Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Old Life, The New Life

The old life was in Adam.
The new life is in Christ.

The old life was transitory.
The new life is permanent.

The old life was not lasting and was doomed to end.
The new life is everlasting and will never end.

The old life was bound by the law of sin and death.
The new life is bound by the law of the Spirit, the law of life in Christ!

The old life was limited and finite.
The new life is limitless and infinite.

The old life was from man's seed and man's will.
The new life is from God's seed and God's will.

The old life was of earth, earthy.
The new life is of heaven, heavenly.

The old life was a decaying life.
The new life is constantly fresh and new.

The old life couldn't be maintained.
The new life is self-sustaining.

The old life could be lost or put out.
The new life is never lost and can't be ended.

The old life was under death's power.
The new life is free from death's power.

The old life was weak.
The new life is strong.

The old life was destructible.
The new life is indestructible.

The old life was corrupted.
The new life is incorruptible.

The old life fades away.
The new life is unchanging.

The old life was human life.
The new life is God's life!

The old life was me alone.
The new life is Christ in me!

"When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory."  Col. 3:4

                      With love from

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Walk Through Autumn Woods

Here are some photos from our walk today through the woods with a friend.

The leaves were absolutely beautiful, and we walked through quiet and misty woods to the lovely river, rimmed with color.

It was a celebration of God's masterpiece called Autumn. 

As far as I understand, there is no reason for leaves to change into all those vibrant colors.

Why did God do that?

He must have "done it for love."

As if to say, "That's how vibrant, and bold, and passionate, and breathtaking My love is FOR YOU."

                    Happy Autumn to all,

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Asked You For Life

"I Asked You For Life"

I asked You for life, and You sent your son to die for me.
I asked You for hope, You came in the night and gave me a dream.
I asked You for freedom, You broke every chain and gave me the keys.
I asked You for love never-ending and every day You surround me!

And now my faith in You is a mountain that can't be shaken,
Now my strength is found in You, it is joy that can't be taken!

Praise spills from my lips, flowing onto the feet of You, my King.
You deserve all the love and all the honor that I can bring!

Here is my song, here is my heart, here is my love, all for You, Jesus!

Holy, Holy, only You are worthy!
                                                                   Jesus Culture

I love this song!  One day when I was having a very bad time, worrying over a problem, God had this song "playing" in the background of my mind constantly!  I was so worried, it took me a while to even notice this happy song playing over and over in my mind.  He just kept playing it over and over till I noticed, and I was touched and blessed.  I love how He keeps bringing us back to the good news of grace and encouraging us!  He won't leave us in our worries and fears - He comes to encourage us and remind us of the truth that we are okay in Him!  He fights the fears and worries with His love and strength and grace and JOY!  He truly is a Giver of grace, all the time!

He's all we've ever asked for.

He gives so much more than we ever ask..

He gave all of Himself and He fills up all of ourselves.

He gave all of Himself to us..

And wrapped up in Him is all we could ever need.

He meets our deepest needs..

And He's life, joy, peace and EVERYTHING to us!

                  With love from

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

When You're Down

Praise God that when we're down, grace doesn't go away!

When we're down, hurting, confused, lonely, feeling rejected, God doesn't reject us.  He doesn't kick us when we're down.  Instead, He comes down to where we are and enters our pain.  He makes it His own.  He cries with us.  He hurts with us.  He takes on our sorrows and pains and carries them.  And He carries us.  Even if the darkness is of our own making.  Even if the ditch we're lying in is one we chose to crash into through our own poor choices.

The prodigal son's poor choices never caused the father to stop calling him the son.  And our poor choices never negate the grace of God over our life.  He accepts us based on His own love and Jesus' perfect performance.  We are SAFE in that love and will never be abandoned or rejected or disowned, no matter how low we seem to sink.  His is a love that will never let us go.

Praise God that when we're down and can't get up to God, He shows us He has come down to us, and won't leave us till He lifts our head up high again.  Praise God He is the bearer of our burdens and the lifter of our heads!  Praise God He is the healer of our wounds and hurts.

Praise God for grace that won't leave us, no matter what!

