Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What Makes a Woman

"Not costly dress nor queenly air;
Not jeweled hand, complexion fair;
Not graceful form nor lofty tread,
Nor paint, nor curls, nor splendid head:
Not pearly teeth nor sparkling eyes,
Not voice that nightingale outives;
Not breath as sweet as eglantine,
Not gaudy gems nor fabrics fine;
Not all the stores of fashion's mart,
Not yet the blandishments of art;
Not one, nor all of these combined,
Can make one woman true, refined.

'Tis not the body that we prize,
But that which in the body lies.
These outward charms that please the sight

Are naught unless the heart be right.
She, to fulfill her destined end,
Must with her beauty goodness blend;
She must make it her incessant care
To deck herself with jewels rare;
Of priceless gems must be possessed,
In robes of richest beauty dressed;
Yet these must clothe the inward mind,
In purity the most refined.

She who hath all these virtues combined
Can man's rough nature well refine;
She will have all she needs in this frail life
To fit her for mother, sister, wife.
He who possesses such a friend,
Should cherish well till death doth end.
Woman, so fine, the mate should be
To sail with man o'er life's rough sea;
And, when the stormy cruise is o'er,
Attend him to fair Canaan's shore.

by Albert N. Raub

Oh, to be a woman who pleases the Lord. I've failed so often, but I know the Lord is still refining me more into the woman I need to be. It can be a difficult place to be, and a very humbling one, but with God's grace, I know that I will grow and change and hopefully, mature more into a godly woman who desires to please the Lord in all that I do.
I want to know God more.
I want to please God more.
I want to honour God more.
I want to obey God more.
I want to desire God more.
I want to love God more.
I want to thank God more.

I want to cherish God more.
I want to represent God more.
I want to serve God more.
I want to be in awe of God more.
I want to pray to God more.
I want to listen to God more.
I want to study God more.

I want to stand in the presence of God forever and worship Him at His feet.
Oh for that day!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

So Much to Learn!

I haven't blogged in forever it seems!
(Sorry dear blog!)
Things have been piling up around here lately even though it's summer, and the thing that happened to get neglected was my blog. However, my time with the Lord was not, and He has been my continual encouragement and comfort! Oh He is so good to me! And I am so undeserving of His mercy!
I've been doing an inductive Bible study through Genesis, my goal being to go through the whole Bible. I have learned so much and all the tiny details are miraculous in His Word! I thought it was so neat in Genesis 7:16 when it said, "...and the LORD closed it behind them" speaking of God closing the door of the ark once Noah, his family, and the creatures entered. It's hard to imagine things like that!
The promises of God are so abundant throughout His Word, it's so encouraging to know that He is a promise-keeper!
As I've been studying, I've been asking the Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? questions to better grasp the meaning of the passages. And I've found that each time I come to the question Why? I write down my answer with, To put God's glory on display. Creation is a full display of God's amazing greatness, might, and glory!
 I am so amazed and in awe of Him! The Creator of all! Our HIGH and HOLY GOD!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Session #4: John MacArthur

The path of holiness is through and by the Scriptures.
Isaiah 6
Isaiah 5:8-23 speaks of the six curses Israel
1. Drunkenness
2. Grasping materialism
3. Moral perversion
4. Mockers of God
5. Arrogant conceit
6. Corrupt leadership

Our world is more perverse and vile than it has ever been that one man once said, "If God doesn't destroy America soon, He'll need to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah." I find this statement very interesting because I know that when the Lord Jesus Christ returns, He isn't coming to save, but to judge, and America and the rest of our world who has rejected God will suffer such judgement and wrath as never before.
We're under judgment, not just on the brink of it.
God is looking for one who has a clear vision of His divine sovereignty.
In Isaiah 6:2 it says, "Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew."
Two of his wings covered his face because he can't even look into God's glorious face.
Two of his wings covered his feet because he was over holy ground in the presence of the Lord.

If I compare my speech with others of this world, I would consider my mouth clean.
But when I compare my speech with a Holy God, my mouth is vile.

