Tuesday, August 31, 2010

comfort in all our troubles

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

$166.25... "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort..."

$166.25... that is how much money it costs to euthanize and cremate your dog in Northern Illinois... "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of COMPASSION and the God of all COMFORT."

Yesterday, Chuck and I had to make the hard decision to put down our beloved dog, Vader. For years, Vader, and his brother Oscar, have both been struggling with an aggressive cancer, and yesterday Vader's time was finally up. The cancer, the corruption in His body, had finally won. Vader's physical frame had deteriorated to the point of imminent death. So, with a heavy heart we gave our vet the go-ahead to spare him further discomfort. Yesterday, Chuck and I held our beloved Vader in our arms while a two-shot process was administered into our dog's body. The first shot put him to sleep. The second shot stopped his heart and ultimately ended his life.

Death quiets everything, doesn't it? It changes our realm so that we are able to dissect every detail from it's visit. It causes us to later evaluate and examine our own imminent future and notice the importance of our own existence. In this world, death is a certainty that shadows every creature. Yes, death is our rightful finale... the deserved end of what we physically know from this time and place.

Soon, Chuck and I were home where Vader's brother, Oscar, awaited our return. At first, Oscar had no idea that Vader wasn't with us. He danced about as normal - thrilled that Mommy and Daddy had come home. But as the evening progressed, His breathing became heavy. His mannerisms exhibited sadness. Oscar knew. Vader was gone. His brother's life on earth was over. Suddenly this humble creature felt the same sting of sadness - the same burden that Chuck and I were carrying. Of course, I spent the remainder of the night comforting Oscar - assuring him that all would be O.K.... that Mamma and Pappa would be here, loving him very, very much.

However, at one point while snuggled and stroking his head in the wee hours of the morning, I realized that one day soon Oscar's aggressive cancer cells will also bring us to this sad, lonely place. In the near future, both Chuck and I will return home brokenhearted and $166.25 the lesser.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of COMPASSION and the God of all COMFORT." Compassion and comfort. Compassion denoting God's mercy and concern for the plight of those who suffer. Comfort confirming what God lovingly extends to every sufferer... to every person tormented by the result of sin. This is our God, the Father of Jesus Christ - Lord and Savior - God in human form. Yes, He is our Comfort... the One who compassionately, wholeheartedly loves us and offers to pay the price for our aggressive cancer of sin. The One who substitutes Himself so that we may be freed of every broken heart, every disappointment, every cost incurred as the result of our own corruption.

This is the Holy King who insures us a place in His eternal realm of peace and goodness. This is the Perfect who saves the imperfect... the tainted... the lost. Our Almighty Father who secures us everlasting LIFE via His Only Son's willing and obedient sacrifice.

But why?

Jesus sacrificed Himself so that our exposure to death would only be a temporary trouble. So that our Father could snuggle close to us rather than lose us in our own peril. So that we may enjoy true freedom and hope while intimately knowing His ever-present Light... forever! Jesus died and rose again for us because He loves us... and because He has the only power to save us from our sin.

Truly such a God is worthy of our praise, isn't He? Yes, I believe that Paul was right when he wrote about this loving God of compassion and comfort. Read the rest of Paul's text. Text written when Paul had been under great pressures with problems beyond his ability to endure on His own. Problems so greatly discouraging that Paul had despaired that he may not be able to survive physically.

Still, Paul knew Jesus. Still, Paul acknowledged God's headship and control. Still, Paul relied on His Savior. Still, Paul encouraged endurance while all evidence on earth pointed to utter hopelessness.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Have you chosen to receive God's wonderful compassion and grace? In the midst of every storm you face, can you praised God for His Comfort?

Ladies, through the worst moments of our earthly life, we must realize that God's power to raise the dead has significance beyond Christ's resurrection and the general bodily resurrection of the last days of this earth. Hear me when I tell you this truth: God is able to make the power of Christ's resurrection evident in our lives TODAY! His transformation is taking place right now! In our worst sorrow, we are called to respond confidently and with praise. Why? Because Jesus will indeed save and restore His own. One day, Jesus will wipe away every tear and every heartbreak. So today, and every day... He is our hope!

