Monday, March 31, 2014

Romans 6:1-2

"What shall we say then? Are we to continue to sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?"

This is something I need to be reminded of over and over again. Jesus died to cover my sin and to demolish the sin in me. How then can I continue to choose to sin? What is wrong with me? I am human and I still struggle to overcome the sin that seeks to bind me and keep me a slave. Thanks be to God that by His grace I can seek to overcome and when I fall flat on my face I can repent and seek His forgiveness and start anew. 

Let us seek to live in the grace we have been given and put sin to death through the power of Christ living in us!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Who Is This Jesus?

"When He had finished praying, Jesus left with His disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove, and He and His disciples went into it. 
Now Judas, who betrayed Him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with His disciples. So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.
Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to Him, went out and asked them, 'Who is it you want?'
'Jesus of Nazareth,' they replied.
'I am He,' Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, 'I am He,' they drew back and fell to the ground.
Again He asked them, 'Who is it you want?'
And they said, 'Jesus of Nazareth.'
'I told you that I am He,' Jesus answer. 'If you are looking for me, then let these men go.' This happened so that the words He had spoken would fulfilled: 'I have not lost one of those You gave me.'
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.)
Jesus commanded Peter, 'Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?'"
~John 18:1-11

This is when Jesus is arrested. There is a lot going on here. Last Sunday we talked about what we see about Jesus in this passage and who He is.

Jesus is the King of kings! As the King of the universe He is sovereign over all things and has authority over all things. This passage clearly tells us that though it looked like Judas was in control, really Jesus is in control; "Knowing all that was going to happen". Jesus came to earth to die for sinners. That was His mission. We see His authority by the response of all those who came to arrest Him. When Jesus declared, "I am He" everyone bowed before Him. EVERYONE! Jesus is God and worthy of worship.

Jesus is the Friend of sinners! He protects His disciples as everyone of them get away in spite being surrounded by soldiers. They scattered and fled, but no one was arrested, hurt or killed. Jesus protected His own. We see the promise, too, that He will not lose any that the Father has given to Him. His disciples got away to spread the Good News of Salvation, that we today might know the Truth and be saved. Jesus calls sinners to Himself, though we don't deserve it. Thank You Jesus!

Jesus is the Savior of all! Jesus suffered in our place. He took the death we deserved and let us go free. He is our Substitution. He is also our atonement. Jesus atones for sins by His death. He drank the full cup of wrath for us so that we will not have to endure God's wrath. Jesus was crucified for me.
Thank You Jesus!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

John 1:29

"The next day he (John the Baptist) saw Jesus coming toward him and said, 'Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.'"

In the Old Testament, perfect lambs were a big part of the sacrificial system in giving a sin offering. When John the Baptist saw Jesus, John recognized Him and told who Jesus is. Jesus is our perfect Lamb, the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world. He was sacrificed for us. His blood covers us!

Thank You, Jesus that You are our perfect Lamb!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Let Your Blood Plead For Me

Lord, how secure my conscious was
And felt no inward dread
I was alive without the law
And thought my sins were dead

My hopes of heaven were firm and bright
But then your standard came
With a convincing power and light
To show how vile I am

Let Your blood plead for me
Let Your blood wash me clean
I believe, Lord I believe
Your blood has covered me

My guilt appeared so small before
Till terrible I saw,
How perfect, holy, just and pure
Was your eternal law

Let Your blood plead for me
Let Your blood wash me clean
I believe, Lord I believe
Your blood has covered me

My soul was in the bonds of sin
The cold and jagged chain
I had provoked a dreadful God
All my hopes were slain

Let Your blood plead for me
Let Your blood wash me clean
I believe, Lord I believe 
Your blood has covered me

Listen to this song here

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Water and The Blood

Lord we confess our many faults
And how great our guilt has been
Foolish and vain were all of our thoughts
No good could come from within

But by the mercy of our God
All of our hopes begin
And by the water and the blood
Our souls are washed from sin
Our souls are washed from sin

It's not by the works of righteousness
Which our own hands have done
But we are saved by our Father's grace
Abounding through His Son

