Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What Do I Love Most?

What do I love most?  I say I love God more than life itself.  Easy.  Simply. 
But it’s far more challenging, far more effort, far more consuming to live out that loving Him better than anything in life.  Do I love Him more than my pride?-my sin?  What about more than my family, friends, and materialistic blessings?

I can say I would lay down my life in an instant for His kingdom’s cause because I know I will spend eternity with Him and in the midst of His perfect and endless love!- but it is wearying to think about living in this messed up broken world being a messed up broken person.  Yes He has redeemed me and given me a new heart, new purpose, and new life!  But it can be despairing to live in a broken place, still falling into sin.

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This was written sometime early in 2011.  And it brings tears to my eyes to even think of it, even if it was incomplete thoughts.  Oh, how absolutely faithful God is!-how true He is!-How wonderful He is!  It is indeed more consuming to live out loving Him better than anything in life.  And let me be the first to tell you, the refining fires of God have tested this most heatedly, most acutely, and most assuredly in my life. 

What a privilege it is, what an honor, blessing, and true test of grace it has been in my life to have the Creator God of the universe to test and approve me through trials and tribulations... and for me to come out sanctified and not cast aside.  I love Him, more dearly than I ever have before in this life, because He showed me His love in ways I cannot describe.  To know His grace when I was left destitute, to know His peace when life's storms buffeted me about, to know His love when I was otherwise forsaken, to know His kindness when others were harsh, to know His Spirit when mine seemed lost, to know His forgiveness when I felt unlovable, to know Him as Comforter when I felt I could never know comfort, to know Him as Healer when I felt forever broken and wounded, to know Him as my rock when all else seemed shaken, to know Him as my salvation when it felt I would never be saved from the pit of despair.  Oh my, how wonderful our God is!  I have lost, yet I have gained so much in Christ.  Whatever cost He deems necessary, by His grace I will submit to His will.  Come what may, He is my all in all.  If He had not chosen me, what a wretch I would still be.  I will love Him, for He has chosen the life I am to lead, so He will give me grace to walk in whatever He has planned for me.

And I am so thankful for the man He has given as my husband to walk this life with.  A true treasure he is. (:

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Room Without Books... like a body without a soul.

If there is something that was very marked about 2012 (other than getting married!), it would be my lack of writing and my lack of reading books.  The only book I read consistently was the bible, or what I was reading with my dear Husband.  Of course, there were a few I did read and finish, but far less than in times past.  I started reading multiple works of literature at sundry times, but for a reason unbeknownst to me, I did not finish them.  Which is almost a crime, and most definitely a travesty, in my book!  I feel compelled to completion to the books I pick up.

Last night as I pondered many things about 2012, the lack of books was one of them.  I wanted to remedy that with the ushering in of a new year, and it being a new day.  So my goal is to read no less than 12 books.  12 books for 12 months.  My plan is to consistently engage in the books that have long been on my reading list, but been far too neglected (and this includes many started but never finished).  Since I plan to be realistic, for each book I plan to break down the total page number and divide it by 30/31 days and have a daily minimum of pages to be read each day.  Self discipline is a weakness of mine, so I have to stretch myself OUT of my comfort zone of not being organized or planning. (;  As a bonus, I plan to drink one cup of tea during each book reading session of every day.  Tea and a book, what could be a more grand plan?

There are a two types of books I wish to tackle this year: ones where I learn and grow in the knowledge of liberty in the realm of politics, and my understanding of God's truth.

My dear and I are reading "The Real Lincoln" together and I am amazed at our history in this country. (I love history, by the way).

So without further ado, my list:

How to Read a Book, Adler & Doren - 346 (11 pages a day)
The Bondage of the Will, Dr. Martin Luther - 260 (9 pages a day)
Nullification, Tom Woods -  266 (8 1/2 pages a day)
Last Days Madness, Gary Demar - 442 (15 pages a day)
Dollar Noncents, Peter Allison - 155 (5 pages a day)
The Excellent Wife, Martha Peace - 249 (8 1/2 pages a day)
The Creature from Jekyll Island, G. Edward Griffin - 588 (19 pages a day)
Essential Truths of the Christian Faith, R.C. Sproul (Sr.) - 287 (9 pages a day)
The Revolution a Manifesto, Dr. Ron Paul - 167 (5 1/2 pages a day)
The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, John Owen - 309 (10 pages a day)

I know this is only ten, but I'm 99.9% sure there are a couple in my church library I want to read and I can't decide which ones until I look them over. (:  The order is subject to change, but I tried to collate them where it was a Christian book then political one.  Also, literally half of those I have started and have yet to be finished, ha.  Did you like my first pick though?  I found it at a used bookstore years ago because the title caught my attention!  Perhaps this will help my reading comprehension and analytical skills to be more honed, and my reading to become more efficient.

Next year perhaps I will tackle Calvin's Institutes... but since I am trying to be realistic here, I didn't include such a feat in my list!  If I am really good, I might devour more than one book in a month.  This is my minimum goal, after all.  What books would you recommend to me?