It’s part of the journey

Do you ever feel like you’re on a roller coaster ride and the attendant decides to take an extended lunch break? So you’re riding along and having fun, the ride slows down and you enter the chute where you will exit the ride, but the ride doesn’t stop. It goes right on through the chute and back up you go.

Maybe it will be fun to go again, you think.

You come to a slow and enter the chute again, expecting to stop this time, and continue right on through and back up again.

That’s what I feel like right now. I just want to get off of the roller coaster and take a breather.

I mentioned a few days ago that God was moving Big time, and it was wonderful! But ya know what happens when God moves? Satan gets worried that he’s losing the battle and he starts getting ugly. He fights dirty too. Pulls out all the nasty stuff and uses it to pull us back to his ways.

So, there’s a battle going on. It’s ugly. It’s not fun. It makes me cry.

It makes me lean closer to God.

It makes me call my prayer warriors.

It draws me nearer to Christ.

For some, it makes them question.

I know the victor. I will stand firm in His promises, and know that this is working for His good. He has a plan and I’m trying not to step in the way, all the while I’m trying to lead by example.

It’s not easy because I’m human and I fall short every day. The beauty of that is forgiveness and grace.

If only we choose to accept it.

So I will continue to ride this coaster until the journey is done. Each hill gets us closer.

Post Blissdom Spin

I’m still fighting post Blissdom exhaustion and haven’t had the time to wrap my head around all the wonderful things I heard and learned.

I’m still praying about the changes I’m going to make to this blog. I have to make the change to self hosting and that requires a domain name change. Last time I opened up the bible and landed on Proverbs 24:5-6. Simple, right? I’m open to suggestions if you have any!

I’m also trying to write my story, my testimony, and it’s changing so radically right now that my head is spinning. I sit back in awe and amazement at how quickly God is moving and changing hearts right now! Seriously, if you don’t know Jesus, I want to help you get to know Him. He heals all wounds.

What’s going on with you right now? Can I pray for you at all?

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Prayer for my broken heart

Jesus, I come to you with a broken heart, hopeless and agonizing over the spiritual condition of someone I love so much. I confess that I just want to scream, “Why don’t you get it! Jesus loves you and He deems you worthy. He is the only perfect way to the Father. It doesn’t have to be so hard. LIFE doesn’t have to be so hard! See your blessings and count them as joy. Open your heart and let Him in. Can’t you see how much sense being a christian makes?”

Lord, please forgive me for trying to control the situation, and taking it out of Your hands. I don’t want to get ahead of You and Your plans. Help me to use this trial to develop my relationship with You. I know You are the God of miracles, and I believe You are working even when the times seem so dark. Help me to keep my eyes on You, as You save the ones I love.

Amen

God sends Servants

Welcome back to the Radical Read along, hosted by Marla.

Chapter 7
THERE IS NO PLAN B
Why going is urgent, not optional

I found chapter 7 to be a much easier read. My heart wasn’t quite as full of pain as the last few weeks. It all comes down to souls saved for our Savior. That is why we are here. To witness to others about Jesus. It’s hard for me to grasp the number 1.5 billion, but that’s how many unreached people are in the world. That’s 1.5 Billion, with a B. Almost every one of them dies without ever hearing the gospel. How does this happen? It happens when we say NO to Gods will. He tells us to share the good news, and we say no.

I say no when I don’t want to make someone uncomfortable. Won’t hell be uncomfortable?

I love the image David provides on page 156. God sends servants– His servants preach–People hear–Hearers believe–Believers call on His name–Everyone who calls is saved. The only breakdown in the plan is me. When I choose to stay quiet, people won’t hear, believe, or be saved.

The injustice lies in Christians who possess the gospel and refuse to give their lives to making it known among those who haven’t heard. ” page 159

So with words and actions Jesus, help me to tell and show others about You. May I always glorify You. Thank you Jesus, for filling me with wisdom and knowledge, and for your infinite grace! Amen

