Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"I Still Rise."

On the eve of Easter I decided to go outside and see what the Lord was up to. In the sky above He had painted the sky with clouds illuminated by a bright full moon. A deep desire fell on me to get up and see the sunrise in the morning. I kept hearing three words pound in my heart, "I still rise."

Easter morning. In the car, I head off with my camera to see what sort of sunrise will be painted this morning. Clouds covered the sky and mostly hid the sun. As it broke through the clouds I remembered John 20 which I had read that morning. The empty tomb. The sun broke through just as Christ broke through the veil of death. 
         He is risen!
Staring at the majesty of the morning I saw a bird break through the cloud barrier and I was again reminded that Christ overcame death and separation from the Father.

But before he entered heaven, Jesus went into a garden and, kneeling before the Father, he received your sin onto his own body (Isa. 53:6). Every one of your sins was placed on Jesus (1  Pet. 2:24). He felt the shame and weight that you now feel (Heb. 12:2). On the cross he felt deserted by God as you now feel (Mat. 27:46). God made him to be sin for you (2 Corinthians 5:21). He took your place at the place of execution (Isa. 53:4-5). You do indeed deserve the wrath of God, and so Jesus stood in your place and took the full wrath of God upon his own body (Isa. 53:10).

A bird came up on each side of the bird that I saw in the air as if they appeared out of nowhere. Three birds. I was overwhelmed by the remembrance of the Son being reunited with the Father and the Holy Spirit once He overcame the grave.

You can know what God thinks of your sin by looking at how he responded to his son Jesus. God does indeed hate sin as seen by the cross. That was you hanging on the cross, dying for your sin (Galatians 2:20). You were punished in the body of Jesus (1 Pet. 3:18). God did not forgive you until the steel of vengeance was plunged into Jesus’ flesh, and his life’s blood all ran out (Eph. 2:13; Heb. 9:14; 1 Pet. 1:19; Eph 2:13).
                                                                                           They were reunited!
You can also know what God thinks about you the sinner by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. God accepted Jesus’ payment for sin as seen by the fact that God raised him from the dead and received him back into heaven to sit on the Father’s right hand as the overcoming man (Eph. 1:20; Col. 2:12-13; Heb. 9:12; 1 Pet. 1:21).

When God raised Jesus from the dead he also raised you from the dead (Rom. 6). Every sin you have ever committed and will commit were placed on the body of Jesus when he died. You sin has been paid for in full (Heb. 10:10, 12, 14). God remembers your sins no more (Heb. 10:17).

The devil, and maybe even your church, would have you to believe otherwise. There is no such thing as forgiving yourself or personally overcoming the devil. You cannot fight a battle that has already been won by our representative elder brother—the Lord Jesus Christ (Col. 2:15).

The last step is yours. It is called believing, repenting, giving up, trusting, yielding, calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to be your Savior. You can make this complicated, as you have done, or you can confess that you are a hopeless, hell bound sinner who does not deserve forgiveness, yet one for whom Christ died and rose again. If you look inside your soul, as the devil would have you do, you will only see darkness, but if you look without to the one who died for you, there is eternal home and assurance of forgiveness (John 3:14-18; 1 John 1:9; Acts 16:31).

*italics from Michael Pearl.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Why Bother?

Grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and rest in what 
your Father says about you while you watch this video.

I have recently encountered some things that have made me wonder why I write this blog. Who am I writing to? What is it I am trying to get out to the people that read this blog?

In Jesus' day people would follow Rabbis. It was the Rabbi's job to interpret the Scripture. The people followed the Rabbi that they believed interpreted the Scripture most closely to God's meaning. I am no Rabbi, but I am listening and studying.

I believe I am writing this blog for Christians who desire to overcome brokenness and move on to the next level of life God has for them. As I study, I desire to share the things God is teaching me.  My heart here is not to indoctrinate you into my way of thinking, but to simply cause you to think. I want to lay before you what I learn. From there, you lay it before God and let Him do 
whatever He desires to do.
Are you willing to lay down your own desires? Are you willing to think outside the parameters of the boundaries you have set for yourself?
Last week I watched a video on YouTube of a pastor being interviewed about his stance on church discipline. The interviewer told him that his
stance on removing people from fellowship was not very "purpose driven." He replied that the church was not in place to hold shut the trap door to hell, but we are in place to glorify God. All of that to say I line up with that thinking. We are not here only to focus on the fluffy nice part of Christianity but to call others to a higher standard, a more biblical worldview. We exist to glorify God. 

