Thursday, December 23, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

sinners in relationship with sinners

"the only way two sinners can forge a relationship of respect, appreciation, and peace is when they are relying on God's grace and are committed to give grace to one another..."

An awesome article by Paul Tripp about the painful harvest of unforgiveness in relationships.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

We had so much fun carving pumpkins with our community group last week! Here's some proof of the craftiness...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

One of the many reasons I love Charles Spurgeon...his solid teachings on the sovereignty of God.

"I do not come into this pulpit hoping that perhaps somebody will of his own free will return to Christ. My hope lies in another quarter. I hope that my Master will lay hold of some of them and say, 'You are mine, and you shall be mine. I claim you for myself.' My hope arises from the freeness of grace, and not from the freedom of the will."
Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

3 biblical reasons to exercise

My family and friends who know me best know that I'm an avid exerciser. My solitary run, pick up basketball with friends or lifting circuit at the gym is something that I really look forward to each day. The exercise endorphins got a hold of me in high school and even more in college, and they haven't let go of me since. Now I can't stop myself from remembering how good it feels to get active, so that the laziest moods can be won over by the familiar feeling of post-workout satisfaction and energy. Exercise has also been shown to decrease feelings of depression and heighten energy. As I continue studying in the field of mental health, I've seen that one of the first interventions for people who are depressed is simply getting them more active each day.

Here are three biblical reasons for exercise from David Parrish on The Resurgence:
1. Paul wrote to the church in Corinth that our body is God's temple where his Spirit dwells (1 Cor 6:19)
2. Our bodies are members of Christ and should not be abused (1 Cor 6:15)
3. Our body is not our own, it is God's. How dare we desecrate it on purpose? (1 Cor 6:19-20)

What a lot of people forget is that exercise can be simply walking for 30 minutes a day while chatting with a friend, playing with their dog or taking a post-dinner bike ride. The important thing is to get moving as a starting point.

The flip side of needing more exercise is where I can easily fall if I'm not careful, making exercise an idol that I hold in a clenched fist, unwilling to let go if I can't do it when I want to and how often I want to. My heart can so quickly fall into a legalistic idolatry with exercise where I set rules for myself that must be satisfied or I become upset or guilty. This idolatry is something that I must continually war against, remembering that my body is Christ's temple, not for my own good, but for the glory of the Father. There are times when I will have to sacrifice my own wants so that I can worship God with my time, my energy, my relationships with others, my heart. At these moments, I have to remember 1 Timothy 4:8. "Physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

romans it is

I've been meaning to start listening to John Piper's series on Romans for the past few months and am finally getting disciplined enough to start the venture this week. Piper took his church through the book of Romans for seven years before it was completed- talk about exegesis! The series started with Romans 1:1 "The Author of the Greatest Letter Ever Written". As always, Piper is an amazing preacher, whose personal experience with God and Scripture draws others to desire the same close communion with the Lord. I'm excited for the next few months of listening...maybe years??

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

In debt to love

I love CCEF, a biblical counseling college dedicated to restoring Christ to counseling and counseling to the church (that is actually their slogan too!) The resources available on their website have been so helpful to me as I complete a secular education in a counseling-related field. The emphasis on Freudian psychologies, self-actualization and many other psyche-driven interventions in the world of counseling has set off my biblical spoof radar on a pretty consistent basis and so I set out to find a counter attack for these worldly teachings that I just can't buy. Enter CCEF. They are affiliated with Westminster Theological Seminary and provide podcasts, ask a counselor, articles and many other resources. I really think they're helpful for everyone, not just people entering a counseling field. They touch on many practical issues that are a part of life today and that people would seek a counselor's advice and guidance for, but their advice comes from a bible-centered, gospel-saturated perspective.
One of my favorite authors and counselors, Ed Welch (he wrote the book "When People are Big and God is Small" which is an outstanding book! oh and I swear I'm not being paid or compensated in any way to do this post, I am just such a fan!) shares his thoughts about why affection and attraction isn't enough reason for marriage and the right-minded attitudes that constitute love that lasts. Check it out here.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Be Thou My Vision

We sang this song last Sunday at church and it wrecked my soul for how far I am from these words being true and yet how much I want them to be my life's song.

Be Thou my Vision
Words – Dallan Forgail, 6th Century

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that Thou art

Thou my best though, by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light

Be Thou my wisdom, Thou my true word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;

Thou my great Father, I thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always

Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art

O God be my everything, be my delight.
My Savior, my Glory, my soul satisfied

My Savior, You satisfy
High King of heaven, my victory won,
may I reach heaven's joys, O bright heav'ns Son!

Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O ruler of all

O God be my everything, be my delight.
My Savior, my Glory, my soul satisfied (2x)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

broken cisterns

Be appalled, O heavens, at this;
be shocked, be utterly desolate,
declares the Lord,
for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
broken cisterns that can hold no water.
Jeremiah 2:12-13

Reading this today brought a conviction of the idols that are vying for my affections, challenging the place that Christ holds in my heart. These broken cisterns leave me dry and wanting. Repenting of these idols that don't satisfy, I am reminded that the Lord alone is the fountain from which life comes. And that I must go to this fountain for life.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Women Discipling Women

After growing up in a church and floundering through what it meant to follow Christ in high school, mostly by seeking moralism and religion, the Lord changed my heart to see Him as glorious and wonderful, and to convict me of the sin of chasing after my own worldly interests. This is just a summary of my long process toward truly following Christ, and eventually, he used the life of older women in my church to push me to Himself.

