Monday, August 31, 2009

I will not give what costs me nothing when I bring my Sacrifice
Cause You have asked for only one thing, that I gladly give my life.

So now I lay down on Your altar, knowing what I lose I'll find.
Please receive me though I falter, for all I have is Yours; it's no longer mine.

With my mouth I will praise, with my strength I will obey--this is my offering.
I will go where You lead; I will trust what I can't see--this is my offering; this is my offering.

May my worship be a fragrance, rising up in sweet refrain
As I come into Your presence, may I be a life worthy of Your name.

With my mouth I will praise, with my strength I will obey--this is my offering.
I will go where You lead; I will trust what I can't see--this is my offering; this is my offering.

--Kelly Minter, Offering

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Christy and Jeremy

God delights in consummation: the consummation of the Gospel story. The consummation of all the prophets foretold. The consummation of time and history. The consummation of husband and wife. God delights to have His creation and His people reach the delight He intended for them, and He grieves over those who do not get to enjoy it, or those who get to enjoy any part of it but fail to see it as a gift from Him. Fix your eyes on what God does: the purpose, the meaning behind everything else, and to which everything else points. "Ultimate reality" is how God sees reality, and ultimate reality is is the only thing that matters in the end.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Offering by Kelly Minter

I will not give what costs me nothing when I bring my Sacrifice
Cause You have asked for only one thing, that I gladly give my life.

So now I lay down on Your altar, knowing what I lose I'll find.
Please receive me though I falter, for all I have is Yours; it's no longer mine.

With my mouth I will praise, with my strength I will obey--this is my offering.
I will go where You lead; I will trust what I can't see--this is my offering; this is my offering.

May my worship be a fragrance, rising up in sweet refrain
As I come into Your presence, may I be a life worthy of Your name.

With my mouth I will praise, with my strength I will obey--this is my offering.
I will go where You lead; I will trust what I can't see--this is my offering; this is my offering.
"This matter of our impact upon others turns upon one thing, and that is the working of the Cross in us with regard to the pleasure of the heart of God. It demands that I seek his pleasure, that I seek to satisfy him only, and I do not mind how much it costs me to do so....

There must be something--a willingness to yield, a breaking and pouring out of everything to him--which gives release to that fragrance of Christ and produces in other lives an awareness of need, drawing them out and on to know the Lord. This is what I feel to be the heart of everything. The Gospel has as its one object the producing in us sinners of a condition that will satisfy the heart of our God. In order that he may have that, we come to him with all we have, all we are--yes, even the most cherished things in our spiritual experience--and we make known to him: 'Lord, I am willing to let go all of this for you: not just for your work, not for your children, not for anything else at all, but altogether and only for yourself!'

Oh, to be wasted! It is a blessed thing to be wasted for the Lord. So many who have been prominent in the Christian world know nothing of this. Many of us have been used to the full--have been used, I would say, too much--but we do not know what it means to be 'wasted on God.' We like to be always 'on the go': the Lord would sometimes prefer to have us in prison. We think in terms of apostolic journeys: God dares to put his greatest ambassadors in chains."

--Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life, 292-293.

Friday, August 28, 2009

He forgives your sins—every one.
He heals your diseases—every one.
He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
He renews your youth—you're always young in his presence.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, he's rich in love.
He doesn't endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn't treat us as our sins deserve,
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
so strong is his love to those who fear him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
He has separated us from our sins.

--from Psalm 103: 1-13, The Message

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nothing held back. No reservations. No separate stash for myself. It all belongs to God. Our only goal is to be pleasing to our Master. We bow our knees to Him with tears of joy that we no longer bow to sin and death. We do not argue with doors He opens and shuts. We are soldiers committed to a task. We are children dedicated to the honor of our Father's name. We are followers of Christ, forever grateful for Him opening our eyes to see, and forever ready to do His bidding, so that others may see what great things He has done for us. Christ alone is the only One worthy to direct our lives, and He is the only One we can truly trust to write the very best story of our lives. God alone calls the shots in our lives, and for that we are eternally and joyfully indebted.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

