Monday, December 17, 2012

Postcards From Home

I love Christmas!

I love everything about it and have so many wonderful memories of Christmas.

This year, there are still things I love about Christmas, but so many people I know are hurting. They are grieving the death of loved ones or just walking through some tough situations.

With all the joy that Christmas is supposed to be about, it's often overshadowed by so much hurt, what's a heart to do?

If you aren't reading John Piper's advent devotional, "Good News of Great Joy," then you are missing out!

One thing yesterday really stuck out at me:

"Homecomings are a foretaste, and foretastes are good. Unless they become substitutes. O, don't let all the sweet things of the season become substitutes of the final great, all-satisfying sweetness. Let every loss and every delight send your hearts a-homing after Heaven."

So all the things that I love about Christmas are just foretastes of what's coming? That warm, happiness that comes from being home with people I love is just a taste of what Heaven will be like?

That's amazing!

Just think about it. Every delight of this season is just a taste of things to come! WOW!

There's also another side of this for so many. Pain.

What's a heart supposed to do with loss? Pain? How does that send our hearts "a-homing" after Heaven.

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."-Revelation 21:1-6

If that doesn't get you pumped up, you need to check your pulse!!!!!

That's where our hearts long to go! HOME! A home with God where there will be no more pain and sorrow!

If I could write this whole post in all caps, I would!!!

This is Christmas! God sent his son to replace the shadow of God with the real thing! Everything about this season should make our hearts ache for home! The pain and the loss that we face now should make our hearts ache for home!!

Don't lose sight of this! This world is not it. This world is not home. My prayer for you is that you find so much Joy this season! I pray that you delight in all the festive things. Most of all, I pray, that whether you're grieving this season or delighting, your heart would long a little stronger to be home!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Top Posts of 2012

This year seemed to go by so fast! I know it's not quite the end of the year yet, but I couldn't help but share the top posts of 2012. They are varied and probably mostly crazy!

1. A Missional Calling

One of the best things I did this year was to go to Guatemala. I can't even begin to describe the impact this trip had on me. More than a trip, God connected me with the most amazing woman ever!! Colleen Cowart continues to pursue God's calling on her life as a missionary. In this little post, I shared a little bit about my heart for her and her mission.

2. Unleash!

I had so much fun reviewing Perry Noble's book Unleash! I loved being a part of the release of this timely book. We all have things that hold us back in our relationship with Christ. What is God calling you to let go of? How does God want you to live an unleashed life for him?

3. Single Girl Church Problems

This is the post where I really held nothing back. Part frustration, part sarcasm, I had a few moment's of "Oh my gosh, what did I just post?!" What I learned most from the time around writing this post, is that you can't control how weird other people are. What you can do is go out and find people who are less weird. Truth to live by....

4. That 1% Feeling

One of the more vulnerable posts this year, I felt God really dealing with me on that 1% feeling. 99% of the time, I'm fine with the path God had me on. 1% of the time, I face insecurity and fear associated with it. What's God calling me to do during that time? As a single girl, how can I use all the gifts he's given me to advance his church?

5. Jesus Sent Him Away

I was a little surprised to see this posts in the top five of the year. God really had to remind me that we're not called to live in a spiritual huddle. We go to God for fulfillment and then go out to tell people.

I hope this year has been marked by great memorial stones from God. He knows the plans he has for us and he works all things together for the good of those who love him.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Twelve Unlikely Heroes

I recently finished John McArthur’s book “Twelve Unlikely Heroes.” I wanted to share a little about this book because of how it really sparked some great study time for me.
John McArthur is known for his biblical knowledge. His other well-known books in the series include “Twelve Ordinary Men” and “Twelve Ordinary Women.” McArthur has a gift for bringing characters alive. The fact is, these Old and New Testament characters were actual living, breathing, emotional people! They had thoughts, lives, and problems that went along with them. McArthur did a fantastic job pulling some “unlikely heroes” out of the pages of the bible and reminding us of their journeys with God and how He is after using us in the same way. From Enoch to Miriam and Mark and Onesimus, this book covers a broad group of biblical characters.
Granted, McArthur may make some assumptions based on biblical facts, but overall, this book really helped me dig deeper into the lives of some important people of the bible. If you’ve ever studied history, you understand that it’s easy for historical figures to become flat. What I love, is when these important historical figures become real to me. Throughout the entire book, I kept reflecting on the fact that God is the same now as he was then. If you’re looking for a book to help boost your knowledge of biblical characters, then look  no further.