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Monday, January 27, 2014

Inspired by. . . lone survivor

I didn't want to see this movie. In fact, I admit, I was scared to see it. I knew good men were going to suffer and die. From the vast research I've done on the Navy SEALS, I knew this movie would be intense - -emotionally charged. Despite the title, I knew this movie did not have a "happy" ending.  Not my kind of movie.

This movie was everything I knew it would be – and more.

There are few people I respect more than those who serve in our military. And the Navy SEALS have earned a right to top that list.

 

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We think we understand the courage, the sacrifice that these men make.  See the movie. Unless we've BEEN THERE, DONE THAT – then we understand NOTHING. What these men are made of is incomprehensible to most of us. But we don't have to understand it to honor it.

To honor them.

And we should honor them. The men and women who have died, sacrificed, and lived defending this country should be honored above all else. Not only with our hearts, but with every resource this country has available.

It's been weeks since I saw the movie. It's become clear that this is one that is going to stay with me for awhile.

On many levels. For many reasons.

There are a couple of lines in the film that kept me awake that first night. I'm paraphrasing, but basically this is how it goes:

"See, God's taking care of us." Luttrell's character says as his gun materializes out of nowhere.

His buddy responds, "If this is God taking care of us, I'd hate to see Him pissed off."

I struggled with his response. Not because it's wrong, or because I don't understand it. But because it's honest, and I do understand it.

God's omnipotence. Man's free will. Tell me again how that works?

These are difficult concepts to understand and accept.

I think I've already established what I think about these men and what they did. So hopefully you can read the rest of this post with an open mind, and an open heart.

Not one thing those men did that day made a difference in where they're spending their eternity.

Does that bother you? It bothers me, but it is the truth.

"All our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment." Isaiah 64:6

There is only one thing that makes what we do in this life matter for eternity, and that is where we stand with the man, Jesus Christ. Our relationship with Him is the key ingredient that makes our deeds bear fruit.

That doesn't mean that what those men did that day doesn't matter. And this is what, for me, makes it all bearable.

Everything we do matters. The smallest act has significance. God redeems and works for good every act of humankind, even those done with evil motivation.

"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive." Gen 50:20

Joseph's story in Genesis is just one of many examples in God's word of this truth.

I think it is the depth of respect that I have for these courageous men that makes it so hard for me to see them as sinful men in need of redemption. Or maybe it's because when I allow myself to see the flaws in the greatest of us, it forces me to admit my own.

As tragic as what happened to these men is, an even bigger tragedy is spending eternity apart from God. I hate the thought that that could be true for any one of them. For any one of us.

Like I said, I'm a happy ending kinda girl - -  And the ending has already been written.

 

“Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

 

Today if you hear God's voice, do not harden your heart.

 

Blessings,

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Inspired by . . . Grow Your Blog

Hi, everyone!

My name is June, and today I'm participating in Vicki's 2nd Annual Grow Your Blog – Meet and Greet Blog Party! Thank you, Vicki for all the hard work you've done hosting this event! I am so looking forward to meeting, greeting, and making new blog friends over the next few days.

 

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Whether you're here because of Grow Your Blog, or some other reason – Welcome to Inspired by. . . !

YOU are the reason why I blog! It is my greatest hope that something here will inspire you.

As mentioned on my "About" page, this blog was originally started to highlight and discuss my books. However, as the name suggests, I write and share about anything that inspires me! You will find DIY projects, crafts, jewelry, recipes, photography, inspirational quotes and writings, and so much more among the pages of Inspired by. . . .

This is my 3rd year blogging and one of my greatest JOYs is meeting new people and fellow bloggers like you!

I hope you'll take some time to poke around - - see a bit and read a bit before moving on.

If you like what you see, I hope you'll come back and visit often.

Please leave me a comment – I'd love to meet you!

 

Blessings,

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Inspired by. . . a few good words

 

It began earlier this week when I read Jennifer Flanders 25 Ways to Communicate Respect to Your Husband (without saying a word).  Reading through I was challenged to do better in certain areas, but I also had the thought, more than once, that "this is sure to ruffle a few feathers!  So many women who read this will react defensively rather than embrace what is being said."

Because, frankly, most a lot of women, even Christians, do not understand what Biblical Womanhood is all about.

Jennifer's post led me to read her husband's post 25 Ways to Show Your Wife You Love Her, which reaffirmed what I already knew: I am so incredibly blessed. My husband nails all 25 on a regular basis. (For the record, he disagrees and says he needs work in several areas – like I said, I'm blessed)

 

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine,

He who pastures his flock among the lilies.” Song of Solomon 6:3

 

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We humans are great at extremes, aren't we?

Instead of embracing, and seeking to understand the balance and order in God's word about men and women we think we can do better.

Enter the liberated woman. Anything a man can do, we can do better! Except, we can't. And by creating a culture that has effectively emasculated the man, we have denied ourselves the freedoms and liberties of being women.