                   With love from

Sunday, October 24, 2010

He Is Our Supply

I heard Joseph Prince make this comment about Mary sitting at Jesus' feet (I hope I'm quoting it correctly):  "Mary looked at Jesus and His presence was supply to her."  He added that she just stayed under the supply fountain and received from Him.  He spoke about how Jesus is our supply, and this supply is independent of our actions.  It is not based on us but on Christ.  (I'm paraphrasing his words here.)  These ideas really encouraged me.

I am so glad that Jesus is my supply.  Just His presence with me is all that I need!  All that's asked for in my daily life, He is and has and supplies.  I love the idea Watchman Nee shares that Jesus doesn't give us love, peace or joy.  He gives us Himself, and in Himself, He is all those things.  He is love for us, joy for us, peace for us.  His presence is the supply of all we need.

I love that I do not have to ever go through anything alone!  I used to feel alone facing my problems.  I often felt overwhelmed by them.  I felt that somehow I had to handle them, and I just knew that I couldn't.  Praise God He has shown me that He is with me not just to sympathize but to actually handle my problems in and through me.  He is the strength I need.  He is the power and courage and peace that comes through at just the right time.  Just like the widow's oil, His Holy Spirit supply never runs out but instead is there every time and at the right time, being all that's needed for every situation.

I love the image of Mary just sitting at Jesus' feet, basking in His words, soaking in His presence.  His presence was all she needed.  In Him she found all she was looking for, the love, the peace, the joy, the truth.  She was renewed and invigorated just by being with Him.

I thank God for His constant presence!  We are joined to Him in an eternal union of spirit with Spirit.  We are so close that we are one.  We are intimately joined to the One who supplies all for us.  He is a fountain always pouring onto us with love, grace, acceptance, joy and power.  We are never in need.  We are never alone.  We are never without Him, who is our supply!  He is everything!  We're under the refreshing fountain, the living waterfall of Jesus, today and every day!

                   Under the fountain,

Friday, October 22, 2010

Thoughts on Relationship With God

What follows are some thoughts I have had about my relationship with God and some things He showing me in the midst of going through each day together.  Some of these things I guess I was supposed to "know" as a grace-oriented person, but to be honest I need to learn things over and over!  

It is neat for me to see that God desires interaction with us so much.  He doesn't give us a bunch of principles to follow, so that if we do all those things we'll have a successful Christian life.  You don't even "need" God for such a plan (anyway, if righteousness comes by the law, Christ died in vain).  

Instead He gives His very own Self and tells us that He is the secret to the Christian life.  It's all wrapped up in Him and we interact with and trust Him, commune and communicate with Him, look to Him for all we need.  The branch is completely dependent on the Vine so that real, living, union relationship occurs and real growth and fruit come out of that union relationship. 
It boggles my mind that God would actually want to have a relationship, a friendship, with me.  It's almost like I can't believe He would want to talk with me about everything and never tires of helping me.  Yesterday I had this terrible, irritable day and yet it ended with Him and me together listening to worship songs and me enjoying His wonderful presence.  That's a great friend who can do that with me!  It was as if all my ranting and worrying hadn't even happened.  Our friendship just went on so perfectly.  It's almost unbelievable.  That's grace!  He is grace personified to me, the love and acceptance and strengthening life of God put within me!  He truly is my best friend, the friend one thought they could only dream of ever having.
There's another area where I see this wonderful interaction between Him and me taking place.  I didn't realize that in the past I was trying to fight so many of my worries myself.  I think He is showing me He wants me to look to HIM for the answer.  He wants me to lean on Him and trust Him for HIS work in the problem.  I have noticed over the last few days that when I felt troubled, I was feeling led to just stop and ask Him right then to fill me with His Spirit and to restore me to peace and clear thinking.  He just kept directing my thoughts back to Him.  Often He would give me a sense or reminder of His presence with me, and over time the problem thoughts cleared. 

Through these experiences I am understanding so much better what it means to let Christ live through me.  It has seemed kind of vague to me in the past, but now it makes more sense.  I'm not here alone having to figure things out on my own - I'm attached to Him and His life is flowing through me!  He literally lives for me!  He handles my problems in my place!  He takes care of the worries and struggles.  He actually desires that I share all my concerns with Him so that He can take deal with them for me.  We're not meant to struggle and deal with our problems on our own, we're meant to look to Christ and watch Him deal with them with His power and through His Spirit.

