Skip navigation

One of my favorite quotes (not for great theological content, but because I say it so often and am taught by it) is “Tell me when, tell me where, tell me how… and THEN I’ll trust you, God!”

It happens so much. Lately, with being an intern this summer and all, my biggest “AHH” topic of discussion is whether I’ve actually been serving God. I had a TON of fun this summer – I could go on about how I learned how to teach a lesson, or stole keys so my brother in Christ could play a prank on someone, or how I got sick in the middle of VBS week but God provided, or how I prayed with my big sister at 1:20 in the morning, or how I did so much in the kitchen {unintentionally} that my boss told me I was overworking {and that being the cause of my fever} and he helped me rest, or how I acted as a boy in a drama who loved X-Men and Transformers (and who wore a boy outfit with skinny jeans), or how I played guitar with my other brother Ehkaw, and eventually with the band, LITC (Light in the Community). Or how my boss gave me priceless biblical insights, how my big brother prayed for me when I was sick, feverish, stressed, and obviously not-okay, how God worked everything out for gym on a day I thought I couldn’t do it, how my big sister and I really had good times, even though we’re really different.

I had fun.

And while serving the Lord is indeed a joy, I know sacrifice has to be involved. The passage in scripture I really hung out with was 1 Corinthians 13 – a passage that teaches agape love. Self-sacrificial love. The kind of love that gives itself up. 

Even Jesus, who was the perfect example of Agape, said “For whoever desires to save his life will loose it, but whoever looses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:25) “Whoever loves his father or his mother more than Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matthew 10:37)

It kind of involves sacrifice. Jesus is God, and serving His Father involved sacrifice. Yea… so needless to say, I feel like a slacker. I hardly sacrificed anything. Yuck.

So I actually talked with my boss about this… my exact words were “Micah says there’s definitely a problem when you’re a Christian and you’re not being persecuted. So Jeff, where do I go to get persecuted?”

Jeff talked for a while with me about this. I shared every problem I’d had that summer, like “I wasn’t serving the Lord.” “I’m not living my faith enough because CLEARLY I’m not getting persecuted.”

His first words of wisdom were, “I don’t think persecution’s the kind of thing you need to seek out…if you’re serving the Lord, it will definitely come.” {Sure enough, the next week, I got a fever.} He pointed out that if my heart was serving the Lord fully, my actions probably wouldn’t change very much. Maybe not at all. It’s all about the heart! When I was talking with some teen girls {we were discussing Ecclesiastes together}, I asked “So what’s the difference between a non-Christian helping the homeless, or running an after-school program and a Christian doing all that?”

The heart!

There’s a Proverb that says for us to guard our hearts, because out of them spring the issues of life. Oh yes. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Where was my treasure this summer? Where is my treasure right now?

It’s so easy, when life goes bad, to rely on God. To confess sin, and trust Him – because clearly, in those moments, the world is fallible. But when things are going well – when we live in prosperity; have luxuries and comfort; are having fun – we love to take God’s blessings and act like we were the ones who initiated them.

But no matter what season of life we’re in, we are called to serve the Lord and lean on His strength. {Someone once said that it’s easier to lean on God in the hard times than the good; so when we have good times, it’s spiritual discipline to really lean on His strength.}

If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

-1 Peter 4:11

My ESV study Bible explains this as actually drawing on God’s strength – as in, not using our own strength, but God’s. And that kind of serving brings glory to God!!!

To somehow tie this all together, God has you and me in a specific season right now. It may be one of material prosperity; it may be material poverty. {Or maybe just being okay ;).} But wherever you are, it’s absolutely NOT by accident.

Use whatever season you’re in to bring glory to God, and God alone. Serve God; serve others with the ability God supplies… that in all things God may be glorified!

