April 17, 2014

never alone

Then all the disciples left him and fled.
Matthew 26: 56
for the joy that was set before him endured the cross . . .
Hebrews 12:2 

I don't know if it was the awesome #SheReadsTruth devotional I read this morning . . . JD's sermon from the weekend on Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, or Tim Keller sermons about the events leading up to Jesus' death . . . but it all just hit me tonight.

When I feel alone . . . when I am lonely because of my circumstances, God gently reminds me that I am not truly alone.

Jesus faced ultimate rejection, ultimate separation from His Father . . . and even His best friends and disciples abandoned Him in His hour of need.

Jesus was more alone and forsaken than I will ever know . . . all so that I would never have to be.

Even if friends reject me, people betray me . . . even if I remain single for this lifetime, I am not alone.

God gives us such a beautiful promise . . . that He will never leave or forsake us if we are His (Hebrews 13:5). That is more precious than anything this world can give us or death can take away.

I feel like my words are not eloquent in this area, so bear with me ;) but it is in God's Word that we find restoration for our souls, so I would encourage you to dwell there.

When Jesus started to cry out, he didn't say, "My friends, my friends!" "My head, my head!" "My hands, my hands!" He said, "My God, my God." On the cross, Jesus was forsaken by God. He said, "My God." That's the language of intimacy. To call anyone "my Susan" or "my John" is affectionate. And biblically, "my God" is covenantal address. It was the way God said someone could address him if he or she had a personal relationship with him. "You shall be my people, and I shall be your God." 
"My God, you have forsaken me." . . . this forsakenness, this loss, was between the Father and the Son, who had loved each other from all eternity. This love was infinitely long, absolutely perfect, and Jesus was losing it. 
Jesus, the maker of the world, was being unmade. Why? Jesus was experiencing our judgement day. "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" It wasn't a rhetorical question. And the answer is: For you, for me, for us. Jesus was forsaken by God so that we would never have to be. The judgement that should have fallen on us fell instead on Jesus. 
At the moment Jesus Christ died, this massive curtain (in the temple, separating the holy of holies) was ripped open. The tear was from top to bottom, just to make clear who did it. This was God's way of saying, "This is the sacrifice that ends all sacrifices, the way is now open to approach me." Now that Jesus has died, anybody who believes in him can see God, connect to God. The barrier is gone for good.  
If you see Jesus losing the infinite love of his Father out of his infinite love for you, it will melt your hardness. No matter who you are, it will open your eyes and shatter your darkness. You will at long last be able to turn away from all those other things that are dominating your life, addicting you, drawing you away from God.  
- Tim Keller

April 16, 2014

spring workout mix

Nothing gets me more excited for the gym than a good workout mix :)

I finally got some new music and threw something together that got me pumped to work it at the gym today . . . hope you enjoy!

1. "Beating Heart" - Ellie Goulding

2. "I Want It All" - Karmin

3. "Love Runs Out" - OneRepublic

4. "Magic" - Coldplay

5. "Turn Down For What" - DJ Snake & Lil Jon

6. "Work Work" - Britney

7. "What Now" - Rihanna

8. "Take Me Home" - Cash Cash

9. "I'm Still Hot" - Luciana
(I gotta just say . . . this song is so silly. I heard it during a sync cycle class and had to have it. Apparently there is a remix featuring Betty White. Just sayin.)

10. "Heartbeat" - Enrique

11. "Fall In Love" - Phantogram

12. "Pumpin Blood" - NONONO

April 8, 2014


There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
Romans 8:1

Can I be honest?

My heart and my mind struggle to grasp this truth.

Why? Because every day, I am faced with my own depravity . . . I see how I fall short, I see my sinfulness and struggles.

I start to think . . . once I clean my act up, once I quit struggling with this sin pattern, then I will be OK before God. 

That totally defeats the purpose of grace, doesn't it? If we had the ability to get ourselves right before God on our own, then Jesus died for nothing.

Scripture tells us over and over again that Jesus lived a perfect life in our place and took all of God's wrath that we deserved, so that we would not only be declared forgiven but righteous, justified . . . perfect in the sight of God. Like they say at my church, the gospel is Jesus in my place.

Jesus was completely and utterly forsaken so that we would never have to be.

Or as Tim Keller says, “The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.”

As I was reading the above scripture this morning, I felt like that guy in the gospels who says to Jesus, "I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24, emphasis mine)

I feel that the struggle to completely and fully unpack and understand grace is one that I will continue to face on this side of heaven.

Elyse Fitzpatrick has a wonderful devotional called Comforts From Romans that unpacks Romans 8:1 beautifully.

She writes,

Jesus Christ is our propitiation. What propitiation means is to make an atoning sacrifice for another. Jesus is our wrath bearer. In his person he received the entire weight of all God's wrath for all our sin. In three hours he received all the wrath we would have known had we spent an eternity in hell. All of God's wrath for all of our sin - not just the sin that we committed before we came to Christ, not just the sin that we have committed since our conversion, or not even just the sins we've committed today. He received God's wrath for the sins we will commit tomorrow and through all of our tomorrows until we finally die. He paid for all our sin. We will never be recipients of God's wrath and condemnation because he's already borne it all.
If Jesus bore all of God's wrath for all of your sin,
how much wrath does God have left for you? 
The answer is none. Go ahead and believe that. Say it out loud: "God has no wrath left for me!" Believe it. Jesus Christ has fully, irrevocably, unequivocally, and freely granted you freedom from all the wrath you deserve.
Throughout our lifetime, we will face struggles and will wrestle with sin - even though we are in Christ. But this does not mean that our salvation or our standing before God is in question. His word never comes back empty, and He promises that there is no condemnation for us.

I don't know about you, but I need this reminder every single day. I need to return over and over to the truth of the gospel. To the truth of God's word. Every. single. day.

April 7, 2014

photo recap of Charleston

There is just something wonderful about sleeping in your own bed after being out of town for a weekend, right? I forget how hard it can be to sleep in a bed that isn't your own. I also forgot how I never get good sleep before race day (or, how I never really sleep at all).

The weather on Friday and Saturday was probably the best we've had, in the five years that the Bridge Run weekend has been in existence.

It was wonderful.

I never know what I love more . . . all of the food and fun restaurants, or the race itself.

At one point during the weekend, someone said, "If you had kids, you wouldn't take so many pictures of your food."

at Five Loaves

two half-salads . . . one with eggplant fritters, the other with caramelized pearl onions and polenta croutons . . . and sweet basil/honey dressing WHAT :)
making friends at the race expo

we look pretty good for being up since before 5am, right?

after the race

no trip is complete without getting dessert at Kaminsky's
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