Who Is This King Of Glory?

(Part 6)

July 23, 2017

I am in awe of how the Holy Spirit works in the hearts of men and women. Occasionally, I’ll write down what we sang and read during the Lord’s Supper.

Here are the Scriptures and hymns that were shared during my hectic and emotional weekend. I marked what ministered to my heart. I hope this encourages you as it did me.

***Thought going into church***

“Your Mercies Are New Every Morning”

#63 – Nailed Upon Golgotha’s Tree

1. Nailed upon Golgotha’s tree- Faint and bleeding. Who is He?

Hands and feet so rudely torn, Wreathed with crown of twisted thorn.

Once He lived in heaven above, Happy in His Father’s love,

Son of God,’tis He,’tis He, On the cross at Calvary.

2. Nailed upon Golgotha’s tree- Mocked and taunted. Who is He?

Scorners tell Him to come down. Claim His kingdom and His crown.

He it was who came to bless,

Full of love and tenderness.

Son of Man,’tis He, ’tis He, On the cross at Calvary.

3. Nailed upon Golgotha’s tree- As a victim. Who is He?

Bearing sin, but not His own, Suffering agony unknown.

He, the promised sacrifice, For our sins has paid the price.

Lamb of God, ’tis He, ’tis He, On the cross at Calvary.

4.Throned in glorious majesty, Lord triumphant-Who is He?

E’en the same Who came to die, Now in heaven exalted high;

With adoring hearts we now At His blessed feet would bow.

Lord of all, ’tis He, ’tis He, Throned in glorious majesty!

#78 – Jesus! The Very Thought Of Thee

1. Jesus, the very thought of thee with sweetness fills the breast; but sweeter far thy face to see, and in thy presence rest.

2. O hope of every contrite heart, O joy of all the meek, to those who fall, how kind thou art! How good to those who seek!

3. But what to those who find? Ah, this nor tongue nor pen can show; the love of Jesus, what it is, none but his loved ones know.

4. Jesus, our only joy be thou, as thou our prize wilt be; Be thou, O Lord our glory now, and through eternity.

John 20:30-31 “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; (31) but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

John 21:24-25 “This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. (25) And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.”

#403 – Like a River Glorious

1. Like a river glorious Is God’s perfect peace, Over all victorious, In its bright increase; Perfect, yet it floweth Fuller ev’ry day; Perfect, yet it groweth Deeper all the way.

Refrain: Stayed upon Jehovah, Hearts are fully blest – Finding as He promised, Perfect peace and rest.

2. Hidden in the hollow Of His blessed hand, Never foe can follow, Never traitor stand; Not a surge of worry, Not a shade of care, Not a blast of hurry Touch the Spirit there. [Refrain]

3. Ev’ry joy or trial Falleth from above, Traced upon our dial By the Son of love; We may trust Him fully All for us to do – They who trust Him wholly Find Him wholly true. [Refrain]

Psalm 24:3-5, 7-10

(3) Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place?

(4) He who has clean hands and a pure heart. Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully.

(5) He shall receive blessing from the LORD, And righteousness from the God of his salvation.

(7)Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up you everlasting doors! And the King of Glory shall come in.

(8) Who is this King of Glory? The LORD strong and mighty. The LORD mighty in battle.

(9) Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in.

(10) Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory.

Romans 5:6-10 ” For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. (8) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (9) Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him, (10) For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

Titus 3:4-7 “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, (5) not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. (6) whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior. (7) that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

#5 – Boundless Love

1. Behold, what love, what boundless love, The Father hath bestowed

On sinners lost, that we should be Now called “the sons of God!”

(Refrain)

Behold, what manner of love!

What manner of love The Father hath bestowed upon us,

That we, that we should be called, Should be called the sons of God!

2. No longer far from Him but now By “precious blood” made nigh,

Accepted in the “Well-beloved,” Near to God’s heart we lie. (Refrain)

3. What we in glory soon shall be, It doth not yet appear;

But when our precious Lord we see, We shall His image bear. (Refrain)

4. With such a blessèd hope in view, We would more holy be,

More like our risen, glorious Lord, Whose face we soon shall see. (Refrain)

Proverbs 30:4 “Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name If you know?”

John 3:13-14 “No one has ascended to heaven, but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. (14) “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up.”