Yesterday I read Heidi St. John's post over at Time Warp Wife: …And We Wonder Why Chivalry is Dead were she states, in part,

"When we’d rather get the door ourselves or turn a man who offers his seat to us down just because we’re women, we miss out on the opportunity to see love and service, respect and honor in action." 

She also quotes from an excellent post written by Matt Walsh:

“…chivalry is still essential. Men should carry bags, and hold doors, and pull out chairs, and offer seats to women, not because women are incapable of standing or opening their own doors, but because of what these acts represent — what they say. And what they say is simple: “I am bigger and stronger than you, but I will use my strength to honor you and protect you. I will not hurt you. I will not take advantage of you. I will humble myself before you and serve you.” -

I just love that.

I encourage you to click over and read Heidi's post, as well as Matt's. There is really no point in me re-writing what they have both already said so well.

Heidi nailed it:

"It’s not about equality. It’s about respect and uncommon courtesy, something that is sorely missing in our society today."

The concept of Biblical Womanhood is one that is constantly attacked and misrepresented by our culture and society. If you find yourself confused, or needing some clarity on these issues, remember what Jesus said, "“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;  and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

Here are some resources that I believe effectively communicate the truth of God's word on this subject:

Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets them Free – Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Let Me Be a Woman – Elizabeth Elliot

Biblical Portrait of Womanhood: Discovering and Living Out God's Plan for our Lives – Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Sermons on Biblical Womanhood – Alistair Begg, Truth for Life

 

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I've long been inspired by this Biblical concept and am currently several chapters into a book with the working title, The Music of Angels. It's a story about a 21st century military wife and a 15th century noblewoman. The story seeks to convey the truth that God's word is timeless. His precepts are just as relevant in today's culture as they have been in every other culture since the beginning of time. It's a challenging process.

Like writing a book, becoming a Biblical woman is a process as well.

You don't become one overnight.

It's a journey.

A life-changing, fulfilling, free-ing, JOYful journey!

The truth is, we're all on a journey.

Is your journey taking you where you want to go?

 

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Inspired by. . . a living expression

 

"Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness.

Kindness in your face. Kindness in your eyes. Kindness in your smile." ~Mother Teresa

 

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Textured with Kim's 0312 Soft Light

 

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Textured with Kim's 1111 Exclusion

 

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Textured with Bonnie's Dark Navy Night + stylize filter PSC

 

I'm still enjoying my winter flowers.

I hope they've inspired you today.

 

Blessings,

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Inspired by. . . incense

 

I have this little book that I try to read every day, morning and night. It's called The Daily Light and it is a collection of scripture verses. No commentary, just scripture. What I love about it the most is that each daily collection of scripture, although taken from different places in the Bible, all relate to the same theme or topic. It reaffirms, time and again, the cohesiveness of the Bible.

I love that.

This was what I read a few nights ago, and I've been thinking about these verses ever since.

 

Let my prayer be accepted as sweet-smelling incense in your presence.

Let the lifting up of my hands in prayer be accepted as an evening sacrifice. Psalm 141:2

 

The smoke from the incense went up from the angel's

hand to God along with the prayers of God's people. Rev 8:4

 

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You come to him as living stones, a spiritual house that is being built into a holy priesthood.

So offer spiritual sacrifices that God accepts through Jesus Christ.  1Pet 2:5

 

That is why he is always able to save those who come to God through him.

He can do this because he always lives and intercedes for them. Heb 7:25

 

Also, when Aaron lights the lamps at dusk, he must burn incense.

For generations to come an incense offering must burn

constantly in the LORD'S presence. Ex 30:8

 

Never stop praying. 1 Thess 5:17

 

These verses have helped me to become more intentional when I pray. They remind me what my prayers truly are, Who hears them, and how they reach His ear.

In the temple the incense was to be kept burning at all times. It was a pleasing aroma to the Lord. So to are our prayers, when offered by faith. For without faith it is impossible to please God. Just as the incense was to be burned perpetually, Paul tells us to pray without ceasing.

 

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I love the thought of my prayers rising up to God's ear. The verse from Revelation says they went up from the hand of the angel. What a beautiful picture. Beautiful because God is pleased to receive our prayers, just as the aroma of the incense in the temple was pleasing to Him.

How can a mighty, all-powerful and righteous God be pleased by my paltry prayers? Because they come to Him bathed in the blood of His precious Son, Jesus. Jesus lives to intercede for us - He is the conduit by which we come before the throne of the Heavenly Father.

 

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I don't fully understand how our prayers, uttered in a world bound by time, heard by a timeless God, can make a difference. But they do.

Is your incense burning?

 

Blessings,

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A note about the images: all images are public domain, except the candle, which is mine. Textured with Bonnie's Medieval Magic and Old Tablecloth

 

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