Thursday, December 18, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners
This time of year is full of celebration, memory-making, parties, shopping, family events, special decorations and music, opportunities to give, and lots of blessings.
Let’s enjoy it – remembering ‘the reason for the season’ always, and keep a grateful heart at all times.
Let’s also remember those in our midst who are NOT celebrating, partying, making memories, shopping, enjoying family and the decorations and music. Let’s remember those who are HURTING, and who may even feel as if the holidays rub salt in their wounds.
Ask The Lord to reveal to you those who are lonely, grieving, hurting either physically or emotionally, struggling financially or with other circumstances, losing their jobs and homes and stability, caught in a marriage falling apart, in a pit of depression or a stronghold, suffering broken hearts, feeling unsure about their future and in the grips of worry and even fear.
And then – reach out to those who are hurting this season. Instead of getting caught up in the holiday hustle and bustle, spend some time focusing on meeting the needs of others. A gift of food or money, lending a helping hand, asking how you can specifically pray for someone, giving useful gifts, extend hospitality to those who have nowhere else to go during the holidays, send a note of encouragement, acknowledge someone as you pass by…….there are zillions of ways to bless those who are hurting through these holidays. The Lord came to bind up the brokenhearted....and He often wants to use US in that process!
Let’s not forget the hurting! They are all around us.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Always be prepared to share, that verse says. If ever there was a time to be ready to share the hope, it’s now.
Today I have been thinking about some of the reasons for the hope I have:
*He is MIGHTY TO SAVE. (Zeph. 3:17)
*He expressed His love for me in that while I was still a sinner, He died for me. He died for you, too. (Rom. 5:8)
*God will never change. I can fully trust Him because He will not act contrary to His character or Word. (Heb. 13:8)
*He always keeps His promises. ALL of them – some in principle and others specifically designed for us in our times. (Deut. 7:9)
*He is faithful to finish what He starts. Including in me. (Phil. 1:6)
*He will only allow what He knows I need and can handle with His help. (1 Cor. 10:13)
*My eternity is secure, so what have I to fear? (Deut. 31:8)
*He sets up kings and kingdoms, and also dethrones them as He sees fit. (Daniel)
*He is always sovereign. Always. SOVEREIGN. (the entire Bible!)
*He knows my heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, and yet He still loves me. (Jer. 17:9)
*His love for me never changes based on what I do or don’t do. (Ps. 107:31)
*He lifts me up – when I am weak, He is strong. (2 Cor. 12:10)
*I have the Holy Spirit in me. I can rely on Him, and not myself, because I am so unreliable on my own! (Luke 3:16)
*He can move mountains. (Matt. 17:20)
*No one can snatch me out of God’s hands. I am perfectly safe, always. (Heb. 13:5)
*It is for freedom that He set me free. My chains are gone! (Gal. 5:1)
*He is preparing a place for me. (John 14:3)
*All prophecy either has come true or will come true. (Rev. 22:7)
*God’s Word is alive in me. It pierces me just when I need it. (Heb. 4:12)
*God’s Word works. (the entire Bible!)
*With God on my side, who can be against me? (Rom. 8:31)
*Victory has already been won. (1 John 5:4)
*I can do all things through Christ Who gives me strength. (Phil 4:13)
*He gives and takes away, and either way, I can say ‘blessed be the name of the Lord’. (Job)
See what I mean?? I could go on and on and on, but these came to my mind as I sat here and brainstormed why I have the HOPE that I have. It’s been a good exercise – try it for yourself!! And, remember to always be prepared to give an answer to share the reason for the HOPE that you have. Don’t miss the opportunity………
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
We need not grieve, despair, be discouraged, or fear. These are exciting times to be in the body of Christ! We have been given a huge wake up call, and that is a good thing. This is still the day that the Lord has made, let us REJOICE and be glad in it!
God has not and will not and cannot leave His throne. His sovereignty is still intact. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Nothing happens that has not been sifted through His loving hands. It is true for us individually, and also true for us as a nation that we grow the most during times of adversity and trials. We are to count it ALL joy.
James 1:2-4 NLT: 2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan. Ephesians 1:11 NLT
God is faithful, and we are in HIS hands. A believer has eternity secured and need not fear.
Romans 8:28 NIV 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Daniel 2:21 The Message
"Blessed be the name of God,
forever and ever.
He knows all, does all:
He changes the seasons and guides history,
He raises up kings and also brings them down,
he provides both intelligence and discernment
Let’s agree in prayer to ask God to help us to endure what is to come with grace while proclaiming Truth always. God has seen fit to allow these circumstances, and we can trust Him to use it to unite us and refine us. We need that! This is the stuff that sparks revival. Lord, revive us!! Ask Him to help us to stand firm and to proclaim the gospel boldly in our spheres of influence.
God is saying “IT IS TIME”. We need to say “YES, LORD”. We have had a wake up call, fellow believers, so let’s wake up! I do not believe God means for us to wake up to try to prove our particular political point of view – He means for us to wake up and spread the gospel! How can we expect the lost to understand God’s principles regarding the issues of things like abortion and the definition of marriage when they do not know Him personally? They don’t need us to change their mind about the issues – they need us to give them the Message of Good News. That is where we start…..this is the wake up call we have been given. Amen!
Friday, October 31, 2008
You can just copy/paste that in to your browser to access it (sorry, I couldn't get the 'insert link' thing to work here!).
