Titus 2:11-13

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July 14th: A Day of Rejoicing

Today marks the two-year anniversary of my miscarriage of the baby we named Ande Lynn.  As anyone who has ever suffered the loss of a baby knows, the emotional and physical pain of miscarriage is very real and very deep.  God has, however, brought healing to our hearts through time and through His promises; and He has brought me to a point where I can now rejoice rather than mourn on this day of remembrance.  I rejoice because Ande is already with the Lord, and I rejoice because I have the hope of one day joining him/her there.

Because this day, July 14th, has become to us a day of rejoicing--and because it will always be a special day in our hearts--we have decided to use it in a way that reflects the hope that we have in Jesus.  Recently, Travis and I felt led to sponsor a child through Gospel For Asia's Bridge of Hope program, a program that gives poor boys and girls throughout South Asia an education, daily meals, and medical checkups in a Christian environment.  Through this, children (and their families) are not only introduced to Jesus, but they are also given a way out of the poverty and bondage that the Hindu caste system otherwise enslaves them to.  Since GFA's Bridge of Hope page has a "search by birthday" feature, we decided to use July 14th as our means of selecting a child to sponsor.

So, today is not only the anniversary of a loss.  It is also a sweet Indian girl's 11th birthday!  Happy birthday to Ramya!  We have not yet had any correspondence with her, but we pray for her regularly; and we hope that she will (or does) know the love of Jesus which clothes us, feeds us, and sets us free!

To God be the glory both now and forevermore!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Living WELL

I woke up this morning extremely tired. With my husband being out of town for the day, I knew this tired mommy was going to need an extra dose of grace to make it through the day well (i.e. with patience, with sufficient energy, with graceful speech, with a good attitude). And so, I simply and succinctly asked God to give me grace today.

A little while later, my friend Stacey text messaged me offering to take Abel and Amariah to Adventureland for the afternoon so that I could have a little break. Knowing how much fun the kids would have, I couldn't say no! As soon as they left, I began considering how I should spend the time, wanting to do the thing that would be most refreshing to me. I put Isabel and Elliana down for their naps, grabbed my Bible, and sat down on the couch for some "R and R" (in this case, Reading and Refreshment)!

I spent most of nap time reading through the book of 2 Corinthians, underlining the verses that stood out to me as I went along. (There were a lot of them--much to meditate on!) When I finished reading the letter in its entirety, I went back through and reread the underlined verses. As I did so, I recognized that God was speaking to me through these verses in what seemed to me a common theme: living well. Living in such a way as to not just "get through the day," but to do it well.

Dear God,

Please help me to live well. Help me to "comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which [I myself am] comforted by [You]" (1:4). Help me to speak because I believe (4:13). Help me to look at not the things which are seen--the temporal--but at the things which are not seen--the eternal (4:18). Help me to have as my ambition to be pleasing to You (5:9). Help me to live not for myself but "for Him who died and rose again on [my] behalf" (5:15). Help me to "be separate" (6:17). Help me to be "sorrowful to the point of repentance" (7:9). Help me to "sow bountifully" (9:6). Help me to be she "whom the Lord commends" (10:18).

Thank You, God, for this time of refreshing by the water of Your Word. Thank You for dying that I might have life; and thank You for asking me--and equipping me--to live it well!


Monday, July 5, 2010

An Answered Prayer

Recently, I wrote out this prayer.

Dear God,

Please take my life and use it for Your pleasure.  Often, when I stop and consider myself, I can't help but wonder what the purpose of my life is.  I feel like I'm not "doing" anything for You, and I don't like that.  And yet, I feel powerless and inadequate to change that.  God, please call me and equip me to do Your will.  I want to live this life to the fullest.  When I stand before You one day, I want to have no regrets.  I want to hear You say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."  I feel like I am far from being a good and faithful servant.  God, please change me.  Implant in me a deep desire to work for You--a desire so deep that no amount of fear can hold me back.  Replace my fear with zeal, excitement, boldness, and every other quality that the Lord's bondslave must possess.  God, I have this weakness in that I tend to tune out what's going on around me.  I get so wrapped up in my thoughts or my tasks that I become completely oblivious to my surroundings.  God, please change that about me lest I continue in this pattern and tune You out, becoming oblivious to what You are doing around me.  How terrible would that be!  God, let me be tuned in to You at all times and under all circumstances so that I don't miss Your call or even just the opportunity to commune with You.  Draw me close, God, for I desire to draw near to You.  I want to know You more.  Oh, how I look forward to the day when I will "know fully" (1 Cor 13:12)!  But until that day comes, dear God, help me to live for You.  Call me.  Equip me.  Use me.  I am Yours!

I never intended to share this prayer here, but now it seems that I must.  You see, the day after I prayed this, God began answering.  A situation arose, and I knew without a doubt that God was calling me to respond in a certain way.  In fact, I knew that my disobedience would undoubtedly lead to my regret (see Romans 14:12).  He was asking me to do something that my flesh was unwilling to do; but praise be to God, for He equipped me with the faith to obey!  It is on the heels of this that I pray...

Dear God,

I am in awe of You.... Thank You for so quickly answering my prayer and for giving me the faith to obey You.  Although it was hard, it feels good to obey Your call and to be used by You. I am so grateful to be Your bondslave, dear God.  Please continue to call me, equip me, and use me as You see fit; and give me the grace and the faith to obey!  Amen!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...