Archive | June, 2012

You opened my blind eyes, gave me a new life

30 Jun

You open our blind eyes, open our blind eyes
Heal all our sickness, you alone 
You opened my blind eyes, gave me a new life 
Oh yeah, our savior’s here

My favorite lines. From my favorite Kari worship song.

Has anyone had this experience? HE opened your blind eyes and gave you a new life? Rescued you from a path that was quickly headed for a downward spiral? Saved you?

“God rescued me; He is faithful.” That’s my story.

What’s YOUR story? I want to hear from my readers…

Ready, set, GO! 🙂

Jen

You are MORE

29 Jun

I’ve mentioned this multiple times before, but I believe that music is so powerful. It has the ability to alter our moods and even change our perspectives, for good or for bad. (That’s why I blog about it so much!)

For my own life, the most impactful album of all time has been Kari Jobe’s Where I Find You. I can’t even begin to describe how God has used her music to transform my mind. Most of all, it’s encouraged me to worship God when life takes a downward spiral. And to worship when my flesh doesn’t feel like worshipping at all. (So. Go. Buy. It. NOW!)

Anyway, today I heard another great song, which I have been familiar with for probably a year now, but one that I hadn’t heard in a long time. It was one that I needed to hear. It’s called “You Are More” by Tenth Avenue North. Here are a few of my favorite lines:

But don’t you know who you are,

What has been done for you?

Yeah, don’t you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,

You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,

You are more than the problems you create,

You’ve been remade.

Need I say more?

Jen

Don’t sink into a bad day. Just rise.

28 Jun

Lead us to You
Show us Your mercy
Your majesty lifted up on high
It tells of Your goodness

Your name is true
Your name is holy
Your splendor is written in the skies
It tells of Your greatness

We will rise
To praise You
Offer our lives before You
Let every nation, all of creation
We will rise
You are worthy
Lift up our eyes to Your glory
Let every nation, all of creation
We will rise

We stand in awe
You won the victory
Your enemies tremble at Your name
It speaks of Your triumph

You clothe the poor
You mend the broken
You heal our hearts
You take our shame
It speaks of Your kindness

We will cry out Your renown
You are the God who has saved us
We will rise to praise You
We lift a glorious sound
You are the one who redeemed us
We will rise to praise You

(Rise – Kari Jobe)

What good is that?

26 Jun

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to him, “Go in peace, be warm and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

(James 2:14-17)

Some of my favorite words from David

22 Jun

I waited patiently for the Lord;

he inclined to me and heard my cry.

He drew me up from the pit of destruction,

out of the miry bog,

and set my feet upon a rock,

making my steps secure.

He put a new song in my mouth,

a song of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear,

and put their trust in the Lord.

(Psalm 40:1-3)

Loving ______ as yourself

20 Jun

Monday night’s post from James 2 presented us with a reminder about loving our neighbors as ourselves. And I’ve come to realize how often young people, in our naiveté and self-centeredness, neglect this responsibility and think we know better than our parents. To put it bluntly, that sometimes results in treating them like crap.

But if you really love your neighbors, that means you love your closest neighbors. And who might that be? Well, whoever you live with–most likely your parents, siblings, children or spouse.

For me, “loving my neighbor as myself” means applying this command to the way I treat my parents. At 21 and a college grad with a full-time job, it can be so easy for me to roll my eyes during a disagreement with them and say, “Whatever mom and dad, I’m an adult.”

But…

That’s not what Jesus would do. That’s not what the Word tells me to do.

I live with my parents. They are my closest neighbors. (And they give me a rent-free roof over my head as I dig myself out of student loan debt for the next year or so!)

And, I am to love them. And love them like I love myself. No questions asked. And no blowing them off when I’m mad. Cause that’s not love.

The truth is, my family should come first in my life, after God. No guy, no job, no hobby will take the place of them. I mean yes, one day I hope to be married. But until then, my parents are the most important.

