Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Steadfast Love

Looking back at my previous posts, I'm jealous. I'm jealous of how great I felt this summer and I want to be there again. I grew so much closer to my creator, just as I prayed to happen...and look at me I've let that slide again. Thank you to a God who relentlessly pursues my heart even when I so often forget him in the midst of my "busy" life. I am never off-duty from my relationship with God, and I'm thankful that He doesn't hold my forgetfulness against me. So in light of Thanksgiving being last week... I'm thankful for my loving, forgiving, merciful, gracious and awesome God.

Reading Psalm 5 today was a huge blessing to me and also really convicting. Seriously, God is SO GOOD. I can never read of his love for me too many times. I can never read of His abundant love toward me in order that I can have a relationship with Him despite my sinful nature.

Psalm 5
For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;
    with you, evil people are not welcome.
The arrogant cannot stand
    in your presence.
You hate all who do wrong;
    you destroy those who tell lies.
The bloodthirsty and deceitful
    you, Lord, detest.
But I, by your great love,
    can come into your house;
in reverence I bow down
    toward your holy temple.


God's word is clear that He does not put up with wickedness or anything evil. He is constantly punishing Israel for their disobedience. God hates evil and anyone who commits evil can NOT stand before him on their own. Lies are not permissible and those who are bloodthirsty and deceitful are abhorred by the Lord. So how do I stand a chance when my own heart is so wicked? My life is worth nothing without the love of God, so how can my life be anything but an exaltation and a worthy sacrifice unto Him?

There have to be practical ways to live this out. Well, right now it's the home stretch for finals and I'm really really hating being back at school after Thanksgiving break. But you know what, this is also a lot to be thankful for and I'm not using it as a chance to glorify God and thank Him for his blessings. So, there has to be a change. There has to be, in light of the glorious blessings that God has given me by his saving grace, a change in my attitude towards school right now. So that is my thanksgiving to Christmas resolution... to look at nothing without the lens of what my loving God who pursues me in every aspect of my life does for me every day. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

When Lightning Strikes

Last night I spent a good couple of hours admiring a gorgeous thunder and lightning storm that encompassed Cedarville. There is seriously nothing better than witnessing a huge bolt of lightning light up the sky a gorgeous purple color. When Lighning strikes, God's name is glorified. Last night has to be a serious highlight of this semester so far. There are few greater things that show the power and might of God than His creation. As I went to bed last night I couldn't help but thank God for how majestic and powerful He is. Thank you God for showing us a manifestation of yourself through the power and beauty of thunder storms. 

As I've been reflecting on this, Psalm 29 came to mind. God showed me this particular psalm on the tops of the mountains in Central Oregon this summer and He revealed it to me again in the middle of some cornfields in Southern Ohio. God is great no matter where I am, and we can't help but praise him and give His name the glory. 

Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings,

    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.
The voice of the Lord is over the waters;

    the God of glory thunders,
    the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
    the voice of the Lord is majestic.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

People: Good or bad?

Don't we all struggle with this? You want to believe in the best of people. You try to find the good in everyone. Yet, we all suck a little bit. Okay, some a lot.

I'm reading here in my management textbook about nonreligious spirituality and how Christianity differs. Nonreligious spirituality says that "all humans are intrinsically good."

I remember hearing in Sunday School a very easy counter-argument for this. Little kids never have to be taught to misbehave. No, instead we have to instruct them on fairness, sharing, and respect. You never have to teach a child how to be selfish, rude, and disrespectful.

So I guess it's all about how you value people. Because yeah, the Bible says that we are by nature sinful beings, our hearts are deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9). But yet, we were made in the image of God, and through His power we are able to do good things. Only through Him. All people are good because God said that we were when He created us. He cares and loves each and every one of us selfish, cold-hearted, and deceitful people so much that He came down as one of us and died. People are all God's creation, God's children. Yet we have this sin nature that tempts us to do bad all the time. So why do we always say that we have to find the best in people? 

I think it's because if God can love that person, we can too. The least we can do is care about someone that God cares about. And maybe that person will come to love Jesus because you loved them. It's pretty cool.

