Rock of the Ages


I woke up this morning with an old hymn going through my head. You may or may not be familiar with it – Rock of Ages. Just the familiar tune reminded me of when I was little and my siblings and I would crowd on the couch with my mother and we would sing a few hymns and pray and read the Bible together. Those were the simple days, (at least they were for me,) where the biggest concerns were who got the blue dum-dum when we went through the bank drive-through or whose turn it was to have a sleep over at Nana and Pap’s house.

These days my concerns are bigger (in my eyes) than the ones I had as a child. It seems that I have a long to-do list with a short amount of time. And that may be true, but even more-so, His grace is sufficient and the sufficiency of Christ is more than enough for me.

It wouldn’t be hard to overwhelm myself with the details or with commitments and deadlines – but what good is that? What good is it to get so caught up in what I do that I forget why I do it. Is not all for the glory of God? At times that can mean putting my “to-do” to the wayside, and putting my “being” at His feet simply to worship Him and to be with Him. 

Sometimes life can get messy and unpredictable. Situations you find yourself in can get hard and you can get hurt or find yourself confused and lost. You’re pushing yourself to the max but to no avail. It’s those times you need to take a deep breath, put your “to-do” to the side and sit as His feet. God is the only constant in this life – He’s the Rock of the ages. Recognize Him in the midst of what you’re going through.

rockofages2

How are you feeling today? Are you tired, stressed, anxious? Are you busy, distracted, concerned? Are you frightful, lonely or hurt?

“3 You will keep him in perfect peace,

Whose mind is stayed on You,

Because He trusts in You.

4 Trust in the Lord forever,

For in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength.” 

Isaiah 26:3-4 (NKJV)

No matter how you are feeling, remember God is still on the throne. He sees and cares about the situation you’re in. When you recognize where He is, those feelings will melt away and peace will follow.


“2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;

My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;

My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

3 I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;

So shall I be saved from my enemies.”

Psalm 18:2-3 (NKJV)

Related Posts:

She Smiles at the Future

The Color Purple

The Heart of the Psalms

 

Get Lost: Your Guide to Finding True Love – Book Review


Get LostTitle: Get Lost: Your Guide to Finding True Love

Author: Dannah Gresh

Rating: 4/5 stars 

Release Date: April 2, 2013

Website: http://www.purefreedom.org

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Click here to pre-order Get Lost on Amazon.

Click here to watch the Get Lost book trailer.

You see him walking down the hall, (what do you mean who? Don’t ask me who. You know who I’m talking about!) and all the sudden your mind begins to move at a  whirlwind speed! Will this be the day that he finally notices you! How long has it been since you have wanted him to see you? How long have you waited to get his attention? And still, if you do get it, how far will you go to gain his affection? How much do you really need him?

Maybe it has been the same guy for months or years even. Or maybe it is a different guy every week. You can’t seem to help yourself with these feelings. It is a longing in your heart that you can’t describe – the need to be noticed and the need to be recognized and loved. It is as if you cannot be complete without him. And he doesn’t even realize everything he is to you.

You desire and you want…you push yourself further every time.

This is just an example of the violent craving that Dannah addresses in her book, Get Lost, to be released on April 2nd. Not only does she talk about the craving, but she also talks about the cure. Included in this book Dannah walks you through a 10 day “love feast” and finally the fulfillment. This is a book about God and guys and how we can sometimes get them mixed up.

“Discover how to get so lost in God that a guy has to seek Him to find you.” 

Love can be a complex word. We love our family, we love our friends, we love our food? The English language by far is lacking in the area of what love really is. Dannah goes though scripture and talks about the Hebrew and Greek words for love and what they mean. In example, Hesed is the Hebrew form of love to describe the God kind of love for us. In the Greek, this love is called agape. This love is unfailing, and is not rooted in emotionalism or circumstances – it is a love that is about the other and not oneself. This is the love that we really desire, and long for, and that is offered to us, but dear one will you respond? 

Get Lost with God as Dannah leads you through a 10-day love feast that will lead you to countless days in the love and presence of our Lord.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get lost!

Related Posts:

What Are You Waiting For? Review and Interview with Dannah Gresh

Lady-in-Wanting to a Lady-in-Waiting

dannah gresh

About the Author: Dannah Gresh is the best-selling author of more than fifteen books, including, And the Bride Wore White, Lies Young Women Believe (with Nancy Leigh DeMoss), and What Are You Waiting For? A popular speaker nationwide, Dannah has long been at the forefront of the movement to encourage tweens and teens to pursue purity. Dannah lives in State College, PA with her husband, Bob.

(I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group  in exchange for my honest review as a part of their Blogging for Books program.)

“Be the Bigger Person!”


“Therefore, you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:38 (NKJV)

“Be the bigger person.” I’m pretty sure that everyone has heard that phrase at least once in their lifetime. When you’re little (and sometimes even, not-so-little), and someone is teasing you or misbehaving or is bothering you and everything in you wants to get them right back, this is what keeps you from doing so. You decide to be the bigger person and be nice and extend grace (or just don’t retaliate).

