclaimed, shouted from rooftops, a cause for celebration. Glorious things are the things that beg to be spoken of and looked upon because they are so magnificent. But to the shamed, the glorious is off limits. The shamed don’t want to be seen by anyone, much less the glorious. Remember Isaiah’s experience of the Lord’s glory in the Temple? “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” (Is 6:5). For the …

The Secret of True Obedience

As I was meeting with my Exponent/Bible Study girls we began talking about the importance of continual obedience. We spoke of Moses' life as well as what it looks like for us today. Obedience is essential in our walk with the Lord. It is not for us to get something out of it, but it is because we love the Lord we walk in obedience. John 14:15 says, "If you love me, you will obey what I command." Let us learn to walk in obedience continually! Here is one of my favorite things I have found on this topic from Andrew Murray

'He learned obedience.' - Heb. 5:8
The secret of true obedience-let me say at once what I believe it to be-is the clear and close personal relationship to God. All our attempts after full obedience will be failures until we get access to His abiding fellowship. It is God's holy presence, consciously abiding with us, that keeps us from disobeying Him.
Defective obedience is always the result of a defective life. To rouse and spur on that defecti…

THE VISION AND THE VERITY

"Called to be saints." 1 Corinthians 1:2

Thank God for the sight of all you have never yet been. You have had the vision, but you are not there yet by any means. It is when we are in the valley, where we prove whether we will be the choice ones, that most of us turn back. We are not quite prepared for the blows which must come if we are going to be turned into the shape of the vision. We have seen what we are not, and what God wants us to be, but are we willing to have the vision "batter'd to shape and use" by God? The batterings always come in commonplace ways and through commonplace people.


There are times when we do know what God's purpose is; whether we will let the vision be turned into actual character depends upon us, not upon God. If we prefer to loll on the mount and live in the memory of the vision, we will be of no use actually in the ordinary stuff of which human life is made up. We have to learn to live in reliance on what we saw in the vision…

Workmanship...

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God calls us to do His work. This is His plan from before creation: Ephesians 1:4-2:10


Ephesians 1:4-2:10 (New International Version)

4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he[a] predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—What does this mean?6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9And he[b] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

11In him we were also chosen,[c] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works …

God's Providence...His Bride!

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I was reading through one of my favorite books again called Trusting God by Jerry Bridges. There are a few things I wanted to share with you from the beginning of his book that have helped reform my thinking of God on a daily basis.

"God's providence is His constant care for and His absolute rule over all His creation for His own glory and the good of His people. Again, note the absolute terms: constant care, absolute rule, all creation. Nothing, not even the smallest virus, escapes His care and control." "All people -- believers as well as unbelievers -- experience anxiety, frustration, heartache, and disappointment. Some suffer intense physical pain and catastrophic tragedies. But that which should distinguish the suffering of believers from unbelievers is the confidence that our suffering is under the control of an all-powerful and all-loving God; our suffering has meaning and purpose in God's eternal plan, and He brings or allows to come into our lives only th…

Jehovah Shalom

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The name of God is Jehovah - The name of God is Yahweh
The name of God is Elohim - My Creator
The name of God is El Elyon - Most High God (Sovereign Over All)
The name of God is Adonai - My Lord, My Master
The name of God is El Roi - God Who Sees
The name of God is El Shaddai - God Almighty
The name of God is Jehovah Ezer - The LORD our Helper
The name of God is Jehovah Jireh - The LORD Will Provide
The name of God is Jehovah Rapha - The LORD our Healer
The name of God is Jehovah Roi - The Lord is My Shepherd
The name of God is Jehovah Sabaoth - LORD of hosts (of armies)
The name of God is Jehovah Mekeddeshem - LORD Who Sanctifies
The name of God is Jehovah Nissi -The LORD Our Banner
The name of God is Jehovah Rapha - LORD Who Heals
The name of God is Jehovah Shalom - The LORD our Peace  
The name of God is Jehovah Shammah - The LORD is There
This is MY GOD! I am getting to know the Lord more and more each day. Learning His names and character are vital. I have found that throughout the day I am…

“Sing forth the honour of his name, make his praise glorious.”

“Sing forth the honour of his name, make his praise glorious.”

Psalm 66:2
It is not left to our own option whether we shall praise God or not. Praise is God’s most righteous due, and every Christian, as the recipient of his grace, is bound to praise God from day to day. It is true we have no authoritative rubric for daily praise; we have no commandment prescribing certain hours of song and thanksgiving: but the law written upon the heart teaches us that it is right to praise God; and the unwritten mandate comes to us with as much force as if it had been recorded on the tables of stone, or handed to us from the top of thundering Sinai. Yes, it is the Christian’s duty to praise God. It is not only a pleasurable exercise, but it is the absolute obligation of his life. Think not ye who are always mourning, that ye are guiltless in this respect, or imagine that ye can discharge your duty to your God without songs of praise. You are bound by the bonds of his love to bless his name so long as …

...the beauty of being a branch...

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I am going to start a daily blog! Now I just need to breathe and figure out how that's going to happen! HA! There is so much the Lord has been teaching me through this time in my life. I have to come to realize that it is the small moments each day that make me stop and realize I serve an amazing God!
I recently read this quote:
"A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." I loved this! It is so relevant to many of our lives today, especially our walk with the Lord. We were created/built for so much more! Christ tells us in John that we have the same Spirit in us and He had here on earth. How powerful is that and what are we doing about that today? I would beg to say we do not access that power we have and end up relying on ourselves. The beauty of being a branch: John 15 1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it…

Pure Freedom...

