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Preview: In His Arms

Changing Seasons



God, people, adventures, and inevitable changes.



Updated: 2017-09-24T01:37:34.922-07:00

 



Farewell.

2017-06-13T18:31:49.713-07:00

In honor of "Changing Seasons," I will be starting a new blog journey. I am not sure how many, if any, avid followers I have, but for those who are, please consider this a formal announcement of the dissolving of this blog, and the beginning of a brand new blog! I am excited to start this new journey, as I plan to add faithfully to the new blog, as well as give some insights into what being a modern-day stay-at-home mom looks like. And as always, I will be focusing on how the Lord is working in my life; teaching me to be more like Him in my love, my actions, my thoughts, and words. If you'd like to continue to follow along, head on over to:

sincerelyelisabeth.blogspot.com

Thank you for following me through college, and welcome to the journey through the newest season of my life: parenthood. Warning: uncharted territory ahead, please proceed with grace, patience, and a willingness to read along.

Lovingly,
Elisabeth



Bigger Than Right Now

2017-01-24T15:08:47.234-08:00

 This was the question I asked myself this morning during my devotions. What am I doing to influence those around me to want to know Jesus? It is a simple enough question, but when actually thought over, it kind of hurts. What am I doing? How does my life look different? And if it does, in fact, look different, what am I saying when people ask me why? It can be difficult in today's society to take a bold stance on a social media platform, via text message or phone call, or even the old fashion way of communicating - face to face. I think this meme pretty well sums up how it feels at times:But, here is the issue at hand: do you do it anyway? And if you find your courage to state your opinion, what are you saying and who are you trying to please? We live in a country that is a hotbed of political, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual differences ready to become volatile and destructive at any moment. We have the tendency to push away those who do not agree with us - it is more comfortable to be involved with a group of people who see eye-to-eye with us, than to befriend those who may have a different opinion. Now, why should we seek those who, at least from the Christian perspective, do not believe in God, or who have a different lifestyle than us? Because there is more at stake than just our reputation on the internet or with our friends - eternity is on the line."Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, 'Behold, we did not know this,' does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay many according to his work?" (Proverbs 24:11-12, ESV). The commentators below have this to say about this passage:"Now, there is somebody you could help, and you know it, and you could do something about it" (J. Vernon McGee, 2008)."You know, you can't beg off your responsibility because God knows your heart. God know what's in your mind. And you may try to excuse your actions. 'Oh, I didn't know.' But yet God is going to ponder your heart. God know that's in your mind. And God will render every man according to his works" (Chuck Smith, 1979).This is where we come in - as Christians, this is our cue: to do something. Here is how Peter put this same message to his audience:"Therefore, preparing you reminds for actions, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the relation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is only, you also be holy in all you conduct. . ." (1 Peter 1:13-15, ESV).So what does this look like in action? For those of you who are bullet-pointers, here you go:1) "Preparing your minds"That word prepare (Greek: anazonymi, verb), comes for the example set by the people of the Orient. They would bind their long garments closely around their bodies before setting out on a long journey, or setting about any work. In other words, they got the extra material out of their way in order to go about their work more efficiently. Get it? They prepared themselves to do the hard work by removing obstacles - and that is what we are supposed to be doing with our minds?! Dang.2) "being sober-minded"This word, (Greek: nepho, verb) is pretty straight forward. It means to be calm and collected in spirit. How many of us could use that right about now? Are we calm and collected in spirit? To use the proverbial slang term, are you chill? How can we possibly communicate the grace of God to those who do not know him, if we are up in arms at those same people for not agreeing with us?3) "set your hope fully on the grace. . ."This gives us a focal point. This is where our eyes should be. This is what our hope should be in - the grace that we have been shown. The grace that is ours. The grace that other people should know about. This reminds us that there is something BIGGER THAN[...]



Unemployment

2015-12-30T14:31:14.355-08:00

For those who don't know, the woman I was taking care of as a caregiver passed away on December 20th. It was very expected, and so very peaceful. While this was a sad expectation, the realisation of being unemployed came with a little bit more of a shock. But, that would be a very long post. So, I thought instead, I would give you some insight into my most recent revelations about this all new chapter. Please enjoy and look for more updates as Jesus continues to show me the directions He already had planned for Noah and me ❤️
Things I've learned since being unemployed: 
1) finding a job is a full-time job - a truth my momma always told me about, but I've never understood until now.
2) so much of the world's communication is via computers; and though I find it annoying, that's just the world we live in.
3) not having a computer or internet at home has given me a new found appreciation for the public library system - especially since usage is free in Washington state. 
4) I haven't really written a resume since high school; come to find out, writing a resume is much easier when you have much less experience.
5) I've never had so much appreciation/respect for house-wives as I do now; somehow, I clean the house everyday, and it is just as messy just hours later - and we don't even have kids or pets!
6) sleeping in is both wonderful and dangerous in the sense that I have no pressing issues to attend to so, why not just sleep - then BOOM its 11AM and none of my goals have been accomplished.
7) my house can only be so clean before its obsessively clean.
8) the freedom to have a hobby is a bit daunting; there are so very many to choose from!
9) I, in fact, LOVE to cook; think of all the recipes Noah is going to have to try!
And finally, 10) the only thing that I now know to be 100% reliable in all walks of life is the never-ending, never-failing, all-knowing, love, will, and insight of my God: Jehovah Jirah, and Abba Father.



