Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Prepared in Prayer

Have you ever been in a situation where someone expected you to just drop everything you were doing to accommodate their present emergency or need? I'm talking about the kind of situation where had they been a little more prepared or thought things out a little further in advance it wouldn't have been an 'emergency'. I am guessing your answer is yes and that we have all experienced this. We have also probably been the one requesting the service of "drop what your doing because my needs are really, really important right now!"

How many times have I gone to the Lord in prayer with an 'emergency', expected his immediate response according to what would be easiest for me and then couldn't figure out why He didn't answer? Hmmmm? Don't get me wrong, he has answered plenty of my emergency prayers in areas where I could not have anticipated a need. I am just as sure that he has protected me from my own possible state of emergencies by going before me, or after me, to fix things.

But what if I lived a life that didn't just live on "oh Lord help me get out of this mess" and instead began to pray in advance. What if I became a woman who was prepared in prayer? I think I like that idea. Wasn't really my idea anyway - it was God's. To be prepared means to: Make ready beforehand for a specific purpose of for some event, occasion or the like. Preparation is the: 1. The act or process of preparing. 2. The state of being made ready beforehand; readiness. (Webster's Dictionary) Ephesians 6:15 says that I am to fit my feet with the "readiness" that comes from the gospel of peace.

I want to live a life where I take a look at the week, months, years, events, etc. to come and start praying for them. I want to be a woman who prays in such a way for her family that the enemy's attacks on them are thwarted before they ever felt the blow. I want to be a woman who seeks God's will so fervently that I hear the Holy Spirit's instructions on how to pray for things I do not know or understand. I want that kind of "prepared in prayer" life. And yes Lord, I want it now.

Father, teach me. Teach me. Teach me how to pray according to your word, your will and in the power of Jesus Christ. Teach me to pray in a way that is truly effective in the kingdom and in the spiritual unseen battles that rage around us. Prepare me. Prepare my heart, my thoughts, my desires according to your will. Prepare me Lord to pray how you want me to pray. Prepare me Father that I might be prepared in prayer always. Thank you in advance because I truly believe you have gone before me in this one. In the powerful name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Humbly His child,

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Gift of Sacrifice

Without any question, God gave me children in order to draw me closer to Him and to teach me what my relationship with Him should look like. Everything else about my children is just pure bonus. I try not to write details about my children's lives, because it is their story to tell. However, Jesus spoke so strongly to me in this lesson that I just have to share it.

Our 21 year old son is in some transitions in his life. He would call it growing up. As the mother, I call it leaving the nest too soon. This last week there were some decisions that he made that were fine, but I just kept thinking - "This is what I sacrificed all those years for? This is it?" I wanted to shout out: Don't you know how much I gave up for you to have a full and abundant life? Don't you know how many sleepless nights I have had in prayer on your behalf? Don't you know how many times I didn't buy something for me so that you could have something nicer? Don't you know how many times I denied myself so that you wouldn't be denied? Don't you know that you have at your disposal all the comforts of life that I have? And this is what you choose?!

As the list was playing like a movie in my head, the Lord stopped it for a brief announcement. He said "don't you know all that I sacrificed for you and this is what you choose." Ouch. I have at my disposal all the resources and authority of Christ and yet I whine about what I don't have and the oppression I sometimes feel under. His Word is overflowing with his promises and provisions and I know that I have not begun to tap into all that He has for me. He made the sacrifice that conquered death, that overrules all the power and authorities, that provides abundant life, that promises the provision of my daily needs and so much more. And how often do I choose worry, fear, doubt, lack of faith, anxiety? How often do I choose to walk in my circumstances instead of in the power of Christ? Oh - ouch again.

He made the ultimate sacrifice for me and provides the ultimate gift and provisions for my life if I choose to receive them and walk in them. May my life look more like the recipient of the greatest sacrifice than a life that says "this is what you choose?".

