Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Beloved

It has been years of waiting, years of prayer, years of often tearfully thinking that the desires of my heart were too much... after so long of pressing into the Lord, seeking my dear Father in heaven, and being drawn closer unto Him, that He has granted the deepest desire of my heart: an earthly love, a husband to be. (:

I never could have known or imagined the silent workings of the Sovereign Almighty, or how things were unfolding. I had no idea how He would intertwine our lives and paths! But it is better than I could have known to hope for. The deep and unflinching love I have for Samuel, the steadfast love I have come to know in him, and the love he has for the Lord is the love I have known I would need. God is so kind and gracious to His children!

I could write open ended about how much I care about my dearly loved man, but I will share a few details about his proposal. (:

It was Thanksgiving of 2011 on an increasingly cool November day in Texas at his parents house. It was a day full of life, laughter, joy and surrounded with brothers and sisters in the Lord and together we gave thanks unto the Lord through out the day. It was full of delicious food, singing songs of praise to our beloved heavenly Father, a mountainous fire to stand and warm ourselves around in the back yard, continually giving thanks to the Lord, more sweets than you could ever hope to eat, games, fellowship with wonderful friends (and family to be!), and best of all... spending it with Samuel.

Samuel and I were purposefully not "coupling off" so that we would enjoy all the fellowship and friends we were surrounded with; this was an attempt to be less selfish and wanting to spend our time with each other... to ever deepen the friendship and forge forward with courtship.

Everyone was playing Taboo (a word game) and he asked if I wanted to go to a different room and talk with him... and at first I said no we're playing the game so we ought to spend time with everyone on Thanksgiving. But he did not relent! A few minutes later he pressed again this time noting even his father had stepped out of the room and we could slip out as well. I contemplated for a moment and soon realized... every moment with Samuel is so enjoyable that as much as I wanted to be in the midst of the laughter and sweet fellowship before me... I wanted to talk to him. (: So we ventured off into the kitchen and spoke with a couple of the men for a few minutes. Samuel's sister stepped in and started teasing us about leaving the game together. (:

He asked if I wanted to go out on the deck to spend some time alone... and I asked if we could just sit at the table since it was better lighting (I like to look at my handsome husband to be when were talking!:) So off we ventured to some quiet time to spend together. Samuel began to talk very seriously and I soaked in every word. The comments and discussion were increasingly about life together amid a myriad of other things concerning marriage... and us. He told me that he wanted to spend the rest of his days with ME. Me! Samuel Rutherford Allison began to say so many sweet, tender, loving, caring, and personal things that he had held back during our courtship... slowly his words poured from his lips and began to invade my being.

In the back of my mind I wasn't sure if he would propose... but I thought it might and hoped it would. As I am absorbing his every word (it was so surreal... he has been so diligent in guarding and protecting his words, my heart, his heart, and being so thoughtful, honoring, and full of integrity as we courted... I almost couldn't believe the day had finally come where he was saying all of these things to me... not as potential and what is biblical... but tailored and perfectly fit to me) he finally said it, he told me for the first time, "I love you"! As I looked deep into his brown eyes he moved from sitting across from me to bending down on one knee, pulled out a small gray box from his pocket and asked, Leah, will you marry me? Those words I have longed to hear from one man for so long, the words that seemed so far away for so many years, those words were addressed to me! The only thing I thought to say, was compelled to say, and DID say was: yes!!! No other word could come out. I had no eloquent or wonderfully loving speech to say to him... I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with no one but Samuel!-so yes was all I could imagine saying. He then slips the most perfect ring on my finger. I sit staring at it, then looking at him, looking at it... smiling all the while... then it hits me: I want to hug him! So I asked if I could hug him now, to which he is wholly open to.

For the first time I felt the warmth of his steady and strong embrace. Having never hugged this very dear and honorable man before, the cold air seemingly ceased to exist and all that mattered was that I finally was held by the man who loved me, the man I loved, and this was a moment I have prayed and waited for for so many years. All of the waiting was worth that moment.

We sit back down and drink in the intoxicating reality before us: engaged!-or betrothed is the more biblical description. I then look at my ring and am absolutely stunned at how perfect it is. We began to discuss it... for I breathlessly proclaim how perfect it was. (I will explain in a moment). He asked if I wanted another hug and I said yes... but then felt self-conscious because a few little ones were filtering in and out of the house by that point. After being so overcome with the desire to tell him I love him... I said yes I wanted another hug! So in the protection of his arms I lifted my head and whispered that I loved him. I wanted to be in his arms when I told him I loved him for the first time!

Now, about this ring. (: This is a testament to the Lord's goodness and lovingkindness He shows to His children. He is so good that he doesn't even overlook the smallest of desires that are placed within us. As you will see from the picture attached, the diamond is set with blue sapphires and then white sapphires on the outside. It is shared (for the first time) that for years the only thing I ever thought about/wanted on my ring was color. I never decided what stone or what color... but I didn't want diamonds set with diamonds it seemed to plain to me. I had never told him this. He then shares that he has known for years that he knew that the ring he wanted to give to his future wife would be a ring with more than diamonds... to have color in it! I kid you not! He custom designed the ring himself. (: It is so humbling that even the smallest detail was taken into account by our Lord and He kindly granted me the desires of my heart, by matching it with a man who's desire fits perfectly with mine.

I am so overwhelmed by the love and grace of my beloved Lord and Savior. I am so aware of my lack, so aware of how undeserving I am of his tender mercies toward me... but I am so grateful He chose me and knew me before the foundations of the world to redeem me! He has been so faithful. He has blessed me more than I can ever express. I am so amazed at the man Samuel is and how much He loves the Lord... and how he is an answer to so many of my prayers, that he is what I have hoped and desired the man I would marry would be. He is incredible. He is my beloved. He is my husband to be (:




Psalm 37: 4-7 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Prayer

How do I express the inner workings of my heart? I wrote out a prayer on September 12th that I think is still very fitting. I have struggled for days about whether or not I wanted to share it... but in a moment of transparency while my heart is shattered all over again... I have decided I will. As the Lord pieces my broken heart back together, in Him I rest and cling to.

Lord,

I am at Your mercy… I cast myself before Your feet; apart from you I am nothing more than a mess of emotions: aching, aching… aching. I do not wish to be driven mad by my feelings, but nor do I wish to become calloused and cold. Hold me in Your strong embrace, for You are the rock of my salvation. I can do nothing, I can will nothing, I can endeavor no cause of my own… I am entirely in Your providential hands, in Your sovereignty I rest. When those dearest to me wear me down to tears, may I run to You in every moment of my failings; let my conduct reflect You, not the deep wounds I receive. Teach me how to be self-controlled that I may not be tossed to and fro by the winds of men. Teach me of Your love, mercy, and grace that I might turn around and tenderly esteem others better than myself, no matter what their regard is toward me. My heart is failing as well as my flesh… to bear it I cannot imagine, but You are my strength, so bear it I shall. Let not self rule me, but let Your love be the rule I abide in. Let not my own opinions and one-sided sight blind me from the truth, rather let the truth unfold as You see fit- should my heart break, let it break plainly in Your sight, for I know You can piece it back together… to lose it would certainly be more than I can bear. Break me, if You must, but make me whole once again. My desires are naught, my hopes are insignificant, my own happiness is of no consequence, but only that You, my beloved Lord and Savior, be glorified in me. Should I suffer the pain of a separation I do not wish, comfort me as I move forward. Should my innocent hope for the ideal be unattainable, fill me with Your hope that I might not despair. I am Yours, use me as You see fit.

