Tuesday, May 31, 2011

On my heart

The prayers of my heart today.

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear 
though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.   
Selah. 
 Psalm 46:1

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God. 
Psalm 42
 
If we had forgotten the name of our God
or spread out our hands to a foreign god, 
would not God discover this?
For he knows the secrets of the heart.
 
Psalm 44

Rise up; come to our help!
Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!
 
Psalm 44

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
  Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit. 
Psalm 51

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My dear friend, Matt Hill (Updated)

Update via Justin Taylor's Blog: From @FindMattHill: “As of right now, the only true and confirmed details are A: Matt was found live and unharmed. B: He left under his own volition.” Mark Dever: “Praise God, Matt Hill is alive, unharmed. I thank God for the amazing love this congregation has poured out over these last few days.” #MattHill It’s undoubtedly the path of wisdom here to avoid speculation and to continue to pray.

*****

My dear friend and brother in Christ, Matt Hill, has been missing since Tuesday. 




How you can pray

Pray that God has mercy and brings Matt back to us tonight. 
Pray that God protects and preserves Matt's life. 
Pray that the Holy Spirit would bring things to light.
Pray that local authorities, national authorities, and businesses and surveillance video would comply and help us find our friend.
Pray that in all things God would receive the glory and that many would come to better understand the beauty of the Church, and thus the beauty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 


Read more here about God's mercy on his church during this difficult time.

News report:


Hill works for Capitol Hill Baptist’s ministry called Campus Outreach Washington, D.C. The new ministry is currently established at George Washington University, where Hill served as campus director.


The Matthews, N.C., native had moved to the nation’s capital in order to do missions work.


He was last seen Tuesday morning near the Verizon Center in Northwest D.C. That was where he dropped off a student, Matthew DeGioia, whom he was mentoring.


According to The Pendulum, Elon University’s student newspaper, Hill told DeGioia that he had to be at Capitol Hill Baptist by 11:30 a.m.


He hasn’t been seen since.


“He seemed completely fine, wasn’t troubled at all,” DeGioia told the student publication. “It’s completely out of character for him to just leave without telling anybody.”


New reports reveal that Hill’s car, a black 1996 Honda civic, got a parking ticket outside his apartment in Foggy Bottom at 11 a.m. His credit card was then used about an hour later to buy gas in Arlington, Va.


Both Hill and the car are missing.


Holding out hope, Hill’s father, Holger, told MyFoxDC, “God is in control. My son is not alone. My son is not lost.”


A Facebook page called “Praying and Searching for Matt Hill * Missing *” has been set up to spread the word and help bring in as much information as possible.


Hill is a 6-ft. white male with blue eyes and dirty blond hair. His DC plate number is DT-2747.

Follow FindMattHill on Twitter

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Much love with a heavy heart and a hopeful heart,
RT

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Resources that have been blessing my socks off

What do you collect?

Well, I used to be a modest hoarder. Thanks to my Dad, I saw this as an acceptable and quite noble practice :) -- Love you, T-Top-- But, during the college years where I packed up my life at the end of each semester, I realized this habit had to change.  So, I said sayonara to most of my Barbies, babies and Polly Pockets, painted Homecoming jeans (go Panthers!), scrapbooks, and third grade take-home tests.

Since then I've been working toward keeping "stuff" to a minimum, and keeping what I do have organized. So, now I collect useful items like tea cups & Starbucks mugs from around the world, which I believe in using on a regular basis. And Wicker & linen baskets, which are used throughout the house to organize everything from clothing to cereal boxes. Love it. 

But by far, my favorite collectibles are...

Books & Quotes & Resources!

I love reading. I love the look of old books and the smell of new ones. I love plugging in my headphones and listening to sermons, talks, Scripture, talk radio, podcasts, etc. I love making homemade cards with quotes on the front of them, and then antiquing them :) So silly, but just a few things that I love.

So, I thought I'd start a list of a few resources that have been blessing my socks off these days. I hope they encourage you spiritually and help endear your heart to God, as they have mine.

Audible ESV Bible. I put this in my ear at work and constantly have an intravenous of scripture going through my veins. Love it. It's been helpful as a friend and I are memorizing Romans 8.

Grace Gems. I subscribe to their e-mails, which contain a short encouraging Puritan sermon and some fabulous thoughts and prayers to meditate on.

Revive our Hearts, Nancy Leigh DeMoss's ministry focuses on radio broadcasts and various writings. She has really beautiful computer backgrounds, too.

