22 May 2012

Show Me Your Glory

 One day Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Take these people up to the Promised Land.’ But you haven’t told me whom you will send with me.
You have told me, ‘I know you by name, and I look favorably on you.’  If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.”
 The Lord replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.”
 Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place.  How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.”
The Lord replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.”
Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.”
The Lord replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.
But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.” The Lord continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock. As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.”

Exodus 33:12-23

     Yesterday after I got off work, I was enjoying some quiet moments crocheting and listening to some messages by Loui Giglio (I definitely recommend that you check him out on youtube!!). One message that I listened to yesterday was on WORSHIP. Within the message Loui used Moses as an example and used the verses from the passage above to make a very important and vital point.

     So before I continue on please take a moment and read (or reread) the verses from Exodus because they are so jammed packed with treasure and nuggets of gold.

     So the scene is set....Moses is meeting with God. That is enough to blow me away! But to give you a clearer idea of what is going on, I will back up for just a moment. In Exodus 32 a terrible thing has happened in Israel...Moses has been up on the mountain for forty days and nights, receiving from the Lord all the commands and laws that the Israelites are to live by. God has made the covenant with Moses that the people of Israel are His chosen and special people...He will be with them and take them into the promised land and bless them as long as they follow His laws and regulations with joy.
All the while this is happening, the people of Israel have assumed that Moses' is dead and they have decided to make themselves a gold calf to worship. They have turned away from the Living God and made an image that they can wrap their minds around and bow down to.
     God is not pleased with His people because of their faithlessness. So in chapter 33 He tells Moses to get going and lead the people of Israel into the promised land, but He Himself would not go with them. So now Moses is before God, asking Him to go with them...but He does not stop there.

     Moses dares to do what few of us would ever imagine. He is not satisfied with just the thought of God's presence going with them....He is not satisfied just knowing that God's favor is upon Him...Moses is not just satisfied because God told Him that he would have rest and be fine. No Moses wanted something more...something so much better and deeper and real. Moses wanted to see God's glory. He wanted to know this God who had promised to go with them into the promised land.

     And God did in part what Moses asked. He had all of His goodness pass before Moses as He hid him away in the cleft of the rock and than allowed Him to see his back. The Lord proclaimed His name that He is a God who shows mercy on those He wants to show mercy and compassion on those He wants to show compassion. And Moses was changed. His face was glowing! And the people saw it when He came back to the camp. They knew that Moses had met with God.

     But Moses' request was only partially answered...but years later in the town of Bethlehem a baby was born. And the angels shouted, "GLORY! Glory to God in the highest!! And on earth, peace to men on whom His favor rests." And that night born in a stable was the very Son of God who is the glory of God.

     Colossians 1:15 says: "Christ is the visible image of the invisible God..." Hebrews 1:3 also says: "The Son radiates God's own glory and expresses the very character of God ..."

     God's glory has come! Jesus Christ came to earth and has revealed the invisible, awesome God to us humans. How incredible is this truth!!!! Moses asked to God's glory, and He received his request in part only because the time had not come yet for Jesus Christ to be revealed.

     So now let me come in on this truth from my perspective. I read the story of Moses and I just long for such faith...for such a passion and commitment to God in my own life. I long to ask God to show me His glory, but often times I just know that He won't say yes yet because I still have so many things in my life that need to be fixed. I really don't want to be disappointed because I know that if I ask God to show me His glory that nothing miraculous will happen. I won't see flashes of light or see God's face or hear His voice. So I don't ask because I don't want to experience that let down nor do I think I am worthy to experience it. These are the conclusions my mind comes to all too often.

     But yesterday as I was listening to the message, something clicked in my mind...something I always tell others but find so hard to grasp myself. And that is this: God is not hiding His glory from me until I arrive at some pinnacle in my life where I have reached Moses like perfection. NOOOOOO!!! God has given me His glory in the person of Jesus. O I cannot even write the words that I long to express because this truth is so deep and we need to get this because our lives as Christians will not be what they are supposed to be until we do.

     Jesus Christ---the very Son of God, King of kings, Prince of Peace, Lord of lords, Creator and Sustainer or the universe, Word of Life, Eternal God, Majestic Lord, Mighty Savior---came to earth to DIE. Why? Because we were going to die. We broke God's law and the punishment was death...not just physical death but spiritual death and eternal separation from the goodness and love of God. All we would have know was God's wrath and that was our fate because of our sin. But Jesus came to take our place. Jesus came to take our punishment. Jesus came to give us His righteousness so that we could know God and not experience His Father's wrath. Jesus Christ died in our place and took our punishment and gave us new life. Jesus Christ was buried and on the third day He arose!!! Jesus Christ is no longer dead...He is ALIVE!!! And He stands at the Father's right hand interceding for us. When Satan accuses us, Jesus speaks up for us because He took our place and now we can be with Him forever when we die.

