Follow by email and never miss a post!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Sunday Snippets: Where Did We Come From? (Guest Post!)

Hello, everyone!
Today I am happy to introduce a friend of mine, Sarah. I met her through a missions trip her church did to help us out in our ministry, and it has been a blessing getting to know her. Sarah blogs over at Dreaming In Alaska, and posts much more regularly than I do. ;) You should go check it out! I hope you enjoy her guest post!

"For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;" ~Titus 3:3-6

Sometimes we need a reminder of where we came from. Our relationship with God didn't begin when we were born, but rather when we were born again; when we finally admitted we were sin filled creatures and there was only one way that situation could be alleviated.

Everyone begins a sinner separated from God. There is only one person who was born into the world that did not start this way, and that is our Saviour, the only person who remained sinless His whole time on this Earth. Now this doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to live a pure life, but rather that we should be pushed to show others that there is another way to live.

We are not sent to judge those who are living in sin, but to point them to the cross, to show them that a life of sin is not the only way, or even the best way. We were sinners once too. We reveled in it and loved our sin, which is why we could not live a life with God. He cannot tolerate sin or even be in it's presence. But that is why He sent Jesus to die on the cross. The only living being that could completely cover our sins and make them disappear. Our sins are as far as the East is from the West.

There is only one way in which we can show others the Cross, and that is by showing them what Christ has done for us. We cannot force someone else to see their sin the way we do, but we can be examples in the way we live and ask questions that will make others think about what they believe; show them information and let them make decisions for themselves.

Are we living a life of judgement where we look like we hate everyone, or are we showing the love of Jesus Christ? We are called to love the people, not their sin, and we can only do that by letting God work through us. Who is in control? It is only by the grace of God that we are saved from an eternity separated from Him; are we letting that grace work in our lives and letting it shine towards others? Let us not forget where God saved us from!

"And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." ~1 Cor. 6:11

You all have a great week, ok? I am getting my wisdom teeth out this week, so it should be interesting/eventful, at least. ;P I would appreciate prayers for that if you think of it. :) 

Be strong in The Lord!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy, Happy Thanksgiving!

Psalm 66:8-9 O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard: Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.

As I was looking through Psalms this morning to find a good verse to text to all my dear friends as I wished them a happy day, this one stuck out to me. This won't be a long or pithy post; just a wish for all of you to have a wonderful day of gratitude to our Saviour (who holds our soul in this life, and our breath in His hands!), fellowship with family and friends, and wonderful food. ;) Just a quick list of some of the thousands of things I have to be grateful for...
  • My Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Without Him, I am nothing.
  • God's holy Word. The guidebook for all of life.
  • My precious family. Papa, Mama, Micah, Malachi, Mercy, Kourage, Kayson, Kebron, and Miriam; every one of them a gift. :) <3
  • My sweet friends, each of whom has such special talents and strengths...who support me, laugh with me, talk with me, and pray with and for me.
  • The health of my body. May I never, never take this for granted.
  • My home. My quirky, "brand-used, slightly new" home, as Oma calls it. ;)
  • Music. I can't even imagine life without it.
  • Coffee. Um...enough said. ;)
  • The hundreds of little things that just make me happy and bring a smile to my face. Cute couples. Baby animals. Christmas lights. Antique furniture. Fuzzy sweaters. Fuzzy blankets. Fuzzy socks. Fuzz in general. Long fancy dresses. Newborn babies' tiny-ness. Little kids' drawings. Peppermints. Old books. Whipped cream. Truffles. Sunsets. Adventures. Late night talks. Rainy mornings. Sleeping in. Snail mail. Old couples still very much in love. Roses. Dainty jewelry. Getting a package unexpectedly. Cheesecake. Soft, crinkly bundles on Christmas. Summer evenings.
I'm going to stop here, not because I have run out of things to say, but because there is not enough time or room to say them all. I pray that each and every one of you would take a few minutes today to think about what God has done in your life, and what He is doing. His plans are so perfect if we just follow them! :) Lastly, I want to say that I am so very thankful for each of you that takes the time to visit my blog. I know I am random and probably weird at times, (or a lot of the time, haha! ;), but you have stuck with me, and I am grateful to each of you for that. God bless you all! Love,

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sunday Snippets: The Perfect Fulfillment

Isaiah 11:1-4 "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked."

