Monday, June 29, 2009

Knocking on Wood?

Need to vent a moment. Recently, I have heard more people say the phrase "knock on wood" than I care to count. One person was carrying some boxes and "knock on wood" - he wouldn't drop them. Another was having an outdoor event and "knock on wood" - it wouldn't rain. AHHHHH!

Go ahead - knock on wood. See if it really helps.

I know my family tells me I over-spiritualize too much. But please, in an even exchange for the same number of words you could say "Jesus help me." And He would.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Something New

I love bible studies of all sorts. Several of Beth Moore's dvd series have captured my heart and mind for over two years now. But this summer I am doing something I have never done before. I am doing Jennifer Rothschild's "Me, Myself & Lies" bible study with the Living Proof Ministries blog community. How much fun will this be.

The workbook arrived on Friday and as soon as I turned it over I knew Divine intervention had taken place. It says: "Ever wonder what you should say when you talk to yourself? We all talk to ourselves all the time." I knew it! I just knew it. I am not the only person that talks to themselves. Hallelujah.

This study is also apparently an answer to prayer. The cover reads "Me Myself & Lies . . . a thought-closet makeover". God has a sense of humor. I have been asking Him to do a makeover on my summer wardrobe for several weeks now. Perhaps I should have been more specific.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday's Food for Thought

When you get a drink of water today or ride your bike this weekend - think and pray on these things.

Go here Blood: Water Missions or here Ridewelltour for more info.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Are You Hungry?

Growing up I remember people would get a hankerin' for something. Not sure what a hankerin' really is, but I think I got one. A hankerin' for some in-depth, give-it-to-me-straight bible preaching. Do you know what I mean?

Now I like dessert - alot. I like junk food - alot. But my body knows when it needs a real meal with real food. No tofu. I need red meat with some serious side dishes. If I eat enough of the good food, there usually isn't any room or real desire for the dessert and junk food.

Just like my body knows when it has had enough dessert and needs meat, my soul knows when it has had enough dessert-style feeding and is craving some dig-your-fork-into-it Word of God. God made us that way. Our flesh likes the fluff, our soul needs meat.

If we feed our flesh only desserts and things that just look tempting and make us feel all good, we will become sickly. Same goes with our souls. If we only feed on surface preaching that never causes conviction, challenges us, pushes us and makes us uncomfortable from time-to-time, we will get sick and our soul atrophies. The atrophy will target our hearts and minds. We will spiritually die.

When exactly did Jesus invite us to the table to sup with Him and only put out the desserts? I missed that verse. The author of Hebrews tells us that we need solid food to mature and that if we don't mature, we will not be able to tell good from evil. If we don't regularly feed on the solid Word of God, we will get sick.

I want to pull my chair up to the table of God, grab a hold of my fork and feed on the feast of His Word. When I do, I won't need dessert, for He alone will be enough.

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6:35

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Not By Chance

It has now been two years since I worked at the church in full-time vocational ministry. I weigh less - God has chipped off more baggage and growths than I could possibly count and certainly more than I knew I had. I am also holding less water because the tears I cried were endless. If you say "ministry" to me, my heart still races and my pulse increases. The very thought of it makes my blood pump. I love Jesus and I love His church and all the broken, messy pieces that go with it.

When God told me it was time to move on, I was certain he was placing me in another vocational full-time ministry. Not so. He put me behind a desk where He humbled me daily. This picture sits on my desk because it is a reminder to me that God has a purpose for me right where I am, even if I don't understand it.

After I got over myself, God began to bring the most amazing people and opportunities into my life. My favorite song is "You Said" by Hillsong and the cry of my heart is asking for the nations. So God answered. I now have friends from Russia, Argentina, China, Kenya, Cambodia and Thailand. I have made new friends that are burning with passion for the Lord and come from all over the United States. I was never going to meet these people staying where I was.

God has also opened my eyes greatly as He has taught me about various denominations, traditions, and archeological facts. He plopped me smack down in the middle of the most amazing library full of commentaries and research books. God opened the doors for me to do retreats, worship events and bible studies. All things that I would never had pursued had I stayed where I was.

A few months ago, a friend walked up to me and handed me Anne Jackson's book "Mad Church Disease". She told me she didn't know why, but felt God wanted me to have it. I thanked her and said I would read it. I just now got to page 88. This is what it says:

The circumstances of a saint's life are ordained of God. In the life of a saint there is no such thing as chance. God by his providence brings you into circumstances that you can't understand at all, but the Spirit of God understands. God brings you to places, among people, and into certain conditions to accomplish a definite purpose through the intercession of the Spirit in you . . .
Once you have the right relationship with God through salvation and sanctification, remember that whatever your circumstances may be, you have been placed in them by God. And God uses the reaction of your life to your circumstances to fulfill his purpose, as long as you continue to "walk in the light as he is in the light" (1 John 1:7)
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest.

