4.14.2014

Easter is for every day




this Gospel, it's the string my heart holds on to like my life depends on it. because it does.

this Gospel, the true story of a King making a way for me to be clean in order to be in His very presence.

this Gospel, the one that tells me to forgive, because He first forgave me, is strung through every earthly relationship. allowing me to pour out grace on others just as He did for me.

this Gospel makes it possible to bless and not curse, to love the unlovely's because He said father forgive them they know not what they do.

this Gospel that tells me to endure in the fiercest of trials because he endured the lashings, the thorny crown, the humiliation, the sting of the Cross and death - once and for all.

this Gospel that tells me i can submit to my husband just like Jesus submitted to the Father when he asked for the cup to pass from him.

this Gospel that tells me to be patient with my children because God was patient with His children, the Israelites, and especially me.

you see, this Gospel, it's not just the first parts of the New Testament. nor just a spring Sunday called Easter. it's for every minute of every day. every interaction, every relationship, every word spoken, every thought which is thought. all of life. 


this Gospel, it's for me. it's for you. all because of the Cross.

this Gospel, this Jesus, He brought forth life from death. He was the sacrifice once and for all. it is finished.

He lives so i can live. the Gospel is my very being. and Easter is for every day.


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16-17 ESV

this post originally published here. 

4.07.2014

refresh and lament

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there's something really refreshing about feeling really small. and one of the best ways to do that is to spend some time by the sea. we set aside our worries, kelly laid down the books, just for a few hours, so we could be together as a family (first time in several weeks!) and rest.  seeing the vast expanse of water and sky, while standing small next to it all, helps to remind me that i'm not the point. and when life seems to be spiraling with disappointment, i need to remember that.  we found out the Seminary we just moved to (the one we've been trying to get to since 2006) is closing in two years - kelly will still have a year and a half left to get his degree.  and we're still searching for jobs.  even though we have no idea how things will turn out at this point, nothing is a surprise to our God - our steps are ordered and every thing that effects our lives comes first through His loving hands and is ordained by Him.  now it's a matter of clinging to that Truth.  otherwise i spend my day in utter fear. BUT! i don't have to hide my feelings from my Savior - He is close by, standing near, ready to hear those fears and disappointment; ready to hear my cries. i have the amazing gift of going before the Father, presenting my requests, asking for help, and then resting in His tender care because He is trustworthy.  i read this a little while ago and was so encouraged and challenged by these words -
Lament is not about getting things off your chest. It’s about casting your anxieties upon God, and trusting him with them. Mere complaining indicates a lack of intimacy with God. Because lament is a form of prayer, lament transforms our cries and complaints into worship. Walter Brueggemann says that undergirding biblical lament is “a relationship between the lamenter and his God that is close and deep enough for the protester to speak in imperatives, addressing God as ‘you’ and reminding him of his covenantal promises.” Anyone can complain, and practically everyone does. Christians can lament. They can talk to God about their condition and ask him to change things because they have a relationship with him. To lament is to be utterly honest before a God whom our faith tells us we can trust. Biblical lament affirms that suffering is real and spiritually significant, but not hopeless. In his mercy, our God has given us a form of language that bends his ear and pulls his heart. -Journey to the Cross

4.01.2014

hope to carry on

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i think i'm teaching my kids, but really, they're teaching me.

we were wandering the trader joe's aisle... well wait, maybe it wasn't exactly wandering.  i'd call it holding on for dear life.  i've never been to a busier grocery store in all my days until this particular trader joe's.  you can barely finagle your cart down an aisle. and then when you consider your kids walking next to the cart, just forget about it. there's no way the three of you plus a cart are getting down an aisle. any aisle. my brain goes into a flurry, i try to remember what i need, even though my list is staring back at me, and i often wish i didn't have to *have* trader joe's in my life because it's almost not worth it.  that is saying a lot considering it's only a few miles from my house!  i digress.

we were holding on for dear life as we passed the baked goods section.  hunter pointed to some cookies and with a tinge of hope lining his voice asked, "mommy, are those ones egg-free?" i said, "no babe, that's why i'm not buying any and i can make you egg-free ones at home."  it was a fleeting moment to me until he piped up and said, "when is God coming back?"  um, "what? sometime.  hopefully soon. why?" he replied, "because i can't wait for him to make everything new so i won't have any allergies anymore."

HEART LEAP AND MELT.

my child, my small but growing five year old is brimming with wisdom and doesn't even know it.

in his mind, the way to get through a disappointment is to long for something better. and this friends, is the way we are to journey through this life. disappointment will come, suffering will happen, it's certain, but what is even more certain is that one day, there will be no more disappointments or suffering. one day everything will be new and perfect like it should have been.

the hard things of life - both little and big - will be made right.  nothing is too little to be overlooked by our great God.  no stone will be unturned.  when He says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Revelation 21:5 that he will make everything new, it means every big and little thing.  looking ahead to this reality gives us hope to carry on in the midst of any circumstance.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. -Romans 8:18 ESV

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. -2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV