So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
The Lord truly blessed me with some amazing friendships that I am really going to miss. As I was driving through the countryside in Watkinsville, I was thinking about how it is a blessing that I am even able to say goodbye (or "see you later" as I like to call it) to my friends and family. In Luke 9, Jesus talks about how anyone who continually looks back is not fit for His kingdom. Ouch. It seems so contrary to how we function in this day and age, but Jesus is serious about His followers. He wants people who are consumed by Him and on fire for the furthering of His kingdom.
On Sunday morning, I was sitting in church listening to the sermon, and our amazing guest speaker asked a question. He said, "How did you come to Jesus Christ?" And I thought "prayer." And then I wanted to slap myself in the face. Um, NO! "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Everything was His doing. He kindly and graciously offers His presence and abundant life through the blood shed on the cross. Hallelujah for the blood of the Lamb that was slain!
You might be thinking, "so what does that have to do with anything?" Well, it actually has a lot to do with everything. Every time I get freaked out or frustrated or impatient because I don't have 100% monthly support or I feel alone or crazy, I can remember that "God is the one who began this good work in you, and I am certain that he won't stop before it is complete on the day that Christ Jesus returns" (Philippians 1:6). I can rest in knowing that "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31). So even though I don't know all the details right now, I can rest in knowing that He does. Nothing ever takes Him by surprise. He is in control. And I can claim His promises and know that He is for me. It is not. about. me.
This song has been played at almost every church service I have attended in the last month, so I'm thinking the Lord just might be trying to tell me something...
Enjoy: You Alone Can Rescue by Matt Redman
And I forgot to mention that I got to spend the weekend with one of my very favorite families, the Neeses, for the wedding celebration of Hannah Hodges and Nick Hussain! It was a wonderful ceremony and she was a gorgeous bride.
Mr. and Mrs. Nick Hussain
Here are some pictures from my tour de Athens/Oconee County:
Lovely 7th (now 8th) grade ladies!!!
Precious children of Connect Ministries founders Gabe and KT.
My crosstrainer and her beautiful sisters.
Lovely children which I have been privileged to babysit for this past year.