Friday, December 5, 2014

Product of grace

I have been overseas for a month and half-ish now... And I have seen God moving more than ever. Here, in this place and with these people and also within me. I was asked to read a poem during a worship morning we had planned and out of that request came this... And it pretty accurately displays how reliant I have needed to be on God. Which both a fantastic thing to learn and painful lesson to come to terms with. So continue to pray! God is at work.
------------------------
Constantly having to kneel before You

I am coming to a place of dependence
Dependent on Your faithfulness
Dependent on Your presence
Dependent on Your mercy
Inadequate
I am not worthy to be used by such skilled hands
Hands that carved out oceans
Hands that formed nations
Hands scarred on my behalf
What is man that You would be mindful of him?
Who am I that You would consider me?
Doomed to fail on my own
You give power in my weakness
On my own I was found unable
But by Your side I am made invincible
Who am I?
Simply a product of grace

Oh and what grace it was
You remember
That grace that brought you out of yourself
Out of your mind is more like how it seemed
That God would call you His own
That you would rely on Him in all things
Your heart no longer beating with pride
Every breath seeming to say, "He still redeems"
Every day a struggle to die to self

The old self desires to creep
The lies crawl back into the recesses of your mind
Reminding you of your inadequacies
Deserving to be passed by rather than picked up
Overwhelmed. Lonely. And dark.
The walls you built for safety now hold in pain
But there is One Who still stands at the door and knocks
He still waits patiently
He stills holds out His nail pierced hands and gives grace

Because the inadequacies are real
You and I have no power to change
In and of myself I can keep an appearance 
But much like the nursery rhyme
All the King's horses and all the King's men
Could never pick me up and put me back together again
Because though well intentioned
Their abilities lack
Because the only One who can fix such brokenness
Is the King Himself
So all the King's ministers and all His good servants
Brought the needy before Him
Their place to point to the able One

So go ahead and breathe
Because it's His place to redeem
Your place isn't Saviour, nor Healer, nor King
But servant bent low 
Crying "trust me!
I was as you
Seemingly broken in two
Feeling that there was nothing I could do
When He swept in
And He wiped away all my sin
His sweet grace He extends"

So welcome you've made it
It's this place of dependence
Where weakness is made strength
And power is perfected by His never ending grace



Monday, December 1, 2014

Spiritual Warfare

(So the topic of that week was spiritual warfare and this is the sermon I wrote on it. It may not seem like what you initially think of when you hear the words "spiritual warfare" but it definitely plays a part.)

I call out to the lost and seemingly forgotten. I am speaking to you, one who feels rejected and alone. I follow the God Who sees you where you are, the God Who cares for you. He made you so that He could have a relationship with you. He is great and all-powerful, yet He is filled with love towards you and has mercy. He does not desire to hold your wrongs against you nor is His desire to cast shame upon you. Jesus took all shame upon Himself and died in your place and rose from the dead that you may be filled with honor and be right with the Father God.

Do you hear that inner whisper? The one that says you are unworthy. The one that says you are not wanted. He lies and prowls around you like a lion in wait to attack. That comes from one who, in the eyes of God, has little power. His name is Satan and his words seem true, but another name for him is the father of lies, the deceiver, and though disguised as an angel of light there is no truth in him. This enemy has spoken lies over me for many years. He attacks saying that I am worthless. He tells me that maybe if I do enough good then I could get favor from God. He says that no person, let alone God, could ever love me. Then I remember one night I sat and above the lies rang a note of something I had never heard. This note penetrated and said, “I want you for Myself”.

(Psalm 142) I plead for mercy to the Lord. I cry out to Him. Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me. No one cares. But as I cry He exclaims, “Look to Me. I am your Refuge. I will bring you out of this prison. Though the thoughts, the lies, and the memories are too strong for you I have power over it all. I see where you stand simply look down you’re in the palm of My hand.” He heard my cry for help.

