1 peter 3:4

"cultivate inner beauty--the gentle, gracious kind
that God delights in.the holy women of old were
beautiful before God that way.." -1 peter 3:4

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

one more thing, from ms. hepburn.


this week in my bible study group, we were asked what our favorite miracle was. answers given included the parting of the red sea for moses, the raising of lazarus, the feeding of the five thousand and the healing of the sick woman. all of those were truly amazing.

my personal favorite? i have a two. {imagine that! haha, i can't be simple and easy.} i love the story of Christ calming the storm while out on the boat. it reminds me of how truly BIG our God is...that nature and the atmosphere and molecules hear His voice and obey. but my other favorite, a yummy favorite, was the water-to-wine miracle. coincidentally, that was the miracle we targeted in our discussion for the duration of the study.

for those of you who might be unfamiliar with it, here is what happened, in a nutshell: Jesus was at a wedding with his family. the party-goers were having such a great time, that they drank all of the wine up and hit bottom way before the party was supposed to be over. {is it just me, or does anyone else's mind drift to capt. jack sparrow repeating, "but why is rum gone?" anyone? am i alone? must be.} Jesus' mom, mary, finds Jesus and simply states, "there is no more wine," to which He replies, "woman, why do you involve me?" i love that. mary ignores the question and tells the servants to do whatever Jesus says, and He turns to them and tells them to fill some stone jars all the way up with water. when they are full, he instructs them to dip a cup into the jar and take it to the party-thrower; he unknowingly tastes the contents and exclaims that it is the best wine he's ever tasted. the final verse in the section giving this account plainly states, "He thus revealed His glory..."

now picture with me here: this story is so amazing. analyze it from different angles. imagine the nervousness the servants felt, carrying a cup of water to their master, hoping they didn't get fired on the spot for bringing him water from a cleansing basin. imagine the faith mary had, to have never seen Jesus perform a miracle, but all the while knowing that He was God and could do anything. imagine the master, tasting the amazing wine and never knowing that the supply had run out and "the best wine saved for last" was turned from water by the Messiah Himself. {isn't that so like God, to work behind the scenes? the party-thrower and party-goers never even knew!}

because Jesus is who He is, we can expect His provision to meet our needs. it won't always be water into wine {although a bottled-water-turned-glass-of-moscato after a stressful day seems like a need sometimes!}. it won't always be a booming voice calming the storm, or staring at a meal for one and it miraculously multipling to feed thousands. sometimes His provisions are so "small" that we don't even notice He took care of them...but that's just our God working behind the scenes, in ways we can't see.

so do miracles still happen? i believe YES. big ones and little ones...if there is such a difference. my dad had a blockage near his heart; people prayed and when the surgeon looked again it was gone. my best friend witnessed her nephews' births. "infertile" couples become pregnant. you just took a breath.

look intentionally for miracles around you. you will be amazed.

Monday, September 19, 2011

tonight's truth.

this quote has never meant more to me than it does at this moment --

    "a woman's heart must be so lost in God that a man must seek Him in order to find it."
          - max lucado

Jesus, take my heart and hide it away. keep it safe and hold it tight; people are going to try to steal it, hurt it, distract it, break it and stomp all over it..but if I give it over to You, it'll be in good hands. won't You hold it awhile?

amazing quote to remember.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

stop and think.

i just began reading the book "crazy love" by francis chan. i have my first ever accountability partner, and we decided to read through this book together; i'm really excited about it! there is an amazing quote in the preface of the book, that i wanted to share:

"...we have an inaccurate view of God. We see Him as a benevolent Being who is satisfied when people manage to fit Him into their lives in some small way. We forget that God never had an identity crisis. He knows that He's great and deserves to be the center of our lives."
     -francis chan, "crazy love" p 22

it is an amazing concept to me that as much as i change, as much as i lose myself and find pieces of who i am at various moments, GOD never changes. God knows exactly who He is and what that means He is worthy of.

for me to think that i can "tolerate" Him, that i can somehow "fit" Him into my life and thoughts..how naive of me.  how many days to i forget to love God? how often do i get distracted by everyday life? it comes down to tuning out the distractions and focusing solely on Him.
{ironically, as i'm writing this blog, "all the pretty things" by tenth avenue north just came on my itunes: "look at all the pretty things that steal my heart away, i can feel i'm fading. Lord, i love so many things that keep me from your face; come and save me."}

i'm challenging myself at this point in my life to truly make Christ the center of my life. i've danced with the idea several times, and even thought He was what my life revolved around; but my attempts were just weak tolerances..not total surrender.
i'm going to leave you with this video: it's talked about in "crazy love." my favorite quote from the video is this--
"God is proposing to you right now--'I love you, I want to forgive you, I want to spend eternity with you-man, I'll wipe out everything.' He'll forgive as far as the east is from the west, down to the ocean floor--that's where the garbage from the past is."

if you are interested in the book: www.crazylovebook.com

wildflowers and such.

"if God gives such attention to
the appearance of wildflowers,
most of which are never even seen,
don't you think
He'll attend to you,
take pride in you,
do his best for you?"

 -matthew 6:28, msg