Friday, December 24, 2010

post 15

How do angels crowd around to see the Son of God take off his robes?
He laid aside his crown; 
He said, 
"My father, 
I am Lord over all, 
blessed forever, 
but I will lay my crown aside, 
and be as mortal men are." 

He strips himself of his bright vest of glory; 
"Father," he says, 
"I will wear a robe of clay, 
just as men wear." 

Then He takes off all those jewels,
 wherewith he was glorified; 
He lays aside his starry mantles
 and robes of light, 
to dress himself in the simple garments of the peasant of Galilee. 

What a solemn disrobing that must have been! 
And next, can you picture the dismissal! 

The angels attend the Saviour through the streets, 
until they approach the doors: 
when an angel announced,
 "Lift up your heads, 
O ye gates, 
and be ye lifted up ye everlasting doors, 
and let the King of Glory through!" 

 The Father sent him! 
To earth!
For you!
Contemplate that subject. 
Let your soul get hold of it,
 and in every period of His life think that He suffered what the Father willed; 
that every step of his life was marked with the approval of the great I AM. 

Let every thought that you have of Jesus
 be also connected with the eternal, ever-blessed God;
sent by His Father,
for His dearly loved you,
according to the beautiful plan and everlasting heart of God.


charles spurgeon

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

post 14 - currently reading

"in the beginning there was no earth,
no air,
no fire,
and no water.

there were no up quarks or down quarks.
there were no leptons or nuclei.
there were no oysters,
no fat rabbits,
no fast rabbits,
and no falcons.

no one had invented sperm.
no one had invented man or woman,
magnetism, or cows,
or milk that can be turned to cheese to eat,
or canes excreting sweetness to be mixed with cream to enjoy.

there were no green things to harvest the air with sunlight,
because there was no air, no sun, no green.
there were no aphids,
or ants to defend them.

wings had not been dreamt.
rivers had not been sung.
desert sand had not yet been spread and rippled.

there was no such thing as color - the behavior of light in response to material thing.
there was no such thing as smell - the interpretation of matter by an airborne sampling.
there was no such thing as touch - the physical sensation of contact between two material things.

there were no sight - not of our sort.
no taste.
no ears.
no time.

but there was a Being, spirit, infinite, I AM.
in that being there was One, and there was Many.
there was Love.
there was Joy.
there was true Laughter.
there was a Word, a Voice.
there was an Artist, but not yet art.

but then that Voice said Light,
and extended Himself a finite canvas to paint the only thing worth painting;
to paint the glory of the I AM.
the art has a beginning - it began when time did - but it will have no end.

the Voice will never be silent.
and so He paints."

Monday, November 15, 2010

post 13

"Are you in shadow? Are you in pain? 
Has the rock been lifted, removing the sky, tearing your life in half?

Do not cry to me.  I can only cry with you. 
Talk to the Fool, to the One who left a throne to enter an anthill. 
He will enter your shadow.  It will not taint Him.   He has done it before.

His holiness is not fragile.

Touch His skin, put your hand to His side. 
He has kept His scars when He did not have to.
Take to Him your pain
and watch it overwhelmed,
burned away by the joy He takes in loving you.

In the end, when your life is of a different sort,
your first and human flesh will be dust. 
And of your grief? 
Not one grain of ash will remain