"He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken." (Isaiah 25:8)

I am certain that when Paul's $166.25 moment arrived, he moved into Heaven's realm and was crowned by the one true God who's riches endlessly abound... who's blessings cannot be counted. I am content knowing (as Paul knew) that my death has also been covered by Christ's blood. My sin has been paid for in full by His death. My life is promised and I will continue on with my living Jesus... surpassing and overcoming every sadness of this world because of His glorious Name.

In this knowledge, on the eve of a new morning that follows my beloved dog's death... with tears in my eyes, I WILL REJOICE! For my God is indeed in full control. My God is faithful.

Today, I will LIVE seeking His newness and choosing to embrace every moment with the security and promise of His eternal Word... my only Comfort. I will live evaluating my obedience to His kingdom... examining my motives to match His ways ... enduring every trial for the glory of my sacrificial Savior.

Yes, this is the day to rejoice and be glad. (See Psalm 118:24.) Yes, today is the day to praise God, ladies. May we each come to know His compassion and comfort intimately. May we share His love openly as we expose our trial - presenting our broken hearts to Him and receiving His promise of hope to restore and renew us. Today is the day to find refuge in the shelter of the Most High. Blessed be His holy, holy, holy Name!

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." (Psalm 91:1-2)

Blog Posting Written By Victoria Anderson

Monday, August 30, 2010

the disintegration or the stability of your life

Ladies, how well do you know God?
I ask because I receive so notes from women who are drowning in all forms of despair but claim to know Jesus as their Savior. Women who acknowledge Him as The One True God, but reject His headship, truth and promises in their day-to-day lives.

How do I know this?
Because these women all admit to being discontent. They are unhappy with something in their lives, or with something from their past, or because God is not hearing them, or because God is not providing to their liking, or because God is not doing what they want. Their hearts are disordered and unsatisfied because, in their own opinion, things should have been different in their marriage, their homes, their jobs, their health, their lives.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Romans 1:21)

So, how well do you know God?
Do you believe that God cares about you?
Do you believe He will do what He says?
Do you believe sin is really as bad as He says it is?
Do you believe that holiness is really as good as He says it is?
Do you believe that you will reap what you sow?
Trust me when I say that how you honestly answer these questions will have everything to do with the disintegration or the stability of your life.

Let me be clear on this...
A world where God does not love you does not exist.
A world where God is not in control of all things happening in your life does not exist.
A world where you are abandoned by God does not exist.
A world where God is out to get you and make you suffer miserably does not exist.
If you are living in any of these worlds, you are living in the lie of unbelief.

What is unbelief?
Unbelief is rejecting what God says to be true.
Philippians 4:19 says, "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." 

Think about that. 
God will meet ALL your needs with Jesus. 
His Way is enough. 
He will supply EVERYTHING you specifically require at all times. Period.

What does that mean?
That means wherever, whatever, whoever you are at, in, or with... this particular moment... this situation is exactly what you need to grow closer to Jesus. Whatever your financial situation, your career situation, your health situation, your relationship situation, your life situation... YOU NEED! Sure, you can dispute me on this. You can say, "I don't need this" because you don't like something or someone in your life. But if you do so, you are disputing where God has placed you. You are challenging the King of Kings. You are debating the Master plan of the loving, caring, powerful, eternal God who made sure that you are where you are for His good reason. Wherever you are today, He let happen with the purpose of supplying for all your needs so you could glorify His Name and obey His commands. Whether you see the good in it or not, He is using your trial to get you closer to Him. He is stretching you to become more holy like His Only Son. Will you move forward from this moment in obedience and thankfulness? Can you praise His omnipotence and wisdom through this challenge? If not, perhaps it is time to be still and get to know God better. Perhaps it is time to start addressing your unbelief that is questioning His perfect plan.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

