Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I have been called back to Hebrews 12 repeatedly over the past few months. It seems that so many of my personal struggles against sin and my desire to live a life of Joy are summed up and addressed in this chapter. All scripture is useful for teaching, correcting and guiding me, but the Lord keeps bringing me back to this section. I could chew on it all day. Maybe part of my problem is that in actuality I don't chew on this section all day and so easily forget all that it says as I go through certain days and certain situations. But, the Lord in His mercy keeps calling me back, keeps molding me and shaping me. Thank you Lord for not growing weary of me.
I think it is easy for me to discern incorrectly certain struggles in my life and think I am suffering for Christ when in fact, I am suffering because of pride and selfishness. That is not the kind of suffering that produces the joy set before me. My prayer is that those struggles would be crucified daily and taken captive and crushed into obedience to Christ. I pray that my suffering would be the struggles that result from sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and being obedient to his call.
It is here where I must remind anyone that reads this that I am not a prolific writer or expounder of the Word. I simply know what the Spirit reveals to me, or I am taught by those who know it well. I do not claim to be a Bible scholar, just a lover of the Lord and His Word in my life.
I pray that each of us would chew on His Word, love God, love others and serve in obedience out of the love and grace that God has poured out onto us through His son Jesus Christ. This is my prayer; these are the cries of my heart. These are the things I pray for in my life and for you the one that reads this.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Here it is. . . . . .
Advent is here. A time of preparation, but what are we preparing for? A lot of our time is spent preparing for a concert, or a party, or buying gifts for friends and family. I wonder what Mary’s time of preparation was like? What we know is that Mary’s response to the angels was “I am the Lord’s servant.” (Luke 1:38) Will we have this same attitude as we prepare? Will we take the time to be the Lord’s servant when it feels like there is so much to be done? I hope this Advent is a time for all of us to be able to focus on the coming Christ and the opportunities that we have to be like Mary and say, I am the Lord’s servant. ~Bob Koehne
Sunday, November 28, 2010
But there is that side of me that struggles with the easiness of it all. I wrote my friend an actual email the other day. Even though I got her updates and photos, I realized that it had been a while since we talked or even wrote to each other. I told her that she was worth so much more that a status update to me.
I am so thankful that our Lord who calls us friends, see us as more than a quick status quote or daily update. I'm so glad that I mean so much more to Him than that. I pray that God allows me to be more than a one liner in the busy lives of my friends, family and neighbors.
I'm so thankful for His word that blows the top off the status box. I love His word for His word is life. His word is Salvation for all who believe.
So each time I am on Facebook, I pray to remember that these Facebook friends are more than that, they are God's beloved and He desires that we all come to a saving knowledge of Him through Jesus Christ.
I pray that Facebook, yes even Facebook, would be a means by which people will see our light and give glory to God in heaven.
One of the last Facebook statuses I put up said this...
Lord, help us to be more than an update in the lives of those we love and help us to be more than a one liner in the lives of people who desperately need our time, our ear, our hearts and our hands reaching out to them. Amen!!
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Sometimes I feel like it may seem that I am a bit cliche' but really, I am so thankful for a Savior that has redeemed mankind and draws us unto Himself. What else matters. I am thankful that our God who knew us before creation, who knew that we would turn our backs on Him, still loved us enough to create us, knowing full well He would have to redeem us by His own shed blood. It blows my mind.
I am thankful that he allows us to worship Him, serve Him, love others and share His story. I am thankful for my family, my friends, opportunities to love and be the hands of Christ to others. I am thankful that God forgives me in the name of Jesus because as much as I am thankful for all this, I fail at it so miserably. Yet, He still loves me.
He still loves us. Wow, I am thankful! So I give thanks with a grateful heart to the Holy One, because He HAS given Jesus Christ, His Son. I am strong and I am rich because of what the LORD has done. I give thanks!!
Maybe not my most eloquent note, but simply stated, I am thankful to God for it all.