I love this passage for so many reasons. It is a prophecy, written hundreds of years before the birth of the Saviour, and yet so precise and accurate in every way. I just want to lay out a few pieces of this Scripture, and compare them to how Jesus Christ was when He was on the earth.

1. "The spirit of the LORD shall rest up him..."

In Matthew 3:16-17, after Jesus was baptized by John, it says that the Spirit of God descended on him. There is a fulfilled prophecy right there. 

2. "...the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD."

All of these things fit the description of Christ perfectly! Every single person Jesus talked to, He knew exactly how He should deal with that person specifically. With the angry, spiteful Pharisees, He answered them with incredible wisdom; so much so that they usually ended up just having to shut up in shame. They didn't have answers to His knowledge of God. When He talked with the woman who struggled with the issue of blood for thirteen years, how did He treat her? He was so gentle, so loving in the way He interacted with her! 

3. "...and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth:..."

Think about the story of the woman taken in adultery. Did Jesus excuse her sin? Absolutely not. However, He didn't judge after the hearing of His ears and simply blast into her: He used that opportunity to teach an incredibly valuable lesson to the woman's accusers--that they were just as bad, just as lost if they had not been cleansed from sin. He used every circumstance in His life to further the kingdom of God.

You know what my favorite part of all is in Isaiah chapter 11 though? I didn't list it with the above passage because I wanted to put special emphasis on it. :) It's found in verse 10.

"And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious."
(emphasis mine)

Whenever I see a verse that has promises concerning the Gentiles, I always perk up, because (if you didn't know), I happen to be one! ;) This verse is precious to me, because that root of Jesse, that Saviour promised to the world as an ensign, was promised to the WHOLE world! Me included! Jews and Gentiles, black and white, old and young, every person created in the image of God is welcome to seek after Him! And the best part of all? His rest is glorious. In Matthew 28, Jesus says, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Yet another prophecy fulfilled, at least in part, because when Christ returns to earth again, the rest He brings will be even more glorious. Praise The Lord for His mercy to us! As we go into Thanksgiving week, let's not get so caught up in the scurry and flurry of Thanksgiving and Black Friday craziness that we forget the One who we should be thanking with all our hearts for the rest that He gives to His sheep. Let's keep our hearts focused in an attitude of praise! :) Have a blessed week with friends and family!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Fun Post: (Late!) October Favorites :)

Hey everyone! 
I hope you are having a fabulous week so far! :) This October favorites post is very long overdue, but I figured better late than never. (Or better late than combined with November's favorites post. ;P) I've been:

Filling my calendar with...
A LOT of things. At least it feels like it. ;) At the very end of September I went to a ladies' retreat about 6 hours from here with some ladies from my church. That was really fun and special, though too short. ;) Then in early October, we had a group from Alaska come to help out with door knocking and distribution. That was just such a blessing in so many ways. Getting to know people that I had either never met, or met only once, having the girls stay in my room/basement apartment crash pad was awesome, and all around it was great!! I loved every minute.

Travelling to...
Wyoming and my home church in Oak Harbor, after the previously mentioned events. My dad, Mercy and I headed out for Wyoming the day after the brethren from Alaska left. It was such a good trip. Every day of the trip was fun and special in a completely different way, which was really memorable. I had an amazing time there. Then right after we returned home, we went over to Oak Harbor for the annual missions conference! What was really cool during this conference, aside from the preaching, was that I got to spend some time with almost all of my good friends over there, just hanging out, cooking together, catching up, etc. That is so rare that I have the time or opportunity to do that!!! I am really thankful for all of my sweet, encouraging friends.

