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Filtering by Category: Romans

A role to play



"Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another.  according to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy,use it according to the standard of one’s faith; if service, in service;if teaching, in teaching; if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading, with diligence; showing mercy, with cheerfulness" (Romans 12: 4-7, HCSB).

As I read these verses, I started thinking about my own family. We're all different. My husband is a bit more reserved than me, he things before he speaks (an admirable trait!). My daughter is vivacious, and high spirited, while my son is a bit quieter, less talkative, but such a silly, easy going little man. We're all different, but we come together as a family. A family with different members, different roles to play. Mother, Father, sister, brother, over the years, we'll work together to get things accomplished. As our kids get older, they'll take on more chores around the house, be responsible for their own hygiene, for eating well and exercising. As their parents, it's our job to teach them these things. To raise them up to be responsible humans. And to raise them up to know Jesus.

I think moving every few years as really shown me the importance of a church family. The importance of being surrounded by like-minded people, people who fill in the gaps when our extended family can't be close. Family that prays, encourages, and even makes meals for you from time to time. Family that visists you in the hospital, offers to watch your kids, notices when you miss a Sunday. Military life isn't always easy. Moving every few years is downright rough. I truly miss the people we've left behind, in other states, at other stations. But, when I look around, I realize how much God has blessed us, right here, right now. The friendships we have may be different than we expected, but they're filling specific roles, filling spaces that we didn't realize were empty. They're filling different parts of the body. Being our hands, our eyes, our prayer warriors. 

It's beautiful how God provides, even when we don't realize it. 

This post went a slightly different direction than I was expecting, but it's beautiful, just the same. It's left me excited, thinking about all the beautiful people in my life. Far and near, they've encouraged me, changed me, and continue to invest in me. And for that I'm thankful.

Family, both biological and spirtual, is a beatufiul thing.



Irrevocable Calling



"God's gracious gifts and calling are irrevocable" (Romans 11:29, HCSB).

There are many things I don't know about this world. I look at my children and they puzzle me, they're such individuals, always changing, always challenging, always causing me to troubleshoot in a new way. I look at the world aorund me and see people I care about suffering, grieving, going through hard times. I can't completley wrap my head around pain, around suffering. There's just so many things that I can't fully answer, can't fully grasp.

But I do know Jesus. 

I that my identity is found in Him.

He created me to do good works.

He has called me to be a child of the king.

He has called me to live a life of worship to Him.

Isn't that really the most important thing?

If so, then why to I demean myself? Why do I criticize? Why do I chose to focus on all the things I do wrong, all the areas of life that I fall up short? Why I am often my own harshest critic?

In doing that, I'm criticizing the very person God created. 

I'm criticizing the clay He formed into a unique vessel.

I'm forgetting that He has good in-store for me, that He doesn't make mistakes.

I'm forgetting that He created me to serve Him.

He created me to live this life as a daughter of the king.

His calling on my life is real. It's true.

Not false like the lies this world tells me.

I belong to Him.

His plan is a beautiful one.

His calling is real.

His gifts, His gifts are beautiful things.

My mind is filled with all the callings and gifts He's placed in my life. Maybe they're worth writing down, journaling about, pondering over, recognizing, dwelling on.

And don't forget the last word in the verse up above. God's calling on our lives is irrevocable. It can't be changed. It can't be undone. It's final. His calling is set in place. It's up to me to live out that calling. Seek out what God wants of me. Spend time in His presence so that that calling can be realized in my life. Open up my heart, and my ears. Listen to my heart of hearts. 

Is Christ's calling evident in your life? What gifts and callings has He placed on your heart?

The Potter





"But who are you, a mere man, to talk back to God? Will what is formed say to the one who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?” Or has the potter no right over the clay, to make from the same lump one piece of pottery for honor and another for dishonor?" (Romans 9:20-21, HCSB).


The imagery of a potter and his clay has long struck me. He created us with a distinct purpose. Both our outward appearance and inward traits are unique, our own, and so beautiful. We are no mistake. He breathed life into us, knowing every day that we would live upon this earth, "before one of them came to be" (Psalm 139:16, NIV). 

"And what if He did this to make known the riches of His glory on objects of mercy that He prepared beforehand for glory— on us, the ones He also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? As He also says in Hosea:
'I will call Not My People, My People, and she who is Unloved, Beloved. And it will be in the place where they were told,you are not My people, there they will be called sons of the living God'"(Romans 9:23-26, HCSB).

Way back in Genesis, we read about God's great plan, how He promised to make an entire nation out of one man's descendants (Abraham). The Israelites have long been God's chosen people. Out of Abraham's line eventually came Jesus, who would bridge the gap for Jews and for Gentiles. The People who were not His people would have a way to become His people. They, too, would be called the sons of God. 

Jesus Christ bridged that gap, His death and resurrection made it possible for all of us to have eternal life. Not through any acts we have personally done, but through accepting the great price Jesus paid for all of us.

I loved reading these verses from Romans this morning. It was such a great reminder of how intentional God is. He is the great Potter, who makes no mistakes when forming His clay. I have a specific reason for being here, my looks, my likes, my dislikes, my passions, the things I enjoy here on earth, are for a reason. He created me to serve Him. To bring glory to Him in everything. And through Christ, I, a Gentile, am a part of the Kingdom of God. 

