Jul 30, 2007

Predestined us for adoption

For a little over three years, my husband and I have been trying to get pregnant. I've been asking the LORD, "What are you trying to show me? What do you want me to learn from this trial?" I haven't figured it out yet...at least not completely, but I do know it is for my own good. Praise the LORD that He has given me this attitude (today) because I do spend a lot of my time sinning because I am impatient and want a child now. This is one thing that I cannot have any sort of control over, since it is the LORD who opens and closes the womb. (Believe me, I already know He is omnipotent, but still I sometimes think I can have the control).

Recently, however, I've been thinking more and more about adoption. The idea of was always a last resort to me. I had no desire or want of a child that was not my own. Selfishly, I told my husband, "If we can't have kids biologically, then I don't want them at all." But slowly, the LORD has been changing my heart. Some friend's at church reminded me that I've been adopted into Christ's family.
" He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved." (Ephesians 1:4-6)

Amazing isn't it? Maybe He has closed my womb because He has a child waiting for us to adopt. Adopting doesn't mean we've given up, it means we could be a part of redeeming a child from a life without a family...the LORD has blessed us with becoming a part of His redemption plan!

I've learned so much these part few years. I cannot pinpoint the exact day of my salvation, but I believe I've only been saved for about 2 years. I've only had the assurance of my salvation for about 8 months. I cannot thank Him enough for leading me down paths of struggles, through joys and sorrows, into dark days and into the joy of the morning. He's taught me that He will not necessarily change every situation in the way I am wanting, but instead, change me in the midst of the situation! He's been a faithful husband, a perfect companion. I am truly blessed to be known by Him. I pray that He will continue to lead my heart down the path of adoption. I've been asking Him to show me what to do. It seems so overwhelming, but if it is His will, I know it will work out. After all, I am being lead by the Hand of my redeemer, why should I be afraid?

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John Piper: Adoption: The heart of the Gospel
(Sent to me by a dear friend who has seen God's work in her life through the adoption of their son from China)

Jul 27, 2007

"I was thinking this week that if I could identify one single attitude biblically that would be the supreme...the most desirable attitude of all from God's viewpoint, it would be humility. That's one of the most beautiful virtues in the attitudinal sense-Humility. And if I were to identify one activity as being most desirable, it would be the activity of service. Combining the two, I would say the bible teaches then that the highest attitude is humility...the highest activity is service. And for a woman then to offer humble service is for her to have a head start on men in being able to reach the highest level of God's intention for His people." John MacArthur

"Did God make our bodies out of the dust, and that dust out of nothing? Let this keep down pride! When God would humble Adam, He uses this expression, "You were made from dust." Why are you proud, O dust and ashes? David says, "I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Your being wonderfully made-- should make you
thankful; your being made from the dust--should keep you humble. If you have beauty, it is but well-colored dirt! "For you were made from dust, and to the dust you will return." Genesis 3:19" -Thomas Watson

"For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself." 1 Samuel 2:22

"Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,and to listen than the fat of rams. "
1 Samuel 15:22

"But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

"The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation." Exodus 34:6

Jul 25, 2007

The Challenge

I was listening to "FamilyLife Today" and they had an interesting idea: fast from T.V. for the month of August. I never listen to the program, but just happened to turn it on today (I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason).

So maybe I'll take this challenge. Maybe it will influence me to just give up T.V. for good! I really wouldn't mind. There are far better, edifying things to do and read that corrupt my mind with television. I'm one of those people that sits in front of the T.V., trying to find something to watch, but can't, and then flips for an hour or so before I give up. I promise you I would not give a bad book an hour, but T.V.? Yep. Ridiculous!

Yes, I think I will pray about this. If this will give me more time to read His Word and to fellowship with Him, then I say: HECK YEAH.

If you guys have any ideas of some good books that I could read for the month of August, please feel free to comment. So far, the only book I have in mind is "The Holiness of God" (Sproul).

I probably should preface this whole post to tell you that I am not doing this to get approval from God or anyone else. I do not plan on shouting this through the streets, claiming that I am more holy than you :) This is not a works-righteousness act, or a merit-based idea. Just something that might help me grow closer to Him.

And one last thing: Watching television is not a sin, unless you make it a sin. You know what I mean.

Jul 24, 2007

A sinful man's intercession

Recently, I was speaking with my grandmother (who is Catholic) who is suffering from terrible foot pain. She said to me, "Too bad there isn't a Saint of foots!"

To which I replied, "I think God can certainly heal by Himself"

Or maybe I'm wrong. Maybe He needs our help. Maybe He needs the intercession of sinful men.

Jul 12, 2007

The Prayer of Love

Gracious Lord,
Thy name is love,

in love receive my prayer.

My sins are more than the wide sea’s sand,

but where sin abounds,

there is grace more abundant.

Look to the cross of thy beloved Son,

and view the preciousness of his atoning blood;

Listen to his never-failing intercession,

and whisper to my heart, ‘Thy sins are forgiven,

be of good cheer, lie down in peace.’

Grace cataracts from heaven and flows for ever,

and mercy never wearies in bestowing benefits.

Grant me more and more

to prize the privilege of prayer,

to come to thee as a sin-soiled sinner,

to find pardon in thee,

to converse with thee;

to know thee in prayer as

the path in which my feet tread,

the latch upon the door of my lips,

the light that shines through my eyes,

the music of my ears,

the marrow of my understanding,
the strength of my will,

the power of my affection,

the sweetness of my memory.

