Saturday, March 26, 2011


Photo Source (via google images search)

I'm spending a perfectly lovely (although unseasonably cold) day stuck indoors. Why, you may ask? Because of cherry blossoms. Beautiful, fleeting, symbol-of-international-relations cherry blossoms.

I have lived in DC for 5 years now and every single year, without fail, my allergies go WILD when the cherry blossoms bloom. The thought of getting near the Tidal Basin causes me to recoil in ... pain? fear? not really sure, but it is the last place I want to be.

I read a really funny post from Jon Acuff of Stuff Christians Like on why God created allergies, and did it ever hit home! Isn't if funny how nice it is to have someone else understand how you feel? Vindication, in a way.

I think my favorite is that bees need pollen - "God created allergies because honey is so fantastic." I mean, I do love me some honey!

So I'm stuck inside with my netti pot; blowing my nose and watching movies. I've read some pretty good blog posts today:

'That's Odd': On Bias Against Single Pastors, which led me to this - Love's Permanence.

From the former: "The resurrection will change our thinking in many ways. Human identity as married or single is most certainly one of them."

And the latter: "When Christians love each other like this, that love is heaven on earth. How wonderful to realize what love’s permanence means. All Christian love between Christians will endure forever."

Then, A Love Story which is by a friend of a friend. And it's awesome.

"It is by faith from first to last, and following a list of rules or trying to “wear Saul’s armor” when you’re David the shepherd boy—dishonors God and is not of faith (thus it is sin)."

And I re-read this post from yesterday - What are we - tadpoles or tumblers?

In summary: 2 Timothy 2:7 Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. - If we think/meditate on God's word, then by His Holy Spirit He promises to give us understanding.

Well, guess I'll get back to my day stuck indoors. Hope you are having a wonderful day, wherever you are and whatever you are doing! :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

She is Trustworthy

A woman who fears is the Lord is trustworthy

(Proverbs 31:30 & 11).

TRUSTWORTHY. That is a loaded word, my friend.

Worthy of trust. Worthy to be trusted.

I don't know about you, but my levels of trusting others can fluctuate. I can go from telling someone I barely know everything about myself - to - clamming up and giving basic details to the same type of acquaintance. Although I will say I tend towards the former with my heart-baring ways, I do find it odd that I can just as easily turn around and not trust someone - for no discernible reason, whatsoever.

But enough about me trusting others, that really is a whole other topic. I want to turn to others trusting me. Am I trustworthy? How can that be measured? I have noticed that people tend to tell me things that they wouldn't tell others. Interestingly enough, they don't always know me that well at the point of telling; so I don't often feel like a deserving confidant. It is true I am a stickler for if-I'm-asked-not-to-repeat-something-thenIabsolutelywillnot. But how does that person confiding in me know this?

I think that's why the other day, while reading Proverbs 31 on my commute to work, verse 11 stuck out to me (and prompted the first sentence of this post - see above):

The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.

This man's own heart trusts in this woman. And because of his heart's trust in her, he will have no lack of gain. Whoa. Right? How can someone's heart trust in me? As I read further, I started to see evidence of his confidence in her:

She does him good, not harm every day. She knows how to get things done in and for her household. She is concerned for the needs of those less fortunate, and willingly helps. She is not anxious about the future. She speaks wisdom with kindness.*

Then we have her family's reaction to her. Her children rise up and call her blessed. Maybe because they are so well cared for, and see her kindness to others and the respect that affords. Her husband does the same, and says of her "many woman have done excellently, but you surpass them all." But here is the kicker:

30Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

So yes, she can be trusted because she gets things done, all the while being wise and kind. But ultimately she can do all of these things because she fears the LORD. Have you ever tried to do things well while at the same time being anxious about the future? Let me tell you from experience, it doesn't work for long. It's like a house of cards, it won't hold up under the pressure or even a slight breeze. It all comes crashing down.

I love how God's word speaks of this woman. It ignores any shallow, meaningless description of her, knowing that outward appearances (charm and beauty) are not indicative of this woman's heart. Rather, she is to be praised because she fears the LORD. Further, her works praise her at the gates. Her works. All of those things we learn about her in verses 10 - 27. Those works, those deeds, are the outpouring of her fear/reverence/trust in the LORD. That is why she is trustworthy. Because her life is marked by fearing/revering/trusting the LORD.

