Saturday, January 29, 2011

a race filled with standing still.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
-Hebrews 12:1-3


Yes. I want to live in the way these verses describes. Running hard. Never looking back. Fearless.


Confident in Him. Fearless. Radical Obedience. Child-like faith. Realizing there is no day with the same opportunities as today.


But, even more so, I don't want to ever forget that it is the times we stumble and fall that matter most. That humble us. Bring us to compassion for others. Bring us to our weakness. Bring us to Him. To realize our NEED for Him.

It is the times I mess up, the times I grow weary and tired, the times I am afraid, the times I am an anxious and fearful mess, that I can fully grasp how much I NEED Him. How incredibly weak and sinful and selfish I am.

Yes, I want to run hard toward Him. Yes, I want to throw off all the sin and shame. To live for righteousness. Live for the way God sees me. Live without sin and selfishness controlling me anymore. Believe that all things are possible with Him. Watch Him move mountains just by my faith that He will do so.

I want to defeat Satan. Say "No!" to sin. Say "No!" to fear and anxiety. Yes, I want to run the race completely for Him. Hard toward Him.

...But I must remember to rest. Rest in Him.

"He says, 'Be still and know that I am God.'"
-Psalm 46:10

Running the race for Him truly means a lot of standing still. A lot of resting. A lot of falling. A lot of failing. A lot of starting over.

A lot of making the same mistakes. A lot of suffering. A lot of pain.

But all the suffering, pain, resting, falling, failing, is what makes the race beautiful. What makes HIS grace and HIS strength shine.

If we were strong, if we could keep running with out falling down, why would we need Him? We need to fail every day to be humbled. To be reminded of His grace and love. To be reminded of His forgiveness that we don't deserve.

God has molded a perfect journey for each of us. We all have points in our lives where we get stuck in the same ruts. Running in circles. Falling into the same holes every day, but we must have faith. He will pull us out in His perfect timing. We must use the times we are weakest to rest in His arms. To let His strength be full.

But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me."
-2 Corinthians 12:9

We can't become discouraged if our race is often filled with failure, standing still, falling down, running in circles, resting, being stuck in holes, etc. We must use these times to lean on Him. Allow Him to be our strength. To make us realize how much we need Him. To make us realize how much we need others and others need us. How much it means to people to simply be asked "How are you?" We need to realize how much it means to others that we are simply "there." We need to let Him use all of our weakness and struggles to help us learn, heal, and grow.

Yes, we should run hard and not look back. We should leave our sinful and selfish ways behind. But we must not get discouraged when we do struggle. We must let Him use those times for His good. We must be patient with ourselves. Forgive ourselves. Embrace His forgiveness even though we continually fail.

And we must remember to rest. Rest in His love. Spend time with Him. Let Him bring us comfort. Rest in the fact that He is in control. He knows what He is doing. And His timing is so much better than ours.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
-Ecclesiastes 3:11

"LORD my God, I called to You for help, and You healed me. You, LORD, brought me up from the realm of the dead; You spared me from going down to the pit. Sing the praises of the LORD, you his faithful people; praise His holy name. For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning."
-Psalm 30:2-5

Thanks God!!!
Thank You for being so patient.
Thank You for Your strength.
Thank You for Your love.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Psalm 73; Jesus, You're all I need.

Psalm 73: 21-28.
Kari Jobe's song "Healer"

Straight from my heart to God...

When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before You.
23 Yet I am always with You;
You hold me by my right hand.

You hold my every moment.
You calm my raging seas.
You walk with me through fire.
And heal all my disease.

I trust in You.
I trust in You.

24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward You will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And earth has nothing I desire besides You.

I believe You're my healer.
I believe You are all I need.
I believe.

My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

And I believe You're my portion.
I believe You're more than enough for me.
Jesus, You're all I need.

27 Those who are far from You will perish;
You destroy all who are unfaithful to You.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.

You hold my every moment.
You calm my raging seas.
You walk with me through fire.
And heal all my disease.

I trust in You.
LORD, I trust in You.

I believe You're my healer.
I believe You are all I need.
Oh, I believe.

