Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Give Away!!!

Hey! I know most of you have seen this on Facebook, but I wanted to share it here too.

Chad and I are hosting an AdvoCare give away this week. For anyone who places an order on or before Friday, April 2, we will enter your name for a box of "Slam". This 2 ounce energy drink has replaced my afternoon cup of coffee! I am crazy about it. (Plus it's so much better for you than a cup of coffee.)

I don't say a lot about the products here, but I'm telling you....the difference we have seen in our health since January is huge. You can go here to learn more about the products.

The Cross Speaks Part 2

Today I promise it will be two points. NOT three. :) Yesterday I fully intended to just do two, but got carried away since the house was so quiet! (Chad and the girls were at karate.)

Today, I have sat outside and been going over notes to lead Bible study Thursday evening. It's the fourth week of Kelly Minter's Ruth study. During this week, Ruth heads to the threshing floor. Alone.

Ruth is living on the extreme edge of faith. She is a foreigner, a widow and is now taking a journey that is full of unknowns. She is told to go to a place that is scandalous, just plain scandalous. It is one night that if I had been in her shoes, I would NOT have slept much. It would be a night of prayer and pleading with God to intervene. She is on a journey that only she and God can take.

That leads me to the next point from Sunday.

4. A Word of Isolation Matthew 27:46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthanci?" which means My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

We know that the evening before Jesus was crucified, he spent the night praying. He asked God if there was any other way. But there wasn't. Jesus was obedient even to the death out of love for you and I but more importantly, out of obedience and love for God the Father. He was rejected by those closest to Him. He was beaten beyond recognition and because of my sin, God the Father had to turn His back on His only Son. Even with a crowd of on-lookers, He felt forgotten. Isolated.

We can surround ourselves with people, have 1000 Facebook friends or twitter followers but nothing and no one can fill the God size hole in our hearts. Once you know Him and enter relationship with Him, you realize you can't live without Him. Jesus had always been in fellowship with the Father. Forever and ever! I wonder if these moments of isolation from God the Father were just as painful if not more than the physical pain He was enduring.

5. A Word of Identification. John 19:28 Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty."

Two things are huge to me here. First, the fact that at the point of death, Jesus was still about God's plan. (So that the Scripture would be fulfilled...) THAT my friend speaks volumes to me about obedience.

The second thing is what my pastor said. We see in this statement the humanness of Jesus. He really was God wrapped in flesh. He was thirsty. He was in pain. For you and me. This was hard. Much harder than we comprehend.

As our pastor made this point Sunday I was reminded of the illustration Beth Moore gave us about a year or so ago on her blog. The time when she and Melissa were sitting in a waiting room waiting on Beth's turn for a test. Melissa had flipped through the MANY brochures describing all sorts of medical issues when she looked at her mom and said, "He knows it's hard to be us."

He knows it's hard. Jesus "gets" pain. He knows heartache. He knows rejection. There is nothing I can go through that He can not identify with.

Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not

What a Savior we have.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Cross Speaks part 1 (Sunday notes)

Our Pastor's sermon this week has been on my mind since we walked out of the Worship center Sunday morning. It was entitled "The Cross Speaks" and is based on the seven statements Jesus made from the cross.

Because this is my on-line journal, I thought I would share the seven points and what God has been showing me about each one. Today, I want to share the first three statements and points.

Jesus spoke:

1. A Word of Intercession. Luke 23:34 Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.

Once again, I'm struck by the personal nature of our Savior. Monday as I read back over my notes, I thought about how personal our God is. I KNOW there have been times Jesus has prayed "Father, forgive Stephanie for she doesn't even know what she's doing." He lives to intercede on our behalf. What a Savior we have. Hebrews 7 says "because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them."

2. A Word of Intervention. Luke 23:43 I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.

Three men. Beaten, bloody and beyond recognition. Two being punished for crimes or better said sins,they had committed, while one is being killed for those SAME sins PLUS each and every sin that would every be committed. Every vile thought, every murder, every lie....ALL of them. ALL of my sin.

But as one criminal hurled insults as Luke 23:39 says, the other one realizes that Jesus has done nothing wrong. He says in verse 42 "remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus then says "today you will be with me in paradise."

When Jesus intervenes it is an eternity changing intervention. I have often wondered what that man's face looked like the second he opened his eyes in Heaven and saw the face of Jesus. Could he even see him through the tears?

God has been reminding me to never minimize someone's intervention with Christ. Whether it's Salvation or what I call a turnaround (better known as a re dedication) how dare we act as if it's not a big deal!

3. A Word of Interest. John 19:26-27 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

Our pastor reminded us that in Luke the Holy Spirit had used Simeon to speak to Mary when Jesus was young. He told her (Luke 2:33-35) that "a sword will pierce your own soul too." I can't imagine the physical pain Jesus felt, but as a mother....I can not imagine the pain she felt that day. Simeon's words had come full circle hadn't they? But Jesus.

Jesus, even in this moment full of pain we can not fathom, was making provision for this woman. The woman whose world had been turned upside down by the birth of God wrapped in flesh just 33 years before. He made sure those closest to him were taken care of.

Jesus thinks highly of family, and today He has been prompting me to ask Him who around me needs to know the love of a family. Is it a child? A widow? The gentleman up the street whose wife died last August? Is it a single parent?

And more importantly, who has he put in my life that needs to hear right now. Today. At this very moment and the moment after that...Jesus loves you. He has always and will always love you.

Points 4 and 5 on Wednesday...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


"If only people could have all this and be satisfied."

It was a cold February afternoon and the girls and I were snuggled in watching Disney's Swiss Family Robinson. I have always loved this movie, but on this day a particular conversation triggered an emotional response I wasn't quite ready for.

The father makes the above statement to the mother as he and his boys are swimming and cliff jumping in a beautiful lagoon. The water there is clean, the plants tropical and everything they could ever need or want is at their fingertips. Yes, they have to work hard to survive, but what a place it is! This man is working HARD to convince mother they could stay here forever.

While the mother seems to take the practical approach, just like I would, the father keeps pushing. He keeps pointing out the island will give them everything they could ever NEED! In his mind there is no reason to leave.

The mother is a different story. She is thinking about her boys, their future, their desire to go to college, marry and to live a life off of that island. I think she liked the idea of an extended vacation, but was looking forward to getting back to civilization and to the modern conveniences she was accustomed to.

When I watched this scene, I immediately thought of Psalm 145, my memory project for the first part of 2010. Verses 15-16 were what stuck out to me.

"15.The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.
16.You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing."

At the proper time. That would be God's time not necessarily OUR time. Boy oh boy could I tell you stories about this!

You open your hand. I love the concept of God opening his holy hand and extending it to us. In that hand is everything we need. Oh to have the heart to wait on him to extend it. Reminds me of Isaiah 59:1 (ESV) "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear,"

and satisfy the desires of every living thing. This is the one that sends me to my knees. You see, I have this list of "wants" or desires. Some of them are spiritual like praying for God's will to be done in a particular area. Others are just plain fun, like a picnic table for our back patio. :)

I'm learning to be satisfied with what God provides, when He provides it. Verse 19 of Psalm 145 says, "He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them."

I keep hearing one of the points from the Beth Moore simulcast last fall. She said that beneath the desires of our hearts, is our hearts desires. (Forgive me if that is totally NOT the word for word, I can't find my notes!)

God has been prompting me to ask Him to change my desires. My prayer is becoming "God, be my one consuming desire." Through sermons, music, conversation God is reminding me that regardless of earthly circumstances, when I choose to keep Him first I will see His hand in ways I can't even begin to imagine.

I can say that I am satisfied with Jesus. As verse 21 of Psalm 145 says, may my mouth speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless His Holy name forever and ever.

This beautiful little town we live in may not have a tropical lagoon with fruit bearing trees surrounding it but...

It is where God has positioned us for this time. This is where we must be. SO, for this girl it is a tropical paradise. THIS is where God is extending His hand and satisfying the desire of my heart. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Recently Added to My Favorite Things List

Next Tuesday, March 23, Robbie Seay Band is releasing their new project "Miracle".
I first REALLY listened to these guys right after the earthquake in Haiti and we were praying so hard for a precious boy to be allowed to come home with his adoptive family. Boy, God did a huge miracle there didn't He!

When I received an e-mail last night with information about next weeks release, I was so blessed by the written word of these artists. Read Robbie's words and be blessed.

“In some ways, this record reflects the past year for us - representing a broader journey and reality,” Robbie says. “From the deepest depths of sorrow and angst to the greatest moments of celebration in scripture, the band strikes up and it’s beautiful to be part of that. Each song seems to echo what God is doing among us, that this is not a me-centered life we’re living... we are not alone.”

“The title track and first single of the project, “Miracle” came in the wake of devastating news. I remember getting a phone call from one of my closest friends. ‘Kristy has cancer. It doesn't look good, but we're believing for a Miracle.’ I wrote the lyrics the next day. I prayed and believed with him. Kristy, wife and mother of three young boys would die two months later. “

“The song is not a miracle sweat cloth,” Robbie continues, “or a televangelist coming to a town near you. It's the crying out when you're in the depths of life. Believing. And as we all know, sometimes it doesn't end like we so fervently believed. The song is not a promise of a miracle. It is, however, the declaration that we all will find ourselves in great need of one at some point in our lives - and in those moments, we choose to believe even when we can't see our hands in front of our face.”

For me, these words spoke volumes about worship leading, writing and being faithful to serve where God puts us. “Part of the calling of a worship leader is to be compelled and obligated to voice the prayers of the community and live in the middle of what’s truly happening in your community. That is far more powerful than simply regurgitating and mimicking music from other communities.”

Oh these words. THESE words took my respect for these worship leaders to a new level.

“Our music isn’t just a vehicle for what I’ve got to say. It’s a dual calling, being a person of faith and an artist with some influence. The idea that any of us are grand saints of the faith is just ludicrous. Most of us artists are just trying to love family, love God and make good music.

“The older I get, the more I have to make sure I’m answering both callings, asking, ‘What would you have me say, God?’ Would you give me the strength to say it?’ That’s the kind of artist I want to be.”

What would you have me say God and give me strength to say it. Those words are going to be typed, framed and placed on my piano. I don't ever want to pen a lyric without praying them. on the songs in my sidebar. LISTEN and listen some more. Then on MARCH 23, PURCHASE this album. :) I know you are going to be blessed.


Oh and my favorite right this very minute is "Oh Love That Will Not Let Me Go". Take a listen and tell me what you think!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Disney Stuff

We were so blessed to spend 7 days in Disney World last week. It was so COLD! I could not believe that we were putting on two and three layers each morning! What happened to that 70 degree weather I was so looking forward to?!?!?!?!

Regardless of the weather, we enjoyed a much needed vacation that each one of us sacrificed to take. It was a trip that we had been planning for right at a year. I think that was why it was such a sweet time. The girls have a huge water jug that they have been tossing spare change in. When we counted it the week before we left, they had saved almost $150 in spending money. They were so excited. Much to my surprise, they watched every penny and searched for just the right thing to bring home. Both came home with fun stuff as well as a pretty pricey keepsake.

How about some pictures?

We were surprised at check-in to find out we were the family of the day in our resort. Flowers, balloons and all sorts of extra goodies were waiting on us. So cool. At the point of this picture, my roses were looking pretty sad. :)

The rest of these are just random shots from the week.

On the KimPossible scavenger hunt in the World Showcase at Epcot. SO FUN!

What a trip. God is so good. We came away with precious memories and experiences that are forever sealed in our hearts. I have one in particular that I may share later. Who knew that I would cry in the Tiki room. One of the most tender things I have ever seen.

Time to get back to work. As I said on Facebook yesterday, no one is calling me princess and telling me to have a "magical day"! I guess if this house is going to get cleaned, I'm going to have to do it!!! Getting that done early this week is a priority because I'm leading a Disciple Now group this weekend with some pretty incredible sixth grade girls. Can not wait to see what God does in these hearts. This study is AWESOME. I so wish I had "gotten" the concept we're teaching when I was there age. I'm asking God to open those hearts and minds and do a mighty work.

Oh and have a "magical day"!!!