Monthly Archives: April 2011

wisconsin 1/2 marathon

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I’m excited to have just picked up my packet for the Wisconsin 1/2 Marathon this coming weekend May 7.

I’m running with a group of runners who are raising funds for ELIM ministries.  You can check out the details here  http://www.elimretreats.org/race.php.

Jon and I had the privilege of attending a retreat of theirs last fall.  It was a significant time of renewal for us in our marriage and in ministry.  I’m excited to be partnering with them in running my first 1/2 Marathon!

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the royal wedding

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at 3:35 my alarm went off this morning .. in my pj’s and glasses, along with my mother-in-law, daughter Elizabeth and scones in hand, we hurried off to my friend Karen’s house for the viewing LIVE of the Royal Wedding of William and Catherine!

It’s not that I’m all that committed to English Royalty .. but when I first got to know Karen, and attended an event or two at her house, I vowed that to the best of my ability, I would never miss an event she hosted.  In addition to being a dear friend, she’s a great hostess and knows how to Celebrate!  The Royal Wedding was no exception.  She greeted us with her feathered hair piece and English Breakfast tea, hot and ready to serve from her English Teapot!

It was all quite lovely!

What most struck me about the wedding though, was the amount of scripture used.  For the most part, the invocations, readings, anthems were all taken directly from scripture.  John 3:16 was even quoted.  God promises that His word does not return void … I cannot help but think and hope that the millions who watched, LIVE and around the world, that some heard these words for the first time ever and they will be seeds sown, watered and some day harvested.

easter reflections

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As this Easter weekend of 2011 draws to a close, I delight in sharing a few reflections.  Easter meant something different to me this year .. I understand differently, more fully, my need for a savior.

I loved the message at our church this morning.  Our pastor faithfully preaches the Word of God each Sunday and this Easter Sunday was no exception.  The passage was Romans 1:16-17

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

and the message was as clear of a presentation of the gospel as I can remember hearing.

He boldly answered the question, “what are we being saved from?”  the answer, in part,  being, “we are being saved from God.  From the wrath of a Holy God.”

We are sinners.  God is Holy.

Because he sacrificed His sinless Son for our sins, as our substitute, He now sees us as righteous and not as the sinful beings that we are.  Those of us who believe, as Paul states in this passage, are declared righteous.

The implications of this are what most impacted me …

He talked about the efforts we make in life to validate ourselves.  I’m most prone to validate myself and my worth by the opinions of others.  Ultimately this makes an idol out of people and their opinions.

Living in light of the Gospel .. not just for salvation, but daily, tells me and reminds me that I don’t need the validation of men, I have the Gospel.  I’ve been declared righteous by my creator.

The truth is, I want people to think I’m amazing.  My self-striving in this endeavor only leaves me exhausted.  My heart cries out, “validate me!”

What I must acknowledge daily is that only in the Cross am I proven and accepted.  And living in this reality daily could and would radically change my life.

I would approach my relationships in ways that allow me to accept others the way Christ has accepted me.

The gospel reminds me that no matter how impressive I am, I am still a sinner.

God is saying to me, “Give up! And trust in My perfect work, not your own.”

I have learned and continue to learn much about myself and my shortcomings.  Thankfully, God has shown  me much more about Himself.
At the close of this Easter of 2011, I will choose to ‘give up’ & rest on the Gospel.

a prayer for easter

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Beth Moore posted this prayer on her blog yesterday … a good focus and reflection for this weekend.

My Dearest Abba and my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus,

Cause me to be moved and mindful of this death and resurrection season – Of this, the most important annual celebration we commemorate as Your church. Cause me to be awake and aware in You, Lord. I am so grateful for the sacrifice of this One spotless Lamb of God. For just a moment, I try to imagine myself on that same road of suffering with that same cross on my flesh-torn back, pierced, hung, and exposed on that same tree and I shudder. My sins outweigh my frame, Lord. I am unable to bear them. Thank You, Jesus, for not only bearing the pain but for enduring the shame. You are the single reason I am not weighed down in the suffocating mire of shame every single day of my life. I earned it. I deserved it. I am so grateful, Abba Father, for Your willingness to will and to witness that soul-saving, Hell-defeating act rendered by Your one and only Son. I praise You, faithful, merciful God, and ask to be moved this weekend with meditation, reflection, fresh wonder and renewed victory.

Please pursue each member of my family and me for the full work and benefit of Your Cross and Your resurrection. Please do not yield to our resistance. Appear unmistakably in every place we run. Walk through every door we slam. No addiction need hold us, no affliction need bind us, no suffering need smother us, no defeat need hover over us, no foolish act need define us and death need not haunt us. In the quake of the Cross, hopelessness slipped through the trembling cracks of earth and fell with an everlasting sentence into the bottomless abyss. Graves broke open and the bonds of the guilty fell from their wrists with a breath-taking thud. Because of this day that we, Your church, commemorate, we are free.

We are grateful.

We are aware.

In the saving Name of Jesus Christ,

Amen.

this is love . . .

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I John 4:9-12

9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

the message of the cross

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Spurgeon says of Isaiah 53, “the Bible in miniature and the gospel in essence.”

Isaiah 53

1 Who has believed what he has heard from us?

And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,

and like a root out of dry ground;

he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,

and no beauty that we should desire him.

3 He was despised and rejected by men;

a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;

and as one from whom men hide their faces

he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he has borne our griefs

and carried our sorrows;

yet we esteemed him stricken,

smitten by God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions;

he was crushed for our iniquities;

upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,

and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray;

we have turned—every one—to his own way;

and the Lord has laid on him

the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,

yet he opened not his mouth;

like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,

and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,

so he opened not his mouth.

8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;

and as for his generation, vwho considered

that he was cut off out of the land of the living,

stricken for the transgression of my people?

9 And they made his grave with the wicked

and with a rich man in his death,

although he had done no violence,

and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;

he has put him to grief;

when his soul makes an offering for guilt,

he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;

the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;

by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,

make many to be accounted righteous,

and he shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,

and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,

because he poured out his soul to death

and was numbered with the transgressors;

yet he bore the sin of many,

and makes intercession for the transgressors.