The good in people is that they are all created and loved by a good, Holy, and merciful God. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Giving is Better than Receiving

Today I was reminded of how selfish I am. I was reminded that God did not promise me glory, material wealth, or comfort here on earth. He promises Himself. And He should be all I need. Not God AND anything. God plus anything = idolatry. I constantly prove to God that I don't understand Him when I create images of a God I'm comfortable with in my head. God is who He says He is and nothing less. I should be giving my all to glorify Him. I should be worshiping Him with every moment of my day and yet I'm constantly worried about myself and receiving things and answers and comforts from Him. I read this verse earlier this summer and I believe that God placed this verse in my heart again through my dear roommate who had a lovely conversation with me on repentance.

Acts 3:19-20 says:

"Repent therefore and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus."


My constant focus on receiving gifts from God is a selfish act and an idolatrous view of who God is, believing that He's not important enough for me to worship and that His main function is to satisfy my wants. He satisfies my soul and that's all that is important. My times of refreshing will come after I repent of my wrong attitude and God grants me His presence. Giving worship to God will bring me way more joy than anything I could ever receive on this earth. I can rejoice in the presence of the Lord and he provides refreshment for my soul. Thanks be to God for his wonderful blessing of Himself.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Is it Junior year already?

I would like to start off by saying that I'm officially an upperclassman. This means that I am an experienced college student who knows the ropes. I know which professors are awesome and which to avoid... I know which foods in Chuck's are edible and which will make you puke for days. I know the dorm life and the good places to go in Cedarville [there aren't many.] I'm already re-addicted to the coffee shop on campus and I was only on campus for like 12 hours yesterday. I have my awesome friends that I'm looking forward to re-uniting with!! I'm one class away from finishing my Bible minor and halfway to completing my undergrad degree. It's pretty darn fantastic.

There are also a lot of firsts to deal with. The first time one of my good friends doesn't come back for the year. The first time that we have the HSC building to study in. The first time I'll be studying abroad. The first time I'll be an officer in a student organization and the first time I feel secure in my place at Cedarville. I'm looking forward to my IBC class starting and running our own business. I'm looking forward to chapel and my bible class. I'm excited about OneVoice and Women in Business and working in the Library again! I'm excited that my roommate gets to see my hometown this fall and that I'll be visiting one of my besties in Chicago.

It's a good time in my life.
It's going to be a great year :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Last Week of Summer

After the internship at Antioch ended... I've had about nine days at home [4 days of which I spent camping.] It's a strange feeling being home because I was so used to living in Bend with my host family, that I kinda forgot what home is like. One thing I really miss when I'm not home is cooking and baking. I LOVE making food, it's just so rewarding when it turns out well, especially when other people love it. I spent almost a whole day making lasagna [which turned out great!] for a bible study that my sister is a part of. I also made some coleslaw using Paul Dean's recipe and cornbread as sides for some chili my sister put together. 

Last weekend I went camping at Silver Falls State Park with families from my home church and had a BLAST. I haven't seen most of them for a really long time so it was great to catch up, especially with one of my best friends, Jackie. We got to catch up about our lives, I got to tell her about my internship and she told me all about her extravagant trip to Chile. My friends Jackie, Jimmy and I went on a 9 mile hike on Saturday and saw tons and tons of amazing waterfalls. My feet hurt so stinkin' bad! It felt great to be back in nature [Just like Bend!] and to have great conversations with some great friends. I'm so thankful for my home church family, it was great to see everyone together. 



Now today I packed for school... I convinced my mom to help me pack lightly :) and so far it's going well. I might sneak some extra things in the bags before we go. It's a strange feeling going back to school. I'm going to miss a lot about being here and seeing all my friends, but it'll be nice to see other friends at Cedarville and start studying again [sarcasm]. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Made for Eternity, Forced to live in Time.

Change sucks. Change is really really hard. For some people they are so afraid of change that they try never to do new things and avoid turbulence in their lives as much as they can. Others seek change because maybe they're afraid of permanence and commitment?

What I have come to discover in life is that change is hard no matter if it's mostly good or mostly bad.

This summer has been a huge time of change and growth and challenges. God has pursued me hardcore, and I have never felt more blessed or more excited about what God is doing than right now. I know that God has  drawn me closer to Him this summer and that I have gotten to see Him work in glorious and magnificent ways. God has brought people in my life who have challenged me and given me a glimpse of different aspects of Him that is so beautifully shown by different personalities and passions.