We have been immersed into Christ. We symbolically die to ourselves, are buried, and are raised to new life. God is testifying, "I own this heart. You are my beloved child. Because I am well pleased with my Beloved Son, the Christ, and you identify with Him, I am well pleased with you. Christ's righteousness covers you, so you are acceptable because you are "in the Beloved."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Lord is our Good Shepherd. We are His flock, which He tends with sacrificial love. He guides us to good pastures. Trust the Good Shepherd. He will take care of us, guaranteed. Even when it hurts, He is protecting us from the wolves and guiding us to safe places of rest and nourishment.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I want to go here

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/08/uk_enl_1247065083/html/1.stm

God loves to celebrate, and so should we. God delights to invite His family to a feast He has prepared. He is the King who serves, the Friend who prepares a table before us, the Father who will throw the most lavish wedding in history, the Master who even washes our feet as we sit down to have Him share His bread with us. In that spirit, let your life be a constant celebration, a continual feast, a neverending expression of joy.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

--Philip. 4:8

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Greyhound meet and greet

I can't wait to get a greyhound!





"Leave the things of time for the things of eternity
Choose the things of heaven o'er the goods of the earth
Obtain the hundred fold in the place of the one
And so possess a blessed and eternal life.

(Chorus):
What a laudable exchange!
What a great and praiseworthy blessing!
What a laudable exchange!

Because of this I have resolved to always progress from good to better;
To be faithful in His service, to always progress from virtue to virtue;
To obtain the hundred fold in the place of the one
And so possess a blessed and eternal life."

--The Sea/ Laudable Exchange by John Michael Talbot

Friday, August 21, 2009

Everything God had made, and everything God does, is good. God's design is always right. He is the sovereign, brilliant Master Designer. God never makes mistakes of any kind, and He constantly takes our mistakes and turns them into glory.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The music is all around us

"The music is all around us. All you have to do is listen."

--from August Rush
It is not good that a man should be alone. He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and is blessed of the Lord. Children are a blessing from the Lord; blessed is the man who has his quiver full of them. Be fruitful and multiply. Delight in the wife of your youth.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The most important struggles of our lives take place in our minds. Sin or holiness, disbelief or faith, fear or trust, mediocrity or commitment, all start in the mind. That's why, in the book of Romans, after 11 glorious chapters about the glory of the salvation God has accomplished for us, the first words out of Paul's mouth are "present your bodies as a reasoned [Grk: logikos, "of the mind"] sacrifice and be transformed by the renewing of your mind." That is why he also says to "take every thought captive to Christ."

It's all about worldview. What you think is what you are. What you think determines your attitudes, your actions, your character, your choices, your legacy, and your eternity. Ideas have eternal consequences. Take your mind captive. Train yourself to think God's thoughts after Him. Have the mind of Christ.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It's all in your mind

The most important struggles of our lives take place in our minds. Sin or holiness, disbelief or faith, fear or trust, mediocrity or commitment, all start in the mind. That's why, in the book of Romans, after 11 glorious chapters about the glory of the salvation God has accomplished for us, the first words out of Paul's mouth are "present your bodies as a reasoned [Grk: logikos, "of the mind"] sacrifice and be transformed by the renewing of your mind." That is why he also says to "take every thought captive to Christ."

It's all about worldview. What you think is what you are. What you think determines your attitudes, your actions, your character, your choices, your legacy, and your eternity. Ideas have eternal consequences. Take your mind captive. Train yourself to think God's thoughts after Him. Have the mind of Christ.

Lord, make my life a song. Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to You, and may they pour out as praise to You. Write the lyrics of my life, and let it be worship to You. Whether the song sounds upbeat, sad, calm, or fearful, let me take that song and offer it up, imperfect though my offering may be. Rewrite the song of my life the way You choose, and I will learn the tune and sing it back to You with a grateful heart.

Monday, August 17, 2009

To End All Wars



I'm repeatedly amazed at the power of a smile. Over and over at work, at the park, at the mall, anywhere I go, I see downcast faces, and all it takes is eye contact and a smile, and the smiles become contagious. If God has redeemed you, let it show on the outside. There is a world of hurting hearts all around us. Start with a smile, and see where God takes it. Let others know there is hope, and there is joy, despite the shadowlands.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

"Some wish to live within the sound of church or chapel bell. I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell."