Briefly Updated

2015-10-19T18:26:16.321-07:00

I'd like to be able to write a beautiful little ditty about my life as of late. But, I think there are just too many changes to report that it will not be a quick jot and the timer on my library computer only has 34 minutes left. But, I can give you bullet points. So, here goes:

1) Noah has been promoted to supervisor and today was the start of his new position at his new store.
2) I've been - thankfully - relieved of my 60-70 hour work weeks - people still laugh when I say I'm only working 48 hours per week.
3) I was outrageously spoiled by my friends and family for my 23rd birthday: surprise pedicures and dinner with 5 fabulous people whom I love, a trip up to WA by my lovely parents, and a couple of the most useful camping tools I could have (and probably did) ask for.
4) We love living in Monroe - thank the Lord my heart was finally changed. I cannot imagine living anywhere else.
5) My oldest nephew turned 16 and got his first car; 2 things I simply am unable to wrap my head around.
6) Beloved changed to Wednesday nights at our apartment and it has been so different and sweet.
7) I've been constantly reminded how L O V E D I am by the One True God and He has shown me that in a multitude of ways over the past months. And, undoubtedly will continue to show me over the course of my life.

I know it is short, but that is the best I can do for now. As I continue to commit to decorating our home and making it more...homey...I will do my best to share some photos. But, here I leave you, mildly updated and more in the loop. How can you stop and appreciate the things in your life? Even if it is only a 12 hour decrease in work hours - there is always something to be thankful for.

'Tis the season :)

The timer is now at 24 minutes.




James 1:15 - The Art of Desiring

2015-04-24T09:15:56.806-07:00

I want to go back to school.I want to move to a new apartment.I want to pay off all of our loans right now.I want to have kids some day.I want to be able to afford higher rent.I want to work in ministry long term.I want to counsel hurting young women.I want to have more than one day off.I want to not have to go back to school.I want to just be a mom and wife.I want to travel freely.I want to have more goals.I want to start crafting.I want to tell you why this is toxic.How many times have I made a list of things to change or accomplish? Well, far too many to tell you about. How often do I complain about where I am in life? Ask my husband. But the better question: how often am I thankful? Well, again, ask my husband. But, if I were to tell you that, this would be a much shorter post. James 1:15 says this, "Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death" (NKJV). Desire in itself is not a bad thing. In fact, to desire is to act on a God-given nature. But, where your desire is rooted is where the issues arise. Is there anything inherently evil about the things I've listed? Well, no. Most of them sound like healthy goals to have; getting out of debt, being fruitful and multiplying, being productive with my time, helping others, desiring rest, etc. But, in the list above, how many of those things are all about me?Every. Single. One.Please allow me the opportunity to be the first to say that I am a selfish being. I want what I want and I want it now. Uh hello, Veruca Salt.But please allow me to also say this. self-depreciation or self-loathing is not the best way to change this attitude. At best, tearing yourself down just continues to put the focus back on you. Well, what is the best way? Your five-year-old-Sunday-school-self knows the answer: Jesus.As our hearts are knit closer and closer to the heart of Christ, we become a brighter reflection of the Son. The desire part is not the issue. It is where the desire has become rooted. In the list of "I want to's" my desires are rooted in myself. The greek word for desire in James 1:15 (epithymia) means this: "desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust" (Blue Letter Bible Lexicon). This specific use of desire is a longing that is poorly rooted. Or rather, the chosen root placement is unhealthy to say the least. When I say "I want to be there not here." Or, "I want to have that not this," my desires have gotten off track. I am my own desires. And if we finish the verse, "sin, when it is full grown, leads to death" we can see the fruit of our labors. Desiring self does not seem toxic - at first. Goals, positions of leadership, nurturing, not bad. However, when your desires are based on furthering yourself - or even furthering/bettering the lives of others - rather than on furthering the Kingdom of God, well, your end has already been written.But, desires' roots can be replanted.Psalm 37:4-5 "Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass" (NKJV).Psalm 38:9 "Lord, all my desire is before You; and my sighing is not hidden from You" (NKJV).Isaiah 26:8 "Yes, in the way of Your judgements, O LORD, we have waited for You: The desire of our soul is for Your name and for the remembrance of You" (NKJV). The focus CAN be placed back on Christ. We are made to serve a master. Who or what you serve is a decision you make. It is a desire you place. It is a trust you build. Thankfully, we are unable to serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). So, all of this to say, where are your desires rooted? Where has your trust been placed? Who are you trying to further? Maybe this is a message that ruffles some feathers. Or maybe this is a message that is hard to hear simply because you can relate to my issues. Well, welcome to the club. Please, if you have any questions or comments or corrections about what [...]



For Everything There Is A Season

2014-11-27T10:12:55.378-08:00

November 2013 - Mr. Noah Irish, my boyfriend of 3 years, proposed marriage, and I bought a wedding dress with my momma and sister.
December 2013 - graduated from Northwest University with my Bachelor's of Arts in General Studies and moved my 21-year-old self to Kirkland.
January 2014 - brought in the new year with 5 men (Noah included), broken guitars, and mortars in the fire place.
February 2014 - started a new job, only to give my two weeks notice three weeks later.
March 2014 - started at Starbucks as a fresh face with no experience.
April 2014 - transferred to another store and made approximately 20 new friends.
May 2014 - walked across a stage and received my diploma from the university president and hung out with my family and my soon-to-be family at lunch.
June 2014 - went home to Oregon to be showered by family and friends in honor of my wedding.
July 2014 - watched and stood next to one of my very best friends as she married her very best adventure buddy.
August 2014 - finalized all of the plans for our wedding with the help of my beautiful mother and sister, was taken out by two wonderful friends for my bachelorette party, saw one of my best friends come back from London, married my best friend, provider, and confidant on the 23rd, and started a new job 5 days later.
September 2014 - hit the six month mark at Starbucks and became a barista trainer.
October 2014 - turned 22, and lost a friend to cancer.
November 2014 - my parents celebrated 25 years of marriage, we signed a lease for a 104 year old apartment and will move in on the first of December, I gave my two weeks notice at a job I have had for 1 year and 4 months, and I cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner last night.

This past year has certainly been filled with ups and downs, highs and lows, lefts and rights, and all that good directional stuff. It's been a tough year as well as a very...developing year. I'm reminded of all of God's promises to prosper us (Jeremiah 29:11), love us (John 3:16), and guide/restore us (Psalm 23:2). He's so faithful and so good to us. And this Thanksgiving, while I am working and giving wonderful people the caffeine needed to pep them up for family get-togethers or going to work themselves and my husband is doing the same, I'd like to leave you with this reminder:

"Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations" (Psalm 100).







Where To Begin

2014-07-03T11:06:53.897-07:00

Hello, faithful blog followers. It's been awhile. Allow me to update you on the current state of my life:Work:. I've been working more hours at Starbucks getting ready to start paying back my loans. Recently, my supervisors have been asking me to supervise beginners while they make drinks which is a huge compliment to me!. My six month review is in two more months, and I am hoping to become a barista trainer - I've always loved to teach!. The transition to a new store was difficult at first, but now I love my store and fellow partners!School:. I finished Microbiology and learned from the experience that as much as I love to learn about and practice science, I'm not sure that I see it as a life career for me. On that note, after much prayer and consideration, I've been told to wait to go back to school as I am currently making a big transition into becoming a wife!. I am going to go pick up my diploma from NU on Monday, and finally get to see (on paper) the fruits of my laborChurch:. I love teaching Beloved and it is going well so far! I faithfully have about seven girls who attend and we are making our way through Hebrews (that is a whole other blog post in itself!). Noah and I have been youth leaders for one year and four months and its going pretty well! We've graduated three kids and have been continuing to learn about the other kids and grow to love them more and more. We are also continuing to grow more and more in the community/body of the church and we feel so at home at Calvary MonroeHome:. My wonderful roommate Rylie is getting married next weekend!!! Which means that she is officially moving out on Monday. She was my pseudo roommate for four years, and then my actual roommate for seven months and I have loved getting to know her and continuing to grow into the bosom buddies that we've become.. Noah and I will be living here, where I currently live, beginning August 23rd, for no more than six months (at least that is the plan as of now).. My house is currently in a state of disarray as I have not had time to sit down and put everything away!Love:. Noah and I get married in 50 days! After over 1350 days of dating, we are tying the knot and I can count the number of weeks on two hands ;). The past two weeks, I have been terribly homesick and really missing my family in Oregon. It would appear that the next time I go home, I will be a married woman and that has been a major adjustment to process through.. My oldest nephew turned fifteen one week ago and I can hardly believe that! To top it off, my youngest nephew is turning five in five days! Let me remind you that he did not walk or talk when I left for college!. I have been a fairly absentee daughter/sister/aunt to my family in Oregon - no excuses here - and I feel awful about that. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, and in my lackluster communication skills via technology, I've learned to be in prayer for my family every time they cross my mind. So, they are constantly being prayed for!That is a summary of my life as of late. Some of the nitty-gritty information was not transferred onto this post via my fingertips because it is too long to write about and this is an update ;) But, through all of the changes I have been experiencing, the Lord has constantly been reminding me that He alone is enough and that He alone is the lifter of my head and the sustainer of my life. And, He's also allowed me moments like this, where I am able to reflect back on all that He has brought me to and through in the past years, and be truly blessed by how well He knows me and is continuing to shape the woman I am becoming.Well, dear reader, that is all for now! How blessed we are with the technology to be able to keep up with one another even from hundreds of miles apart![...]



