Celebration of Faith in Christ Jesus (Fall 2006-Fall 2009)

I have grown up in a Christian home all of my life. I have known who Jesus was for as long as I can remember. At age four, I prayed to receive Christ into my life. I understood that Jesus died but, I didn’t really understand why I needed a Savior because I was blinded to my sin. My parents had no reason to doubt that I was a Christian because I knew the answers to simple biblical questions, yet I didn’t believe what I preached to those around me.

Sinful patterns of rebellion were beginning to be planted into my heart during the very early teen years. I did not show it outwardly because I didn’t what people to think badly of me. In my heart I rejected God. I had no desire at all to attend church and would even volunteer to do nursery very often to skip the sermon. I was sinning and being content to live in my sin. At age 13 (2005), God was beginning to draw my heart, yet I was not ready to follow Him. In early 2006, my eyes were slowly being opened to my sin. I didn’t talk to my parents about it because of my sin and my pride! I did whisper a prayer to God to change my life. Little did I know that I was in for a shock.

During this time God was working drastically in my parents. My Dad was feeling God calling Him to leave his 13 year job as a pastor in Iowa and be evaluated to become a pastor under Sovereign Grace. We as kids were somewhat aware of this and the possibility. On May 6th 2006 when my parents shared that we were moving to Minnesota, we were all in shock. God continued to work in my life and in the life of our family during our last 4 months in Iowa. On September 3rd 2006, we headed up to Minnesota to move the first truck full of things into our new house. That Sunday was my first week visiting what would be our new church. I was amazed by how everyone cared for our family. That next weekend, we moved the rest of the stuff up. During our first months, we were blessed with gifts, prayers, meals, and God’s grace was very evident and continues to be!

God used the kindness of of our church, the faith of my parents, the passionate worshiping at church, and the convicting sermons to finally draw me to my knees in Fall of 2006. I was broken over my sin and finally was open to my need for a Savior.

That Savior is Jesus Christ. Even when I was against God he chose me and drew me close to Him. We as sinners are under the JUST wrath of God, but He sent Jesus to die for our sins in our place. We also get Jesus’ righteousness! So when God looks at us, He sees Jesus’ perfection! We will always struggle with our sin but, God has conquered it and it no longer has any hold on us. We are FORGIVEN! Praise God! If you trust in Jesus’ work on the cross and that it is enough to save you from your sin, you can be forgiven! As Christians we await Heaven!

In the past three years, the Lord has changed my desires and my heart. He alone is to be praised and worshiped. I am no more than a sinner saved by the amazing, unchanging, and never-ending grace of God. GLORY TO GOD for he alone has replaced my heart of stone and given me a heart of flesh. Seek Him!!

“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” -Colossians 1:13-14 (ESV)

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved. -Ephesians 2:1-5 (ESV)

Desires and Conflict

Today, as conflict was present in our home again I was led to read the word as tears were filling my eyes. Why? This question was going through my head. Why is there conflict? I had to remind myself again, because we live in a fallen world and that is why we need a Savior!! BUT, God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2: 4-5). In search for the source (or root) or all conflict, the Lord led me to these verses.

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. ” -James 4: 1-5 (ESV)

“Ouch”…..very convicting!! Our passions and cravings that are at war with in us. We want something but, do not have it so we murder (hatred is considered murder in the eyes of our Savior). This is the root of all fighting.

This afternoon, my sister and I experienced this very thing.”BUT, I”. This very sentence reveals so much selfishness and pride! It comes out of my mouth so often. “But, I want to do this”, “But, I want it this way”, “But, I was in the middle of doing something”, to name a few.

Every single day, we all have a chance to lay down our wants and our desires and glorify God by serving others. How quickly I fail, how quickly I speak before I think about what I am going to say, how quickly I become moody when don’t get my way.

As, all of this sin was revealed in my heart today, I was quickly tempted to despair. I love the words to the song, “Before the Throne of God Above”. The 2nd verse particularly speaks against despair.

When Satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of the guilt within, upward I look and see him there who made an end of all my sin! Because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free, for God the just is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me, to look on Him and pardon me. -Before the Throne of God Above (Vikki Cook-Sovereign Grace Music)

images-1Remember the gospel!! The gospel is the the only antidote to discouragement. Remember when the Savior died, and how He died for all of our sins!! Absolutely NOTHING is outside of His mercy for those who are His. Nothing can keep you from the love and grace waiting for you in the arms of the Savior. Run to His side, dear saints. Don’t walk and fall away from the path of mercy, RUN to HIM!

