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the past few days have been quite interesting with the Lord.  sunday’s sermon was about the Nearness of God and my pastor made one point that has been sticking out in my head A LOT: the nearness of God is SAFETY. and he said when we begin to experience fear we tend to go into plan mode. we plan what to do and how to do it to rid ourselves of the fear. when in fact, what we should do is pause, stop and draw near to God. yesterday the Lord took me to psalm 27. when i got to the end of the psalm, it was as if the final verse screamed at me:

Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.

then this morning i read from good old oswald chambers’ devotional my utmost for His highest and this really stood out to me:

Our problems arise when we refuse to place our trust in the reality of His presence.

as i’ve been waiting on the Lord, feeling quite challenged to be still, trust, and know He is near, i began to wonder: if more people knew they could access the power of the Almighty, would they then believe? if people understood that the most amazing mystery of Christianity is that the Almighty, All-Powerful God of the Universe really does want to talk to them, to engage with them and give them the ultimate freedom for life that can only come from Him. if people knew that as mere human beings we can access that power and His infinite wisdom, would they want it? would they consider knowing Jesus?

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we were just about to the point in the trail where we would repel down the rock wall to where we would spend the day climbing. we came to the most narrow place in the path. todd, our guide, was in front of me and peter was behind me. todd had pretty much all the climbing gear, ropes, carabiners, cam locks, etc. his pack probably weighed about 40 lbs. i had my measly backpack with my harness, shoes, water bottles and some snacks. peter had his backpack with pretty much the same contents but he also had a rope in a rope bag hanging over him.

back to the narrow place in the path.

it was really narrow. to the left was a massive boulder. to the right was a 30 to 40 foot drop. a 30 to 40 foot drop down some major rocks. as we passed through the narrow part, i was a little nervous (i have had a heightened awareness of my own mortality since i attempted to summit mt. rainier) but it wasn’t until it occurred to me that peter, tall, like six-foot three tall peter was behind me. maneuvering around the branches on this narrow part of the path was hard enough for me at five-foot five and the branches were at my face–i couldn’t imagine having branches starting at my chest and trying to push them all out-of-the-way while crossing this super narrow space with gaps between the rocks we were walking on.

whew. we made it through the narrow part.

todd sets our ropes and peter and i prepare to repel down the wall. we put on our harnesses and enjoy the beautiful weather the Lord blessed us with and being outside with good company.

todd finishes setting the ropes and asks us if we’re ready to repel. we look at our harnesses and todd says, “hey peter, you gotta double-back your harness. i’m pretty sure lindsey would like you to make it down the repel and live the rest the day.” for those that don’t know, when climbing, you have to double back the waist belt and leg loops of your harness. that way they won’t come undone (like that crazy scene in the beginning of cliff hanger when sylvester stalone can’t rescue his woman… her harness wasn’t double-backed).

that’s why we have safety checks. so peter double-backed his harness and we were all set. all three of us repelled down the wall and enjoyed a day of climbing from that point forward.

but something really struck me in that moment. something i wasn’t prepared for and something that has stuck with me since last saturday. for the past three years since i’ve started climbing i haven’t really been all that concerned about the danger of it. i simply went about doing things that people might consider dangerous because it seemed like fun. it’s exciting. but something changed that day. suddenly i realized, there is this person i deeply care about doing this crazy dangerous stuff with me. suddenly the danger seemed to overtake the feeling of adventure. suddenly all that was at stake became real. one slip on the path, one lapse in safety measures and nothing would be the same.

this might seem overly dramatic to some, but i don’t think it is. through this experience the Lord showed me something profound. the greatest step of faith in my life to date, is choosing to trust God with peter’s life and my life. and committing to peter, means i’m committing to trusting God’s will for both of us. i know, duh linds. but when mortality comes into the picture, decisions take on a whole new perspective.

before i was blessed with peter i found it easier to trust the Lord with my life in these dangerous situations. truly believing (i know, this might sound morbid to some) that God has my life and if He chose to take it while doing some crazy dangerous thing that’s okay with me. but bring peter into the picture, and wow, my thoughts and feelings change dramatically.

i don’t naturally trust the Lord with peter’s life like i have trusted the Lord with my own. i want to hold tight to peter’s life, protect him, ensure he’s safe and cared for. but i can’t control his life. God is in control, God is sovereign. and walking by faith means trusting the Lord with EVERYTHING, including the lives of the people we love.

