Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 'Lord willing's'

because the word 'resolution' smacks so much of self-motivation, self-direction, and self-determination (none of which i have), i won't be doing 'resolutions'. i haven't for years, actually, that i can remember. rather than trying to muster up the gumption to do things and then feel bad when i don't, i'm going to 'fix my eyes on the author and finisher of my faith', and let Him direct my steps.

but i have a few 'Lord willing's floating through my head as the new year approaches.

first off, Lord willing!, i will be ringing in the new year in harp and bowl (worship and prayer) playing piano at an event locally. then i will follow up the countdown by a few hours overnight of more prayer and worship with some people at a different location, as part of a 24 hour prayer effort. talk about a way to dedicate the coming year to God!!! i'm stoked....

a few 2010 Lord-willings:
  • an expensive, exhausting trip to see my counselor sometime this spring hopefully.
  • to read through the Bible this year ...or much of it (half of it is still a success! compared to barely scratching the surface)... probably using this plan/page from this site's many options.
  • find a smaller guitar that does not make my arm go numb when i play...
  • take my class 5 drivers exam (it's hard to believe i've had my novice license for 4 years already! time sure flies....)
  • to not place expectations on myself, and then beat myself up for failing!
um.... that's pretty much it. all i can think of, really. big aspirations, eh? lol.

but He has plans for me that are abundantly beyond what i can even imagine.... how much better is that than anything i could come up with!?!!! :D

#1 for my life, every year, is to grow in God. to know Him more. and, Lord willing, maybe this will even be the year i can go home to see Him!!!!! (i doubt it, but one can always hope!!! LOL)

Clover

Jesus is my Hero!!!!

"Every story has Christ as the ultimate hero. For example, don't read the story of David and Goliath and leave your devotional time "ready to face your giants." Realize that you are Israel in the story, not David. You are weak, powerless, cowering before your enemies of sin, Satan, and death, and you need an anointed King to defeat your enemies and cause you to rise up in hope and courage. Jesus is the true and better David, and he is the point of the story of David and Goliath." --JR Vassar (from here)

wow. i'd never seen that story in that light before... and it clicks. it's cool when that happens. it always seemed so stressful to 'live up' to david. don't wear armour that's not yours, etc. that's all cool and all... but this makes much more sense to me. i am the weak, powerless, cowering one.... and Jesus is my Hero!!!! :D

Clover

songs in the night

"Any man can sing in the day. When the cup is full, man draws inspiration from it. When wealth rolls in abundance around him, any man can praise the God who gives a plenteous harvest… The difficulty is for music to swell forth when no wind is stirring. It is easy to sing when we can read the notes by daylight; but he is skillful who sings when there is not a ray of light to read by -- who sings from the heart… Lay me upon the bed of languishing, and how shall I then chant God's high praises, unless He Himself give me the song? No, it is not in man's power to sing when all is adverse, unless an altar-coal shall touch his lip… Then, since our Maker gives 'songs in the night' (Job 35:10), let us wait upon Him for the music." --Charles Spurgeon

Clover

Friday, December 25, 2009

christmas memories

this has probably been the best christmas experience of my whole life.

beautiful sunrise. waking up to the smell of coffee perkin' and the phone ringing and sleepy kids coming alert to the realization 'santa' came!!!

hearing a 4 year old, after being told Jesus isn't a baby anymore, say determinedly, 'well i still love baby Jesus. and i always will!'

being accepted for who i am and knowing i didn't have to be someone i was not.

watched 'the nativity story' (2006). gotta buy it. it opened my eyes to a whole new depth of the christmas story....

gooooood food. didn't eat over much. but still ate more than usual, and my gut is stickin' out a full 6" further than it usually does. think i'll be gassy the next few days, hehe....

interestingly enough, i'm also incredibly exhausted. i went and just laid on my assigned bed at my friends' house a couple times, once for probably an hour. not sleepy enough to sleep, but too exhausted to focus, think, or sit upright.

and... someone was referred to me and they asked me to speak into their life tomorrow about God and suffering...... it's an honor i'm ill deserving of... pray for me!!!

i hope your christmas's were as awesome as mine..... MWAH~!