John Piper's biographies read outloud (thanks, Gio!).

Alphabetical listing of Spurgeon quotes-- one of my all time favorites!

Spurgeon's Morning & Evening readings-- short, sweet and sublime!


Google Books!  You can read books online! Oh my stars, this is such a thrill. Check out The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, and his famous chapter on The Saint's Priviledge.

The Girl Talk and In All Honesty blogs. Great thoughts and endless recommendations on Scripture, resources, books, and beautiful photos :)



I hope you will find one of these encouraging. More additions to come in the future :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Desire, fulfillment, and satisfaction

The past two months my metro commute read has been my pastor's book, It Is Well.  It's a collection of sermons about what exactly was accomplished when Jesus died on the cross and rose again.  It's about substitutionary atonement and what that means in the life of a Christian.  It's been an awesome read and I highly commend it to you.

In a section on Romans 5:8-10, Mark Dever asks:

"Have you ever noticed how even good things such as your work or even your family, are not ultimately satisfying?  Have you ever wondered why that is?  Did you ever think that those longings may be there to tell you about a future reality in Christ that will be ultimately fulfilling? 

O brothers and sisters, I pray that we may draw on this anticipation of a wonderful future to help us in trying days at work and to encourage us to fulfill our roles well in our families and with our friends. What a great hope and confidence and assurance Jesus has given to us!

May we therefore not be held hostage by any circumstance in this world. May we as a congregation be marked by a confident joy as we anticipate the coming good God has for us."

Pp. 150-151 

This has been a helpful reminder to me that the best is yet to come, and everything I enjoy now should be enjoyed with open hands.  Just as last week's sermon reminded me, I need to trust God when he gives a blessing and when he removes blessings.  Ultimately, He is the gift.  He is the treasure. He is ultimately satisfying and fulfilling.  I pray that each day the Lord would help me to understand this ultimate, high, primary, prominent place that he requires and deserves.


"You make known to me the path of life;
   you will fill me with joy in your presence,
   with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
"
Psalm 16

Saturday, May 21, 2011

What God has in Himself


"God has in Himself
all power to defend you,
all wisdom to direct you,
all mercy to pardon you,
all grace to enrich you,
all righteousness to clothe you,
all goodness to supply you,
and all happiness to crown you."

Thomas Brooks



Friday, May 20, 2011

My Redeemer liveth

"I know that my Redeemer lives,  
and that in the end he will stand on the earth. 
And after my skin has been destroyed, 
yet in my flesh I will see God; 
I myself will see him with my own eyes— I, and not another. 
How my heart yearns within me!"
Job 19:25-26

"For now is Christ risen from the dead, 
the first fruits of them that sleep."
1 Corinthians 15:20


A beautiful reminder for me today.  Listen here.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Patience and her perfect work

"But herein is work for patience, for the rest is not for today, nor the triumph for the present, but 'afterward.' 

Wait, O soul, and let patience have her perfect work."

CHS
Morning & Evening, May 18, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Roommates are gifts

I've been through several seasons of roommates, and all of them have been gifts in one way or another, from the Lord. From college roommates and suities (suite mates) to families I've lived with and random gatherings of girls through church and work-- all have been a blessing. There has not been one housing situation that I cannot thank God for. Each time He has perfectly provided what I have needed.

Having said that, there has been something very special about this season of roommates, in particular.  These ladies have been true gifts from my heavenly Father at a unique time in my life, and I praise God for knowing (better than me) who I needed as housemates.

As I've reflected on this tangible way God has shown me grace, I thought I'd share some sweet memories of things I love about them both:

