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#verseofthemonth
just hanging with my buds.
We have a new key ring around here, if you know what I mean...... • • “Yes, I truly have reason to bless the Lord for abundant supplies; His treasury has been wide open to me, His riches have constantly outweighed my necessities. He has multiplied His mercies above all my desires.” -Susannah Spurgeon
“I am afflicted and in pain; let Your salvation, O God, set me on high! I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise His own people who are prisoners.“ -Psalm 69:29-33 That last verse holds more weight for me than it ever has. But, more than that, as I read this passage this morning, I realized how appropriate and applicable it is for the current landscape of our national state of emergency and the worldwide pandemic called the coronavirus. So many words have been spilled on this topic and I don’t presume to add any additional wisdom to those of medical professionals, trusted church leaders, or those with greater insight than I into what is going on. I don’t know any of that. What I do know is that which I am compelled (and commanded) to say. So here I stand (sit), joining my voice with thousands of others by proclaiming what we pray and believe is more pleasing to the Lord than a sacrifice of ox or bulls, and that is this: God has not left the throne. He has not and will not ever abdicate. He faithfully remains in sovereign control over every molecule in this universe. Therefore, we have every reason to praise our God with a song and magnify Him with thanksgiving. We should let our hearts revive by commanding them to bless the Lord and forget not all His benefits (Psalm 103) because He hears the needy (spoiler: that’s us all the time, not just in a global crisis). He does not despise his people who are prisoners—whether imprisoned in a jail cell or in isolation or by physical ailments wracking their body. He does not despise His own people. Period. End of story. Christ’s blood is too precious for God to waste by despising those purchased and covered by it. Therefore: “Let heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and everything that moves in them.” -Psalm 69:34 No caveats. No conditions. He is worthy.

Follow me as I follow Jesus

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There are so many hard, frustrating, grievous things happening these days. 

Each one reminds us that this world is broken and there is something deeply wrong in us at a core level. But, at the very same time, there is so much beauty, laughter, and joy happening.

We could all use a little more of the latter, couldn’t we? My friend Jaquelle does a monthly “favorites” blog and it’s one of my, ahem, favorite things. So, I’m snatching her idea and sharing some of mine. I’d love to hear your current faves!

Here are 10 of my favorite things right now.

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Honorable mention for this list: palm trees. I love palm trees.

This sermon.

I will listen to anything Sam Allberry preaches and this sermon, “Prayer and the Trinity—Ephesians 2:18,” from January 27 at Immanuel Nashville is worth listening to repeatedly. It’s  phenomenal. I’m so grateful for Sam and God’s work in and through him. He (and this message) is a gift to the church (and beyond). 

This article.

If you don’t want to be encouraged, don’t read this. Justin Taylor gave us a gift when he published A Note to the Discouraged: ‘We Are Very Apt to Have Wrong Thoughts of Christ.’ 

This chapstick.

Some people have said I use an “excessive amount” of chapstick. While I can neither confirm or deny these allegations, I will say I don’t know the last time my lips were dry. This chapstick is basically my perfect lip moisturizer. It’s lightweight and silky and worth every penny. I may or may not buy it in bulk. You could say it’s the balm.

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This book.

After a sweet friend on Instagram recommended David Powlison’s short book God’s Grace in Your Suffering, my cute parents gave it to me for Christmas and it was better than I could have imagined. Intensely practical and Gospel-drenched. Everyone needs to read this.

This drink.

For the most part, I’m a black coffee-only drinker. BUT this little gem is so creamy and delicious and, if you get it with a pump of gingerbread syrup, not only does it up the caloric value by approx. 97,000, but also your enjoyment. (Drink pictured above with the Powlison book. Not pictured: the warm fuzzies that come during consumption.)

This movie.

Practically perfect in every way, Mary Poppins Returns was everything I wanted it to be—and I have exceptionally high standards for anything Mary Poppins. I saw it in theaters four times and would watch it again right now. The whole cast and production staff did such a good job. It was magical.

This hot sauce.

My boyfriend is the hot sauce master and introduced me to YellowBird’s Habanero Condiment at the beginning of the month—y’all, my tastebuds have yet to recover from the glory. I’m not saying I’m addicted but the bottle is almost empty.

This quote.

“The end of the Big Story is beauty, because the end of the story is God. This world and its history are prelude and foretaste; all the sunrises and sunsets, symphonies and rock concerts, feasts and friendships are but whispers. They are prologue to the grander story and an even better place. Only there, it will never end. J. I. Packer said it so well: ‘Hearts on earth say in the course of a joyful experience, ‘I don’t want this ever to end.’ But it invariably does. The hearts in heaven say, ‘I want this to go on forever.’ And it will. There can be no better news than this.’” -Steve DeWitt, Eyes Wide Open: Enjoying God in Everything

This App.

Marco Polo is a gift for long distance relationships. Or relationships in general. I’m so grateful. 

This story.

After moving to London in 1854, Charles Spurgeon could not afford to stock his many shelves with books. He had his book binder create blank dummy books (which he later replaced with real books). He titled some of them:

“Aches and Pains, by Feltham (felt ‘em)”

“Cricket on the Green, by Balls”

“Over the Stream, by Bridge”

“Do it Again, by Dunnett (done it)”

“Rags and Ruin, by a Brewer”

“Pilgrim’s Progress hindered by a Bunyan (bunion)”

“Lectures to My Servants, by a Shrew” (Autobiography 4:292).

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