George Barna states that "a Biblical worldview has to be caught and taught- that is, it has to be explained and modeled." That is why I write. I am willing to challenge you and for you to not like me if it gets you closer to Christ. I believe that is biblical love.

Are you looking to get past a stronghold? I will tell you what worked for me and challenge you to consider it for yourself. 

If you are not a Christian, you probably think I 
am smoking something! I am okay with that. Keep looking at the pictures of my baby and consider the thoughts along the way.

                            The blessings of Jesus Christ be upon you.
Carolina Creek (below)
Ephesians 3:16 "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

Have a "Happy Easter!" 
Get yourself a mini 
Cadbury cream egg.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Where is Veribest, Texas?

This Blog is updated each Tuesday.

This is my favorite little thing I get in my email each day. It isn't a lot of reading or struggling through some devotional. It is a simple promise of God delivered right to your inbox.

Check it out. 365Promises

I was honored to spend last week with one of our top three favorite preachers, 
Robert Barge 
(the others Voddie Baucham and Neil McClendon). We spent our week at 
The Veribest Baptist Church with people who truly love the Lord. It was a privilege to serve them. I was overwhelmed by the love and godliness of the family 
there. Amazing.

As I sat listening to Robert speak about evaluating our lives, I remembered a 
conversation I had with a friend recently. It was about what people watch on television. We had been listening to people talk about watching some raunchy shows on television like it was no big deal. 
The person I was with was truly surprised that these women watch these shows. I took something away from that. People are
 watching you and what you do with your spare 
time when you are a Christian. People expect you to model godliness all of the time, especially in what you choose to do with your leisure time. Young Christians are looking for a way to act. They are looking at you to show them.

I don't watch tv. We don't even have one in our living room. So I can't really critique anything. The one that always stood out to me was one I heard a preacher talk about. Friends. Would you watching a show that glorifies one night stands, pre-marital sex, and porn please God?

Friends Review What about Seinfeld? I read once that there were almost 1,000 hook ups on that show. I went on to Parentstv.org and reviewed their take on the television line up. On a typical Sunday night there was only one show on prime time tv they felt was suitable for a family to watch. Extreme Home Makeover.

You show what you worship with your time and your schedule.
What are you showing to others? 

My friend Emily.
On a personal note, our daughter turned ONE this week. 
Happy first birthday, Laomai!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Hold On To Your Hats

This Blog is updated each Tuesday.

I have a funny and compulsive habit of repeatedly watching the same movie during different seasons of my life. Sometimes it is The Great Outdoors, Pride and Prejudice, or anything Audrey Hepburn. Right now, it's Elizabethtown. In the movie, a husband and father dies and it leads these people to find "life" for themselves. In the beginning of the movie three of the family members are in the airport and one of them remarks," I was still waiting for it to get started . . . and now . . . it's over." Later on in the movie there is a scene where the son of the deceased man is in a hotel room on a floor with an enormous wedding party. The groom stumbles upon him and finds out he is there for his dad's funeral. In super dramatic fashion he exclaims," Death and life. Life and death...right next door to eachother." That happened to us last week. On the day we buried my brother, Denbigh's brother's wife gave birth to a baby girl. Here is Millie Cherry. Check out her hair!
Here is Lulu and Grandpa Mike Cherry who was visiting from North Carolina.
I just thought my husband looked handsome.
Lulu and Daddy.
As God always does, He saw fit to blast me with some humor this past week. I tried to get some of it on film. Has anyone seen Bringing Down the House with Steve Martin and Queen Latifah? In the movie an old, rich white woman starts singing her favorite "negro spirituals" to Queen Latifah's character. As I was helping my mom move some things last week I stumbled on a few things some people had given her over the years. They made me laugh.

I wore this "color chunking cap" all night like I was a bomber pilot. 
This guy came to hook up my dad's tv. I wish I had a video for you to see. 
He talked like a character in a movie. I loved him.
Here's a deeper question. In Matthew 18 it talks about discipline of a believer. I keep having this come up in life situation and in study. I have a question for you. I understand that if you have a believer who has been confronted in their sin (and remains unrepentant) that sometimes the most merciful thing you can do is to break fellowship (so that they see the loss that sin brings). When is that point for us? When will we have enough gossip, slander, blatant attack? What if it is a dear friend, a member of your church, or a member of your family? Why do we consider it a greater love to condone and enable sin than to confront it? What do you think?

How did Shiloh go, ladies? 

Miscarriage | Infertility | Hope

I encountered Jesus as a young child in a church pew in the balcony of an old country church. Through a lifetime of trial, I knew he was the...