  • One of my roommates does her grocery shopping via the metro, with a grocery cart. The other one enjoys doing hers via the bike share. I think I remember hearing that she dropped some groceries at one time, but has since mastered the balancing act of bags in the basket. Such city girls.
  • One of my roommates makes creative and colorful meals almost every night. Last night she cooked poached eggs on toast, with asparagus topped with a cheesy sauce. I always tell her that she is going to make a man very happy one day!
  • One roommate does not enjoy chocolate, and the other does not enjoy salsa-- BUT both of my roommates do enjoy bacon. I first discovered this about one roommate when I woke up at 10pm to the smell of bacon.  She was cooking herself a little midnight snack. One of the many things we love to giggle about.
  • Since we hand wash all our dishes, one roommate moved in and brought cute dish washing gloves for our house. They really are so cute and make sink-time fun (for me at least). She told us that when those wear out, it might be a good idea to purchase a pair of these... which made me love her even more. 
  • At separate times and in preparation for the arrival of guests, both roommates and I have rearranged and cleaned our entire downstairs in one evening. Ah, camaraderie...and much patience with my quirks :)
  • My favorite Saturday with the roommates happened a few weeks ago. We got up and had breakfast together and sat around our kitchen nook, leisurely sipping on coffee and chatting. I came back from my morning appointments at around noon and we all were home together the majority of the day. It thunderstormed and we all did our own thing, but were in the house together. I loved that. There were little intermittent chats during trips to the coffee pot, switching over the loads of laundry, and getting the mail in. A really sweet day.
  • I love praying with my roommates. Hearing about their hearts and lives, knowing what they are thinking through and reading, and being able to share the same with them... what a privilege it has been to go to God together in prayer.
  • I love how my roommates prioritize sharing meals together. It actually happens naturally most of the time. I am grateful to rarely eat a meal alone.
  • I love that my roommates want our home to look pretty inside and out-- and what I mean by pretty is that we live in a 1909 row house that has had little or no updates for a hundred years. It's a challenge, but I love what each of us brings to the table. Recently, we have come together to tackle the front and back untameable-Amazon-tiger yards. (Side note, the other day I saw my sweet neighbor picking out some weeds in our garden as she walked by. Love her and appreciate all the help she's willing to give!). Last month, one roommate and I decided we'd re-do our front yard brickwork, pull weeds, and cut the grass. We got out there in our garden-best and realized that we didn't own an extension cord to the weed-whacker. Awesome. So, we went down to the cute little Hill hardware store and bought one, along with a few other treasures hehe, and got to work. It was a great afternoon. I especially enjoyed time with her, learning more about who she is.  We talked about our mutual hopes to get to know our neighbors better and even future plans to plant some bulbs in the fall. Gardening 101 here we come.
  • One roommate and I attempted to "train" for a 5K, but couldn't do it because we would laugh uncontrollably when we would exercise together. You should have seen us try to do lunges. I about lost it. 
  • During Cherry Blossom season, my roommates and I missed out on seeing the peak blooms around the Tidal Basin. My roommates came up with the idea to take an early morning jaunt down to Jefferson to watch the sun rise over the Basin before work. After time to process, I agreed-- and we left the house at 6:15 a.m. and got some really sweet photos. I'm so glad to have that memory with them. 
  • I love that my roommates are really patient and consistently teach me about kindness by their example.
  • One roommate consistently speaks with her parents and maintains a close relationship with them. I'm always encouraged by this. 
  • One roommate says really sweet things and doesn't even realize how sweet she is. Recalling the first day we met, she said to me, "It felt like I had always known you."  Tender. Nugget.
  • Both roommates love having people in our home (and regularly do so). They understand, more than I do, that not everything has to be perfect in order to practice hospitality. What a privilege to learn from these two ladies.
  
"How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
It is like precious oil poured on the head,
 
running down on the beard, 
running down on Aaron’s beard, 
down on the collar of his robe. 

It is as if the dew of Hermon 
were falling on Mount Zion. 
For there the LORD bestows his blessing, 
even life forevermore."

Psalm 133

An early morning trip to the Tidal Basin to see the beautiful Cherry Blossoms!  L to R: Sarah, Ashley, and me

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The one thing that stands when all else has fallen

A little gem from an old friend inspired by 1 Corinthians 13...

"This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience - it looks for a way of being constructive.

Love is not possessive.

Love is not anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own ideas.

Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage.

Love is not touchy.

Love does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people. 
On the contrary, it is glad with all good men when truth prevails.

Love knows no limits to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. 

It is, in fact, the one thing that stands when all else has fallen."


— Elisabeth Elliot, Let Me Be a Woman

Monday, May 16, 2011

You've Got Flowers!

Surprise!

Peonies

This morning I arrived at work, set my things down at my desk and whipped off to brew coffee and make sure everything was all set in the office.  When I came back to my desk I was surprised and delighted to see a bouquet of home-grown peonies from my colleague!  She grows them in her garden, and each year I've worked for CWA she has brought them in for the duration of their bloom for me to enjoy.  
Isn't that lovely? 




Another colleague came by to smell them and admire their beauty-- and his comment was really precious. He said, "Can you believe those come out of the dirt?"  That is so like God to do. To bring something beautiful and lovely out of something that is just plain and simple.  And He gives the ones he loves eyes to see this, doesn't He?