Not dust… You!! oh Father, the dust wants me so bad! It’s menacing against me… claws thrashing; fangs chomping. It looked so nice at first! But now, it’s truly rotted in my stomach…

Yet my eyes ever lust… my mind ever wanders. “Surely there’s more. If only I dream about the mysteries of that dust more, then maybe – just maybe – they’ll come true. Just one more thing of beauty in that dust – then my heart will rest.”

Stooping, I gaze into a vast unexplored canyon – you guessed it, brimming with dust. “Surely… oh Father, this holds such possibilities! Wait here, just a moment… You redeem time… I’m going treasure hunting.”

Without looking behind at the God I think I’ve ditched (temporarily, of course – I’ll come back when I have a problem, yes?), my feet wander.

I kneel, gaze fully devoted to the dust. My head bows… I dig viciously with my hands. Inch after inch reveal nothing… but then I find exciting fairy tales. Dream upon dream I dream… I kiss the dust. “Surely this is better than God! He’ll always be there if something goes bad… redeeming time.” 

In one fleeting moment, the piles of dust I’ve adored and collected vanish. My hands soiled, my stomach sour, I stare in horror.

Gone. 

The canyon, so beckoning before, shows itself for what it truly is. Dust. Useless.

“Oh!” I think. “It really was… uh… dust.”

Gone.

“When I cry out to You, then my enemies will turn back; this I know, because God is for me. … Give us help from trouble, for vain is the help of man. Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies. … I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.” ~Psalm 56:9, 60:11-12, 61:4

I turn around, back to the canyon that devoured my time. He’s standing there… love deep in His eyes, arms outstretched. I fall, sobbing, into His arms.

My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to Your word! Let my soul live and praise You, and let Your rules help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, for I do not forget Your commandments.  ~Psalm 119:25, 175-176

She goes undercover, most of her life. She has several aliases; masks of all sizes and shapes fill her closet. Her course into my life varies, but my, when she finds her way in…

She doesn’t like working alone, mostly for fear I’ll discover who she is. She pulls in friends like Guilt, Pride, and Stress in to do dirty work. But needless to say, she’s the mastermind of my enemies. Quite the sneaky one, she is.

Her boss is the Enemy of each and every child of the King. He longs to usurp the true King’s authority… his chief officer joins him in this war. She fights her hardest because, like every officer of the Enemy, she knows that her time is quickly running out. Soon she, along with the Enemy, will get sent to utmost punishment for eternity.

My enemy is Fear. 

Yet the King sent His beloved Son to defeat Fear. Fear, really, has been defeated. So why do I waste time fighting with someone who is already doomed to destruction?

Again, Fear hisses, “Oh Michelle… You’ve failed your King too many times! What if he never accepts you? You’re SUCH a mess, and He shouldn’t have to waste His time fixing Your little problems… listening to you whine.”

You will forget what to do in that most important moment.

And, God in His stubborness, will carry on with His plan anyway.

You will fail at least once, and probably more.

You will think you are incapable.

And sometimes you will be.

But God, in His audacity, will use you anyway.

You will miss opportunities.

You’ll take steps you shouldn’t.

You’ll walk through the wrong door and shut the right one.

And somehow, inexplicably, God will get you there anyway.

You will be hard to live with sometimes.

You will fall short.

You will forget to stand tall.

And, God, uncaring of what’s cool will say, “That one’s mine” anyway.

-Holley Gerth

 

Hey y’all!! 🙂

Here are pictures I took/edited from Whiter Than Snow :).

Backstage practicing!

I walk offstage, my mind in a blur, my heart racing. My legs are numb – rare for me, after I’ve danced. Stress floods my heart. I try to talk, but my voice comes out cracked… more like a whisper. “How’d you do?” I ask one of my Radiant sisters. “Oh, just horrible!” 

Yes, my friend. So did I.

Thankfully, our little incident occurred at dress rehearsal, not at show. This probably effected the physical and mental demise it did because this song {was} my favorite. I still love it, but my heart’s cry sings louder in this season of my life with “Make Me Over” by Natalie Grant… not so much {problem song} anymore. I still love the message – worship while we’re waiting. It’s beautiful. And yet I felt as though by dancing, I was sure to be distracting the audience from worshiping, not leading them.

