Monday, December 20, 2010


ruthie. a best friend. a roommate. the reason why birmingham has been good.
she is leaving me. a new season awaits her in louisville, kentucky. i am proud of her. she's trusting that His plan is better.
i am sad. so sad. there have been many tears as these last few days of living in the city of birmingham together have come. it's hard to imagine life here without her. i'm not sure i've ever been in this situation. i've never been the one 'left', i've only been the one leaving to begin the new season.
i don't know what the remainder of my time in birmingham will look like. i know it will be different. very different. it might be lonely. it might be rocky. it might be hard. might not be. what i do know is..that as i've struggled through the past month thinking of what is to come, He has reminded me to TRUST.
and i am.
He is faithful. in the good seasons and in the bad seasons. when my little world feels unsteady, shaken up, and unpredictable, it is then that i grab His hand. it is then that i must depend on Him. oh, i yearn for my life to be free of difficulties BUT it is in the difficult times that my need for Him and awareness of Him is highlighted. and if that's the case, i am able to consider my problems as pure joy. In darkness and sadness, the RADIANCE of His face shines more clearly.
i will miss her. but i am trusting.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

good vs. evil.

Paul's words in Romans are exactly what I've been dealing with.

i do not understand what i do. for what i want to do i do not do, but what i hate i do... i know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. for i have the desire to do what is good, but i cannot carry it out. for what i do is not the good i want to do; no, the evil i do not want to do- this i keep on doing. now if i do what i do not want to do, it is no longer i who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. so i find this law at work: "when i want to do good, evil is right there with me. for in my inner being i delight in God's law; but i see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. what a wretched man i am! who will rescue me from this body of death? THANKS BE TO GOD- THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD!"
therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

[parts of romans 7 & 8]

wow. thats a mouthful isn't it? but i read that recently and the jumbled/scrambled thoughts and attempts i've made to write this out was perfectly communicated by paul. i mean, who would've thought the bible can be so right on?!?

without getting into too much detail [or this would be a book] let me explain. i have been disappointed in myself. i have felt a lot of shame. i have so many desires to do good in this city. i want to build relationships with international people, i want my neighbors to know Christ, i want to love the homeless, i want to intercede for the nations, i want to fight injustice. but, i fail. i could list a million reasons [excuses] of why i have failed. but lets be honest, i am sinful, period. i continually think of these desires of mine and immediately feel shame and disappointment in not accomplishing them.

is it my lack of obedience? discipline? initiative? my selfishness? i don't know, but what i've seen is the way the enemy can wiggle his evil self into something good. and just as paul says, when there is desire to do good, evil is right there with it. that deep desire of mine is God's heart, not me. i am wretched! and too often the sin living in me acts. i KNOW that i am God's. i KNOW that i love Him. i KNOW that His GLORY is my greatest desire.

but, this is a fight. a waging war. and i have realized that i have been acting as a prisoner of the law of sin. NO! He rescued me from this shame and disappointment. He wouldn't have chosen me if He thought i was a failure. He loves me. there is no condemnation in Jesus. i am FREE from the law of sin and death. gosh, to grasp this...draws me to my knees. i am consistently humbled by the merciful King that chose me and loves me. He is worthy of everything.