But by the mercy of our God
All of our hopes begin
And by the water and the blood 
Our souls are washed from sin
Our souls are washed from sin

Oh we are saved by our Father's grace
Abounding through His Son
Abounding through His son

But by the mercy of our God
All of our hopes begin
And by the water and the blood
Our souls are washed
Our souls are washed
Our souls are washed
From Sin

Listen to this song here

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Nothing But the Blood

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow
No other fount I know
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

For my pardon this I see
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
For my cleansing this I plea
Nothing but the blood of Jesus


Nothing can for sin atone
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
Naught of good that I have done
Nothing but the blood of Jesus


This is all my hope and peace
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
This is all my righteousness
Nothing but the blood of Jesus


Now by this I'll overcome
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
Now by this I'll reach my home
Nothing but the blood of Jesus


Glory! Glory! This I'll sing -
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
All my praise for this I bring
Nothing but the blood of Jesus


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Before the Throne

Words and Music by Charitie Lees Bancroft and Vikki Cook

Before the throne of God above, 
I have a strong, a perfect plea,
A great High Priest whose name is "Love," 
Who ever lives and pleads for me. 
My name is graven on His hands, 
My name is writen on His heart; 
I know that while in heav'n He stands 
no tongue can bid me thence depart. 
No tongue can bid me thence depart. 
When Satan tempts me to despair, 
and tells me of the guilt within, 
upward I look and see Him there 
Who made an end to all my sin. 
Because the sinless Savior died, 
my sinful soul is counted free; 
For God, the Just, is satisfied 
to look on him and pardon me. 
to look on him and pardon me. 
Behold him there! the risen Lamb, 
my perfect, spotless Righteousness, 
the great unchangeable I AM, 
the King of glory and of grace! 
One with Himself I cannot die, 
My soul is purchased by His blood; 
My life is hid with Christ on high, 
with Christ, my Savior and my God 
with Christ, my Savior and my God 

Listen to the song here

Monday, March 24, 2014

Only Your Blood

Words and Music Neil Robins, adapted from “Psalm 51 Part II” by Isaac Watts

I am ashamed conceived in sin I’ve always been.
Born in a World Where Adam’s fall corrupts us
Rooted is the seed of death in life’s first breath
The law demands a perfect heart but I’m defiled in every part

For only your blood is enough to cover my sin
For only your blood is enough to cover me.

All this guilt disturbs my peace I find no release.
Who will save me from my crime I’m helpless
Behold I fall before your face in need of grace
So speak to me in a gentle voice for in your mercies I rejoice


Lord create my heart anew ( Father come and make us wise )
Only you are pure and true ( Lead us away from our demise )
Lord you are the remedy ( For only your blood can set us free )

For only your blood can set us free For only your blood can set us free

No bleeding bird, no bleeding beast
No hyssop branch no priest
No running brook no flood no sea
Can wash away this stain from me.

For only your blood is enough to cover my sin
For only your blood is enough to cover me.

Listen to the song here

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Next Generation

Last Sunday we had a parent child dedication service and it was wonderful. Our sermon discussed John 17:20-26 where Jesus prays for all believers and gave us a picture of the legacy we are to pass on to the next generation.

We were created for relationship and as believers we are to be unified. 

"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as We are one: I in them and You in Me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved me."
~John 17:20-23

God is unified with Himself. We were created in His image to have a relationship with the Christ. Our unity with Christ leads us to unity with each other. 

Unity is not uniformity or unanimity. God intends for us to have unity in diversity, celebrating our uniqueness and not letting our preferences become priority. Jesus is our priority! Everything else is secondary. We pass this on to the next generation by accepting our kids for who God made them to be, not attempting to make them into our clone or making them what we think they should be. God knows them best and created them for a specific purpose. 

Diversity is beautiful. Beauty is unity and diversity in harmony. Are you seeing the beauty in the diversity of the Body or are you looking for people who are just like you?

We were created for more, for glory.

