"Oh to Grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be.
Let thy goodness, like a fetter
bind my wandering heart to Thee!"

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Another Poem

Mixed up. What a mess covered in a glossy coat
Back and forth. Back and forth on this sea-sickened boat.
Its been a while. Way too long for sanity’s sake.
If you knew how long you would probably call me fake.
Am I awake?
Maybe I fell asleep with my eyes wide open.
Knowingly or not, the Verdict has still spoken.
But am I broken?
I’m kind of nauseous. Actually, I’m very nauseous.
The outside has taken over with a series of blotches.
I can barely stomach to watch this.
Please, someone turn on the faucets.
Apparently I’m incapable of doing so myself.
So for my own benefit, for my Spiritual and physical health
Turn me somewhere besides inside myself.
Do you empty the trash when it’s piling up?
Do you sift through the junk, do you clean up the muck?
Or do you sit idly by and just wait for the truck?
After all, doesn’t it come by to pick it all up?
What a shame. Helpless to even will my way through
This freedom concept doesn’t feel very true.
Good thing feelings are subjective and don’t hold much weight
Good thing from the beginning I presented nothing on my plate.
Nothing of my own, no credit to my name
I came empty handed and I come now the same.
So take this shame.
I’m tempted to just fall in line with the world
Who doesn’t stay up late and wrestle with the Lord
But the word of God is sharper than a double-edged sword.
So staying up late is about all I can afford.
Its cuts through the mire, it splits my intentions.
It even puts my rest and my sleep on suspensions
Nothing is out of reach, no measure too great to be taken
No idol or affection can be hidden or mistaken
When the Light shines down, the darkness must run
Even if its been a while since it last saw the sun.
I’m undone.
You desire truth in my inner most part.
Please grant this, my Lord. Purify this heart.
Cuz at my best I’m a wretch, but my standing’s objective.
Righteous by the blood of the Lamb resurrected.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Dark Nights of the Soul (Brokenness and Sanctification) with Doug Eaton

A wonderful video from one of my good friends and brother in Christ, Doug Eaton. This video talks about how the Lord can bring His children down to some of the lowest times so that we will come to see our sinfulness. The best way I have ever heard this being described is "the valley of vision." I've had this happen to me a couple of times in my life, and one time being recently. It feels as if the Lord has withdrawn Himself from us, so that we may see His judgment of sin in the realeast way and so we may see the deception of the sins we have been ignoring or giving into. And yet, the result of this time, for the beleiver, is ALWAYS restoration and repentance unto LIFE and true sanctification. Affliction really is the way in which the Lord gets our attention. I seriously feel like Doug took the words right out of my mouth in this video, but expresses it better than I could so no sense in saying anything else. May the Lord use this video to encourage people out there that are finding themselves in the 'valley of vision' where sometimes it feels too painful to even function. This too shall pass, and remember James 1:2-4 as you endure. Take heart, my brother or sister, it is the Lord dealing with you as one of His CHILDREN, not enemies.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Dark Side...

OHHH NOOOO. Oh Yes. I joined twitter- the very thing I said I would never do haha. Lane wore me down and I finally gave :) Going to use it for the glory of God! Feel free to follow me if you would like:


Friday, July 10, 2009

Spurgeon Devotion

“Forget not all His benefits.”
- Psalms 103:2

It is a delightful and profitable occupation to mark the hand of God in the lives of ancient saints, and to observe his goodness in delivering them, his mercy in pardoning them, and his faithfulness in keeping his covenant with them. But would it not be even more interesting and profitable for us to remark the hand of God in our own lives? Ought we not to look upon our own history as being at least as full of God, as full of his goodness and of his truth, as much a proof of his faithfulness and veracity, as the lives of any of the saints who have gone before? We do our Lord an injustice when we suppose that he wrought all his mighty acts, and showed himself strong for those in the early time, but doth not perform wonders or lay bare his arm for the saints who are now upon the earth. Let us review our own lives. Surely in these we may discover some happy incidents, refreshing to ourselves and glorifying to our God. Have you had no deliverances? Have you passed through no rivers, supported by the divine presence? Have you walked through no fires unharmed? Have you had no manifestations? Have you had no choice favours? The God who gave Solomon the desire of his heart, hath he never listened to you and answered your requests? That God of lavish bounty of whom David sang, “Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things,” hath he never satiated you with fatness? Have you never been made to lie down in green pastures? Have you never been led by the still waters? Surely the goodness of God has been the same to us as to the saints of old. Let us, then, weave his mercies into a song. Let us take the pure gold of thankfulness, and the jewels of praise and make them into another crown for the head of Jesus. Let our souls give forth music as sweet and as exhilarating as came from David’s harp, while we praise the Lord whose mercy endureth for ever.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Jeff Noblit- Human Reasoning Vs. The Word of God