And can I just add that this woman is rare and precious (v. 10)? The woman who fears the LORD is not only trustworthy, but rare and precious. I'm going to type that one more time, so that you can read it one more time. Rare and precious. And it's worth noting that it seems as though she is so hard to find that there needs to be a detailed description of her! :)

Back to little ol' me. Am I trustworthy? I'd like to think I am, but really I have no idea. I could take an anonymous poll of friends and family, but let's face it, that's not going to happen any time soon. However, as I seek to know God more and more with the expectation that I will trust in Him more and more; I pray that my life will look like hers. That it will be marked by revering the LORD. That, Lord willing, the evidences of His grace in my life will shine out to others. That indeed if I am ever to be praised by anyone (but especially by a man whose heart trusts in me**), it will be because of my hearts condition towards God, and the effective outpouring of that in the lives of those around me.

Ultimately that all lies in my trust in Christ. Am I trusting in the One who gave up His life so that my sins could be forgiven, that I could be reconciled to God - my Heavenly Father? Am I trusting in His promise to complete the work that He started in me? Am I relying on His righteousness while living my life and taking responsibility for the circumstances He has placed me in? Am I trusting that indeed all things will work together for my good, because He chose me as His daughter ? Am I trusting that the only reason I love Him is because He called me to Himself in the first place, having given me the faith to believe in Him? And am I praying for His grace to supply me in the areas that I am lacking?

If you think about it, will your pray for/with me? :) I am convinced that I will see the day when His work in me will be completed. Oh what a happy day that will be! Honestly, I can't even imagine.


Trust (noun) - firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something:

acceptance of the truth of a statement without evidence or investigation

the state of being responsible for someone or something

Worthy (adjective) - deserving effort, attention, or respect:

having or showing the qualities or abilities that merit recognition in a specified way

good enough; suitable

Trustworthy (adjective) - able to be relied on as honest or truthful

Fear (verb) - archaic regard (God) with reverence and awe.

Definitions from Oxford Dictionaries.


I found this old blog post from July 16, 2009 about Proverbs 31:25. :)


*My mission (to myself), if I choose to accept it (from, well myself) is to think through Proverbs 31:10-31 further. I hope that by writing that on the tail-end of this post will hold me accountable.

**Wow, all I can think of is how deceitful the human heart is. Maybe that is what 31:3 is alluding to?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Extravagant Love

Exodus 33:11a

Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.

Your love is extravagant
Your friendship, it is intimate
I feel like moving to the rhythm of Your grace
Your fragrance is intoxicating in our secret place
Your love is extravagant

Spread wide in the arms of Christ is the love that covers sin
No greater love have I ever known You considered me a friend
Capture my heart again

Spread wide in the arms of Christ is the love that covers sin
No greater love have I ever known; You considered me a friend

Capture my heart again
Your love is extravagant
Your friendship, it is intimate

John 15

12"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Blood and Guts

Leviticus. Full of the blood and entrails and body parts of bulls and goats and birds and lambs. The singling out of a spotless sacrifice. Laying of hands on the animal, then the killing. Draining the blood. Dismembering the body. Burning on the altar. Creating a pleasing aroma to the LORD...

This is where I find myself in my quiet times - reading God's word. Blood, guts, sin, guilt. Pardon. The details of the sacrifices are stunning. Different offerings call for sacrifices in different ways for the same animals. In the burnt offering: the entrails and legs are washed. Peace offerings speak of the kidneys and liver. Sin offerings include the kidneys and liver too, but are even more vivid. The flesh, head, entrails and dung are taken outside the tent and burned. The birds' (turtledove or pigeon) head is wrung off, blood drained, torn open by it's wings (but not severed completely) then burned.

The verses that really moved me to think were Leviticus 3:9-10:

9 From the fellowship offering you are to bring a food offering to the LORD: its fat, the entire fat tail cut off close to the backbone, the internal organs and all the fat that is connected to them, 10both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver, which you will remove with the kidneys.

The God who created these beasts - who planned the way the organs would work together in order for them to live - was now instructing His people on how to sacrifice them. Which specific parts to use and how to cut them. The severing of the tail close to the backbone. His creation, torn apart, in order to atone for the sins of His people. I began to think that maybe as God was creating these beasts, He knew what they would be used for. Even though He created them before the Fall - when they were to be cared for by Adam and Eve - He knew that sin would enter the world. Despite this, in His kindness He had a plan to remove that sin. First by commanding sacrifices be made. Then later by giving one final sacrifice.

Just. Wow. Under the old covenant, God commanded that His own creation be sacrificed to atone for the sins of His chosen people. Bloody, messy, continuous sacrifices.

And how truly amazing is it that God would love His people so much that He would later provide a once and permanent sacrifice. By sending His only son - spotless, sinless, guiltless, full of love - to die. For all who would repent and believe. To reconcile sinners to Himself. To change them back to what they were created to be. And all for His glory. Under the new covenent, God gave His only son to atone for the sins of His chosen people.