Celebrate A Simple Life

it is no bad thing

Christ is. April 10, 2010

Filed under: faith,Joy — Ellie @ 4:02 pm

The amazingness of God in the past year has been so acute. Who would have thought to think of it all? I find myself remembering that Christ promised He would make me glad, and finding that I did not believe. I didn’t know.

Everywhere I look in my past, there is Christ, urging me toward Himself- and when I look around the now, He is here still and the call is this: “Onward, Christward, you will not find Joy save in Me alone.” As when He called His first disciples, now He calls me: “follow Me.” How can I respond save by laying down my nets immediately and following? Would that I would follow more fully!

For years I alternated semi-despair and self-assurance. I knew the bitterness of trials without Christ to comfort (thank God I shall never be there again!). “I wonder now, Lord, what was it made me wait so long? And what kept you waiting for me all that time? Was Your love stronger than my foolish pride?” And His love was, and is today. That is why I need never fear that I will lose Him- I know that I will never leave completely: his is the love that will not let me go. It is a fearful thing to write- I must remember that I am “prone to wander, prone to leave the God I love.” I must tremble and cling desperately to Him always. And yet I know, at the same time, that He will never leave or forsake me. If salvation depended on me, then in my fundamental sinfulness I would never know Him- and even if once I could, it would never last. But salvation does not depend on me, and as Christ’s sacrifice was complete, so shall my salvation be. O the joy of knowing this!

My testimony is not elaborate, it is very “simple”. The fact is, it can be told in only two words: “He is.” Everything that He told us, He is. What I did not believe, He is. For years and years I lived in false assurance and aching and almost-despair. I knew, I saw in lives around me, that there was more, there must be more. It was very common for me to hear again & again these words: “look to Christ” and I would get so angry. I would even put it in words to myself, these words “Look to Christ! Which way is that?” Though really my heart was resisting, thinking surely there was some merit in me- but the there was not. I was a monster of iniquity. I began sometimes to see glimpes of the state of my soul- though I do not think I fully saw how vast was the chasm between me and the God Who filled with such fullness the lives of the people around me who knew Him. I did not see, really, until Christ had come, and filled that chasm. Somewhat unrecognizably at the time, in early 2008, I found everything I had been told of Him to be true. The morning dawned on my soul without fear of returning night. I was His, and He was mine. “What will you despair of now, Christian?”

One thing I can mention as something God directly (in a way I can see) used in drawing me to Himself is the life & death of a friend. When Amber Mathenia entered her completion, her witness did not die. She, being dead, yet speaketh. I cannot tell you how exactly it happened- all I know is that Christ is all, and that He is mine. O the depth of the riches of His kindness! At the very point of finding that I needed Him, I found that He was enough.

From that time I have found myself being drawn relentlessly into deeper and deeper love for Christ- and though my response to Him has often been far from perfect, His perfect love has always been sufficient, and I cannot go back- He will not let me, and His loveliness will not even let me want to completely. Particularly over this past year, I have seen Him show Himself again and again to be everything He said He was. Each time, it seems, I see that I had not believed before- I had not seen. And the blessed truth is, even now, “there will always be more for a finite mind to see of an Infinite God.” More! The “heights of love, depths of peace” are only “as through a glass, dimly.” What more may I see of Him? His “love hath neither brim nor bottom.” Onward, Christward! What heights of joy may I have yet to discover?

He has made me glad.

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The Greatness of God over the past year with Personhood MS February 18, 2010

Filed under: Christian living,faith,Joy,life,PersonhoodMS,quotes — Ellie @ 1:26 pm

I scarce know what to say- where to begin.Who would have thought it? There are many miles between me and the girl who didn’t know what to expect petitioning for the first time nearly a year ago. There are many changes between the small group in our living room at the end of 2008 and the group gathered at the Secretary of State’s office today. And I can honestly say, I would never trade it- I wouldn’t trade it. “Who could have thought of such joy for us but He whose name is Love?”

I am at a loss as to how to begin to tell of how much He’s taught me- how much I’ve seen of Him this year. How is it that I can call this Saviour mine?!?This great King of Love- how is it that I can claim Him? He who does all things well? Yet He, even He, is mine and I am His- how can my human mind wrap around this? “What may I say of Him? let us go & see.”

He uses everything- everything in our lives to bring us Christward. This year, it was this.

I’ve been so many places this year- talked to so many people- looked into so many eyes. I have had so many experiences I will likely carry for the rest of my life, met so many people I cannot forget. I treasure those memories. I count some of those people as dearest friends- some, I count as brother. As sister. Who would ever have thought it? Listen, unbeliever, listen! All  the incredible things you have heard of Him- what He has told us- it is true.And when you have come to Him, you cannot leave. His loveliness will captivate your heart- there is no life outside of Him. What is the existence I called life before? In Him is life, and that life is the light of men. The true light, which enlightens everyone, has come into the world. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

I have tried to walk in my own strength, and have fallen .I have cast myself on Christ, and have found Him sufficient. I have forgotten, but He has not forgotten. Sometimes I wonder, how can I hold it all? “I wonder now, what was it made me wait so long?” I didn’t know it would be like this. I did not know. “How can they live without Jesus?” I know that I had to have Him, but I had noidea it would be quite like this. O the depth of the riches of everything that is ours in Christ! I cannot mention all the people, all the events, because I know I would forget some. I have spent more time  away from my family than in all the rest of my life combined. I have missed my family and my beloved Church so acutely at times- and have found that Christ is enough. I wouldn’t change the way He worked things- I am in a position to say that I would not change it.

