here am I; send me.

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise.

Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

(Take My Life & Let It Be by Frances R. Havergal, 1874.)


Lord, make this hymn the cry of my heart.
Take my will, my hands and feet, my voice, my life, all of me; use me to glorify you.
My life is not my own. Remind me that I am apart of something so much bigger than myself – the furtherance of your gospel & your kingdom.
Take my sin & throw it far from me. Make it distasteful, disgusting to me.
I pray that you would cause my heart to so want & desire & worship you above all else.
Thank you for your goodness & grace towards me Lord, for I do not deserve it.
I pray that you would allow me to give your love & grace to those that don’t deserve it either. Fill my heart with overwhelming, genuine love for those around me. Use my hands & feet to serve them & care for them more than I care for myself.
Amen.

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an open book.

Because I am an open book,
often people do whatever they want with that,
& I let them.
Why?
Well,

I’d rather have someone hurt me
because I’m transparent
& honest
about who I truly am

Than me hurt someone
because I’m disingenuous
& pretending
to be someone I am not.

the promise of liberation.

I was reading notes from a devotion I did on Psalm 14 on January 14th, & in reading over them, more words came to me.


“The fool says in his heart, ‘there is no God’.” (verse 1) As a result of this unbelief & denial, he is “corrupt. . .[& does] abominable deeds”. (verse 1)
When we reject God & don’t come before him in humble repentance, we are enslaving ourselves to sin.
“But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. . .For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.” (Romans 6:17-18, 19b)
Sin sometimes look deceptively like freedom. The protective, good boundaries the Lord has set for us can look restraining, even imprisoning. What is liberating (Christ) can sometimes seem like bondage, & what is holding you in bondage (sin) can deceive you to make you think it’s liberating. It’s a twisted way that Satan tricks people all the time.
We all know this in our heads, but to get the truth to transfer from our head to our hearts always proves to be way more difficult.
Allow me to encourage you:
Sin is pleasurable for a time (Hebrews 11:25), but it is never, ever liberating – even though it promises so.
This is one of the many the differences between sin & our faithful God is that He always keeps His promises. Always. & sin never does.
Whatever sin you’re currently struggling with, I pray that you would look at it in light of eternity. I pray that you’d see that it isn’t worth it to grieve your God just to have pleasure for a time, as it says in Hebrews. I pray that you would see the liberation of our salvation & the beauty of our Lord. He is always faithful, & a relationship with Him is never imprisoning or a burden.
“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” 1 John 5:3

finite minds & infinite glory.

It seems as if eternal days
are far too short to sing His praise.
Oh, the love that sought me
oh, the blood that bought me
oh, the grace that brought me to the fold
of God.

In Tenderness – Citizens & Saints.


These are the lyrics to a song that always strike my heart as I sing them. I can never hum this song absent-mindedly or take its lyrics lightly. The words carry with them the weight of such truth that when those truths weigh on my heart I cannot help but loudly proclaim them with all of my voice.
Just recently, I have begun reading When I Don’t Desire God by John Piper. Oddly enough, I bought this book six months ago, but was occupied with other reading until I most recently got to a point where it was the book I most needed to read; so here I am (funny how God worked that out – He used my procrastination to encourage me & comfort me when He knew I would need it. What a marvelous Father we have).
In Chapter Two, Piper writes of desire & delight. He explains that we have a misconception of each word, & that we believe that a desire for something will give us delight once we get the thing. However, this is where we are wrong. For part of our delight is found in our anticipation of that which we so desire. Piper says that “the desire is part of the pleasure”(page 26); that the two are “inseparable”.
The point of me explaining all this (& probably rather poorly, I’ll admit. I apologize if I’ve spoken in circles) is that I am going to connect the words of the beautiful song that brings me to tears when I sing it & the book I have so desperately needed & have been reading.
Piper says on pages 27-28 of When I Don’t Desire God that “the difference between desire for God & delight in God is important mainly to make clear that finite creatures like us, who have a spiritual taste for the glory of God, will always want more of God than we presently experience – even in eternity. There will always be more of God to enjoy. Which means there will always be holy desire – forever…in the age to come, when we are perfected & have our resurrection bodies, the longings that remain will not be because sin is competing with God for our affections. Rather, the reason will be that finite minds cannot receive the fullness of infinite greatness and glory. It must be given in (glorious but manageable) increments every day for eternity.”

This is why eternal days [will be] far too short to sing His praise – for His glory is far too infinite, & that glory is far too much for our finite minds to comprehend.

take the world, but give me Jesus.

01/09/17.


Oh, God. I come before you broken.
I do not like who it is I am becoming – a woman too concerned with the world. Too distracted by its enticing deceptions that once I partake in its joys, I’m left empty.
I’ve lost my desire to pursue you above all else. I seek to find satisfaction in things that can’t fill my God-shaped hole.
I pray you would show me your glory in contrast to my depravity. Your power, & my weakness. Your love, & my unfaithfulness.
I pray that you would reignite my passion for you, God. Allow me to taste and see that you are good.
Save me from my own desires. I’m allowing my joy & love for you to be surpassed by my passion for the things of this world. I’m letting it happen. I’m not fighting.
I’ve been losing this battle with sin for too long, Lord. Give me your strength to fight my daily battle against distraction. Help me see that only you can satisfy me & bring me joy. Give me the self-control to set these boundaries for myself & keep them.
Help me flee my sin.
Show me that I need to pursue only you.
Take the world, but give me Jesus.
Amen.


1. Resolved, to never allow my love for worldly joys surpass my love for that which should always be my first love (Revelation 2:4) & joy; namely, to commune with my God & to spend time in his Word.

