Archive | Faith RSS feed for this section

Easter through the eyes of a child

3 Apr

“Mama! You wanna see his owie?” The first words I hear a couple of days ago when getting Solace up from her nap. I knew exactly what she would show me. She was sitting in her new big girl bed with her Jesus Storybook Bible. She flipped through the pages until she landed on the picture of Jesus hanging on a cross. She sadly showed it to me and said, “See his owie, Mama?”

IMG_3827

I had been struggling lately with my lack of discipline in teaching the girls about Jesus and even more how I lacked in showing them Jesus through my own words and deeds day-to-day. “How can they possibly grasp the concept of Jesus at this age anyway?” I said this to myself every once in a while. They were so young. They barely acknowledge understanding me on basic disciplinary aspects and why can’t we go to Mamie’s house right now? How could I get them to understand Jesus? God? The Holy Spirit? Even I don’t get it sometimes.

I sat down on her bed and asked her if I could tell her about Jesus’ owie. She handed me the Bible and we began:

We sinned, Solace. And right here, in this picture, is Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. You see, he loved us so much that he didn’t want us to be separated from him forever because of our sins. So instead, he died in our place. You see those owies? That’s a crown of thorns on his head and it hurts so much. And this is where they beat him. He loves you sooo much that he was beaten for you. But guess what? He didn’t stay dead! He proved that he is God and came back to life to show that even death has no hold over him. He’s alive now! Yay! He showed all his friends that he was still alive. Then, he spread out his arms and went up into the sky to be with God, his Father. He left the Holy Spirit for us. Mama has the Holy Spirit, and so does Papa, and Dan, and Lisa, and Randy, and Mamie, and Nana, and Grandpa, and Pappy! That way we can talk to him whenever we want! Isn’t that wonderful?

She asked me a ton of questions as we read each page together but for the most part, she listened, entranced. How do I know she listened and retained? Because later, she and Belle were sitting on her bed together with the Bible open between them and I hear, “They beat him, Belle! But look! He came back to life! He’s not dead. He loves me and he loves you so much. Yeah!”

I was floored. Didn’t Jesus himself say “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” (Luke 18:16-17) Solace, a child, has grasped the Gospel with an open heart because her faith is like that of a child. That day, I understood the gravity of what Jesus did for me on the cross. I saw it through her eyes; eyes that were hearing it for the very first time and I wept. I, to my shame, haven’t wept over the Gospel in too long.

God didn’t need me to teach Solace about himself! He had that under control. In fact, I probably wouldn’t even had tried to explain it to her in the first place but because she was reading it on her own and came to me about something she saw, I got to share the most beautiful truths with my daughter at the age of 3. I am a vessel, here to guide my children toward Jesus but he doesn’t need me to do that. That gives me way too much credit. His Spirit is alive and here, doing It’s work. Without me. In spite of me.

The Gospel is simple. It is true. This Easter, that is what I am learning. I’m trusting in Jesus with the faith of a child. Today, on Good Friday, I will be thinking about what Jesus did for me. How He took all my sin on himself, was turned away from his Father, beaten by men, scorned, humiliated, and killed, all for me. Because He loves me. Not because I deserved it. I far from deserve anything. This was the greatest gift any of us has ever been given. And then on Sunday, Easter, he rose from the dead. DO YOU GET IT? He conquered the unconquerable! He IS GOD. 

Amen and Amen. Thank you Jesus. Thank you for showing me anew, through Solace, what Easter is all about.

Advertisements

Solace and Belle’s baptism

16 Sep

Welcome my husband, Nick! I asked him to guest post on my blog because he’s good with words and I love him :)

On September 2—two week ago and on my birthday—our friend, Eddie Koh, baptized Solace and Belle during our weekly missional community gathering. Some of our closest friends were present for this special occasion. We live in close community with these friends and they have committed to help us raise our children to follow and know Jesus. It was such a God-glorifying and Spirit-filled time for my family.

