Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I read this today. I have been thinking about the grace of God a lot recently, how I am so sinful but that the Father loves me so dearly that he lavishes grace on me, constant grace. That in this grace I can see Him and strive to know Him, but in this grace I can stand in my sin and know that I am not defeated. I can plead what Christ has done. I am learning that my weakness glorifies him more than my attempt to be perfect. Weakness hurts but recently I have found freedom in being able to be weak.
I have been thinking a lot about the cross as a sufficient payment for my sins, now and forever. I have been thinking about the depth of the resurrection. How Christ says that now everything is different. Life through him is different because of the resurrection. He promises that it is now undefiled can't be tainted because of the resurrection. He is the first fruit. His perfect being is now a picture of what the rest of the harvest will look like, because of the resurrection.
I was thinking about this verse in Ephesians five and knowing that I need to remember. That I would walk in love because I remember.
Remember that I am a sinner in desperate need of grace.
Remember the feeling of emptiness and pain.
Remember crying so hard that I couldn't breath.
Remember what it felt like to fill myself with other people and finding that they let me down.
Remember the cross that saved me and brings me much needed redemption daily.
Remember new life promised by the resurrection.
I need to remember these things, remember that Christ died as a sacrifice to God and that his offering, it was fragrant. I need to remember.
This winter, this holiday, this day, I want to remember these things.
Today is a good day and marks the beginning of the winter for me. Cold air and Merry Christmases. I am excited about where ever I am right now. In between. In between all things certain and clinging to the hope that you are good and that you love me so faithfully. I am ready for this season. This morning I received my first frost covered windsheild. I am excited to enjoy being able to see my breath, enjoy being with my friends and the people I love, enjoy praying for the souls of my friends as we grow and change. I am excited to see your face and be thankful. Thankful for pumpkin pie, because you made it, and it's so good.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Falling down upon our knees
Sharing now in common shame
We have sought security
Not the cross that bears Your name
Fences guard our hearts and homes
Comfort sings a siren tune
We’re a valley of dry bones
Lead us back to life in You
Lord we fall upon our knees
We have shunned the weak and poor
Worshipped beauty, courted kings
And the things their gold affords
Prayed for those we’d like to know
Favor sings a siren tune
We’ve become a talent show
Lead us back to life in You
You have caused the blind to see
We have blinded him again
With our man-made laws and creeds
Eager, ready to condemn
Now we plead before Your throne
Power sings a siren tune
We’ve been throwing heavy stones
Lead us back to life in You
We’re a valley of dry bones
Lead us back to life in You
We’ve become a talent show
Lead us back to life in You
We’ve been throwing heavy stones
Lead us back to life in You
w/m: Bobby Gilles & Brooks Ritter
Sojourn Community Church
I want this. This song tears my soul apart. I see myself and my sin clearly. Lead me back to life in you. Please.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
I have to study spanish, but I am going to vomit out random things that have been refining my soul recently before I start that...
"when we are disappointed in things it reveals that our hope was in them. And in those moments we have missed out on an opportunity to put our hope in God" --L.Lett
We aren't street-kids. I am a daughter of the most high, so I need to stop acting like I am a street-kid. Everything has been richly provided for me by my Father, so why do I think I'm a street-kid who has to run around and steel to fill my needs?
I have to be hoping fully in the living God and taking my satisfaction from him alone and until I can do this I can never really care for the souls of other people because I am constantly trying to fill my own needs with them. "The problem with idolatry is that it dishonors God and destroys the people we love"--Mark Driscoll
There is more...by God's grace I am being taught a lot of things and have been shown a lot of my sin. Jesus is God. I pray I would live like I believe that.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
i am laying on the floor of my third floor room. only two of my roommates are home and the house feels still. it's 2:30 and i keep telling myself i need to get to sleep, i have things to do tomorrow, homework to finish, people to see. but it's a friday, a friday night of my senior year of college, and i don't need to sleep. i could lay on my floor all night if i wanted. if i was so inclined, i could sleep right here, in the middle of my carpet.
i am tempted to fill this post with my recollections of how it used to be and my anticipations for the future. i could tell you how i can hardly breathe when i think about how fast it is all moving, not college, but my life, sanctification, ministry. i could tell you how scared i am for things to change and how i cannot imagine myself in the next stage of my life. i could even spend my time unpacking how incredible the Lord's restoration has been in me over the past three years, but i wont.