ND Wilson - Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

post 12 - morris family

"you’ll always be love’s great martyr
i'll be the flattered fool
and I need you"
dave barnes - God gave me you
They were definitely "just friends."  Definitely.
Terry was dating someone else, and Cindy was a cautious, baby Christian.  Friends were good.
Over the course of a year, however, Terry's relationship ended.  And he thought that Cindy was a GREAT girl.
So great, in fact, he suggested her to his good friend!  "She's beautiful, loves the Lord - you should go for it, man!"
That's what friends do.  Friends help each other out.  Friends keep their eyes out for each other.  And Friend Terry was more then happy to help his Guy Friend meet a lovely lady like Friend Cindy.
One problem.  Just a little while after he suggested her for his buddy, Terry realized what a mistake he had made.  He was kicking himself.  She IS beautiful! She DOES love the Lord! She would be GREAT to pursue! Why am I not with her?
Never fear.  God is God and always has been and this wasn't the first time a guy slightly blew-it in the girl department.  In His timing, and after a bit of chasing and fighting for her heart, Terry and Cindy fell in love.
Oh, falling in love.  So exciting! So heart-racing!  So full of dreams and so promising!  So new and fun, so la-la-laaaaa! And it should be that way.  It should be absolutely incredible.  But let's be honest, sometimes life isn't always absolutely incredible.  Sometimes its, in fact, absolutely miserable.  What happens then?  How do marriages last through the miserable? Through "the worse" and "the poorer" and "the sickness" and actually make it to "as long as we both shall live"?  I can tell you what I've heard, but I know that as a 21-year-old single head, I have no experience to pull from.  But I can learn from couples like Terry and Cindy.
Quickly after they got married they started their family.  Twin boys got the ball rolling and they had eleven more children after that. Thirteen total.  That's just too much fun - it's got to be grueling and exhausting, but also rewarding and wonderful.  In 2003 they had their second set of twins - Josiah and Joel.  Oh goodness those two were fun. Josiah was a little bit more of the the follower, definitely the "second-born" and noticeably more calm then Joel.  Joel was a firecracker.  Jolly (joel-y? haha just kidding), funny, active - he kept everyone on their toes and everyone laughing.  He had an unquenchable love for life, and just delighted his parents and many brothers and few sisters.
However, in October 2006 his little body became sick.  He had neuroblastoma and by December he was in a coma.  But his heart beat on, and blood flowed through his veins.  He was alive.  Through a nasty few weeks of battling with doctors to not give up on him, signs of hope, crushing pain when conditions worsened and lifting up many many many prayers, God allowed Joel to breath his last breath on this earth and take little Joel home.
Photobucket Losing a child is never easy.  I won't even begin to pretend like I know what that's like.  I asked Cindy and Terry to tell me what that was like, especially as a couple.  Terry instantly was choked up.  Through quivering lips and watery eyes he told me about that trial.  He told me about Cindy's "motherly instinct" when she realized Joel was dying, he told me how, though his "love language" is touch, there were times Cindy she couldn't be near him - or anyone - so he had to love her by giving her space.  He told me about nights after Joel died where Terry had to literally talk to and pray for Cindy to keep her alive - the grief was so strong that she just wanted to close her eyes and die at times.  
Those moments are not romantic, fluffy, soaring highs.  But those moments are love in action.  Terry quoted part of I Corinthians 13 to me: "Love bears all things." "You know," he told me, "couples who lose children have the highest divorce rate of any other trial.  I knew we were going to make it - I knew it [as he rubs his hand on his wife's knee] - but it was hard." 

Photobucket Cindy filled in her part of the story.  She described that year of losing Joel as "a pit, the lowest valley."  She felt robotic, lifeless and doubted God.  Scripture was just black letters on white pages.  Praying was quite difficult, psh! - waking up was difficult!  "There was nothing Terry could do.  He couldn't fix it.  I needed God, but I questioned who He was.  I doubted everything.  Terry never did.  He knew God was good and had a plan, but that was so hard for me."  
Walking through a heartache as a couple isn't a like a movie where everything goes right.  It's just straight up difficult.  You get tested, crushed, challenged, pushed and molded in ways you never dreamed - and probably never wanted.  You realize that this person doesn't give you all you need.  In fact, this person might even sting right now.  But all of that points you to God - who made marriage to imitate the unconditional, sacrificial love of the Lord Jesus Christ for His people.  And He is the one who can and does see brittle marriages through.  The very trials that could destroy, He uses to bond even closer.   Terry and Cindy are proof of that.

Photobucket Cindy said "One day, everything changed.  I woke up, and the Lord gave me a verse."  She paused, searching for words for a moment. Photobucket"The only way I can think to describe this is that I just 'ate' it.  And the next day there was another, and then another!  And these words gave me life again.  It was almost like stepping stones across water.  One at a time.  Slowly but surely.  And now I can look through my Bible with dates next to so many verses on days where God carried me!  It's filled with them!  God saw me through."  Terry gave his wife a little extra squeeze.
Their marriage really is transformed.  They love life.  Goodness do they miss Joel - and tears are shed almost daily in remembrance of him.  But there is hope, there is support, there is love.  What a wonderful thing the Lord has done.
Their son Daniel laughed "Yeah, he just can't stop kissin' her!" (It was true.  At least for the few hours I was there.)  Bethany, their oldest daughter, explained to me what their marriage is like.  "There is a commitment to submit on her part, and a commitment to love on his part."  I asked her to explain that more. "My mom trusts the intent of my dad.  She trusts that his ideas for her and our family are good and loving."  Caleb added "Well, she knows that 'his ideas' aren't just 'his ideas' rather dad has sought the Lord and is doing what he feels the Lord has called him to do, and mom trusts God and therefore follows dad."  
We all talked for a while, and I wish I could write the whole conversation out.  But I walked away knowing this:  God is good.  God is faithful.  Marriage is good.  Marriage is hard.  But a faithful God can take hard lives and use them for good.  And I've always known that, but meeting people like the Morris's helps you understand it in a new, more meaningful way.  I also realized, in an also newer, deeper way, how much their love/marriage/trial/faith is a testimony to their children and will effect their children's futures.  It will be so exciting to see how God uses that whole trial for future Morris generations and beyond :D
 Morris's - thank you for your story, your life and your welcoming-hearts!  God has become more real to me through hearing about Joel and what God has done in you all through that.  Thank you!

