stem-vein-petal, lavish photo of grace

heart palpitations patter pitter as earth shatters into 8,000,001 pot shards

tectonic plates broken

Son of Man broken on a tree for us

end ahead

beginning anew

today tomorrow forever

better than yesterday with You.

ending disguised by distraction

slumbering society: WAKE!

factions say this

denomination say that

tick tock time’s out

will you agree now?

Jesus is Lord

His love can bring you on board,

en route to eternity with a King whose majesty

outshines all light & bright

too beautiful to say

too awesome to contain

Creator, Sustainer, I can know You–for real?? For real. For REAL!!!

AHH!

each breath I enter

each exhale surrender

never exit

always present

undone

in Your gaze.

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declaration

“I created you to worship Me in a way only you can”

Lately I’ve been wasting life by living for myself. No longer! I declare war on my flesh! I confess I’m victorious in Christ! I was created by God, for God. I’ve been bought with the costliest price: the blood of Christ. I refuse selfishness; I die to myself!

Hear my battle cry: aYiiiiiiIIIIIIAHMUACKUUUOreeee! Roar! Muhaawau! WoooiiiiiiiiimuaYeS!!

Jesus I’m yours because you are mine. I want all of you like you gave all of you for all of me. I’m ready to be made one with you. You say those that love you keep your commandments. I ask you to help me establish a pattern of obedience in my life. Thank you I fight from a position of victory, won through your finished work on the cross. I love you Lord. Increase my love because you first loved me!

Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9:24‭-‬27 NLT

details

You’re in the chemical composition of lava and

cake crumbs.

Petal curvature and moon ovature.

The grooves of disco and tree bark.

Space dust and ant biceps.

You’re in apple bottoms looking like spiders and

my nose.

You dance in wind,

laugh in river rapids,

paint in coral.

You’re the mystery,

the answer,

the God of my heart thump.

 

life voice

Life is choices.  Every moment we choose. What do our choices say about what we love? What does our life say about what we believe? If someone only observed, not heard, you, what would they conclude?

True belief is manifested in action, not just words. If you hear an earthquake is going to hit this time tomorrow, but you don’t do anything to prepare, you would show denial. Your actions say you don’t believe an earthquake is imminent. However, if you act on what you heard by preparing for an emergency (rushing to the store to buy jugs of water and canned food, withdrawing cash from your bank account, calling loved ones, etc.), your actions demonstrate your faith that what you heard is true. In the same way, when we obey Christ, we demonstrate faith. When we disobey Christ we demonstrate doubt. The  most  bizarre thing would be to say you believe the earthquake is coming but not to do anything.  Many people live this way. They may call themselves a Christian but their lives deny Christ. The Bible says faith without action is dead.

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
James 2:14‭-‬26

Faith shows belief. There is no faith without action.

The grace of God is God choosing us despite our rebellion. It’s God giving us favor when we deserve wrath. Grace is God sending Jesus to bear our punishment for sin. Grace is the gift. Faith is how we receive this gift.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Ephesians 2:8‭-‬9
We can choose God because He first chose us. It is only through surrendering to Jesus and being filled with the Holy Spirit that we can live a life pleasing to God!

Choices are building blocks. Each tiny choice counts. The moment to moment choices comprise a life. The biggest choice we are faced with is whether we believe God or not. God gives us the choice to choose Him or deny Him because He loves us. To believe in or to deny His Son.

Choosing Jesus is not a one time choice. It’s not praying a prayer once. It’s a lifestyle of faith. Faith is choosing to believe God.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for the conviction of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1

If we were forced to love God, it would be no love at all. Our choosing God over other lesser things shows our love for Him. Like in the garden of Eden, where God gave Adam and Eve the choice to eat the forbidden fruit or not, God gives us choices to test us. To show if our love for Him is truly genuine or not.

Choices are the voice of our lives. What we choose says what we believe. What are your actions speaking?

It’s not too late to let God change your story. Every little choice counts. Choose to trust Jesus. Continue to choose Him every day through obedience to His Word and His Spirit.

Choose wisely. Live with intention. Don’t loose the chance to choose the God who chose you through the cross.  If there’s breath in your lungs, there’s a chance to choose rightly.

Let go. Trust Jesus. Be free. Grace says it’s not too late for you.