time is moving fast and that's okay. i pray that i know you God, otherwise it's a waste.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
i see so much of my sin through some of my friendships. people who are gracious and let me be difficult and manipulative. i see the gospel through the way they treat me. through their patience and love i see myself clearly. i am thankful that i have people who love me despite my deep sin, but i crave that they would not let me sit here in my unrighteousness.
i pray that you would transform my heart to purge the things that cause me to sin. the things that make the race hard to run.
i pray for my friendships with jody, meaghan, mal, leigh, and janis.
i pray that i would not wait for others to call out my sin, but that i would be constantly praying, repenting, getting rid of things from my life, and creating ways to be accountable to those things.
i pray that i would enjoy you Lord.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
it makes me reevaluate what i want from my summer. i pray that i can come out of these four months confidently saying i know the lord better. i plead for that, because i am terrified it wont happen. i am terrified these months of freedom will become about me.
father i thank you for the warmth. i thank you that i have very little responsibilities or obligations this summer. i pray that i would be serious about pursuing your face. like paul i pray that anything that would be a hindrance to this pursuit i would gladly get rid of. that you may taste sweeter than any of my fleshly affections.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
i want Christ. i can't seem to get this right. i praise you God that it has been paid for, that the battle has been won. i want to know you, but i do the things i do not want to do. my heart hurts. hurts like a whore chasing after her lovers. i can feel gomers pain, as she runs to the things she thought were bringing her love, joy, and comfort, and suddenly she can't reach them. they don't want her anymore.
i desire to be obsessed with the cross but i am failed by my weaknesses. thank you that this faith is not contingent upon my ability. thank you that you are doing things in me that i don't understand.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
breakfast in 2 hours, that will make my stomach ache all the way back to campus...
the end of my third pickerington lacrosse season. i never imagined that this would be the hardest senior class to lose. it is.
getting through the next three weeks of spanish.
rockbridge leader weekend.
north carolina, saranac, counting crows, freedom, sleeping in, heat...
pursuing holiness. philippians three style.
being friends with meaghan.
weddings. change. new roommates.
everyday feels closer to summer. i can't wait. i can't wait.
...i'm going to order french toast.
Monday, May 4, 2009
i wonder if this is what this space should be for me.
i wonder if this should be lighter.
tonight i realized, i don't want to be funny here. i don't need your comments. i don't care who reads this. i pray that this would be a testament to the cross of Christ that has saved me. i pray that these words would not be in vain, but that they would stir up holy praise toward you and you alone God.
things i have been learning...
1) the Holy Spirit is real. living, active, and powerful. you are the voice of God in my heart.
2) there is nothing worth pursuing besides Christ.
3) the previous statement is hard to be obedient to.
4) when i sin, i sin against God and God alone.
5) i am not cool. i have nothing to offer anyone except Christ.
6) sin must be repented of.
7) satan hates me and is wickedly scheming, that i may believe lies. i must know my own gospel.
8) God changes hearts, not me.
9) i must not create castles of sand. the things i have layed up for myself will rust, spoil, and fade. they are defiled and will most likely wage war against my soul, whether sinful or morally neutral.
10) the Son of Man is coming at a time we do not expect, and as his faithful servants, we must be waiting and ready for him. that when he returns we shall not find ourselves asleep or doing evil.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
i have been struggling recently with how easy it is to give in to idolatry. how absolutely terrifying it is when i open my eyes and realize they aren't fixed on Christ. i convince myself that it's okay, and it's not, it never is, never. i must pursue holiness with dedication. the thing is, following Christ is hard. i often feel like a small child who cannot seem to remember how to spell their own name. it brings me comfort to see how much Christ loved his disciples despite their unbelief. how he lovingly taught them despite their inability to understand. thank you that there is grace. i beg that i could be the kind of person that paul wants to be in philippians three. i pray that the desires of my heart would match the work of my hands.
i am not doing well in school. i don't seem to care. nor do i care that i don't care. i pray that i would be pursuing you. i pray that i would be passionate about seeking repentance. i pray that my heart would be steadfast and pure. i pray that you would kill these wicked and sinful desires in me.
i pray that my time with people would not be a product of my desire to be loved and cared for. i beg that it would be a product of my realization that i am fully loved and deeply cared for, in Christ. i pray that i would cling to the gospel, because it's all that i have.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
what do i want?
