Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wait...but I have to suffer? Really?

"Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh,arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you..." -1 Peter 4:1-4a
 ---Suffering. Confession: It's something that for quite a while I've tried to avoid talking about. I knew that if I talked about it or discussed it aloud with anyone, that I would be held accountable to live above reproach in the area of suffering. That not proclaiming the Name of Jesus just because I knew that suffering would come was something that I struggle with often. This morning I was reading in 1 Peter, specifically chapter 4. Oh, how conviction fell. I wanted to share what the Lord opened my eyes to this morning.

---Verse 1 starts off by talking about how Christ suffered in the flesh. For me, that is immediate comfort. Not only did my Savior suffer, but my Savior chose suffering "No one takes my life from me, I lay it down on my own accord." (John 10:18). He chose suffering and if our desire is to imitate Him, then so should we. We, the servants, are no greater than our master, Jesus Christ.  (Matthew 10:24). But by suffering, we must begin to arm ourselves "with the same way of thinking..." (v1) --thinking like Christ. So to do that we must understand that suffering means to have ceased from sin (v1). Yes we are still sinful, yes we still have the disgusting sin of this world, but we have to choose the road less traveled, the road of suffering for the Name of Jesus rather than the road of comfort and fleeting pleasures. Basically, if we don't choose suffering, we will choose sin. We need to get it out of our heads that Christ isn't worth suffering for. We need to break from that old sin, not by our power and not to perfection, but to be molded to be more like Jesus. It talks about that break in verse 2. Suffering shows that we count all things of this world as rubbish in comparison with knowing Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:8) HE. IS. WORTH. IT.

I like verse 3 because it talks about how the sinfulness of our past is enough sin. It is sufficient. So guess what? ..We shouldn't do it anymore. If you sinned a little before being born again it's enough. If you sinned a large amount before you being born again it's enough as well. How often we hear people not explicitly say, but imply "I just need a little more time in my sin...just a little more time and then I'll get right with God." We need to start NOW. So if you desire God's will, and if suffering is in God's will, then suffer you should. How can we strive (by the Spirit) to cut off sin? By suffering of course. Suffering is produced when a person forgets about his desires and his aspirations and has a direct immovable gaze to the cross and the making much of Jesus. We need to get it that YES we receive grace and mercy every single day (Lamentations 3:22-23, 2 Corinthians 9:8) and YES we desperately need that grace and mercy, but shouldn't we want to look like Jesus? Shouldn't we have the fear of God in us? Like Paul said, in 1 Corinthians 11:1 that we should imitate him because he was imitating Christ.

In verse 4 it just lays it out---people malign you. They slander you. They make you look like a fool to those around you and you feel lonely. Jesus warned us about this in John 15:21 "But all these things they will do to you on account of My Name, because they do not know Him who sent Me." Still, even then, it's better to suffer for the sake of God's glory and His name rather than to continue in sin.

My challenge for you this week--- take the road less traveled. Ask the Spirit to give you strength to choose God's will above your own... and if that includes suffering, well then so be it!

"Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." -Romans 5:3-5

Grace and peace,


Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Adoption. That word has been permeating my heart over the last few weeks. Being a single poor college student, this is kind of weird for me, but I firmly believe that the Lord has wired me with a desire to adopt in the future.

Here is an incredible post written by Jamie Ivey on Kevin East's (the director of Pine Cove) blog.

Also, check out this video on the Ivey family when they got to bring home their son Amos from Haiti! This brings tears to my eyes and fills my heart with so much joy! Bringing Amos Home

In Him,

Leigh Ann

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Set Free

how beautiful if this were the cry of ALL of the nations?

So I'm reading this new book called No Longer a Slumdog by K.P. Yohannan. Within the first three pages of the text, I am struck by how incredibly gracious my Father in Heaven has been on my family and me.

K.P. first challenges you to think about how you came to be. Your parents probably planned for you. They probably had a bedroom decorated with your initials and countless little newborn outfits that they planned for you to wear. Most likely, you were delivered in a sterile hospital under trained professionals. You received all the care you needed and then were probably brought to what would now be called home. When you reached school age, your parents probably bought you countless amounts of school supplies. They probably made sure your clothes were clean and ironed, and that you had a ride to school and of course a packed lunch. They count you as a blessing, nothing less. They love you.

Sometimes our eyes are so fixed on ourselves and our petty hardships that we lose perspective on the world and what is happening right now.  To real people. People with names and hearts and feelings that breathe air just like we do every day. People created in God's image, just like us.

