Morgan Harper Nichols Though.

I love this lady and I love the words she shares. She writes devotionals and poems and she creates beautiful pieces of art, oftentimes combining color and words into an amazing masterpiece. You can find her on Instagram (@thedevoco & @morganharpernichols)

Her words have encouraged me so much in the past several months. She is also a singer. Her soulful voice has accompanied her sister, Jamie Grace, in her latest album, ’91. (Go listen to Daughter of the King)

Hope this encourages you today! ❤

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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!!!}

Be Anxious For NO-THING

(Part 4)

July 21, 2017 (Evening)

I was laying down on the couch in our music room, scrolling through YouTube checking my subscriptions. I listened to the acoustic version of Hills and Valleys. I liked how it wasn’t all peppy and exciting like you were shouting praises from the mountain tops. It was softer yet still joyful as if you were in the clear, just coming out of the valley. I could just picture coming out of the valley and beginning to scale the rocky terrain.

Anyways, in the list of related videos, there was a message given by Ben Stuart at the 2015 Linger Conference. I had listened to the one he gave earlier this year about how our phones are a great tool, but they can also be a distraction. Intrigued, I listened to this one.

And O. My.

I needed to hear that message. (Which you can watch here.)

Ben spoke on Philippians 4:6-9, which is a very familiar passage to me. I had verses 6 through 8 memorized. Hearing him speak on this familiar portion was refreshing to me. His thoughts about anxiety and how God is the God of peace, not of confusion, came at a time when I had been worrying and stressing and crying over several things in my life, not just my grumpy neighbors. This could only be a message from God to my burdened heart.

I have been letting anxiety take a toll on me.

I have allowed myself to be controlled by my fears, or anxieties, or stress. And it’s crippling. It’s exhausting to worry. There’s a Proverb that says “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.” (Proverbs 12:25) and that is so true! As I had allowed my worries to weigh down on me and as I let it keep me up at night, I began to feel more helpless and hopeless as the days passed. I began to feel disappointed and I remember feeling that in the extreme almost two years ago. And I did not want to go back down that path.

I love how Ben said it this way, “Be anxious for nothing. For NO-THING. But in EVERYTHING, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”

When he expounded on letting our requests be made known to God, he described our tendency to suppress the ugliness and dirtiness of our life as if we were trying to keep a beach ball underwater. It’s so difficult to keep it from bobbing to the surface! You have to put so much pressure on it in order to keep underneath the surface. And that is exactly like our spiritual life when we try to keep our problems out of the Lord’s hands!

I was encouraged by Ben’s honesty of how he would write prayers to God and it was just crazy. His thoughts were everywhere and it was a huge mess. It was real and raw and unfiltered. And pouring them out before the Father was a lot like vomiting. That’s where I am right now. With my angry letter to God and every letter after that, I was all over the place. I let everything that I was trying to keep from God out.

Most of my angry letter was about my grumpy neighbors, but the underlying point I was making was pretty much, “God, I don’t like how You’re dealing with this. This doesn’t seem fair. I don’t trust Your judgment. I know You have a great plan for my life, but I don’t believe that Your plan for my life is the best plan for me. I want to believe that. I know I should believe that, but I just don’t. I feel like my way is better.”

But I love how the Lord works. When we’re honest with Him, He is honest with us. And when we’re real and raw and ready to hear what He has to say, He comes to us so lovingly, so tenderly; And He, the GOD of peace, (not just the Prince of Peace,) gives us HIS PEACE!

How amazing is that?!?!?

Because of the radical work on the cross that Jesus did, we can be anxious for NO-THING, but in EVERY-THING by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, we can let our requests be made known to God. When we cast our anxieties on the Lord because He’s strong enough, we can think on things that are true, that are lovely, that are just, that are pure, that are virtuous, that are praiseworthy and that have a good report. We can experience the peace of God which surpasses all understanding because Jesus guards our hearts and our minds. Because of Him, we can sleep well at night. And that night, I did.