With Him taking care of that stuff, I am freed to just enjoy His presence!  I think He loves that so much, just enjoying being together, interacting and communing.  Why would God Almighty care to be around ME?  I don't have a clue but I am thankful for His marvelous grace that loves me and accepts me and strengthens me with His life - no matter what! That's truly a result of His grace!

Life in Christ is the best thing going, isn't it?  It just gets better and better.  And it's all a gift of His grace from beginning to end! 

                       With love to all,

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Love Your Presence

I Love Your Presence

In the glory of Your presence
I find rest for my soul
And in the depths of Your love
I find peace, makes me whole

I love, I love
I love Your presence
I love, I love
I love You Jesus

He is always with us.  Always pouring out love into our hearts.  Always looking on us with joy and delight.  Always there within our depths whether we always sense Him or not.  Yet He makes Himself known and speaks to us in our spirits in His own special way.

I love Your presence, Lord.
You are my rest
and my peace
and my joy
and my very life.
You are everything to me.
Thank You for being in me!
I am never alone.
I never face anything alone!
For You are with me..

Sunday, October 17, 2010

In Your Presence

In Your Presence, O Lord:

  • we find glory (Your good opinion of us) and honor, strength to get through anything, and gladness (1 Chr. 16:27)
  • there is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Ps. 16:11)
  • we are protected from our enemies and their accusations (Ps. 31:20)
  • we find deliverance in affliction (Is. 63:9)
  • is where we, the righteous, dwell (Ps. 140:13)
  • is true liberty and expansive freedom (2 Co. 3:18)
  • we find true rest (Ex. 33:14)
  • is the place we can't get out of, the place where we always are, no matter what!  (Ps. 139:17)

Thank You, Lord, that we are always in Your presence and that Your presence is always with and IN us!  Never alone, we are never alone.  Our Friend is here.  Praise You, Lord, for Your presence!

                           With love,

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Note To Self

This great quote is from Cirra of One Thing Blog:

"Note to self:  If what you are thinking, feeling, speaking doesn't edify you, encourage you, increase you, build you up and cheer you is NOT the voice of God.  He will never tell you what you are NOT...except to remind you that you are not under condemnation and not bound or lost in darkness anymore.  He will only tell you what you are in Him, and that is saying A LOT."
                                                               Cirra Lecour

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's a Wonderful Life - A Quote from Jamie Weeks

Jamie Weeks of Better Than We Know Blog talks about grace in a wonderfully clear way.  I love the way she explains the law of life in Christ.  It's truly a wonderful Life that keeps and holds on to us, rather than us having to worry about holding on to it! 

"We will never be good enough to deserve life.  And, in Christ, we can never be bad enough to lose it...Men are no longer held to a moral code of law.  Men are born into a law of life in Christ!  The difference?  This law keeps us; it doesn't require that we keep it.  That's why Jesus could say, "It is finished."  Because there is nothing we do that improves the deal.  We just accept it and live in it."

                                                                   Jamie Weeks

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Can't Hold My Love Back From You

To me, this song by Jesus Culture shows so well the difference between living under law and living under grace.  It's the difference between being "trying" to love someone and being "swept up" in love so much you just can't help yourself, you can't hold back, you just pour out with love for your Beloved!  He looks at us with love and we are just never the same....ruined by unconditional love, swept away by free grace, overwhelmed by the constant acceptance and delight He pours out upon us!  We don't try to love, we fall in love!  We aren't forced to love, we are drawn to love.  His love causes us to fall for's relationship He wants - interaction, intimacy, communion, warm embrace, closeness, friendship, conversation and fellowship.  It's a love affair He wants - WITH US!

I have looked all my life for someone to love me as I am, to support me no matter what, to never turn away from me, to listen to all my boring ramblings, to delight in me, to share with me all that they are and care about all that I am.  Someone to be a bosom friend.  Someone to love me, and someone I could love  - without fear, without regret, without hiding any part of myself.  Someone who would be with me every waking moment, someone who would walk through life with me.  It's HIM!  It's really Him!  He's so real - not a God up in the sky but a Person who lives within.  I want to experience Him and His love more and more!

Just can't hold back my love from You, Jesus...