Looking forward to...
The holidays! Don't judge, I play Christmas music all year round, but right around October 1 or so is when I crank it up again. ;P Haha! There are just so many amazing artists and songs based on the miraculous birth of Christ, how can I limit it to one single month out of the year?! Also, Thanksgiving is such an incredibly overlooked holiday in my opinion. You have Helloween (intentional mis-spelling there) decor coming out in early August, and then emails about Black Friday deals coming in around St. Patrick's day of the PREVIOUS YEAR... ok maybe it's not quite that bad, but almost. In the mix, Thanksgiving gets completely glossed over, which I think is so sad. :'( Anyway, we are travelling to see family during Thanksgiving, which is going to be so much fun. :)

God's incredible creation in the fall colors. Here in central Washington, we have such a variety of trees that we get an unbelievable display of the entire color spectrum, almost!! I love looking out the front window, and seeing the crisp, brilliant colors, shapes, and sizes, and my mountain looming over everything, sometimes with clouds sitting on top of it...God is amazing!

Listening to...
This arrangement of Mary, Did You Know. Seriously, I'm going to give you the link again, you need to click to a new tab, or open the YouTube app, and watch the video. I just gave you the link three different times, now you have no excuse. Go watch it. Several times. Or just an innumerable amount of times, like I have. Heh heh. ;) And try not to launch into orbit from the awesomeness of it before you come back and read the rest of this super deep post. :P

Wishing for...
Tickets to some kind of Christmas concert. :) This time of year makes me miss my orchestra so bad. Last year I played in the Christmas concert, with about 350 or so people in attendance. That doesn't sound like a whole lot, but that was the first time I had ever performed on a bigger stage than at church. I will never forget that experience. Anyway, being at a live concert is so different than listening to a recording of something. 

Working on...
Writing out sheet music to a few of my original songs. A huge thank you to Abby, for sitting me down, (almost by force;) and walking me through the ins and outs of MuseScore, then texting to motivate me to get myself in gear and do it!! I honestly might never have taken the trouble (and it definitely takes time and work to write music), without her encouraging me to do it. I've got two songs completed so far. If you are interested in them, you can email me for the music. 

The Settlers of Catan board game with the family. This is one of those games that does take time and practice to learn, and will seem complicated at the beginning, but once you learn it, you'll never forget the rules really, and it is SO much fun!! I love games in general, but this is one of my favorites. 

Well, what are your Thanksgiving plans this year? I pray that all of you have a blessed holiday season. :) 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Sunday Snippets: Through The Word in 30 Days?!

Ezra 7:10 "For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments."

Psalm 119:16 "I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word."

Joshua 1:8 "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."

So this month I have been reading through The Bible in 30 days. Today is Day 12, and I am actually ahead of schedule by a few chapters. It has definitely been a challenge and a blessing! I've never read it in shorter than a year before, so it feels kind of crazy. ;) Today I'd like to voice my thoughts on what I've learned from reading God's Word in so short a space of time. 

1. You get a really nice "big picture" or overview.
I was kind of expecting that reading through so quickly would make my comprehension go down quite a bit. Maybe it has in some ways, but at the same time, when you read about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the formation of the nation of Israel ALL in one day, it's really cool to then read about their journeys as a people the next day, and have all the recent history fresh in your mind, so to speak. It's been great to get a vision of the whole thread of God's narrative throughout the Bible, and all the symbolism pointing to Christ, from the very beginning. 

2. It takes dedication.
When I started this, I really did not want to begin it and then fizzle out three or four days in. I wanted to see it through all the way. Praise God I have been able to do so thus far, (and Lord willing I'll be able to finish it), but it has definitely taken a lot of time and dedication. If you want to do something like this, you have to be determined: it doesn't happen by accident. This being said...