(Resolution 1 by Bailee Harris – inspired by the resolutions of Jonathan Edwards. http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-resolutions-of-jonathan-edwards)

the end. {not a poem}

There is a song I love
someone singing of a girl
“She hates the sound that goodbyes make”, he says of her
I can deeply relate.
A goodbye is an ending
(the worst kind of ending there is)
Goodbyes eat at the hearts of even the strongest people
even if the person they miss isn’t gone long.
“Endings are sad”
everyone always says
“Endings are bad”;
& I can understand why it is said.
Once someone is
a part of your life for so long,
even a short time without them
makes it like a piece of you left when they did.
So, basically
endings suck. (sorry, mom)
Goodbyes are awful,
we can all agree.
However, there is one ending
I look forward to always
does that sound strange?
Let me explain.
This ending is rather a feeling that I get
when in your arms you hug me tight
this is the ending I most look forward to –
I simply call it: the end of missing you.

struggles. {part 1 of 3 in the series}

Struggling with trust
fear welling up inside my chest
I know You have a plan for me, Lord
& that that plan is best.

Struggling with fear
I dread my life altering so drastically
But the thing I should dread most
is to stray from the path You have for me.

Struggling with pressure
with the stakes set so high
I know I’m not working hard enough
but with Your strength & all my might I will try.

I’ve learned that perfection
is not something I can attain
& that the love of my dear Savior
outweighs all foolish, earthly gain.

This poem written as more of a prayer
take my life, God, & do what you will
For even if I must leave home
I will follow You even still.

a prayer for our country.

I really don’t know how to start this post, other than by saying that the recent events in our country have really broken my heart. America, God has been so good to us. I really don’t want that to change.


Our country; our state (I live in California) is in such disarray politically that it sometimes seems impossible to come back from where we are. But God is good, & He can (& has) done incredible things.

Our current state (pun  definitely intended) reminds me of when the people of Israel were rebelling against God (one of the many times, but who am I to judge?), & based on the peoples’ hearts towards Him, they would get a king reflecting their wickedness, or their righteousness. Well, more often than not, the people got a wicked king. A depraved king to mirror their depraved hearts.

Sometimes God’s way to deal with His peoples’ sin doesn’t seem loving. Just like getting punished by our parents as kids doesn’t seem loving. However, even though we cannot comprehend it, they do it because they love us, & letting us go undisciplined is not loving. (“The rod & rebuke bestow wisdom, but an undisciplined child brings shame to his mother.” Proverbs 29:15) God loves us in that He sent His Son to deal with our sin. . .not allow it.

So, depending on the condition of the peoples’ hearts (whether speaking of ancient Israel, or America), the leader we get reflects that condition. & depending on the person in power, the morals “change”. If we get our moral code from an ever-changing authority (whether it be the leaders themselves, or just their opinions), the morals will change depending on who’s in power; which is why the line of truth is as blurred as it is.

The universally accepted truth in our modern time is that there are no absolutes.
What’s true for you might not be true for someone else. So, to one person, your belief in God is just “your thing”. They might believe in Allah, or Buddha, or nothing at all – but no one is wrong. Everyone’s truth is different.
The statement that “truth is relative” goes against the very definition of truth! Truth is what’s right and unwavering in all times for all people. It doesn’t diminish or disappear, it doesn’t retire or resign, & it sure doesn’t change with the times (truth is not “old-fashioned”). How ironic that that which is true is being blurred just like the definition of the word itself. Ironic, & sad.

Unlike what we as temporal beings can imagine in our tangibly-oriented minds, we can’t change what’s true like we can change almost everything else. What makes me sad is that people think that they can change what’s true just as easily as they change their shoes.
In reality, it’s more like trying to change the law of gravity. No matter what you do or what you believe, you cannot change the fact that if you jump off a cliff, you’re going to fall.
One might say, “That’s not what I believe! If I jump off this cliff, nothing’s going to happen. Gravity is just something that’s true for you.”
How silly does that sound? Well, that’s what people who try to deny the truth of the existence of Christ are essentially saying.
We cannot deny or change God’s absolute truth of the need for a Savior even as much as today’s leadership is attempting to.

America, God has had His hand of grace on us ever since this country was founded. It makes me sad that those Christian truths that were the foundation of our homeland are fading away so easily. Our lack of wisdom as a people individually and collectively has blurred our vision of what’s right & good – & even if we can clearly see the truth, we don’t always fight for it. We have forsaken our God as a country; as a people, & the consequences will grow increasingly painful if we turn our backs to Him instead of our faces, like the Israelites (Jeremiah 32:30-34).

This is what needs to change, & if we need despotic, deceiving dictators of leaders to change that, then so be it. Sometimes just what we need is a little tough love to get us to see that we are so wrong; but the only way to see the truth is to seek the One who determines it.

Now, this may have been just a bunch of jumbled thoughts I tried to make sense of & completely failed, but I hope that someone reads this & sees what I see – a country with the potential to become great again (and NOT by electing a certain candidate, mind you). Great again by the power of a great God. It’s not too late.
Pray. Pray to Christ who opened the eyes of the blind & unstopped the ears of the deaf to do the same to those in leadership positions of our country. “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, & thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings & all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful & quiet life, godly & dignified in every way.” 2 Timothy 2:1-2

an excerpt from the weight of glory by c.s. lewis.

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“If you asked twenty good men today what they thought was the highest of the virtues, nineteen of them would reply, Unselfishness.
But if you had asked almost any of the great Christians of old, he would have replied, Love.
You see what has happened? A negative term has been substituted for a positive, and this is of more than philological importance.
The negative idea of Unselfishness carries with it the suggestion not primarily of securing good things for others, but of going without them ourselves, as if our abstinence and not their happiness was the most important point.
I do not think this is the Christian virtue of Love.
The New Testament has lots to say about self-denial, but not about self-denial as an end in itself.”

– C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory