I’m a Believer

…blessed is she that believed… -Luke 1:45

If I Told You My Story… August 30, 2017

Filed under: christian life,faith,Uncategorized — Laura @ 6:11 pm

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I had occasion recently to write a Personal Statement of Faith. While I have strong convictions and generally know what I believe and why I believe it, it was a challenging exercise.  I’m glad I did it.  Here it is.

I came to Christ with saving faith as a newlywed over 25 years ago.  Through my childhood I learned several important truths about God: that God was real, God was good, and God was important.  I knew about Jesus, that He was the Son of God and that He had died and had risen again.  However, I had never learned about His complete work of grace that completely saved sinners just like me.  When someone finally shared the Gospel with me plainly, clearly, and personally, I surrendered to the Holy Spirit’s invitation and was born again and became a new creature.

As a new Christian struggling with how God could use me and I could walk in His will, I found Romans 8:28  “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” What a treasure and an encouragement that verse was to this new believer trying to reconcile my past with His plans.  Years later, as an older Christian trying to reconcile my future with His plans, Luke 1:45 became very meaningful to me.  “And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.”  Indeed, I have been blessed when I have believed, and He has always kept His word.

Since He saved me, God has graciously ordered my steps through His sovereignty.  He has placed godly people in my life to teach me and to guide me.  He has made provision for me and opened doors of opportunity for me.  He has taught me of His faithfulness through trying and nearly impossible circumstances.  He has never left me nor forsaken me.  He has challenged me to serve Him and provided the people and places that have needed that service.  He has called me to believe Him.  He has equipped me for every spiritual battle that I have come upon.  He has forgiven me and shown mercy to me too many times for me to count.  He has given me good gifts of family and children and has entrusted their hearts to me for a time.  He has changed me.

I’ve learned so much about God and His love for His Church that it is difficult to put everything I believe into words on one piece of paper. But I’m grateful to have an occasion to try.

Here is my simple personal statement of faith.

  • God knew me before I was born. He made me and had plans for me long before I even acknowledged Him, and while I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me.
  • The Holy Spirit of God drew me, comforts me, strengthens me, and fills me.
  • The atoning sacrifice of God’s Son Jesus Christ saves me eternally.
  • The resurrection of Jesus Christ gives me FREEDOM from sin and death.
  • The grace of God moves me to inexplicable gratitude.
  • The mercy of God covers me.
  • The Church of God gives me a place to serve, to be built up, and to belong.
  • The Word of God is the only Truth in this world.
  • The command of God is for His children to love Him and to love people, with the ultimate expression of that love being to share His Truth and His Gospel with the world.
  • The promise of God is that He will return for His people who were bought with the blood of Jesus Christ.  I will serve Him until He comes.

I’m a Believer!

Laura

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Daughters… January 23, 2009

gulf-shores-2008-129I have three…three girls that God saw fit to give to my husband and me.  (Amazin’ in itself!)   I’m the oldest and only daughter with three little brothers, so even though I am a girl, I was a little concerned about what to do with girls, having grown up taking care of boys.  I was grateful when baby number one was a girl because my mom always told me that “Every mommy needs a little girl.” (It still makes me feel special when I think about that – thanks, mom!)   Whew – I was glad to get that out of the way.  After that, I just knew the others would be boys.  BOY, was I wrong.  Two more beautiful baby girls.  And I was grateful for them, too!  And now, well, here’s the problem…

It has recently come to my attention that these three girls are growing up.  As I said to my husband in December (with a new sense of realization)  “THE BABY IS NINE!!”  And just this month, my oldest has turned 16, gotten a driver’s license, and started her first job.  Last summer my sweet middle child 🙂  hit double digits!!

This has thrown me into a little bit of shock, I think.  I’m to the point of struggling on a daily basis with measuring the amount of mercy and grace I give to each child, wondering if I’m being too lenient or too strict.  Am I holding them back from discovering something wonderful, or am I protecting them from being discovered by evil?  Am I parenting by faith, in full assurance that God has His hand on their hearts and their lives, or am I parenting in fear, living out every “what if” scenario in my mind in great detail?  Sometimes I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t even know what to pray for.  For those of you who have done this, or are in the process of doing this, maybe you can agree that THIS IS HARD. 

I found something this morning that helped me immensely!  I dug a beautiful treasure out of God’s word that spoke to me suddenly and strongly.

…that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:  ~Psalm 144:12b

King David was praying for protection for his kingdom and thanking God for all the strength and provision He gives His people and he stopped and asked that the daughters would be “as corner stones.”  And not just any plain old cornerstones (too boring!) – but “polished” and “after the similitude of a palace.”  This is breathtaking to me.

What exactly is a cornerstone?  Well, off hand I know that Jesus is the chief cornerstone (Eph. 2:20).  That’s good company to be in!  We are supposed to be becoming more and more like Jesus, so praying for my daughters to be corner stones seems like a fabulous idea!

Corner stones in this scripture probably more specifically mean  pillars.  Pillars were used in building temples and palaces.  They were the support system the structure.  Pillars of old temples and palaces were beautifully carved, carefully crafted, and this verse refers to them as being “polished.”  

I yearn for my daughters to be polished, yet  I can’t imagine that polishing stones or pillars of stone is an easy process.  It must involve cutting away parts of the stone that won’t meet the design standards.  Surely it involves a constant attention to bringing out the beauty of the stone without marring it.  It must take a careful hand to cut the stone to the proper size and shape and yet maintain the strength and integrity of the original material.  I’m certain it has to be difficult to balance these tall structures so that they will stand strong and not topple, for if they fall, they may shatter into tiny pieces that can’t be put back together again.

But when the stone is finally fashioned, this verse says that it is fit for use in a palace!  What better place for a daughter of the King of kings, than a palace?

This is my prayer for my daughters – that they “would be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.”

I can see that it will be a long, sometimes painful, sometimes joyful, sometimes tedious process.  I know my husband and I won’t be able to do it by ourselves.  We will need the Master Craftsman to guide our hearts and our hands and fix our mistakes.  He may have to take the chisel out of our hands and replace it with a gentle polishing cloth, or point out to us a rough spot that we ignored because it seemed to difficult to reach.  But when I see my girls standing strong, supporting whatever is placed upon them, carefully polished into the beautifully strong yet fragile pillars that God has designed them to be,  I know it will be worth it.

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.  Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.   ~Philippians 3:20-4:1

I’m a Believer!

Laura

 

Believing the Truth About God – Part 1 July 12, 2008

This is a message I delivered at our Ladies’ Beach Retreat in May.

In the previous posts, Being a Believer and Believing the Truth Part 1 & Part 2, you may have noticed that in order to be a believer, and to believe the truth you are going to have to believe in God, on God, and flat out Believe God! That’s a lot of trust in God right there…

I find that is is easier to believe someone when we know something about them and trust their character.  How about you?  In order for us to have the kind of increasing belief and faith in God, it will be helpful for us to know more about God’s character.

Just as viciously as the truth has been attacked, God’s character has been attacked. The most popular method of attack to is to ask that accusatory question is “If God is so good, (more…)