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LIFE IS A SEA VOYAGE

LIFE IS NOT A WALK IN THE PARK

 

LIFE IS A SEA VOYAGE

 

The Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY, Gift of Robert Dunnigan, Dunnigan Collection

 

TO EACH OF US THERE WILL COME A TIME

WHEN WHAT WE  THOUGHT COULD NEVER HAPPEN TO US

HAPPENS

 

WHICH IS WHY WE DON’T NEED

JUST A TEACHER

BUT WE NEED

A SAVIOR

 

ONE WHO WILL RESCUE US

WHEN THE WAVES AND BILLOWS ARE GOING OVER OUR HEADS


 

 

A. W. TOZER SAID THAT GOD DOES NOT USE A MANICURE SET

WHEN WORKING WITH STONE

NO

HAMMERS, CHISELS

TOOLS THAT HURT

BUT THAT CAN SHAPE US INTO

WOMEN AND MEN OF BEAUTY

STORMS AND SUFFERING

ARE PART OF HIS MYSTERIOUS PLAN


Last week I was privileged to be part of a team that went into the prisons of Texas to minister to the inmates. This is always such an experience for me, for there is so much more life in the church in prison than in the church outside of prison. They hang on my every word, and afterward, in the small group times, they so want to understand how to be delivered from the power of sin. Everything has been taken from them, and yet I see a radiance in their faces. These are women who certainly know that life is a sea voyage, for many of them had their childhoods stolen from them, and have gone through one storm after another. They know as well about the darkness in their own souls and want to be transformed by the only One who can help them. Some have hurt others terribly, often passing on the sins of the fathers, and long with their whole hearts to be delivered from the beast prowling about within their hearts, holding them captive.

I am also so moved by the volunteers who are committed to these women. Often they too have been through enormous storms, and have experienced the reality of the Lord of the Storm. They are loving as Christ loved.

This time I met Grove Norwood. The moment he stood up to speak I sensed the presence of our holy God. God is using him mightily, but God has also taken him through a tremendous storm, something that seems to be so common for those He uses mightily.

GROVE NORWOOD

Here is an excerpt of Grove’s story from Charisma magazine:

One day on his way home from church, he passes a church and sees a group of men standing outside. He senses that they have a problem, so he stops to see what he can do. Someone has stolen the church’s air conditioner, ripping a hole in the wall. Grover pays for the repairs.

The church Grove stopped by where Ulice Parker was a deacon

 

Grover’s stop at the church leads to his meeting a member of the church, Ulice Parker. Ulice is also a well-respected, loving and kind man. He and Grover develop a friendship, and their families become family to each other. Grover always makes sure the Parkers have what they need, helping them however he can. He is especially concerned about the condition of their home, and knows he has to make it better, safer, livable.

But then tragedy strikes. The Norwoods’ daughter is killed in a hit-and-run accident. Authorities soon discover that it was Ulice who had unknowingly killed Joy.

 

Joy Norwood in her daddy's plane














Grover’s response of love and forgiveness is overwhelming. When he finds out Ulice has caused his daughter’s death, his first response is compassion for his friend. He immediately calls the Parkers’ home. But he doesn’t stop there. He buys clothes for Ulice and his wife to wear to Joy’s funeral and makes sure they are seated on the front row—a place traditionally reserved for family.

Joy's grave

 

 

Please watch this short video reflecting on Grove Norwood’s life, illuminated by comments from A. W. Tozer about how God molds us into men and women of beauty.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wy_mM2OLK0

In the prisons last week the video, “The Heart of Texas,” (worth purchasing!) was shown. At the end, when Grove walked out from behind the screen, one of the inmates cried, “Oh — he’s real!  I didn’t think anyone could forgive something like that.”

The only way a person can forgive like that is if he knows His Savior deeply. If it is in Christ that he lives and breathes and has his being. And how can a person go on after he has suffered such a severe loss? Only if he believes God exists — that this life is not the end — that the One who spoke to the disciples in the midst of the storm, when He came to them, walking on the water, is who He claims to be.

 

THE GREAT I AM

Literally, He said the same words that God used to idenity Himself to Moses. It is the covenant name. Literally, Jesus said four words:

 

I AM: NO FEAR

We must all breathe in the significance of those four words.

When we do, we can become the kind of believers like Deitrich Bonhoeffer, Amy Carmichael, and Grove Norwood. Grove could forgive, go on, and trust that God would bring something good out of his little girl’s death and the suffering of his family and friend. And, indeed, God has. When Grove ministers in the prison, they hang on his words — for they have so much to forgive, and need so much forgiveness.

This next clip about Grove and his ongoing ministry is optional, but demonstrates the beauty that can come from suffering, when responded to with trust.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Gd4q4a9pxw

How warmly we welcome the new women and the dear familiar friends to this seven week journey. I had the thought that the reason one usually wants to do a Lenten study is not to get something from God, but to get God. So I suspect those who have committed will be likely to stay with us. We may stumble and fall, but we will keep going.

Oh — I can hardly wait to see what God will do. Your first week was rich.

This week’s sermon by Tim Keller is amazing, and the Bible passage, though short, is as precious as gold. I do not take it lightly when I suggest a sermon that costs money. I listen to many and choose what I believe is the best. I realize some of you will have to fast a meal just to get the money, but believe me, this is the bread of life. Next week, a sermon directly addressing the name, I AM is free — but this week, you’ll need to pay.

Welcome, welcome!

Sunday/Monday Icebreakers

1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

2. Report on how you are doing so far!

3. What will you put off and put on this week?

Monday-Tuesday Bible Study

Read John 6:16-21 and watch this reenactment:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiHlJZfVBXk

4. Look carefully at this passage:

A. Describe the time of day and the conditions at sea. (John 6:16-18)

B. How did they respond when they saw Jesus?

C. There are two miracles in this passage. See if you can find them both.

D. Every miracle that Jesus does really happened, but is also meant to teach us something. Think of this one as

representing the Gospel power to deliver us from the penalty of sin and see what you can discover.

When Jesus says “It is I,” in the Greek it is Ego Eimi, or I AM — the exact same words that God spoke to Moses at the burning bush. It is a clear declaration of Deity. Last week, one of our newcomers, “Elizabeth from Oz” said she was always hiding behind her idols, hoping God wouldn’t find her — yet also hoping He will because she so needs to see Him. The ways of the human heart.”

When we encounter Jesus in His holiness, in His Deity, we are repelled and attracted. Repelled because we are so aware of our sinfulness. Attracted because we know we need Him. The disciples were terrified by His declaration of Deity and the proof of it. Yet they needed Him, so they took in to the boat — and immediately the boat was on the shore.

What does this mean?

I’m going to have you spend more time on the Keller sermon this week — listening to it the way Susan does. She makes copious notes, stopping and starting it. I’m not going to even apologize for the 2.50 it will cost you to get it — because it so worth it. (And remember, the money all goes to ministries Jesus cares about.)

Wednesday-Friday: Keller sermon. Here’s the link

5. Before you start on the sermon, give us a mid-week report on how you are doing on your Lenten discipline.

6. First Point: God is Sovereign over our Storms

A. What notes and comments do you have?

B. What area of your life do you need to commit to God’s sovereignty?

6. Second Point: Jesus is the Ultimate — He is the GREAT I AM

It is huge to realize that Jesus keeps claiming to be the GREAT I AM. Whenever that happens his friends are in awe and his enemies want to stone him, for as R. C. Sproul says, “It is clear declaration of Deity.”

A. What notes and comments do you have?

 

B. This week, in your “putting off and putting on” how will you surrender to Him as Lord?

7.  Third Point: Jesus is Holy

A. What notes and comments do you have?

 

B. Last week Alexandria said that as she received ashes on her forehead, she would remember that God was a consuming

fire. How might this be helpful to you also?

8. Fourth Point: I AM: NO FEAR

A. What notes and comments do you have?

 

B. If you fear God, then you don’t need to fear anything else. How might you apply this?


Saturday:

9. Report on your week and your take-a-way.

Leave a Comment

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561 comments

  1. I pray this will bless y’all like it does me–this is the song I mentioned above, we sing at church–I cry every time!,based on Isaiah 43 http://youtu.be/23jeSAlB_GE

    Last week we sang it followed by “There is a Fountain Filled With Blood”, the Red Mountain version I love–I cried nearly the whole service!

    1. Thanks for the song, Elizabeth. Great lyrics based on Scripture. Thanks for the encouragement.

    2. Elizabeth, LOVED THE SONG!!!! Thanks so much for sharing this! It goes PERFECT with this week’s study!

    3. I love Hillsong United. Thanks for sharing this great song.

    4. Thanks for sharing the song Elizabeth. It is very moving and definitely could bring a person to tears.

    5. Elizabeth,
      When I read your “y’all”, it made me think of our Tammy! I do miss her!

  2. 5. Before you start on the sermon, give us a mid-week report on how you are doing on your Lenten discipline.
    Well I have abstained from alcohol comsumption. I had my Granddaughter overnight Sunday to Monday. We played in the snow and built a snowman for some exercise, & today I did a workout tape. This tape used to be super easy for me, when I finished it my legs felt like rubber bands! I haven’t been reading much, but I really haven’t had too much free time, so I guess I am doing okay. I have cried a lot, but I am not in the throes of despair, I am just really sad.
    I have a really busy day tomorrow, so I am going to listen to the sermon this evening.

    1. I pray the Lord lifts you up, Chris. Blessings

  3. 5. Before you start on the sermon, give us a mid-week report on how you are doing on your Lenten discipline.

    I am doing well with giving up sugar, except for in my coffee. I spend a lot of time driving in the car, about 3 hours a day ( we all commute into town for school and my husband’s work, then I pick everyone up.) Today I was starving around 3 and in the past I would have stopped for a milk shake or frappuccino but today got a yogurt parfait at McDonald’s and felt good at my attempts to eating healthier. I struggle with depression and anxiety, so sugar is not my friend so much.

    I’m also doing well giving up facebook, although I still twitter 🙂 and realized that my tweets go to my Facebook. I’m reading Keller’s book on marriage, so taking that in the car with me to read in school carlines instead of FB on my phone. And downloaded a new Matt Redman song as well, I spend a lot of time worshipping in my car.

    I’m loving reading everyone’s comments and taking it all in. Lots of wisdom and love! Excited to hear this week’s sermon. Love to everyone!

    1. Wow, your doing great, Anne Meridith (My husband gets those yogurt parfaits for me and I keep them in the refig. for a special treat! Love ’em!) I’m so proud of you!

      1. Thanks Joyce! It’s great to feel supported here.

      1. I like it! I’ve only made it through the introduction, though :0 . Interesting that his church is mostly singles. Reminds me of the Stone. I’ll let you know more when I’ve read more…

    2. “I struggle with depression and anxiety, so sugar is not my friend so much.”

      Me too! Carbs can really wreck havoc with my emotions.

      I finally did give up sugar in my coffee, now I really do prefer it without!

