The Preciousness of the Cross

Suppose you fell into a hole. It was hole that you thought you could jump across, but sadly, you jumped as high as you could’ve—and failed.

Or suppose you stole from a judge. You knew it was wrong, but didn’t care—and, because of your stealing, you now belong on death row.

Both of these things are your fault. It was your fault for not thinking through jumping over a hole in the ground—and it was your fault for stealing when you knew full well what the consequences were. You ultimately can blame no one else for where you are, right now.

But then, He arrives on the scene. As you scream for help at the bottom of the hole, He peeks His head in, and finds you in dire need. Similarly, for all intensive purposes, pretend the judge that you stole from was able to be the judge in your hearing.

This guy, this stranger—He has a lot to do, and is very busy. But He makes the time to help you out of this pit you fell into. The judge who you stole from calls you “guilty” but does much more than that. He gets down from his seat, and says that instead, He will be prosecuted for your crime. He is guilty, while you go scot-free.

It’s true, these analogies are incomplete. But many would say that this kind of behavior is amazing. Reckless, even. Yet, this is the Love, Grace, and Goodness we have been offered by God, through Christ Jesus alone.

As I was writing my “Gratitude for Freedom” post, one thought came into my mind: I do not regularly view the sacrifice Jesus made for me as the incredibly precious thing that it is. A lot of the time, I either refuse Jesus’ Grace and Mercy out of pride or shame (weirdly enough), or I take it in, and abuse it. It is sadly very easy to swing from either legalism or abusing the grace Jesus has given us.

The only way to not swing to these two unhealthy extremes? To continually view the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and His Work on the Cross, as precious. To remember what He has done for us in its full array.

To stop looking at ourselves and the world, but rather, fixing our eyes and hearts upon Jesus: what He has done, what He is doing today, and what He will eventually do, at the end of this world as we know it. When we remember that our spiritual life and freedom are not at all free– but rather, that they cost the God of the Universe everything– it will cause us to respond not in pride or fear, but pure Love for our Savior and what He has done for us.

Our God is One that delights in His children delighting in Him. I pray that we would be able to enjoy our relationships with Jesus, continually drawing closer to Him, and relying on Him alone.

May we remember and keep His work done on the cross for us at the forefront of our minds—because it is His Work done for us, and not our own work done, that matters at the end.


Do you know Jesus?

Learn more about Jesus, His Work done on the cross, and why it all matters, here.


­­­­­­­­­­Please pray for (you can find the prayer sheet for this blog post, here):

  • The Chibok girls and Leah Sharibu. May they come home soon; you can find their names and pictures, here.
  • That those who know Jesus would rest in Him and His finished work. May we not leave His side for anything at all—it’s the best place to be. ❤

Thank you for your prayers and support!

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Gratitude for Freedom

Hi friends,

Have you ever been blown away by how richly Christ has blessed you? Today, as well as this whole weekend, being Memorial Day and all, I have been convicted: I am not thankful enough for the things, and people, Jesus has put in my life.

As I wrote earlier, I actually, sadly enough, had to google what Memorial Day celebrates. I knew it had something to do with the military, but I was not fully aware of how it is a day to give thanks for those who have given their lives for the United States of America. Continue reading

Prayer for Memorial Day Weekend

Hi everyone!

Being an American, I wanted to wish everyone a happy Memorial Day weekend!

I have a very sad confession: I had no idea what Memorial Day celebrated until I googled it tonight. I hope I am the only one.

But it’s true; with many people graduating around this time, and the reasons for many national holidays taking a back seat, it is more important than ever to remember why we get these days off, and to pray for our nation.

With also learning about how some things in the military can be—as some things are dark, and many things are traumatic, I wanted to say a quick prayer over the men and women in our military. Will you join me?

“Dear Lord Jesus,
We thank You and we praise You for allowing the creation of the United States of America, and for giving us favor for centuries.

Thank You for the men and women who have lost their lives keeping the USA free, dear Jesus. Thank You for your grace, as we have come away from You in recent decades, Lord. We pray today for our country to come back to You… and we pray that the men and women currently in our military would turn their hearts toward You, amidst all of the evil and darkness they see on a daily basis.

I pray that our country, and it’s people, would come back to You… and that Your Justice, Righteousness, and Sovereignty over us would shine down.

In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Amen!”

memorial day final.jpg

Learn more about Jesus, how He is God, and why it matters, here.

The Key to Resilience

“They snapped our photos and told us not to return to school, but I came back because I want to learn,” said Maryam, when asked about returning back to her school after being abducted by Boko Haram as a part of the “Dapchi schoolgirl kidnapping.”1

According to Maryam, Boko Haram took pictures of each and every girl they abducted, threatening to show up at their school and kill them if they returned to school.1 After having their pictures taken, Boko Haram members unusually dropped off all but one girl in their town. (In other situations, such as the Chibok schoolgirl kidnapping, this happened to none of the girls.)

