Saturday, May 25, 2013

Post by a friend

     I've had a really difficult day. Life is really hard, isn't hasn't been bad-just hard. And that's not surprising...God has told us the Christian life won't be easy. Quite the opposite.
    But today...I succumbed to the pressure of everything around me and got upset at certain issues. Not outwardly upset nor angry, but upset and frustrated on the inside with certain people.
     And that wasn't right. At all.
     Even in the hard times, I want to be able to praise God...24/7! To be able to say, It Is Well with My Soul.
     Josh's younger sister posted this post today: http://moretothislife33.blogspot.com/2013/05/it-is-well.html And boy did it hit me like a rock.
     I wasn't saying it is well with my soul this morning. I was getting upset. Frustrated.
     But God is so faithful to show us what we need to hear, just when we need to hear it.
     Anyways, go read that post. It won't be a waste of your time, I promise.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Undeserving

      There's a line in a song that goes, "who am I to make demands of the God of Abraham"
      That line gets me every time.
      Who am I to be able to come before the feet of Jesus?
      Why would the God of the universe allow me, a wretched sinner, to continually come before him, time and time again after I fail, and yet still forgive me and give me abundant grace and mercy?
     What have I done to have the right to bring Him my requests?
     What have I done that He should listen to my cries for help after I turned my back on Him?
     What have I done to deserve abundant grace and mercy and love?
      Who am I to make demands?
      I am so incredibly undeserving of any of it.
      In fact, the only thing I do deserve for who I am, for my sins... is death.
      Think about that. What we deserve is death. Eternal death.
      But instead of death God sent His one and only son to DIE IN MY PLACE.
      Jesus Christ, the One without sin, God in flesh...bore my punishment upon the cross.
      And what did I do to deserve it? Nothing.
      What do I continue to do even after I know He has done this for me? Fail, sin...fall away.
      Each time we lay our requests before God, whether it be asking for forgiveness or seeking a request, maybe for a job-for health...whatever it may be... what are we thinking about?
      Are we thinking about how God should give us this or that or how we want this, need this...demand this?
      Or are we remembering what a privilege it is to come before Him?
      Because that's what it is. Us, in ourselves...we are nothing. Worthless, sinners, dirty, wretched...but in Christ...we have been made NEW! Our sin washed away! No longer worthless.
      We deserve death, but instead we have received the hope of eternal life and the ability to come before the Lord in prayer. Um... wow.
      So next time you pray...thank about that. Think about how undeserving we are to be able lay our requests before the Lord.


"My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever."
-Psalm 145:21

Monday, May 13, 2013

Music?


      Something I've been thinking a lot about lately...the importance of what music you listen to.
Yesterday my pastor summed it up pretty well in his sermon when he said,  "What music you listen to identifies who are you."
     I for one love most music. I love to switch between various genres and artists...I love variety. I have my worship music, my country music, my 'romance' music, my 'popish' music...I have all these different artists and styles I just love to listen to...all for different reasons.
     But something I've been really convicted of lately...is how unhealthy secular music is.
     About 1/5 of the music on my phone is secular music. Not necessarily 'bad' music-but music that isn't worship music.
     Living for Christ...shouldn't everything we do bring glory to God? Including our music?
     I'm not condemning anyone who listens to secular music...I still have my secular music on my phone(though I took it all off my 'favorites' playlist so I rarely listen to it now)...but I'm just encouraging to think about what you're filling your mind with.
    I listen to secular music for various reasons...sometimes the song is just really really catchy and fun to sing along to, sometimes the artist singing is just SO talented I love listening to them...but it's never because I want to worship God. Ouch.
     Over the past week I haven't listened to anything except for worship music. At all. And you know what's crazy? I have been so incredibly happy. Not because life has gotten any easier, but because when I'm focused on worshiping Christ...there is a LOT to be happy about.
Secular music affects us, whether we know it or not.

...just something I've been thinking about. :)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Rejoicing.

Nearing the end of the day...I am amazed.
God is so good.
This morning in Church was sang How Great Thou Art & How Deep the Father's Love for Us. The first one being my favorite hymn this year through any sorrow and the second being Josh's favorite hymn that that we sang at his memorial. I was crying through both.
After Church I was driving up a steep hill, and as usual all my cd's spilled from their compartment...as I was cleaning them up I found an index card with 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 written on it. The same verse that Josh shared with me & that has been encouraging me this week. How it got in my car, or who wrote it...I have absolutely no idea.
And I received a hug and kiss...without being asked...from the lil dude.
God is so good to me. I don't deserve it.
My tears are tears of joy, humbled and awed at such an amazing God we serve.
In one year my life changed dramatically.
In one year I learned more about the goodness of God than I could have ever imagined.
And I can't wait to see what I'll learn in the years to come.