Amen


Psalm 66:16-20 "Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul. I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pastoral Encouragement

It's amazing how the words of other believers stay with you for years... and when you read them once again you are humbled all over again and encouraged all at once.

I found/reread this email sent to me from a pastor of a church I went to nearly two years ago. The Lord used his words to lift me up once again... it is so striking some of the things he said...

"Leah,

First of all, thank you times a million for sending this and sharing what
God has been doing in your hearts for years. It is my testimony! Praise
the Lord! As I was trying to share last night, you come across as
different, passionate in ways that is not normal. You may not even realize
it, but it carries authority in ways that is obviously a spiritual gifting.
So your growth and intimacy with God is vital. You may even try to fall
back in the future, but it can only be for a season as God's amazing grace
woos you back. So, don't go there and allow God to use you daily. One
warning: you will be called many names and accused of being judgmental and
legalistic as God's Word really becomes your final authority for all of
life. You will bring conviction when you walk in the room and good people
you love will try to avoid you. It is the cross we bear for our wonderful
Savior.


On the positive side, you will be blessed with a peace and a faith beyond
compare. People will encourage you and write nice e-mails to you as God
uses you to bring life-change. He does it and we are His jars of clay"

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

How blessed it is to have such brothers and sisters to admonish you when you need it, as well as encourage you when you need it!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Sorrow in the Air

I wrote this poem a few days ago. Though my heart breaks and my sorrow is so overwhelming... the Lord is still so good and so gracious amid every heartache and affliction. Though there are those who seek to tear me down, the rock of my salvation is Christ, not my own works or merit. Though I would wish for life to be easier... if the good Lord saw fit to test me and afflictions are thrust upon me in this sinful world, by His grace and His strength I will walk through the fire of adversity, for He is with me. Though others forsake me, He never will.

Oh how deep the Father's love is! Oh how much I love Him and desire to honor and glorify Him with my lips. All my days I want to be used for His glory, all I desire is to please Him, not man.

Inside my heart is breaking,

And my strength is almost gone;

All the sorrow and the aching,

Make me hesitate to go on.


The lump inside my throat,

Is permanently stinging…

Each conversation, every note,

Bring me closer to my crying.


Heart-wrenching every moment,

So weary of it all;

My heart is almost spent,

And I want to curl up in a ball.


But a mighty saving grace,

Has kept me from that place.

A tender loving Father,

Sees every tear and every bother.


When my strength fails,

He strengthens me.

When my heart wails,

His comfort is nearer to me.


The saints He has chosen,

Bring me joy from above…

His love is their love,

Shown to me so free.


Though the pain does not leave,

And my sorrow is evident…

My Lord I trust and believe,

Loves me continually.


Psalm 139:23-24 "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

Psalm 63:3-8 "Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.

Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me."

Psalm 18:1-6 "I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears."




Thursday, October 6, 2011

Loved

"As God did not at first choose you because you were high, He will not now forsake you because you are low."

— John Flavel

I am so overwhelmed by the love of our most gracious heavenly Father. Just because this world gets "turned upside down" does not shake or phase the glorious God of heaven. Nothing catches Him by surprise. Though tears silently roll down my cheeks when no one is looking... His powerful over arching love, joy, peace, and comfort swallow me up and I realize just how good He is... all the time.

Though I learned when Dinah died what pure joy was amid any circumstance... I am living it all over again. It is so humbling all the truth He lays out before my eyes. The moments I feel faint or I want to curl up in a ball and ignore reality, His blessed saints draw me in with their life and laughter and I find myself joining in as naturally as could be. I am so thankful I am not alone right now. I am so thankful for the tender care the Lord has bestowed on my life right now.

Blessed be the name of the Lord, for He alone is worthy to be praised. Bless His holy name... the lips of this young lady are humbled to the deepest parts within me that I am chosen to proclaim His excellencies, for I am so aware of how unworthy I am, but I am moved by profound gratitude because of His mercies sake He loves me. How unfathomable it is that He holds me in His right hand?-how unfathomable it is that I find rest in the shadow of His wings! He is all glory, honor, and praise... He is so magnificent! Oh how I love Him, how my heart is satisfied in His love, how my all rests within His sovereign will... and I would not wish it to be any other way. He is so good.

I am so grateful it is not by my merit or any of my doing that I am the Lord's chosen. How shaky my foundation would be if I were trying to please Him or even depending upon my own human strength. He first chose me and knew me before I could even know Him... and I rest in that. I am moved to relinquish that which hinders me from serving my beloved Savior. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and want to live unapologetically for His name. Though I am not perfect, I strive for perfection because He deserves nothing less... though He bestows His love so freely and I am secure in Him, I want to walk in holiness, I want to be rid of all my vile sin, I want to walk as He has revealed in His scriptures. Just because I am chosen, just because it was a free gift, just because I have eternal security... does in no way give me license (or desire!) to go on sinning so that grace may abound. I hate the sin that I once loved, because I love the God I once hated. Oh how my heart sings a joyous song of adoration for such love is mine!

I am so in love with, so dearly loved... so enthralled by the love of my King!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Safe & Protected



I woke up really early this morning, considering I didn't fall asleep until late (but that's also because I got the blessing of talking to one of my dearly loved best friends!-who has been a constant encouragement to me over the years, despite our differences:). It was about 6:30 in the am my sleepy eyes opened up. After lying there and praying for a while, I started thinking about the things I have planned today. I realized it was so early I had plenty of time to do something I have been wanting to do a lot lately, but haven't had time to: take my beautiful lab for a walk!

These pictures are a couple years old, but the only ones I have with her. She's soo affectionate and thinks she is a lap dog (:

So I took Bentley for a walk this morning since I had the time, and felt very rested waking up. (I will sleep well tonight!). It is beautiful weather today. Considering we have been in the worst drought down here in Texas... it was a perfect morning. The breeze was cool on my sweaty neck and brow (that dog sure likes to pull!-at least the first 5 minutes, then she calms down) and the sun was coming up.

I have to start out keeping the leash really close to me and a tight grip on her, for she gets easily excited and will literally pull me down the street if I don't. But she finally got to a calm walking pace. She really is a beautiful lab, and any time I take her out people always compliment her. This time was no different; a couple of power walking ladies started "awwing" at her and saying how beautiful she was. I immediately tightened my grip on the leash... because the walked forward and her hair was sticking straight up on her back... and she lunged at them growling (these were LADIES, not even a MAN!!) and they were so taken aback and said, "Well, I have NEVER seen a lab act like that" and I smiled and said, "She really is sweet, but she is very protective of me." That seemed to sit well with them and they smiled and said that was sweet and walked on.

As I walked forward with her she kept looking back at me and wagging her tail so I stopped and she sat down and started rubbing her head on my leg, so I bent down and pet her and she started licking my ear (: We kept on and I began to notice anytime there was a person nearby she immediately tensed up and would walk right next to me and stuck very close to me... and slowly walked by. There was a big van with 3 "mexicans" (I mean it is Texas, but I don't want to stereotype...) in it driving slowly by and she tensed up again and stared at them and wouldn't walk forward until they turned the corner.