Understand that a mind renewed with the spirit of God (the truth of God; the Word of God) is the only antidote for despair... ALL despair! ALL pain! Running away to greener grass is no answer. It is never greener if it is outside His grace. Really. Don't fall into the trap mentioned in Romans 1:21. Don't allow your thinking to become futile or your heart to become dark. That is what Satan wants. If we do not know God... if we do not believe God... we won't glorify Him and we won't remain thankful for Him. Instead, we will only acknowledge Him as "The" God of this universe, but our hearts will reject His truth and we will keep on sinning against Him. We will reason out the way we think things should be and question His love for us rather than accept the revelation of what He has promised in His Word. We will exchange His truth for the lie of unbelief. No no no, not cool.

Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:7-9)

God says to us throughout scripture, "This is what I'm like. These are my ways. I am good and I love you... ALWAYS." So why continue to question Him? Why go on questioning our present predicaments and reasoning that we know what is best? In truth, we do not know what is best. Only our Creator can claim that knowledge and authority... and His ways are higher and greater than ours. It is wicked for us to exalt our thoughts and opinions above God. His disposition is the only one that matters for us to find stability and avoid all despair, anxiety, anger, unhappiness. His is the way to follow.

I have found that unbelief isn't as easily recognizable as other sins. It requires much prayer and reflection in God's word. Generally, we are blinded by our unbelief. It is easier for us to notice the more obvious sins like lying, stealing, etc. But unbelief is a sin that lurks in the shadows of our heart. The only way to recognize it is to ask God to expose it to us. In my opinion, many other sins show up as a result of unbelief, such as panic, fear, anxiety, depression, hatred, etc. These are external problems stemming from the deep roots of unbelief that fester in our hearts and cause us to question or turn from God's provision. Satan does not want you to know this. But God will expose it when you seek and believe His truth and follow His Master plan. We must seek Him in everything so that we won't become weary through the trials He has given us here on earth.

Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:3)

Every problem we face in this life can be broken down spiritually. The lie of unbelief is no exception. If we choose to think that God is not doing enough... that we need something more or different for our lives... our view of our King is warped and incorrect. God is enough. Right now. This moment. In whatever trial you face. He is trustworthy to see you through successfully if you believe and follow His way of doing things. Sadly, God's promises do not penetrate the hearts of those who do not take Him seriously or make time to receive Him and know Him well. (Mind you, I'm not speaking of those who don't know who God is... I'm speaking of those who don't KNOW HIM WELL.) When you know God well, you realize that He really is all you need to be content and at peace.

I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. (Job 42:2)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

Ladies, if we know God well and are content with Him as enough, we are stable. We are filled with the joy of the Lord. We stop searching for answers to the "if only's" and the "I should have's" and the "I don't like whatever" and the "Why can't life be this way or that way"... All these thoughts are lies against the Master's true and holy plan and are encouraged by the enemy - baiting us to look past God's Way. Turn from this sin and dive into knowing and trusting your Almighty Father, your Blessed Savior, and His Holy Spirit. Become content in His headship. Stop worrying and focusing on what you don't have and start focusing on all that He is. I promise you, if you really go there... if you really submerse your whole life in Him... you will find Him to be more than enough.

Allow me to encourage you to stop questioning God's plan. If your life is difficult, it is for a reason that He has ordained and intends to use for His ultimate good. Stop questioning that you are doomed to misery. That is Satan's plan, not God's. No matter what this corrupt world dishes out... Rejoice... Trust... Obey! For your Maker loves you. Every trial is sanctioned by Him and meant to make you more like Jesus. Don't question what could be different in order to give you comfort or satisfaction. No, if your trial HAS happened... if it IS happening... God meant for it to be and will use it to mold you to be Christlike and draw you closer to His gracious throne. No matter what has happened in your life, His ability to work in you is NOW! He is enough for you NOW. This is the day to rejoice and be glad for Jesus is King and in control of all circumstances! WOO HOO!