Though I felt low and rejected, He saw me. Though the lies from the enemy ceaselessly attack, He remains stronger. The Lord knows me. He knows all about me. The Lord is with me. He never leaves me. The Lord is not confined in power, location, or time. He is sovereign over all. He has complete authority and dominion. The enemy is not to be feared. He is finite. He can not know all. He doesn’t have all authority. He is limited, while God is limitless. The perfect love of Christ casts out all fear that I have of any lie being true. When the liar says I am worthless, the Lord cries out and tells me I have purpose. His desire is for me. His desire is for you. So the choice is yours. Believe the lies of a finite accuser or walk in the freedom given to you by the one who calls out, “Child, come to Me”.

Monday, November 24, 2014

laying down my rights

Real Talk: I almost didn't post this. Even while writing this I am debating whether or not to actually let others see this. But this is what it is all about, right? So I lay down my right to independence and say that I am "inter-dependent" and that I need the Body of Christ. So without further ado... here is the struggle.

Grace, you need to be independent. Grace, never trust anyone. Grace, relying on others is weakness. Deal with things on your own. These are your own issues so figure it out.

I have a right to be independent. There is no reason to have to rely on others. My life, my problems, my secrets. I have mastered the art of transparency without being vulnerable. My life is an open book, but the secret is that I’m still struggling. I can tell you every story. I don’t mind you knowing that I have had issues. Yet I hold on to the right to appear to have it all together. I don’t want to admit that I cannot do things on my own.

For a long time I decided that my wounds from the past are my own to try and fix. I put bandaids on top of deep cuts. I temporarily cover these things even though they need surgery. It doesn’t even bother me to display the wounds as long as I maintain a facade of having been healed. Never allowing these things to heal properly because of the fear of being hurt even more. Even to God I try and brush it off and say that it isn’t that bad. I deny my need for any assistance. These are my issues. These are my problems. I must deal with them. It is my right to deal with it however I desire.

But the reality is that my life is the Lord’s. It is not my right to hide the pain. It is not for me to decide how to bandage, clean, and then heal the open gashes. I used to have this idea that being numb to the pain meant that I had healing from it. I suppressed memories and told myself that if I didn't think about them then I didn’t have to confront them. But Christ tells me to come to Him even though I am weary and weighed down. He gives me rest. He sustains me. He guides my steps.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

So… My name is Lindsay Grace Bigler. I am not my own. I struggle with feeling discouraged. I struggle with battling lies. And my Jesus is strength even though I’m weak.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Father Heart of God

Father Heart of God week
*Disclaimer - the things that are in quotes from God are feelings/impressions that I got while reading. But this is what I learned...

“God, where were you?” “God, why did this happen to me?” “God, how does Your character play into my story?”

Jeremiah 31:3- The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”

Isaiah 43:1 - But now, this is what the LORD says - He Who created you, Jacob, He Who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine.”

In the midst of these questions, I was given those two verses. I was created with purpose. I was formed by His hand, flawless. I am not to fear because His perfect love has cast out fear. He has redeemed me, He has bought me with a price, and I am new. He summoned me, by name, intentionally. I am His and He wants me. His love never abandons me.

Where were you? Crying beside you.
Why did this happen? It has been redeemed.
How does Your character play into my story? I am good. I am drawing you to Myself.

A friend came up to me and told me to read through the story of Esther. My initial thought was, “Esther, the cliche story of commoner becoming Queen, saving the people…” But I listened and later read through the story again for the who knows how-many times asking the Lord to show me something new even though my mind said it’s just the same story.

I didn’t even get through the first chapter before the Lord began to speak to me. Now the first chapter of Esther is talking about the King and him throwing a big party and then later calling for his queen, Vashti, to come out and she refused. So the king banished her and then began to search for a replacement. I always just assumed that this was in there to simply set the stage for  Esther and her story. But this is what the Lord decided to use to speak to me.

He said, “Grace, you are not Vashti. You’re not banished. You are never going to be replaced. I have given you desires to be different. I am drawing you to Myself with love and kindness. I am never letting go. You don't have to live in fear of being cast away.”

