Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year in Review

I cannot believe today is December 31, 2011! But I must say, today was a great way to end a rough year. Over ¾ of the Saturdays in 2011 were spent with Shawna and Laura. We have shared the good and the bad, laughter and tears together. As I think back on this last year, I feel like today summed it up with Starbucks first thing (gotta have coffee!), Shawna and I taking a walk around Lake Murray, Souplantation for lunch, and a relaxing afternoon just being together.
But as I sit down to write this final post in 2011, I would love to take a few moments to summarize all that God has done in my life since I first started this blog 12 months ago. Beginning of the year Shawna got married and pregnant. During the spring, I coached my last year of high school swimming and once again girls won league. The summer was filled with Indian Hills camp with my awesome group of girls in the tent with the black widow and rat. And it concluded with my family’s yearly trip to Lake Powell. As the fall came, Royal Night happened, sweet baby Joshua went to Jesus, Thanksgiving with days off to move, and into the Holiday Season it came. All this happened as slowly God laid it upon my heart to follow a desire totally from Him to go to the missions field.
I spent the first half of this year thinking about it. And thinking. And thinking. As the spring came and other things began to take over the day to day, I lost track of what I was praying, asking God to keep me sane during the craziness instead of asking for focus. In order to get my attention, towards the end of the summer, He sent me into a weird sort of depression where my energy level sank, my motivation was minimal and will to go further was at a standstill. I even went as far as to go to the doctor thinking maybe something in my blood was off or something was wrong with me. It was at that point where it hit me. This blog went unread for months as I went through the day to day. In order to get my attention, God had to bring me to a level where I had to turn to Him to take the next step forward. It was then that it hit me. One more I began my quiet time and I decided to look at my blog. I went to the last post I had written and low and behold, one of the last things I said was “Holy Spirit direct my ways”. It was at that point when I realized I needed to move on the crazy idea of going to the missions field. I searched online at different organization and SIM seemed to stick out to me. I felt as if they were desiring to help people, who had it upon their heart from God to go to the mission field, to get there. So I sent in my contact information, days later a preliminary, and the process began. I have since been in utter awe of God and how He works out His plan for my life. As I go into 2012, I desire to call upon His name each morning and night, to thank Him for the good and bad as well as the opportunity to serve Him.
Word to summarize 2011: Surrender. I had to surrender a lot of things this year to God and I learned a lot. I had to surrender my desires to allow God the opportunity to move His. I surrendered time and energy to love on others.
As 2012 is just 1 hour away, I am quite excited to ring in the New Year knowing God has this next year all planned. I look forward to my trip in England and Ireland in March, SIM Start (weekend training) in May, Summer Blast and all the other things Jesus and I get to do together. Jesus may you richly bless this year to come; I love you with every being of my soul and cannot wait til the day where I get to see you face to face. Until then, use me for your glory and honor.
In your precious name,
Amen

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The secret of following God's will...

*It was as if God had removed my eyes and replaced them with His so I could see people as the heavenly Father sees them- lost and needy but with potential to glorify and reflect Him. pg. 27

*This is what is important- each one of us is responsible for how we obey what He has said and follow Him alone. pg. 63

*The secret of following God's will, I discovered, usually is wrapped up in rejecting the good for God's best. pg. 64

*God always chooses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. He shows His might only on behalf of those who trust in Him. Humility is the place where all Christian service begins. pg. 65


 

All of the quotes above are from missionary author, K. P. Yahannan's book "Revolution in World Missions". I received his book free from biblegateway.com and it has opened my eyes to a whole new side of missions. It is giving me fresh eyes to the world of missions and all that it entails as well as how God must be the director of the mission or everything will fall apart. I have also gotten a new perspective on prayer and really trusting God in His will for my life. The quote above regarding the secret to following God's will is so reverse to our society's beliefs. I would say most of us see a good deal and wouldn't pass it up, but is it the best? Our impatience and need for "things" has influenced our thinking in a way that totally dumbfounds those who have been or are serving in 3rd world countries. Yahannan describes it as "Their (the 3rd world country) threadbare cotton garments would not be acceptable as cleaning rags in the United States. Then I discovered most Americans have closets full of clothing they wear only occasionally- and I remembered the years I traveled and worked with only the clothes on my back. And I have lived the normal lifestyle of most village evangelists." (pg. 39)

Wow. As I read that and the rest of that chapter regarding the western civilization and our ability to need everything made me really sad. Sad at the fact that I have completely fit conformed to this thinking that I need all these things. The clothes part also hit home. I look around my room; I have a small closet packed with clothes, many I haven't worn in over a year, and then 12+ drawers full of clothes that I couldn't wear them all in probably a year's time. And there are people in this world who do not own as much clothes as I am wearing right now! The socks on my feet that are keeping my toes from "freezing" are a rarity in other parts of the world. So with all this, I'm pretty sure God has laid it upon my heart to go to a third world country. As difficult as it will be, I want to have to live at that level, in a way like Jesus did when He came, with the lowest of the lows. I may be very uncomfortable and probably wish I would have never wished for this now, but why do I feel like I am "deserving" of what I have??? I am not! I'm not deserving of anything except complete separation from God forever and yet He has blessed me with the gift of His son as well as the privilege to be called a child of God. I have no other desire than to give what breath I have to His purpose.


 

What is God challenging you to do?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tis the season...

to celebrate Jesus! This morning started out with some wonderful quiet time with Jesus as well as coffee with Laura. As I was reading I came across this beautiful verse:

"But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ- the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ- yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead."
 Philippians 3:7-11
As I thought about this holiday season fastly approaching and Philippians 3, I was reminded that Jesus came to this earth as a baby and lived a life in obedience to His Father as an example to me. He served others to the fullest extent and yet managed to balance out His life so that time with His dad and time with His ministry came together as perfection. Verse 10 I bolded, because I want to know Christ in every aspect possible, and I fully know I will never attain all that can be, but I as a strive to be like him, I can grow. Jesus had not planned out his life and he did not know what was around each corner, but He did know who He was serving in everything He did. I too don't know what my life holds, but I know that whatever GOd has for me, I want to do it in an ultimate sacrifice to Him.
The other thing I was thinking about is ministry overseas during holidays. I love my family and I love time when we are all together. My favorite part is trying to get one on one time with each person so I can find out what is going on in their lives. I also love sitting around the table, me quietly, and listening to their voices, the laughter, and their stories. Tears are actually forming in my eyes as I think about spending an Easter, or thanksgiving, Christmas, or someone's birthday not around Grammy and Pappaw's table. As I go into this Christmas season, I just want to take in my family, as much as I can, so that when the time comes, where they are not a 15 minute drive away, I can remember. I believe these moments in the future may minimally make me feel the "sufferings" of what He felt away from His father on this Earth.
And I also want my focus to be completely on Jesus. I asked a little girl tonight what she had for snack, she said, "a cupcake!" I asked her, "Why did you eat a cupcake?" and she said, "Because it's Jesus' birthday!" I absolutely love the simplicity of a child's response.

So here's to celebrating Jesus' special day!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

...you are my forever hope.

