One Hundred and Three

I’m very thankful for all the resources we have available to us to learn about the Lord and to be encouraged to walk in His ways. Sometimes I think about what it was like for the nation of Israel long ago. And for the early Christians, meeting together and reading and re-reading the letters they received from the other churches in and around the Roman Empire… They had so little available to them to encourage and bolster their faith like we have with the Bible. I mean, most of us have more than one translation, you know? It’s incredible. And yet, still I spend so much less time studying it as I should to lift up my heart, my thoughts, to grow in wisdom, to develop my faith.

There have been times in my walk with God when I have struggled to “get in to” the ancient text of the Bible– when it has been dry to me. And those times I have been exceedingly thankful for all the other resources there are out there for us in this digital age. I have especially loved oneplace.com– you can go and stream free audio bible studies, sermons, etc, from your favourite bible teachers! I’ve recently been given the gift of a free membership to RightNow.org from our new church. These are actual videos of bible study series. I love being able to have some encouraging and enlightening teachings on in the background of whatever my hands are busy with. Yesterday, I listened to a Mark Batterson bible study on prayer while baking. I find with my melancholic nature and this long long frigid winter, I need to be feeding myself encouragement and hope every chance I get or things just get too dark…

Do you thirst for encouragement for your faith? The options truly are endless. Even youtube.com can be a valuable source of bible teachings. Don’t let your soul starve for lack of motivation to find the encouragement you’re needing. Rip into that bible study you’ve been meaning to do– that workbook has been on the shelf far too long. Or  if your hands are busy, hop onto oneplace.com and search for your favourite Bible teacher to play out while you work. Even most churches have sermons recorded on their websites now. Go check them out! The resources to feed our faith and our souls are infinite!! Redeem the moments…

Thank You, Lord, for how You feed us…

Dalmatians

“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

Thank you Lord, for soul rest.

Eighty-eight through One Hundred

88.  For brand new days filled with hope.
89. For hunger that is satisfied with good food.
90. For hunger that is satisfied only with the Bread of Life.
91. For open pathways of prayer.  That, in Christ, I can stand before God’s throne and speak to him as a child speaks to her Daddy.
92. For long excited talks with Lily about heaven.
93. For Lily concluding that she is not scared to die amymore!
94. For heaven.  Our reward for YOUR suffering.  Crazy love.
95. For crazy love.
96. For Lily not waking us until 6!
97. For wonderful friends who are always available.
98. For a gentle shepherd who guides every step.
99. For His absolute refusal to ever give up on us.
100. For the fact that The Holy Spirit is with me all thé time.

Eighty-six

4 years ago today, my darling little nephew Kenan was born in my big sis’s family. He very swiftly stole this Auntie’s heart and has not given it back to me yet!! I am SO thankful for this sweet, little, handsome man– for his big, loving heart (he makes EVERYONE his friend!), his constant wonder at life (curiosity is NOT naughtiness!), his tiny little voice (his little speech impediment may endear him to me all the more!), the way he says, “Me da you, Auntie!” (Which means I love you) out of the blue at any given moment, his little arms wrapping around my neck… Oh! I had no idea that being an Auntie would be this wonderful, or that my heart could love these 6 little people in my life so very very much. I love you, Kenan-buddy! You are one of the most precious people in my whole wide world 🙂

Thank You, Lord, for giving us this darling boy!!!
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Eighty-five

I was thinking this morning about Jesus, and how He limited himself on earth.  Not just in the obvious humbling of a King growing up as a carpenter and teacher, but in His body, a body that coursed with creation power, healing power, resurrection power.

He showed this every time He healed the sick; not just new illnesses and injuries, but lifelong infirmities, He showed it when He resurrected Lazarus and a little girl, He showed it when merely touching a corner of His cloak caused a chronic and incurable illness to leave an old woman.

God, walking on earth, limiting His power into the body of a man, letting that power out as and when it was needed, bringing a piece of His heavenly kingdom on earth, visible for all to see.

But when He came to die…

Jesus, the man who could not be pinned down until it was His time, ‘slipping away’ again and again from those who would crucify him before He decided to go.

When He came to die…

He allowed those who would betray Him to take hold of Him, making it clear how ludicrious it was of them to come with weapons (Could not the creator of the Universe escape whatever they came at Him with?), He allowed them to lead them to His death, to place the cross on His shoulders.  He allowed His body to feel the full weight of the cross, He let the centurion lash Him, without using His healing power to heal those wounds that were being inflicted.  He did not protest His innocence, but let those people have their way with Him.

He allowed it all.  He could have stopped it at any moment.  Do not doubt that He could indeed have got down from that cross, could have utilised His resurrection power to heal His body, supernaturally heal the wounds that the nails made in his wrists and feet, caused His lungs to breathe despite the pressure from his body.  Do not be deceived.  He could have stopped it at any moment.  This was God, hanging there.

He gave up His spirit.  It was not taken from Him.  He gave it, freely, and full of love and compassion.

Oh Jesus thank you.  You always had a choice, and yet you chose to go through it all for my sake.

Eighty-four

“Love is strong,
Love is strong,
Love is strong,
It’s been there holding you all along…”

I woke up this morning with these old familiar Robbie Seay Band lyrics in my head, and I’m so desperately thankful for the truth of them. Because of His grace, Love will win. One of the first things I did when I moved into my little studio apartment in Sweden was to find a big poster to scribble these lyrics on to and hang in a frame on the wall. I need this reminder every day…

“Everything that hurts will be whole again,
And love will be the last thing standing…
Keep on dreaming of the day when it all will change
….Cuz love wins.”