In college, I had the joy and opportunity to be discipled by a wise God-fearing woman who taught me so much about the Word, demonstrated how to live a holy life before me, and showed me how a godly woman should live in our culture. In looking back, the single most important thing she taught me was the absolute necessity of Jesus and the Gospel. Prior to that, the role of Christ in faith seemed more of a good story to me and not the key to my justification, redemption and hope.
Her friendship and counsel over the course of my college years was invaluable to me; her prayers and wisdom helped me through struggles in relationships, theological issues, challenges as a varsity athlete, career decisions and most significantly, my relationship with Christ. Sometimes it was merely the simple act of getting off the college campus for a hot meal and some good conversation that made an incredible difference in my week. Being able to vulnerably share the concerns and struggles in my life and to be pointed to Christ and holiness in a loving way was an immense blessing. Post-college, my mentor is still one of my closest friends and I know the Lord used her in a mighty way to call me to Him at a time of great turmoil and confusion in my life. Praise be to God!

She also demonstrated the Titus 2 mandate given to us women to care for the women who are younger than us. After experiencing this, I am all the more encouraged to share my life with younger women so that they may learn how to live for the Lord where they are in life. Here's a great article describing this challenge written by Susan Hunt:

I had spoken on the topic of biblical womanhood and a college-age woman asked me a thoughtful question: How can I think biblically about my womanhood when I am constantly told that independence is power and that I should seek my own fulfillment and determine my own destiny?

My answer: “Go to godly women in your church and ask them to speak the truth of biblical womanhood into your life. Ask them to show you how to live for God’s glory as a woman.” But then I wondered, “Is this young woman’s church preparing its women to answer her question?” Someone is teaching women and girls what it means to be a woman. Is it the church or the world?

Older women discipling younger women is not just a nifty idea someone concocted, and it is not optional. It’s a gospel imperative. The apostle Paul writes,

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (Titus 2:3-5)

In light of this passage, let’s consider some questions that will help the church sound the call for women to invest themselves in younger women. I pray that this brief article would challenge women to respond to this high and holy calling.


The mandate of Titus 2:3-5 is that older women are to disciple younger women, teaching them how to grow in godliness in their distinct relationships and calling.

Some of the principles of discipleship embedded in this amazing chapter will help us to understand the specific directive to women in verses 3 to 5.

Principle #1: The church is responsible to encourage and equip women to disciple each other

In verse 1 Paul addresses his instructions on discipleship to Titus, the pastor. Since women training women is an integral part of the church’s ministry, Titus must equip the women in his church to do so. Therefore, it is the responsibility of every church leader to see that women are equipped for this calling.

Principle #2: The church should teach sound doctrine

In verse 1 Paul tells Titus to teach sound doctrine, doctrine that is healthy or whole. This shows us that women discipling women should flow out of and be consistent with the regular preaching ministry of the church. This discipleship should help women apply sound doctrine to daily life and relationships.

Principle #3: The communion of the saints

Yet verses 3 through 5 also tell us that discipleship is not just the responsibility of church leaders (see also Ephesians 4:11-16). As the Westminster Confession of Faith states: “All saints, that are united to Jesus Christ their Head… and, being united to one another in love, they have communion in each other’s gifts and graces, and are obliged to the performance of such duties, public and private, as do conduce to their mutual good, both in the inward and outward man.”

Biblical discipleship is relational. The content of the gospel should be taught in the context of relationships that validate the gospel. Our relationship with God is personal, but that relationship also brings us into community with his other adopted children.

Older men and women have the generational responsibility to share their gifts and graces with younger men and women. They are to tell the stories of their victories as well as their failures and show how their stories are part of God’s grand story of redemption.

The Titus 2 mandate is life-on-life discipleship that guides and nurtures to mature Christian womanhood. It is a mothering ministry. This mothering spirit is evident in Paul’s description of his own ministry to the Thessalonians:

But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. (1 Thess. 2:7-8)

Principle #4: The gospel is our motivation

There are costly challenges in this chapter. Investing in the lives of others costs energy and time. It means taking relational risks. Why should we live so sacrificially?

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (vv. 11-13).

Christ came and he is coming back. He appeared in grace as a babe and he will come in glory as the King. While we wait for that glorious appearing we are to make disciples. Unless we are motivated by the gospel we will become discouraged and weary.

Principle #5: The gospel is powerful

Paul concludes with an electrifying reminder of the power of the gospel.

[Jesus] gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himselfa peoplethat are his very own, eager to do what is good (v. 14).

Some discipleship is age and gender specific but all discipleship is to be gospel-focused. It is Jesus who redeems and purifies us. For a fallen sinner to become eager to do what is good is the radical work of the gospel. The result of our investment in the lives of others is not dependent upon our own power or experience. It is only the power of the gospel that can transform self-centered sinners into Christ-centered disciples. And one of the wonders of gospel-driven discipleship is that even if we do not see this transformation take place in the disciple, it will take place in us as we disciple others.

See more of the article here.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Back to the books

I've been getting back into some serious leisure reading (is that an oxymoron?) and its been pretty great for my soul. The non-stop action of work and grad school has had me on a pretty long hiatus from consistent reading, so cracking open a good book over the past week has been extremely enjoyable. Its amazing the significant effect of what I put into my mind on my daily life and outlook.
I've almost chewed my way through Collin Hansen's Young, Restless, Reformed. The book is a journalists attempt to uncover the progress of the Reformed Christian movement by traveling across America and interviewing some of the key leaders who have influenced and shaped Reformed Christianity today. John Piper, C.J. Mahaney and Mark Driscoll are some of the big names the author gets to pick the brain of, but he also stops in at university campuses, theological seminaries and conferences to engage some of the twenty-somethings about why Calvinism has changed their hearts toward the Lord and thus, changed the way they live their lives evangelically and morally. I loved the way that, although there are differing perspectives held by a lot of these leaders on secondary theological issues such as the charismatic gifts, covenant theology versus dispensationalism, baptism, eschatology and the degree of cultural engagement a church should take, many of the leader's humility and love for the gospel creates a point of convergence that trumps all these disagreements. A love for the sovereignty of God, a knowledge of the fallen sinfulness of man and the enormous grace given through Christ's life and death and resurrection, a commitment to display and share His glory, an urgent call to evangelize to a fallen world...these leaders are like-minded about what matters most.
Charles Spurgeon sums this up well, as he often (always?) does:
The doctrine of election, like the great act of election itself, is intended to divide, not between Israel and Israel, but between Israel and the Egyptians- not between saint and saint, but between saints and the children of the world. A man may be evidently of God's chosen family, and yet though elected, may not believe in the doctrine of election. I hold there are many savingly called, who do not believe in effectual calling, and that there are a great many who persevere to the end, who do not believe the doctrine of final perseverance. We do hope that the hearts of many are a great deal better than their heads. We do not set their fallacies down to any willful opposition to the truth as it is in Jesus, but simply to an error in their judgments, which we pray God to correct. We hope that if they think us mistaken too, they will reciprocate the same Christian courtesy; and when we meet around the cross, we hope that we shall ever feel that we are one in Christ Jesus.
Amen, Spurg, amen.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A bit of positive affirmation