Eternal life wasn't just for the Jewish nation, but for me, and you as well.

There was always a plan, from the beginning.

Isn't it nice knowing that God didn't make a mistake?

He placed you here on earth, in the family you're in, with your strengths and weakness, for a very distinct purpose.

Live in the freedom today. Live in that knowledge today.

Be encouraged, friend. The Potter made something beautiful when He made you!


No Hold


" For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree with the law that it is good.  So now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do" (Romans 7:HCSB).

There are still days that I feel this way. I say things I immediately regret. I get angry with my daughter, when I should have held my temper. I make assumptions about those around me, only to be proven wrong. This world is a broken one, and I often live right in it.

But there's a beautiful thing. A thing I don't deserve. An act that has set me free from the world and its entanglements. Yes, I have bad moments, moments in which I'm not at my best, but it's marvelous to realize that those moments are already covered. Those moments are already forgiven. I can step forward, looking toward a better tomorrow. A day in which I"m more like Christ. Yes, i may still slip on in that day, but I have something to aspire to be. Someone to be like. Someone who died on the cross for my sins. Someone who has set me free.

"Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death" (Romans 8:1-2, HCSB).

I have been set free. What a marvelous thought! Even in my worse moments, sin truly has no hold over me. I can give those low moments over to Christ, and look toward a better tomorrow with a slate that is washed cleaned. Because my sins have already been forgiven, all of them, yesterday, today and tomorrow. As much as I may think so, sin really has no hold over me. Those words I sometime speak, the anger that sparks up, the assumptions I make, really don't have to be so. I can lay them at the foot of the cross, today and everyday.

Isn't that a marvelous thought? To think that sin has no hold over us? But how to do you get past those moments? How do you truly leave those things at the foot of the cross, not to pick them up again? I'd love to hear your thoughts, your suggestions. For me, it's a daily process. I daily desire to become more like Christ. I'm not there yet, but I'm surely trying.


Not Ashamed


"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. For in it God’s righteousness is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith" (Romans 1:16-17, HCSB).

 "But now, apart from the law, God’s righteousness has been revealed—attested by the Law and the Prophets  —that is, God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe, since there is no distinction.  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a propitiation through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed.  God presented Him to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3: 21-26, HCSB).


There's no differentiation. We're all there, broken, and in need of a Savior. I'm not always the most demonstrative person when it comes to my faith. No, I often live out my faith quietly, hoping it's displayed in every part of my life. I don't believe faith has to be pushy or argumentative. I don't think people are often brought to Christ through an argument or debate. No, I think they're brought to faith through real life examples. People that exhibit God's love, joy and peace. Just the same, I sometimes wonder if I'm too quiet. I wonder if I've passed up moments in which I could have shared God's love verbally. When I could have stepped out in faith and expressed what I truly thought. I wonder if those around me know how much Jesus really does mean to me. How important I do see Him in my life. HE IS MY EVERYTHING. My blog is a way to express that. It's a way for all of you to take a peak into my daily life. To see my failures and frustrations, but to also see my dependence on Christ. Because this life isn't a perfect one. I do slip up. But I also understand the important task of sharing God's love with those around us. God gave us a wonderful gift in His love. It's a love that's free for the taking. None of us deserve such a love. We've all fallen short in so many ways. But He decided to give it to us anyway. Jesus died on the cross for all of our sins, so that we could spend eternity in heaven with him. What an awesome gift of love. A love that's free to anyone who asks. A love that changes us for the better. So if any of you have ever wonder, no, I'm not ashamed of the gospel. I believe that it's a God breathed work that tells us of God's great love for all of us. Will you share that love with someone around you today? Not in a pushy way, but a God-breathed, life giving way. Because this kind of love can't be a secret. No, it's meant to be shared today and every day.

Sharing God's Love


"Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us" (Romans 5: 1-5, HCSB).


My heart is out East tonight, where a devastating hurricane is ravaging the East Coast. It's rather surreal, living so far West. Our skies were blue today, our weather almost balmy. I even took a quick jog before dinner. It's so easy to stay removed, to ignore the news, and to not let my heart become involved. But then I start looking at the pictures, I hear updates on the radio, and my heart begins to hurt. I start to wonder what I could do. How I could become involved. Samaritan's Purse & The Salvation Army are already deeply involved in relief efforts. But where do I fit in? What can I do, from over a thousand miles away? How can I be involved. I truly want to look into these organizations a little bit more, and see if there's a way I can help. I'm sure the days to come will be long ones, even after the storm has completely passed.