Then later in Chapter 2, Esther is brought before the king. After initially being brought before him  it says in verse 14 that “She would not go in to the King again, unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name.” This brought me back to the verse in Isaiah. The Lord has summoned me by name! Why? In this verse in Esther it says the king summoned her by name because he delighted in her.

“Grace, I chose you. I’m not going to banish you. You have so much purpose. I chose you by name, because I delight in you.”

Esther later goes to the King in boldness even though it could cost her her life. But because the king loved and delighted in Esther when she entered the court room he extended out his scepter to show that he gives mercy. The Lord loves us so much that He extended Christ to us. This breaking down every wall. So God, how does Your character play into my story? You’re redemptive. You are merciful. And because of this, amidst my mess and questions you called me. You chose me. I know that in You I will never be rejected. You are the Rock that I can cling to and that will never let go even when all else does.

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine.”


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Week 5 at DTS

Week 5 topic: Relationships
Setting: Coffee shop

I'm going to be honest, this is not the "sermon" that I wrote for that week... I didn't feel like it was something I was supposed to share here. That being said, I wrote the following simply for myself to help process that week as well as week six (which we just finished). So this is a raw heart exposed about relationships, the Father heart of God, and identity. This is me.


I refuse to let my life be dictated by pain
I will not allow my identity to be characterized by lies that drain
The bitterness harbored within has no place inside
my heart is being remade, the old self has died
for my life is no longer mine
I have given it to Him to define

I decided the truth is that I am wounded
That is who I am, I will never be included
I am only the worst words I have been called
the healing process is forever stalled
The repressed memories always leak out
I am controlled by assumed truths and doubt

Too many times I have been hurt
Too many times has my heart been inert
My life is too much of a mess
I can not bring myself to forgiveness
Why call me to more
I am merely a different version of who I was before

But as He called out who I am
Washed and remade by the blood of the Lamb
I saw with new eyes
the offenders lives
they too
are being made new
Their lives have value
Because of what Christ chose to do

So now I have new definition
no longer stuck in a place of friction
I am called out by a mighty Voice
called out by choice
He says that I am not the same
I do not have to alone endure pain
He gave me a new name, no longer just a mess
I am a redeemed work-in-progress


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Week 4 DTS

The Week 4 topic was Biblical Worldview and we were challenged (more like required) to write as if we were talking to complete strangers on the street corner. So that is the context of the that week's sermon...

How can God love me?

This question has swirled around in my mind. At one point the answer may have been, because I am a pretty good person. While at others I felt as if there was no way for Him to care about, not to mention love, me. So how could God love me? God is perfect. I am not. God is holy. I am not. How can holiness and my wrongs or “sins” be together? How can His perfection and light be with my sin and darkness? One simple word can put me in the wrong. One gust of wind, one wrong breath and I have set the arrow so far off target that I have missed the mark, sin. One lustful glance is the same as adultery. One harsh and shame filled one has set my destiny. Not because God is cruel but because Light simply cannot tolerate darkness. I deserve punishment, death. So is that the answer to how God can love me? He can’t? It could have been, but God has so much love. He has so much compassion. He came to earth, He lived a life that was completely void of sin. People were healed by Him. He was perfect. Then people got angry, officials said it was too good to be real, and the Jewish leaders didn’t want Him to shift society. They took Him before a court and forced a death penalty. He was nailed to a cross. Without fault, blemish, or wrong He was killed as the worst of criminals. So God tried, He tried to love me. But being God that was not the end! Death could not contain Jesus. The Grave could not hold Him down. My Jesus rose from the dead. He is alive and seated as God in Heaven. His perfect life and power over death made a way for me to washed of the stains of sin. He made my darkness into light. My life is no longer my own. Galatians 2:20 puts it this way, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Knowing that God loves me changes my life. It transforms so much. I have faith and Christ takes my faith and makes me right with God. But in return, how can I love God? How can someone like me love Him? My life is so broken, but Christ is the Redeemer. In my life I have gone from depression to love simply because Christ has bought me from death with His own life. I can now walk being filled with love, joy, peace, kindness, and so much more. Not on my own account but because of how much God loves me.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Week 3 at DTS

The topic was "Being a Godly Rebel". This may not seem directly related to that thought but it was one topic that the speaker touched on.

