Monday, March 20, 2006

The End of Me

Yesterday at church was great!!!! I loved both morning and eveing service. I love being challenged in the Word and in my thinking. Now, mind you, I am a very opinionated person (ask anyone who's had a discussion with me) and I also tend to be very critical sometimes (which is something I am seeking to change) but I was so greatly reminded yesterday that there needs to always be an end of me. We watched a movie of John Piper speaking at a conference (my gracious Pastor lent me the dvd and I watched the rest of the speakers today) and I was soooo encouraged and reminded of things the Lord spoke and is teaching me on. One thing that has been coursing through my brain is that God's concern is for His glory. That can seem like such a prideful thing, and yet there are so many Scriptures talking about God's passion for Himself which is exactly what we need to have...a passion for HIM!!! He is our example. He is our goal. He is our prize. He is our all. That is what is important. I also loved the focus of the definition of His holiness as being "His infinate value as the absolute perfect moral person (unique and incomprable) He is" (that is a very poor paraphrase of what Pastor Piper said...forgive me..keeping up with note-taking was a challenge as usual). God is the one to value....when Christ died it was not just for our sake (so we could be reconciled with God) but the fact that "He valued the perfection of Himself, His Son, and His Spirit" (as Pastor Piper stated) As John Piper said and I loved this quote God demonstrates love to us when "He sustains and exalts His holiness in His Son for my everlasting enjoyment." That is soooooo awesome...I really long to enjoy God more. I really desire to end the focus on myself and to enjoy Him!!!! But what a challenge it is. I really do think that our relationships would change dramatically. I think our relationship with God would be different, that we would view others in light of the mercy, grace, and love that He has bestowed on us. I think it would make us more loving and forebearing.
Then, in the evening service, we talked about I John (which I am really enjoying the study). The thing that stuck out to me then was that I can have confidence in my salvation because I have that hope...I can have confidence in Christ's return because I have Christ as my righteousness. Not only that, but it is Him at work in me that causes me to obey...without His Spirit, I am nothing...once again an end to me.
So, today as I've taken it easy and have thought alot about this pregnancy and the fears and concerns that I have, I have thought that I need to have an end of me. If I end me, then the struggles and fears of life will pale in comparison to the joys and enjoyment of God.
Lord, please help me to grow in my enjoyment of you that I may become Holy as you are Holy and that me and my desires would die and you would reign in every area. May the view I need to have of you draw me to love you more and may I respond in like to those around me because of what You have shown me, one who is sooooo unworthy. I love you Lord.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Doctor's Visit Yesterday

It was a crazzzzzy day yesterday. I was thouroughly exhausted by the day's end. We went to the doctor and it was a long visit. I was there from 2:15pm -3:45pm. That makes for a really long appointment. However, the doctor listened to all my concerns and responded very well (I think) and he even did an ultrasound and we were able to see our baby moving and haveing a great heartbeat of 166!!!! The baby is measuring great and everything looked good. The doctor did say that my cervix felt like it was short, so I am having an appointment with a perinatologist soon because they want to check my cervix for cervical incompetance and if that is determined I may have a cerclage done between 13 and 14 weeks (which would be here in the near future). So, I am waiting for them to call me with a time for that and then I will head on to that stage. I am kindof nervous, especially since it was between this visit and the next that we lost Nathan in September, but they are going to keep a close eye on me and if I feel strange at all I am to call and be seen. I am glad for the OB's that I have and Lord willing things will go well and we will have a baby here in the fall!!!! I truly covet all the prayers that are sent up for me as I am nervous about all this testing, but I know that God is in control and that it will go according to His will for me and this precious life that I carry within.

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul know it very well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed subastance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me when as yet there were none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you." ~Psalm 139:13-18

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Obedience or Rebellion

I am very S-L-O-W-L-Y going through Isaiah and as I completed chapter 1, many thoughts came to the forefront of my mind:

1. When we continue in our sin and live in hypocracy- God will judge and deal with our sin- especially when we are His own.

2. God promises: Though our sins are red like scarlett, they will be white as snow! God is in the cleansing, refining, and purifying His people buisness.

3. He alone changes us- it's His work and He will do it in His way for our good and for His glory.

4. God- when restoring His own- gives us 2 options:
a. be willing and obedient and see blessing
b. refuse and rebel and "be devoured with the sword."

When we choose disobedience ( and apart from the Grace of God, that is what we do choose), God will judge, God will purify (with fire), and God will restore. It is His work and it is done His way for His glory. WE can submit to His purging and recieve blessing or we can rebel and refuse and be "devoured with the sword" (Is. 1:20 )

What will be your response to His refining?

Lord- give us willing and submissive hearts especially during the difficult and often painful process of purging and cleansing in our lives. May we praise and glorify you even during these times and may we learn to walk in obedience to Your commands all the days of our lives.

Friday, March 03, 2006

In Loving Memory of Nathan Joel

Today I reached a milestone that 5 and a half months ago seemed like ages away. Today is Nathan's due date. Unfortunately, I am sick today and feeling very terrible, and I guess that's okay, because I am missing our son. I wonder what He would have looked like and what he would have weighed...but what if's are not what God desires us to focus on. We are to press on toward the mark, no matter what trials come our way, so that we can finish the race of life hearing God's "well done." So, today I am thankful for the child the Lord blessed us with and am praising Him for what He has taught me throughout the last few months and look forward to what else He has to teach me until I meet my son in Heaven.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


I have ben reading Isaiah for the last few weeks and just started an actual "study" by Donna Partow. I really enjoyed reading Chapter one of Isaiah again last night and was challenged by the thoughts from the study. One thing that got me thinking was the topic of being hypocritical. Mrs. Partow asked us what are the prevailing emotions and motives when we are hypocritical. As I thought about it, I thought about the selfish aspect of thinking and acting. Usually if we are hypocritical it is because we want something for ourselves, good image, good opinions, or even attention. In Isaiah 1, the children of Israel were continueing to offer sacrifices to God and yet they were living sinful lives that displeased the Lord.
Sometimes as Christians, it is easy to be hypocritical. We can make everything look good just so we look good; sometimes we make it look bad just becuase we want attention. Those actions are actions of hypocracy. And that is something that displeases the Lord greatly. God deires us to walk in obedience to Him. He longs to bless us and prosper us...and yet too often we settle for just the opposite, His dissappointment and even sometimes His wrath.
Sunday, I was listening to Keith Green's song "To Obey is Better Than Sacrifice" and I was reminded about how God doesn't want motions of sacrificial worship...He wants us and true obedience. Obedience that comes from the heart. Obedience that is not hypocritical.
How can we have that true obedience? How can we live without hypocracy?
One of the first things that comes to mind is repentance. We must repent and ask the Lord's forgiveness and He will forgive us and and cleanse us from our unrighteous acts. (I Jn. 1:9) The next thing that comes to mind is to submit to the Lord and to have our mindset changed with His word (Romans 12:1-2). Ask Him to give us a heart of flesh to obey what He desires us to do and seek to abide in Him (spend time with Him and become one with Him heart and mind) (Exekiel 36:26-27/ John 15:1-7). And then obey. Walk in Obedience to His Word. He desires obedience. He desires us to truly walk in His ways with a clean heart. It is not easy to do and requires daily confession, submission, and surrender to Him to obey in a way that pleases Him. But, living without hypocracy and in true obedience is worth the effort and time.