Sunday, 18 January 2015

"Is Passed"

   "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me,
hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."
John 5:24 Authorized King James Version.

   I don't normally read the KJV Bible, but recently have delved into the words of Jesus in the KJV. Words that I've heard so many times, even at times preached wrongly, that they lost their luster to my eyes. But because I am not as familiar with the King James Version and the language is so different, it hits me fresh and in a new light. The bit of difficulty in the language and need to study harder to find the meaning is rewarding to me. One verse in particular utterly captivated my heart... and commandeered my attention.

"But is passed", not "has passed" from death unto life. I've read this verse so many times in the NIV and other modern translations, but it really caught my attention in the King James Version when I read it. The grammar nazi in me wants it to read "has passed" since both "has" and "passed" are past tense. But it reads "is passed", is being present tense, and passed being past tense. We live in a continuous state of having passed from death into life.     

   As I was contemplating the complexities of this reality, this living in a constant state of having passed from death unto life, another line of thought came to mind. What is the only reason I cannot simultaneously be in both Alaska and Kansas? The answer; Time. Time is the only reason I can not be in both places. I can go to and be in Alaska, and I can go to and be in Kansas. The only thing I can not do is be in both places at the same time. If you take time out of the equation it becomes a whole new playing field. There is no time in eternity. Therefore in eternity we are not limited by time nor tenses (past and future come from having time. In eternity there is only the now, the forever present tense. Or, as I like to say, the forever presence tense). Inside of time we are limited by both time and tenses in our ability to experience. We are not limited in our ability to experience in eternity. We are not limited by tenses in eternity. We can experience the fullness of God WITHOUT LIMIT! A limitless experience... for eternity. 

   We live in a state of having passed from death unto life, and one day will be unlimited in our ability to experience Him. We get to experience God completely for all of eternity! Do you know what that means??? Do you have any idea what we get to look forward to??? No wonder Paul said to die is gain! We have life to the full, for one day we will experience Him to the full! And that, my beloved, is worth living for.


Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Glorious and Inexpressible Joy

   Are you filled with joy? Are you filled glorious and inexpressible joy? Because if you are not, then you are not living as God would have you to live. You are not stepping into the destiny that God has for you. You are not fully accepting the gift from God that was bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ.

   Joy is an emotion from the Lord. When we feel God’s emotions, when we feel what God is feeling with Him, our hearts become even more intertwined with His than before. When we feel His joy, His love, His tenderheartedness, and when our hearts break when His heart breaks, our hearts become tied together with God’s. Our hearts can become so intertwined together that no one will be able to tell where one begins and the other ends. And there is power when that happens.

1 Peter 1:8 says, "Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy." Our joy comes from knowing what He has done for us, will one day allow us to see Him face to face. We will one day know Him as He knows us (1 Corinthians 13:12). Do you know what that means? Do you have any idea how intimately He knows us? Our thoughts, our deeds, our desires, our emotion, our personality, our tastes. He knows every single nuance and quirk of our being.  He knows every hair on our head. He knows what makes our heart beat faster and what excites us and what long for with all of our being. And we will one day know Him as He know us! Do you know what that means? Even angels long to look into the things we will one day know (1 Peter 1:11-12). If that doesn't make your heart come alive with glorious and inexpressible joy, than you need to fall in love with your Lover. If that does not bring tears to your eyes and fire to your heart I don't know what will! We will one day see Him face to face and know Him just as we are known. Can you imagine? I can not even begin to fathom what that looks like but that is where I find my inexpressible and unending joy. That is where I find my strength to live for another age. That is how I have hope amidst the hardest circumstances.  

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Words: Life or Death

   Every single word we speak either brings life, or it brings death. They brings light, or they brings darkness. There are no neutral words. And one day we will have to give an account for every careless word we speak (Matthew 12:36-37, "I tell you, on the day of judgement people will give account for careless word they speak.) We will be judged by our words, and we will be set free by our words (Matthew 12:37, For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.).

Every word we speak has power. Proverbs 18:21, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits."

The Bible offers guidance for speech. Psalm 37:30, "The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice." And Proverbs 21:23, Whoever keeps his mouth and tongue keeps himself out of trouble." Also Colossians 4:6, "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."

Holy Spirit will speak through us if we will allow Him. 2 Samuel 32:2, "The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me; His word is on my tongue."

We can enter into covenants on how we will and will not speak. Job 27:4, "My lips will not speak falsehood, and my tongue will not utter deceit."

We can speak with excellence. Proverbs 25:11, "As apples of gold in pictures of silver, is a word spoken in season."

Our words are sharp swords capable of waging great war. Psalm 57:4, "My soul is in the midst of lions; I lie down amid fiery beasts- the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords."

We speak about what we love, and our passion moves out speech. Psalm 39:3, "My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue."

God knows our speech and our motives. Psalm 139:4, "Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it altogether."

