Tuesday, March 7, 2017

"Out of life's misery, born of mans sin, a fuller, richer life begins. For when we are helpless with no place to go and our hearts are heavy and our spirits are low; if we place our poor broken lives in God's hands and surrender completely to His will and demands. The darkness lifts and the sun shines through and by His touch we are born anew. So praise God for the trouble that cuts like a knife and disappointments that shatter our lives. For with patience to wait and faith to endure,your life will be blessed and your future secure, For God is but testing your faith and your love before He appoints you to rise far above. All the small things that so sorely distress you, For God's only intention is to strengthen and bless you." 
-Helen Steiner Rice, Bouquets


Galatians 2:20

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

 Through Jesus' death and resurrection we have access to God. We have access to eternity with Him, and access to a beautiful life of communion with Him here on this Earth. When we accept the grace and forgiveness that Jesus offers through the cross, then begins the work of sanctification. Sanctification is the concept of being "set apart." We are now set apart from sin; apart from the world, the mindset of the world, and the cultures of the world. The purpose of being set apart from the world is to be set apart for the purposes and plans of the Lord. To love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5). Galatians 2:20 explains the simplicity of being sanctified from the world to Christ. "It is no longer I who live.." The person I thought I was, the person I tired to be, the identity I tried to build for myself along with my ego; is now replaced with the person of the Holy Spirit inside of me. Having His Spirit inside of my heart I am now united to Him. My identity is no longer found in who I try to be; rather found in who Jesus is, who He calls me to be in His word and what Gods plans and purposes are for me here on Earth. This is my identity. But sanctification is not only the process of being set a part to Christ. It is the process of the Lord bringing us to Himself; being made more into His likeness.
Recently the Lord has allowed me to walk through challenging circumstances and difficult conversations. Walking through these situations has been extremely hard; externally and internally. At times my circumstances have felt very grim. I find myself asking, "Why Lord?" and He reminds of a beautiful promise. Sanctification. Every situation, every circumstance that I walk through in my life, He is in the process of bringing me to Himself. This is a promise. No matter the circumstance, the Lord wants to make us into His likeness. He desires for us to run to Him.
What peace that comes from resting in this! I can say this with confidence because I am experiencing this peace even as I type these words. The Lord allows me to walk through challenging circumstances and difficult conversations all for the purpose of the refining of my faith. He wants to invest into my life, and bring me to Himself, to His presences, where there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16).

 How amazing it is that the God of the universe wants to invest into our lives!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


IBS 13

Hebrews 13:5             

"Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Reading this verse my initial thought is that the emphasis on being content with what we have is directed towards money and material items. I think this verse is simply saying don’t crave what you don’t have. But the more I meditate on the words in this verse; I realize that my view is so narrow. Conduct is more than a desire to possess more or less of something. Conduct is an attitude, it is behavior and it is action. This verse isn’t just saying don’t covet in my heart, but in the way I live my life. Let the way I live my life be without desiring what I don’t have or not given to me. The call is to a simple life. Let my heart not crave empty, fading, pointless items. The reality of this verse is that fulfillment cannot be found in material things and money never satisfies. We all have a longing in the depths of our souls. When we feed this longing with material items (clothes, products, any item), distractions (tv, movies, even music), or money; we simply feed that longing a counterfeit. What we truly long for is more of Him. We covet and crave more of Him; but in a world full of distractions, we don’t understand the depths to which our souls cry out for His presence in our lives. If Christ is not present and King of my heart, I know I will never be content with anything before me. In the book my class is reading, Real Worship, Warren W. Wiersbe writes:  Your adoring response of worship to your Creator ought to help cure you of worry. Isn’t this the root of discontentment?  We worry that we are not secure enough, we don’t have enough; we don’t have what we need. I am simply at a loss of words because of the heart of Christ. He is telling us to rest with what He has given us because His constant presence in our lives is sufficient to fulfill and satisfy all of our needs. In my life, I don’t want to feed my soul counterfeit satisfaction. This requires me to then choose what I find my satisfaction in each day and requires me to live it out.

Application: Today I will write down in my journal different ways I have found contentment and satisfaction in Christ, rather than what the world has to offer me. I will take time and meditate on these things and praise the Lord for His loving kindness.


IBS 12

Luke 3:14

“Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?” So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.”


