And we know that in all
things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his
purpose. For those God
foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son,
that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he
also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he
also glorified. What,
then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be
Just wanted to remind you today that God is for you. He has a lot invested in you. He has predestined you, conformed you, called you, justified you and glorified you and He is for you, working all things for your good.
I don't know what you have going on in your life today, but I do know that God is for you.
About a year ago my husband and I decided that we would start the tradition of taking our kids on a trip for their 5th birthday. This week our oldest, Elijah turned 5 and we headed to Sea World in Orlando. We invited our friends, the Corbetts, and their oldest daughter (and Elijah's best friend) along with us. Graham spent a few days living it up at my in-laws with all of their attention and a new toy every day.
We had a wonderful time. It was really fun to celebrate Elijah's birthday by giving him our undivided attention. The dolphin show was definitely our favorite (they don't swim with the whales since the incident earlier this year). Atlantis was our favorite ride (Elijah rode it 3 times). As a bonus, we also went to Aquatica (Sea World's water park) and T-Rex the restaurant. Here are a few pictures…
This weekend we kicked off our series on Romans 8, In Christ Alone. My husband preached a powerful message about condemnation in the life of a believer and how to combat it.
I loved how my husband encouraged us that Romans 8:1 says there is no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus.
Condemnation really only preaches two things: You are not worthy and You can’t do it. I loved how my husband said it’s ok to agree, “I’m not worthy but through Jesus, His blood speaks on my behalf.” And “I can’t do it but I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
There is a cul-de-sac of condemnation, it works like this… Rationalization (you talk yourself into the fact that the sin is ok), Capitulation (you commit the sin), Exaggeration (you are the worst sinner in the world).
A few more statements that really hit home for me were…
Condemnation makes you think that what you do is who you are.
Condemnation is God’s correction minus His kindness.
Condemnation beats us down, God’s conviction raises us up.
The message was powerful and freeing for so many people. I am so excited to hear what else my husband has to say as we continue this series.
I am also excited to begin the challenge to read Romans 8 out loud every day for the next three weeks. I would love for you to join us.
You can listen to the message (part 1, In Christ Alone) here later today.
And one more thing, I can’t not mention that yesterday was Elijah’s 5th birthday (my big boy!). He went on stage with my husband at our 9:15 and 11 am worship experiences. If you missed it, here’s a little clip from one of the experiences. Check back tomorrow for more pictures of our celebration.
We wrapped up our F-bomb series this weekend with a powerful message on forgiveness. This series has been life changing for so many people as well as myself. My husband has done an amazing job tackling this difficult topic.
The message was based on Matthew 18:21-35, the parable of the unmerciful servant. My husband taught how Jesus came to re-create the entire system of forgiveness.
I think I have always had a misconception of forgiveness. You cannot simplify forgiveness down what we teach our children: forgive your brother when he hits you, don't retaliate, just treat him as if he never hurt you, forget about it. That works for kids, but it gets really complicated for adults who have been deeply hurt.
Forgiveness does not mean you no longer feel the pain of the offense. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean the relationship is reconciled. Forgiveness is not a one time event.
One of the most powerful things my husband taught was that when Jesus said we should forgive "70×7," he may not have been talking about 490 different offenses, he may have been suggesting that we need to forgive the same offense "70×7 times." What a powerful thought. So many times I have thought I had forgiven someone only to have some memory bring up my hurt feelings. Forgiveness is a lifestyle, a state of the heart. It flows freely from
the heart that has been forgiven.
The process of forgiveness is not so much about the how, rather about the why. We forgive because we have been forgiven.
The message was powerful. You can listen to it here (part 2, F-bomb) later today.
When I got married I never imagined that I would love my husband more than I did at that moment. I couldn't have been more wrong. After walking through life with my husband for the past 8 years, I have grown to love him so much more today than I did the day we got married.
I had this misconception before I had children too. I thought that the moment I laid eyes on my baby I would be filled with an unconditional love for my child that would carry me through the rest of their life. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It's not that I didn't love the slimy, screaming mess that just came out of me, but oh how I would grow to love him more and more over the next 5 years.
Maybe I had more fairy tale expectations for my life than the average person. But I am so glad my fairy tales didn't come true. I am so glad I allowed my love to grow.
Philippians 1:9 says "And this is my prayer: that your love would abound more and more, in knowledge and depth of insight."
So I have this thought, maybe your fairy tale didn't turn out the way you thought it would. Let your love grow.
And understand that growth causes your appearance to change. When you let your love grow, it may not look the same. Just because it doesn't look the way it used to, doesn't mean your love is gone.
In effort to keep things simple yesterday, I decided to focus essential t-shirt number two today: the fitted white t-shirt.
The white t-shirt looks clean and crisp. It's bright without being obnoxious. It's easy to accessorize with a scarf or fun jewelry.
The white t-shirt gives you the opportunity to add color to your outfit in more creative ways, like a pair of bright shorts or a floral skirt. One of my favorite looks is a white t-shirt with dark jeans and a bright colored shoe (red is my preference).
I am not saying you should never wear color. Colors are great. But sometimes the simplicity of a neutral shirt allows you to be more bold in your accessories, pants and shoes.
(BTW this t-shirt is on sale at OldNavy.com for $5)