i have been thinking about this for the past few weeks. what is it that i want to be known for? what do i want to be committed to? to give my time to, to give all my effort, where am i going to find my value? my comfort? my joy?
the gospel. that's what i want.
it's going to be hard. beautifully hard.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
i'm wrestling. i'm wrestling with what it is for me to know the Lord. what it is for me to seek him and him alone. what it could possibly mean to live how paul speaks in philippians three.
it's like i think i have a grasp on it, and i'm reading and praying, i'm trying to be obedient and setting up things and people to keep me accountable, and i look like i have it all together, and it's going well, and then all a sudden i wake up in a cold sweat wondering if maybe i'm outside the kingdom of God. like am i doing this right or have i just made myself into a really good "christian". the worst thing is, you can't ask your friends. like i can't sit down with the people who know me well and say, "hey, what do you think? am i actually pursuing the Lord or do i just have the actions down?" i can't do that because i am afraid i do have the actions down. i'm afraid that maybe i am fooling those closest to me as well. maybe this isn't where i'm at. maybe i do get it, and this rough path of helplessly following the Lord is actually glorifying. maybe i am on the path of holiness, but i can't help to think, what if i'm not. i don't think that this is an unhealthy fear for me at this point. i would rather wrestle now than assume that everything is fine and wake up one day and find myself outside the kingdom of God.
so here i am. over the past two weeks i have neglected to deeply pursue God. i have let my friendships and my ministry own me. i have sought people, things, and success for my hope and joy and have been drastically let down. i am wrung out. i have drank far too much coffee. ate puppy chow till i felt sick. relied too much on texting. shamelessly pursued love from those who i claim to share the gospel with. i have been lazy and disobedient.
i have done everything i know to medicate myself. i am tired and i have no life in me.
i know that only Christ gives life. I don't want to dependently seek it from other places. i want my heart to be steadfast. i am thankful that i belong to a throne that is always open, a cross that is constantly washing me clean, and a savior that lives as an intercessor for me.
whom have i in heaven but you?
and there is nothing on earth that i desire besides you.
my flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
i need to hear this.
Monday, February 16, 2009
natalie. I praise the Lord that he has changed this girls life. I know that my words were not convincing. I know that you are the only one that changes hearts. I beg that you would continue to open her eyes. Continue to pursue her and refine her. I pray that this little girl would fall on her knees before the throne of grace. I pray that the curtain being torn would be the greatest news of her life. I am so blessed to be apart of the gospel changing people. Getting to watch death to life.
evan. Lord I beg that you would remove the veil. I beg that you would open her eyes. I pray that the truth that she knows, the gospel she understands, the blood that was shed for her would penetrate her. I pray that it
would be more than doctrine. I pray that you would open her eyes to the glory of your grace. That she would know how much she needs to be saved from her sin and would realize that this grace is for her. The cross is for you evan. This forgiveness, it's for you. This is the only place there is life, the only place there is comfort and freedom, and it is for you.
sarah. Lord I pray that the seed that has been planted would grow. I pray for healthy soil. I pray that she is being fed. Lord I beg that this seed would not be parched, choked out, or eaten up. I pray that I could encourage and teach her but that she would be seeking to learn truth from other places also. I pray that you would use the wounds in her past to lead her to a cross that is full of grace. A cross that bids us to come and die. A cross that offers freedom and complete love.
katie. I pray that she would find herself in need of a savior. I pray she would feel overwhelmed by the weight of living in a broken world. I pray that being a good person would no longer be sufficient. I pray that her heart would be softened to the gospel. That she would realize her need. I pray for boldness in the way I love, live, and speak truth to her. I pray her eyes would be opened.
bethany. May she understand the gospel. May she know that it is the only place there is life. I pray that Philippians three would dig deeply into her heart. I pray she would come to see that nothing is worth comparing to knowing Christ and being found in him. I pray that you would continue to refine her and work out her salvation through fear and trembling. I pray that the gospel that grabbed a hold of her heart would continue to change her.
alice. I beg that she would know her need for a savior. I plead that she would know you. Lord this is not me. If anyone has taught me that I am not capable to change hearts, it is this girl. I beg that she could know you deeply. I pray that you would use her for your glory. I plead that she would get to be apart of this. I ask that you would show me what my role looks like in this and that you would continue to remind me that this is your work that I simply get to be apart of.