God is not looking for perfect people. He's looking for broken people.
Verse 7 says, "He touched my mouth with it [a burning coal -vs.6] and said, "Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven."
What a wonderful forgiving, gracious heavenly Father we have! How our world doesn't care of His love and sacrifice - or His wrath to come. And one day, every knee will bow and confess that

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Session #3: Al Mohler

Romans 12
How do I DO the will of God? - not 'how do I know the will of God'
Romans 3:23
Being conformed to this world takes no effort. We were born into it and born into sin. Our desire, though, should be to glorify God with out lives and fulfill His will, not our own, for our lives.
His Word sets forth His will for your life!
There are fifteen things that you definitely know are the will of God! This post will be short and sweet, and hopefully helpful.

You know, by the will of God, that:
1. you were born
2. you will die
3. you will grow - physically, spiritually, intellectually
4. you were made male or female
5. you believe in Christ
6. you folllow Christ as His disciple
7. you trust and obey the Scriptures
8. you obey and respect all authorities
9. you be married** and faithful in that marriage
10. you be faithful in raising your family
11. you develop the gifts He has bestowed upon you
12. you be deeplly involved in the local church
13. you lead, women - by example, mothers - with their children
14. you share the gospel
15. you do everything for the glory of God!

**#9 you be married
Al Mohler touched on this one more than the others and what He said was very helpful.
Genesis 2
#1. There is an exception.
"There are some regenerate believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who are given a special gift and that gift is the gift of celibacy. And that gift is demonstrated in the fact that you can be deployed for great commission service. You can be deployed for service to the kingdom of God, explicitly for the kingdom of God. You can be deployed in that way and not be distracted and not be defiled by sexual temptation. You will know that you have that gift, the gift of celibacy, if in the quietest moments of your life you know 'I could live for the rest of my life without sex. I can live in such a way without bitterness to God. I can live in such a way without temptation and lust entering my life that would defile and eventually debase my ministry. I can do these things with a glad and joyous heart. I can do without these things. I can be without wife, I can be without husband, I can be without children, and I can be so to the glory of God and I can be so happy in my heart knowing that God has a purpose for me that before I was made, He knew me and intended this for me and has given me this gift so that I can go and do what a married person cannot do.' If that characterizes you, then the church of the Lord Jesus Christ should celebrate that with unmitigated joy and deploy you with incredible enthusiasm and support and love you as you find your family identity within the eternal family of faith." - direct quote from Al Mohler

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sesson #2: John MacArthur

Psalm 19 and Isaiah 6 have been the sustaining points of clarity in John MacArthur's life.

Sound theology.
Sound life.

Psalm 19 is divine revelation. Verses 1-6 describe creation. And verses 7-9 gives us a clear revelation in six clear statements.

6 words................................................................6 characteristics........................................................6 effects
                  (of the Lord)
law                                  perfect                    restoring the soul
testimony                        sure                         making wise the simple
precepts                           right                         rejoicing the heart
commandments                 pure                        enlightening the eyes
fear of the Lord               clean                        enduring forever
judgements                       true                          righteous altogether
                  (of the Lord)

"perfect" - as opposed to incomplete

Therefore, Scripture is fully complete - perfect!

"restore" - transforming the soul (the inner person)

Therefore, the Scripture is fully complete so that it can totally transform the whole inner person. (rebirth - regeneration - salvation)

"testimony" - the Lord's testimony
This is Who I am. This is what I've done.

"sure" - reliable
The Word of the Lord is a sure, reliable, trustworthy, true Word!
And it makes simple people wise!
simple - an open door (everything goes in, everything goes out)

When you say you have an open mind, God would say "Shut it!"
1 Peter 1:23
John 17:17 Your Word is Truth!

Scripture is divine doctrine.
"right" - not opposed to wrong. A right direction or path.
Fixed eternal doctrine sets a right path.

The 'Word' sets the path.
The 'Word' lights the path.

The result - rejoicing the heart!
True joy is tied to obedience.
Jeremiah 15:16
Obedience will give you a clear conscience. You will find deep down profound joy!
Scripture is not suggestions - it's commandments!
And those commandments are pure.

"pure" - it's clear
Scripture is the worship manual.
You can only worship to the level of the comprehension you have of God's glory.
It's clean! Unstained! Enduring forever!

God is a righteous judge! - a divine one!
His commandments are so clear, they enlighten our eyes!
The Word is clear and unchanging and endures forever.
Scripture produces comprehensive righteousness - comprehensive efficiency of the Word of God!

The Word of God is our greatest:

Our response - Let us be acceptable in God's sight

Session #1: Rick Holland

Hebrews 12:1-3
"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Some statements adapted from Rick Holland:

Knowing about something isn't knowing something.
Do you just know it or do you live it?
Liking Jesus does not equate to living for Jesus.
Is Jesus apart of your life or is He your life?

