Curve balls

26 Jan

I’ve talked about living like we have an inheritance and how that is to be my theme for this year.  Looking ahead to what He has already promised while living in His grace moment by moment…

But sometimes life throws you a curve ball.

And you know, curve balls are just hard to catch.  You can’t always predict where they are going to end up and when you miss, it seems that everyone else has scored but you.

Can I say that I don’t really care for them, the curve balls of life? I know in my head that they make us stronger and a better player, but in my heart I really want to be in control of the game or be the someone who knocks it out of the park.

That’s where I’ve been this past year and if I’m completely honest it’s where I still find myself part of the time.

But today I read:

“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:11-12 (ESV)

I was so encouraged.  I can’t even begin to tell you.  The fact that He planned our inheritance in advance and that He is working all things according to His will…

It makes my heart sing.

Be encouraged, friends.

He’s there.

He holds everything with His promise.

And you know what?

Those curve balls don’t look quite as scary as before because I am not the one who has to catch them or hit the home-run.

Thank you, Jesus.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 (ESV)

Carrying His Message

18 Jan

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” 2Corinthians 5:17-19 ((ESV)

He has given us instruction through His word:

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.  We implore you on the behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5: 20 (ESV)

So what does that look like, being an ambassador?

Is it using the street corner as a pulpit declaring the day of the Lord is near?  Maybe.

Or maybe it’s seeing a neighbor struggling to carry a burden and you sharing about the One who wants to carry those for us.

It could look like forgiveness given to a spouse, or a child, who needs to see grace in action.

 

God is making His appeal through us.

“For our sake he made him to be sin, who knew no sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

It’s a little overwhelming. To think that He, the Maker of the Heavens, wants to use us to spread His message when so often we stumble around acting as though we don’t even know what His message says.

 

But then, who better to share with those who are drowning in sin than one who used to be…

Teach us, Lord, how to be ambassadors for you.  You alone can save and make new.  Show us what it looks like to carry your ministry of reconciliation to a broken world.

All glory and honor belong to You.

 

 

 

 


 

Whiter than Snow

13 Jan

Jesus paid it all

All to Him I owe

Sin had left a crimson stain

He washed it white as snow

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 like crimson, they shall become like wool.     Isaiah 1:18


Inheritance

12 Jan

John Piper told a story from John Newton at the Passion 2011 Conference.  You can listen to the sermon here.

Newton says, ‘Suppose a man was going to New York to take possession of a large estate and his carriage should breakdown one mile before he got to the city, which obligated him to walk the rest of the way to the inheritance. What a fool we should think him if we saw him wringing his hands and blubbering out all the remaining mile, ‘my carriage is broken! my carriage is broken!’.

I had to stop and think; what does my life look like as  follower of Christ?

Am I focused on the broken carriage, or is my hope in the inheritance waiting for me?

Some days I carry the weight like a yoke around my neck.  So much in this world is beyond our control.

There will always be bills to pay,

cars that break down,

families in crisis,

loved ones who are sick and hurting…

It’s broken isn’t it? This life.

So how are we to respond?

Do we walk, wringing our hands with worry, and grumbling as we go the mile, so focused on our circumstance that we miss the point of this life?

This year I’m praying that God will teach me to look past my circumstance and see His inheritance…

And praise Him:

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”  Ps. 19:14

…No matter where He takes me.

What about you? What is your prayer for this new year?

In the Kitchen with Grace

7 Jan

For the past year Grace has been my helper in the kitchen.  (And by “helper”, I mean actually giving me a hand as opposed to making messes and calling it help.)  This year along with her school curriculum she asked to have a cooking class as her elective.   I still don’t let her use a knife by herself or take things out of the oven but the rest is up to her.  Our first recipe is from her book:  Kids Cooking – A Very Slightly Messy Manual

My mother-in-law passed this book on to us at the beginning of the year and we are enjoying reading through and cooking together.

Our first recipe was Buried Treasure Muffins.

Since Chris and I are really working on our health and trying to watch what we eat, Gracie and I adapted the recipe (just a little) from the one in the book.

Even with the adaptations the muffins turned out great.  The “buried treasure” part comes in by adding fruit or jam as a filling.  Grace decided on banana, pear, and cinnamon as her treasures.  She believes cinnamon makes everything taste better.

Buried Treasure Muffins

1 Cup whole wheat flour

1/2 Cup quick oats (or wheat germ)

1/4 Cup agave (or sugar)

1/4 Cup cooking oil

3/4 Cup vanilla almond milk (or whatever you have)

1 egg

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Fresh fruit, jam, coconut…(your  “treasure”)

Preheat oven to 400F and line your muffin tin.  Stir together flour and oats, baking powder and salt.  If you were to use sugar add it here.  Since agave is in liquid form we added it later. In a separate bowl, break the egg and mix with milk and oil (and agave).  Then get your filling ready.  Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir.  The batter will be lumpy.  At this point add your fruit.  We added one mashed banana and one chopped pear along with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Put in muffin tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Yum!

 

Hope

31 Dec

I’m blogging today at Hope for Women.  I would love for you to stop by and leave a comment!

Thanks, friend!

Happy New Year to you and yours!

 

 

A Book List

29 Dec

What I’m reading at the start of the New Year:

  • Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts by Gerald Bridges

“Yet it is just as important to trust God as it is to obey Him.  When we disobey God we defy His authority and despise His holiness.  But when we fail to trust God we doubt His sovereignty and question His goodness.”

  • A Quest for More: Living for Something Bigger Than You by Paul David Tripp

“In a flash of irritation, a mom will treat the condition of her son’s bedroom as being more valuable than the community she is to have with her son, which is so essential to what God wants to do for this boy through her.”

  • In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life by Sinclair Ferguson

“When we see salvation as a whole, its every single part is found in Christ, and so we must beware lest we derive the smallest drop from somewhere else.”  John Calvin

  • How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture by Francis A. Schaeffer

“A culture or individual with a weak base can stand only when the pressure on it is not too great.”  …  “Rome did not fall because of external forces such as the invasion by the barbarians.  Rome had no sufficient inward base; the barbarians only completed the breakdown-and Rome gradually became a ruin.”

So, what about you?  What’s on your reading list for the new year?