Archive for February 2008

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Do I Love the Church?

This question is something that the Lord has put on my heart the past couple of months and I can't help but keep asking it to myself. Do I love the church-the Bride of Christ? In particular, do I love the local church?

The easy answer here would be "yes!" I mean, come on, my husband is a pastor. I'm there every Sunday unless my kids are sick. Most of my friends are from the church and most of our time is spent in activities related to the church. Those things are my circumstances (and they are beautiful ones!) but what is in my heart? Do I really love the local church?

About five years ago I heard a song by Derek Webb that the Lord used to arrest my heart. These words in particular pierced me at the time and still do, "You cannot care for Me with no regard for Her, if you love Me you will love the church." In other words, Jesus Christ died to save sinners, His Bride. Jesus purchased the Church with His very own blood. It's pretty clear that He loves the church. Do I?

Five years ago when I first heard that song, it was crystal clear to me that I did not love what Christ loved. The local church was far from something I loved. In fact, I somewhat dreaded it unless they happened to be singing some songs that I liked on that particular day. At the time, I did love Jesus Christ and was seeking to live my life for Him. I just didn't see how church fit into that. I was living with my parents in Iowa and going to church seemed like a big pain. I had to get up early on the weekend. I had to sit through what seemed to me to be a boring couple of hours. I thought many of the people around me seemed like hypocrites who really didn't live what they believed. Often, I sat through a service just waiting to rip apart in my mind everything with it that I thought was wrong it. Let me be the first to say that I could not possibly have been described as someone who loved the church.

But God doesn't just leave us in our sin. So as I heard that song by Derek Webb, He began to work in my heart. The Holy Spirit convicted me and I repented from my pride and from not loving that which Christ died to save. God began to develop in me a love for the church.

More on this later...

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

In Whatever I Do

"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."
Colossians 3:17

The Lord is continuing to meet me as I read through Colossians in my quiet times (or..."not so quiet" times). My sweet husband gave me "The Hope of Glory: 100 Daily Meditations on Colossians" by Sam Storms and today was my first opportunity to open it up. Wow! I was blessed!

I read Colossians 3:17 and began to reflect on it, wondering just what Paul meant by doing everything in the name of the Lord Jesus. Here is what Storms had to say about that:

"'In the name of the Lord Jesus' thus means 'for the sake of the Lord Jesus' or 'in open and explicit acknowledgment that he alone is Lord and Sovereign over all' or 'to the glory of the Lord Jesus' or 'in humble admission that he is the source of all good things' or 'because of who Jesus is and all that he has accomplished in his life, death, and resurrection."

Very clarifying. What would my day look like if I really sought to do everything "for the sake of the Lord Jesus" or "because of who Jesus is and all that He has accomplished?" Radically different, to say the least. What if I considered, before I spoke, whether or not my words would be a demonstration that He alone is Lord? What if I considered, before I acted, whether or not my actions would clearly show that Jesus is the source of all good things?

What I was struck by here is that Paul isn't saying, "If you feel like it, in certain situations, try to do things for the sake of Jesus and what He's done on the cross for you." Nope. He said, "And whatever (meaning everything) you do, do everything ( in the name of the Lord Jesus." Do the laundry, do the dishes, do the instruction and correction of your children, do the picking up of toys, do the sticking the pacifier back in for the fifth time in a half hour, do the submitting to your husband, do the cooking of dinner, do absolutely everything for the sake of the Lord Jesus. Not only that, but do it giving thanks??!!

I can quickly compartmentalize my life instead of seeing everything as sacred-as an opportunity to worship and reflect the glory of the Gospel. I want even those seemingly "mundane" moments to be done for His sake. Can you imagine how different the day would look if that were the case?

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Found in Thee

"Every new duty calls for more grace than I now possess, but not more than is found in Thee, the divine treasury in whom all fullness dwells. To Thee I go frequently for grace upon grace, until every void made by sin be replenished and I am filled with all Thy fullness."

-Valley of Vision

I cling to this truth today as I wake up with more exhaustion and the continuation of the many tiny trials that come with loving two sweet babies. Though in myself I have little strength, all strength is found in Him. I want to run to the Father in thankfulness for these children, pleading for His grace to walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel as I care for them today. What hope and joy there is in knowing that His supply of grace will never run short. He is always more ready to give than I am to ask. Grace upon grace is the story of my life because I have a loving Father who sent Jesus to take the punishment for my sin that I might no longer be God's enemy but His friend.

Father, may the truth of the Gospel be my hope today.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Who Would Have Thought?

On Valentine's Day, 2004 I showed up to babysit the children of my pastor and his wife. When I arrived, the door was opened by Mr. Joshua David Fenska, who was living with them at the time. His plans had sovereignly changed for the evening and he was going to be staying at home studying while I babysat Abigail and Ryan. I could not have been more shocked and freaked out.

Little did Josh know, I about fainted at the sight of him. I had been trying so hard for an entire month not to give the slightest hint to him that I was falling in love with him (though we had just met). I knew there was no way that I could be around him for an entire evening and him remain oblivious to how I felt. (Or so I thought.) So, I desperately prayed that God would help me to ignore him and that he would remain clueless and stay upstairs. But, God had other plans!

The children went to bed very easily and I was left to clean up from the mess we'd made playing. Soon, I heard footsteps and saw Josh bringing down some laundry. All of my desperate resignations to ignore him flew out the window and I asked him a couple of questions. He sat down at the table across from me and we talked for the next several hours. It was the first opportunity that we'd had to really get to know one another. Talking with Josh was like talking to an old friend. There was an easiness to the conversation and a warmth about it that left me smiling long after he'd gone back upstairs.

A year and a month later, we were married. Sometimes, I still feel like I might pass out with excitement when I see him. Talking with him is still so easy and fun. There is no one that I'd rather talk with, no one that I'd rather spend my life with.

Happy Valentine's Day, babe! I love you with my whole heart.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Singing and Signing

Here is a short clip of our little girl keeping us entertained.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

He Smiles

Life has become a little more exciting at the Fenskas' house.
Our little boy can smile.

(p.s. - please pray for Tali, she's a little sick this week.)

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