Spurgeon's Morning selection had some lovely meditations today:

He is a sun ever-shining; he is manna always falling round the camp; he is a rock in the desert, ever sending out streams of life from his smitten side; the rain of his grace is always dropping; the river of his bounty is ever-flowing, and the well-spring of his love is constantly overflowing. As the King can never die, so his grace can never fail. Daily we pluck his fruit, and daily his branches bend down to our hand with a fresh store of mercy. 

Morning, May 16

So, I will enjoy the sight and aroma of these fragrant friends. What a happy way to start out my week :)

Oh how the little things mean so much.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Saturday

Just a little silly, impromptu post about things I enjoyed today...

  • Slowly waking up, as I sipped on a cup of tea and read for an extended time. 
  • Meeting up with a dear friend who I trust and whose company I genuinely enjoy. 
  • Walking to the park with a friend who made us homemade lattes in a big, cozy mug with the perfect amount of foam and cinnamon sprinkled on top. 
  • Finding a traditional stove top espresso maker in a free pile in someone's garage sale leftovers and learning how to make homemade peanut butter. Awesome.
  • Babysitting a little friend and receiving hug upon hug for reading books, chasing around the house, and playing cars. At one point while holding him, he put his little hands around my face and stared at me for a minute. Then he gave my cheeks a squeeze and lisped, "down please."  Ugh. So cute.   
  • Catching up with a new friend who will be a mom-of-two soon. Grateful for God's gift of new friends. 
  • A huge thunderstorm with pouring rain. Love the smell after the rain. 
  • During that thunderstorm (at 10pm), seeing two moms pushing strollers on their way home (hard core DC moms), and a couple enjoying conversation as they biked home in the rain. 
  • Coming home to a peaceful home. 


All around, grateful for a sweet day.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Visit from the Duggar's!

Well, I got to meet The Duggar's at work this week!

Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar at my desk! Eeek :)

The Duggar's hosted a meeting at my organization this week, and I was fortunate enough to snag a few moments to chat with them and take a picture!  Such kindhearted, genuine folks.  I was happy to learn that Michelle likes her coffee with lots of creme and sugar-- a woman after my own heart.  I asked them how the kids were :) Hehe.  They told me that I reminded them of Michelle's high school cheerleading buddy.  "I see it in the eyes," Mr. Duggar said. Super sweet.

One thing I love about the Duggar's is their delight in God's provision of the family as a means of communicating the Gospel to the world.  See, the world will never tell us the truth about what is most important; however, God will, and they understand and live within the framework of that reality. 

When they were interviewed by People magazine after the birth of their nineteenth child, they explained this in a really tangible way:   

"People see debt as a gift and children as a burden. 
Not us. 
Debt is a burden, and children are a blessing."



Psalm 1 and reflections on marriage



 
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers,

but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever he does prospers.

Psalm 1:1-3

 

A few weekends ago I went to a wedding where Psalm 1 was the text of the sermon. The bride and groom were admonished to be like the Psalmist, who delighted in God's Word. It was a great sermon...even though I can't remember everything he said :)

However, one thing I do remember is....before they said their vows, the preacher, Zach, asked them to look around at all the people at their wedding. The couple paused and looked around at everyone in the church, making eye contact as their eyes welled up with tears. Zach told them that we all were there to cheer them on in their marriage. I started to bawl. Then they said their vows, with the awareness that we were surrounding them in support and encouragement. It was one of the first weddings I felt that I was actually a part of.

Zach explained that our presence was to represent our commitment to walk alongside the couple and encourage them to walk faithfully with God and each other. In essence, he was saying "We are for you! Marriage is a good thing! We want your best and we know that your best is more of Christ! And we want that to happen in your marriage!"

As my eyes filled up with tears, I couldn't help but be reminded of where my heart was just a little over a year ago...

Shortly before moving to DC, I witnessed a handful of marriages quickly fall apart. The details-- these were people of influence in my spiritual formation; folks I was once influential to; folks I went to college with; folks I worshiped at church with-- and those four marriages all fell apart suddenly and I found out over the course of one week. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed with heartbreak for them and stunned at the stories of betrayal. But what surprised me most was how my heartbreak transferred into distaste for the idea of marriage all together.

So, what exactly changed?

Something sure did because here I am bawling my eyes out at weddings and frequently attending them…

Well, God began to change my heart in many big ways as I began to commit myself to membership at a local Church.

