Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Lord is my Shepherd

Once again, it's been a long time since I've written anything on here. I've had my ups and my downs like most of us do...but mostly ups :) This month has been amazing to see how God provides and blesses! This month God provided me with a $1000 scholarship from BBC called the Sarah McLeod Scholarship...I had applied for two other scholarships and didn't receive either of those, but a few days before Awards chapel BBC called my parents saying a new scholarship opened up which I qualified for and would receive! What an amazing blessing from God that can go towards my bill next semester! Then, I found out that my internship will be paying $10/hour! Most internships don't even get paid and I'm so blessed to be getting a very generous pay!!! God is so good all the time! I've made some new great friends this month and continued to closer to the wonderful friends I've already been blessed with. I do not know what I'd do without any of them! God definitely knew what kind of people I needed in my life. He also blessed me with an amazing tax return!!!! $1600...which has helped with many bills!

Something else that has really been great to see in my life over the past month is failing my driving test twice! I know...that sounds weird that I would say it has been great to see, but really it has helped me to put all my trust and faith on God. I cannot do it on my's only a small thing but we need to depend on God for ALL things, big and small! After each time I failed, I wasn't angry and I didn't cry about it because I knew that God will provide it for me when I absolutely need it! He knows my need to have it for my summer jobs so I trust that He will provide it before I start them. And He will also bring a car my way to buy. I know this is such a small and petty thing to most, but it has been huge to me! It's been a chance to grow because I've really had to surrender, trust and ask for God's strength. It's really the parallel parking that gets me every time and I haven't practiced much at all because we don't have a DMV close enough at school to just go practice so I have to trust God to get me to pass it. Only He can do that! My next test is Thursday, May 5 at 2:15 (if you could think to say a quick prayer for me) which is about a week away so I'm just going to keep praying and trusting God. If I don't pass this time then I have to get a new permit so I really have to trust God to provide!

My devotional today was really good. It was called "Mary Had a Little Lamb" by Mary Southerland. She went from the passage, Isaiah 40:11, "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young" She talks about how dumb sheep are and their lives depend upon following and listening to their shepherds. They are totally dependent on them! The same is true of us as sheep of the Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Good shepherds do not push, no matter how great the temptation. A good shepherd stands in front of his sheep, gently calling their names, leading them to a place where he has already been, positioning himself between danger and his sheep. When I am tired and ready to give up, I tend to withdraw from the other sheep and even from my Shepherd. Many of us have somehow bought into the lie that they can make it on their own or that the rules, the commandments of God, do not necessarily apply to them…just those other sheep. The longer I serve God, the more I realize just how much we need each other and how much we need Him. Our lives are dependent upon Christ. His path is best...He knows best. We may think that at times we have a better way or better plan but then we just end up in a ditch crying out for help. Yes, God promises to help us out of those pits when we call on Him but how much easier and greater would our journey be if we just followed our Shepherd, knowing it's the best path for us to take? This concept really encouraged me because I know that sometimes I'm that dumb sheep that thinks I know better than my Shepherd and each time (without fail) I get myself into a dark pit where I have to call for that help! And praise the Lord He has always come and lifted me out.

My Shepherd Will Supply My Need
My Shepherd will supply my need:
Jehovah is His Name;
In pastures fresh He makes me feed,
Beside the living stream.
He brings my wandering spirit back
When I forsake His ways,
And leads me, for His mercy's sake,
In paths of truth and grace.

When I walk through the shades of death,
Thy presence is my stay;
A word of Thy supporting breath
Drives all my fears away.
Thy hand, in sight of all my foes,
Doth still my table spread;
My cup with blessings overflows,
Thine oil anoints my head.

The sure provisions of my God
Attend me all my days;
O may Thy house be my abode,
And all my work be praise!
There would I find a settled rest,
While others go and come;
No more a stranger, nor a guest,
But like a child at home.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

In Your Eyes

I feel like I haven't written on here in a long time! Don't get me wrong--God has been teaching and showing me A LOT! In fact, I've grown immensely since the last time I've written on here! I've come to know what it really means for God to be my Father and Best Friend! I go to Him for everything--I used to only go to Him as a final resort when I wanted or needed something or would utter some prayer to say that I had prayed for that day, but now my time with God is much more than that and I look forward to it everyday and feel incomplete if I miss it! It feels so amazing to have a growing relationship with my Savior! I've also learned how to completely surrender everything to Him--I've never been able to bring myself to handing everything over to Him, but I've come to the point where I have been able to do that now. I've laid it all at His feet and gave Him total control of each part of my life! It's been a real joy and blessing.

Today's devotional was called, "Wooed, Won and Wed" by Sharon Jaynes. She used Song of Solomon as her key passage and talked about the King who fell in love with a Shulammite woman whom he saw tending to vineyards. He wooed her by telling her everything he loved about her and how beautiful she was, but she couldn't see it! She just saw the flaws, but he never ceased telling her and finally won her and she agreed to wed him! Song of Solomon paints a beautiful picture of beauty and Sharon Jaynes gave a list of all the ways the King admired/wooed this woman:
  1. Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels. (1:10)
  2. How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves. (1:15).
  3. Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens. (2:2)
  4. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Mount Gilead. (4:1)
  5. Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn, coming up from the washing. Each has its twin; not one of them is alone. (4:2).
  6. Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon; your mouth is lovely. Your temples behind your veil are like the halves of a pomegranate. (4:3)
  7. Your neck is like the tower of David built with elegance (4:4)
  8. Your two breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies. (4:5)
  9. Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue (4:11)
  10. How beautiful your sandaled feet, (7:1)
  11. Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of a craftsman’s hands. (7:1)
  12. Your waist is a mound of wheat encircled by lilies. (7:2)
  13. All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you. (4:7)
He loved every part of her--the good and the "bad"! She then correlated this with Jesus and His bride! It's said that when guys look in a mirror they focus on their best features (whether that's true or not--I do not know since I'm not a guy), but when a woman looks in a mirror they focus on their worst features! I know that's true because I tend to do that exact thing. But why do we do that? We could use the excuse that we're girls so it's just what we do but if we're children of God we can know that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) and that to Christ we are so beautiful and really that's all that should matter. That still won't necessarily make it easy to be content with how we look, but hopefully it can give us a new perspective on it! Jesus sees our true beauty and is captivated. Jesus desires to hear our voice and see our face. Both are His delight. “My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely” (Song of Solomon 2:14).

"Lord, help me see myself as You see me, no matter how beautiful it is!"