"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see My glory, the glory You have given Me because You loved Me before the creation of the world."
~John 17:24

We were created for the glory of Heaven. Knowing God and living with Him for eternity is the greatest glory. The only way we can know God is through His Son, Jesus Christ. The glory of this world is but a foreshadowing of the glory that is to come when we are with God in Heaven for all eternity. 

The more we are created for comes from Jesus death. He is calling us to teach this to our kids by out storying and romancing the story and romance of this world. The story and romance of what Jesus has done is the greatest story and romance of all time. Teach this to your kids! Teach them Scripture. Then help them to integrate the Truths of Scripture into their lives. 

We were created to love.

"Righteous Father, though the world does not know You, I know You, and they know that You have sent Me. I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for Me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."
~John 17:25-26

We are to love our children in the love of Christ. This is a scandalous love that is unlike anything the world knows. Because we are fallen human beings, we are sometimes motivated by other things to love our children, so we must always be on the look out for inappropriate love such as treating them as possessions or living vicariously through them. Appropriate love is rooted in the love of Christ that He has given to us, and unconditional love that meets them where they are.

We need to talk to other parents about our parenting and seek help from others in the faith. 
We need to lead by example. Our goal for our kids to to see them love God, love the church and love their family. We must show them this by the way we live.

Remember that ultimately we are humble stewards of the children God has given to us. They belong to Him and they are on loan to us. Teach them well.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Acts 2:23

"This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless me." ~Acts 2:23

From the beginning of time, God planned to have His Son killed for our sins. This is part of a speech given by Peter after the ascension of Christ to the Jews and I am floored at this statement. Jesus was killed by lawless men, sinners. Yet it was God's plan for this to happen. Nothing is beyond God! Jesus came to earth knowing He would die. He willingly came. From the time Jesus created the world, He knew He would enter into it to save it. 

Is anyone else blown away by this?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Hebrews 9:11-28

"Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins." 
~Hebrews 9:22 b

This section of Hebrews talks about the redemption of sinners by the blood of Christ. Hebrews 9:22 says it clearly. If Christ had not died we would still be striving under the law, sacrificing animals to cover our sin. 

"For life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement for the life."
~Leviticus 17:11

But Jesus died to cover the sins of humanity. He spilled His blood on the altar to save us from our sin. His lifeblood poured out on the cross, the way the lambs, rams, and other animals did for the Israelites in the Old Testament. The difference is His is sufficient to cover all our sins and we do not have to sacrifice over and over again. 

Thank You, Jesus for shedding Your blood for me. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

2 Corinthians 5:21

"For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." ~2 Corinthians 5:21

Jesus lived a perfect life. He did not know sin because He could not sin. Jesus is perfect. Jesus is God. But so we could become righteous, Jesus who knew no sin became sin for us by dying the death we deserved on the cross. He suffered so much so that we could know the righteousness of God and actually become righteous as He is righteous. 

Though, we are sinners, in Christ we can become righteous! What a gift.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Romans 5:8

"But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
~Romans 5:8

I was talking with a friend about grace yesterday and was saying why it's hard to say why God gives grace to people who completely reject Him, saying one person in specific. But then I remembered when reflecting later that Christ died for all of us while we were rejecting Him. Before we were righteous, Jesus died for us. Before I knew right from wrong, when I was a hateful sinner, Christ died for me! This is the amazing Truth of the Gospel, Jesus dies for sinners. Because of His death, God gives grace to sinners. No one deserves grace. No one deserves love. No one deserves to be saved from eternal wrath. But God in His great love, grace and mercy sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die for us! He took our place.

Thank You, Jesus!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

When I Survey

"See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e're such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?"
~ Isaac Watts

Christ suffered so much for us so that we could be made right with God. He did it because of His love for us, knowing that it was the only way our sin could be washed clean. Thank You, Jesus for the love and sorrow you poured out for me.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Power of the Cross by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

Oh to see the dawn 
Of the darkest day
Christ on the road to Calvary
Tried by sinful men
Torn and beaten, then
Nailed on a cross of wood

This the power of the cross
Christ became sin for us
Took the blame, bore the wrath
We stand forgiven at the cross

Oh, to see the pain
Written on Your face
Bearing the awesome weight of sin
Every bitter thought
Every evil deed
Crowning Your blood stained brown

This the power of the cross
Christ became sin for us
Took the blame, bore the wrath 
We stand forgiven at the cross

Now the daylight flees
Now the ground beneath
Quakes as it's maker bows His head
Curtain torn in two
Dead are raised to life
"Finished" the victory cry

This the power of the cross 
Christ became sin for us
Took the blame, bore the wrath
We stand forgiven at the cross

Oh to see my name
Written in the wounds
For through Your suffering I am free
Death is crushed to death
Life is mine to live
Won through Your selfless love

This the power of the cross
Son of God - slain for us
What a love! What a cost!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Eternal Life

Jesus spoke these things, looked up to heaven, and said, "Father the hour has come. Glorify Your Son so that the Son may glorify You, for You gave Him authority over all flesh, so He may give eternal life to all You have given Him. This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You have sent - Jesus Christ. I have glorified You on the earth by completing the work You have Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me in Your presence with that glory I had with You before the world existed."
John 17:1-5

Eternal life is found in Jesus alone. Without Jesus we have no life. To have eternal life is to Know God and Jesus Christ. If you do not know God through His Son Jesus Christ, then you do not have eternal life and you are walking in death.

Eternal life is given through the mercy of God alone and it is a God and Jesus thing. They do the work and provide the gift. We must receive the gift in faith. 

Faith: empty hands that receive the gift of God.
It is not blind, we know what it is we are receiving and who we are receiving it from. 
This faith produces works, not to earn God's favor, but to respond to the gift that has been given to us. We work because He has done the work.
Faith rejects all kinds of self-righteousness. We cannot be righteous on our own. Only Jesus makes us righteous. 

Do you have eternal life? Are you putting your faith in Christ and the work He completed for you on the cross?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Love Shines by Austin Stone

Amazing Love that sent His Son
to suffer in my stead
The sinless King who died for me
When I deserved His death
Yes, I deserved His death

The Savior wept my every tear
He groaned that I might sing
My thorny crown upon His head
My cross His suffering
My cross His suffering

Your love shines, love shines at Calvary, Calvary
Your love shines, love shines at Calvary, Calvary

Jesus, Glorious Risen One
No grave could keep Him stayed
And He who triumphed over death
Now lives and leads my way
He lives and leads my way
He lives and leads my way

Your love shines, love shines at Calvary, Calvary
Now we proclaim that Jesus reigns in Victory, victory

From the cross, from the grave You rose victoriously
Son of God, King of love you reign victoriously

Friday, March 14, 2014

Isaiah 53:10-12

"Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush Him;
 He has put Him to grief;
when His soul makes and offering for guilt;
He shall see His offspring; He shall prolong His days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
Out of the anguish of His soul He shall see and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and He shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the many,
and He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because He poured out His soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet He bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressor."

It was God's will and pleasure to put His Son to death for us! As a parent this seems completely unthinkable. Why would you do that to your child? But we see the answer just below this as His soul makes an offering for the guilty. By Jesus dying on the cross and pouring out His blood, we can be free! Because of Christ living a righteous life we can be counted righteous. This is why it pleased God to crush His Son. Now Jesus sits at the Father's right hand and intercedes for us, the transgressor, the sinner, who is completely unrighteous on our own, but because of Christ's blood is not perfectly righteous before God.

Thank You, Jesus, for this salvation. Thank You for being obedient unto death.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Isaiah 53:7-9

"He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
yet He opened not His mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep before shearers is silent,
so He opened not His mouth.
By oppression and judgement He was taken away;
And as for His generation, who considered
that He was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made His grave with the wicked,
and with a rich  man in His death,
although He had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in His mouth."

Jesus did nothing wrong. NOTHING! Even as He was wrongly accused and sentenced to the most gruesome death in history, He remained silent, like a lamb, and did not commit violence against His accusers. 