I believe You're my portion.
I believe You're more than enough for me.
Jesus, You're all I need.

Nothing is impossible for You.
Nothing is impossible.
Nothing is impossible for You.
You hold my world in Your hands.

Nothing is impossible for You.
Nothing is impossible.
Nothing is impossible for You.
You hold my world in Your hands.

I believe You're my healer.
I believe You are all I need.
Oh, yes You are.
Yes, You are.

And I believe You're my portion.
LORD, I believe You're more than enough for me.
Jesus, You're all I need.

More than enough for me.
Jesus, You're all I need.

You're my healer.

Friday, January 14, 2011

If we are the Body

I think it is easy for us to look around at the others in our Body of Christ and notice other's "weaknesses." That person shouldn't waste so much time. That person should be kinder. That person is too self-focused. That person is going about the way they minister all wrong.

It is easy for us to see things we want to change about the entire Body or Church group in general. More of this. Less of that. It is easy for us to become frustrated when our conflicting ways of ministering, reaching out, and simply loving others differ from one another.

But I have realized I need God to change my heart. I want to really see Jesus in everyone. Everyone is reaching out and loving God and others in their own way. And it is beautiful. I want to look at what everyone in the Body is doing with love.

If we are the Body, we should be encouraging each other. Working together. Helping and loving each other so that the Body can walk as One to do what it is made for. To let Jesus live through us.

"Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
-Hebrews 10:22-25

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.”
-1 Peter 4:8

Take away my anger

Lately irritation, anger, and bitterness have been trying to seep into my heart. At this sinful world, towards friends who are stuck in sin, but mostly toward myself.

And I don't want it. I want God to fill my heart with so much love, compassion, understanding, kindness, patience, and peace that there is no room at all for anxiety, irritation, anger or bitterness toward myself or others.

I've been noticing myself becoming irritated and slightly angered toward the sin in other people's lives. Toward the fact that they've dug themself into their own hold. I can see that God wants to pull them out, bury the shovel, and allow them to run hard--with His strength alone--the race He has for them. God has forgiven them completely. They are free of any dirt or stains. And whenever they pick up the shovel (that should be buried and miles away from them in their past) to keep digging, or whenever they look back at their hole, I've become irritated.

I've become a hypocrite. All the irritation is hypocritical, and I don't want it.

How many times a day do I dig myself into my own anxious pits??! How many times in my life have I been in situations even much worse and holes much deeper than theirs?

And what did I need? Love.
I needed God and God's love being poured out to me from others.

It is hard to watch others struggle knowing all they need is God. But it is not my job to judge. It is not my job to be irritated. No. I need to give their struggles to God. God's timing is perfect. Sometimes it takes a long time for Him to teach us that all we need is Him. The struggles are beautiful. I know He will bring amazing healing in His timing--not mine.

I just need patience. Patience and love.

On my own I am an anxious mess. Angry at myself for being anxious. Angry at myself for being irritated toward others. Angry at myself for everything.

I need God. I need to forgive myself. Look at others with love. They have beautiful, pure intentions. Their hearts are totally for God. None of us are any better than another. All of us are completely sinful and selfish. They only thing good in us is Jesus.

I need God. His forgiveness. His love. His peace. His strength.

On my own I am buried under regrets, buried under feelings that I have wronged others, that I have said and did the wrong thing, that I've hurt others. I am sick of myself. Of my selfishness. My anxiety. Doubt. Irritation. And bitterness.

But God forgives me. He loves me. And He wants me to see myself the way He does. Forgiven. Beautiful. Loved. Perfect.

Thanks God.

It is hard, but I must forgive myself. I must allow Him to change my anxious heart. Change it to one of thankfulness for His love. One filled with joy over His promises. One filled with love and patience toward God, others, and myself.

I want to love and encourage others. I know their hearts and intentions are beautiful. I have always seen that more than anything else when I look at them!! But I don't want even an ounce of bitterness towards anyone.

God, please fill my heart with love and encouragement.

Just fill me with You. Not me, but You.

"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
-Colossians 3:12-17

Monday, January 10, 2011

All Authority

Spiritual warfare
is resisting, overcoming and defeating the devil's lies (in the form of deception, temptations, and accusations) that he sends our way.