This is one of many sermons in a series from Jeff Noblit called Solving Problems and Healing Hurts. I pray that this encourages you like it did for me. Let this be a good time to test whether or not you are living your life based on the word of God or on human reason and psychology. On the surface, as Christians we would definitely say...THE WORD...but I pray this teaching would really cause you to dig deep and examine if this is true. I know it was able to stop me in my tracks and repent. Only God can change anything, so you can look within yourself all you want but ultimately you will find nothing. There's nothing in there that you can trust. The world tells you to look at yourself, to explore your past, to look at your experiences, to look at your fears, to look at your suffereings. And while all of that may seem like a good idea to us, ultimately we must trust Jeremiah when he says that our own hearts are deceitful. So then where can we turn if we are this capable of deceiving ourselves? We must turn to God and His word and faithful promises. It is the only reliable answer we have. If one has a foundation that this is true no matter what emotions and human reason are saying, then and only then can you go on with your life, trusting in God and His sovereignty. Much easier said than done, as I am daily finding out. Actually, it is an impossible task; only the Lord can grant it. This is so hard and goes completely against all of my flesh which is agonizing, but the Lord is so gracious to even put this kind of teaching in my path so that through His Spirit He may crush my flesh.

Just remember that the Holy Spirit will never guide you to look within yourself. Not for answers at least. Think about salvation. It is a work of God. It is done by the convicting power and drawing of the Holy Spirit. It is not anything of yourself, only the Spirit. So why, when we find ourselves in situations that cause us affliction or hurt, would we run to the world's wisdom? I cannot even act ignorant of that question even though I want to, because I do it all the time. I know I do it because it is a tempation to just appease the flesh, and I give in.

"Are we going to start by the power of the Holy Spirit yet finish with the arm of the flesh? Start with the Spirit and end with humanity and man's wisdom? No we're diciples of Jesus Christ; we're people according to a new Way" -Jeff Noblit

Galatians 3:2-5
"Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain--if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith"

I must say that even writing these words right now are hard for me. In the midst of a time when I am battling every second to not rely on the arm of the flesh (and feeling as if I'm failing most of the time), this post is difficult to even publish. Mostly because I feel like a hypocrite. It is not as if I can "feel" the Lord really rescuing me from human reason and from my emotions, because honestly I don't. Not all the time, at least. But I know He is bringing me through all of this for a reason, and I praise Him for even bringing me to a point where I know that even though I don't feel all fuzzy inside, He is still working. And for some reason the Lord is revealing this stuff to me so that I myself would believe it, and even though I am struggling to do so, I cannot keep but writing it in hopes that someone else would read it and be encouraged. I pray that is what happens.

Solving Problems, Healing Hurts: The Foundation p2a -

This series is quite an amazing one. There are many, however, and as tempting as it is to post all of them on here at once, I figured I would start with just this one first. There's enough to chew on here for a lifetime. But, if you want to check out the whole series I got it off the anchoredintruth.org podcast.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I Cry Out Day and Night Before You

Praise God for the Psalms.


O LORD, God of my salvation;
I cry out day and night before you.
Let my prayer come before you;
incline your ear to my cry!
For my soul is full of troubles,
and my life draws near to Sheol.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I am a man who has no strength,
like one set loose among the dead,
like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom you remember no more,
for they are cut off from your hand.
You have put me in the depths of the pit,
in the regions dark and deep.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
and you overwhelm me with all your waves.

