i am glad

that God gives us little gifts. (ice, chocolate, words)
practical gifts. (jobs, food, cars)
amazing gifts. (relationships, local churches, His word)
I am grateful for many, many other gifts that could fit on this list as well. Sometimes I don't catch God's goodnesss in these things right away. It's easy to forget how wealthy He has made me.
But there is one gift that makes all others seem small. It is the only one that ALWAYS displays God's goodness, always inspires awe and gratitude. It is the one that offers eternal hope no matter how dark the sky appears.
The most wondersome gift of all,
the Gospel.
that is what the sermon inspired me to think about all day. i wish this was my thought process all the time...it's a work in progress.


Minuit, chretiens

Breaking tradition...I'm not posting O Come O Come Emmanuel this year. It's still one of my favorites. But there are other Christmas hymns that also resound with gospel truth and hope. This year I discovered the original translation to "Minuit chretiens" the poem from which our "O Holy Night" came from. It began as a French poem written in 1847 by Placide Cappeau. The English carol as we know it came from John Sullivan Dwight in 1855. It is a very loose translation. It's good, but I love the orginial French poem. (that is, i love the original french poem translated directly into english. as i cannot read french well.)

Midnight, Christians is the solemn hour
When God as Man descended unto us
To erase the original stain (sin)
And end the wrath of his Father.
The entire world trembles with expectation
In this night that gives to us a Savior.

Fall on your knees, await your deliverance.
Noel, Noel, here is the Redeemer,
Noel, Noel, here is the Redeemer!

The ardent light of our Faith,
Guides us all to the cradle of the infant,
As in ancient times a brilliant star
Conducted the Magi there from the orient.
The King of kings was born in a humble manger;
O mighty ones of today, proud of your grandeur,

It is to your pride that God preaches.
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!

The redeemer has broken every shackle
The earth is free, and heaven is open.
He sees a brother where there was once only a slave
Those who had been chained together by iron, love now unites.
Who will tell Him of our gratitude
It is for every one of us that he was born, suffered and died.

Stand on your feet, sing of your deliverance.
Noel, Noel, sing of the Redeemer,
Noel, Noel, sing of the Redeemer!


waiting. sometimes, it is very hard to do.

I've posted this scripture before, but God's words are far better than anything I could say.
"Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."
Isaiah 40.28-31


johnny p and romans

Life has been very full the past few weeks. Our grandparents came down from Montana, I photographed the engagement of my friend Bonni, thanksgiving with grandparents, work, etc. I'll try to revive this place.

Lately I've been fighting temptation to weariness, specifically in the neverending battle against my sinful heart. These excellent words encouraged me:
"In Romans 8:13 Paul says, "If you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live." But the problem is, we all know that in our war with sin we do not win often enough to have peace in our consciences. So if our life hangs on perfect winning in the war with sin, we are going to despair and not persevere to the end. We will simply give up, because there is no use trying.
What then will keep us going and fighting so that we will live? Romans 1:16,17 answers: the gospel is the power of God to save believers because in the gospel we can see revealed every day that our standing with God is not based on our own righteousness but on God's, freely given to us by faith. And when we see that over and over in the gospel, day after day, as long as we live, our faith is renewed and sustained, we press on in the fight. Our confidence that God will help us in life and save us from the wrath to come is based on our ever-renewed assurance that our acceptance with him is based on the gift of his own righteousness, not ours.
So every time the Bible demands you to do something do not think, "I must do this to take away my guilt or to get forgiveness or to get a right standing with God." Rather think, "I will do this because my guilt is already removed, I am already forgiven, I already have the gift of God's righteousness, and so I know that God is for me and will help me. So I will trust him and obey him and display by my radical, risk-taking obedience the glory of God's grace. And I will draw nearer and nearer to him in the fellowship of his sufferings and the joy of his companionship."

{quoted from a '90's John Piper sermon, the title of which i have no clue}