Colossians 1:15-22 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. (16) For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. {HE IS THE CREATOR} (17) And He is before all things and in Him all things consist. {HE IS THE SUSTAINER} (18) And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. (19) For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, (20) and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. {HE IS THE RESTORER} (21) And you who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works yet now He has reconciled (22) in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and blameless, and above reproach in His sight. {WHAT A SAVIOR IS MINE!!!}

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If I Don’t Have You

(Part 2)

I reread Nate’s words when I got home and after I wrote my angry letter to God.

As I sat at my desk, I began to see that if this situation never happened, if my heart was not heavy, and if my spirit was not grieved, what would draw me nearer to my Savior? I had neglected Him. I shied away from Him because I hated my neighbors and I knew He didn’t like that. And because I knew He didn’t like that, I stopped spending time with Him. Mom and I still prayed together before I went to work, but that was just about as much as I would talk to God on my own.

July 21, 2017

I woke up with a heavy heart. I felt wounded as I dragged my feet around the house. It was Friday, my day off. In my head, the music Mom played throughout the house last night still echoed in my ears. Song after song reminded us that God was in control and that He started something new and He’s going to complete it. That He knows everything and He understands. That He is with us. But I was still asking, “God, where are You in all of this?”

At 11:23 (a.m.) I got an email update from one of my favorite bands, Love & The Outcome. They were announcing the release of their new single, “If I Don’t Have You.” I have loved that song from the very beginning. They put what I was feeling in my heart into words and matched those words with music.

How can I build Your kingdom if I’m building my own?

How can You be my treasure if I’m digging for gold?

How can You be my fire if my heart has grown cold?

How can You be my future if I’ve made this my home?

How can I? How can I?

I don’t want the world if I don’t have you.

I don’t want it all if it means I lose You.

I’ve tasted and I’ve seen enough to know it’s You I need.

I  don’t want the world if I don’t have You.

If I don’t have You.

How can I say I need You and live on my own?

How can I say I want You and never come close?

How can I say I surrender and never let go?

How can I say I love You to someone I don’t know?

How can I? How can I?

I don’t want the world if I don’t have you.

I don’t want it all if it means I lose You.

I’ve tasted and I’ve seen enough to know it’s You I need.

I  don’t want the world if I don’t have You.

If I don’t have You.

I give You every failure, every dream, and every mountain top.

I give You everything I thought of me and nail it to the cross.

I leave behind me what is ashes and what will be dust.

All I am to you my God for all else will be lost.

I don’t want the world if I don’t have you.

I don’t want it all if it means I lose You.

I’ve tasted and I’ve seen enough to know it’s You I need.

I  don’t want the world if I don’t have You.

If I don’t have You, Lord.

I’ve listened to this song a hundred times and this hundred-and-first time made me close my eyes and soak it in like it was the very first time.

I have been pushing my Savior away when I should have been pressing into Him. I say He is the King of my heart and the Lord of my life, but I never actually let Him rule over me.

Instead, I allow anxieties and worry to control my thoughts. Like, “What if this never stops? What if our neighbors are grumpy forever?” Or “what if the authorities do something in their favor instead of ours? This is so unfair, God!”

Instead, I allow my emotions and my feelings to control my actions. Thinking to myself, “I will not talk to anyone until I sort this out. I’m so mad I can’t even speak to anyone about this. This is my own fight. I’m on my own.”  Oh, how I love to shut my people out when I’m struggling.

I thought about how my grumpy neighbors do not have the Lord. However, I do. I thought about how they have the world, yet they are prisoners to it, never able to enjoy it.

I thought about Mrs. Nancy’s Manna in the Morning. She wrote:

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
And to sing praises to Your Name, O Most High;
To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning,
And Your faithfulness every night. (Psalm 92:1-2)

Praise the Lord for His love and faithfulness every morning and every night. Just think—a new day to sing praises to our Lord Jesus Christ. “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” (Psalm 150:6). (emphasis by me)

After that, I thought, “Lord, how can I possibly thank You for this? How is it possible for me to praise You in this situation? How can I praise You when all I can say is ,’please don’t leave me here?'”

And then, He answered.