      1. I haven’t noticed that with carbs. I’m doing Weight Watchers, so I’m not having as many carbs as I would normally. Now that I know you struggle with those things too I’ll be praying for you. I read a book, Conquering Depression, that really helped me. It was written by a pastor and a physician together – both who struggled with depression. It’s been one more tool to help me, a lot of truth from the Word and wisdom in it.

  4. 4. It was evening, dark, the sea was churning and the wind blowing. They were afraid but after He spoke to them, telling them not to be afraid, they admitted Him into the boat. That is the way it is worded in my translation but it seems odd to me.
    The 2 miracles are Jesus walking on the water and the boat being instantly at its destination when He got in. They were afraid when they saw Jesus but I don’t think it was because they thought He was an apparition. I think it was His deity and holiness that struck fear in their hearts. They saw Him in His power.

    I do see the similarity with the gospel. Being lost in sin is very much like being lost at sea and alone because He was not there. The waves and billows are more than I can weather in my own power and I have no hope of surviving. Even if I can overcome one the next may take my life and if not that one then another. My destination is death. But when Jesus comes He delivers me from every single wave and brings me to my destination, eternity with Him. Oh, and He took my waves and billows but they did not kill Him. He overcame them, even put them beneath His feet. Rebecca, I understand your heart here when you were brought to tears. These miracles are a beautiful picture of Him coming to us. Another thing is that when we are confronted with the gospel we are either repelled or drawn in faith. When He spoke He declared His deity. They could have responded in fear or faith. They responded in faith and admitted Him into the boat.

    Dee, thank you. This is rich and beautiful to contemplate.

    1. “Dee, thank you. This is rich and beautiful to contemplate”….thank you, Anne for saying that, as I was thinking the same thing:)

        1. I’m doing alittle better with my back. I would love to met with you…what a joy that would be with you and Anne and Kim!

    2. Anne,
      Thank you for pointing this out, that Jesus overcame the fury of the storm that threatened to destroy us – “He overcame them, even put them beneath His feet”.
      I love it how we each notice different things in the passage!

      1. I love that too Susan. It makes the passage even more of a jewel.

  5. Hi Ladies!

    The story of Grove and Ulice reminds me of Corrie Ten Boom’s story of being face to face years later with a man that had been a guard in her prison camp. He reached out his hand and in that moment she faced the human struggle of forgiveness…but was victorious in choosing forgiveness.

    John 6:16-21 reflections: It was evening, likely nearing dusk and getting dark. They were terrified of Jesus when he spoke to them, but then welcomed Him into the boat. Two miracles: Jesus walking on the water, and the boat immediately on shore after Jesus got into the boat. This passage doesn’t say if the disciples were looking for help or if they were panicked about the storm. I can only imagine they were frozen in their fear, focused on the storm and because maybe they weren’t looking for Jesus – when He spoke it startled them. It is Jesus that comes to them; rescues them. He is our Savior. Our very present help in trouble.

    “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountain fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Psalm 46:1-3

    How am I doing with my observing Lent? Claiming His promise – that His mercies are new every morning. I keep a fairly busy schedule, and so am struggling a bit with consistent quiet times with the Lord, but I’m not giving up.

    1. Cherie, I love this…. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountain fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Psalm 46:1-3

    2. Cherie, I thought of Corries story with the prison guard too!

  6. When we encounter Jesus in His holiness, in His Deity, we are repelled and attracted. Repelled because we are so aware of our sinfulness. Attracted because we know we need Him. The disciples were terrified by His declaration of Deity and the proof of it. Yet they needed Him, so they took in to the boat — and immediately the boat was on the shore.

    What does this mean? – I think they knew they had sinned in some way and were afraid of what Jesus might do to them, afraid of the wrath of God, but yet knew the storm they were in on the rough sea was more than they could handle so they took their chances of the repercussions from their sinful actions and let Jesus aboard, to help them thru this rough time. Just like us, we know that having a close relationship is the best thing for us, but we still think we can handle things on our own so we don’t bother Jesus, but then we mumble and grumble because things didn’t turn out like we thought they should, but if we would have given our issues to Jesus, he would have taken care of them for us. He doesn’t need our help, but we continue to get in the way.

  7. 5. Before you start on the sermon, give us a mid-week report on how you are doing on your Lenten discipline. – well I started out pretty good but now I feel I’m being attacked, not in a major way but in an irritating way. Sunday I had a very bad headache which did not allow me to fall asleep so when my “putting off”  of waking up earlier came of course I did not get up. We have auditors coming in April at work and my boss is pushing to get all old issues resolved and just feel like I’m in overload mode. Had trouble last night getting my notes to stay posted and finally this morning when I got up early I tried again and they posted, YAY!!! I’m now getting a cold and tonight lost my notes when I went to copy them so had to remember what I wrote and re-do them again but they posted, finally and on the way home from work tonight my husband hit a deer. So I’m plugging along and will continue to battle Satan and his games. Not sure why he’s trying anything because he WILL NOT WIN over the power of Jesus that I have on my side.

  8. Julie, I love this. You discribed me here perfectly! “Just like us, we know that having a close relationship is the best thing for us, but we still think we can handle things on our own so we don’t bother Jesus, but then we mumble and grumble because things didn’t turn out like we thought they should, but if we would have given our issues to Jesus, he would have taken care of them for us. He doesn’t need our help, but we continue to get in the way”. SO TRUE!
    I am praying the evil one will give up on you and leave you alone! Keep focusing on God and he will.

  9. Julie, I’m glad to know I’m not the only night owl here! It’s the only time I get, when Kendra is sleeping, but I must go and crawl in bed with her, as I never know when she might have another siezure and beside’s she has a bad cold. She is in this room…I hardly ever take my eye’s off of her. Sometimes I’m up untill wee hours in the morning, on here! When I’m in bed, holding Kendra is when I pray untill I fall asleep. I have alot of praying to do for you all, so Goodnight! (I don’t require alot of sleep) God Bless you!

    1. Joyce I will continue to pray for your whole family you have so many things going on, but yet your spirits are high. I do admire you for that. I sometimes am like you, here where I live in Indiana it is now 11:27pm and the alarm will be going off at 4:45 so it comes early, but once I’m up I’m ok, it’s the “putting off” my getting up earlier so I can do a devotional, or more on this blog “my putting on” that I’m working toward for this Lenten series and hopefuly it will carry on.

    2. Joyce, you are quite an example how you constantly give care to those around you and pray for all of us as well. Kendra is a blessed young lady. It’s obvious your strength comes from the Lord.

      1. Yes, Joyce, such a beautiful picture.

  10. 5. Before you start on the sermon, give us a mid-week report on how you are doing on your Lenten discipline.

    I am finding that I enjoy scripture memorization. I felt well enough to do light exercise tonight and giving up computer activities is a piece of cake minus the calories. 😉 It has been neat to walk closely enough to Him to wait on Him for how and who He wants me to bless everyday. I did miss a day while sick but I had it in mind all along not to worry too much about the disciplines on weekends when I give my full attention to my hubby and family.

    Seems like several are having pain, sorrows etc. I like what Julie said, “Not sure why he’s trying anything because he WILL NOT WIN over the power of Jesus that I have on my side.” I also see suffering so differently now and love that about this study for it is one of the mysteries I had been asking God to help me understand. I want to embrace it as an opportunity to be in His presence and trust Him through it albeit I am not always there.

    I purchased another gift certificate for myself from Redeemer so I don’t have small weekly deductions from my debit card. I am looking forward to the sermon immensely. Btw I am still listening to the free sermons and they really help me focus on Him. Oh, and make doing housework so much more enjoyable!

    1. I agree, Kim – I like to do my ironing while listening to Keller sermons!

      1. Yes, I will look forward to that. I got to see your sweet little Mia at Melody’s graduation party – I just wanted to give her a squeeze!

        1. I love that baby! Only have seen her picture but she is sooo adorable.

  11. A. Describe the time of day and the conditions at sea. (John 6:16-18)

    It was near dark and the sea was wild due to a strong wind.

    B. How did they respond when they saw Jesus?

    When they saw Him they were afraid.

    C. There are two miracles in this passage. See if you can find them both.

    Well, one might be that He walked on water. The other is how when He entered the boat they immediately were on the shore where they were going (I think).

    5. Before you start on the sermon, give us a mid-week report on how you are doing on your Lenten discipline.

    Well, I am ashamed to say I never made a Lenten commitment. Oops…..I usually don’t and missed that last week. I feel like this past year has been a Lenten journey though. I have truly committed myself to God. I get up early to meet with Him, I trust Him fully to take care of me and my family, no matter how bad the outlook is, and I go to church because I want to not because I have to. As I have done so, I have been blessed.

    I’m not sure what I would give up or take on. I think I will try to do more for my family with no expectations. My 14 year old turns 15 on Sunday (my baby!) and I was going to start by painting his room and making him a new blanket and pillow for the new motif! He really wants a new color in the room and I haven’t told him about the pillow and blanket yet 🙂 there are other surprises too and I know he will enjoy his day this year. That makes me happy too.

    1. Laura,
      Is this the son who said he didn’t care if he lived or not? How is he doing?

      1. This the same son. he started back at school this week and seems happy. However when the school shooting happened (i haven’t gotten to read about it or listen on the news because I have been studying every waking moment – I am guessing there is someone who has been bullied and took revenge?) I got nervous with Wesley my son. He specifically mentioned he was miserable in his acting class;, the one class he was so excited to take this year. He had to take 2 harder classes to get into the acting class! So, I decided to call the teacher to ask his perspective and give him a heads up on Wesley’s struggles in the class. The teacher was kind and asked if be would want to participate as “crew” for the next few days on their festival competition! Wesley was mad at me at first for butting in, but then came home smiling because be was being included! Wow! God is good. He will have a tough schedule for the next few days but he will be busy with new friends from school. I am thrilled 🙂

        1. Thanks for the update. Does he like to be onstage acting, or does he prefer being part of the stage crew involved in production? Let’s hope he finds his niche!

        2. I am glad to know things are looking up for Wesley!

        3. That is wonderful!

    2. Sorry about posting the first part of this twice! I pulled up the website on my phone thislrning and my post was still there from yesterday. I thought it never got sent and now realize it did!

  12. Read John 6:16-21

    4. Look carefully at this passage:

    A. Describe the time of day and the conditions at sea. (John 6:16-18)

    The time of day was “when evening came”, so early evening, when the disciples went down to the lake, then, they got into a boat and set off for Capernaum; some time has elapsed because “by now it was dark.” I am wondering if they waited awhile for Jesus to join them.
    There was a strong wind blowing and the water was rough. (Yikes – I just jumped while typing this b/c it just thundered here – it’s raining, too!)
    I am curious as to why they left without Jesus?

    B. How did they respond when they saw Jesus?

    They were terrified.

    C. There are two miracles in this passage. See if you can find them both.

    The first is the fact that Jesus is walking on the water, the second is that the boat immediately reached the shore. (I’m sure they were too stunned to have been rowing at that moment!)