And now in this life we can see the glory of God in Jesus Christ. And it is miraculous!!!! God has completely transformed our hearts and as we look into the Word of God we are changed because we are looking into the glory of God because Jesus is the Word of God and we have His Word in our hands.

So today, ask God to show you His glory...and then set your face on Jesus. Look at Jesus, fix your eyes on Jesus, and let the things of this world fade away. Set your face like flint on seeking the Lord. Do not be satisfied with God's blessing and presence in your life. Go for more...KNOW GOD!!! Ask to see His glory, and He will not disappoint you. As you gaze at Jesus, you will be transformed. And this watching world will see that something is different about you. They cannot see Jesus, but they can see you and they will be wondering what in the world you are looking at as you gaze at Jesus. And then you will be able to say, "I am looking at my mighty, awesome Savior!"

18 May 2012

Rekindling Joy

Recently the Lord has been reminding me of lessons that I thought I had already learned...and in His sweet kindness is so gracious and patient to teach me again. As I look over my time in the Coast Guard, I see that in that first year right out of boot camp, the Lord really taught me deep lessons in "JOY". I struggled when I first arrived at my boat (as you can see if you go back and read earlier posts from 2009), but the Lord stayed by my side. Even as I was swamped with my first set of quals that I needed to work on, feeling homesick once again, and not really liking where I was...the Lord showed me that it did not matter what I was doing but what really mattered was who I was doing it for.

he Lord has placed me here on this earth to glorify His name and s everything I do in life is for this ultimate purpose. I learned those early days in the Coast Guard that if I am going to paint a wall then I am going to do it for the Lord and because I am doing it for Him I can do it with a smile and joy. God taught my heart joy amidst circumstances that were far from what I would have wanted them to be.

And now as I come to my last year in the Coast Guard, I believe that the Lord is bringing this lesson back to the forefront. He is reminding me to not just endure my last year in the Coast Guard here in Eastport, but to use it as a way to point to Him by being joyful even when I am studying, washing the boats, standing radio watch, etc.

So here is my game plan so to speak(-:

Rejoice and be filled with thanksgiving!
-When I first wake up in the morning, I am going to spend those first few moments thanking the Lord for the new day before me and praise Him for who He is.
-When I go to work I am going to give thanks to God for the new opportunity to shine the light of the Gospel in a dark place.
-At work I am going to study hard and look for was to learn more and more.
-At work I am going to look for ways to show mercy and kindness and not to gossip and destroy people with my words.
-When I am skyping with my wonderful fiance Fidele, and the Internet connection is terrible and all I wan to do is cry, I will rejoice and thank the Lord that He has blessed me with such a good, wonderful man who is waiting faithfully for me to be His wife and who is giving up sleep and trying to skype with me even though it is not working.
-When I feel lonely and homesick, I will thank the Lord for the wonderful friends He has given me here in Eastport and the wonderful church family I have.

Those are just some starters...I find that once you give yourself to rejoicing that it is hard to find a place to stop. The Lord is so good and kind to us and the things that I can stop and thank Him for are endless. His mercies are new every morning! His faithfulness is beyond my comprehension! He is my glorious strength! And my steadfast peace that calms my raging soul. He is always with me so I will not give in to the struggles and worries that weigh upon my soul. The Almighty God is my refuge so I will not fear, but I will trust in Him.

So today I am learning to rekindle the joy that once was burning and alive in my heart. I thank the Lord that He can relight that fire in me and make it even more alive and bright than before. I pray that the joy of the Lord fills me now and transforms me to be about His work and to glorify His name here in Eastport, Maine.

12 May 2012

Into God's Word

My Hat Projects

Today I was busy working on some crochetting projects I needed to get done. I was making a couple hats for a lady at my church. I thoroughly enjoyed spending the time crochetting while listening to some of John Piper's messages as well as watching a good movie called "No Greater Love" (I highly reccomend it!!). I also took a nice walk around Eastport and enjoyed some good thinking time.

As I have been thinking over the lessons I have been learning the past week (which I wrote about in my last post), I have also been struck with this: I so often long for God's presence with me and sometimes wonder where God is when I am struggling, but really I should examine my own life and see if I enter the Lord's presence. The Lord has not left us alone in this world. We have the Holy Spirit living inside of us, teaching and comforting us, and Jesus also promised that He would be with us always before He said goodbye to His disciples. We have God's Word in our hands, but what we need is to have His Word in our hearts, planted deep within our souls so that it can blossom and bloom in our lives.

Moses asked God to show him His glory and the Lord was pleased with Moses' request. God has revealed Himself to us as well and we can see His glory as we gaze into His Word. So I am challenged instead of spending time and energy wondering where God is and asking Him to be with me that really I need to be thanking Him that He is with me. His promises stand true today as they did back when He first gave them. And I need to enter the Lord's presence by sitting at His feet with His Word opened, as I take His Word in my hands and plant them deep in my heart. The Holy Spirit will transform our hearts through the Word so let's start digging deep into the Bible!