Why is this so important to me? Because I have been given something wonderful. A peace that truly passes understanding. A love that I'm truly undeserving of. It's my desire to share this love with the world around me in practical ways. For how can God's love be shared, if I remain silent? If my heart sees a need, shouldn't my feet respond? Just how God will use me and my willing heart, I really don't know. I feel rather stuck here, in the middle of the country, but I know there are still ways to move, still ways to share. It will honestly have to be a matter of thought and prayer. I've never been through a trail quite like the hurricane out East at the moment. But I do know how God works through trials. I know that He teaches us some of life's greatest lessons through the hardest of times. Times of trial are times we learn to depend on Him like never before. I've experienced this through times of grieving, depression, and deployment. All of those times found me on my knees, at the foot of the cross, trusting God's strength would see me through. I pray that the same is true with those out East right now. That they, too, would turn to Jesus like never before. And that I would find some way to help them through this rough time. Because times of need are a time we all realize our true need for Jesus. Isn't it so?

One year later...


Has it really been a year? That day, when I put my husband on a plane, feels so long ago. But still, I remember so many things clearly. Those last mochas we sipped, as we sat in the terminal. My daughter, playing with a little ball, rolling it back and forth on the floor. Snapping a few last minute pictures, hoping to capture each moment.  And then, he was gone. One last kiss, and he walked out the door, onto the plane. I watched him leave, and then turned and quickly walked out of the terminal, daughter in hand, not wanting to cry in the midst of strangers.

Even in the car, the tears, strangely, didn’t come. No, instead I drove, deep in thought, all the way across town to an outdoor shopping mall. There, little E and I had lunch, bought a new shirt, and chatted with the people we met along the way.

It was a strangely pleasant day, as if our life wasn’t in an upheaval.

Yes, I cried many a tear later that night. But, even then, my heart truly felt at peace.

In a moment of high stress and anxiety, my heart was calm. While my emotions were greatly out of whack, my heart still knew what it believed.

It’s always my desire to study scripture, to pray and know God’s word by heart. My hope is that it will serve me well in this life, as I face life’s crazy circumstances. I truly want the word of God to live within my heart. I can think of several dramatic moments in my life, when just the right verse came to mind. The verse that came to mind on this day surprised me. It was different then what I would have expected. But definitely a reminder I needed then, and perhaps, even now.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, NIV).

God works for the good.

Even our deployment experience was for His good. How? I can’t fully explain. To this day I’m honestly not sure. But in that moment, there was peace in my heart knowing that I was in the midst of God’s plan. That He was at work that day, just as He was on the day my husband and I first met.

His plans are greater than our own.

All I do know is that God has used this past year to draw me even closer to Him.

He’s asked me to trust, to obey, and to become even more like Him.

How can that not be a good thing?

Yes, our deployment season was hard, but God brought us through it, just as I’m sure He’ll bring us through things in the future.


So happy one year for us! I’m so thankful my husband is now back home, filling our house with life and laughter this Fall. But I’m even more thankful for my Savior, who works all things for the good.

A Goodbye


I held back the tears as we packed up his bags drove down the road toward town. I laughed as my little girl walked up and down the rows of seats at the airport, trying to make friends with everyone we saw. I tried to enjoy my tall white mocha, as we sat there, waiting for his plane to board. And then, with a last hug and kiss, he boarded. It was as I walked away from the gate that a few well-guarded tears began to fall. Just a few, I was in public after all.

I made it to the car, strapped my little girl into her seat and drove across town to an outdoor shopping mall. There my girl and I had lunch and I bought a new shirt. Our time shopping seemed, normal, which seemed wrong for a day like today. People smiled at me and commented on how adorable my little one was. The store clerk told me to have a nice day. And I told her the same in return.

As I drove back to the house I looked at the crystal blue sky outside, and the beautiful landscape before me. It all seemed too beautiful. Shouldn’t the world be rainy on a day like this?

 But it wasn’t.

Life continues to move on, be it at a slower, slightly dragging pace for now.

And life is still beautiful.

My daughter still giggles.

The weather’s still gorgeous.

New yummy restaurants continue to open up.

God is still good.


“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, NIV).


Even on days like this, I have to trust that God is in control. I have to trust that even less than ideal things are working toward an ultimate good. What that is I do not know, maybe I never will, but I’ll be a willing vessel until then.


A praying-every-second kind of day


There are days when I can’t help but see God’s majesty. As the air gets cooler and the leaves begin to change, I see the beautiful canvass of this world set before me and I can't help but smile. There's really nothing better than taking in the Autumn leaves while sipping on a cup of tea. I'm content in those times.

But there are other days as well, days when I doubt, days when the world around me looks bleak, days when I emotionally can’t handle anything else.

And so I pray.

I offer up my insecurities and fears. I persist in perusing my Savior and trust Him to fill in the gaps. I choose to see the good in each and every situation.

I pray by the day, the hour, the minute, the second. If constant prayer is what it takes, then so be it.

I give my concerns time and again back to the One who is truly in control.

It's a battle that I'm determined to give over to my Savior. It's a battle I was never meant to fight on my own.

It's a battle for joy, for peace, for contentment. The enemy tries to steal beautiful moments from me, moments my Savior has given me to enjoy. And so, by praying, I embrace each moment God has given me in this life.

Do you ever have praying-every-second kinds of days?

Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer” (Romans 12:12 HCSB).

“With every prayer and request, pray at all times in the Spirit, and stay alert in this, with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18 HCSB).

Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6 HCSB).

“Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2, HCSB).