I Failed Another Resolution

2014-04-14T16:20:06.712-07:00

4 months and 14 days in, and I will be the first to take the walk of shame down the "I have failed yet another New Year's resolution to lose weight" path.In all fairness, I'm not sure the ever faithful "I will lose ___  pounds this year" has ever truly stuck with me. There have definitely been years that I've said, "I'm just not going to have a resolution this year. That way, when I don't keep it, I won't be letting myself down." Bleh. Talk about an easy out!Well, today is the beginning of my new yearHa. Just kidding. This is what has really been happening.I'm getting married in 19 weeks. Whoa! How it snuck up on me that fast I will never know. Regardless, it's happening, and I am so excited! Noah and I have been together for three and a half years today. I'm not even going to begin the expansive list of things that I love about him or all of the lessons I've learned. Just know, dear reader, that there are many and I am madly in love. But, in the spectrum of a lifetime, a brief moment at a (Lord willing) beautiful wedding, wearing a (truthfully) beautiful dress, should not be motivation to stick to a commitment. I believe it should be something bigger. Let's try the next recent event.I started working at Starbucks one month and 4 days ago. For those who are curious, I absolutely love it and am so thankful for the opportunity to work there, and yes, I have a favorite drink to make, consume, and encourage others to try. Unbeknownst to the common coffee shop goer, there is a lot of manual labor that happens at Starbucks; both behind the counter, as well as behind the swinging door to the mysterious "back" we tell you we will check when you ask for a pastry not visible in the display case. Being out of shape and performing said manual labor has not yet been too terribly challenging, but there have been a few bumps and bruises that may not have otherwise happened. However, in the grand scheme of things, lifting heavy boxes and running around filling ice containers, making delicious beverages, or moving refrigerators is not a fantastic reason to recommit to a New Year's resolution. So, what is?Well, I will tell you what it is for me personally (everyone has their own motivation, but I've begun to see reasons to change my lackluster commitment in a new light).You and I are made in the image of God. I know, it may seem a silly or trivial reason to commit to taking better care of myself, but really. If you had the opportunity to "Freaky Friday" with your favorite actor or actress, you'd want to treat them with respect, and probably glam it up a bit. Well, you're made in the image of God daily. It is unchanging. And what's better is that He is unchanging. He looked at you and me and the rest of Creation, and saw that it was good. If that is not motivation enough, let me add the cross to the mix. God saw that it was good (Genesis 1:31) and wanted to spend the rest of eternity with us. So, in order for that to happen, he sent his one and only Son (check out John 3:16) to save us. Save us from what? From eternal separation from the very Being who created us. From Hell. And from pain and suffering for all of eternity. If I knew that someone loved me so wildly and romantically as to sacrifice their LIFE for me, then I would do everything I could to find him and tell him how much I loved and appreciated him. Well, I have done that by starting a personal relationship with Jesus. And let me tell you, the hope I have in Him (Hebrews 6:19) is something to rejoice about!All this to say, that the way I treat myself, reflects how I treat the work of my Savior's hands. And thus far, I've been doing a pretty lousy job. It's not about a New Year's resolution, it's about the fact that I am made in the image of God. I am loved by the one and only true God, and I believe that He wants what is best for me. I don't plan on becoming super skinny and only[...]



Every Thursday Night

2014-01-29T13:15:58.193-08:00


Typically, when people ask me what Beloved is all about, I just say "Jesus." He is the focus. The reason why we meet every Thursday night is to learn about His love for us and to understand that via the Bible. 

However, Beloved has become so much more than a Bible study. 

Every Thursday night, I have the privilege of meeting with 7-10 of my sisters. 
Every Thursday night, I find out that even though I studied in order to actually teach and lead, my girls always have so much to teach me.
Every Thursday night, I see the growth that has taken place since July, as girls - some who hardly knew one another - come together and genuinely care.
Every Thursday night, these beautiful young women share their concerns, struggles, and joys with one another.
Every Thursday night, I am challenged as a leader to shut my mouth and allow the Lord to speak through me.
And every Thursday night, I see a small glimpse of what God had in mind when He said that we are to be one body. 

Beloved is made up of young women who go to different churches, different schools, work at different places, are different ages, have their own opinions, and are by no means perfect. But, the one absolute common ground is that we want to know more about our Savior. Whether someone comes to the group with vast knowledge, or no knowledge of Jesus at all, we want to know more! We want to be able to grasp His Word and share it with others. And most of all, we want to be able to love like Jesus. 

"For by the grace given to me [Paul] I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another" 
(Romans 12:3-5 ESV),