As I go to begin this post, I want to cry. I am not an emotional person and no tears seem to be forming in my eyes but my heart yearns for God. As days have gone by, I have said oh I'll do it tomorrow...I wake up the next morning, hitting the snooze button 20 times and now time is up, gotta get ready quick and get to work. I know I am much more awake and focused at night, no time frame to work under nor distractions of the day. Evenings come as a time of reflection, both behind and forward. But I have been doing this while laying in bed watching tv. I'm sad because in the craziness of changing living circumstances, my daily routines got off. A normal work week hasn't existed for weeks and therefore the ebb and flow of changes has forced different sleep patterns. I have no real excuse other than the extreme desire to return to God, on my knees in confession that I have placed other things ahead of Him in my life these last few weeks and have sensed felt alone in many ways.

Because I haven't been focused, it has been a bit hard to get focused tonight. But I did open up my bible and chose to read John 3. It seems to be coming up lately and I wanted to read through, a bit slower and really try to understand what Jesus was trying to explain to Nicodemus. I believe the first 21 versus of John 3 are illustrations of those who are in the darkness of this world and Jesus paints us a beautiful picture of exactly how to "preach the gospel" in a sense using illustrations from the real world.

"The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." -John 3:8

"This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not coming into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed." -John 3:19-20

And in the middle of those versus is the all time favorite, John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." It is so simple. God loves us. God wants to be with us. God desires all of us. So the question that comes to mind is, do I really love God? Do I want to be withHim every minute of every day and is how I'm living reflecting that? Do I desire all of God, walking daily with him trying to be like him? At this point in time, I'm not sure I would like the answer to these questions. This is exactly why I want to cry.


So a couple days ago, I posted these questions in my blog as one's that I thought were a great start in getting my focus back on where it needs to be. My desire is to answer these as openly and honestly as I can at this very moment, so that I can see just where I am and ask God to help me fully return to Him in all the ways He desires.
Are you ready to be with Me alone on a regular basis to keep things straight between us? Yes God, I am ready. May every night, before bed be a time where You and I can communion together. May I be able to see the importance of taking this time to be with you so that we can keep things straight between us. Jesus, tonight I come to you down on my knees begging for your forgiveness for I know how far I seem to have run. I no longer want to walk on my own path Jesus but I want to return to the road you have for me, the perfect straight one, the one where you are.
How can your prayer life be different so we can communicate on a regular basis? Jesus, I believe that if I am able to turn off all the distractions and really focus in on this special time with you, it will be meaningful and different that it has been. Jesus I pray you would protect the evening time, that when something comes up you would remind me of my priorities and that I would show how much I do love you in my obedience to this promise. Hold me accountable Jesus to your standards so that we can continue to build on the relationship that we have.
Are you actively seeking My guidance through spending time in My Holy Word? Lately, no I have not. I feel as though I have been seeking every other avenue except your Word for how I am to walk each step I've taken. Help me to focus my thoughts on you not just during my prayer time but through every step of my day. May more time in Your Word with mediation on versus help me to secure Your Word in my heart so that I am able to recall it quicker in times of need.
Do you sense God's unconditional love for you today? As I write out these responses and really think about John 3:16, I know you love me. But I don't think I realize just how much you do. I can repeat it over and over that you died on the cross for me, but my prayer to you tonight is to help make that real for me. I believe, entering the Christmas season is a great opportunity to take the time to remember exactly why you were born.

As I ponder the reason of your birth and what happened during those early days of Your life, I can't help but recall the beautiful lyrics to the song by Keith&Kristyn Getty called Fullness of Grace...

Fullness of grace in man's human frailty;
This is the wonder of Jesus.
Laying aside His power and glory
Humbly He entered our world.
Chose the path of meanest worth;
Scandal of a virgin's birth.
Born in a stable cold and rejected;
Here lies the hope of the world.
 
Jesus, you are the hope of this world, and you are my forever hope. My hope doesn't lie in my job or house or money, no my hope is in You. Help me Jesus to live my life in obedience to that very statement. Jesus, continue to direct my days that that in all that is accomplished, you may receive all the glory and honor and praise.
 
It is in your Holy and Mighty name I pray,
Amen

Friday, December 9, 2011

I am the vine; you are the branches...apart from me you can do nothing.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. - John 15:5,8

I always love starting my posts off with a verse. Many of my posts only consist of a verse or passage that really stuck out to me that day with little to no commentary to follow. Some of them speak to me in a daily struggle I am facing and others, like this one, point to the road to the missions field. Sometimes I think I am the vine. I lead myself to believe I am the thing this world is centered around, the one who accomplishes the tasks at hand, the one who has everything all planned out and must go according to schedule (hopefully no running late!). But as I read this 'verse of the day' from Biblegateway.com, I was immediately struck with the fact that this life is not about me, nor my tasks that I think I accomplish myself, or the way I can schedule my day down to the minute; No God is the vine, and I am a branch. This world is centered around Jesus, who has every day already planned and can see from beginning to eternity and has the perfect timing for each and every moment. What a humble reminder.

But what has really stuck out to me as far as missions goes is the second sentence in the first verse, 'If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.' In the first part I see that I have something to do with the relationship I have with Jesus. I must remain close to Jesus and He will remain close to me. In the book we, as a children's staff, have been going over each week, called "Lead Like Jesus" by Ken Blanchard & Phil Hodges, they ask some tough questions about this very thing, how are you remaining close to Jesus in your daily walk? (Questions from Jesus to you regarding how your own personal relationship is going with Him)

1. Solitude- Are you ready to be with Me alone on a regular bais to keep things straight between us?
2. Prayer- How can your prayer life be different so we can communicate on a regular basis?
3. Bible study- Are you actively seeking My guidance through spending time in My Holy Word?
4. Experiencing God's unconditional live- Do you sense God's unconditional love for you today?

I see these questions really pull at my heart when looking at my relationship with Jesus and how well I am working to build our relationship so that He can remain in me and I in Him. And only when those puzzles pieces are together correctly can a beautiful picture be created or, like the verse says it, fruit can be produced. And the second part of that sentence is the 'apart from me you can do nothing'. At first I was read it and went, wow kinda harsh Jesus. But really, if the puzzles pieces are not connecting to form a beautiful picture, nothing can be accomplished.
    vs   

Dear Jesus,
  I believe you orchestrate our lives so that when I am in You, and You in me, we can accomplish a beautiful puzzle like the sunset above. What a great and mighty God you are and I am so thankful to live a life in service to you. Help me God to yearn for you each and every moment. Help me to make time each day to turn to you and search out your heart in what you have for me. I am so excited  to be moving forward on the road to the missions field and feel as though without your leading, this could not be possible. Thank you for the affirmation in two great people who have worked with SIM and the positive feedback they had. I feel as though you gave me those words to affirm that I am in your will. God I must continue to surrender every desire and dream I have so that my life is completly submitted to your will.

I love you Jesus and it is in your name that I lift these prayers to you,
Amen

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Psalm 119:129-144

Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them. They unforlding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands. Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name. Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me. Redeem me from the oppression of men, that I may obey your precepts. Make your face shine upon your servant and teach me your decrees. streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed.