I don't know what circumstances or experiences lie ahead. I don't know what God has planned for me tomorrow. But I know He knows my heart. I know He has a plan and a purpose for my life. I know He has placed an insatiable passion in my heart for His Word, His church, His people. I know I love Him more than life. Wherever God places me is exactly where I am supposed to be. It may be for a short season or many years, but it will never be by chance for God has a purpose to fulfill.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Stained No More

We have spent the whole weekend staining the outside of our house - with a brush. My sweet husband is outside finishing some of the final details and tomorrow I will finish the porch floor and then we will be DONE. Amen.

I have to say as hard as it was physically (I didn't know I had that many unused muscles) - it was actually fun to work on a project again with my husband. He won't like this, but I have to brag on him just a minute. It has been awhile since we have worked together on this kind of major project and I forgot what a brute he is! The man is strong. I mean really strong. We rented a hydraulic lift to reach the peaks of the house and when it wasn't in the right spot - he was pushing it in the grass! He never ceases to amaze me.

Okay - now back to the staining story. If we are painting or staining, I am certain we buy an extra gallon for what I will drip and slop all over me. You would think I just fell over and rolled in the stuff. I am a mess by the time we are done, well actually within about the first 30 minutes.

As we were finishing up last night, I was taking the rag and working on wiping off as much as I could from my arms, feet, hands, etc. It was an oil based stain so it isn't coming off easily. After a few moments of trying to get the stains off, I realized some of the stain was going to be there awhile. As I looked down at the spots on my arms and hands, a feeling of complete and utter awe and gratitude came over me.

When Jesus took away my sins and washed me white as snow with His crimson blood, it was immediate. There weren't stains left in varying shades upon my body. He didn't have to wipe me down, scrub me off, repeat and then tell me to wait a few days or weeks for the stain to disappear. His blood was enough to completely and immediately remove all my stains.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Did You Know?

Was the clerk snippy with you today? Did you know her husband was at home packing his belongings to leave her and their four children?

Was the customer rude with you today? Did you know that he just found out he is losing his job and his wife has cancer?

Did that driver just cut you off? Did you know that if they don't get home in the next 10 minutes they will be beaten?

Did that student show up again without their homework? Did you know last night they witnessed their daddy physically abusing their momma?

Did the librarian not smile at you today? Did you know she considers committing suicide every single day?

Did the waitress mess up your order? Did you know her child is addicted to drugs and she doesn't know where he is tonight?

Did the guy in the fancy car and nice clothes impress you? Did you know he is involved in human trafficking?

Did you think that young girl needs to watch her mouth? Did you know her dad sexually abuses her?

Did the young kid at the store with all the tattoos and piercings annoy you? Did you know he works a full-time job to support himself and goes to church every Sunday to work with the youth group?

Did the woman with too much perfume bother your senses today? Did you know she volunteers her time at the homeless shelter every week?

Did the guy with the bad breath and funny looking teeth catch your attention? Did you know he makes a meager salary and gives any excess he has to the poor?

Did you know? Jesus knew. And Jesus knows you too.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Scars on the Outside

What if all of our emotional scars showed up on the outside of our body, instead of on the inside? What if every time you stab someone in the back, a scar appears on them physically? What if every time you hurt someone with your words, a scar appeared on their face? What if every time you withheld love or affection from a loved one, you could physically see the decay in their heart? What if every time you were selfish and it caused pain for someone else, a scar appeared on their arms? What if every time you intentionally ignored someone who was hurting, a scar appeared on their legs? What if your name were to appear beside the scar?

What about your own internal emotional hurts and scars? If we see someone with an outward scar or deformity of some sort, we want to hear their story of both the injury and the recovery. If we have a scar on our face from a dog bite or a scar on our arms from a burn accident, we tell people. We will tell anyone who will listen about how we survived the attack or how the pain felt when we got burnt. So why don't we want to tell others about the healing power of Jesus Christ? Why don't we tell our testimony over and over again so that others might know? If our unhealed and unattended emotional scars showed up on the outside of our bodies, would we do something about it? Would we seek healing? Or would we continue to allow them to fester and infect the rest of our being? If we could see others emotional scars, would we have more compassion? If we found our scars and the scars of others on the outside of our bodies, would we find ourselves seeking to be more like Jesus?

So what if our scars were on the outside?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

She Scores!

You read that right - we only paid $1.09 for everything in the picture. Not $1.09 each - TOTAL: $1.09~ Saved 95%.

God is amazing and yes, I do believe he blesses in exactly such ways. If my husband had not been with me, I might have skipped right across the parking lot!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Resting - Day 2

Resting and lack of an overloaded calendar has given me a new perspective on some things.

Yesterday - for example, at 7:00 p.m. I was not freaking out about the things I needed to get done before bed when I realized I could easily do them Monday night.

Today - some heavy prayer concerns were brought to my attention. I could genuinely pray about the matters without getting distracted by my own agenda.

When the unexpected errand got thrown into the day - my response was "no problem" instead of "HOW WILL I EVER FIT ANOTHER THING INTO MY SCHEDULE!" mode, which usually results into things spewing off me and onto people I love.

The most difficult thing about resting may just be a renewing of my thought processes. I have (and I know I am not alone here) become so programmed and conditioned into cramming 28 hours of stuff into 8 hours of life. I had to literally rethink things on Sunday in order to enjoy the time I had to relax. That's sad.