Not Just With Words

Jesus is all I need
He satisfies every longing
Not just with His word and promises
He often shows His nearness
By sending people into my life
Very special people
People who encourage me to be vulnerable
To not stay locked up inside
Pretending perfection
People who text to see how I’m doing
Who wrap arms around to comfort
Who stay and play boardgames
And watch Jane Austen because I like it
People whose picture I print out
Because I never want to forget their smile
This is how He touches the aching in my heart
This is how He kisses me on the forehead
This is how He let’s me see
though a glass dimly, the beauty
Of His perfect friendship
This is how Jesus loves me well.

Dear Prince

Dear Royal Baby,
Your Royal Highness,
Prince,
George Alexander Louis

The baby Prince of Cambridge says Hi to the World

Last week you pretty much crashed twitter, caused Niagara Falls to be lit brilliant blue, and headlined every single newspaper and magazine on earth.niagra-falls-417028

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We’ve cared about you since the moment we knew you were forming within your mother’s womb. (And even before that, if we’re honest.)

Some truly want you to be something special. For you to be your own man. To be the great, magnificent king George VII.
Others just want to manipulate you. To steal every bit of who you are and trash your very soul.

Keep in mind that you’ve only been breathing for a week.

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Part of me hurts for you little boy, knowing that you have a tough road ahead of you. There isn’t a moment of your public life that won’t be dissected and photographed and talked about. You won’t have a chance to figure yourself out before this happens, you’re being thrust into the spotlight from the get go.

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You are precious George. And your mommy and daddy are clearly very proud of you.

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I’m so glad you are a boy btw, you make me wonder what it would have been like if Jesus had been known for who he is like you have been. As the future Messiah, He woulda crashed the internet for sure.

What if you’d been born in a barn somewhere, Wills and Kate tucked in with the animals, birthing you in the dirty straw? You, laid in bug infested hay rather than the safety of your guarded hospital wing. What if you worked quietly at a blue collar job for more than three decades before you stepped out and began to let the world who you are?

Sounds pretty ludicrous if you ask me.

Your people want you. They want to watch you grow up. They want to celebrate you. I hovered by my computer in order to absorb every detail of your arrival. And I’m not even British.
And yet, little king-to-be, that is exactly what the King of kings did. He humbled himself and gave up the grand entrance you’re getting. Take note that I am not saying this to criticize yours. In fact, the absolute joyous exuberance of people watching you is beautiful, and because of that, my heart has been pointed even closer to my Savior. The humility of His birth has impacted me in a deeper way as I’ve watched how it could have been. And my soul has worshiped His great name.

Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William introduce their new baby boy to the awaiting public and media

A lot is riding on you little man. I have no skin in the game as you shall never rule over me, but for your sake I hope that you live your life well. That you grow to be a wise man and one day a wise king. But further more, I hope that one day the story of another little boy, born to be king like you, will penetrate its way into your heart and cause you to submit your crown unto His.

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Death – It Has No Victory

On Saturday night, an eighteen year-old man in my home school community died in a tragic car accident. Another one of my close friends was severely injured in the same accident and airlifted to another state where she was classified as in critical condition. As I write this, she is still in the ICU.

As the Mat Kearney song goes, “I guess we’re all one phone call from our knees.” This is so true. Death or injuries can snatch people at any moment. I can’t claim to have been particularly close with Larry, but I know his sisters and his mother and near all of his friends. On that fateful night and the days following, I’ve watched the entire community grieve, and wrap their arms around his surviving family members, as we all try to come to grips with the reality that he is gone.

And yet, hope remains.

In every Facebook status, in ever text, and in every verbal word, hope has never left. Fear is being pressed back from taking over. Not once have I seen total despair overwhelm someone. For we know the truth.

For this perishable body must put on the imperishable,
and this mortal body must put on immortality.
When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality,
then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
– 1 Cor. 15:53-55

We shall one day soon, sooner than it appears at this moment, be with Larry again. Death just a temporary condition. It’s a brief separation, just a blink of the eye. Even if it feels like a very long blink.

For those of us who are in Christ, as Larry was, death has no real victory. Jesus defeated death at death’s own game when He can to our dirty soil and gave His precious life.

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. – 1 Thess. 4:12-17

Though my heart is full of sadness over the life that was ripped away far to soon, and full of anxious prayer for my friend Ash as she recovers in the hospital, I also rejoice that Larry is present with the Lord. “For to me is Christ but to die is gain.” – Phil. 1:21 And I rejoice that the life of sweet Ashley has been spared.

Though we grieve, it is not without hope. For the lives of Christians have been redeemed. Our flesh is mortal, but our souls, the part that really counts, are forever alive.