If you'd like to "meet" the Morris' or read more of Joel's story and their family's story the last few years, check out their blog

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

post 11

Isaiah was a prophet and Bible-penner.
Isaiah had a vision.
It was a vision of Jesus in the temple.

"I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up;
and the train of his robe filled the temple. 
Above him stood the seraphim. 
Each had six wings:
with two he covered his face,
and with two he covered his feet, 
and with two he flew.  
And one called to another and said:
“'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!'” 
And I said:
“'Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips;
but my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!'”
 It was quite majestic and holy.
[Hundreds of years later]

Simeon was a prophet.  And a Bible-translator.
He spent his life translating the book of Isaiah from Hebrew to Greek.
And waiting "for the consolation of Israel... And it had been revealed to him that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ."
"Simeon came in the Spirit into the temple that day 
and when the parents brought in the child Jesus,
to do for him according to the custom of the Law,
he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

'Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation
that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.'”
It was quite simple, but still holy.

The vision of the Lord in the temple from Isaiah that Simeon had studied for so long was a royal, fantastic, glorious vision of a King!  But the moment where Simeon actually saw the Lord in the temple was so plain.  A baby with his parents, following religious customs.

But God had kept His promise. 
I need to expect Him to do that.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

post 10

psalm | 136

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,
 for His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
 for His steadfast love endures forever.
To Him who alone does great wonders,
for His steadfast love endures forever.

To Him brought Israel out from among Egypt,
for His steadfast love endures forever;
with a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
for His steadfast love endures forever;
to him who divided the Red Sea in two,
for His steadfast love endures forever;
 and made Israel pass through the midst of it,
for His steadfast love endures forever;

To Him who led His people through the wilderness,
for His steadfast love endures forever;
It is He who remembered us in our low estate,
for His steadfast love endures forever;
and rescued us from our foes,
for His steadfast love endures forever;

Give thanks to the God of heaven,
for His steadfast love endures forever"

To Him who genuinely cares about the details of my life.
To Him who thoughtfully plans my life.
To Him whose power able to execute, whose might is able to control.
To Him who wove me together and hemmed me in, behind and before.
To Him whose love endures - not for a moment, not for "just one more time," not for the past, not for "when I get it together" - but forever.

"Behold! This is my God."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

post 9

john 14:15
"if you love Me, you will obey me."

sometimes i make up my own version of john 14:15. but it's not what the Bible says.
but sometimes i think it.

"if you obey me, I will love you."

"if you do what I say, then I will love you.
"if you obey well, then I will look upon you with affection."
"if you mess up, I will be disappointed."
"if you disobey, I will not love you."

self, it's just not true.

"but these are written so that you may believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that by believing you may have life in His name." 

"so we have come to know and to believe 
 the love that God has for us. 
God is love."

"May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God
and to the steadfastness of Christ."

yes, Lord, may you direct my heart to the steadfastness of Christ, not the steadfastness of myself.
i believe You love me.
i believe that that is enough!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

post 8

About an hour ago I turned 21 :D
Or, technically, I will turn 21 for realreal in 4 hours 10 minutes... but whatever ;)

I love birthdays because they are such a good "mile-marker" to look back on and remember.  It's absolutely completely insane to me that I'm 21.  God is doing so much these days and life is such a whirlwind.  But I love it.

One of the parts of His Word that He seems to constantly bring me to is Job 23:

 I go forward, but He is not in sight,

and backward, but I do not perceive him;
on the left hand when He is working, I do not behold him;

He turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.

But He knows the way that I take;

when He has tried me, I shall come out as gold.

