Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Before the Throne

This song has so much in it that I have been thinking about lately. It encompasses my life at the moment...well, at every moment but especially right now. I've just been so blessed by these truths...they have been an encouragement and hope to me. I hope they are to you :)

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea
A great High Priest whose name is love
Who ever lives and pleads for me
My name is graven on His hands
My name is written on His heart
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Behold Him there! The risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless, Righteousness
The Great unchangeable I AM
The King of Glory and of Grace
One with Himself I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Savior and my God
With Christ my Savior and my God

I know I have been "too exhausted to update" and its true...but I will try to post soon. I'll just give a real brief "update". I'm learning to glory in God and revel in His majesty. It's a beautiful, overwhelming place to be. I have had a full few weeks...rich, actually. Very rough but very rich. I have been very quieted by events in my life and have spent lots of time in the Word and in prayer. It is such a neat time of refocusing my life and thoughts. It is so wonderful to focus on God in His glory and on others and not on myself. I am praying very specifically for many of you. I will try to write letters soon...I love you!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Lots of Different Emotions...

I'm too exhausted to write about the wedding right now. So the pictures will have to tell the story. When we get the professional pictures I'll put those up...for now, here are some I took and most donna took (thank you!)...its hard to be in a wedding AND photo document it :)
It was BEAUTIFUL. I cried. I love Jay and Kristen so much. I am a little sad right now. I miss my sister.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Spring Break

I go home the day after tomorrow! I am so excited!
It's weird, though, because as much as I need a break from Hillsdale, I feel sad to leave friends. Call me over break, please!! I hope everyone has a wonderful, relaxing spring break. I wish I could have my friends at the wedding. sigh. I'll bring back lots of pictures!

and even though it's going to be a busy week, I'll try to update.

Oh. And here's a little preview of what I get to enjoy :)

Monday, March 13, 2006

When Life is Hard

It's a scary thing to ask God's will to be done. I've noticed I'm doing it a lot lately. I'm learning to rely more and more on the Promises of God. It's kind of strange because I feel weak and incapable and somehow I think that's bad...? But that's the way it should be. No way can I hold onto my life and keep things together. I've been trying that for too long and it has gotten me nowhere. I can't do anything right now but fall into the arms of my Faithful Lover. It's a wonderful place to be, just painful. When God seems silent I find myself longing more and more for the Scriptures--the living, breathing words of God. Today I have done practically zero homework. I read (not for school) and read my Bible and wrote in my journal off and on all day...and worked at the store. Oh! And I walked to work...which turned out to be a huge blessing because the weather was gorgeous and it gave me the chance to pleasure in the beauty of God.

Some specific promises/verses that have been especially important to me right now:

Psalm 121:1 "I lift my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber."

Psalm 37:23 "The steps of man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand."

Psalm 51:17 "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."

Psalm 139 "You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways...You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me...I awake, and I am still with you."

And the verse that always is of a great comfort and challenge to me, James 1:2-4 "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

I encourage all of you, when you feel like God is silent, to claim His promises. Stand on them daily, memorize them, fight with them, hold onto them with all your strength. Walk boldly in Truth. Abide in Christ.

This is the place I've known
Here in the arms of one who loves
Deeper than anyone
His are the hands I've grown to trust

And this is the place I've known
Here in the arms of one who loves
Farther than I could run
His are the hands I've grown to trust
And I believe...

His are the hands that spread the sky
And His is the love that gives me life
And His are the broken, the needy ones
And He is the love

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Fun in Ft. Wayne

This was a MUCH needed escape from school...It's a beautiful drive to Indiana.

Hannah drove Donna and I down to Ft. Wayne to meet Allie (who drove up from Taylor) and her friend Rachel (also from Taylor). It was wonderful. We ate lunch and then shopped at a really nice outdoor mall (Jefferson Point). It was such a beautiful day! Perfect!!! It's been in the 60's....ahhhhhh. I love it. I have missed the warm sun.

Alright. Here are pictures and now I have to study. I have been so unfocused the past few weeks. It's ridiculous. I need to get my act together. sigh.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

We've Come to Declare the Beauty of the Lord

"I will lay my bones by the Ganges that India will know there is someone who cares." Alexander Duff

"At the moment when I put the bread and wine into those dark hands, once stained with the blood of cannibalism, but now stretched out to receive and partake the emblems of the Redeemer's love, I had a foretaste of the joy of Glory that well nigh broke my heart to pieces. I shall never taste a deeper bliss till I gaze on the glorified face of Jesus Himself."
John G. Paton

"We are a bunch of nobodies trying to exalt Somebody." Jim Elliot

I Boast No More

No more, my God, I boast no more
Of all the duties I have done;
I quit the hopes I held before,
To trust the merits of Thy Son

Chorus: No more my God,
No more my God,
No more my God,
I boast no more.

Now, for the loss I bear His name,
What was my gain I count my loss;
My former pride I call my shame,
And nail my glory to His cross.
(Repeat chorus)

Bridge: Yes, and I must and will esteem
All things but loss for Jesus’ sake;
O may my soul be found in Him,
And of His righteousness partake!