Philippians 2:5-7 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant

This is my Jesus.
He is One that walks in humility. He walks in servant-hood.

How can I think of myself as more? He is God but never used His equality with God to attain status or held it over others.

John 13:3-5 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

He humbled Himself so low as to wash the feet of those He led. What is leadership then without servantship? If the Creator humbled Himself to serve, then how can I see myself as “above” anything? I am not above cleaning. I am not above serving. I am not above siblings or others. I am equal but must not see equality as a cop out. Rather, I must bring myself to a place of humility.



C. S. Lewis defines humility in this way, “True humility isn’t thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less”. You are God’s precious creation. Nothing can take away from that fact. Never let humility drive you to self-hatred or loathing. He is the God Who finds pleasure in service and we should learn to be likewise. Our purpose is not to “be good”, “do good”, or even strain to be either of those. Our purpose is to glorify the Father, to worship Him forever. The more I learn about Him, the more I praise Him, the more I long to walk in His ways and to follow after what He desires and has for me.

Paul, many times in Scripture, refers to Himself as “chief sinner” or the “least”. He understood humility. He didn’t say that he was the least so he wasn’t fit for ministry. He never said that being the least held him back from living for Christ in any way. His view of himself, rather, spurred him on in ministry. He was eager to serve his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. He served whole-heartedly.

The Lord is looking for those whose lives are laid out before Him. Lives of ones who will follow His example of servanthood. My life’s desire is to be found humbled and waiting. My life’s cry is, “here I am, use me”!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Prayer Requests

So a few different people have asked what they can be praying about. So here is a little list...

1. Outreach! The first 3 months of DTS are spent learning in a classroom setting and the other 3 are spent abroad in the 10/40 window (google it) applying and teaching what we have learned. Due to security I cannot tell you my exact location online. But please be praying for the people in the area I will be going to.

2. Please be praying for my outreach team as we prepare. That we would soak up all that we can here and apply well once overseas. Also that we would be unified and loving towards one another.

3. I am learning SO much here. Please be praying that I am able to let the knowledge sink in all the way from my mind to my heart.

4. My roommates are the best. There are 8 girls in my room (including myself). Please be praying for each of them and their different outreach locations, that they would be learning lots, and that we would continue to grow closer and hold each other accountable to the things that we say and do.

5. We have some fabulous leaders here. Please be praying for energy, perseverance, and that they would be open to all that the Lord is teaching them as well.

6. The school as a whole. That we would represent well the Body of Christ, unified, humble, and serving one another.

7. Visas. This is a semi-broad thing. We have a few internationals in the school who need to have their visas stay in place, others that may need them for their specific countries, and some U.S. citizens that need new passports. Pray that all of that would run smoothly.

8. Against any sickness. Colds spread like wildfire here since so many people share rooms, are in class, and are together all the time.

9. Peace about all that is going on here. Peace about what we learn. Peace about outreach. Just peace all the way around.

10. And finally, that each person would continue to be molded more after Christ. That we would desire to become more like Him each and every day.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Week 2 at DTS

Week 2 Topic- Recognizing God's Voice

This week the Lord really revealed many lies about life, myself, others, etc. that I had believed. This was the sermon that I wrote...

One of the hardest things for me when it comes to recognizing God’s voice, is pushing out the lies. The lies about who I am, the lies about Who God is, and the lies about His desire for me. My flesh wants God to be only mildly close. My flesh wants Him to only kind of love me. Because that is what I know, that is what I accept, that is what makes me most comfortable because that only requires the same from me.

I was asked not that long ago to really examine what labels are on me. Who does my family think I am? Who do my friends think I am? Who do I think I am? And the lies flooded. Your friends don’t went you around, they don’t want to be with you. You annoy your family, they don’t want to talk to/spend time with you. You don’t have worth. You don’t really matter.

What? Is that who I am? Does God think of me that way too? If I don’t think of myself as worthwhile then how could He?