You have caused my companions to shun me;
you have made me a horror to them.
I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
my eye grows dim through sorrow.
Every day I call upon you, O LORD;
I spread out my hands to you.
Do you work wonders for the dead?
Do the departed rise up to praise you?

Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
Are your wonders known in the darkness,
or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

But I, O LORD, cry to you;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
O LORD, why do you cast my soul away?
Why do you hide your face from me?
Afflicted and close to death from my youth up,
I suffer your terrors; I am helpless.
Your wrath has swept over me;
your dreadful assaults destroy me.
They surround me like a flood all day long;
they close in on me together.
You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me;
my companions have become darkness.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Amazing Hymns

Here are two hymns that we sang today in church. Wow God has a way with timing, huh? May they encourage you as they have encouraged me today.


Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Every day the Lord Himself is near me,
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counsellor and Pow'r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then, in every tribulation,
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation,
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E'er to take, as from a father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till with Christ the Lord I stand.


Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.


I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.


Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Sweating Drops of Blood

Luke 22:44
"And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground."

I'm definitely writing this post tonight...broken hearted and confused. And yet, with a peace that surpasses any type of understanding that my mind tries to wrap itself around. My post tonight is going to be really simple, and hopefully God will use it to clear a lot of things up for some people...especially myself. My focus really shifted tonight towards thoughts of our great Redeemer- the One who through whom and by whom and for whom ALL things were created. Our great Mediator...our Advocate before the Father. Jesus Christ who sits at the right hand of the Father and is seated upon His throne. The Lord graciously led me to this verse that I posted above, Luke 22:44. This verse describes our Savior, my friends! This isn't describing a mere man walking upon the earth and enduring hardships. This is the perfect Son of God who, upon recalling his upcoming crucifixion and bearing of the wrath of God towards sin, was struggling so intensely! Praise God that we have a High Priest who has experienced the very hardships and emotions that we endure as human beings!

I also want to point out something that may be really obvious, but is really permeating my soul right now. It is the truth that God uses things that are so intense and painful to sanctify us and to bring good out of it all, for His glory. This is a verse of Jesus praying in agony so much so that He is sweating blood. Jesus knew He was about to go through the darkest time in human history- enduring the wrath of His Father. He knew this, and He was in pain over it. But yet, He remained sinless, and kept His focus upon the perfect plan of His Father. He knew that by enduring this horrible horrible crucifixion, so much good was on the other side, and the Lord's name was going to be ultimately lifted up.

O that we would learn from our Savior. O that we would humble ourselves enough to submit to the Lord's will in our lives no matter how much blood it causes us to sweat (figuratively speaking). If our Lord had to endure such agony while here on this earth, what makes us think that we can skip through life unscathed. As a Christian, one thing is for sure...deep, heart-wrenching afflictions should not come as a surprise. Why would our path be any different than our Lord's? Jesus Christ's death on the cross is proof that God uses those things which are of the utmost pain to bring the most good and the most glory to His name.

One could possibly object here, and say "but Susan, Jesus had perfect knowledge that even though He knew it was going to be grueling, everything in the end was going to work out for the better. In my life- in situation x- there's no guarantee that everything isn't going to fall apart on me...and cause me to hurt for the rest of my life."

Maybe I just quoted myself. hmm.

So here comes the scripture to rebuke me....as usual.

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified."
Romans 8:28-30

How much more reassurance could we possibly ask for? First of all...all things work together FOR THE GOOD for those who are called according to his purpose. Wow. Seriously? Even this pain? Yes. Not to mention the verses that follow that basically should have every Christian jumping up and down praising the Most High for the work that is promised to take place in them. Its incredible. It's also incredible of how quickly I can let this eternal perspective go down the drain. Lord, please forgive me and grant me the grace to endure affliction like my Savior did: with Your perfect will in mind.