I say all that for this reason: she is the most affectionate dog and loves to sit in my lap, lick my ear (I don't let her lick my face...), and be near me... but when it comes to a sense of danger or adversity, she instantly is out to protect me. I could very easily be "nervous" walking alone in the neighborhood by myself as a young lady... but when I take her for a walk literally nothing will get to me because she would sooner attack someone than let them near me.

I began to think about how safe that made me feel. And protected. And how both of those made me feel secure. I know she's just a dog, but I love her in the proper sense none the less!

Then I began to think in general how when the Lord blesses me with that safety, security, and people He places in my life to be "protectors". I have no reason to fear irrationally since I know the Lord is with me. I don't like being alone, I like having a protector. Ultimately my rest is in the Lord, and He is my strength. But I can't help but pray, Lord, if You would will, how blessed I would be to have a husband to love me in such a way all my days. But until that day comes, I am secure in the means He has provided until such a time comes.

It comes down to what I often say when in conversations about these things: women want to be protected, provided for, cherished, and loved-which are all ways of loving. And of course, discipled. But that means submitting to the design the Lord has given, which is not very popular.

I digress. (: It was a lovely morning and I love the creatures God has put on this earth and I wish I could have "a million" dogs and other animals one day! (;


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Grievous Abortion Story

Read Here

This absolutely breaks my heart! It is amazing how she understood how wrong it was, how horrible it made her feel, yet she did anyways. I just want to weep when I read stories like this, for the fear and insecurity women have is heart wrenching... even unsaved women have the desire to be loved, protected, and cherished by a man-they cannot even suppress that. It just goes to show how entangling sin is-when you do not submit to God's ordination of marriage, you live together and the lifelong covenant is not there... so pregnancy is not eagerly anticipated as a blessing from the Lord, but something to fear and abhor (look at those comments under the article!)- it makes me think of this verse

James 1:14-15 "But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death."

It is not only an abortion issue, but so much more. What is is worse is the fact that it seemed the mentality of the article was
"Don't make it mandatory for mothers to see the sonogram and know truth, it will make them feel guilty!"

How grievous our sin is, how morally bankrupt our culture is, how absolutely mortifying it is to realize how completely blind and destitute we are apart from the grace of God!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Internet Hiatus

Hello all 3 of you who read this (;

In the next couple of days I am going to begin the long put off "internet hiatus". I am somewhat known for my periodic exits from the online socializing world (texting too); so this really should not come as a surprise.

For my own self control (or rather because I lack it??) I'm just going to make this blog "private" or "deactivate" it or whatever. I really am giving no one an alternative to reach me for only those who see me in real life (or who call me on the phone) will actually have a way to get a hold of me!

I will be back eventually. I may even type up some good "blogs" to post after my hiatus; who knows? (:

I wish to redeem the time I have and not even be tempted to use more time online than I ought to. Perhaps this is very selfish of me... but considering I will be help accountable for my actions and stewarding the time and life God has given me... I really think my decision cannot be COMPLETELY selfish. (:

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Deep Perplexing Thought

I am inundated with deep perplexing thoughts. I cannot dare to share them, but they are pressed upon my soul anyways. In the days to come my knees will grow weary of the prayer that is to come!-but this is my wish and intention. I cling to the 37th Psalm; I cling to the Lord for His right hand upholdeth me; I cling to the promise that as I seek the Lord evermore, He will direct me in the way I should go. If anything I have learned/am learning is this: I cannot and ought not worry about ANYTHING. I can only be concerned with me and my relation to God. All else will be worked out as I am preparing my hands to do service for the Lord and His glory! He is my trajectory; He is my focus; He is the reason my very heart is beating and I only wish for each beat to be for His glory.

I remember the very lonely nights in my dorm room at college. Though they truly were not "alone" for it only brought me to sweet hours upon hours of prayer with my Heavenly Father. I cannot fathom what my life would be like apart from the grace of God; truly, I cannot begin to imagine what a lonely soul might feel with no hope or purpose or promises of God. I am extremely social and yet very anti-social. At school it was rare for anyone to be invited to my dorm room except for the very intentional purpose of fellowship and peeling the layers of a person to know them better (and even then, I was very specific in who I invited over). I did not frequent other's rooms very often. This was the "thing" to do, it was considered somewhat odd to not constantly have people in your room or be invited over. I simply sidestepped this tradition and instead kept very intentional tabs on all that I did and all I allowed over, if at all. I don't think I could have handled all the social chatter (and as I think through this... I am convinced if I was immersed into the college culture in such a way my relationship with the Lord would have suffered and I would not have heeded the Spirit's directing me out of such a place; I would still be there today if I did not have those "lonely" nights of prayer). The point is, much of my nights were spent NOT studying the philosophies of the classroom and textbooks, NOT spent socializing, NOT spent going to "Northgate" and that scene, and instead it was spent in many many nights of prayer (and of course reading the word).

Prayer is essential. Everything in my life that ever caused me to deep perplexing thought on the shifting things in my life were times I was completely immersed in prayer.

The Lord is so good. My heart is ravished by the astounding love He extends to me. He chose me, He redeemed me, He sanctifies me, He LOVES me! His Sovereign will extends to the end of my life and I know He holds every piece of me in His kind and gracious hands. As His righteous instrument and vessel, I am moved to live in accordance to His will and simply be a humble means of proclaiming just how wonderful He is in all His faithful workings in His children.

I originally planned to share this prayer:

In Prayer

O Lord,
In prayer I launch far out into the eternal world,
and on that broad ocean my soul triumphs
over all the evils on the shores of mortality.
Time, with its gay amusements and cruel
disappointments, never appears so inconsiderate
as then.
In prayer I see myself as nothing;
I find my heart going after Thee with intensity,
and long with vehement thirst to live to Thee.
Blessed be the strong gales of the Spirit
that speed me on my way to the New Jerusalem.
In prayer all things here below vanish,
and nothing seems important
but holiness of heart and the salvation of others.
In prayer all my worldly cares, fears, anxieties disappear,
and are of little significance as a puff of wind.
In prayer my soul inwardly exults with lively
thoughts at what Thou art doing for They church,
and I long that Thou shouldest get Thyself a great
name from sinners returning to Zion.
In prayer I am lifted above the frowns and flatteries
of life,
and taste heavenly joys;
entering into the eternal world
I can give myself to Thee with all my heart,
to be Thine forever.
In prayer I can place all my concerns in Thy hands,
to be entirely at Thy disposal,
having no will or interest of my own.
In prayer I can intercede for my friends, ministers,
sinners, the church, Thy kingdom to come,
with greatest freedom, ardent hopes,
as a son to his father,
as a lover to the beloved.
Help me be all prayer
and never to cease praying.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

Psalm 31:1-3,5 In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in they righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me... Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.

Psalm 28:6-7 Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

Psalm 4:3 But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him. Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.

How unfathomable it is that we are given the privilege to pray and let our deepest groanings of the soul, both groans of joy and groans of anguish when do not understand, be laid bare before the Lord and yet in this the Lord is still Sovereign. We pray and He hears our supplications!-and His sovereign will is accomplished. May this not be a source of laziness, but of profound gratitude. I cannot comprehend such incomprehensible notions... that the glorious God of heaven would incline His ear to hear the faint prayers of my heart! Truly, His lovingkindness extends further than I will ever know. With joy I pray! By His grace every move I make in this life has purpose. May He be glorified in my failings as well as my successes: for He is the great Sovereign Almighty. In prayer I find, that though I may have deep perplexing thought, it is a source of absolute peace that passes all understanding.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Judah: A Most Beloved Entertaining brother!