Clover

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

incredible story.... God glorified in tragedy <3



Clover

nothing burns...

... quite like being chastised for something you did not do. when someone completely misunderstands you and blasts you unjustly. especially when they do it publicly....

sorrow.


it happened a lot when i was a kid, so it stirs up a lot more pain than one event should normally bring up on it's own....


Clover

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

capable of being

Whatever else may be said of man, this one thing is clear: He is
not what he is capable of being.

-- G. K. Chesterton

thank You, Lord, for that truth!


granted, i do not know the context of this quote. and i believe it to be true, but not (i assume) in the manner it was intended.

i assume it is intended to mean that we've fallen far short of what we are capable of being in God's Kingdom. with that i would disagree: we are capable - outside of Christ - to only do evil and are slaves to sin and satan. so there is no 'capability' involved when it comes to meeting God's standards. that was the purpose of the Law - to tutor us to show us that we are definately not capable of that.

what i see is the flip side: because of God's restraining grace, i am not the evil beast i could be - what i am totally capable of becoming if left to myself (were God's restraining hand and sanctifying Presence not at work in my life).

....and for that i am thankful.

and i praise God that all the good things that He works in and through my life is from Him, to Him be all glory and praise, as there is no good thing in me aside from Him. :)




"and i am Yours... what does that make me?" :)

Clover

Saturday, December 05, 2009

struggling vs. suffering

this may be controversial, and some may take exception to it. please understand this is my personal distinction between the definitions of 'struggling' as opposed 'suffering'. to me, it's not 'just semantics'.

today i was discussing with a friend the difference in what people would call 'suffering' [--as it pertains to a Christian, only. (i am *not* including the lost, those without a Christian worldview, in this comparison -- because they have much to fear, existentially - eternally - speaking.)]

the question of the day: is it 'a struggle', or is it 'suffering'?

picture learning you have a life-threatening illness and are facing radical surgery, with all the unknown that entails for you and your family.... many would call that 'suffering'. but i would call it 'struggle'. no intention to minimize the pain, at all--a hardship, an affliction, an intense struggle to be sure!, but 'struggle', nonetheless. ...like Jesus knowing that He would soon be whipped, nailed to a cross, bones broken, speared, and left, bleeding, to die. (huh? is she saying Jesus didn't suffer?! blasphemy!!! -- WAIT, keep reading...)

because what i would call 'suffering' is the kind of existential torment and desperation that drives a person to do extreme things, like drink a gallon of paint thinner or cut off their own body parts... or is demonically tormented with fears of eternal damnation for not having worked 'enough' to please God... endures extreme torture and emotional manipulation at the hands of evil men.... or is anxious with grief to the point of sweating blood, like Jesus knowing He would soon face being forsaken by His Father with the very WRATH of GOD being poured out on HIM for the sins of ALL MANKIND.

profound existential pain to the core of one's being. now *that's* what i would call SUFFERING.

(obviously, i believe Jesus' suffering was not in the crucifixion itself, but in what lay beyond that - the Cup of Wrath which He would be partaking of, shortly....)

(also obviously, the one does not exclude the other. just sayin'.)

so, hmm. for myself, i find this a helpful distinction. one that bathes an awful lot of our 'light and momentary afflictions' in a whole new light.... revealing them to be exactly that.

i guess to me, 'struggle' is situational/attitudinal, whereas 'suffering' is existential.

Clover

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

please God, be unfair... and be unfair to me!!!

bang on!!! love it!!!

matt chandler on "does God have two wills?"


Clover

more, Lord....

