The four books that I will (hopefully) finish this October are:
- The Martian by Andy Weir
- Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
- The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
In addition to reading four books, I will be writing a letter to autumn every day of October and posting it on this blog the following day. If I can manage to pull out my camera in the midst of the madness, then there will be pictures to accompany my words. But, I would not count on it.
Thank you to Carrie Hope Fletcher for this inspiration, and maybe I can make something of this blog.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Starting with verse 4 (“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name”) I think it’s important to define God’s “courts” that the psalmist writes of. This psalm could be easily talking about how we will be joyful beyond all measures when we enter Heaven, but I see the psalm applicable here on earth as well since at the beginning the psalmist says that we -all the earth- should shout to the Lord. So if we are applying this psalm to our lives here and now, God’s “courts” would be his creation: the earth. No matter where we go we should be shouting for joy to the Lord, worshiping Him with gladness, singing Him joyful songs, and always being thankful for what he’s given to us.
So we shouldn’t just be thankful on Thursday, on the holiday stuffed between Halloween and Christmas. We should be thankful all year round wherever we are with whatever we have.
We should be thankful because the Lord is our God. He made us, fashioned us together in our mother’s womb, and therefore we belong to him. We are his children, and all the things we do should be for God with joy and thanksgiving in our hearts. We should be thankful because God’s love endures through all the ages. He was faithful to Mary and Joseph. He was faithful to Moses and Abraham. He was faithful to our parents. He is faithful to us. He will be faithful to our children, their children, and on and on until he returns to earth.
In the night I wonder what my purpose is
I’m not great at speaking, but I am great at listening
I have a passion for missions, but I am too scared to go
But in the sunshine I relish in Your confidence
You have created me for a purpose:
to go out into the world in your name and
share Your love with the world.
I was created for your works.
You made me Your hands, feet, and mouth, so
give me the courage to use them.
I pray to my father in heaven that you are there -somewhere- doing something good in the name of our Father. I pray that you are strengthening in your faith as I am in mine. I hope that you are gaining stories along the way that we can share amongst ourselves and one day to our children.
Know that you are constantly on my mind. I am seeking you with guidance from our God. I am trying to weed out the unfruitful crops with guidance from our God. Maybe you are one that I have weeded out, but for that I am not terribly sorry because I need time to grow in my individual faith in the Lord, as have you. I peruse all of the qualities that I seek in you in all men that I meet.
Know that I am constantly thinking of ways for our children’s lives to be better than mine. While we need to be their parents first, we need to let them know that we can always be their nonjudgmental mentors second.
Know that God always comes first for me. Know that I desire God to always come first for you. I desire to be your second, as you will always be mine.
I pray that God gives me the courage to tell you the things that I haven’t even told to my best friends. I pray that that is how he reveals to me you are the one my soul has longed for since as long as I can remember.
Please remember that you don’t always have to be the best in the room because I love you the way you are, but we can never stay the way that we are. We always need to be striving to be a better person, a better disciple, a better spouse, and we need to be key components in the bettering of each others lives.
Know that I will always love you, but please don’t abuse that.
How often does a rock move or change it’s shape? Not the little pebbles you put at the bottom of a fish tank, but the giant boulders the forest. How often do they change their shape or get up and move to a different spot? Never.
“I The Lord do not change . . . Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says The Lord Almighty.
– Malachi 3:6-7
Often times I feel as though I shouldn’t struggle with the idea of God being faithful and a constant in my life, but I do. And when I delve into scriptures, I often wonder how I could. Just by looking at the Old Testament, we are presented with example after example of our God always being there for his people.
Every good and perfect thing is from above, coming down from the Father of of the heavenly lights, who does not change as the shifting shadows.
God’ s character remains the same, no matter when it it is. God is no more present at the beloved late-night singing than he is at impromptu game of flag football. Because he is always faithful, and he is always by our side walking with us through our journey of life.
The cliche of God being our rock couldn’t be more true because like that giant boulder in the forest, our God does not change. He stays the same always. Always. He will never change because he is the same today, tomorrow, and forever. And he has been the same since he created the earth.
“Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies become afresh each morning. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my inheritance; therefore I will hope in Him!’ The Lord is good to those who depend on Him, to those who search for Him.”
– Lamentations 3:21-25 (NLT)
I wanted to write out the inspiration for this blog. I often struggle in this life, and I have a hard time giving those things up to God. Or, even worse, I forget to give them up to God and then begin to feel like I am alone in my struggles. Yet these verses constantly tell me that God is always there for me. The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
And even when I do mess up, even when I do find myself in “the dark place” (as I have often found myself calling it), His mercies become afresh each morning. Each. Morning. Each day, the mercy that he constantly pours out upon me renews itself, and I am a holy and blameless lamb in the sights of the Lord.