Friday, 22 November 2013

A Journey of Grace

As I was perusing fellow blogger, Lisa's blog, I found this song she had posted and it caused a little jolt inside me. The kind of inner affirmation  that says, "Exactly! You just put it into words!" Grace is a topic that continues to mystify and enthrall me with it's beauty and completeness. I, as a human being, am guilty of dodging grace and holding my own "filthy rags" up for Jesus' approval. My proud and independent human nature is doggedly determined to avoid even the thought of letting someone else save me. However, as I show my pitiful offerings to Jesus, I suddenly notice how sharply they contrast with the beauty of His countenance and my pride is quickly smothered. My filthy rags are no longer an option face to face with His perfect standard. Once again I am forced to learn back on my Jesus of grace and mercy. It is a journey, but in His love and kindness, God keeps breaking, remaking, healing, and ultimately proving that we're saved by grace alone.

Grace

My heart is so proud. My mind is so unfocused.
I see the things You do through me as great things I have done. And now You gently break me, then lovingly You take me and hold me as my father and mold me as my maker.


Chorus:
I ask you: "How many times will you pick me up, when I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory, how far will forgiveness abound?"
And you answer: " My child, I love you.
And as long as you're seeking My face, You'll walk in the pow'r of My daily sufficient grace."

 
At times I may grow weak and feel a bit discouraged, knowing that someone, somewhere could do a better job. For who am I to serve You?I know I don't deserve You. And that's the part that burns in my heart and keeps me hanging on. 

Chorus*
I ask you: "How many times will you pick me up, when I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory, how far will forgiveness abounds?"
And you answer: " My child, I love you.
And as long as you're seeking My face, You'll walk in the pow'r of My daily sufficient grace."
You are so patient with me, Lord.

 
As I walk with You, I'm learning what Your grace really means. The price that I could never pay was paid at Calvary. So, instead of trying to repay You, I'm learning to simply obey You
by giving up my life to you For all that You've given to me.


Chorus: 
I ask you: "How many times will you pick me up, when I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory, how far will forgiveness abounds?"
And you answer: " My child, I love you.
And as long as you'
re seeking My face, You'll walk in the pow'r of My daily sufficient grace." ~Laura Story

Sunday, 1 September 2013

The Essence of This Summer...

This summer was good... and bad. Joyful... and frustrating. It had times that were tough and times that brought rejoicing. Questions were asked, questions were put on hold, and questions were answered. After all, life as a Christian is a journey. A journey of change, of growth, of failing and coming to our knees before our Holy God. After the storm comes sunshine, and naturally happiness and praise. But, this summer God has been teaching me to smile and praise Him even when it's raining. To worship with the joyful folks on a perfect CD cover even though there was a jolting rebellious movement within me to give the volume a terrific crank down to zero. I believe that living is a choice. And, although your heart is so heavy there is literal pressure inside your skin, or the best you can do is sit with tears streaming down your face, lift your heart to Jesus! He is the Healer of Healers! The world may seem overwhelmingly dark, but He will bring you through, and Heaven will only seem brighter. So, I encourage you to read this poem and allow it to speak to your heart. The essence of my summer, condensed to fit one page:

Jesus I Come..

I stand guilty, broken, before You,
Unworthy to stand in Your presence.
A failure at pleasing Your majesty,
A vessel repulsive to Your holiness.

I cannot live a life that speaks of You,
With my unrefined, human effort.
My righteousness is but filthy rags,
I fight just to revive Your love.

But deep within me, begs a prisoner,
To be freed by that same Power.
My heart faints and trusts Your mercy,
Without You I would die... Alone.

********************
 
As a candle slightly wavers,
My faith, a small and flickering flame,
Hangs onto the hope of Jesus,
Carrying me through joy and pain.

At times my heart is strangled,
And I vainly search for Light.
Flames of Despair seek to devour me,
The heat dims the eyes of my life.
When the Enemy snarls behind me,
And misery seems more than my share.
I run to my Saviour for safety,
His Love is the strength that I bear.

When life is full of confusion,
And joy has hidden its face.
I go to my Rock and Redeemer,
And my heart erupts with His praise!
 
                                    ~ C.H.


Saturday, 29 June 2013

My All In All...

Today I stand amazed... In awe of God's presence, of His strength, of His great faithfulness. The simple reality of His love and forgiveness brings peace and calm. It's exciting to read His word and hear what He has to say. To spend time with Him each morning listening, speaking, and simply letting it all soak in in preparation for the day. But at the same time I remember a time when it wasn't this way. A time when I wrestled with simply believing that God is real. A time when I questioned the very core of everything I believed. A time when living was a task I simply dragged through, snatching a few moments of fun with no real goal in mind. But as I thought about it today I was reminded of so many times when God was faithful in showing Himself to me even though I didn't necessarily realize it at the time. Whether it was verses that He brought to my attention or people that He put in my life to encourage and challenge. Through everything I say God Is Faithful! It may not look like it in your life right now. Maybe you have a sin that you feel is too large for God to forgive, a temptation that you keep giving in to, or maybe God is simply quiet and you're beginning to wonder where He's gone. Let me share Hebrews 13:5 where God says, "I will never leave you or forsake you." And let me say when God makes a promise He WILL keep it. He is a God of grace. One of love, One of peace, and One of hope. He loves you and He has a great plan for your life. Just let Him have it! All of it.... And He will give you joy and peace in this dark world. He is your HOPE. The only One who will fulfil and satisfy. Come to Him with an open heart and a humble spirit. Allow Him to fill you and free you, to make you whole and complete. He loves you!

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Revive Us Again...

Every spring our church has revival meetings, every year people are challenged, and every year some people are afraid that they might discover a hidden sin and need to make that long, humiliating trek up to the altar. I'm not exempt from these feelings and have had enough of these experiences in times past to warrant the question that I've been pondering. Why do we fear revival? Why do we make excuses and skip out on something that's so important to our soul? Why do we let what other people think of us get in the way of our salvation, our Christian walk of life, and worst of all keep us silent when people are dying in sin?



Jesus Please Use Me...

Lord, there's so many souls that are lost in this world.
Why should I be silent as Satan's lies are unfurled?
Lord, I'm only a human, simply saved by Your grace,
I deserve the fires of hell, with my pride, my sin, deceit.

Oh God, I tremble at my heart's wrong desires,
I stumble and fall down, in selfishness mired.
In my heart I doubt Your mercy, strength to stand for You is gone,
On my own, I am but nothing, pure love comes from You alone.
 
But Jesus, if only one soul could be saved through me,
I pray that you would open me, fill me, and use me.
Lord cleanse me and heal me, just open my eyes,
Take out the sin-stains, reveal hidden lies.
 
Lord Jesus, I pray for the boldness to share,
To pray for lost sinners, spread word to prepare.
Lord, you are God, please take my hand.
I pledge my allegiance to my King, to the Lamb!

~ C.H.


Friday, 1 March 2013

A Prisoner Set Free...

So, as promised, I will try presenting the insights and inspiration we gathered during the Gospel Express Prison Crusade this past month... For some reason, I had always had this little-girl version of a prison stuffed in the back of my mind... A building lined with heavy iron gates, linked by long, eerie, hallways coloured in a dull, formidable egg-shell paint, and most importantly big, scary, men, latched in handcuffs, who would hold clerks at gun-point, break into parked vehicles, and nab precious stones from the front counter at a jewellery store. A jail, to me, was a place where society's monsters were stuffed away and banished so the rest of us could live in peace and safety.

      On the crusade we went to minister to "the monsters".....  But as I witnessed these men crying brokenly in repentance, wishing desperately for a chance to start over, pain vivid in their eyes, they were no longer monsters... They became individual souls.... Broken, hurting people who have scars deep down inside. As one volunteer stated, "The only prison anyone is in is the prison of their mind." And as I witnessed the broken, hopeless state of these men in prison, I began to realize how similar our lives really were.

      All of us have a past, all of us have sinned, all of us have had  times when we've desperately wanted to start over. Sometimes the scars of the past are so subtle we barely notice them. Some have hung on for so long we've re-adjusted and nearly forgotten how life was without something between us and God. The Christians behind bars have ugly, sinful histories.... They're lives were filled with humiliation, shame, and defeat... But they've been set free... They can live with joy because they've let Jesus have everything they've ever done and watched the guilt dissolve in His blood.

      Maybe you're one of those people who appears to be free on the outside, but inside your heart is being strangled... Weighted down and defeated by the guilt of sins you've committed, things you know were wrong, words you wish were never spoken... Let Jesus have everything. Talk to Him and tell Him you can't take it anymore... Ask Him to help you let go, to resolve the bitterness, take care of the grudges, and to flood your life with His joy... He is the only One who can truly set you free!

"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." ~ John 8:36

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Prayer Request

In 3 days our family will be leaving to be a part of the Gospel Express Prison Crusade in South Carolina. This is a brand new experience for us and your prayers would be greatly appreciated!

The crusade lasts from Feb.10-14 during which we will be doing a variety of programs in 3 different prisons. I will share a post after the trip and hopefully share some new insight or wisdom gained while looking behind the bars to hurting souls and seeking people...  Thanks for your support and God bless you for it!

Here's a link if you'd like to see more info:
http://www.gospelexpressonline.org/home-page/prison-crusades/