He brought me to Marriage&Baby-ville (also known as Capitol Hill Baptist Church) where I saw husbands loving their wives and parents loving their children and caring for their little souls in a united front.

I saw men-- young and old-- intentionally and joyfully caring for women.

I heard the voices of men (more so than women, actually!) billowing out hymns during Sunday services.

Quick story: one time, no joke, I was sitting in front of a man who was singing with such gusto that my hair flew in my face every time he let out a whole or half note!

I watched young, single men hold babies in childcare, and give up their Saturday mornings to spend time with married men and their children (Okay, who does that? The world definitely does not see that as valuable or commendable).

I watched my pastor tear up at the mention of Jesus's love for children in Mark 10.

I prayed for couples who were getting married, having babies, starting ministries in their neighborhoods, adopting children, opening their homes to strangers, sharing the Gospel together....and I began to see a better picture of what marriage was designed to be. It's designed to reflect God's love for us in Christ.

And my hard (fearful) heart began to soften.

And my fears began to fade.

And I repented for believing that marriage was a man-made, poor excuse for pleasure and babies...and an inevitable set-up for heartbreak and failure.

Some lessons I've learned since then:

-Marriage is good, not because I'm good, but because God is good (Luke 18:19).

-Marriage is God-ordained, not something that man came up with (CHBC resources).

-Marriage is designed to communicate a picture God's love for his Church (Ephesians 5:25-32).

-Marriage is not going to last forever; it will come to an end when we die (Mark 12:18-27).

-Marriage is not to be where you place all your hope. Put your hope in God.

-Enjoy and seek to protect marriage so that you can benefit from the picture that it is of Christ and his church. Even more so pray for other people's marriages, and seek to do your part to protect them (great resource).

Back to the wedding re-cap…It was such a meaningful wedding ceremony. Definitely one of my all-time favorites. And definitely two very special people in my heart. Grateful for God's good gift of marriage to many in our church... which is a total change of heart from where I was last year.

I am living proof that God changes hearts.
        Even really, really hardened ones.

Charles Spurgeon had some lovely things to say about marriage:

"A well-matched couple carry a joyful life between them, as the two spies carried the cluster of Eshcol. They are a brace of birds of Paradise. They multiply their joys by sharing them, and lessen their troubles by dividing them: this is fine arithmetic.”
“Married life is not all sugar, but grace in the heart will keep away most of the sours.”

“When husbands and wives are well yoked, how light their load becomes!”
“It is wise to marry when we can marry wisely [...]”
And one from my (future) dear friend, Elisabeth Elliot, in her book Quest for Love:
"Often a Christian man or woman falls prey to that cruel and vexatious spirit, wondering how to find marriage: who, when, where? It is on God that we should wait, as a waiter waits-- not for but on the customer-- alert, watchful, attentive, with no agenda of his own, ready to do whatever is wanted. 'My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.' (Psalm 62:5). In Him alone lies our security, our confidence, our trust. A spirit of restlessness and resistance can never wait, but one who believes he is loved with an everlasting love, and knows that underneath are the everlasting arms, will find strength and peace.”
Looking ahead to that glorious day, when the true Groom will be united to his Bride in Revelation 19:
"Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:

“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”

(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)

Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

Lord, haste that day.
RT

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My help

                 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
                                                where does my help come from?

Blueridge Mountains in Virginia.
Photo courtesy of Google Images.


                 My help comes from the LORD,
                                                the Maker of heaven and earth.
 
                                                Psalm 121

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Full, infinitely full

What perfect timing. I so needed to hear this reminder of truth this morning:
"The only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."   John 1:14
Believer, you can bear your testimony that Christ is the only begotten of the Father, as well as the first begotten from the dead. You can say, "He is divine to me, if he be human to all the world beside."
He has done that for me which none but a God could do. 
He has subdued my stubborn will, melted a heart of adamant (ie: impenetrable hardness), opened gates of brass, and snapped bars of iron. He hath turned for me my mourning into laughter, and my desolation into joy; he hath led my captivity captive, and made my heart rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. 
Let others think as they will of him, to me he must be the only begotten of the Father: blessed be his name. And he is full of grace. Ah! had he not been, I should never have been saved.  
He drew me when I struggled to escape from his grace; and when at last I came all trembling like a condemned culprit to his mercy-seat, he said, 'Thy sins which are many are all forgiven thee: be of good cheer.' 
And he is full of truth. 
True have his promises been, not one has failed. 
I bear witness that never servant had such a master as I have; 
never brother such a kinsman as he has been to me; 
never spouse such a husband as Christ has been to my soul; 
never sinner a better Saviour; 
never mourner a better comforter than Christ hath been to my spirit. 
I want none beside him. 
In life he is my life, 
and in death he shall be the death of death; 
in poverty Christ is my riches; 
in sickness he makes my bed; 
in darkness he is my star, 
and in brightness he is my sun; 
he is the manna of the camp in the wilderness, 
and he shall be the new corn of the host when they come to Canaan. 
Jesus is to me all grace and no wrath, all truth and no falsehood: and of truth and grace he is full, infinitely full. 
My soul, this night, bless with all thy might the only Begotten.'"