Do you believe that?
Do you believe that God's promises and presence is enough?
Can you rejoice in Him while bringing your legitimate concerns to Him in full trust that He is always in control and looking out for you?
He will hear you, ladies.
He is the same yesterday, today, and forever and can indeed be counted on.
Ask Him to show you where the roots of unbelief grow in your heart.
Ask Him to teach you how to be content in all circumstances and trust Him in all matters.

Don't be like the children of Israel in Numbers 11-16 who were always complaining and murmuring about everything. No! God takes our griping quite personally because He is the One who has given us what we have. Israel sinfully complained over so many things... "If only life were easier in this wilderness. This is too hard. If only we had water. If only we had something else other than manna to eat. If only we had more say. If only we were back in Egypt. If only we were dead." Bla bla bla bla bla blaaaaaa! I'm sorry, but that is not living the redeemed life. That is not grasping what is holy and embracing the victory already won on the cross! That is not trusting and loving and living in Jesus name! A lust for wanting more is the basis for every temptation in the heart. James 1:14 says this, "But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed." Do you really want to be a sitting duck to Satan's schemes all because you've chosen to believe the sin of discontentment over believing God? I don't.

This is the day that the Lord has made for YOU. (Psalm 118:24)
No matter where you are or what circumstance or trial you face, God wants you to rejoice and be glad THIS DAY.
He has promised never to leave you or forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5b)
He loves you and remains consistent to make you His primary concern yesterday, today, and forever. (Romans 8:35-39)
Believe His way is higher than your own and trust Him. He will take care of you. He will see you through. He hears your prayers. He listens to your concerns. He wants you to be blessed.

So, how well do you know God?
Do you believe your loving Redeemer enough to proclaim Him worthy of praise without hesitation or reservation and no matter what the circumstance?

"Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say... It is well. It is well with my soul."

Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. (Psalm 9:10)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. (Proverbs 3:5-8)

Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. (Jeremiah 17:7)

The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. (Nahum 1:7)
Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (Matthew 5:6)

Is it well with your soul? 
Is God really enough? 
Search your heart and ask Him to remove all disbelief and discontentment. 
Get to know His way and follow Him no matter what this life holds! 
Baptize yourself in the security of Jesus. 
Submerge yourself in His unending grace. 
Fix your eyes upon the Savior. 
He will fill you. 
He will uphold you. 
He will care for you. 
That's a promise!!!



© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Saturday, August 21, 2010

the selfish monster resurfaces

Chuck and I live in a modest-sized "raised ranch" style home. It works well for us both because the upstairs level contains our living room, dining room, kitchen, bedrooms, etc., and the downstairs is sanctioned as Chuck's "Man Cave" (aka our family entertainment room). I am convinced that all men need a Man Cave. They like to have that special room to hold the biggest TV they can get their hands on. A place where they can play computer games and turn their stereos up to decibels equal to the launch of the space shuttle. It's a place where recliners are standard, remotes are bountiful, and just about everything plugs into the wall.

Although our Man Cave has a lovely fireplace situated in the center of the room, it is unfortunately not the "showpiece" feature seen when company enters. No, people generally miss our sweet family portrait hanging above the fireplace because they are overwhelmed by Chuck's massive "wall-o-television" projecting life-sized images (which let's face it, is kind of freaky). Attached to the television, my engineering husband has connected a DVR-recording thingy, a computer, a Wii gaming system, and who knows what else. On either side of the TV are built-in shelves that hold varying board games and what not. So, as you can imagine, this is the room we entertain most in. It is where we congregate as a family at the end of a long day.

This past week, I asked Chuck if we could rework the positioning of furniture in the Man Cave. I wanted to move the theater chairs a little closer to the television in order to make room for a treadmill I have been saving for. You see, my doctor wants me to be walking as much as possible while rehabilitating my lower back (which has painfully been a problem for several months now). Without reservation, Chuck started moving heavy pieces of furniture around.... scooting coffee tables here... resituating desks there... sliding floor rugs so that they were centered to my liking, etc. When all was said and done and I was satisfied with the look of the "new" room, we sat down to order the treadmill online.