My foot has held fast to his steps;

I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my portion of food.

He is unchangeable, and who can turn him back?

What He desires, that He does.

For He will complete what He appoints for me,

and many such things are in His mind.

I'm so grateful God chose to write these words down for me.  How helpful they have been the last few months!  I feel like I could write a whole post about every sentence.

How about bullet points instead?

Frooooom the beginning, the very beginning (a very fine place to start):

// Sometimes we have no stinking clue what God is doing.  We don't "see" Him working, we don't "know" He's there.  But all the while He is perfectly at work.

// The fact that I can't see what He is up to doesn't matter squat.  He knows the way I take.  He sees the whole picture.  He knows the final destination.  He sets up the road-blocks, the bridges and the wrecks.  I don't need to know what is going to happen, I need to trust the One who is making it all happen.

// I always love when the Bible uses the word "treasure."  It's so a beautiful phrase.  Treasure the words of His mouth.  I love that.

// If I had a Top 10 Bible Highlight Reel, this would make the cut: "What He desires, that He does."
Whooooa Nelly.
Sometimes I think "What He desires, I must figure out and faithfully execute!"
No no.  What He desires, that He does.
There is very little about me in that statement.  It's quite about God.  I think it's that way for a reason.

// God works, God knows, God tries, God desires, God appoints and best of all - God completes.
"He has begun a good work in you will bring it to completion."
He's not up in heaven waiting for motivation or inspiration to keep His goodness going.
He completes.

// Lastly, I am on the mind of God.  Many things are on His mind for me.  He carries me on His heart, but also thinks about me in His mind.  That is so personal.  So relational.  So un-stale, un-blah and un-distant.  It's beautifully and powerfully close and near.    

All these thoughts have been such wonderful lessons for me, especially this summer. 
21 is already proving to be a BRAND new time in my life.  
Brand brand new.
I'm excited, I'm terrified and I'm bought by Christ.
I'm good :D

Thursday, August 5, 2010

post 7

John Piper rocked my world last year with his message on "drawing near to God."
I listened to it again today and he says (after basically asking "What do you do when you wake up and all you can think about is your sin, your failures, your weakness.  What do you do when getting out of bed seems to hard?):

You THINK of truth!

You say to yourself "He has told me, on the authority of His word, that there is a blood shed. 
There is a new and living way by the body of Christ,
and when His blood was shed and His flesh was torn all my sins were covered and a way was opened into the Holy places. 
It wasn't for perfect people, cause then why would there have had to been spent flesh?
But rather for sinners like me! 
Therefore shut your mouth, Satan. 
Be quiet, flesh. 
I reckon you dead!"

And you fight with truth.  Knowledge.  You bring it to bear.  And you take your zeal and you fan it and you straighten it. And you cling.

Then you say, "Listen I am told I have a great high priest in heaven
- not just a priest, not just a high priest -
but a GREAT high priest.
And He not only spilt His blood,
and He not only ripped His flesh,
and He not only died,
and He not only rose,
but He is also reigning at the right hand
and He intercedes for me,
so that when I walk trembling into the presence of the Father,
He reaches out and He puts His hand on my shoulder and says
'Now listen, if you keep acting so hesitantly like this,
and lack all boldness,
and do not draw near with all assurance of faith,
you are belittling what I accomplished for you
Look me in the face!
Do you believe that what I did was infinitely valuable for sinners to come?

I will stand with you. I will not leave you. I won't walk out of this room. I will never leave the room of the Father because your standing is in me,
and you are safe in this hurricane of holiness as the Father loves me.'"

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

post 6

"And I will betroth you to me forever...
I will betroth you to me in justice"
{hosea 2:19}

You know those moments when you read the Bible (or any book you've read over and over.  Or movie you've seen repeatedly) and there is a verse or sentence or line and it's like "WHAT? Has this always been here?"  It's the "jump off the page" moment.
That is what Hosea 2:19 was for me.  I don't know why, but when my eyes crossed over those letters, and the words came together in my brain, my heart was tugged-at. 

Obviously everyone knows that "betrothal" was essentially an engagement between a man and a woman.  A commitment for something in the future.  A word given that would be kept.  The actual definition of "betroth" is this: to make a promise by one's truth.  God promises that I will be united with Him forever.  He took the initiative and gave His word, it's going to happen.

BUT, this was the kicker for me.   I am connected to God in justice. Whoa whoa whoa.

