Thursday, December 31, 2009

Jesus is coming again!

Today's devotional was based on one of my favorite passages of scripture, regarding Jesus' return. I love the picture it gives us - He will come back on a white horse, strong & ready to save those of us who truly love Him, & to bring wrath to those who do not. This is serious business, people. Choose Jesus - then live a life that is pleasing to Him!

"I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war (Rev 19:11-12).

I used to love old western movies growing up. So often the main characters would get into trouble and just in the nick of time the cavalry would show up blowing their trumpet and riding their horses to announce their arrival to save those in trouble.

Throughout our lives a battle is waged between Satan and God's Kingdom. There is a final battle coming that will see Jesus and His army invade the enemies of His kingdom. It is the great climax to thousands of years of warfare.

"He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron scepter. He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:


We are all moving toward a day in which we will be judged: "The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books" (Rev 20:12-13). Ultimately, we will all reign with Christ in a new heaven and earth (Rev 21). How you live your life now will determine your role in the new heaven and earth.

Your life on earth is a mere blink on the scale of time. Whatever hardships you've faced on earth will pale in comparison to the glory that is to be revealed when the marriage of the Bride of Christ takes place on that final day.

Be faithful. Stand firm. And see the glory of the Lord. Amen."

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Amazing coffee deal!

Check this out... Gevalia is offering 3 boxes of coffee, your choice of brew, for $3!! Awesome! I love me some good coffee... & cheap is even better!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I love Christmas. December is such a fun month... cold weather (the coldest winter we've experienced in San Antonio so far, for sure!), lights twinkling everywhere, Christmas trees & Christmas smells. Last week I went to 5 Christmas parties in one week, which was lots of fun! A couple church parties, a get-together with friends, & a traditional Mexican posada which was a new experience... we sang songs in Spanish, I have no idea what we said! But it was neat to celebrate the coming of Jesus in a completely different culture.

Monday is the last day of work before Josh gets to take off for Christmas, & I'm very excited to get some time together to relax & enjoy the season. Each year God makes me think of how Josh & I will celebrate Christmas when we have our own family, by considering traditions we already have as well as things we want to do to make sure our kids are focused on Jesus & the fulfillment of scripture instead of gifts.

I'm excited for this next week, for celebrating Christmas with my family, & giving them the gifts we have picked out/made! I love giving gifts & give lots of thought into what I give so it's always fun to finally present them!

However I'm not ready for the new year. This one went by so fast!! I have had to make sure I don't freak out with all the things I already see on the calendar in my head. Take it little by little... God always gives grace for the moment. Today has enough worries of its own (Matthew 6:34)!

I'll ponder 2010 another time... for now, it's Christmas, & I choose to focus on the Advent season... waiting with expectation on Jesus to come... celebrating the first time He came as God in flesh, & putting my hope in the time Jesus will come on a white horse to judge the earth (see Revelation 19) & take us to the place we were meant for... to be in the full presence of God!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

good stuff

Until I have time to write something, read this.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Proof of God

From today's devotional by Os Hillman:

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse" (Rom 1:19-20).

Have you ever had someone say, "I don't see any evidence of God. How can a person believe in someone you can't see or see any evidence even exists?"

The Bible tells us that God is revealed in His creation everyday. Look at the human body and consider the likelihood of how thousands of body parts that must work together. Someone created it to work this well. If it were a manufactured product, it would be in the repair shop all the time because of all the moving parts required to make it work.

Consider the wonderful order and balance of nature and how the seas know their boundaries, the beauty of the mountains, and the balance of rain and oxygen needed to balance the ecosystems. Consider God's signature, the rainbow.

The 12th century Scottish Christian mystic, Richard of St. Victor said, "The whole of this sensible world is like a book written by the finger of God." Look at nature and wonder at the creative design of the hundreds of thousands of species of animals like the tiger, the elephant, the great whales, and the millions of species of birds, just to name a few.

Consider the planet we live on. "The Earth is a rough sphere about eight thousand miles in diameter, which means that it's about four thousand miles straight down to the center. We're accustomed to thinking of it as a ball of rock, but that's not so: the great majority of the Earth is liquid - molten rock called magma swirling, incredible slowly, beneath our feet. The solid part of the earth that we live on, and in whose hollows the sea sits, is called the crust, and on average it's only a few miles thick - maybe ten miles. That's like a layer a third of a millimeter thick coating a football. We live on that incredibly fragile, thin layer of plates floating on the subterranean sea of magma."*

Yes, God has revealed Himself in His creation.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

there's only grace

"During 2009, attacks by Chinese officials on house church Christians grew more vicious. Raids on house churches increased. Arrests & imprisonments of pastors & evangelists skyrocketed.... The year 2009 brought unprecedented persecution to Chinese believers."
-Article in this month's Voice of the Martyrs newsletter

God has recently called me to be aware & to pray for the persecuted church around the world. We can get so caught up in our religious freedoms here, that it's beyond us that millions of people in countless other countries are being physically persecuted for loving Jesus. People are not allowed to own Bibles. They are not allowed to teach their children about Jesus. They are not allowed to worship through song. They are arrested, forced out of their homes, beaten to the point of death by the police & government officials.

So many prayers come to me when I think of it. I pray for their strength, for them to know the comfort & encouragement of Jesus that moment, for government officials to come to know Jesus through the people they are persecuting... but then sometimes I pray, why?? Why do they go through such horrifying, detestable things, when I simply fear that someone won't like me because of my love for Jesus? There is a certain amount of guilt I am tempted to feel when I consider it all - the cards they have been dealt, compared to the life I live. I feel spoiled, selfish.

God gave me this truth in an instant yesterday: every good thing comes from Him (James 1:17). I do nothing to deserve any of it, & can do no amount of good to continue receiving any kind of good circumstance. My life is not a result of my efforts or my self-righteousness. EVERYTHING IS BY HIS GRACE. It is by His grace that I am not living in China or the Philippines or India or Sudan. It does not mean that He loves me more than He loves those being persecuted. In fact, they know Jesus, as their provision, their hope, their comfort, in a way I will most likely never know Him. I can't compare myself to them. God places us all in very different lives & circumstances. What matters is not how much better or worse my life is compared to yours (any measure of that is through the eyes of the world anyways), but that I seek to know Jesus & obey Him in every aspect of my life, the same way the believers in Indonesia do. That I am thankful in all circumstances (1 Thess 5:18). That Jesus is my hope, my supply, my all.

So, pray with me for the persecuted church. Pray that they are thankful in all circumstances. Pray for the Church to continue to grow, despite the efforts of the governments around the world. & find hope in the fact that this is NOT our home, but we will one day inhabit the NEW earth (2 Peter 3:13, Rev. 21:1-8)... we'll be in a good place when we (I'm praying this for myself & all believers) can live with that always in mind.