Then I was asked, who does God say that you are? um…

And I prayed, and I listened, and after all those other things ran through my mind I heard.

You are My Daughter of worth.
You are Beautiful out of ash.
You are a powerful Overcomer.

But I’m still struggling! I give you power.
But what about what other people have told me. You are Beautiful.
But I thought I was worthless. Oh, My beautiful Daughter of worth.

Is this really how you see me God? I can’t even come to believe it. How do I know that this is how You actually see me? What about all those other things?

John 8:44- [The devil] does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

BUT

Psalm 103:12- as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Colossians 1:13-14- For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

My story is a story of redemption. I am not one caught in the middle. I am not one of indifference. I am not caught somewhere between sin and worth. I am all that He says I am. I am ALL that He says that I am. And when it comes to listening for His voice, listen for the one that pushes back the lies. Because when He speaks, mountains crumble, seas give way, and my callous heart melts all over again. His every word is truth. He never speaks a lie. He never brings shame. He convicts of wrongs, but He never brings guilt. His voice calls me to greater things rather than condemning me for the times that I fall short. He is guiding along a path of learning to trust, in Him and in His voice. The voice that speaks truth and the voice that speaks life. My chain falls off at the touch of His hand and the breath from His lungs. My God is the God of redemption and life and His words affirm His identity and mine.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Week 1 at DTS

Our first week we studied the "Character and Nature of God". It was a great week and we learned a lot. As part of our school we are required to write 5(ish) minute "messages" each week on what we learned. Each week about 5 people are chosen at random to share their message. This week I escaped without being chosen! haha But anyways being myself instead of writing a message I wrote a poem/spoken word. So without further ado.... Here it is.

All-Powerful mighty God living on high
not concerned with what He made
Not even desiring for all to be saved
This god in our heads must be remade
For our simple minds simply can not contain
The idea of a Father’s love
No my futile mind can not sustain

That He imparted mercy and forgave

The mocking voice that cursed His very Name

He is more than the God of wrath that we have always portrayed

He is personal

Personally, I can attest
to His unending love and faithfulness

This love is more than surface level

Deeper than the ocean depths
Sacrificing, Longing, Seeking, Pursuing

After this broken mess
In His faithful arms, I can rest
Knowing that His plans for me are the absolute best

Though still a long way off He saw
Stuck by the shame of not attaining the law
Me 
In the midst of the pain brought by sin

And even then

He ran to me,
He kissed me,
and He brought me in
He wasn’t ashamed of all the things I had been

Not reluctant to call me His own
With open arms he welcomed me home

He is merciful
Fully, I can proclaim
that He is compassionate and kind
In my own lies and guilt I bind
Myself to a cross
But as I make my shame-filled walk

I am stopped by a man and am filled with shock
As He proceeds to take my lot
He, Himself bore my sin and my shame
my name carved into the tree
because that tree was meant for me

In the act I was caught
To the middle of town I was brought
This was the moment I had always feared
My sin had now been revealed
And not a single soul could save me now
Then His frame came into view
And He bent down in the sand and drew

In that moment I knew
Every stone fell to the ground
And His voice spoke the most pleasing sound
“Darling, where are your accusers now?”

He transcends time
Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End

Throughout time He has been

Weaving a Tapestry of Christ

And my every sin

He can mend

Because He is the First and the Last

He holds both the future and the past

He pursues when I run

I am the prodigal son

He washed my stains when I couldn’t

I am the adulterous woman
And together we will run this race

And tell His story, a story of grace
We will run with reckless abandonment

Because He is merciful and compassionate

All-Loving Merciful God abiding within me
Caring deeply for what You have made
Hoping all things and running to our aid
Looking for a life that has been laid
out at Your feet,  so that You may invade
So submit your plans to the Lord,
your destiny is tied to Jesus

not your desires.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The YWAM life

1. Breakfast is only for the overachievers
2. "Space" and "Privacy" are figments of your imagination
3. At any point in free time there is most definitely a jam sesh going on
4. We are basically one big 40+ member family
5. During the first 1-2 days, you will be completely lost while trying to find your room, food, etc.
6. Hills are meant to be rolled down and trees are meant to be climbed
7. We contend. For ourselves. For each other. Because prayer is SO incredibly powerful
8. Worship. It's real. It's raw. 
9. We are vulnerable. We laugh,, we cry, and Jesus is good.
10. We are all in the process of growth. Growth in community and most importantly growth in Christ.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

New Residence. New Adventure. Same Jesus.

Today is the official first day!! I got here yesterday and got settled and met two of my seven roommates. I can not wait to meet the rest and get started!! The anxiety/nervousness/what-am-i-doing is completely overcome by excitement as the journey officially starts TODAY.

I officially live over 1,000 miles from home,
I didn't know anyone before I got here,
And I wouldn't change a single thing about it all!

Location is just a spot on a map. Strangers are just friends you haven't gotten to know. My Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Perfect love casts out fear. I have a love for these people. I don't know them. But the fear has subsided in light of His wondrous desire for each of us as we follow Him to Colorado Springs and then the ends of the earth.

With all love,
Grace

Saturday, September 13, 2014

follow

following the footsteps of the One Who walked before
guided by His steadfast hand, faith
though the future i may not see
and though His voice be gentle and meek
on the inside i feel the rumbling of the Maker of the waves
following the God Who intimately knows me
i know that i will go wherever He may lead

Friday, September 5, 2014

Under 3 Weeks

A few months ago I posted announcing that I will be going to do a DTS (Discipleship Training School) with YWAM in Colorado Springs. Now I am less than three weeks away from stepping into this next chapter of life... Is this real?! Out of mind excited mixed with the occasional what in the world am I doing would most accurately describe how I feel. However, below those feelings is something that runs deeper... expectancy. I am expectant to see how the Lord is going to move.

I just recently finished going through a study on holiness with some friends. One verse that really struck me during the study was Matthew 5:48.

"Be perfect, therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Excuse me. What? I can't be perfect. I have no ability to be perfect. Washed, renewed, redeemed, yes. But even at the best of moments I still stumble and fall. I had a moment of confusion. He redeems because He knows I can't be perfect. That's why His forgiveness is everlasting. So how can I "Be perfect"? I then did a word study on the word perfect to look and see what the original word meant. One definition stuck out to me. -To come to the end of oneself- that I can do. That I do quite often.

Come to the end of yourself, Grace.
Let Me take over.

So as I stare at the ever lowering number of days I have left in Mississippi and I have reassurance. In the excitement, in the unknown, in the expectancy, I am learning. He is teaching me to come to the end of myself, to the end of my desires, and to the beginning of Who He is. He is perfecting my faith.

Here I stand. At the end of me.
At Hillsong puts it, it is "the art of loosing myself".

Following His lead,
Grace

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

take me there

I want to know Your heart
Dive deeper into You
Consumed by Your presence
Captured by Your love

I want to be captivated by You
Wholly taken into You
With everything shout forth Your praises
You deserve all of me

I want to see Your face
Behold You in glory unknown
High above every worry
Worthy of praise in Your rightful place

I want to give You everything
My whole life laid at Your feet
Not a thing held back for myself
My life the living sacrifice

-lgb-



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Deep calls to Deep

Will this make sense when you read it? I'm not sure. Track with me and maybe you'll learn something at the end.

Psalm 42:7- Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; all Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.

I read through Psalm 42 the other day and this verse really stuck out to me. I had heard it many times but I wanted a better understanding of what it meant. So I went through and did word studies in the verse. So here is what I learned when using what I found in the word studies. (Just so you know I use Blue Letter Bible for word studies.)

Deep- (Strongs H8415)
-Deep depths, deep places, abyss
-abyss, the grave

Sin is death. When we call out to God we call for our sin to be wiped away. So we call out to Jesus' tomb, His empty and conquered tomb. Life is found in the resurrection of Christ.

Waves- (H1556
-heap, spring, wave, billow
     -heap (of stones)
          -over dead body
          -used to ratify a covenant

This heap has covered my dead body. Cornerstone (Christ is our Cornerstone) has covered my dead body. He has made His covenant with me and I am covered.

Have rolled- (H5674)
-To "pass over", alienate, do away, take away

This Cornerstone takes away my old, dead self.

So in conclusion...

My dead body cries out to Your empty grave at the sound of Your waterfalls (Ezekiel 43:2- God's voice is like the roar of rushing waters); all Your breakers and Your Cornerstone have passed over my old self and ratified a covenant for my sake.

Oh. My. Goodness. Hope that you understand the weight within this verse. God's Word is living and active!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Walking in His Promise

Let me start by telling you that this post has been long awaited. Why? Because I now know what I will be doing once I graduate high school! YAY! *insert cartwheels, squeals, and general shrieks of joy* And before I tell you what it is that I will be doing let me tell you that I have had every possible emotion that I can think of between this moment and when I first felt God leading me to graduate this year and dedicate this next season to Him. This time last year I would have told you that I did not want to graduate early OR do a "gap year". I wanted to graduate with my friends and take a chill two years rather than cramming my classes. Well... God had others plans and after some time of struggling things out... God won, like always. While in Haiti over the summer of 2013 I felt that God was leading to do something new and I dove head first into and changed my schedule and signed up to graduate this year immediately after I got home. (How is that possible? How does one finish school early? I'm home schooled. We do things like that. #sorrynodenimskirtshere) Long story less long I assumed that once I committed to this idea of graduation and then service that God would immediately show me what I would be doing. Nope! All of that happened in August 2013 and it is now March 2014. But God has truly taught me SO much over this time and I can honestly say that trusting Him through this wait has strengthened my trust in Him because I know that He will always pull through... on His time not mine. But through my waiting this song by Bethel/Jeremy Riddle has really been a prayer of mine. Here are the lyrics:

Walk in the Promise-
Our souls wait in silence in rest and in quiet for You, SpiritIn trust and dependence we walk in the promise of You, coming
With hope and healing in Your wings with fire and with wind
You fall on us againHere we are waiting for this house to be shakenFor the boldness to carry Your name to the nationsYour signs and Your wonders to go now before usFor the weight of Your glory to rest as we lift You upWe lift You up We lift You up We lift You up

So now, without further ado, here is what I will officially be doing next year...
I am going to a Discipleship Training School (aka DTS) with an organization called Youth with a Mission (aka YWAM) in Colorado Springs! More specifically I will be doing their Justice and Mercy DTS. What in the world is that Grace? Well here is a little blurb about from the website- "The Discipleship Training School is the foundation for ministry in Youth with a Mission. For six months, students are transformed through studying what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Speakers from all over the world teach on topics like the Father Heart of God, Hearing God's Voice, and Missions. The Justice & Mercy focused DTS highlights strategic issues common to the 10/40 Window: HIV&AIDS, human trafficking, refugees, child soldiers, illiteracy, gender based injustice and extreme poverty. Classes, daily life, local ministry and outreach will all focus on God's heart for bringing love and mercy to victims of injustice." Pretty amazing, right?! And after studying these issues and topics the next 3 months are spent in the 10/40 window working hands on with long-term missionaries. Bottom line: God has been all over this planning, He will continue to be all over my preparation, and I can not wait to see what all He has in store as I step out into what He has for me this fall.

To find out more about YWAM and what I will be doing you can check out their website:http://www.ywamsf.org/

Following His lead,
Grace

Saturday, March 15, 2014

My True Delight

Peace like a river
      is what my soul can rest in
Love like an ocean
      that can never be quenched
Joy like a fountain
      bubbles up from within
My true delight in You is found,
       in my Savior's voice,
'tis the sweetest sound

Friday, January 31, 2014

Dancin' in the Rain

So what if it drizzles
And dribbles and drips?
I'll splash in the garden,
I'll dance on the roof.
Let it rain on my skin,
It can't get in-
I'm waterproof.
      -Shel Silverstein