This video made me laugh. When I showed it to my mom, her response was "you did that type of thing when you were that age".

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

This is such an absolute, all-encompassing promise that it almost seems to great to be true. All our needs are met in the riches of the person of Christ Jesus. To an aching conscience, the person of Christ offers redemption. To the unloved, he offers the comfort of his perfect love. To the lonely, he offers his constant presence. To the hard pressed, his testimony of suffering and victory goes before us. To the weak, his strength. To the fearful, the promise that he is already the victor over this world and the next. What an amazing promise that God's victory through Christ is an absolute defeat over anything that dare stand against us in this world.

Monday, August 16, 2010


I have a lot to anticipate in the near future. The end of summer is bringing some exciting and fun things my way and I can't help but be thankful for the simple joys of relationships, changes that are happening in other's lives as well as my own and the opportunity to spend time with people I love. The Lord is so good at giving blessings out.

Here's a highlight reel of the things I'm excited about:

-Chelsa (my older, wiser sister) is coming to visit Columbus!
-first trip to Cedar Point with Mark & Chels (gonna be craaazy!)
-Hannah & Kevin are getting hitched! Yayyy! Mark & I both get to stand up with them on their day :)
-Mallory Peckels returns to Columbus, Ohio. Cause for celebration in itself. I wonder if we can get her to stay here....forever...!?
-A visit to the great northern country of Canada to be with my fam for a week
-My little bro is making the venture south and east to start college in Boston! ROADTRIPS!
-I'm starting a new internship at Westerville North High school (coincidentally (sovereignly?- yes), Mark's alma mater)
-Autumn. The best season in Columbus.
-Football season. Go bucks! (Holding onto the student status one more year gets me a pair of season tickets one last time!)
-Time with some far-away relatives- Mike, Annie & their precious baby Leila

There is undoubtedly more to be excited about, but that's all that comes to mind at the moment. I'm trying to get better at taking pictures these days, so hopefully some of these moments will be visually documented on here in the future.

Friday, August 13, 2010

the Hope set before us

Romans 15:4
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that by the endurance and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.

This morning I am reminded of words of assurance that point us to Jesus and eternity, offering a hope in Christ and God's promises that is a firm foundation for every struggle in life. These truths fix my eyes on a coming Savior and an eternal inheritance that does not spoil, rust or fade. Is there any struggle or frustration or hardship or evil in life that cannot be combatted with the Word of God? I am convinced that there is nothing.
No, not the ups and downs of relationships and the pain of being distanced from those we love. Nor the pain of disappointment or failure in the plans we set for ourselves. Not even the turmoil of emotion or the lethargy that life's routine can bring. There is hope for all these things in Christ and truth to fight is given us in God's Word.

What encouragement we can find in the lives of those who have struggled and hoped in Truth before us.

Henry Martyn was a young missionary to India and Arabia and Persia in the early 1800's. He had left his fiancé Lydia Grenfell behind in England in 1806 and would never see her again—he died at 31.

On the boat he fought back self-pity and discouragement with the promises of God's Word. He arrived in Calcutta in May and two months later had a devastating experience. One of the veteran missionaries preached a sermon directed against Henry Martyn and his doctrines. He called his teaching inconsistent, extravagant, and absurd. He accused him of seeking only to "gratify self-sufficiency, pride and uncharitableness."

How could this lonely young man endure such a crushing experience, and not only endure but during the next six years have the perseverance to translate the New Testament into Hindustani, Persian, and Arabic?

We can hear the answer in his own journal:

In the multitude of my troubled thoughts I still saw that there is a strong consolation in the hope set before us. Let men do their worst, let me be torn to pieces, and my dear Lydia torn from me; or let me labour for fifty years amidst scorn, and never seeing one soul converted; still it shall not be worse for my soul in eternity, nor worse for it in time. Though the heathen rage and the English people imagine a vain thing, the Lord Jesus, who controls all events, is my friend, my master, my God, my all.

Henry Martyn fought the battle against discouragement and hopelessness with the truths of God's Word: "Jesus is my friend, my master, my God, my all!" And that is the way we must fight every day, and never stop until the war is over and the Commander puts the wreath of victory on our heads.

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:2-4

Friday, August 6, 2010

the things i make mark do

Here are just a few of the finer moments in my life created by my funny husband (and perhaps egged on by me at times!)

Yes, this is the first time he has ever worn an apron! (Note that this is a rare time Mark isn't loving the camera on him.)

This pictured was taken from the car window while stopped at a red light. He just couldn't resist running out to grab a bite of that hot juicy burger.

A closer look would reveal a few trickles of sweat running down his brow. Mark has quickly learned that preeminence in the Heywood family comes only after you learn to stop on skates.

And this? I had nothing to do with this. Jordan and I were just helpless bystanders.

I am thankful :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

70's Spiritual Weight Loss

I couldn't resist posting this article from Tim Challie's blog that reviews a classic 70's spoof of a book. It made me laugh many times.

Help Lord--The Devil Wants Me Fat!