    D. Every miracle that Jesus does really happened, but is also meant to teach us something. Think of this one as representing the Gospel power to deliver us from the penalty of sin and see what you can discover.

    In verses 16-17, I see the disciples making a decision to get into a boat, leave for Capernaum, without Jesus, and it is dark. Before I met Jesus, I made decisions all the time about what I would do, how I would run my life, but they didn’t include Him. I was in darkness. In verses 18-19, a storm occurs; the sin in my life also produced bad consequences for me (storms); the hard work of rowing could represent working hard to fix things on my own. Also, many people believe they must work and do good things so God will accept them; it’s like trying to row against the wind and waves.
    At some point in our lives, we will encounter Jesus, through many different ways – in a church, a radio message, a missionary, a friend, etc… and we may be terrified. But He says, don’t be afraid. He has come to rescue us, to save us.
    If I had not “let Him into my boat”, I’d still be rowing and rowing, and my boat full of leaks will eventually sink, with me in it. Now, however, I am assured that I will safely reach my destination one day, and I have Jesus to “do life with me”.

  13. Thank you ladies for suggesting the book, The Power of a Praying Wife. Yes, I have it, and Chris, the prayer you typed is the one that resonates with me; in fact, I’ve never made it through the entire book, often getting “stuck” on this initial prayer for God to even give me the desire to pray for him!
    I will get it off the shelf. My husband needs prayers. He appears so beaten down right now due to his job. I know it’s affecting his health. He was home for dinner last night, but “disappeared” after dinner, as he usually does, and I think went to bed around 9.
    When my daughter goes to bed, I am alone downstairs; this is when it gets tough and the resentment can kick-in because I get lonely and wonder what would it be like to spend time together as a couple? Perhaps I will use that time to use the book and pray one of the prayers for him.

    1. Susan–I was about to answer Dee’s question–I haven’t read any other books by Stormie–but then I saw this and decided to reply to you too. I haven’t read it in maybe 10 years, but the very reason I think it helped me is what you said–I struggled so with the desire to pray for him, that it helped me to have a framework. We were in such a bad place–I even bought “Power of a Praying Husband” and left it on his side of the bed–my not so subtle manipulative way of saying that he wasn’t being the spiritual leader he should be! ;0
      Anyway, I did find it helpful to motivate me–praying with you friend.

      1. I thought the part that Keller shared from her book in one sermon we listened to was awesome – I’ll have to get it, too!

    2. This really touches me, Susan. It brings tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your pain with us. I can just picture you sitting by yourself feeling lonely. Praying for you, sister. I’m sure the books, Praying Wife and Elizabeth Eliot’s book, will be helpful.

      My situation is not like yours, but I too spend a lot of time alone, not just when my husband is away, but in the evenings when he is busy in his study (which is at home) preparing a sermon or some other work. I feel guilty when I also feel like you do — thinking I should be grateful that my husband is so committed to the Lord. But sometimes I resent the sacrifices I think I am making “for the sake of the ministry”. Satan whispers his lies of bitterness, and I have often believed him. This is an issue God is working with me on — that He does not sacrifice my needs for the sake of “the ministry”. God loves me tenderly and passionately. God is showing me, although I am a slow learner, that I am special to him and he never pushes my best interests aside in doing his work in or through other people. I need to learn this lesson — to let it sink deep in my heart.

      I don’t know if any of this resonates with you because my situation is so different, but I guess I am saying, there is a deep way in which I can relate to your pain. You, too, are special to Him and you and your marital situation is in His hands. He loves you tenderly and passionately and is seeking the best for you.

      Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

      1. Thank you so much, Diane – yes, I do find this encouraging, and I am sorry for the loneliness you experience too. I can see how God is working with you on this. This blog, and the friendships we share here, is like a refreshing splash of cool water on my face; like when you dry your tears and wash your face. We are all doing life together, together with Him.

      2. Diane, you bring up a good reminder of the sacrifice wives and family make on behalf of the church. This makes me sad for you and Susan and I pray for you both of you to enjoy His presence in the lonely times.

        1. Thanks, Susan and Kim. For your kind words. Yes, Susan, “We are all doing life together, together with Him.”

      3. Diane and Susan I will be praying for God to help you both fill the void that is in your lives right now. Marriage is a great covenant but takes so much commitment from both sides that it can be draining when its a lopsided commitment.

    3. I did benefit from the Power of a Praying Wife, I have hesitated though to recommend it to some women because I saw in it a slight bent toward the idea if you pray enough and correctly, everything will work out well for you.

      We all know this isn’t always the way life works.

      As Larry Crabb put it, “do I see myself before God as having no rights, only mercy granted priveledges? Or do I regard God as cosmic vending machine with buttons I can press to get whatever I want”.

      I benefitted from the book, God used it to change my heart toward my husband, I just feel a little uneasy about some of it.

      1. Good perspective and warning, Chris.

  14. 5. Before you start on the sermon, give us a mid-week report on how you are doing on your Lenten discipline.

    This may also be a request for prayer-I am so thankful for the women on this blog who are so faithful to pray!

    God has given me opportunities to apply the Gospel lately and I firmly believe this is helping me with this. I think my selfishness stems from my control idol. This morning was rough. My oldest son is struggling with side effects from his meds. He isn’t eating and has lost 10 pounds, and it effects him emotionally as well-can be a challenge combined with his Aspergers. Last night and this morning I noticed I was frustrated and trying to control his situation to the point of manipulation. It was selfish of me. I was thinking of losing him, yet also of how it would effect me-questions ran through my mind-what have I done wrong? all we are trying to do is help him. Nothing is working yet I can’t just give up..AGAIN, for me it took last night and early this morning to look to Him.

    So, when worry kicked in this morning-I remembered the Gospel how by my actions I was saying God wasn’t trustworthy-(His fire won’t consume me)i was living in unbelief at that moment. THEN ELIZABETH’S SONG CAME TO MIND. 🙂 I thank God for her, and Isaiah 43. so I turned to Him and cried out and embraced-DO NOT FEAR I AM HIS. HE WON’T LEAVE ME TO DROWN regardless of how things turn out. I am sensing His peace this morning. Giving praise to Him.

    1. Rebecca,
      I’m so sorry to hear how you’re struggling in this. Have you talked to your son’s doctor about the side effects/weight loss? Is there any adjustment that they can make in his meds?

      Lord,
      I pray that YOu will reassure Rebecca that the fire will not consume her, nor will the waters overcome her. You will provide for her and for her son.

    2. Just thought of this – this kind of reminds me of the video clip of David Powlison, where he was experiencing the side effects of his medication; he settled the issue of faith and trust in God first; then he called his doctor. I am praying for healing and a solution in this situation.

    3. oh sweet Rebecca–I just now saw this and late getting out the door–I will be holding you continually in prayer–praying for Him to cover you.
      Lord, please, gather Rebecca in Your arms, be Sovereign Lord over her son’s health–grant them peace and wisdom, Lord. May she hear You say, Fear Not..for You oh Lord are with her.

      1. Sisters, your loving responses, prayer and encouragement is indeed a balm-left me teary eyed for this is HIM ministering through you-His presence, even online! 🙂 love you.

        1. EVEN ONLINE! 🙂 YES!

    4. My prayers are with you and your son, Rebecca.

    5. Dear Jesus, we lift sweet Rebecca and her son to you this morning. We pray for healing and help and weight gain for him. Please give the doctor wisdom. Strengthen her momma’s heart to run to you quickly. Thank you for your abounding love for this entire family. We love you and trust you with our children. Amen.

      1. Yes Lord, in this I pray in your name, Amen

    6. It is neat how you let us in on your thoughts and wonderful to see you speaking the truth to your soul. From manipulating and worry to surrender peace and praise!

    7. Oh Rebecca, I dont know how you do it with 4 boys and specials too. Praying for you.

  15. How am I doing mid week with my Lenten Discipline?
    Improving!
    More focused, not squandering my time in the morning. However, I can’t seem to download the Keller sermon for today. I have an older version iPhone and can’t seem to get it to download . I have one co
    computer which belongs to my employer ( hospital), so the restrictions won’t allow it.
    I have an account with Redeemer and will try again!
    Love listening to his sermons while working!

  16. D. cont…. When we encounter Jesus in His holiness, in His Deity, we are repelled and attracted. Repelled because we are so aware of our sinfulness. Attracted because we know we need Him. The disciples were terrified by His declaration of Deity and the proof of it. Yet they needed Him, so they took Him into the boat – and immediately the boat was on the shore.
    What does this mean?

    I am excited to share this and I had some help in understanding this idea of being repelled and attracted – Michael Card on the radio yesterday on Haven Today; I went back and re-listened to this:
    Michael Card said,

    “A lot of people were afraid of Jesus; in Mark’s gospel, when He calmed the storm, the disciples are afraid AFTER He calms the storm – there’s a great wind, a great calm, and then there’s a great fear – who is this guy? Remember the demoniac and when the pigs were floating in the water, the townspeople say to Jesus, ‘Go away, we don’t want you around here’.
    Almost every time He reveals Himself in a new way, He has to say, “Don’t be afraid”.
    Apparently, there’s something pretty fearful about being around Him.”

    They went on to discuss how this shatters the typical stereotype of Jesus as “Jesus, meek and mild, my good, warm, fuzzy buddy”. Yes, He extends His friendship toward us, but at the same time, He is this awesome, fearful Person who presents this dilemma to us.
    Kirkegaard said, “If you want to feel like a disciple, you have to point at a man and say, ‘That’s God!’ You have to understand this feeling.

    I think we must try to ‘get inside Peter’s head’ when he realized who Jesus was, he said, “Go away from me, I am a sinful man”. Yet in John’s gospel, Peter says “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”.
    We so want to shrink away and retreat when we see our sin, yet we so need His forgiveness and love. You know how if you take 2 magnets and hold them the wrong way, they repel each other? Jesus is such a strong “magnet”, He can turn our magnet (our heart) around the right way and then we are “stuck” to Him, irresistably drawn to Him.

    1. Great stuff, Susan. Thanks for sharing this.

    2. Susan, your comments continually bless me!

    3. Great teaching moment! Thank you!

    4. Very rich Susan, I love when God reinforces something we are learning through something on the radio. So often I feel like He tells me the same thing over and over quickly so I will “get” it!

