Posts by Julie


Living for love?

Living for love?


Posted By on May 31, 2014

“For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.” (Rom. 3:28) Recently, I was blessed by a exceptionally fine series of expositional sermons on the “Sermon on the Mount”.  Just as our pastor was concluding his last sermon while making his final point, he stopped speaking, slowly walked away from his lectern, with heavily slumped shoulders, appearing burdened and exhausted.  With long deep sighs while looking down at the floor, he looked grieved.  It was upsetting to watch.  Suddenly he lifted his head with his eyes bright and filled with zeal, he thundered with a powerful voice, “Quit playing religion! Don’t come back if you are here to do some kind of duty! Stay home, unless, today, you begin to take your Lord Jesus seriously!” I was stunned and yet I knew it was needed exhortation. A thought ran through my mind, it is true, our modern Christian culture does take Christianity for granted.  After what seemed to be a long pause, as our pastor looked through the congregation, searching, tears filling his eyes, his face flushed.  Finally, he returned to the lectern, and slowly bowed his head, with his hands clasped over his Bible, he began to pray for his flock.  His prayer was exceptionally loving, affectionate, attentive and detailed to all of his flock’s spiritual needs.  It was evident that he knew his flock very well.  As he humbly asked for the Holy Spirit to fill his congregation with “a true insatiable hunger and thirst for righteousness…desiring the things of God over the things of this world…” he continued on with other biblical needs which were very personal.  It was a blessed insight to a shepherd who deeply loved his flock and earnestly sought our Heavenly Father’s intercession. Afterwards many of us discussed the sermon and his exhortation realizing how much we needed our beloved shepherd.  He said something from his heart, deep within his soul, and with no pre-written notes as some pastors do, prayed for each of us with precision.  Additionally, his exhortation and prayer was very much needed….for me.  When my husband and got home that Lord’s day, I continued praying, realizing I needed to change the desires of my heart.  Jesus expects us to give all of our heart, mind and soul to Him; never withholding any part of ourselves.  We are commanded to put to death the desires of our flesh, asking God to help us fight against Satan and his dark domain as they viciously war to pull our affections away from our loving Savior.  We live in a world where Satan is loose,...

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Dress for Him

Dress for Him


Posted By on May 12, 2014

“And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these.” (Matt. 6:28)   Those of you who have a strong childhood memory, no doubt can easily recall when you received a new dress. Maybe it was for your birthday party, a holiday, or special event. Being dressed nicely brings an indelible impression for most women. What is most clear in my memory was when my mother made sure my four sisters and I had nice dresses for the Lord’s Day. She took special efforts to sew all of our dresses in a flattering coordinated way. And, every Lord’s Day, she received numerous compliments from other women in the congregation about her girls “being such nice young ladies”. I will never forget our special trips to the local fabric shop, and watching her carefully select patterns. When she had a shopping cart filled with bolts of fabric of various lovely shades, adorable prints, decorative buttons and elegant lace trims, on the way home, she lovingly shared her plans. We were always eager and excited to see her final “masterpieces”, as she added her unique creative touches. Several days later, after hearing her “Singer” sewing machine running late into the night, making that uncanny sweet whirring sound, we knew she would have our dresses completed the next morning. We wondered if she ever slept. Then, she would call us to her sewing room and as we eagerly rushed to her, anxious to see new feminine dress creations. We were always grateful to receive what she designed for us. Those moments brought us to tears, giggles of delight, all hugging our mother for such loving sacrificial gifts. Being able to wear our dresses each Lord’s Day, with our white laced ankle socks, and shiny patent leather shoes, which made us feel…well, special, yet realizing the Lord’s Day was very special!  Without a word, our attitudes changed, for we knew that we were dressing for a sacred event. Being that young, we certainly didn’t understand the spiritual implications, however years later it has made a deep impression upon each of us. Coupled with discussions regarding “modest apparel” and “honoring our Lord” providing a very clear impression upon my heart and mind. As a young teen, I recall the peer pressure escalating and seriously desiring to fit in with the “fad”, wanting to wear different clothes to church. My parents never buckled nor allowed us to dictate our appearance.  I am deeply grateful for their wise and...

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Love from God; demonstrated through family   As I recall certain moments in which my heart was so full of love, demonstrated through and by my earthly biological family, I now realize I was actually experiencing God’s love, through what is known as “common grace”.  The grand meta-narrative within all lives is God revealing Himself through creation, His creatures, and Biblical revelation.  Recalling specific cherished memories of love from and for family, sealed in my mind, are evidence, that our Triune God blesses us with our earthly family, to enable us to more adequately recognize God’s immutable, unconditional, immeasurable, perfect love.  Our love for God, obeying the first greatest commandment “Love thy God”, and the second greatest commandment “love thy neighbor” provides the ability to expand our family, to include “spiritual brothers and sisters”. Our spiritual family are those who have been called by our Heavenly Father, to know Jesus Christ as Lord, quickened by the Holy Spirit.  Our spiritual family is the eternal visible and invisible church, filled with believers of Jesus Christ as their Lord, Savior and God.  We are assured eternal life in Heaven, where we will see the face of Jesus Christ, as we worship Him together.  What a magnificent and glorious thought, which is our greatest hope!  Our merciful God blesses us with mysterious bonds of love and a deep connectedness with our “spiritual” family, even though we are not biologically related. When God brings us together through providence, we inexplicably feel an instant love and desire to be with one another, sharing our experiences of His sovereign will, also yearning to worship our Lord God in unity.  We desire to share the Gospel with the lost, so they too may become part of God’s designed family, knowing Jesus as Lord, living in eternal glory.  Though Heaven is described in the Bible, none of us know how utterly glorious it will be until we are there. On a personal note, I wish to illustrate my point, through a story from my childhood.   Having been born into a family with ten children, it was our common routine to start and end the day, completing chores together.  As a little girl,  on a early winter morning, my siblings were so eager and excited to see the deep snow which accumulated on the ground, that they burst outside, instead of coming into the kitchen to begin the morning routine with our mother. They began to play in the snow, building snowmen, snow-forts, and gleefully made snow angels. My mother invited me to help her in the kitchen with our daily preparations. I cherished and delighted in her warm...

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