To place the order, Chuck picked up the lap desk that holds our computer's keyboard/mouse and said, "Do you want to drive, or should I?" I didn't care, so Chuck began surfing the Internet to find the perfect treadmill to suit my needs. As he was typing, he realized that the "feet" of the computer keyboard were not extended out... you know, the feature that allows the keyboard to be raised about 1/2 inch from it's back. Chuck quickly flipped the keyboard feet in the upright position and started Googling "treadmills".

Now, I know everyone has their own preferences when it comes to computers. Everyone has their own favorite keyboard position, mouse speed, etc. But my biggest pet peeve when working on the computer are those stupid extended keyboard feet. If I had my way, they would never be flipped up, much less put on the keyboard to begin with. So, it really bugged me when Chuck flipped them up to elevate the keyboard. So much so, that I just couldn't let it go. Like a crazy person, I kept nagging him to change it back. I kept pushing for it to be setup my way. Did I care that Chuck preferred the keyboard this way? No. Did it matter that he would use it considerably more than I ever would? No. Did I take to heart that my dear husband had just spent the whole afternoon rearranging furniture in his favorite space for my benefit? No. Was I thinking about how Chuck willingly rewired and reworked a complicated setup so that my needs could be accommodated for? No. Instead, I began blowing up the smallest, most insignificant matter. I was thinking only of myself... of my preferences. Simply put, I wanted it my way.

In retrospect, I'm quite amazed at how quickly I can forget all that my husband does for the sake of my benefit. Equally, I'm astounded at how entitled I can act toward the man I love while insisting that he constantly accommodates my every selfish monsterly desire. Do I consider his desires? No. Just mine. What I want. How I think everything should be. Clearly, something isn't healthy or right with this picture. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit brought it to my attention (again) and I later made sure to apologize to Chuck.

So why do I share all this? Well, the same is true in how we can thoughtlessly treat our Savior. We live in a fascinating universe that He created and designed especially for us. Yet, we selfishly and sinfully stomp about forgetting that it is His space, His setup. Our God has the authority to claim ownership of all things. He lovingly oversees and maintains their workings so that we may live well cared for under His headship. He promises to always provide for our every need while fulfilling the desires of our heart according to His will. Still, we regularly forget His love and insist He change His perfect plan to suit our preferences. We bulldoze over His setup, His timing, His design - all for the sake of getting our own way... the same selfish way that separates us from His Light and get us into trouble. Something isn't healthy or right with this picture, ladies. We cannot live holy if we continue to justify that we are more important than God. We cannot demand our way and still expect freedom from our sin. For our ways will always favor sin. Our ways will always prefer what is wrong. Our way is corrupt, tainted, disorderly. But His way is perfect, righteous, eternal.

Today, I encourage you to consider where you have pushed to dominate with your own self-justified authority rather than humbly submit your life over to God's headship. Where are you living your way rather than His way? Where are you rearranging your Holy Husband's plan simply to accommodate the desires of your selfish monster? Is it time to apologize to Him for this sin? Is it time to let the Holy Spirit direct you differently?

This is the day to submit both small and large matters over to the Master, ladies. This is the day to stop thinking only of ourselves and pushing our agenda to control exactly how everything should play out. That's not our role. That's not our concern. God is in control of all things and He alone oversees what is good for us. So instead of questioning His preferences, let's spend our energy noticing all He has provided. Let's thrive in His rich grace and glorify His Name. Let's enjoy His presence while communing together in thanksgiving. Let's love and bask in the happiness and peace that He has designed for us to enjoy and allow Him to redesign our hearts, His temple, into His holy way. As we hear so often in the Christian community, "Let go... and let God!" Simply put, let's just concede to His throne and obey His perfect plan.

Today, let's commit ourselves to the Lord, ladies. Let's submit and be thankful for our God is indeed good! Trust Him and be FREE of the selfish monster. Follow His way and be dazzled!