Draw Near

2014-01-23T17:34:22.694-08:00

I sat down to prepare for Beloved yesterday and realized that I only had three verses to study. Mildly concerned I would not have enough material, I prayed and began the journey (cliche, but more gripping than other beginnings). I read through Hebrews 4:14-16 and was fairly amazed. In short, the love of God is just so much bigger than I can fathom - but, I already knew that about myself. However, verse 16 quite literally took my breath away. It is written out below:"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."Draw near - what a powerful thought. What does that mean? Well, at the risk of my small group girls reading this before I am able to share it with them in person, I would love to tell you! This type of "draw near" is like one would do to come before a king or highly regarded leader. One would not simply waltz up to Obama and say, "Hey bro, I've got this wicked speeding ticket. Uh, fix it!" Of course not! I would hope, with no political agenda to be discussed, that anyone would approach the president with honor and respect. He is in a position of authority that, by nature, demands respect. He is leading an entire country! Now, imagine God. The Almighty, Alpha and Omega, I Am, Jehovah. Using the example above, one would not do this with God either. There would be respect, admiration, and honor given. He is our Creator; and while Obama leads a nation, God created the Earth and all who are on it! It would almost seem that God is unapproachable. But that is where the "throne of grace" mentioned in the verse comes into play!By the blood of Jesus, we are saved from our sins. By the blood of Jesus, are we able to come before God. Why? Don't think you're worthy? Think you're too bad for God? Well, truth be told, we are all born sinners. But, with the promise of John 3:16 (for God so LOVED the WORLD that He GAVE His one and only SON that WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT PERISH but have ETERNAL LIFE) in mind, we are covered in grace. When God sees us, He sees the atoning sacrifice of Jesus and welcomes us into His presence. So, why is this so important? Because it reminds us of the true and genuine love of our Savior. Love that is so pure, strong, and captivating. This is a love that no one should miss out on! If you don't know Jesus, or think you are too unworthy, pray! It is so simple. And if it is terrifying to think of even attempting to come before God, remember that He wrote the words "draw near" in the Bible for all to see for all eternity. They were written for me, and they were written for you. I needed the reminder that He loves me and that I am welcome. And with that, I am safe in the watchful eye of my Savior who rules mightily, seated on a throne of grace.[...]



Course Code: LIFE2014

2014-01-06T21:31:42.069-08:00

I had the great privilege today of being reminded of what God has called me to.The woman I have the blessing of being a caregiver for has been ill lately. Today, I came in and she was absolutely awful; IV hanging, nauseous, tired, and not eating. I had been sitting with her for awhile and asked her how she was feeling. Her reply, "I feel better when you are here." Recently, my beautiful friend and mother reminded me of the call that I responded to when I first came to Washington. She encouraged me to remove myself from the disappointment of not completing nursing school and press on. Essentially, she encouraged me to remember what Paul wrote in Philippians 3:12-16:"12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained" (ESV).Surely you have been discouraged before; this world is not exactly the most encouraging place at all times. Shortcomings occur, pain ensues, and traps for failure are set. But, there is so much hope in the blood of Jesus Christ which has covered all of our sins! And the wondrous work of the Lord is that while he is saddened when we sin, he never stops loving us! When you feel that you have fallen, and the Lord is no longer guiding you, just remember that the only one down on the ground is you. He is patiently waiting to take your hand and continue to guide you."A man's heart plans his ways,but the Lord directs his steps."- Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV)[...]



Galatians 5:16-26

2013-10-18T10:55:44.091-07:00

I am happy to report that this is not an update on my life post, but a Jesus post. Yesterday I taught on Galatians 5:16-26. It was so radical, and actually is what caused me to want to write this! May you be blessed as much as I was!  I should preface by saying that I use a commentary by David Guzak for my studies. This commentary is easily accessible to the general public via www.blueletterbible.org - I would encourage you to type in your search and study the Word for yourself, too!16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. This verse is one that we can take at face value. The term, "walk" means to pattern our lives after. It's not just a once-in-a-while thing when we live in the Spirit, it is a constant thing. We should: 1) acknowledge that when we accept Christ, the Spirit dwells in us, 2) be open and sensitive to the Spirit, and 3) pattern our life after the Spirit. In response to this, the Spirit will: 1) reveal His will through the Bible, 2) use others who are living in the Spirit to influence us, and 3) mature us in our faith in order to give us direction and understanding. *John 16:13-15 tells us how we know the works of the Spirit17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. This is a BATTLE. Straight up conflict is what we can see here. We know from Ephesians 6:10-18 that we must put on the full armor of God. This verse here demonstrates to us why it is called "armor." A good modern day analogy is this: you open up your closet in the morning to find shoes. You see black Converse and yellow Converse. You own both of them, but you can only wear one pair. You don't have 4 feet, so you can't put on both pairs, and wearing one of one color and one of the other color won't work. So, you must choose. Similarly, we have the flesh and we have the Spirit. We must choose one. We own them both, but we can't put them on at the same time. Q: What is flesh?A: Boice defines the the Greek word, "sarx" as follows: "All the evil that man is and is capable of apart from the intervention of God's grace in his life." So, the very Christianese word "flesh" does not mean your epidermis, it is all of the things we are capable of (that will destroy us) outside of the grace of God.The wonderful thing is that we have the opportunity to put on the Spirit of God, and the armor of God and fight against the flesh that dwells within us.Matthew 6:24 confirms the idea that we cannot put on both the flesh and the Spirit. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Another wonderful verse that be taken exactly how it sounds. We have grace! We don't need to live under the 613 commands of the Law of Moses. He have the grace of God and we should write it on our hearts. *Jeremiah 31:33 confirms this. (It is important to note that the grace of God does not decommission the Law of Moses; rather, the grace of God allows us to be saved by grace rather than by our own works). 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions,divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. This section is pretty famous - all of the major "do not's" of a Christian life in the Spirit.There are 4 sin categories:  Sensual sinsfornication (a.k.a. sexual immorality): this comes from th[...]