So now, it's time for this summer adventure to end. It is so hard to know that this community is separating, but I will always look back and have the best memories and will always have a place in my heart for each and every one of them. These relationships are meant to last forever. This world is broken and we are forced to live in a place where relationships don't last forever... when we were made for lasting relationships where we never have to say goodbye.

Tozer has some good stuff to say about this:

"To be made for eternity and forced to dwell in time is
for mankind a tragedy of huge proportions. All within us cries for life and permanence,
and everything around us reminds us of mortality and change. Yet that God has made us
of the stuff of eternity is both a glory and a prophecy yet to be fulfilled."

That last line leaves hope for eternity and seeing everyone in heaven and picking up in our relationships RIGHT where we left off. Seasons pass and people in your life come and go, but that's not how people were made and that's not how we'll be for eternity. Praise God.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Olympic Epic-ness

I LOVE the Olympics. Literally I LOVE it. I love that we can come together as a country to root on the best athletes in our nation. The US also tends to do very well.. so that helps make it exciting. It almost makes you feel like you can do anything [provided you work REALLY REALLY hard and train like crazy]. I've tried to watch it as much as possible while here in Bend still. I even invited a bunch of people over and made popcorn so we could watch it together. I love watching people go for their dreams and I will literally watch it for hours and hours even if I don't understand the sport. I love watching 17 year old amateur swimmers win gold  and two volleyball players [who are also mothers and wives] win 32 sets in a row in the Olympic games.
It's very epic. 
It's inspiring.


In 2010 I somehow convinced my parents to TAKE me to the Olympics in Vancouver, B.C. for my senior "present." I don't think at that point I realized my obsession, because it wasn't until after we returned home that I watched the entire rest of the games on our DVR. I tried to watch every single event... let's just say senior year wasn't that busy. Here are some photos from our trip :)







Monday, July 30, 2012

McArthur Ridge

This is a 360* view from the top of Tam McArthur ridge where us interns hiked to on Friday. The view is epic which you may be able to tell. The first mountain you see is Mt. Bachelor and then Broken Top and the Three Sisters soon follow :)
video

I can't even begin to describe to you the awesome and wonder of hiking this thing... God is SO SO evident in His creation. Here are some words that I wrote in my journal during solitude upon this glorious mountain.

"I'm sitting here on top of this ridge, looking at Bachelor, the 3 sisters, Tumalo...all these mountains! I just read Psalm 29 about how powerful the voice of the Lord is. Well, He spoke the earth into creation and made these majestic mountains with just His voice. God is all powerful but so so good. One thing Cora shared with us today is that we sometimes think that nature is God's best creation and we marvel at His glory, but God tells us that we are His handiwork, made in His image, and He loves and cares about us. He gives us creation to enjoy and see a different aspect of Himself. How can I look at this and see anything BUT God's glory, it's almost to the point that I don't know what to do because I'm in such awe. The voice of the Lord is powerful and majestic! The last verse of Psalm 29 is so so crazy! God is this God who thunders and speaks with flashes of lightning. He gives strength to us and blesses us with peace. So undeserving we are, but God is so good."


I am convinced there isn't a more gorgeous place than Central Oregon. Takes your breath away amazing.

Snowiness :) IN JULY.

The Three Sisters

Mt. Bachelor!

Yeah that's right.. I climbed this high.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Prayer

This summer has been really really different and challenging. I've always struggled with spending intentional time with God and having a consistent prayer life. This last year has been a real growing experience realizing that I can talk to God any time that I want, my eyes don't have to be closed and my head bowed for God to hear me.  I have learned that when something comes into mind to pray about or someone mentions a prayer request, it's totally easiest to stop right there and just pray at that moment. I have spent more time in solitude with God this summer than ever before, and let me tell you it's amazing and hard. Do you know how much God can speak to you when you just shut up and listen? Do you also know how hard it is for me to turn off my own brain and agendas and let God speak?