Charles Spurgeon, evening selection for May 10, emphasis mine

"What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee."

O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
Ber­nard of Clair­vaux, 1153

Monday, May 9, 2011

I will not take my love away

I will not take my love away
When praises cease and seasons change
While the whole world turns the other way
I will not take my love away.

I will not leave you all alone
When striving leads you far from home
And there's no yield for what you've sown
I will not leave you all alone.
 
I will give you what you need
In plenty or in poverty
Forever, always, look to me
And I will give you what you need
I will not take my love away.



"All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away." 
Jesus in John 6

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The choicest love letter of trials and grace

As I approach the year anniversary of an injury, my mind and heart are really aware of how gracious and kind God has been by taking me through seasons of trials and grace.  I think I'm most grateful for the deep stores of love that He has nurtured in my heart, as he pressed down the pillars of his unchangeable goodness and sovereignty into the deepest parts of my heart, mind, and soul.

I hope to blog a couple more thoughts about this as I spend the month of May looking back on this incredible year.  Here's a quote that really resonates with me as I reflect: 
Believer, you are not exempt from trials, but you have sufficient grace for any trouble. God's choicest love letters are sent in black-edged envelopes. The envelope frightens us, but if we know how to break the seal we will find riches for our soul. Great trials are the clouds from which God showers great mercies. Frequently, when the Lord has an extraordinary mercy to send, He employs His rough and grizzled horses to drag it to our door. The smooth rivers of ease are usually navigated by little vessels filled with common commodities, but a huge ship loaded with treasure crosses deep seas.

Charles Spurgeon, Beside Still Waters

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

T-minus 4 hours

October 2009
Cannot wait to see this girl!  Sister weekend starts in just four hours!  I think this will be the first time Kelly and I have spent extended time together in about ten years.  Thank you, Big D, for letting my Dister (our special name for each other) come and visit!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The waiting and the will

Today my thoughts have traveled to days ahead where a plethora of anxieties lay.  God is gracious and kind to bring me back to today, where there is reality, and grace, and enough to keep me occupied :)

Quotes to share to calm a soul that desperately needs to trust in God for life and breath and being:

"Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy.   Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands."

"We never know what God has up His sleeve. You never know what might happen; you only know what you have to do now."

"To love God is to love His will. It is to wait quietly for life to be measured by One who knows us through and through. It is to be content with His timing and His wise appointment." 

All selections from books by Elisabeth Elliot

Monday, May 2, 2011

What has been given is the gift

Today this is true of my office job.  
Today this is true if you are a stay at home Mom, 
or a nail technician, 
or a Starbucks barista, 
or a teacher, 
or a politician.

No matter what your job is, Christian, this is a really good word for you today: 

"This job has been given to me to do. 

Therefore, it is a gift. 

Therefore, it is a privilege. 

Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. 

Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. 

Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. 

In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness."  

Elisabeth Elliot

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My Backyard

Just a few photos of my backyard:


Capitol Hill Rotunda
Courtesy of Google Images


The Potomac River and bridge leading to downtown
http://topazconcierge.com/see/

Union Station, where I catch the metro in the mornings
Courtesy of Google Images

The White House, where I eat lunch with Linds (at the park behind it, hehe)
Courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Capitol Hill Baptist Church, where I gladly spend a whole lot of my time as a member
Courtesy of an article on life at CHBC by The Christian Science Monitor

Eastern Market, where I buy fresh produce and feel like I'm Kathleen Kelly*
http://davidcolemanphoto.photoshelter.com/image/I0000FtL40QU_SN0

I guess the question is: when are you coming for a visit?  :)

*Yet another You've Got Mail shout-out, hehe