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We want freedom to do what we want to do, yet that never seems to satisfy. We were created to be dependent on God, Romans 1! Striving for freedom ends up in ultimate slavery…if you’re not dependent on God you’re dependent on something or someone else. Where does that lead you? Often times I hear, especially in young people…being a Christian isn’t fun you can’t have fun or do fun things. I would beg to differ. There is so much freedom and pure joy in following the Lord. Your heart desires the things of the world so it is easy to think that is what you need, but in reality what you need is Christ. God gives us a different view of what it means to truly live. There is eternal satisfaction in the Lord and a hope that nothing of this world can offer.
Psalm 145:16
"You open your hand;you satisfy the desire of every living thing."
Psalm 103:17

"But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,and his righteousness to children’s chi…

A Treasure...A Pearl...England...

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God has changed me through traveling. I have often thought it was the people and it was the cultures that so impacted me and my love for traveling, but I am realizing more and more all of my travels, missions oriented or not have been to grow me closer to the Lord (while often times using the people). Whether it was from one end to the other of the earth and in between...England out of all of these trip has shown me Jesus in a new light and who He is in my life. By His GRACE am I saved and I thank Him for that. He shows me different facets of Himself in each of these places I have traveled. That has been the beauty of my travels. He reveals His character. This time it was His love for us...we so often deny and sin against our Lord yet He chooses to love us still. He showed me how to love and love genuinely.
We had the opportunity to spend time in the schools over there. That in itself was an amazing opportunity and something we would not have been able to do in America. We broke into …

Our Standard!

“The Bible must be our standard.


Whenever we are confronted with

a question about Christian

practice, we must apply the

teaching of the Bible. Sometimes

the Bible will deal with it directly,

and we must go by its direct

teaching. Often the Bible will not

deal with it directly, and then we

must look for general principles to

guide us. It does not matter what

other people think. Their behavior

is not a standard for us. But the

Bible is a standard for us, and it is

by the Bible that we must live”

(J.C. Ryle, Walking with God)

The Word of God is our standard. As I have been sitting in classes this week and processing my time in England, it is the Bible that offers the only Hope that can change a person. God is sufficient and His Word is what guides us in our decisions and daily living.
God only guides or leads His people today:

1. By providence (we know it after the fact) – Proverbs 21:1
2. By Scripture (we can know it before we act) – Psalm 73:24
God is a gracious God who has provided…

His Disciple

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This is something I have had forever and just can across it again. It is something challenging and powerful stuff.
 His Disciple "that you should follow In His Steps" An African pastor was imprisioned by a group of rebels that demanded that he renounce his fatih. He refused, so they have him one night and told him if he did not renounce Chirst bny that morning they would kill him. That night before they took his life he wrote the following lines: I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of His. I won't look back, slow down, back away or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense and my future is secure. I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame vision, mundane talking, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotion, or popularity. I don&#…

The Beauty of Being Content in the Lord...

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It happened to be the last week of our Bible study with our girls on Saturday morning. We finished up in Philippians 4:10-23. It was a powerful lesson and I wanted to share with you some of the things that I learned through this lesson. It is about being confident that God is in control! There was a puritan writer by the name of Jeremiah Burroughs who defined contentment as: Christian contentment is that sweet inward quiet, that gracious frame of the spirit which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition. It is understanding and believing that when we are walking right with God and know that He is in control of all that happens to us, that brings His peace and contentment no matter the circumstance in our lives.
Discontentment comes when we want to control everything. It is essentially taking the place of God in our own lives and not trusting in His sovereign plan. People seek contentment and typically in the world they assume that cont…

We Have A Reason!

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I was listening to this song recently and I don't believe I have ever truly grasped what it means to be able to praise the Lord in every season. We have a reason to rejoice no matter and we have a reason to worship! It is in the times of trial and pain that I feel the presence of the Lord the most, but it is my desire to know Him like that no matter the season. When we feel dry, let's hunger still, when we're in pain and feel week, let our faith stand. I pray the Lord puts me through the fire constantly, that I am always being refined and turning to Him! We are co-heirs with Christ, how amazing is that. The part in this song that is my favorite is when they sing the bridge, "All of my life, in every season, I have a reason to sing, I have a reason to worship." Every bit of our life has a reason to worship the Lord and in every season of our life, no matter what. We have a reason to worship Him! Romans 5:20 gives us the proof through His grace and His love for us.…

There's A Hope That Never Fails!

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I was reminded the other day of how precious the faith of a child is and how we need that faith in our own lives daily. A friend of mine's son was at church for Easter and asked the teacher about heaven and needed to know right away. The teacher asked why, and he said because if Christ is in my heart, but he is in heaven now "resurrection Sunday", does that mean heaven is in my heart? It was precious and I am sure that I am telling just the basics of the story, but it was so amazing to me! I was then listening to this song in my car and it brought tears to my eyes at how amazing Heaven is and what a precious heart this little boy has, and that I need to have. When we do have Christ in our hearts, we have the ability to experience a little bit of Heaven each day. One of my favorite lines of this song is; there's a hope that never fails. We have a hope that never fails, that is huge! We need to think of Heaven more and who Christ really is and what it means to have Chr…