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
-Ephesians 6:12

The three main ways the enemy threatens us are through deception, temptation, and accusation. To deceive means making someone believe a lie or something that is not true. The enemy wants you into believing something that is not true, so you will fall into error. A stronghold is an incorrect thinking pattern that stems from believing something that is not true. When deception takes hold on a person's mind, a stronghold is formed.

Temptation often follows deception. First satan tells us, "You won't surely die!", then he makes the fruit on the forbidden tree look good to us. Temptation is when we are lured in, seduced, or encouraged to sin. The enemy is showing you the worm... but behind that worm is a hook. We need the Word of God to see the hook behind the worm.

Accusation is when the devil fills a believer with guilt and shame over their sins. The devil likes to continue to rub past sin in our faces in order to beat us down, filling us with guilt and condemnation.

The devil is going to tempt us with these lies every day, but God tells us in His Word we don't need to be afraid.

Matthew 28:18-20 is titled "The Great Commission."

Then Jesus came to them and said, “'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Jesus is telling us to go out make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. And He is telling us we have all authority. We have all the authority under Heaven because we are one with Christ.

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes."
-Ephesians 6:10-11

Our purpose is to defeat Satan and the devil's work and to set free those held captive. We have everything we need to defeat the lies. We have been given the full armor of God in order to fight!

As Christians, having all the authority of Jesus Christ, we should be excited at the thought of battle. All it takes is faith. Every encounter with the enemy can be another victory! Satan defeated.

We need to study and use His Word to guard against deception and tear down the strongholds of the enemy. To realize with Christ we are made perfect in His sight. He sees us as Perfect. Righteous. Beautiful. Loved.

"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you..."
-James 4:7-8

Dealing with temptation requires two things: resisting the devil and drawing near to God. The closer you get to God and the more you become aware of His love, the less power temptation will have over you.

When the enemy throws accusations at us, we must remember we are made righteous in Christ. We need to have faith in the cross, know that we are forgiven, and not listen to the enemy's lies.

"This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—He did it to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus."
-Romans 3:22-26

We are righteous. Loved. Holy. Perfect in His sight. We have all the power and authority of Jesus Christ.

Now we just need to have faith. Fight. And defeat Satan.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

To be more like Christ: Approachable

I am reading the book my cousin Sarah gave me for Christmas called, "A Woman Who Reflects the Heart of Jesus" by Elizabeth George. As I read I am going to write a series of "To be more like Christ" posts. Ideas are taken from the book and modified into my own words. I've chosen to use Bible verses listed in the book as well as other verses to illustrate thoughts and ideas.

Dear LORD,
Please help me to become more and more like Jesus.

He is Approachable.
Always. Whenever, wherever.

"Let us therefor come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
-Hebrews 4:16

Approachable to the outcast.

Jesus didn't let who society thought He should or shouldn't talk to stop Him from helping everyone, especially the outcasts.

"A man with leprosy came to Him and begged Him on his knees, 'If you are willing, You can make me clean.'
Jesus was indignant. He reached out His hand and touched the man.
'I am willing,' He said. 'Be clean!' Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed."
-Mark 1:40-42

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
-Matthew 11:28

Approachable even while busy.

Even when Jesus was doing something of utmost importance, He stopped to help those who came to Him.

"A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that He had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and He preached the Word to them. Some men came, bringing to Him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralyzed man, 'Son, your sins are forgiven.'"
-Mark 2:1-5

Approachable to the concerned.

Even while busy. Even when He had just preached the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus went out of His way to help a high-ranking Roman military officer. Even though religious leaders could use helping the centurion as a way to condemn Him, Jesus was completely approachable to this man's concerns.

"When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, He entered Capernaum. There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to Him, asking Him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with Him, 'This man deserves to have You do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.' So Jesus went with them.
He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to Him: 'Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have You come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.'

When Jesus heard this, He was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following Him, He said,
'I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.' Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well."
-Luke 7:1-10

Approachable to those labeled unimportant or unworthy.

No one was unimportant to Jesus! He was a cheerful giver.

