Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bible Camp

I am so excited! In 24 hours, I will be at a 5 day Bible Camp that I have wanted to attend for what seems like years. But it's only been about 8 months since I started to really want to attend. I hardly even prayed about it, and when I did, it was almost wishful praying, because I knew there was no possible way that I could attend.
Just the same, I visited the website often, and when I noticed there was going to be one of the camps less than 2 hours away, boy, my desire to go really went up. But I just kept wishing, and every now and then praying about it, and looking at the website way too much.
I had never mentioned to anyone how much I wanted to go to one of these camps. But early this year, as my sister and I were talking, out of the blue she happened to mention this camp, ArMe Bible Camp. I got all excited about it and mentioned I had wanted to attend one and planned to try to go one, even though inside I knew there was no way I could go. But that was it, I didn't intend for her to do anything about it, it just popped up in the conversation and we kept talking about other stuff. That was the end of it-- or so I thought.
I had no clue that brief conversation about a camp would end up making my way too generous sister think of registering me.  But that is exactly what happened. She called me up a couple days later, letting me know that she had registered me. My prideful self, who doesn't like to accept things that I can't somehow earn or pay back, tried to change her mind. But she wouldn't hear of it. She very graciously made my attending ArMe Bible Camp a reality, instead of a far-fetched dream.
I am so thankful for my sister's generous gift, and ultimately, God's gift to me. I know God impressed my sister (who wishes to remain nameless) about this, because it's something I think I really need. I have been praying for quite some time that God would help me be a better Bible student, that He would provide an opportunity for fellowship and spiritual growth that can only happen at these kinds of events. God heard my prayer, and used my lovely sister to fulfill a desire that I hardly dared to dream of.
I am so excited. I have never been this excited about a camp/convention in my life. I think the reason is because out of all the other camps I've gone to, this is the first one that I have sought to go to for the sole reason of spiritual growth, of getting closer to God. All the other ones, well, I can't say I didn't want spiritual growth, but this time, it's different, I know it is. For the past 8 months or so, God has been working on my heart in amazing ways, and even more recently, since around the beginning of the year, I have really started to hunger for God's Word, for a deeper relationship with Him. And I know that I'm only getting started.
And this Arme Bible Camp, it is only the beginning as well.

This is also the first camp where I don't have a clue who I'll be rooming with, or if I'll know a single other person there. So yeah, it's gonna be like way out of my element, but even in that I see God's hand. He knows I need that. One isn't growing, I don't think, if one isn't out of their comfort zone.

Thank you Nameless sister! I can't begin to let you know how much your amazing gift means to me. I hope one day to be able to make it up to you.
And thank you God, for knowing the secret desires of my heart, and for providentially working everything out.
Jer. 33:3, Psalm 37:4

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I Give Up

"Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes
All my own desires and hopes
And accept Thy will for my life.
I give myself, my life, my all
Utterly to Thee to be Thine forever.
Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit
Use me as Thou wilt, send me where Thou wilt
And work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost now and forever"

~ Betty Scott (Stam) age 18

Thursday, March 10, 2011

For Ever

"Thou has turned for me my mourning into dancing; thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;
To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever." ~ Psalm 30:11,12

God has been so good to me! He is so merciful! So mercy- full!
Every breath of ours should be thanks, should be gratitude, should be praise to the giver of every good and perfect gift.
I breathe in, and I breathe out, and it is all thanks to Him. He created me, He formed me, and before I was even a dream in my mothers heart, He devised a plan to redeem me.
Nothing I am called to bear, nothing I am given, is deserved.  No burden, no pleasure, no heartache, no gift am I worthy to receive.
All His gifts are good. And He is good! So good.
I will never deserve His gifts, but with my head and heart cast at His feet I accept it all, because He is good.
No cup is too bitter, no burden too heavy, no cross too cruel-- because He drinks with me, He lifts my burdens for me, and He already carried the cruelest cross of all- for me. Because of me. I caused Him to hang on that cross.
And yet He loves me. For ever.
How can I not praise Him, for ever, always. In all-His-ways.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Even At The Gates

We are even at the gates of an eternal kingdom, and around me, and often inside me, I see a sleeping people. We sleep, and we ask for more of the earthly, and less of the heavenly.
Waking up and staying awake has in many ways never been easier, and in other ways, never been harder.

I see the battle for souls going on around me and in my own life, I see the world on the brink of complete chaos, and yet somehow, day to day life goes on as usual, and I ask myself why? Why live life in a false reality? Why ignore the eternal, true realities?
Why? Why is it such a struggle even in my own life to live each moment in light of eternity? Why the heavy sleep that makes my eyelids heavy, why the dense fog that clouds my vision?

I want to see, I want to hear, I want to be fully awake and aware, or as nurses say, alert and oriented x 3.
I know in the deepest part of me that heaven is very near. I feel as though I am not doing enough in light of that reality.
I am pleading God to show me. To show me how to live. How to live in light of His soon coming.
People often get uncomfortable when someone mentions that Jesus is coming soon. Why? Even if I am mistaken in thinking that His coming is just upon us, isn't it true that no matter when He comes, for each one of us the end could be tonight, or tomorrow, or a week from now? And isn't it true that each day that passes brings us one day closer to His coming? And isn't it true that nothing would be lost if we focused on being ready and helping others be ready? Wouldn't it just encourage spiritual growth? And isn't that why we're given this life to live?
Each day that passes marks one less day to spread Gods love, one less day to develop the spiritual graces that He longs to see reflected.
O for the pureness of heart to walk worthy. For the singleness of purpose to persevere. For the Holy Spirit to transform this life.
Hebrews 12:1,2