Through my various solitude times, praying in the car, and conversations with others I really feel that God has laid intentional prayer in community on my heart. Some people find praying out loud or in groups uncomfortable, but I really love hearing people's hearts and cries to God out loud because it's amazing to realize that other people are struggling/learning/thankful for the same things that I am. I have really come to love other people saying 'Amen' or 'Yes, God' in agreement with other's audible prayers.

God has just confirmed over and over again to me that He is faithful. He will always pursue me when I forget about Him, and He will always have bigger and better plans for me than I have for myself. God commands a lot from us, but He promises to walk by us every step of the way. I have discovered that it is easiest to do what He desire for me if I'm in constant communication with Him. I mean, Jesus was intimately connected to the Father in the trinity, but he still went out alone and prayed and sought God's direction. 

I have this vision for next year that includes meeting for prayer (maybe in the morning?) with the girls in my unit at school. I haven't really run this by them yet, but I definitely will soon. I just really want to be more intentional in prayer and I know what a blessing it can be to pray with others. I can see us all getting together and maybe not even sharing requests, but just praying for each other and our school and spending time together in God's presence. So i'll have to share my ideas with them, but I can really see God blessing this and having it become even bigger than just my vision.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Trashy Weekend


So this weekend us interns were volunteered to volunteer at Bend's Summerfest. Summerfest is basically like any other outdoor summer event in Bend, OR which involves music, food carts and lots and lots of beer. We were working with C3 event company on a project they have called 'towards Zero waste' which means they're trying to get Bend to be more Portland-y and recycle and compost things. So I spent two 4 hour shifts collecting, sorting, picking up, and dumping out garbage, recyclying and compost items. Did you know they're starting to make cups an cutlery out of corn starch and sugar so that they're compostable? Well, now you do! We manned 'zero waste' stations that educated people who came to throw away their trash that, "Oh hey that can be recycled or composted! Yay you saving the environment!" I used one of those convict looking trash-picker-uppers that people use on the side of the road and walked around wearing this shirt that made people yell "GO GREEN TEAM!" mostly sarcastically I think, although some gave very genuine thanks.

As you can tell, my attitude about this trash-picking was not the best. It was gross and hot and not very intellectually stimulating. But I knew that I was doing it for God's glory and I knew that it would benefit Antioch's Christmas service later this year. Well, when I got back to my host-home after 20 somethings group at church, my host dad had some pretty awesome things to say about it. He quoted MLK Jr. which you can't really go wrong with. This is what MLK Jr. had to say:

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

Umm.. Hello! There's a wake up call! I can honestly say that I did my job well, but I'm really hoping that my heart was in the right place. It was very humbling for sure, and I'm so thankful there are people who do this everyday and take care of our trash and care about the planet enough to do so.. I want the hosts of heaven and earth to be like, wow those streets are CLEAN because some Antioch Interns worked really really hard to make them so.

THEN as if that wasn't enough, my host dad said then said that the Antioch Christmas Eve service that C3 will put on because of our work brings SO many people from the community in who will hear about Jesus for the first time. Through our efforts today picking up trash people will come to know JESUS over Christmas time :) Yes, that makes it all worth it. 


Friday, July 13, 2012

Micah 6:8

This is posted on the wall at the place I'm working this summer.  I feel like there is such a struggle with feeling like we can't solve the world in only one lifetime, but that doesn't mean we can't do our part and try. Remember to always always always do our part for His Kingdom.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Is Pain Necessary?

Yesterday in my pulse group, one of the girls randomly decided to read a section of a book she had with her of anecdotes about children who can't feel pain. The stories were pretty gruesome about children who bit their own fingers off or gouged out their eyes because they have an insensitivity to pain. These children don't know when to stop because they don't have the nerve senses that signal pain to their brain. So after being thoroughly grossed out, we started discussing the necessity of pain in our lives.

We decided that physical pain is necessary to stop people from harming themselves. Say, if one were to break their leg, but they couldn't feel pain they would probably just get up and keep walking. Then after awhile, the leg gets infected and doesn't heal right and just imagine where that leads. Or the child who bites their finger keeps on biting and eventually has no more phalanges! Physical pain tells us to take our hands off a burning stove or remove the needle that pricks us while sewing. So while some people argue that pain is the one thing that God messed up in, I would argue that pain is quite necessary for our survival. 


