June 8, 2009 at 4:19 am (Uncategorized)

So, this morning in sunday school, Douglas read Psalm 127.  And the Lord convicted me when he read verse 2 which says,

“It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.”

Then providentially, Pastor Quinn also read from Psalm 127 and again, I was convicted by this verse.  Recently, I have made it my habit to stay up late at night watching movies, talking to people on facebook, or just plain wasting time.  I realized that I have been spending loads more time socializing and catching up on favorite movies than I have with my Lord and Savior!  Summer is an easy time to get caught up in having fun because I can!  I don’t have school or many responsibilities with deadlines.  I do my chores (most) every day and then pretty much do whatever I feel like doing (within reason and with my parents permission. hehe).  Because I have so much free time I should be growing even more in my knowledge of and relationship with my King, but instead I am wasting it away with the things of this world.  I have ten times more available moments in my day to open the Word or talk with God than I did while I was in school and yet, I have spent much less time with Him this summer than I did during the school year. 

I was very convicted by this verse as it talks about “retiring late”, because the past few weeks I have been going to bed between midnight and 1 AM.  And actually I do not sleep in late because I hate sleeping late (I feel like I’m wasting the day if I do.), but I get up early and I am tired and grouchy throughout my day because I am not well rested.  And not only that, but I do not feel like spending time with the Lord because I am too tired, so I put my devotion off until later in the day and “never get around to it”!  Then I go back to my room at night and watch a movie or talk to people and don’t ever stop to spend time with my best friend!  I have been wasting my summer striving after selfish and worldly desires and God used this verse to draw my attention to my self-centered sin.  So, I thought I would share my conviction on here because I know it’s a very easy trap to fall into and I didn’t even realize I was doing it and you may not realize it either.  And I would very much appreciate accountability, so feel free to ask me if I’ve been going to bed by at least 11:00 on weeknights and spending time with my Savior each morning!:)  Thanks for reading everyone!


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Suffering Joyfully

May 19, 2009 at 2:35 pm (Uncategorized)

Acts 5:40-42

“They took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them. So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.”

After reading in Acts yesterday I was convicted that I needed to be bolder with the gospel and that I was not going forth with it enough.  Today I read this passage about Peter and the apostles being visited by an angel who removed them from jail and told them to preach in the temple the next morning.  They were being told to do the very thing they had been put in prison for!   Yet, they did it with boldness and courage.  Then I came to the part of the passage where it says they were “flogged”.  And after being flogged they did not lose heart.  Rather, it says they went on “rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name”.   Talk about conviction!  They were greatful that God would consider filthy men like them worthy just to suffer for His holy name!  How often do I think that I’m a good enough person that I don’t deserve to be persecuted and I shouldn’t ever have to go through persecution of any type?  And these men, who lived their lives constantly in service to the Lord were honored to be flogged for Christ name!  And not only that, but after they were persecuted it says “they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ”.  Christ suffered the greatest beating of all on the cross when He took our sins.  We deserved to be on that cross because we are filthy rags.  And instead He, though He was completely blameless, suffered to the point of death.  He suffered far greater persecution than any of us on this earth ever will and He was blameless!  We too, like Peter, should be honored to suffer for the name of our precious Savior!

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Boldness With the Gospel

May 18, 2009 at 2:37 pm (Uncategorized)

Acts 4:13-22 says:

“Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply. But when they had ordered them to leave the Council, they began to confer with one another, saying, “What shall we do with these men? For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. “But so that it will not spread any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no longer to any man in this name.” And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” When they had threatened them further, they let them go (finding no basis on which to punish them) on account of the people, because they were all glorifying God for what had happened; for the man was more than forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.”

As I read this passage I was struck by Peter and John’s courage.  They were arrested and threatened and still remained strong and unwilling to compromise.  Verses 19-20 say: “But Peter and John answered and said to them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.'”  Wow!  I was completely convicted when I read that!  “We cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”  It takes so much of me convincing myself just to bring up the fact that I’m a Christian around my volleyball team or ask who’s gonna pray for a meal or go talk to someone on a mission trip when that’s the whole reason I’m there!  I am often afraid to just mention Christ’s name every now and then.  These men could not stop talking about the wonderful things they had seen and heard!  My life should be an open testimony to those around me.  This passage was incredibly convicting, but really encouraging and I think it’s just what I needed to hear as I’m preparing for mission trips and service opportunities this summer!  And not just the actual trip to Honduras, but who else can I be sharing Christ’s love with here in Little Rock?  Where can I find ways to practice sharing the gospel?  Who am I overlooking right here in my own town who needs the Savior?