i didn’t see this side of trust coming my way. but it makes sense to me. am i going to trust the Lord and His leading knowing He can change the course of things at anytime? am i going to step out in faith in this relationship and know that the Lord promises to be with us no matter the storms, trials, difficulties?

without faith it is impossible to please God. i want to please God. trusting God with this relationship with peter is my greatest step of faith yet. and i praise God for it.

ecclesiastes 4:9-12

9 Two are better than one,
       because they have a good return for their work:

 10 If one falls down,
       his friend can help him up.
       But pity the man who falls
       and has no one to help him up!

 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
       But how can one keep warm alone?

 12 Though one may be overpowered,
       two can defend themselves.
       A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

YAHWEH Yirah, the Lord our Provider proved Himself again in a small but mighty way. i love when He shows off in the day-to-day moments. and i’m just as grateful that He’s been reminding me to look for Him in the small things. i tend to miss the beautiful little things He does while i look for a burning bush, but how often do i miss His still small voice moments while waiting for it?

the other day i was running with my separated at birth running partner. truly, i think God made my friend ashley and i to be running partners. same pace, same determination, same expectations, etc. it truly is a running match made in heaven :-) so we were running and came up to a stop light and i noticed she was blinking her eyes pretty extensively and looked a bit uncomfortable. mind you it’s pretty toasty out and we’ve been running for 25 minutes at this point so we’re quite sweaty.

as we’re standing at the light i asked her if she was okay. she said she was fine she just had some sweat get in her eyes. i looked at my synthetic wicking shirt and thought this shirt is not gonna help. i looked at hers and thought the same thing. i didn’t want her to have to go the rest of the run though with her eyes hurting so much.

and then, it appeared… a super white, like hotel white, just bleached towel was draped over the electric box (i think that’s what it is, one of those things that controls the traffic lights). we looked at it,  there wasn’t a blemish on the thing. it was so random and so perfectly placed right where ashley needed it. i don’t know whose it was, it was just sitting there as if the Lord had put it there just for her.

YAHWEH Yirah. He shows Himself even in the small things. now if i could just get myself to a point where i’m always looking for it. i bet i’d see Him so much more :-)

I received an email the other day asking me what hair products I use. It was such a sweet email from a kind woman at work I barely know telling me she thinks my hair is pretty and always looks nice. I’ve never received something like that before. I happily emailed her the requested information and thanked her immensely for the compliment.  To say I was flattered is an understatement!

You see, when I was younger my hair was the bane of my existence. And I am not exaggerating. I was made fun of from the time I was 10 years old to probably 15 for this hair of mine. There wasn’t anything I wouldn’t try to tame this mane. All in all I think my hair has cost me more money than anything else in my life. And I promise it’s not because I am vain, I just wanted to look normal.

So you see the “irony” in someone telling me they think my hair is pretty? But I say “irony” in quotes like that because I was reminded of something by this silly little story. It’s just like our Father in Heaven to take that which is ugly to us and make it pretty to others (okay so the Scripture says take that which is intended for evil and use it for good, but give me a break here, you know what I’m getting at).

If you had told me when I was 13 years old and getting called horrific names that sent me home crying on a pretty consistent basis that one day someone would like my hair I would have stared at you in disbelief. But that really is what our God does isn’t it? He takes things that we think are impossible and He makes them possible. He makes beauty out of ashes.  He takes the foolish things of this world to confound the wise.

Who knew hair could spark such appreciation for my Savior :-)

this short read is a VERY good read. it’s one of those books that has really challenged me to look at my walk with the Lord and ask: do i trust and believe in God because of what He can do for me OR because He is God, my Savior, my LORD?

 

“One of the signs that you may not grasp the unique, radical nature of the Gospel is that you are certain that you do.”

– Timothy Keller, Senior Pastor, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, NYC   

 

this book flipped the parable of the prodigal son on its back and is really challenging me. thought i’d share :-)

because this is TRUE :-) AMEN!! this just might be my new theme song, although i never really had one before…ha!

