Tuesday, June 27

I'm think I'm starting to like this...

Wow. I am reading a good book called The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning and it's helping me understand my Savior and Father so much better. It's even making me excited to read the Bible more, to hear straight from the source about this freedom called grace. I just have a minute but I want to spout out a couple sweet verses that have been encouraging me along the way...

Galatians 2:16
[We] know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in
Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be
justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing
the law no one will be justified.

2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is

Romans 9:16
It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's

.....and I'm continuing to realize that there is absolutely nothing we can do to recieve this mercy except ask for it. Period. We just believe it and bask in the freedom.

Monday, June 26

Post-birthday banter and previous thoughts

Ok, it's been a while. I had a good birthday and recieved a digital camera. I like it a lot. It was especially cool though because I totally did not expect it. I find the whole thing kind of humorous actually. I have 2 half-broken digital cameras I've been using for awhile. If you know me you know that I'm a cheapskate, and I said I didn't want/need a new camera because the other 2 worked, you know, okay. I just wanted a bigger memory card for one. So I get this new camera and I'm like, Ok! Cool! Um, except this new one is pretty expensive, and I could've gotten by with the 2 old ones... But after a few days, I discovered I LOVE IT. It's sooo much better than two half-broken ones. And it can take video! Now the question is what to do with the other two. I'm so frugal I have a hard time throwing things away...

Anyhow, I know I said some stuff earlier about sharing how God's grace has been affecting me. I realized you can kind of tell just by reading one of my earlier blogs and then one of my recent ones. But I'm still gonna try to slip in some things that have been exciting my heart now and then. For today I have a little comment on the sermon yesterday at my parent's church- Constance Evangelical Free. The sermon was about growth, and especially how real growth comes from action, not just knowledge. He talked about when Jesus called Peter, James and John while they were fishing and how they "left everything and followed him". Knowing about God and actually following God is a huge issue because Christianity has gotten blurry and watered down in our culture. Sure, I can know a lot about God and have good discernment and go to all the prayer/church/biblestudy meetings in the world. But that stuff doesn't really mean a thing if I'm not trusting and following God earnestly with my heart. This means listening to what he wants me to do (i.e. through Bible, prayer) and actually DOING IT as well as trusting his lead in every area of my life. I think what hit me most here was this "trust" issue: If I'm really following the Lord then I will trust him with myself and my needs: physically, mentally, financially, emotionally. Unfortunately, I find myself satisfying these needs my own ways all too often. Even as I'm writing this I'm wondering if I'm trusting him with these words and the people who will read this (maybe no one!) or if I'm just trying to sound and look good. I think as Christians this is our biggest struggle. Thanks, Lord, that you understand this too.

Monday, June 12

a song edited into context.

I can't believe I'm 20...
Sigh....a birthday blog?! This is so lame, and it makes me feel old and cliche. But a song popped into my head that suddenly opened my eyes, and I want to share it. What am I making out of my life anyway? Like usual, I'm thinking that my priorities have been mixed up. I'm pretty bad at balancing. I'm sure glad God's got a hand on things...

Wish I had what I needed
To be on my own
Cause I feel so defeated
And I’m feeling alone
And it all seems so helpless
And I have no plans
I’m a plane in the sunset
With no where to land
And all I see, it could never make me happy
And all my sandcastles spend their time collapsing
Let me know that you hear me
Let me know your touch
Let me know that you love me
Let that be enough

It’s my birthday tomorrow
No one here could know
I was born this tuesday
Twenty years ago
And I feel stuck watching history repeating
Oh am I just a kid who knows she’s needy?
Let me know that you hear me
Let me know your touch
Let me know that you love me
Let that be enough

*curteousy of the band switchfoot with a little editing on my part*

Thursday, June 1

This one went to the market.

I like this one. Pig really reminds me of myself in this comic....
especially here.

Anyway, work is still nasty and God's mercy is still prevailing. Even though my current conditions haven't really changed, discovering the power behind God's grace has really lifted a burden off my chest. The hard part is going to be the process of continually thinking about grace in this way, so I don't fall back down the oh so familar and oh so easy path of doing it on my own. It still happens. But I'm reading a couple good books with a lot of stuff on the topic and conversing with someone who really knows what I'm talking about. I'm going to jot down some of the stuff I'm learning online so I can look back and remember and hopefully encourage anyone else who might care to read (which I discovered may be more people than I thought). But no matter who or how many are reading, I'm excited to soon list some of the wonders God's been bringing to my attention.