That Time I Wrote God An Angry Letter

(Part 1)

July 20, 2017

God, why don’t You do anything? How long will You stay silent? How much more can I take? I hate these people. And I know that’s wrong. You ask for me to love them but God, there is no room in my heart to love them. – A portion of my angry letter to God

I wrote God an angry letter. Our grumpy neighbors are still grumpy. I know I’ve been holding onto bitterness and resentment against them for a long time and it finally all came out. One small thing led to another and I had enough. And I took it upon myself to tell the Lord exactly how I felt about them and how I felt about myself.

What’s interesting is how the Lord answered my angry prayer/letter.

Earlier that day, I read the morning devotion of my Daily Light.

“They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” (John 17:16) He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. (Isa. 53:3) “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners. (Heb. 7:26) That you may be blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. (Phil. 2:15) Jesus of Nazareth…went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. (Acts 10:38) Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Gal. 6:10) That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. (John 1:9) “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:14,16)

***Emphasis by me***

There is so much there that spoke to my heart that evening when I reread it. I felt defeated. I felt helpless. I felt like I wasn’t being heard. I felt like the authorities were being unfair because they didn’t understand the situation we were in. I felt like we had a biased mediator who was going between my parents and the grumpy neighbors. I know he was compassionate and kind yet I didn’t feel like justice was being served the way I wanted it to be. I longed to march over to our neighbors and give them a piece of my mind. My heart burned with anger because there was so much I wanted to say, but I couldn’t say it to their faces. I couldn’t say it to anyone’s. My thoughts were mean and ugly and I didn’t want anyone to know exactly how I felt.

But the Lord reminded me of this: I have such a great High Priest who was in all points tempted as I am, yet was without sin. (Hebrews 4:15) The authorities may be playing mediator here, but I have the perfect mediator interceding for me in Heaven on my behalf. In the meantime, I have a job to do. I have a purpose in this life here on earth. And I had forgotten why I’m here in the first place.

At precisely 3:43 p.m. that afternoon, my missionary friend from Niger sent out an email update. I was still  at work, but I stopped to read the email. It was around the time that Mom was coming to pick me up and I know it was minutes after she had yet another visit from the authorities concerning our next door neighbors. Anyways. In his email, Nate highlighted about five things but only two things stuck with me: his engagement (!!!) and the robbery. Back in June, he was robbed of his Bible, his notes, his backup notes, his computer, his passport, his visas, everything. But he wrote something that made me stop. He said,

“So often, I claim I want to know God, but do I truly want the opportunities in which to know Him?

We don’t have to understand the WHY when we know the WHO.

To know Him as my Provider, there must be a need.

To know Him as my Sustainer, there must be extended difficulty.

To know Him as my Comforter, there must be hurt.

To know Him as my Healer, there must be infirmity.

To know Him as my Deliverance, there must be a form of bondage.

To know Him as my Peace, there must be turmoil.

To know Him as the Resurrection, there must be death.”

My first thought was, “Wow, that is so true. What a godly perspective. Nathan has such a good attitude about this.” My second thought was, “I don’t think I could be this gracious. I know this is the right response to have, but I don’t think my heart would do that.”

Mom shared with me on the ride home that as she came to pick me up, a man on the radio shared his 5-minute devotional. The gist of it was, “We as Christians have peace because we know what the end of our story is: God wins. We can go to sleep and get a goodnight’s rest because we’ve read the last chapter and we know that God will make everything right in the end.” Yet I still went to bed with a heavy heart that night. I wanted God to make things right right now. Little did I know that He really was making all things right and He was starting with me.

 

When You’re Lonely

1. Clean something. Anything. Your room, the closet, the bathroom mirror.

2. Do some laundry.

3. Sing your favorite song.

4. Call a friend.

5. Friend’s busy? Call another friend.

6. Write to a loved one. Or text. Or both.

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7.  Make cookies or cupcakes.

8. Do something artsy- craftsy.

9. Wash the dishes while listening to your favorite band.

10. Do something nice for someone you love.

11. Snuggle with a baby.

12. Read a book.

13. Journal. Write out your thoughts.

14. Watch a movie.

15. Cook dinner.

16. Do some more laundry. (Those blankets haven’t been washed in a while.)

17. Vacuum.

18. Plant something. Or offer to take care of someone’s garden while they’re out of town.

19. Eat those cookies you made earlier.

20. Call your favorite aunt or uncle.

21. Cuddle a puppy.

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22. Pray for someone you love.