We are the ones at fault. We are the ones to blame. We are sinners, corrupt, violent, speaking arrogantly or falsely, living according to the flesh. We deserve this death, the one He gladly took for us. Thank You, Jesus, for taking my death for me. You alone are my saving grace. Help me to live like You.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Isaiah 53:4-6

"Surely He has born our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced for our transgressions;
He was crushed for our iniquities;
Upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with His wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned - everyone - to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."

As I read these words written so long ago and think that God was planning this from the beginning of time, tears come to my eyes. Jesus knew when He came to earth this is what He would suffer. He would be stricken and smitten by God. He would be pierced and crushed for our sins, though He never committed any sin. Jesus suffered so much for us and yet we still go our own way. The world hates Him and yet He loved them in their sin and rebellion. God put our sin on His Son, Jesus Christ, so that we could be considered perfect and righteous. Isn't the love of God amazing!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Isaiah 53:1-3

"Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
And as One from whom men hide their faces,
He was despised and we esteemed Him not."
~Isaiah 53:1-3

This chapter is often known as the chapter of the suffering servant. Verse 3 really hits me as it reminds me how much I have rejected Christ, caused Him grief because of my sin, despised His ways and esteemed Him not. It also reminds me that when Jesus was born and walked on Earth there was nothing special about the way He looked. Even His name was common for the time. God used His Son, in a form that had not majesty to make us look at Him, to complete the greatest act of love: a way of salvation through the blood Jesus shed on the cross. 

Lord, cast my sin off of me. Make me like Jesus, even if it means sorrow and grief. May I weep for my sin, for the lost and esteem Christ as the only way of salvation. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Romans 6:23

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
~Romans 6:23

We have all sinned and we all deserve death. No one, not one person on this earth deserves anything good, let alone to be saved by the God of the universe! Yet, when we were in darkness, God sent His son to give us eternal life by dying for our sins on the cross!

Why would You do this Lord? You are so amazing! Thank You for this free gift.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Mission of Jesus

This past Sunday we studies John 17, the prayer of Jesus that He prays for Himself, His disciples and those who follow Him throughout time. A couple of things really stood out to me from this.

First God is on a mission to bring Himself glory above all else. I have heard this a lot the past couple of years, but I must be reminded of it constantly as it is not the normal in my mind. Jesus came to bring glory to God the Father by reconciling His people to Himself. In this Christ is glorified. This is resounded throughout the whole prayer of Jesus. May we seek to bring glory to God in all we do and invite others to do the same through putting their faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ.

The second thing that stood out to me was the overarching theme of unity. As Jesus prays we see Him talking about the unity of the Father and Son, ask for unity among His disciples as well as all those who would follow Christ until He comes back to take His people home. It struck me as I read this section on unity that our unity is to be in Christ alone, bring glory to God the Father the way that Jesus did. Our unity is not contingent on the way we dress, the way we vote, what music or movies we like, the way we conduct our worship services or the jobs we have. We are to be unified in our diversity. If we were all alike then who would be the foot, the hand or the eye. Diversity is needed in the church with the underlying understanding that Christ is the Head, we are the body and we are to follow Him and His ways. This does not mean we do not address sin, but that our preferences really do not matter in the grand scheme. Our preferences should make us stronger together and not cause division.

Are you seeking to glorify God in all you do? Are you unified with with Body?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Romans 3:21-26

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed overformer sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Jesus Died for Worms Like Me

"Alas! and did my Savior bleed?
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I"
~Isaac Watts

How much I have felt like a worm lately. Isaac Watts said it so well. I have struggled the last couple of weeks with anger, impatience, yelling. I have wanted to walk away as I held my head holding in a scream. I let my emotions and feelings and what I perceive as offenses against me control me. Why would Jesus die for me? I am learning to feel like Paul who called himself the Chief of Sinners. Today that is me. I am the chief of sinners, a worm, undeserving of such amazing and merciful love. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Lent started yesterday with Ash Wednesday. During this time many people give up something for the 40 days. With me having a baby sometime during Lent, I am not giving up something in the standard way people do. Instead I really want to focus on digging out sin in my life, reflecting on the cross and seeking to be more like Jesus intentionally every day. Yes I realize I should be doing this any way, but lately I really haven't and I have found myself falling into old patterns over and over again. Christ died to get me out of my sin patterns. He conquered sin for me so I could overcome.

