Thursday, March 31, 2011

The going gets tough...

Life. is. hard.

Sometimes, the going gets tough. Does that mean you can opt out of your situation? Just throw your hands up and quit? Blame your circumstances on, well, circumstance? NOPE.

God has a might not see it right now; maybe He's only showing you one step at a time...enough light to see one foot forward (or one inch or one millimeter!). But He wants you to take the next step in faith. What is he calling you to do?

...And the tough gets going?

Is he calling you to move? Maybe a new job or a new city?
Is he calling you to work harder where you are?

Maybe he's telling you to be content.
Maybe, just maybe, he's saying...WAIT.

Waiting is hard. We want to DO and GO, and sometimes that's what God is telling us. But other times, He's telling us to stop...wait...listen.

     Be still and know that I am God.

Yep...sometimes it's the being still that allows us to know God more.

While you're waiting (or moving or stepping carefully), listen for God's voice. His is the only one that you need. You'll get plenty of advice (sometimes asked for, sometimes not) from plenty of people (sometimes well-meaning, sometimes not). But most importantly, listen for GOD'S voice.

Maybe it will be in the roar of the winds of change...
Or maybe it will be in the still small voice in the whisper of the quiet.

How do you know what God's voice sounds like? How can we discern it from the noise of this world?

Think about do you know your earthly father's or mother's voice? What about that of your daughter or son? Your spouse or best friend? How do you know these voices?

Spend time with God. You'll learn His ways and His will as you commune with Him. You'll be able to better discern His voice and you'll be ready to HEAR when God SPEAKS.

And if you are waiting for an answer from God, in the mean time - live obediently. Don't squander this time just because you are waiting. God has told us how to live:


"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him who loved us."
~Romans 8:37
(By the way, look back at verse 35 to see why this verse starts with "no.")

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Does this thing work?

(This is an excerpt from my journaling today).

Testing...testing...does this thing work? This pen? How about prayer? Neither have been used in a long time. Why?

The pen, well, it sits in an out-of-the-way place and I don't look at it much, despite the fact that it's a great tool and works wonderfully - as seen here!

Prayer is much the same. It's tucked away deep in my soul and I forget about it. Even though it's an amazing tool and...wait, does prayer work?

I guess it depends on your definition of prayer and of "work".

Does praying for everything I want lead to getting all of it? If that's your definition, then NO, prayer doesn't work - not like that!

Does prayer always give an immediate answer? NOPE.
Do you always see an answer to every prayer? NO - even the ones that line up with scripture and what you think are His desires.


BUT, if your definition of how prayers works includes being drawn into a closer relationship with the Almighty, then YES, prayer works.

If your definition includes being completely honest and open with the Heavenly Father, knowing He will listen and love - YES, prayer works.

If prayer is a tool that helps you love the unlovable (as you pray for them only in God's strength) - YES, prayer works!!!

If your definition includes a time to just be still and listen to the Lord of Lords and King of kings - knowing that His ways are higher - YES, prayer works!

If prayer is a kick-start to your day in the morning and a thankful conclusion in the evening, and scattered "praying always" prayers throughout the day, then YES, prayer works.

AND, if prayer is defined as a time to realign who you are with who God wants you to be, then YES, PRAYER WORKS LIKE THAT!

O Father in heaven, Your Name is Holy!
You are the Everlasting and yet, 
you listen to me...
you invite me into your presence.
Lord, help me to remember what this time is for;
it's not about me.
It's about YOU and Your kingdom and Your will.
I pray for enough grace to get me through today.
Give me what You want me to use today.
Show me Your Will for today.
Father, forgive me for my disobedience,
for my unbelief,
for my lack of faith and trust in You, my God.
Savior, Redeemer, Lord,
everything is for Your Glory.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New Design!

I was feeling creative tonight, so I hope you enjoy the new design!

If you don't know the story behind the song, "It is well," click here. This is the inspiration for my new theme!

When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
                                 ~Isaiah 43:2

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Tonight's Bible study was focused on Matthew 6:1-15, and the word "intentional" kept creeping into the conversation. We should be intentional about giving to the needy, intentional about prayer, intentional about forgiveness.

It's so true. How much gets done on a non-intentional basis? Sure, there are those spur-of-the-moment things that just happen. (But even then, isn't God still being intentional???)