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Day that points us one day closer to celebrating the birth of our Savior which points us one day closer to celebrating His resurrection. I'm thankful that we walk each day in the celebration of that day. Death has been defeated. Thank you Jesus!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint from hunger at every street corner~Lamentations 2:19
Monday, October 25, 2010
The one thing that struck me this day was one of the thoughts that I spoke passionately and with conviction that the Lord brought out of my mouth. They were words that I had not written down and words that I had not even thought about as I prepared, but they were words that are ministering to me this day and hopefully to anyone that the Lord put there to hear them.
What I said, when talking about releasing bitterness and un-forgiveness that we harbor, was this. . . "Ladies forgive, It could change someones life, It changed mine!"
My main viewpoint in un-forgiveness that day was the need for us to be obedient and to show grace as God has shown us, but the turn it took at that moment was the effect that our forgiveness to others can impact their life. This hits me tenderly and deeply, because my life would look very different today if people, if my family, if my husband, if my children had not forgiven me for what I had done to them.
My life is different this day because of what Christ did once and for all and because others followed his call to forgive.
If you (if I) have people, that to this day, we are separated from because of un-forgiveness that we have refused to show them, lets start following the example of Jesus Christ and forgive. It can and will change someone life. If not theirs. . .then ours.
"When you pray, say,
Father, Reveal who you are. Set the world right. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil." The Message
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
How often do I ask to be "put in my place?". Most the time "putting someone in their place" takes on a negative connotation; it's like knocking them down a few pegs, forced humility of the sorts.
But lately (and often) I have been asking this of God for myself. When I get out of place and follow my desires and my own will, my view tends to get obscured. I can very easily rationalize why what I am doing would be for the good, but I have a blocked view of what God is calling me to when I do this. I'm viewing the prize from the wrong angle. God can not be fooled, God will not be mocked, God knows my heart and my motives.
How often I recite Psalm 139:23-24 "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
Sunday, October 10, 2010
With that she responded "ok, but how come your feet aren't beautiful yet?" She always makes me laugh!
What is our definition of beauty, Aren't the beautiful feet those that are worn from walking it out for Christ. Aren't the beautiful faces those that are carried with wrinkles from the years of smiles that they shared. . . . our hands, rough from the years of service. . . . . and our hearts so full from the joy that God fills us with until that last moment when they cease to beat and we are instantly in the presence of God . . . .
When I look at this picture of Mother Theresa, I pray that same beauty upon myself and to you.
I had the opportunity to serve at Mother Theresa's Home for the Sick and Dying in Port Au Prince, Haiti. There are no words to express it and no cameras allowed inside to capture it, but as a dear friend told me "The people who come here, do not come to die, they come to live" Those words made it possible for me to enter, to serve and to have engraved in my heart beautiful tears of life.
Peace Out! I'm off to do a beauty check!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I was adopted and my mom loved me with an everlasting love.
I remember when I was a teenager, making some really poor choices. I always thought that my mom was nuts, crazy; I didn't get it. She was on pursuit. I had the ability to bring out parts of my mom that no one could have ever imagined. My mother was disgusted with sin. Sin brought out in her a holy anger, propelled by the mandate to raise her children in the way they should go so that when they are old they will not depart from it. She was a lioness, protecting her cubs. I just didn't get it.
I didn't get why she cared where I was, who I was with, what I was doing, who I was "messing" around with. She just bothered me and got in my way.
I remember one day vividly, like it was yesterday, thank God it wasn't. I was up at my High School, my Christian High School, hanging out with my boyfriend, who by the way was a drug dealing gang member who thought it was ok to hit me. I know, I was classy and had high standards. Well, my mom came marching across the field this day and went head to head with him and said "YOU WILL NOT F*!# MY DAUGHTER!!" She then grabbed my arm and marched me, a junior in high school, home. I have to note that the only time I ever heard my mom use the F word was in dealing with me and the outright visible sinful lifestyle that I led. Nothing else got her riled up like my sin.