ali. Lord I trust you. I trust what you are doing in her heart. I trust that you are working out her salvation and I pray for her salvation. I pray that you would continue to refine her. Tear down walls that she has built. I pray that the true gospel would be made known to her. I pray she could see the glory of the cross. I pray she would know it is for her. I pray it would steal the depths of her soul.
amy. Father, please. This is your work. I pray her heart would be softened. I pray that she would come to the foot of the cross. Lord I pray for my time with her, that I could love and encourage, that truth would be spoken. I pray she would know that the gospel is for her. It doesn't matter where she has been. The gospel is for her.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
freedom from sin. of which i am promised i will be, and am being, delivered.
freedom from this heavy yolk. that i no longer have to bear the weight. the weight of being broken in a broken world.
freedom from these binding chains. of the things i have done. the things i can't seem to get away from. the things i hate, but still do.
freedom from worthless sacrifices. the curtain is torn.
freedom from my past that haunts me.
freedom from expectations. the future i built in my mind. my skewed idea of perfection.
freedom from my wicked heart and my sinful lusts.
freedom from being loved, known, and comforted by people.
freedom from my fleshly desires. from myself.
freedom to walk in grace and not works.
freedom to be completely known...and still deeply loved and pursued. still a soul you wish to restore.
freedom to count it all as loss. count it all as loss compared to knowing Christ and being found in him.
freedom to worship you.
freedom to know you and be satisfied in you.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Godliness doesn't accidentally happen.
It never accidentally happens.
No one wakes up on Tuesday, godly.
“I press on. I strive. I toil.”
[the line between all that we want to be and all that we hate is thinner and smaller, and closer than any one ever wants to talk about.]
Friday, February 6, 2009
riding our bikes on back roads in the middle of no where.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Excerpts from Jonathan Edwards Resolutions:
"Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God. "
"Resolved, never to say anything at all against anybody, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution."
Christ i want to know you. i pray that my frustrations would stir a healthy fear within me. i pray i would be spurred on to change in myself what i hate about the world. i pray my relationship with you would be authentic, that it would be real, that i wouldn't be giving you lip service. i want to know you. i want to be found in you. i pray that you would show me what it means to count it all as loss. i pray you would give me a patient heart that is constantly at the throne of grace.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
four more seasons for all that's broken to mend.
i got four more reasons why i can't go back there again.
God how i hate myself for still wanting her.
damn these nights are dreaming visions soft and sure,
cause i wake to find there's nothing left of me in her,
nothing more than a heart still at war.
she had four white stallions coming around the bend,
four strong angels already sinned.
i got four good reasons for all that's broken to mend.
i got four more seasons for all that's broken to mend.
i got four more reasons why i can't go back there again.
i got four good reasons why i can't go back there again.
i want to be okay. to not just be okay but to be content and satisfied in the Lord. i want to rid myself of the things that call out for my affectionate embraces. i know that the only way i can do that and do that well is to love the Lord infinitely more. to know the Lord more. to be more consumed with Him.
sometimes i want to wish away the hurt. i want to instantly be healed. i want things to be better, to get what i want, or not, but at least to be okay. i know that my thorns cannot be wished away. so i pray. and i plead. that i might get to see freedom on this side of eternity, and if not then i pray i would be falling more in love with you as you call me to be obedient and faithful to your word.
relying on truth.
pleading in prayer for my soul.
repenting daily where i fall short.
making my weaknesses known to the people around me.
being obedient when the Spirit calls.
knowing the gospel that has saved me.
meditating on the word.
constantly coming back to the throne of grace.
this is all i know. this is where i have found myself. and it's good, because God is good, and he loves me deeply and fully. this again. it's always back to this again.
i hate how attractive obsession is. to be so into something that you can rarely think about anything else. i want to cut that out. i no longer want to be obsessed with things, obsessed with people.
may i have a steadfast obsession for the Lord that leaves me with no desire or room to seek that kind of affection in anything else.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
i am not entirely sure where this is going, but i am stirred to write, so i will.