   This is a message of warning. For by our words we can bring death and judgement to our souls and to the people around us. We can gossip and slander, speak idly and cloud the atmosphere around us. We can speak death over people, even those we love, with our speech.

   But this is also a message of hope, for by our words we can set captives free, bring hope to the hopeless, bring healing to the broken, and life to the lifeless. We can show the love of God by our speech, and we can be set free by the words we speak. We can enter into life by our words.

   It is a message of hope because it declares we can change the life of people we come into contact with everyday. The times we witness without seeing fruit, we can know that we still spoke life over that person and that always makes a difference. The conversations with people that don't feel like they matter can matter and declare life over someone, and do more good than we will every see. It is a message of hope because we can bring life to every conversation when we speak.

  So how will you speak? I will be pretty transparent here and admit this is a struggle for me, especially with my family. I struggle with my tone of voice, and am too quick to speak a harsh word (even when not intending to speak harshly). It's something I need to work on, and will work on. So, starting one day at a time, I am going to really work on speaking life, and not death.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

I'm Getting A Puppy!

   I am getting a puppy! After a dream two years in the making, "Reagan" is officially coming home with me Monday, December 1st! Woo hoo!
Reagan is on the far right. Isn't she cute?

    Waiting for this puppy has definitely been a hard lesson on waiting for God's best. When I first started the journey of looking for a puppy I had planned on only having to wait a year. I picked the litter and waited with anticipation as that year of waiting went by. The year passed and the breeding took place, and I was going to get the pick girl out of the litter. I prayed over the puppies everyday, I bought puppy toys, I scheduled school to have time off for her. I couldn't wait till she was born! But the litter wasn't meant to be. The breeding didn't take, and then mom got an infection in her uterus (pyometra) and had to be spayed.

  Devastated does not even begin to describe how I felt. I had so been looking forward to that puppy, and my hopes were crushed. But the breeder was determined to make sure I got a puppy, and so I kept waiting.

   Another year I waited. The breeder had a couple litters in that time, but every litter just wasn't the right one and God would turn my heart to say no. There was even one litter that I desperately wanted a puppy from, but the mom only had one puppy and I was second on the list for a puppy. Things kept not working out.

   Until Reagan's litter. The breeder was repeating one of my all time favorite breedings of hers and wanted to know if I wanted pick girl. I said yes! Not only that it was the same sire as the original litter that didn't work out. I was getting my puppy after all!

   October 13th. 9 precious puppies were born, the exact number of puppies I had prayed for with the original litter. 5 girls and 4 boys, again exactly what I had originally prayed for.

Waiting for God's best was hard. There were times where I considered compromising. I considering giving up the dream of a puppy. I definitely tried to force things to happen faster. But in the end, God's best was worth waiting for. When I met Reagan yesterday I realized how much better God's plans were than mine. God is good, and all things do work together for those who love Him. Even when it doesn't look like it.

                                 So I am getting a puppy, and God is good.



The Old Testament

   I am an Old Testament girl. I love the Old Testament. I always have. The majority (probably 80%) of my devotional time is spent in the Old Testament and almost all of my personal revelation is on passages in the Old Testament. This has been the case since I was a little girl, and as I have grown older I have become amazed at how many Christians don't love the Old Testament. They love the God of the New Testament, they love Jesus, but they read the Old Testament and see an angry God. They try and separate the God of the Old and the God of the New. But you can not separate the two, for they are the same God. If we start trying to pick and choose the sides of God we like and are ok with, we dethrone God and idolize our false ideas of who we think God should be. We start putting ourselves in place of God. We start setting ourselves up as god when we dictate what He can and cannot be. When we decide things like God can be loving, we will believe in that God, but God can't be angry, we don't believe in that God. God can be forgiving and merciful, we like that God. But no, God can't be a holy God that won't tolerate sin, we don't like that God. But they do not realize you cannot separate the two. God cannot be a forgiving God, unless He is a holy God who cannot tolerate sin. Why? Because if God isn't a holy God who cannot tolerate sin, there would have been no need for Him to die in our place so that He may forgive us and be merciful to us. There would be no need to forgive or way to be merciful to us.

   If you find yourself struggling to see a loving God in the Old Testament, here is what I would have you to do. Read the Old Testament (start with Ezekiel 16), not through the lens of an angry God or a God that enjoys suffering, rather through the eyes of a Holy, Jealous, Loving Husband, whose wife not only betrayed Him and became a prostitute but abused their precious children. Yet He wants nothing else but for her to come back to Him. Yea, begging, pleading with her at times to return to Him. And yet burning with Holy Jealousy for her and for the justice of their children. Through all this He promises to have her again, if only she shall return to Him with her whole heart. See a loving God yet? I do. The God of the New Testament who would die for us, is the same God that burns with passion in the Old. They are one and the same. Do not separate the two, for without the first you can not have the latter. Without knowing the first you can not understand the latter.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Meet Searcy, Our New Bloggirl!