  17. I am sorry this is so long, there is so much in the sermon, you did say copious notes Dee!

    Jesus Christ Our LORD

    Jesus is LORD, none can say (to base my life on it) Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Spirit
    to REALLY say he is LORD
    Jesus as a baby will warm my heart but won’t transform my heart
    The Lord of heaven and earth
    1) Sovereign Lord-walking on the storm
    to the ancients –sea represented forces beyond our control and comprehension, I can’t see what is coming for me from under the water. Represents life filled with terrifying incomprehensible powers
    Jesus was strolling on the stormy sea
    Jesus was showing complete power, nothing he couldn’t control
    Looking at others My life is okay his is falling apart, he must be incompetent, not savvy, lacking of something
    Storms come, success swept away
    Hearts are deep and dark, my own and the hearts of others
    Jesus needs to be in the center of the boat when the storm comes, Jesus can get me through anything
    2) Ultimate Lord, ‘it is I,” really he says “I AM”, the Divine name, is His name.
    An enormous incredible claim
    He always was, He never changes, He doesn’t exist because He is the cause of everything, I AM the cause.
    Demanding that we not just see him as a source of great power, he is the source of ALL power, all power is only on loan from him
    I AM being and power Everything dependant on him
    Creator, sustainer, holding everything together
    Ultimate Authority,
    He has to be Preeminent thing, – Center of my life, loving obeying following has unconditioned authority in my life, it doesn’t matter what else I want or love
    Pushes us to extremes, all or nothing
    Intellectually- can’t accept any of his teaching w/ integrity without accepting Him as Lord of my life
    His Self centered teaching is the basis for everything, He claims to be the judge & creator of Heaven and earth, every sin is against him, he is older than Satan and saw him fall from heaven, he claims the divine name, enormous claims about himself, the basis is himself
    We can’t w/ intellectual integrity just choose the parts of Jesus teaching we like
    He can forgive because every sin committed is against Him.
    His death on the cross, if he’s not God it is an embarrassment, it is meaningless.
    If He is God the cross is voluntary sacrificial death that is completely else
    It is all or nothing intellectually He is Sovereign or He is nothing
    He can’t be on the periphery of your life, He is the center or he shouldn’t be there at all
    Flannery O’Conner, Jesus threw everything off of balance, If he did what he said he did then there is nothing to do but throw away everything and follow him, or if he didn’t enjoy what time you have left by doing meanness
    There are no half ways with Christ
    Storms come, helpless, my life and heart I can’t navigate
    I fear, I am stuck
    maybe I need God
    When I see who he is…
    He is Holy Lord, I am terrified, I am in the presence of the Holy Other above & beyond, His purity
    I don’t exist, I am lost –ruined
    Otto- when people encounter God the supernatural, they are attracted and repelled at the same time
    We need him to avoid insignificance, but we want to be in control most of the time
    God may be there, but we don’t need him every second

  18. Part 2 !

    A greater storm in their hearts than the one on the sea, We are traumatized by the Holy when we get close
    More in peril before Jesus than they were in the storm
    Opposite forces make storms
    We need the glory of God, but we want to control our own lives
    Guilt, despair, anger, offence, terror
    4) I AM no fear
    Old Testament God I AM- be afraid
    New Testament I AM Therefore No Fear
    His holiness His utter purity can be an assurance rather than a white hot searing pain and a horrible threat
    There was a storm Jesus didn’t walk through
    Jonah in the fish-I am cast out of thy sight all thy waves and billows have gone over me
    There is a storm in which He did sink, the waves and billows went go over Him, the storm of justice, He was really cast out. Because He sank in the only storm that could kill me He can walk through every storm with me.
    The holiness of God is my comfort now
    Difference between Christian & a Pharisee, everyone likes power, mercy, wisdom,….Holiness of God Pharisee no I don’t need/want that! That makes me feel guilty unwise, condemned
    Holiness of Christ is a Comfort
    Christ as my substitute
    His holiness cleanses me, for God to fail to forgive me would be unholy, unjust, therefore have I nothing to fear
    If Jesus paid, I can’t pay again, it is not God saying… I am merciful, I forgive you
    My sin is not overlooked, it is atoned for
    No he says I am the Holy One, because I am the Holy one I died on the cross to completely satisfy justice.
    I know I have understood this when I don’t say depart from me. He shows up with His Holiness and I let him in the boat
    His holiness becomes a comfort
    He sank, he refused to abandon me in the real storm, He won’t abandon me now
    Relax in the Gospel
    I am unable able to satisfy the standards of goodness and the righteousness of the commandments.
    Don’t be afraid, Asking Jesus into the boat means instantly I am accepted, don’t be afraid, He will take me places I can’t imagine.
    He won’t abandon me in the storm

    Father help me to see Jesus as Sovereign Ultimate Holy Lord all that does not crush me because he is my Savior, show me how to make Him central to my life, help me relax and recognize I am safe, help me take these transforming realties into my life in Jesus name Amen

  19. Susan and Laura…my marriage has been a long struggle, Kims prayers and Gods grace has made this year our best year yet, but it is still a practice in laying down MY DREAMS OF WHAT I WANT MARRIAGE TO BE and what it is. to love Paul for who he is NOW and not always push for him to change and get better. I will be praying for you both as I know Kim will…one book that helped me a lot but is WAY out there on the right so I do not recomend it to most is called “created to be his help meet” it is wrong ,i feel, in some areas but it really changed my perspective and helped me get off my high horse….with out this book i would have been divorced 5 years ago.
    another one that I think ALL married people should read is “sacred marriage” its wonderful and helped us a lot….its main point is “what if marriage was not created to make us happy but holy”
    I join in your struggle sisters, to love a man who does not live up to your expectations is a VERY hard thing to do….
    prayers
    I hope it encourages you to know that we are doing much better after 20 years of hard. I am actually going to miss him this week that the girls and I are going to be in florida and he is not!!!

    1. What a testimony, Cyndi that we serve a God who is in the business of restoring marriage. You are right on when recommending the book, “Created to Be His Help Meet: Discover How God Can Make Your Marriage Glorious” by Debi Pearl, for when you read it you must eat the meat and throw out the bones so to speak. It is great to hear you use your experience to encourage others – beauty from ashes.

  20. My story echos Cyndi’s, especially the loving my husband for who he is.
    For a long time I tried to squeeze some self worth I was looking for out of him, I finally realized I was making him feel like a failure. I was looking to him to meet needs in me only God can fill.

    Somehow I feel sure it is all tied up in this;
    Genesis 3:16 b “Your desire will be for your husband,
    and he will rule over you.”

    I also whole heartedly endorse Sacred Marriage!

  21. 6. First Point: God is Sovereign over our Storms
    A. What notes and comments do you have?
    In v 19, Jesus is approaching boat walking on water, thru a storm. The ancients understood the stormy sea was a symbol of the fact that life and world were (a) filled with powers that were beyond our control, and (b) beyond our comprehension. Every so often, on land, we have earthquakes, but on the sea—a storm happens constantly—sea travel is more fragile than land, and when travelling by land, if something comes at you, you can see it coming—but darkness is always upon the face of the deep waters. In the ocean, you don’t know until the last minute what is coming. The stormy sea represents the fact that life is filled with terrifying incomprehensible forces– that can suddenly sweep you up or sink you. But Jesus is walking through the storm—not slogging through the water. He’s strolling, absolute power over all the forces of destruction, death, devastation. He shows absolute power in His stroll. He is completely Sovereign, there is nothing He can’t handle, nothing out of His control.
    If you feel like life is a walk instead of a sea voyage—maybe so far it is working, and you see other people are falling apart, and assume there is some lack of wisdom, lack of discipline in them…but no. The Bible says you may think things are good, but all of a sudden—a storm hits, and all is swept away. You may think you know your own heart, your spouse’s heart, your friend’s heart—but there are deep, dark slimy things in there that will suddenly come up and bight you. Darkness on the face of the deep—you are not in control, you have a rude awakening if you think you can go through life without Him in the boat. Others feel like they are in the storm now, life is out of control—feeling “at sea”. It doesn’t matter how deep, how strong the wind—He is Sovereign.

    B. What area of your life do you need to commit to God’s sovereignty?
    There are many areas, a few especially hard right now. There are times it seems like smooth sailing, then all of a sudden, we are at sea—and my inclination is to just want to fix it as soon as possible. As I learned in last week’s sermon, even when I think things are smooth, it is never me keeping things in control. He has my children, my health, my life—He is always the only one in control. His power transcends the laws of nature, the accepted beliefs of our culture, the “trends”. And in His absolute power, He knows what He is doing, He is always at work. The battle is His.

    6. Second Point: Jesus is the Ultimate — He is the GREAT I AM
    It is huge to realize that Jesus keeps claiming to be the GREAT I AM. Whenever that happens his friends are in awe and his enemies want to stone him, for as R. C. Sproul says, “It is clear declaration of Deity.”
    A. What notes and comments do you have?
    In vs 20, He said “It is I”. This is far more amazing than what He’s just done in walking on water. Literally translated, “I am”. Ego Ami. He is giving the divine name, used in Exodus 20:14 with Moses, as His name. He tells us—“I have no beginning, I will never change, I’m Perfect, I am just because I am.” He is not caused by anything else—He is His own cause, the cause of all existence. When Jesus says I Am, He is claiming His Deity and Divinity. Others try to say they are god—but look at their definition of god. Jesus gives us the most indigestible claim—using the definition of God that human beings cannot claim. He is the personal, transcendent, absolute omnipotent God. He is not a source of Power, He is THE source. Everything is dependent on Him. Jesus’ claim pushes us into extremes—if you’re trying to look at Him—it is an all or nothing situation, intellectually and personally. You cannot, with any intellectual integrity accept anything he says without also accepting Who He says he is. Everything He says is interlaced with His claim of who He is—God. You can’t say you like his teachings and not accept his claim to be God. His claims are the basis for all He does—only He can forgive all because all is against Him. Only He can give us a clean slate—because every sin is against Him. If He’s just a nice guy, the cross is more than a tragedy—but if He is God, then this is a voluntary, sacrificial death. He can’t be on the periphery of your life—either he should be the center of your life, or nothing. There is no moderation, no walking the fence. He comes in to your life to have preeminence.

    B. This week, in your “putting off and putting on” how will you surrender to Him as Lord?
    His Word has immense depth when we accept the truth that Jesus is God. He is the Source of all Power. When He says, I AM—He is ALL—the One I am dependent on for every breath, every step, every decision. Take my life and let it be, every only all for Thee.

    7. Third Point: Jesus is Holy
    A. What notes and comments do you have?
    In practicality, storms come, and you feel helpless, and you fear, you feel stuck—you look to God, you go to your Bible, and when you start to see who He is—He is not simply power, divine authority—He is Holy.
    When they see Him walk on the water, they are terrified. They had seen storms before, and realize the danger, but not until He shows up—are they terrified. They realize they are in the presence of something Holy-other. Holiness is the aspect of above and beyond us. His greatness is so great you almost feel you don’t exist, His purity makes you feel lost, ruined. Rudolph Otto—said of the idea of the holy—consider the ambivalence of people to holiness—when men begins to experience the holiness-they feel both repelled and attracted. We are deeply committed to the idea that though He may be there, we think we don’t need him every second—but when we get really close to Him, we see our living is wrong and we are traumatized. Storms happen when opposites collide—we desperately need the glory of God yet we desperately need to control our own lives. Storms show us we need Him—but as we get close, a storm happens inside us and we get traumatized. When we get close to the true God—we may be offended, or we may sink because we feel like a failure—the storm inside of guilt, despair, I’m not good enough…how do you get through it?

