A Story to Embody: Sunday, July 29

Sorry I missed last Sunday; I was away with my love celebrating 11 years of marriage.  After all that we have been through, it was a truly sweet and precious time.  Marriage is truly meant to be a wonderful, life-giving gift.  I am in awe of our great God and His blessing and design and once again overwhelmed with the freedom and the joy of doing it with God and my husband.  Below is a video my husband made for us last year. 

Link: http://youtu.be/GoTwUiBYziw (Also if you are looking for a little Christmas in July or laughter be sure to check out my mother-in-law aka "Jingle Jane" afterwards).

Once again, I am getting the readings for this summer from Holy Trinity's website.  They are going through the book of Ephesians and it has been wonderful.  The main theme thus far has been GRACE  and if you know me at all I love grace.  My understanding of grace has truly strengthened and deepened this summer.  If you are interested, I would truly encourage you to listen to the sermons that go along with the weekly readings.

So that's enough from me, but as always I pray that you would be strengthened and deepened in your understanding of God's great love for you.  The Trinity (God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit) are ever-present and real, whether you are in a great place, or in a dark place.  May you ever-increase in your ability to walk in the reality of their love.

Galatians 3:7-9
So you should know that the true children of Abraham are those who have faith.8 The Scriptures, telling what would happen in the future, said that God would make the non-Jewish people right through their faith. This Good News was told to Abraham beforehand, as the Scripture says: "All nations will be blessed through you."9 So all who believe as Abraham believed are blessed just as Abraham was.

Psalm 145:10-18
Lord, everything you have made will praise you;
those who belong to you will bless you.
11 They will tell about the glory of your kingdom
and will speak about your power.
12 Then everyone will know the mighty things you do
and the glory and majesty of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom will go on and on,
and you will rule forever.

The Lord will keep all his promises;
he is loyal to all he has made.
14 The Lord helps those who have been defeated
and takes care of those who are in trouble.
15 All living things look to you for food,
and you give it to them at the right time.
16 You open your hand,
and you satisfy all living things.

17 Everything the Lord does is right.
He is loyal to all he has made.
18 The Lord is close to everyone who prays to him,
to all who truly pray to him.

Ephesians 2:11-22
You were not born Jewish. You are the people the Jews call "uncircumcised." Those who call you "uncircumcised" call themselves "circumcised." (Their circumcision is only something they themselves do on their bodies.) 12 Remember that in the past you were without Christ. You were not citizens of Israel, and you had no part in the agreements with the promise that God made to his people. You had no hope, and you did not know God.13 But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away from God are brought near through the blood of Christ's death.14 Christ himself is our peace. He made both Jewish people and those who are not Jews one people. They were separated as if there were a wall between them, but Christ broke down that wall of hate by giving his own body.15 The Jewish law had many commands and rules, but Christ ended that law. His purpose was to make the two groups of people become one new people in him and in this way make peace.16 It was also Christ's purpose to end the hatred between the two groups, to make them into one body, and to bring them back to God. Christ did all this with his death on the cross.17 Christ came and preached peace to you who were far away from God, and to those who were near to God.18 Yes, it is through Christ we all have the right to come to the Father in one Spirit.

19 Now you who are not Jewish are not foreigners or strangers any longer, but are citizens together with God's holy people. You belong to God's family.20 You are like a building that was built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Christ Jesus himself is the most important stone in that building,21 and that whole building is joined together in Christ. He makes it grow and become a holy temple in the Lord.22 And in Christ you, too, are being built together with the Jews into a place where God lives through the Spirit.

Luke 4:16-21
Jesus traveled to Nazareth, where he had grown up. On the Sabbath day he went to the synagogue, as he always did, and stood up to read. 17 The book of Isaiah the prophet was given to him. He opened the book and found the place where this is written:

18 "The Lord has put his Spirit in me,
because he appointed me to tell the Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to tell the captives they are free
and to tell the blind that they can see again. — Isaiah 61:1
God sent me to free those who have been treated unfairly — Isaiah 58:6
19 and to announce the time when the Lord will show his kindness." — Isaiah 61:2

20 Jesus closed the book, gave it back to the assistant, and sat down. Everyone in the synagogue was watching Jesus closely. 21 He began to say to them, "While you heard these words just now, they were coming true!"

