Monday, February 25, 2008

My Soul Thirsts For You...

Hear my prayer, O Lord;
give ear to my pleas for mercy!
In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!
Enter not into judgment with your servant,
for no one living is righteous before you.

For the enemy has pursued my soul;
he has crushed my life to the ground;
he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.
Therefore my spirit faints within me;
my heart within me is appalled.

I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all that you have done;
I ponder the work of your hands.
I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah

Answer me quickly, O Lord!
My spirit fails!
Hide not your face from me,
lest I be like those who go down to the pit.
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.

Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord!
I have fled to you for refuge!
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God!
Let your good Spirit lead me
on level ground!

For your name's sake, O Lord, preserve my life!
In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!
And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies,
and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul,
for I am your servant.

[Psalm 143]

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Refining Silver...

Malachi 3:3, "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.
That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver."
She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The silversmith answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed!
The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy - when I see my image in it."
What an amazing analogy of what God does in our lives!! We go through those 'hot' times in life where we feel like we're sitting in the middle of a hot, burning fire, but all the while God has hold of us. He keeps us visible in His eyes to make sure that we will make it through. He uses those times of pain and hurt to mold us until the person that He wants us to be. He burns away our impurities. God desires for us to be like Him, and He keeps 'refining' us until we are pure and He can see His reflection when He looks at us. What an amazing thought and encouragement :)


"You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
-Psalm 16:11

Praise God! :)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Quoted Encouragement...

"Never give up on something that you can't go a day without thinking about."

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Summer Hopes...

I've been praying for a few months for a summer employment opportunity to arise.

I had an amazing idea which incorporates my two biggest passions in life: Christ and children.

I did my research.

I sent in my applications.

I got a phone call for an over-the-phone interview.

It went AMAZING!

Two weeks to wait for a definite answer.

This would be an amazing opportunity.

New challenges.

Extreme growth.

I'm excited :)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

This Feeling...

The past few weeks have been a great struggle for me. I've had a lot to deal with. And even after figuring a few things out, I still felt like I was at a standstill and going nowhere with the pain that I was feeling. I don't like times like these where I feel so helpless. I want things to work out. I want things to be 'okay'. I question why things have to happen the way that they do. Why do I have to feel this way? Why do I hurt so badly? It's times like these that God breaks me. He wants me to rely fully on Him no matter if my situation is good or bad--He wants me to want Him. I'm hurting, but this pain is only temporary...but God--He is eternal. He is all I need.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. -Romans 5:1-5

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

All the Broken Pieces...

Did you feel, feel it break
From all the weight of your mistake?
You never knew how much it cost
Feels like your innocence is lost
So much for the perfect life
So much for the perfect day
It's like no matter how you try
Perfection's just too far away
So lift them up to Me

All the broken pieces
All the broken pieces of your life
All the broken pieces
All the broken pieces of your life

Did you hear what I said?
Did you read the words I wrote down in red?
I was broken once for you
And no one loves you like I do
And that's the beauty of this grace
It can put the pieces back in place
And shine reflections of forgiveness
In a million different ways
I can take even your greatest mistake
Every scar, every tear, every break
And I can turn it in to something more beautiful
Than you have ever seen
So lift them up to Me
[song by Matthew West]

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Through Suffering...

In the WORLD:
~820 million people on earth go to bed hungry every night. That number doesn't get smaller--it grows by four million every year.
~200 million children are homeless.
~143 million are orphans.
~Every six seconds, someone is infected with HIV. Every five more, someone will lose their battle with it.
~Every other second, an unborn baby is legally terminated. No one knows how many die illegally.
~2 million children have been sold into sexual slavery, while 250,000 children are enslaved as child soldiers on real battlefields.
~37 million live in poverty, choosing between turning on their heater or feeding their children.
~7.5 percent of young girls starve themselves because they believe they're too ugly to eat.
~17,000 people are killed in drunk driving accidents every year.
~17,000 children are injured in school bus accidents every year.
~1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. For men, it's 1 in 6.
~43,000 of mothers, sisters, and daughters will die from breast cancer.
~1 out of every 2 marriages will come to a bitter end.

The fact is, suffering will always be with us. It's an inescapable reality that comes with living on this planet. Bad things will happen, and we will do what we can to prevent them. But not all bad things come as a result of sin in our lives, and finding yourself in the middle of suffering without explanation is one of the loneliest places imaginable.
God doesn't punish or discipline us for anything that we do wrong. He is actually reshaping and molding us to become more reliant on Him--to trust Him more. God's hand is always at work with plans and purposes far beyond our understanding; who are we to question Him?

