Browsing Category: Faith

Even in the Valley God is Good

This morning is tough. I don’t deal super well with sadness. Losing someone close to you makes for some sad days. We buried our grandma yesterday. It was a long, tiring, sad, and difficult day.

My soul melts from heaviness;
Strengthen me according to Your word. (Psalm 119:28 NKJV)

I have many fond memories of my Grandma Schmidt. I think one of my earliest memories I have is being so nervous for our Christmas gatherings at their house because we would always have to sing a song, or say some bible verses for our grandparents. I remember playing with playdough she made for us at those same gatherings; and jello, grandma always had orange and grape jello.

Grandma always worked with real sheep wool to make “socken” (slipper socks), and wool blankets. She was known for that in the community, and I know she often had orders from all over Northern Alberta and the North West Territories. I remember grandma would always leave her wool machine and sewing room area open, and as a child I was so interested in it all and I often sneaked a piece of wool through her machine.

My grandmother always wanted the best for the next person, and her hospitality and serving attitude is something I have seen from her from a young age, and I can only hope that I will continue that teaching. We have so much to learn from our elders, and I am thankful for the things my grandma has taught me through her actions and words.

We lost our grandpa two and a half years ago, and it feels very empty with both of them no longer here, but I can’t help but think of their heavenly reunion. We don’t know exactly how heaven will be, but we know that it is a wonderful place filled with bliss for eternity. I know it will take awhile for this sadness to pass for all of us here on earth, but the strength in knowing about my grandmothers peace with God is so comforting.

Even in the valley God is good!

Strength – In Light of Newtown Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting

Music is in me. Always. I connect with music, and through the years I have realized how powerful music really is. It is wonderful that we can use such a powerful tool to bring Glory to God.

Last night I was driving home from my sister in laws birthday, and I was listening to an acoustic worship album, and these words spoke to me:

“You are my strength
Strength like no other
Strength like no other
Reaches to me

You are my hope
Hope like no other
Hope like no other
Reaches to me

In the fullness of Your grace
In the power of Your Name
You lift me up
You lift me up”

I was overcome, and had tears streaming down my cheeks. I had had a difficult few days in light of the Newtown Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting. I found myself constantly looking at news on the tragedy, and the words of the song reminded me that nothing  aside from the strength and hope from Jesus Christ will give me, or anyone else peace. No matter how many news stories we read, or how many details of that dreadful day surface, nothing will console us or provide the peace that we need. The strength and comfort that is available from my personal Saviour Jesus Christ is unimaginable. I pray that more people will find the peace that I am speaking of.

Glory

We read, and I have heard often that God has intrinsic glory. It is a part of him; it is who he is. There is nothing we can do to take away from it, or add to it. Gods glory is infinite; there is no such thing as wanting more glory, it is unchanging.

So why were were created to glorify God? If He is glory, just as He is love, then why does God need his creation to glorify Him? 1 Chronicles 16:29 states:

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him!

Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;

We have a command to glorify God. He does not have a desire for more glory from us to boost His ego. God does not need this glory. There is nothing He needs from his creation. The glory that we give God is unlike the glory that He is. The glory we give is not infinite, it can increase and decrease. I believe the way that we show glory to God is one of our greatest tools in showing unbelievers that God is real and that we are all accountable to Him.

What is glorifying to God? I think it is glorifying to God to aim at His glory, but I believe it is one thing to aim at His glory and another to add to it. God has to be the ultimate end to all we do. How do we aim at Gods glory and how do we add to it? I think we aim at His glory when we want Gods glory to come above our own credit, or relations. We aim at His glory when we are content to let His will take place, even if it crosses with our own desires and plans. We aim at His glory when we are okay with being outdone by others through gifts so that His glory can be increased.

How can we glorify God practically and in our every day lives? There are so many ways we can do this. We glorify God if we are obedient to Him, when we praise Him, when we pray to Him in His sons name, when we put Him first in our lives, when we use our gifts that were given by Him, and we glorify Him when we stand up for His truths. Those are just a few ways that we can glorify God.

I desire to give glory to God in everything that I do, whether it be great or small. God is so magnificent, and I am ashamed of all the times I have failed to give glory to Him. I should never want anything but to give Him glory and to glory in the cross.