For Keller an idol is “anything more important to you than God, anything which absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.” Elaborating on the book’s title, Keller writes that a “counterfeit god is anything so central and essential to your life, that, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living.” What does Keller have in mind? Well, everything: family, children, career, earning money, achievement, social status, relationships, beauty, brains, morality, political or social activism—even effective Christian ministry.
--Collin Hansen (here)

to be bluntly honest.... i struggle so much with feeling life is hardly worth living to begin with!! so this thought for me has to be turned around to... 'what i think i need to make life worth living is my idol'. hmm. i don't know.... my only ultimate answer is, "Jesus".

the 'food for thought' question in this weeks cell email was along the lines of, 'are you satisfied?', and the verses about 'come and buy' and 'the water I give you will never thirst'. and my immediate answer in my head? NO!!!! no i'm not satisfied! i'm hungry and i'm thirsty and need more. more OF HIM than i've been able to access in this life so far. which makes me yearn to leave this body and be present with Him - FINALLY. because while He is yet so close, He is still so FAR.....

there is nothing in this life that makes it worth living. there are things i hunger for, for sure: love and acceptance, for example. i also realize the only perfect fulfillment of that comes only from Him, and i will only perceive that perfectly in heaven.

what do i need to make this life seem worth living? more of HIM, NOW. it's not enough. it's never enough. more, Lord.

unfortunately, what always comes next after this thought is, "what do i need to DO to get more of Him?" and/or "so what am i doing wrong?". which reveals another longing in me, to be free from the requirement to DO.

i just want to BE.
with Him.

enough already.


the song that's popped into my head (for the first time in years)....




Clover

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Amighty God... or buddy-buddy?

i am not moved to worship a benevolent helper-god who, like a peer, wants to move in a give and take relationship, and cooperate and please me. what kind of 'god' is that? sounds like any earthly friend... or telemarketer, for that matter.

....but i AM moved to worship The Almighty God who holds the whole universe together with His Sovereign Word, and measures it by the Span of His Hand... who could righteously blow out the flame of this wretched sinner with a mere breath, yet clothes me in the Righteousness of Christ and receives me and raises me up to sit with Him in heavenly places.... to This Holy God, and Him alone, do i live and die, and fall at His feet, trembling.....

Clover

Thursday, November 12, 2009

ugly heart

am very aware right now of the ugliness in my heart. deceitfully wicked. depraved. prone to lust, bitterness, malice, fear, superstition, and witchcraft.....

if i were a care bear, i think i would be called 'Ugly Heart Bear'... who was Invited and Accepted into The Royal Court and given to wear the Robe of Grace by the King Above All Kings.... (as the story would be told!) ;)


Clover

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

no. i'll have no peace with the works of darkness. none.

today a friend posted a quote on facebook: "Anything I’ve ever done that ultimately was worthwhile…initially scared me to death." (--betty bender).

it gave me courage for something that i had to do. i had to make a stand for righteousness and do something difficult, and this encouraged me to do it despite my fear of repercussions.

in God's grace, it may turn out to be a quickly resolved non-issue. but thus far, its only amplified.

in a nutshell: i made a humble appeal to a friend to consider their action on a certain point. they did not respond; instead they flaunted it against me. so i had to cut a certain tie to them. lest i allow unclean thinking to be provoked in me. [guarding my heart/'eye-gates'/'ear-gates']

my battle is not with flesh and blood - not with her directly - but with principalities and powers.... but how this plays out, having such close ties to this person, i don't know. i covet your prayers....


Clover

Sunday, November 08, 2009

the troubled soul... the hopeful soul

Psalm 42:1-2
As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?

The Troubled Soul from Sovereign Grace Ministries on Vimeo.