i think that this song has been comforting to me. something about breaking the chains between relationships that tie you down in idolatry and no longer being dependent. something about not talking to someone for three damn nights and being okay. i understand that they aren't okay in the song, but i want to be. it would be lie to say that i am okay, that i do not struggle with idolatry, that i don't put people in positions to try and satisfy my soul, but i want to be free. recently i think i have tasted some of that. life is hard. (it's so encouraging to me that piper talks frequently about life being hard. about the deep waters and pains of midlife and trying to follow the Lord.) a couple sermons have really been turning within me recently. like where paul tells us to stop being infants and get off the bottle. to finally deal seriously with our junk and repent. that we need to be confessing and letting people know where we are weak and where we are hurting. that we need to be serious about that because we will never get solid food, we will never experience the deep things of God if we don't. these ideas have overtaken my mind. i need people to know me deeply. i need there to be a couple people who know how hard it is for me to not want to be known, comfortable, and satisfied in relationships. that's my downfall, my desire to fill my void with people. maybe not even people as a general whole, but a couple specific people, and life is hard. it's hard to not rely on someone to love you when you feel lonely or hurt. it's hard to not make that phone call simply because you know you are only filling the void. it's hard to let relationships go.
i hate change, so watching any relationship shift and move in my life is difficult, but what about when that relationship owned you. (maybe no one will know what i'm talking about and that's fine. to be honest i forget that people will read this. i would rather they didn't to be honest. know that i am not writing this for people. i don't desire approval, that's what i'm saying, i don't want it. in some weird way this is a conversation between me and the Lord, that's all.) what about when you were apart of a relationship that completely owned you. your self worth, comfort, and joy came from that relationship. you banked on being supported and loved by that person. what about when you have to let that one go? what about when that entire relationship changes because they don't love you anymore? and it's okay because you know that they could never really fill you in the long run anyways, and you know that it is the Lord's plan to release your hands from the things of this world and focus your eyes on him, but how painful is the next 2, 5, 10, 30 years? those years where you constantly have to remind yourself that knowing the Lords and being known by Him is better. not only better but it's only. the only place there is life. how painful is it when your world is rocked and turned upside down because the thing you love the most isn't the Lord. and you want the the Lord and you want to know Him more and fully, but loosing that thing, releasing our hands is so painfully hard. pleading. weeping. sweating blood. life is hard and God is good. Jesus and the cross have become even more precious as i am constantly reminded how deep this inherent sin is within me.
so i scream the words to that song knowing that the Lord is changing me. it hurts but i know that something is different. there are tears and pain in the offering but Jesus it is for you and i give it up that i may know you and be known by you. may i put the pictures away, my idols the things that own me. may i release them because of a greater love for you. may i give them up because i want to, not because i have to or because i am mad that they don't fill me anymore. i am hurt and you are healing my heart. i received that from the cross. thank you.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
thinking it's been a long december and there is reason to believe that this year will be better than the last.
i am covered in skin, no one gets to come in.
this dizzy life is just a hanging tree.
i wanna be bob dylan.
pull me out from inside.
trying to remember so i don't disappear.
cause i, i want to be someone who believes.
that's when i know i have to get out because i have been there before.
hey, i can bleed as well as anyone, but i need someone to help me sleep.
and i've been up all night, i might sleep all day.
just waiting for the daylight to come crawling in on me.
she's suddenly beautiful, we all want something beautiful.
coffee black and egg white.
sha la, la, la, la, la, la.
well i'm alive, i'm alive, but im sinking in.
but i loved like a fountain, and it left me with nothing.
i gotta get out of here and go walking in the sun.
you know i gotta get out, but im stuck so tight
weighted by the chains that keep me.
but it all keeps coming back in the morning.
and nobody knows me.
i am taffy stuck and tongue tied.
way, way, way, way, too long.
after all the dreaming i come home again.
i am ready, i am fine.
i don't want to. i don't want to write for you anymore.
nothing against you.
i like you.
it's me i don't like.
my sin. my pride. my comfort. health wealth and prosperity. i have heard too much joel osteen and rod parsley today. elaina and i watch them and then yell things at the tv. i love wasting my time with her.
they make me crazy. honestly i get angry. like something inside of me is going to burst. how do people not see. is this message freeing to you? is this honestly the gospel your ears have longed to hear?
it's something in me that screams for comfort.
begs to be known. will plead and sob to be loved.
that's who i don't like.
i don't like the desire that owns me. that destroys me.
it's not you its me.
joel it might be you. it might be you i don't like. my question is, in your heart do you honestly see nothing wrong with the "gospel" you are preaching? i want to know the condition of your heart. i think you might not know that it's false. maybe you do. whatever.
jesus' blood never fails me.
tell me how the blood fixes this mess. the mess i daily find myself in. submersed in sin. i am inherently sinful. how is that washed? when do i feel clean? when is the weight of this broken sinful world going to lift. going to lift enough that i can breathe.