At that point, after my mom just verbally declared a battle for my life, all I was was thinking (and probably saying) was how embarrassed I was, how dare she come up to MY school and talk that way to MY BOYFRIEND. Plus she didn't even say it right, she is so uncool. I know there were giggles and laughter at this lady marching across the field like that, but had I known (with eyes that see) at the time what was driving her, I probably would have backed off. She was driven by something greater than herself, fully armed with the love, driven by the word of God and the Holy Spirit was paving the way.
I still to this day don't think she knew who she was going to bat with, but it didn't matter. I was her child, she was called to protect me, be wisdom for me, love me to Christ and raise me in the ways of the Lord so that when I got older, I would not depart from it. My mom, my "crazy" little mom, who wouldn't let me be. Man, I love her.
So the battle didn't end there. Many more times, I strayed. It took another 15 years after that for me to grasp the reality of who I am in Christ, where my identity lies, and that God's passion for me to walk in His ways isn't just a cute phrase, but a desire that drives Him, who created me, to pursue me unrelentingly every day to the point of sacrificing His own son, Jesus. If I thought my mom was relentless, Man oh man, she doesn't come close to the love and relentless pursuit God has on my life.
This life is not about me and what makes me happy and comfortable, this life is serious, it is the beginning of eternity. My eyes are on eternal things. And how awesome that in those eternal things, God grants a deep Joy in walking it out. God has a great command and commission. We are to go, teach, reach, and love people for Christ's sake. It's not a game. This life is serious, this walk is serious, it is eternity, life or death.
So as I now stand in my mother's shoes' raising three children, (ok, she had seven and sometimes more depending on the foster kids) I remember that pursuit. Nobody messes with my kids. It's enough that Satan is out to lie to them, steal from them and destroy their relationship with Christ. He's NOT messing around and neither am I!!
Thank You Jesus for dying on the cross, so that we all could be restored into a right relationship with the Father and be given freely the gift of eternal life. Thank you for faith in Jesus Christ and Christ alone. Thank You for Your word, God, Your true Word. You are God alone. Thank you for Your Spirit that guides. Thank You God!
(I knew what we had promised God, at your baptism, and long before that. You were an incredible gift from God, dropped into our family circle like a little miracle. We weren't sure how long you were staying, but in about 2 hrs we knew we wanted it to be forever. In fact, Julie wrote a note and put it on my pillow the evening of your first day with us - saying "Mom, can she please stay with us forever and ever???" )
Until you lay me in my grave, I will forever be amazed at God's remarkable redemption and HIS unconditional love. Dad and I are thankful forever for what He did to turn your life around. He was the one 'who would not let you go"!! Then I will be in heaven praising Him forever for bountiful blessings and tender mercies beyond belief.
I don't think about those troubled days very often - I really don't care to go there as 'the slate is wiped clean', praise God. Often Dad and I will marvel at the joy you have brought us, and the blessing you are as a godly wife and mother ... loving Bob and being wonderfully loved by him, and raising 3 precious gifts from God 'in the way they should go'. No wonder you can write your music, over and over pouring out your praises to our Awesome God.
Yes, you may do with your blog what you wish. I have no secrets from my Lord, or any one else, and what others might think of any of this, it simply doesn't matter to me. You not only write wonderful music, Mia, you also have the gift of writing (and speaking) from your heart of love and thanksgiving, to reach and help others in their walk towards eternity. I really have to find another word for my vocabulary besides AMAZED !!!
Monday, September 27, 2010
I stand here this day thinking to myself, "I know God is real." So many ways He has revealed himself to me and to this world, but this day in my heart I giggle in a joyful response to His mercy over me.
Today as of 9am, I have swept the floors, wiped out a few toilets, started the laundry, emptied and loaded the dishwasher, made the lunches, begun to prepare in my mind what I will make for dinner, vacuumed the rugs, brushed the dog, gone for my walk, did my crunches and push ups, Praised the Lord, talked to my Savior, practiced my memory verses and a few other daily things that I do. Yet, it was during the time of sweeping the floors that I became overwhelmed at what an amazing life I have.