3. It is so, so good to spend more time in God's Word.
It takes me around 2 hours a day, cumulatively, to finish the section. As a result, I have not had as much time to spend browsing Pinterest, reading other books, or wasting time in various other ways. And it has been really, really good for me! The self discipline of choosing what is more important, God's Word or my "fun time", has helped me to refocus my priorities instead of doing my own thing. 

4. God manifests Himself so clearly in EVERY book of The Bible. 
So many times we tend to skip over the long genealogies in Chronicles, or the preparations for the tabernacle, etc., but honestly...every word of God is pure! Throughout His Word, God manifests His glory and love for His people. The fact that God wanted them to live for Him and only Him, turning completely away from other gods and people groups that hated the true God; in everything He displays the great compassion and love He has for those who choose to serve Him faithfully. 

I would highly recommend that you at least pray about going through The Bible in a shorter period of time soon. Even if it's 40 days, or two months, or's really been eye opening to me, and I think you would be blessed by it as well! :) If you do decide to do it, let me know and we can keep each other accountable! I think accountability truly can help so much with things like this. And whether you decide to read the whole Bible through right away or not, do try to spend more time in The Word...time spent with God is never wasted! God bless you all this week!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Sunday Snippets: Thankful on the Wonderful Days

Deuteronomy 8:11-14 "Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage..."

We've got a bit of a longer passage today, but I encourage you to read it carefully. Let's break it down and analyze it a little bit. In these verses, God is giving us a solemn warning, signified by the term "beware". When anyone says beware, it's usually best to listen, but when the God of the universe says it, you absolutely better hold everything and pay attention. 

So what is God warning us of? In verse 14, it tells us: the warning is against us becoming lifted up in pride and forgetting The Lord who has done so much for us. Wow. In the verses following, it lists some of the things that God has done for the children of Israel. Since we are applying it to ourselves today, let's list some of the things He has done for us. 

Are you on your way to heaven? Has God given you a family and friends? Do you have a roof over your head, clothing on your back, and food to eat? Do you have a means of income, however small? Do you have a church? My guess is that most of us are blessed with all of this and a whole lot more. The God who gave us all these incredible benefits, and holds our very existence in His hands...surely we couldn't forget Him, right?! Obviously God would not be warning us against this grave sin unless it were possible for it to happen!

Now that we have established this, when are we in the most danger of falling into this trap? When bad things happen, maybe? Or when our pockets are empty and we don't know how we are going to pay the rent or buy dinner? 


No, this awful error of pridefully turning our backs on God will become a temptation in a completely different time. A time when everything is going our way! When we have lots of money in our checking account, delicious food overflowing the pantry and fridge, and extra time to spend vacationing, hanging out with friends, and relaxing. In short, when all is right with our world, so to speak. 

In those great days, when the sun is sparkling down on us, is when God says to beware; to watch and be so cautious. Because it's at that time that we can become complacently lifted up in our own pride...we can begin to think that it's of our own goodness or strength that we were able to get these things! And from there, it is a slippery slope downhill. Eventually, we could be led completely away from following God, who is the One who poured these blessings on us in the first place! Oh what a black day it would be for a Christian to turn their back on God as they revel in His gifts! 

So how can we fight against this happening to us? In the verse before this particular passage, it tells us: "When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee." We combat the sin of unthankfulness and pride by blessing God's name! Every single day of our lives, whether we wake up to sunshine or rain, we need to be praising God for the blessings He has given us. I don't care how bad you think you have it, I can promise you that if you're God's child, He has not abandoned you, and if you look for it, you will see that you have so much more to be thankful for than you think! Be so, so careful to never stop worshipping at The Saviour's feet, whether your wallet is full or empty. Spend time in His Word, listening to what He has to say. Serve Him with your whole heart. And if He has you rich or poor physically at this time in your life, you can always become more rich in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

Thanksgiving is coming up, what are you most thankful for? I hope you all have a wonderful week!