Monday, July 30, 2012

Do You Know the Foundations of Your Faith?

This past Sunday, during the church service, which was pretty amazing(we are studying how to know your enemy, the devil, and how to fight off his attacks), we read out loud together something that some churches may read regularly, but I never had, growing up. There's something called the Apostle's Creed. It is an early statement of Christian belief, a creed or "symbol". It is widely used by a number of Christian denominations. There are several different versions that express the same foundations of beliefs, but here, I am sharing the one we read out loud during our church service.

The Apostles' Creed

Traditional English Version:
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.

This was a great reminder to me of what I do believe, when asked. Very simple and to the point. What do you believe? Could you tell someone, if they asked you? Here is an older Rich Mullins song, called "Creed" that puts those beliefs into music.

Counting my gifts with the Joy Dare:

3 gifts of story(my story)
898. How God allowed me to be raised in a committed, loving Christian home.
899. How I was able to attend a wonderful Christian college (Grace College) and grow closer to Him there, more than any other time in my life.
900. How through all my nearly 51 years of life, of ups and downs, joys and sorrows, trials and triumphs, He has walked with me and kept me faithful to Him and to those I love!

3 gifts understated
901. God is good!
902. God is merciful!
903. Jesus loves us!

A gift high, low, far away
904. High ~ The clear blue sky....endless!!!
905. Low ~ Green grass, starting to grow again with some much needed rain!
906. Far away ~ When God is near, the devil flees far away!!! James 4:7, "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

3 gifts of sand
907. My homemade "beach in two boxes" tabletop display.
908. To be able to feel warm sand between my toes!
909. Psalm 139:17-18 ~  How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.       

A gift on vacation, at home, in relaxation
910. Vacation ~I'm waiting on this gift! I haven't had a vacation in 3 years and need one badly!(A few day trips, but no week-long vacations).
911. At home ~When my family is all together at home for movie and dinner night.
912. Relaxing on my back deck with a cup of tea and my laptop!

3 gifts of endings
913. Bittersweet ending of summer ~ as the heat and dry weather will hopefully turn into cool autumn breezes and rain.
914. The end of waiting to move into our long-awaited lakehouse (It's been over a year.)
915. Looking forward to a day when there will be an end to all pain and sorrow, suffering and sadness...the day of Christ's return!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Waiting For God

Oh, my!! I can't believe it's Wednesday, already! Where is this week going?!  It was another rough week for me. Haven't been feeling up to par and lots of struggles to hurdle! This verse has been put on my heart the past few days. I really struggled with being grateful, but prayed for God to help me see the blessings, in spite of the pain.  This is what He persuaded me to write:
But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord,
    I wait for God my Savior;
    my God will hear me.
Micah 7:7
In this verse the Prophet, Micah, shows that the only remedy for the godly in desperate evils, is to flee to God for help.

He resolved to look alone to the Lord, 
and put his trust in Him; 
look up to the Lord in prayer
use a humble freedom with Him, 
place a holy confidence in Him, 
expect all good things from Him, 
and wait for them;
Look to Christ in the exercise of faith, which is, in New Testament language, a looking to Jesus;

...and that for all things; 
  • when in darkness, for light
  • when weak, for strength
  • when sick, for healing
  • when hungry, for food
  • when disconsolate, for comfort
  • in short, for all supplies of grace here,
  • and for eternal glory and happiness hereafter; 
and though He is in heaven, and not to be seen with our bodily eyes, yet He is held forth in the word of the Gospel,
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
who is the author both of temporal, and of spiritual, and eternal salvation; 
  • for the light of His countenance, when He hides himself; 
  • for the performance of promises He has made;
  • for answers of prayer put up to Him; 
  • for discoveries of pardoning grace, having sinned against Him; 
  • for help and assistance in all times of need; 
  • for the salvation of the Lord, 
  • for an application of it, 
  • for the joys and comforts of it; and 
  • for Christ the Saviour, His coming in the flesh,
Waiting for God's timing isn't easy. I must remember, God has an ear to hear when His people cry; and sooner or later it appears that He does hear, by giving an answer of peace unto them, which issues in their salvation they have been praying, looking, and waiting for. 
 "My God will receive my prayer.''

Counting my gifts:
3 Gifts Hanging Down
883. A picture that hangs in our living room that says, "God Bless our Home", a reminder of God's providence!
884. God hanging His protection over my son, in spite of his unwise decisions.
885. Hanging out with my son's girlfriend, just us girls! She is such a blessing to me!!
3 Gifts Learned
886. "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:29
887. Learning to trust God, even when I don't understand why or where He's leading me.
888. Learning to love those who abuse, use, and disrespect you!
3 Gifts Musical
889. The music of Casting give me hope.
890. Singing along with the radio in my car.
891. My son's love for music and that he still likes playing acoustic guitar and slower songs.

A Gift in Light, Dark, Shadow
892. The early morning light, telling me it is a new day.
893. To bend in prayer at the foot of my son's bed, before dawn.
894. Peace, through the shadow of trials and hardships in this life.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33
3 Gifts in waiting for God
895. To be able to experience answers to prayer.
896. To grow closer to God.
897. To find hope, when there seems to be no hope.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Seek the Lord. . .

Isaiah 55:6

All too often we think we have plenty of time to turn to God and live for Him. But this verse reminds us that there will be a day when it will be too late. We should never take for granted that we are in the end times and that our time on earth is short. I'm so glad that we can still call on our Lord today and He hears us and answers.

Blessings to you all this weekend!
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