Righteous are you, O Lord, and your laws are right. The statutes you have laid down are righteous; they are fully trustworthy. My zeal wears me out, for my enemies ignore your words. Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them. Though I am lowly and despised, I do not forget your precepts. Your righteousness is everlasting and your law is true. Trouble and disctress have come upon me, but your commands are my delight. Your statutes are forever right; give me understanding that I may live.

*Psalm 119:143: verse of the day

Monday, November 14, 2011

SIM App/Home Church Communication Update

So as I glance thru the last couple posts, and I realize I have not kept up with what has been going on as far as connecting with the organization and my home church.

Oct 28, 2011 (Friday)- Phone interview w/ Cindy Ely, discussed what SIM International (organization) is all about. Got a lot of questions answered regarding short-term versus long term options and trainings that go with those. From this conversation, I learned that SIM wants me to qualify to serve and seems very supportive.

Oct 28, 2011 (Friday)- Submitted my preliminary application. Basic information as well as basic missionary goals.

Nov 7, 2011 (Monday)- Received email with link of full application for SIM. Everything from basic information, family, health, what I believe, experiences, short job resume, education, christian convictions, personal growth and references were included in that application.

Nov 9, 2011 (Wednesday)- Met with Mark Dalton (director of missions at Shadow Mountain). Discussed possibly locations to serve, what my timeline looks like, how SIM and Shadow will support me together and in how those ways are different. We discussed me taking a World Christian Movement class beginning in January. I need to find out how many units of Bible are required. I need to connect with Tom Pitman with the college and see about taking some bible courses online possibly and Mark is working on getting a mentor who has experience on the missions field and is willing to meet with me, discuss and pray about what God is doing in my life as it pertains to missions. I left this meeting feeling very encouraged and a little stressed with all that is to come.

 Nov 11, 2011 (Friday)- Received an email from Mark. He had emailed a couple who serves with SIM who are supported by Shadow. Their email is below. (His reaction)-"Sounds like you would be in great hands to work with this organization. I rather like the international missionary force they have."

Nov 14, 2011 (Monday)- Application submitted!
I am so excited to have pressed the submit button and allow God to continue to move in my life and direct my ways. I took a few days to gather the information for the application and was able to get references information together. I took one last read thru and off it went. I'm excited to see what God does next, however I know I must remain patient. In a way I thank Him for the busyness of the week to come. Getting together with friends, difficult days and long hours of week lead to what could be a very draining week. I go into it with little energy of my own. I have not had a day of rest since I was sick, a week an a half ago. But I know God will pull me through and I truely cherish these moments of busyness with friends knowing that a time is to come where I will not be able to as easily.
God, I come to you tonight with requests knowing full well that I desire nothing more than your will to be done. I also know as the quote from the song goes; "Some of [Your] greatest gifts are unanswered prayers". God I feel alone. I have many friends who have come alongside and are willing to pray with me through these times, spend time with me, and give of themselves. As I prayed that prayer Saturday night, the next thing I heard from Pastor J's mouth was how Old Testament missionaries did their work alone. I felt that as an answer, that at this time there isn't going to be someone as I desire there to be, that will walk physically beside me, other than Jesus. Therefore the words I began this prayer with I will now end with; Father God, not my will but yours be done.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Email from SIM missionaries: 
“We think SIM has a lot of strengths and more than one weakness! One of our strengths is that we are 118 years old. And that is one of our weaknesses. SIM is a church planting mission and one of the top in outreach to Muslims. We emphasize discipline both by and for the missionary and that works with varying degrees of effectiveness around the world.
There are over 1800 of us plus 100s of retirees. Another of our strengths is that we are a multi-national, multi-ethnic mission. And that is another of our challenges. We come from everywhere and work in Asia, Africa and South America. In fact, I (Phyllis) leave in 10 days for Thailand to do my fourth workshop for missionaries on how to thrive on a multi-cultural team. Fascinating. But we don't have it all figured out.
SIM is what we call a full service mission. We have excellent member care: medical (including evacuation insurance), relational, ministry encouragement and accountability, and have in place formats for spiritual growth and renewal including a Spiritual Life Conference on every field every year. Over the years, SIM has been roughly 1/3 men and 2/3 women, so single women have a significant impact on the organization and the goal is that they be supported and helped and cared for. I cannot promise that always happens, but I’ve had discussions in days long gone by about the way that the single women seem to be more significant and cared for than we married ones. But I’ve not suffered either.
We sit about the middle, last we knew, in the list of faith based organizations, in support requirements. Neither the highest nor the lowest support requirement. There is flexibility for missionaries to decide what their salary will be, based on their living situation. There's a huge difference between urban and rural living in many countries, as I’m sure you know. If things are still as they were a few years ago, the average salary portion of a missionary's support is about 45%. There is a list, Danielle can ask for it, which tells where each dollar of her support goes including both halves of social security, medical insurance, administration, etc. I just read today that in the last 20 years, the average American male salary has increased 3% and medical insurance has increased 182%. SIM is also run from the local level, that is, field decisions are made on the field, usually resulting in more administrative costs than if everything were done from the home offices. But we feel that is an important principle to practice. And it definitely results in better member care.
These days, as an organization, we are finding ways to simplify things given the amazing impact of technology. Cindy Ely is the woman who has been talking to Danielle and she was very impressed with her in their conversation. She said she sounds like a good fit for SIM. As Cindy and Danielle prayerfully move forward in the application process, I'm sure the Lord will make it clear to them and others if we are the organization with whom she should align herself. But it sounds like SIM will win if she does.
As I read this, I think it almost sounds like a marketing piece. That was not the intention. But we are, for the most part, very pleased for all these years to have been part of SIM and God continues to use it.”

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Jesus knows me, I listen and follow.

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." -John 10:27

In the verse, John 10:27, there are three parts to it, two of those are directives to the follower, one of them belong to Jesus.

In this verse, Jesus claims that He knows us. The words from Jeremiah 29:11 ring loud, "For I know the plans I have for you..." as well as the Psalmist David's in Psalm 139:13, "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." And I could probably spend the rest of the day pulling out scripture that point to just how much God knows us, He knows our hearts down to last lie and deceit we have told as well as the works of our hands both those out of selfish gain and those desired for His glory. We're not perfect, I never claim to be for if it wasn't for Jesus, I would never have the communion I do with God. I thank Him for knowing me, for knitting me together, and creating me with a specific plan that accomplishes His goals.

And that is the only command that Jesus gives himself. But within that verse there are two parts to our side, one that we would would listen to his voice and two, that we would follow him. I believe hearing his voice can be alot easier than the second part which is to follow it. God is powerful and can use anything to get our attention, to speak to us, and open up the opportunities to follow him. In a post about a month ago I shared about how God began to take over my body, make each day hard and difficult, allowing me to run on my own strength so that I would turn back to Him and recognize His hand upon me. Once I finally did turn around, begin listening to His voice again regarding missions, the weight of tiredness lifted. Jesus knows me, He is my Shepherd, and because I am His sheep, I know His voice. I must listen, and loud and clear He is asking me to follow him.

