8.27.2007

for matthew.

While canoeing with the Peines Saturday, the following conversation ensued between 6 yr old (?) Mathew and I:
"You could put this picture on your blog and tie it into God."
"How would I tie it in?"
"You could say how God is bigger, stronger than an alligator..."

I don't have time to actually write today; so instead I'll post a portion of the psalm I read yesterday. The whole psalm is beautiful but longish for here.

"O LORD, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom have you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
Here is the sea, great and wide,
which teems with creatures innumerable,
living things both small and great.
There go the ships, and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it.
These all look to you, to give them their food in due season.
When you give it to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
When you send forth your Spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground.
May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD rejoice in his works,
who looks on the earth and it trembles,
who touches the mountains and they smoke!
I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD.
Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
and let the wicked be no more!
Bless the LORD, O my soul! Praise the LORD!"
{psalm 104.24-35}

8.23.2007

amazing grace


O thou Giving God,

My heart is drawn out in thankfulness to thee,
for thy amazing grace and condescension to me
in influences and assistances of thy Spirit,
for special help in prayer,
for sweetness of Christian service,
for the thoughts of arriving in heaven,
for always sending me needful supplies,
for raising me to new life when I am like one dead.

I want not the favour of man to lean upon
for they favour is infinitely better.
Thou art eternal wisdom in dispensations towards me;
and it matters not when, nor where,
nor how I serve thee,
nor what trials I am exercised with,
if I might but be prepared for they work and will.

No poor creature stands in need of divine grace
more than I do,
And yet none abuses it more than I have done,
and still do.
How heartless and dull am I!
Humble me in the dust for not loving thee more.
Every time I exercise any grace renewedly
I am renewedly indebted to thee,
the God of all grace,
for special assistance.

I cannot boast when I think how dependent
I am upon thee for the being and every act of grace;
I never do anything else but depart from thee,
and if I ever get to heaven
it will be because thou willest it,
and for no reason beside.

I love, as a feeble, afflicted, despised creature,
to cast myself on they infinite grace and goodness,
hoping for no happiness but from thee;
Give me special grace to fit me
for special services,
and keep me calm and resigned at all times,
humble, solemn, mortified,
and conformed to thy will.


((valley of vision; emphasis mine))

8.17.2007

undeserving.


It was Your grace that drew me to the cross
It was Your grace that gave me faith
It was Your grace that reconciled me to Yourself
Though I had sinned in every way
You disarmed me of everything that I would lean on
So I would lean on You
And you stripped me of everything I would depend on
So I'd depend on You
In You alone, my strength is found
In You alone, my hope abounds
In You alone, my strength is found
My life is bound up in You

And in my weakness give me still more grace
Grace to cast myself on You
In every trial let me find Your peace and joy
And grace to humbly walk with You
O disarm me of everything I would lean on....
Jesus strip me of everything I would depend on...
Give me more grace...and new mercies every morning...


This is becoming the theme song of my life. It started a few years ago, with circumstances I didn't like. I wanted them to change. I thought no good could possibly come of them. I was more concerned with my comfort level than with what God was doing in me. At the time, it looked so pointless. I'm still mostly clueless. But I'm starting to see--no, He's showing me--a tiny corner of this bigger picture. Why He allowed things to continue when I thought they were more than I could bear. That was the whole point! I wasn't supposed to bear it. I was supposed to come to Him. He brought me to a point of realization. A realization of my absolute dependence. On Him. I could't last one day without His glorious, free, amazing, oh so undeserved GRACE. I desperately needed to be stripped of every foundation that was not HIM. He thoroughly dismantled every area of life I had "under control". Everything I thought stable, He showed to be shakeable. He is so kind. So gentle when we are broken. So fierce when we are stubborn. Never letting us "get away" with our sin. What foolish independence in my sinful heart!! There are still so many ways I need to grow in reliance. But He's faithful. His grace always breaks through my self-sufficiency and condemnation. How glorious is truth...
Thus ends my little outburst of joy that for some reason I decided to post.

8.15.2007

comfort

"When we are in fear we can do nothing less than pray, but our Lord has a right to expect that those who name His Name should have an understanding confidence in Him. God expects His children to be so confident in Him that in any crises they are the reliable ones. Our trust is in God up to a certain point, then we go back to the elementary panic prayers of those who do not know God. We get to our wit's end, showing that we have not the slightest confidence in Him and His government of the world; He seems to be asleep, and we see nothing but breakers ahead. "O ye of little faith!" What a pang must have shot through the disciples--"Missed it again!" And what a pang will go through us when we suddenly realize that we might have produced downright joy in the heart of Jesus by remaining absolutely confident in Him, no matter what was ahead. There are stages in life when there is no storm, no crises, when we do our human best; it is when a crisis arises that we instantly reveal upon whom we rely. If we have been learning to worship God and to trust Him, the crisis will reveal that we will go to the breaking point and not break in our confidence in Him..." ~Oswald Chambers
I had a phone call from mum monday night. She said she was calling to give me the update on Grandma's doctor visit. I knew something was wrong, but I thought it was something like the CEA counts jumped high or white blood cells were too low. The thought that the cancer had spread never entered my mind. Ever since then, I've been fighting those "elementary panic prayers". But the fact remains that CHRIST DIED FOR SINNERS. Grandma's greatest need has been met. He is faithful. Our reprieve is most definitely over. But who's to say that He won't bring another one? Even if He doesn't, it does not change the truth of His goodness.
The main point of this post is to request your prayers. Please pray that the chemo is effective in eradicating the cancer that is now in 3 of Grandma's vertebrae. Also, please lift up my mum. She's in upstate NY with the kids taking care of her grandma. I know it's hard on her to be away from her mom when she feels like she's needed most. Pray that my grandparents would be able to rest in the everlasting arms of their Savior. Thanks.
"How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord..."

8.13.2007

'clashed.

If you wondered. I was at "The Clash" last week. God's goodness is astounding. I'm so blessed that He used my friends to convince me to go. Thanks Mum, Beks & Wayne. It was brilliant. Far different from my expectations. (translation: i understood more than i expected too). I'm grateful for Candace & the J-ville guys fellowship. Alright...I'm grateful for everything. The exceptional content, splendid teachers, my ingenious fellow students, my outstanding discussion group... (i'm enjoying a liberal use of adjectives. rather "gushy" for me, eh?). There isn't going to be a breakdown of the 25 lectures here as I'm not amazing. I'll direct you to this blog. He's done an excellent summary of Nathan Sasser's genius lecture on Metaphysics. As for what affected me specifically...uummm...look at the time! There are so many different things I could highlight. That which stands out the sharpest will take some thought for me to articulate. It will also take quite a few words. I know how ya'll feel about those. It's late, I have as yet to catch up on sleep; so here's where we part ways. I reluctantly leave you in the dark. You rejoice that I don't ramble forever. the end.

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12.9-10
((this became my theme for the week))

cheers.