You have been chosen. Will you believe?
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 1:3‭-‬5

 

all we need

hundreds of pregnant ladies crowd into a ginormous elevator. destination: giving birth! each woman holds a basket, full of labor and delivery tools and postpartum recovery things. I look down at my empty hands. where’s my basket?!!! AH!

all you need is My Holy  Spirit…

the dark room quivers with night silence. my eyes awaken. a dream, it was all a dream. God’s voice still echoes: all you need is My Holy Spirit.

In my attempts to prepare for birth, I made scripture cards, like these:

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I made freezer meals. I cleaned. I made snacks for labor. I made padsicles for afterwards. I even made a victory banner for the birth:

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I was basically running around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to do everything myself.

…then the dream.

All I need is God.

So I stopped researching birth techniques. I put down the spatula and sponge.

I began pursuing the presence of the Lord. His peace.

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 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:38-42

in giving birth, in living life, in working, in walking, waking, breathing, one thing is necessary: Jesus.

without Him, it’s empty. with Him is fullness of life.

(now, remember the dream with all the preggo ladies?! it gets better!!)

two weeks after God gave me the dream, two of my dear friends showed up at my house with… A BASKET  of postpartum supplies. ahhahah! just like in the dream, I now had a basket! God has a sense of humor. these two friends cooked freezer meals for Andy and I to eat after the baby comes.  they cleaned the entire kitchen.

their simple  yet powerful act of obedience to God’s promptings brought tears of joy and repentance to my eyes. I felt so loved. so humbled. all those weeks of running around like a crazed chicken, trying to do it all myself, when all along God wanted to bless me through His people. a tangible reminder to trust the Lord. He is good and He always comes through.

if freezer meals and a basket of nursing supplies communicated love so strongly to me, what about the cross? I began to pray and ask the Lord to soften my heart more to the message of love found in Jesus–God’s own demonstration of love towards us.

Father,

thank you for your Son. we are humbled and grateful for His sacrifice. teach us to rest in your love. thank you. you are ALL we need… ❤

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Grace: waterfalls in drought

This is the best news everrrr!

You don’t need to clean yourself up before coming to God. He came down and took the dirt on Himself. Died so we could live. The work’s done. We get to receive God’s AMAZING love. We get to receive Jesus!

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify:  the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son.  Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son.  And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

1 John 5:1-12

This love is for everyone. No matter what you’ve done. If you accept Christ and live for Him, you’re free.

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When Jesus walked the earth, He spent time with the least of these. Prostitutes, tax collectors, lepers, fishermen. Jesus calls those blessed who realize their need for a Saviour. Today, if you feel empty, if you know you can’t do this alone. That’s a really good realization.

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Don’t stop at spiritual bankruptcy. Let your neediness drive you to God.

It’s better to be desperate for God. To be empty. To be at the end of yourself. Than to have it all together. Or to think you don’t need God. The reality is we all need help. Blessed are those who realize their need! There is mercy and steadfast love waiting for  you at the foot of the cross– The Kingdom of Heaven is yours!

I am SO aware of my incompetency apart from Christ. Without Him I’m hopeless, lost, in darkness, confused, broken, destroyed. With Christ, I am healed, whole, loved, made new, safe.

There is a way that seems right to a man,
    but its end is the way to death.

Proverbs 14:12

In John 14:6, Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

The way we think is right leads to death. God’s way–Jesus–is truth and life.

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Jesus, the Son of God, is the answer. Will you humble yourself and seek truth?

If anything in this post struck a chord in  your heart organ, talk to God about it now. He’s waiting to hear from you. He loves you. Honestly tell God how you feel–your struggles, doubts, fears, thoughts. He already knows. But He desires to hear it from you, because He loves you. Wherever  you are, whatever you’re going through, no matter how far you feel from God, He is with  you. Right now, right here. He’s listening. He’s waiting. Go to Him…<3

The Only Thing That Matters

In the circle of dawn to dusk, man pursues many things. There is one thing that surpasses them all. Indeed, to lack this one thing makes all else vain.

Relationship with God.

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Better than anything this world offers, a relationship with God is like treasure. To find Him, is to lose everything, to have the only thing.

Prayer, fellowshipping with God, is backbone to relationship with Him.

The Bible says to pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Prayer is both listening and speaking with Him. The Bible also says to be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19). Ecclesiastes 5 says it is better to draw near to listen than to offer the sacrifice of fools.

I’m reading the Psalms now. It’s amazing how honest and raw they are. The Psalms encourage me to make my heart fully known to the Lord, while always remembering truth. Honest prayer.

Not to forget the Holy Spirit. Our Helper, spirit of Truth, Teacher, Guide, Comforter, and so much more.

