Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What is it?

There has been a devotional sitting on the end table for a couple months now (thanks, M), silently beckoning me into a deeper study and pursuit. I have put it off, with varying excuses ranging from, "I'm too tired today. I'll start tomorrow," (and we all "tomorrow" never comes) to "I don't think I have it in me right now." Today I picked up the devotional and set aside my worries, fears, and short-comings. Why? The devotional is "The Pursuit of Holiness" and frankly, holiness is something that I have struggled with forever, it seems. I know that God calls us to holiness, but it often seems so unattainable. And in this quest to be holy, will I acquire a "holier-than-thou" attitude and put people off rather than draw them in? Absolutely... if it is holiness of my own works and doings rather than God working in me. God demands holiness of us, though, so, HOW?

One of the questions in the devotional asked for the definition of holiness in my own words. Would this follow in a dictionary? I don't know, but I do know that this was God's little insight into my soul for this journey.

Holiness is simply this: It is being so close with God that His character rubs off on us rather than the character of everything around us. It's that simple. It is not a super-formula I need to figure out and follow. It is not a series of actions and reactions to magically become holier. If I, in my own strength, try to be holy, then yes, I absolutely will have that "holier-than-thou" attitude and repulse people. But if it is God's work in me, that righteous and holiness will be real, and it will in turn draw people to Him and be that shining light.

Leviticus 19:2 says "Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: 'Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy." Holiness is a commandment from God. It is not optional. Are you up for the challenge?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I love how God is always so timely. Whether it is a reminder, or a word of encouragement, or a little (much needed sometimes) nudge, He is always right on time. And He always fulfills His promises and does what He said He'll will do... in HIS perfect time. So, in case you are in need of any reminders today too, I thought I'd share our verses for the day and the view we had at one of the kids' soccer games recently. Ah, the ultimate reminder of God's sovereignty, faithfulness and promises.

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. If you love me, you will obey what I command.

John 14:13-15 NIV


And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

James 5:15,16 KJV


And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

1 John 3:22,23 KJV

For they will be a people blessed by the LORD, they and their descendants with them. Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.

Isaiah 65:23b,24 NIV


Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:12,13 NIV


They will call on My name,
And I will answer them;

I will say,
"They are My people,'

And they will say,
"The LORD is my God.'

Zechariah 13:9 NASB

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Our first B&B experience

Let me just say, I should have done this YEARS ago. Done what? you may ask. I should have left generic hotels behind and moved on to the more tranquil pastures of a Bed and Breakfast. Batman indulged me this year, and we stayed at a beautiful B&B while we were in Elmira for our annual excursion on the Toys for Tots ride. Let me just say, it was Heaven. By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around, I had NO interest in leaving. Alas, the real world was beckoning us home, so we bid our goodbyes, but not before reserving "our" room for next year. Yes, it was that wonderful. Tony and Marianne Spycher, owners of Villa Bernese are fantastic hosts. Their house was absolutely charming - pictures do not even begin to do it justice - and the food! Oh, the food. Monday I had to start counting points again. It was that delicious and that plentiful! The down comforter and the complimentary bottle of champagne were added bonuses, but the company of Tony and Marianne and the other guests was by far the best. Batman and I are looking forward to returning next year to celebrate our anniversary again! I've always looked forward to the Toys for Tots ride, but this year I am looking forward to it even more! If you ever get a chance, stop in and visit the Spychers at Villa Bernese. You won't regret it!

More photos can be found here.