Now following Him seems, in words, easier than it is. My flesh desires normalcy, to do what everyone else seems to be doing, getting a job where you work 40 hours a week, that you meet someone, the "perfect" one, get married, have children and live happily ever after in God's arms. Well in the bible, that is not how God explains how following Him works. He asks us to leave everything, take up our Cross, and follow Him. Leave everything, really God??? But as I look around, all the "stuff" can stay, clothes, I don't need them all, definitely don't need the tv, I really don't need it. My bible which lays across my pillow, and myself, and off I go. I can leave everything, Following Jesus does not mean "normalcy", no it means dedication, faith, loving others greater than myself, serving Him will that I am. And therefore, I believe I have no other choice but to follow Him with all that I am. I don't desire the normal life, even though my flesh still desires parts of it, I know that if I am living within His will for my life, that He will give me the desires of my heart.

       God I love you, I am so thankful to have a Father that knows me. That is willing to whisper in my ear, help me when I seem to fall down, and gently direct me back to the paved road of life. Thank you for your calming words this morning as I attempt to sift through what this all means. I gave you my life and I meant it. Use me Lord for your service that You can accomplish all your plans. I love you Jesus, thank you for being my very best friend. Thank you for walking beside me during this time and preparing me for what you have created me for. Holy Spirit, you are alive within me. Wash me clean, renew my mind, and fill me now so that I may be a light, a bright light, wherever you lead me. May I not just listen but hear your voice, knowing that You completely know me, and follow You.

In Jesus' name I lift these prayers to you this morning,
Amen

Monday, November 7, 2011

10 Secrets to a Happy Marriage

Ten Secrets to a Happy Marriage by Elizabeth Baxter

1. God has you here to serve one another. Love acted out is serving.
2. Women need respect and nurturing. Love your wife so she knows you'd lay your life down for her. Continue to date her and admire her. Share a hobby- find something you can do to have fun together.
3. Laugh together.
4. Be patient. Love crumbles quickly under the weight of unmet expectations.
5. Spend more time trying to fix yourself than your spouse.
6. Keep short accounts. The Bible says, "Do not let the sun go down while you are angry." May it a habit to forgive.
7. Determine up front that divorce is not an option.
8. Learn about love languages. not all people show love or receive it the same way. You want a back run and your spouse wants a clean kitchen. the love languages are fairly simple: acts of service, time, physical touch, gifts, and words of affirmation. Learn them. Love is better received when it's in the language that person speaks.
9. Words of affirmation are a love language for all men.
10. Men are born to be leaders. He cannot lead unless she gives him the confidence to do so. If you love your husband, build him up. Confident men do not seek love outside the home.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

"We are created to serve"

The Bema Seat- The Believer's Judgement- Pastor George Cuff
For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. -2 Cor 5:10


*We must abandon confidence in the flesh
Theme:
- It's a sensory matter: a matter that will be experienced by our senses; "we must all appear"
- It's a service matter: we are created to serve, we are most fulfilled when we give our lives in service to God
 "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is- his good, pleasing, and perfect will." - Romans 12:1-2
-It's a serious matter: The stewardship every one's work will become clear, because it will be tested by fire. What sort of work is evident in my life? What have I been building? What kind of materials have I been building with?

*It is time to remember that rewards will be gained or loss depending on how we steward our life: redeemed by his amazing grace
*It is time to realize the significance of the earthly service to our master

What a beautiful sermon by Pastor Cuff on what it means to live your life in service to Jesus until we are at that Judgement day where we await the precious words we all pray we will hear, "Well done good and faithful servant". I reflect on how many times he said that our life is about serving God, in whatever that means for you personally. Am I doing what God wants me to do now? Has he put me where I am now to prepare me for what's ahead? I believe He has and I am thankful for today, for the privilege to serve such amazing people, and I am also thankful for what God has in store for me in days to come. Until then, I continue to pray for His guidance, His will for my life to be accomplished, and for me to continue to serve Him wherever that takes me.

I love you Jesus.

Below is a poem that Pastor Cuff referred to in his sermon regarding the Believer's Judgement.

I had a dream one fateful night with a message strong to behold.
The rapture trumpet pierced the night, the call to young and old.

Graves were open to the sky yielding the body contained.
I saw each person take to the fly no longer by death restrained.

I too was caught up to the sky, for the Savior was calling His bride.
To this world, I bid goodbye with thousands by my side.

Soon I saw the streets of gold and saints from every age,
Saints whose very lives were sold, who faced the devil’s rage.

An angel announced the wedding feast and the marriage of the Son
To His church from sin released, the bride the Savior won.

But first there would be a Judgment Day with Christ at the Bema Seat.
This meeting is not a time to pray but to examine the balance sheet.

I saw folks considered great who squirmed at what was revealed.
Selfish motives sealed their fate with rewards forever repealed.

Many there were who talked a good game, but the Judgment was thorough indeed.
They bowed their heads in regret and shame for failing their brother in need.

I saw a humble, lowly man whom Jesus placed on high.
He daily sought the Savior’s plan; never turned a blind eye.

He was exalted with heaven’s praise for serving the King of Kings;
Appointed by Jesus for thousands of days as ruler o’er many things.

I trembled as I stood in line considering my earthly life.
I remembered those awful times my heart was filled with strife.

I wondered what the outcome would be when Jesus examined my heart.
Would there be anything left to see that would a reward impart?

Then came that fateful moment in time when Jesus looked into my face.
“I saw how you wanted your light to shine when you trusted my saving grace.”

“Yes, you had many faults indeed, but your service was faithful and true.
I note your desire my words to heed; I have a crown for you.”

Just then I awoke my heart aflame to respond to the Savior’s call.
I resolved to make it my highest aim to give my Master my all.

“Make me a slave,” I cried aloud. “Forbid that I play the fool!
May my heart be soil plowed yielding fruit for You.”

-Unknown

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hands of Prayer

"None of us go the mission field to force our beliefs on an unsuspecting people. We go because the people already know about God. But they're desperate for answers concerning Him. Deserate enough to walk on bare feet three days through a jungle." -Kingsbury

It has become really hard for me lately to put into words just how often missions, missionary work, or being a missionary confronts me on a daily basis. I write here, mostly so in a year, I can look back and say, "I wasn't crazy, those things really did happen". So here is another example. I'm reading this book series, which has become very addicting I must say. It has saddened me these past two days to be so sick that I couldn't stay awake long enough to read more than a page. Movies had to satisfy my brief moments of awareness until I was right back into a state of dormancy. But finally, today, I woke up with a renewed sense of being awake. Made cinnamon rolls, a new Saturday tradition, and continued where I had left on in the book. About three hours later and I have finished the book with a new outlook on prayer. The main character in this book series was given away by his birth parents and adopted by Christian missionaries. When he was 18 years old, his parents die in a plan crash, attach that with only moments of memories with those parents in the last 18 years and the character is heart broken. He's angry at God and doesn't understand why everything has been taken from him, including his birth parents, when he realizes he has been adopted. Towards the end of the book he reunites with an old friend from boarding school, a young man who has continued his parents love of serving in mission, in Mexico. The character flies down, has a brief conversations with his friend, participates in a street ministry fair hosted by his friend, and asks Jesus into his heart. Upon arriving home, he receives a package from his birth father that explains that he has been searching for him and that this package, with photos of his family, is his last effort to try to connect with him. He's a movie star, with no family, and lots of paparazzi following him around. As prayer and God would have it, the two meet, and the character realizes that more than just his birth father had been praying for him, but a few people, some who didn't even know who he was, had prayed that he would receive the greatest gift of all.

