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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

just one.

God sticks his head out of heaven. He looks around. He's looking for someone not stupid - one man, even, God-expectant, just one God-ready woman.

                                       -Psalm 53:2

This is a hard one. I want to be the one that God sees, the one that is God-ready and God-expectant. But so many times I know I am not. My focus strays, and I become lost in myself or the things of this world.

I am ashamed.

God is looking, searching, hoping to find just one person that is fully willing and completely devoted to Him. Am I fully devoted to do His will? All of me wants to say "Yes! I will follow wherever He leads me!" But I get so lost, I get so blinded, so quickly.

Aren't we all like this? We are hopeless creatures wandering around in a dry, helpless place. But there is hope for us. When it seems like all else is lost, God comes through. He sees our barren-ness. He knows we have nothing to offer. He is not blind... we are. If I could look at myself everyday, and see my emptiness and hopelessness and need for God, and then go to Him in all of my understanding, I would be made more complete than if I worked and worked toward perfection on my own. And once God makes me perfect in His sight by His grace, I can be fully willing and devoted, even in all of my flaws. I can finally become the one that He wants, with His help.

The fact that I can sacrifice my(imperfect)self to Him and bring Him glory through it... is the greatest news I have ever heard.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

THE List!

Ok! So when I was 15... My dad told me that I didn't know what I wanted in a guy, and that I needed to make a list. Today, when I was out with him, it randomly came up. So, of course, I wanted to go find it. I had it saved on the computer, and I found it. It was fun to look back on what I was thinking then and how little my basic ideas have changed.

So, the credit here goes to Dad, for making me write this, and for helping me keep it all of these years. Lots of these characteristics come from the man he is in my life.

Here goes, exactly as it was written my first year of high school...

Sarah Ann Richard
My Standards

  • Puts God first
  • Gentleman
  • Gets along with my brothers and my dad
  • Loves his family
  • Taller than me
  • Smart
  • Deep enough to read my writings and not laugh
  • Considerate
  • Treats everyone equally and with respect
  • Likes traveling
  • Knows what he wants
  • Has high standards
  • Doesn’t care whether or not I have makeup on
  • Not girly… likes sports, macho, etc. ;)
  • Self confident
  • Humble
  • Heart for the lost
  • Knows how to have (clean) fun
  • Treats ladies nicely (opens doors, girls first, etc.)
  • Honest
  • Gentle, but still likes to “be a guy”
  • Someone who would dance with me and not feel stupid
  • Strong physically
  • Strong personality
  • Doesn’t care what anyone thinks
  • Thinks I’m beautiful
  • Romantic (but not too sappy)
  • Puts others before himself
  • Willing to stay pure
  • Likes kids
  • Goes to church
  • Can hold an intelligent conversation
  • Not shy
  • Willing to have fun but has limits
  • Can be stupid, but can be serious
  • Sensitive to other’s feelings
  • Knows when to stop teasing
  • Holds my hand
  • Doesn’t care what position my dad or grandpa is in--- is respectful regardless, but not too intimidated
  • Brave but not cocky
  • Doesn’t smoke/drink/do drugs
  • Knows he’s not perfect
  • Not too flirtatious
  • Only says I love you when ready to give a piece of himself up/ or is totally sincere.. Because I love you is such a serious thing to say
  • Will watch movies with me… even chick flicks
  • Is a leader (leads me in the relationship, leads others)
  • Evangelistic - Witnessing is important to him and lives a life for Jesus
  • He sets boundaries for himself

Isaiah 53...

But the fact is, it was our pains he carried - our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him - our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed. We're all like sheep who've wandered off and gotten lost. We've all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we've done wrong, on him, on him. He was beaten, he was tortured, but he didn't say a word. Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered and like a sheep being sheared, he took it all in silence. Justice miscarried, and he was led off - and did anyone really know what was happening? He died without a thought for his own welfare, beaten bloody for the sins of my people. They buried him with the wicked, threw him in a grave with a rich man, Even though he'd never hurt a soul or said one word that wasn't true. Still, it's what God had in mind all along, to crush him with pain. The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin so that he'd see life come from it - life, life, and more life. And God's plan will deeply prosper through him. Out of that terrible travail of soul, he'll see that it's worth it and be glad he did it. Through what he experienced, my righteous one, my servant, will make many "righteous ones," as he himself carries the burden of their sins. Therefore I'll reward him extravagantly - the best of everything, the highest honors - Because he looked death in the face and didn't flinch, because he embraced the company of the lowest.

He took on his own shoulders the sin of the many, he took up the cause of all the black sheep.

                                                                                      -Isaiah 53:4-12

Alright, so I know that was a lot of scripture to paste, and I just as easily could have linked it... But I just had to relay all of the things that stood out to me when I read this tonight. This passage is absolutely amazing. The more I get to know my Jesus, the more I am amazed. The funny thing is, the more I read the Bible and become more intimate with God, it is not the Greek meaning of the words or the history of the Israelites that astounds me. I mean, each of those things adds to my understanding and depth. But truly, what really seems to hit me more and more is the simple gospel. It confronts me every time I open my Bible. No matter what I read, the bottom line I come to every time is God's saving love and His sacrifice for me.

And the more I grow and mature as a Christian and as a person in general, the more I see how incredible His love really is. As my eyes are opened to the wickedness and injustice and pain of the world, I see the perfection of Jesus in even greater contrast. Here is a man that loved so much that he carried the entire weight and sin of the world on his back until it killed him. And today, the world is filled with men (and women) that live entirely for themselves, for money, fame, and sinful, destrucitve desires.