My best friend let me borrow “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp – we didn’t have time to read it while she was here, so she was sweet and selfless and let me keep it for a few days. Ann is such a beautifully poetic writer… and her message is dear. The Lord uses gratitude to take us deeper into the mystery of His salvation. Gee – a month ago, salvation wouldn’t quite have struck me as a mystery. Then again, a month ago, I was struggling so terribly with discontentment, I couldn’t bear it.

Ann talks about the ten lepers Jesus healed. We all probably know how only one returned to thank Jesus… but remember what Jesus said? “Your faith has healed you.”

HEALED him? Jesus, the ungrateful lepers were healed too. What do you mean, healed?

The Greek word for healed {I think? Dear me, it’s too late} ends up meaning “fullness, complete”. Oh yes, the other nine lepers were physically healed. But this one guy who came and bowed in gratitude truly touched Jesus’ heart. This man was blessed in that he could enjoy Jesus’ salvation more freely. By thankfulness. In everything, everything, give thanks. 

Tomorrow, we’re going to have to dance our songs onstage. I’m privileged beyond belief to be able to lead worship in that way…

Yes Lord, I’m thankful. I’m thankful I get to dance with such precious girls – such wonderful, worshipful dancers. I’m thankful that You delight in my worship, even when my ankle gives way, I loose my balance. Father, You delight in ME. 

Teach us to see ourselves the way You do. I’ve been too ungrateful for too long – and I’ve wasted such lovely years of my life doing so. Continue to teach us thankfulness in the little things, and Lord, please continue to unravel the mysteries of Your peace and joy in each of our lives. Your thankfulness… the thankfulness Jesus had in His heart even when He died. The thankfulness that fills me with joy in You… not in my dance ability, not in my dreams. 

You, and You alone! ❤

…I’m busy

…I’m obsessed with sewing

…I’m getting way too involved in doing dance-business, instead of preparing my heart

…I’m giving my advice, instead of love

…I’m letting my heart drift away from my Daddy

…I’m praying for people out of sinful motives

…I’m promising to pray and not praying

…I’m dwelling on insecurities instead of the servant God destined me to be

…I’m trying to impress people, NOT God

…I’m “forgetting” about doing Latin

…I’m jealous of other peoples’ gifts

Even then – God still loves me, carries me, sings over me, promises to protect and guide me, and loves my worship just the same. His love never fails. 

 

Note: if God lays it on your heart, could you pray for our dance ministry in this busy season? Not just that the production will be wonderful or that stress won’t be at an infuriating high, but that we’d evaluate our priorities, and continually surrender our worries to our Lord? Especially for my Mom #2, that she’ll find her rest in Jesus, especially with her crazy-busy busyness. Oh, thank you!

Speaking of the show… 🙂

(I liked this better than the official invite, hence the reason it’s kinda cut off at the bottom.)

Praise His Name With Dancing
presents
Whiter Than Snow
 
“Beauty is only skin deep”…or is it?
Come experience the beauty and creativity of Whiter Than Snow, an adventure for all ages!
Full of contemporary song and dance, enchanting drama, and colorful costumes
 that will captivate your heart.
You’re sure to enjoy the journey of Snow as she discovers
“who’s the fairest of them all.”

 

 Saturday, June 11, 7:30 p.m.  &  Sunday, June 12, 3:30 p.m.


North High School Auditorium
985 Gorge Blvd., Akron, OH  44310

Free Admission!

Wow – after all these months of talking about “I’m gonna be an intern this summer at Urban Vision” , it’s actually happened! Well, that is to say, we had our first meeting. And it went SO well, I just wanted to share with you a bit of what they’re like, and how powerfully faith-stretching it is!