    B. Last week Alexandria said that as she received ashes on her forehead, she would remember that God was a consuming
    fire. How might this be helpful to you also?
    While I know what Keller means about the repelling when we see our own sin before God—I feel so much more attracted to His holiness. It melts me. Reminds me of a verse I love, psalm 27:4 “One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.”

    8. Fourth Point: I AM: NO FEAR
    A. What notes and comments do you have?
    This is my favorite part!! Jesus is something else besides Lord. It is I, I Am, don’t be afraid—“I AM: NO FEAR”. I am, therefore don’t be afraid. Jesus is saying my holiness is not a threat to you—the white heat of my utter purity is an assurance rather than a terror. How? Does He walk through every storm? No. When Jesus was on the Cross, He was thinking of Jonah—in the belly of a fish—storm of God’s wrath—cast out of Thy sight-all Thy waves and billows have gone over Me. Jesus says a greater Jonah is here. There is one storm in which I do sink—on the Cross—the only storm that can really kill you, the storm of eternal justice. Because I sank in the only storm that can ever kill you, you will be able to walk with Me through every other storm that ever strikes against you. Jesus is not only Lord, He is Savior, our Substitute. He lived the life we should have lived and died the death we should have died. Here is how you know you understand the Gospel—the Holiness of God is now your comfort. Jonathan Edwards said everybody likes the power of God, the mercy of God, the wisdom of God—but only the Christian wants the holiness of God. Jesus is not just your example, but your substitute. He paid for my sins. God is faithful and just—Jesus is so holy that now God has to receive us, because Jesus paid it all. When He shows up in His holiness, and you let Him get in the boat—His holiness is a comfort. He sunk the great storm so we can walk through every other storm—He refused to abandon me in the only storm that will really kill me—then He is not going to abandon me now. I don’t have to clean up my life or try harder—relax. If you’re not sure—1) you are no more able to satisfy the demands of righteousness and satisfy the 10 commandments than they were able to row to the other side of the lake. By asking Jesus into your boat—you are immediately accepted.
    “His love in time past forbids me to think, He’ll leave me at last in trouble to sink; Each sweet Ebenezer I have in review, Confirms His good pleasure to help me quite through.” -John Newton

    1. Elizabeth, I love how well you articulated the last question. I was having trouble getting my thoughts down and yours helped me. Oh my, the John Newton quote is perfect. This sermon is on the top of my list but of course I am forgetful so who really knows? 😉

  22. Sorry–but with all that I actually left off 8 B:
    B. If you fear God, then you don’t need to fear anything else. How might you apply this?
    I love the truth that in the Cross, He sank in the only storm that would have killed me, He refused to abandon me in the only storm that will really kill me—then He is not going to abandon me now, He is with me in every storm I face. I LOVE that He IS: NO FEAR. Oh I cannot express how powerful this truth is for me. Fear has been a trap Satan has used many times in my life, in very craft ways…and Jesus knows that. I literally cling to this truth—He commands me personally, He says “Elizabeth, do NOT fear, I am with you”.

  23. After Elizabeth’s posts I see now that you may have wanted us to take copious notes, I Ought to have read a bit further and not posted them in their entirety!
    Oops! Oh well! Sorry!

    1. Chris, reading the notes you took helped me to grasp it even better so don’t apologize. 🙂

  24. 5. Surprisingly I am doing great! I have not felt lack of approval or anything like that from fasting Facebook. I have been able to dedicate those free times to reading those books, Bridges Transforming Power of the Gospel and Prayer by Yancey. They are exactly what I need right now. Things are looking great at this moment. Practicing Self control with food as well. Going pretty good. Feeling overwhelmed by the comments and so wish I could read all and catch up but in this season with our little guy I just cannot. Trying to be ok with that too. 🙂

    1. Good for you, Angela, glad to hear this report.

  25. Wow, what a sermon – love how much I learn from this godly man. Hubby is home so I will condense and write later. Sister’s: Don’t miss this sermon!

  26. I brought this down here from above, because I want to confess my sins to you all and I think most missed it.

    Laura – dancer says:

    February 29, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Wow Susan,

    A question for all: is this a time in my and susan’s lives? Do others/ have others had this same struggle with their husbands?

    Joyce L. Peterson says:

    February 29, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Yes, I do. Maurice (pronounced Morris) is a believer but isn’t a spiritual leader in our home. He doesn’t want to go to church. But he is such a wonderful Daddy to Kendra and treats “his girls” very well and has never been mean, but does have a controll issue and gets upset easily and we argue alot. He never wants to talk when we have a problem with our marriage. So I have learnt NOT to EVER pray God would change HIM. I pray God would change ME to be the wife he needs. I have many faults and need help, as I tend to put Kendra before him…I know that is wrong, but she is so needy, and is very hard not to. We sleep in separate rooms, because I need to be with Kendra as she siezures, but the Love part fell along side the wayside somewhere over the last 22 yrs! But I admire him and respect him very much for the good man he is and I am committed for life. It’s just that we don’t communicate and take time for each other, it’s all about Kendra, I’m ashamed to say. I’m afraid if it was just the two of us, we would have nothing there. There has never been any adultry or anything like that. But he is like Proverbs 26:21 “so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.” I pray for him because he is not growing in the word at all and I’m scard for him to have a terrible tragedy and suffering hardships in order for the Lord to get his attention. My brother had to go through that, loosing his wife through that horrible desease, suffering so, but brought him to be a God fearing man. Maurice doesn’t tithe anywhere either, but I do from my disablity I get and don’t know if I should without him or not. So that is the honest truth about us, we have our problems like everyone else does. I am on my own here, serving the Lord and trusting him and focusing on him minute by minute. That is why I need you all so much..to help me grow and learn and keep focused on God

    Diane says:

    February 29, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Joyce, thanks so much for your honest sharing. As I pray for you, I will pray about Maurice too.

    1. Praying for you and your family Joyce!
      Thank you for sharing, appreciate your honesty.

    2. Joyce, we will add you to our prayers for a godly marriage. Thank you for your heartfelt sharing. God is able to do abundantly more than we ask or imagine so we begin by taking the need to Him and trusting Him for the results.

    3. Dear Joyce, thank you so for pouring our your heart to us–so vulnerable and real–I know how the pain becomes even more real when we share it with others, but what an honor to pray with you, for you. You show such respect for Maurice in your words, a sacrificial love. I will be praying for you all~

    4. Joyce,
      I thank you too for your honest sharing. We all have our struggles, don’t we?
      Yet we help each other carry the burdens. Will be praying for you and your marriage.

    5. Thanks for sharing Joyce. You have my prayers. I will be lifting up all our marriages tonight.

    6. Ladies, on my way in to work this week Chuck Swindoll with Insight for Living has been talking about marriages. You may be able to find some of those sermons here http://www.insight.org/topical/. I listen on Sirius radio on the Family Talk station, but I’m not sure of the station number. Sorry.

  27. 6. First Point: God is Sovereign over our Storms A. What notes and comments do you have?

    Storms will eventually come if they haven’t already. Life is filled with incomprehensible, terrifying forces. Jesus strolled through the storm that evening. At times we feel we are at sea but no matter how dark, Jesus is sovereign. Even when we think we are in control we are not. He is absolute power and control.

    B. What area of your life do you need to commit to God’s sovereignty?
    I want to pray about this and answer honestly, I need to have Him search my heart first.

    6. Second Point: Jesus is the Ultimate — He is the GREAT I AM.
    A. What notes and comments do you have?

    Here is the part I loved from Dr. Keller: When Jesus declared to them “It is I” that was more amazing than walking on water and calming the storm. His declaration also is the same used by His Father with Moses. The disciples knew this. They were trembling b/c of who He actually is! Jesus is declaring I have no beginning, I was not created, everything exists b/c of me. Demanding they no longer see Him as a power but as the source of all power – all power is on loan from Him!

    B. This week, in your “putting off and putting on” how will you surrender to Him as Lord?
    Every sin I have ever committed is a sin against my creator. He wants to come into my life as the preeminent authority – the absolute unconditional authority and that is my desire. This has made me stop and think about my idols in a new way. As I put Him in absolute authority over my life I believe He has been and will continue to help me become less drawn away by idol desires and more like Him. Not that I will become perfect before heaven but that I will turn away from them more quickly and lose less battles.

    1. Love your 6B–such hope in this: “As I put Him in absolute authority over my life I believe He has been and will continue to help me become less drawn away by idol desires and more like Him.”

    2. Kim I agree with Elizabeth on your 6B, that you will turn away them more quickly. WOW!

  28. 7. Third Point: Jesus is Holy A. What notes and comments do you have?
    They weren’t that scared until He showed up b/c then they were in the presence of holiness. There was a greater storm in the heart of the disciples than the stormy sea. Storms happen when my wanting to be in charge collides with I desperately need His glory -love that!

    B. Last week Alexandria said that as she received ashes on her forehead, she would remember that God was a consuming fire. How might this be helpful to you also?

    When I read this from Alexandra last Wednesday I thought, oh no, I have no ashes and yet I desired to have them put on me as a sign. I prayed and bowed before the Lord and asked Him to put ashes on my head symbolizing my death to self. It seemed like holy ground as I felt His presence and His favor. It was the most special Ash Wednesday I have ever experienced.

    8. Fourth Point: I AM: NO FEAR A. What notes and comments do you have?
    Elizabeth is right – this was the best part b/c Keller wrapped it up with the gospel. He made the sermon come full circle for me. Without this last point I would have everything to fear b/c I have just seen Him for who He is and I am terrified but He doesn’t leave me there for His utter purity is an assurance rather than a terror.

    I believe Keller said Jesus was thinking of Jonah while on the cross b/c He says a greater Jonah is here, speaking of Himself. This is the one storm in which Jesus did sink – on the cross. There is only one storm that can really kill me, the storm of eternal justice but He became my substitute. He sunk in the great storm so I can walk through my storms and not drown. Immediately I am accepted with Christ in my vessel and I can smile at every storm. I am safe!

    1. Like 🙂 perfect thought for the day

    2. oh Dee, thanking God for giving you this verse–it REALLY “hit the spot” for me this morning–Spirit led, thank you

    3. Love this song. Thanks for planting it in my mind today 🙂

    4. Last line of the verse above is ver powerful. Thanks Dee.

  29. Good morning ladies, off to a long day at work. In response, How am I doing mid week with my Lenten Discipline? More studying, that is good…food issues fair. It helps to have the images of Jesus walking with us with work being so physically and mentally challenging. Just downloaded the sermon for later.

    I have a burden this morning for all the women with troubled marriages, my prayers are with you today.

    Carol B

    1. Carol, I believe we are going to continue to see breakthrough’s in marriage and was wondering if all the ladies who want prayer for their marriage would say so here and we could compile a list so that no one gets left out. What do you think, Dee?

      1. I think that’s a great idea! I’m reading through all the notes and trying to remember who wrote what… I really want to pray for marriages too.

      2. I like that and agree with Anne that it’s hard to remember what the struggles are, so I just pray for the ladies and their families on the Bible Blog.