                       With love to all,

Friday, October 8, 2010

"Shall Not"

The law is a list of things to do and also things not to do.  I guess in the past my view has been that it is mainly things NOT to do - for example, 7 of the 10 commandments have a "shall not" in them.  The law itself isn't negative - it's good and holy for its purpose, which is to minister condemnation and death!  That sounds harsh, yet the law in all its beauty and perfection is meant to highlight sin and pronounce all under guilt from sin.  That way, all the world's sin could be put onto Christ and He could get rid of the guilt, condemnation, and punishment due because of it.  So the law wasn't given so we could keep it; it was given to show us we couldn't keep it and needed a Savior.

Jesus has done a wonderful thing.  He has made us to die to the Old Covenant law.  Now we have been raised with Him into a new creation world where we live under a different law, the law of the Spirit.  This law is something I sometimes can't quite explain, but I think it basically means that we are buoyed up in life by the very Spirit of Christ being within us.  The Spirit of Christ within us causes us to soar and fly over all condemnation and guilt.  The law can no longer accuse us, and sin can no longer cause us spiritual death.  We can thank God for the victory Christ brought us by taking our sin and our old selves down into the grave, that we might be raised up as new creations to walk in newness of life, the very life of Christ Himself!

We live in a new way in this new creation world.  We serve God not in the oldness of the letter but in the newness of the Spirit.  The old way was one of bondage that led to fear, but the new way is one of sonship leading to security!  We don't serve out of obligation or to earn rewards or acceptance.  We are carried along by the Spirit and serve out of love, because we are motivated to do so from within, from our new nature, which is just the Spirit of Christ at the center of our being!  His Spirit pours out the love of God in our hearts and we find ourselves compelled by that love to worship, to adore, to love, to minister, to rejoice!  We do it not because we have to but because we want to.  We are totally free yet at the same time drawn irresistibly by His love.  The strongest, greatest love in the universe is coming to us at every moment.  We are never out from under His loving and gentle gaze.  He is delighting in us at every second and so happy with us, His little children!  His heart turns flips as He thinks about us, which happens continuously.  He has made His home in us, never to leave, and has brought us home to Him, never to be put out.  We shall not ever be separated from Him or His love!

The old covenant law contained many "shall nots" which had a purpose that is now fulfilled.  We are not under that old legislation anymore.  Now we are under the new covenant where God provides all for us as a gift and we are free in Him.  This covenant also contains some "shall nots" - yet they are so different from the old "shall nots" - rather than making me feel depressed and guilty, they make me feel safe and warm and joyful in Him!  They are focused on our secure relationship with God rather than our erratic behavior, for the New Covenant has a relationship focus and not a works focus.  These are the "shall nots" I have found in the new covenant.  I only used Jesus' words in John.  I'm sure if I looked through the rest of the New Testament, I could find many more!  Anyway, here are those "shall nots" that I found:

His promises to all who believe in Him:

1 - You SHALL NOT hunger, but shall be fully satisfied with Him (John 6:35).

2 - You SHALL NOT thirst, but shall have within His very Spirit as an ever-flowing fountain of eternal life (John 4:14).

3 - You SHALL NOT walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12).

4 - You SHALL NOT be a slave to sin or the devil's lies, but shall be free indeed (John 8:32-36).

5 - You SHALL NOT perish, but shall have everlasting life (John 3:16).

6 - You SHALL NOT be snatched from His hand, but shall be safe (John 10:27-8).

7 - You SHALL NOT come into judgment, but have already passed from death to life (John 5:24).

8 - You SHALL NOT follow a stranger, but shall know and follow your Shepherd (John 10:4-5).

9 - You SHALL NOT have your joy stolen, but shall rejoice with great joy (John 16:22).

10 - SHALL NOT be left desolate, but shall have the His Spirit with you always to comfort you (John 14:16-18)!

With His very Spirit inside us as our best friend and LIFE, how can we go wrong?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  We shall not be put to shame but will always be led in triumph, love and grace!  All as a gift through Jesus' work for us and His wonderful grace, not ever through our efforts!  What a wonderful covenant the New Covenant is!

                     With love to all,

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Random Grace Thoughts

Some random grace thoughts I've had come to me lately:

The secret to the Christian life seems to be enjoying a love affair with Him and reveling in His unconditional love.

Don't try to keep the law.  Depend on His Spirit of life, who will keep you!

The Father never sees us as anything but His beloved children.  The Son never sees us as anything but His beautiful Bride!

We have been given a Spirit of sonship, not slavery!