Jesus, help me overcome my sin! 

What are you giving up/focusing on for Lent?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The World Is Not As It Should Be

Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of the season of Lent. Today at our Ash Wednesday service I was reminded greatly and heavily of how wrong this world is, how wrong I am. Life is hard, full of sin, destruction, and death. I am full of sin and destruction. There are days I feel like life is so dark that I will give way to death at any moment. People hate each other and are cruel. We abuse the world and the resources God has entrusted to us. People are selfish, seeking their own glory and power, doing what they want no matter who else it effects. We disregard God and the instructions He gave us. We seek to be our own God, in control of our own little worlds.

Today we mourn that the world is wrong. We mourn that the world has turned away from God and the life that He gives. We mourn sin, destruction and death.

But we mourn with hope! Jesus has overcome and in Him we can find life everlasting.

Shine into Our Night
We are not what we should be
We have not sought what we should seek
We've seen Your glory, Lord, but looked away
Our hearts are bent, our eyes are dim
Our finest works are stained with sin
And emptiness has shadowed all our ways

Jesus Christ, Shine into our night
Drive our Dark away 
Till Your glory fills our eyes
Jesus Christ, shine into our night
Bind us to Your cross where we find life

Still we often go astray
We chase the world, forget Your grace
But You have never failed to bring us back
Reveal the depths of what You've done
The death You died, the victory won
You made a way for us to know Your Love

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Shadowed Mind by Julie Cave

This second Dinah Harris Mystery was better than the first. It was interesting and informative and written well. I was kept in suspense until the very end, which says a lot as I can usually figure out the "who done it" half way into a mystery. (Too many CSIs). It was like being in the middle of an intense Criminal Minds which made some of the information hard to read, but was very well worded to get the point across and understand the gravity of the situation.

The only down side was some of the long explanations. Though pertinent to the story, they sometimes got a bit tedious. There was also a side story that I'm not sure needed as much detail it was given, but did not take away from the story. I am looking forward to reading the 3rd book, hopefully in the next couple of weeks.

I give this book 4.5 stars and definitely recommend it.

Monday, March 3, 2014

What Jesus Demands of the World by John Piper

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Its simplicity is wonderful and it's very easy to read and understand while still holding to the deep Truths of God's Word. It is a great tool for better understanding Jesus's teachings and look at a summery of what all Jesus said. It covers a wide variety including the demand to follow Christ, why we must, loving God, loving others and taking the Good News of Christ to the ends of the world.  I highly recommend this book, and will likely reference it again in the future.

I give this book 5 stars.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Holy Spirit

“I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you. I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you."  John 16:1-15

Jesus multiple times promises to send the Holy Spirit. In this passage we learn a lot about the Holy Spirit's purpose, and we see that He is a person, a part of the Triune God.

It is best for us that Jesus is in Heaven so that the Holy Spirit could be sent so that the Triune God could live inside everyone of His people. It is easy to think that it would be better if we had Jesus right here next to us, but we have it so much better! God live in us, leading us, guiding us, convicting us, molding us and making us more like Christ every day.

Because we have the Holy Spirit there is no reason to be afraid or anxious over anything. When we are in need we can cry out, "HELP!" We can go straight to God and seek Him first. The Holy Spirit reminds us of God's Words so we can pray God's promises to Him and our hearts can be comforted.

The Holy Spirit is such a gift to God's people. What would it look like to fully rely on and listen to the Holy Spirit?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

February Blessings

Here are a few of the blessings that stood out to me this month.

  1. Lillian telling me she needed to say sorry to Jesus and God after disobeying
  2. Helping Jamey figure out how to do well with his copywork
  3. Listening to Jamey read "The Jesus Bible Storybook" with almost no help
  4. Hearing Jamey and Lillian sing Bible verse songs together
  5. Gabriel mostly walking
  6. Reuben sharing his grapes with Gabriel, including biting them in half for him
  7. A few warm days so I could wear flip-flops!
  8. Turning 30
  9. Jamey turning 5