      3. When I first started a few months ago, Annemeredith and Julie, I was having a hard time keeping all the women’s families and issues straight so I started a bit of a table to help me. When I saw something I should pray about I would add it to my list. It did help. Also, many of the long time women have been introduced to each other a bit on this blog in a “blogger’s section” that Dee did for a while. If you search back through the older blogs from last year you will find them.

        Just a hint to maybe help you get to know us. Everybody does it in their own way, I am sure.

        1. Thanks Diane I will give that a try.

  30. 6. First Point: God is Sovereign over our Storms

    A. What notes and comments do you have?

    Jesus is royalty, He is independent, He can handle anything, There is nothing out of control. He doesn’t need my help 🙂

    B. What area of your life do you need to commit to God’s sovereignty?

    Definitely for my kids, my marriage.

  31. I had a breakthrough last evening, sisters. I was wanting a pancake at 10:00. I finally said to Him: “Lord, I don’t know if you can help me here, (duh) but I am about to go mess up my tidy kitchen to make one pancake from scratch” – I am an old fashioned cook and don’t buy boxed mix. “I know this is dumb b/c I haven’t been having sugar for almost three weeks so if you got somethin’ that would help me, I sure would appreciate it.” (really, Kim?). The next words out of my mouth were, “I plead the blood of Jesus over me to keep me from temptation.” I have no idea why I said that but it worked instantaneously and the desire was gone and didn’t return. Later last night my husband was having a hard time sleeping and I kept praying for him but he kept wrestling – he has Graves disease and this is a side affect. Finally after an hour I said, “Jesus I plead your blood over him to help him get rest” and he calmed right down and slept. I don’t know but it seems like I am on to something here. I keep thinking there’s power in the blood of Jesus for more than just the washing away of sin.

    1. Oh Kim, That is amazing! Years ago I had a friend who was an alcoholic and he said he had demons in him and could see them. He said,”Would you pray over me”? I was terrified, not knowing much from the word and being a kinda new christian, but I remembered one part and kept praying “Get ye behind me, Satan, and prayed saying the name Jesus alot and sang songs about Jesus and God and kept this up for awhile untill he said he seen the demon’s leave him. He gave his heart to the Lord then also. I was so scard! He was the one who said to me, “I want what you have”. I had nothing because my husband left me and my three kids, when Kendra was born. But he said, “No not like that…I want the peace I see inside of you.” I was at peace knowing God would take care of us. And God did take care of us, with the help of Dee! But I heard later that this guy did give up drinking and had a good life, knowing God, but then one morning he just didn’t wake up. He died in his sleep. He may have had cirosis of the liver from drinking for so many years, I don’t know. But just saying Jesus alot is key too, because the Devil hates his name.

      1. This is great Joyce, bless your heart for taking what you knew and applying it to his situation. God surely helped you help him. Neat story.

    2. Kim. I didn’t know your husband had Graves desease, I will be praying for him. I love the song “Power in the Blood” by the Statler brother’s. Your last sentance reminded me of that song!

  32. Okay, I am not sure I am tracking but will take a stab at it. Tell me if you see more than I.
    When I turned to Him for help, He reminded me of the power of the blood He shed not only to cover my sin but to enable me to live victoriously, which caused me to speak His truth into my frailty and kept me from temptation.

    1. Exactly! The blood of Jesus! I’m going to try it when I am tempted to eat late at night, too! Thanks Kim!

    2. Oh, and His blood, final work defeats satan and protects me from his fiery darts.

  33. Here is a fitting verse:
    14Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil– 15and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:14-18 NIV

    14Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. 16Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16

  34. Okay Dee, I found this:
    “I plead the blood of Christ,” has zero effect on satan. What has an effect on satan is our holiness, righteousness and salvation. “Pleading the blood” doesn’t mean anything. The way to effectively defeat satan and his demons is by simply having a pure life, confessing sin before God, engaging in spiritual warfare the Biblical way and that takes care of it.

    1. This passage came to mind when I read this discussion, I thought it was remarkable that it speaks to the goal of putting on Humility expressed by many of us as a goal for lent.

      Philippians 2
      Imitating Christ’s Humility
      1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
      5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
      6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
      did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
      7 rather, he made himself nothing
      by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
      being made in human likeness.
      8 And being found in appearance as a man,
      he humbled himself
      by becoming obedient to death—
      even death on a cross!
      9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
      and gave him the name that is above every name,
      10 that AT THE NAME OF JESUS every knee should bow,
      in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
      11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
      to the glory of God the Father.

  35. I also found this:
    Pleading the blood of Jesus is not the superstitious application of a magic formula of words. Rather, a
    spiritual dynamic is being applied. The power of the blood of Jesus Christ is greater than both the energy of
    our own humanity and that of our Adversary. The power that saves is also the power that releases, delivers,
    and neutralizes the enterprises of hell and the weaknesses of the flesh. The appropriation of the power of
    the Blood in tough situations is intended for every believer in Christ to know, to understand, and to
    employ.

    1. I love the wording and meaning here. “A spiritual dynamic is being applied.” To me, it’s the same dynamic as we worship with songs that lift God high. They bring Satan low.

      1. Yes, I agree.

  36. To respond to Laura’s questions about the shooter and his family, he lived with his mothers parents who had custody of him. His father has served time and has had a long history of domestic violence. The shooter went to an alternative school riding the same bus as the students who were killed who all attended a vocational school. Initially it was said one of the victims’ was dating a former girlfriend of the shooter, but law enforcement is saying he shot randomly.
    It is all over the news here, I wonder at the lack of national coverage.

    There is an interview with the parents of one of the boys who has died. It was terrible to watch. They are numb with disbelief, his mom spoke about picking out her son’s coffin. I remember my trip to the florist, so unreal, walking past the newspapers with my husband and son on the cover. This stuff just is not supposed to happen. I feel a sort of wave of understanding with suffering though the ages, I never could have felt before, I never wished to feel. A sort of peeling off of a layer of me that I wanted to keep, a loss of innocence. It hurts

    There is a blanket of sadness over the whole area, I went to the grocery store yesterday my son Zach (now in the Air Force in North Dakota) used to be a bagger there. Sometimes the nostalgia of the way life used to be is heavy on me. It was hard to shop. The bagger helped to put my stuff in the car, when he asked me how I was I said ‘Good’, then I stopped and said, ‘you know Good sort of comes out automatically, I am just okay, really sad but okay,’ We hugged.

    Please if you would pray for wisdom for us concerning Brian, and thanks, it is helping me more than I can express, probably more even than I know, to have this study, God Bless all of you

    1. I am in Ohio too, Chris – Yes, I think this is as serious as any school violence in other states. Three lives taken. A very sick young man who will live the rest of his life with what he has done. Families lives changed forever. And on top of this, several incidents the day after – our high school here had to be evacuated due to a bomb threat on Tuesday.
      Continuing to pray for Brian.

    2. Praying for you Chris. Psalm 42. “And in the night His song shall be with me…a prayer to the God of my life.”

    3. You got my prayer’s Chris, for Brian.

      1. Thank you Susan, Dee, Anne Meredith, & Joyce much thanks

  37. 6. First Point: God is Sovereign over our Storms

    A. What notes and comments do you have?
    I was able to download the sermon..YEAH! And oh what a Revelation I received! I spent 3 hours in this sermon this morning and plan to listen again!
    I will breakdown what stood out in the Keller sermon, The Terrifying Jesus”.

    What does it mean to really say, “He is Lord?”
    I Corithians 12:8, ” None can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit!”
    Do we really see beyond the baby in the manager at Christmas time? Fully comprehending that the Great I Am in also the baby in the manger? If we understand this, then the warm fuzzy of the baby and the manger scene becomes a life changing reality!
    Handel’s Messiah and O Holy Night can reign as anthems for the Christmas story!

    Our Journey is not on dry land, but by sea!
    The ancients understood this, because travel by sea can be so unpredictable and unsure, just like life. We don’t see the peril ahead, and this is when relying on Jesus Christ is so valuable to our existance as Christians!
    Here in Illinois, the town of Harrisburg was devestated by a tornado yesterday. The Governor has declared Harrisburg a “disaster area”. I am certain, had these people had known this time last week, they would have been better prepared. With all our modern technology, we still can’t see the storm ahead in enough time to prepare.
    But Jesus could, and that is why it is so significant to have Him in the center of our boat!

    In John 6 when they saw Jesus walk in the midst of the storm, they became terrified. Why? They were with Him before, they witnessed all these great miracles, heard the wonderful sermons. I am sure Jesus had this great presence about Him, even prior to the storm. So why so terrified at sight of Him in the storm? Because they did not know His Deity. Jesus called out, “I Am,No fear!” as the Greek translation pointed out.
    They witnessed how at ease He was on the stormy sea.
    I was in Benton Harbour Michigan one fall, and while my mom and sister were shopping, I decided to go for walk on the pier. I struggle with depression from time to time, ( generational as well as hormonal because I am at that age). When I got past the brush, hilly area and got a clear view of the shore. It literally took my breath away! I was overwhemled with the beauty of the high winds blowing the waves up on the pier. I could not walk on the the pier because it would have been to dangerous. But it did something to me inside to see the beauty of nature and knowing God can control this! I stood there and cried. God is so much bigger than our circumstance! Our troubles! Ourselves!

    Keller asked the question, “Do we really know ourselves? Our hearts? The hearts of others?”
    He answered that “our hearts are as deep as the ocean.”
    Which begs the question, “do you really know for certain how you will react in any situation? are you that predictable? is your life that predictable?”
    Have you ever had a situation come up where you reacted totally different from what you expected?
    I can look back at a situation where I learned I had to receive a substantial cut in my pay at work. I did not expect it. And when I sat in the office of the administrator of our department. Hearing the reason for the cut in pay. I was remarkably calm. Even curteous. It was as if the Holy Spirit shut Laura up, and did the listeing and talking. Because Laura by all accounts would have lost it in the office.
    There plenty of significant things where I reacted different from what I expected. Some good. Some not so good. But God knew before it was even going to happen.
    He knows what is lacking in my spirit, He is aware of my incompentance. He sees the “darkness in the face of the deep”. I cannot. I am human. I need a my Saviour to point these things out! Because my heart is as deep as an ocean!

    Just as Jesus revealed His Deity to those in the storm on the sea. He too will reveal His Deity to us! What a wonderful promise!

    Keller then points out, it the popluar thing in culture to point out the Power of God’s goodness, His mercy, His wonderful attributes!

    But, when it comes to His holiness…they cringe! We cringe!
    The word sin is “archaic”, “old” a “metaphor”. Todays culture embraces the loving Jesus, the caring Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount Jesus.
    But what about the Calvary Jesus? the Sacrificial Lamb Jesus? The Jesus who spent 3 days in the earth?

    Have we truly embraced His Holiness?
    Keller pointed out that “the Holiness of God is our Comfort!”
    Why?

    Because He overcame the one storm every human being will face…death.
    He overcame death and the grave for us.
    By His going through this storm, He has paid for our sins. Our justice is death. And He overcame it on our behalf.

