Monday, January 16, 2012
“Keep silence before Me, O coastlands,
And let the people renew their strength!
Let them come near, then let them speak;
Let us come near together for judgment.
“ Who raised up one from the east?
Who in righteousness called him to His feet?
Who gave the nations before him,
And made him rule over kings?
Who gave them as the dust to his sword,
As driven stubble to his bow?
Who pursued them, and passed safely
By the way that he had not gone with his feet?
Who has performed and done it,
Calling the generations from the beginning?
‘ I, the LORD, am the first;
And with the last I am He.’”
The coastlands saw it and feared,
The ends of the earth were afraid;
They drew near and came.
Everyone helped his neighbor,
And said to his brother,
“ Be of good courage!”
So the craftsman encouraged the goldsmith;
He who smooths with the hammer inspired him who strikes the anvil,
Saying, “It is ready for the soldering”;
Then he fastened it with pegs,
That it might not totter.
“ But you, Israel, are My servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
The descendants of Abraham My friend.
You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth,
And called from its farthest regions,
And said to you,
‘ You are My servant,
I have chosen you and have not cast you away:
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
“ Behold, all those who were incensed against you
Shall be ashamed and disgraced;
They shall be as nothing,
And those who strive with you shall perish.
You shall seek them and not find them—
Those who contended with you.
Those who war against you
Shall be as nothing,
As a nonexistent thing.
For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand,
Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’
“ Fear not, you worm Jacob,
You men of Israel!
I will help you,” says the LORD
And your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
“ Behold, I will make you into a new threshing sledge with sharp teeth;
You shall thresh the mountains and beat them small,
And make the hills like chaff.
You shall winnow them, the wind shall carry them away,
And the whirlwind shall scatter them;
You shall rejoice in the LORD,
And glory in the Holy One of Israel.
“ The poor and needy seek water, but there is none,
Their tongues fail for thirst.
I, the LORD, will hear them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
I will open rivers in desolate heights,
And fountains in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
And the dry land springs of water.
I will plant in the wilderness the cedar and the acacia tree,
The myrtle and the oil tree;
I will set in the desert the cypress tree and the pine
And the box tree together,
That they may see and know,
And consider and understand together,
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
And the Holy One of Israel has created it
Truly He is our helper! There is nothing too big we can ask Him, neither anything too little that we may ask of our Lord that He will not do for us. It is so sad, but I forget this promise on a daily basis. If only I remembered this every single day!
Fear not, for I AM is with you!
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
I have been really convicted lately that my intake of media, mainly TV and movies, far exceeds my time with the Lord. I was reading John Piper's blog yesterday and he had this post, which I think was totally meant for me!
Here is what he said:
"What do you do when someone loves movies than Jesus?
Many professing Christians give little evidence of valuing Jesus more than the latest movie they have seen. Or the latest clothing they bought. Or the latest app they downloaded. Or the latest game they watched. Something is amiss.
We are not God and cannot judge with certainty and precision what’s wrong. There is a glitch somewhere. Perhaps a blindness going in, a spiritual deadness at heart, or a blockage coming out. Or some combination. Christ doesn’t appear supremely valuable. Or isn’t felt as supremely valuable. Or can’t be spoken of as supremely valuable. Or some combination.
Here’s my suggestion. Instead of dampening their enthusiasm for movies, clothing, apps, and events, let that go as an expression of God-given personality. Instead, model expressive joy in Jesus. Over time, if there is no resonance from their heart with your joy, query them humbly:
I love your enthusiasm for the things you get excited about. You’re so free and expressive about good movies and nice clothes and cool apps. It seems odd to me that you don’t seem to be as expressive about the way you feel about Jesus and what he’s done for us. Have you thought about why that might be?
The point of this query is to help them see that the problem is not joyfully loving good created things. The problem is the apparent absence of similar affections for Christ.
If similar affections for Jesus are not possible, then the specter of idolatry becomes serious. But they may sense this themselves without your having to start with that indictment, if you draw their attention not to the excitement that’s there, but to what’s missing.
We don’t want them to lose their exuberance about anything good. We want Christ to be supreme in their hearts so that all their exuberance comes under him and for his sake. When Jesus is felt as supremely valuable in our hearts, all other values gradually become properly ordered and purified.
May the Lord give you great courage and wisdom as you help people awaken to the supreme value of Jesus."
I think that as Christ followers we need to evaluate our motives and evaluate the content, just like in the area of music, and pray that Jesus will give us guidance in this area.
Let's purpose in our hearts to do just that!
Thursday, January 5, 2012
This was the most unexpected and interesting Christmas for us a a family. God has been stretching us beyond our comfort zone in the area of trust. I can honestly say that every tear and every wrestling prayer has been worth it. God has grown us as a family in an awesome way.
Our non-traditional Christmas celebration happened on December 26th, at 10pm-2am...Here are some pictures, but oh my, I must say that we all look pathetic and VERY tired :)
|Faith and I|
|The Babies of the family:)|
|And there they are again! Look at how tired they look, poor things :(|
|Of course we mustn't forget the family pet :)|
|Eh, what is this?|
|Oh yeah, punkin' out :) This is not my usual self, I promise!|
|Can we go to Scotland know?|
|I wonder what this is??|
|Oh MY WORD!!!! Most awesomest gift! The new NEWSBOYS cd!!|
|Now its dads and moms turn|
I will never forget this Christmas as long as I live. It was a time of unexpectedness, but God surely met us where we were. Hope all of you had a fantabolous CHRISTmas!!
Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years!