IMG_8400

I know some of you are thinking that I’ve lost it. “Wait, weren’t you raised in a baptist home?” Yes, I was. And I’m incredibly grateful for my upbringing. So, why did we baptize our girls? Well, I could bore you with a 5000 word essay on why we now believe paedobaptism (infant baptism) to be historical, biblical, and good. I did, in fact, begin writing out all that took place in this transition and erased it because I knew it was going to be too long and Becky asked me to keep it short. Besides, the resources I will share with you state their case way better than I can at this point (just being honest).

IMG_8407

We do not believe that Solace and Belle’s baptism was salvific. We do believe, however, that Solace and Belle—since the moment they were born—have the same covenant status that Becky and I have. The same covenant that was given to Abraham (Genesis 15:1-6; 17:1-8) that applies to all of God’s people (Jews and Gentiles) past, present, and future. Our kiddos are part of the New Covenant, by God’s grace! Such good news. In 1 Corinthians 7:1, the Apostle Paul states that the children of believing parents are holy. We truly believe this. We won’t raise our children as pagans until they put their faith in Jesus. We will raise them as Christian children fully trusting Jesus that he will draw them to himself at an appointed time. Our God is their God. Our faith is their faith. Our Church family is their Church family. Again, such good news!

IMG_8419

IMG_8423

If you’re interested, here are some resources that we found helpful on our journey toward becoming paedobaptists:

BOOK: To a Thousand Generations: Infant Baptism — Covenant Mercy to the Children of God by Doug Wilson
ARTICLE: Rethinking Baptism by Michael Horton
BOOKLET: Why Do We Baptize Infants? by Bryan Chapell
SERMON AUDIO: Infant Baptism by R.C. Sproul
ARTICLE: Why I Changed My Mind About Infant Baptism by Liam Goligher

IMG_8429
Rejoice with us! May Jesus bless and protect our little ones. They are his. And we are grateful that he has entrusted them to us in this life. 

Tattoo :: A Remembrance Stone

19 Feb

I serve a God would truly loves me. He loves so much that He sent his Son to die in my place, covered in my sin and my shame so that I wouldn’t have to. He knows that my heart is drawn toward sin. I am exposed before my Father, in essence, naked in my sin, but He doesn’t see that. He sees me as pure and unashamed because of what his Son did so many years ago. I am truly loved by the Father. I am undeserving. I act ashamed and fearful. I sin and sin again. I am undeserving of all that love yet He made me his daughter! So much  mercy and grace has been given to me!

IMG_6655

I have spent too long in the dark, hiding my shame and sin from everyone, even thinking I was hiding it from my Father. But when all that is brought to light, it is so freeing! Truly there is freedom in the light and bondage in darkness.

I wanted a reminder that I will see and meditate on daily. Something that would be noticeable to everyone so my tongue would be loosened and I would talk about it to anyone.

IMG_6694

I picked “naked” because it’s controversial and risqué and I know people will ask me what it means. I want to be open and honest. I want people to know I don’t have it all put together. I am a sinner. A big, hot mess. If it weren’t for Jesus dying for me, I would have no hope. But I do have hope! And I don’t want to be ashamed of that.

IMG_6728

IMG_6730

I had a great support team go with me to House of Tattoo. I’m pretty sure they were more nervous than I was. And crazier! Haha

IMG_6702 IMG_6737

These crazy people stood like this the whole time and took pictures and said awkward things. It was perfect :)

It honestly didn’t hurt that badly at all. Today it just feels like a minor sunburn. My tattoo artist (who is also Nick’s), Matt Cowell, is amazing. And he didn’t have to get me in that quickly (he’s literally booked out until August) but he got me in early somehow. Super nice of him. Nick is upset that he might have to divide his tattoo fund with me now. ;) It was a really fun experience and I’m so glad that I got it done! 

O Holy Night

23 Dec

My husband’s favorite Christmas song is hands down “O Holy Night.” It’s never been an absolute favorite of mine, but this year I actually read the words. And by read, I mean I read the lyrics like I didn’t know it was a song. It was a beautiful poem, a spoken word. And it just came to life in front of me. My heart feels like bursting and tears come to my eyes at the weight and life I feel in these words.

// Oh holy night the stars were brightly shining.
It’s the night of our dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Until HE appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a NEW and GLORIOUS morn!

Fall on your knees!
Oh hear the angel’s voices!
Oh night divine, the night Jesus Christ was born.