10 May 2012

Almost A Year Has Passed!!!

A pic of me and my fiance, Fidele....story to come!
Wow!!!! I can hardly believe that it has almost been a year since I last wrote a post on my blog!!! Time has just flown by even though many days along the way, I never thought the time would pass...especially here in little Eastport, Maine! So much has happened this past year, so it is quite hard to know where to begin now that I am dusting off my laptop keys to write down some thoughts. Maybe the best place to start is right where I am today...

I am sitting at work tonight waiting for 10pm to roll around so we can go and do lock ups for the Coast Guard Station. Lately I have been struggling with a great deal of stress here at work because I am trying to become fully qualified in my job as a boat driver, but a lot of things overwhelm me and then I start worrying that I just will not make it and that I will end up failing. I pray and pray that God will strengthen me and give my heart peace, but sometimes it all seems slow in coming. However the Lord comforted me in a special way the past couple days with two different verses that I read from the Bible.

#1...As I have been praying for peace this past week to fill my heart and calm the raging in my soul, God graciously turned my eyes to Philippians 4:8-9: "And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all that you learned and received from me---everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of PEACE will be with you."

And after I read those verses, the thought came to me: This whole week I have been praying that God would just give me peace, but maybe He wants me to give me something more than peace (more than what I perceive peace to be, which is a calmness and stillness of my soul...a quietness within me). The Lord not only wants to give me a quietness in my soul, but He wants to fill the quietness with His presence....He wants to be my quietness/my peace. And so instead of focusing on the lack of peace in my heart and soul I need to be putting into practice all that I have learned and received from God's Word. I need to be thinking the kind of thoughts that Paul talked about...and then I will not just have peace...."Then the God of peace will be with me."

#2...I have also been praying that God would give me strength...strength to accomplish the things here at work and strength to serve Him...and to be honest the more I pray sometimes the weaker I feel. But the Lord also so kindly directed me to Psalm 89 tonight and two verses stuck out to me (16-17): "They rejoice all day long in Your wonderful reputation. They exult in Your righteousness. You are their glorious strength. It pleases You to make them strong."

WOW!! In many ways when I pray for strength, I know that I often think of receiving an increase in my own strength, but that is not God's idea of blessing me. No His plans are much higher and better! He does not want to just give me strength...He wants to be my strength!!!! And not only that He wants to be my GLORIOUS STRENGTH!! From this I really see that God is not a vending machine to ask for something and wait for it to pop out...prepackaged and ready to be consumed. No our God is a consuming fire. He is the Almighty One. The holy and majestic King enthroned in majesty! And He is so kind and merciful to us. I ask for strength, and I am disappointed and upset when He says no. But little do I realize that He says no because He wants to give me something better---HIMSELF!! The Lord wants to be my glorious strength in life.

God does not want to just give His children peace...
He wants to be their peace.
He does not want to just give us strength....
He wants to be our glorious strength.

So these are my thoughts from the past couple days and the lessons that have been tough for me to learn but so wondeful too at the same time. I will keep trying my best to update this blog on all the happenings of my life over the past year little by little....and keep it updated on my life right now as I serve the Lord in Eastport, Maine.

To God be the glory in my life today and tomorrow and forever!

Destroying Our Idols

God's Will or Your Own?



Written for my family as they move to Cameroon, Africa to share Jesus love with the people there.

Rejoicing in all God has done.
In your lives, I see Him displayed
As your greatest treasure of all;
Your mission: to proclaim His name.

Fix Your eyes on Christ…Run hard to the goal.
Consider the work He has done, He has saved your souls!

Press on, HOPE IN GOD…IN HIS HANDS you are safe. UNDER HIS WINGS…you are held---
you are HELD BY GRACE.
Take up your cross, follow Christ, let His praises resound.
as you journey HOMEWARD BOUND.

Cheering you on as you go
As you make much of Jesus today,
Considering all else as loss
Compared to the Savior’s name.

Fight the battle of faith…stand firm in Christ.
Trust Him with all of your heart, give Him your life.

Press on, HOPE IN GOD…IN HIS HANDS you are safe. UNDER HIS WINGS…you are held---
you are HELD BY GRACE.
Take up your cross, follow Christ, let His praises resound.
as you journey HOMEWARD BOUND.

Praying for you in my heart.
May God’s sustaining grace push you on
To follow Christ outside of the camp,
Calling the nations to join the song!

Jesus is mighty to save
For while yet sinners He died in our place.
Shout---shout His praise For He has given us grace!

Press on, HOPE IN GOD…IN HIS HANDS you are safe. UNDER HIS WINGS…you are held---
Take up your cross, follow Christ, let His praises resound.
as you journey HOMEWARD BOUND.

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