23. Tell that person you prayed for them.

24. Color a picture.

25. Watch the Jamie Grace Show.

26. Make a bucket list.

27. Make a grocery list.

28. Make a To Do list.

29. Don’t forget about those things you put in the washing machine and hour ago.

30. Have a backwards dinner. Eat your ice cream before your veggies.

31. Go find and talk to the frogs in your backyard. They might be lonely too. (Apparently one was because he was in my house this morning.)

32. Read Psalm 139.

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33. Tell God about your loneliness.

34. Go for a walk or a bike ride.

35. Go visit a friend.

36. Cuddle another baby. Or puppy.

37. Take a nap.

38. Organize your sock drawer, your dresses, or your shirts by color.

39. Rearrange your bookshelves

40. Make yourself a cup of tea and have another cookie.

You are not alone.

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Psalms 34:18 NKJV

For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.
Psalms 107:9 NKJV

The Goodness of God

{Past}

It’s been a while. A long while since I saw him, or heard from him. And then, there he was. Smiling, staring at the ground with a girl by his side. Their faces frozen forever in a perfect little picture.

I shouldn’t have been stalking her. Now my heart hurts. It’s not broken. I remember what that feels like. It was so horrible. I felt shattered, crushed into a million pieces. I never felt so small and insignificant in my whole life. No, this time it’s a dull ache that burns in my chest. There’s regret. So much regret.

I’m relieved that it’s over. I finally have closure. But I also feel sad and disappointed that things didn’t turn out the way I had hoped. I desperately wanted him notice me. I tried so hard and wasted so much time and energy trying to get him to like me. But it was all to no avail. He wasn’t the one for me.

Thank God.


{Present}

The past three years have been one heck of a ride. It’s amazing how far the Lord has brought me and just how much He’s done in my heart.

15. That was not very long ago. I was young and crazy and head over heels for one guy, and then another guy, and then another. (None of which liked me back the very least.)

I spent so much time and energy trying to make boys that just weren’t the ones for me, the right ones for me. I had tried so hard to give my heart to each one. Mom warned me about the consequences of doing that. It would hurt and it’s a waste of time and affection that is so very precious. I would regret it because there were so many other things I could pour my energy into other than boys. But I didn’t listen. I still gave my heart away and every single time, I got hurt.

I let myself go until I became someone I didn’t recognize. I was unhappy with my image, with my personality, with all of me because I felt like no one liked me for who I really was. I tried so hard to be someone else for a guy. A guy who didn’t care for me. I spent so much time and energy wishing, wanting, and trying way too hard to get him to like me. Every night, I prayed that he would be the one for me. I said, “God, please let him be the one!” when really I meant, “God, please make him the one!” I am so thankful God did not give me what I wanted!

Then I moved.

And then the healing began.

I came to face some really hard truths.

Truth is, I wasn’t ready to date. (And I’m still not ready to date.)

Truth is, I wasn’t ready for marriage. (And I’m still not ready for marriage.)

Truth is, every guy I really liked was actually a terrible match for me.

Truth is, the distance away from my friends and all the guys I knew has actually been really good for me.

Truth is, I really need to get to know my Savior first before I ever get to know any guy.

Truth is, I have a really good God who has protected my heart in so many ways, it makes me cry every time I really think about it.

For three years, God gave me acne. The kind of acne that you just can’t hide no matter how much makeup you put on. It was big, red, painful, and pretty much all over my face. I hated it so much, but now I’m pretty sure those mountains were what kept the boys from falling in love with me during a very vulnerable time.

You know how I know?

Three years ago, in the middle of my boy-craziness, my acne was just awful. Like I went to a dermatologist because it was so awful, and she said it was awful. (Okay, she said it was very severe, not awful.) It was bad. Up until the time I moved, it had stayed that way. But ever since I’ve been living here, my skin has healed! It’s unreal. As I have grown in the Lord and let Him heal my heart, He has healed my skin too. It’s so amazing.

Ever since I moved, I have not met a single guy who is remotely close to my age. (Okay, that’s not true. There are boys here but they’re young and wild.)