I must share with you some moments that make me laugh and bring my heart such joy (and also cause me to slap my forehead as well!) in regards to the youngest of the family: Judah. I cannot begin to tell you how blessed I am for the time we spend together! I can say, with no guilty feelings, he is my FAVORITE younger brother (for he is my only younger brother!) and I would not trade the moments we have had this past year for ANY degree from college. (:

At church Sunday night, following the hymns and teaching, there was a small celebration in honor of the graduates within the church community. People instantly gravitated toward the food after the formalities. As we stood in line my younger brother, Judah, and I were talking of how next week, for the fellowship following church, it was a dress "old fashioned" theme; with a very straight face I said to Judah, I guess I don't need to change my attire... for it is pretty old fashioned to wear such long skirts. Judah grins and says: Well, it may be old fashioned for that... length... but... YOU aren't really old fashioned, at least... not in a fashion sense... for you are pretty old fashioned in a lot of things but... I mean... well... you look very stylish and uhh modern... and pretty in your long skirts... uhh. At this point I am chuckling, so I said, Yes perhaps I am old fashioned in my modest dress, but perhaps not so much in the old style. To this he gives a literal and loud sigh of relief and says, YES; I was trying to compliment you without offending you but it wasn't coming out right... so I laughed! Judah and I have the best moments together (:

Today, when I got home from work, my mom and Judah were cleaning out the closet that is in my room. I jumped right in to help to accomplish the job faster AND get all that junk off my floor (: As we were sorting through old stuffed animals, toys, clothes, etc. Deborah is "awwing" over everything and is not letting us throw/give away ANYTHING for it had "sentimental" value; I am sentimental too... but when my entire family tends to be packrats, I then rise to be ruthless! So I say, no, get rid of it there is NO point in keeping this or that. We must be ruthless crew! Judah joins in my cry and adds his own point: we must be heartless men! he proclaims. I then scrunch my face at him and said... no, just ruthless, not heartless! He rolls his eyes, Deborah is hugging all her old stuffed animals, and Judah says: Well, one person we know who wasn't Ruthless... Boaz! H'yuck H'yuck h'yuck! I chuckled; Deborah and my mom didn't get it so I explained how clever Judah is(; A little while later I notice that we had BLUE LIKE JAZZ on Bekah's bookshelf, in astonishment I demanded to know why this horrendous book was in my room! My mom exclaims GET RID OF IT IMMEDIATELY! I said, well I will sell it to half price books.. I might as well make some money of this heretic. Judah is instantly curious as to why I am suddenly so animated... I then say, might as well called it blue like blasphemy! Judah then asks what a heretic is, and I explain it to him. He then joins in the poking fun at this book.

The other night Judah and I were in the kitchen and he suddenly looks up at me and asks if we have any kool aid. I said no and with a bemused smile asked why (for I am expecting a Judah thought to spill out) and he says, oh, well I heard once that someone put kool aid in a coffee maker and made like... koolaid/coffee but without the coffee. We should do it! I then give my laughing consent and told him I would pick some up on my home from work. So, today, we made his coffee made kool aid.

Daily Judah comes into my room whenever I am studying; he generally, with an exasperated tone, declares he is bored. With a bemused smile (always) I ask if he has read any more of the book I let him borrow. He then throws up his hands in feigned annoyance and says: LEAH! It is SUMMER... Suuummmmerrrr, it is a sin to read in the summer! I then tell him, Judah you cannot say such things, for it isn't true, that is NOT a sin! And why would you accept my book if you didn't plan on reading it? To this he has no answer and then shuffles out my door (I cannot tell you how many times this scene has happened! haha!)

Whilst sitting at church before service started Judah leans over and says, Leah, I NEED 250 moneys before December. I gently say, Judah, you do not NEED that money, you only WANT it. He then adamantly declares it is most definitely a NEED. Then, with a bemused smile, I ask why. He plans to buy some gaming device. I suppress rolling my eyes and instead engage him. Judah, I say, I have asked you to wash and wax my car... and I would pay you! He then says, Leaaahhh, I didn't plan on "working" for it! (His words are dripping with sarcasm)-and one look from me and he says: Kidding; so, how much are you paying me?? I reiterate the same pricing as before. Then we move on to how he can mow lawns; to this he says, well... I actually wanted to pressure wash peoples driveways and anything else. I then ask what is keeping him from accomplishing his goal; to this he says well MAYBE the power washer is broken; I then demand to know how he knows it's broken without further investigation; to this he slumps a little and says... touche!

The most blessed is when he sees my light on in the late hours and comes in and asks "Whatcha doing?" And then, for he knows I am always reading, we talk about the bible, church truth, theology, doctrine... and this lasts for hours! Those nights bring my soul great joy!

This one funny moment is about both my brothers: Micah (22) and Judah (14). A few Sundays ago ALL of the siblings were at church... at one point in the sermon Brother Alan made a comment about "Dad's don't let you daughters out the door half dressed!" to this Micah and Judah share some funny joke... and it is whispered down the line, soon everyone is chuckling, except me(for I did not hear it). Once church was let out I asked what was so funny... and Judah or Micah (I cannot remember) then pass along person of the joke: Me. Why? When the afore mentioned comment was made, Micah said something along the lines of I can NOT believe Dad would allow Leah out of the door at anytime! To this, I suppress my grin, and then with a very straight face say, hardy har har you guys. (: For it is the running joke in the family to tease me about such things as modesty (among other things)... for it is insinuated I am the "most modest" and somewhat strange for wearing skirts every day!

Another funny moment (they seem to be endless!) was Judah walks in my room and says, Leah, want to watch a movie?? With a bemused smile, I say depends on what the movie content is. He then rolls his eyes and with a HUGE sigh goes, Ohhhh yeaaahhh, if it's not productive, you probably won't watch it! I laugh and say, I never said such a thing! He then rolls his eyes again and says, I know... but just AHH! He walks out mumbling (:

My favorite moments are when we play bananagrams together. I could not even BEGIN to tell you the hilarity of such times!

Judah and I differ on the premise of sarcasm verses facetiousness, but we always end up laughing about a lot of things the other says anyways! I find such enjoyment in all such moments with my family members!



I can't help but feel the joy welling up in my heart. Often times it can be disheartening; it seems that no one seems to notice if you are set apart or not. (Not that this matters... but it is still disheartening anyways). I live a quiet life and half the time do not believe I am impacting ANYONE. But it's moments like these when my wonderful younger brother, who knows me so well and sees the parts of me those who do not live at home cannot see, notices I am different. It's when I see but a glimpse of how my family sees me that my soul is bolstered in the grace of the Lord! People often question me as to why I wear skirts all the time, so I know people think me strange. But, when my fourteen year old brother notices my speech, dress, and conduct (and it only humbles me that such grace is prevalent in my life), and the consistency of it... and not only notices and silently watches me in this... I cannot think of what would afford me greater pleasure.

With humility I must walk. By God's grace, I am who I am. And in these funny moments, yet not so funny all at once, I am blessed to know that perhaps the Lord is allowing some light to shine after all.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It is Good for Me to Draw Near to God

I have been pondering these last few weeks, especially, how absolutely enjoyable life is when resting in the Lord's sovereignty. When I am submitted to His will, I am at peace. What joy is mine when I allow the Spirit of the living God to have His way in me! When conviction strikes, even as a serpent, swift and immediate pain; unless we act quickly it will course as a poison in our veins... slowly causing more discomfort unless we draw it out. (Though, this analogy is certainly flawed... for the conviction from the Holy Spirit does not cause our ultimate demise, but the sin in us). I am just so humbled to think of when I am imperfect, it is extremely painful when that conviction hits(for what could be worse than being unaware of the Spirit's correcting?)... but I wish so fervently to rejoice in the Lord always that I am grateful to be aware of any sin and then repent at once so that I may continue being sanctified and made more into the image of Christ.

I say this, because sin keeps us from the Lord. That is the separation. The stinging pain of shame causes me soul deep anguish; holy remorse is the immediate result if I am daily studying the Scriptures for more of my God. I do not wish for sin to abound, but to allow the God of all creation to abound in my life! My soul weeps to think that the things I have done, the things I am going to do, were the reason He was on the cross; but deep penetrating joy is mine for His incomprehensible grace took me from that place. And, with all my heart, I pray for more grace, because I just want to love Him, enjoy Him, proclaim of all His excellencies... and not to drag my feet to repentance.

(: I am trying to get to my main point, but, in light of the redemption at Calvary I cannot turn my mind from how He has lavished His love upon me when I was absolutely mortifyingly undeserving!

John 10:10 "I am come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." Over the years I have always kept that verse at the forefront of my mind. I am absolutely astounded at how He has so tenderly brought me to the place in life I am at now. It as if as each year passes, I am more sanctified, so more of His abundant life is revealed to me. I am quite certain many might look in upon my life and think it rather quite dull. (and to be quite honest, 6 years ago I would not have imagined the joy I have in the midst of where I am!) I am absolutely moved to know the God of heaven. I must know Him or my soul faints within me! With my free time I want to listen to words proclaimed about His truth, or read His truth, or read about others talking about His truth. I want to study until my eyes hurt and I MUST go to bed (or simply take my contacts out and continue reading with my glasses:). Then, apart from my studies, I find such joy in living at home. It is overwhelming joy to pray and find ways to find out how I fit within my home, how to serve my family, how to love my family, how to enjoy the time we have together (for such a deep loss of a sister makes you relish the moments with those still here). Even in practical means, the "grunt" work of the home, it all the Lord's grace that makes me heart delight in serving my family in EVERY way. Then, there are those outside the home. I cannot quite describe to you how much joy, laughter, and rich fellowship I have at work. WORK. I am so humbled that the good Lord would see how at this time in my life I have to work, and give me wonderful godly friends to work with, and wonderful customers to serve and minister to. Then, there are the younger girls I am so blessed to build friendships with and the patience they have with ME for tolerating my incessant proclamation every 5-10 seconds about how good God is, quoting scripture, and then answering my millions of questions I have for them about them. Then even my peers; I am so blessed by the people God has put in my life. To share the things God daily reveals to me... that they patiently listen to me and how no one seems to tire of my endless drive for edification (and how I cannot stand the meaningless), but rather, the join me. Then, of course, those brothers and sister in Christ who have walked the way before me. Oh, I am so blessed to have older wiser couples/women in my life. AND THE CHILDREN! Oh, how could you not love to hold a little one nestled in your arms?! Since it is not yet the time for me to have my own, I am so blessed when I get the time with any sweet precious little one. They are such a joy!

I want to enjoy every single person, place, and moment God chooses to bless me with. When the tears fall, I want to enjoy His goodness because He comforts me. When the laughter abounds, I want to rejoice that He has given me friendships that are pure and not corrupted by the worlds standard of "comedy". I do not know how long each person will remain in my life, but I want to make the most of every interaction and to revel in the Lord's grace as it unceasingly falls.

With a smile, I recall the memories of even the last few months (for MY how His grace has just been poured out upon me more and MORE) and how such peace, contentment, and joy that was always around. Each waking day is only better. It is not because life is perfect, but rather, because amid the imperfections, flaws, hurt, pain, and weariness of life, my soul cleaves to the God who's right hand upholdeth me; because God is sovereign, I must trust Him implicitly. To not trust Him, is folly.

As the Psalm 73:28 says, "But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works. "

And literally, I cannot hold it in even I were to try! As I draw near to God, trust Him more, I am so moved to declare of all His works! His excellencies are more than my heart can fathom, and I want everyone to enjoy the freedom of Christ and to know Him! And though I know not all are called, all those who are called I want to be so sensitive to the Holy Spirit's moving in me that I am but a vessel speaking as He would have me speak, loving as He would have me love, living as He would have me live.

And then... I am overwhelmed to think of the blessings to come. Why worry about tomorrow... when I can hardly even contain the blessings of today! In Him I place my trust.

Soli Deo gloria!

Monday, June 20, 2011

How Could Someone Love Me Forever?

I had a friend email me this Monday morning with questioning relationships and such; (amid the question asking of biblical roles of Husbands and Wives) one question stuck out to me: "I see all of my flaws and faults and it just makes me wonder how someone could love me forever?"

As I prayed over everything and how I ought to respond in full, I will share my response to this one question.

How could someone love you forever? Think of it this way: Firstly, God chose His people (1 Peter 1:9) and if you truly have been redeemed by Christ(Lamentations 3:58; Gal 3:13; Titus 2:14), bought with His precious blood (1 Cor 6:20) and not by any work or any added thing(1 Timothy 1:9; Gal 2:16)), and His Holy Spirit now dwells within you and has sealed you (Eph 1:13) setting you apart(Psalm4:3) as God's own child(Romans 8:15; Ga l4:6), this means that God has done literally done everything possible to love you forever; He knew you before you were born , He formed your inward parts(Psalm 139), He predestined you to be His child(Eph 1:5), HE CHOSE TO LOVE YOU. That choice is eternal and unchangeable (Phil 1:6; Romans 8:28-29). How could God love you, a wretched sinner (Romans 7:24; Psalm 14)? For His glory, His own namesake (Psalm 25:11), His own mercies sake (Psalm 6:4). Those who He loves, He loves eternally.

(: Truly, it all begins with the Lord. People are not perfect. But God's unmerited love is so moving... and so assuring! So, yes, if anyone enters marriage it is a lifelong commitment and covenant; but, God's love is the solidifying fact amid it all! He loved us first, even before our parents, before anyone.

And not that I claim extensive knowledge on such "roles" because I have yet to walk upon that path. I have, however, been blessed with godly parents who live the roles in front of me, as well as many other godly couples I am blessed to know. So, I can only point to scripture. But if there is one thing I DO know about, it is God's unconditional love for me! Hallelujah what a Savior divine, what love is mine!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Test Run (:

This is my "rough draft" and it is far from being done. I have not had the chance to edit this recently, due to many other things vying for my time and attention. I am not perfect, and I am ever learning; feel free to voice your comments, questions, or concerns (: I have not had the time to footnote in the scripture yet, so feel free to leave a comment with any scripture you believe would be beneficial to weaving into the theme! (For apart from scripture this whole "essay" is for naught!)

What of Feminism and Femininity:

Are the two synonymous?
I can only write what I personally have‭ ‬learned and know‭; ‬what I have learned has shocked me and caused my soul deep anguish.