--C.T. Studd

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lord, give me eyes to see reality as you do. Give me an eternal perspective. Help me to see and embrace grace like never before. Take away any blinders, any scales over my eyes, and give me sight anew, so much that what I thought I saw before will seem like blindness in comparison. Show me the world through Your eyes, and show me my own heart through Your eyes.

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. Help me escape the short-sighted perspectives of our fallen world, and lift me to a mountain high enough to see for miles and miles and miles. Help me to not just see better, but to see differently ... to see through a worldview that is not just educated, but totally transformed. Please grant me eyes to see the fields that are white for harvest. Take my focus off the stormy waves and put them on You, my fully trustworthy, all-powerful Father. Train my vision for beauty and for service.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The power of a smile

I'm repeatedly amazed at the power of a smile. Over and over at work, at the park, at the mall, anywhere I go, I see downcast faces, and all it takes is eye contact and a smile, and the smiles become contagious. If God has redeemed you, let it show on the outside. There is a world of hurting hearts all around us. Start with a smile, and see where God takes it. Let others know there is hope, and there is joy, despite the shadowlands.

God created the universe out of nothing, by merely speaking it into existence, demonstrating His sovereignty and overwhelming power. Everything simply obeys His commands--even down to every sub-atomic particle. God created everything to worship and obey Him. God delights to take chaos and make it beautiful.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ghosts of You by Chantal Kreviazuk

The wilderness may, indeed, be the best place for God to find us. Empty of all pride, success, and confidence in our own strength, we turn to God, admitting that we cannot enter the Promised Land without Him, and that in truth, He is the Promised Land.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How God deals with our sins

He forgives your sins—every one.
He heals your diseases—every one.
He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
He renews your youth—you're always young in his presence.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, he's rich in love.
He doesn't endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn't treat us as our sins deserve,
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
so strong is his love to those who fear him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
he has separated us from our sins.

--from Psalm 103: 1-13, The Message
Embrace the beauty. Pursue it, revel in it, and dive into it with all your heart. God has woven beauty and majesty everywhere. Even in the darkest hours, there is abundant reason to stand in awe of God, in amazement at what He has created, and in gratitude for what He has done and what He is still doing. Drink deeply from the fountain of delights. Open your eyes; it is perfect sunrises and sunsets every day; there is sunshine everywhere. God delights to give His children good, beautiful gifts. God cannot but bless His Son's beloved Bride.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Everything by Tim Hughes

It is the Lord who turns our mourning into dancing, who restores the years the locusts have eaten. All glory to God alone, who delights to bless His children. Everything good and perfect gift comes from Him.

Monday, August 10, 2009

More Gentian Hill quotes

"Love is the divinity who creates peace among men, and calm upon the sea, the windless silence of storms, repose and sleep in sadness. Love sings to all things which live and are, soothing the troubled minds of gods and men."
--Pg. 175.

"Words! They were so small, so light, they waited so humbly about a man, ready for his use, yet they could deliver him from mortal weariness more swiftly than any other form of music. Music! The wings of Perseus that for mortality had no existence apart from the body yet were not of it. Wings upon aching feet. Prayer upon the lips. Heaven and earth. Eternal life in the bread and wine. Words had already lifted him into the silence, and he worshipped them for he did not know how long."
--Pg. 187.

"Fear is a lonely thing. Even those who love us best cannot get close to us when we are afraid."
--Pg. 190.

"What was it about this particular men that, apart from his courage and ability as a naval commander, had so capture the imagination of his generation? A compassionate man in a brutal age,a man of simplicity and singleness of purpose in an age of bewildering complications? But there was more to it even than that; the Abbé thought. He was perhaps a man in love with glory; one of those who could strike it out of the stuff of life--like flame from stone--and kindle the glow of it for others as well as for himself."
--Pg. 203.
Hurt people hurt people. Love them anyway. See beyond the exterior to the great need inside. Believe that kindness will win in the end.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Seize The Day by Carolyn Arends

Lord, teach us to number our days, and give us a heart of wisdom, to use the time you've given us for what really matters--for Your kingdom, and for eternity.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

More Gentian Hill quotes

"Why should a stranger look at him like that, as though he mattered? He did not know, but the mere fact that in this harsh world a stranger could feel for a stranger an almost divine compassion was an earnest to him that the world might not be quite as harsh after all as he had thought it was."
--Pg. 122

"But no, he did not believe in capricious fortune, but in a carefully woven pattern where every tightly stretched warp thread of pain laid the foundation for a woof thread of joy."
--Pg. 132.