So what does this mean to me? One, I'm thankful for the life I have given to Jesus and the way He has made me a new person. I would never have dreams to travel around the world to serve others, to tell them about God, if it wasn't for Jesus. I'm thankful for the people around the world who are praying for people like me to join their teams to come and serve alongside them in remote areas of the world that have not heard about God. I'm thankful for prayer and what it means to me and the ability I have to have a relationship with the Holy God and His Holy Son. As I read this story, I reminded all over again of God's perfect timing in everything. As I desire to hear back from the organization, I know that I must wait, because in His perfect timing, all this will work out for the good of those who seek Him, just as with this character's life, in how God perfectly pieced the puzzle together.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

...but he who sent me is reliable. -Jesus

"I have much to say in judgement of you. But he won't sent me is reliable, and what I have heard from him I tell the world." - John 8:26

"Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs forever." -John 8:35

"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life." - John 9:3

I have taken a short break from reading through chronologically, to read through the gospel of John. John is a pretty straightforward writing who showed that without belief in Jesus, you will become blind. Not only will you become blind, but you will die. These past few days have been rough. Today is the 3rd, Baby Joshua was born yesterday. Tears and sorrow rain down as I not only hurt for the loss of him but for my dear friends. Also, on monday I came down with a slight cold. That cold has turned into a devouring sickness that has overtaken my head. And yet I cling to the John 8:26  who claims that God is reliable. In times of hurting and pain, His is the dependable. A few versus later read the promise that a son is forever apart of God's family when their faith and life are put in His hands. What better place for my life to be in than the hands of than the most reliable dependable God of Creation.

Even during these last 9 months where we prayed and prayed for a miracle, for healing for Joshua, ultimate healing was accomplished for his soul. Jesus, the reliable, dependable one has welcomed him home. As I look at who God is through the scriptures, I learn that He wants to be there for us during this time. He see's us in the now but can also see the future. It is in the hands of this God that Joshua rests tonight.

Dear God,

We love you. We long to see you, to worship you, to give you the glory. In these difficult days that lay ahead, I pray that you would comfort and give peace to my dear friends. I pray that the words of John 9:3 ring true, that you have planned and purposed this, and that you would use it to display exactly who you are. May we cling to you during this time, may you be near us God, for you are good.

You are all big and small, beautiful and wonderful, to trust in grace through faith, but I'm asking to taste...

for dark is light to You, depths are height to You, far is near, but Lord, I need to hear form You.

Be near, oh God, be near, Oh God of us. Your nearness is to us our good. Be near, oh God, be near, oh God of us, Your nearness is to us our good, our good.
Your fullness is mine, revelation divine, but, oh, to taste to know much more than a page, to feel your embrace...
...far is near, but Lord I need to hear from You...Be Near... (Shane & Shane, Be Near, Psalms 73:28 & 139)

May we draw near to you God and rely on your Holy Spirit all the days you give us breath.

In Jesus name I pray these things,
Amen 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

John 4:34

"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work." -John 4:34

I began reading through the gospel of John tonight. I'm still doing my chronological reading and have yet to start Deuteronomy but I felt the desire to read this particular gospel. In the middle of chapter 4 are a few versus that describe Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well. He asks her to draw for him water and she explains that He is the living water. He also told her "everything she had ever done" (versus 29) and convinced her that He was the Son of God. She left to go back and tell her people and the disciples decided they knew what Jesus was hungry. So they offer him food but he replies "I have food to eat that you know nothing about." It is right after this statement that he explains what he means in regards to the food.

Now I love food, I do know someone who loves food more than I do, and I know a lot people who live their lives on a schedule that revolves around food (which is most of us). But as I read this story, and John 4:34 specifically, he describes completely what food we should be scheduling around. It isn't the food that will fill our stomachs and within a few hours need more. No the food that God provides is a will and a task.

The will: "to do the will of him who sent me..." When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior I felt a change. No longer did my plans seem important (even though at times my human thoughts attempt to tell me otherwise) but rather God's plans took precedence. And as I have grown to know God better, understand His voice more clearly and walk the path that Jesus has laid out for my life, I learn more and more each day what that will is that He has for my life. As I continue down the journey of praying about missionary work, my ultimate prayer is that God's will for my life be accomplished in whatever way that looks like. Giving up my dreams and my desires is a must for Jesus for he tells us to take up our cross and follow Him.

The task: "...and to finish his work." For each person, the work or task is different for in Jeremiah 29:11, he explains that he has a plan for each of our lives, to prosper us and give us a future. What he doesn't say in Jeremiah 29:11 is tell me your plans and I will make those happen. Instead, we learn that he has a plan for us, that we do not know, that in seeking Him out, walking with Him daily, we'll discover what that plan is. But the plan isn't about us, even though a lot of times we think it is, for when we accepted Jesus as our Savior, as Jesus said and I repeated in the last paragraph, that He tells us that we are to take up our cross each day. His plans are not to fulfill our dreams but rather the work that is to be accomplished in order to further His Kingdom.

So what's God's will and task for my life? I continue to pray, seek out His word and allow Him to work within my life to direct my path so that it can align with His plan. As each day goes by, more and more confirmation seems to be happening.

Jesus,

I love you. I desire to feed off of your food for all my days. Whether that involves me living amongst family and friends or in another country, I pray that you would continue to bring peace to my soul. I pray that you would continue to show me that I am doing what you want me to do and that your Holy Spirit would continue to fill me each day so that I may walk in your truth. May the will that you have for my life be done in the days you have numbered and may the task that lays ahead not be a burden but rather a gift. I fully acknowledge your workings, knowing that in my own will, that none of this would be happening. I praise you Lord for the power that you have in working in my life and that may you be glorified in all that I do.

In Jesus sweet name I lift this prayer to you tonight,
Amen

Saturday, October 29, 2011

God, is this a joke???

Venting: First, I gotta set the scene and lets see if maybe, just maybe you'll catch on. (I believe in you!) So I'm sitting at this most beautiful wedding, so excited to see this bride and groom get married. The food was delicious and the wait wasn't too bad :) But here's where it gets good. Here I am, me, just me. To my left, couple #1, to my right, couple #2, in front of me #3, 4,5,6,7,8,9,10....do I need to continue??? God, are you joking me here, is this a bad dream or in an "Alice in wonderland" type adventure. I believe the other single people were 18 and under, kicker, the great Aunt Kay (name changed) who is widowed was even able to find a date! And here's where God comes in, as the bride is dancing with her dad I get two realizations. One, there is a reason why I haven't gotten the chance to dance with my dad at my wedding yet, and two, that is because God knows that if He allows me to get married, I will then want to start having kids and will ignore the passion that is so strong within me to go serve on the missions field.