I am so honored and humbled to be Mr. Koehne's wife and the mother of his children. I am so honored to sweep the floors and clean this house (that is a miracle that we could even buy) so that when they return they have a place to relax and call home. I am so honored to cook for my husband after he has had a long day at work. I thought to myself, "It just doesn't get any better than this."
I think abut the life I have lived. A greater percentage of my life was lived for me as evidenced by many of the choices I had made(Thank You Lord for Your mercy!) I think about the the things in my past that I saw as priorities that were so far from God's priorities for me in my life. I think about the fact that I am so undeserving of all that I have been given eternally and temporarily. BUT GOD. . . WOW! He has given me so much more than I or any of us deserve. Through His son, Jesus, sacrificing His own life so that we could be forgiven, loved, redeemed and given eternal life. . . . .WOW!
Because of what Jesus did on the cross and then in the grave, being raised from death, I now walk in grace, I now serve in humility, I now find joy in cleaning, cooking, scrubbing toilets for the glory of God in this ministry to my family.
No, it just doesn't get any better for me.
Colossians 3:23-24~Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Yesterday she said, "Mom, Bible study was so great, we studied John 1." I said, "Did you talk about in the beginning was the word?" And she proceeded to tell me they had and how she was trying to get it in her brain and understand that God always was and wasn't created. She was having glorious trouble grasping this. I validated her struggle with my own. The times when I sit and try to grasp the thought that He always was, no beginning and no end, it's then that my mind starts to hurt and I feel like it will explode. I told her that no mind can conceive it all.
So, we just smiled and marveled together at the beautiful complexity and the mind blowing simplicity of it all. God IS. To rest in that soothes my soul, my mind, and reminds me that THIS God, the one true God, who was there always, has got and has fully grasped little old me in His mind.
We are more precious to Him than rubies, rare rubies who have a greater earthly value in their imperfections and when hit with the proper light source in just the right way, these flaws add value. So, my God, who is my source of light shines on my imperfections and makes me glorious in His eyes.
I praise this Mind blowing God. Blow us away today Lord, Blow us away!
In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I am moved to the point of tears this morning as God allowed me to pray with and for one of my dearest friends, Rachel, as she counts down the hours until she moves to Haiti. Yes, we are across the country from each other, but thinking of her in another country is a whole different kind of "missin" of her that I will do.
What fills me now is the hope, the expectant hope of what is to come. I know that God has amazing things in store as she goes to literally be His hands and feet.
I love her so and I love that the Lord joins us with people to walk this life with and then sends us out to do life with and for others. What an amazing God we have.
Please check out her blog, support her and the ministry in prayer, and if so moved support her financially. http://livinghaiti.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
This is the change that I took from the store yesterday by accident. It was in the coin dispenser with my change. I think the person before me forgot to take it.
By the time I realized I had to much change, I was at my car and didn't really feel like turning back, but I knew I should have.
Well, short story made long, I felt so guilty this morning that I had to take it back to the store today. So glad I did. I know that .60 cents doesn't seem like a lot, but 60 vs. being a disobedient child of God when He clearly tells you this is not yours is so not worth it. I don't like guilt. I like truth!
I tried to rationalize the extra change as a "blessing" from God, but He wasn't having that. I tried to tell him, I will give it as an offering. He wasn't going for that either. I told Him, I would return it and so I did!
My basic motive is this. I don't want anything that the Lord does not want me to have. If it's not from Him, I don't want it. And I really don't think He wanted what I clearly knew wasn't mine to be given in his offering plate. I find it funny how easily I can rationalize what I have even when I know it's not mine. And before God too, like He can't see through me!
There are many things in our lives, even little things that don't seem like a big deal, BUT to God they mean everything. The little habits that we think no one will notice. The things we hold onto even though we know God sees. Practices in our lives that might not necessarily be bad, but just not what the Lord wants for us. The spare change things in our life that God simply wants us to return and be rid of even if no one notices.
Lord, thank you for being a God of 200,000,000 chances. You forgive so freely, You speak so clearly, You instruct, curb and guide so fairly. Help us to follow you and listen to you as we walk though this life, making mistakes, but knowing that you are slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Thank you Lord for dealing with me. I love you.