The end of me

Radical-chapter 3

The American Dream says we can accomplish anything we set our minds to. High paying career, fancy house, model kids, and happiness are at our fingertips if we believe in ourselves. The gospel actually calls us to die to ourselves and believe in God. We can do nothing apart from God!
“The American dream has a goal to make much of us, whereas the goal of the gospel is to make much of God.” We live in a me world, self-centered, self-pleasing, egotistical, sin filled world. Would it be this way if we were seeking God more? God actually “delights in exalting our inability. He intentionally puts his people in situations where they come face to face with their need for him.” (pg 47) Wow! I admit that often times when He places me in those situations, I choose the wrong response. It’s that free will that gets me every time, and that goes right back to the center of me. I over analyze and make things all about me, trying to see all sides of any given situation, and take God out of the picture completely. I’m making Him small, and myself big. O Jesus, please forgive me! I don’t give You credit, nor do I seek You for wisdom. I’ve had seasons of spirit filled days, and then walked away when the going got rough. When I should’ve sought You harder.
David talks about the book of Acts, and how the church is different from modern day churches. Acts 1:14 tells us how they were joined together constantly in prayer. Instead of relying on themselves, they were pleading for the power of God, knowing that they can do nothing without His provision. Acts 4:13 says “when they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” (pg. 51) Did you catch that? They took note that they had been with Jesus. I want people to hear me talk and know that I have been with Jesus!! How can I do that? By being in His Word daily, a healthy prayer life, expressing my need for Him daily, and letting the Holy Spirit and His power reside in me.
“God, I know you are busy running the universe and keeping all of creation alive, but I have this problem in my life. And, God, I don’t really want comfort for the moment, and I don’t really want guidance for the moment. Would you… would you just come down, live in me, and walk through this for me?”(pg 58)
He gives us all the power we need to accomplish anything in this Kingdom. I want to desperately seek Him for that power, and use it to glorify Him. So this is the end of me as I know it. Changes need to happen in me and my heart, and they need to be radical. I’m listening God. Show me the way. I am Yours to do with what You want. Use me. Even as I type this, satan is whispering in my ear, telling me I am not strong enough. My weaknesses are too great. But that’s OK satan, I don’t have to be strong enough by myself. I have Jesus, ready to give me His power. The same power that is victorious over you.
To read more about Radical, visit Marla.

Radical-Chapter 2


David begins by telling of the underground house churches who couldn’t get enough of the Word. They studied for hours on end, and still they hungered for more. These people were risking their lives to attend these meetings, and leaving their farms unattended, but they continued to meet and study.
Is His Word enough for me? Do I hunger for it regardless of my circumstances?
We like to think of God as a loving Father, but He is also a wrathful judge who hates sinners. I’m a sinner, so that is hard to chew! ” He demands more than I give.
“We are each born with an evil, God hating heart. In our evil we rebel against God. Everything in all creation responds in obedience to the Creator, but we have the audacity to look God in the face and say NO.” (pg 30 & 31) Would I choose to say no if Jesus were physically standing in front of me??
Often times we don’t like what we see in the bible, so we change it to make it more acceptible to our beliefs. We take all the power away from God and place it on ourselves with the New Age beliefs that our positive thoughts can change our situations. What we really need is unconditional surrender of all that we are and all that we have to all that He is.
I admit that I desperately, daily, need His grace. He gives me that through the Holy Spirit, and renews my heart. It involves a hunger for God. A need for Him. “We want Him so much that we abandon everything else to experience Him.”
Create in me a clean heart O God, one that is only satisfied by your Word. Change me and make me into a Radical Disciple for You.
You can find more Radical responses here.

Radical-chapter one

Someone Worth Losing Everything For
Jesus took the few who believed him when he said radical things, and turned the course of history in a new direction through radical obedience. What am I radically obedient to? If Jesus came to me today and told me to pick up and leave my family to follow Him, would I? Author David Platt talks about his fear of pastoring a modern day megachurch, where success is measured by the size of your crowd, building, and budget. Faced with the realization that Jesus spurned what his church culture said was most important, he asked himself two questions.
1. Am I going to believe Jesus?
2. Am I going to obey Jesus?
We can choose to believe and obey Jesus, to find true satisfaction that only comes from radical abandonment to Jesus. The central message of Christianity is about abandoning ourselves. Abandon our comforts, and all that is familiar and natural to us. Would I still proclaim to be a Christian if I had to attend an underground church without a place to sit or cool air in the summer? If I knew I was risking my life to study the bible, but my hunger for His word was so strong that I didn’t care?