I can understand, maybe, "in mercy" or "in compassion" or "or grace." "In forgiveness," perhaps?  Maybemaybe I can even understand "in love."  I don't understand why He loves me, but that would make sense: "I will betroth you to Me in love."  

But justice?  This situation is anything but just.  Justice is "the administering of deserved punishment or reward."  Um.  Awkward.  If I am getting what I deserve, I can't be betrothed to God.  If God chooses to forgive me and just erase the punishment I've accrued, He's not being just.

But He promises He will unite Himself with me forever.
And He promises it will be in justice.

And that would mean that my foreverness with God is just.  And that would mean it is deserved.  And that would mean that if He did not betroth Himself to me, it would be unjust.  Unfair.  And that would be wrong.  That would be accusing God of sin.  

Enter Jesus:  The only one who deserved to be with God forever.  The only one who had a just relationship with Him.   And He looked upon me, with eyes of love.  The holy looked upon the sinner.  And judge charged the innocent with the punishment of the guilty.  Justice was served.  The sin was accounted for and the detesable, wrecking, hellish torture for sin was placed on the only man who deserved to be united with God forever.  Jesus took our place, so He could give us the title of "deserving." 

You know what that means?  It means that God sees us as He sees His perfect son.  He sees us as deserving, if I believe.  His love is just, if Jesus is my Savior.  If I ever think for a moment that God will forsake me, I'm accusing Him of sin.   If I ever think God doesn't love me, I must be considering God unjust.  If the terror of sin ever whells up inside me, and guilt comes screaming for recompense, I can confidently know "If God were to punish me for my sin, AFTER already punishing His son, after I have believed in Him, that would not be justice.  That would be cruel. And my God is just.  His love is just."

I can't wait to meet my God.
Forever is going to be amazing.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

post 5

When I was younger I had this idea in my head:  "Jesus sacrificed His life for me, so now I owe Him mine."  I felt obligated to sacrifice, almost, in a sense, to re-pay God.  I wondered how I could possibly know that Jesus - God - died in my place, and then in return continue to sin.  Continue to do what I wanted.  Continue to live selfishly. Make mistakes.  "This must stop!" I told myself.  How dare I?  After all He has done!  I realize, now, that I was wrong.  I don't owe God my life.  That is, at best, moralism.  I'm not supposed to execute this life "correctly" as part of a trade.  Or bargain.  Or law-keeping practice.  That's legalism.
"Jesus sacrificed His life for me, so now I owe Him mine." No no no, Kristen.
"Jesus sacrificed His life for me, so now I believe in Him because He covers mine."

Jesus found [the healed blind man] and He said,
“Do you believe in the Son of Man?”  
He answered, “And who is He, sir, that I may believe in Him?” 
Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.”  
He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
{john 9}
Now I wonder, how could I possibly know Jesus - God - died in my place, and then in return think I could add to that?  That God would require more then that?  How dare I think I could change the Father's affection for His Son, and therefore His affection for me?  Who am I to think I could add to the irony and the tragedy and the beauty of calvary by my works and obedience? 

No, I don't owe God my life.  

My debt has been paid.  It is finished.  I believe it! I'm a new creation, clothed in robes of righteousness, washed by the blood of the Lamb!  I was blind, but now I see!  I was dead, but now I am alive!  And it had nothing to do with me.  Jesus, have Your way with me - I don't need to re-pay you with my life, you are my life!  I stand here in my sin, my mistakes, my hurt, my humanness and believe that Your holiness has satisfied the wrath of God.  I worship you out of a heart filled with gratitude, rejoicing, awe and wonder, not guilt, duty or requirement.  I believe in You, my Lord.  I believe!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

post 4

After reading Hosea 3, I was so overcome with "Why?! Why do you love like this, God?  How can you look at the unfaithful, the betrayers, the liars and take us for yourself?"  And then I came to Hosea 11.  I think I've read this everyday for the last month.  Hosea 11 has been life-changing.  I love Hosea 11.

"When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.

The more they were called,
the more they went away;
they kept sacrificing to the false gods
and burning offerings to idols.

Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk;
I took them up by their arms,
but they did not know that I healed them.

I led them with cords of kindness,
with the bands of love,
and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,
and I bent down to them and fed them.

My people are bent on turning away from me...

How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, O Israel?

My heart recoils within me;
my compassion grows warm and tender.
I will not execute my burning anger;
I will not again destroy you;
for I am God and not a man,
the Holy One in your midst,
and I will not come in wrath."