Water You turned into wine
Opened the eyes of the blind
There’s no one like you
None like You

Into the darkness you shine
Out of the ashes we rise
There is no one like You
None like You

Our God is greater
Our God is stronger
God you are higher than any other
Our God is Healer
Awesome in power
Our God, Our God

and if our God is for us
then who could ever stop us
and if our God is with us
then what could stand against

i had to share this on here today. it’s my new favorite song. it’s not a new release, but it’s new to me and it is so appropriately titled for many reasons.

As I look into the stars
Pondering how far away they are
How You hold them in Your hands
And still You know this man
You know my inner most being, oh
Even better than I know, than I know myself
What a beautiful God
What a beautiful God
And what am I, that I might be called Your child
What am I, what am I
That You might know me, my King
What am I, what am I, what am I
As I look off into the distance
Watching the sun roll on by
Beautiful colors all around me, oh
Painted all over the sky
The same hands that created all of this
They created you and I
What a beautiful God
What a beautiful God
And what am I, that I might be called Your child
What am I, what am I
That You might know me, my King
What am I, what am I
That You might die, that I might live
What am I, what am I, what am I, what am I
What am I
What am I
What am I
What am I
What am I
– Shawn McDonald

yep, this week was sooo crazy i forgot to post about choosing JOY on monday, so i’m choosing JOY on friday this week :-)

frankly, i’m trusting the Lord wanted it this way as today is good friday and it makes sense to me that on good friday, as a follower of jesus, i would choose JOY.

i’ve heard this many times before, but feel it’s most appropriate to quote today:

“you cannot have a resurrection until you have a death. there is no empty tomb unless there is first a figure on a cross.”

thank you God for the ultimate sacrifice you paid on this day 2,000 years ago that we might have life everlasting.

i still can’t get my head and heart totally around the fact that the perfect God of all the universe would send His Son for me. but none-the-less, i am eternally grateful. i choose JOY today because my Savior died for me on this day.

from flickr.com

“Wisdom is therefore the flower of knowledge and knowledge the root of wisdom.” – Dr. Bill Thrasher

Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

I looked in the mirror today.

I look in the mirror everyday when I get ready in the morning. And I steal glances in the mirror everyday that hangs in the hall outside my office at work. It was nothing new then to walk by the mirror in the hall outside my office this morning and steal a glance. I say steal because God forbid someone see me look at myself in the mirror, how vein of me.

But today, when I stole a glance, I stopped. I didn’t recognize who I saw. It was as if I saw someone else. It wasn’t me.

The woman I saw in that mirror did not reflect the heart behind the face, the makeup, the clothes, the hair, the body. The woman in the mirror looked good. Her hair straight and long, her makeup enhanced but didn’t cover her features. Her clothes were stylish, but not too stylish—classic is probably a better term.

But go inside. And her heart looks different. Drastically different. It’s ugly. It’s dark. It’s insecure. It’s jealous. It’s paralyzed by fear. It’s content in apathy. It’s judgmental. It’s far from what God wants for it.

Beauty is a pure, clean heart. Beauty is one that is surrendered to God and knows how much He loves her. Beauty is saved by grace through faith and forever changed by it. I’ve lost beauty. I have a decision to make, fall on my knees and find Him, find the beauty or surrender to the loss. I want beauty.

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John 15:7-8– 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

