Sunday, June 28, 2009

Oh My Blog, I Haven't Forgot You

The past two weeks I have said "That would make a great post" about 20 times...and then we go back to the pool.

I love summer, but find that is absolutely throws my blogging time for a loop. Part of me loves that and the other part is twitching big time. :)

I'm thrilled to be doing "Me, Myself, and Lies" with so many of you! This first week has been a little tough for me.

Part of that is coming off of the Freedom's Call Conference from last weekend. My friend Debbie F. blogged about it here. Go check out what she says and then hear me say "ditto".

So I walk away from last weekend beating myself up left and right over what I should have said, could have said, missed notes, forgotten you get the picture?

And then we start "Me, Myself and Lies".

Timely huh? Just like God isn't it. Check out this statement from week one that has sunk deep into my heart:

"When we meditate on God's wonders and word, we have little room in our thought closet for anything else!" Jennifer Rothschild

So friends...what did you hang in your thought closet this week?

Boy oh boy, I am doing a little spring cleaning in mine and there is a lot of junk in there. I can tell this purging of my closet is going to be hard.

His Word says He gives beauty for ashes, and honestly...some of the things I've been hanging in there are nothing but nasty ashes. I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and toss out the ashes and watch God hang some beautiful new garments. :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Weekend Ponderings

What a weekend we had. It was incredible, exhausting, powerful, reflective...the list could go on and on.

I was once again reminded just how much I take for granted. At one point on Saturday I sat on the floor and watched some of the ladies taking notes. Most were soaking up everything Jill was teaching. Others, were just there because it counted as a meeting. That is okay, the Word of God never returns void and believe you me they heard the Word over and over.

I'll be honest, Friday night I had this wave of inadequacy fall on me about the time we broke out into small groups. The majority of the ladies in my group didn't really want to talk, they wanted to know all about me. (Did I have children, how I met Chad, if my children had the same father, were my parents still married, what kind of face cream I use...yes that was a question.) It hit me later that before they were going to open up, they needed to know me. We laughed a little and somehow, God showed me how to relate all that question/answer time back to the breakout guideline. Only God could do that. And let me tell you, I am taken with this ladies. They have my heart. (And they thought Chad was pretty cute too.)

Jill was anointed and as usual taught her heart out. She shared some very personal parts of her testimony that I had not heard before. It was beautiful to see how God provided and was so faithful to her and her children during very hard times. He was and is her everything. She reminded us all that we are in a process. Until we see Jesus, He has some work to do in us!

I wanted to share just a few pictures with you.

Jill praying with a sweet lady..

This beautiful lady was like this each time we worshipped. She was on her feet and tears on her face. So thankful for what GOD has done in her life.

The next two are my favorite. They are soaking up the Word as Jill is teaching. I love that they wanted to SEE what she was reading. May we all have that passion for the Word of God.

Oh boy. This one makes me cry. Jill is big on visuals so we had given them small items to place on their dressers to remind them who they are in Christ. At the end of the day Saturday they traded the chains we gave them on Friday night, for a wedding band and a veil. We clipped those veils on those precious heads and told them what a beautiful bride their Jesus had and this lady just broke down. (These were happy tears) Debbie and I were honored to serve her.

I have to say thanks to Jill's daughter in love Laura. She grabbed my camera, her camera and documented the entire weekend for us.

I also have to say a special thank you to Chad. He was the ONLY man in that room of 125 women. I know we scared him part of the time, but he hung in there and as usual did an awesome job taking care of all our tech stuff.

Thanks to so many of you who were praying for us over this weekend. Believe me, we felt it. I can't tell you how many times God brought you to my mind and reminded me that people were praying. THANK you for taking us to the Father.

Matthew West Winners!!!

I'm thrilled for you!

Angela at Refresh My Soul

Sheryl at From My Heart

Jenmom at Mother of Three


Leah at The Point

Okay girls send me your addresses and I'll pass the info along to the proper people!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Happy Weekend (A day early!)

****Scroll down and enter to win a Matthew West CD!!!***

Okay with that out of the way, I wanted to explain where I've been this week and where I'll be this weekend.

Freedom's Call is preparing to go spend a weekend in the word with the beautiful ladies here. I would love for you to click on that link and check out this incredible ministry.

I have spent the week getting ready and today, I'm asking you to join us this weekend by praying. Jill is speaking on "High Places, Hard Realities and High Hopes". She is still recovering from pneumonia and we are asking God to give her an incredible dose of strength Friday and Saturday.

The worship team is blessed to have my favorite sound man behind the board for us. I'm so glad that I have a husband who is willing to go sit in the back of a room and watch a bunch of women worship Jesus.

Would you pray that God is pleased and that He would speak to these ladies in a fresh way? Pray that He would move like only He can.

I'm speechless that God allows me to be involved in weekends like this. Speechless.

Thank you for praying! I hope to have a few photos up on Monday.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 15, 2009

How About Some Free Music???

If one song could sum up how I feel about my walk with Jesus right now, I think it would have to be "The Motions" by Matthew West. The message of this song is one of the deepest desires of my heart for my family and friends.

