favor year

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The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion–to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with jewels. For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.
Isaiah 61:1-3, 10-11

 

in his sight

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For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. Ephesians 1:4

I’m cheating a little bit this week because this isn’t a picture I took. Obviously. But in light of last week’s post, it’s incredible to think a God who creates spaces and moments like this used that same mind to create you and me–blameless and holy in his sight.

For me, it’s time to start living like it.

the place called perfect

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For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20

If you’ve ever seen the movie Hitch, then you know the quote, “Life is not about the amount of breaths you take, it’s the moments that take your breath away.” There is discrepancy over who authored the quote; one theory holds that a Canadian man came up with it for Carleton Cards, signed away the copyright, and now adorns the honorable title of Author Unknown. But if the nameless Canadian man behind this quote is a genuine, hopeless romantic, then I’d like to think he cares less about his name being coined to the quote and more about how, in order to articulate such a statement, he is a blessed man for having experienced such moments in life.

When I took this picture, this was one of those moments for me. The photo doesn’t do it justice, because the place was flawless and breathtaking. It was one of those scenes that’s so beautiful and good and right that you want to change your life and leave a better person for having seen it. Praise God, my God who can’t seem to contain His own beauty in places and moments like this.

is it so simple?

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The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.
And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
1 Kings 19:11-13

Elijah was running from chaos to the place where he knew he could be with the Lord. And even still, he was looking for God’s voice in all the wrong things. Sometimes, even when we put our bodies in the right place, we still need to quiet our hearts and minds. The Lord makes himself known in the simplest of places. He’s not desperately trying to compete for our attention. He is strong and consistent, never budging or changing. When we look to Him, He will make Himself known.

My roommate Rachel and I woke up early after the first night of what would be remembered forever in our hearts as the most wonderful camping trip with unlikely friends. It was still dark and we clumsily carried our lawn chairs away from our campsite to the open field right behind the tent in which all of our good company lay, enjoying the last few moments of peace before the new day began. Our fingers cold and toes chilly from the damp grass and the sunrise slow, so we had time to sit in silence and wait. We had time to take note of every detail–the beauty of everything: the birds having pillow talk telling the world morning was about to come. My roommate said, “Play a song so that every time I hear it I’ll think of this moment.”

Before that morning, I couldn’t tell you the last time I came to the Lord with my heart in the right place to receive his peace and presence. I always get caught up in the familiarity of tension and chaos, but I think being in God’s presence really is as simple as it was that morning. Every time I hear that song, I feel like I’ve been hit with something that pushes back as I try to plow forward through my day. It’s as if God is saying

Hush

Be still

Remember Me.

Is this it?
Is it so simple my God?
home I found I found you now!