" Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long." ~ Psalm 25:4-5

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Washing her with the water of the word

I just wanted to give a huge "Thank You" to my wonderful husband. I have had a cold since Monday & Ryan has been by my side, reading Scripture and praying for me. I am so thankful to have a husband who is so compassionate and faithful. He is truly a gift from the Lord. I love you Ryan Russel

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jesus Wants The Losers

The moments i'm shown just how depraved I am are filled with anguish; but the thought of how good God's grace is toward me fills me with great hope. I remember the night of my conversion; the feeling of my total depravity weighed my soul down to the depths.

I spent most of my life believing I was a good person. After all, I never killed anyone or went to jail for a crime. But I had used the Lord's name in vain. I have loved myself more than anyone in this world, I have engaged in promiscuous heterosexual and homosexual acts, and I have ruined several friendships with my prideful attitude and anger that pervaded my heart. Some, if not all of these things may not look too bad. All of them in fact seem to be condoned in society today. I thought I was a pretty ok person when comparing my actions to the rest of the world's. My problem was that I was holding my actions in front of the wrong background.

When defining our own morality, anything goes so-to-speak. If we are our own authority, there are no true moral decisions; truth goes out the window and what we're left with is personal anarchy. I fell for the lie that I was the only one who mattered. I bought into the notion that my life was mine to live and that the goal in life was to be happy and whatever I had to do to accomplish that goal I was going to do it with no shame. I was wrong.

My life is not my own. It belongs to Christ Jesus. I was bought with a pretty steep price. I deserve hell for disobeying God; for deviating from the path he so clearly lined out for me. Instead of giving me what I deserved and what I wanted, which was hell, he gave me grace. That's the beauty and purity of the gospel.
I am so thankful God continues to remind me of my depravity; because repentance is not something that just happens the moment one becomes a Christian. Repentance is daily. The good news is just as Christ is sovereign in salvation, he is sovereign in sanctification as well.
"Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the spirit of our God." 1Corinthians 6:9-11

This has to be one of my favorite verses in the Bible. I love it so much because this truth trumps behavior modification. We did not wash ourselves so God would save us. He washed us. He chose us, washed us, and justified us. There is only hope in the Savior.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

"Death is not Dying"

I recently listened to a speech by a 37 year old woman dying of cancer. My Dad had sent me a link to the speech and knowing my father, I knew this had to be a good one; to my surprise this was not just good, it was great! The video was entitled, "Death is not Dying."
As I listened to her speak, tears filled my eyes. She announced she had only a few months to live, and instead of talking about her disease, she chose to talk about her relationship with Jesus Christ. She spoke of her purpose; and that it was not primarily to be a wife, mother, or friend, but to be a servant of Jesus. She went on to explain how she may be a "good" person in the eyes of people, but when measured against God's holy standards, she was filthy...A sinner.. Just like all of us.. She was a sinner by nature and by choice. The best part about her speech in front of 600 women, was that she spoke of hope in Jesus.
She talked about God's redeeming work through his son, Jesus;and how he lived the perfect life that we were suppose to live, but didn't. She explained true Christianity & that on the cross he took her punishment and our punishment for sin; and that salvation comes only through trusting in Jesus Christ. It took full days of rest and numerous medications for her just to be able to stand for an hour; but it was worth it to her to be able to share Gospel with the lost.
I was deeply encouraged by Rachel Barkey's testimony. I am so thankful my father sent this link to me. I'm thankful God had used this godly women to challenge me in my walk with Jesus, and I hope he does the same with you. http://deathisnotdying.com/ Rachel Barkey went home to her Lord July 2, 2009

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

~The Move

~ I'm not sure I would call this a blog -maybe a "mini-blog" or just simply, a prayer request.

Over the last several months Ryan and I have been praying about moving to North Vernon in order to be closer to our church family. We have shared the same conviction of wanting to serve more at Bethel & our desire continues to increase. We are currently in the process of selling our home and ask that you would be in prayer for us as we take a step of faith. Please pray we would be obedient servants of the Lord and that above all, Christ would be glorified.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

~And then there is Sophie

New Flooring!!

So, the process of installing new floors wasn't the easiest project, but my hubby succeeded!

Monday, May 10, 2010

We didn't have to wait for the 18th. We had our third miscarriage this morning. God is still good & we are still praising his name.
I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Depravity meets Pure desire

I love to write. It is my passion. Emotions typically pervade my journal, but I believe God is calling for them to be spilled onto the pages of my blog.
In the fall of 2009 my husband (Ryan) and I sensed a call to expand our family. Almost a month after the decision was made, I was pregnant. Emotions soared as my husband and I laughed and cried during the excitement of our first child. Unfortunately, this euphoria was short lived. Our baby didn't even make it to week three. I was very bitter after this experience. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little angry with God. I felt betrayed. The sinful thoughts that flowed through my mind are incomprehensible. I could not believe I was thinking some of the things I was. I will spare you on the specifics. Let's just say, the doctrine of total depravity sank into my soul at that moment.
The next several weeks consisted of a wrathful bitterness in my soul; an internal rage that is without description. I questioned my salvation on occasion. This lasted for about five seconds then, God slapped me in the face with scripture while saying, "Yes, you are elect." It was in December that we learned I was carrying our second child. The excitement was there, just muffled a bit. Our second blessing was 8 weeks when he or she passed. The pain that followed was evident; however, it seemed different than before. Instead of being hateful towards God, I was understanding. Through the conversations with two close friends and nights weeping beside my bed, God showed me that he was not central in my life and he need to be. I had been placing the idol of motherhood, before my Savior. Christ bore wrath that was reserved for me on the cross, and yet I set my eyes toward the sky and said, " You didn't do your job right."
I took a pregnancy test three weeks ago, two pink lines appeared as I smiled. I had my first ultrasound today. Our baby measured 4 weeks smaller than expected. The doctor isn't certain as to what is going on. I have another ultrasound scheduled for the 18th. I'll be honest, over the last several weeks I have been pleading with God to allow our baby to live. I pray that's the case. But even if it's not, even if God takes this child home, I will continue to praise him. I heard someone say last week that God died on the cross for our sins and everything else on earth is just a bonus. I love that truth. Even if this baby dies, even if we never have children, we'll always have Christ.