October 14th 2010

Dear Sisters & Fellow Princess Warriors
This has been a truly trying week- one full of battles and lessons from our Captain. I feel as though our Captain would have me share one of these lessons He’s been teaching me with you.
I have been studying the book of Romans for the past few weeks, and earlier this week, I was studying through chapter nine. The Lord took verse fifteen and sixteen and smote me with them.
“For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.”
J. Vernon McGee explains and expounds upon these verses this way:
‘Moses, you recall, wanted to see the glory of God. God said in effect, “I’ll show it to you, Moses, but I’ll not show it to you because you are Moses.” Now, Moses was a very important person…God says, “I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. I will do this for you, not because you are Moses, but because I am God!”…Human-willing and working are not motivating causes of God’s actions. Man thinks that his decision and his effort cause God to look with favor upon him. Stifler states it succinctly when he says, “willing and running may indicate the possession of grace, but they are not the originating cause.” God extends mercy”
Or decides to use us
“and He does it because He is God… bow before Him today!”
This is what God showed me through this passage of Scripture and devotional study:
Sometimes, when the Lord, in His infinite goodness, chooses to work through us in some way, without even really doing it or knowing we are, we allow ourselves to be lifted up in/with pride. When the Lord chooses to use us, it’s not because of anything we’ve done. It’s not because of who we are or how good we are. It’s because He’s sovereign and has a purpose He’s accomplishing through us. He doesn’t use me because I’m so spiritual or because I’ve arrived on some high and mighty spiritual plain—oh no. He could totally use somebody else. He uses me to show someone else (even if it’s only me!) how powerful of a God He is if He can take my wicked, sinful self, and my impure, selfish motives, and work through them to do something good! God, through His sovereign will and grace may use a wretched, low-down, selfish sinner like me to accomplish His will or do great things for Him—but only so He will somehow get the glory!! So when I’m am praised for something “good” I’ve done (and the Scripture makes it very clear in Psalms 14:3, Psalms 53:3, and Romans 3:12 that no one can do good. Any “good” we do of ourselves, on our own, in our own sinful flesh, is as filthy rags, Isaiah 64:6) I aught to take that praise and reflect it right back to the One it belongs to- right back to Jesus. When someone tells me that I did a good job singing that solo, or that I did a great job cleaning the church kitchen, or that I was a big help in children’s church, or that I was a blessing, or that I sent that card at the perfect time, my response aught to be “praise God!” (Because it was Him doing the good work through me if I am saved and by that salvation have the Holy Spirit living inside of me- Galatians 5:25 and 1st Peter 4:6b). At least, this aught to be my response… But how often is it? How often do I take the focus off of myself, where it doesn’t belong, by praising God, as opposed to how often I receive that praise with a “thank you”?
The day before I had these devotions, I had the very humbling experience of going to someone and having to admit my wrong and apologize to them for something. God used that painful but very necessary exercise to show me, as He’s graciously done before, just how sinful I am, and how very, very blessed I am that He even chooses to use me as a vessel for His use in the first place! He used it to say, “See, Katie, you’re not as good as you think you are. So why are you accepting all these accolades, my Child, for things that I have done and simply allowed you to be part of?” I had allowed myself to be lifted up in pride—and not even realized it! L
So instead of accepting praise for things I’ve done or am doing or will do, I need to reflect the praise and glory back to the One to whom it belongs before I’m tempted to glory even the slightest bit in the satisfaction that I did something good!
Praise God, dear sisters! He’s so worthy of it!
Praise God!!!

True Beauty

My dad's job requires him to travel daily all over Michigan and fix and maintain the computer equipment in courtrooms. Every 10,000 miles he does on the van (it's work-issued) he has to go in and get an oil change. That's when he and I get to go on our Daddy/Daughter Dates :)
This last weekend, he finally got to get an oil change!! So we went out to Penara bread as we waited. I realized on the way home what a spiritual energizer these dates are for me! I hope that I am/can be as encouraging to him as he is to me on these dates-- he totally got me pumped for the Lord. Not that I was out of gas, but now I'm revving at full speed! What a blessing is my daddy! lol
Anyway, in the van on the way there, he handed me his IPhone (also work issued !!!!!) and made me read this email. It was such a blessing and totally practical, I had him email it to me so I could post it here.

True Beauty
Devotional thought from the messages of Adrian Rogers
1 Peter 3:4b - “... even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”
Are you a woman struggling with the way you look? We all know that women want to be beautiful, especially to their husbands and boyfriends, but so often women think that beauty is found at a cosmetics counter, on a dress rack, or in a jewelry box. Those things are corruptible, and what’s in vogue today is out of fashion when next year’s supermodels hit the runway. The only thing that will make you more beautiful, day after day, is what you nurture within yourself: serenity. The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit is worth far more than the most expensive jewel you can wear around your neck.
Stand in front of the mirror today. Imagine Jesus by your side, and ask Him to create in you a gentle and quiet spirit of love.