Hills and Valleys

(Part 3)
Still July 21, 2017
I asked God, “how is it possible for me to praise You when I feel so low? How can I possibly thank You in this difficult situation?”
A song got stuck in my head right then and there. It was a tiny whisper of Hills and Valleys by Tauren Wells. When I heard it on the radio for the first time, I remember thinking to myself, “this is a pretty cool song. God is the God of the hills and the valleys in life. Also, this guy’s voice is amazing. Isn’t he from Royal Tailor? 😛 “
Because I just could not get the chorus out of my head, I looked up the lyrics. I also wanted to find out if Tauren was the singer from Royal Tailor or not ’cause I wasn’t sure. (He is, but he’s no longer with Royal Tailor.)
Here are the lyrics that encouraged me:

I’ve walked among the shadows
You wiped my tears away
And I’ve felt the pain of heartbreak
And I’ve seen the brighter days
And I’ve prayed prayers to heaven from my lowest place
And I have held Your blessings
God You give and take away
No matter what I have, Your grace is enough
No matter where I am, I’m standing in Your love

(chorus)
On the mountains I will bow my life to the One who set me there
In the valley I will lift my eyes to the One who sees me there
When I’m standing on the mountain I didn’t get there on my own
When I’m walking through the valley I know I am not alone
You’re God of the hills and valleys, hills and valleys
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone

I had to write the lyrics down in my journal. I needed that reminder that my God is not just the God of my good days. He is the God of my good and bad days. He is bigger than anything and everything that takes place in my life.
I needed that reminder that if God chooses to place me on a mountain where everything is great and wonderful and beautiful, I need to stay humble. I need to bow low to the ground because I didn’t climb up there by myself.
I needed that reminder that when things get hard and I find myself walking through a valley, I need to look up and know that my God didn’t leave me alone. I love Psalm 23:4. It says,
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
There is no need to despair. Sure, there’s a time to weep and mourn and say, “Why, Lord?!?!?” But there’s no need to lose heart. It really is possible to sing to the Lord and praise Him while you’re walking through a valley.
How did I come to that conclusion?
I made a list of God’s characteristics according to what the Scriptures say.
Here are a few:
He is faithful.
He is patient.
He is holy.
He is just.
His timing is perfect.
He sees all and knows all. (He is omniscient.)
He is everywhere. (He is omnipresent.)
He is all powerful. (He is omnipotent.)
When I started to see how big God is and how small my problems were compared to Him, I felt kind of silly for making such a big deal about this. I began to see that no matter where I am in life, I can look to my heavenly Father and know He sees me where I am. He is constantly consistent. There is never a moment where He is not who He says He is and that is such a comforting thought to me.
He’s God of the hills and the valleys.
And I am not alone.

Good Gifts

You don’t realize how special your family is. 99% of the time, you take them for granted whether they’re around or not.

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That is until you have special moments like these.

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Becca tho. Why.

When you’re together and you catch up on life.

 

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When you’re laughing so hard your sides hurt and you’re crying. Or you stay up till 2am and literally fall asleep talking to each other.

That was what happened when the cousins came. We haven’t seen them in a couple of years, but they came to visit for New Year’s weekend. It was so so good. I didn’t realize how much I missed them and loved them until they had to go. I cried so hard the day they left. I had taken them for granted.


My uncle flew in from Korea and stayed with us for like ten days or so. Komo came for two days during that time. Oh, and Uncle Joe surprised us and stayed with us too. So we had our family reunion and played games and watched movies. Here are some of my favorite moments.

That time when we watched Inside Out and we all cried together.

All the puzzles we put together. With every piece, Uncle David would say, “This is key.”

When we played games and Uncle David said,”The losers shall eat chocolate because they are sad.”

The fact that Uncle Joe brought more food than clothes with him when he arrived. How does he manage to get everything through security?!?!? #donutsfordays #whitecastle #ilovemyuncle

Sam was baptized the same weekend both uncles were here. (Komo unfortunately had to go back to work.)

With every game we played, Uncle David calculated the probability of the dice or the cards and insisted that we trust the math… Because the math works and math is life.


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We also took a trip down to Texas to see some friends. Man, have I missed these girls!

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An unexpected surprise! We got to see Aunt Laura and Uncle Kerry!

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Aunt Laura and Uncle AJ renewed their wedding vows for their 25th anniversary.

