Saturday, October 30, 2010

Peace with God

Romans 5:1
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."

It's so good that our peace on this earth is not dependent on other people or our circumstances. If it were, I know that I would never feel peace. But the Bible continually tells us that if we have been redeemed, we have peace with God. Think back - this world has a long history of struggle with God. Ever since the fall in the Garden, the chaos of this world is in such opposition to the glory of our God. And yet, we can now be at peace with God.

Now peace with God doesn't mean that our lives won't have trouble, struggle, pain, or hurt. Not at all - those things are still so present and sometimes it sure seems like they are surrounding us to the point of suffocation. And yet, our status with God means that we can have peace with Him in the midst of that chaos.

The story of the the "sinful woman" in Luke 7:36-50 is a beautiful illustration of this. She was someone who lived in a world of struggle and chaos. Her encounter with Jesus changed that forever - they shared an intimate moment. Scripture doesn't record anything that she said, only her tears. But Jesus told her that her sins were forgiven, her faith had saved her, and that she should go in peace. Did she go out of that house suddenly able to easily forsake her sinful life and into a world of butterflies and rainbows? Not at all - but from then on, she was able to say that she was forgiven, and that she had peace with God.

When peace seems elusive, take a moment to rest in the peace that is always attainable.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Quick thought:
Prayer is crazy. If I were God, I probably would have called it quits after sacrificing the life of my only son for people who didn't have any idea what was going on, and often don't even appreciate it when it when they do hear about it. But then, he goes another step. . . not only does he redeem us so that we can live in heaven with him forever, but he also says, "Hey guys, I want you to have a chance to know me here on earth too! Let's get started on this relationship now, so that this time we have apart, before eternity, will be awesome too!"

Whaa??! God wants to take time to get to know me and really wants to just spend time with me? As if justifying me from my sins wasn't enough. . .

Prayers flying today.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

By Faith, Abraham. . .

Romans 4 talks about how Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. It says that “ . . . he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” The passage also encourages us to walk in the footsteps of faith that Abraham displayed. Let’s take a minute to look at those footsteps.

1. God told Abraham to leave his homeland and go to the land God had for him. And he did – just like that. The Bible doesn’t say that he wasted any time getting prepared or putting his affairs in order. He just went. Remember when in Genesis this took place? It’s the first thing we really hear about after the great Flood and the tower of Babel incident. As a human, what must Abraham’s impression of God have been? I would have been terrified, and definitely not inclined to obey immediately. But 75-year-old Abraham just packed up his family and took off.

2. Fast forward 24 years (during which time Abraham has been wandering all over the place, living in Canaan, visiting Egypt, having a son with his wife’s servant girl, etc.). God comes to Abraham again, with two words for him. First, the good news – a son! Old Abraham, and his old wife are going to have a child. Naturally, Abraham laughs. You would too if you were 99 and promised a son! But then, the other news – circumcision. Take a minute and consider what this meant for Abraham . . . to circumcise himself and all of his grown, adult manservants. Do you think he wanted to do this, or found any logic in this command of God? But he did it – he “did not waver.”

3. The last example I want to bring before you is the testing of Abraham. His promised son has been born, as God promised – what a wonderful blessing that must have been to him and Sarah! To see the promise of the Lord finally fulfilled! And then, God asks him to do the impossible. He asks Abraham to sacrifice his son on an altar. Theology and the nature of God would have provided Abraham with so many excuses to not obey. “But I know you’re a loving God,” “Surely you don’t delight in human sacrifices,” . . . the list goes on. And yet, through FAITH, Abraham displays a practical obedience and does what God has asked.

How can we do this? Are there times in our lives when God calls us to obey, but we resist because of the excuses our idea of Christianity gives us? I think that faith requires relationship – it requires knowing the one you trust. We have to be fully persuaded of the faithfulness of God in order to trust Him. That’s hard to do. It’s hard when you’re going through dark days. It sure doesn’t seem like God is fulfilling His promises when you’re in the heat of spiritual warfare, physical exhaustion, or emotional break-down. It’s in those times that it is most important for us to follow the footsteps of Abraham, and practically obey God’s command to trust in Him.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More Love

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend another wedding. David Hickle and Emily Rader tied the knot, out at the Airforce Academy in Colorado Springs! It was a very exciting weekend, since we drove out, had the wedding and reception, and drove back all between 6:30 am on Friday and 2:30 pm on Sunday. The wedding went so well - everything was beautiful. I love watching the faces of the bride and groom - despite any stress in the planning that went into the wedding, their faces are nothing but pure joy when he first sees her coming down the aisle. I heard a rumor that the kiss at their wedding was the first kiss that they shared . . .David sure got his money's worth out of it. :) It was very special though - I was so honored to be there when these two people who are so important to me joined their lives. I can't wait to get to know them even better in the coming years as they build their lives together!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Thoughts of the Morning After

Mmmm. Sitting here with my warm cup of coffee, and the scent of my flowers from last night gently wafting over from the counter. It's so chilly outside this morning, which makes me more happy than I can express - I'm curled up in my yoga pants and my sister's flannel button-up, just keeping warm and savoring life.

Last night was so wonderful. My "kindred spirit", Ashley Lou, was married to the love of her life, Mr. Joel Eldredge. Weddings don't really mean that much unless you are close to the ones joining their lives. And as I think over last night, this morning after, I have so much I could say. The one thing that stands out however, is the focus of the wedding.

In all the preparation for the wedding - the weeks previous, the scrambling around the day of - the focus is on two people, the bride and the groom. Everything centers around what they want their special day to look like, as well it should. The girls' "getting ready" room is a flutter with hairspray, double-sided tape (miraculous stuff!), needles and thread, breath mints, pantyhose (or not, as the case may be), bouquets, and dainty snacks. The guys are in the basement, putting on their suits and. . . . well, I'm not sure what all else goes on down there. :) Everyone is so focused on getting these two very special people ready to join their lives!

And then the wedding. It flies by, as you stand up there watching it happen right in front of you. Then, it's final - they are one.

And then, just like that, it all changes. The reception is filled with couple activities. The family, the guests, and the wedding party all now talk about "them", and no longer "her" and "him". It's a slight change, but one that the maid of honor notices quit acutely. My job shifted drastically - from seeing to the bride's every need and making sure things were just how she wanted it, to stepping back and watching Joel do such a better job of that then I ever could. It was really a wonderful picture . . . and, I have no doubt that he will make a wonderful husband for my Ashley Lou. :)

So, Ashley and Joel - congratulations, once again.

" . . they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." Mark 10:8-9