Monthly Archives: March 2014

Abounding in Hope!

In the Word this morning, encouragement spread through my mind as I read these words:

Romans 15:1-13  We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.  2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.  3 For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.”  4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.  5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,  6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.  8 For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs,  9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.”  10 And again it is said, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”  11 And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him.”  12 And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.”  13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Trinity highlighted)
1. Thankful for those who bear with me in my weaknesses.
2. Thankful for Christ who did not please himself.
3. Thankful that my reproaches fell on him…Praise be to Your Name!
4. Thankful for the Scriptures giving me hope.
5. Thankful that the God of endurance and encouragement grants endurance and encouragement.
6. Thankful for unity among the body…this is glorifying to God. (Be encouraged! Don’t think unity is a small thing.)
7. Thankful that tomorrow (hopefully) a family will be visiting our church and they will be welcomed as Christ has welcomed us…this is glorifying to God.
8. Thankful for God keeping His promises and we have the Scriptures to confirm this (three examples given) which leads to hope and perseverance. Therefore, praise the Lord!
My prayer for you is the same as Paul’s: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope, for our hope is in the Root of Jesse, Jesus Christ our Lord!

Comforted By The Word

I am so thankful that God is kind and patient with us. I recently had a hard day due to a situation in my family. As I attempted to spend time with the LORD that morning, I couldn’t concentrate on what I was reading in my Bible. One of those times when my eyes were reading the words but I had no idea what I was reading because my thoughts were elsewhere. But, I could pray. I thanked God that even though I couldn’t seem to concentrate and study His Word at the moment, He was with me. I knew He understood that I was troubled for those I love and that on another day I would be back studying again. The next day as I journaled this, I thought, “How did I know that?” Because I had been reading His Word before. When I needed it, the Spirit used it to comfort me. I was reminded of the verse, John 14:26 where Jesus said, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” Jesus was speaking to His disciples in this passage, but would the Spirit not help us in the same way as His disciples? Absolutely!


My Blogging Restart!

When we changed the name of this blog to “Together as Vessels of Mercy,” our intention was for this to be a husband and wife collaboration. I, the wife, have been silent for a while. Taking care of a family is a full time job! I am really interested in writing and hope this blog can be an outlet. So, let’s call this my re-introductory post! I hope to share what the LORD is teaching me and how He is encouraging me as His child in the roles He has given me as a wife and mom.


Dark Days Beget the Dawn!

Are you bitter about the “various trials” that happen from time to time? I am. I am because I forget they have purpose. I’m not necessarily saying love the trials. But rather love the result of the trials. Long for the result of the trials. As a follower of Christ, all that happens to us is worked out for good! Longings and anticipations are needed in our life. Where would you be right now without them? If you are a follower of Christ you should be longing for his coming. What would that coming be like if there were no longing? How would Christmas be without Advent? Easter without Palm Sunday? These longings, trials, and dark days are serving a purpose in our life. Here are a couple journal entries that I pray will encourage you. Can you imagine where you would be and what you would do if you knew the date of Christ’s coming?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Life is fragile. We can have it “together” one minute and the next it is “falling apart.” I write today from the “together” side. It’s not often that I write about depression on a day that I’m not depressed. But it is fitting to do so because it may encourage me some day soon–or later. The Lord uses them. He brings me through tough times (undetermined length from our perspective; determined exactly by His perspective). May His grace be sufficient.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The longing to preach/pastor will be all the more sweet when it happens because of the longing. So too, our longing for the coming of Christ will be exceedingly sweet if indeed we have longed for his coming. Anticipation is built into our lives as part of  the consummation. We see it in Advent-Christmas, Palm Sunday-Easter. The anticipation is as much needed as the end. So also, our daily struggles cause us to long for his coming like one who is stuck in a long winter longing for spring. Dark days beget the dawn. One day he will come! Cherish the longing for the Bridegroom will satisfy! 

James 5:7-8   7 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.  8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 

A Glimpse Into the Heart of a Struggler

I know one will need much more context to fully understand this post. However, the glimpse is all I prefer to reveal. There are all kinds of factors involved. Some I am aware of and some that are not on my radar. Needless to say, I am not going to attempt explaining those either. I think this post might be helpful to the fellow struggler. It might be helpful to the pastor mentoring younger men sensing a call to ministry. It might help anyone who thinks they have it all together and exhibits little compassion for the slowness of others. Be patient with people like me. Slowness does not mean faithless. 

This is a journal entry from Monday, March 4, 2013. I am in the same place as I was one year ago. Stronger I believe. But the thorn is still there. Quick short context: Began following Christ almost 12 years ago; committed to follow a call to preach simultaneously; youth pastor for one year; went to seminary 8/04 to 5/09; moved back home…still waiting. 

I wonder if the call to preach is over? I don’t know if I can live out the rest of my days knowing this is so. My heart aches. I set out to follow the Lord selling home and leaving family and possessions behind. I’ve endured five years of seminary under the Lord’s care–still very hard. Many have given, even sacrificed I’m sure, to pay my way through seminary. And here I sit, back in my hometown hoping to plant a biblical church and God has already done it and is doing it. Where do I fit into this day? I do not desire to remain at the hardware store. If I were to choose something different it would be that which puts me at home. I want to help teach…my children. What am I not seeing? Would someone point it out to me. Do I just need to be honest with myself? But I don’t know. Most people do not desire full-time ministry–I do! I don’t think this is from me. I didn’t want this. I didn’t want to follow Christ. But the Lord pursued me and saved me and called me. It seems that I’ve not been sent yet. I need encouragement. Judson found himself in darkness during his missionary quest. The Lord sent encouragement and got him out of the grave. Lord please pull me out of this pit.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Going to ask again! He hears. He is faithful. He will do what’s best.

Romans 4:18-25  In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead ( since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.