Sunday, July 31, 2011

do what is good

 But—“When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love,
he saved us, 
not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. 
He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.
He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.
Because of his grace he declared us righteous 
and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.” 
 titus 3:3-7


Monday, July 4, 2011

a vineyard in the desert.

my freshman year of college, my dear friend Macy wrote this verse on a tiny, white sheet of paper, and since then i've had it taped on my mirror to read every morning. 
Nothing stirs my heart more than these words of 
love and redemption that the Lord has for me...

 “Therefore I am now going to allure her;
   I will lead her into the wilderness
   and speak tenderly to her.
 There I will give her back her vineyards,
   and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will respond as in the days of her youth,
   as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
 16 “In that day,” declares the LORD,
   “you will call me ‘my husband’;
   you will no longer call me ‘my master,’.
 Hosea 2:14-16
 The desert is certainly a strange place to find vineyards!
Can it be true that the riches of life that we need can be found in the 
desert--a place that symbolizes loneliness,
and through which we can seldom find our way? 
Not only is this true but verse 15 goes on to say, "I ... will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. 
There she will sing as in the days of her youth."
"Achor" means "troubled," yet the Valley of Achor is called a door of hope. 

Yes, God knows our need for a desert experience. 

He knows exactly where and how to produce enduring qualities in us. 
The person who has been idolatrous, has been rebellious, has forgotten God and has said with total self-will, 
"I will go after my lovers" (Hos. 2:5), will find her path blocked by God.
"She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but will not find them" (Hos. 2:7),
And once she feels totally hopeless and abandoned, God will say,
"I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. 
What a loving God we have! 
We never know where God has hidden His streams. 
We see a large stone and have no idea that it covers the source of a spring. 
We see a rocky area and never imagine that it is hiding a fountain. 
God leads me into hard and difficult places, and it is there I realize I am where eternal streams abide. 
--streams in the desert

happy 4th of july

Sunday, July 3, 2011

new destination desire.

Chiangmai, Thailand...
for the Floating Lantern Festival