‭“‬Feminists claimed that they would go down in history as heroines,‭ ‬but in the end,‭ ‬the only thing feminists will go down in history for is breaking up families,‭ ‬tearing down homes,‭ ‬and contributing to the mud-slide of cultural disintegration.‭”‬ Ana Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin



‬To clearly define feminism and femininity must be done first and foremost‭; ‬the meanings must be defined so they are‭ ‬neither ambiguous nor used interchangeably within the following words‭; ‬they are distinct and separate and hold differing and opposing weight.‭ ‬So what exactly is meant by femininity‭?‬-it must be specified and noted that the only sure source for this term is to go to the infallible word of God; ‬the meaning is derived only from scripture,‭ ‬and can only be built upon and drawn from this foundation,‭ ‬it cannot and is not dictated by anything,‭ ‬or anyone else,‭ ‬and least of all the culture around us‭; ‬femininity,‭ ‬simply put,‭ ‬is God‭’‬s ordained role of what a true woman is supposed to be‭; ‬its essential purpose was illustrated in Genesis when God made woman as a helper suitable for man-it is a compliment of masculinity.‭ ‬What is meant by feminism‭?‬-in our westernized civilization it is much more evident,‭ ‬rampant,‭ ‬and widely accepted,‭ ‬however the conception of feministic ideals began with Eve‭ ‬in Genesis‭; ‬for simplicities sake:‭ ‬feminism,‭ ‬at its root,‭ ‬is self-seeking,‭ ‬independent,‭ ‬and its nature and desire is to weaken and dominate men.‭ ‬We see the former is about self-sacrifice and the latter is self-seeking.‭ ‬The premise and definitions are now clearly set.

It is easy to assume that,‭ ‬as Christians,‭ ‬we build our life upon the foundation of God‭’‬s word.‭ ‬But how true is this‭? ‬And how much have we really allowed an unbiblical culture to infiltrate and train us‭? ‬Could we be blind to how the cunning devilish scheme has actually discipled us more than the very word of God‭? ‬Has feminism been more widely accepted than God‭’‬s design‭? ‬Is it possible our whole perception has been skewed by the culture we are immersed in‭? Wholeheartedly I would say yes,‭ ‬and I can say this honestly because it has been evident in my own life.‭ ‬We would like to say we follow the word of God,‭ ‬that we delight in it,‭ ‬and that our purpose lies within the truth and heart of God.‭ ‬But isn‭’‬t our enemy far more ingenious than we credit him for‭? ‬There are‭ ‬parts of God‭’‬s truth we delight in,‭ ‬others we dismiss,‭ ‬or conveniently have never studied,‭ ‬or worse,‭ ‬have been taught false opinions on the controversial matters.‭ ‬It absolutely breaks my heart to say this,‭ ‬but even the God-fearing women I have been surrounded with growing up have often been so feministic,‭ ‬that the biblical role has been skewed and feminism is normative in Christian circles.‭ ‬Does this mean all of them,‭ ‬definitely not.‭ ‬Does this mean they are not godly women,‭ ‬that is not my place to say‭!‬-but my meaning is that perhaps even they have allowed feminism in without realizing it.‭ ‬This is the crux of the matter:‭ ‬feminism is so integrated within our normal perception and daily life that we can hardly even admit to it or distinguish it at‭ ‬times‭!

I believe it is hard to admit the‭ ‬truth mentioned afore because to do so seemingly opens a‭ ‬Pandora‭’‬s Box.‭ ‬If we admit that it is true,‭ ‬we are held accountable.‭ ‬If we are held accountable,‭ ‬we ought to make some changes.‭ ‬If we make some changes,‭ ‬it‭’‬s going to be process of submitting to the will of God and relinquishing selfishness and our own comfort.‭ ‬It is almost frightening because we do not have control,‭ ‬we cannot ascertain what might be the result of opening such a‭ “‬Pandora‭’‬s box.‭”‬ But I would‭ ‬suggest that if you truly are a regenerate believing woman,‭ ‬you can find rest in the Sovereignty of God‭; ‬for He is good and all His ways are for our good,‭ ‬never our detriment,‭ ‬but only for our freedom.

There then,‭ ‬that word freedom is widely misused.‭ ‬Isn‭’‬t feminism all about women‭’‬s freedom and rights‭? ‬Surely there is SOME good it has brought us‭!‬-absolutely not.‭ ‬This is a prime example of how we have even subtly accepted feminism‭! ‬Feminism does not seek the women‭’‬s good,‭ ‬it does not seek to allow her to have more freedom,‭ ‬and it does not seek her best interest.‭ ‬In fact,‭ ‬it actually tears down women.‭ ‬Feminism across the board has one goal:‭ ‬make women like men.‭ ‬It scoffs and mocks the‭ “‬traditional‭”‬ roles of women,‭ ‬it blatantly assumes that such a role is‭ ‬dehumanizing for women to adhere to.‭ ‬They insinuate women ought to assume the roles of men,‭ ‬that women can do all that men do.‭ ‬This is precisely one of the ways feminism disdains biblical‭ ‬femininity‭; ‬you are not valid unless you prove yourself just as capable as a man.‭ ‬They presume to uphold‭ “‬equality‭”‬ but really they promote manhood‭ ‬as the status to attain.‭ ‬Do they really believe in equality,‭ ‬or is this merely a guise to force women to abandon what it means to be a woman‭? ‬Only within a biblical context does it‭ ‬value,‭ ‬honor,‭ ‬and treasure women as distinctly separate,‭ ‬yet wholly necessary‭! ‬The bible states that the woman is the‭ glory of‭ the man, so by effect, the crowning glory of creation‭;‬ feminism thinks we are but a‭ ‬body with different anatomies.‭ ‬Under feminism women do not have freedom,‭ ‬they have restrictions and chains that say she must prove herself to be like a man,‭ ‬or else she is not worthy.‭ ‬In God‭’‬s truth,‭ ‬women have the freedom in His boundaries‭; ‬when they submit to Him,‭ ‬they are protected,‭ ‬loved,‭ ‬cherished,‭ ‬and encouraged to attain the loftiest heights of biblical beauty and usefulness:‭ ‬helping men subdue the earth.‭ ‬She is free to be what she was designed to be.‭ ‬Why in the world would one take on the pressure to be like a man,‭ ‬when she can devote her time to cultivate her femininity as the crowning glory of creation‭? ‬I would propose that feminism subtly dehumanizes God-ordained womanhood‭; ‬she is not accepted as‭ “‬equal‭”‬ if she submits to God‭’‬s design,‭ ‬she is seen as backward,‭ “‬anti-progressive‭”‬ in her ways,‭ ‬she is outdated,‭ ‬she‭ ‬“destroys‭”‬ her freedom,‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬The one who says‭ “‬Christianity is dehumanizing to women‭”‬ is actually far more subtly dehumanizing‭! ‬To say that a woman‭ ‬must be like a man and do as men‭ ‬do dehumanizes a woman‭’‬s role.‭ ‬Feminism is dehumanizing to women and‭ ‬it does not offer freedom.