The best obedience of my hands
Dares not appear before Thy throne;
But faith can answer Thy demands,
By pleading what my Lord has done.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

A Few Thoughts

I love this song so much...I love the book of Hosea. sigh. Its a convicting read and kind of tough but also incredibly FULL of hope.

by Shane Barnard and Robbie Seay

He will allure her
He will pursue her
And call her out
To wilderness with flowers in His hand
She is responding
Beat up and hurting
Deserving death
But offerings of life are found instead

She will sing
She will sing
Oh, to You
She will sing as in the days of youth
As You lead her away
To valleys low
To acres of hope
Acres of hope

Here in the valley
Walk close beside me
Don’t look back
For love is growing vineyards up ahead
You have called me master
And though you’re in the dark here
Call me friend
And call me lover and marry me for good

She will sing
She will sing
Oh, to You
She will sing as in the days of youth
As You lead her away
To valleys low
To acres of hope
Acres of hope

How the story ends is
Love and tenderness in Him
Not safe, but worth it
So the valley’s up ahead
Or the ones we live
We’ll sing together
We’ll sing together

We will sing
We will sing
Oh, to You
We will sing as in the days of youth
As You lead us away
To valleys low
To acres of hope
Acres of hope

“Lord, sustain me in the valley. Give me ears to hear Your sweet tender voice and lead me in to acres of hope in this dry and weary land.”
"Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. ‘In that day,’ declares the LORD,’you will call me 'my husband'; you will no longer call me 'my master. (Hosea 2:14-16)

We went to Cement City today. It was amazing. I so needed to be back in that Church. I like it so much. The sermon was on Isaiah 63 (so wonderful). It was a really convicting sermon. I'll share a few points.

-God's name is at stake in His people. He won't forsake His people for the sake of His name (and glory)--this should empower me to pray unceasingly, faithfully and persistently for God's agenda (standing on the Word of God).
-Give God no rest until He moves for the sake of His name and His glory in your life.
-God is faithful and so we can have faith in Him--because of the bountiful evidence of His trustworthiness.
-God pities His people when they are in their most desperate condition--In their affliction, He was afflicted (v9)
-If you make God your enemy He will make Himself your enemy--He will make you miserable to bring you, broken, back to Him and to shower His steadfast love and mercy on you.
-God's reputation is the God who saves the chief of sinners.
-He leads and works in His people to make for Himself a glorious name--your praying will show if you believe it.

I had such a bad week last week. It was low and empty and so focused on ME. I got so caught up in school, my workload, the Moody application, relationships, worrying about my future...I completely lost sight of God and the glory of His name. It was such a hopeless week because I was not feeding myself with eternal things. I was not filling my life with the Word or even with the Praise of God's working in my life. yuck. I am so glad for a new week. I thank God that His mercies are new every morning. I thank Him that I can wake up tomorrow and praise Him for who He is--never changing, always loving and merciful, never forsaking. I learned so much over the past week. crazy! I feel so full of thoughts and emotions. I want to just talk to people about it...but I don't even know where to begin. I feel exhausted from the way I acted last week--weak and feeble, following my own way--but I feel so excited about what I'm learning and that I get to have a NEW week this week! And aside from all this, there are so many fun things in the future that I am SO looking forward to. Oh! First I have to tell you that I dropped latin. I know! It's kind of sad. But I was taking 17 credits and working 12-14 hrs. at the store. I was getting so far behind, so stressed, and just couldn't do it. So now I have some extra time to read and hopefully study the Word some more. I'm dedicating that hour of time that I would have been in class to reading Piper's Future Grace. I'm very excited about it. I also decided that, even though I'm not allowed to "study" at the store (no homework, etc), I'm going to memorize Scripture. I'm starting with 1 Corinthians 13 on love. I feel like it is fitting because God is teaching me whole lot about what it means to love--and love well. It is a wonderful gift to treasure God's word.

So, the main events I'm looking forward to in the coming months:
1. An awesome day of traveling home to tucson for spring break with Piko (Mar.18)
2. Spring Break (and you know...THE WEDDING!!!)
3. Having lunch with my mom and dad when I'm home and hiding out with Luke a few times when we just need to escape from some of the weedingness (don't think I want to escape the planning and preparation and the helping...but I think luke and I need to bond a lot too...I know I'll need to, it isn't an easy business watching your big sis leave)
4. Luke flies into Lansing!
5. The Guster concert that same night!!!!!...fun times with amazing friends who I LOVE!
6. 4 days spent with my BROTHER! woohoo!
7. Easter weekend with roommates...hallie, me, hannah and donna going to Kentucky! (at least that's the temporary plan)
And who knows what other fun things will come up...hmmm. Hallie and I have to dance in a field as soon as spring hits. I want to take her to the coffee shop in coldwater. I still really want to go to Josh's lake but we'll see if it works out.

Can I just say that God blessed me in so many ways this year...and He continues to. I am amazed...speechless, really.

I feel confused sometimes about my future. There are so many possibilities and different ways that God can lead. I really need to work on NOT trying to figure everything out. sigh. I'm trying to rely on His promises and rest in the knowledge that His name is at stake in His people...He is in total control.

I have to go study for a Physics final tomorrow and then read a whole lot for English...Rousseau (fun). I love you all so much! I have a list of people I want to write to but I've had such a hard time staying on top of things...I'm looking forward to this week, though, and some extra time to catch up. I will do my best.

A Special shout out to my AMAZING friend ALLIE...her birthday was yesterday and even though I was working for 8 hrs., I was wishing myself at Taylor :) And don't expect your present right away, It's in the process of getting put together. I love you so much, Allie!!

Saturday, March 04, 2006