Friday, November 11, 2011

Scary stuff to think about...

This is one of those things that will inspire some people, convict some, and infuriate others. Sometimes it takes someone who is willing to put reality in graphic terms to make people stop in the middle of their busy days and really think about what our country is coming to.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I will miss you greatly, but I'll see you soon!!

My dear Tante Polly went to be with Jesus last night. What a comfort it is to have that assurance that she is with Him now, completely free of all pain and sickness!

I will miss her dearly and wish with all my heart that I could be home right now. I'm so grateful that I was able to see her and spend time with her when I was home in December. I'm even more grateful that I'll be able to see her again in heaven! Praise God for that hope and gift of eternal life!!

Hats off to my dad and my grandma for taking such good care of Tante Polly over the last few years. It was a blessing to her and a blessing to the rest of the family.

Monday, March 28, 2011

What comes next?

Before I studied at NTBI, if I'm honest with myself, I'll admit that I didn't want to give much thought to anything that had to do with what comes after this life. Yeah, I knew that I had given my life to Christ and would therefore be ushered into heaven.....but what should have been the most exciting thought to occupy my mind was continually put aside. The thought of encountering death terrified me. The thought of Christ coming back scared me as well. In my mind, although I knew the outcome, the process of getting there was a huge unknown........and I hate facing the unknown.
For quite some time now, through new understanding and a deeper relationship with my Savior, my attitude toward the "afterlife" (for lack of a better term) has changed from apprehension to anticipation. However within the last few days, I realized a huge flaw in my former thinking. When thinking about what will happen after death, I considered the entire concept to be reaching far into the realms of the unknown. How wrong is that? We have been given the Bible which clearly describes to us what is in store for the human race, both positively and negatively. For those who choose to go through life without surrendering to Christ, the Bible is very clear that an eternity of anguish, pain, and unimaginable torment lies ahead. (I think this is why many people choose to reject the truth of the Bible. No one likes to even consider that there might be eternal consequences for a life of sin here on earth.) On the positive side, for those who understand and accept the gift of salvation that is so graciously and freely offered to all who will believe, an eternity of unimaginable beauty, the purest and fullest joy, and freedom from all sin and it's consequences that weigh us down here on earth is awaiting us. We will be continually in the presence of God Almighty, the Creator of galaxies, the Giver of life, the Author of Salvation!

Did God leave us in the dark to live our lives in constant dread and fear what what might be waiting for us on the other side? Absolutely not! He is not a God who takes delight in inspiring fear in the hearts of the people that He so lovingly created. He is a gracious and merciful Father who lavishes blessings on the undeserving and chooses to take extreme delight in providing hope for the children that He loves so much. He is a just God Who does not let sin go unpunished......however He took our debt, provided the payment, wrote down the path to eternal Life for us to read and understand, and now waits with open arms for His children to come home. I can't wait to run into those arms!!! Are you going to join me??

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"He ran"................why is that so great?

We all know the story of the Prodigal Son, right?
The story of a wealthy father with two sons. One fine day, one of the sons decides that he really doesn't want to wait around for Dad to die...nope, he'd rather have his inheritance right now, thank you very much. Dad is deeply hurt, but agrees to his son's demand. So the young man promptly takes his money and pursues a life of materialism and deep, intense sin. In no time at all, his entire inheritance has been squandered away, and here sits a penniless and dejected young man. He was used to being waited on and having nothing but the finest of everything....and yet here he the mud...with a bunch of pigs. Ouch.

After much thought and deliberation, the young man decides to go home to the father whom he had offended, disrespected, and hurt. Maybe if he apologized, Dad would take him on as a servant in the least he'd have food and a roof over his head, right? So he heads home and as he comes within sight of the house, the most amazing and beautiful part of this story comes into play.

His Father, seeing his son approaching in the distance, doesn't turn away in anger. He doesn't slam the door. He doesn't send servants to turn his rebellious son away from the house and send him back to the life that he chose. Instead, his heart is filled with compassion and he runs toward his son! He runs!!
What is so significant about this? During this time in history, in the culture that the story took place in, a man, especially one of great wealth and social stature, would never run. It was considered shameful, inappropriate, humiliating, and undignified. Does that stop him? No! His overwhelming joy, uncontrollable excitement, and unabashed love for his precious son cause him to throw all cultural barriers aside as he runs to his son and embraces him in a beautiful picture of restoration, forgiveness, and unconditional love!

What an absolutely beautiful picture of what God has done for us!! How often do I turn my back on Him? How many times does my focus turn from Him to the sinful and perishing pleasures that this world continually offers? There's no way to even begin to count how many times!! But even when I am completely faithless, He is faithful. Even when I wander, He remains. And when my wandering heart makes it's way back home to my Father, His heart is full of forgiveness and compassion, and He runs to gather me up in His arms! The King, Creator, God Almighty....He runs to His sinful child! How much more significant is that than a mere man with a lot of money running to his son? God blows me away!

Just like people wouldn't have understood the father in the story as he completely disregarded culture and custom to lavish his love on his rebellious son, the world today can't comprehend why God would step outside the norm by bringing the ultimate sacrifice and provision so that we could experience restoration with Him! His ways don't always make sense to our human minds...and I'm glad for it!!

This the song that I found accidentally today that began this whole thought process in my mind. What a blessing and beautiful reminder it is!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

What is really important?

I posted this video last year, but I'm sharing it again. It was put together by some of my classmates for a project that we had to do for our Philippians class. It blows me away every time I watch it.

Heading into a life of ministry in missions, in all honesty, there are definitely many times when I think "what in the world am I getting myself into?!" I like security. I like comfort. I like my dreams and selfish desires. I like my plans. I like health. I like having everything I need or just plainly want at my fingertips. I like financial security. I like life.


All of that is meaningless without Christ. He set aside more than I could ever dream of. Is my comfort something that I would refuse to give up for the sake of the Gospel? Would I put MY plans, dreams, and desires ahead of the life that God would rather have me lead? Am I willing to give up my very life for the One Who gave up HIS life?

I pray that my words would be supported by my motives and my actions when I say......this world and it's pleasures are nothing compared to the beauty that comes from serving the Lord! All the treasures on earth are infinitely worthless when compared to the riches that I have in Christ and the treasure I have that IS Christ!!! You can have all this world.......just give me Jesus!

Monday, February 7, 2011

In Your Arms

I know You'll never leave me
A love like Yours could know no end
You save me from my weakness time and time again

It's Your hands, it's Your arms
It's your grace, it's Your love that rescues me, now I see
You lift me high and I abide in Your arms, in Your arms

All alone here in my secret place
Away from everyone but You
Your mercy carries me so far beyond the blue

It's Your hands, it's Your arms
It's your grace, it's Your love that rescues me, now I see
You lift me high and I abide in Your arms, in Your arms

You meet me on my knees
I find myself indulging in the peace You bring there
Soaring on Your wings

You lift me high and I abide in Your arms

It's Your hands, it's Your arms
It's your grace, it's Your love that rescues me, now I see
You lift me high and I abide in Your arms, in Your arms

by Heather Miller