Wednesday, March 28, 2012


1 Peter 3:3-4 and NLD

A gentle and quiet spirit is not the same as a gentle and quiet personality. There are some women in whom I see this spirit very clearly, whether or not there is a stereotypical personality to match - a spirit such as this is hard to miss and quite impossible to merely imitate - and it's really really so beautiful. I remember telling Vaneh once early in our BCEC days how I thought one of the women there was downright the most beautiful woman I'd ever met; I had absolutely no solid reason to point to in order to back this, yet this feeling that I'd just encountered true beauty was totally unshakable. I think, still, this was because of the godly character that just overflowed and completely poured from her.. Of course, there is nobody out there who is perfect. But her beauty was and is so evident.

Some time ago I think we had a sermon about rivers and undertows - the surface of a river may seem serene, but its undercurrent may be crazily harsh and turbulent. And, the surface of the river may seem tossed and churned by the winds and waves, yet its undertow may be steady and controlled. Essentially, outward appearance and circumstance do not determine one's spirit; but one's spirit will reveal itself a midst the circumstances.. At Highrock the other night we talked about this as well through NLD's message. Is the river of my life calm right now? Unfortunately I would have to say that it's probably not.. I think I feel more often the turbulence of storms that I often dream about rather than the quietness that should come from an utter dependence on God. Seasons will come and go... Let this not weigh you down, oh heart.. Sit at the Lord's feet and lay your burdens down, remember who is your sustenance, strength, and source of life and renewal.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

From Him, Through Him, To Him

God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform; He plants his footsteps in the sea, And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines Of never failing skill, He treasures up his bright designs, And works his sovereign will. 
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take, The clouds ye so much dread Are big with mercy, and shall break In blessings on your head. 
Judge not the LORD by feeble sense, But trust him for his grace; For behind a frowning providence, He hides a smiling face. 
His purposes will ripen fast,[You may say, “Not fast enough for me!” It’s fast in God’s timetable.]Unfolding ev'ry hour; The bud may have a bitter taste, But sweet will be the flow'r. 
Blind unbelief is sure to err, And scan his work in vain; GOD is his own interpreter, And he will make it plain. 
- William Cowper

And some highlights from Nancy: 

Every day, every moment of the day, living with that supreme purpose at heart. It means having a God-centered perspective, turning our eyes upon Jesus, in whose light the things of this earth grow strangely dim. Am I right?
When you see the magnitude of His greatness, that gives us a context for our puny, little problems and challenges. 
Married to Christ, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, and a lot of people are going to be finding out in the days ahead, “Did we really love Christ for who He is, or were we paid lovers, loving Him for what He can give us?”
I love that quote of Martin Luther, who said, “God can draw a straight line with a crooked stick.” So when we cannot understand what He is doing or why He is doing it, it’s not our place to resist, to resent, to challenge, to dispute, but to humbly bow before His sovereignty, and His goodness, and His mercy, and His greatness, and the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God, and to align ourselves with His purposes and embrace His will.
The true woman who trusts God doesn’t have to strive. She doesn’t have to be afraid. She can relinquish control. She doesn’t have to manipulate and control the whole wide world, as if we could.
She doesn’t resent, or resist, or run from the cross. She embraces the cross with faith.

The need for micro-control, the need for certainty before every step, the need for confirmation and affirmation from others always, the need for A-B-C-D-E on top of what Christ has already given and what He has already promised... is that not just me saying to God, "It's not enough!! Give me more!!"?
"The leech has two daughters. 'Give, give!' they cry."
-- Proverbs 30:15
Ugh. Gross. I don't think I've ever understood what that meant. But perhaps this is it. What does God owe to me, other than his righteous and just judgment and wrath? Yet by His grace we are given life, mercy, love..

Rest content, soul, be still in His mercies and rest in His care...