Thursday, July 23, 2009

Joy to find in every station....something still to do or bear...

This hymn has rocked me to the core this summer. Read the words slowly, it is so rich with truth. Hard truth. May I will be able to sing these words and mean them with all my heart.

Jesus, I my cross have taken,
All to leave and follow Thee
Destitute, despised, forsaken,
Thou from hence my all shall be.
Perish every fond ambition,
All I’ve sought or hoped or known.
Yet how rich is my condition!
God and heaven are still my own

Man may trouble and distress me,
’Twill but drive me to Thy breast.
Life with trials hard may press me;
Heaven will bring me sweeter rest.
Oh, ’tis not in grief to harm me
While Thy love is left to me;
Oh, ’twere not in joy to charm me,
Were that joy unmixed with Thee.

Let the world despise and leave me,
They have left my Savior, too.
Human hearts and looks deceive me;
Thou art not, like them, untrue.
O while Thou dost smile upon me,
God of wisdom, love, and might,
Foes may hate and friends disown me,
Show Thy face and all is bright.

Go, then, earthly fame and treasure,
Come disaster, scorn and pain
In Thy service, pain is pleasure,
With Thy favor, loss is gain
I have called Thee Abba Father,
I have stayed my heart on Thee
Storms may howl, and clouds may gather;
All must work for good to me.

Soul, then know thy full salvation
Rise o’er sin and fear and care
Joy to find in every station,
Something still to do or bear.
Think what Spirit dwells within thee,
Think what Father’s smiles are thine,
Think that Jesus died to win thee,
Child of heaven, canst thou repine? (repine: to be fretfully discontented; complain)

Haste thee on from grace to glory,
Armed by faith, and winged by prayer.
Heaven’s eternal days before thee,
God’s own hand shall guide us there.
Soon shall close thy earthly mission,
Soon shall pass thy pilgrim days,
Hope shall change to glad fruition,
Faith to sight, and prayer to prais

Thursday, July 02, 2009

From Garbage to Growth for Good...

This summer I prayed about what passage to study, and all I heard in my mind was Galations. It was obvious that I needed it. The Lord has taught me so much in the last 2 months of my life.
I was recently sitting with my family on my parent's back porch. My Dad was commenting on a tree in our backyard that would not grow, no matter what he did! He trimmed it and watered it. Nothing. He said that a few years ago, he just had had enough and hacked it all the way to the ground! Then he looked at me and said, "and look at it now, its grown into a beautiful tree." He would not know how much that describes my life in the last year. God has pruned me, hacked me down and stripped me. All to begin sin awareness and ultimately new growth. Galations talks of living dead to your old ways and walking in the spirit. Also, Romans 8. God will take us through whatever it takes to conform us to the image of His Son. He calls that our good. May we see His discipline as a friend, our good.

Read Galations and Romans 8 this summer if you are looking for a place to start.

This is quite personal, but I thought that it might encourage some.
My summer prayer:

Dear Father,
Praise to You who know so well what to do with me.
I praise You for Your sovereign plan to do GOOD
and by that you mean conformity to Your precious Son, our treasure, Jesus Christ.

Help me to accept Your good intention for You've promised good to me.
Satisfy me in Your lovingkindness, that I may be glad all of my days.

Forgive me for sinning against You in lust, bitterness, jealousy and selfishness.
Help me to live in freedom, not in bondage, for I am set free of sin!
Adopted into Your inheritance, Your child, redeemed for Your pleasure.

Take my singleness and use it for Your glory.
May I accept what You have for me in this time
whether it be dessert or mountain top.
May I prove, over and over, Your goodness to me.

Help me fulfill Your law by loving others as I love myself.
Grant me the ability to think of others instead of wallow in self-pity.
Forgive me for that.

Turn these wasted years into restored goodness.
Strengthen me in Your Word. For Your Word is good.

Help me to die daily, recognizing what it means to be crucified with Christ,
putting off the flesh and living by faith in the Son of God
who loved me and delivered Himself up for me.

Thank You for grace.

Summer 2009.
My beginning journey out of the pit.