Read Luke 22:44 again. Jesus wasn't naive. He didn't put on a happy face and prance through the garden. His agony was felt in the depths of His soul. Being a Christian doesn't mean you hang up the phone after that gut wrenching phone call and put on a smile and act like you are ok when clearly your world has just been shaken to the core. It means that you deal honestly with the situation, and you are real about the pain that it is causing. So real in fact that it makes you sprint to your Savior to comfort you...and to remind you of His word...and His promises. Praise God for them. Being a Christian means that these fires of sanctification cause you to shelter yourself with prayer....just like Jesus did that night. "He prayed more earnestly." WOW. I pray that the Lord would draw me unto Himself through all of this. That I would run to Him, and do what my Savior did: pray more earnestly. These afflictions bring up the need to examine myself and hold myself up to the mirror of scripture, yet again. Praise God that He is faithful and worthy of our trust. Praise God for His perfect will and how all things are done according to His good pleasure and for the glory of His name. Please Lord...Please grant me this perspective...and continue to sanctify me. Please do the same for my brothers and sisters, Father. Thank you for the gift of repentance and salvation. May our hearts be filled with grattitude tonight, as we fix our eyes on Jesus Christ the Author and Finisher of our faith.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Been Around the World....

Ok, So maybe I haven't quite been around the world...but it sure does feel like it! Since finals finished up the last week of April (and I was [temporarily] loosened from the reigns of college basketball) I have traveled to: Belize for a week on a mission trip, California for two weeks to see the boyfriend :), while I was out there we drove to Phoenix for a few days to visit with James White and his daughter Summer, went back home to Georgia for a week, and I am now in Kentucky visiting my extended family.

It's been an awesome month, but it is coming to a close, unfortunately. I will be returning back to Florida at the end of this week to get back to team training and also an internship at Sears. (It's my first real job ever lol). Balancing work and workouts could get interesting but at least it is only for 8 weeks :)

Anywho. The Lord has used this month to really really refresh me. It was probably the most long awaited month of my life, considering I finally got to see Lane after not seeing him for 5 whole months. Long distance relationships are quite tortuous. I have never relied so much on the grace of God in all of my life....which is probably the purpose of it then, huh?

Here is just a little taste of my time out in Cali. Lane and I took the video camera with us one night and after dinner we filmed a quick video promoting A.W. Pink's book "The Sovereignty of God." This book really did change my life, so I want to recommend it again to anyone who has never read it.

Here is a link to read it online for free: http://www.reformed.org/books/pink/

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

John Piper on the 'Bad Eye' in Matthew 6:23

(This is the passage by John Piper that I alluded to in my previous post. This is what the Lord used to wake me up during the season. It really convicted me of just how bad my eye had become in regards to my perspective on what was going on around me.)

What is the 'Bad Eye' in Matthew 6:23?
By: John Piper

A verse in Matthew is somewhat difficult to understand. It seems to dangle in the Sermon on the Mount with little connection to what goes before and after: "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!" (Matthew 6:22-23).

Before it: the familiar saying about not laying up treasures on earth: "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19-21).

After it: the equally familiar saying about not serving God and money: "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money" (Matthew 6:24).

Therefore, the sayings before and after Matthew 6:22-23 deal with treasure or money. In fact, the first would flow really well into the second if we simply left out the intervening verses 22-23. The gist would be "Treasure God in heaven, not money on earth . . . because you can't serve two masters, God and money." So why does Jesus link these two sayings about money and God with a saying about the good eye and the bad eye?

The key is found in Matthew 20:15. Jesus had just told the parable of the workers in the vineyard. Some of them had agreed to work from 6 am to 6 pm for a denarius. Some the master hired at 9 am. Others at noon. Finally some he hired at 5 pm. When the day was done at 6 pm he paid all the workers the same thing--a denarius. In other words, he was lavishly generous to those who worked only one hour, and he paid the agreed amount to those who worked twelve hours.