i posted this a year ago, but thought i would repost to participate in a project proposed by one of the blogs i follow. i tried to write something else about beauty but it just wasn’t right. this was and still is.

~~~

Women are beautiful, and God intentionally made us that way. But there is something that happens to a woman when she is finally set free. When she relinquishes control to her Savior, her Abba Father, her King, she glows in such a way that only He can make her glow. She has a peace and grace that leave you wanting what she has. It spurs you on to seek your God to know Him intimately, to desire to be like Him. You wonder, what does she have that I don’t have? What she has is the assurance that she is loved, she is delighted in and she was created for a purpose. Most likely she has fought the battle and fought hard, knowing the war was won on the Cross. She has cried, prayed and begged her way through the valley, clutching at every Word her Father gave her along the way. Even when she didn’t feel His presence she trusted He was there. She learned how to take her thoughts captive and how to cling to what was true no matter how she was feeling, no matter how dark and lonely the valley may have seemed. She fell in love with her Lord more and more as she trusted His Word and He came through every time.

No matter how she felt at any given moment, she went back to the Truth and it did indeed set her free. And now, she stands in the victory that was hers along. She walks with grace and dignity and has put shame and despair behind her. And she will comfort those who need comfort in the same way she has been comforted by her Father. She will use her victory to bring her sister to victory. She will not be ashamed of her past, or the scars she may bear because of it, but rather walk alongside others, bringing them to their victory. And one day she will see, even her scars have been healed.

Women are beautiful, but when we meet with the Loving God, when we fight the battle that has been won for us, and we don’t give up, there is an unexplainable beauty and grace that comes upon us.

yep, i sure do. i heart school and my study area. seriously, i’m so grateful to God for the blessing of my home and the cozy little corner in my living room He’s blessed me with for studying. (I know, a picture of it is kinda ridiculous but i couldn’t help it!)

last night i had the shades slightly open so i could see the snow fall when i’d glance up from my reading and it was the most perfect setting to study in. i’m just amazed that He has blessed me with this privilege of studying His word in an academic setting in addition to everything else He has done. utterly grateful today for my God. He doesn’t have to do any of this, yet He does. i’d choose Him again and again and again over all of it, and that i can say with confidence. but it would be remiss of me not say i am totally and utterly grateful (is that event the right use of that word, remiss??).

i’m studying the Holy Spirit in the book of john and learning so much. what i love about seminary is unlike when i was in school before and i’d have to take classes i knew i would NEVER use (eh-hem, like an excel course using nested-if statements etc. yes, for all of you who went to IU and had to take K201 that’s what i’m talking about!) i’m learning about what i believe and finding out for myself what the Bible says about my faith.

the Holy Spirit is a HOT topic in the world of evangelicals and unfortunately has caused a lot of division, which is such a tragedy for the Kingdom of God, so i’m really enjoying studying it for myself and finding out what i believe and why i believe it. i’m being challenged for sure, testing what i claim to believe, what i agree with and don’t agree with. i’ve had to drop the proverbial baggage i come to the Bible with and let the Lord reveal to me what His Word truly says about this incredible indwelling third of the Trinity.

i recently heard beth moore say something to the effect of, if you study His Word it should only bring you closer to him. that’s my prayer, that as i continue to study His Word i will only grow in my love for Him and understanding of His will for my life, for His creation and for His Kingdom.

a friend sent me this verse to encourage me yesterday:

proverbs 31:25: She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

and boy did it encourage me!

proverbs 15:23 says: A man finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word!

amen!

and then this morning, in His own gentle way, the Lord spoke to my spirit while i was getting ready for work and He literally made me laugh. how sweet is our Lord that He would meet me in such a mundane/routine task and make me laugh.

if you’re reading this blog, have you ever experienced something like that?

i’ve been a huge advocate for titus 2 ministry (let the older women teach the younger women) yet i never really found myself in a place where i’ve seen it in full motion like i did this past weekend. it began friday when i met with a wise and wonderful woman from my church for lunch. she spoke into my life in such a way that only God could make happen. she didn’t judge me or my situation, she just listened, smiled at me as i talked – i could see it in her eyes, that “i know exactly where you are kiddo” look. and she did. she’s been there, done that, has lived to talk about it and is ready to equip me so i don’t have to make mistakes i might have if i were to “go it alone.” the peace and comfort i felt by the time our lunch ended was totally something that can only come from a God-ordained and anointed conversation.

it also encouraged me to see that one day, Lord willing, i will sit where she was and counsel a younger woman in my shoes. for now though, i am more than happy no, delighted really, to be on the receiving end. oh Lord, bring wisdom and courage my way :-)

then on saturday we had a women’s event at my church, the first of its kind we’ve ever done and it was powerful! we began with powerful worship and then my pastor’s wife brought a word and then gave her testimony. both were incredible! afterwards there was a time for women to pray with each other and for each other. i know God moved that day in many, many lives. we then had a time of Q&A with a panel of women in various seasons of life: single, married, single mom. there were so many questions and so much wisdom offered. it truly was a massive titus 2 event.