What these girls have gone through is complete and utter hell. But even on the “outside” of captivity, life proves incredibly tough for these women, and others who have escaped or been freed from Boko Haram. Amnesty International has reported that Nigerian troops have perpetrated “vile abuse” on the women they have helped liberate and rescue; some women have been reported trading sex for food, while it has been reported that other women have been insulted and called “Boko Haram wives.”2 This kind of treatment is abhorrent.

Yet, the remarkable thing about these young women is how they, though they are victims, choose not to bow down to fear, current trials, or past tragedy. While there is much to fear—Boko Haram’s threats to kill them if they return to school are real—many students are not letting it keep them from doing what it is they want to do.LEARN.jpg

Though they carry around mental, emotional, and physical wounds, these girls do not let their fears of the future or the pain of the past define them. They resiliently press on.

How to Go On

But that does not mean that these girls are immune to fear. It can be easy to see these girls as tough and unbreakable; and that kind of tenacity is definitely seen in these beautiful young women. However, it is important to note that they are still human. Many of the girls, coming back to the school they were abducted from, were nervous, staying together in groups as they walk around campus, as All Africa reports.

It is important to see how these girls have found the strength to do such fearless things. Many girls cling to Jesus; they also cling to each other.

And as I am writing this, one thing becomes clear:

They need Christ, and they need each other.

Isn’t it the same with us? In conquering any fear, the key is knowing that we are not alone in that fear. That we have God, who Loves and Protects us as Sovereign over all; and we have each other to rely upon. This is how Christ created us.

With such faith in Christ first of all, and with a supportive community second, no one can get in these girls’ way. As Maryam so powerfully said, “I want Western education to improve my future. I came back to this school because I don’t want to change my environment. I have already started school here and I want to finish here.”through.jpg

Through everything from Boko Haram captivity, to the oppression of evil soldiers and people in authority, the Love, Compassion, and Strength of Jesus Christ will see them through. May Christ deal with those who trample upon his precious creation; and may we find resilience and strength in Jesus and in each other, too.


Do you know Jesus?

God made us to know Him, and to know eachother. Unfortunately, when Adam and Eve both chose to partake of the fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the problem of sin entered this world.

Sin keeps us from knowing God, and from the true community we were meant to be a part of and enjoy. Yet, Jesus was the remedy to our sickness.

Learn more about Jesus, and how He came to fix this problem of sin, here.


Please pray for (you can find the prayer sheet for the blog post, here):

  • The Chibok & Dapchi Girls. As these girls continue to go through hell on earth, please pray that they would come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and would trust Him to heal and restore their lives. Find their names and pictures, here.
  • These people have gone through unspeakable, horrific things. Things that deserve Justice. May Christ bring them Justice both on earth and in the life to come.
  • The Nigerian military. The news that such revolting acts have been done by those in the Nigerian military shows that Justice needs to be served, and that the military must be changed!

Thank You for your prayers!!!

 

1 http://allafrica.com/stories/201805220171.html

2 https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/05/23/charity-accuses-nigerian-troops-abusing-boko-haram-wives/

 

A Prayer Guide for Christians Facing Islamist Extremists | From Voice of the Martyrs

An email came into my inbox this morning, regarding how we can all be praying for those facing Islamist Extremism like Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria. I thought the prayer guide that is attached would be very resourceful to those who want to know how to pray for the Chibok girls and those in Nigeria, as a whole!

You can find the prayer guide, here.

Enjoy, and thank you for all of your prayers!

For the Santa Fe Highschool Shooting (Poem & Prayer)

On May 18th, 2018, ten people were killed when a man roamed the hallways of Santa Fe Highschool with his father’s guns, as well as pipe bombs and other warlike weapons.

It is no secret that school violence, from the kidnapping of those like the Chibok girls, to the shootings of various schools all across America, is becoming more prevalent than ever before. The truth is, Christ said there would be “earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places,” before He came back.

That is not to say that it is Jesus’ fault. They are acting in a direction completely opposing Christ and all He stands for. Without Him, all of us are capable of such extreme evil.

This is gut-wrenching, and should never happen again. As Christ comes soon, so the pains of this world will get even worse… but that fact, does not cure the pain.

Knowing that Jesus is coming soon is an encouragement. More than anything, it is my desire to honor and love those affected by this shooting by praying for them. Because of this, I have written a poem, and at the end I added a short prayer for those hurt. Will you agree with me in prayer, and like this post if you are actively praying to Jesus on their behalf?

The poem starts below. ­ Continue reading