"People were bringing little children to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, He was indignant. He said to them, 'Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.' And He took the children in His arms, placed His hands on them and blessed them."
-Mark 10:13-16

Approachable to those who are different.

Jesus was approachable to people of different ethnic backgrounds, cultures, race, sex, and religions. In the story of the "Faith of the Canaanite Woman" Jesus helps someone who is an outcast both by being a woman and a foreigner.

"Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to Him, crying out, 'Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.'
Jesus did not answer a word. So His disciples came to Him and urged Him, 'Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.'
He answered,
'I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.'
The woman came and knelt before Him. 'Lord, help me!' she said.
He replied,
“'It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.'
'Yes it is, Lord,' she said. 'Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.'
Then Jesus said to her,
'Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.' And her daughter was healed at that moment."
-Matthew 15:21-28

Approachable to the insincere.

Jesus was there for and told the Truth to people even when He knew they would not be willing to follow His advice. Notice how it says, "Jesus looked at him and loved him." Jesus loved the rich man and told him the Truth even though He knew his heart. Jesus knew this man would not be willing to give up his wealth for Him.

"As Jesus started on His way, a man ran up to Him and fell on his knees before Him. 'Good teacher,' he asked, 'what must I do to inherit eternal life?'
'Why do you call Me good?'
Jesus answered. 'No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’
'Teacher,” he declared, 'all these I have kept since I was a boy.'
Jesus looked at him and loved him.
'One thing you lack,” He said. 'Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.'
At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth."
-Mark 10:17-22

Dear Jesus,

I know I have often appeared or been way too busy to to be approachable to people. Please change me. Change my heart. Make me like You. Thank you for always being there for me. Help me to be there for others. Help me to let You use me. I can't do anything good on my own. On my own I am selfish. Self-centered and too busy to love how You want me to. Use me, dear Jesus. Help me to tell others about You and Your love. Help me to show You to others. Speak through me. Help me be approachable to everyone.

I know I can't do anything good on my own, but with You as my strength, You can help me do anything.
Change me.
Make me more like You.

I love you LORD.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Be still.

He is calling me.
To a new adventure.
To rest.

To be captivated.
By Him!!

To shut everything else off.
Find Him in the quiet.
Time with Him and Him alone.

It's not about what I get done.
He is jealous for me.
Jealous for my time.

He just wants me to sit with Him.

To let Him lead.

He wants me to hear Him.
To be overcome by His beauty.

He wants to speak to me through the lyrics.
He wants me to listen.
Listen in the quiet.
He whispers.

Whispers,"Rest. Just rest. Rest in Me."

He wants me to see Him.
As I look to the painted sky.
In the sparkling snow that falls down around me.
In the trees blanketed with white.

To just close my eyes.
Take in the sound.
The beautiful song.

"Be still, and know that I am God..."
-Psalm 46:10

Thank you LORD.
There is nothing more beautiful.
Nothing more loving.
than You.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

His love is strong.

.. So why do we let our selfishness, anxiety, and desires of the flesh consume us?
Why do we search for comfort in a world that has nothing to offer?
Why are we still searching for love?
Why do we always want more?
Why do we compare ourselves to others?
Why do we turn to food, video games, movies, and worldly music for comfort?
Why do we keep searching for another "high?"
Why do we expect "fun times" to give us lasting satisfaction?
Why do we look to relationships and interactions with others to fill us up?
His love is SO MUCH greater than any of it.

Why do our thoughts and actions not show that?

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Ever since I can remember the Lord has really placed hunger for the fruits of the Holy Spirit in my heart. I remember belting, "I want your love, joy, peace, patience way down in my soul. Kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control," into a microphone while singing a solo in a musical we performed at a Hope Lutheran summer camp. Eight years later that lyric still goes through my head countless times every day.

"The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
-Galatians 5:19-23

God has given us the Holy Spirit to help us while we are still in this sinful world. We need to pray for Him to allow the Holy Spirit to work in us. Filling us with the fruits, ridding us of the sinful desires of our flesh. We have to choose to say "NO!" to our old ways of living, sins, selfish desires, wants, anxieties, etc. We need to ask God to help us become more and more holy. God calls us to rid ourselves of our old ways of living and become more and more like Jesus.

