counting many blessings

We are coming up on the time of year I love so so incredibly much… Thanksgiving. I know the holiday has historical significance, but to me it is mostly a beautiful time to remember all the wonderful ways God is making Himself known in our lives.

I just recently started a journey of 129 questions and 52 weeks. For the next year, on Sundays, I hope to meditate on several questions of the Heidelberg Catechism with the help of Kevin DeYoung‘s book, “The Good News We Almost Forgot.” As I read the introduction and the first day this past week, I was struck with how this question/answer list of Bible truths is organized.

Grief  –> Grace –> Gratitude

Every day I see the flaws of my sinful nature peek out my skin. Every day I yearn to be in right relationship once again. Every day I see how many ways I fall dreadfully short.

And every day I am reminded that ONLY by God’s grace am I anything more than those flaws. If God’s grace is sufficient to cover all the grief that results from my sin (and I believe that it is), my ONLY comfort in life and in death (as the first question of Heidelberg asks) is that I “am not my own, but I belong, body and soul, in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.” Oh, what BEAUTY it is to belong!!

The grace overwhelms me… it is too much to consider God has overcome my sin and grief and has grafted me in as His child, to BELONG to Him. What joy in this grace!

And, so friends… today as I count the blessings of facebook messages, pictures, balloons, cards, candies, and cakes, and an unbelievable amount of hugs (for today I am counting the blessings of 26 years), I am grateful.

I am overcome with gratitude for the grace God has shown me and the ways He expresses that grace through beautiful people in my life. God is so incredibly good.

let LOVE fly like cRazY

Here are the words to my favorite song of the Thanksgiving season. Just for the record, I’m so glad that every day is an appropriate time to sing these praises. Without much effort, I can call to mind the harmonizing voices of my family, gathered around a very long, harvest-laden table, singing this very song together.

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Refrain

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

Refrain

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

Refrain

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

age old faith

Kids bookshelf with German and American childr...
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Is it true? Am I really cracking open the cover of yet another book? I have pictures and napkins and bent pages marking so many books still clinging to “in-the-middle-of” status. Yet, the summer stack (in all its glossy newness) is under my window and it catches the light just right in the afternoon.

I know. I have an unhealthy appreciation for the written word. That aside, today I am starting something different and possibly brilliant. I don’t want to judge a book by its first few pages, but if I did I would be searching for a purple ribbon. Kevin DeYoung is an author I admire and follow not just because I read his books and blogs, but because I know someone who knows him and he assures me DeYoung is the real deal.

So, this afternoon, I picked up “The Good News We Almost Forgot” and I’m headed to a coffee shop to meet up with some students. They will probably be reading Cosmo or NYLON or the newest, trendiest vampire thriller. I’ll be there, with my book about the Heidelberg Catchechism like it ain’t no thing.

I hope (for my more than your sake) that this book uncovers some of the roots the saints in previous generations saw clearly.

And so it begins.