    Why do you think there is so much questioning about the tomb of Jesus? The History channel, Discovery channels trying in vain to show us that the Jesus who overcame death on the cross, was resurrected and will come again. Has a tomb somewhere with his remains in it.
    Because this is what separates us from them. ( them being an unbeliever).

    Keller mentions 1 John 1:8…”if you say you have sin, you decieve yourself and the truth is not in you.”

    We look to the cross as a symbol and reminder of our salvation, our justice!
    They look at the cross as a metaphor, an unnessary and sadistic happening.
    That’s why when you hear someone say, ” I don’t need my sin forgiven. This is learned behavior.”

    He died on the cross in order to satisfy our justice!
    He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.
    I love the poem he ends with as well;

    His love and times past forbids me to think,
    He leaves me at last for troubles to sink,
    By prayer let me wrestle,
    Then He will perform,
    With Jesus in the vessel,
    I smile at the storm.

    1. Thanks for the notes on the sermon. I appreciate everyone’s notes. It adds richness of each perspective, helping further appreciate the sermon. I hope to get a chance to listen to it this afternoon.

    2. Laura Marie,
      What wonderful notes! And I like your personal examples from your own life, how you tied them in with the sermon. Especially the one where you were in Michigan, walking by the pier – “But it did something to me inside to see the beauty of nature and knowing God can control this! I stood there and cried.”

  38. 1 John typo…If you say you have “NO” sin you deceive yourself…I couldn’t edit because of time elapse.

  39. 5. Before you start on the sermon, give us a midweek report on how you are doing on your Lenten discipline.

    One thing I had decided to do was to stop going out to get lunch for myself, b/c especially over the last few months, I was doing that and turning to food for comfort, relief from loneliness during the day, and boredom. I would really look forward to going to get something at Panera, or some other place. Nothing wrong with going out to get lunch, but it was becoming bigger and bigger in my life, and becoming a way to feed my idol of comfort. So far, I have avoided going out. I eat at home, finding I am satisfied with some eggs or peanut butter and jelly, and I can put on listening to Christian radio while I eat.
    Today I began the Power of a Praying Wife Book. I hope to make prayer for my husband a priority during Lent (and after, too!). I appreciate the concerns voiced over the book – I was in a Bible study on marriage and we had used this book, and then our teacher decided not to use it anymore b/c it was connected with the belief that you can “name it and claim it”; praying Scripture out loud may give some the idea that yes, if you pray it and say it right, it will happen. With that in mind, I do find the prayers helpful to lead me in what to pray about, and most importantly, if I am praying for him, my heart toward him is going to change.

    For the other women here with marriage problems, The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace is one that I used in a Bible study I was in; I think it is biblically sound.

      1. Probably not too far – if she is near the Chardon area, maybe an hour?

        1. I am in Thompson Susan, about 15 minutes east of Chardon, 15 minutes south of I 90 & Madison

        2. I am between Akron and Canton.

  40. 6. First Point: God is Sovereign over our Storms

    A. What notes and comments do you have?I liked how Keller said Jesus was just strolling through the storm. No panic or soggy slushing. Like it was normal or something. This picture of it is really neat to me. I liked how Keller spoke of the sea and how it is unpredictable unlike land. God is in control of it and He is in control of all things. He is over all and above all.

    B. What area of your life do you need to commit to God’s sovereignty? Sibling rivalry. I am over it! Only God can change their hearts yet i can make it really uncomfortable until they yield. I need to just let it go though and stop stressing, God is in control. I need to release them to Him.

    6. Second Point: Jesus is the Ultimate — He is the GREAT I AM

    It is huge to realize that Jesus keeps claiming to be the GREAT I AM. Whenever that happens his friends are in awe and his enemies want to stone him, for as R. C. Sproul says, “It is clear declaration of Deity.”

    A. What notes and comments do you have? Love that He gives this divine and intimate name to them.
    This was an incredible part. God is the source of all power in the world any other power is on loan from Him. He is the sustainer, nothing exists without Him, He always was. I liked how Keller discussed this being an incredible claim.

    B. This week, in your “putting off and putting on” how will you surrender to Him as Lord? Just over what I spoke about above.. I cannot control the hearts of my children. I must surrender that to Him.

    7. Third Point: Jesus is Holy

    A. What notes and comments do you have? This was interesting to me. I do find comfort in God’s holiness but I guess it is only because I feel secure in what He did on the cross and His great love for me. I guess it could be a great dread to some. Maybe this is why I see so many people growing but then just come to a stop somehow in growing. They see it is too hard maybe. Cannot face His holiness and don’t see the cross correctly.

    B. Last week Alexandria said that as she received ashes on her forehead, she would remember that God was a consuming

    fire. How might this be helpful to you also? I love that! He is jealous for us and will fight for us, did win the ultimate battle for us.

    8. Fourth Point: I AM: NO FEAR

    A. What notes and comments do you have? I really like this part a lot! How His holiness should make us cower yet when we rightly understand the gospel we never have to be afraid. We have exchanged places and we are that holiness. So crazy to imagine because we are not but in Him we are.

    B. If you fear God, then you don’t need to fear anything else. How might you apply this? Well He is in control so anything that happens it is ok because He is trustworthy. He loves us so by going to the cross and bearing it all for us.

  41. I really loved his poem too.
    His love in time past,
    forbids me to think
    He’ll leave me at last
    in troubles to sink
    by prayer let me wrestle
    the ? will perform
    with Christ in the vessel
    I smile at the storm.

    1. Love it!

    2. 🙂 Love it

  42. Listened to the sermon on Tues and realized I could type faster than I thought. During the first third or so, I was transcribing 🙂 Then I backed off a little & probably listened more closely but typed less. Will post later. I typed all day for work but shouldn’t be typing too much right now (re-ruptured the tendon in my finger awhile ago. I wore a splint for 2 months, and a few weeks after I took the splint off, I bumped it lightly — and OUCH. Recently, I learned that I probably shouldn’t procrastinate in having surgery)

    That sermon was GOOD. Dee, you asked great questions to prep me for listening to the sermon. SO relevant to my daily life right now. It’s amazing how God is bringing together different ‘streams’ of my life to speak clearly to me (and I’m even listening!)

  43. I can answer one question: This Lenten season is wonderful. I really am slowing down the craziness by spending less time online. And realizing that He does speak to me and lead me. My busyness often prevents me from listening; but when I am listening to Him, I’m also getting done the things I need to get done.

    1. This is a great praise, Renee.

  44. I listened to three Keller sermons today, probably an overload 🙂 , but two were on idols and the third was the one on Terrifying Jesus. All good. From the sermon questions asked, I focused in on the question of what we could surrender to Jesus. I’ve been doing Weight Watchers and the first 10 pounds came off in a month. Since then, I haven’t lost much weight and I’ve been frustrated. Still doing the program, but I realized seeing the scale change had become an idol for me. I would get upset in the morning if I gained 6 ounces, or thrilled if it went down a pound. God revealed this to me as I listened to the sermons on idols this morning. I like that I’m eating healthier, I think I need to stay off the scale for a while. Or only weigh in at meetings like they recommend. 🙂

    I like the quote from Jonathan Edwards in the sermon – “The holiness of God is a comfort.” As I name my idol and repent of it, I do feel the comfort of a holy God who burns away the dross. I know I have more idols that He will uncover, but it is freeing to label this one and throw it into the fire.

    I am reading all the comments as best I can, and praying as I read. I don’t know your whole stories but God does, so I can take comfort that He is using my prayers without me knowing them.

    1. Great application–loved all of this Anne Meredith– “it is freeing to label this one and throw it into the fire” Amen!

    2. ps–my husband says go enjoy a kerbey lane pancake for us 😉

      1. oh that sounds really good. maybe in the morning after i go to my WW meeting. 🙂

        1. ooh, sorry–should not have thrown temptation at you 😉 Wish I could meet you for a nice walk around Town Lake!

        2. no worries! i did both (ate a pancake and walked by town lake)

        3. My sister and I used to go to Perkins or Bob Evans after our weight atchers meeting, we both thought it actually helped us, because we knew that once a week we would eat whatever we wanted to.

        1. It is huge! About the size of a normal plate. And yes I did have one this morning with Steve. He was off for Texas Independance Day. And then took a walk by Town Lake. 🙂

        2. ooohh—this makes me smile–I do miss Austin so, but I’ll be happy for you vicariously 🙂

  45. I’ve listened to Keller’s sermon twice while getting ready for work and again last night while taking notes. I hope I have not misspoke here.

    6. First Point: God is Sovereign over our Storms  – John 6:16-24

    A. What notes and comments do you have? At Christmas when God sent his baby son, that will warm your heart, but it will never change your heart unless you see WHO really came. If you don’t see the terrifying side of Jesus Christmas will warm your heart but it will not transform your heart. He is a sovereign Lord. Jesus was not just walking on water, he was walking thru a storm. The stormy sea was a symbol that life and the world was filled with uncontrollable powers that were beyond our (a.) Control and (b.) Our comprehension. When you walk along the land, issues come occasionally but at sea it is much more frequent and much more uncontrollable and represents that life is filled with terrifying forces that can suddenly bite you. Jesus is not just walking on the water but walking thru the storm His absolute powers over all the forces that a stormy sea represents. He’s saying peace be still, be quiet and stay quiet. He shows absolute power, completely sovereign, there’s  nothing he can’t handle. If you feel no interests in Christ its probably because your life is a walk and not a sea voyage and your heart is a garden plot rather than an incomprehensible deep. You may be happy and your life is going good right now and you think other lives are falling apart you think they incompetent or not savvy have a lack of discipline. Then up will come a storm and all is swept away from you and you are not in control of your life. But if Jesus is not in the center of the boat with you then you don’t have a match against the storm.

    B. What area of your life do you need to commit to God’s sovereignty? – For me I need to have His sovereignty in my whole life, so I get my self out of my life. When I’m in my life I make mistakes, I think I can handle things on my own but they don’t always come out so good. But if Jesus is in my life completely, my life, my sea runs a lot smoother. There may still be the choppy waters, but inner self will be calm because I know Jesus is in the center of my boat being the fulcrum of my life.

    6. Second Point: Jesus is the Ultimate — He is the GREAT I AM – he literally says I am. He’s giving the Devine name as his name. I’m am just because I am. He has no beginning or end. Everything exists because of Him. This is the most difficult statement for us to accept. He’s not just A power, he’s the source of all power. He’s the ultimate, all power is on loan from him. He’s powerful and ultimate lord. He has to be the center of our lives. Loving, obeying, following him has unconditional authority in our lives. It pushes us into extremes. It’s an all or nothing situation, Intellectually and personally. Intellectually you cannot except anything he says without also accepting what he says about himself. Everyone loves what he has to say but they don’t always want to accept that he is God. His teaching is self centered teaching. He’s judge of heaven and earth. You cannot pick and choose what you want to believe. You can’t forgive something or someone unless the sin is against you. If he’s the creator of everything and everyone then every sin against someone is against him. It’s not a regret that he died on the cross, it’s not a sacrificial death, if he’s God then its a voluntary death. Personally he can’t be someone you go to occasionally. He’s either the center of your life or he shouldn’t be there at all. Jesus has thrown everything off balance. If he is who he says he is then throw it away and follow Him. He is ultimate Lord. Storms come up, you feel helpless, you start to fear, maybe I need God, you start to see who he is.