One Year.

One year.
How can one year feel like a lifetime but yet one day at the same time?
I cannot put into words what I am feeling right now. I woke up this morning with a million thoughts in my head-all related to Joshua Steven Eddy . Thoughts of how I missed him, thoughts of how I could be praying for his family and close friends, thoughts of how it felt like just another day to wake up...but yet....it's different today.
It was exactly one year ago that I got the news that one of my dearest friends, Joshua Eddy, had slipped and fallen into the Rogue River and drowned.
You can never be ready to lose someone you care about.
I miss Josh. So much. And I know so many others do as well.
I also know that God's plan to take Josh home when He did could not have been any more perfect. God took Josh home at JUST the perfect time. It may seem too soon for those who were close to Josh...but God's plan for everyone, when they are born, when they die, is SO SO perfect. Planned from beginning of time.
Josh left behind a testimony of what it looks like to truly follow of Christ. Anyone who knew him can tell you how he constantly would encourage and challenge you in your walk with the Lord.
Since Josh has passed, life has gone on. But the memory and testimony of Josh still remains. If he could see how many lives his passing has impacted in the past year, he would be so humbled.
A reminder of so many things: a reminder of how he isn't with us anymore and the deep pain that comes from missing him, a reminder of the life he lived-for Christ, and a challenge not to live our lives 'like Josh did', but to follow the same path he did in living for Christ, a reminder of how short life is and most of all: a reminder of how God is in control. Always.
I miss Josh. I miss him far more than I did a year ago. I miss receiving his famously long emails encouraging me to do what was right, so stand firm in the Lord and to always always keep my focus on God. I miss seeing new photos that he had taken where he learned a new photography technique and he would get so excited about it. I miss reading his heartfelt blog posts that always encouraged me. I miss his smile, his laugh. I miss him.
And a year later, through tears, I am praising God that He had this planned from the beginning of time. Because even though I miss him, I can rejoice that I will see him again.


Here's a part of an email I once received from Josh, it seems all the more appropriate now(As this was an extremely personal email, I replaced any names with '----'):

"No matter what happens, you need to trust in Him, and live for Him. Never live the complacent life. If you believe that God is in control of every single aspect of creation; not even a leaf falls from a tree without God allowing it to, then God has a purpose for every event in your life, and your job is not to say “oh, well, that wasn’t fun”. Your job is to say “Blessed be the Name of the Lord, You give and take away. What do you intend for me to learn from this, Lord? How can I grow from this experience?”  

Can I ask you a sensitive question? Do you love God more than ----? If God took ---- from you permanently, would you still love Him? Of course yes, I know that you’re far stronger than to turn your back on Him. But would you ever “forgive” Him? Would you resent it and always look on it as a curse? Are you willing to lay your friendship with ---- on the altar and “Lord, it’s yours, use it for you greatest Glory”?"

So many of the things Josh said, God knew how they would effect others after his death. Things about losing someone, about always trusting God...things that relate to Josh now.
It's amazing to see God's plan.
 

 
"Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look no at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." -2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Thursday, May 2, 2013

No Compromise



Throw me in the ring, toss me to the flames
No one but my King walks me out unscathed
Feed me to the lions, throw away the key
How will they deny who delivers me?
How could I love another?

My knees bow only to One Name
My lips have One King to proclaim
I will lift none other high
This is my one heart's cry
No compromise, no compromise.

Let them keep their gold, I won't be seduced
Can't be bought or sold, I am rich in You
How could I serve another?

My knees bow only to One Name
My lips have One King to proclaim
I will lift none other high
This is my one heart's cry
No compromise, no compromise.

Kingdoms crumble, rulers fall
My God, You will out rule them all
Kingdoms crumble, rulers fall
My God, You will out rule them all

One King. One cry.
With one voice, no compromise.
One King. One cry.
With one voice, no compromise.
No compromise, no compromise.
No, no, no compromise.


     This entire album, 'Inspired by The Story', is definitely my new favorite album. 18 songs that are each incredibly powerful and encouraging. I've probably listened to the whole album at least 7 times in the last 2 days.