Clover

water don't burn, unless it's His will

well that's kind of obvious, isn't it? 'water doesn't burn, fire does!' common-sense says. 'water flows!'

but boiling water burns if you pour it on yourself.

at least usually.

last week i had coffee with a friend, and i wanted to flash sanitize a mug i had been drinking out of earlier in the day, so i held the mug over the sink and poured water - water that had just been boiled and off the burner for no more than 30 seconds - over the mug.... and over the thumb and first two fingers of my right hand!!! of course.

talk about a 'lapse in judgment!' LOL ...at least according to common-sense.

but honestly, i felt completely unconcerned at that instant. like, 'if my fingers burn off, they burn off, God's got a plan and a purpose for it!'

so i just kind of jumped, shook my hand, shrugged, laughed, and said, 'well that was dumb!'

i made the (instant) coffee up, added milk, sugar... then thought, 'heh, i should probably put my fingers under cold water, i mean that *was* just-boiled water!' a total afterthought. not that it really hurt or anything. so i did for maybe 10-15 seconds, then got bored and served the coffee. and mostly forgot about it.

for a few hours i had a very slight tingling in my thumb and fingers. but no blisters, no redness, no pain. nothing.

water don't burn, unless it's His will!!!

He really is *that* sovereign, that He can defy His own laws of physics, whenever He sees fit.

our faith in Him should be such that our faith can stare down 'common sense' and trust in His sovereignty well above and beyond the laws of physics.

cuz water - even just-boiled water - *can't* burn, unless it's His will!!!!!


Clover

Friday, November 06, 2009

on embracing accusation




Clover

how can He understand EVERY temptation?

love piper's answer. another detail in the 'He became sin' theme that God seems to have me on...


Clover

paying for what's already been paid?

"To imagine for a moment that He was the Substitute for all the sons of men, and that God, having first punished the Substitute, afterwards punished the sinners themselves, seems to conflict with all my ideas of Divine justice. That Christ should offer an atonement and satisfaction for the sins of all men, and that afterwards some of those very men should be punished for the sins for which Christ had already atoned, appears to me to be the most monstrous iniquity that could ever have been imputed to Saturn, to Janus, to the goddess of the Thugs, or to the most diabolical heathen deities. God forbid that we should ever think thus of Jehovah, the just and wise and good!"
--C.H. Spurgeon, "A Defense of Calvinism" (via)

this so fits with my last post. :)

Clover

Thursday, November 05, 2009

suffering for our sin?

is that what suffering is in our world? suffering because of our sins? suffering for our sin?

NO!!!!

that is a logical/practical impossibility.

2 Cor 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. [nkjv]

Jesus not 'only' died to pay for our sins, He BECAME sin FOR us. and God's wrath poured out on Him.

our sin has been paid for. the suffering for our sins has been done - not by us! - and it was FINISHED, on the cross.

so why do we suffer?

all that's left is... for His purposes. for His glory. to display the manifest righteousness of God that He in His grace has bestowed upon us.

Ephesians 1:5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 TO the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. [nkjv; emphasis mine.]

wow. wow. wow!



Clover

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

this encouraged me today

2 Peter 1: 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. --ESV
whammo!!! killer ammo against feelings of uselessness!!!

usefulness - effectiveness and fruitfulness - are in Him, not in me. His very nature in me is the source of it.
1 Peter 1:3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may....
..."be effective and fruitful"...?

NO!
...[that you may] become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. --ESV
partaking of the divine nature - Him in us and us in Him - is what produces the qualities in us that keep us from being ineffective and unfruitful.

the focus is not being effective and fruitful.
the focus is not trying to be effective and fruitful.
the focus is not trying to not be ineffective and unfruitful.

the focus is partaking of the divine nature!! all else flows from that.

ie, don't focus on the fruit, focus on the tree that grows the fruit.

the fruit without the tree that grows it is.... nothing. dead. non-existent. imaginary. 'mustered up' from nothing. impossible.

escape from corruption comes not from effort, but from partaking of the divine nature.

look to the Source.


food for much further thought...

Clover

Saturday, October 31, 2009

the greatness of God

just listened to an incredible message by Wayne Grudem on 4 of the attributes of God - His power, wisdom, sovereignty, and glory. powerful, and very encouraging. listen to it here.

