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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Always More of the Lord's Goodness

God is always working in my life when I don't know it, and this time, He did it again, as He always does. And I'm excited to tell you about the next development in my life!

First of all, I must start off thanking and praising the Lord for even being in my life. Isn't it astounding when you can see God's hand throughout each step in your life? I'm always amazed with my God,that He would even choose to work in my life, not understanding why He chooses to do so. I'm humbled, and I'm grateful for His goodness to me, even though I don't deserve it.

My last big step in life was becoming a teacher to homeschoolers,which I am and will continue to be in the fall. In the fall, I'll be teaching four classes, and I'm very excited about that event as well! God has also led me in a different direction that took me by surprise! When I took on a job to teach, I had intended to get a summer job, hoping that in the Fall I could keep a part-time job alongside my teaching job. It was all "hoping" though. I started applying for jobs in February, hoping by the time the semester finished out, I'd have another job waiting for me. As the months past, I became bothered that nothing had turned out! A couple of weeks ago I was rethinking about how I had gone about applying for jobs. I realized I had done it all wrong, once again, as usual. I went about it without praying first. Yes, I've done this many times before as you can probably see from my previous old posts. I know, I need to quit doing that. I should know by now that God's way is best. I'm pretty much like the children of Israel in the wilderness though, always forgetting how good it is to follow God rather than myself. So once again, I was reminded that I needed to pray about this instead of hastily applying for anything. So I prayed for God to send the right job along and to forgive me for hastily applying for any job without asking Him if it was best first. A couple days later, the director where I volunteer at asked me to come in and talk with her. I had no clue what she would be talking to me about. Then I found out she was offering me a job there at the Center for Pregnancy! As she started telling me about the hours, I knew this was the job God had intended for me all along. She told me that I'd probably have a large amount of hours in the summer and short ones in the fall. That was exactly the kind of hours I needed to coincide with the summer break and beginning of the semester in the fall with the students! Not only was that a blessing but also the flexibility of being able to schedule work around my teaching. You see, my schedule is so odd, I probably would not have been able to find a job that fit with my teaching and volunteering schedule. This was indeed a blessing from God! Everything just seemed right, like God had intended for this to occur all along. I found it amazing how God had had me in mind this whole time, knowing that I had hoped for another job to start up in the summer. Thinking about it makes me laugh, when I remember in the beginning when I was applying for jobs, I said to myself "God has always done things at the last minute for me. He'll probably give me a job right when I need it, and only when I need it." And my thinking was spot on, since I finish the teaching semester at the beginning of May. I'll be starting my job, Lord willing, the last week of April. Isn't it wonderful how God works things out? Right now, I'm relishing in all that the Lord's been doing. I love to think about how God had His hand in this situation since the beginning of my volunteer work, six months ago. I love to be reminded how intricately devoted and involved He is in our lives, how He takes the time to be involved. I love to know that He had already answered my prayer before I even asked.

Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear.
(Isa 65:24 ESV)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Your Great Name

Just a song I was thinking about and how it relates to the upcoming Easter Sunday. I love the words to this song, and thought I'd share it. The second video is the same song but the acoustic version, as I know some people don't like the drums- but I still think the first version is the best one. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Reflections upon the Upcoming Easter

As I was starting up a new Bible study on the Proverbs 31 woman, I came across the story called “The Bridge.” It’s a fairly common illustration used to represent the sacrifice God made for us by sending His only Son to die on the cross for our sins. It’s what Easter is about. As I finished reading the story, I was impacted by the author’s very words about how we should live

Obedient to the point of death, Jesus hung there so that we could spend eternity with Him in heaven. Such amazing grace proves His great love for us. Knowing this, do we dare spend our lives, as those people on the train, doing whatever we want? (Folkerts 26)

The reference to “those people on the train” is what you’ll see when you watch the movie (based upon the story mentioned above which is linked at the end of my post).They are the people who go on in life, not realizing or caring about the sacrifice God made by sending His only Son to die on the cross for our sins. Her words penetrated my heart. How can I live my life doing as I please when I owe my life to God?

I was especially reflecting upon this thought the other day. At a certain point in life, you take a look at the big picture, the responsibilities and duties, problems without answers, and suddenly life looms over your head like a nightmare. It’s not the wonderful life you knew before. And then life just gets you down. I think everyone has been there. I know I certainly was there! Suddenly I just wanted to quit on life. I wanted to say “STOP!” and make everything stop so I could do what I wanted. I wanted to say, “I’m tired of fighting the good fight and trying to do right- I want to just relax and not think about it!” I just wanted to be able to “quit” on life. The truth of the matter was and is that you simply cannot quit on life. You just can’t. It continues on. So here I was facing this obstacle of not being able to quit but wanting to, praying that God would take these awful feelings away and give me strength, and then suddenly I was thinking about the aforementioned quote and the story. How dare I even think about quitting when Christ paid the ultimate sacrifice for me? My problems are (believe me, they really are) miniscule in the schemata of things. Others are far worse off than I, and here I want to give up just because life is overwhelming? I owe my life to God, yet suddenly I decide it’s too much, and I’m ready to throw in the towel. Did Christ do that to me? Did He say, “I can’t take it?” No! He endured it, with much pain and suffering, knowing that the outcome would be joyous for Him to be able to save us.

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Heb 12:2 ESV)

If Christ, who went through so much more suffering than I have ever been through, was willing to go all the way to the cross to suffer for us, shouldn’t I be willing to continue on doing what I’m doing, fighting the good fight? God apparently thinks so:
Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
(2Ti 2:3 ESV)

For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.
(1Pe 2:20 ESV)

I owe it to Him. It’s a given that we will go through tough times, but we must take heart, remembering the ultimate sacrifice Christ paid for us, knowing before the beginning of the world what He would have to do, yet never shying away from his duty. As we remember this Easter season, let’s look to Christ for our strength to get through the tough times in life; He is our joy. He is ours and we are His.