We Are Not Owned

Today I was flipping through one of my old notebooks (circa 2009-2010). It was one I used for Bible studies, taking notes in Church, and various other Bible-related things. As I was thumbing through the pages,  I found this little monologue I wrote way back when, that I’d thought I’d share with all of you:

{We Are Not Owned}

We are not owned by storms.
We are not owned by trials.
We are not owned by tribulations.
We are not owned by sorrow.
We are not owned by suffering.
We are not owned by pain.
We are not owned by trouble.
We are not owned by darkness.
We are not owned by temptation.
We are not owned by sin.
We are not owned by the curse.
We are not owned by shame.
We are not owned by guilt.
We are not owned by fear.
We are not owned death.
We are owned by Christ.
We are owned life.
We are owned by Truth.
We are owned by freedom.
We are owned by grace.
We are owned by light.
We are owned by righteousness.
We are owned by joy.
We are owned by courage.
We are owned by peace.

Why Five?

On Sunday night, my Pastor talked about a pretty cool story in the Bible.

We’ve all heard the tale of how David killed the giant Goliath, and about how he went on to become King of Israel and to win many more battles.

I’m sure as he faced that giant of a man, his heart was beating fast. Though he was full of faith, I’m sure that this was not a task he wished to do again. When he lifted the sword and finished off Goliath, I’m sure he hoped that he was finished with giant-slaying.

But why then would God nudge him to pick up five smooth stones out of the riverbed?

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Fast-forward about fifty years. David is at war again. Nothing unusual, for he was a man of war.

But this time, the giants were back. Four giants in fact, and descendents of Goliath. His brother and three sons (from the estimation of my Pastor.)

If killing Goliath wasn’t enough, try taking on his angry, vengeful, giant children. Not a pretty sight, if I do say so myself.

While David did not physically sling a stone at these the heads of these men, he still had to face them all the same. And again, the Lord gave Him victory.

I’m sure that David wasn’t thinking about how many family members Goliath had when he scooped up five rocks out of the river on that hot day.
But God was.
I believe that God was, in His subtle way, declaring victory over all of the giants to come in David’s life. Down to the exact number. Before David even knew they existed.
I don’t know about you, but that just makes me go “WOW.”

You can read the entire story of this rematch in 2 Samuel 21.

Don’t worry about any giants you may have to face in this life. God’s got you covered.

Verse for the Year {2013}

Last year, the Lord gave me a verse. It sustained me through some pretty tough days, and helped me find joy in the journey.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
    you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
    and your right hand delivers me.
 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
    your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
    Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Psalm 138:7

That little verse did so much to speak the truth over me. My trust in God grew so strong just by meditating on it. The promise it speaks of is forever tattooed on my soul.

Last week I was reading an article in the Rabbit Room and a verse caught my attention. I’d been looking for a verse to memorize, but was struggling to find a special one to start the year off. (By “special” I mean one I wasn’t already familiar with, and really rang true to my life.) And thus this became my verse for 2013. Funny how God finds ways of bring us to specific scripture when we are seeking for it even just a little bit.

Thus says the Lord:
“Stand by the roads, and look,
    and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it,
    and find rest for your souls.

Jeremiah 6:16

I’m excited to memorize this command/promise and meditate on it all year. Finding a verse for each new year is definitely going to become a habit of mine.

That word, it does not mean what it used to mean….

I used to think it was a word that carried absolutely no good meaning whatsoever.

Well I never want to be considered that.I thought.  As my little goody-two-shoes “Good Kid”  brain learned its vocabulary.

The word is REBEL.

But do you know what I’m discovering? That word, it does not mean what it used to mean. What I used to think of as actions performed by a rebel, are now embraced and considered socially acceptable. Even normal.
There are no more rebels in the world’s eyes, except for people like me.

A Christian.

Christians are the true rebels. The ones rejecting accepted sins and pursuing God’s ways instead. The ones recklessly loving, laying down our lives.

Or at least we should be.

Would our non-Christian friends/acquaintances call us “rebels” to worldly living? If not, maybe we should reevaluate our way of life.

The world thinks we’re crazy and laugh in our face at our “intolerance.”

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” –  1 Cor. 1:18

I’m not talking about legalism or man-made holiness, far from it! I’m talking about a body who can be recognized as different. People who are willing to say “no, I’m not going to do or even condone/accept that action.” This world is crumbling, let us be the ones singing a rebel song of truth from underneath the ruble of death.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” – 1 Peter 2:9

What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?
For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will live with them
    and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.”

Therefore,

“Come out from them
    and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
    and I will receive you.”

And,

“I will be a Father to you,
    and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”
-2 Cor. 6:16-18

I am far from perfect. I sin every.single.day.  But as a Christian, I need to daily counteract the rebellion of my flesh with rebellion to evil. It’s hard. But it is worth it.
Join with me, will ya? Together, let us redefine what the word “rebel” means. Let us cast off the sin which so easily entangles us and fight for the truth and beauty found in the light of Christ.
~Mamie’s Musings, 2013