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Heaven…

23 Oct

Wow, it’s been a while.  Well let me give a quick recap of what I have been up to for the last year that I haven’t written on my blog!  I finished my master’s degree and it was a whirlwind of a year.  I must say that it was a lot of work, but I learned so much and now God has blessed me with a new job since I graduated.  I am so happy and grateful with where I am at now.  I have been enjoying being able to spend more time with my husband now that I don’t have homework to do 😉

I started going to a bible study again and we have been learning about heaven.  I must say that it has really blown me away and given me a fresh excitement and awe for the creative and abundant works of God.  I never really understood before how incredibly amazing and beautiful and perfect it will be in heaven.  The beauty and the love that we experience here on earth gives us just a glimpse into the perfect eternity that God wants us to spend with Him.  Can you imagine a city that is so beautiful that is glistens with the colors of gemstones, is paved with gold, and where there is no strife, no pain, no sickness, and no need for the sun because the presence of God will shine on everything?  It’s breathtaking and hard to even imagine for me.  It makes me thank God at the end of each day that I am one day closer to getting to meet Jesus face to face.

Revelations 21:1-6 says, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life.”

When I close my eyes and think about these promises, I am overcome with awe!

In Revelations 22:1-5, John describes heaven even further, “Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.
No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.”

I find this all so fascinating! I will share more as I continue learning.

What do you look forward to or know about or want to know about heaven?  I would love to hear from you.

I wanted to share a song about heaven and found this great video of Wynonna Judd singing “I Can Only Imagine” by MercyMe.  She opens the song by sharing her testimony and it is so touching to hear her story.

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United

12 Apr

 

This morning after praying for guidance about our church and the changes that are taking place, I opened the bible to Jesus’ prayer in John 17.  This prayer was said by Jesus right before his betrayal by Judas and crucifixion took place.  He looked up to the sky and spoke to his father.  As I read it, I was struck by Jesus’ prayer for unity among his followers after he went up to heaven.  His desire is for us to be united:

“My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold.

“Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.

“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.

I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began! John 17:9-24

This prayer gives me a stronger drive to work together with all of my brothers and sisters in Christ; to not let change or anything else put a spirit of division in the body of Christ.

I also needed comforting this morning and God gave me these words:

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27

Thank God for his grace. Thank God for this gift. The gifts that we have received from God are worth more than anything this world could ever offer.  Thank you Jesus!

I love answered prayers!

3 Feb

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

Yesterday I felt super exhausted in the afternoon.  I was sitting in class and literally pinched my cheeks a couple of times to try to keep myself from totally zoning out.  As I was driving home later, I remembered two scriptures that I had read yesterday:

From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety. Psalm 61:2

Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

I realized that I just needed to pray and ask Jesus for rest. To tell him that I was placing my life in his hands and letting go of control.  It was amazing, I felt so much lighter and relieved immediately.

When it was time for bed, I once again included the request for rest in my prayers. I set my alarm and then went to sleep.

This morning I woke to my phone ringing. I saw that it was my car pool and immediately answered, “My alarm didn’t go off. I’m sorry.” I said this because it was 7:45, the time when we leave!  But, I didn’t feel upset about it. I just said I would be ready in 20 minutes and got up feeling really well rested!  As I got ready I was thinking about my prayer and my request for rest.  The great thing is that I got the rest I needed and was only 15 minutes late to work (which is not a big deal at all where I work)!

Thank God to answered prayers 🙂

Here is a great song that I was listening to on the drive in to work:

Chris August, “Starry Night”

 

Love…

19 Jan

Love is a recurring topic for me and it’s easy to explain why.  I seek it every day.  I want to feel loved.  Who doesn’t?

This morning as I was driving to work, I was blown away by how beautiful everything is.  All I wanted to do was praise God for the love he put into the world.

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.  This is real love – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 1 John 4:9-10

We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. 1 John 4:16-17

His love moves me.  It brings tears to my eyes.  It gives me goose bumps.  There is nothing, and I mean nothing, that can compare to the love of Christ.

“Your Love,” by Brandon Heath

“Your Love is a Song,” by Switchfoot

Unfailing Love

28 Dec

In the time of Christmas and New Year holidays, I found myself not devoting as much time to the Lord as I normally do.  While still in prayer every day, I was not reading the bible and really praising God in the way that He deserves.  This morning I opened my bible to Psalm 36:7, “How precious is your unfailing love, O God!”

His love is so precious, so amazing, and I am so undeserving of it.  But as I have said before, despite how undeserving I am, my God loves me anyway.  I want to praise Him this morning.

Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the ocean depths.
You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.
How precious is your unfailing love, O God!
All humanity finds shelter
in the shadow of your wings.
You feed them from the abundance of your own house,
letting them drink from your river of delights.
For you are the fountain of life,
the light by which we see.

Pour out your unfailing love on those who love you;
give justice to those with honest hearts. Psalm 36:5-10

“Your Love, Oh Lord” by Third Day is a beautiful song based on this passage of scripture:

Another amazing song by Third Day, “King of Glory”:


My Hero

16 Dec

Who is your hero? What is it about them that makes them someone to look up to? Are they kind? Are they smart? Are they successful? What really makes them your hero?  Do you try to live your life like theirs because you want to be like them? Do you think that being like them would make you happier or give you a better life?

There is one hero with whom no other hero can compare.

Why can no one compare?

Because this hero was created in perfection; he has not a single flaw in the eyes of God. He came here to save mankind from themselves.

My hero is Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.” John 6:35-40

He came here to save the lost, to serve others, to live according to God’s will, to suffer and to die so that we could live.  I think that is something to look up to. He is truly deserving of being called a hero.

The song “Hero” by Abandon really moved me and this video made by Kristen S. makes the message even more moving.

His love was so great it’s unimaginable…

Lord pick me up

23 Nov

I felt like I was going to have a mental breakdown today if it wasn’t for having God in my life.  I had this feeling like I was losing it. Like I was going to lose it. So annoyed for no reason. So overwhelmed. I had to pray so many times today for God’s strength to fill me. For Him to pick me up.

Sometimes everything just seems to get under my skin. The pressure to keep up the pace can end up feeling like an anchor pulling my head under water.

I ended the day in tears. For no real reason other than pure exhaustion and annoyance at things that shouldn’t annoy me.  I found myself calling on the Lord as I felt darkness trying to creep into my mind and heart.

Thankfully, tomorrow is a new day.

“Savior, please take my hand

I work so hard

I live so fast…

I try to be so tough,

but I’m just not strong enough.

I can’t do this alone,

God I need you to hold onto me.” Josh Wilson, ‘Savior, Please’