In Christ,

And the winner is...

The winner of the $25 Target Gift card is Stephanie B.  Thank you again for buying and reading my book: A Bond of Blessing.  If you have read it, please take time to do a review on Amazon ~ it helps future readers know what they are getting themselves in for:).


A Story to Embody: July 15

Genesis 3:1-15, 22-24
1 Now the snake was the most clever of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day the snake said to the woman, "Did God really say that you must not eat fruit from any tree in the garden?"

2 The woman answered the snake, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden.3 But God told us, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden. You must not even touch it, or you will die.' "

4 But the snake said to the woman, "You will not die.5 God knows that if you eat the fruit from that tree, you will learn about good and evil and you will be like God!"

6 The woman saw that the tree was beautiful, that its fruit was good to eat, and that it would make her wise. So she took some of its fruit and ate it. She also gave some of the fruit to her husband who was with her, and he ate it.

7 Then, it was as if their eyes were opened. They realized they were naked, so they sewed fig leaves together and made something to cover themselves.

8 Then they heard the Lord God walking in the garden during the cool part of the day, and the man and his wife hid from the Lord God among the trees in the garden.9 But the Lord God called to the man and said, "Where are you?"

10 The man answered, "I heard you walking in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid."

11 God asked, "Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat fruit from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?"

12 The man said, "You gave this woman to me and she gave me fruit from the tree, so I ate it."

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, "How could you have done such a thing?"
She answered, "The snake tricked me, so I ate the fruit."
14 The Lord God said to the snake,
"Because you did this,
a curse will be put on you.
You will be cursed as no other animal, tame or wild, will ever be.
You will crawl on your stomach,
and you will eat dust all the days of your life.
15 I will make you and the woman
enemies to each other.
Your descendants and her descendants
will be enemies.
One of her descendants will crush your head,
and you will bite his heel."

Then the Lord God said, "Humans have become like one of us; they know good and evil. We must keep them from eating some of the fruit from the tree of life, or they will live forever."23 So the Lord God forced Adam out of the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 After God forced humans out of the garden, he placed angels and a sword of fire that flashed around in every direction on its eastern border. This kept people from getting to the tree of life.

Psalm 85:8-13
8 I will listen to God the Lord.
He has ordered peace for those who worship him.
Don't let them go back to foolishness.
9 God will soon save those who respect him,
and his glory will be seen in our land.
10 Love and truth belong to God's people;
goodness and peace will be theirs.
11 On earth people will be loyal to God,
and God's goodness will shine down from heaven.
12 The Lord will give his goodness,
and the land will give its crops.
13 Goodness will go before God
and prepare the way for him. 

Ephesians 2:1-5
In the past you were spiritually dead because of your sins and the things you did against God.2 Yes, in the past you lived the way the world lives, following the ruler of the evil powers that are above the earth. That same spirit is now working in those who refuse to obey God. 3 In the past all of us lived like them, trying to please our sinful selves and doing all the things our bodies and minds wanted. We should have suffered God's anger because we were sinful by nature. We were the same as all other people.

4 But God's mercy is great, and he loved us very much.5 Though we were spiritually dead because of the things we did against God, he gave us new life with Christ. You have been saved by God's grace.

John 3:1-8, 16-21
There was a man named Nicodemus who was one of the Pharisees and an important Jewish leader.2 One night Nicodemus came to Jesus and said, "Teacher, we know you are a teacher sent from God, because no one can do the miracles you do unless God is with him."

3 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot be in God's kingdom."

4 Nicodemus said, "But if a person is already old, how can he be born again? He cannot enter his mother's womb again. So how can a person be born a second time?"

5 But Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, unless you are born from water and the Spirit, you cannot enter God's kingdom. 6 Human life comes from human parents, but spiritual life comes from the Spirit.7 Don't be surprised when I tell you, 'You must all be born again.' 8 The wind blows where it wants to and you hear the sound of it, but you don't know where the wind comes from or where it is going. It is the same with every person who is born from the Spirit."