Those who worked all day "grumbled at the master of the house" (Matthew 20:11). They were angry that those who worked so little were paid so much. Then the master used a phrase about "the bad eye" which is just like the one back in Matthew 6:23. He said, "Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?" (Matthew 20:15).
Unfortunately that last clause is a total paraphrase, not a translation. "Or do you begrudge my generosity" is a very loose paraphrase of "Or is your eye bad because I am good (? ho ophthalmos sou pon?ros estin hoti eg? agathos eimi?)" The "bad eye" here parallels the "bad eye" in Matthew 6:23.

What does the bad eye refer to in Matthew 20:15? It refers to an eye that cannot see the beauty of grace. It cannot see the brightness of generosity. It cannot see unexpected blessing to others as a precious treasure. It is an eye that is blind to what is truly beautiful and bright and precious and God-like. It is a worldly eye. It sees money and material reward as more to be desired than a beautiful display of free, gracious, God-like generosity.

That is exactly what the bad eye means in chapter six of the Sermon on the Mount. And that meaning gives verses 22-23 a perfect fitness between a saying on true treasure (vv. 19-21) and the necessity of choosing between the mastery of God and the mastery of money (vv. 24).

So the flow of thought would go like this: Don't lay up treasures on earth, but lay up treasures in heaven. Show that your heart is fixed on the value that God is for you in Christ. Make sure that your eye is good not bad. That is, make sure that you see heavenly treasure as infinitely more precious than earthly material treasure. When your eye sees things this way, you are full of light. And if you don't see things this way, even the light you think you see (the glitz and flash and skin and muscle of this world) is all darkness. You are sleepwalking through life. You are serving money as a slave without even knowing it, because it has lulled you to sleep. Far better is to be swayed by the truth--the infinite value of God.

So if you are emotionally drawn more by material things than by Christ, pray that God would give you a good eye and awaken you from the blindness of "the bad eye."

Monday, March 16, 2009

It's Been a While...

Wow I can't believe I haven't written anything since January. I apologize for that, and I really do hope that with the season winding down now I will have more time to contribute to this. I realize so much now the providence of having to sit out of basketball last year because of my transfer. It was right after the Lord had awakened me out of cultural Christianity, and He divinely placed me in a situation where I could dedicate time and energy to the ministry and really study His word and also share my thoughts through the means of this blog. Now that I am almost finished with this season I now see how much of my LIFE it takes up. I mean it is my fourth year of college basketball so it wasn't a surprise, but taking the year off and then coming back really put it in perspective. I just am really praising God that He brought me back to the game of basketball this year with a completely different perspective on things. I went from basically worshipping the game (and really myself) to submitting my ways to the Lord even though that is really hard to do in such a secular (and prideful) environment. It hasn't been easy by any means. The Lord has had to walk with me hand in hand and also be there to correct me when I would lose sight of what really matters. I think the most amazing thing that I have learned this year is this: what is great in the eyes of the world is not always great in the eyes of God.

Ok, that sounds really really simple and elementary, but please listen to me when I say that the Lord has taught me this in the most personal and outright way that He could. It is one thing to profess that you believe that God's idea of great isn't always going to be great to your flesh or to the rest of the world, but it is a completely different thing for God to take it and penetrate your soul and let it transform your life. This is deep stuff; that is what I am learning right now. I don't know about you, but anytime the Lord is teaching me something, I can feel it. I don't mean that in the sense of 'oh I get the fuzzy wuzzies'...I mean I can feel something stirring on the inside of me. It's almost a restless feeling I get deep within me, as if I can feel the Lord transforming me from the inside out. I don't mean to freak you out with that, but most of the time I really do feel that way. I think it is whenever the Lord is taking something that I have believed on the surface level for so long and then starts renewing my mind and transforming my life with it- just like He promises He will do in His Word. Wow, just thinking about this process right now is overwhelming me. You see, this year has been a tough one for me (and by year I think more in terms of basketball seasons so really I am referring to the last 9 months or so- sorry its just how my brain operates). Not in the sense of "whoa is me" because it has still been a great year, but just in the sense of I have struggled a lot and I have failed a lot and I have felt far from God a lot. All of that being my fault and a result of not taking the opportunity to truly spend time with the Lord and make sure that I was lining myself up with Him and His word. Examining yourself takes time and effort...and I found that it is something that you can easily put on the backburner if you aren't careful. On the flipside there has been great things happen as well- and there were times when I had amazing time spent with the Lord. I guess it was just a testing time for me.