Hearing parts of their journey together and hearing their new promises to each other with the ocean crashing behind them was such a privilege. Being married to only each other for 25 years is a rarity. It’s one thing to get married, but it’s another thing to stay married. Their marriage and my parents’ marriage are a testimony to the Lord’s goodness and His grace. That’s the kind of marriage I want–one that is firmly anchored to the Lord and to be growing and encouraging each other to be more like Christ.

 

With all the people I got to see these past few months, James 1:17 kept coming to mind. Every soul I got to see, every hug I got to give, and every laugh we shared was a beautiful gift from the Father of lights. I don’t know when I’ll get to see them again. It’s more fun now that we’re older, but it’s also harder to get together because we’re working and there’s college and life happens. But I realize that my family is important. I often take them for granted, but they are a good, good gift from my heavenly Father. I need to make time for them. I may not see my friends on a regular basis, but every text message, every card, and every skype call or lunch date is a good, good gift from my Father. I can’t take that for granted.

sunrise-with-ferris-wheel

“These are the days, these are the days. The days we’ll never get back. These are the days, these are the days. And these days are all we have.”

Winter Is Here

Christmas is upon us.

I can smell it in the air.

Cold.

Biting.

Freezing.

You can see your breath in puffs.

Clouds of warm air evaporating in the chilly atmosphere.

Whispy.

Short-lived.

Poof.

Lights glimmering in the night.

Deer and angels dancing with the shadows.

Rooftops glowing.

Windows sparkling.

It’s magical.

Christmas carols echoing in the distance.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

Rejoice!

Hallelujah!

Gloria!

My cup runneth over with hot chocolate.

(Mexican’s my favorite)

Cookies fill the countertops.

Plates are passed around.

There’s warmth.

Joy.

Love.

Eyes are closed and sweets are savoured.

Hearts are full.

Memories are made.

It’s a good life.

It’s a rich life.

It’s a beautiful life.

There’s hope.

Comfort.

Peace.

For unto us a Child is born,

And the government will be upon His shoulder;

And His name will be called

Wonderful,

Counselor,

Mighty God,

Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace.

{Isaiah 9:6}

 

Sixteen.

I’m turning seventeen in a matter of days. I’m trying not to think about it because I’m actually kind of dreading it. Let me explain: My goal in life was to turn sixteen. I know, it’s a silly goal, but that was my dream. I had this idealized version of what my sweet sixteenth year would look like ever since I was a little girl. Like, I would be driving, working, possibly graduating, hanging out with friends with no adults around, and enjoying the privileges an adult has without having the expectations to fulfill their responsibilities.

Well, let me tell you that my sweet sixteen was nothing like that. I don’t know how to drive, I don’t have a job, I’m still in school, and I haven’t gone out with a single person other than my family ever since we’ve moved.

If I’m completely honest, sixteen was the worst year of my life. I dealt with some serious emotional, spiritual, and relational problems all throughout my sixteenth year. I wrestled with all kinds of change. And I think this was the year that God really got ahold of me and had me face all of the issues I was keeping inside of me for years. Which, is a good thing because looking back, I really needed to do that. But gosh, it was so painful; I never want to go through that again.

The thought of being a year older and facing all of the changes, good or bad, accompanying it gives me some anxiety. Some people have already made the comment that I’m almost an adult. That thought gives me even more anxiety. I’m not ready to be an adult! This past year has shown me that I’m not ready–that I’m not as prepared for adulthood as I thought I was.

Last night, Mr. Blais gave a study on the book of Ruth. Throughout the whole study he reminded me that life is full of choices: good ones, bad ones, better ones, and the best ones. And with that thought in mind, I can see that if I had made some better choices in the past, this year would probably have been a whole lot easier. Maybe that’s why I’m dreading my seventeenth year of living. I’m going to have to make choices that are a little harder than whether I’m going to do Algebra today or tomorrow. I’m going to have to decide what I’m going to do after I graduate, where am I going to go to college, am I even going to go to college, who am I going to date (when the time comes), what am I going to say to those who disagree with my decisions, how am I going to live my life?


So, here’s what I found this morning that calmed my anxious heart.

“that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:12)

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

“That He (Jesus) would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19)

” Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.: (Ephesians 4:29)

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit[b] is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8-10)

” Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)

“and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” (Colossians 2:10)

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17)