Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Absolutely Beautiful

If you have a spare minute or so, you may want to check this video out:


This had me boohooing today. Such a sweet testimony of unconditional love!


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mourning to Dancing/We Are the Light of the World

"The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." ~Lamentations 3:22-23

Thankful. I am so thankful! and so blessed.. and I really don't deserve it one bit. As I look back on some really hard things that I went through in 2011...difficult things..sad things...life shaking things... I look at today and I smile. Who am I, Oh Lord, that you have brought me this far? When I was in the middle of the storm, I couldn't see the end, couldn't see the light. But now...I see His hand in it all. He is good and is working all things for good. He does things to make us more like Himself. I heard Elisabeth Elliot say this quote by Ugo Bassi the other day and thought yes...that's it!

"Measure thy life by loss and not by gain;
Not by wine drunk but by the wine poured forth,
For love's strength standeth in love's sacrifice
And he that suffereth most hath most to give."
~Ugo Bassi
He that suffers most has most to give. So true. Because when we suffer...it drives us to our knees and we are so dependant and so in need of the Lord. We are in need of Him all the time...but during trying times it seems we need an extra portion of Him and His presence. God doesn't waste our suffering. Dr. Cabot said this in the book Stepping Heavenward:
"He will use no painful remedy that can be avoided.
Remember that it is His will that you should be sanctified, and that
the work of making you holy is His, not yours."
He uses every hurt and trial in our lives to make us more like Himself. This is why we can "count it all joy" when we face various trials. This is why we endure.
And as I look back on my trials..I pray that I learned the lessons God had for me in the pain. We serve a God who truly does turn mourning into dancing and weeping into shouting. He brings beauty from ashes! He has certainly done this in my life...and I am so incredibly thankful. He is faithful...always.
On another note...God is at work in my life and in the lives of people around me. Last night, we taught the children about the "salt and light" verses in the Bible:

Salt and Light

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
~Matthew 5:13-16

To illustrate us being the light of the world, we went into a dark room and turned the lights off. We handed each child a glow stick and when I shined the flashlight on them, they broke their glow stick. It was really neat to see how bright the glow sticks shined in the dark! It reminded us that we need to be that bright, so others can see us and our "good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven."  Outreach outreach outreach. What "good deeds" am I doing? What am I doing to point others to Christ? Am I a light? Do I shine bright enough for people to see? What am I doing for the least of these?

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
 ~Matthew 25:34-40
 Gradually learning to have a heart for the lost and for the least of these. So thankful for this lesson and for people around me who are being examples of this in my life and teaching me what this means with the way they are living it out. Lord may we all have a greater love for You and Your word. May we love who You love and care for the needs of people in Your name. May we have a bigger burden to reach out to people who need You.
His blessings are great!