Convinced

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.–Romans 8:38-39


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Learning Submission on I-95

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It was a joy to share with Domestic Kingdom readers, some of the lessons the Lord taught me about submission on I-95! Please add www.domestickingdom.com to your blog rolls, readers/feeds and to your prayers!

Here’s a snippet:

When we moved from Washington, DC we took a long road trip down the coast to visit family along the way and have our car shipped to the Cayman Islands. We were embarking on a new phase of life and ministry together.

After visiting family in North Carolina, we decided to stop in Savannah, Georgia (I wanted to go to Paula Dean’s Restaurant) and also in Orlando, Florida (for Disney, of course).

Weeks in advance, I started asking Thabiti about our travel plans. Should I go ahead and book hotels? Where would he like to stay and for how long? What other stops should we make along the way? His response– silence.

Click here for the rest of the post…

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A Miracle is Like the Swing of a Sword

“Let me say that a miracle is no cute thing but more like the swing of a sword.”
–Reuban Land, main character in Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

I read this wonderfully written book recently and was struck by the author’s ability to summarize and foretell pivotal events in the story through profound statements that capture much more than merely guiding the reader along the plot of a good book. Peace Like a River is a story that is woven from start to finish with the miraculous. Here are some of my favorite “miracle quotes” (in bold) from the story, and how they led me into thinking more about the miraculous in my own life and experiences.

I was sitting in church, listening to a message about God’s righteous anger toward sin, hearing for the first time that I was a sinner upon whom God’s anger rested. The Lord struck me with the sword of the Spirit, His Word. It pierced my soul and blood began to flow. Not my own blood, but the blood of Christ was poured out on me, purifying me from my sin. As Reuben so insightfully understood, “A miracle contradicts the will of earth”. I had been following the course of this world (“the will of earth”), gratifying the cravings of my sinful nature (Eph 2:1-3), not realizing that I was among the walking dead on this earth. Suddenly, the eyes of my understanding became crystal clear, so that I knew without a doubt that I was on the losing side. I was a sinner in need of the saving grace of Christ. Without Him, I’d be eternally lost, without God and without hope in the world.

Then the miraculous happened–Christ saved me! His blood freed me from my sin. I repented of my bold rebellion and turned to face Christ as my Savior and Lord. It was a miracle that catapulted me from mindlessly serving as the enemy’s minion to joyful service as a warrior in the army of God. “No miracle happens without a witness. Someone to declare, Here’s what I saw. Here’s how it went. Make of it what you will.” (Reuben’s sister Swede). Now, armed with the appropriate defenses–the helmet of salvation, belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace, and the shield of faith–I stand ready to yield my weapon, the sword of God’s Word, for the salvation of others and for attacking the plots and schemes of the enemy against my own soul. Now I get to be a witness. I get to tell others what I saw God do in my own life. How He saved me when I didn’t even know I was lost. And the same gospel that the Lord used to save me, I have the privilege of proclaiming to others, and hoping to witness the same miracle performed in the heart and life of another.

“People fear miracles because they fear being changed–though ignoring them will change you also” (Swede).

Just recently, a new friend asked me to share my assessment of him as a person. Based on prior conversations we’d had, and on my experiences with others who struggle with the sacrifices that Christ demands of them in following Him–“Repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15); “deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me” (Matt 16:24); “Be holy” (1 Pet 1:15-16); “Do not love the world” (1 John 2:15)–how would I answer such a bold yet vulnerable question? Basically, I responded by saying, “I don’t know you very well, but based on conversations we’ve had, and what I’ve observed, you seem to be a very nice guy. You have a big heart and you have a desire to know and follow God, and that’s great! But you also seem to be afraid of what you may have to give up if God saved you and you became a Christian.”

As soon as I said those words, tears welled up in this young man’s eyes, each teardrop adding up the cost of following Christ. He walked away sorrowful because he was afraid of being changed. But fear of being changed doesn’t stop the process, so I’m praying that even now the Lord would be changing his heart so that he would no longer fear the miracle of salvation, but the Sword would swing his way and he would embrace it.


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My Guy

Today marks the beginning of our 22nd year of marriage. Thabiti and I had a sweet day of quiet reflection and teen-like giddiness over the past 21 years the Lord has given us as husband and wife. It’s been a rollercoaster but the ride is not over. The thrill is still at a peak!

In addition to thinking about how well my husband has led our family, and has given himself for me in sacrificial love, I’ve also had this song in my head the past two weeks in anticipation of our anniversary. Enjoy!

 

 


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Grace in the Soul

Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
Poured incessant from above,
And Heav’n’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ
Ephesians 2:4-5

God’s eternal love or good-will toward his creatures is the fountain whence all his mercies flow to us; and that love of God is great love, and that mercy is rich mercy. And every converted sinner is a saved sinner; delivered from sin and wrath. The grace that saves is the free, undeserved goodness and favor of God; and he saves, not by the works of the law, but through faith in Christ Jesus. Grace in the soul is a new life in the soul.

–Matthew Henry, in Matthew Henry Daily Readings: Edited by Randall J. Pederson, entry for July 15