Thursday, April 29, 2010

Doggies & Garage Sales

For the last week I have been doggy/house sitting for a family friend. Because of this, I have been away from my own home and my sewing machine and other crafting goods. I feel like I am going through withdrawals. Even though I don't have a lot of crafting time as it is, being away from it and not having the option is giving me an itch that will have to be scratched as soon as I get back on Sunday!

In the mean time, I was on a walk with Bella this past weekend and I came across a garage sale. And not just any garage sale but the special kind where they tell you that you can fit as many things in one bag for $5. $5 dollars!!!! I had to get my Mom in on the action too! We went away from there with a few bags full of goodies. So much so that my husband who was coming home at the time, had to stop by and pick them up as we couldn't make the walk home with all of it! He's was good sport!

If only every dog walk could end this way :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

So Long, Insecurity...

...You've Been a Bad Friend to me! This last weekend I went to the Beth Moore, 'So Long, Insecurity' Simulcast. As you can tell by the name of the event, the topic was on her new book by the same name about women and their insecurities, namely women in Christ. You'd think we would know it by now, but it seems life, sins and everything else, like to pull us down and make us insecure and miserable.

I have been dealing with my own insecurities lately and it has really gotten to me. It has about driven me crazy, in fact. My dear husband and best friend have been so supportive of me during this time, but it is something I need to deal with, me and God.

The funny thing is, all of my insecurity has come right after the simulcast about facing our insecurity. It reminds me so much of stories in the bible of people who did some silly things. In their humanness, in their insecurities they made choices that when we read them, we realize they were quite silly. But when we are in our own various situations, we do the exact same thing. I had one of those moments last night. How do we forget so easily that we are made victorious through Christ?

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" -2 Corinthians 5:17

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." -Isaiah 43:18-19

I want to move past this insecurity in my life. I want to boldly claim the security that one can only find through Jesus Christ. My God loves me completely, unfailingly, even when I make silly mistakes or even awful ones. My security comes from this love.

At the end of the simulcast, Beth had each of us ladies partner up and pray over one another. It was a very touching prayer that really resonates with me in this moment.

My Dear Sister
If Christ is Your Savior
You are the dwelling place
Of His own Spirit.
You have it IN YOU
to be secure.
Every day of your life
You have a choice to make
You can live in your old defeat
Or you can turn from your unbelief
And choose life.
Make up your mind
To put off the old you
And put on the new you.
Never, ever, ever forget
That the Lord is your security.
He will keep your foot
From being caught in a trap.
He will take care of you
To your very last breath.
Now, leave this place
And go out into the world
And act like a person
Who knows she’s dearly loved.
You were born to be exceptional.
So, Girlfriend, go forth
And walk worthy of your calling.
You are clothed in strength and dignity!
Now unto Him
Who can keep you from falling
Be glory and majesty
Power and authority
Through Jesus Christ our Lord
Now and forever more
So Long, Insecurity!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

His- story

Have you ever stopped to think of your life and how God plays a role in it? Has He played a starring role or just an extra?

This last weekend I was taught something that I had never thought about before. I mean REALLY thought about. Our lives are not about us, this I know, but it is more than that. This life, the whole human history, is His story. He doesn't just play a role in our lives, we play a role in His. Our life is just one scene in the long span of what is and will be human history. When you think about it like that, it puts things in perspective.

"For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place" -Esther 4:14

Translation: God and His plan will go forward. He is sovereign and we know what happens in the end. The big question is are we going to play a role in His plan. Are we going to submit to His will? I know when I try to live my life on my own, doing what I think is right, I fail miserably. I am comforted to know that God works it out, if we but surrender to His will and make Him the star of the story, and not ourselves.

Even when we are blind to the evidence, God "works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will."

God "works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose."

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Lord is my Shepherd

In recent days I have been reflecting on just how awesome God really is. How could He be so kind and merciful and loving to a wretch like me? Or any of us? These two verses stood out to me. Read them and tell me you don't get an overwhelming love and adoration for the One who loves us and shows such great mercy to us.

"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." -Psalm 53:6

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." -Romans 5:8

While reading the bible, you see this elaborate love story unfolding. All throughout the old testament, it speaks of a coming Savior and deliverer for the Lord's people. And of course in the new testament you see that it was Jesus Christ the prophets of old talked about. It is a beautiful picture of the Lord Jesus and His life and sacrifice He made for us.

From the beginning, God in His infinite wisdom had a plan to rescue us, even before we fell and needed a Savior. In His infinite love for us, He emptied Himself and became human, "he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!"

To think that the Lord of the universe came to earth, was born to be with us and to teach us. He saw us and still loves us even though we are awful ugly sinners. What an amazing love!

I love the old hymn "How Deep the Father's love for us";

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." -Isaiah 55:8-9

All along, God had/has a plan. I can imagine the people in Noah's day thinking he was a schmuck for building the ark and collecting the animals. And I bet the people in Jericho had a huge laugh seeing Joshua and the Children of Israel walking around their city. God's ways are not our ways and we will not always understand why He does things the way He does, but with Him as my Shepherd I will trust Him where He guides me. I will trust in His plan laid out before the creation of the world.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Simple Things

There are many simple joys that I just can't get enough of.. waking up to my husband's kisses in the morning, reading God's word before my busy day, and of course my morning coffee.

