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.
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.
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.
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.
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!"