I am a strong proponent of reading ALL of the Bible, considering Scripture in context, studying entire books and digging deep to mine the truth contained therein.
But I think sometimes I am so enamored of finding something new I forget what I’ve already learned.
It’s easy to remain in pursuit of truth and yet dismiss the truth that I’ve aprehended.
I can fool my heart into thinking that learning is the same thing as living.
But it’s not.
Read the rest here: Monday Musings: What is Required?
It is kind of a catchy saying to plaster across a Christian school’s gymnasium wall.
I know the one who decided to put it there meant well. But “I can do all things through Christ Who gives me strength” is absolutely NOT about lifting weights, running an extra lap or hitting a ball out of the park.
No. No. NO.
Can we just look at it in context, please?
I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don’t mean that your help didn’t mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles.
Phillipians 4::12-14 MSG
Paul was thanking friends for their concern and aid. But he didn’t want them to think he was desperately needy. He was assuring them that because he had found utter fulfillment in Christ and through Christ and that he could be content no matter his outward circumstances.
But there is something else here too-another tidbit overlooked in our desire to lift verses out of context.
While Paul was content in his circumstances, while he was at peace and settled in his soul, he was also deeply grateful that his friends had remembered him. He was encouraged that they had sent aid and lifted prayers and inquired as to his well-being.
Being content does not preclude discouragement.
I can feel both deep peace and experience confusion over my present circumstances.
It’s just then that I need faithful friends to remind me that I’m not alone and I’m not abandoned. That is precisely the moment my spirit cries out for compassionate companionship.
This life is not meant to be lived alone-even in a prison cell.
It’s meant to be lived in community with others who come alongside and call courage to our hearts.
A precious sister-in-loss created this image.
It’s my theme song.
And the message of my heart.
Read the rest here: Monday Musings: Mercy
For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God;
Ephesians 2:8 AMP
This is one of my favorite verses because it summarizes the Gospel-God calls, God saves, God keeps.
It’s ALL God.
Sadly, my human heart can forget this so easily. I can begin to lean on my “good works” or “holy habits” or the testimony of my “faith journey” instead of resting solely in the enduring love of my Faithful Father.
So when hard times come (and they do) and my faith falters (and it will) I become insecure and frightened and concerned that I will ultimately be lost. Because I have shifted the responsibility from God to me.
And I know I’m not strong enough to hold on.
When Dominic ran ahead to heaven my mind was riddled with unanswered questions. “Why?” “Where were You?” “What are You doing in this?”
Those questions ate holes in my faith.
But it’s not ME holding onto God-it’s GOD holding onto me.
The strength of my faith doesn’t determine whether or not His promise is fulfilled, because if it did, there would be no hope.
So, I refuse to have faith in “faith”.
Instead I have faith in an unchanging, everlasting Faithful Father.
If you are a bereaved parent and can fly,
or walk to Hot Springs, Arkansas October 6-7
you will want to make the journey.
April Wendland, a bereaved mama with a heart to reach others with hope and love has organized a conference just for us.
And it’s *FREE* to bereaved parents.
From the website:
“THROUGH THIS VALLEY is a faith based conference designed BY bereaved parents, FOR bereaved parents.
We know the deep pain. We know the longing.
We know the questions. We know the heartache.
But we’ve also found some healing. We’ve found some peace for our hearts.
We’ve found some answers.
And we understand the Healer in new & grateful ways.
It is our desire to share what we’ve learned with other bereaved parents who are searching for answers. And being together with others who have gone through similar experiences somehow gives us all a little more strength & comfort too. You are not alone. There is hope. This conference will change the lives of those who have open hearts & ears to hear.
There is no charge to the bereaved parents for the THROUGH THIS VALLEY conference.
All speakers, attendees & most staff are bereaved parents.”
Wanna join me there?
Click here for more information or to register: Through This Valley
I am not a fan of church signs.
Most of the time they try to be cute and reduce eternal truth to a few words that often leave room for [mis]interpretaion.
But I saw one today that I DID like: “Dig the well before you are thirsty”.
Read the rest here: Dig the Well BEFORE You are Thirsty
God is love. ~I John 4:8
I don’t remember when I learned this verse.
It’s been part of my understanding of Who God is and how He works in the world as far back as my mind can travel.
But I freely admit: He may BE love, but I don’t always FEEL loved.
Read the rest here: Monday Musings: The Love of God