In a way, Jesus told us to do the same thing. In Matthew 5:48 He tells us to “be perfect, just as your Father in heaven…” The word “perfect” in the Greek is teleios which can mean “full-grown,” “adult,” and “mature”. So in essence, we aren’t commanded to live a sinless life in all righteousness and holiness. We are however, commanded to “be the bigger person.” In context (verses 43-48), we are to love our enemies, bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who persecute us. We are to love the unlovable. It is easy to love people who love us – anyone does that. But to love those who treat us badly isn’t always easy, but we are called to it and in doing so, we love with the love of Jesus.

When have you had to consciously “be the bigger person” and love with the love of the Lord?

“Let Brotherly Love Continue…”


I have never been less aware of my single status or more aware of how loved I am.

First thing this morning I had such a blessed time with Jesus and in the presence of God. I never thought it would go this way, but lately I have been studying love – perfect time of year isn’t it? But today I was studying on what it means to truly love God. What does that look like? What does it mean?

John 14:21 say this: “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” 

That is what it looks like to love God. Throwing off the religious mind-set that makes the Word of God a book of rules and thus a duty to abide by, we then can see that when we abide in love, we then have a desire to obey the commands of God.

And just what are His commands? Matthew 22:36-40:

“36 ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ 37 Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” 

Summed up: Love God and love people.

No sooner had I finished my Bible study this morning to get ready for school than I find this gift on my doorstep!

Valentines2013-2

 

A rose and chocolate. I was pleasantly surprised. Attached to the rose was a sweet note and this is what it said:

“Brittany, We are giving you these gifts on this special Valentine’s Day to honor you. You are such an amazing, beautiful, and loved woman of God and it’s a privilege to be considered your family. Love, Your VSOM Brothers   Hebrews 13:1 – “Let brotherly love continue.”

Being single on valentines day does not exclude you from being loved or being special. God touched my heart this morning, and then my amazing and thoughtful classmates, my VSOM brothers gave an expression of their love with this sweet surprise. (I call bragging rights, we have the best guys!) This day has been most incredible. Our corporate prayer time at school this morning carried a sweet atmosphere of God’s love and I finished the day off after school with a dear friend at the Prayer Center. It has been a beautiful day filled with love. It’s not about the gifts, but about living out the love of Jesus – which is truly living out the Jesus that is in us. How can you express that love to someone this week?

To My VSOM Brothers: Thank you for your thoughts, your gifts, your prayers, and all the ways that you express your love each day. Thank you for living out the love of Jesus, by which your loving us shows a great deal of how much you love Him. You are amazing and anointed leaders that exhibit godly character and I am so blessed to have you in my life. I am proud to call you family. I love you all and you are dear to my heart! Bless!

Unsurpassable Worth: Radical Love in Action


When I asked God to give me His heart today, I didn’t realize just how much it would break.

I don’t believe I fully comprehended the weight of my request, but He granted it. As I went around town and went through my day, I realized that it was anything but normal. I began to see people like I have never seen people before. My heart ached for them to have the hope that I do.

Today I saw the beauty in the nameless face like never before. Where I used to see faces, I saw a story and how each has a chance of a redemptive end. That starts with love. And in feeling the weight of God’s heart today, I found a love for people deeper than I ever had before. The things that God allowed me to see and feel – I know that He truly gave me His heart – I went home and I wept.

In view of the state of this lost world, my heart broke. With a renewed sense of love burning in me, I was burdened for these people. I saw their hurt and felt their pain – and realize love is the only thing that can heal those wounds. Love unconditional. Love that can only come from God. Love that transcends all. The love that sees their unsurpassable worth and that died for them as He did for me.

O that Christians would truly love with the heart of God. But too often we take the place of judgment instead of love. The lost world, to a great degree forms their view of God based on the character of those who profess to know Him. This world knows God as a God of judgment because we judge, and does not see the God of grace, mercy and unconditional love because we don’t carry it ourselves.

Judgment separates. Love unites. 

A few weeks ago, one of my teachers/pastors at school told our class this: “We are not God-like in the way we want to love. You want to be God-like in the way you judge. This should not be.” (Pastor Marcia)

The essence of sin is we attempt to play God. Every judgement we think, suppose or act upon supposes that we are in a position of superiority.

As Christians we are seldom known for our radical love. We fail to abide in love. I believe that part of this is we have lost sight of the unsurpassable worth that people have. We have become promoters of good over evil instead of lovers of people.

How can you love deeper today?

How can you show the radical love of God today?

The Heart of the Psalms


The book of Psalms exhibits this beautiful form of writing and expresses the deepest feelings and thoughts of its authors. The Psalms are a unique collection of prayers or hymns to or about God written mainly by King David, however there are also some written by the Sons of Korah, Asaph, and some anonymous writers. There is not any one theme to Psalms, but the majority can fall into the categories of prayers and praises. There are 7 different types of psalms, they are: Laments, thanksgiving, hymns of praise, salvation-history, celebration and affirmation, wisdom and songs of trust.