“The cost of discipleship is great. But I wonder if the cost of nondiscipleship is even greater.”
So in answer to the two questions above, I commit to believe whatever Jesus says. I will say yes to the words of Jesus before I even hear them. I commit to obey what I hear. And that my friends, honestly scares me. Scares me a lot, but I need to be on this journey! For more responses to this book, hop on over here.

Radical

A few weeks ago I happened on a blog about the book by David Platt called Radical, taking back your faith from the american dream. I quickly ran to my local Christian book store and they were sold out, so I downloaded it on my Nook. Quickly noted that I was taking lots of notes and wanted to hold the actual book in one hand with a highlighter in the other. So I went to another Christian book store and found a large display! Yeah, it’s that good.
Tomorrow I will be posting about Chapter 3, along with 1 & 2 as it seems satan is upset that I’m reading this book, and every time I tried to post from home the internet wasn’t working. It became funny when everyone else could get online, but not me. Ha! satan, I will win this, because Jesus has already won the battle!!
Anyway, I digress.. go on out and buy the book, then join in on the discussions at Marla’s blog.

War Bulletin

I picked up my bible and opened it to this.  Zechariah 12:1-14  The Message ”  God’s message concerning Israel, God’s Decree-the very God who threw the skies into space, set earth on a firm foundation, and breathed his own life into men and women:  “Watch for this: I’m about to turn Jerusalem into a cup of strong drink that will have the people who have set siege to Judah and Jerusalem staggering in a drunken stupor.  On the Big Day, I’ll turn Jerusalem into a huge stone blocking the way for everyone.  All who try to lift it will rupture themselves.  All the pagan nations will come together and try to get rid of it.  On the Big Day-this is God speaking- I’ll throw all the war horses into a crazed panic, and their riders along with them.  But I’ll keep my eye on Judah, watching out for her at the same time that I make the enemy horses go blind.  The families of Judah will then realize, ‘Why, our leaders are strong and able through God-of-the-Angel-armies, their personal God’.  On the Big Day I’ll turn the families of Judah into something like a burning match in a tinder dry forest, like a fiercely flaming torch in a barn full of hay.  They’ll burn up everything and everyone in sight-people to the right, people to the left-while Jerusalem fills up with people moving in and making themselves at home-home again in Jerusalem.  I, God, will begin by restoring the common households of Judah so that the glory of David’s family and the leaders in Jerusalem won’t overshadow the ordinary people in Judah.  On the Big Day, I’ll look after everyone who lives in Jerusalem so that the lowliest, weakest person will be as glorious as David and the family of David itself will be godlike, like the Angel of God leading the people.  On the Big Day, I’ll make a clean sweep of all the godless nations that fought against Jerusalem.  Next I’ll deal with the family of David and those who live in Jerusalem.  I’ll pour a spirit of grace and prayer over them.  They’ll then be able to recognize me as the One they so grievously wounded-that piercing spear thrust! And they’ll weep–Oh how they’ll weep!  Deep mourning as a parent grieving the loss of the firstborn child.  The lamentation in Jerusalem that day will be massive, as famous as the lamentation over Hadad-Rimmon on the fields of Megiddo:
Everyone will weep and grieve,
the land and everyone in it:
The family of David off by itself
and their women off by themselves:
The family of Nathan off by itself
and their women off by themselves:
The family of Levi off by itself
and their women off by themselves:
The family of Shimei off by itself
and their women off by themselves:
And all the rest of the families off by themselves
and their women off by themselves.””

2009

The excerpt below is from an email sent to me.  I found it interesting enough to share it with you.  Another interesting tidbit was that our sermon today was about spiritual growth and Harvest.

For 2009 the theme and scripture is:

2009: Year of Birthing, Harvest, and Fruitfulness

“You crown the year with Your goodness, And Your paths drip with abundance.” (Psalm 65:11)

I was amazed that the Lord was saying the same thing through two different Christian groups in my life. After this last year there is no room for doubt in my life when the Lord speaks anymore.

Something else in her email that was interesting:

2009 is also 5969 on Israel’s calendar. Nine is the number for birthing, harvest, and fruitfulness. Birthing, because in nine months, a baby is born. Harvest because the ninth month (September) is a harvest month. Fruitfulness because there are nine fruits and nine gifts of the spirit.