Last year I posted a few pictures from the old 70’s classic Soul Winning Made Easy by C.S. Lovett. Recently I came across another of his books, one titled Help Lord—The Devil Wants Me Fat! The book teaches how the devil is able to influence your eating, how to deal with your appetite and how to deprogram yourself from bad eating habits. It is an odd mixture of good and bad, useful information and outright legalism (not to mention poor medical advice).

I enjoy these books as a bit of a guilty pleasure, I’m sure. They’re old, they’re retro and somehow quite amusing.

Here’s how this one starts:

Lovett largely blames overeating and obesity on Satanic activity.

Here’s a great picture of a very Caucasian Adam and Eve. Adam is totally ripped.

One of the best parts of Lovett’s books is that he always has lots of photographs of himself performing the programs he’s come up with (again, see Soul Winning Made Easy). Here he is meditating upon Jesus to see if it’s God’s will for him to undertake a fast.

The heart of the book is a fast. And this isn’t a fast for wimps—it’s 10 days of nothing but water (and heespecially recommends it for pregnant women and says it will cure morning sickness). The purpose of this fast is to take complete control of the flesh. Lovett suggests that for two days you will be hungry but after that your hunger will fade and you’ll be just fine. In fact, you’ll have an increase in energy and certainly an increase in relationship with the Lord.

One strange thing about this fast is that he tells you to spend meal times away from your family. While your family is eating dinner, you are to spend time in prayer and Bible reading.

Here he is enjoying breakfast (or dinner or lunch).

And here he is demonstrating how to tell Satan to go away:

After the conclusion of the fast he introduces a whole section about New Age-style visualization. He says that in order to become thin you have to project an image of yourself at your desired weight into order to develop the faith to actually make it happen.

And then he closes out the diet portion of the book with a section about nutrition, stating that you’ll have to learn to always say “no” to fats and oils, sugars and refined carbohydrates.

The final section of the book talks about evangelism because your fabulous new body, he says, can be a fabulous provoker of conversation. As people declare how good you look, you are to take the opportunity of that conversation to share the gospel. And I guess that takes us full-circle, back to Soul Winning Made Easy.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

blog musings

So I've been reflecting on whether I should further extend my hiatus from the blog-o-sphere which has been steadily occurring over the past few months or if I should try to get back into sharing my heart, thoughts and convictions with renewed vigor. The problem I continue to face in consistently writing on here boils down to a greater struggle that currently encompasses most areas of my life- living with holy passion that moves me to action. I initially started blogging to share my life with friends and family while I was abroad in Australia but then picked it up again as a form of recording and sharing what the Lord has been teaching me. It began to serve as a tool to post theological resources or posts that I've come across in my reading, to meditate on scripture and life applications of scripture and to hopefully encourage others to grow and deepen their knowledge and intimacy with Christ. Additionally, it has been a helpful source of personal narrative for me to look back on and recall what the Lord has done in my heart and life at certain points. Blogging has definitely been a beneficial practice for me and besides all that, I enjoy writing and sharing!

As I stated above, my current inconsistency has a lot to do with my lack of zeal in life over the past few months. It's been a struggle to remain in the Word and prayer everyday and to choose to do these things out of obedience alone when I am not emotionally desiring to do them. I know this is the greatest obstacle to my spiritual growth and zeal right now and it needs to be submitted under the authority of the Lord. I've been seeing more and more how rebellious my heart is- marriage can display that pretty quickly! All in all, regardless of my circumstantial struggles with questioning my career path, time consuming work/studies and learning what life looks like post-college and newly married, my source has to be Christ and I know this. Our pastor gave a good illustration at church last week. He asked who of us believes that we need to exercise and eat right in order to be healthy. Most everyone put up their hands. Then he asked us who really does these things- many hands dropped. He maintained that if we say we believe something but we don't actually follow through on that belief by action, then we don't really believe it. In the context of what it looks like to follow Christ, I know that I must seek Him and find Him through prayer and reading the Word. And to neglect these things is to believe that I really don't need them in order to live my life. The state of my heart and lack of zeal for the Lord I am currently battling is direct evidence that I need these things in my life everyday. And not in a legalistic, salvation-earning type of way, but in the way that shows that I believe what the Bible tells me and it moves me to live according to it, regardless of my feelings and comfort.

This is a long way of saying that its time for Jody to get back into the game, to live out my convictions, to follow the Lord by simply seeking Him, to look to Christ for a renewed mind, heart and spirit. He promises that if we seek Him we will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13) and that He has the power to restore to us the joy of our salvation and grant a willing spirit within us (Psalm 52).

As for blogging, I'm hoping to pick it up again as I pursue the disciplines of following Christ and find greater inspiration than I can muster up in and of myself. We'll see how quickly that will happen but for now, returning to the joy that I once found in Christ is the thing of most importance.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

What does it mean to "accept Jesus"?

“You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” 1 Thessalonians 1:9

You and I are not integrated, unified, whole persons. Our hearts are multi-divided. There is a board room in every heart. Big table. Leather chairs. Coffee. Bottled water. Whiteboard. A committee sits around the table. There is the social self, the private self, the work self, the sexual self, the recreational self, the religious self, and others. The committee is arguing and debating and voting. Constantly agitated and upset. Rarely can they come to a unanimous, wholehearted decision. We tell ourselves we’re this way because we’re so busy with so many responsibilities. The truth is, we’re just divided, unfocused, hesitant, unfree.

That kind of person can “accept Jesus” in either of two ways. One way is to invite him onto the committee. Give him a vote too. But then he becomes just one more complication. The other way to “accept Jesus” is to say to him, “My life isn’t working. Please come in and fire my committee, every last one of them. I hand myself over to you. Please run my whole life for me.” That is not complication; that is salvation.

“Accepting Jesus” is not just adding Jesus. It is also subtracting the idols.