So even though I sat there tonight, tears in my eyes a couple times thinking about how I am surrounded by couples, dreaming about my own wedding, and thinking about my future, I realize that God is still God. Even though my emotions pull me to a place of despair and loneliness, I have Jesus reminding me that He is all that I need. So now I stop, realizing that my complaining is getting me nowhere, and I decide to write my husband a letter, and if I never get married, then this letter belongs to Jesus.

Dear Landon (future husband's fake name),
   How I wait for the day to finally get to meet you face to face. I look forward to hearing all about your life, what makes you tick, what you are all about. I look forward to learning what makes you the happiest so that I can do those things. I look forward to knowing your heart, what your greatest desires are in life, and how you have grown to become the man you are today. As I write this letter, I realize God is not done preparing each of us for our moment to meet and therefore I ask him with each passing minute to mold our hearts to love Him more, so that when we do meet, we are able to love each other in a way that beautifully symbolizes Christ's love for us. How I desire to look into your eyes and know that you are the person who will be by my side as long as God gives us breath. May Jesus Christ be the center of all we say, think and do and may we always realize that meeting each other is a gift from God. God has brought both of us individually through good times and bad that as we begin a life together, I pray we lean on those times as well as the one's we will create together to remain faithful and true to our God. So Landon, until we meet, may God richly bless your life. May you depend on Him fully in all that you do. May you trust in His perfect timing knowing that His is better than ours. I look forward to writing many more letters to you. May you rest in God's arms tonight as we lay our heads down to sleep in separate beds knowing one day, we will, God willing, get the opportunity to promise each other forever.

Dear Jesus, You know my heart, you know my longings and desires and tonight I desire to lay my head down with promises you have given me that I cling to in times as these.

May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. -Psalm 20:45

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. -Psalm 37:4

Friday, October 28, 2011

" I pray that your Holy Spirit would direct my ways"

A quick update because it has been since the beginning of April that I have posted and a few things have changed.
1. I increased in age by one year.
2. I have been doing my chronological reading but I must admit it did not get done in 60 days. As of this morning I finished Numbers.
3. Indian Hills was so fun with 10, 2nd thru 4th grade girls.
4. Summer Blast!!! I don't think there are more words, just exclamation marks!!
5. Vacation to Lake Powell with the family on a houseboat. Lots of reading, relaxing, some waterskiing, wake boarding, sleeping, did I mention sleeping??? So lovely.
6. I almost forgot, my latest most amazing accomplishment, oh so delicious!
marshmellows(not shown) sprinkles, reeses, chocolate chips,
york peppermint patties, m&m's
oreos, graham cracker and gummy bears.
It has been a great 5-6mths and they have also been really hard as well. I came down with this awful disease called being tired 24 hours a day. No joke, from the first moment I got out of bed I was ready to go back to sleep. (Coffee didn't even help) I really thought something was wrong and the doctor explained it as "everything is fine...according to your blood work"...my response, "no it's not". So if you know me at all you know that I will at this point figure it out myself. Ok so I'm reading this very addicting book series and the main character's parents were missionaries in Indonesia. So it got my thinking back to this blog and what God had laid on my heart just over a year ago, and that was to look into missions and possible go out to the field. But it really was since my last post in April that I thought about it and as I do the math, it was right around that time that the tiredness and lack of motivation for life began.

 In my last post on April 8th, in the closing pray I asked God, "that your Holy Spirit would direct my ways". As I was praying just this week, I put a couple pieces together and realized that in April I stopped pursing missions. In April was also the beginning of my lack of wanting to do anything. And then it hit me. My prayer was being answered, God was directing me, He was trying to get my attention, and I was not obeying. He was making it hard, I was trying to go through the motions with no forward motion for what I believe He wants me to be doing. And the reason I'm almost 100% positive about this, my energy level and desire for life has changed dramatically. Just in searching for missions organizations one night and my life is so much more joyful. I'm filled with a peace that is indescribable. My newest realization tonight, God's power is really really strong!

If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. -1 Peter 4:11

So my praise goes to the one who has a plan for my life, a perfect plan. My prayer goes to the God who has the strength to work in my life, in my body, to get my attention so that I will follow His will. A heart of thanks goes to the Holy Spirit for being willing to pursue me when I had shut down the idea in my earthly body to obey and to Jesus, my best friend who is willing to walk with me through this life and lead me to his Cross where I can take my burdens, my fears, my heart and He will wash me clean and make me new. Jesus, the process has been started, I sent in my preliminary application and I just ask that you would either open the door wide or close it and lock it shut. Even though I know that I am not worthy of You in my life or even the amazing opportunities You give me, I do know that my heart, soul, mind and life belong to You and only You. And because of that I only want to do Your will, your plan. Show me God what You want me to do for Your Kingdom for there is nothing I look forward to more than the day I get to arrive in your arms and hear You welcome me home.

I love you Jesus.


Friday, April 8, 2011

The beginning...

Reading: Genesis 1-3

So today I begin a 60 day challenge unlike any food diet or running program. In the next 60 days I will read, pray and acknowledge the story that God has written in chronological order. My prayer is to grow closer to God in this time by learning more about Him and His plan, purpose and pursuit for my life.

Reading analysis: Creation. Today I read about the beginning of the earth. God does not live in time and therefore there is no day of beginning for our God, He is bigger than time. Day 1: created heaven and earth, day and night. Day 2: created the expanse (sky). Day 3: created the seas and land, plants, trees, and vegetation. Day 4: created 2 great lights, sun and moon, also the stars. Day 5: sea animals and birds. Day 6: Land animals, man, blessing of plants and animals for sustaining man. Day 7: God rested.
Human History Begins. Once the heavens and earth were created as well as man, human history could begin. We learn here that man was formed from dust and put in the garden of Eden to work it and take care of it (Gen 2:15). He placed in the garden the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God commands Adam to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evill. Woman is made from a rib of Adam while sleeping and analogy of marriage is described (Gen 2:24)
Fall of man. 1st sin ever committed- the woman doubted God. The serpent convinces the woman and man to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and their eyes are opened to see the nakedness. God enters the garden, fear now takes over in Adam and Eve and so they hide from God in the garden which was once a place of joy and fellowship with God.
Man blames woman and serpent. Woman plants serpent.
God curses the serpent: "you will crawn on your belly and you will eat dust..."
God curses woman: "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing..."
God curses man: "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil (judgement) you will eat of it (grace)..."
In the conclusion of chapter 3, God explains that because of the sin we committed we cannot be in His presence. It is only because of the blood of Jesus that we can be Saved.

Reflection: I like beginnings. I like starting over, and God gives us ample opportunities to start fresh and new. We have a new day every day, and new week, and new year, and when we accept Jesus, a new life. Through that acceptance, we begin again, there is no more ends for we have "died" and are now living a life that is directed toward Eternity. Sin no longer rules our lives and Jesus Christ becomes our focus. As the serpent tries to sway us, we must remain in Christ.
Alot has been going on lately, from work, to friends, to family; there just isn't enough time to do everything. But if nothing else gets done, time with God, time with my best friend must happen. With the guidance of my best friend, we can accomplish anything. He created a plan, has a purpose and in pursuit towards those goals I must fix my eyes on the Creator.