"What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.”
-Romans 6:19-22

“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
-2 Corinthians 7:1

"It really is the Holy Spirit who will be the One to cause this type of transformation to occur in your personality. However, the Holy Spirit will not work without the Word. Why? Because the Word of God will give you the knowledge that you will need in order to be really able to work with the Holy Spirit in this process. You have to know exactly what it is that God wants to change about you before the Holy Spirit will move to cause some of these changes to start to take place in your personality.

The word “Spirit” is with a capital “S” – which means these 9 fruits are coming directly from the Holy Spirit, not from us. What this means is that God’s love, God’s peace, God’s joy and God’s goodness can start to be transmitted up into our personality. These are His attributes and personality qualities that will start to move into the core of our personality.Think about the ramifications of this – that God the Father Himself is allowing us to share in a part of His divine nature by allowing His Holy Spirit to transmit and impart these nine divine qualities right up into our soul and personality!"*

In the summer during middle and high school I would often wake up at 8am to go for a run. I remember going through the list in my head, reflecting on each fruit, and asking God to help me be more loving to my family, more patient with myself, etc. I still enjoy going through the list, reflecting and asking God for more. I always need to ask for more of every fruit, and I always need to ask God to forgive me and rid me of all of the sins and selfish desires I have on my plate. It is important to pray for others, but also to pray for ourselves. We need to pray for ourselves so that we are able to help, love, and show others Christ. God really will answer those prayers if we let Him.

I am going to make a list of all the fruits with a little bit of what the Bible and Bible commentaries say about each one. I am mainly doing this so I can come back and look at it to see what I need to ask the Holy Spirit to both rid and fill my heart with. ... Enjoy!

1. Unselfish, benevolent concern for another; brotherly concern; the object of brotherly concern or affection

2. The self-denying, self-sacrificing, Christ-like love which is the foundation of all other graces

3. Unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for the well being of another

4. The high esteem which God has for His human children and the high regard which they, in turn, should have for Him and other people

5. To love, to have affection for someone; to like; to be a friend; the love of brothers for each other

"Our abilities as fallen humans to love one another is very limited. This is why it is so important for each and every Christian to work very closely with the Holy Spirit to get this fruit worked up into the core of our personalities. It is only when the love of the Holy Spirit starts to flow and enter into our personalities can we even begin to love God, love ourselves, and love one another to the degree and to the intensity that God would like to see from each one of us." *

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."
-1 Corinthians 13:4-8

1. Great delight; gladness of heart

2. The happy state that results from knowing and serving God

3. That deep, abiding, inner rejoicing in the Lord

4. To rejoice, to be glad

5. Happy, joyful, cheerful, rejoicing, festive

"Realize that God can transmit this divine quality right up into your personality – and this will be His joy, not your joy, once it starts to flow up into you. And once God starts to release His joy into your system, you won’t be able to help but feel it. And once you are able to start feeling it again, it will become much easier for you to learn how to walk back in it in your own daily walk with the Lord."*

"The joy of the Lord is your strength."
-Nehemiah 8:10

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
-Hebrews 12:2


1. The presence and experience of right relationships

2. The tranquility of soul

3. Sense of well-being and fulfillment that comes from God and is dependent on His presence

4. The inner tranquility and poise of the Christian whose trust is in God through Christ

5. Tranquility, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord

"I have found that once His peace starts to flow up into your mind, soul and emotions, it really is as the Bible says – a peace that surpasses all human understanding – especially when that peace comes in right in the middle of a severe storm cloud that you may be going through."*

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

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
-Romans 15:13

1. Forbearance, patience

2. Patient endurance and steadfastness under provocation

3. Forbearance under ill-will, with no thought of retaliation

4. Patience, endurance, steadfastness and forbearance

5. Forbearance under suffering and endurance in the face of adversity

6. Ability to endure persecution and ill-treatment

"One of the ways of our God is that He is a very patient and longsuffering God. His ways are not our ways. And one of the things you will find out very early on about His ways is that He works on a much slower time frame than we do. And unless you learn to adjust to His slower way of working things out, you will find yourself easily losing your patience with Him and how He wants to work things out in your life.
God operates on a much longer and slower time frame than we are used to operating in the fast paced world in which we live in. You will really have to work with the Holy Spirit on this particular quality to get it properly worked up into your personality. The reason for this is that your own impatience will start to act up and try to override the patience and longsuffering that the Holy Spirit will try and transmit to you. At times, it may become of battle of wills – your will against His will."*