Truly HE taught us to love one another.
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains HE shall break, for the slave is our brother,
And in HIS Name, ALL oppression shall cease!
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus we raise.
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord!
Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
 \\

I hope you read it like you had never heard it before. It’s become my new favorite. The power and promise blows me away. Here is one of Nick’s favorite renditions of this song. It’s beautiful. Merry Christmas everyone.

I’m not as bold as I think I am

30 Mar

I’m a Christian. I love God. I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He is my Lord and Savior. My entire life is lived around this Man and I love Him so much! And YOU can as well.

There, that wasn’t so hard…was it?

I’m not looking any of you in the face though. I don’t have to try to answer your questions or hear your negative feedback. My heart isn’t racing because I am so nervous about what you’ll say or think. I’m not worried that our relationship will now be tense because of what I’ve confessed or done.

Or,

I’m not watching someone tell you those exact things either. Which is the reason I am writing this in the first place. Nick and I went to see Braille (hip hop artist with Humble Beast) in concert last Friday night. We thought he was the only one performing and that a bunch of Christians would be there with us. How surprising was it then that when we showed up we realized this was NOT a Christian club nor were there “Christians” present. Many other bands were playing before Braille. And even though they weren’t good by a long shot, they spoke to the people in the crowd. They were full of anger, lies, and lust.

I was nervous. I was a Christian amongst unbelievers. And some hip hop artist was about to perform about JESUS. That was the reason we were there. I mean we obviously weren’t cheering for anyone else.

I was still nervous when Braille came on stage. “Maybe you could tone it down a little, Braille? Please? Don’t embarrass us. I’m POSITIVE people will throw us out to the dogs if you mention His name here. Do us all a favor and let’s lay low.”

How disgusting are my thoughts, oh Lord! In the midst of the God-glorifying lyrics Braille was singing, my heart was stricken. Prostrated. This was the perfect place to spread the name of JESUS! In the midst of anger there is love! Where there is lust, purity! Instead of lies, there is TRUTH! I clapped. I cheered. And I meant it.

Why? Why am I so afraid? Why is my heart stricken with fear at the thought of mentioning Jesus? How much has He done for me? More than I could EVER repay. My life is in his debt, forever. I need Him and that evening proves how much so. I am so crippled by sin. I’m so Human! I am not very bold. I like to think I would die for my Lord, but I can’t fool myself. I’m a coward and I can only become strong through His strength. Lord, help me.

Spiritually Dry

13 Jul

The past 2 years have been the hardest for me in my spiritual life. More so than any other time I can think of.

dryness, apathy, disinterest

And yet, so many wonderfully glorious things have been bestowed upon me. I am undeservedly blessed. More so than I can even imagine. My heart cries when I think about the way I have acted & felt and how my God has had compassion,

mercy,

and grace

on my life.

I deserve none of this. I take no credit for any of it. In fact, I’ve rejected it so many hours, days, and months. I need to be renewed; in my mind, my body and my life.

Lately, this song has been sweet water over my soul. When this song comes on, I can do nothing else but praise Jesus. I would challenge you to stop whatever it is you are doing and for five minutes just listen. Close your eyes and breathe in the Savior. I promise you will not be disappointed.


Our Sympathetic and Helpful High Priest

6 Jan

I have been reading in John Piper’s Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die as part of my devotions everyday. It has been so encouraging, particularly Day 27. It says,

“On the way to the cross for 30 years, Christ was tempted like every human is tempted. True, he never sinned. But wise people have pointed out that this means his temptations were stronger than ours, not weaker. If a person gives in to temptation, it never reaches its fullest and longest assault. We capitulate while the pressure is still building. But Jesus never did. So he endured the full pressure to the end and never caved. He knows what it is to be tempted with fullest force.”

That was extremely encouraging and puts a brighter light on Hebrews 4:15-16 for me. My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, know exactly what I am feeling; he knows how hard it is for me when I am being tempted. Why do I not go before the throne of grace and beg him to deliver me from temptation? He will! Praise the Lord!

My prayer is that all of us will take verses 14 and 15 to heart and know that Jesus is our true High Priest, who was tempted but never sinned.