Here's an excerpt from the text. Let's get some perspective:

"The tragedy for untold millions of children living today is that they have never had even one of these childhood experiences. Imagine if this was you: Your parents saw your conception as both a blessing and a curse. They knew that in a few years there would be more hands to work, but also that you would put even more strain on the meager food supply. Prenatal care for you was lacking because there were no medical facilities in the remote village or slum where you were born and your parents could not afford to travel away from home to find one.
After a risky home delivery on the dirt floor of the family shack, you were dried off with a dirty rag or an old newspaper; your parents never learned much about sanitation. Your home was made of tarpaulin sheets held up by bamboo sticks. It was pretty crowded with your whole family living in less than 100 square feet of space...
IF through strength and providence you survived the first few years of your life, at age 5 or 6you might be sold by your parents into bonded labor to help secure a little desperately needed money for the family...School? It wasn't even a possibility..."

I can't even imagine a life like that. How blessed I am to not only be given everything that I need, but OPTIONS to what I need and more! How gracious you are Father! Praise You!

My prayer for you is that you would find a way to take part in global missions.  That could mean going overseas, prayer, donating money, etc. Every Christian is called to global missions. Check out the Great Commission if you think I'm wrong (Matthew 28:19) These are people desperate for hope and truth. People who have not had their minds taken over by a false gospel, but rather are completely empty of any at all.

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, 
   because he has anointed me 
   to proclaim good news to the poor. 
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners 
   and recovery of sight for the blind, 
to set the oppressed free"
- Luke 4:18

God Bless the nations.

Leigh Ann

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It is Well

What would it look like if we were completely content in the Lord and in Him alone

Really. Truly. Just, content. It is so easy to mistake contentment in Christ with contentment of circumstances. How many of you find that when things are all going just great for you (great grades, well-paying job, encouraging friends) it is so easy to praise His name? I want to tell you that true contentment is a byproduct of inner peace. This peace surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:7). It is hard for our earthly minds to conceive this kind of peace! For example, imagine if you were a student and you worked extremely hard the whole semester to earn the grade you needed for a class and ended up failing the course. Your reaction when someone asked you about it is, "Well, I guess I'll just try again next semester."  No freaking out. No panicking. No thoughts that the world is coming to an end. Just peace because of the Lord's many promises to us. People would probably think you were CRAZY! and I love that. It's not that you are ignoring the issue at all and saying, "That happened, but NO IT DIDN'T" because truth is you could be upset about it, but your trust in the Lord and His mighty plan for you far outweighs your fear of the world or fear of failure.

Okay, so an incredible example of this kind of contentment that you might have heard of is in the life and hymn produced by Horatio Spafford. The hymn I am referring to is "It is Well with My Soul." Horatio wrote it after two traumas happened in his life. The first was the Great Chicago fire of 1871 that ruined him financially. Second, he planned to travel to Europe with his family but send them to go ahead without him because he was delayed on business and all 4 of his daughters died because of a collision with a sailing ship. His wife sent him a telegram that read, "Saved alone..." When Horatio went to console his grieving wife he passed by the place of the accident and wrote these powerful words...

      1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
        When sorrows like sea billows roll;
        Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
        It is well, it is well, with my soul.
        • Refrain:
          It is well, with my soul,
          It is well, it is well, with my soul.
      2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
        Let this blest assurance control,
        That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
        And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
      3. My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
        My sin, not in part but the whole,
        Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
        Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
      4. For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
        If Jordan above me shall roll,
        No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
        Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
      5. But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
        The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
        Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
        Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
      6. And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
        The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
        The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
        Even so, it is well with my soul

Yes, Lord. This is my desire. More of You, less of me.

Leigh Ann

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


"But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord." Genesis 6:8

"He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes." Deuteronomy 10:21

"The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them." Psalm 11:4

"A song of ascents. I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?" Psalm 121:1

"Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil." Proverbs 3:7

"Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing." Isaiah 40:26

"Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law." Psalm 119:18

I love you, Lord.

Leigh Ann

Friday, December 2, 2011


Hey guys! This is really brief but I wanted to encourage anyone taking finals next week with some scripture. Allow this truth the soak into your soul. I exhort you to seek Him for strength even now amidst sleeplessness and hard tests and crazy professors. Remember, if you are taking your finals for His glory, you can't fail no matter what grade you get!

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident. (Psalm 27: 1, 3)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

My eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign Lord; in You I take refuge--do not give me over to death. (Psalm 141:8)

Seek the LORD and His strength;  seek His presence continually! (1 Chronicles 16:11)

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.(Colossians 3:23-25)

Brighter days ahead!

Leigh Ann

Ps. Christmas is in 23 days. :)!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

And so it begins...

2 tests.
5 finals.
1 & 1/2 weeks.

This a picture of what my brain will probably look like in 12 days.
stay tuned.

all for the glory of the Name,

Leigh Ann