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, You are the great I AM. You were present before the earth was even made and heaven was even thought about. In the perfect way you created the heavens and the earth, sky, water and plants, you created me. When you formed me in my mother's womb you new the perfect plan and purpose that my life held. In communion with you now, I pray that your Holy Spirit would direct my ways, my words and my actions so that they align perfectly with Yours'. Sustain me during these times as I depend on you alone.
Father forgive me for the bad things I have done in the past and those that I will commit in the future. My sinful nature still lives within and I pray for your holy presence to be made known. Focus my energy on your plans.

I ask these things in Your precious name,
Amen

Monday, March 28, 2011

A letter to God

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. -Psalm 46

Jesus,

As a hard heart takes over, the desire, want and need for the God of the universe begins to drown. But a promise was made when I accepted You and asked You to dwell in my heart forever, no matter the circumstances, you promised You would never leave me. Have I at times felt you not there, yes, but deep down do I believe that to be true, no. I felt alone, I talked with no response, I acted with no sense of your help present. However, I know you were there, You did pull through, and I am deeply sorry that it took me so long to turn back. Jesus I desire to want you, all of you, and when (like right now) when that desire is not on fire, I want to want you even more. I know I need you, and this is my plea for you to come, explore my heart, mend its broken pieces, and be the glue that it needs to be beautiful again. For You, oh God, are what makes me whole. You knit me together in my mothers' womb and I praise You for the beautiful creation that You have created me to be.

Jesus, You tell me to be still. Your beauty, more magnificent than the sun rise, more extravagant than the most amazing sunset. The colors that you have created within the sky, trees, mountains, waters, plants and flowers.

Dasies. My most favorite flower because of the beautiful color of yellow that pops with the surrounding white petals against any color of backdrop. They stand so tall and any way they bend still produce the most beautiful array of flowers ever. A dasiy is simple, yet elegant. One flower can stand alone and hold just as much beauty as if it were in a bunch. I see myself as a daisy, whether alone or in a bunch, I stand out amongst any backdrop. My colors are vibrant as is my soul, yet I am simple.

I am a beautiful daisy, created by the God who knit me together just as I am. I come to You Father, asking for your sunlight to help me grow up, closer to You. What a beautiful picture You have given me not only of my beauty, but importantly of Yours'. I await your voice. Seek me with all your heart. The title of the last book I just finished. Be still and know that I am God. The verse that just became my soul's only desire.

You are my everything. I ask that You now be the only voice I hear. Draw me close to You.
In Your precious Name I pray,
Amen

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Be Strong and Courageous

Within the first 9 versus of Joshua, the Lord commands Joshua to be strong and courageous three times! And as if Joshua didn't get it the first two times, the Lord asks in verse 9: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous." In these verses Joshua was given all the land that Moses had been promised and was to lead the people of Israel into the promise land. Joshua was given the job, even though originally Moses was the one who had been given the task.

So, God may have said "Here is what I have for you," and He may just be using you as a tool to give the next person all the "land" that you were promised. Your hard work isn't for nothing, for in your obedience, many many people will come to know who the Lord that commanded Moses and out of your obedience will know who that God is. That God, is the only God that exists, the God that created the heavens and the earth, the God that has created a beautiful story and desires for us, out of obedience, to share that story with our loved ones and children. For in these very verses of Joshua, verse 5: the Lord promises; "I will never leave you nor forsake you." That is a strong promise that our God does not take lightly. He our struggles, discouragement, and sadness, God wants to be our strength and give us the courage to continue in the promises He has given to each of us.

He has placed so many different options in front of me. My prayer is that He will guide me and with His Holy Spirit, be courageous and find strength in Him to endure the changes that may arise out of this period in time. I have no idea what even today brings, but my God does. What a great and mighty God we serve. May our God give us the strength and courage we need to fight another day in His name.

Amen

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

He asked this only to test him

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?" He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. - John 6:5-6

He already knows the plans He has created, put in motion, solely the overseer of His children, asking them to obey Him and then waiting for the correct response. How often as children do we defiantly disobey what our parents say? I know me quite well, someone tells me something and I tend to immediately desire to do just the opposite. Why is that? And why in world would I think to do that with the one true God who has the power to kill off an entire generation, make people hard hearted and has suffered enough that to disobey God brings Him more hurt. There is no one like our God, the King of these people, Lord of this nation, light in the darkness, hope to the hopeless, peace to the restless, there is no one like our God. Light in the darkness, hope to the hopeless, peace to the restless.

I must surrender. Right now I must surrender, in five minutes I must surrender all over again, and again and again. Each moment because with one head turn I all of the sudden feel the weight on my shoulders, however when released know that He carries those burdens and I can then walk in the spirit of which He gives when we surrender.

Father I surrender, I give you my life, my thoughts, my attitude, and my actions. Help me to see Your plan and stay focused, doing exactly what You have called me to do with the attitude that You have called me to do it with. I work for You. With each task You give me, I pray I do it to solely to bring glory to You. May I not get distracted by the emotion and stress that comes with each difficult situation. Focus my heart on You.

I pray these things in Your precious name,
Amen


But he said to them, "It is I; don't be afraid." -John 6:20

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Psalm 78: God Provides

I began reading this morning Psalm 78 which gives us the command to teach our children about the love of God so that they will teach their children. The rest of the psalm gives one instance after another where God had provided for His people when they believed He couldn't pull through. Whether it was battle, miracles, division of the seas, burning bush, water from rocks, manna from the sky and grain from heaven, God provided for His people when they didn't see how God could possible come through. That's kinda how I feel at the moment. I'm in this place where there is no way out. I try and try to just live a good life, pleasing to others, with a rare acknowledgment to the one God who knows exactly where I'm at, where I"m going and desires for me to please Him alone.

So I take these versus of scripture and begin the refocusing process. God will provide for me. If He doesn't have me where I am forever, that's okay. Wherever He takes me, whatever He has for me, I shall just follow and allow Him to provide for me.

Father,

I shall not turn from the one true God who holds my life in the palms of your hand. You guide my steps, plan my actions, and walk beside me. Father I need You. I need to acknowledge Your presence always, be bold in my faith and seek You with all my heart. Father You hold the answers in your hand as to the life I shall lead. I continue to pray for your guidance. I feel very lost, just going through the motions of the day to day. But this day is new, given over to You, we can accomplish together exactly what You have. May this day be different, may my thoughts be refocused back to You, each step I take in unison with yours so that I may not try to run ahead. Father, guide my words. You say just how powerful the tongue can be and I pray it is used to encourage those around me. Help me to do exactly what You have for me, say what you desire, and then do. Father I work for You. You have me here for a reason, and where You will take me I shall not know.