Friday, August 20, 2010
I was sitting here this past moment rejoicing at a call to prayer I received and immediately His words from Chronicles came jumping out of my heart, only I had one word wrong as I recited it in prayer. I said "When", but the bible said "if".
2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
What an amazing word from God, what a great promise He makes to us. I began to think about the difference between "When my people" and "If my people" pray means. I'll tell you right now, I have no answer, at least not one that I can intelligently express. But the word when, would say to me "I know you are gonna do this, it's just a matter of time" and the word if, says to me "You know, it's up to you. You can continue in your ways and I'll hand you over, BUT if you choose to ask me for help and stop doing what your doing, I have great things in store."
What are your thoughts? I'm just chewing for the rest of the day. I'm gonna chew on His words, even the little ones! God, open the flood gates and let your word rain on down. Speak to us Lord!!!!
Sunday, August 15, 2010
A recent post of a friend begged the question of why are there so many nooks at the bottom of the toilet and wondered what company thought we really wanted to scrub down there. Good point! How many times have we all strained our backs trying to get all the crud out.
Well, my response was this. . . "I think the Lord designed it to get us on our knees. So while I'm down there I'm reminded of my posture before an Almighty God. However in glory, I hope I'm not scrubbing nooks. But, in the meantime take it as a reminder to go before the Lord on your knees with all the crud in your life and when you rise up remember how shinny and clean you are before the Lord"
I truly find no joy in scrubbing and cleaning toilets, but for me there is nothing like getting the job done, stepping back and looking at a clean sparkling bathroom, even if it only lasts for about 2 minutes.
And there is nothing better than falling before the Lord, literally on my knees face down pouring out my soul to him, knowing that each time that I rise before the Lord, I stand forgiven. I stand forgiven even before I fall down, but the joy of rising new each day, each moment is sometimes so overwhelming to me.
I'm reminded again of David in 2 Samuel 7:18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said. . ."Who am I, o Sovereign Lord, and what is my family that you have brought me this far. . . Is this Your usual way of dealing with man, O Sovereign Lord?
What I love so deeply about that is the translation of the word sat. It is a sitting, a sort of falling back in wonder and amazement. It is a posture of awe and wonder at what an Amazing, God we have.
May we take that posture not only in our heart and minds, but in our physical body also. May we fall face down before the One True Almighty God. May we sit back in wonder and awe at how our Lord deals with us. He is God, He is Lord, He is Worthy of all that we can offer because of all that He first offered us.
I love to simply pour out all that He has poured into me to begin with. Pour it out brothers and sister. . .
This is my prayer in the harvest
Where favour and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I've received I will sow~Brooke Fraser
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I am a big advocate for obedience. I firmly believe that there are many situations in our life that simply require it. Instances when we don't feel like a doing a particular thing or feel any joy in the matter demand it. Joy is a by-product of obedience, a perk of sorts. It can be said without a doubt that I would not be married today if it were not for obedience in the midst of great pain. Through the obedience came great joy, love and thankfulness at what God can do in our lives.
This brings me to what the Lord has been working on in my life. I haven't written publicly for a while. Since I last wrote, I have traveled cross the country and back, stood by and prayed (more like poured out my heart) for my sister in the final days of her battle with cancer before she went on to live with Jesus. I have watched her husband mourn his great loss and the temporary separation from his best friend. I have stood beside four girls whose hearts have been ripped apart at at the loss of their mother. I watched my parents mourn the loss of their daughter and their second child who now stands in glory, cried with my brothers and sisters, my children, friends, and so many others who loved my sister. Basically a piece of my heart was torn out and I miss her.
The stages of grief are real. Lately I simply questioned everything. I questioned the importance of doing anything here on earth cause what does it matter if we are just going to die at any moment. I felt like everything I was doing didn't matter. I lost my motivation to do anything, even good things. It's that morbid sense of reality and a reality that sadly some people go through everyday of their life. To know Jesus gives me the hope that this stage will pass and HAS passed and I continue to stand on what God has done and has called us to.