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. (Psalm 37:4-6)

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22)

Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. (Psalm 40:4)

Blog Posting Written By Victoria Anderson

Saturday, August 14, 2010

ohhhh Jesus...

Last weekend, Chuck and I were blessed to visit our friends, Wayne and Nicole, to celebrate their daughter's third birthday. Sophia, who is just the cutiest patootiest blondie-blonde sweetie pie, was dancing with enthusiasm as she welcomed every friend and relative into her party. And wow, what a fun party!!! Momma and Pappa had gone out of their way to spoil Sophia with a rented inflatable bouncy tent/castle in the backyard. In addition, the theme and cake presentation were very clever too. The main cake was made to resemble a barn and included a graham cracker roof surrounded with coconut flaked grass (dyed with green food coloring). Situated around the barn cake were frosted cupcakes dressed to resemble farm animals such as pigs, cows, chicks, etc. All homemade using Grandma's secret recipe... all yummy and delicious! In addition to this, Sophia was made a darling birthday dress with bright and cheery fabric - sporting a cute cupcake print all over it... so perfect and pretty! (Yes, I know... Nicole could give Martha Stewart a run for her money!) To say the least, it was just precious to watch Sophia's eyes light up as she enjoyed all the details that made up her special day.

After dinner was served, Nicole asked if I would be the person to bring Sophia each of her presents. Of course, I couldn't pass up such an honor, so I agreed and recruited Chuck to help me with the heavier presents. I began with a smaller box and brought it over to Sophia who was surrounded by cameras and video recorders to document every moment of the occasion. Sophia was pleased to quickly rip away the cheery wrapping paper and expressed genuine delight as she discovered each new treasure. Once she was finished with her first gift, I was summoned again to bring her another... and thus the process would repeat itself. By the time Sophia finished opening her fourth or fifth gift, she had gotten into the habit of calling out my name... bidding me to come with yet another present. She'd playfully sing, "Ohhhhhh Vickiiiiiiiiiii......" This would be my cue to work my way through the crowds of family paparrazi and bestow upon Sophia her next birthday surprise. By the time I'd reach her, Sophia's hands were extended out and she was smiling ear-to-ear, at the ready to devour the next gift. Amusingly, even now (a week later) I am imagining Sophia's precious call, "Ohhhhhh Vickiiiiiii...." It makes me want to drive over with a trunk full of gifts just so I can see her three-year-old arms extended out to receive me. I'm giggling just thinking about it.

Anyway, this morning I was reminiscing about Sophia and her birthday party. Then, I began to think about how the Lord's mercies are new every morning. How He delights in taking care of His children. How He longs to give us the desires of our heart. I thought about Sophia's arms widely extended and ready to receive... and equally ready to hug those around her. I was particularly delighted when Sophia would call out my name - fully expecting to be dazzled with what I would bring her. I was reminded that this is how we are to welcome our King. This is the enthusiasm that He longs to receive from us as He grants to us His many blessings within each new day. And our wonderful God wants nothing more than to hear us call to Him... to see our arms extended out to receive His glory and sing His Name with glee. Equally, He is thrilled to see us at the ready to hug others... to bless and love as we have been blessed and loved. To freely sing aloud the Name of Jesus so that everyone around us can hear Who we find our delight in... Who we enjoy seeking... Who extends to us blessing upon blessing upon blessing.

Ladies, I am anxious to start this new day seeking out the Savior who loves to love me. Who offers me not only a place in His kingdom, but adopts me as His own. Who showers me with gifts of sunshine, shelter, food, family, employment, sight, hearing, breath, etc. etc. etc. (The list is too long to imagine.) Today (and every day), I wish to call to Him, "Ohhhh Jesus..." and open my arms wide. I want to live my life ready to receive Him and share His love with others. Blessed be the Almighty Father who gives and gives and gives. Let us be open, anxious, and ready to be dazzled by His astounding love each new day.

Come, Lord Jesus. Please come.

"Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway." (Proverbs 8:34)

"Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." (Lamentations 3:22-24)

Blog Posting Written By Victoria Anderson

Sunday, August 1, 2010

a treasure to be seen

Is it not a gift to see the sun setting in the heavens?
Oh, how I long to be with my Jesus.
For His magnificent ways are higher than I could ever imagine.

Today, I will give thanks for His love.
For His beauty is found in every dew drop.
His greatness is seen in every crashing wave of the sea.
Here I will stand astonished and blessed.
For my God is great.
For my God is in control.

Oh glorious nature. Your gift is not appreciated from one generation to the next.
Under the Master's care, does not one seed bring forth the great oak or the mighty field?
By His command, was not oxygen encapsulated?
Here within earth's atmosphere reside infinite buildings of a grand Carpenter.
Quietly showcased in a gallery of galaxies do we see His absolute skill and design.
Yes, truly His work is to be revered and applauded.
For what pleases His eye can only be good.

Oh foolish men.
You do not credit the Artist who made you.
You do not see the talent of His workmanship.
You do not notice the intricacies of His creation.
But who are we compared to the sun’s radiance?
Who is man in contrast to the worm or the elephant?
Are we as big and powerful as the mighty volcano?
NO! We are nothing!
Only from dust do we originate. Only to dust will we return.
Yet by God’s decree we are made more.
By His deep love we are rewarded with the bounty of fields and the fruit of trees.
We have been given dominion over every land and every beast by the blessing of His sovereign hand.
Praise Him. For the scope of His generosity cannot be grasped.

Oh great God, humble my soul!
Let me fear Your words with my whole self.
Let me love Your ways with my whole heart.
Let me be pleased and satisfied with Your perfect plan.
For then I will acknowledge the good You have given me.
Then I will truly see the gifts You have offered throughout all my days.
Do not let my eyes look past them.
Do not blind me from Your care.

Go forth my friends and accept all His provisions.
Simplify your thoughts with great realizations and the truth of His holy word.
Never forget that our God is good! Our God is real! Our God saves us from ourselves!
The repentant sinner may find His way!
The broken heart may be restored...
All in His Name! All in His Name!

So, do not be caught up in worry or deceit.
Do not be tied down by shame and regret.
Self is not important...
Only Christ! ONLY CHRIST!

His many splendors are here to be admired.
May we discover His revelations along this narrow path.
May we continue to walk straight in His law...
Always toward His glory.
Always toward His love.

And as I walk, dear Lord...
Let me not forget the diminutive creatures that live under the rocks.
Let me not take for granted the clouds above my head and the mighty storms they bring.
For they are remarkable.
Let me not forget the wind that blows the desert sand.
Let me not overlook the pollination of the bee or the beauty of the flower.
Let me not forget the mysterious creatures that live under the sea.
Truly these are complex and fascinating examples of Your talent.
Let me not miss the rotation of each planet nor the distance of every star that glimmers.
Teach me of Your colors, and Your elements, and Your design.
I want to see everything You have accomplished, My King!
I want to know all the workings of Your hand.
Do not hide from me Your omnipotence.
Let me seek. Let me find.

All praise and glory is Yours, dear Father.
For endless are the triumphs of a perfect Creator!
All ground is sacred for Your hand has touched it.
All words are precious for Your lips have breathed them into my mouth.
Every knee shall bow down to Your authority and might.
Every tongue shall confess Your Lordship over all.

With every fleeting moment, let me sing your Holy Name!
Do not give me rest unless I am resting in Your embrace.
For there is no other place I wish to be but in my Shepherd's arms!

Blessed is the Lord,
For He has given everything and more!
Blessed is His Name,
For He has given life and NEW LIFE!
To ignore His unmatched excellence is foolishness!
To ignore His perfection is the most despicable of follies.

Lord, I am small.
Let me be reminded regularly.
Let my focus not become cloudy or hazed.
Continue to open my eyes so that I may behold Your greatness.
Continue to keep me poised so that I may relish Your goodness.
May my witness bear Your witness...
For YOU are a Treasure to be seen!