i am so grateful for the body of Christ, so grateful to be surrounded by such strong and courageous women of faith.

i’ve found there is nothing more beautiful and profound than God’s word. and perhaps the byrds knew that when they used the Bible for their lyrics. i wonder how many have heard their song and felt the draw to the living God…

today this is what the Lord has washed me with. a beautiful passage of scripture that speaks for itself.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-14

1 There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under heaven:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

9 What does the worker gain from his toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. 13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.

someone very dear to my heart wrote this to me today:

“i really believe that as we accept what He has in store for us in our lives, He can move mountains through us.  i know this well as i surrender more to Him each day.

do your best to walk and talk in the joy of the lord even as He works on you.  not covering up and hiding your feelings and battle but happy to be alive, your confidence will lift and others will know your grace as you battle.”

thank you Lord. that is my prayer :-)

praise God for days off when you can just be with Him and not have any obligations. i’ve hit a wall. i actually hit this wall months ago. and He has been quietly persistent with me in all this. gently reminding me that He wants to bring me to the next level with Him, but that it’s up to me to go there with Him (and not in the sense that my faith is dependent on me, but in the sense of will i go “there” with Him-if that makes any sense).

i wrote in a previous post that i’m struggling with intense feelings of jealousy these days. i’ve realized a lot of that stems from the fact that i see these incredible women of faith growing in the Lord, loving on Him, delighting in Him, experiencing Him on a much greater and deeper level. and that’s what i want!

so here i sit. i have a choice: will i wallow in the ugliness of jealousy and long for what they have but do nothing about it and let this jealousy rob me of what God has for me, or; will i seek Him diligently and boldly? will i trust that His word is true when peter says “God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear Him and do what is right” (acts 10:34-35)? will i trust Him in this? will i be so bold to exercise those spiritual muscles and trust He will complete the work He has started?

james 1:3-4 – 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

oh Lord, make me mature and complete, lacking nothing!

The semester has begun and I am so extremely EXCITED for the class I’m taking. The class, Biblical Theology of the New Testament, is taught by a man I deeply respect. His name is Dr. Bill Thrasher. I’ve never had a class with him before, but a few years ago when I was unhealthily (is that a word, I don’t think so, but I like it) fearful that I would never get married, that I had somehow earned the punishment of singleness for life, I read his book Believing God for His Best: How to Marry Singleness with Contentment. It was the first book on singleness that I read that gave me hope. And it was the first book I ever read that helped me recalibrate my brain to really appreciate being single―and I don’t mean it taught me how to say being single is a gift; it really helped me see the beauty in it and to appreciate it for all its worth. It was the first book I read and didn’t finish thinking I’ll never be satisfied in this state of singleness.

Instead, I finished the book with a desire to wait on God. To wait for God’s best for me and to fall more in love with Jesus as I did. And this isn’t a waiting like with baited breath hoping prince charming will round the corner on his white horse any minute. But believing God that He put the desire on my heart for marriage and while I wait for that desire to be fulfilled I will move forward with Jesus, pursuing Him, letting Him pursue me and seek to become the woman the Lord made me. It opened my eyes to the fact that the Lord is in control of all things.

It helped me see, God’s timing and His plan are perfect. I don’t have to be perfect, I’m not being punished as I wait―I’m in a state of singleness because God decided this for me right now. That’s not to say I was brushing off the fact that I needed then and still do now a lot of Jesus and a lot less of me. But it helped me to see there isn’t something fundamentally wrong with me. Okay, I think I just totally rambled there; it was just such a radical change in mindset for me. Totally liberating.

So, now this semester I get to learn from this very wise man. I’m so excited and eager to see what God does in me through this class. I just know it is going to be good!

That’s me. I’m an elf. I look around me and I see GIANTS. Massive, strong, solid GIANTS. And I’m an elf. Small, tiny, squeaky. This is how I feel most days. And it’s because I’ve been blessed with this incredible church that is filled with the super godly. I know we are all human and we all fall short of the glory of God. But I kid you not; I haven’t been many places in my short life as a Jesus-lover where there has been such a concentrated group of on-fire-for-Christ people.

This is a blessing. But my flesh and the enemy would have me believe it is a curse.

I’ve been battling this insecurity since the day I came to my church, which coincidentally is where I’ve met most of my amazingly godly girls. But the most recent battle showed me much of what I still need to learn and accept. We’re all different but created for a purpose and this will never be rooted in my heart until I understand just how much the Lord loves me. Jealousy rears its ugly head when I take my eyes off the Savior. Insecurity penetrates deep to my bones when I don’t dress in the armor of God, “forget” to hold my sword high and run instead of just stand.

I’m doing a study (by Beth Moore of course!) on love right now and learned something fascinating. 1 John 4:18 says: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.”

From the study: “Perfect love refers to love which is mature, not lacking boldness or confidence and therefore, not hampered by insecurity or anxiety which is characteristic of immature love.”