"God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life. 17 God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through him.18 People who believe in God's Son are not judged guilty. Those who do not believe have already been judged guilty, because they have not believed in God's one and only Son.19 They are judged by this fact: The Light has come into the world, but they did not want light. They wanted darkness, because they were doing evil things.20 All who do evil hate the light and will not come to the light, because it will show all the evil things they do. 21 But those who follow the true way come to the light, and it shows that the things they do were done through God."

In Christ,

These Scripture readings correspond with the messages offered at Holy Trinity Anglician Church.

Symposium of Psalm 103

This morning, my daily prayer time included Psalm 103.  This is a Psalm near and dear to my heart and as a result I've written on it several times.  I went back through my previous writings on it and I decided to combine them together for today's post.

As you read, you will notice that this Psalm starts out with bless the Lord, O my soul.  In the beginning, it appears that the Psalmist is going through a hard time, a moment of confusion and despair and therefore he is telling his soul to praise the Lord and not forget all His benefits. He then goes on to list many of the benefits of the Lord.  You will see his mood change and accelerate so that by the end the Psalmist is excitedly telling everyone to praise God, from the heavenly hosts, to the angels, to his very own soul. His mood changes from a place of discouragement to the place of declaring, believing and understanding what is true: THAT HIS LOVE IS GREAT, so GREAT we can't help but praise the Lord, O my soul.

Psalm 103 (AMP)
1BLESS (AFFECTIONATELY, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name!

All that is "deepest" within me: In the past, there have been  places, thoughts and ideas in my heart that I've wanted to hide from the Lord. This Psalm has encouraged me to "bless" Him from every place. During my quiet prayers I'm learning to praise Him with all areas.

2Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits--

3Who forgives [every one of] all your iniquities, Who heals [each one of] all your diseases,

4Who redeems your life from the pit and corruption,

Who beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercy;

I once wrote a post called Spiritual Wardrobe, which lists some of the clothes God offers to dress us with. I didn't include this one. I absolutely love the imagery in it - beautifies, dignifies and crowns - to have His loving-kindness and tender mercy on top of your head flowing down!!!

Day 137 by Velo Steve

5Who satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age and situation] with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle's [strong, overcoming, soaring]!

Who redeems your life from the pit... so that your youth, is renewed, like an eagle: I was driving past a dump the other day. It was a windy day and above the dump were hundreds of seagulls "soaring" around the dump. I began thinking in my mind about the differences between a seagull and eagle and I began to wonder how we as Christians actually tend to live.

Seagulls are scavengers. They like to live above the trash and look at it all the time. They don't want to miss out on any of the junk. Like eagles they can "soar" on the wind but they choose to stay close to the earth and all the trash.

Eagles on the other hand build their nests high on the cliffs. When they soar on the wind they soar high above the earth. They have been given keen eyesight and when they need to eat they see the tiny item that they need to attack and they can dive down, grab and attack it with the strength of their legs.

I think God is very intentional when He chooses analogies for our lives. He chose an eagle on purpose and I think it is important for us to compare our lives to see if we are operating in the fullness of what He purchased for us.

Do you act like a seagull or an eagle? Both birds soar on the wind (the wind in the Bible is often compared to the Holy Spirit). But where do you let the Holy Spirit take you? Do you only allow Him to raise you high enough to see your trash and the trash of those around it? Or are you like an eagle? Do you allow the Holy Spirit to take you to the heights, where the things of this world become strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace (line from "Fix Your Eyes on Jesus")? Do you soar in the glory of the Holy Spirit and in the strength that He has placed in you? There are times when we do become aware of the things of this earth, our prey and we return to the earth with great precision and insight because He has pointed out something for us to attack and take. We attack with strength; it dies and then we return to the heights.

6The Lord executes righteousness and justice [not for me only, but] for all who are oppressed.

I'd encourage you to pause here and reflect on that one powerful statement.  This is the heart of the Father - this is what He is doing.

7He made known His ways [of righteousness and justice] to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.