In his book The Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer says:

"As a child may cry out in pain even when sheltered in its mother's arms, so a Christian may sometimes know what it is to suffer even in the conscious presence of God."

This really helps my understanding of what it feels like to be in pain even though you know God is present and is aware of your pain. 


It's a little harder to accept why God would let us experience emotional pain. Why do we get so emotionally hurt over messy relationships, the death of a close friend or relative, and seeing injustice in the world? Well, if you didn't have an emotional response to any of these things...would you do anything to fix injustices or revive unhealthy relationships? This might be going a little far, but if you didn't emotionally respond to death, would we all just kill everyone else? We wouldn't have empathy to feel for those that are missing lost loved ones, and we wouldn't care that others were dead. If there was no emotional pain would we even know what good was? Would we be able to understand love and sacrifice if there was no pain to off-set these emotions? Ultimately I would argue that we would not understand the love and sacrifice of Christ if there was no emotional pain. Yeah, being upset and hurt and crying is no fun and it frankly sucks. Don't we all wish that God would just take away the hurt and have us be joyful all the time? But what would the death of Christ and all the pain that he went through mean to us if we couldn't empathize with His hurt, if he couldn't empathize with our hurt? 

"But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." --C.S. Lewis

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Wisdom

Today at Antioch, Ken preached about creating culture in families and in that creating shared values that your family will abide by. One thing that he said that stuck out to me, so I wrote it down was that there are things in this world that will try to take us away from the Kingdom of God by vying for our attention and distracting us from the things of Christ. These are also known as temptations by most of us. One day when I have my own family, I will have the opportunity, along with my husband, to create a culture for ourselves and our kids that embraces the ways of Christ and shows our kids that the things of the Kingdom are way better than the ways of the world.

More recently today, I was reading A Better Way, which is a book that I'm reading for my internship, and there was a chapter that discussed choosing Wisdom, and referenced Proverbs 7-8 so I decided to pause and read that for awhile. Here are some thoughts that I wrote down in my journal.

When we ignore wisdom, understanding, and God's commands, we open ourselves up to being tempted by the things in life that appeal to our sin nature. We're not only tempted, but we will give in because our eyes are not set upon the ways of God. The youth in Proverbs 7 lacked judgement! He forgot God's commands because it wasn't a part of his culture to know the commands and wisdom of God. We are not to let our heart wander astray and our desires to shift to lust after things we shouldn't. I think God really desires to give us wisdom. He says that if we seek wisdom we can find it and by it we can become prosperous and make good decisions and are able to be righteous and practice justice. Wisdom is the way of God and seeking to obey His ways. 

God does not desire for us to struggle through life without Him. He clearly shows us the way by providing His son Jesus Christ and giving us wisdom to guide us through the messiness that is life. We can seek wisdom to create a culture where we are all after God's heart and we become more and more like Him in how we live our lives.

So yeah, read Proverbs 7-8 and ponder wisdom for awhile :)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Music & Revelation


If you're not already a fan of Switchfoot, you should be. Yesterday when I was making the 4 hour trip back home for the weekend I spent a ton of time listening to the album Vice Verses (2011), which is in my opinion their best since The Beautiful Letdown (2004). This song, Restless, is seriously one of those songs where I was listening and I just felt myself start to really really listen and think about the lyrics and I probably could have cried if I didn't need to see the road really well. But anyways the lyrics are all about waiting for Christ's return, anticipating the moment when God's creation is complete and we're finally as we were made to be. 



                          





These lyrics made me so excited for the resurrection and to live in our resurrected bodies on earth under Christ's rule. So basically, Jon Foreman.. you are a freaking genius. Your theology is pretty sound too. I wish we were all as musically talented and  poetic as you are. Also check out Where I Belong because it goes along with the whole anticipating Christ's return theme :) 




Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I am an Oregonian

This summer I have truly discovered my inner Oregonian. This means that...

1.) A little piece of my heart breaks when I have to throw something away that can be recycled. My host family here doesn't recycle much, although I learned they have a bin in their garage that takes everything but glass :) Heart a little happier.

2.) I desperately desire to own a Prius or some kind of hybrid. There are so many here, when will the midwest catch on?

3.) I like that it isn't over 75-80 the majority of "summer." The Texans here are complaining about the cold...but I'm like wow it's really nice out! No humidity either!