How can you find spiritual traction to your life?
Hebrews 12:1-3

When we're contaminated with the world:
we've rededicated our lives to Christ over and over again without ever having assurance of our salvation
we've continued in the same habitual sin patterns for years and have never overcome them or our desire to
repented over and over again without ever changing our ways

How can I get traction in my spiritual life?
1. find the intended inspiration - "so great a cloud of witnesses"
2. eliminate every sin and distraction - "every encumbrance...which so easily entangles us"
3. run the Christian race - "the race that is set before us"
4. concentrate your faith on Jesus - "author and perfecter of faith"
5. be motivated by the gospel - "for consider that you will not grow weary and lose heart"

The life of faith is not too hard. It's already been paved for you. We're not blazing a new trail - we're following one.
John 13-17
How to live life with Him without Him.
How to live life without Him with Him.
He was telling them of His absence so they could enjoy His presence then and in heaven.

When we eliminate every sin and distraction, we need to consider who and what we need to eliminate.
Anything that's an ongoing crippling sin is what you need to get rid of - and ask yourself, what is it?
lust? lying? anger? jealousy? liberty? laziness?

What sin do you constantly hear the Holy spirit pricking in your soul?
Matthew 5:27-30
Cut it off! Pluck it out!
You need a radical amputation of sin in order to have traction in your spiritual life.

Run the Christian race.
To know if you're in the race - are you tired and weary?
A true Christian is sensitive to the sin that is making them weary.
Are you postponing your obedience? Because if you are, then it's simply called disobedience.
Concentrate your faith on Jesus, "author and perfecter of faith".
Jesus is the greatest example of how to live by faith.
Fix your eyes on Him and Him alone!
You can't look at Jesus AND the world at the same time.
And if you're not always looking to Jesus, you're not fixed on the race and the finish.

A constant view of the glory of Christ will revive our souls and cause our spiritual lives to flourish and thrive.
- John Owen
Look FULL in His wonderful face!

1. You have to learn to compare.
Compare the world to Christ. The world will never be able to give you what you think it can give you. Only Christ can fully satisfy you.
2. You have to learn to meditate.
You will die if you don't daily feed your soul with the words of God.

How much better Jesus is than sin!

Christ Jesus is the life of all the graces and comforts of a Christian in this world.
- John Fawcett

Resolved 2011 Recaps

Well, I left for California two weeks ago to attend the Resolved Conference in Palm Springs, and now I'm back home overflowing with new found knowledge of so many things that I haven't even fully grasped yet! I'm going to be posting a number of recaps of each sermon from the conference this week, but because I couldn't write down everything they said, I would encourage you to visit their website, and download their sermons to get the full picture! God bless!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Encouraging Words to Ponder from Sarah Mally

Sarah Mally is the founder of Bright Lights, a discipleship ministry designed to equip young ladies to use the years of their youth fully for Christ. I have been reading her book "Before You Meet Prince Charming - A Guide to Radiant Purity, and some of her helpful hints have been, well... very helpful! :) The whole book emphasizes the need to stay pure for your future husband. Proverbs 31:12 says, "She does him good and not evil all the days of her life."
Here are some statements from throughout the book that I love:
 Surely This Must Be the One
What are you looking for in a husband? Do you remember the story of when God told Samuel to anoint one of the sons of Jesus to be King of Israel? When Samuel saw Eliab, the firstborn, he was impressed. Seeing that he was tall, mature, and handsome, he thought, "Surely, this must be the one.`` But the Lord told Samuel, `Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature: because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart`` (1 Sam. 16:6-7).
It is easy for us to be like Samuel. We look at outward things. We notice someone who is handsome and popular, who sounds impressive, and who seems to be respected by everyone else. We look for Eliabs. But pray, rather, for a man after God`s own heart - pray for a David. Pray for a man whose life is devoted to the Lord so that as you give yourself to him, you will be using your life to bring forth fruit that is eternal. Pray for a man who loves Christ more than he loves you. Pray for a man upon whom God`s blessing is evident.
Here are just a few qualifications to consider for your list:
  • Does he have assurance of eternal life
  • Does he faithfully share the gospel with others
  • Is he always truthful
  • Is he committed to never being divorced
  • Does he honour his parents
  • Has he applied diligence in spiritual disciplines such as Bible reading, prayer, fasting, memorizations, and giving
  • Does he make all decisions based upon the Word of God
  • Would you be excited to have him as the father of your children
  • Is he diligent in his work and wise in his use of money
  • Is God calling you in the same direction of ministry
  • Does he ask forgiveness when he is wrong
  • Is he humble and willing to be a servant
  • Is he kind, thoughtful, and gracious
  • Is he generous with others
  • Does he respond to criticism in a Christlike way
  • Is he willing to stand alone
  • Do you see spiritual fruit in his life
( I noticed this last one as being really key because anyone can claim they are these things, but until they prove themselves in their talk, walk, actions, and thoughts - by the fruit of saving faith in their life - can you truly know they are honest. )