This past week we visited a different church, but I felt the need to make sure I went to my regular church also that day. I knew God had something for me. And He did. To sit there and here the Pastor say in His message that "Our prayer is for clarity for why we are doing what we are doing" and then to hear him say "What you do matters" was a message from the Lord for me and I'm sure for many others that day. I would like to think it's all about me but. . . . .
Last night I was able to go to a mini seminar on "Two kinds of Righteousness." There was the vertical righteousness (between me and God) and the horizontal (earthly). The vertical Righteousness in my life is sure. I stand before God, covered by my Lord and Saviour Jesus. Because of what Christ did on the cross and through His resurrection I stand before God blameless, clean and full of right-ness. It's that horizontal righteousness that brings me back to obedience. Knowing full well that my horizontal righteousness, what makes me right in the eyes of the world, plays NO part in my eternal salvation, there are still commands that I long to follow, a walk I desire to keep, a hunger to love and serve as Jesus did.
The "good deeds" that we do on this side of heaven earn me NO points or salvation, but they testify to our Lord and Savior and bring glory to Him. The speaker last night touched a little on motivation. What is my motivation for doing these good things here on earth. Yes, we want our motivations to be pure, but as the speaker said we really need to look back on obedience. He stated that if we are constantly checking our motivations we tend to draw more on I and less on Him. There is a balance. I think the reason why this resonated so deeply in me is because I know that there is nothing good in me (without Christ). My heart is dark, my flesh is weak, I walk in constant need of Him. I daily have to check myself as to why am I doing what I do. The battle with my flesh side never ends. I am prideful, I look for glory, I complain, I am never satisfied and the list goes on.
Because my motivations tend to be on myself, I have to die daily to live for Him. So I choose not to follow my heart, my heart leads me astray. I choose to follow the heart of God through obedience. Joy will come, Joy HAS come. The joy that I receive for doing what I do out of obedience overflows. I just know that if I were to follow my heart and my motivations I would be lost. I love the law as it guides me. It does not restrict me, but frees me to walk with clarity and His grace, alone, saves me.
So I continue to answer the call of God on my life with the help of the Holy Spirit. I literally can't do it myself. "When I function the way God intended, I function as fully human doing what God intended. The law fades and I simply do what God intended. The law is simply the will of God for His creation." Dr. Joel Biermann.
The flesh is not pointless. God created the flesh to be perfect. He created us in His image. It's that stinkin' separation and the creeping in (more like slam dunked in) of sin that messed it all up. God intended was for us to live in this flesh, so what I do in this flesh matters. It matters to those in this world that don't know Him. My vertical righteousness that spills over into my horizontal righteousness testifies to people, so it matters. My flesh walk matters to God.
Oh Lord Your beautiful
Your face is all I see
and when Your eyes are on this child
Your grace abounds to me
I want to take Your word and shine it all around
First help me just live it Lord.
And when I'm doing well help me to never seek a crown
For my reward is bringing glory to You Jesus Culture
Thursday, April 29, 2010
As I meditated on this verse today with my sister from Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen, I found that I go before the Lord with little prayers. Sometimes even half believing that He will even answer them the way that I hope in Him too. I have had "weak sauce" prayers.
My prayers in faith, God says that He can do more. He can do more than I can imagine to even ask for. Wow, how glorious that must be. How amazing to have His spirit interceding on our behalf. This truth was spoken by Paul in the book of Ephesians just after he, Paul lifted up and amazing prayer to the Father for God's people. One of the most beautiful prayers and this prayer was not even touching the greatness of what God has to offer.
In awe of God, I kneel before Him in prayer, knowing fully that he hears my cries, and wraps them into the cries of the Spirit who prays for me. I never know sometimes how theologically correct I am, but I do know, I have a God that is able and willing to do more than I could ever ask and my weak sauce prayers are beautiful music to His ears as they are lifted up in the faith that He first gave me.
Lord in Your mercy, Hear our prayers. And Your mercy is great!