I want to be a Jesus to my world. I want, as offhanded as this may sound, to give myself as a sacrifice for others so that they might know the love of the Savior. I want to be righteous, so much so, that I cause others to follow after the righteousness I seek in Christ. I want to not be so churchy, but I want to live and breath Christ in a world that is desperate for what I have. I want to live like I have the answer. I want to fight for those that are weak. I want to hold the ones that have nobody to care for them. I want to wipe the tear of the one who is sad and lonely.

I want to be a vessel of the living water that gives others life, just because they have met Jesus in me. This is my greatest desire.

chocolate with moxie...


So I have recently rediscovered this amazing candy. It's called choxie! And oh my Goodness!!!

It's like heaven in my mouth. My favorite so far is the dark chocolate truffle. I love it. I didn't even know it existed, but it might even rival Godiva for my favorite (which is a pretty hefty claim for me to make)!

So, needless to say, go... Go find the amazingness of choxie. Fulfill that ever-present chocolate craving. It's way worth it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

my desert

I am so tired. This school year has worn me out.

I know what David means when he says that he's "travelled across dry and weary deserts." This year, I have experienced some of my most lonely times and my most devastating emotions. I have lost "friends" that I thought I had, I have had nightmares like never before, and I have had my eyes open to a part of sin that I wish I had never ever seen.

But, as awful as it may sound, it has been the greatest year of my life.

I have had the chance this year to learn about my God. I am amazed. He is this water that cleanses, redeems, and refreshes me. Through all of my lonliness and pain and confusion, He is constant. He has taught me to love like I never have before. His love may be heavy, but it is amazing. He overwhelms me with His grace and His desire for me. I really have been in the desert. But my thirst and emptiness only makes God that much more real to me. Through my walk alongside Him this year, I have realized my desires, and His desires for my life. And I have had the chance to bring Him glory, which I have found to be the most fulfilling achievement I ever could make.

It's like this... By becoming desolate and desperate, I have found all I ever could need.

a worthless sacrifice

"When you say, 'The altar of God is not important anymore; worship of God is no longer a priority,' that's defiling.

And when you offer worthless animals for sacrifices in worship, animals that you're trying to get rid of - blind and sick and crippled animals - isn't that defiling? Try a trick like that with your banker or your senator - how far do you think it will get you?"

..."I don't want any more of this so-called worship! Offering God Something Hand-Me-Down, Broken, or Useless" ..."You profane me when you say, 'Worship is not important, and what we bring to worship is of no account,' and when you say, 'I'm bored - this doesn't do anything for me.' You act so superior, sticking your noses in the air - act superior to me, God-of-the-Angel-Armies! And when you do offer something to me, it's a hand-me-down, or broken, or useless. Do you think I'm going to accept it? This is God speaking to you!"

                                    -Malachi 1:7-8,10,12-13

I woke up today knowing that I really needed to take time out to spend with God. Honestly, it was my first thought. So I got out of bed, got a shower, and went to work. Then, I ate lunch with some friends. After that, back to work, and then home. I set the table, and fell asleep for a little bit. I was kind of tired. Not too bad, cause I slept in some. I ate dinner with the family, and watched tv with them. Our quality tv time really means a lot to me. Plus, I really wanted to see what happened in CSI Miami and which girl the Bachelor was going to propose to.

It got to be about 11pm, and I headed off to my room. I got ready to sit in my bed, get on facebook, maybe read some. I really had no intention of going to sleep. Oh! Then I remembered what I had thought of this morning. So, I thought maybe it would be good to do my quiet time. And I can truly say that I enjoy my time with God. It is amazing, and I get fed each and every time. And I am not bad about doing it. It's important to me. But really, it's an easy, whenever I find time in my day, kind of important.

You see, I have been offering sick animals to God. No, I don't really have a cat with the flu sitting on my alter outside, but I might as well. I mean, I give my time, but it's all left-over, when-I-get-to-it time. As I was reading Malachi tonight, I began to get disgusted with myself. All of my efforts are fruitless. My worship to God should be first. And I don't mean, first in order in my day. If I made myself get up and read and spend time with God every day early in the morning, it would be worthless. So maybe it's not really the time I spend with God, it's the attitude that I take with me into it. Like today, I am ashamed to say, I didn't think, man, I just can't wait to sit on my bed and soak in the words of my Savior. It was more like, tonight, I thought, Oh No! I really need to read my Bible, because I know it's super important. Reading this passage made me sick. I felt like it was me with the sick animal going, "God, please bless this! I know that this lamb has only 3 hooves, and it can't see very well, but, you know God, I just can't afford to give you my best one. Because then my family may not have the best meat. Or maybe that would take extra effort. You'll be alright with this one, right? Ok, God, thanks!"


God, sometimes I really make a mess of things. I mean, I have things all wrong. But THANK you for revealing yourself to me. I want you to be first, the One I look forward to spending time with. The thing I can't breathe without. I want you to be the One that makes me breathless just by being in your presence. I'm sorry for giving you my sick cat. I don't want to do that anymore. I can't promise I won't fail (which you know good and well)... but I can make sure that the time I spend with you has Purpose and Dedication and is Intenionally given. Because God, you're worth all of my time. And I am willing to sacrifice myself to bring you glory. After all, you gave your life. Sorry again. And thanks again. I know we've been through this and we'll go through it again. You're amazing. -Me.