Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Child-Like Faith...

Allow me to be a little transparent, if you will. Historically, I put God in a box. There I said it. He had to line up to “Leah Theology”. Now…this wasn’t a new type of theology that I just made up but it was a compilation of things I had been taught through my growing up years. Every new concept, I would line up against that “Leah Theology”. At this point in my life, I had never even considered trying to back up those things that I had been taught against scripture, etc. While most of them were right on the mark, what was missing was a relationship with my Savior that was personal to me! Up to this point, my relationship was what had been molded FOR me through the acts, beliefs, and opinions of others. Additionally, I have a rather analytical mind. Everything just has to make sense. If it doesn’t, I’ll generally analyze until it does or discard it. Well…you know what? That doesn’t work when it comes to Christ. He doesn’t want our intelligence to get in the way of knowing Him personally. Just the other day, I was having lunch with some friends, and this came up in conversation. I shared with them, that I feel like it’s hard for the super intelligent to know Christ intimately unless they allow themselves to remove the intelligence factor out of the equation.

For me, that’s where faith comes in. Christ wants us to accept Him as a child would – not too frustrate things with intellect. Christ spoke to His father on this when he said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.” (Matthew 11:25 NIV)

As I was studying in 1 Corinthians this morning, God showed me more on this, and I personally love the Amplified version in this case. “For it is written, I will baffle and render useless and destroy the learned and the philosophy of the philosophers and the cleverness of the clever and the discernment of the discerning; I will frustrate and nullify (them) and bring (them) to nothing.” (1 Cor. 1:19 Amp)

That’s it! That’s what got me, because that’s where I was years ago. It was only when I would simplify Christ, did I truly began to understand His depth. Thankfully, He did not only come to the brilliant, the intelligent, the smart, the braniacs, the philosophers…He came to all! In order to know Him more, I simply want the faith of a child…the type of faith that will accept who He is, what He’s done, and what He’s yet to do. Period.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Pure as Snow...

Never forget these sweet words from Isaiah...

"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." (Isaiah 1:18 NIV)

Each time I am blessed with a glimpse of beautiful, white snow...I can't help but rejoice over the cleansing that I receive as a result of the shed blood of my sweet Savior.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Scripture memorization...

As promised, I wanted to share with you a little more a bit the new scripture memorization journey I've begun along with thousands of other women. Another blog that I consistently follow is that of Living Proof Ministries, which was founded by Beth Moore. Rather than explaining this particular plan to you in my own words, feel free to check it out for yourself at the following link:

You'll just need to scroll to the bottom and click on "older posts" at which time one of the very next posts you should see is entitled "Anybody Game?". Read through this entire post, and you'll see what I'm talking about. It's a wonderful idea and a great way to stay accountable. And...even though January 1 has passed, it's not too late to begin.

I love reading & studying God's Word and find that literally memorizing scripture is one of the best way's to absorb His beautiful, life-giving Word. My favorite thing to do is memorize the Psalms, but I'm stepping outside of that comfort zone a bit this time and focusing on scriptures outside of the Psalms. Now, I realize some of you might be at a different place in your journey through God's Word. Believe me, I've been at the place where it felt like such a chore to read even a few verses, let alone a whole chapter or book. However, I made the commitment to God that if He would help me get to the place where I longed for His Word and would actually long to get into it, then I would (with His help) commit to reading it daily. It was very hard at first, but now - I run to it. And...if a day goes by that I don't meditate on His Word (which is rare), I feel it for the rest of the day - just a heaviness that won't go away.

So, I challenge you to open up THE Book and spend more time in it this year than you did last year. Through your obedience, watch how God works!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

First Aid Kit...

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry or both. I kid you not…this is a true story:

I’ve begun a new scripture memorization journey this year along with thousands of other women that follow the Living Proof Ministries Blog (Beth Moore). I’ll post more about that later in a separate post in case you’re interested in joining the adventure. Anyway…the first scripture that I’m working on memorizing is 2 Samuel 22:31 (NIV): “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.” As I thought about this verse – the SHIELD part of it stood out to me especially. Shield – my protector, knight in armor, guard, first aid kit, etc. I allowed myself to simply meditate on the verse a little, and in particular – the “shield” word. Meanwhile, I began getting ready for work and started picking things up a little around the house before I left. I must have gotten sidetracked, because I dropped a few things off on the table rather than in their normal locations. The picture posted here shows how I found two of the items that I had intended to put away. In case you can’t tell what you’re looking at…that’s my Bible in its cover underneath what else…a first aid kit! Enough said…

Abba Father, you make me laugh, and yet my eyes well up with tears each time I get to experience your closeness! Thank you for your sweet whispers of assurance!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Shack...

It seems to me that just a few short days ago, I spent time blogging about the issue of TRUST, and more specifically trusting specifically in God and His plans for us. No sooner had I posted the blog did I continue reading in my book, The Shack by William Paul Young, that I read these words of Young’s:

“Trust is the fruit of a relationship in which you know you are loved. Because you do not know that I love you, you cannot trust me.”

Now, while these words were spoken to a fictional character by a fictional character portraying Jesus, I can’t help but smile at how my sweet heavenly Father can even use fiction to make truth even clearer. Beautiful words – well written!

I also mentioned how FEAR & UNBELIEF can be a couple of the factors that keep us from giving God our full measure of trust. Again, Young wrote on this so amazingly well, that I can’t help but share:

Mack: “So why do I have so much fear in my life?”
Jesus: “Because you don’t believe. You don’t know that we love you. The person who lives by their fears will not find freedom in my love. I am not talking about rational rears regarding legitimate dangers, but imagined fears, and especially the projection of those into the future. To the degree that those fears have a place in your life, you neither believe I am good nor know deep in your heart that I love you. You sing about it; you talk about it, but you don’t know it.”

Speaking of The Shack…for those of you that haven’t read it…PLEASE DO!!! I can honestly say that it is one of the best pieces of fiction that I have read in a long time. It remains on the best seller lists, and you can find it pretty much anywhere. If you want to be challenged, be transformed, and be blown away in such a way that you will yearn for more of God, then please…take a trip to…The Shack.