Monday, December 29, 2008

Be A Doer

Have you ever felt God just pressing something on your heart that you knew you could not ignore? Be a doer of the Word - not just a hearer (paraphrase - mine). But in James 1:22 NIV it says: Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. DO WHAT IT SAYS. (emphasis mine)

Right in the middle of the night, first thing this morning and ever since, I keep hearing God tell me DO WHAT IT SAYS. I think He is saying it louder than I can make it come across in bold or large letters. Do what it says, child - DO IT!!

Every so often God will just lay something on me so strongly, that I believe, if I ignore his instructions He will just turn me into a pillar of salt right where where I stand. It is non-negotiable. There doesn't seem to be room during those times for me to give God a list of excuses of why I can't or a list of my short-comings that would prohibit me from following through. Nope. This one is a non-negotiable. Funny though, God didn't tell me what exactly I was to do. I prefer that He would give me all the instructions and details, but generally I don't get that. I just got a DO IT.

I do know, however, what part of that means. Get my nose in the Word and get it in my heart and in my mind. If I know what to do, I will also know how to do it or I will be able to hear the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit leading me through the unknown to get it accomplished. It will most likely require me to add a new level of faith in my life. It will probably cost me something in the process without any direct knowledge of what might be gained. But this I do know, God has made it plain as day that I am to be a 'doer' of His Word and just not a hearer.

James 1:22 - 25 ends with these beautiful words of promise: But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues doing this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it - he will be blessed in what he does.

Oh Lord, help me to be a doer and not just a hearer. Help me to see through your eyes and may you speak boldly to me, your servant, that I might know what to do in accordance with your desires. Teach me your Word and write it on my heart that I might not sin against you, but that I might be obedient in all things. I want to be a 'doer' for you. I am just absolutely in love with you Jesus. Kim

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Grace for Everyone

For Christmas I received Philip Yancey's book "What's So Amazing About Grace?" I can't put it down. It is has caused more stirrings in my soul and my mind than anything I have read in a long time. Maybe it is just causing conviction - and a time to take a closer look at my own soul. Maybe it has stirred the die-hard evangelist in me. I don't know. I could probably write 50 blog posts on things that I have read in this book alone, but I figured I would just start with one and see what happens.

Yancey writes: "What trivialities do we obsess over, and what weighty matters of the law - justice, mercy, faithfulness - might we be missing? Does God care more about nose rings or about urban decay? Grunge music or world hunger? Worship styles or a culture of violence?"

I grew up in a church that obsessed over earrings, skirt length, KJV only, music styles and more - but I never heard about grace, justice, mercy or faithfulness until I was 37 years old and starting attending a different church after many years absence from any church at all. I was 37 before I knew what grace was and that I had received it. It still makes me cry.

But what about grace for the young girl who is pregnant and there is no father in the picture? What about grace for the teen at the mall who has more tattoos, piercings and skin showing than my 'white, conservative, evangelistic' ideals would permit? What about the woman who has been divorced 4 times and is now sure she has met Mr. Right? What about the man who can't stop looking at porn, but professes to be a Christian? What about that relative who is a homosexual? What about the child who has chosen a lifestyle that contradicts all your religious beliefs? What about _______________ - you fill in the blank. We can all think of someone or something that grace just might not cover. Or shall we say that we don't want grace to cover.

You see, however, God's grace is enough for EVERYONE. Yep, everyone. The relative, the spouse, the neighbor, the co-worker, the stranger, the pastor, the rebellious teen, those who are a different color or a different religion - God's grace is for ALL of them. God's grace is for you. Grace is a gift made available in abundance, but it must be accepted. Christ won't force His grace on us.

Okay - so Christ gives His grace to us freely, but do we extend the same grace to others? Or does the word "judgment" come more to mind as you reflect on your response to some of the people I mentioned above? Oh that we would see each of God's creation through the eyes of grace. I'm not talking about just accepting sin and looking away from what the Bible clearly teaches is right and wrong. I'm talking about extending grace and showing love to those who are 'different' from you and me. What if we chose to show grace and love to those who are far from Christ and then let Christ work through that to draw them to Him? Do we extend enough grace for people to even get a glimpse of Christ?