God gave me ladies like my mom and Mrs. Nancy. Ladies who love the Lord and who are the kind of wives that I want to be when it’s time.

God gave me a handful of good, Christian girlfriends who have encouraged me in my walk with Him.

God gave me such a good daddy (and mommy) who will guard my heart even when I won’t do it myself. And they will continue to guard it until God brings the man HE picked for me. I’m so thankful for my parents. They counseled me when I was heartbroken. Now they’re encouraging me to pour my energy and time into the people I love and the things I like to do. To be busy instead of sitting around wishing for a boyfriend. They reminded me to be myself and to love myself because God made me the way I am: Complete. Perfectly and wonderfully made. Exactly the way He wanted me to be. And God doesn’t make mistakes. And finally, they told me to wait on the Lord’s timing. For His timing is perfect, and He always, always, has my best interests in mind.

So that’s where I am now. Waiting and trusting in the Lord.

Goals for 2017

I’m not one who makes New Year’s resolutions. However this year, I did have some goals I want to meet. Or at least work on throughout the year and see progress. 😉

1. Read through the entire Bible in one year.

2. Become a more balanced person spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

3. Read the steadily growing stack of 20-some books sitting on the bedroom floor.

4. Graduate.

5. Play my violin more often.

6. Finish the projects I started.

7. Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong. (My new motto)

Run wild: Take risks. Take chances. Don’t be reckless, but don’t live in fear. Have courage, dear heart.

Live free: Live the life of freedom that the Lord has given you. Walk with Him, living in accordance with the plan He has made for you. Taste and see that the Lord is good; you are blessed when you trust in Him.

Love strong: Because you were first loved and without love, we would perish. Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Don’t be afraid of sharing your heart and soul with Him. He’s a master of holding hearts and He’ll take good care of yours. ❤ And finally, love others.

Here’s to 2017.

Reflections on 2016

I said 2016 was the worst year of my life.

And apparently a lot of people agree with me.

But here’s the thing. 2016 in of itself wasn’t bad. It was just another year. What made it bad for me personally was that in the past, I had made a lot of poor choices and bad decisions and this was the year I suffered the consequences. But even through all the trouble I caused and experienced, God was faithful, steadfast, and unchanging.

Here’s what I’ve learned this past year.

Life can suck. Change can really suck. When everything is completely new, it can be really terrifying to think about adjusting and it is perfectly normal to feel like you can’t handle it. It’s okay to feel sad and a little lost over something you can’t control. But. Don’t dwell on the fact that everything is different and nothing will ever be the same again. Don’t let that drag you down. Instead, remember that God will never give you more than you can handle and He’s going to go with you through all the changes. He won’t leave you behind.

Life is short. Too short to hide behind a camera. Take the time to step away from your phone. Stop taking pictures for a minute and enjoy everything around you with your own two eyes. Soak it in. Remember it for yourself. Then maybe take a few pictures for that scrapbook of yours. 😉

Read some more. Be still, even if it’s for twenty minutes. Take one chapter at a time. Go on those adventures between the pages. Fight monsters. Conquer fears. Find true love and live happily ever after. Just don’t forget about reality.

Don’t lose heart. Some days, life can feel really crappy. There will be times when you won’t know what to do or say, or how to react and that’s okay. Take a deep breath. Talk to Jesus. Really talk to Him. Pour your heart and soul out –trust me, you won’t regret it. He’s a master of holding hearts and He’ll take good care of yours.

Listen to what He has to say. It’s so important to listen. Otherwise it’s a one-sided conversation, you know? You do all the talking and you ask all the questions, but you don’t get any answers because you don’t listen. Sit at His feet and rest in His presence. Seek His will. Chase after it and never stop.

Choose your friends wisely, love. There is a huge difference between friends and acquaintances. Make sure you know the difference.

Don’t push away your family. Your parents will always be your biggest cheerleaders and you will always have a friend and confidante in them. You really are going to be stuck with your siblings forever. You don’t have to like them, but you do have to love them. They will be the ones who will take you in when you need a place to stay. They’ll keep you company whether you want them to or not. Cultivate good relationships with them now while you’re all young. It won’t be long before you all start moving out and living a life on your own. These are the days and you’ll never get them back. Redeem the time you have.

Finally. Run wild. Live free. Love strong.

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Here’s to another year.