Are you Ready for Marriage
If you are not ready for marriage, then there is no good reason to begin to develop a relationship leading in that direction. Of course, I doubt that any of us are actually ever fully ready to get married, but here are some questions to ask yourself:
  • Do I have assurance of eternal life
  •  Do I know the Lord as my personal Saviour
  • Do I have a clear conscience
  •  Is there anything in my life that needs to be cleared up, confessed, or corrected
  • Am I ``about my Father`s business``
  •  Have I been diligent to complete the tasks the Lord has given me
  • Do I have a good relationship with my parents and siblings
  • Have I learned to be a servant by seeing and meeting the needs of others before my own
  • Have I learned to overcome anger
  • Are there people who have offended me whom I am not able to forgive
  • Do I read my Bible daily
  • Do I find myself often in prayer, consulting with God and enjoying close, intimate conversations with Him
  • Have I been diligent to identify and develop the skills, ministry, and interests God has given me
  • Have I learned basic life skills, both educational ones and practical responsibilities
  • Am I able to take care of a household
  • Am I ready to be a mother
  • Have I learned to be a giver, not a taker, in relationships
Here are a couple more helpful hints in the area of ``What not to do when you have a crush on someone``:
  • Don`t talk about him with your friends.
  • Don`t intentionally do anything that will stir up more thoughts about him (i.e. don`t put pictures of him up on your wall :) ).
  • Don`t tell him how you feel about him or give any indications that you might be interested.
  • Don`t dwell on thoughts of him or let yourself get carried away with your dreamy imaginations.
Rather, when thoughts about young men arise (and they will), use these as a springboard to direct you to pray and delight in the Lord.

Benefits of Waiting on the Lord:
Here are some specific benefits that result from this kind of waiting on the Lord:
  • You will not be ashamed (need not fear disappointment or disgrace, having confidence that God Himself is your ally).``For they shall not be ashamed that wait for Me`` (Is. 49:23).
  • The Lord will strengthen your heart. ``Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord`` (Ps. 27:4).
  • You shall inherit the earth. (In the end, it is not the wicked who will receive lasting rewards, but the meek and humble. ``For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth`` (Ps. 37:9).
  • Your strength will be be renewed.``But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint`` (Isaiah 40:31)
  • The Lord will be good to you. ``The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him`` (Lam. 3:25)
Benefits to Parental Involvement
  1. Wisdom and caution from someone older and wiser - who loves you and has your very best interests in mind
  2. Valuable insight in evaluating a young man`s character
  3. Help in protecting emotions
  4. Caution when your`re headed in a wrong direction or not aware of danger
  5. Accountability
  6. Help in discerning the right steps and the right timing
  7. Freedom that comes from knowing that God will work through earthly authorities.
There are many other ``firsts`` that will be very special if you make them special by saving them for the right time rather than trying to generate romance with every young man you get to know. Sure, more girls your age treat all these things casually. Sure, they might be having fun now, but how is it going to affect their marriages later. Think how meaningful each of these ``firsts`` can be, when shared with that special someone:
  • first expression of interest
  • first words of affection or love
  • first gift given or received
  • first romantic look into his eyes
  • first trip together
  • first special song, place, event, or memory
  • first ring
  • first dinner date
  • first personal letter expressing emotions
  • first ``i love you``
  • first piece of your heart given
  • first serious or ongoing correspondence with a young man
  • first special affectionate nicknames or actions
  • first kiss

Well, all of these were very encouraging and also convicting in my own life and heart and I know that with God`s help, I can overcome these sinful thoughts, words, and patterns of life. To Him be the glory forever!