May my heart be more concerned with the lost than with the rules, may my life be a reflection of the abundance of grace that Christ has poured out on me and continues to pour out on me. As Paul says in Ephesians 3:7-8 "I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me. . . "

May I be a giver of grace - for there is enough for everyone.

Humbly His,

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Gifts

I'm not really sure if it is just my age or my season in life or my relationship with Christ or a combination of all three, but the gifts I desire for Christmas this year can't be bought or made or wrapped with ribbon. The things I most desire in my heart, the things that consume my prayers and thoughts aren't tangible, but they are very spiritual and can only come from God himself.

Kenny, my husband, was asking me what I wanted for Christmas this year. In the tangible realm, it was a short list: coffee, chocolate, a book and a dvd player. My heart stirred though for more than money could ever buy. As we talked about Christmas and gifts, he asked me "do you remember what you got for Christmas last year?" I'm not sure I do. I have gotten some wonderful and thoughtful gifts from family and friends this year and I certainly remember the "Easy Bake" oven, the Barbie Townhouse and that "must have" pair of boots I got for Christmas as a child.

The gifts I most remember didn't always come on Christmas morning: my husband getting baptized; watching my husband speak at an Emmaus closing and at the Called to Belong event; my daughter getting baptized; my son getting baptized; my son going on a mission's trip to Mexico; the emails I received from my children when they were at college; my daughter's wedding; being set free from bondages and shame; watching my family be set free and the list goes on. I could name countless blessings from the Lord, but there isn't room enough on this blog to contain them. Those are the gifts I most remember and no one can take them from me. They won't end up in a box in the basement for a future garage sale. I don't have to buy new batteries for them and they won't break. They will still 'fit' and be the 'right size' no matter how many Christmas cookies I eat!

I could pray for peace on earth and someday there will be peace on earth when the Prince of Peace returns. I could pray that all the sick will be healed, but that too will have to wait until the Great Physician and Healer comes back to take us home. I could pray for a worldwide revival and that all will come to know Jesus as their Savior, but we know that the scriptures teach a different ending. So instead, I will turn the Christmas list of my heart over to God and on it will be some very specific names and requests - you know, for the kind of gifts that money can't buy.

"Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!" Luke 1:45

Humbly at His feet,

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

So exciting

I am just beside myself with excitement! Spent last night preparing for our next women's retreat "Soulfeast" that we will be conducting in March. God is just showing up big already and we can't wait to see what He has in store. Lots of preparation and prayer before March 6th, but oh glory what fun this will be as we watch women draw closer to Christ and feed and refresh their souls.

In the same breath I find myself ecstatic about our next women's bible study starting in January. We are going to be diggin into Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman by Beth Moore. The more I read and begin preparing the faster my heart and mind race. This lesson is going to be full spiritually and mentally. It will be a blast. Cannot wait.

Had such a great time with the last group as we finished up a tough study on "Daniel" by Beth Moore. But it is wonderful to grow together with these women. I love each and every one of them.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Discipline: n. 1. Training that is expected to produce a specified character or pattern of behavior, especially that which is expected to produce moral or mental improvement. 2. Controlled behavior resulting from such training. 3. A systematic method to obtain obedience. 4. A state of order based upon submission to rules and authority. (Webster's Dictionary)

This word keeps finding its way in front of me lately. Discipline. I find myself desiring to get my house in order, my finances in order, my physical body in order, my spiritual life in order. God laid it on my heart a long time ago to get my life in order, but He didn't give me a whole lot of instructions beyond that.