Clover

good question - where am i?

"Where are the young men and women of this generation who will hold their lives cheap, and be faithful even unto death, who will lose their lives for Christ’s, flinging them away for love of him? Where are those who will live dangerously, and be reckless in this service? Where are the men of prayer? Where are the men who count God’s Word of more importance to them than their daily food? Where are the men who, like Moses of old, commune with God face to face as a man speaks with his friend? Where are God’s men in this day of God’s power?"
--Howard Guinness, 'Sacrifice'(1939)
as quoted in John Pipers sermon, 'How the Supremacy of Christ Creates Radical Christian Sacrifice'(2008). incredible message. you want to be challenged? then listen to it!

another incredible quote from the sermon, regarding Hebrews 10:32-35:
"Have you bought into the argument that you're so heavenly-minded you're no earthly good?...this text says the only people who are of any earthly good are those who are so radically heavenly-minded that they are free from this world!!"
--John Piper
and re: Heb 12:2:
"...and thus He became a model for us of how motives work (...) in creating crazy Christians for the glory of the Father."
--John Piper

love it!!!

Clover

iCovet v.2

"Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World" by C.J. Mahaney.


Clover

i despise this "holiday"

oh goodie! its 'cast-off-restraint, compromise, and meddle-in-all-things-darkness day'!

can you hear my venom? (note: not against christians who of evil are naive; but against the evil dark that seeks whom it may deceive...)

i don't understand how *christians* can see hallowe'en as innocent fun. *any* form of hallowe'en. no matter how watered down and 'sanitized' a form it is. no matter how 'christianese-laquered' or 'alternate option' it is. what fellowship can light have with dark? *none*.

i understand to a lot of people i have an extreme position. but having been involved in witchcraft and the occult as a teen and young adult, i am HYPER aware of the grievousness-to-God of anything that participates--or compromises--with it.

yes, i am also very anti-harry potter, vampire, etc. it was a youth fiction book on wizards that directly got me interested in the occult - fiction educates, and opens doors that we should never even get near the doorknobs of! call me ignorant and legalistic, fine. i don't care. i'm watching out for my own soul. the darker the evil gets, the brighter i must shine, the closer i must cling to my Jesus, and the tighter i must hold to my beliefs.

no, i'm not handing out candy. if there is someone out there who, as a christian, can hand out candy to the neighbourhood kids and do it in such a way as they are 1)doing it for the glory of God, and 2)not participating or compromising with the darkness, great. i know there are those out there who can do that. i cannot. i see one child dressed in black with zombie or vampire or witch makeup on, and my gut seizes up in disgust and i want to vomit.

no, i'm not letting my porch-light 'shine'. i'm letting my radical not-willing-to-compromise-one-iota-on-this light shine. i'm letting the RADICAL purity and holiness of God reign supreme in my awareness, and shutting the door--and inviting porch light--OFF. selfish? no. seeking purity and obedience to a HOLY God, without compromise? yes.


Clover

Friday, October 30, 2009

pastoral visioncasting from C.J. Mahaney

but it gives me vision too! :)

Trinitarian Pastoral Ministry from Sovereign Grace Ministries on Vimeo.


Clover

predestined... to hell?

watch an interesting 30 minute video on the doctrine of 'double predestination' here.


Clover

all i have is Christ

All I Have Is Christ from Sovereign Grace Ministries on Vimeo.


I once was lost in darkest night
Yet thought I knew the way.
The sin that promised joy and life
Had led me to the grave.
I had no hope that You would own
A rebel to Your will.
And if You had not loved me first
I would refuse You still.

But as I ran my hell-bound race
Indifferent to the cost
You looked upon my helpless state
And led me to the cross.
And I beheld God’s love displayed
You suffered in my place
You bore the wrath reserved for me
Now all I know is grace.

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life

Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me.
Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose.
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You.