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. -James 1:2-4

Living in this world ensures hardship. We will be forced to ask the question "why?" This is a question that is almost impossible to put to the side in the midst of our pain. But the simple answer is that we live in a broken world--the land of the dying. Suffering reminds us of just how fallen this world is. That this is not our home. It instills in us a longing for Heaven. A longing for a place where there will be no tears, no hunger, no homeless children. It also draws us near to God. It begs for us to lean on Him in times of instability.
Take a look at your life. Maybe you lost something great, but you gained a new reliance on God. And in that moment, His glory was revealed by being your anchor in that storm.
[from Glory Revealed, David Nasser]
I've dealt with a lot of suffering and pain throughout my life, I can personally testify that suffering and hardship is a way through which God taught me to desperately long for Him and to depend fully on Him and His ways. I needed to be reminded of how much I truly needed Him. God needed me to need Him more, and He had to strip everything away from me that I called mine to get me there. This life is His, not mine.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


"Hope is the feeling we have, that the feeling we have is not permanent."
-Mignon McLaughlin

Thursday, February 7, 2008

After the World...

You break the glass, try to hide your face
Recorded lines that just will not erase
And buried in your loss of innocence
You wonder if you'll find it again

Was I there for the worst of all your pain?
And was I there when your blue skies ran away?
Was I there when the rains were flooding you off your feet?
Those were My tears falling down for you, falling down for you

I'm the One that you've been looking for
I'm the One that you've been waiting for
I've had My eyes on you ever since you were born
I will love you after the rain falls down
I will love you after the sun goes out
I'll have My eyes on you after the world is no more

Did I arrange the light of your first day?
Did I create the rhythm your heart makes?
Could you believe when your candle starts to fade?
I want to be the One that you believe
Could take it all away, take your heart away

Isn't My life a clear sign since I have crossed over this chasm
To fill the space between Me and you?
And I will do it all over again
Just look for Me, just wait for Me

The One you've been looking for
The One you've been waiting for
You won't have to look anymore
[song by Disciple]

Monday, February 4, 2008


“Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is his name: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known." -Jeremiah 33:2-3

There is great value in knowing that God desires conversation with us and that our relationship with him is not a monologue where we leave messages in hope that we're worthy of a call back. It is intimate conversation that makes any relationship worthwhile. Rather than sitting there watching God do His thing, or God from afar watching us do ours, we engage in a relationship filled with spiritual dialogue.

Life is about relationship; it's about conversation. A dialogue--not a monologue. It's a symphony of hearing and being heard in return, of loving and being loved. We learn and grow from each other. We support and serve each other. And if we model our relationships after God's, we find so much joy in each other that we rejoice and sing.

He may sing to you through Scripture. He may sing over you through the love of your family. He may sing over you with wisdom in a tricky situation.

It's a conversation that's never ending. It'll continue through all eternity. How many relationships can you say that about?

Whether God sings over us through a lullaby, revelation through Scripture, His faithfulness, His creation, or even a finite song, we may never know. But the fact is that He is engaging in a real conversation with His children. The God who is mighty to save us loves us so much that He's serenading our affection. He has gladly given you access--call Him, sing to Him, talk to Him; He wants to reveal Himself to you.
[from Glory Revealed, David Nasser]

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Everything To Me...

This is an amazing and beautiful song by Matthew West. And not only are the lyrics powerful, but it's a song that is so easy to relate to. So often I find myself lost and not knowing where I am or where I'm headed. I question what is taking place in my life and why things are the way they are. But God looks down, sees me struggling, and He reaches out to me with His arms wide open. God is everything I need, everything I live for, and everything that I hope for. He is always there.

I’m the one with two left feet
Standing on a lonely street
I can’t even walk a straight line
And every time you look at me
I’m spinning like an autumn leaf
Bound to hit bottom sometime

Where would I be without someone to save me
Someone who won’t let me fall
You are everything that I live for
Everything that I can’t believe is happening
You’re standing right in front of me
With arms wide open
All I know is
Every day is filled with hope
'Cause You are everything that I believe for
And I can’t help but breathe you in
Breathe again
Feeling all this life within
Every single beat of my heart

I’m the one with big mistakes
Big regrets and bigger breaks
Than I'd ever care to confess
Oh but, You’re the one who looks at me
And sees what I was meant to be
More than just a beautiful mess

Where would I be without someone to save me
Someone who won’t let me fall
You are everything that I live for
Everything that I can’t believe is happening
You’re standing right in front of me
With arms wide open
All I know is
Every day is filled with hope
'Cause You are everything that I believe for
And I can’t help but breathe you in
Breathe again
Feeling all this life within
Every single beat of my heart

You’re everything good in my life
Everything honest and true
And all of those stars hanging up in the sky
Could never shine brighter than You
You are everything that I live for
Everything that I can’t believe is happening
You’re standing right in front of me
With arms wide open
All I know is
Every day is filled with hope
'Cause You are everything that I believe for
And I can’t help but breathe you in
Breathe again
Feeling all this life within
Every single beat of my heart
You are
Oh You are
Jesus, You are
You are everything

Friday, February 1, 2008


"I pray that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being" (Ephesians 3:16).

Prayer is not playtime; it is a proclamation that Providence is in control, and that your confidence is in Christ. A man of prayer manifests faith and hope in the Lord.

Therefore, pray for your family, friends and foes to follow Christ with passion and perseverance. Pray for them as Paul prayed, “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints…” (Ephesians 1:18). Pray for them as Philemon prayed, “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ” (Philemon 6). Finally, pray for them as John prayed, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well”(3 John 2).
[from daily devotional]