First, I had to go to UV early and help with the Fiasco – I mean, the Kid’s Club. I just knew Mr. Rodney was up to something when he invited – I mean, commanded – me to help with 3-year-olds. I have met my match, y’all. A tiny (RED! NOO) room full of children who are all crawling on you at the exact same time, yelling things, taking too long in the bathroom, getting lost, yelling some more…. I think 4-5 3-year-olds are nice. Not twenty. Anyway, I endured, slightly set aback when the leader commented to me, “My, these kids, they’s doing real good today!” Really, I almost fainted. I don’t want to see a bad day. No sir. 

Thankfully, I’d packed some of my bread and Craisins, and before the intern meeting really started, I ate them and gained my brain’s control. I got to meet the other intern, Maggie (from the outside, Jeff calls us. It’s his nice way of saying we don’t attend Urban Vision; we volunteer there.). She was really sweet, and we’ve both had similar in-a-sport-and-pulled-out-temporarily-for-UV stories. Jeff told us and April Paw to lead worship, which just meant picking out one song each and talking about what it meant to us. Even though there were 8 teens total, I was still kinda nervous about talking. I detest public speaking, y’all. But I picked “Trading My Sorrows”, and managed a fun little speech on how when I’m having a bad day, I’ll stick my struggles in. “I’m trading my fear, I’m trading my jealousy, I’m trading them all for the joy of the Lord.” Not as bad as I thought, for sure ;). And it was really fun to worship with the other teens.

Then, Jeff asked us each to share a time in our lives when we’d really felt close to God -or- something God’s been teaching us lately. Currently, I’m struggling with a fear of loneliness and some slight possessive-ness with my best friend. So as I sat there, heart beating much to fast, I felt nudged to reach into my pocket for my index card. Sammie’s inspired me, at the beginning of the day, to write a verse or word from God on that card, and carry it as a reminder of His love. So the verses I wrote on that card were from Psalm 71, mostly about God being our strong habitation. It was kind of fun, too, how just recently, God showed me a treasure in the Great Commission. So when my turn came, I went up front with a Bible and my index card… worried. But you know, my Daddy just held me the whole way.

I talked of how I’ve been fearful of loneliness – how I cling to my best friend and encouragement from people I know. Encouragement and admiration aren’t wrong, but I totally cling to them WAY too much – from people. I told of my desire to go and be a missionary in Thailand, teaching the refugees and how I was scared because I would be alone. Then I read from my index card, truly comforted by my Daddy’s sweet voice, “I AM your strong habitation! I gotcha tight.” Then I read through the Great Commission.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you alwayseven to the end of the age.” Amen.

(Matthew 28:19-20)

I love how Jesus ended on a promise, not a command! ❤ You….

So after sharing all that, we had some accountability-group time. I’m with Ba Bler (Bobbi, more commonly known). I shared a struggle I have and how she could help, and she did the same. And then I felt like I was Sam, talking to me… which is a very very good thing! I was on God-high, telling her what I do when I don’t want to read the Bible. I told her, “Sometimes, I just say ‘Look, Daddy… I REALLY don’t want to dig into Your Word today! Help!’, and then open my Bible, and BAM! There’s something there I really needed.” Well, I plunked a Bible open at the same time I was saying all this, and found this gem:

Again the word of the LORD of hosts came, saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts:
‘ I am zealous for Zion with great zeal;
With great fervor I am zealous for her.’” ~Zechariah 8:1-2

We’re totally part of this promise as Gentiles – God’s grafted us on to the Jewish vine, so to speak.

Let that sink in! God, the perfect, all-powerful, amazing God, is jealous for us! Qanna – jealous. Wow… and that was a day I really needed to hear that. I’m not sure how much it helped Bobbi but it certainly blessed me!