"We are "strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness."
-Colossians 1:11

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."
-Ephesians 4:2

1. Quality or state of being kind

2. The steadfast love that maintains relationships through gracious aid in times of need

3. Goodness of heart, serviceable, good, gracious, pleasant

4. Love for mankind, hospitality, acts of kindness, readiness to help, human friendship, benevolence, taking thought of others

5. Goodness in action, sweetness of disposition, gentleness in dealing with others, affability

6. The ability to act for the welfare of those taxing your patience

"This is a very beautiful quality to have transmitted up into your soul and personality by the Holy Spirit. Not only will you be able to touch others with this godly quality, but you will also be able to touch yourself – because you will feel so much better about yourself if you can learn how to treat others with much more kindness and respect in your daily dealings and affairs with them."*

We should live "in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left."
-2 Corinthians 6:6-7

1. Beneficence, ready to do good, love in action

2. Kindness in actual manifestation, virtue equipped for action, a bountiful propensity both to will and to do what is good, intrinsic goodness producing a generosity and a Godlike state or being

3. The word beneficence means the fact or quality of being kind or doing good

"One of the key qualities a nonbeliever will pick up on in a solid Christian is this quality of goodness. This quality has an ability to really get down deep into the core of a believer’s personality. To those who really have this quality, you can tell that it is something operating deep down inside of them. This quality is not something that waivers like some of the other qualities can. These people are good down to their very cores of their personalities. You can see it and feel it when you get around these types of people.
A truly good person could not even begin to try and use you or manipulate you for their own personal gain because they are too good and too righteous to even begin to think along those lines. This is why these kinds of people are so trustworthy and why so many people are drawn to them – because you feel so safe by just being around them." *

"Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power."
-2 Thessalonians 1:11

"For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth"
-Ephesians 5:9

1. Fidelity which makes one true to his promise and faithful to his task

2. Steadfast, dedicated, dependable and worthy of trust

3. Steadfast, unchanging and thoroughly grounded in relation to the other

4. Dependability, loyalty and stability

"God the Father really holds this particular quality in high esteem, and this is one quality that He will really expect you to operate very strongly in – not only in your own personal relationship with Him, but also in your other personal relationships with your family and friends. In other words, He wants you to be faithful and loyal to your spouses, to your children, to your parents, and to your good friends."*

"O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth."
-Isaiah 25:1

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith."
-Ephesians 3:16-17

1. Mildness combined with tenderness

2. Gracious, kindly disposition, controlled strength

3. A disposition that is even-tempered, tranquil, balanced in spirit, unpretentious and that has passions under control

4. A character that is equitable, reasonable, forbearing, moderate, fair and considerate

5. Power and strength under control

6. Willing to pardon injuries, correct faults. One who rules his spirit well

"Since Jesus walked our earth as a man – the Son of Man – study His actions very carefully when you read the gospels and how He handled different types of people. There were times that He would engage and set people straight, like He did with some of the Scribes and Pharisees. But there were other times that He dealt with people very gently, with kindness and gentleness. His gentle way of handling some of these people is what really jumps out at you when you really study how He handled different types of people.
Once you really start walking in the Holy Spirit with His fruits operating and flowing through you – you will really be able to feel and sense when you should handle a certain person or a certain type of situation with more of a touch of gentleness rather than with any kind of stern rebuke or condemnation. There is a time for tough love – but there are also times that just a gentle and loving touch is all that is really needed to properly handle a certain situation."*

"Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted."
-Galatians 6:1


1. Temperance, rational restraint of natural impulses

2. Sober, temperate, calm and dispassionate approach to life, having mastered personal desires and passions

3. Calls for a self-disciplined life following Christ’s example of being in the world but not of the world

4. Restraint or discipline exercised over one’s behavior

"The Bible tells us that our spirits and our flesh will war against each other in this life. Our flesh wants immediate self-gratification at all costs and will stop at nothing to try and get it. Our spirits know that some of our fleshly desires are not right for us and as a result, there will be a tug of war between the two – and sometimes it will be a major tug of war. And the only thing that will be able to curb and control some of the desires of our flesh is the quality of self-control.
If you are willing to yield to Him and allow Him to start to work all 9 of these fruits into your personality – then you will find yourself starting to grow in ways and in areas that you never thought were possible in this life. His supernatural power in this area will blow you away once you see how far He can really take you to become the person that God would like you to become in Him in this lifetime."*

"But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love."
-2 Peter 1:5-7

Thank You Lord for Your Word that teaches us what we should always be hungry for: Your Fruits of the Holy Spirit.

I love You LORD!
Thanks for Your AMAZING love.

(definitions from Bible commentaries and dictionaries)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

live for today

It is hard for me to truly have sympathy for people who say they are bored.

I constantly wish I could stop time. Stop everything. Be alone. and...

Really deeply study the Bible.

I want to understand. I want to know the stories. I want to get the big picture. I want to be able to quote scripture. To know what I'm talking about. I want to question every verse and research like mad. I have a never ending hunger for reading God's word. Knowing it. Talking about it. Living it. The hunger eats away at me. I am glad it is there. I am blessed that the hunger has been there for many years. It always makes me wish I had way more time in a day.

Read a ton of Christian books.
I want to to know how to live like Jesus. I want to understand what that means
in every aspect of life. As a daughter, as a student, as a girl friend, wife, mother, sister of Christ, counselor, preacher, disciple, etc. I want to understand what God wants. I want to know how to help people in every area of their life and struggle. I know the Bible holds the answers, but I also constantly hunger to read what other Christians are writing.

Deeply study and write about my life.
I've always had the desire to document what I've been through and all the thoughts rushing through my packed brain. I have tons of journals and notebooks to go through. My room is a mess of old stuff. It would take a good year or more to go through everything, think about it, and write about it the way I want to. Every day I just want to write more and more, but I have to slow down and refocus on what needs to get done instead. Bah...!

Finish all the unfinished projects.

CLEAN. Organize. Edit photos. Go through clothes and boxes. Finish the millions of unfinished books and stories. Make stuff for people!!! Oh the countless ideas I have for gifts and things I would like to do and make for others.

I want to just press pause.
Fill this constant hunger for learning more about God.
And then come back to where I'm at.
Come back to doing what I want to do most: love and serve God.
Showing Christ to others.
Come back to being a student.
Come back to everything else.

But instead of pausing to do want I want before returning to real life, I have to
slow down. Take it a day at a time. Do what God wants me to do today, right now, this instant. Above all, be at peace with just doing what matters: loving God and others.

"Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? ... Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
-Matthew 6:27, Matthew 6:34

"You told me not to worry about what lies ahead, so I am gonna focus on today instead. Making every moment count and counting every single blessing. I'm gonna set my mind on the here and the now.This is what I want my life to be about...

I'm gonna live for today.
I'm gonna follow in Your way.
I'm gonna let my little light shine
like there's no tomorrow.
I won't worry about the past.
I know my future is intact.
So I'll choose to live my life one way:
I'm gonna live it for today

-Live For Today by Natalie Grant

I love putting each day and each moment in God's hands. That brings me so much peace.

Dear God,
Please help my mind not to become anxious about getting things done.

My anxiety is purely selfish.

None of that stuff matters at all.

Only loving You with my whole heart, soul, mind, and strength
and showing others Your love matters.

Help me to want to do Your will.

Not mine, but Yours God.
You will help me do what You want me to.
I don't need to put pressure on myself at all.
Your love is AMAZING God.
I want to give every minute of every day to loving You, Lord.

Help me to live for today, God.
Help me not worry about any of my selfish desires.
Help me show You to others the way You desire.
I want to do everything in Your time, dear Lord.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
-Matthew 11:28-30

Thanks for Your help God.
I love You LORD!!!