She goes on to remind us that we are not promised that all of this will necessarily be “good” and pleasant. But we can know that the Lord’s hand is in it and it will be the Birth of new things, the Harvest of what we’ve been sowing and it will all be Fruitful in His Kingdom.

Blessed Assurance

 “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love,
so that they may have the full riches of
complete understanding, in order that they
may know the mystery of God,
namely, Christ, in whom
are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Colossians 2:2-3 NIV

Ten assurances that we have in God:
He is infinite
He is in control
He is all-powerful
He can be trusted
He is the source of truth
He loves you
He accepts you
He forgives you
He has an amazing plan for you and your life
He wants you to spend eternity with Him

Who else can you say those things about in your life?

Santa or Not?

There’s a real Santa debate going on, I’m not sure if you’re aware.  Questions are being posed, and in some cases, accusations are being thrown.  I have to admit I’ve never even thought about some of the things being said, and then a few have crossed my mind.  I guess I wanted to mull over them here.  First, I’ll give a brief history, to catch you up to speed. 

I grew up believing that Santa brought me gifts if I was good.  I found out that he even brought me gifts when I wasn’t good!  There was pressure, and the threats too.  (You’d better be good, Santa’s watching you, He sees you when you’re sleeping….)  I’ve even used these myself, I’m sad to say.  Again, it never crossed my mind.  Santa’s a jolly old fellow, isn’t he.  He is magical.  Whimsical.  But is he REAL?  Do you believe?  What were you told?  It all seems like a game, but are we harming our kids?  Lying to them?  Causing them to question if Jesus is real too, or are we lying about Him too? 

I don’t remember when I stopped believing.  Probably some kid at school told me.  It doesn’t stick out in my mind as being earth shattering, or a giant scar on my adolescent mind.  So I think my kids will turn out OK too.  But then there’s a tiny ounce of doubt.  The what if?  Am I, in my fervor to give something a little magical to my kids, scarring them?  Will they ever believe anything I say again? 

My oldest is 11 1/2.  A friend of hers told her a few years ago, and for some crazy reason, when she flat out asked me I lied.  I just think I wasn’t ready for her to be so grown up.  I realize now that I was being irrational and selfish.  I wanted her to believe so her brothers would too.  My oldest son is 9, and he still believes.  I’m surprised that he hasn’t heard at school, but he is naive.  He might have heard something, but mommy and daddy told him the truth about Santa, and he’s real.  In fact, he just told me tonight that we need to go see Santa.  We were planning on that Sunday evening, but now I’m not sure.  I don’t want them to get too caught up in the fantasy, and forget about Jesus.  I try to always point them in that direction.  We do the advent readings, and talk about Jesus’ birth, so the focus is on Him, but Santa is in the limelight too.  A few years ago, I was selfish, and didn’t want Santa taking all the credit, so we left some toys unwrapped and said they were from Santa.  After all, I was the one out at 5am in the freezing cold to get the years hottest toy!  This year, my daughter joined meon Black Friday, in search for the deals.  It was a fun time, and she held up really well.  So far, I don[t think she’s told anyone what they’re getting.  We shared in Santa’s duties.  I have a really good friend who sat out in the freezing rain and snow for over 5 hours outside of Toys R Us last weekend for a Wii.  Now that’s Santa. 

So I question whether or not I’m doing more harm than good.  And then I have a 4 year old who is eager for Santa to come, but concerned than he hasn’t been all that good this year.  Are we teaching him that he has to be perfect in order to receive?  There’s only one perfect one, and He loves us, sin and all.  I want to teach them that unconditional love of Jesus Christ.  That’s what I want to make important right now.  Please leave your thoughts on this matter, and give me some new insight as well. 

Jesus Painting

My little Matthew is fighting a cold, so we have been snuggling and surfing Godtube.  We came across this one, and I was moved to tears, and still have chills.  The artist is amazing, and the video with the music and art combined is so powerful!  I had to share it with you.  A few years ago my church had a Christmas tea, and we saw a young girl drawing in pastels to a song.  When she finished, she turned the picture upside down, and it was Jesus wearing a crown of thorns.  It was great!   I think it’s hanging in our youth center. 

So sit back and relax for the next 10 minutes and watch this beautiful video. 

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OK, I don’t know what I’m doing.  It keeps embedding the last video that we watched, which is also very good and powerful.  Watch it, then head over to godtube and look for Jesus Painting.  You will be moved.