Sunday, February 27, 2011

4 years

Four years ago to the day, I was starting my new job in a new apartment, new city, new state. One that God miraculously opened up, just like today.
And this past week, I was asked to begin my new job on the next Sunday, which I didn't realize was the 27th until it hit me while washing dishes 2 days later... Yes, I was so surprised. God and I, we have this understanding. Dates are very special to me. I know it's probably silly, but even though I'm not a math person, I am a numbers person. Numbers, and what they represent.
I had hoped/wished earlier in the year that God would somehow give me a job on the anniversary of my previous one... But I didn't even check the calender to see what day the 27th would fall on--that thought being so much a wish and not really based on reality. I didn't even stop to think that maybe that day would fall on a Saturday, or a Sunday, in which case would've been the end of my wishful thinking.
In any case it's a good thing I didn't stop to look at my calender. God surprised me. I had totally stopped thinking about February 27th as the month went on. Not until Thursday, the 24th, did it hit me. And boy was I ever surprised! I second-guessed myself, and had to check to make sure I had the dates right.
God has consistently made certain dates special for me, and He never stops surprising me by it.
Even though I didn't get the kind of job I thought God wanted me to have, or that I thought I wanted, I got something even better, and one that started on a Sunday of all days, which gave me that beautiful gift of another set of numbers. These dates, numbers, they remind me of God, of how He's led me, and provided for me. They are like lampposts that light my path, from the past and into my future.
Even though this job is temporary, I know had it just for me. Even the way I came across it has a story, but that's for another day, another time.
I am just in awe though, of how God loves me. He could love me, and ignore certain dates, certain numbers. But no, He takes notice of the littlest of things. And the more I pay attention, the more I realize that He is always working in my behalf, He is always blessing me. He just wants me to notice, and thank Him.

Friday, February 25, 2011


"The Spirit came upon the waiting, praying disciples with a fullness that reached every heart. The Infinite One revealed Himself in power to His church. It was as if for ages this influence had been held in restraint, and now Heaven rejoiced in being able to pour out upon the church the riches of the Spirit's grace.

The outpouring of the Spirit in the days of the apostles was the "former rain," and glorious was the result. But the latter rain will be more abundant.

To the end of time the presence of the Spirit is to abide with the true church. But near the end of earth's harvest a special bestowal of the spiritual grace is promised, to prepare the church for the coming of the Son of men. This outpouring of the Spirit is likened to the falling of the latter rain; and it is for this added power that the Christians are to send their petitions to the Lord of the harvest "in the time of the latter rain." In response, "The Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain." . . .

Those only who are constantly receiving fresh supplies of grace will have power proportionate to their daily need and their ability to use that power. Instead of looking forward to some future time when, through a special endowment of spiritual power, they will receive a miraculous fitting up for soul winning, they are yielding themselves daily to God, that He may make them vessels meet for His use. Daily they are improving the opportunities for service that lie within their reach. Daily they are witnessing for the Master wherever they may be, whether in some humble sphere of labor in the home or in a public field of usefulness." My Life Today - Page 60 ~ emphasis added

Saturday, February 19, 2011

His Gift

God has been doing some amazing things in my life the past few weeks/months.
And He has given me some very special tokens of His infinite and limitless love for me.
He has grown me in ways I'd always dreamed of but never thought possible for me.  He has taught me more about spirituality, about His character, about things of eternity and heaven in just a few short weeks than in my whole life prior.
For so long I struggled to earn salvation, to make things 'happen' on my own, often without realizing what I was doing. Some words that summarize my walk with God for many years are: unbelief. fear. guilt.
I had loads and loads of unbelief. I believed in God, I believed in His transforming power--just not in my life. I didn't believe there was very much hope for me... Hadn't I tried day after day, year after year, and nothing had changed?
I wish I could pin-point a time, a moment where it all fell together. But I can't. And I honestly think the story is just starting to be written. I am just now being awakened from the dead, and much is left to be learned, understood.

The simplicity of the things I have been taught so far (much of it stuff that I'd heard before, but it never really registered) has truly blown me away. It's so simple, God is still training me to stop trying to make it more complicated.
I have found so much freedom, I'm almost hesitant to accept it, it's so full and so abundant.
Each day I feel like my eyes have been opened for the first time, each day the beauty of what I have been given has to be grasped and I have to accept that it's true.
I have such a long way to go in my spiritual journey. Such a long way.
But God doesn't ask me to worry about that. He actually tells me not to worry.
Instead He only asks for my heart, one day at a time. He asks me to live each moment in submission, and to simply accept His gift of salvation, no earning required.
It might sound like I've arrived, like I live out the above sentence perfectly each day. But I don't. At this point I probably spend more time stumbling than standing. I'm like a babe just learning to walk! But if I hold His hand, even in the stumbling  He is glorified, He can cover me, His Righteousness makes God the Father see me walking tall and steadfast.
On my own I will never walk straight or without stumbling. On my own I can't even stand. And that's the beauty of it! Jesus gets all the glory! It's all His, anything good or noble or holy or godly.

I must accept the Gift, believe the Gift is mine, and never ever think I earned it! I can boast in nothing but the cross. The very second I begin to believe that somehow I deserve it, I earned it, or I made it happen, I fall from Grace, and there is no Gift. The gift is given when I see my filthy rags for what they are, and plead His merits.
My heart is so full of gratitude.