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

Friday, February 4, 2011

The beauty of communication.

I love languages, phonetics, linguistics, and everything that pertains to all of it! I find it so incredibly fascinating!
My friend Jessalyn and I lead a Bible study for young girls here at the school, and tonight's topic was all about the things that should characterize a Godly woman's speech: gentleness, kindness, humility....even down to the importance of tone and volume. As we were talking about it, I got a little carried away with something that just plainly excites me. I told them, "Have you ever stopped to think about how crazy communication is?? I can move my tongue, lips, and mouth and add noise to it, and suddenly, you know exactly what is going on inside of my head."
I loved seeing the looks on their was obviously something they'd never considered before. I continued by saying, "Then lets say I go to another country with an interpreter. I move my lips and make sounds to let the interpreter know what is going on in my mind.....he makes different sounds....and suddenly, someone who doesn't know MY language also knows exactly what is in my mind and what thoughts I want to communicate."
I saw the understanding come into their eyes as they began to see the insane beauty of spoken language, something we all take extremely for granted on a minute by minute basis.

THEN I brought up the awesomeness of written language. Have you ever thought about it? You can look at a page and see a variety of shapes and markings. You can know what's going on in my mind. You can know what went on in your great grandmother's mind. You can know what went on in Abraham Lincoln's mind. You know what went on in Aristotle's mind. I looked at the girls and said "God has given us the Bible. He has given us the gift of language! We can look at the shapes and markings in the Book in front of us and....." The light bulb came on...they began raising their hands and exclaiming, "now we can know what is going on in God's mind!!"
How cool is that?!!? Talk about insane love! He created us, loved us, sent His sweet and precious Son for us, and then wrote His thoughts down for us so we can know Him better!

P.S. That big, powerful God knows you by name! Think of all He's done for me and you! All the way down to creating our minds with the ability to communicate with one another, and with Him! Need I say it again? That is insane love!!!!