So I sat down tonight and I put my fingers to this keyboard and I had NO IDEA what I was going to write ahead of time. All this just starting coming out. And let me say that these past few moments have been so refreshing. Just recalling the faithfulness of my Lord is blowing me away, and I am sad to say that I have missed writing because it is a way that the Lord really brings into perspective just how much He is teaching me and transforming me. But no doubt His timing is sovereign. God taught me a lot last year through the triumphant times of sharing truth with others and being blessed enough to watch seeds of the Gospel take root and transform people's lives right before my eyes. And then in contrast, He has taken this year of more dry and desert-like times to teach me just as much. And bless me just as much. I guess this is where the whole "great to you doesn't always look great to God" thing comes in...

I know I sound like a broken record, but playing college basketball is grueling. It is a mental and physical drainer that can really drag you through the mud if you let it run your life. The emotional ups and downs could put someone in the crazy house. haha. But seriously. I don't say that for your sympathy. I chose to play it and in return it has been one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me. I am saying that just so you can get the setting of what I am going to share. You give up hours and hours of your day to go through workouts that make you want to cry. To get treated sometimes like you aren't a human being. To be put on a huge stage for the world to see, and wondering again why you would take on something with so much pressure when you could just be like an ordinary college kid. Then something comes along that makes it so worthwhile that it's enough to get you through it. It's a business. Sometimes you feel so helpless and you don't know where or who to turn to because you will just be reminded with the cold reality that it's a business just like everything else.

So when I started to face all of this again this year, I found myself feeling, again, so helpless. Thoughts of "man if I could just get my chance" or "why am I doing all of this if it's never getting noticed." I began to become very uneasy and antsy about my position on the team. I would play a lot, then I wouldn't. I would play a lot, then I wouldn't. And no matter what I realized that I wasn't really in control at all. And as a basketball player it is difficult to not get caught up in the appearance of things. For the many games I started this year I was excited that people would see me and see that I started for Florida and be impressed. Then for the many games that I just sat there on the bench and played very little I was worried what people would think about me then. While that seems natural for a human being, it is sin at its finest. But you see how this up and down teeter-totter could drive you insane. It is the very definition of living in a fish bowl. But like I said, none of this happened in vain. The Lord was up to something....something huge.

While acknowledging that appearance in the eyes of the world meant nothing, I still was struggling. Similar to how I had mentally assented to the truths of the gospel for a long time, it took God’s work in me to make it truly come alive and transform me. No doubt the Lord had done a mighty work in me over the past two years where he really ripped the idol of basketball out of my life. Sitting out gave me the correct perspective on it; I really didn't live for basketball anymore. This I can say with a clear conscience because it definitely didn't control my every thought like it used to. I had released it in the sense of I didn't derive my happiness from it and I really could not play it anymore and move on with my life. But then there was another step that the Lord wanted to take it. With all that said, I was still struggling with this "hey this isn't fair" attitude, and I was also (as I just mentioned) still sinfully worried about the outward appearance of things. I kept asking the Lord why I kept finding myself in the same position over and over again. Why was I continually feeling shortchanged and frustrated? Why do I see all these other people, who don't fear God at all, get things handed to them. Why are they getting the opportunity to reap the success? Ah, yes that's right. Success as defined by who? Man, the Lord had nailed me.

At the same time I was questioning why I was even playing the dang sport. I mean if it no longer defines me, and I could walk away from the game without it destroying me, then what was I waiting around for? But the Lord is faithful and always goes above and beyond anything I could ever fathom with my human mind. He took this opportunity to really put things in perspective of how selfish I truly was being. I mean who said I was playing basketball so that I could do amazing things ON the court. What about the countless opportunities that I get to be a witness for Him simply because I am on the team. I had been looking at things so wrong. I was thinking of it all in terms of how it affected me when really it wasn't about that at all. But God was still gracious enough to change me in the process. He used a series of things that really reminded me of the simple truth that HE defines success, not this world. Man!