So, I think that this intentionality goes perfectly with my Simple Obedience series. And it ties into one particular area of simple obedience that I still struggle with every day: PRAYER.

Prayer should be intentional. And we should pray for intentionality in our actions! Psalm 5:3 was also shared tonight:

In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation.

We should intentionally lay our requests before God and intentionally expect Him to answer. Ask and you shall receive.

When did David pray? IN THE MORNING. A fitting start to the day, right? If we start with intentional prayer, the rest of our day is intentionally focused on our intentional Lord.

I am continually amazed at the strength that comes from prayer -

intentionally seeking God
intentionally spending time in the stillness
intentionally listening for His voice

How can I be more intentional? O, let me count the ways...

Wednesday Wonders...

I wonder...

What qualities/skills/characteristics are most important to you for the Senior Pastor at a church?

This wonder is brought to you by the recent resignation of the Senior Pastor at my own church
and the forthcoming search for a new Pastor.

Thoughts, please!?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Biblical Inerrancy

Here's a tidbit about biblical inerrancy. This is just "my position" I had to give for a discussion board based on the reading from my class. My research paper will be about 15 pages long, so I won't be posting IT! HAHA. But, maybe some more tidbits as I go along. Enjoy!

(Also, for anyone interested on doing more reading in this area - Erickson's Christian Theology is an excellent place to start. Also, Greisler's Inerrancy [which I didn't have at the time of writing the following] is going to be a major source for my research.)

I believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, thus defined as “when judged by the usage of its time, [it] teaches the truth without any affirmation of error.”1 I believe in what is known as full inerrancy, which claims that the Bible is completely true; while not giving primary aim to scientific or historical data, it nonetheless recounts these as observed in a truthful manner.2 Anything less than full inerrancy limits the authority of the scriptures, upon which my faith is built. If even one part of scripture is said to be erroneous, the door is open for the possibility of the errancy of the whole canon.3

The key foundation for this belief in the inerrancy of the Bible is a belief in an omniscient, omnipotent God.4 In addition, the view that “inspiration involved God’s directing the thoughts of the writers, so that they were precisely the thoughts that he wished expressed”5 is also foundational. Given the corollary belief of inspiration, the Bible must be completely truthful;6 for how could God, an inerrant being, inspire anything less than inerrant scriptures? The Bible repeatedly teaches that God cannot lie, so the inerrancy of His Word follows His character.7

I also believe that any deviation from full inerrancy would seriously affect other doctrines of my faith. At the point in which I disavow the truth and inerrancy of the Bible, I will have to allow consideration for other beliefs and tenets of Christianity to be false.

In relation to what seem to be errors in the scriptures, I am of the opinion that 1) many of these assertions of errors can, in fact, be reconciled when considered in the original purpose for which they were written,8 and 2) I am not privy to all knowledge that exists; therefore, I am humble enough to realize and admit that I do not know the answers sometimes.

Finally, the overall importance in relating the inerrancy of the Bible is that it is full of truth.9 Mostly, the scriptures aim to give truth about God – who He is and what He has done to restore our relationship to Him. “Scripture itself is viewed as an integral part of God’s redemptive activity, a special form of revelation, a unique mode of divine disclosure. In fact, it becomes a decisive factor in God’s redemptive activity, interpreting and unifying the whole series of redemptive deeds, and exhibiting their divine meaning and significance.”(my emphases) 10 The focus is on the grace that God bestows in order that we might be redeemed.

1. Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, 2nd ed., (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998), 246.
2. Ibid., 248.
3. Ibid., 250-251.
4. H. D. McDonald, “Bible, Authority of,” in Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Walter A. Elwell (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001), 154.
5. Erickson, 242.
6. Ibid., 251.
7. P. D. Feinberg, “Bible, Inerrancy and Infallibility of,” in Elwell, 158.
8. Erickson, 260-262.
9. McDonald, 154.
10. C. F. H. Henry, “Bible, Inspiration of,” in Elwell, 162.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Rejoice Always...

Wondering what God's will for your life is?
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

"Quarterly Website Maintenance" = An excuse to NOT work on coursework and catch up on blogging instead! :)

I know it's been awhile since I've posted anything, so this post MAY be a little longer! Please read through! :)

The last 2 weeks have been FULL...and unfortunately, not full of "good" things. I won't elaborate here, but suffice it to say that God is working in some lives in painful ways, and I have been witness. As hard as it is, it will be that much more GLORIOUS when God brings these situations to completion! I will rejoice with those who are rejoicing!!!