You see, I’m the administrative type (ooh, how I hate to even admit that). My brain operates in one mode most of the time, efficient. I know in and of itself it’s not a bad thing. I think of a list of places I need to go to run errands and immediately my brain puts it all in the proper order of how to get it done the fastest based on where I am currently located and where I would like to end up. It’s this weird gift/curse I’ve had since I was little. (Being the oldest of four girls might have a little something to do with it.)

So, often when it comes to ministry things I’m asked to help in areas where administration is needed. And I love to serve in that capacity but I also feel like, “is this it? Is this all I have to offer?” Because in my head administration is so not spiritual. For example, you need a woman to pray over you or with you, I’ve got a friend for that. You need a woman who will open the heavens with the way she leads worship, I’ve got a friend for that too. You need someone to love on you with the love of Christ, I have another friend for that. I could keep going but you get the point, Apple’s got an app, I’ve got friends :-)

Me. I’m practical (not spiritual) to a fault. Visionary (spiritual) I am not. But the Lord is trying to show me something, and if I would just get out of the way, I just might see it. He made me this way for His purposes and loves me just as I am. The visionary needs someone like me to figure out the logistics behind making the vision a reality. I don’t consider myself a prayer warrior, a worshipper or all that compassionate (all things I desire to become). My giftings are much more administrative and communication-oriented. I do have faith and usually it isn’t too hard for me to believe God for the impossible. But my flesh and the enemy would love for me to minimize all that I am and look at my sisters with eyes of envy, allow myself to remain in a state of immature love, living in insecurity.

So I am fighting these days to stay in the Spirit and out of the flesh; to not let that punk we call the enemy steal my love and respect for all the amazing and godly women He’s put in my life; and to truly grasp God’s love for me. This sounds utterly crazy to me, but I even made a list of all the things I am and have it taped to my bathroom mirror. It even includes things I don’t think I am quite yet, but that I know with the Lord’s power I will be. It’s actually really powerful (seriously, I feel like I should be that guy from SNL who looks in the mirror and says to himself, “I’m smart enough, I’m good enough and dog gonnit people like me!”).

Okay, so I will conclude my random ramblings with this truth from God’s Word:

Psalm 139

1 O LORD, you have searched me

and you know me.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;

you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;

you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue

you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;

you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,

your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me

and the light become night around me,”

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;

the night will shine like the day,

for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place.

When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me

were written in your book

before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!

How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,

they would outnumber the grains of sand.

When I awake,

I am still with you.

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!

Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

20 They speak of you with evil intent;

your adversaries misuse your name.

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,

and abhor those who rise up against you?

22 I have nothing but hatred for them;

I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;

test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting.

i don’t have anything profound to share today just soemthing simple and basic: every new year’s eve for the past three or four years i have read oswald chamber’s devotional for this day from his book my utmost for His highest. it ministers to me each time i read it and truly charges me up for the next year. 2009 has been an incredible year of miraculous blessings, unexpected change and intense challenges and i know these challenges will bleed into 2010 as well as new challenges. but i also know the blessings will continue and in order to walk in the fullness of these blessings i must embrace the challenges and trust my God to continue the work He has promised to complete. i’m excited for 2010 and can’t wait to see what the Lord does :-)

Yesterday

You shall not go out with haste, . . . for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard —Isaiah 52:12

Security from Yesterday. “. . . God requires an account of what is past” ( Ecclesiastes 3:15 ). At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise when we remember our yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God’s grace tends to be lessened by the memory of yesterday’s sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual growth for our future. God reminds us of the past to protect us from a very shallow security in the present.

Security for Tomorrow. “. . . the Lord will go before you . . . .” This is a gracious revelation— that God will send His forces out where we have failed to do so. He will keep watch so that we will not be tripped up again by the same failures, as would undoubtedly happen if He were not our “rear guard.” And God’s hand reaches back to the past, settling all the claims against our conscience.

Security for Today. “You shall not go out with haste . . . .” As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, forgetful delight, nor with the quickness of impulsive thoughtlessness. But let us go out with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things for us. It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.

Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.

i read this prayer this morning and thought i’d share. it is beautiful.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Amen.

– St. Francis of Assisi

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