Tag Archives: Homosexuality

Weekly Favorite Links (July 2-8, 2015)

MacArthur

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If there is one thing that always surprises and never ceases to leave me utterly speechless and in streams of tears, it is grace.

I have been the recipient of so much undeserved grace lately.

I am amazed at how loved I am by those around me. I suppose I’ve always had this internal struggle that I needed to earn that love and so throughout my life, I sought to please. But grace is something that I cannot earn, which makes it so much more precious when it’s given. God has placed people in my life that have seen me at my worst and ugliest moments. Instead of judging me and telling me that I’m a disappointment or that I should’ve known better than to fall into certain sins, their eyes have only grown more tender and compassionate when all is laid bare.

Most importantly, they have readily forgiven me when oftentimes I struggled to forgive myself. When I am feeling overwhelmed with shame and guilt, they have patiently pointed me to Scripture to help me train my thoughts to find comfort in what is true. Not only have they embraced me in spite of my failures, they have firmly reminded me of the grace that is found at the foot of the cross. By no means do they condone my mistakes. But they have demonstrated what it means to love in hard times and to bear one another’s burdens because we all fall short. Instead of allowing me to run away from my trials, these brothers and sisters of mine have cheered for me to press on and to finish well.

I am so thankful for these individuals.

But you know what’s even crazier? These dear friends of mine are testaments of God’s faithfulness and work in their lives. More than their love for me is the mysterious love that my Savior and Lord displayed on the cross. In order so that I could be freed from the bondage of sin, He who knew no sin became sin in my place and bore my weaknesses. In this life, I will never be able to understand why Christ would die for someone like me. I will never be worthy of God’s love, of His Son’s sacrificial death on my behalf. However, if it was not for the grace of God, if Christ did not bear my guilt and shame, I would still be in chains today.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. 

Romans 8:1-11

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Weekly Favorite Links (June 11-July 1, 2015)

NO CHURN blackberry chip ice cream I howsweeteats.com

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I have been trying to start this post days in advance so that I’d have adequate time to finish and post. But here I am, sitting in front of my laptop and I can’t even articulate everything that I feel into words. (Is this called writer’s block?) These past two weeks have brought about so many changes. Some foreseeable and expected, others came out of the blue. There have been numerous adjustments to my daily routine, relationships, and priorities. And need I mention that the clock doesn’t stop.

Even though I’d like to think that I have a personality that can adapt and get used to new situations quickly, I readily admit that change is something I dread rather than embrace. However, I know that God uses surprising circumstances to remind me that I’m not the one in control and to cause me to trust in him more.

Lately, I have been reading The Valley of Vision, which is a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions that was put together and edited by Arthur Bennett. Reading these prayers on a regular basis prompts me to strive for a God-centered perspective and a humble attitude throughout my day. I read it often because it speaks so much truth — truths that I need to repeat over and over again because my heart is just fickle like that. I’d like to share one prayer with you, which is my current go-to favorite. Also because I think this prayer kind of captures how I’ve been praying for myself.

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
thy life in my death,
thy joy in my sorrow,
thy grace in my sin,
thy riches in my poverty thy glory in my valley.

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Weekly Favorite Links (April 2-8, 2015)

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My week started out a bit rough and when that happens, I like to turn to music to calm my soul. Although I enjoy catchy, upbeat tunes on the radio, I prefer listening to hymns or worship songs to help me get through whatever that’s troubling me. My current go-to pick-me-up songs are Man of Sorrows, Before the Throne, and Cornerstone.

I love the solid lyrics that offer me comfort, hope, and strength. Singing aloud, and often belting it out when I think no one’s around, helps me repeat truth to myself when my mind’s filled with negative thoughts and feelings. Sometimes these songs serve as my heart’s cry out to God. There are times when I don’t know how to articulate everything that I’m going through, so when I’m overcome with discouragement, I sing. I sing because it enables me to focus and direct whatever thoughts and emotions that I’m feeling to God’s character — his sacrificial love, perfect wisdom, unfathomable faithfulness, and overflowing grace.

When I sing over and over again of who God is and what he’s done for me, the overpowering feeling of despair I may have felt before diminishes. The circumstances that troubles me fade in comparison to knowing that I’m forgiven and loved by the One who holds the past, present, and future in his hands. And it’s an awesome and mind-blowing truth to digest. There is power and healing in music, and I’m thankful that it’s through song that my spirit can be lifted up from the darkest valleys.

Below is a cover of Hillsong’s Man of Sorrows, which is part of a fun collaboration that I did with my friend Aaron aka musicgoon. (So yes, now you can put a voice to my face. Heh.) I hope that it will bless you as the song has blessed me.

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Weekly Favorite Links (Feb 12-18, 2015)

For Valentine’s Day and President’s Day weekend, my family took a trip to Sedona, Arizona. It wasn’t really to celebrate either holiday since we had a more important occasion in mind: my brother’s birthday! Plus we all agreed that we needed to spend some much-needed quality time together, away from the city life. Praise God for my family and for this trip because it was so a-w-e-s-o-m-e! Sedona is absolutely breathtaking, and it was during my time there that I marveled at how great God is and how wonderful is all His creation. I happened to be reading Psalm 8 for my morning devotions one day, and the words really struck me. It was perfectly timed and relevant. It’s worth sharing:

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babies and infants you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. 

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? 

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

 O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

The photo above is what I took with my smart phone. And while photos really don’t do Sedona justice, I can’t wait to show you the other photos that our family took using our fancier camera. I’d definitely go back there again because one weekend wasn’t enough.

Now onto the weekly faves from the web!

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