Even In Refinement – Beautiful Gold

Though refinement will go on until I leave this earth, the last eight years have been especially hot. In the heat of the furnace of refinement, the last five have been particularly scorching. The last two – three…white-hot!

The scars are not yet healed over completely and are still easily pried open. I am still who I am, and more who I am meant to become, because of so many who have held me up; or cradled me; or stood beside me; or battled with me; or battled for me; or battled with and for my children; or protected me; or clarified for me; or waited for me; or directed me; or even rebuked me (very gently).

It is my desire to share some of this love and community with you. My hope is that you will find some encouragement and direction from those I consider family, and not all are my relatives.

This from my sister, AZ:

…but when everything around us fails to give us what we are looking for or need, we need reminders to fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, the Lifter of our head, the Guardian of our soul, the Beginning and End, the Almighty, Most Powerful, the Defender of our cause, the Source of our peace and joy, our All in All…We need to be able to stand in Christ alone, without needing anything or anyone else, that everything in Him is sufficient for me and for you, even though we may feel sad and hurt and lost. And then to be found in Him, to be restored, to be healed and hidden in Christ through the blessed blood of Christ Jesus our Lord. You are hidden in Christ! He surrounds you with His whole being, with His love He has already enveloped you, He fights for you every single second of the day and night. He never falls asleep or grows weary, though you do. He knows that you struggle, that you struggle so much and you are tired, your body and mind are exhausted. His love for you is all that matters, when everything else falls away, you still stand with Him, and He enables you to stand, because your legs can’t hold you up any longer. Keep fighting the good fight for your reward is in heaven. Don’t let the devil get a foothold for he prowls around looking for someone to devour. Stand firm then in the mighty power of God and put on the full armour of God, then you will be able to stand, rooted and established deep in the soil of God’s marvelous love. And even though you still cry, God our Father will count all your tears as He wipes them away. Your prayers to Him will be like sweet smelling offerings. He will hear them and He will receive them. He will honour your faith. He will make you strong and you are worthy of His love. I love you and I pray for you, so that you have prayer even when you cannot pray yourself. Stand firm and God will deliver you.

The one constant is the Creator of all things. Things happen to us, and around us, and because of us as a result of our choices. Trouble is not the Creator’s fault, but he will allow it and use it to make us who we were designed, redeemed and restored to be. In this process we are delivered by him, which may not mean we get everything we want or everything we lost or destroyed. But we will get much beauty and peace and joy, as well as white-hot fire, throughout this process of refinement. Who wants to hold on to anything that can be destroyed with fire anyway? Only the gold, the pure gold. This will remain, this I will hold on to.

Can you see some of the gold? Focus on those things because they are here to stay, they are what makes you who you are, what makes you beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully made.

James 1

Peter Craft – 6/5/2013

…the Bible shows us who we really are. It tells us who we are without Jesus and who we are if we are devoted to Jesus.

When we read the Bible we see our true selves reflected back to us. We see ourselves with all our faults and failures and all that we can be in Jesus.

So if we forget what we hear from God’s word, and if we fail to do what it says, we are really forgetting who we actually are.

Forgiveness, Repentance

Repentance is the means by which one accepts forgiveness already offered.

Not the means by which forgiveness is earned.

Forgiveness is a gift given; not a right deserved; nor a commodity bought.

Repentance is the way in which one holds out their own hand to accept the gift of forgiveness offered freely.

Forgive. Repent. Accept. Be changed.

One Step

Steven Curtis Chapman – Take Another Step

http://youtu.be/6E0F2s_3I78

And now here you are. You’re afraid to move. ‘Cause you don’t know where to go. ‘Cause you don’t know what to do.

Take another step, take another step. When the road ahead is hard, and you don’t know where to go.

Take another step, take another step. Trust God and take another step, and another step, and another step. Take another step, and another step, and another step…

And there we are. Nothing to hold on to, but the promises God’s made to me and you…

Take another step…

If there’s an ocean in front of you, you know what you’ve gotta do…take another step, and another step. Maybe He’ll turn the water into land, and maybe He’ll take your hand and say, “Let’s take a walk on the waves, will you trust me either way? And take another step, take another step.”

I’m going one step at a time; just as Steven Curtis Chapman, and Charles Spurgeon, and Oswald Chambers, and Amy Grant, and Rich Mullins have been reminding me.

When I had children who were born with blindness, it seemed the water was turned into land.

Life right now seems more like walking on the waves – large, ominous, crashing waves!

I will continue to take ONE more step.