This song is touching many people and they are responding this challenge to not settle for just going through the motions. You can go here to see some resolutions and to listen to the song. Be ready to be challenged.

Now about the free music...

Allison from Sparrow Records is being very generous and allowing me to give away 5 yes 5 CD's. SOOOOOO here is the deal.

Check out this link,listen to the song, and read a few of the resolutions. If you feel led to, leave your own.

Come back here and let me know what you think about the song. Does it challenge you? Make you want to live a little differently today?

Tell your friends. We're giving away 5 so your chances to win are pretty good!

I will leave draw for winners on Sunday afternoon June 21 and post winners next Monday.

Now....GO LISTEN!!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

No Dark Corners

I'm not real sure how to begin what God has put on my heart. You know from my last couple of posts that God has placed Colossians 1:11-14 on my heart. He has gone to great measures to put those verses in front of me.

He's had me soaking in them for two weeks now really focusing on verses 13 and 14

"He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."

This week I visited my old worn out workbook "When Godly People do Ungodly Things". I pulled it out because we are living that right now. I needed direction, scripture, and guidance as we answered questions from our children. Questions I never thought we would answer.

The enemy has deceived again and a Christian has fallen for it. As I explained to one of my daughters, satan does not need to tempt, trick or attack a non-believer. He already has them. It's us he wants to bring down. He lives to steal, kill and destroy. BUT, our God is greater. Our God is stronger and He has already defeated the enemy.

Over the past few days so many in our life have been on an emotional roller coaster. We have experienced everything from anger to extreme sadness. It's been a very long week. My heart hurts, but God has listened to every word. The words I have said and the words I couldn't say.

He has been so tender with my heart, but at the same time very stern. The minute I got too big for my britches and began to go all "Pharisee" in my thoughts and actions about this situation, I felt Him say "Not so fast little girl. Let's talk about your dark corners." Oh yes, He went there.

Whether we want to admit it or not, we all have them or have had them at some point in life. Those areas that we go to great measure to hide from family, friends, our boss, even people in our church. The thought or actions that we would HATE to become public knowledge.

Dark corners. I know what mine are.

Shoot for a while I lived every minute I could in my dark corner. I worked very hard to convince myself what went on in that corner was not a sin...after all it wasn't on the "big 10" list. Wrong.

Sin is sin.

It's all unholy. It's all disgusting, it's all vile and God can not stand it.

This week as I became physically sick at this situation, God reminded me that my sin..well it's just as nauseating. It is just as disgusting, just as vile. The difference is that my sin like a lot of yours, is "acceptable". We decorate our dark corners so that they compliment our life.

No dark corners.

God tells us in Ephesians 5:8-9 "for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and and right and true)."

No dark corners.

The thing about hanging out in those dark corners is that over time you become so numb to the sin you don't realize how consumed you are. For me, when I would attempt to step out of the corner and into the light, what I saw was nasty. It would scare me back into the dark because I didn't want to face up to what I was covered in.

As a Christian you are inhabited by the Holy Spirit of God. NOTHING can change that. Regardless of what goes on in the dark corners you keep, you are HIS. If you choose to keep those dark corners you'll never be happy. You will never be satisfied and life will be miserable. Peace will become a foreign word to you. I'm speaking from experience.

God made you and died to save you, to live, walk and breath in the LIGHT.

Still in Ephesians 5 but down in verse 15-16 He says "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil."

My corners became dark when I did not make wise choices. I did not make the best use of my time. I pretty much took Philippians 4:8(whatever is true, honorable, just ,pure, lovely...) and did the opposite.

Oh how I love that our God is forgiving and full of mercy. I love that the very minute we ask Him to, He will flip on the Holy Light and illuminate our dark corners. (And sometimes, when we don't acknowledge the conviction He sends...He will flip the light on whether we want it on or not.) I'm thankful for the way he flipped the light on my corner and let me fall down that staircase in December of 2005.

As Psalm 107:14 says He brought me out of the darkness and the deepest gloom and broke my chains away.

1 Peter 2:9-10 "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of the darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."

He gave me LIGHT where there had been darkness, FAITH where there had been doubt, PEACE where there had been guilt and blame.

You can have this too. It starts with making one wise choice....

No more dark corners.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Standing Back Up

The past couple of weeks I have felt as if I am in a constant battle. So many arrows flying at us and it is getting harder to stand back up. It isn't just me but my family, my ministry partners and other Christian friends. What is up?

Yesterday afternoon I was hit with one more thing and I just wanted to go to bed and cry. I didn't but boy I sure wanted to.

I found myself reading Psalm 83 "Oh God do not keep silent; do not hold your peace or be still, O God! For your enemies make an uproar; those who hate you have raised their heads."

I saw how focused I was on the MANY circumstances and felt like I needed to change or better said, refocus my attention.

Psalm 84:1-2"How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of Hosts! My soul longs, yes faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God." Verses 10-12 "For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of the my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. for the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. NO good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!"

It's amazing to me how you can start reading the Word of God feeling defeated, depressed and the more you read the more it is like a soothing balm. The more I read, the more God Almighty soothed my soul. The circumstances had not changed, but my attitude had.