    It is huge to realize that Jesus keeps claiming to be the GREAT I AM. Whenever that happens his friends are in awe and his enemies want to stone him, for as R. C. Sproul says, “It is clear declaration of Deity.”

    A. What notes and comments do you have? – My eye opener in this section was when Keller said, “if God created everything and everybody and you sin against one of these things then you are sinning against God. Wow that really hurt.

    B. This week, in your “putting off and putting on” how will you surrender to Him as Lord?

    7.  Third Point: Jesus is Holy – He’s not just the powerful Lord but he is the Holy Lord they weren’t scared before Jesus showed up, they knew that they were in a storm and in danger but it’s when he shows up they get scared. They were in his presence of something Holy other. holiness means he’s above and beyond us.  Like we don’t exist, we see his purity. It’s so much greater it makes us feel like we are lost, like we’re ruined. Rudolph Otto came up with a fact that men and women got into the place where they experience the supernatural they repel and attracted. We need his glory and greatness but we also want to be in control like a second layer we lay on us. When we get close to God we realize that the way we have been living is wrong. We need the glory of God but we also want to control our lives, and the storms show we need him but then we get offended as we get close to seeing Him because we think we are not good enough. How do you get thru the storm on the inside.

    A. What notes and comments do you have? – I think for this part there are so many of us that can relate. We the fulness of Jesus in our lives, but we tend to believe the lies the enemy puts in our heads that Jesus won’t accept because of our past, what we did or did not do. We have to continue to look back at the cross and remember that at the moment Jesus said “it is finished” we were set free from that past we hide behind. 

    1. This is all so good Julie–and I liked this “There may still be the choppy waters, but inner self will be calm because I know Jesus is in the center of my boat being the fulcrum of my life.”

  46. 8. Fourth Point: I AM: NO FEAR – this statement should shock us.  The implication should be letting us see that it says I AM so don’t fear. Jesus does not walk thru every storm. The one he didn’t was when he was on the cross. He sank because of the storm of justice the storm of punishment for sin. He’s not only a Lord he’s a savior. You know you understand the gospel when the holiness of God is your comfort. We want His mercy, the power, the wisdom, but the holiness we don’t want because it makes us feel unwise, wrong, guilty condemned. For God to not forgive is unholy, unmerciful, unjust. He is so holy he has to receive us and save us. He died on the cross to completely satisfy justice. You know you truly understand the gospel when you let Jesus and all his Holiness  in your boat when you are in a storm. Let his Holiness be your comfort. Relax in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Don’t be afraid to let Him in He will take you to shore.

    A. What notes and comments do you have? – Knowing that Jesus died on the cross for justice, for my life, really makes me want to have him in my boat at all times. It makes me want to strive to do what’s right so he didn’t die and unjust death for me.

  47. Rebecca, if you see this I am still praying for your son. Keep us posted.

    1. (me too)

    2. Kim, you are a jewel. Thanks-deeply, I mean it.

  48. 6. First Point: God is Sovereign over our Storms

    A. What notes and comments do you have?

    Keller notes: “The stormy sea represents the fact that life is filled with forces that can sweep you up and bite you suddenly. Jesus is walking along the water-not struggling or slushing, but walking/strolling through the storm-his absolute power over all the forces of destruction, and all the forces of death and devastation-that is what the stormy sea represents.

    “If you go to church and are not all interested in making Him Lord of your life-the very center, you think life is a walk instead of a sea voyage and you think your heart is a garden plot rather than an incomprehensible heap. Maybe so far things are going good in your life and you see other people’s lives falling apart you think something is wrong with them. Lack of wisdom, etc..You may think things are pretty successful, then up comes a storm and then everything is swept away. There is deep, dark, slimy things in your heart and you aren’t in control of your life. If you think you are going to get through life without him in the center of the boat, here is the warning: you have a rude awakening coming.”

    My comments: Jesus is sovereign over all-anything that happens. Any storm, but when we think of our hearts as garden plots rather than an incomprehensible heap-when we think our life is a walk instead of a sea voyage, when we think we are in control, when a storm comes we will sink.

    B. What area of your life do you need to commit to God’s sovereignty?

    I think it is my children. My oldest one blurted out last night: “I am not even sure God exists.” -I can’t discern if it is the meds, or if he really thinks this. THen right after that my youngest-who tries to be like him, said, Yeah some people say Jesus is real, some people at my school say he is a myth, so I am not sure either. I was devastated, so as I asked them questions to try to get them to think, I spoke truth to my soul and as worry was creeping in and wondering what we said or did wrong, This Twila Paris song, “I will trust you Lord” came to mind and I started singing the chorus as I was finishing dinner: Here is the link. It is an old song, but God brought it to mind last night: http://youtu.be/Kmry1Cm8mvQ

    Sometimes my little heart can’t understand
    What’s in Your will, what’s in Your plan.
    So many times I’m tempted to ask You why,
    But I can never forget it for long.
    Lord, what You do could not be wrong.
    So I believe You, even when I must cry.

    Do I trust You, Lord?
    Does the river flow?
    Do I trust You, Lord?
    Does the north wind blow?
    You can see my heart,
    You can read my mind,
    And You got to know
    That I would rather die
    Than to lose my faith
    In the One I love.
    Do I trust You, Lord?
    Do I trust You?

    I know the answers, I’ve given them all.
    But suddenly now, I feel so small.
    Shaken down to the cavity in my soul.
    I know the doctrine and theology,
    But right now they don’t mean much to me.
    This time there’s only one thing I’ve got to know.

    Do I trust You, Lord?
    Does the robin sing?
    Do I trust You, Lord?
    Does it rain in spring?
    You can see my heart,
    You can read my mind,
    And You got to know
    That I would rather die
    Than to lose my faith
    In the One I love.
    Do I trust You, Lord?
    Do I trust You?

    I will trust You, Lord, when I don’t know why.
    I will trust You, Lord, till the day I die.
    I will trust You, Lord, when I’m blind with pain!
    You were God before, and You’ll never change.
    I will trust You.
    I will trust You.
    I will trust You, Lord.
    I will trust You.

    1. REBECCA!!! You won’t believe this–or maybe you will. All day yesterday this song was in my head. I started to search to post it and thought maybe I’d posted too much, but I just kept singing it…I woke up this morning and planned to get my Twila Paris CD (I have this one on my greatest hits) and have it in the car! Can you believe this? I am in tears. WOW. love you friend!

      1. And I am still praying for you and your son–thankful you are clinging to His Truth. Can I share this too–on the drive to the hospital when my dad was dying, i couldn’t pray, but i sang this song out loud the whole way, over and over…anyway, it’s a very special one to me of resting in Him.

      2. Elizabeth, are you serious?!?! O.k. i was in tears when I posted my earlier post, now they are flowing. The incomprehensible love of Christ! I KNOW HE GAVE US BOTH THIS SONG! LORD YOU ARE AMAZING. HOW YOU CAME LIKE THE SPRING RAINS BRINGING COMFORT AND HELPING US TO REST IN YOU, YOU ARE THE GREAT I AM my everything-because of you, who you are, i trust you.

        I know he has knit our hearts together in Him Elizabeth, and He is here. HE IS AND WAS AND ALWAYS WILL BE!

        1. Dee, Isn’t He amazing? 🙂 Here is a you tube version of the song: http://youtu.be/Kmry1Cm8mvQ -hmmmmm…yes, would be a good one for me to work up sometime. 🙂

        2. Rebecca thanks so much for posting the link for the song from Twila Paris song. I have heard the song, buts it been a while. I am now going to add her to my list on Pandora.

    2. Ladies, you may not believe this but Twila Paris’s song has been going on in my head on and off for a few weeks now, especially the part:

      Do I trust You, Lord?
      Do I trust You?

      I will trust You, Lord, when I don’t know why.
      I will trust You, Lord, till the day I die.
      I will trust You, Lord, when I’m blind with pain!
      You were God before, and You’ll never change.
      I will trust You.
      I will trust You.
      I will trust You, Lord.
      I will trust You.

      I have recently been struggling with a deep, slimy issue of really believing that God does have my deepest interests and needs at heart when he denies me something that I really THINK I need (but don’t, all I REALLY NEED IS HIM!) I have been blind with self-imposed pain, thinking God doesn’t really love me or this and that wouldn’t happen. Now God is removing the scales from my eyes, and I am beginning to see just how much he loves me, enough to say NO to things that are taking me away from TRUSTING Him and only Him!

      Reading your post, your fear for your boys and the words of the song brought tears to my eyes, Rebecca. And then Elizabeth’s response! Wow! Unbelievable how God has made this song so meaningful in our lives and then brings it up again when the doubts and struggles occur.

      I am so in awe of Him!

      1. Oh Diane, He is blowing me over right now-oh my…so sweet! As Dee says he is coming to us like the Spring rain.

        OH MY GOODNESS-to read what you wrote, Diane really moves me: “when he denies me something that I really THINK I need (but don’t, all I REALLY NEED IS HIM!” He is coming to you, as you said, removing the scales..WOW.

      2. oh my! I having been out all morning and just ran in to check on you all–just saw this and am overwhelmed, Diane! KOINONIA SITING!!! Wow, how He loves to bless us–this is sunshine on this cloudy cloudy day for me!
        It’s funny too because I haven’t pulled out that CD in YEARS, and never hear that on the radio–but ALL day yesterday, it poured over my heart. God used that song, on a Twila Paris cassette of my older sister’s when I was in 8th grade–to draw me to Him. It’s been a favorite ever since. When I sang it in the car all the way to the hospital for Dad–he died minutes before I walked in, but I had been singing it all the while…anyway, it really comforts me–sorry to go on like that, love you all

    3. And I just need to add, Rebecca, your fears for your sons are so real. I am praying for you and your family. May God open the eyes of our children and grandchildren to see and know Him, the only TRUE God. The world blinds them and tells them lies that God is not real. But God is TRUTH and can open their eyes and hearts! But the fear feels like a physical pain. I know! We want them to know Him and it is so hard when they don’t GET IT!

      1. Diane, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! This boy at school Elijah knows who is an Atheist is constantly telling him God doesn’t exist-he teases him. This started happening after Eli shared with him that we can know there is a God just by looking at creation. Eli has had a lot of flack over his faith at school. He gets teased anyway because he is skinny and doesn’t cuss. I think the peer pressure is hard for him. I think Satan is scheming, but God is bigger. Maybe it is good he is going through this now-to get it settled before he goes to college and really gets lambasted.

        1. Rebecca I will be praying for you and family.

        2. Julie Pedroza, THANKS SO MUCH!!! I sense my sisters prayers! 🙂