Monday, April 26, 2010
This morning was my first day with her. Julie is on year three of fighting cancer and now needs 24 hour companionship. I count it a blessing to be able to spend the daytime hours with her, praying with her, talking, and giggling with her. Most of our conversation go to us talking about how great and faithful our Lord is. That's the foundation. That's what it is all about.
This morning as I began our devotions and prayed for the Lord's blessings, I was reminded that His Word is Life. As I thanked the Lord for His word, the tears flowed. Not tears of sadness, but tears of knowing that His Word is Life. Life that leads to salvation. He has given us life in Him, eternally. When you sit with someone and pray for healing and you look into the future which could include leaving this side of heaven, you chew on the word, LIFE. His word is Life. It is what we are about. It is what we breath. I have never wanted Life so bad. I want it so badly for my sister.
My sister has life and life abundant. As I sit with her the only thing that she wants to breath is the word. In and out it flows. My frail bodied sister breaths LIFE. My sister is living Life and living it abundantly.
I love my sister so much. I praise God for her life and how she ministers to me. How she testifies of God's greatness, faithfulness, His strength. How she believes and does not doubt that He is fully able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine. My sister ROCKS!!
Thank you God for your Word. Your word is life, Your word is life unto salvation. Thank You Jesus!
Monday, April 19, 2010
As I was reading in I Corinthians today it stuck me, it again amazed me at how wonderful it is that we are all made differently. We all have different gifts. As the body of Christ, we move and function together, each doing our part, each given by God a different function. We all have different gifts and different passions.
I Corinthians 12:7-11 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
So many times we look at others and say "I want that gift, their gift is so much cooler than mine and everyone can see their gift." How much time is wasted when we watch others using their gifts and not acknowledging our own. We loose out on being the most wonderful instrument of peace that God intended for us to be. If we don't start living the specific life that God called us to live, who will? I can't live out your calling and no one can live out my calling.
I Corinthians 12:15~If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not FOR THAT REASON cease to be part of the body.
Because we do not acknowledge our function in the body of Christ, that does not change the fact that we have received a calling or that we have received a gift. It simply means that we are not living up to the potential that God intended for us, His church and His people.
Now I don't know about you, but I don't want to waste time pretending like I am an ear when I am not. I don't want to act as if because I am not an elbow in the church that I don't belong. The part that I am, I want to be a be FULLY. I just want to acknowledge who Christ made me and be the most wonderful, spirit filled me possible. No matter what part we are, as called Christians, we all have the Spirit of God dwelling with in us. Now that is a gift that we can not deny.
"Oh Praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead"
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Things that I know today. I know that God is Good. I know that He is Faithful. I know that He does not change and that He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
But today I find it hard to sing these words "God is Faithful". Today I just want them to be in my heart. Today I want to remember that I know this to be true. Today these truths are going to be words that minister quietly to my soul.
This is the hymn that we sang at the close of my brothers funeral so many years ago. This is the song that my sister sings each day as she stands in need of a miracle. This is the song that I now sing too, praying for a miracle for her. Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Now Rest Beneath Night's Shadow
"Lord Jesus who dost love me, Oh spread Thy wings above me, And shield me from alarm. Though evil would assail me, Thy mercy will not fail me. I rest in Thy protecting arms." ~Paul Gerhardt
Thursday, April 8, 2010
So part of me (and all of my family) laughs at the things I say. Sometimes I can't believe the things that come out of my mouth. Lately my new catch phrase has been "I'm not judging, I'm just saying. . . . ". I have coined a new way to put a disclaimer on all of my ridiculous judgmental statements that I make. My husband likes to remind me that if I have to start the statement out like that there is a strong chance that I am doing exactly what I'm claiming not to do. I would like to credit this to him as wisdom, but this one is a no-brainer.
How many times do I get into the habit of judging others, comparing myself to them, finding their faults in all they do. Shame on me. How many times does the Lord have to remind me to look at the plank in my own eye. And yes, I have been known to ask him to remove it in order that I might be able to see others specks more clearly in order to "help them". I'm a sad case. But I am a perfect example of why the Lord tells me to pick up MY cross daily (not others) and die to myself on a daily basis. When days, weeks or sadly months go by without a self crucifixion, I find myself in a place of saying "Lord, how did I get here and how do you continually deal with me?"