Impressively, a majority of the psalms are laments. The author is so open and honest and true to the heart. The psalmist expressed completely everything they were feeling and it basically is a full vent to God without masking their personal feelings – yet they always come back to the truth of who God is and declare their trust in Him. That is something today’s church should come to recognize. It seems too often that believers hold back their deepest feelings when they cry out to God as if He doesn’t already see their heart and know the innermost parts of them. More-so, the heart-felt declaration of trust in God’s sovereignty over their current situation is amiss.  This was a personal challenge for me as to how much my trust is in God, and if there is a consistent knowing and realization of His hand in every area of my life.

As with the way that the Psalms are written, it is hard to choose just any one as a favorite, let alone a favorite verse. It is so easy to change your favorite psalm based on which you can currently relate your feelings and your heart’s cry to. Those are often the ones that stand out the most and what we gravitate toward. The Psalms can be a comfort and a reassurance as they generally fall back into a declaration of trust in God. Some of my personal favorites are Psalm 13:5-6: “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation 6 I will sing to the Lord for He has been good to me.”(NIV) Seeing this line starts with a conjunction, it shows that up to this point, everything that said before that may be true, however what comes after – the declaration of trust and the acknowledgement of who God is takes the focus of the psalmist.

There is also Psalm 46:10 which says:

Be Still

This is a call to throw away the distractions and to know and be known at the deepest level by God. This psalm shows the intimacy available to us and His power and place, authority and worthiness. The greatest power in the psalms is the recognition of who God is.

Psalm 103 is a favorite of mine and holds a lot of significance for me. It is a Psalm of David written praising God for His mercies and blessing His name. It is praise to God who forgives and heals and redeems and who satisfies. This psalm proclaims not just his mercy, but his graciousness and his worthiness to be praised. The imagery it creates is so beautiful – especially in verses 11-12 where it says:

Forgiven

“As far as the east is from the west…” can raise the question as to just how far the east is from the west – eternally far! How beautiful the picture those verses create.

This psalm continues describing the fragility of man and ends with the establishment of the power of God and blessing Him for all He is, for all He has done and with everything that is in you. Bless the Lord, indeed!

Another favorite, also written by David is Psalm 139. This psalm describes so well God’s deep-knowing of you and how He is ever-present in your life – even before you were conceived. It contains an invitation for God to come and search the heart and asks for guidance. Verses 7-10 show so well just how present God is in our lives:

“7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?

Or where can I flee from Your presence?

8 if I ascend into the heaven, You are there;

If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

9 If I take the wings of the morning,

And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,

And Your right hand shall hold me.”

Those verses also show the value that God places on our lives. Continuing through the psalm we read how He formed us, and before we were born He had our days written – He had a purpose for us. It is awe-inspiring reading and really recognizing how precious we are to God. What a wonder to think about!

The heart of the psalmist is pure, honest, fragrant and poured out into these psalms. Especially those of David, who was called a man after God’s own heart, to read the words that He had written is to see a glimpse of His heart for God and even through that – to catch the slightest hint of the very heart of God. The psalms are very powerful and beautiful. They show a pattern that we should recognize and be in today – a place where we recognize our circumstances, but choose to dwell on who God is and his mercy, goodness, and loving-kindness. 

Where does your heart relate to the psalms today?

A Living Revelation


I can’t get away from the truth impressed on my heart that to NOT daily live out the revelation of who God is that He has gifted to us, is to deny Him and the work that He has done in our lives. 

We must deny ourselves to live Him out:

  • Deny ourselves of the fleshly desires
  • Deny ourselves a victim’s mentality
  • Deny ourselves “stability” and “Security” by the world’s standards
  • Deny ourselves pride
  • Deny ourselves the mentality that something is owed to us

bowl-of-fruit

 

To not do so is foolishness. It is like being served platters of fresh fruit and either ignoring it, or admiring from a distance the beauty of how they are arranged and what they look like – and then proceed to eat junk and trash like you always have. Sure, the fruit is nice to look at, but there is no benefit and no change if you don’t eat it but let it sit and rot. What use is it then?

What I’ve learned: You must partake of the revelation that God has given to you of Himself. It must become a part of you. But in order to do that, you have to make room for it first. You need to give up the junk to make room for the fruit. We have a responsibility to carry out what God has given to us of Himself. Too often we confess with our lips what God has done in our lives, but deny that very part of who He is in us by our deeds. 

 

– If He really redeemed you ~ live as the redeemed daughter that you are.

– If He really healed you ~ live in the health that He supplied.

– If He really restored you ~ live as whole.

– If He really revealed His faithfulness to you ~ live as faithful.

If you really believe in the revelation that God has given you, then live it. To not live it out each day, is to deny Him and the work that He has done and is doing in your life.

To be the hands and feet of Jesus is to live out His character that He has revealed to you. It is so humbling just to think that He reveals himself to us, and yet He is the great creator of all things, He is the great I AM, and He wants to reveal Himself to you. This is so humbling.

Reflect: What has God done in your life? Are you living that out today? How can you live out the revelation of who He is that has been gifted to you?

 

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