8The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy and loving-kindness.
9He will not always chide or be contending, neither will He keep His anger forever or hold a grudge.
If you ask the average person walking along the street what is the God of Christianity like, do you think their answer would include: merciful, gracious, slow to anger, PLENTEOUS in mercy and loving-kindness?  If not why?

10He has not dealt with us after our sins nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great are His mercy and loving-kindness toward those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him.

12As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Did you know scientists today have not found the ends of the universe yet?  So guess how far He's removed your sins... Do you live your life in light of that knowledge?

13As a father loves and pities his children, so the Lord loves and pities those who fear Him [with reverence, worship, and awe].
14For He knows our frame, He [earnestly] remembers and imprints [on His heart] that we are dust.
I again love the imagery in these verses: as a Father loves His children so the Lord loves us... We are imprinted on His heart.  What better or safer place is there to be than that?

15As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
16For the wind passes over it and it is gone, and its place shall know it no more.
17But the mercy and loving-kindness of the Lord are from everlasting to everlasting upon those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him, and His righteousness is to children's children--

As many of us know all to well, this life we live is so brief, but what a beautiful and precious reminder of the weight of who God is for all eternity. For me personally, it is a precious reminder that His love will never fade away and that He has promised to carry the message and benefit of His love to my children and my grandchildren.  The contrast between our frailty and His strength is astounding, so where should we rest in our momentary troubles of our life or in the everlasting mercy and loving-kindness of our Lord?

18To such as keep His covenant [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying it] and to those who [earnestly] remember His commandments to do them [imprinting them on their hearts].

We've been invited to imprint Him on our hearts, just like He's imprinted us.

19The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all.
20Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, you His angels, you mighty ones who do His commandments, hearkening to the voice of His word.
21Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, all you His hosts, you His ministers who do His pleasure.

I love this - you who do His pleasure. As children of God, we have the opportunity to carry on the message contained in the Psalm of His love, mercy and grace to those around us!

22Bless the Lord, all His works in all places of His dominion; bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul!
Oh! I just love this Psalm. My thoughts only scratch the surface of this Psalm - I'd encourage you to consider meditating on it for a season. your soul will be blessed.  By the time I'm done reading it, I always want to start this Psalm over again because it wraps up the immensity of our salvation into one prayer!

In Christ,

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A Story to Embody: Ordinary Time

It's hard for me to read these verses and not get super excited about God and what He has in store for His people everyday!  As you reading today, remember that the verses in Jeremiah have been fulfilled and that we are full benefactors of those promises - today!  Christ is our head, He is the sealer of who we are and everything we do and say should come from the overflow of what He has placed in our hearts.  If you are tired, overwhelmed, giving from duty and not love - rest in the promises of God said in these verses and let Him bringing healing and wholeness to your heart...

(I chose today's photo because it reflects the heavens in the midst of the chaos of life.  That is what Jesus' offer is to us as Christians, to be a reflection of heaven to the chaos that surrounds us).

Jeremiah 32:37-41
'Watch for this! I will collect them from all the countries to which I will have driven them in my anger and rage and indignation. Yes, I'll bring them all back to this place and let them live here in peace. They will be my people, I will be their God. I'll make them of one mind and heart, always honoring me, so that they can live good and whole lives, they and their children after them. What's more, I'll make a covenant with them that will last forever, a covenant to stick with them no matter what, and work for their good. I'll fill their hearts with a deep respect for me so they'll not even think of turning away from me.

41"'Oh how I'll rejoice in them! Oh how I'll delight in doing good things for them! Heart and soul, I'll plant them in this country and keep them here!'

Psalm 48:9-14
We pondered your love-in-action, God,
waiting in your temple:
Your name, God, evokes a train
of Hallelujahs wherever
It is spoken, near and far;
your arms are heaped with goodness-in-action.

11 Be glad, Zion Mountain;
Dance, Judah's daughters!
He does what he said he'd do!

12-14 Circle Zion, take her measure,
count her fortress peaks,
Gaze long at her sloping bulwark,
climb her citadel heights—
Then you can tell the next generation
detail by detail the story of God,
Our God forever,
who guides us till the end of time.