These Are A Few of My Favorite Things

2013-08-20T14:28:47.668-07:00

My last semester of my undergrad career start on Monday. That is both extremely exciting and extremely nerve-racking. College has been one of the most challenging, yet rewarding times of my life. This morning when I woke up, I felt sad - my joy was minimal. When my parents plan to come up here and help me move changed that made the sadness all the more evident. However, I am reminded that joy is a fruit of the Spirit. And, by the grace of God, the Spirit lives in me. As a result, I have the opportunity to be joyful always. As a little girl, my mom would say that when I complained, I had to say two things I was thankful for. As an adult, I have to remind myself to do just that. With that being said, I would like to say a few of of my favorite things.1) the grace that God gives me on a daily basis; not because I earn it, but because He loves me that much.2) my ever-loving family. I was able to spend last week in Oregon seeing my crazy family, and I was so filled with all of the love that they consistently give to me.3) Noah. Probably the most cliche answer, but my relationship with Noah and all of the wonderful and challenging experiences that have grown us, must be in the top three of my favorite things. I would not be who I am today without having the opportunity to grow with this man.4) music. peaceful, tranquil, simple, acoustic music.5) quality time with friends. no explanation necessary.6) the beach/ocean. big and daunting, yet somehow the most relaxing and calming place.7) coffee and laughter. they go hand in hand.8) photography. being able to capture any moment and treasure it forever.9) food. new foods and classic dishes. I also enjoy cooking - mostly because it involves food.10) reading. getting lost in a world that someone has written for you to enjoy.[...]



Response

2013-07-29T22:59:42.264-07:00

My wonderful friend Rylie (if you are reading this, I miss you terribly and would appreciate your mailing address) recently posed the question: "what are you thankful for this week?" Well, that sounds simple enough. Air, water, food, shelter, and all of the other beautifully simple and completely necessary things. However, this question has been asked at an interesting time.Recently, my funding for school - my last 4 months of school - has been . . . dismal. Under the impression that my original source of funding had been removed, I threw myself fully into trusting God for the money to go back to school. Let me break it down:- today is July 29, 2013 and as of today I have $500 of the $5,000 saved- school starts on August 26, 2013 and money is due that day- I have less than 30 days left, and approximately 1/10th of the money neededSo, when asked what am I thankful for this week, my focus must be removed from my monetary issues, and placed on those of salvation issues; not issues, but things that are a blessing to me rather than things I am worried about. Here goes.- Although funding school seems to be looming over my head, I am oh so thankful that a college-level education is even an option for me.- Although working two jobs is tiring . . . I am employed!- Coffee brewed at home is much cheaper than coffee bought at a shop, and I have a coffee maker! - The women's retreat last weekend was marvelous, refreshing, and brought much needed promise!- I am thankful that I have a loving family who wants what is best for me.- I am thankful for restoration.- I am thankful for freedom.- I am thankful that I have not had to go more than 2 weeks without seeing my love this summer.- I am thankful that for the first time in my life, I am not sleeping on a twin mattress.- Young women's Bible study has been one of the biggest blessing this summer and I so admire those young women and their hearts; and teaching them once a week is humbling and uplifting.- My church has surrounded me with love. - I am thankful that I am able to feel the freedom of not having a 5-year plan - I don't even have a 6-month plan!- Although the tickets were more expensive than usual, I get to be in Oregon for one full week and spend all of those precious days with my family.- I am thankful that I have the opportunity to live in God's new mercies every morning!- I am thankful that the upper half of my body is tan - that means I have been outside.- The library has air conditioning and hours of entertainment. It is a wonderful place.At the women's retreat last weekend, we had the opportunity to be alone with the Lord. In that time, it was suggested that we just thank God. Not ask Him for anything or call out for anything, but say thank you and show our gratitude. By the end of the 40 minute prayer time, I was shouting thanks and I just kept thinking of more and more things that I am thankful for! I have never worshiped in that manner, nor have I ever put my needs/wants aside and simply said, "thank you Abba, Father, that you love me so much!" So, my question to you is this:When was the last time that you simply said thank you?[...]



Spoken Word

2013-07-06T20:06:24.597-07:00

These words came out of nowhere, so it must have been the Holy Spirit. I just wanted to share. God bless!


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When It Rains, It Pours

2013-06-17T16:12:02.561-07:00

This morning, I went to the Y to remind the manager that I am available for swim lessons and that I would love to have a job. I left there feeling defeated after I found out that he wasn't available due to being "in training." Assuming the secretary meant swim instructor training, I left a mess. My goal was to get a job by the first of June. Uh, hello, it's June 17th today! So, I came home and began to examine the available jobs via my school's website. I found one and gave the kind woman a call. She asked me send a resume and told me that once I met her mother who I will be assisting, I can start when I am ready. Wow. Next, I received a phone call from the Starbucks manager telling me that I nailed the interview and that she would love to hire me if it weren't for my living situation in the fall. She kindly told me that she doesn't want me to have to commute to Monroe and go to school in Kirkland. That was encouraging! She also told me that I had to apply in Kirkland because I fit the Starbucks bill. So, after talking to my mum, who encouraged me to just call a store in Kirkland, I did. I called the first one on the list and asked to speak to the manager who just happened to be the person who answered the phone. She asked me to come in for an interview tomorrow afternoon at 3:30. What?! I started to freak out. I had to call Noah! So, as I am just about to tell Noah all that happened, I get a call from the Y asking me to come in for an interview tomorrow morning at 11:00. Okay . . . wow.