Me. How do I describe myself in a single paragraph? The first things that came to mind were intelligent, beautiful, perfect, etc. but so you don't think I'm proud and haughty I shall refrain from such an answer. :p And in reality I'm none of those things. I'm broken, I struggle, I hurt, I deal with insecurity just like any girl, and only by the grace of God am I still standing here today.

No, I did not ruin the dress. It survived
and anyway I bought it on sale for $10.

I am a Child of God, and that is who I am. Everything else is a reflection of His heart, but not directly tied to my identity and who I am. I am 17, homeschooled and always have been. I love animals, especially horses and dogs. I love photography (see my photos here). I am passionate about my Beloved Jesus and the character of God. I am an emerging theologian, apologetic, and writer. I am an evangelist. I absolutely love provoking people into deeper closeness with Jesus, whether that looks like a softly spoken thought, meaningful question, or outright fiery challenge. That makes my heart come alive, and I love it even more when someone provokes me back. 

My middle name is Trouble (seriously, Searcy is my middle name and it legitimately means Trouble). I have a very sarcastic/snarky sense of humor that I have to watch so it doesn’t actually get me in trouble. (Oh, and to all y'all out there that think God is boring and no fun, I am living proof He isn’t. I am made in His image, and I am unbelievably fun, and the farthest thing from boring, so any God who would make me HAS to have a sense of humor!) I am a passionate, all or nothing teenager with a very fiery spirit. I love a good debate, but rarely participate in them as I am also very sensitive to people's feelings and never want to hurt anyone.

I have an amazing mentor, Megan, who is such an incredible woman of God. I am so blessed to have her in my life; she was and is truly a Godsend and she has supported and loved me more than I could ever have asked or imagined. I thought I should mention her, as I will probably quote her a lot in my posts. 

Saturday, 1 November 2014

When God Gave Me Fairies

How many of you truly feel like a daughter of the King? How many of you know that God delights in you? That nothing gives Him more pleasure than being with you and granting you the desires of your heart. God’s heart is the heart of a father. He sees you as His precious daughter. He sits in heaven plotting and planning divine encounters and surprises to make you laugh and smile. Because He loves your smile and He loves the sound of your laughter. He can not help Himself but to do something new to make you smile and laugh again and again and again. He loves it and He can not get enough of hearing you laugh and seeing you smile. The Fathers heart is to delight His daughters.

One of the pictures I took of the fairies God gave me.
I was going through a really hard time in my life a little over a year ago. I didn’t have friends, I was struggling with depression, I was facing a massive struggle and my walk with God was crumbling. My spiritual parents had just moved across the country and I had no one left that I could really lean on anymore. I told God that I would trust Him, but that He had to do something. And God came through for me. Amongst the many things He did, two especially stuck out to me. He sent me a mentor and He gave me fairies. The first is a story for another post and the latter probably has you convinced I’m crazy (and that again is a story for another post). He really did though. God gave me fairies. I was taking a walk with my camera and on the way home the sight that was before my eyes took my breath away.

The sun was hanging low in the sky just before sunset, casting everything in a golden light. And in the light were fairies. Hundreds of thousands of these little bugs (probably midges and mosquitoes) were lit up and aglow in the light. Holy Spirit started speaking to me, reminding me of His love for me. He told me I was going to be ok, I was going to make it through this. He brought back to memory a night from years ago when I was at our church youth group. They had passed around a question box and told everyone to put a question in. The only thing I could think of off the top of my head was, “Are there bugs in heaven.” I was in junior high, I was goofing off with friends, it was a stupid question (the youth leaders even used at as their example of the stupid questions they received in the parents meeting along with their example of good questions). I never expected an answer. But God answered anyway. And when He brought that question back to mind He started telling me how He made everything perfect and beautiful.

The little bugs that I was seeing were created to be creatures of light. They were affected by the fall like all creation, but the purified versions were in heaven. Yes there were bugs in heaven (and I dearly hope by posting this none of you girls decide you don't want to go to heaven, but if it makes you feel any better hell has bugs too and they are nasty and gross there, as the Bible says the worm never dies in hell. Heaven is a much better choice). He answered the stupid question that I asked back in junior high, that I cared nothing about, because it mattered to Him. He heard my voice then, and it mattered to Him that I knew I was heard. That my every cry and question were heard by God and meant something to Him. He told me that He loved me and that He still cared. Though all others had forsaken me, He would carry me through the struggle I was facing. And so I smile every time I see a midge or a mosquito (and unfortunately the mosquitoes still bite me, though not often) because I remember that God loves me, and He cares. I feel like it’s my little secret with God, I see a mosquito and while everyone else gets annoyed my face lights up, because I know what they were created to be. And then I swat the mosquito anyway. :p

This is just one example of something He has done in my life that made me smile. The ways God devises to make you smile and laugh are probably very different from how He makes me smile and laugh. But I know He does do things just to see you smile. Next time you catch yourself smiling, maybe stop and thank God for that moment and know that He loves you. (Then come and comment so we can share the joy with you!) :D

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