I believe fear is a defining factor as to why women submit to feminism rather than God‭’‬s word.‭ ‬Let me reiterate that:‭ ‬when a Christ-following woman submits to feminism,‭ ‬she fails to submit to God.‭ ‬That in itself is a massive problem.‭ ‬By willingly following feministic ways,‭ ‬women‭ ‬deny the inerrancy of scripture‭;‬ essentially they are proclaiming to the world that they do not believe God is good,‭ ‬and they declare that God‭’‬s ways are not sufficient.‭ ‬They are afraid,‭ ‬wrongly afraid,‭ ‬of God.‭ ‬Another facet of this fear is perhaps women are afraid men will not rise to being men‭; ‬in this fear,‭ ‬they themselves fill the roles men fail to fill.‭ ‬But if women are busy filling the roles of men and becoming quasi men,‭ ‬who is to fill the roles‭ ‬of women‭? ‬When we step out of our God-given jurisdictional roles,‭ ‬things began to collapse.‭ ‬Isn‭’‬t this evident‭? ‬When women have stepped into the shoes of men,‭ ‬they rejected their beautiful role as mother and wife,‭ ‬and now are‭ “‬sexually liberated‭”‬ where‭ ‬they no longer‭ “‬need a man‭”‬ and instead‭ ‬sacrificially‭ ‬abort their children as a testament to their own‭ ‬selfish‭ “‬freedom‭”‬.‭ ‬Women are afraid to fulfill their calling.‭ ‬The root of it is sin‭; ‬we want to be our own gods,‭ ‬we want autonomy to be the defining rule,‭ ‬not God‭; ‬we want to usurp God‭’‬s authority.‭ ‬Eve,‭ ‬in the garden,‭ ‬sinned‭; ‬Adam was held responsible.‭ ‬He failed to protect her and be a shield for her‭!‬-he failed in his husbandly duties.‭ (‬It‭’‬s amazing,‭ ‬isn‭’‬t it‭?‬-‭ ‬since the beginning of the human race man‭ ‬apparently did not rise up and BE the man God designed him to be‭)‬.‭ ‬So it ought‭ ‬not to surprise‭ ‬us that men often fail in rising to the occasion‭; ‬on the flipside it ought‭ ‬not to surprise us that women try to dominate‭; ‬both these realities were present in Adam‭ ‬and Eve.‭ ‬They have given us a miserable inheritance.‭ ‬God,‭ ‬however,‭ ‬was gracious to give us His special revelation through the infallible scriptures and literally spell out His very design for us‭; ‬we have a place to look to go against the fallen man‭’‬s desires.‭ ‬But in that,‭ ‬we will fail every time‭; ‬we need Christ and His redemption to ever walk in His ways.‭ ‬Men will not be men apart from the grace of God,‭ ‬nor will women be women‭ (‬according to His design,‭ ‬not according to the culture‭)‬.‭ ‬To be afraid,‭ ‬is no‭ ‬excuse‭;‬ that is a lack of faith and trust in God and blatant disobedience to His word.

‬Now,‭ ‬perhaps you might think this is harsh,‭ ‬but feminism is harsh‭; ‬it is destroying everything the bible stands for‭! ‬To run the risk of being wildly‭ ‬unpopular and rejected,‭ ‬I will be explicit in bringing a few things to light.‭ ‬First,‭ ‬we must realize,‭ ‬though feminism pushes women to be as men,‭ ‬women‭ ‬still‭ ‬are submitting in all things.‭ ‬The question is,‭ ‬to whom and what are we submitting to‭? ‬Is it God‭’‬s word,‭ ‬or man‭’‬s expectation‭? ‬God‭ ‬says women are to be silent in church‭; ‬man says this is oppressive and backward.‭ ‬In the name of freedom‭ (‬or ignorance,‭ ‬or even blatant disobedience‭) ‬we have changed church to be‭ “‬feministically friendly‭”‬; but the real‭ ‬question is,‭ ‬if church is a matter of Sunday worship with simple commands in how we are to worship in scripture then all other fellowship,‭ ‬bible studies,‭ ‬and aspects of life a woman is free to‭ ‬not be silent.‭ ‬Why is this so offensive‭? (‬Maybe God knew that women‭’‬s nature was bent to dominate‭!) ‬This is highly offensive,‭ ‬I know‭; ‬if you ask me if I am silent in church,‭ ‬I believe I can honestly say yes‭‬.‭ ‬I bring my questions elsewhere‭ (‬namely to my parents,‭ ‬or even wise godly older women‭; ‬or I will study the word of God on my own‭)‬.‭ ‬Part of why this is so hard is because we have changed the dynamics of church in such a way it is impossible to be‭ “‬silent‭”‬.‭ ‬Sunday schools,‭ ‬stages,‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬Perhaps we have allowed feminism to not just influence church in this aspect,‭ ‬but‭ ‬absolutely paved a new concept of church for us.‭ ‬God says‭ ‬the father is the covering of the daughter until she is handed over to the husband,‭ ‬man says a woman needs a higher education,‭ ‬independence,‭ ‬status,‭ ‬an individual‭ ‬income,‭ ‬to be living on her own a few years.‭ ‬God says a woman is to be a helpmeet to the man and they are to cleave together and become as one‭; ‬man says a woman must be her own person,‭ ‬even in marriage,‭ ‬for she ought‭ ‬not to lose her identity.‭ ‬God says a woman is to be chaste,‭ ‬modest,‭ ‬servant-hearted,‭ ‬tender,‭ ‬kind,‭ ‬and‭ ‬loving person‭; ‬man says a woman is to be brazen,‭ ‬flaunting,‭ ‬manipulative,‭ ‬and to use all her wiles to gain status in this world.‭ ‬These are but a few,‭ ‬and certainly not an exhaustive list,‭ ‬of diametrically opposing worldviews.‭ ‬How can we presume that feminism is neutral‭? ‬How can we say that it has not radically disturbed the biblical order of things‭? ‬How can we be silent toward feminism,‭ ‬yet incessantly speak elsewhere‭?

In the end,‭ ‬I have seen shallow churches,‭ ‬fragmented homes,‭ ‬haughty‭ “‬educated‭”‬ women‭ (‬as well as women with‭ “‬good intentions‭”‬ but still not truly submitting their life to the word of God‭)‬,‭ ‬broken marriages,‭ ‬divorce,‭ ‬emotionally detached families,‭ ‬undisciplined children AND parents alike,‭ ‬man centered traditions,‭ ‬and a lack of reverence for the things of God.‭ ‬Modesty is a thing of the past‭; ‬chastity is long forgotten‭; ‬submissiveness is disdained‭; ‬biblical meaning has been skewed and to be a wife who works apart from the corporate machine and instead in the home is abhorred‭; ‬children are seen as a nuisance and not a blessing‭; ‬children are neglected if they are allowed‭; ‬husbands are not held to any standard for the woman rises to his position‭; ‬men are mocked,‭ ‬women are idolized‭; ‬rape and all sorts of perverse sins are‭ ‬RAMPANT and women are unprotected on every side‭; ‬to be feminine is seen as weakness‭; ‬it is noble to pursue anything except being a loving wife and mother‭; ‬in all of these few things I have seen and been exposed to,‭ ‬it is very clear to me that I live in a reality that is wholly opposed to what God calls me to.‭ ‬What He calls me to is not dependent on if he sends me a husband,‭ ‬but rather simply because He first loved me,‭ ‬chose me,‭ ‬redeemed me,‭ ‬and ever sanctifies me‭ ‬and He deserves all of me for His glory.‭ ‬He loves me,‭ ‬so His design and plan is good.‭ ‬He chose me,‭ ‬so in His sovereignty He will place just what I need in this life in His timing.‭ ‬He redeemed me,‭ ‬so I am not my own.‭ ‬He sanctifies me,‭ ‬that I might be more like His Son and a light unto the world.‭ ‬In the end,‭ ‬I am made to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever‭; ‬this is on His terms,‭ ‬not mine.

