Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Thinking back on 2008 brings a lot of mixed emotions for us Cobbs. There has been a lot of change in our lives in the last 12 months! The fact is, though, that we know that it has all been 100% positive change. Even though we can't necessarily see it right now, we can be sure that everything that has happened in the last year has been for the best. How do I know that? Because I know that my husband and I love the Lord, and I know that we are walking according to His will--SOOOOOO, according to the Bible, He is going to bless us.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Psalm 40:1-3 and another beautiful worship song

I waited patiently for the Lord
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
He has put a new song in my mouth--
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.


Falling on my
knees in worship
Giving all I am
to seek Your face
Lord all I am is Yours

My whole life
I place in Your hands
God of mercy
Humbled I bow down
In Your presence,
at Your throne

I called
You answered
And You came to my rescue
I want to be where You are

In my life
Be lifted high
In our world
Be lifted high
In our love
Be lifted high

Hillsong United

Saturday, December 27, 2008

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008











Colonial Williamsburg







Monday, December 22, 2008

Truth

On Saturday, I read The Shack. It is a novel (fictional) about a man who has a face-to-face conversation with God. I had started reading it a few weeks ago, but I hadn't really been able to get into it. Then, on Saturday, I picked it up and positively devoured it; it was absolutely God's timing for me to read that book on Saturday.

But I digress.
On Friday, Bo and I took Jack to our missional community with us. It went so well; Jack was an angel and we had an amazing discussion about righteousness and what that means. We also talked a great deal about prayer and our relationships with God, and about how we humans tend to sabotage ourselves in that area. It was a great discussion; I really love when a group of Christians comes together in complete trust and love. There is no safer environment, and our conversation was completely uninhibited. We were free to enlighten, love, and encourage each other. It was magical....or should I say "holy?" Either way, it was a very special night and God spoke to me through every person in that room on Friday.

On Saturday, I sat down to read The Shack. Although it is a fictional story, there is a lot--and I mean A LOT--of truth in it about how God truly desires our relationship with Him to play out. It really spoke to my heart. One of the main themes that is discussed between the main character and God is the issue of hierarchy, and how that seems to play such a large role in the human experience. God goes on to say that hierarchy is not something He desires for us; He just wants to be in communion with us. He just wants to be with us, and that's how He wants our human relationships to be as well. "Mutual submission" is the way the author of The Shack put it. It makes a lot of sense.

The issue of disappointment/guilt is also discussed in the book, and the conclusion the author comes to is that God is never disappointed in us because He already knows everything we will ever do. If He already knows what will happen, then we cannot fall short of His expectations. If He already knows that He will have to try to tell us something 47 times, will He get discouraged if we don't hear Him the first time? No! He will be happy that there are only 46 times left.

As someone who has been carrying a lot of guilt and shame, I am very grateful that the author of The Shack wrote what he wrote. What he wrote is absolutely true, and although this truth is written down for us in the Bible, for some reason it took this book to make me realize it. God knew that's what it would take, too, and that is why He had me read that book on Saturday, the day after our wonderful missional community.

Fast forward to Sunday morning: church.
For the last month or two...or three...worship/church has been a humiliating experience. I have felt so ashamed in the presence of God that every time I have come to worship Him I have not been able to do anything but weep and beg Him to help me. This has gone one for three months. Not so this Sunday. This Sunday all I felt was joy. The message was awesome, as always, and the worship songs were exactly what I needed to say to God. Here are some of the words we sang:

I know I'm weak
I know I'm unworthy
to call upon Your name,
But because of grace
Because of Your mercy
I stand here unashamed
...
Here I am
at Your feet
in my brokenness complete
(Starfield "Unashamed")
And the cry of my heart
Is to bring You praise
From the inside out
Lord my soul cries out
Lord
In my heart and my soul
Lord I give You control
Consume me from the inside out, Lord
Let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love you from the inside out
Everlasting
Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame
(Hillsong United "Inside Out")

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dear Santa,

What I really want for Christmas is.....

.......to get far away from you!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas

Christmas is so exciting.
Not too many years ago, I commented that I was getting less and less worked-up about Christmas each year, as I got older. Ever since the Santa myth was dispelled, I felt that Christmas was getting less and less exciting.

Obviously, I was missing the point.

Since I have been saved, each successive Christmas has become more thrilling than the last. Each year, as I grow in my faith, the celebration of Jesus' birth becomes more real, more exciting. It's so amazing.

Casey recently told me that she finally, just this year, grasped what the song "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" was saying in the first verse:

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel

She was embarrassed, but I told her I could completely relate. I remember the first time I learned that song; it was at our church in Connecticut, and all the kids were going to sing it for the Christmas pageant. I had absolutely no idea what I was saying.

Now I get it.
It is a song of waiting, a song of pleading, a song of desperation, a song of hope.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.
Please come to us, we are in desperate need of a savior. Please come to us.

And ransom captive Israel.
We, God's chosen people, are in captivity, imprisoned by sin. Please pay the price for our release.

And how great a price He would pay. His life for ours.
How incredible. How humbling.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A leap of faith

Standing on the stairs holding my arms out, I briefly wondered if he really would jump.

Then he jumped.
27 pounds of toddler landed squarely in my arms and we proceeded down the stairs.

I began thinking:
What if I had decided not to catch him?
What if I hadn't been strong enough to hold him?
What if he had decided not to jump?

Then I realized:
I would never decide not to catch him. He is my son; I love him; I want only the best for him. If I could help it, I would never cause him pain.
I am strong enough to hold him. He is my son; I pick him up every day. I know everything about him, and I know I can hold him.
I knew he would jump. He wanted to proceed on his journey down the stairs, and jumping into my waiting arms was the best way to do so. And he knew--he had faith--that I would catch him and carry him to his destination.

And then I realized:
If we only have the faith to jump into God's strong, waiting arms, He will carry us to our destination. He is willing to catch us every time, and He is more than strong enough to hold us. He knows how much strength each one of us will require, just as He knows the number of hairs on our heads. If we want to proceed successfully on our journey here on earth, we have no choice but to take a leap of faith and jump into our Father's arms.

"Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it."
Mark 10:15

Christmas is upon us




Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Ethiopian son.

My parents brought this outfit home for Jack last year from Ethiopia. Needless to say, it's adorable!!!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Jesus

Every time I speak Your name,
It is as the first time.
Two syllables, so flawlessly beautiful,
So awkward on my impure lips.

Every time I speak Your name,
I plunge to the putrid depths
and am simultaneously redeemed
and lifted to glorious heights.

The power of Your spoken name
divides and unites
angers and gladdens
convicts and redeems

Jesus
Jesus
Jesus

Thursday, December 4, 2008

MOPS

I just returned home from my MOPS meeting, and I am feeling great.
MOPS is such an uplifting organization. It is a completely safe feeling, being in a room with 35 other people who are Christian women with small children. Even for a socially awkward person like me, MOPS is a place where I can fellowship without feeling too much like a weirdo-outsider. It is so nice to have a group of built-in friends who love the Lord!

Monday, December 1, 2008

I'm so unworthy,
but still You love me.













I'm so unworthy,
but still You love me.













I'm so unworthy,
but still You love me.













I'm so unworthy,
but still You love me.













Incomprehensible.
In my humanness, in my selfishness, in my evilness, how can I comprehend a love so complete that "neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate [me]from [it]"--not even my own evil heart (Romans 8:38-39)?

Within a heart like mine, which has learned to fear rejection above all, a love such as this is nearly impossible to fathom. Could there possibly be Someone who can "see the depths of my heart and love me the same"?
Shame haunts me. How could anyone forgive my past and present--no, continuous--misdeeds? How could anyone forgive my impure ways, my impure heart?

How could anyone forgive me? And God? God, the One on whom I turned my back so completely that at one point, not so very long ago, I proudly called myself "agnostic"?

God, the Holy Creator of the universe?

God, whose perfection and goodness are beyond all human comprehension?

God, who sees all of my rottenness, even that which has not been exposed to human eyes?

How could God ever forgive me?




But He waits. His patience is everlasting, and He waits for me.













I'm so unworthy,
but still You love me.













I'm so unworthy,
but still You love me.













I'm so unworthy,
but still You love me.













I'm so unworthy,
but still You love me.










But still You love me.

The Many Faces of Jackson Cobb