A post from Ray Ortlund at Christ is Deeper Still

Thursday, June 3, 2010

blog neglector

Yes, I've been neglecting my blog as of late, and no, I don't have much of an excuse for it besides the fact that I tried to redo the template, messed it up, lost my previous one, and then got fed up with trying to fix it. Good excuse? Nah, I didn't think so either.
The good news is that I have fresh inspiration to fix my blog template, make it look sweeter than ever before, and get back into blogging. (i think posting my intentions on here will make it harder for me to procrastinate on this one!) Stay tuned...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Highway of Heroes

A fellow Canadian blogger shared this post. Watch the videos to understand why it moved me to tears.

Every now and again I like to give you a snippet of Canadiana in a series I call "It's a Fact, eh?" Let me do so again today.

Yesterday I had to drive down to Buffalo to pick up my sister and my niece who are up here for a short visit. I pulled onto the highway and, as I did so, noticed that parked on the overpass was a pair of firetrucks and a few police cars. Lining the bridge facing east was a crowd of people, holding flags and standing solemnly. As I joined traffic I noticed that on the bridge ahead of me was another crowd, much the same as the last one--firefighters, police officers, citizens, flags. I remembered then that somewhere behind me, driving out of Toronto and toward Brantford, was a convoy carrying one of Canada's fallen soldiers. Trooper Larry Rudd Rudd was based with the Royal Canadian Dragoons and was recently killed by an explosion, becoming the 146th member of the Canadian military to die in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001. And yesterday morning he was driven back to his hometown.

The Highway of Heroes is a new Canadian tradition and one that is grassroots to its core. Just a few years old, the tradition has picked up steam in the past few months.

When a soldier loses his life in service overseas, his body is sent back to Canada in a flag-draped casket, arriving at Trenton Air Force Base. The family of the fallen soldier waits here and, as the body is taken from the plane, stands through a short ceremony. The body is then taken to the Centre for Forensic Sciences in Toronto, some 100 miles distant. And this is where a fascinating little tradition cropped up. Average citizens, with some members of emergency services, began to stand on the overpasses en route as the bodies were driven along the highway--100 miles' worth of overpasses. What started as just a few people on a few bridges quickly grew into a new tradition with hundreds or even thousands of people participating.

This video tribute to the soldiers raised awareness not only of the war in Afghanistan, but also the new tradition that had arisen around it.


Even Americans have noticed this phenomenon, as evidenced by this report by NBC:


As a result of this new movement, a position convinced Ontario's government to rename that section of highway leading from Trenton to Ontario. As of September 2007 it is officially known as The Highway of Heroes.

And though Rudd was driven down the official stretch of the Highway of Heroes a couple of days ago, yesterday was the day he was taken to a funeral home in his home town. Even along a different stretch of highway, all the way through Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton and Brantford, Canadians came out to pay tribute. I found it very stirring to drive along and to see all those people waiting, paying their respects to one of our nation's heroes.

Recently the east coast band The Trews penned a tribute to the soldiers in a song called, not surprisingly, "Highway of Heroes." (listen to it here)

The day I shipped out,
They numbered a dozen.
Upon my return,
Were a hundred or so.
From the coast and the prairies,
I bet they keep coming.
Add one more name from Ontario.

Carry me home down The Highway of Heroes.
People above with their flags flying low.
Carry me softly, down The Highway of Heroes.
True Patriot Love, there was never more.

I served with distinction,
No visions of glory.
I served without question of personal gain.
Seek no justification, it's not part of my story.
And it offers no comfort to the ones who remain.

I took up my vocation,
I was called by my nation.
Without hesitation,
My answer I gave.
Now I am not wondering,
The things that I might have been.
I'm no consolation, to the forgotten brave.

To understand the importance of the Highway of Heroes you have to understand that Canadians are not known for their patriotism. A relatively quiet and humble nation, Canadians do not have an equivalent to a song like "Proud to Be an American." We do not have the equivlent to the chant of "U-S-A! U-S-A!" Yes, most Canadians have some sense of patriotism, of national pride, but it is usually quite subdued. It also bears mention that few Canadians support the war in Afghanistan. Most see it as an American war and one that we have little business being involved in. And yet Canadians are still eager to support the troops and to honor them for their willingness to put their lives on the line in their duty to the nation.

Somehow the whole Highways of Heroes phenomenon seems strange to me, it seems un-Canadian; it is just so unusual, so unexpected. And yet I am glad for it; I'm proud of it. I don't know that I've ever been more proud to be Canadian as I was as I drove along yesterday, seeing those flags draped and all those people standing at respectful attention.

Monday, March 22, 2010

coffee at starbucks

Just an fyi:
If your morning routine includes heading to Starbucks before 10:30 a.m. (this may not apply to the college peeps whose day usually begins around 11 or 12...) :) It's free pastry day with the purchase of a brewed or iced beverage at Starbucks if you get there before 10:30 and use this coupon.

Enjoy the freebie!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spurgeon bein the man

“Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

— 1 Corinthians 10:12

It is a curious fact, that there is such a thing as being proud of grace. A man says, “I have great faith, I shall not fall; poor little faith may, but I never shall.” “I have fervent love,” says another, “I can stand, there is no danger of my going astray.” He who boasts of grace has little grace to boast of. Some who do this imagine that their graces can keep them, knowing not that the stream must flow constantly from the fountain head, or else the brook will soon be dry. If a continuous stream of oil comes not to the lamp, though it burn brightly to-day, it will smoke to-morrow, and noxious will be its scent. Take heed that thou gloriest not in thy graces, but let all thy glorying and confidence be in Christ and his strength, for only so canst thou be kept from falling. Be much more in prayer. Spend longer time in holy adoration. Read the Scriptures more earnestly and constantly. Watch your lives more carefully. Live nearer to God. Take the best examples for your pattern. Let your conversation be redolent of heaven. Let your hearts be perfumed with affection for men’s souls. So live that men may take knowledge of you that you have been with Jesus, and have learned of him; and when that happy day shall come, when he whom you love shall say, “Come up higher,” may it be your happiness to hear him say, “Thou hast fought a good fight, thou hast finished thy course, and henceforth there is laid up for thee a crown of righteousness which fadeth not away.” On, Christian, with care and caution! On, with holy fear and trembling! On, with faith and confidence in Jesus alone, and let your constant petition be, “Uphold me according to thy word.” He is able, and he alone, “To keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.”

-Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

Saturday, March 13, 2010

“The Puritans and [Jonathan] Edwards had the highest view of the mercy of God. In a sense their high view of the mercy of God is what gave them the courage to be self-analytical. But I think people reading them who are not grounded in a high view of the gospel can become depressed and introspective.”
David Powlison, CCEL podcast: “Biblical Counseling and the Puritans"

Monday, March 8, 2010


This week I'm thankful that there is finally some sunshine! God's grace to us who are seasonally depressed. ;)

I'm thankful for being able to worship with the saints at Veritas.

I'm thankful for my time in Australia which introduced me to Indian food (which is what I'm serving Mark tonight!...eee we'll see how that goes!)

I'm thankful that my natural inclination to discontentedness finds no grounds for existence when I am rooted in Christ and His promises.

I'm thankful for tennis! May the matches begin!

that which rusts, spoils, fades

“I fear there are some Christians among you to whom Christ cannot say ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you.’ Your haughty dwelling arises in the midst of thousands who have scarce a fire to warm themselves at and have but little clothing to keep out the biting frost, and yet you never darkened their door. You heave a sigh perhaps at a distance, but you do not visit them. Ah my dear friends, I am concerned for the poor, but more for you. I know not what Christ will say to you on the great day. You seem to be Christians, and yet you care not for his poor. Oh, what a change will pass upon you as you enter the gates of heaven! You will be saved, but that will be all. There will be no abundant entrance for you. ‘He that soweth sparingly shall reap sparingly.’

And I fear that there may be many hearing me who may know well that they are not Christians, because they do not love to give. To give largely and liberally, not grudging at all, requires a new heart. An old heart would rather part with its life-blood than its money. Oh my friends, enjoy your money. Make the most of it. Give none of it away. Enjoy it quickly, for I can tell you, you will be beggars throughout eternity.”

Robert Murray McCheyne, Works (New York, 1847), II:482.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

good tune

This song has been a favorite of mine for a good while and it was also played in our wedding while Mark and I lit the unity candle! The lyrics are filled with praise for the mercy and grace of God in redeeming sinful hearts such as mine. A lot of Christian music these days tends to focus on a "positive message" or even a humanistic, self-focused message of doing good things and being good people with small mentions of God. It's so refreshing to hear lyrics that proclaim the gospel, exalt the character of our God and speak of our deep need for His work in our lives in lieu of our sinfulness.

This song is performed by Sandra McCracken but it was written by Caedmon's Call.

Thy mercy my God is the theme of my song
The joy of my heart and the boast of my tongue
Thy free grace alone from the first to the last
Hath won my affection and bound my soul fast

Without Thy sweet mercy i could not live here
Sin would reduce me to utter despair
But through Thy free goodness my spirits revive
And He who first made me still keeps me alive

Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart
Dissolved by Thy goodness i fall to the ground
And weep for the praise of the mercy i've found

Great Father of mercy, Thy goodness i own
And the covenant love of Thy crucified Son
All praise to the Spirit whose whisper divine
Seals mercy and pardon and righteousness mine!
All praise to the Spirit whose whisper divine
Seals mercy and pardon and righteousness mine!

Friday, March 5, 2010

my homedogs

I may have been away for awhile, but this video still makes my heart swell with pride for my home country, the under dogs, the forgotten, the humble, CANADA!

Friday, February 26, 2010

fostering gratitude

I don't know about you all, but I tend to waste a lot of time thinking about the things I don't have and wish I could change in my life, instead of focusing on my blessings and the simple things that God has given me out of His kindness and grace. This just leaves me discontent and unhappy with my circumstances and the things I don't like about life instead of grateful for all the things I do have. In an effort to foster a heart flowing with gratitude and to acknowledge and praise the Lord for His kindness in providing for me, I am going to start making a weekly post of things that I'm thankful for that week.

Philippians 4:8- Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

This week I am thankful for:

-the joy of making Mark and I's first home our own
-friends who care about my soul
-a new last name! :)
-Christ's righteousness counted as my own despite my sinful heart
-the hill I jog on that has the perfect amount of slope to make a jog challenging but not killer
-the quietness of mornings (having a husband who gets up at 4:40 makes the mornings seem a lot longer these days!)
-Mark, who makes me laugh more than I ever have before
-other bloggers who share knowledge and insight into a vast array of topics
-a new washer and dryer making life a lot easier these days!
-Mallory Peckels and her note-writing tendencies that always make me laugh
-remembering that every good and perfect gift is from above- our heavenly Father loves us!

Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth."
Hosea 6:3

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Few pastor's words and sermons have influenced my view of the gospel and its daily relevance to the extent of Matt Chandler, pastor of the Village Church in Texas. Podcasting his sermons has deepened my understanding and application of the Bible in monumental ways. He's also freaking funny and his messages are challenging and steeped in the truth of God's love and grace to us in Christ despite our sinfulness and failings. The Lord's done such a powerful work through Matt's ministry at the Village, especially recently as he battles Anaplastic oligodendroglioma, a form of brain cancer. Here's some writing from Chandler's blog that reflect his eternal view of life here on earth. Reading his words made me think of Colossians 3:1&3, exhorting us to "Set your heart on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." What comfort in knowing that our journey here on earth is so temporary yet bearing eternal implications for our souls. May we seek and pursue that which is "success" according to the Lord and not the wasted aims of a fallen and passing world. Please pray for Matt Chandler and his family as well as the Village Church. To God be the glory.

