Amazing Grace

After the concert Friday night (which I will write about later), I left wanting to have Matt Redman’s latest offering, Beautiful News, in my possession. Having spent $12 for parking, $40 for my ticket (including all fees and taxes), $40 on merchandise at the concert (Indescribable DVD and a Chris Tomlin tee), and $11.50 for some not so tasty chicken tenders that looked like chicken patties and a Dr. Pepper, I know I should NOT have been spending any more money. If it weren’t tax season, I wouldn’t have. However, I got home from work yesterday afternoon and loaded up the website of my local Christian bookstore. Seeing that they had it on sale for $11.97, I decided I’d go ahead and pick it up. While I was on the site, I saw the Amazing Grace soundtrack: hymns redone by some of today’s Christian artists. Now, I am a hymn lover. Capitalize that L! Lover. Yes, that’s how much of a hymn lover I am, lol. I decided I’d go ahead and get that as well. I located my Family Christian membership card and took the 8 minute drive to the store. Now, what’s sad is I go there so much that the manager knows me, and I know his name, so after about 3 minutes of looking for the CDs and finding neither, I asked him where they were. He showed me and I picked those up and headed to their theology section (albeit rather small I must say). I wasn’t really looking for anything in particular, just, as usual, looking to see if there was something that I would want. My paid membership card gives me 25% of non sale items, so I was excited to use it for the first time. My eyes darted around, looking for hidden treasures and goodies that had the potential to come home with me. They finally landed on A.W. Pink’s “The Attributes of God” . With a recently sparked desire to truly see the glory, preeminence, and creativity of the Lord in ALL things, I thought that, naturally, this would be a welcome reading. So, I had 2 CDs and a book and all of that came out to $28 – a great deal. Now, I won’t be buying anything else for a while; I am spent (no pun intended).

I am so encouraged my best friend. Latoya’s entries are short, but they have really caused me to think. My sis truly has a heart for the things of God, which is by nothing but His Grace. We met in 2003 when we were Summer camp counselors through Americorps at the YMCA. I thought she was standoffish, but she thought I was cool and said to herself, “She’s going to be my friend someday”. And well, thankfully, only one of us was right. I’m really thankful for her. Although we’re 4 years apart in age, our common bond, Christ, fills that gap. She helps to keep me in check, encourages me to shift my thoughts when things aren’t going MY way… I love that girl. She’s my only close female friend in Texas. I know, I know — I need some more. However, I’d rather have one great friend versus 100 acquaintances.

I have been praying through the Psalms lately and it’s been really beautiful. Some of my favorite parts to pray have been:

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
Psalms 19:14 ESV

Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. Confirm to your servant your promise, that you may be feared. Turn away the reproach that I dread, for your rules are good. Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life! Let your steadfast love come to me, O LORD, your salvation according to your promise; then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me, for I trust in your word. And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in your rules.
Psalms 119:33-43 ESV

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.
Psalms 51:10-13 ESV

It’s been so great to pray those prayers and others. I remember them throughout the day and the Lord brings them to mind during stressful times at work. It’s a really great pruning process as well. I know it’s rare to hear someone say they LIKE a pruning process, but I do. It hurts and it stings and it lets me see how disgustingly sinful my flesh is, BUT it’s molding me into what the Lord created me to be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

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