© 2008 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI), by Jordan Kauflin


Clover

becoming like Christ




Clover

teaching goats to act like sheep

worrying more about the goats being 'there' and letting the sheep starve... not good. bah.



(confession: how many times have i sat on the seats in my gospel-loving, truth-proclaiming church, and thought, "gee, don't couch it for the people who won't hear it anyways... proclaim the truth with as much power and straight-forwardness as it warrants! the Truth of our Glorious God! say it like it really is, already!")

(*runs away and hides*)

O_o

Clover

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

to the praise of the glory of my 'free' will

"... and I will go as far as Martin Luther, in that strong assertion of his, where he says, 'If any man doth ascribe of salvation, even the very least, to the free will of man, he knoweth nothing of grace, and he hath not learnt Jesus Christ aright.' It may seem a harsh sentiment; but he who in his soul believes that man does of his own free will turn to God, cannot have been taught of God, for that is one of the first principles taught us when God begins with us, that we have neither will nor power, but that He gives both; that He is 'Alpha and Omega' in the salvation of men."
--Charles H. Spurgeon, in 'Free Will-A Slave'.

part 1:


part 2:


part 3:


An Arminian on his knees would pray desperately like a Calvinist. He cannot pray about free-will: there is no room for it. Fancy him praying, "Lord, I thank thee I am not like those poor presumptuous Calvinists. Lord, I was born with a glorious free-will; I was born with power by which I can turn to thee of myself; I have improved my grace. If everybody had done the same with their grace that I have, they might all have been saved. Lord, I know thou dost not make us willing if we are not willing ourselves. Thou givest grace to everybody; some do not improve it, but I do. There are many that will go to hell as much bought with the blood of Christ as I was; they had as much of the Holy Ghost given to them; they had as good a chance, and were as much blessed as I am. It was not thy grace that made us to differ; I know it did a great deal, still I turned the point; I made use of what was given me, and others did not—that is the difference between me and them."
--Charles H. Spurgeon, in 'Free Will-A Slave'.

does this last quote ring any bells? because frankly, i hear it all the time. it's the prevailing sentiment in modern Christendom. whatever happened to Ephesians 2:8-9", For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."...???

Clover

who we are in the world

both carriers of the Light in a dark world, and reflective sources of the Light in a dark world.
both carriers of colour in an ashen world, and the spots of colour themselves in an ashen world.
both carriers of hope to a lost world, and those who *live out* their hope in their own suffering.

(source)


Clover

Outcast, Adopted.

THIS BLOG IS IN NEED OF AN OVERHAUL. there are posts from years back i would not be able to post in good conscience now. i plan to overhaul the blog, and either delete or add a disclaimer to those posts. but that is gonna take time....

The Radical Summons: "
Therefore let us go to Him outside the camp and bear the reproach He endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come." Hebrews 13:13.

"The Spirit never loosens where the Word binds; the Spirit never justifies where the Word condemns; the Spirit never approves where the Word disapproves; the Spirit never blesses where the Word curses." —Thomas Brooks

‎"God receives none but those who are forsaken, restores health to none but those who are sick, gives sight to none but the blind, and life to none but the dead. He does not give saintliness to any but sinners, nor wisdom to any but fools. In short: He has mercy on none but the wretched and gives grace to none but those who are in disgrace. Therefore no arrogant saint, or just or wise man can be material for God, neither can he do the work of God, but he remains confined within his own work and makes of himself a fictitious, ostensible, false, and deceitful saint, that is, a hypocrite." --Martin Luther (W.A. 1.183ff)

i will not let You go: "Jacob's sense of his total debility and utter defeat is now the secret of his power with his friendly Vanquisher. God can overthrow all the prowess of the self-reliant, but He cannot resist the earnest entreaty of the helpless." --Albert Barnes

i will not let You go: "Jacob's determination did not flow from his strength, it flowed from his weakness." --Charles Leiter