From Matt Chandler's blog:

All of my life I have wanted to be successful. The idea of success has driven me most of my days and the fear of not being successful has kept me on course as well. As I reflect on this, I find it interesting that not much has changed for me personally. I still desire success, but my definition of “success” has shifted drastically. Growing up in the thriving and prosperous suburb of Plano the mantra and allure of success was all around me.

Success equated to the various status symbols of the “American Dream”: expensive cars, expansive homes, exotic vacations and exclusive lives. The greater cultural system reinforced what most families modeled, and we were all competing for ways to get a slice of pie. The proverbial “Jones’” kept everyone running at breakneck speed and leaving carnage in our wake; people became a means to an end as “success” was the idol we chased. This is not isolated to Plano or the Dallas metroplex per se; rather, this ethos permeates the ghetto as much as Rodeo Drive. It is American to the core.

A biblically informed definition of success has almost nothing to do with the acquisition of material things or the achievement of personal comfort. Success for the believer is defined in relationship to Jesus Christ and His mission. Christ came to seek and save that which was lost; He calls a people unto Himself. We were once far off and have now been brought near through the blood of Christ. He creates a new humanity with transformed perspectives and ambitions.

The death and resurrection of Christ and the overall mission of God in the world now defines what success looks like for the believer and the Church. Simplistically, a believer’s desire for success should be in accordance with Romans 12:1-2. Do I look like the Savior? Have I been transformed by His grace to love radically, give generously, suffer willingly, walk humbly and engage missionally? Is the fruit of God’s Spirit evident in my heart: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22).

The hope in my life is that I would be successful, but success has been redefined as I have been transformed. Now, a prosperous life means an endowment of Christ-saturated thoughts, relationships and actions; not a certain tax bracket or health. Conformity to the image of Christ compels me rather than the creaturely comforts of a fading glory (2 Corinthians 5:14). The success I am now pursuing is not elusive; rather, it is eternally mine because it has been purchased by the sufficient blood of Christ and secured by the seal of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:7,14). The “American Dream” is a cheap substitute compared to the rich treasure of knowing Christ (Philippians 3:7-10). The gospel reality awakens us to pleasures evermore and causes us to abandon our prior delusions of grandeur to readily accept the inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading, kept in heaven for those who believe. (1 Peter 1:3-5).

Can I really be called a “success” if I waste my life chasing the wind? Maybe, but then I would also have to be called a “fool” as well.

Also, read Matt Chandler's wife, Lauren's blog, at

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

We're hitched!

This picture brings me great joy- Mark and I are so blessed by our wonderful friends! They're so full of life! The Lord's woven our paths together in ways that only HE, in all His sovereignty and wisdom, could make possible. To Him be the glory! Every good and perfect gift is from above. James 1:17

Monday, February 22, 2010

martin luther speaks truth

“Be of good courage and cast these dreadful thoughts out of your mind. Whenever the devil pesters you with these thoughts, at once seek out the company of men, drink more, joke and jest, or engage in some other form of merriment. . . . When the devil throws our sins up to us and declares that we deserve death and hell, we ought to speak thus: ‘I admit that I deserve death and hell. What of it? Does this mean that I shall be sentenced to eternal damnation? By no means. For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction in my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Where he is, there I shall be also.’”

Martin Luther, in Theodore G. Tappert, editor, Luther: Letters of Spiritual Counsel (Philadelphia, 1955), pages 86-87.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

He loves us because He is God

I think we all have moments where we are left asking and wondering, "why does God love me?" What can make a perfect and pure, sinless, holy God love a sinful, wandering and weak person like me? For me, the more I see my sin and how deeply seeded it lies in my soul, I grow in my wonder of my God whose love will not let me go, no matter how far I stray. It is an indescribable and incomprehensible love that continues despite wrongdoing, that does not require any action in order to receive its bountiful riches. God's love for His people is beyond what we can understand; it has been declared to us in the common graces of life around us: the beauty of creation, the joy of relationships, the enjoyment of tangible things in the world such as food and adventure and experiences. Yet the pinnacle of God's love is displayed in the death of His Son for us who are undeserving of mercy and grace. What a love He has for us. Before Christ and after Christ, the Lord has loved us with an everlasting love. He loves us because He is God and God is love.

"This free love was not produced or purchased by Christ’s death. That love existed before in all its largeness and freeness. Christ’s death did not increase that love. It was wide as the heart of God, and could not be increased. Christ’s death did not make the sinner a more suitable object for that love. The sinner was loved before; and it was love to the sinner that made the Father send the Son: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” That love rested on the sinner before. His circumstances as a sinner, so far from quenching God’s love to him as a creature, increased it; for they added all the amount of misery, and gloom, and exposure to eternal ruin, which called up that profound and unutterable compassion which a father feels toward a prodigal child that has ruined himself. Nothing in us, nothing in the world, nothing in heaven or earth, nothing in man or angel produced the love of God. It was uncreated, unbought, undeserved, and unfathomable. God loved the sinner because He was God, and because the sinner was a sinner. That is the end of the matter." -Horatius Bonar

Monday, February 1, 2010

morning glory

ok, so i'm a morning person, so it might seem a bit biased that i'd be preaching the gloriousness of mornings...but seriously, i have found mornings to be some of the most profitable and rich times in my life. time with the Lord, exercise, breakfast, studying, reflection are consistently enriched when i do these things in the morning hours. i am definitely not consistent in waking up early every morning, and i do have lapses where i struggle out of bed after 8 and feel like i could sleep for another 2-3 hours... i was encouraged by a fellow blogger's posting about establishing a morning routine. this woman encourages me in lots of ways; i think we would be friends if this was the real world :)

Click here to check out her wise words.

Friday, January 29, 2010

fighting our addictions

I spent the day at the Traumatic Brain Injury unit yesterday where people with brain trauma combined with alcohol/drug addictions seek recovery and treatment that is specific to their needs and abilities. It was an "aha" moment for me as I sat in on one of the group therapy sessions and heard the life and hope in the voices of people who have lived the majority of their lives in bondage to substance and are now finally tasting freedom; I finally experienced something in the social work field that I feel passionate and excited about being a part of.

