Monday, July 25, 2011

A Beautiful Picture

I’m a photographer, so as expected, I love viewing enchanting, inspiring, and adorable photographs, especially of children. But I was reminded of another way that astounding pictures can be painted—with words. In reading Titus 3 this morning I found an amazing picture, something that can not be photographed or painted, but something just as beautiful, and more so.

Verse 3 of chapter 3 started by reminding me of the things we used to be, the things I used to be:
Foolish
Disobedient
Led Astray
Slaves to various passions and pleasures
Malicious
Envious
Hated and hating

Verse 4 begins with “But when...”


But when what?

“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared…”
Oh, how amazing! Stuck in my foolishness and sin, the goodness and loving kindness of God my Savior appeared! But it doesn’t stop there...

“He saved us”

I’m reminded of one of the verses from the hymn It Is Well:

My sin oh, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin not in part, but the whole
Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, O my soul!

What’s so marvelous about this picture of how He saved us is that it implies that we were blind, we were lost, we were helpless by our own power and strength. Because if we could have accomplished this, we wouldn’t have needed saving. But no… 
“He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior” (verses 5-6)

What a glorious picture! In my pit of darkness, entrapped and bound to my sin, Christ saved me! Not because of anything I could have done, but because of His immense mercy.

Isn’t that a beautiful picture? And it’s still not complete!

“…so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (verse 7)



This is unspeakable. Not only did God reach down and set me free from the sin that entangled me, not only did He by His mercy save me though I had no righteousness at all, but He enabled me and every other believer to become heirs to eternal life with Him! 


Are you rejoicing today in what the Lord has done for you?

“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:3-7 (ESV)
Katie

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Divided Movie

Divided, a new documentary put out by the National Center for Family Integrated Churches, questions whether youth group is multiplying or dividing the the church. It is an interesting documentary that asks many good questions. And right now, until mid-September (I believe) you can watch it for FREE on their site! Be sure to check it out.
http://dividedthemovie.com/index.html

Trailer:

Divided Trailer from NCFIC on Vimeo.

Here is the description from the Divided site:
"There is a crisis. Christian youth are rapidly leaving evangelical churches for the world. This well-recognized disaster has been the topic of significant discussion in recent years for both church leaders and modern new media. DIVIDED follows young Christian filmmaker Philip Leclerc on a revealing journey as he seeks answers to what has led his generation away from the church. Traveling across the country conducting research and interviewing church kids, youth ministry experts, evangelists, statisticians, social commentators, and pastors, Philip discovers the shockingly sinister roots of modern, age-segregated church programs, and the equally shocking evidence that the pattern in the Bible for training future generations is at odds with modern church practices. He also discovers a growing number of churches that are abandoning age-segregated Sunday school and youth ministry to embrace the discipleship model that God prescribes in His Word."

Katie

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Words

"The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life."
Proverbs 10:11

What a beautiful picture: our words, which overflow from what's in our hearts, can bring life!

Only when we are are filled with the Spirit can we use our words in this edifying way. It is something that comes from God alone. "For with You is the fountain of life". (Psalm 36:9) When He fills us with His life, we can in turn use our words to bring life to others!

While our words can be a source of life, on the other hand we can use our words for great harm. Do your words bring life, or are they destructive? If you were to think over what you said today, how would your words be categorized?

Katie

Monday, July 4, 2011

College Update

If you haven't personally heard the news...

Just wanted to say that I passed my recent Psychology course, applied and was approved for graduation! I started CLEP testing when I was a junior in high school, and a year after graduating from high school I'm preparing to graduate from college.

I will graduate in September from Thomas Edison State College with my BA in Liberal Arts!

 For those who would like to know what I'm doing next, presently I work as our church secretary, teach piano (which you probably know :) ), and am being trained to counsel at a local Crisis Pregnancy Center. I look forward to what this next semester holds as I direct my studying and learning to other areas. We never stop learning, do we? :)

Katie

P.S. I really am trying to get a "real" post up here. I'm just having a hard time determining what kind of post I want to write.