Hehe I didn’t really start this post intending it to be a “Jehovah series” post. But lookie what God did! (As dance class today proved, when I’m on God-high, I’m also quite talkative and can’t stay on a topic – or, as Sam likes to say, “giddy”. We totally did the exact same thing 3 times today at class, and I got in minor trouble -again- for talking too long after class. This is joy overflowing and out of control, y’all! I just love it ;).)

I just pray our God would fill you with assurance like He did for me today – that He would continually remind you He’s more than enough for all of your needs… He’s just too precious :). So I’m gonna rest in His arms for awhile, and do my Latin, and look at the lovely sunshine. And listen to the birds…

And I’m also going to TRY to stop talking! 😀 (I love Your joy, Daddy….)


I suppose there comes a time when we just really want to share something special that happened in our lives. Even if it goes against the grain of the rest of the blog :). This one is definitely one worth telling, one that will probably embarrass my poor cousin. But it’s a cute story nonetheless, and I hope you enjoy it! Rewind, my dear readers, to the summer of 2001, to 5-year-old Michelle.

August 25 was the date set for my aunt and uncle’s wedding. It would be the first wedding I had ever been to, and it was only 2 days after my birthday. It really made for one happy summer. (I do think this wedding is due, in part, to that fact that as a toddler, I would call my uncle’s girlfriend “aunt”. The lady I deemed as my “aunt” was becoming my aunt for real – and honestly, the wedding made no difference.)

I had been chosen, along with a shy girl I’d never met before, to be a flower girl. The real drama for my aunt began when I threw a temper tantrum over her dress selection (really – a white dress?!). I wanted one with flowers. But after my “I DON’T WANT TO WEAR THIS!!” crisis, I decided the dress wasn’t so bad – and my great-grandma made me a flower pillow in place of a dress. First fiasco – check.

My dress!

Next came rehearsal. This was very exciting for me, too. (Now that I’m a dancer, I realize that I’ve just loved crazy rehearsals my whole life, and that makes bigger ones more exciting :).) We practiced and practiced the walk-down-the-aisle routine, and I caught on to the flower-sprinkling really quickly. Flower Girl #2 didn’t, but that was okay – I really was a performer and I could handle being the only one doing my part. Also, my 2-or-3-year-old cousin was slacking in his role as the ring-bearer. My other aunt got to carry the pillow, while he walked down the aisle. But I couldn’t help with that too much.

Apparently, somewhere along the way, I got annoyed with something and said (with great acclamation, GG says): “I don’t want to be a flower girl.” The family simply trusted the Lord and went on with life, and I ended up re-enjoying the ceremony. I’m convinced 5-year-olds can have hormones too. They just come in different ways.

I begged the coordinator to keep doing the thing again, but finally, we had rehearsal dinner. It was beautiful, from my family’s recollections. I totally zoned out. 🙂 That’s the downfall to having 5-year-olds in your wedding; you could pay for a wonderful dinner and they won’t remember it. At all.

Wedding day dawned bright and happy – I was so excited, I could hardly contain myself. I got in my dress (which I then deemed beautiful) and we had pictures – LOTS of pictures – taken. I saw my beautiful aunt and got really, really excited! I even got to go in her dressing room – all the perfume smells, dresses, makeup, mirrors… it was heavenly :). This, also, I took completely for granted – but I spent my time in there comforting miss Flower Girl #2. She was really a nervous wreck.

Then – the ceremony began! I walked down the aisle, just like I’d been told, and sprinkled my flowers on the aisle. Flower Girl #2 didn’t – she just walked, scared as could be. Now unbeknownst to the delirious performer (myself), my cousin the ring-bearer was having some serious fun behind me. My aunt, naturally, was carrying the pillow, and Alec, well – check these pictures and see if you can tell.

Me doing my part; see Alec in the back?

Look what that guy's holding!

Yes. My cousin was running frantically behind me, exclaiming, “MICHELLE’S SPILLING!!!!” He picked up some of my petals for me, too. I had no idea this had occurred until the reception, when one of the ladies there told me. OOPS.