It was a big moment for me. I could empathize and have compassion on these people that sat around the table with me because I know that my own soul is in a daily battle to keep from being overtaken by the desires and addictions of my flesh. I fight with my addictions daily, and although the effects of surrendering to these desires may not look the way an alcoholic or crack addict looks when they give in to their urge to get drunk or high on drugs, I know that the effects for me are just as significant: internal, soul-wasting and heart hardening effects that separate me from my God. I am in a fight against sin that debilitates my communion and intimacy with Christ: pride, selfishness, anger, pride, self-righteousness, pride, using my emotions as justification for sin, worldliness, and I think I forgot to mention pride as well. The grossness of staying in my sin without battling it with vengeance each day is just as severe as the grossness of the addict's self allowance to continue killing himself with hits of cocaine. Both scenerios leave us empty, hurting and dissatisfied, only wishing we could fight our addictions so that our next need can be satisfied by something that is real and lasting. We weren't intended to be in bondage to anything but Jesus Christ, the Savior of our souls, who gives freedom and joy and in whom there is purpose and truth.

One of the ladies in my group who has been clean for 2 years and continues to battle her drug addictions, spoke words that deeply affected my soul yesterday. She shared about the shame of her addiction and her grief in the way she has treated her body for so many years. She shared that every morning, she wakes up and puts lotion on her body and quotes Psalm 103 as she praises the Lord for who He is and what He has done in her life. Repentance has moved her to freedom from her disease and healing through life in Christ as she battles her addictions. May we battle alongside her as well, as we fight the good fight and pursue righteousness for the sake of Christ.

Psalm 103:1-13
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
The LORD is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.

Friday, January 15, 2010


"Repentance involves seeing sin for the deceitful and deadly thing that it is, so that we turn from it. Belief in Christ involves seeing Christ for the gracious and powerful Saviour that he is, so that we turn to him. These two acts go together in a person’s salvation. Repentance and belief are like two sides of the same coin. You can’t have one side of the coin without the other side also." -Bruce Ware

As a child growing up, I can remember learning in Sunday school what the word "repentance" meant. My teacher showed us a big red STOP sign and told us that repentance means that when we do something wrong, we must stop, turn around, and go the other way. I remember thinking it was so simple and easy, and I was definitely the little blonde girl in the front who could answer all the questions correctly, feel good about it, and sit back with great satisfaction in my knowledge. I can see now that my current battles with pride and self-righteousness took root long ago when, as a young girl, I started believing that my own performance and knowledge and goodness was my justification and rightstanding before God. I lost sight of repentance almost immediately (apparently I knew what it meant, but not how it applied to my life, or why I really needed it) and have really only recently returned to it, and now wonder how I ever really functioned as a Christian without being in continual, daily repentance. My wandering from repentance throughout my youth and teenage years have to do with a number of ignorances, misconceptions and wanderings from truth.

Unless I believe that I am a sinful girl, filled with sinful desires and unable to do anything good apart from Christ, there is no realization of how miserably I fail and fall short of God's holiness. Thus, I can't see much of why I need to repent- I didn't kill anyone today, nor did I lie or steal or commit adultery. Thus, my convictions are small and my repentance is unnecessary. BUT if I truly believe in the doctrine of sin- that left to myself I can do nothing but sin (John 15:5); that my righteous deeds are filthy rags in the eyes of our holy God because He is THAT RIGHTEOUS AND GOOD (Isaiah 64:6); that everything that does not come from faith is sin (Romans 14:23); that whether I eat or drink or whatever I do, I must do it all for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 15:58)(and fail miserably at this daily);...then I MUST fall on my face and know that I am a sinner unable to do anything apart from God. And I MUST repent. Realization of our sin leads to brokenness, humility and repentance.

Somewhere along my journey, I lost sight of the holiness of God. This is mostly due to my loss of scripture as my only source of Truth and my conformity to worldliness in my thoughts. Arthur Pink puts it well when he states that, "As the Holy Spirit sets before me the loveliness of the divine character, as I am enabled to discern the exalted excellency of God, then I begin to perceive that to which He is justly entitled, namely, the homage of my heart, the unrestricted love of my soul, the complete surrender of my whole being to Him. As I perceive that from the moment I drew my first breath God has sought only my good, that the One who gave me being has constantly ministered to my every creature need, and that the least I can do in return is to acknowledge His abounding mercies by doing that which is pleasing in His sight, I am now over-whelmed with anguish and horror as I realize I have treated Him more vilely than my worst enemy." I must continue to pursue a knowledge of God that sees Him rightly, according to scripture, and sees myself as I am (from dust I came and to dust I will return). A right view of God and self leads us to do the only thing that is appropriate- worship Him.

Only since I've fully come to know and believe that my rightstanding before God comes not from what I do, but what Christ did through his death and resurrection on the cross, have I come to realize that my only hope is in the sovereign mercy of God. My hope does not lie in my actions but in the character of God and only that is sufficient to reconcile me from what my sins deserve (death) to the grace God freely gives through His Son (life).

My Sunday school teacher definitely got it right in saying that repentance is a turning from one thing, but I have to remember that it as I turn from my sin, I must turn to God, not to my own morality or self-will. How kind and merciful a Father we have, that all that He asks of us, He provides. "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19). Christ has allowed us to come before the Father with confidence and receive the grace we need to live freely and without condemnation for our sin (Hebrews 4:16).

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (I John 1:9)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

There once was in man a true happiness of which now remain to him
only the mark and empty trace, which he in vain tries to fill from all
his surroundings, seeking from things absent the help he does not
obtain in things present. But these are all inadequate, because the infi-
nite abyss can only be filled by an infinite and immutable object, that
is to say, only by God Himself.