Ephesians 1:18-23
19That's why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn't stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I'd think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!

20-23All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ's body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.

John 14:8-14
Philip said, "Master, show us the Father; then we'll be content."

9-10"You've been with me all this time, Philip, and you still don't understand? To see me is to see the Father. So how can you ask, 'Where is the Father?' Don't you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you aren't mere words. I don't just make them up on my own. The Father who resides in me crafts each word into a divine act.

11-14"Believe me: I am in my Father and my Father is in me. If you can't believe that, believe what you see—these works. The person who trusts me will not only do what I'm doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I've been doing. You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I'll do it. That's how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I'll do.

In Christ,

Photo courtesy Melanie Guest Photography

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Book Review: Running for my Life

Fantastic! Terrific! Must Read!!

I know that you are going to stop believing me, because I've been saying it a lot lately, but this is another must read.  Running for my life: One Lost Boy's Journey from the Killing fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games is the autobiography of Lopez Lomong who will be running in the 2012 Olympics for the USA!!!!!!!  Before your very eyes, you will see a modern-day story of Joseph unfolding (which will remind you that we serve a God who is the same yesterday, today and forever).

In the telling of his story, he takes you through the journey of his life from a six-year old boy ripped out of the arms of his mother, to a refugee camp, to the USA, to running in the Olympics, to graduating from college, and final to his ultimate dream to see freedom reign in Southern Sudan.

To read this book you will probably end up doing the following: getting a box of kleenex, pulling out your checkbook to support Lopez's continuing dreams, and finally you will be tuning in to cheer him on in the 5K at the London 2012 Olympics.

It is an amazing story that will enrich your life, open your heart and make you love God and people more.

In Christ,

I received this book from Booksneeze free of charge in exchange for a review.  All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone. 

My theme verses for this year

In January, I wrote a post called Relentless God in it, I shared some verses that I thought would be a theme for me this year.  Well, it is six months later, and I'm still processing them in and through my life:)!  So here are the verses:

Isaiah 9:1-11
But suddenly there will be no more gloom for the land that suffered. In the past God made the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali hang their heads in shame, but in the future those lands will be made great. They will stretch from the road along the Mediterranean Sea to the land beyond the Jordan River and north to Galilee, the land of people who are not Israelites.
2 Before those people lived in darkness,
but now they have seen a great light.
They lived in a dark land,
but a light has shined on them.
3 God, you have caused the nation to grow
and made the people happy.
And they have shown their happiness to you,
like the joy during harvest time,
like the joy of people
taking what they have won in war.
4 Like the time you defeated Midian,
you have taken away their heavy load
and the heavy pole from their backs
and the rod the enemy used to punish them.
5 Every boot that marched in battle
and every uniform stained with blood
has been thrown into the fire.
6 A child has been born to us;
God has given a son to us.
He will be responsible for leading the people.
His name will be Wonderful Counselor, Powerful God,
Father Who Lives Forever, Prince of Peace.
7 Power and peace will be in his kingdom
and will continue to grow forever.
He will rule as king on David's throne
and over David's kingdom.
He will make it strong
by ruling with justice and goodness
from now on and forever.
The Lord All-Powerful will do this
because of his strong love for his people.

