Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Bit of Doxology For My Loves

Dear friends -

Do not allow yourself to become discouraged by those who sneer at what they don't understand, and do whatever they feel like doing, following the whims of their sinful flesh. Do not be dismayed by those who hover like dark clouds when you come together, participating freely in your worship and fellowship and shamelessly taking more than what is offered. Their clouds hold no rain and their trees bear no fruit; they are lost stars traveling through space towards a black hole.

Remember, my friends, that the apostles saw this coming. "In the last days there will be people among you who don't take any of it seriously anymore. They'll treat what is precious like a joke, picking and choosing what they like and filling in the gaps with flesh-driven desires." They will divide you, living only by their natural instincts since they do not have the Holy Spirit.

But you, friends - you are different. Carefully build yourselves up in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourself planted, basking in the center of God's abundant love, waiting with open hands and outstretched arms for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to everlasting life.

Treat those who doubt in the faith with compassion and patience. Go after those who take the wrong way vigorously - snatch them from the fire and save them. Do not be soft on sin; its filth defiles everything it touches. But be tender with the sinner, and approach him with love and fear for his soul.

And now to Him who can keep you on your feet, unstained and rejoicing, standing tall before Him in all His glorious presence - to the only God our Savior, be every bit of glory, majesty, strength, and rule from before time began to the far reaches of eternity. Amen!

In His love,

Monday, February 8, 2010

All That Matters Now

how many roads did i travel
before i walked down one that led me to you?
and how many dreams did unravel
before i believed in a hope that was true?
how long? how far?
what was meant to fulfill only emptied me still
and all you ever wanted....

only me
on my knees
singing holy, holy
and somehow
all that matters now is
you are holy, holy

how many deaths did i die
before i was awakened to new life again?
how many half truths did i bear witness to
'til the proof was disproved in the end?
how long? how far?
what was meant to illuminate only shadowed me still
and all you ever wanted...

only me
on my knees
singing holy, holy
and somehow
all that matters now is
you are holy, holy

and all i have is gratitude to offer you
you are holy

-Nichole Nordeman

"Be Mine" - A Love Letter

From He who made you in the first place:

Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you.
I've called your name. You're mine.
When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you.
When you're in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you're between a rock and a hard place, it won't be a dead end -
Because I am the King of kings, I am your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

I paid a huge price for you - all of Egypt, with wealthy Cush and Seba thrown in.
That's how much you mean to me!
That's how much I love you!
I'd sell off the whole world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you.

I want you back, every last one who bears my name,
every man, woman, and child
Whom I created for my glory,
yes, personally formed and made each one of you.

I am God. I spoke, I saved, I told you what existed
long before any of these other gods and philosophies came about.
I've always been God and I always will be God.

Listen to my words -
I am He who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you:
Do not be afraid.
I will pour water on the thirsty land
and streams on the dry ground.

(Isaiah 43/44)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tiny, Shivering Sparrows

There was a farmer who was, by nature, a skeptic.

One raw winter night the man heard an irregular thumping sound against the kitchen storm door. He went to a window and watched as tiny, shivering sparrows, attracted to the evident warmth and light inside, beat in vain against the glass.

Touched, the farmer bundled up and trudged through the fresh snow to open the barn door for the struggling birds. He turned on the lights and tossed some hay into the corner. But the sparrows, which had scattered in all directions when he emerged from the house, hid in the darkness, afraid.

The man tried various tactics to get them into the barn. He laid down a trail of Saltine cracker crumbs to direct them. He tired circling behind the birds to drive them toward the barn. Nothing worked. He, a huge, alien creature, had terrified them; the birds couldn't comprehend that he actually desired to help them.

The farmer withdrew to his house and watched the doomed sparrows through a window. As he stared, a thought hit him like lightning from a clear blue sky:
If only I could become a bird - one of them - just for a moment. Then I wouldn't frighten them so. I could show them the way to warmth and safety.
At the same moment, another thought dawned on him. He had grasped the reason Jesus was born.

-Paul Harvey

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Matthew 10:29-31
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