only help my unbelief

October 30, 2008, 5:21 pm
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The last few days have really shaken me spiritually and emotionally.

On Monday morning, a young lady from my church was in a car wreck. By the grace of God, she survived, even though she was ejected from the car. Three days later, she’s progressed very well, although it will be a long road to recovery.

She’s supposed to be married in December, but she could be in the hospital for months.

As her family (she has one older sister) gathered around her, more problems. Her older sister was hospitalized today for some GI problems. How much more difficult can it become for this family?

I know the Lord is sovereign. I don’t know her family very well personally, but I’ve seen their love for the Lord at church, and I know that He has them in the palm of His hand.

And it has humbled me this week. At the gym Tuesday night I was doing some free weights, and as I looked in the mirror, I wasn’t too pleased with what I saw. But instantly the Lord turned my thoughts to Ann Forrest. I bet she – and her family and fiance – would give anything just to be able to stand up. And here, I’m upset that I’m not as skinny as I wish I were.

There have been some difficult circumstances at home, but are they as difficult as what Ann Forrest’s family is going through?

I’m not pretending like my struggles don’t exist, but rather, I’m thankful for the reminder this week that God is bigger than any circumstance that seems so formidable, and He’s got li’l old me in His hands, too.


Overheard Sunday night
October 29, 2008, 1:22 pm
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Background: The kids were eating a snack in the nursery while I drew pictures on the whiteboard for them to guess. I had just drawn a snake.

Christian: You know what, guys? Miss Chelsey really doesn’t like snakes.

*looks of shock from the kids, as if three-year-olds LOVE snakes*

Three-year-old: You know what I’m afraid of?

Me: What?

Three-year-old: Cats. Because they do their business in my yard, and they bite.

‘Twixt gleams of joy and clouds of doubt
October 28, 2008, 9:20 pm
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As the hymnwriter said, our feelings come and go.

Today, though, my feelings have been joyful, and I’m thankful to the Lord for that.

I think it may be because in the midst of difficult family circumstances, God is granting me stronger faith that He will provide.

Or maybe it’s because in the wake of a terrible car wreck that left a sister in Christ in critical condition, I’ve seen the saints pray like warriors and the Lord provide healing.

It might even be because I’ve got someone in my life who is consistent when I am not, and who enjoys doing mundane things like going to the grocery store and watching movies with me.

I have a job. I have a family. I have a warm bed. And most importantly, Jesus has me.

Another one bites the dust
October 28, 2008, 10:51 am
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My other blog has, sadly, gone the way of so many, at least for right now. I don’t know what happened, but yesterday I just realized I didn’t want to do it anymore.

I want to live life in the real world.

I have been feeling like I don’t have time for anything I really want to do, and blogging is no longer something I really want to do, at least not like that.

Have no fear, though. This blog is staying. But I will make no promises as to when I will blog, or how often I will blog, or what I will blog about.

I still need a place to write, and I like sharing stories of Christ’s love with those of you who read.

I can’t stay way completely, which is probably a sign of my overarching addiction.

Close to Jesus
October 22, 2008, 2:13 pm
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In what seems like another life, I had a blog where I wrote about even more mundane things than I cover here. At the same time, I attempted to cover deep theological concepts – some that were controversial – and even engaged in some heavy debate with people who disagreed with me.

Sometimes I think about those times, and I laugh. Was that really me? How did I have time for that?

Truth be told, it was two summers ago when I lived with my dear friend Emily for three months. I had just started dating Christian, and his passion for the Reformed faith had caused mine to burn even hotter. Emily and I spent hours every night composing blog posts about election and total depravity and limited atonement.

When I started this blog (remember, originally it was Grace, Grammar and Good Eats), I wanted something lighter. Somewhere I could write about cooking and organizing and whatever I wanted. I did that at first, and I loved it, but suddenly I felt that there were more thoughts in me that I needed to get out, even if no one ever read them.

And so I moved over to brown eyed basics, where I’m enjoying increased readership, posts about cooking and organization and getting to know more people in the blogosphere.

Here, though, I have returned to my original blogging roots and written about God and loving Jesus and loving others. I haven’t written much of anything controversial, unless loving Jesus is controversial (and, I guess, the applications of that sometimes are).

But in the last couple of weeks, I’ve started thinking more and more about those topics I used to run into the ground on my previous blog. I’m not really interested in starting a Calvinism-Arminianism debate here at OHMU, and I probably don’t need to write out all my beliefs on limited atonement. But I want to write about keeping the Sabbath, which is controversial. And I want to write about birth control, which definitely gets people hot under the collar. And today I read a post at about abortion. I was surprised to find that I actually disagreed with Tim Challies on a particular point of his position. And I want to write about it.

In some ways, it may seem silly that I’m tackling big topics like these when my main problem, doubt and unbelief, is not really resolved. But as I’m discovering through my “intervention,” thinking about things of the Lord keeps me close to Him, even when I’m struggling with unbelief. And being close to Jesus, my friends, is never bad.

So if you see me tackling bigger things, fear not. It’s still me.

Help Amy Beth
October 22, 2008, 9:00 am
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Head on over to my other blog to see how you can help a ministry that serves girls in east Tennessee – for free.

Cold turkey
October 21, 2008, 10:21 pm
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I had to perform an intervention yesterday.

On myself.

After two Sundays of feeling like my heart was made of stone despite hearing powerful preaching, I knew it was time to act.

I believe that God changes hearts, and that He pursues us, and that the Holy Spirit is active in our lives.

I also know that James tells us to draw near to God, and He will draw near to us.

By Sunday night, I knew that it was time for me to draw near to God.

I kept thinking about the verse in Matthew where it says that in the last days, the love of many who say they love the Lord will grow cold.

Lord, don’t let my love grow cold.

And so the intervention occurred.

I spent some time Sunday evening downloading numerous sermons from Dr. Ferguson. I went through all the songs on my iPod and removed anything that I considered non-edifying.

(Before you think I’m so spiritual, my iPod only holds 4GB, so I had to delete a lot of songs in order to fit the sermons.)

I tried to wake up a little bit earlier – 15 minutes – Monday morning to read my Bible.

And so yesterday began. They were small things, but the Lord used His Word, and the humility and words of His preachers, and music He has inspired talented people to write to soften my heart, little by little.

This morning I found myself spontaneously bursting into prayer in the middle of a difficult situation. I can’t remember the last time that’s happened.

I’m not where I should be. I’m not even close. And I’m not saying any of you reading need to go delete all your cool 80s music off your iPod.

I’ve listened to five sermons in the past two days, hoping to fill my heart with Scripture and encouragement. I’m so tempted to just turn my iPod off rather than listen to another sermon, but God has been faithful.

He says His Word doesn’t return to Him void. He means it.

I found myself telling a friend going through something heartbreaking that she needed to stay in the Word and pray without ceasing. And then I felt like a complete hypocrite.

I can tell I’m rambling, so I’ll stop. But if you’re struggling with the same thing I am, then don’t waste any more time. Even if it tastes like sawdust to read or listen to the Word, let it be sawdust. God will turn it into bread.