The reception was amazingly fun. I got to dance with a lot of people – my aunt, uncle, grandpa, other aunt, and who knows who else :). This was one really cute picture from the occasion:

Aww 🙂

The only other thing I really remember is there being a pile of spilled spinach on the floor – my cousin and I were a bit bothered by that. Misgivings aside, the reception was nicely done. 🙂 And misgivings included, this was the most entertaining wedding I’ve been to! I really didn’t get the beauty of marriage back then, but now, I’ve gotta say Melody and Josiah’s was the best yet :).

I really and truly don’t know why I felt like sharing that. Maybe because my great-grandma let us look at the picture album she had from the wedding? It was really fun reading the stories she kept – and I know I want to preserve the funny memories too!

Lord, I just think it’s so cool that you gave me the gift of performing – even back then, GG already had it in her mind that I would perform somehow, somewhere. And now I look at all the fun I have with dance – worshipping You – and realize that she was right. I’m not as dramatic as I was back then, but my, Lord, how I do love using stages for telling about You! I pray for whoever reads this, Daddy – help them see the gifts You’ve given them. They might be hard to see – and Lord, for a while there, I thought dance wasn’t one of my gifts. But God, I don’t have to conquer the whole world. In fact, I don’t have to conquer a dance combination – or stage fright – for You to love me. Thank You for reminding me that I’m blessed beyond the curse, for Your promise will endure!

And remind the readers, Daddy, of how You’ve blessed them. Nope, we can’t make You love us. It’s impossible. But this I know – our God is for us, and You will never forsake us in weakness. You just ask that we accept Your hand, surrendering ourselves… abide in You, our Vine. Keep us close, Father, I pray. In Your name, Amen.

Hey y’all!

I don’t think I’ve shared a recipe on this blog yet. And that bothers me – cuz my Daddy gave me a very fond sense of the culinary! Even though I rarely make a perfect edition of anything, they usually turn out yummy :). (Or with double the amount of chocolate chips called for. Which, too, can be very yummy if treated with the appropriate humor.)

This one happens to be from my best friend (again). She makes bread every week for her family – freshly ground flour, the whole nine yards. And let me tell you – I never liked tuna fish sandwiches until I had some on this bread. So I decided I would make giving my family the ‘good bread’ my utmost priority. In the culinary world, that is. So here’s the recipe for three OR six loaves – I’m assuming you’re not the kind of person who charges into the recipe without checking that minor detail. But if you are, please note that bread isn’t too keen on rising, and therefore you might end up with six flat loaves if ya charge away at that. I just now made loaves that were sandwich size, but that was after 5 tries :). Have fun!

Please note that the parentheses include the ingredients for three loaves. Since I didn’t try 6 at first, you get the benefit of the mathematician.  (that too was a joke.)

Sammie’s Bread:

(2) 4 TBS of active yeast

(1) 2 TBS of sugar

(2 ½) 5 cups of warm water (110-120 degrees) 115 is best 😉

(3/8)Three fourths a cup of sugar

(1/2) 1 cup of olive oil (or whatever kind is available)

(1) 2 TBS of gluten

(1) 2 TBS of dough enhancer (If you don’t have dough enhancer, add however many tablespoons of vinegar you use for yeast. So either 2 or 4 tablespoons of vinegar for this recipe. I have heard that additional gluten may help (many people say 1 TBS per loaf), and 1/8 c. of instant potato flakes per loaf. Feel free to experiment; I only added the vinegar and I think it would have benefited from more gluten.)