Lastly remember that when in humility (James 4:6) we acknowledge our sin and weakness before the Lord, HIS sustaining grace is ever-present!!

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now I’m found
Was blind but now I see so clearly

Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me
Hallelujah, all my stains are washed away, washed away

-Grace Like Rain (Todd Agnew)

Finding True Love

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But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.-Romans 5:8 (ESV)

God showed us true love over 2,000 years ago. When God sent his one and only son to die for us on the cross, this was a act of love. Imagine someone that is totally against you and doesn’t acknowledge you. But you love them so much that you give your very life for them! We don’t see this example of love very often. This world is made of sinners. Every single person on the face of this world is a sinner and in need of forgiveness. God is the ONLY one that has been perfect in love! We now know that we will NEVER find a greater love then the one that God demonstrated for us on the cross!

Most people search for true love in another person. They will be disappointed because only God is perfect. God has such love that when we were against him and even hated him, he sent Jesus to die for us. We also get the righteous life of Jesus and escape the flames of hell! This is the glorious news of the gospel and we will never find a greater love!

“Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” -Romans 10:9 (ESV)

Merry Christmas!

nativity-story-1In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. -Luke 2:1-7 (ESV)

Merry Christmas! It is so wonderful to have snow on the ground, family, food, and gifts on this Christmas day but, it is even more wonderful to be able to celebrate the birth of our Savior! Jesus Christ was born as a baby into the world to save sinners! What joyful news this is to us! God had a plan from the beginning! He is sovereign over all!

So remember this Christmas day that Christmas is about more than gifts, it is about the ultimate gift that was given to us!

Merry Christmas!

Becca, Bronte, and Grace

Before The Throne Of God Above

I wanted to share with you, the lyrics to my favorite song. Covenant Life Church made a cd called: How Sweet The Sound: Remembering The Great Hymns Of Faith. It is a great cd! I have it in my car and I listen to it almost everytime I go somewhere! This song had great lyrics! To view the webpage for How Sweet The Sound, click here.

Before the Throne

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea,
A great High Priest whose name is love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart;
I know that while in heav’n He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart,
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free,
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me,
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there! the risen Lamb,
My perfect, spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of Glory and of Grace.
One with Himself I cannot die;
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God,
With Christ my Savior and my God.

I Once Was Dead, But Now I’m ALIVE!!!

And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

-Colossians 1:21-23 (ESV)

I have grown up in a Christian home all of my life. I have known who Jesus was for as long as I can remember. At age four, I prayed to receive Christ into my life. I understood that Jesus died but, I didn’t really understand why I needed a Savior because I was blinded to my sin.

My parents had no reason to doubt that I was a Christian because I knew the answers to simple biblical questions, yet I didn’t believe what I preached to those around me.

Sinful patterns of rebellion where beginning to be planted into my heart during the very early teen years. I did not show it outwardly because I didn’t what people to think badly of me. In my heart I rejected God. I had no desire at all to attend church and would even volunteer to do nursery very often to skip the sermon. I was sinning and being content to live in my sin.

At age 13 (2005), God was beginning to draw my heart, yet I was not ready to follow Him. In early 2006, my eyes were slowly being opened to my sin. I didn’t talk to my parents about it because of my sin and my pride! I did whisper a prayer to God to change my life. Little did I know that I was in for a shock.

During this time God was working drastically in my parents. My Dad was feeling God calling Him to leave his 13 year job as a pastor in Iowa and be evaluated to become a pastor under Sovereign Grace. We as kids were somewhat aware of this and the possibility. On May 6th 2006 when my parents shared that we were moving to Minnesota, we were all in shock.

God continued to work in my life and in the life of our family during our last 4 months in Iowa. On September 3rd 2006, we headed up to Bloomington , Minnesota to move the first truck full of things into our new house. That Sunday was my first week visiting what would be our new church. I was amazed by how everyone cared for our family. That next weekend, we moved the rest of the stuff up. During our first months, we were blessed with gifts, prayers, meals, and God’s grace was very evident and continues to be!

God used the kindness of of our church, the faith of my parents, the passionate worshipping at church, and the convicting sermons to finally draw me to my knees in Fall of 2006. I was broken over my sin and finally was open to my need for a Savior.