I left for a rehearsal and so enjoyed fellowship with my sweet sisters. As we we were leaving, another arrow was thrown my way. Car would not start.

No problems, no sign of anything being wrong on my way to rehearsal...nothing.

My battery was deader than dead. FINALLY got it jumped off and headed home. I got home and just sat down in tears. ONE MORE THING. One more expense. One more defeat. One more....attitude check.

One more opportunity for God to teach me something. One more opportunity to say that my God hears and cares. One more opportunity to make His name famous.

Psalm 83:18 "Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD, that you alone are the Most High over all the earth."

This morning, as hard as it is I'm standing back up. The battle is already strong and it isn't even noon! But....

My God will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.(Phil. 4:19) I need only obey Him!

I have been practicing over and over (Phil.4:6-7) "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication WITH THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

So I'm standing back up a little stronger, a little more confident in what He is doing and I am not only asking Him to change this circumstance. Today, I'm asking Him to change me so that only He is seen.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Being a Little Odd

I'm still thinking about my verses in Colossians.

"He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."

Here are a few of my thoughts when I read this verse:

Delivered from one place and transferred to another. From darkness to light. Total opposites. Fitting in with those around you to becoming a little "odd".

I typed in "odd" in my Bible study tools and the first verse that caught my eye was Esther 3:8 (from the Message)

Haman then spoke with King Xerxes: "There is an odd set of people scattered through the provinces of your kingdom who don't fit in. Their customs and ways are different from those of everybody else. Worse, they disregard the king's laws. They're an affront; the king shouldn't put up with them.

Their customs and ways are different. They don't fit in. I wonder how different my customs and ways are. Am I a little "odd" to my neighbors?

I tell you that convicted me big time this morning. After I had been soaking in these thoughts I went and read Travis's post. He simply had a video that REALLY made me think of my mouth and some of the things I let "slip" out. Words that are acceptable and used among my Christians friends as well as my non-Christian friends.

So I watched the video and had verses like Be holy, for I am holy Lev. 20:26 and Matt.5:14 "you are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden." running through my head.


We should be a little odd. We should stand out a little. There should be an obvious difference in our conversation, and our vocabulary. Please don't misunderstand me. I can't stand to be around people who use thee's and thou's and thou shalt not's. I'm not talking about being pious. That does not nothing but disgust and turn people off.

Christians can and should be approachable and fun and caring, but at the same time a little odd. That combination is what makes us stand out for crying out loud! We should never sacrifice personal holiness in an effort to be "relevant". I love what the pastor in this video says. So I'm just going to close my mouth and let him do the talking.

(WARNING: If are like me and get motion sick easy..then just hit play and then listen!)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Just Thinking that when God writes it on the big screen at church...He might be saying this is it.

We are trying to get a little housework and laundry done before we hit the pool today. For a family that lived in their swimsuits all weekend, we sure do have a LOT of laundry!! I can't complain, Chad started it last night and did ALL the towels and a couple of loads of clothes for me. He's a good man.

I have to tell you about the big screen or I am going to p.o.p.

For two weeks God has continued to place one passage of scripture in front of me. In the past when this sort of thing happens I know that God just might give me a song out of it, but this time I didn't think that.

I had decided that it was to be the focus passage for a luncheon I was to speak at this week. That was until about 30 minutes ago when they called to tell me the church had cancelled it for this month. So I have saved my notes and maybe God will give me an opportunity to use it later.

The point is that God has placed this passage in front of me over and over again. Obviously, there is something He is trying to teach me.

The passage is Colossians 1:11-14:

"May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."

Yesterday (Sunday morning) I still could not get this passage off of my heart and decided that verses 13 and 14 would be my LPM scripture memory for the first two weeks of June. Once we got to church all I could think was "He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son." These words consumed my thoughts during Sunday school and choir warm-up. I can't tell you one thing our worship pastor said to us.

I walked on the platform to take my place in the worship singers and glanced up at the "Big Screen". Worship is less than a minute from starting and guess what verse is on the screens? Yep.

My verses.

I shook my head not in disbelief, but in a "Oh no He did not" way. Seriously, I wanted to get off of that stage and find a room to get flat.

I had been asking God for direction for the devotion and asking Him to show me if I was to meditate on this passage for the next two weeks. What does He do?

God writes it on the big screen 30 seconds before worship begins.

I'll take that as a yes. (Wouldn't it be nice if He did that more often!)

I'm thinking that there just may be a song out of this...too many ideas and lines running through my brain for there not to be. We'll see what He does.

Right now I'm thinking about that old hymn..."All that thrills my soul is Jesus" He really has thrilled me with all He has done for me. (Psalm 92)

This is already too long, but I need to ask you one thing.

Would you do me a favor and pray for my Freedom's Call partner Jill? She is our Bible teacher I asked you to pray for last week. Her 93 year old mother-in-law went home to Jesus Saturday evening. Jill is still recovering from Pneumonia and her husband is still recovering from his stay in the hospital as well...they could REALLY use your prayers this week. Thanks you. :)