Category Archives: scripture

New Blog Name

You may have noticed the new name of my blog… or maybe not? :)

I decided that even though I liked the old title, it was kinda odd looking and just didn’t seem like a phrase to use for a blog title… If that makes any sense.

Since starting this year and getting into the Word more again, I have come to learn afresh how sweet and satisfying and rewarding it is to feast on the Word. I read through Psalm 119, the biggie psalm that talks so very much about God’s law, commandments, precepts, words, instructions, etc, and came across the verse in Psalm 119:103.

How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!

It is truly my prayer that the Word of God will continue to be sweet to my taste… the stirrings and feelings and needs of my soul… and that I would yearn for it more than I would for all the “sweets” in this world. More than comfort, money, friendships, beauty, acceptance, good health, love, companionship, joy, laughter, yummy food, wisdom, success, travel, pretty house, perfect children… you name it.

Did you also know how honey, much more than its sweet and tasty qualities, is also very healthy and healing to the body?  It has amazing anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and even anti-cancer properties, along with the ability to help heal wounds and burns and sooth the skin. The Word also so healing and protective for our souls. This next verse has to be one of my favorites about the Word:

The grass withers and the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever!    Isaiah 40:8

Do you have a favorite verse about the Word? There are so many!

 

 

 

 

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lessons learned at home

We’ve been living in our new house now for a month and a half. There’s so much that I love about living here- the space, the quietness, the independence, the ability to be more organized, the ability to decorate. God has really blessed us!

He’s really using this experience, just like any other, to show me my sin and to point me back to Him. I’ve seen some nasty parts of myself surface since moving in here and even before we got the house. Things that I’ve been struggling with for months and years, at least. Envy, greed, jealously, discontentment, unbelief. That’s what it all comes down to, my unbelief- my lack of trust in my loving Creator to provide for my ever need, for the desires of my heart.

Just about every day I sit down and scroll through craigslist classifieds trying to find the next (this) or (that) for our home, or I search through overstock.com for the next good deal. Something we surely need or I’m sure we just won’t be happy here. The living room doesn’t look right because there’s no side table. The couch we just got really could use an accent chair. The walls really need to be painted to bring out the throw pillows. Etc… etc… the list just goes on.

I’ve found myself losing sleep (as if I really needed another reason beyond my ridiculous job hours!) over this and I can see how God is using this experience to show me just how much I’m lacking in my enjoyment of HIM. Not in decorating or making our home the perfect looking home. It’s okay if we have ugly shrubs outside. It’s okay if there are weeds taking over our backyard. It’s okay that the light fixtures don’t go together or that the windows have no curtains. It’s okay that there is nothing up on the walls yet!

God has provided me and my husband a place to call our home. Our temporary home that should be focused on bringing glory to Him. Not to say a beautiful home can’t do this, but that is not the main way. Rather by opening up our home to others as a way of serving them and thus serving the Lord. A home overflowing with joy and not things. A home characterized by peace not only externally (i.e. piles of paper floating around) but mostly internally. A home defined by love and not by style.

The only way I know that I can find this joy, peace, and love is from Jesus and from what He has done for me already on the cross. My focus must be on Him first and then second on my husband and our new home. I will never enjoy this place and it will never bring any glory to Him (or even ourselves) if this focus turns onto worldly things and means.

“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15e.

Maybe that should be the first thing to go on our walls! :)


Hope for a “wandering” show

(I know my titles are a bit odd, but I’m trying to be creative… I’m going to be a nurse, not a writer, k? Just remember that.)So my post today is about the show Oprah. I can’t make this long because I have things to get to, but today I watched a very very interesting show about a true story of mistaken identity. Two girls were in a serious car accident two years ago and the coroner made the mistake of identifying the killed victim as the wrong girl. So, the girl that survived was then actually thought to be someone else, since her real identity was now thought to have died. (sounds confusing, sorry).It ended up being a much better show than I expected. See I used to watch Oprah quite often back when I lived with my parents growing up, because my mother watched that and Dr. Phil (before it was just plain trash) quite often and I didn’t think anything of it, in fact I enjoyed them both. Since growing in my faith in Jesus over the past few years has led me to desire to rid myself of my old self and not fill my mind/spirit with things of this world, I’ve lately been trying not to watch the show anymore. Oprah’s new-age spirituality is becoming a big focus of her show and magazine (and the world it seems), so I’ve tried to stay away from letting it seep into my life. But, this show really did catch my attention and I allowed myself to watch it (risky, I know.)Near the end of the show I was very pleased to see and hear the two families that were there, along with the girl that survived, speak of their faith in Jesus and the forgiveness and mercy they’ve received from God through Jesus. This was their answer to why they don’t feel so much bitterness and anger toward God for what happened. I was super surprised that Harpo didn’t cut that part out, because Jesus’ name was definitely proclaimed! Another one of the guests actually quoted scripture! For once truth was told on a show that seems to be going in such a bad direction. The funny (not really) part was Oprah’s responses to anything mentioned about Jesus or Scripture…. she would just make a general overarching feel-good new-age-y statement that didn’t really respond to them clearly pointing to Jesus as their source for their joy and peace in such a difficult season.So I was pretty stoked about this and my next thought was “I wonder if the oprah website actually put those words on their little show feature and didn’t take out the name of Jesus.” Hmmm… so I took a look. Of course, not to my surprise, Jesus’ name was nowhere to be seen. Instead, it said this: ‘Newell says. “I know it’s because of the forgiveness that we have experienced through our relationship and our faith.”‘ Relationship to…. who? Jesus!! I immediately found a way to send a comment to whoever would receive it at Oprah.com and mentioned the inaccurate recording of that man’s words. I doubt they’ll change it or that they’ll even respond, but at least I’ve done what I can. Only good thing I noticed was that they did include the bit of scripture that the other guest said.I probably won’t watch this show much at all anymore, but I’m sure glad perhaps some (millions) of viewers this afternoon heard the truth of Jesus as one true mediator between us dirty sinners and a loving, merciful, holy God. And it always a good reminder how God can use such a worldly show (much like how we’re still sinners, prone to wander from our Shepherd) for His glory.


