Learning to Say “Amen”

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This year was like no other. It was a year in which grace abounded and the mercy of God found us at every turn of page in our calendars. This year, like none before, I learned how to say a robust “Amen!” to all the Providences of God in my life and the life of my family. It was not easy, we were tested in many hard ways, but learning to say “Amen and Amen” each day caused me to turn my eyes to the Lord and submit to His perfect will for us. And do you know what helped me most to say “Amen” to the circumstances that were crushing and that I didn’t understand? Being in the Word and practicing saying “Amen!” to what the Scriptures say.

“Amen to Your promises, Lord, yes! But amen also to the warnings, to the admonitions, amen to what You call sin, amen to what You hate and amen to what You love. Amen to Your mercy and grace and amen to Your righteous judgments. Amen to the things I understand and amen to the things I can’t explain. Amen to Your will being done on the earth -in my life!- as it is done in heaven. Amen when You give me ‘no’ as an answer. Amen to the dealings of the spirit in my life. Amen to receiving a cascade of gifts and undeserved blessings with open hands. Amen to the needs I have that draw me closer to You in prayer and remind me of my dependence on You. Amen to the songs You have put in my heart. Amen to the Psalms – all of them. Amen to Your Word working in my life. Amen to the tears and amen to the laughter. Amen to all things that in your good Providence you bring to my life to grow me. Amen to the the Winter, to the Spring, to the Fall, to the Summer. Amen and amen.”

May 2020  be year be a year of “Amens” for all of us. May we quickly learn not to complain and murmur and let unbelief take root in our hearts, but with the help of the Spirit, may we learn to submit ourselves to the Word of God and the work of the Spirit in our lives. God is good and He is at work, we cannot forget that.

Practice saying “Amen, Lord!” in the little things, in the little inconveniences of life, in the big events that turn your life upside down. Practice saying “Amen, Lord!” in the smallest and greatest joys,  say it in the kitchen and in the hospital.  Practice as your read the Word of God each day. Practice at the dinner table after saying grace, practice at church, let your “Amen” be always robust, heartfelt, from the bottom of your heart.

Under his sun and by grace,

Becky Pliego

Note: I wrote something along these lines, but more concise,  in the last weekly email for the Bible Reading Challenge, which you can find  here.

Living in Two Worlds -At the Same Time-

Screen Shot 2019-09-27 at 3.39.13 PMIf you have read me for a while, you already know that I love the Puritans and that I have been greatly influenced by their writings. I am a firmly believer that all Christians should always have a book written by a Puritan on their currently-reading pile of books.

This past summer I decided to do something different on the way I would read their books. Instead of reading the Puritans in a random order -as I have done it for years, I would apply myself to study them, first in general, and then dig deeper in the life and writings of a few of them.

Yesterday I finished L. Ryken’s wonderful book, Worldly Saints: The Puritans As They Really Were.  Every bit of this book was very interesting and of course I found many great gems that were worth sharing here, but alas! life is busy and blogging some (many!) times has to wait! However, I do want to share a few quotes that I loved because of how relevant they are to what I have always wanted this blog to capture: “I’m fully here, where God would want me to be, but fully aware that I’m Daily On My Way to Heaven.”

“Puritanism was inspired by the insight that all life is God’s. The Puritans lived simultaneously in two words -the invisible spiritual world and the physical world of earthly existence. For the Puritans, both worlds were equally real, and there was no cleavage of life into sacred and secular. All of life was sacred.

Thomas Goodwin wrote that when he was converted, “the glory of the great God was set upon my heart, as the square and rule of each and every particular practice.”

“Godliness in every phase of a person’s life was the Puritan goal. One Puritan spoke of Christianity as a “universal habit of grace” in which “the whole creature is resigned… to the obedience of the glory of its maker.” “If God be over us,  wrote Peter Bulkeley, “we must yield him universal obedience in all things. He must not be over us in one thing, and under us in another, but he must be over us in everything.”

“A logical extension of the principal that all of life is God’s was the Puritan emphasis on seeing God in the ordinary events of life. It is one of the Puritan’s most attractive traits. For the Puritans, everything in life became a pointer to God and a carrier of grace. They viewed life through the wide-angle lens of God’s sovereignty over all of life.

The sanctity of the common was a constant Puritan theme. John Bunyan asked in the preface to Grace Abounding, “Have you forgot… the milkhouse, the stable, the barn, and the like where God did visit your soul?”

“In sum there was no place where the Puritans could not potentially find God. They were always open to what Richard Baxter called a “drop of glory” that God might allow to fall upon their souls.”

“The Puritans were people of confidence, even in defeat, because they knew that they were part of something much bigger than themselves.

 

So yes, I’m doing life with the people I love, the joys of the ordinary and the hardship of God’s tailor-made trials for me. I’m blogging at times, reading much, trying to write more, practicing contentment, packing for a big trip,  and in the midst of it all, I find myself catching drops of glory everywhere I turn… and let me tell you, there are already too many buckets of glory and mercy to count! My cup overflows! God is indeed good!

And so I sign again, as I have done for years now,

Under His sun and by His grace,

Becky Pliego

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PC Credit: Samara Doole via Unsplash