When I walked out of the Y this morning, all that was dancing around my head was: $5,000. That is how much I need in order to pay for school - my last semester! The song playing on the radio said: "Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord;" a song I have heard hundreds of times. But this time it hit home. I am waiting on the Lord. I don't know what is going to happen the rest of the evening let alone 6 months from now when I graduate! But, that song reminded me that in the mean time, I need to ask God to increase my strength. Particularly after feeling extremely defeated about not having a job. I prayed, "Lord, increase my strength because I just don't want to try anymore."

Now here I am. Three job interviews this week - two tomorrow. But, its not like God is magical; I could have not heard from any of those places, and I would still need to say, "Lord, increase my strength." However, God does hear our cries and He doesn't always answer how we want Him to. Keep praying, don't give up faith. Not because God is going to pull three jobs out of a hat, but because God is going to meet you right where you are, pull you gently off of the ground, and tell you that His ways are perfect - always.



Hello,

2013-06-11T12:38:20.128-07:00

Hello,

My name is Elisabeth and I will graduate from university in 6 months.

"Hi, Elisabeth. Welcome to the real world."



Freshman Year:


Sophomore Year:


Junior Year:


Senior Year:

TBA






Sacrifice of Praise

2013-05-29T13:10:31.466-07:00

Recently, my plans have been altered. As previously posted, I am no longer enrolled in the Northwest University Buntain School of Nursing. However, I am still enrolled in Northwest. I am living in Monroe in a lovely couple's spare room. I am helping to lead youth, and I am starting up a young women's Bible study at Calvary Chapel Monroe. I haven't been home since March, my things are either in storage or in my half of a closet. I have cried more in the past day than I have in a long while. I told my mother the other day that I feel like my life is an etch-a-sketch. I had everything all drawn out like I thought it should be and God came and shook everything and made my plans disappear in order to remind me that He is the author and perfecter of my faith and He knows better than I do what exactly I am supposed to do in this life. All I know is that my offering of praise is minimal at best. My offering of trust and willingness is adequate, but praise . . . how can I praise Him when my world seems to be hanging by a thread? Well first of all, I can pray according to HIS WILL. I John 5:14 says, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us." Uh, hello! I want to be heard - but, it is only through HIS will (not mine) that He hears me. Second, how do I show my love for God in this time of frustration and confusion? "This is love for God: to obey His commands. And his commands are not burdensome" I John 5:3. Did you catch that? His commands are NOT BURDENSOME! Well, there is a good place to start. I should be following His commands rather than my own or the commands of this world. So far, commands of this world have proven to be fruitless and futile because, "...the whole world is under the command of the evil one" I John 5:19. But, the very next verse says this: "We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true - even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life" I John 5:20. Well, there you go! UNDERSTANDING. That is a gift - not so that we can know everything there is to know. No! So that we may know HIM WHO IS TRUE - the ETERNAL LIFE and TRUE GOD. That is someone who I want to know!

So, having said all of that, I know that my praise is to be offered. I am serving the TRUE GOD who gives me understanding, hears my prayers, doesn't burden me, and offers me eternal life. I know that life is hard, people die, I sin, bad things happen to good people, and sometimes I burn the toast. But, hey, if there is someone who loves me enough to offer His Son as a ransom for my sins, than I ought to be down on my knees even if I feel like I will never be able to get up. 



"You turned my wailing into DANCING; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with JOY, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever." 
Psalm 30:11-12



Creativity, or Something Like It.

2013-05-08T00:16:48.242-07:00

A creation that I am quite proud of. Here's to hoping it goes viral.





An Exhilarating Close

2013-05-07T23:42:38.048-07:00

Another chapter in my life has come to a close. Tomorrow, at 1:40 PM, my Junior year of nursing will conclude...for now. I would love to say that it is ending for ever, but apparently, that is not what God has in mind. Rather, I will be competing my missions minor, as well as earning my psychology minor during the fall and spring semester next year along with repeating a couple of classes from this semester. My professor said to me just yesterday, "Elisabeth, this is a loss. Allow yourself the time to grieve and be sad about it. And then, move on." Granted, it is a loss that I will not be in the program, it is an even bigger loss of my pride. Having my plans completely altered, that wasn't on my list of things to do in my life; but thankfully, I have the best event planner on my side. So, as one chapter comes to an exhilarating close, another is eloquently introduced. The next chapter will be titled: The Modified Mission Field. On Friday, I move into a family's home in Monroe and I will spend my Summer working with the youth of Calvary. To say I am surprised that I will be preaching and leading all Summer would be an understatement. I am literally baffled. Praise God that He is able to fill my mouth because most of the time, it just needs to be shut! So, my book is still being written, and thankfully, I have a wonderful Author. 