Temptation to splurge on…. books.

One of my good friends used to say, upon walking by a Macy’s shoe sale, “Oh dear, I loves shoes so much… I could eat them.” I guess you had to be there. But my point is, I have that same feeling sometimes when it comes to books. I doubt this is terribly common in this world, especially in our crazy busy technology savvy culture, to feel such a desire for buying– books! Especially books about God, scripture, theology, Puritans, Calvinism, etc. I’ve somehow come across some amazing online Christian bookstores in the past few days and have subsequently discovered the many books that I hope to read someday. One such website is the Westminster Theological Seminary bookstore site. It seems to be THE place to go (online, that is) to find any and all Reformed Christian books and Bibles. And just to share my borderline dangerous excitement… within a few hours (yes, I believe I spent hours browsing on there), I somehow managed to have 32 items added to my cart. No intention on buying any of them (yet!). The extra bonus temptation is that everything is discounted a significant amount…. sigh.  I go through seasons like this where I crave learning more about anything having to do with God/Scripture. I think part of it is because I lacked good teaching (e.g. sermons that had nothing to do with scripture…) for the first 20 years of my life and now that I know it’s out there, I reaaally desire it. Anyway, I could go on, but this really won’t be a fun read for anyone. Let me end by asking for your prayer that I may exercise self-control and be wise with how (much?) I spend money on books… 


Lasted 5 minutes

Interesting how 5 minutes while doing anything at home goes by in a snap of the fingers, but my attempt at running outside today only lasted about 5 minutes yet felt like an hour. Oh boy, my body was not prepared for running again. I’ve been off and on running, and I mean really off and on (three times a week for two weeks and then months of no running/exercising, for example), for many years now and I’m really getting sick of never sticking to it. I know this is the story of all our lives, but honestly, I want to commit to running more often and make it a habit. It’s not that I want to become a star marathoner or anything, but to at least take care of my body and treat it as the temple of the Holy Spirit as I’ve always wanted to do. The words of the apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans really ring true here… I don’t do the things that I know I should do or want to do.  (And I do that quite well! ha)  So I hope by sharing this new (for the ?th time) endeveor with the “world” (aka the blogging community) will help keep me a little more accountable and track my progress. 


Oh politics…

Though this is nothing new to me, today I was especially reminded of my frustration with news and politics. Being married to a staunch Republican seems to help and make it more complicated at the same time, somehow. I was listening to KTLK while driving this afternoon and heard a story about the Minnesota gas tax and how Kare11 news didn’t apparently cover the story accurately, according to KTLK/Fox News. What bothers me is that I honestly don’t know who to believe about anything regarding politics or news anymore. I’m sure eventually I’ll figure this out, but it seems like everyone claims that what they are saying is correct, so really, how can anyone know what the truth really is? (Another reason that I’m SO glad to have the TRUE Word of God to rest upon at all times in any situation!!) But seriously, when it comes to current events, especially those involving political views/agendas, how can we know what is truly going on in the world? This is when I usually click off the TV, turn off the radio, X out of the website, and just let it go and trust that God has given others the ability to decipher the truth in the news and the power to do what’s right.  I know, at least for now, I’m not to that point yet… 


Lesson Learned

The other day, I learned (or I should say, re-learned) a very important lesson. After feeling super anxious, stressed, and just plain grumpy while hanging out with John one night, he took my hand, brought me to the couch, and asked me what was so wrong that I was acting so strange. I broke down, felt horrible for my attitude that night and the past few months probably, and felt the spirit leading me to confess so many wrong thoughts and words and feelings that I’ve had towards John. He lovingly listened as I cried out to him as I felt so stupid and selfish and proud. Instead of being upset at me for acting so horrible to him, he hugged me, prayed over me, then read me some scripture. WOW. I have the best man on earth!! And in 21 days, he’ll be my husband and so much more available to help me stay in line with Christ than he can now. Let’s just say I am overly blessed to have someone close to me who cares enough to listen, forgive, encourage, and pray for me at all times no matter how I’ve treated him. It’s things like this that really humble me and challenge me to be more forgiving and selfless like he is. Anyway, so my lesson was…. when in doubt (in times of stress, anxiousness, frustration, etc.)… just pour your heart out to the LORD and confess and repent from your heart. Then, dig into some of God’s word (I like the Psalms for times like these). Ahhhh… God is good. :) Keep praying for us though, we have only three weeks to go!