That Savior is Jesus Christ. Even when I was against God he chose me and drew me close to Him. We as sinners are under the JUST wrath of God, but He sent Jesus to die for our sins in our place. We also get Jesus’ righteousness! So when God looks at us, He sees Jesus’ perfection! We will always struggle with our sin but, God has conqered it and it no longer has any hold on us. We are FORGIVEN! Praise God! If you trust in Jesus’ work on the cross and that it is enough to save you from your sin, you can be forgiven! As Christians we await Heaven!

God has worked in my life in so many ways. I have the grace I need to get through the day. God has convicted me of a particular sin that I struggle with and with His grace, and accountibility, I am being healed! This work is by God’s grace alone and without Him I would still be dead and blinded to sin!

My Dad is now a pastor at our church! I can’t express how thankful I am for God’s great faithfulness to us. Even though we often don’t trust Him, he is faithful and does everything for our good!

So remember that when Jesus was born, it was not a small thing! He has purchased our salvation and that is something to be joyful about this Christmas season!

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

– Ephesians 2:1-5 (ESV)

The Gospel

I read this in my devotions a couple of days ago. I was in a pretty bad mood but these verses really encouraged me. There’s nothing like getting a good dose of the gospel when you’re in a bad mood. 🙂 (These verses are taken from Ephesians chapters 2 and 3).

“But God being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ- by grace you have bee

n saved… For by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not the result of works, so that no one may boast… So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone… To me, though I am the very least of the saints, this grace was given… Now to him who is able to give far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

This should fill our hearts with thanks more than anything else this Thanksgiving season.

Serving: Why Should I Serve?

” Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” -Matthew 20:28 (ESV)

Why should we serve? Listen to what Mr. Jerry Bridges says in his new book Holiness: Day by Day:

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“At the time of Christ’s death, the cross was considered an instrument of incredible horror and shame. It was considered the most wretched and degrading punishment, inflicted only on slaves and the lowliest of people. If free men were at any time subjected to crucifixion for great crimes such as treason or insurrection, the sentence could not be executed until they were put in the category of slaves by degradation and their freedom taken away by flogging.”

WOW!! This makes me even more and more in awe of what Jesus did! He was beaten, spit upon, mocked, and crucified in order to bear the weight of all of the sin that we (as Christians) have and will ever commit! Jesus is perfect and God didn’t have to send Jesus to die but, He did! HE DID and now we inherit Jesus’ righteousness and will one day live in heaven! We as Christians will see God face to face!! Think of that! What a marvelous and glorious day that will be!

So why should we serve? We should serve because when we serve we are following Christ’s example.

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking
the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by even death on a cross. Becoming obedient to the point of death.”
– Philippians 2:4-8 (ESV)

Jesus was the true servant and was obedient to His Father even when it required death! Can we not serve to follow His example and as an example to others? WE WILL NEED God’s help in order to do so! Be encouraged that God will be there along the way to help you!! He never will leave of forsake His saints!

Please come back because Bronte will be covering Serving: Even when I don’t feel like it.

Contentment: A Link

Almost two weeks ago, Bronte, Grace, and I were at a seminar and guess what the topic was? Contentment!

There were two speakers, The first one is a highly gifted speaker from our church body. The second one was Bronte’s highly gifted mom! The first message was entitled Contentment: A peaceful resting place. It was excellent! Mrs. Erickson talked about the character of God and how God is all-powerful, sovereign, and trustworthy – we can trust him in his plan for everything.

Bronte’s mom spoke the message entitled: Satisfied with Favor. This was an encouraging reminder that God is satisfied with us because of what Jesus did on the cross for us. That’s the gospel!

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The gospel is this: each and every one of us is a sinner. God is perfect and He cannot be near sin! We deserve to die but God being rich in mercy sent His one and only Son to die on the cross for our sins. Not only that, but He gave us the righteousness of His son, Jesus, When He looks at us He sees perfection! Those who are saved receive the gift of heaven after we die. Those who haven’t put all their hope in Jesus,  await God’s wrath and judgment. It doesn’t need to be this way! If you trust that God has covered your sins through Jesus, you can be saved!

I highly encourage all women and young ladies to listen to these messages! Click on the title of the message below to be directed to the audio.

Contentment: A Peaceful Resting Place by Mrs. Kim Erickson

Satisfied with Favor by Mrs. Delaine Gamache