Monday, May 18, 2015

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12


To this end also we pray for you always,

that our God will count you 

worthy of your calling,

and fulfill every desire for goodness

and the work of faith with power,

so that the name of our Lord Jesus

will be glorified in you,

and you in Him,

according to the grace of our God

and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 NASB

Monday, May 11, 2015

Reflecting, Remembering, Rejoicing

“What’s on your mind?” the Facebook status box asks. My internal response? Mothers’ Day. Mothers’ Day is on my mind. 

I find joy EVERY day in being a mom. Maybe it’s because my path to motherhood was so long, and bumpy, and curvy, and fraught with loss. (Do people still use the word “fraught?” I digress.) ☺ Even the moments when I feel like my head is going to explode – like yesterday if I heard, “Mommy, you don’t understand. Let me explain it to you. Mother’s Day is not all about mothers” ONCE MORE – even then the joy of being Mommy completely dominates! 

I LOVE being my girl’s mommy! Yet Mothers’ Day is my least favorite holiday. For me, for others in my family, and for many other people I know, Mothers’ Day accentuates loss. For example, I ONLY get to be my little girl’s mommy because the one who carried her for 9 months is not – and each Mothers’ Day I remember my daughter’s first mother’s loss. My grandmother died on Mothers’ Day 1986. In 2007, after years of infertility and several months of infertility treatments, I miscarried the only pregnancy we achieved - three days before Mothers’ Day (May 10th). Last year, just a few days after we had brought the baby home from the hospital, the newborn we had intended to adopt was reclaimed – two weeks before Mothers’ Day. And this year is not only the 8th anniversary of my miscarriage but also the 4th Mothers’ Day since my own mother’s death. 

Even so, I have much for which to be thankful. And I am so very thankful! I have much in which to rejoice. And I do rejoice! I am, I believe, more able to experience this joy – because I remember the pain. 

So on this, the day after Mothers’ Day, I reflect. I gratefully remember. And I rejoice.

Philippians 4:4-9 

 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Seamless

New Bible Study: Seamless, by Angie Smith. Coming soon! #SeamlessBibleStudy


Monday, February 23, 2015

Jesus Is...

Who Jesus is - according to Hebrews chapters 1 through 3:

the Father:
  • appointed Jesus heir of all things
  • made the world through Jesus
Jesus:
  • is the radiance of the Father’s glory
  • is the exact representation of the Father’s nature
  • upholds all things by the word of His power
  • made purification of sins
  • sits at the right hand of the Majesty on high
  • is much better than the angels
  • has inherited a more excellent name than the angels
  • is the Father’s begotten Son
  • worshipped by the angels of God
  • His throne is forever and ever
  • His righteous scepter is the scepter of His Kingdom
  • has loved righteousness
  • has hated lawlessness
  • has been anointed by the Father with the oil of gladness
  • in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth and the heavens are the works of His hands
  • remains, even though the heavens and earth will perish
  • is the same, even when the heavens and the earth will be changed, and His years will not come to an end
  • is crowned with glory and honor
  • is appointed over the works of the Father’s hands, and the Father has put all things in subjection under Jesus’s feet
  • tasted death for everyone
  • sanctifies
  • calls those who are sanctified “My brethren”
  • proclaims the Father to His brethren
  • sings the Father’s praise
  • trusts the Father and is trusted by Him
  • shared in flesh and blood that through death He might render powerless the devil and free those enslaved by the devil
  • gives help to the descendants of Abraham
  • was made like His brethren in all things that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest
  • made propitiation (mercy) for the sins of the people
  • was tempted in that which He has suffered
  • is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted
  • is the Apostle and High Priest of our confession (our acknowledgment of the truth)
  • was faithful to the Father
  • has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses
        
Some final meditations from the first three chapters:

“And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” Hebrews 1:3

“For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.” Hebrews 2:1

“Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:12-13         

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Spoken Word

Scripture:

Hebrews 1:2-3a
“God … in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, Whom He appointed heir of all things, through Whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.

Observation:

 God the Father has spoken to us through His Son, Jesus, the Word (John 1:1)

 God the Father assigned ownership of everything to Jesus

 God the Father made (spending time or tarrying*) the world (age, era*) through Jesus, the Word 

 Jesus is the radiance (shining brightness*) of the glory (magnificence, excellence*) of the Father

 Jesus is the exact representation (character, imprint, image bearer*) of the Father’s nature

 Jesus upholds all things by the word of His power
*definitions from Vine’s Expository Dictionary


Application:

 God has spoken to ME through His Son, Jesus.

 Jesus, the Word, IS God.

 I can know God, the Father, by knowing Jesus, His Son.



Prayer

Father, please help me to see You clearly, to know You intimately, and to reflect Your glory to those around me!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Jesus. Is. Better.

About a year and a half ago, a close friendship ended. The parting process was quick, unexpected, and painful. The loss of that relationship resulted in my questioning many things, including my gifts, skills, abilities, and ministry call.

Not quite a year ago, my family experienced another loss. We had been approached about adopting a second child and after multiple conversations all involved parties had agreed to an adoption plan. A few days after the baby was born, however, there was a change of heart and our family needed to say good-bye. This parting process was also quick, unexpected, and painful.

In walking through the pain of these losses, I have been quiet here on the blog. I’ve been letting my Father work - cleaning out sin, loving me, healing hurts, and reminding me of who He is. He Who was and is and always will be. Constant. Consistent. Present. Loving.

I sense it is time to return to Better Things. And, interestingly, today a group of women all over the world are beginning an online Bible study at If:Equip. Perhaps of even more interest is the book being studied: Hebrews.

You can check out the introduction to the study here. My favorite line from the introduction is this:
…the author is trying to show that Jesus is better than the old covenant, better than the priestly system from before, the best, the once and for all sacrifice for sin, the perfect Savior.
Jesus. Is. Better. 

I’ll be reading along and will occasionally post here throughout the course of the study. I’d love to have you join in!