"The element of eternity in these things stood as a witness to something .... And both of them with their gift, perhaps quite natural in two whose vocation it seemed to be to shadow forth the timelessness of love, of apprehending and making contact with that which exists behind the appearance of things. And both of them, too, with the artist's love of beauty and the scholar's love of learning that are a part of that gift."
--Pg. 142.

Here I Am by Downhere

Fear not

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are Mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze."

--Is. 43:2

Be Unto Your Name by Robin Mark

To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

Night of Prayer

Thanks for old friends and new friends at Lilburn Alliance Church on Friday evening for a Night of Prayer. How many churches do you know that come together for 7 hours of prayer? Awesome!!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

I Will Lift My Eyes by Bebo Norman

Embrace the paradoxes. There is beauty beyond comprehension in the mysteries, in not knowing all the answers, yet belonging to the One who does, and in being a child with endless questions but belonging to the faithful Father. Question for a short time, but do not let the questions hold you back from wonder, amazement, and worship. Fall on your knees and stare, and laugh. Stand confidently, and walk without fear, and dance for Him, whether He answers all your questions or not.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The wilderness

The wilderness may, indeed, be the best place for God to find us. Empty of all pride, success, and confidence in our own strength, we turn to God, admitting that we cannot enter the Promised Land without Him, and that in truth, He is the Promised Land.

Don't let anyone draw you away from the simplicity of love for Jesus and devotion to Him.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It Is You (I Have Loved) by Dana Glover

The Lord will be faithful to complete what He started in us. God is the Master Artist, and we are unfinished portraits. God will make us glorious in the end. Jesus, paint my life!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The beauty

Embrace the beauty. Pursue it, revel in it, and dive into it with all your heart. God has woven beauty and majesty everywhere. Even in the darkest hours, there is abundant reason to stand in awe of God, in amazement at what He has created, and in gratitude for what He has done and what He is still doing. Drink deeply from the fountain of delights. Open your eyes; it is perfect sunrises and sunsets every day; there is sunshine everywhere. God delights to give His children good, beautiful gifts. God cannot but bless His Son's beloved Bride.

God does not operate by the philosophy of "I'll love you when you're perfect." He loves us based on Christ's righteousness, which makes us perfect, even while we're still very much sinners. God's love and grace in granting us salvation, and His daily love and grace for every day, is unconditional and unilateral--not based on what we do or do not do. We do not have to be perfect to be loved by God, nor should others have to be perfect for us to love them. If God's love is in us, we will love others despite their flaws, and gladly forgive them because we know how greatly we have been forgiven.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I love my sister and Jeremy!

"Jesus offers what the human soul longs for most deeply: to be fully known and fully accepted, loved, and forgiven at the same time."

--Dr. McKay Caston

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. Show me anything in me that I need to learn. Make me moldable into the man you want me to be. Make me sensitive to your Spirit's leading. Reveal anything in my heart that does not glorify You or bless others.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A new song

Over the last six months, it seems like I've been constantly singing. Whether I'm in the car, in the shower, at the park, and even at work (as a low-level hum), the Lord has put an overwhelming desire to sing in my heart to Him and because of Him. It's such a delight to see His joy coming out spontaneously, almost all the time. And it is such a privilege to be able to sing together with other believers at church and in their homes.

We are here to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, and that joy, that delight, can't help but come out of our mouths. The overflow of our gratitude for our salvation is testimony that we are redeemed, and that we dance and sing, literally or figuratively, at all times, before the Lord. Praise God for lifting our hearts off of the world, ourselves, sin, and sorrow, onto the bigger picture, onto the Cross, onto glory, and onto His love and grace.

God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him.