swept upward

..."that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. 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. 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, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." ~Philippians 3:10-14

I love this passage, it reminds me-

*of the Resurrection power that made me alive in Christ and put to death sin's hold over me.
*that I have anything *but* arrived at perfect knowledge of the Faith and of the Savior.
*that there is a pressing-on in our becoming like Him, a particular striving in the life of a believer that is expected (and all too evident).
*because the call is of God in Christ Jesus and not of human will, I can leave the worthless things and the mistakes I've made behind, repent of the sin that still pervades in my life and move forward with Christ, and along side His people.

But for God's mercy and grace alone, onward and upward I am swept.


but God..


I was dead in my sins and trespasses, moving through my 40's in lock step with the world and the sons of disobedience, all the while "secure" under the illusion of false conversion.

But one day, God, being rich in mercy and abounding in a Love higher and greater than any man can scarcely perceive, 
turned my deluded world right-side-up as He gave me a new heart and made me alive in Christ. 

Truly alive.

I was made partaker of the immeasurable riches of his grace and kindness when I was in my utmost presumptive, self righteousness state.

For the first time in my life I knew that a true work of the Spirit had been borne in me.  Those weren't thoughts I was capable of thinking on my own, nor was that a sorrow and remorse I'd have known without the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit.

All honor and glory to God, in whose Gospel I've been given to boast .



so..you want to be like Jesus?

Dying to Self 
by Bill Britton
When you are forgotten, or neglected,
or purposely set at naught,
and you don't sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight,
but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ.
that is dying to self

When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed,
your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed,
and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart,
or even defend yourself, but take in all in patient, loving silence.
that is dying to self

When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder,
any irregularity, any impunctuality, or any annoyance;
when you stand face-to- face with waste, folly, extravagance,
spiritual insensibility and endure it as Jesus endured.
that is dying to self

When you are content with any food, any offering, any climate,
any society, any raiment, any interruption by the will of God.
that is dying to self

When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation,
or to record your own good works, or itch after commendations,
when you can truly love to be unknown.
that is dying to self

When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met
and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit 
and feel no envy, 
nor question God, while your own needs are far greater
and in desperate circumstances
that is dying to self

When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature 
than yourself and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly,
finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart.

that is dying to self.
*       ~     *       ~      *      ~      *      ~      *      ~     *        ~       *
"Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ "
(Phl 3:8)


A decade of paying tribute..a lifetime of memories & healing ~

Sep. 6th-8th, 2013 marks the 10th year for the Tribute To The Troops' mission to pay tribute to those who have served our country and fallen, particularly during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). It will be the 9th year for husband and I as we were out of town during TTTT's inception.

TTTT began simply to recognize and thank the families and friends of those who lost their lives by paying them a personal visit, letting them know that there are people out here who care and won't forget about their loved one and the sacrifces made for the people of this country. As well, to heighten awareness far and wide that men and women were dying for our country while we continued with our lives, business as usual.

These men and women belonged to someone-people who were and are our neighbors. Something had to be done, somebody had to reach out these families.

It started as a mc ride because the original founding members and their friends love riding motorcycles and shared a great appreciation for the freedom we have in this country (several of whom  themselves served).  A freedom abundantly enhanced by two wheels, a throttle, and an open road.  These Freedoms we have did not come without great cost.  We recognize and want to honor that.

Over the years, the families we've met have been some of the most wonderful, gracious, loving people I have ever come across. Many of those we've visited are themselves riders and have joined us on the ride, many of have become an integral part of TTTT through volunteering and serving on the Board.

It has been truly amazing what TTTT has meant for many, many grieving parents, widows, siblings kids, and more. .

Due mostly to normal circumstances of life our own involvement with this marvelous organization has been greatly reduced, but the people, along with all the wonderful memories (and they are many and rich!) will forever maintain a special place a place in my heart.

Tomorrow husband and I will take part in the ride and I am really looking forward to it.

(Edit): 'I may add more as the weekend progresses..'  Well I didn't do that :)

Turned out to be another wonderful year..with broken hearts moved toward healing, memories made, connecting with friends old and new, and of course many pictures taken:
Friday Ride
Saturday Ride
Sunday Ride & Concert

God's grace abounds, in every nook of every cranny of every person, place and thing.


a strong delusion

This is an excellent film.

"They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error." 1John 4:5-6

There is no explanation, at least as far as can be surmised this side of heaven, for a certain blindness that appears to surround leaders of otherwise well regarded, substantially orthodox ministries.  

Rather than voice concern regarding Rick Warren's (and a growing number of other Evangelical leaders) problematic theology and 
multi-tentacled ministries, they give approval and succeed in confusing the sheep.  

But soley for God's grace go any one of us.  I have prayed for Rick Warren and other leaders..the culpability as a preacher of God's Word and shepherd of the sheep is ginormous...we all ought pray.
and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them." Acts 20:30


Examine yourself

Have you ever wondered about your true standing with God?

Up until age 44 I was 100% sure I was saved, that God and I were good-to-go. That is until one day, in His own divine timing God showed me His holiness and the reality of my sin, revealing my actual standing with Him and it wasn't good. Oh I had a relationship with God but it wasn't pretty; I was in opposition to Him.  I'd been careening toward an eternity separated from God and in hell. Before then, I thought my spiritual vision was quite clear thank you very much..but I was blind blind blind.  When the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit mercifully at work in me caused the scales on my eyes to drop away there was dramatic change. Heart change, desire change, my whole world-view was turned right-side-up.  It was as if I could see for the first time in my life, and similar to Isaiah,(in 6:5) I said:  'Woe is me! For I am lost...and I dwell in the midst of a people likewise lost!'.

Not long after that day I came upon one of the most startling passages in scripture:

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.' " Matthew 7:21-23

Startling for a few reasons.  For one, it points to the magnitude of our salvation.  For another, it points to the reality that there are still a great number of people who, exactly like I was, are walking in darkness blind to their unrighteous standing before God, though they think they are safely in the clear.

"No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light." 2 Corinthians 11:14

I haven't questioned my standing with God since that day but that doesn't mean that born-again believer's can't have doubts or be confused.  Struggling isn't bad, it can actually be good. Struggling helps us grow in Christ's likeness, it produces character.  What should be troubling for any Christian is if we never struggle! 


to every nation, tribe, tongue and people

gorgeous, poignant, Powerful.

"Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: 'To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.' " Isaiah 45:22-23

(HT Challies)

TWR: Speaking Hope to the World from TWR on Vimeo.