We cannot look to circumstances to draw our strength, our hope from them. Our hope is found in Christ alone- He it is who has been our captain. How faithless we have been- but He is God. The gates of hell cannot prevail against His anointed. Why do we doubt? Why do we foolishly fear? And had we not turned in over 100,000 signatures today, it would have been no defeat. Christ has overcome the world- and it has been His good pleasure in doing so to grant us what we so desperately wanted. The morning has dawned for preborn children in Mississippi, but not because of us. Not because of the signatures. It is because the true light, which enlightens has come into the world. It is because He has seen fit to work in and through His people. What may I say of Him? Come, come and see?

 

Children are a blessing… December 26, 2009

Filed under: JOSIAH!,Joy,life,pictures — Ellie @ 5:02 pm

No Matter How Small.

 

In Your Presence there is Fullness of Joy December 7, 2009

Filed under: Christian living,Joy — Ellie @ 10:29 pm

Who could ever have thought up such incredible joy? Surely it is “He Whose name is Love”(Amy Carmichael). At times it grows so acute. It surges through my veins til their bulging, my heart races with it. I wouldn’t ever have thought of it- that is a beauty of the Love that will not let me go: He fills me with a joy which I did not think to think of- a joy which I do not understand. he is so desirable. “How can they live without Jesus?” No, we cannot call it life. What a great urge toward missions: that their are souls heartlessly swimming, sinking, drowning in a sea of meaningless existence. Will they drown there? Will they never know there is anything other? O bride of Christ, where is thy joy? May Your Joy descend, O God. Fill the bellies of Your people with it- compel us to action. May the joy of our salvation compel us to live for Christ in everything.

 

WHAT? You’re a PERSON??? November 3, 2009

Filed under: Annie,JOSIAH!,Joy,Mercy,PersonhoodMS,pictures — Ellie @ 12:50 pm

For serious?

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LEFT TO RIGHT: Tyler (20), Sarah (11), Emily (21), Josiah (1), Ellen (17), Momma (Christy), Trey (19), Mercy (3), Daddy (Les), Annie (7), Jacob (16), Hannah (14), & Ben (12).

 

Nothing Ordinary October 24, 2009

Filed under: Christian living,following,Joy,PersonhoodMS,quotes,random — Ellie @ 7:27 pm

“Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him.” Mark 1:16-18

nothing ordinaryPress on, Christian, take heart! “Nothing ordinary is equal to this new call.” (Amy Carmichael) – and yet it is so “normal”, so natural, it seems like it should be so “natural” that a child should follow his Father- his loving, perfect Father- about where ever and to whatever He calls- won’t we follow freely out of love? Don’t kick your feet and scream, you have no idea of the joy He has prepared for those who with their whole hearts follow.

And really, that is why nothing ordinary is equal to it- because of the joy. Nothing ordinary is equal to a Babe born of a virgin. Nothing ordinary is equal to His sinless life. Nothing ordinary is equal to His redemptive death. Nothing ordinary is equal to His saving work in sinners souls. And so we are compelled to ask “can anything be equal to following His call?” No, nothing.

Can we imagine beforehand the depth of the treasure-house of delight our Beloved has in store for those whom he is not ashamed to call “brother”? Now we do not follow to some abyss of emptiness- in the sense that where ever we are, whatever we do, we are never left empty when we call for Him to fill us. Now we follow to joy on joy, joy instead of joy. “Rude, crowding little children type of [joy]*” Not that there will never be sorrow, pain, hurt- but for believers, those things do not have to cancel out joy. Sometimes it may be a quiet, sad type of joy that it doesn’t look like [to others] you should even have. But if to live is Christ, then surely there is always joy. Surely there is great joy in following.
Also, nothing ordinary, I think we’ll find, is equal to the love- the Love of God from which it flows and the love to others which flows from this Greater Love. The type of love that makes your heart jump up and start screaming at the mere thought of your loved ones- the type of love that fills and flows over- but words fail.
And if humans, sinful man,  is capable of such love, compare it now to the to the Love of God to His children. There is not even a comparison here. Nothing ordinary is equal to this, no nothing. The comparison fails: our families, our dear friends, add so much- can give so much to us. What can we add to God? There is nothing in us. What does He ask of us through the power of His Son? He calls for our lives.  He calls for our all. He calls for us to serve Him through serving others. He calls for our love-our hearts.
And nothing ordinary is equal to this new call.
*Pastor John in reference to grace.