Jesus I pray these things in Your Holy name,
Amen

"You are my hiding place, You always feel my heart with songs of deliverance whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. I will trust in You. Let the weak say I am strong in the strength of the Lord I will trust in You." -Selah, You are my hiding place

Monday, February 28, 2011

Colossians 1:10-16

"And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers of authorities; all things were created by him and for him." -Colossians 1:10-16

Thursday, February 24, 2011

For when I am weak, then I am strong.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9b-10

So it has been a little just over a week since I have written and I have absolutely no excuse. I will say, when it comes to news regarding ministry overseas, nothing more has happened. I emailed back the family that was communicating with me and the husband is working with his calendar to get all their travel and speaking engagements in place and then will let me know when they can meet. I have also not put aside the other couple who is also returning to Romania in March. I still pray that God will continue to direct His ways through me. And ultimately, I do not know if I am going, or I should say when I am going, until I am on a plane. Until then, I continue to wait.

In my reading this morning, the verses above really caught my attention. I began a new year of coaching swim this monday and have given it to the Lord. Each day is a gift that I give the opportunity to reach out and teach these athletes what it means to be a swimmer. But this life is more than the amount of strokes to the wall, how many breaths you take, and how many practices you make. With that released to the Lord, I am so excited to go to the pool each and every day. I pray that in my weaknesses they can see Christ rising up in me and I pray that will open some doors for conversations. I pray for boldness and guidance as well as words.

Father God,

What a great, big, mighty, powerful God you are! I praise you for all you are doing in and through me. I lift my hands in praise for the healing of little Ema post surgery! What a strength that little child has that is being shown to all the nurses and doctors that surround her care. Father I continue to lift her and Janelle up to you, protect them, give them rest and comfort as well as peace for the coming day when they return home. Father I thank you for the gift of fellowship and the exciting milestones we get to share with eachother. Jesus I continue to surrender my attitude as far as the swimmers go. You know how many souls enter that pool deck each and every day that do not know who you are. Help me to bold yet kind.

I love you. I am praising You now and will forever! You are the great I AM and I look to You to guide my ways each moment of each day you grant me here on this Earth. I work on this ground for the sacrifice to the gospel and ultimately to You, knowing that one day I will be raised up to heaven and be with You always.

I praise You in the name of Jesus,
Amen!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A response!

"With regard to serving there (Romania), yes there is a need! Yes, children's ministry is a need. Yes, your heart, desire, and gifts from God could be used in the ministry there." -possibly missionary partner

I don't have time at the moment to expand but I wanted to share this little bit. It is a quote I received from an email response this morning asking if my gifts and abilities could be used with their family and mission goals. I'm excited to see what God will do with this connection. They are currently in San Diego raising support to return to Romania. I have not connected with them more than this one email but I'm very hopeful that God will either open or shut the door quickly... at least that is my prayer!
(posted at 1:21pm)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm exhausted! Today I was once again confronted and filled with such frustration. But then two good phone calls later and I have completely forgotten about the bad conversation. I truely believe God was telling me to stop dwelling on the negative. This life is filled with one rule, to love Jesus with all your heart. And the email that followed the one above was icing on the cake. Even though a small part of me wants to just stay here, I know I must follow Jesus and His calling for me until He tells me to stop. I will follow through with maybe some summer training and then possibly go,  according to their schedule the end of this year (2011) or beginning of 2012. I will wait to meet with them and then make any "final" decisions. However, none off them are truely final until tickets are bought and I am physically on a plane heading there.

Father,

You know me better than I know myself. You know how much I desire children to seek and find Your love. Through the relationships I am able to build with these children, I can then begin to share just how much You love us and want to live in our hearts. Thank you for living in my heart, for giving me the words to say and the actions to do at all times. I praise You for the love You give through your children. What a joy it is to serve you! Father as I lay my head down on my pillow tonight, I pray for all the adventures that are soon to begin in the coming days, weeks, months and years. What an exciting time You have before me and I pray I continue to keep my eyes fixed on You. For when I turn to You, You have the most perfect plan I could never ever imagine!

Father I look up at the title I gave to this post earlier today in regards to the email I had received. But as I think of the other two positive conversations I realize that through those responses You have shed a whole new layer of trust, faith and hope! When I seek You with all my heart, there I will find You. You gave me responses today that I could have never possibly prayed for. They were perfect gifts that I will cherish forever. If I fall down, may I refer back to this very post and sence Your presence and strength as much as I do right now.

I love You Jesus. I thank You for every good and perfect gift, for they all come from You.

In Your name I pray,
Amen
(posted at 10:54pm)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Love Day

I have a really hard time debated between which day of the week is my favorite. Each one brings so much joy, I have a feelin' it is because I see God in everything I do. What a difference in my attitude when I purposely choose to see through God's eyes. Instead of getting frustrated, I stop and try to look at the situation through the other person's eyes. Then I look to Jesus and ask, "what do I do?". But Sundays and Mondays are extra special. Nothing, in my opinion, shows God's love more than a child. The little things 3 year olds say or actions they repeat, I just lift my eyes to Jesus and tell Him thank you! Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world!

Today I also received a couple new ideas, as far as missionary work that continues to open my eyes to see God working. First was an opportunity to connect with a doctor and help run clinics south of the border. If you don't know me very well, my next passion after children is medicine. I grew up wanting to be a doctor, taking care of any sick person I came in contact with, attempting to figure out a cure for anything, even a cough, as well as watching every single medical show I could possible watch. If they had more drama than medicine, it lost my attention. So as I look at this opportunity, it just gets me excited. I also was connected with another missionary family who are planning to go to Romania the end of this year for the first time. I have contacted them and awaiting a response as to what God has for me through their ministry. Many options have been presented and I have absolutely no answers on any of them. Sometimes I feel like an answer is better than no answer but God's will not mine...

My friends who actually read this- I apologize for not connecting better with each of you. I feel completely out of the world at the moment and just can't seem to contact anyone. It is not that I don't have time, and I really don't have an excuse, other than I am truely spending each possible moment I can with God to hear His voice and listen.

Father God,

What a great and mighty God you are. At the very beginning you created the heavens and the earth, you worked for 6 days creating your perfect world and then you took a day to rest. I rest tonight in your arms. Hold me close, so close that I can feel your heart, there is no place I'd rather be. As I see more and more options coming before me, I get more and more excited for the possibilities and the ultimate will you have for me. Keep my eyes focused on You always. My prayer tonight is for me to lay at your feet all the different possibilities you have placed before me. As you see fit, I pray that you would continue to work out all the details so that Your perfect plan and will come forth to happen. I call upon your strength, your power, your wisdom and your patience to see this plan unfold through eyes focused on You.

Thank you for this amazing day full of love. A day that was not spent on the commerical aspect, but on the true focus on this life, which is Love. I am so grateful to You for the amount of love just one child can spread and I am so thankful for the children of this world. Father may Love be not something that is thought of only once a year, but everyday. For love is the center of our focus for when we love you we in turn love others. It is all about love! And I most certainly whole-heartedly LOVE You!

I pray all these things in Your son Jesus Christ's name,
Amen


The Discipline of Hearing

"Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops." -Matthew 10:27

Sometimes God puts us through the experience and discipline of darkness to teach us to hear and obey Him. Pay attention when God puts you into darkness, and keep your mouth closed while you are there. Are you in the dark right now in your circumstances or in your life with God? If so, then remain quiet. Darkness is the time to listen. Don't talk to other people about it; don't read books to find out the reaon for the darkness; just listen and obey. -Chambers, Feb 14th
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...