(3/4) 1 and a half TBS of salt

(5-6) 10-12 cups of whole wheat flour (and more if needed)

  1. Briefly stir the yeast, sugar, and water in large mixing bowl; let sit until yeast gets bubbly. (7 mins. estimated)
  2. Add the next set of sugar and olive oil, along with half the flour you will be using in the bread. Mix the ingredients together. (Note: I used a spoon and it worked fine. But generally electric mixers are easier :).)
  3. Add the gluten, dough enhancer, and the other half of the flour. Mix again; add salt; mix again. More flour may be needed here; the dough should feel tacky, but not stick to your finger.
  4. Knead the dough for 6 minutes.
  5. Shape into loaves (this is way too complicated to explain via post. You can just roll it out into a quarter-to-half inch thick rectangle, and then roll it up – I do it that way for cinnamon bread :).)
  6. Let the bread rise in loaf pans for 1 hr, or when high enough for your liking. Don’t go too far beyond 1 hr. though! (One of my friends’ moms turns her oven to preheat for 350-360 for 1-2 minutes, then turns the oven off and sticks the bread inside. Sam turns her oven on proof or turns the oven light on and leaves the dough in there. Be creative!) (Also, if you want crispy crust, brush on some beat-up egg after it rises but before it bakes.)
  7. Turn the oven on 350, (so yes, the bread is in the oven while it preheats), and bake for 30 mins, or until knife inserted in the bottom of the loaf comes out clean and dry. 
  8. Enjoy! (Note: if your bread did rise significantly, it really is best to let it cool down before taking it out of the pan. Taking it out early can cause it to deflate – just happened to me !)

That typed… have an amazingly blessed weekend! Be sure to spend some time with your Creator :).


The Lord – is jealous. Jealous for you.

In reading “Abide in Christ”, I find myself quite frequently getting stressed. All was cool when I thought of Jesus as the vine, and I was one of His branches. Or how our Father, the Gardner, made us one… as in, Jesus chooses to delight in me and use me to further His kingdom! He could totally do it all by Himself. But He chooses to have me, you, His body, do it.

Yes yes, but then it started to get complicated (or so the Enemy wishes I would feel). “Of God are ye in Christ Jesus, who was made unto us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.” -1 Corinthians 1:30. Murray proceeded to do chapters on each of those aspects, but I’ll admit, it started getting really confusing! Okay, Lord, I have to remember – abide in You as my wisdom *feelin great*, righteousness *I’m not guilty anymore, I’m not filthy anymore!*, sanctification *uh* and redemption *uh*.

Do you ever have times where you wish you got something in the Bible and you just couldn’t? I read the sanctification and redemption chapters, like, five times each. And to be honest, it made the aspects of sanctification and redemption seem to drag! What’s going on, God?!

Ouch. Then to make everything worse, I had a guilt attack this morning!! And the last thing I wanted to worry about was abiding in Christ. No, Daddy, I gotta get over this guilt first. I have to ask *person who shall remain nameless* what she is really feeling… figure out if I’m really meant to be a dancer! Then I have chemistry, and You know I can’t focus on You during that… do everything like working for God!

I forgot the wonderful wisdom God whispers in my ear… through Murray:

On my part, abiding is nothing but the acceptance of my position, the consent to be kept there, the surrender of faith to the strong Vine to hold the feeble branch… And as you keep your gaze fixed on Him, holding you and waiting to lift you up, could you not this very day take the upward step and rise to enter upon this blessed life of abiding in Christ? Yes, begin at once, and say,

O my Jesus, if You bid me, and if You engage to lift and keep me there, I will venture. Trembling, but trusting, I will say, ‘Jesus, I do abide in You.’

You can trust Him to keep you trusting and abiding.

That is the love of Our Father. He sees us, weak, feeble branches that we are, yet He seeks to lift us up. And all we have to do is surrender to His love. I find it really convicting to think of all the distractions that would seek to prevent me from surrendering to Christ and trusting Him, and to realize how sad Jesus must feel.

“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.” -Phil. 3:12

Idea being, Jesus wants me to abide in Him – and He’s willing to keep me there, if only I’ll surrender! I will follow after :).

Take this with you today! He’s jealous for you, He loves you, and He wants you abiding in Him! The Enemy is the only one who would tell you otherwise…and make you feel like you have to earn His holy jealousy.