Thankfully, so thankfully, I am reminded each day and especially this past week of how he deals with my failure. He dealt with them on the cross. He dealt His blood for my life. He sacrificed everything to allow me to walk in Victory to be covered by forgiveness and grace. Not only for me, but for EVERYONE!
So what does He require of me?
Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
When ever I see a verse where the Lord is asking me to do something, I always try and picture what that looks like in my life. Acting justly and loving mercy looks different in different people. The Lord desires these same things in all of His followers, we just all look different walking it out. So I'm going to go walk my walk and die daily along the way. Won't you walk your walk to?
Friday, February 26, 2010
I have felt so compelled lately to love people. Is this some new revelation? No, but a calling to rededicate myself to the command that Jesus gave. "A new command I give to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:31. He said it repeatedly, love one another. I want to spend less time thinking about doing things and then maybe doing some of them and more time letting my heart be transformed into the heart of Jesus and being unable to not love others the way they need to be loved.
II Corinthians 12:15 "So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expand myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less?" When Paul wrote this, I don't believe that he was looking for love in return, but to love as Jesus commanded. Oswald Chambers comments that "Natural love expects some return" This is why I hunger to abandon my natural love and take on and be covered with the love of Jesus. How I want so deeply to love people the way that God has loved me, the way that my husband has loved and sacrificed for me, the way that they need to be loved.
To really love is hard, it calls us to look beyond what we feel, beyond our selves, past what we think is best and it calls us to be unlike us and more like Him. It calls us to fight everything that is natural to us and be at the mercy of the Spirit of God. But when we are the joy and the peace that passes our understanding is there and connects us so deeply with the heart of Jesus. That's where I want to be.
My family and I tend to joke about being in the families "inner circle." Granted, I think sometimes my boys may jokingly use it to exclude their little sister from the imaginary benefits of being in the "inner family circle", but to be in the Inner circle of Jesus is a great place to rest ones head. To be in His inner circle means to be called a child of God, an heir to a royal priesthood, chosen and loved, covered by His blood and walking in His forgiveness everyday.
To be in His inner circle is a call to love, to love others, to humble ourselves and spend more time washing feet and less time thinking about it.
Let's go love. "Who's coming with me?" Hopefully it's not just me and the fish, hopefully it's you!
(10 minutes later. . . ) I need to follow that last line up with a credit. "Who's coming with me?" is a famous line from the 1996 movie Jerry Maguire. I put that there simply because I am in a classroom of High School students who had absolutely no clue as to who I was quoting. Then I tried the line "Show me the money" still no response. My final attempt was the line "You had me at Hello" and that, they said "Yes, I know that one, but can't tell you what movie that was from". I must admit I just aged myself by 20 years and realized that the young man in this room was only four years old when this movie was big. But it's a good reminder that movies fade, famous lines dim, but the truth of Christ stays the same and can only shine brighter in the lives of His people.
Now I'm off to love, to live, to serve in the name of a Mighty God and I say now confidently "Who's coming with me?"
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Saturday, January 2, 2010
A year ago, I never would have imagined myself where I am today, moved across the country, in a new home, new church and some new friends. So much can happen in a year. People have come and people have gone, some with Jesus, others just away. . . graduations, illnesses, broken relationships, mended relationships. . . . bitterness, anger, forgiveness, healing. . . . the list goes on. Yet, through this year I have taken stock of some of the mighty things that He has done, allowed, and redeemed. It has been a good year, not because of what has happened, but because of who He is and because He has allowed me to see His hand moving through it.
So for 2010 what I really look forward to is January 1, 2011 when I get to look back again and recognize His hand at work through good and the bad. Yes, to look back and see what a mighty God we served and will continue to serve. I can't wait to see what He does this year.
Thank You, Lord, for letting me be a part of it all, for revealing Yourself in the lives of Your people and giving us a glimpse of Your goodness and Your Mighty Hand