Today I was able to enjoy some other simple pleasures like picking out some gorgeous spring tulips for our kitchen table and making some delicious AND insanely easy cookies with my Mom.

Crispy Lemon Drop Cookies

1 pkg. lemon cake mix
1 cup rice krispies
1 cube butter
1 egg

Mix all ingredients together and form into small balls. Place on cookie sheet and bake in 350 degree oven for 9 minutes. Enjoy!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Build Your House on the Rock

As a child of God, I think it is so important to know, study and defend His faith. It is vitally important to know, study and defend His word.

God is like a solid rock that we can build our lives upon. When we stand upon the Word of God, in our weakness we are made strong. In this day and age and even back in biblical times there are those who believe in a religious system or belief that simply isn't biblical. Below is an e-mail that I want to share of a conversation I had with someone regarding true biblical Christianity and how it is our duty as a follower of Christ to stand up for and defend His truths.

Hi Tanner,

It's nice to hear from you! I trust you had a wonderful Good Friday and Easter weekend!

I read the books that you asked me to in the BoM. I see what you were trying to get me to understand; to believe and not seek after proof. A verse itself in Alma 32 says to not have a 'stubbornness of heart' and to 'believe without being brought to know the word'. But I have some problems with these verses. Namely, in the bible it says numerous times that God wants us to find His word and seek it and read it and discover more about it. If we don't seek it out and learn more about what exactly His law and precepts are then how can we believe it? Blind faith seems silly to me because you won't even know what you believe in, right? I mean, if you don't know it, how can you say you actually believe in it?

"As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." Acts 17:10-11

The verses in the BoM are in stark contrast to what the bible teaches.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2

The reason why I am wary of the books you told me to read is because I know that all the scriptures are God-breathed, meaning, He sent these messages to men who would write them down for us and our instruction. If that is the case, then these verses that I just shared with you are saying that we are to dig deep into His word. If it is His word and His truth then it will stand up to my observation and examination. I don't doubt His word, but I want to be able to know His word in order to know Him.

John 1:1 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men." This verse tells me that God IS the word. So why wouldn't I want to learn more about Him and believe in Him because I know Him?

I had asked before about whether or not Jesus was God. You said no. But I know from reading my bible that God says numerous times in His word that Jesus IS. Take a look at John 1:14. It reads, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." Now if John 1:1 said that the word WAS God and then later in that chapter says that the Word (i.e. God) became flesh (i.e. Jesus) doesn't that give a pretty good idea that Jesus is God?

In old testament times you'll see that if anyone looked upon the face of God they would die. We are awful sinners and in the presence of all-mighty God, we would literally die. In the book of Phillipians, you'll see that they describe Jesus being in the form of God becoming a man to dwell with us and teach us His ways. If He manifested Himself in any other way, we would die, but Christ was veiled in human flesh in order for Him to be with with us, or Emmanuel which means 'God with us' (Matthew 1:23).

Like we talked about before, following God and His will is the of the utmost importance to me. I seek His truth in everything I do and because of that I stand up for His truths over any other doctrine or religious system that goes against it.

"And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things." Romans 1:23. I see the LDS church as turning what is pure and true into something different entirely. There is doctrine in the bible that is contradicted within the churches teachings and even within the BoM itself. Take Alma 41:8 for example.. " Now, the decrees of God are unalterable; therefore, the way is prepared that whosoever will may walk therein and be saved." This verse clearly states that God and His word is unalterable, meaning it doesn't change, but within the church it has.

There are numerous accounts of the church changing their position on certain issues like polygamy, blacks in the priesthood and more recently with homosexuality. Correct me if I'm wrong but, according to mormon doctrine it is said that people who are black are that way because of their demeanor in the pre-existence. They did not follow Satan obviously or else they would have been one of the 1/3 that became his demons, but they were not entirely on board with Jesus' plan. And also it is said that the mark of Cain also was given to these people. Before the church included black people in the priesthood, some church leaders say that because of their rebellion they were not worthy to be able to hold the priesthood. If this is what the church and it's leaders (who are said to be inspired of God) said then why would that change? If they were said be to unworthy then why were they all of a sudden worthy?

I know that the church has an position that homosexuals cannot engage in homosexuality but can still be members but in recent months news came out that the church took an official position on new legislation in Utah. The legislation is for anti-discriminatory measures for gay people. "The LDS issued a statement backing the ordinance, saying they were against discrimination against anyone, but that they supported traditional marriage. Church spokesman Michael Otterson said, "The church supports these ordinances because they are fair and reasonable and do not do violence to the institution of marriage." That is absurd to me. If God destroyed a city because of their wickedness and perversions due to homosexuality then why would His church take a stand for legislation that would give them special rights? Homosexuality is called an abomination in the bible. Why would He all of a sudden decide that it was fine to be that way and on top of that, that they would get special rights? God IS unchanging and His word is true yesterday, today and forever and that is why I believe in biblical Christianity and nothing else.

"The Lord says: These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men." Isaiah 29:13

I appreciate all your time the other night speaking with me. You were very kind to me and actually took my questions unlike some people I tried to have an open dialog with. May God bless you and give you His truth!

God Bless,

Wednesday, April 7, 2010