A New Year

I have been pondering about what I wanted to write for my first post of 2012. Did I want to go the obvious route and do a “New Years Resolutions” post, or did I want to stop blogging all together… I couldn’t decide. I think the first post I ever posted was in April of 2008, so on December 30, 2011 I decided I would shut down my blog. I never actually did it, and now here I am writing the post that prompted me to shut down my blog (won’t be doing that after all). I won’t be writing about New Years resolutions, but I do want to open up a bit of my heart and let those of you who read this know what I have been discovering and going through in the last years.

Before I started writing today I looked through all my previous posts and started to delete certain ones. I was embarrassed, and I saw a lot of negativity that I was not proud of. After deleting numerous posts I realized that I had grown since then. Not only had I grown, but I came out of what I now realize was a pretty dark place. I am quiet and I would also consider myself to be a pretty shy person and I realize how much easier it would have been for me had I admitted the feelings of depression and darkness to someone. I decided to write today to give God the Glory for the change in my life. There is no way that I would be where I am today without His intervention. As I mentioned earlier I suffered silently. I am sure those close to me and those around me sensed it, but it wasn’t something I opened up about. There are really no words that I can say other than words of thankfulness to The One that created me.

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

-Isaiah 41:10

I remember so many nights where I would sit in bed and quote every verse that was dear to me, anything that would offer me hope for the next hour. God is true to His word, and I felt His strength more than ever during some of my darkest hours. I know that God was trying to teach me something, but at the time my lightbulb just would not turn on.

How did I come out of the darkness I felt? There isn’t a short way to write it, but I will try. I realized that as a born again believer in Christ that I could not base my life on my emotions. I needed to base my life on Gods truth and not my feelings. James 1:2-3 says:

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

I think that James is not telling or commanding us to feel super joyful during these rough places, but rather to chose to think about your situation as a place where you can have joy. (I am not sure how to put into words what I mean)

Choosing to trust truth from God rather than my own feelings proved to require a lot of faith on my part, but God was my strength and I was able to give it to Him and learn to live by faith. A lot of people speak of faith as if it is some sort of vague hope that God will pull you through, but it is not like that at all. When I let go of my own pride and started to fully rely on God I finally saw the power He had. The power and strength I felt in Christ was unbelievable. It is not something I can comprehend. We really serve an awesome God.

I want to give God the glory for the healing He has done in my life. I hope that me sharing my experience can be an encouragement to you if this is something you struggle with, and I pray that this post will draw you to Christ or closer to Him, because that is the goal… to have more people turn to Christ in repentance.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

-Ephesians 3:20-21

Beauty

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths . These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of  life that fills them with compassion, gentleness and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen. 

-Elizabeth Kubler Ross

 

I love that quote, and it is something that I will always strive to be, but I always feel that the quote is missing something important… God. I want God to be the one to give me an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills me with love, compassion, and gentleness that enables me to help others wherever I am, and in my every day life. I have known some level of defeat, suffering, struggle, and loss, but I have never been able to find my way out of all of that without Christ. He is my ever present help, and He is the only reason that I will ever be able to come forward in beauty.

I often realize how much effort goes into physical beauty; clothes, hair, makeup, dieting ect. I am not saying that all of that is wrong, but I do believe that way too much emphasis is put on physical beauty.  People might try and tell me that I am just saying this because of  my physical attributes, and that is fine. I fully believe that God gave us our physical bodies  and that He intended for us to take care of them to the best of our abilities, and I try to do so.  Lately I have just felt God giving me a desire to strive more towards becoming beautiful through Him and my relationship with Him.

I hope that one day God will bless me with a husband if that is His will for me, and that the man He may bless me with will see the beauty I have through Christ. I want everything I do be glorifying to my Saviour and I hope to one day share that with someone. I know that without Christ working through me I cannot have the gentle and quiet spirit I need to be the person I want to be. I  want to serve my Saviour in a glorifying manner in all that I do no matter what it is, be it living my single life or sharing my life with someone . I want to focus on God and let Him be the center of my life and the reason for my beauty.

[Just a note: I had an extremely difficult time getting the words I was typing to match the ones in my head. I hope it makes enough sense.]