In Luke chapter 3, John the Baptist is addressing a group of people who are inquiring of what they need to do in order to bear fruit. In this verse, John is specifically addressing soldiers. When I read this I relate to these men, knowing that I am a soldier for Christ. “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely.” In relationships, especially when ministering to others, these are two very important concepts. I am a soldier for the Kingdom, but I have no authority. “Be content with your wages.” I see this in two ways; be content in what your financial wage is, or in your ministry harvest. On Wednesdays we have a kids club; anywhere between 100-150 kids come. A kids club here in Antigua consists of a time of playing soccer, Frisbee, volleyball, then a time of dancing to songs. We then split up into different groups based on ages and have a lesson. The past two weeks I have been involved with the older girls study group. (Ages 11-15) In my heart I want to reach out and minister to these girls, but I know that a lot of these girls come from difficult homes and backgrounds. We are very different. This being said, they may look at me, being a blonde white girl and feel intimidated. I have left the past two kids clubs feeling discontent, because I want to communicate, I want to minister to them the love and freedom that Christ brings. But what God may have for me in a moment with these girls may simply be a smile and use of the few Spanish words I know.

Application: Before kids club tomorrow, I will get alone with the Lord and ask Him for the compassion, discernment and contentment for whatever He has in store for that Kids Club.


IBS 11

1Timothy 6:6-8

“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.”

It can be easy to find comfort in “things.” I absolutely love journaling. I love writing down different things I am learning, different verses the Lord is giving me, memories, thoughts, quotes; I love it. But the Lord has revealed to me that I have created a dependency on journaling. I enter into my time with Him ready to write instead of ready to listen. I would open my Bible in the mornings and think, “Okay Lord, what do you have for me today?” But God is not a vending machine. Now journaling in its self isn’t bad, but when I place my thoughts and my words above what He has to say to me, I’m missing out. So this last week I decided to fast from journaling. I began my mornings just me and His word. Instead of entering my day asking, “What do you have for me today?” I entered my days asking, “Whatever you would have for me today.” The difference is expectation. One attitude is seeking for something and the other is open to anything, all or nothing. What I mean by all or nothing is that when I truly humble my heart before Him, with open hands and an open heart, I allow the Lord to speak great and encouraging things to me; or allow Him to be silent and I remain content with either response. As I laid aside my thoughts and words on what He is teaching me, the Lord reminded me of this verse: “I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.” (Job 23:12) When I open my Bible and sit before my King, before my Father, my Savior, I want to worship Him; not my expectations of what He can give me. This verse has stirred up a desire in my heart to truly know what it means to “treasure the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.” This requires me to truly delight myself in Him. I didn’t bring my love for words and journaling into this world, I cannot take them out. My words will fade, they will become dust; but His words will be forever. If the Lord took away my ability to speak, my ability to write, could I be content with just His words?

Application: As I continue throughout my training time, I will use caution on how much I journal and the content I write. I will continually ask the Lord what He would have for me; setting aside my expectations and allowing His words to be my contentment.

Lord, please teach me what it is to speak, what it is to write; what it is to truly delight myself in You.

Saturday, February 4, 2017


IBS 10

Hebrews 6:12

“that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

I personally can’t truly grasp the context of Hebrews 6:12 without looking at 6:11 too. Hebrews 6:11-12 says, “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end; that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” In these verses I see that the cry of Pauls’ heart is for us to avoid becoming sluggish. He wouldn’t take time to write this if becoming sluggish wasn’t going to be a struggle. But he also gives us the means to prevent being sluggish. Diligence. Today in class Pastor Art was teaching on Philippians chapter 3. Philippians 3:14-15: “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.” Paul says here that even those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and yet don’t understand the depth that we should have the mindset of life in light of eternity; God will reveal this truth to them. It is a mature mindset. Paul is really asking “Where is your mind?”  We live in a horizontal world where it is easy to think horizontally; Earth being our present state. But Paul is really saying we should have a vertical mindset; Earth is not our home. My biggest battle ground is my mind; so this question of “Where is your mind” really gets me thinking. We were all created to worship. We all will worship something. Our lives are worship of ourselves or worship of God; and as I meditate on this concept of being diligent I know it is hard for me to be diligent in things my heart and mind are not sold out for. I was reading in the book, Real Worship by Warren W. Wiersbe (an incredible book on the reality of what worship is) and the author writes: ”We become like the god that we worship.” So this brings up another question in my mind. “Who am I worshipping?” All of these questions edge me towards this idea of avoiding becoming sluggish. If my mind is on eternity, I will be diligent in all that God has placed before me and in my relationship with Him. I won’t live my life according to what I think or want, but according to His perfect will. If I am worshipping God and not myself, I will be enabled to press on through the weight this world tries to throw onto my back; because I am not living for me, rather for the sincere glory of God. In this Paul doesn’t neglect to remind us that it requires patience to inherit the promises give us. Patience preserves our souls; because ultimately we are patiently awaiting, not the promises of this life, but the return of Jesus Christ. He is our promise.

Application: I am going to write on a note card the questions, “Where is your mind?” and “Who are you worshipping?” I will also write down, “Patience preserves Your soul” and place them on the inside of my wardrobe door. This will stir up a heart check and refocus me daily that Jesus is my promise.