I hope this is a blessing to you today, dear sisters!
(the content of this post come from Love Worth Finding Ministries)

Monday 10/4/2010 Devotions

This is what I read this morning during my time with my Savior and certain verses that stuck out to me as special.
Psalms 4 (the whole entire thing was simply amazing! God is SO good!)
               ~~ God hears me when i call out to Him
               ~~ God takes perfect care of me
               ~~"Stand in awe and sin not"
               ~~He puts joy in my heart! (verses 7-8)
Psalms 34 (again, the whole thing was so wonderful! Every verse seemed to speak in a certain distinct way)
Psalms 64:1, 9-10
Psalms 94:8-12, 15, 17-19, 22
Psalms 124:8

True Happiness

Hey Dear Sisters!
I'm sorry this post is so long overdue. I've spent the weekend at my grandparents and they are blessed with this lovely thing called an Internet connection at home--something I don't have anymore :( so I've been enjoying myself with that luxury/blessing (and it really is one too! if you're normal and have Internet at your house, no matter how slow, be thankful because some people actually have it!! -- that'd be me lol) but anyway, so here I've been basking in the use of the Internet-- and I was doing good stuff too!!! I was really surfing around other amazing blogs that other sisters have started and do, and i was looking up all this stuff and doing a lot of "research", and i won't lie, i was doing a considerable amount of playing around as well :) . But then in church this morning my grandma's pastor said something that got me thinking-- and it was only vaguely related-- but it was like God said, "Katie, you've had four days of unimpeded Internet service and how much of that have you used to benefit others as opposed to benefiting yourself?" ...
The ratio was like 95% me, 5% others.
It's funny how we can get so caught up in other things--even good things!-- and miss out on the opportunity to really model Christ and His love and also to be a blessing to others by our service to them.
You'll notice the title of this post is "true happiness"-- I had a happy time tonight as i had the awesome privilege to spend time with my oldest and one of my very best friends--who i never get to see anymore! :( But we had a few hours to spend together tonight. But as we talked, God gave me the inspiration and she gave me the incentive to share with you some passages from a book I've been reading.
The book is entitled God Girl and it's by Hayley DiMarco. It's about how a girl of God aught to behave and the character qualities she should exhibit. One of them is "true happiness". Even though the principles she brings to light are simple, they're totally profound and unique, and are challenging my way of thinking! I just wanted to share a few of them with you!
     "...Happiness is based not on circumstances or success, but on the very nature of God. He promises to be your joy...Happiness is found not in your circumstances, but in your thoughts."
     "A girl who knows true happiness is a girl who knows truth and loves it. Unhappiness comes when you know the truth but you aren't so happy about it and when you do things that disagree with what you know to be right."
     "A God Girl knows true happiness because she isn't lying to herself about what her heart knows, but she puts all her faith on the fact that God is trustworthy...True happiness is within the reach of anyone willing to risk taking God at His Word and refusing to believe anything else, even if she feels it deeply or hears it repeatedly."

                      is this hitting anyone else? or am i the only one wincing here?!

i know i tend to focus WAY to much on my feelings. but it really struck me the way she goes on to state how we can have true happiness. The first point is to "tell yourself the truth"-- or quit lying to ourselves. This is something i never really thought about like this before.
     "The pursuit of truth is the passion of every God Girl."
Right-- got that. I want the truth, to know it, to search for it, to hold to it firmly once I've found it.
     "God offers you...the most that you could ever receive, and all you have to do is to tell yourself the truth. And the only way to know what that truth is, is to look into the Word of God. In every area where she has trouble, the God Girl searches out the truth and then repeats it to herself. She takes those lies she's been believing and edits them out of her vocabulary."
     "Anytime you say "I can't," "it's too hard," "I'm depressed," or "I'm afraid"; anytime you panic or worry; anytime you act in anger, bitterness, or frustration-- you are lying to yourself."
And here's the kicker:
     "God's Word is all true, so if what you say or believe is the opposite of God's Word, it's a lie. Lies make you unhappy. They destroy lives and make things difficult. But the Truth gives you strength, hope, and power."
those are POWERFUL words dear sisters! sometimes we allow ourselves to plummet into unhappiness or depression because we believe the lies that the devil daily spits at us. And he has special, tailor-made ones for each of us. He's not all-knowing like God, but he's not stupid either! He's knows your weak points! He knows mine!
And sometimes too, we allow ourselves to dwell on all the troubles and problems in our lives, instead of counting our blessings and standing on the promises. Instead of thinking, 'you know, it'd really be nice if i had Internet connection at my house', i should be thinking 'you know, i have my own laptop, which many people don't. I have three libraries, however hick-ish and small, that all have (free!!!) Internet access i can use, within six miles, ten minutes, of my house' praise God for it!
So... (i swear i didn't set out to write a book! lol it just was like once i got going, thoughts just kept coming)
I'm making it a point this week to every day try to train my thought into this direction/way of thinking. I challenge you to join me, dear sisters!!!!! Every morning let's set out on the fresh day our Lord has seen fit to bless us with with a prayer to Him to guide us in this decision and to train our thoughts to dwelling on the truth (which He tells us that His "Word is truth" (John 17:17)-- so let's be in it so we know what it is to think on it!!!) and ask Him to help us. Let's purpose each morning/day not to plummet into despair at the very real problems we may be facing, but to dive into the Word for consolation and the truth which brings us true happiness!! (Psalms 119:81,82,83,86,87,88 &92-94 tells us to do just that! verses 81-88 say four times right in a row that even when everything seems to be going wrong, we are to hope, remember, not forsake, and keep God's Word! Verses 92-94 tell us whenever we're afflicted to open God's Word!!!)And be willing to take God at His Word-- I'd say it's a risk worth taking!!!
Let's purpose to open God's Word in moments of discouragement, anger, frustration, hurt, despair, or fear!!! Don't plummet into despair~~~
                                              Dive into the Word!!!
I love you all so very very much!
Love and prayers in Christ!