He's loved us from the beginning.  He considers us His children.  Oh the work He does for us!  "I loved, I called, I taught, I took, I healed, I led, I eased, I bent down, I fed!"  And our response?  We ignorantly and also defiantly run away.  We don't realize all He does, but we also see His authority and bolt.

Then the heart of God speaks.  "How can I give you up, my child?  Your sin against me burns inside me, but my compassion only grows for you.  You are bent on running?  Well, I am bent on loving.  I love you. I will not come in wrath, I will come in love."

Why? Why does He love like this?  Because He is God, not man. 
Men don't love like He loves.  Humans love selfishly.  The Holy One loves selflessly.  
What a privilege to be the receiver of His love.  
What an honor to be carried on His heart.  
What a treasure to be considered His child.
What joy to be held up and fed by Him.

I can't wait to see His face and thank Him for His love.  "Oh, how He loves us"

post 3

Hosea 3, when I first read it, made me cry. 

Hosea Redeems His Wife

The Lord said to me,
“Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man
and is unfaithful to you,
even as the Lord loves the children of Israel,
though they turn to other gods and love themselves.” 
So I bought her.

And I said to her,
“You will dwell as mine for many days.
You shall not play the adulteress, or belong to another man;
so will I also be to you.” 
For the children of Israel...
shall return and seek the Lord their God,
 and they shall come in fear to the Lord
and to know His goodness.

 Go again.  Go again, Hosea.  Do it again.  Forgive her again.  Yes, she is being unfaithful.  Yes, she loves herself.  Yes, she runs from you.  Yes, all of that is wrong, Hosea, but go again.  Go forgive her.

Oh, and she must bought.  With your own money, go buy your wife back.  Don't go in anger, don't retaliate.  Go and keep your commitment to her and remain faithful, even though she has not.  Be good to her, Hosea.  And go redeem your wife.

That, friends, is unconditional love.  Hosea did not love his wife based on her faithfulness or love to him.  God does not love me based on my faithfulness to Him.  He doesn't give me one chance, and then back out.  Or two chances.  Or three.  He comes again.  He loves me again.  He shows me His goodness again.  And He will continue to do so forever

What a picture of the cross!  And what an amazing, passionate reminder that "by grace you have been saved and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God." 

post 2

Hosea 2 is absolutely beautiful.  Following the intesity of Hosea 1, I found it so awe-ing (or whatever the verb for "being in awe" is)

I will make for them a covenant
I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land,
and I will make you lie down in safety.
And I will betroth you to me forever.
I will betroth you to me in righteousness
and in justice,
in steadfast love
and in mercy.
I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness.

And you shall know the Lord.

I will answer the heavens,
and they shall answer the earth,
  and they shall answer [Gomer's child]
and I will sow her for myself in the land.
And I will have mercy on No Mercy,
and I will say to Not My People,  "You are my people";
and he shall say, "You are my God."

 Because of Him - because of His covenant, His character, His work - the sinner is kept safe.  The sinner is bound to God in His righteousness, His justice, His love, His faithfulness.  And now we can know Him.  This isn't simply a bland, emotion-less decision from God.  He is answering the heavens, screaming His justice, announcing to the world "These are My people!  I am sowing them for Myself! They are mine forever!"

That encourages my little heart.  So much.

post 1

Soooo, this is kind of an awkward first blog post.  The topic at least is.  But, I can't stop reading this part of scripture these days.  It has a hold of me (and I even named the blog because of it!)

So.  Hosea 1.  Here we go.

When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea:
“Go, take to yourself a wife of unfaithfulness and have children of adultery,
for the land commits great unfaithfulness by forsaking the Lord.”  

So he went and took Gomer and she conceived
...and bore a daughter.
And the Lord said to him,
“Call her name No Mercy, 
for I will no more have mercy on the house of Israel,
to forgive them at all."

Then Gomer conceived and bore a son. 
And the Lord said, “Call his name Not My People,
for you are not my people, and I am not your God.”

Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea,
which cannot be measured or numbered.
And in the place where it was said to them,
“You are not my people,” it shall be said to them,Children of the living God.” 

 This passage is so intense.  I can't remember the last time I read something and realized how intense this situation was.  God instructs the adultress and her husband to name their daughter "No Mercy" and their son "Not My People." Yikes.  Jeez.  That is no joke.  But then He says they WILL become His people.  Someday they won't be children of sin, but children of the Living God.