This reminds me of a hymn that has come up twice in the past week: The Servant Song. We sang it in church last week and then a friend brought it up at a meeting, too. I'm so excited about this song because it represents the attitude that we should come with in regards to each other. It's kind of an extension of the command to "Love your neighbor."
To see the lyrics and hear a version, click here.

Also this week, my coursework through Liberty Seminary online has been GREAT! But also really busy! The reading we have to do is immense...but I'm learning SO much. I'm doing my research paper on Biblical Inerrancy, which is just a fancy way of saying the Bible is TRUE! (Well, of course it's more complicated than that, which is why I'm doing a research paper on it.) Maybe I'll post some excerpts as I work through the research - for all of you fellow theologians! HAHA.


My heart broke Friday morning upon learning of the disaster in Japan. As I watched the footage on the news and online, I was simply broken for those people. The devastation was horrendous and now, the loss of life is immense. Who can comfort those people, except the One True God?

On that note...
I just want to have a little soapbox moment. If you do not KNOW (know that you know, etc.) what lies beyond this life for you, PLEASE talk to me - or someone closer to you. God's grace is available right now and it is necessary for eternal life. Best part...wait for's FREE!
This soapbox moment is brought to you by the reminder this week that we are not guaranteed tomorrow. (see Proverbs 27:1 and James 4:14)

Thanks for letting me go there. In other news...

Here's my Siesta Scripture Memory Verse for March 15
"I love you, my Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."
~Psalm 18:1-2

And just to catch up all the way...

Wednesday Wonder (yes, I know it's Friday!):
I wonder...How did you celebrate St. Patrick's Day? (Or did you?)

Friday, March 4, 2011


Some of you may be wondering why I have dashes between the words in my URL for this blog. I would love to say that I thought about it and wanted the words to be separate...but that's not exactly true.

THIS is why. Because someone else already has that URL...and...yeah. It's not very exciting, is it?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wednesday Wonders...

I wonder...

Why do people not wear seatbelts?

(This "wonder" is brought to you today by the lady driving in front of me who, seeing a police car drive by the intersection, quickly put her seatbelt on...after driving down at least one major thoroughfare with it off.)

Thoughts? Musings? Please comment! :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Unplowed Ground

I am not a gardener. I don't have a green thumb (it might be leaning more towards the shade of charcoal). I don't particularly like plants...all that much. My yard looks like any yard would with months of neglect - a jungle. (Maybe I'll add a picture later so I'm motivated to make it look better!)

But I LOVE stories set on farms - Amish stories (especially Beverly Lewis), stories set in the early American pioneer days, and stories that give that sense of the harmony between hard work and nature.

As much as I love reading about it, I would not (as I've testified above) fit in very well in those settings. As I was reading from a book of scripture that was brought to mind tonight by our lively Book Club discussion (we read this), I discovered a passage that, as a non-farmer, probably doesn't mean as much to one who does work the land. And yet, I understand exactly what God has in mind here, and that's thanks to Him for revealing it to me!

"Sow righteousness for youselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righetousness of you."
~Hosea 10:12

Not only is this my memory verse for the next 14 days, but it is also a very direct Word from God for me. God is speaking to my heart about the unplowed ground in my life. What have I not given over to Him? What needs "breaking up" in my life? How can I dig deeper into my relationship with God, the Creator?

There's so much packed into this verse and I can't wait to see what God is going to reveal to me over the next 14 days, especially, and then throughout the rest of this Plan he has for me: my life.

Here are my previous verses (from memory!):

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." ~Psalm 51:10

"Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them." ~1 Corinthians 7:17 (This verse has been especially poignant and I've been able to share it with several other people lately - I do hope I'm not taking it out of context, and I'd like to study it more!)

"For we do not struggle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the forces of evil in the spiritual realm." ~Ephesians 6:12

"Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of your flesh." ~Romans 13:14

For my fellow siestas, don't give up hope! You can memorize scripture! Try to find situations where your scriptures apply - then look them up and repeat them. Share with each other. I write my scriptures several times (I've typed them 3 times just tonight!). Any kind of repetition helps!

(and for the amazing inspiration for this blog post)


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