1 Corinthians 3:19-23
"For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their craftiness," and again, "The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile." So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future--all are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's."

1Corinthians 1:20-21
"Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe."

Those are just a few verses that remind us that indeed, we don't define what is good and what is right. God does. (I will share with you at a later date more details on what the Lord used from His word to wake me up.) And as foolish as it might 'look' to the world for me to sit there on the bench it might be JUST what the Lord is using to bring glory to his name. Um, what a lesson to learn. Especially for an athlete. Talk about dying to self. And folks, let me tell you, it took an act of God. It took a miracle for Him to open up my eyes to this truth. Because if left up to me I would have remained in my sinful covetous, grumbling, unsatisfied state. I could write for days and days on the importance of theology and why mine was the reason why I was ever able to see these amazing truths about the God that we serve. He is indeed sovereign, and He is indeed the one who orchestrates, plans, wills and brings to pass EVERYTHING that takes place- and all for His glory. Not even a sparrow falls without His permission. Praise God for that. I never once had to worry whether or not His will was being accomplished through my suffering. I simply had to turn my eyes up to Him and be reminded again that He was in control and that I was an instrument to display HIS glory. Not my own. Not the fleshly desires of Susan Yenser. Man, what a deep truth that was starting to penetrate the depths of me. I could actually feel the Lord changing my mind, renewing it. Making it think completely different because it was so channeled to think like the world. I mean how could it not. Everything around me is telling me to care what the world thinks. Thankfully my God is Almighty and can overpower the principalities of this world. The Lord is doing a work in me that cannot be explained. It is beyond me. It is IN SPITE of me. And it is still taking place. This all happened pretty recently...in fact the season is still going on. We are headed to the first round of the NCAA tournament this weekend...yay :) The Lord has blessed me so much.

So there you have it. I guess I sat down tonight to get all of that off my chest. To share with you guys the faithfulness of the Lord. To encourage you that the Lord is sovereign and in control of ALL things. Please pray that the Lord continues this work that He has started in me. It is farrrr from complete. I still struggle with this, but each time I am reminded of the freedom that is found in the yoke of the Lord. Imagine that. Oh and I can't WAIT to share with you guys the passages/studies that the Lord put in my path to wake me up to these truths. I know I wrote sooo much in this post. I didn't plan to at all. I just couldn't stop. And I didn't even get to the details of the studies, but I will do that in my next couple posts FOR SURE. But I must get to bed. Please check back so I can show you the John Piper lesson that really smacked me in the face with my sin of coveting the things of this world over the precious treasure that is found in Heaven. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. He has saved me from the bondage of sin! Soli Deo Gloria!

ps- I would like to thank the "anonymous" person for posting a comment recently on my last post to remind me to post more often. No doubt God used that comment to spur me on to write this post after having gone so long. God used you, my friend. Thank you.

Matthew 11:25-30
"I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A blessing in the form of a Dvd!

Well, I guess one of the good things about being on the basketball team is you are stuck on campus over Christmas break with nooooothing to do. haha. Well its not always a good thing, but I did have a lot of time to read and study up on some things, which was very refreshing. My boyfriend gave me this documentary for Christmas, and although I had already seen parts of it, watching it in whole has been SUCH a blessing to me. It helped me clear some things up and also confirm even moreso my belief in the doctrines of grace that have radically changed my life forever. So I just wanted to take the time to direct you to it and suggest it as something worth every penny of the investment. Its only 13 bucks, and its hours and hours of thorough discussion on the history of Calvinism and explanation of its theology. Packed full of Scriptures, it clears up all the misconceptions and straw men that us 'dirty Calvinists' are stuck refuting over and over again, haha. But anyways, click the pic and you will be directed to the site of the Apologetics Group, who produces all kinds of wonderful documentaries such as this one. So, check it out. Oh and I hope to be back to blogging in the near future. Its just so hard being in the middle of the season and traveling so much. I miss it though, that is for sure. God Bless everyone, hope you had a wonderful Christmas break. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Amen.