"You will keep perfectly peaceful the one whose mind remains focused on You, because he (a.k.a. Elisabeth) remains in You." 
- Isaiah 26:3



3 Days

2013-05-04T23:08:11.102-07:00

There are only three days left in the school year until I am done with my first year of nursing school and I have no idea what the next year is going to look like. Although, I do know that it will look like what God has in mind - because I got nothin'! The best part is, I am completely fine with not knowing. I have a back-up plan. What I do know is that this year has been challenging, growing, difficult, purposeful, encouraging, fulfilling, and just downright wonderful! So many adventures that I wish I could write out now. But, with those final three days of school come more than three days worth of homework that needs to be done. 










Values

2013-03-23T19:05:30.367-07:00

Sitting in a coffee shop, I overhear a man say, "I told her to just terminate now."

He was talking about life.

He was referring to his daughter and how she is so young and pregnant. I just can not believe it! Let's address my folly to be fair - I should not have been eavesdropping. End of story. He has the freedom and ability to feel how he feels and express what he expresses and I should not be judging. However, I just realized the state of our world!

Since when is it okay to tell YOUR baby what she should do with HER baby?! Let alone, to tell her that she should kill her baby. Wow. It saddens me to know that people feel that life should be ended just because of how young someone is. Granted, a girl may be ill-prepared to take care of a child at a young age, but nevertheless, it is life. Precious, God-given life. There is no telling how that baby's life will turn out, but it is fair to say that the child will, in the least, have life!

My heart breaks over the fact that this baby will enter life with the reality that someone wanted it dead. Wow.

Values - what are they?
And, where does the reality of life take importance?



Blessed Assurance

2013-03-19T20:42:03.688-07:00

In nursing school, they preach the whole idea of "prevention." Rather than cure someone, just help them to not acquire any diseases. Well, as made evident by society, disease is inevitable. And, until today, I was just another non-compliant human.Despite multiple suggestions from my sister to go to the ophthalmologist, I have not gone. Until today.He was kind enough to numb my eyeballs, expose them to the world via dilation, shine an extremely bright light in them, and then proceed to tell me that my optic nerves are "pink and happy." This all sounds so pleasant. Then, came the verdict I was hoping he was going to rule out for me."Because of the fact that you are 20, a woman, and presenting with all of these symptoms, I can't rule out MS. You can have MS without optic neuritis - which you don't have. So, I can't say for sure. You need to see a neurologist who will do some tests, and if those come up inconclusive, then you can go in a big machine that will take pictures of your brain. So, it's either too much stress and your body is revolting, or MS."Well...this all seems so sudden. Perhaps I fell over once. And yes, my eyes are blurry. And I will even admit to my hands feeling like they are on fire. I will even admit to a headache everyday. But MS? No.I am doing my best to not dwell on the "what-ifs" of this situation. I simply say that the doctor is trying to "rule out MS." Because, as far as I am concerned, these strange things are not MS. I just have a rebellious body. Prayer. That's all I've got to keep me calm. Blessed AssuranceThis is my story, this is my song,Praising my Savior all the day long.This is my story, this is my song,  Praising my Savior all the day long.[...]



Body

2013-03-02T22:15:37.182-08:00

I've held sleeping babies
I've held crying women
I've held the hurting addict
I've held the pen to paper
I've held the hands of my love
I've held my nephews
I've held my terrified sister after a fire
I've held the door for strangers
I've held my makeup brush
I've held cameras making memories
I've held tear-stained letters
I've held the cell phone - always a distraction
I've held anger inside
I've held hurt in my eyes
I've held fear and sorrow where no one can find
I've held stress on my brow
I've held frustration
I've held my Bible
I've held a microphone
I've held on to a podium for dear life
I've held hospital gowns
I've held stethoscopes
I've held someone's medication
I've held thoughts dear to me
I've held responsibilities
I've held a broken arm
I've held on to past sorrows
I've held on to guilt
I've held on to pride
I've held on to hope
I've held on to joy
I've held on to friends
I've held weights
I've held the weight of the world - or so I thought
I've held decisions
I've held secrets
I've held my tongue
I've held food
I've held onto the fact that even though I feel like I've held onto so much, God is always holding onto me.




I'm Ready

2012-11-18T23:21:02.016-08:00

Where is my heart?
Is my mind focused on You?
You hold my world.
You gave me life.
You give my freedom.
Mercy pours out of your wounds.
Your blood covers my multitude of sins.
If I took the time to appreciate that,
my heart would be in better shape.
I miss hearing your voice.
I miss feeling your presence.
I know you never leave.
I think I got distracted.
Would you be willing to take me back?
You always are!
What joy!
You know my frustrations. 
You hold my tongue.
I will never be able to thank you enough for that.
Guide my steps.
Fill my thoughts.
Use my words.
Teach my hands.
Mold my heart.
Here I am Lord,
I'm vulnerable.
I'm ready. 
I just want more of You.