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Humility in Service

May 12, 2009 at 3:35 pm (Uncategorized)

1Thessalonians 2:1-9

“For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain, but after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition. For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts. For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed–God is witness–nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority. But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us. For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.”

In my quiet times I have been reading through the gospels and a few other books of the Bible.  The thing that I have been constantly amazed by is the humility and selfless service demonstrated by Christ and His disciples and apostles.  Jesus went from place to place preaching, teaching, healing, and serving and never complained.  He was human just like us, so He got tired just like us and He had to have been exhausted, but He never stopped preaching the gospel and reaching out to those who were lost.  How pathetic does that make me?  I am so easily annoyed and frustrated.  I am so lazy and so self-absorbed.  I am so focused on what I want to do and what I think “needs” to be done and what I “need”.  People all around me are suffering, in need of frienship, lost, searching, and running after in things that will never satisfy and I am in my own little world completely absorbed in myself!  I have never suffered like Paul suffered in Philippi or like Christ did throughout His whole ministry and His death on the cross.  My definition of suffering is so flawed!  I think I’m suffering when I don’t get my way or I have to do something I don’t want to do.  I am so undeserving of Christ’s love and blessed beyond what I can even imagine and Christ’s love and mercy should be everflowing from lips!

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By Your Side

April 21, 2009 at 6:10 am (Uncategorized)

Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don’t turn away

Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching as if I’m not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me where will you run
To where will you run

And I’ll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don’t fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

Look at these hands and my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world’s sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life

Cause I, I love you
I want you to know
That I, I love you
I’ll never let you go

Recently this song has meant SO much to me!  Right now I’m at a point in my life where I’m constantly busy and constantly trying to keep up with life and everything I have to get done and want to do.  I feel like I’m constantly juggling and I’m not good at it!  It’s so easy to fall into the trap of constantly trying to do everything on my own.  And I often find myself striving so hard to do everything in my own strength and i can’t!  It’s not possible!  I’ve tried and it doesn’t work.  I’ve tried to do all of my school work on my own time and in my own power.  I’ve tried to make all of my relationships with friends and family work out and be perfect on my own.  I’ve tried to please everyone in my own power.  But it has all been in vain!   Apart from Christ I am nothing and I can accomplish nothing!  Without Him I am just a weakling.  But with the Lord by my side I can serve as His vessel to accomplish His will, not mine.  He offers me love, strength, guidance, and help and so often I throw it back in His face and try to live by my own power which is NOTHING!!  God is SO good to me and I am SO undeserving!

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April 17, 2009 at 4:52 am (Uncategorized)

So today in discipleship we talked about forgiveness.  We are reading through “Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health” by Donald Whitney.  It’s a wonderful (and super convicting) book and I highly recommend it! 

We read chapter 9 titled “Are You a Quick Forgiver?”.  For me the title itself was a good place to start!  The question just really struck me and honestly, I’m not!   So here are a few quotes from the book the chapter that really hit home for me.

“The Unforgiving spirit…is the number one killer of spiritual life.”  –James Coulter

“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.  But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Mark 11:25-26″  I’ve read this verse a million times, but Whitney talks about how he would spend time praying during his devotionals and realize that he was holding such a strong grudge against someone that he couldn’t even pray because he knew that His Father had not forgiven him because he had not yet forgiven.  And I thought of how often I do the very same thing.  How dare I go before the Lord and ask for his blessings when I am still in sin and have not yet repented?!

“When God makes of us ‘a new creation’ (2 Corinthians 5:17), He gives us a disposition to love and obey His will (as in Psalm 40:8).  And this heart desire to do God’s will–such as to forgive–beats within us even during the times when we sinfully resist it.”

“What Christians should always do, as Jesus exemplified in His prayer, is be ready to forgive.  And then, when forgiveness is sought, forgiveness can be extended.  Yes, we ought to release our sinful bitterness and hatred whether the offender ever seeks forgiveness.  Some equate this decision with forgiveness itself.  In reality though, this is only getting ready, being willing to forgive.”

“We can always think of some ‘good’ reason why in any particular cas we need not forgive.  But that is always and error.” –Leon Morris

“Take heed to yourselves.  If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.  And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven  times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent’, you shall forgive him.” Luke 17:34

“Be careful that you do not think you have forgiven just because you have forgotten.”

“Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea, until he has something to forgive.” –C.S. Lewis

“Probing the Heart”:                                                   

1.Are you ready to forgive? (Is there anyone you are not ready to forgive?)

2. Do you need to initiate the process of forgiveness with anyone?

3. Do you love forgiveness?

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