May the matter of my prayer be always

wise, humble, submissive,

obedient, scriptural, Christ-like.

Give me unwavering faith

that supplications are never in vain,
that if I seem not to obtain my petitions
I shall have larger, richer answers,
surpassing all that I ask or think.
Unsought, thou hast given me
the greatest gift, the person of thy Son,
and in him thou wilt give me all I need.

-From the Valley of Vision

Jul 10, 2007

My lack of blogging

I long to love God the way I see others love Him. Like Tozer said, "O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee,..."

I am so consumed with myself and worldly things lately, that I've really been struggling to let go of my sin. And I am reminded each day how wretched and filthy I am. I hate that I am so luke warm at times and so numb when I sin. I wish I hated it more! I wish I loved Him more.

Sometimes I leave church and I wonder how I can call myself a Christian? I'm always putting on an act or laughing at certain sins, when I should be falling on my knees in confession and weeping that it was I who put Christ on that Tree.

I don't know. I've just felt sad and lonely. I desperately want children and I don't know how to keep a positive attitude day after day. I find myself constantly wanting to buy this or that, because I want to fill that void and the pain of not having what I want. The thing is, I don't deserve anything I have, nor do I deserve children. And I cannot control these cravings, so I just indulge to make myself feel better.
That's where I am at, at least at the moment, and why I cannot even think of a thing to write about.

I am praying that I would not only know He is sufficient, but would truly experience His sufficiency. I know the different attributes of God, but do I really believe them with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength? I pray He will give me the feelings...the desires to love Him and glorify Him in all that I do and say, that He might be my only delight and joy.

Jul 9, 2007

Finding happiness in a miserable world

(Gorham Abbott, "The Family at Home", 1833)

"A man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." Luke 12:15
"But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these." 1 Timothy 6:8

A little simple food, and plain clothing, and humble shelter--this is all that man really needs. Outward things can neither make a man happy or miserable. Ahab was discontented on a king's throne. Paul and Silas were happy in a dungeon.

Nature is content with little;
grace is content with less.
Luxury is seldom satisfied;
lust is never satisfied.

If we have but little in this world, we may content ourselves with the reflection, that it is safer to have little than much. Many have been ruined by prosperity. Many have gone to hell splendidly clothed, and who lived each day in luxury!

Very wise was the prayer of Agur, "Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread." Proverbs 30:8

Christians should be content, because time is short; and if time is short, trouble cannot be long! "Weeping may endure for a night--but joy comes in the morning!" These light afflictions are but for a moment--and then comes an eternal weight of glory! The Christian is traveling down a rough and dirty piece of road; but he is going home--to his glorious heavenly home! This is the true secret of finding happiness in a miserable world.

Jul 6, 2007

The love of fine dress

(Gorham Abbott, "The Family at Home", 1833)

"I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God." 1 Tim. 2:9-10

To many young women, the love of fine dress is a great snare--which leads them into a series of mistakes.

A profusion of fine bows, feathers, necklaces, and earrings--is often the outward and visible sign of inward emptiness and vanity!

A minister, calling to visit a lady, was detained a long time while she was dressing. At length she made her appearance, bedecked in all the frippery of fashion and folly. The minister broke into tears. She demanded the cause of his grief; when he replied, "I weep, madam, to think that an immortal being should spend so much of that precious time which was given her to prepare for eternity--in thus vainly adorning that body
which must so soon become a prey to worms!"

A lady once asked a minister whether a person might not be fond of fine dress and ornaments, without being proud. "Madam," replied the minister, "when you see the fox's tail peeping out of the hole--you may be sure the fox is within!"

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment,such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful." 1 Peter 3:3-5

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." Proverbs 31:30

Jul 3, 2007

From Glory to Glory


This is an amazing sermon, one that really convicted me and showed me how desperately I need to remember the Gospel! I am so encouraged by this message, and I pray that you might be encouraged as well!

Jul 2, 2007

Suck out the sweetness

(Thomas Watson, "The Christian Soldier" 1669)

Meditation is a holy exercise of the mind; whereby we bring the truths of God to remembrance--and seriously ponder upon them and apply them to ourselves. It is a work which cannot be done in a crowd. A Christian must retire from the world, to have serious thinking upon God. It is not a few transient thoughts that are quickly gone;but a fixing and staying of the mind upon heavenly objects.

As the bee sucks the honey from the flower--so by meditation we suck out the sweetness of a truth. It is not the receiving of food into the mouth, but the digesting of it, which makes it nutritious. Just so, it is not the receiving of the most excellent truths in the ear, which nourishes our souls--but the digesting of them by meditation.

Satan does what he can to hinder this duty. He is an enemy of meditation. The devil does not care not how much we read--so long as we do not meditate on what we read. Reading begets knowledge--but meditation begets devotion. "Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long." Psalm 119:97

Holy meditation quickens the affections. The reason why our affections are so cold to heavenly things--is
because we do not warm them at the fire of holy meditation. As the musing on worldly objects makes the fire of lust burn; and as the musing on injuries makes the fire of revenge burn; just so, meditating on the transcendent beauties of Christ, would make our love to Christ flame forth.

Meditation has a transforming power in it. The reading of the Word may affect us--but the meditating upon it transforms us. Meditation stamps the impression of divine truths upon our hearts. By meditating on God's holiness, we grow holy. While by meditation we look upon God's purity--we are changed into His likeness.

Meditation produces reformation. "I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes." Psalm 119:59. If we would spend but one quarter of an hour every day in contemplating heavenly objects, it would leave a mighty impression upon us!