And, learning to love my parents in this authentic way is the perfect preparation for marriage. If I want to be married someday, I’ve gotta learn how to love someone I live with, which includes accepting their faults, flaws, failures, annoying habits, etc. Honestly, if I allow myself to be under the impression that my future spouse is going to be perfect and a joy to live with my whole life…ha! I’m in for a reality check. (Can I get a married person to back me up here?!) Long story short, if I think I can disregard the way I treat my parents now, I will be ill-prepared for marriage later on.

So…I’m gonna do it. I’m going to love
my parents as I love myself.

What neighbor of yours are you neglecting to love today? I encourage you to set it right. It’s worth it.

Jen

James memory, but why?

19 Jun

You may have noticed that I sometimes post scripture verses from the book of James without any commentary, and you may wonder why (or not, I don’t know :)).

Anyway, my purpose in doing so is two-fold: 1) because it helps me in my bible memory review to type it out from memory, and 2) because it is the word of God and my life depends on being in it and sharing it.

To clarify, I’m not memorizing the book of James so that I can go around telling everyone how great my memory is. In fact, it takes quite a heaping of courage for me to quote it in front of people or to even tell them I’m attempting such a goal.

I am, however, memorizing the word of God, starting with James, for the purpose of allowing God to speak into my life via scripture. As many great books are out there by well-meaning Christian authors, there is nothing like the word! And because, as one of my favorite verses says, the word of God was written for our instruction (Romans 15:4). I cannot live without it!

And, in time, I hope my James memory will be used for the purpose of encouraging other believers. I don’t know what that looks like yet, but I know I’m called to love God and love his people. And if the day comes when my freedom to serve God is taken from me, I will still love God and his people, and share the word with his people, even if it comes from memory.

I hope to share more about how the book of James has changed and grown me, but I believe it is only just beginning. After all, I’m only in chapter two. ❤

(And, by the way, if you think memorizing a whole book is impossible for you to do, think again. I thought so too just a few months ago!)

Jen

Mercy triumphs over judgment

18 Jun

“If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point becomes accountable for all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”

(James 2:8-13)

Jen

Trials: Mercy from God

12 Jun

What if your blessings come through raindrops?

What if your healing comes through tears?

What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you’re near?

What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?

(Blessings – Laura Story)

Had a revelation about this song today and how it has applied to my own life and experiences.

Ask yourself: Where has God allowed trials in your life and how have they been a blessing to you? Have you thanked him for the hard times that have molded you into the image of who you were called to be as a follower of Christ?

Jen

A good message about forgiveness from Tenth Avenue North

11 Jun

I can’t believe what she said
I can’t believe what he did
Oh, don’t they know it’s wrong
Don’t they know it’s wrong
Well maybe there’s something I missed
But how could they treat me like this
It’s wearing out my heart
The way they disregard

This is love or this is hate…
We all have a choice to make

Oh, Father wont You forgive them
They don’t know what they’ve been doin’ (oh no)
Oh Father, give me grace to forgive them
Cause I feel like the one losin’

Well it’s only the dead that can live
But still I wrestle with this
To lose the pain that’s mine
Seventy times seven times
Cause Lord it doesn’t feel right
For me to turn a blind eye
Though I guess it’s not that much
When I think of what You’ve done.

This is love or this is hate…
We gotta a choice to make

Oh Father won’t You forgive them
They don’t know what they’ve been doin’ (oh no)
Oh Father, give me grace to forgive them
Cause I feel like the one losin’

Why do we think that our hate’s gonna break a hard heart
We’re rippin arms over wars that don’t need to be fought
Cause pride wont let us lay our weapons on the ground
We build our bridges up but it’s just to burn them down
We think our pain is own apologies and get them to stop
Well truth be told it doesn’t matter if their sorry or not
Cause freedom comes when we surrender to the sound
Of Your mercy and Your grace, Father, send Your angels down

Oh Father wont you forgive them
They don’t know what they’ve been doin’
Oh Father, give me grace to forgive them
Cause I feel like the one losin’
I feel like I’ve been losing

Oh Father wont you forgive them
They don’t know what they’ve been doin’
Oh Father, give me grace to forgive them
Cause I feel like the one losin’
I feel like I’ve been losing

Oh Father, give me grace to forgive them
Cause I feel like the one losin’

(Losing – Tenth Avenue North)

Jen