If anything in here is offensive,‭ ‬you might be a product of the feministic,‭ ‬humanistic,‭ ‬hedonistic,‭ ‬narcissistic,‭ ‬autonomous culture you are immersed in.‭ ‬If anything in here moves you toward the Lord and relinquishing self,‭ ‬you might just be a‭ ‬child of the King.‭ ‬Ultimately,‭ ‬this is but a glimpse and nothing I have said is new‭ (‬and it is woefully lacking understanding‭; ‬by the Lord‭’‬s grace He is ever opening my eyes to His truth and ways‭)‬.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How Good is Our Lord!

I am reminded very tenderly, painfully, and joyfully just how good the Lord is; how Sovereign He is; how absolutely perfect He is. Because He holds the entire world down to the smallest atom in His hands, this means He is in control. Utterly. Completely. And of course, this is only natural; He is Creator, I am the created.

Tonight, I held my sister in a tender embrace (for her collarbone is fractured!) and had to gently say, the Lord is good! The clencher? He is good, not only because He took our sister to heaven exactly when He decided to, though "sooner" than we would have liked, but because He gave her to us for the time He did! I told her, He is Sovereign; it is not about us, but it truly is about Him... but in His grace He redeemed Dinah when He did and His sanctification work within her was absolutely stunning, vibrant, and evident to any who came in contact with her. In His grace, He chose her; in His perfect will, He swept her away from this life; in His mercy, He loved her. He is good. He planned to "take" her from us; He planned for the hurt and grief to come... but in that the tears are not a bad thing, for even Jesus wept! If He willed for us to "lose" a sister and knew the pain we would feel, He is still good; we have Him amid the tears. I told her, in everything, we must run to the Lord for only He can give us rest, peace, and comfort; only He can bind up our wounded hearts. As I prayed with her, my heart absolutely broke into a thousand pieces... for I remember those bitter moments before the Lord opened my eyes, before I had even a fraction of understanding His Sovereignty. I could not figure it out until I first realized, it was for His glory! It is all about Him! In hurt, when we praise His name, He is glorified.

And as the tears stung my eyes for the pain my little sister felt so deeply, I asked to pray with her. With each beat my heart seemed to breaking a little more. All I want is for her to grasp how good the Almighty God is in everything.

Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

What does the Lord owe us? Nothing. What do we deserve? Eternal separation from Him. What does the Lord give us elect? His grace, mercy, love, and goodness! We know that even amid the trials and pain, HE IS GOOD! We know when He pours out blessing, HE IS GOOD!

In the end, all I can do is buy icecream for my sister, sit with my sister, pray for my sister, listen to my sister, love my sister, weep for my sister, hug my sister; but only the Lord can give her what she truly needs: Himself. He is the only solid place, the only sure thing, the only reason, the only One who is so constant; in life He is all that makes sense in an upside down world.

Our Lord is so good. I was sinful, vile, totally corrupt, utterly depraved; but in His grace He took me from that place; in His grace He took my sin upon Himself, and gave me His righteousness. I deserved nothing, yet He gave me all I could ever need: Himself. Dear Dinah, she too received this gift of righteousness, eternal life, eternal hope, eternal rest with her Savior. She truly glorified her Maker with her life. Dinah, sanctified; Dinah, redeemed; Dinah, chosen; Dinah, loved; Dinah, the sweetest little girl with a fiery personality, a child of God. He is so good, byHis grace, I know I will see her again.

How good is our Lord!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Resolved

I have wrestled for a while whether or not I should share this part of my life "online". Is it too personal? Would it come across "holier than thou"? What message would it send? After much thought, I believe it would be beneficial to share. Firstly, because then people will see my "heart" better and understand much of why I say & what I do online(and every other area of my life!!); secondly, because people will see how imperfect I am, yet how I truly do seek the Lord amid my falls; lastly, because it is most humbling: people will see how far I am from living as I wish to live.

Last November the Lord impressed it upon my heart to put all of these to paper, though it is not "new" for me, it was "new" to write it down; and parts have been added in constantly as are more scriptures added in as well. It was inspired by Jonathan Edwards' resolutions; you can see them here. Instead of aiming for such lofty heights that I could not attain, I wanted to start simple; I wished to write short pertinent statements. It is plainly straightforward and but a short list to remind me each waking day how I wish to live. It is strategically placed where I see it multiple times a day. Again, it is a simple reminder for me personally (though it is incumbent upon me to note: though it was penned within my own words, I do not think the concepts only relate to my life; it really is for any Christian; I just happen to have a very elementary way of saying it compared to Edwards!)

Without further ado:

1. Resolved: To not be lazy or fall into idleness with my hands; but rather to use my time wisely to glorify the Lord in all things.
2. Resolved: To shield my eyes, ears, mind, and heart from the filth of this world.
3. Resolved: To implore the heart of God instead of judging and seeing people through my own (fleshly) eyes; to treat others as Christ would despite their sin, but in love, serve them in the manner of Christ's example.
4. Resolved: To be pure in my dress, speech, mind, heart, and conduct.
5. Resolved: To study, meditate, and learn God’s word daily.
6. Resolved: To be in constant communication with the Holy Spirit; both in intentional and continual prayer throughout the day.
7. Resolved: To live with every fiber of my being as long as I live upon this earth.
8. Resolved: To never do anything in half-measures.
9. Resolved: To strive, by God’s grace, to my utmost to be brought into a deeper more solidified relationship with my Savior than the previous week.
10. Resolved: To humbly inquire each night the state of my own sinfulness before God; so that I may repent and return with more fullness to Him.
11. Resolved: To begin each day relying upon the Lord.
12. Resolved: To live above reproach.
13. Resolved: To truly live where God’s love is better than life.
14. Resolved: In all things to know my Lord and Savior and make Him known; to live for Him alone.
15. Resolved: To know, study, learn, protect, proclaim, and live God’s truth-no matter what the cost.
16. Resolved: To daily seek my God with all my heart.
17. Resolved: To trust my God implicitly in every area of my life.

1. 1 Corinthians 15:58; Proverbs 6:6/ 15:19
2. Psalm 119:37; Philippians 4:8; Titus 2:12; Colossians 3:2; 2 Timothy 2:19/ 2:16
3. Philippians 2:3-8
4. Colossians 4:6; 1 Timothy 1:5/ 2:9-10/ 4:12; Ephesians 4:29; 2 Timothy 4:22
5. Psalm 1:2/ 119:104
6. Galatians 5:16-26; Philippians 4:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:17
7. John 10:10
8. 1 Corinthians 15:58/ 10:31
9. 2 Corinthians 13:5; Psalm 42:1-2, 7
10. Psalm 61/ 139:23-24
11. Psalm 118:24
12. Colossians 1:22
13. Psalm 63/ 73:25
14. 1 Timothy 4:7; Titus 2:14; Psalm 119:46; Psalm 73:28
15. Psalm 119:44-48/ 73:28; 1 Timothy 6:20/ 3:16-4:8; 1 Corinthians 10:13
16. Psalm 119:10; Jeremiah 29:13
17. Psalm 33:21/ 56:3; 2 Corinthians 1:9; Jeremiah 48:7; 2 Chronicles 14:11