Below are some additional thoughts that I've had about them since January:
  • Verse 2: In the past God made the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali hang their heads in shame, but in the future those lands will be made great.   They will stretch from the road along the Mediterranean Sea to the land beyond the Jordan River and north to Galilee, the land of people who are not Israelites.  2 Before those people lived in darkness, but now they have seen a great light. They lived in a dark land, but a light has shined on them.  Thanks to preparing for the next school year with Sonlight, I ran across these verses again but in the New Testament. Sonlight pointed out that in Mathew 4:12-16 Jesus fulfills this prophecy.  It was a great reminder to me that what we are reading about here has been fulfilled and we can apply these truths to our lives today.  God wants to take people out of the darkness and their shame and make them great!!  The verses that follow show us how He does this.
  • Verse 6 God has given a son to us. He will be responsible for leading the people. This very sentence has been foundational to me in the past 9 months.  I've been waking up to the idea that God is our leader and we need to follow Him.  In the past, my prayers have been full of begging God - to move, asking Him if He truly sees, does He understand, why doesn't He move...  But recently, God has been confirming the facts that yes, He does see, yes He does know, and yes He will lead if I am willing to follow.  In the past, I have tried to get God to "move" and my efforts were often rooted in a mistrust of His heart towards me and towards others.  It has truly been freeing and life-giving to realize that He wants to lead me and that He knows how.  It isn't always easy to stop and listen to what He has to say, nor is it easy to admit that I don't always trust God's heart towards me or His ability to lead.  But the verses that follow have truly helped in this process of trust...
  • Wonderful Counselor: Attribute 1 reminds us again that we are invited to listen to Him.  He is not just a counselor He is a WONDERFUL one.
  • Powerful God: Is this something that I truly believe?  Yes, He is powerful but I'm also learning that His power comes in many different ways, shapes and forms.  Instead of attempting to force God to prove His power to me I'm learning to ask Him to open my eyes to Him and the ways He is currently moving whether big or small.
  • Father who lives forever:  Over the last 2 years God has taken me on a journey to love, rest and understand His Father heart towards me.  It was a beautiful season and I love how God sealed theses truths by intertwining Scripture and books with the reality of events happening in my everyday life.  If the Father heart of God means nothing to you or it scares you, I'd highly recommend that you read The Birthright by John Sheasby to learn more.
  • Prince of Peace: Isn't peace what we all long for?  At least, I do.  Learning to have peace in the everyday ups and downs of life has only come through following the Prince of Peace.  Knowing that it is on His heart to bring this into the reality of my life has allowed me to continue desiring to listen to what He has to say.
  • Verse 7: Power and peace will be in his kingdom and will continue to grow forever.  God's kingdom is growing and the attributes it grows with are power and peace.  Many times it is easy to seek God's kingdom in visible ways but Jesus reminds us in Luke 17:20-21 that "God's kingdom is coming, but not in a way that you will be able to see with your eyes. People will not say, 'Look, here it is!' or, 'There it is!' because God's kingdom is within you."
  • The Lord All-Powerful will do this because of his strong love for his people.  Do you see the underlying cause of God's operation? It isn't the "depth of our faith," our efforts or anything that we do rather it is His strong love! 
I would like to finish this post off with The Message's version of Matthew 11:28-30:

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

In Christ,

Photo courtesy Melanie Guest Photography

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A Story to Embody: Ordinary Time

We have now entered into the season called Ordinary Time.  It is the season sandwiched between the bigger events that we've focused on Easter, Pentecost and Christmas.  I think it is a beautiful reminder of the fact that God's invitation to us is that He wants to walk with us in the dailiness of our lives.  We have the opportunity in this season to reflect on experiencing the reality of His love, grace and presence in every nook and cranny of our lives.

I am getting the Scriptures for this season from Holy Trinity Anglican Church's Sunday schedule.  Usually by Monday, a sermon is available on this website that incorporates the readings shared here.

Isaiah 11:1-5
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; 
    from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 
2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and of might, 
    the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, 
    or decide by what he hears with his ears; 
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy, 
    with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; 
    with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. 
5 Righteousness will be his belt 
    and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

Psalm 130

Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
2     Lord, hear my voice. 
Let your ears be attentive 
    to my cry for mercy.
3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
    Lord, who could stand? 
4 But with you there is forgiveness, 
    so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, 
    and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord
    more than watchmen wait for the morning,
    more than watchmen wait for the morning.
7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
    for with the Lord is unfailing love 
    and with him is full redemption. 
8 He himself will redeem Israel
    from all their sins.

Ephesians 1:15-17
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[a] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

Luke 24:36-49
36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.

44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

In Christ,

Slight change in contest: Remember that you can still win a $25 Gift Card to Target for buying my book and another entry for leaving a review.  Instead of sending me your receipt I changed it to sending me the name of the first person I acknowledge in the "Acknowledgments" section.  I figured that might be easier for people to find, then finding their receipts:).

Daily Prayer

Disqus for For His Glory Alone


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