4.) I have had so much coffee this summer at so many different coffee shops. There are a ton of great places here in Bend. One being Stricly Organic where I am typing this now. Or the best drive-thru coffee ever, Dutch Bros. There's also Backporch Coffee where my pulse group meets every week...and newly discovered Looney Bean which is downtown with a gorgeous backyard.  Most of the places here serve organic and/or fair trade coffee, so you can feel really really good about your purchases.

5.) Something particularly special with Bend is that there are a ton of round-a-bouts. Which are traffic circles if you dont know what those are you should look them up. I have become the master at driving through those, its definitely a skill that wont be used many places besides Oregon, but oh well.

6.) I way prefer the coast over the beach. This means that I am in love with the waterfalls and caves and the cute little towns of places like Seaside and Cannon Beach (even if they're pretty cold). I would much rather go there than any Florida/California beach where it's all flat and really hot and crowded.

There are more I'm sure... I will figure those out as time passes.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Toxic Charity: A Book Review

Title: Toxic Charity: How churches and charities hurt those they help (and how to reverse it)
Author: Robert D. Lupton


I just finished this book and it was a complete gem of a book, so I'm sharing it... It was given to me by Larry Sharp who is the Director of Partnerships for IBEC Ventures and the Vice President of CrossWorld and he's a ministry leader for the internship I'm doing here in Bend, OR.

Toxic Charity is all about mistakes that we've made (usually in the church) when we try to do good things for other people but the long-term effects of our actions are actually negative. Lupton gives us inside stories of many pastors and leaders "who attempt to nagivate their churches or organizations away from traditional 'doing for' the poor towards a 'doing with' paradigm." So many times our youth groups and volunteer groups want to make a difference so they spend one day painting a building or handing out food which totally makes us feel good...but diminishes the dignity and creates dependency of the people in the community we're trying to help. Lupton says, "For all our efforts to eliminate poverty - our entitlements, our programs, our charities - we have succeeded only in creating a permanent underclass, dismantling their family structures, and eroding their ethic of work. And our poor continue to become poorer."

The solution that Lupton proves as effective throughout the book is community development and raising up indigenous leadership to help create better city programs, eliminate crime, increase safety, better the education and better the economy. He has as ton of hands-on experience, as he started Focused Community Strategies which is an urban ministry organization based in Atlanta, GA that does community development one suburb at a time. He gives examples of communities in Atlanta and also abroad in countries like Nicaragua that  have been transformed through the process of development.

If you want a convicting, powerful, yet hopeful book about giving away your time and efforts to help other people, this is the book for you. Really anyone should use it so that they have a better understanding of how to get involved in charities and really what to stop doing. I personally was convicted many times when I thought back to the "projects" my youth group and schools have done in the past and I'm sure you will be too.

I would say more, but you should just read it for yourself. If you decide to purchase this book (which you should), you can do so here :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Solitude with God

So, I'm going to start off this blog by posting about my solitude time with the Lord last week and just some major things that He spoke to me.

I decided to read from Isaiah 43 because my pulse group leader, Audrey, was encouraging us with some verses from that chapter the day before. Reading it got me to reading chapter 44 and so on... So! anyways, I  came to just realizing that even after God just bashed on the Israelites for some 30 odd chapters he is then like, okay guys... even though you royally screwrd up and have created idols and ignored me and not remembered what I have done for you, I have not forgotten you. God tells them that He wants Himself to be known to them, He wants them to know He is God and He pursued them to say: look,


"I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your offenses like the morning mist.
Returned to me, I have redeemed you."
- Isaiah 44:22

AHHHH! What an amazing love that God has for us, that he looks on us wretched sinners and says come back to me for I love you so much that I have not only looked past your sins but I have redeemed you. Mmmm that just totally baffles my mind. I am so thankful for that solitude time, I just feel like God was showing me His love in an incredible way for those two hours and I am now constantly remembering how much He loves us everyday.

Today in our pulse group we were talking about that song, How He Loves by the David Crowder band, and just how God is jealous for us and he pursues us even in our weaknesses and I really felt that through these few chapters so if you have the time, and we all know we do have time, please read Isiah 43 and then just keep on going because you too will be so blessed!