The presence of Christ in a situation makes all the difference!  In His presence, darkness flees, lies dissipate, fears evaporate, love flows, strength rises up, truth wins out!  And He is ALWAYS present!  A very PRESENT help in trouble!

I'm never alone in facing any problem again.  He will face my problems for me.  He will really take care of every problem I face today.

He really wants us to forget our problems and struggles and just look into His eyes of love.

My troubles are so tiny to Him they are non-existent!  They don't affect our relationship one bit.

Grace isn't a teaching but a Person.  God will always act in grace and love toward us.

I don't have to hold on to Him - He's holding on to me!

We are loved, we are accepted, and our sins are gone!

It's not all about behavior modification; it is all about HIS LIFE!

                  Grace to all,

Monday, October 4, 2010

Blessed NOW Under the New Covenant

The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.      
                                              Num. 6:24-6

I think this blessing was completely fulfilled in the New Covenant!

The Lord bless you - He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus.  (Eph. 1:3)

And keep you - We have now returned to the Shepherd and Guardian (Keeper) of our souls. (1 Pet. 2:25)

The Lord make His face shine upon you - God has shone in our hearts and given us the knowledge of His glory in the face of Jesus Christ.  (2 Co. 4:6)

And be gracious to you - He has brought us by faith into this grace in which we stand.  (Rom. 5:2)

The Lord lift His countenance upon you - With unveiled faces we are beholding the glory of the Lord.  (2 Co. 3:18)

And give you peace - We now have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  (Rom. 5:1)

How wonderful is the New Covenant of grace..

                  With love,

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Introducing My Best Friend

I'd like to introduce you to my best friend.  He is the most wonderful friend I've ever had and seems too good to be true!  I definitely don't deserve my dear best friend at all!  We've been friends for a while, and this friendship has been the most enriching friendship of my life.  Let me describe him for you..

He is always there for me.  He never lets me down.  He's such a true and loyal friend.  He's always ready to help or encourage.  He's there for me, even if I fall flat on my face.  Even if I lash out at him or seem to ignore him for a time.  He never holds a grudge when I act like that.  He never gets angry with me; I don't have to worry that my annoying habits may drive him up the wall or something.  He is consistently kind to me and loyal to me.  I know he'll always be my friend.  Always.

He's gentle.  He always lifts me up.  He never puts me down.  He speaks truth to me, but it's good truth that makes me feel better as a person, not cutting jabs to expose all my weaknesses.  He focuses on my strengths and seems to not even notice the weaknesses.  And yet I can talk freely with him about my weaknesses and never feel judged, only helped and encouraged.  He tells me that he sees in my depths a beautiful true self below the turbulent surface, and he keeps reminding me that person is the real me.  He never lets my mistakes come between us or affect our relationship.  He goes right on with our relationship as if nothing happened that was amiss.

He knows all about me like noone else, and yet still likes to be around me!  He actually enjoys my company, laughs at my jokes, thinks I'm worth knowing.  He truly accepts me as I am, yet he has this way of inspiring me to live well and with dignity and love.  I know I could tell him anything and it wouldn't shock him or drive him away, no matter what.  There is no way he will ever reject me, and just knowing that gives me such security.

He watches my back.  He won't let others accuse me.  He is always there to stick up for me and defend me.  So many times when I feel weak or confused about something, He steps in and explains things to me and just handles situations that I can't handle.  If I'm in a jam, He is never too busy to help.  I know he'll always make time for me whenever I need him.  He's there for me when I just need to collapse in his arms and get a hug.  He's there for me when I need a shoulder to cry on.  He's all I could ever ask for in a friend.

He's always willing to listen.  Really listen.  He doesn't put a lot of burdensome advice on me.  He truly cares about me and I feel like when I talk to him, he truly understands my perspective.  I never feel like he's going to get bored with me.  I never feel like he is only tolerating me.  He is genuinely interested in me and seems to find me a delightful person!  He knows me so well that he knows what hurts me and he's ready to step in and comfort me when I get hurt.  Even if it's my fault I got hurt in the first place!

I know it's obvious I'm talking about the Spirit of God here.  It's been wonderful to realize just how good a friend He is.  He is our friend that will be with us forever and never let us down! 

"I will talk to the Father, and he'll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can't take him in because it doesn't have eyes to see him, doesn't know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!"                                                                           John 14:14-6

                 With love,
May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14