The house and finances are probably the easiest of the four and the ones that are most in order thanks to and Financial Peace University. My physical body is a little tougher. After 40 things fall apart faster and take longer to put back together. On top of that, my natural tendency is to go for the frozen M&M peanuts and a great cup of Starbucks coffee and sit down - hopefully with a good book. Exercising is something I desire from afar. However, I have started and committed to exercising at least 20 minutes a day, 4 - 6 days a week. I am also drinking more water and trying to eat healthier. I have two very motivating factors. 1. My body is God's temple and I need to take care of it. 2. I want to be attractive and healthy for my husband.

Okay - that's 3 of the 4. Then there are the spiritual disciplines. These are the easiest and the hardest at the same time. Easiest because I desire to know God and His Word more intimately. Hardest because they involve sacrifice and commitment. The areas I most want to work on right now are: journaling, scripture memory, scripture study, solitude/silence, and prayer. There is so much to be learned and to be gained spiritually in each of those areas. I know I can't tackle all the spiritual disciplines at one time, so I will start with what God is drawing me to.

God knows my heart and my passion. He knows how much I want to know His Word and how desperately I want to teach it and be in ministry for Him. So as I think about the word 'discipline', I have to wonder if I am showing Him that I am faithful, dependable, trustworthy, and committed. Can He trust me with an assignment to minister to His people? Can He trust me to follow through when things are difficult? I pray the answer is "yes". But no matter what the answer or the calling is, He alone is reason enough for me to practice the spiritual disciplines. The reward is a more intimate relationship with Him and honor to Him. Oh Glory to God!

Father, help me. My flesh isn't very fond of discipline. But Lord, I want more of you. I want to be a good steward of ALL that you have given me: my health, my family, my finances, my home, my time and ministries. I want my spiritual life to be in line with your Word. This life is but a vapor and I don't want to meet you face-to-face someday and realize all that I missed out on in this earthly life because I lacked discipline. So Father, teach me, instruct me, guide me and remind me that where I am weak, you are strong. Lord, may your will be done in my life in every area and may my life be a pleasing sacrifice to you. Amen

Humbly your daughter,

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Justin Morgan!

To my son,

Today is your 21st birthday. Happy Birthday! It is a time to celebrate and be thankful for all that God has given me in you. It is also a time when I think about how quickly the time went - way too fast. You have given me many, many amazing and precious memories:

- A little baby who held his bottle with his feet and his hands
- A little boy who quickly pulled his backpack over his face when I wanted to kiss him goodbye in kindergarten
- A little boy who loved to go bowling
- A little boy (and young man) who loved chocolate pie
- A little boy who loved to go to work with his dad to change water (and ride the 4-wheeler)
- Practicing your spelling words - standing on your head
-A young boy who left his wet, muddy clothes in the trash bag in his dresser - causing us to ask for months "what's that smell?"
- A young boy/man who could play Scattegories better than anyone I know
-A young boy/man who thinks outside the box and has a very creative mind
- A young boy/man who has a heart and compassion for animals
- A teenager who inherited the nickname "Bob" and it is still sticking with him
- A young man who went to Mexico to witness and share his faith
- A young man who cried at his sister's wedding because he loves her so much
- A young man who has so much potential in life

There are so many more memories, but I am sure you would appreciate my not putting them out for the public to see. Today you are an 'adult' by the world's standards, but you will always be my child - my son. I respect you and love you and cherish you. Thank you for making me think outside the box and for challenging me to know what I stand for and why. Thank you for making me laugh. Thank you for being my son - I love you.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of Justin. Thank you for who is and who he is becoming. Thank you for his life, for his health, for his sound and creative mind. Thank you for watching over him when I can't. Thank you for loving him unconditionally and for your grace, mercy and protection that covers him everyday. Thank you for a son. Thank you for the calling on his life. May Justin find favor with God and man as he goes through this earthly life. May Justin remember all the great and precious promises that you have just for him. May each day he know how much he is loved and how much he means to us and to you. Thank you Lord for creating him and giving him to us. In Jesus Name, Amen

Justin - I love you unconditionally and thank God for you every single day. Happy Birthday!