It’s easy to think: if only Jesus were physically here with me.

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Jesus said it is better that He go and the Holy Spirit come! If we truly believe this, it changes everything! The Spirit of Christ is alive inside of us!! Woah!

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The best and only thing that matters, is knowing Jesus. I encourage you to go into  your room, close the door, and spend time with Him. No matter if you’ve gone to church for decades, or you’ve never thought of God before, He’s waiting to meet with you.

The God of the universe loves you. Go to Him, just as you are.

Yesterday’s post, How to Stay Out of Prison, discusses living out relationship with God, too.

Fully Surrendered

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Matthew 10:39 ESV

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Philippians 3:8‭-‬11 ESV

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Matthew 13:44 ESV

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.
Matthew 16:24‭-‬27 ESV

To the Tired

Are you tired? Do you feel like you’ll never be good enough?

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About a year and a half ago, I was in a rehab program when God told me this verse. Exhausted & weary, carrying the weight of all my burdens and pain, I knew I needed the rest Jesus offers.

Where are you? Do you know that you need rest? Not just a physical rest–yes–but also a spiritual rest.

Christ is our rest. The good news is Jesus provided our way to be made right with God. No amount of striving or trying to earn salvation will do a thing. We can never be good enough.

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Jesus laid down His life for you. Believe Jesus loves you.

When you die and stand before God–just you and Him–and He asks you why He should let you into His Kingdom, what will you say?

Actually answer that.

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If your answer began with “I” and then a reason of your own “goodness” or deeds, it will not pass. Romans 3 says that no one is righteous. Not one. Going to church won’t save you. Having Christian parents won’t save you. Doing “good” things or trying extra hard to be good will not cover you. That’s called religion. It’s of the devil.

While Jesus hung on the cross, He said: It is finished. Rest in the finished work of God on your behalf. This is grace. There’s nothing you can do to earn your way to Heaven. Salvation is a freely given gift, to be received through faith.

God wants relationship with  you through Jesus. Not religion.

He wants  your heart.

The best part is Jesus died so we can be in covenant relationship with God right now. Yes, eternity with God will be awesome. This freedom, the Kingdom of God, is at hand. It’s now. When we truly know God, He transforms us from the inside out. Makes us reborn. Fills us with His Spirit. Sets us free. A relationship with God is not praying a prayer once to go to Heaven then continuing to live however you want. A relationship with God is total surrender and dying to self. Being made alive: a new creation. To live is Christ, to die is gain.

If you want to know God, you can! Go to Jesus.

God doesn’t “put up with you.” HE LOVES YOU. You’re His treasured creation. Go to Jesus. Enter God’s rest. Discover fellowship with God. He’s calling your name.

 

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God,

Thank you for loving us. I pray for each person that reads this blog. May they know you.

stop decorating your hotel room

“wanna see my green card?” she said. though weird, I consented. the slender stranger at the restaurant pried a small, green rectangle from her wallet, presenting it with pride. A picture of her, grinning wide with big sparkly eyes, framed the bottom left corner. beside it was her citizenship: Heaven.

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as I scanned the card, filled with scripture, my face lit up. she smiled too. “my Bible study leader gave it to me. I take it everywhere.”

like my new friend with her “green card,” Christ-followers need daily reminders: this world is not our home. this life is a mist; we are passing through.

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if a Frenchman came to America for a 1 week stay, would he purchase expensive paintings to adorn his hotel room walls? would he seek plush couches and elaborate potted plants, fancy rugs or satin sheets? other than his suitcase of a few outfits, a simple bed, and a noisy mini fridge with leftover pizza, his room would hold just what he needed–nothing more or less. afterall, it’s only a week.

why do we seek comfort on earth if it’s not our home?

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one of the number one idols in America is comfort. it’s what keeps many of us asleep. keeps us from pursuing God and pressing in. God promises we can know Him, when we seek Him with all our heart. what’s stopping you from going all in? what’s holding you back from knowing the God who made you and loves you?

Version 2

for those of us who do know Christ, we cannot have one foot in the world and one in heaven. we don’t “fit in” to this world.  we’re set apart and living for eternity.

we have hope!

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remember: this is not our home. we’re living for HEAVEN–God’s presence!  it’s going to be AWESOME! this life is a breath! eternity is forever!

if you haven’t received Jesus, your forever is destined separate from God. if there’s breath in your lungs, there is mercy available to you. turn to God and surrender all to Him. before it’s too late!