cherry on top blessings *

to the throne of grace
to the throne of grace {photo}

Yesterday, you know how I wrote about confession and walking in the newness of Life, who is Christ?

Well, even that day, the Lord showed me just how wonderful – cherry on top blessings, I like to call them – that listening and obeying and living in the love of the Lord can be.

This is the honest, sad truth. I was hesitant to bless my brother. And I was getting tired just from thinking about all I had to do that day.

Then I read from another devotional, God Calling, not ‘to be afraid of being busy.’ The author, Russell, was encouraging his readers to accept and revel in the high calling of servant of Christ in whatever the Lord ordained for your day. Gosh, if that wasn’t what I needed to read right then!?

The Lord had in front of my to bless my brother in a simple way that I COULD DO. The Lord had in front of me a full day.

So, again, I confessed to the Lord my sin of selfishness – it gets me all the time!, and walked in the newness of life.

Almost naturally, I was happy to give to my brother. And certainly supernaturally, the Lord continues to give me strength as He upholds me with His righteous right hand throughout my today.

Isn’t is amazing that when we choose Life, we are able to bless others with Life as well?

It’s so crazy the ‘cherry on top’ blessings we recognize and enjoy when we keep our noses to the Lord’s, when we keep in constant communion with Him.

And it’s confession to Christ that opens this door, that engages this special, intimate relationship. It’s His keeping character that allows us the freedom to live just like He would have us to live.

I encourage you today, wherever you are, whatever place, position, posture you are in, to start today.

Confess your sin to Christ who is the sin-forgiver, the Justifier, the Cleanser, Righteousness Himself.

And walk with Him in the newness of life, of His life. There is truly no better day like today.

life or death

The other morning, I read through the Piper Devotional. There is a free iPhone app called Piper Devotional that has scripture and excerpts from John Piper’s writings and sermons. I highly recommend it to you. It really blesses and refreshes, nourishes and challenges me.

This morning, the devotion began with the familiar scripture, 1 John 1:9.

The verse reads, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

This is a passage that I have prayed, said over and over again to myself to remind my heart, soul, and mind of its truth, that I truly stake my life on. So it was very good to read it again this morning.

I mean, don’t you just LOVE this verse?

Confess your sin. Tell God your sin.

Christ will forgive you.

pardon.

accept your apology.

excuse.

forget.

And not only that. He will cleanse you from all unrighteousness.

You will be like you have never sinned. You will be clean!

from all and any of it. any and all of the sin.

Because and in His faithful and just character.

This is the command. Confess.

This is the promise. Forgiveness and cleansing.

This is the foundation. Christ, and His faithful and just character.

That just brings me to my knees. And it bring me to worship Him gladly.

So, John Piper writes, “A vague, bad feeling that you are a crummy person is not the same as conviction for sin. Feeling rotten is not the same as repentance.”

I thought to myself – gosh, that’s sometimes what my ‘confession’ is. ‘Lord, I feel bad.’ Or, ‘ Lord, I’m not such a good person.

And I guess that’s true. But at the same time, I’ve stopped short. I have not obey the command to confess my sin.

Piper writes that the crummy feeling, the “unworthiness” before “the Creator of the universe,” is surely something to “tell Him about.”

But we cannot stop there because that’s not confession, and it’s not very helpful.

He goes on to write when we confess, “… [we’re] apologizing to Christ for not keeping all that He commanded. I’m broken and angry at my sin. I want to kill it, not me. I’m not suicidal.”

Instead of letting feelings of crumminess and unworthiness lead us to despairing and even suicidal thoughts, when we confess our sin, it leads us to forgiveness, to cleansing, to Christ, to Life.

Gosh, what a word! I mean, how often have your thoughts of ‘I feel yucky’ led you to sin, which ultimately lead to death? How many times have you battled these thoughts and truly not known what to do!?

Well, Piper is echoing John of 1 John when he says, ‘We specifically confess our sin!’

So this morning I listed out to the Lord specific sins. Sins of insensitivity and unlovingness. The awful, pervasive sin of selfishness, which especially deteriorates my relationship with my wonderful husband and my precious child. And I claimed the rich promise that when I “confess my sin, He is faithful and just to forgive me and cleanse me of all unrighteousness.”

Christ, who is my forgiveness and my worth, brings me life, His Life, instead of myself walking my little self straight to sin, to unnecessary thoughts of unworthiness, to despair, to death.

I cling! I stake my life! I live! in the promise of His forgiveness and cleansing righteousness. I am free and able to walk in the newness of life.

Isn’t it THE HUGE TREASURE, confession to Christ!?

Click on the card to print a 3x5 of this verse!
Click on this sentence to print a 3×5 of this verse! {photo from speaker chicks}

Blessings Garland

Our garland and a How To for you 🙂

I love autumn – the slow entrance of cool weather, vibrant colors, pumpkin spice scents, and donned scarves helps me to welcome summer’s exit. (because I do love summer, too.)

image from Cardigan Way, pinned on my “Celebrate: Autumn and Thanksgiving” Pinterest board

I love autumn for …
camping
all of the fall colors
s’mores
cider
pumpkin pie
Thanksgiving
birthdays! – Tyler’s, Leland’s and my birthday line up to be celebrated in autumn

I even have a board all for autumn on Pinterest, full of ways and reasons to celebrate this delightful season.

And I have gotten a lot of inspiration from Kelly and her blog series, Savour the Season, at The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking. (which, I think is the cutest name, don’t you!?)

Life lived to the full is summer for me. And life thankful is autumn for me.
Thanking the Lord for all of his blessings. Sipping hot cider and savoring life’s gifts. The season is perfectly tied together by the ribbon of Thanksgiving.

So this season, after we took down the Happy Birthday garland for Tyler and Leland’s birthdays, we hung our blessings garland.

I took inspiration from Kim McCrary’s blog, All Things Simple, which I found through Pinterest.

Kim’s Garland – She used needle and thread to make the garland.

Here’s how I made our blessings garland ::

Step One – Using a printed template, I cut leaves out of construction paper. I cut each shape out of the four colors – red, orange, yellow, and brown; each shape per one construction paper sheet.

Step Two – Tyler and I together thought of all of the Lord’s blessings to us throughout this year and I wrote them on the leaves.

Step Three – I hole punched the stems of the leaves.

Step Four – Using brown yarn I purchased from the dollar section at Target, I strung the leaves along the yarn.

Step Four – Tyler tied knots in each end, hung the garland, and arranged the leaves. All done!

Count Your Blessings, One by One