After you read the article, you may be interested in this video of John Piper expanding on his thoughts. Please be aware that this may be a bit different than what you are hearing or saying in your Christian circles, but I feel that his points are excellent to provoke deep thought and develop perspective on what is going on politically right now -whether you and I agree or disagree with his take on some things. This is worth viewing, in my opinion, if you are in need of a different kind of look at politics right now.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I was recently in the middle of a good pity party, when Jesus showed up. I had not even invited Him, I'm ashamed to admit, but there He came anyway!!
Sometimes I think we kind of enjoy wallowing in that pity party. We want just a few more days of wallowing, and then maybe we will go ahead and invite Jesus. Can you relate??
My pity party was silly (they always are), but it came upon me without me even realizing it. I was in the midst of packing to move to a new home, and it was just not progressing like I needed it to. I was trying to juggle the normal routines of life, carry on some of my ministry tasks, and pack up an entire four bedroom home and all the other details that come with moving - all at the same time. It isn't that I don't like to accept help, but I couldn't figure out HOW anyone could be of help. So I started the pity party, saying things to myself like "we are not going to get enough help" and "this will be too much to do by ourselves" and the most shameful self-pitying one of all "I sacrifice my time every week, but will anyone sacrifice time when I am the one needing help?". OUCH, that one stings to even type here. The flesh is UGLY. And, I really didn't mean it the way it came out (yes, I even said it out loud to a good friend, who still loves me anyway!). The flesh is an essential ingredient for a very good pity party!
I went away for a weekend (a trip planned before I knew we'd be moving!), and when I came back, there He was. Jesus. He showed up. And that was the end of my pity party. I was immediately convicted, and repented of my lack of faith that God would provide for our needs.
How did Jesus show up? In the form of a group of several church friends with servants hearts, that's how. While I was gone, they SURPRISED me and had come to my new house and cleaned it top to bottom and everything shines! And they packed up many things in the old house and did some cleaning there, too. They moved the boxes that were ready to be moved, and placed them in the new garage. It saved us TONS of work this week and I do not know what we would have done if they had not stepped in and served my family like that. We felt so blessed, and very well loved!
I was quickly humbled, and am still overwhelmed with gratitude and a new outlook that totally wiped out my sinful pity party mindset.
I am so grateful that God's mercies are new every morning. And that He forgives me. And that Jesus shows up at pity parties, sometimes when invited and sometimes when not!
Mark 9:35b says ""If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all."
Lord, make me last, even if it means you need to crash my pity party!!!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Barb's story can be found below, under 'Teachings by Me'. Just click on that and it will bring up the google document with the text of her testimony.
Because Barb is not able to speak (although she is working on that and can say some words now!), I read the testimony while standing at her side. I wrote the beginning and ending, but the entire testimony part was written by her, on her laptop, typing with one finger. It was a labor of love, and the women who heard it were touched and challenged. Praise God! He has done an amazing work through Barb.
In a nutshell, Barb had a brain stem stroke a year ago, which initially left her paralyzed and unable to speak, although mentally she was and is completely intact. She has made good progress in several areas, but is still very dependent upon others for even her most basic needs. She requires the care of a full-time caregiver, because she can't walk, speak much, or move her left side much at all.
Barb has had a profound impact on my ministry and life. Being able to minister to her and also to count her as a good friend have blessed me so much. I have learned so much from her, and I look forward to spending time with her every week. We have covered a lot of ground together, cried a ton together, laughed a ton together, and I am just so proud of her for handling such difficult circumstances in such a godly manner. If I had to name a 'human hero', Barb would be it. She has held up under suffering that most of us will never have to endure. She works hard, with determination, and most of all she desires to please the Lord always.
Barb - You are an awesome woman of God. I love you!!
Please read her testimony and be inspired and challenged! She wants to minister Christ's love to YOU.
Monday, October 6, 2008
God is a God Who heals....and women who have gone through the pain of abortion need healing through God's Word. There are several good resources out there for women who are dealing with the guilt and trauma of having had an abortion, and if you need help in this area please check out Pat Layton's new Bible Study called "Surrender the Secret". It is available through Lifeway, but I'm hoping to win a copy at this blog: www.travelingtheroadhome.blogspot.com (check it out and enter!).
Friday, September 19, 2008
There – I said it. They say the first step in overcoming is to admit your problem. ;) So there you have it!
Some recent ministry experiences led me to take a hard look at why and how the enemy gets in to my thought processes. I no longer become paralyzed by insecurity, but it plagues me in more subtle ways these days. It’s a no-brainer that Satan wants to distract me. No, he wants to DERAIL me. I am aware of that and the need to keep my armor on in order to not give him any victory. Ephesians 6:13!
But still, the nasty thoughts pop in to my head that say “you are not doing a good job”, or “nobody cares if you do this or not – you could quit today and it wouldn’t matter”, or “who do you think you are to offer counsel to another when you have your own pile of issues”, or “what am I doing all this for anyway”, or “what if none of this even matters for eternity” (I know better than to believe that, and yet I hear that little voice sometimes anyway!). I have been around long enough to now that to let these thoughts take root in me is to head for a huge fall. The more I walk with Him, the more quickly I catch this process before it goes that far!
This happens especially when I have had an experience that involves an idea that obviously and clearly came from God. There have been many times in this ministry that I KNOW I have been given clear direction and vision. You know what I mean - when the concept is so clear that you know you could not have made it up because you are not that smart! But then later, as the insecurity creeps in, those nasty thoughts start popping up. “Nobody believes that idea really did come from God”, or “everyone will just think you are wanting all the credit”, or “they won’t like my idea – what am I thinking suggesting that!?”. On and on it goes.
What the Lord has shown me lately is that to be insecure means I lack confidence in myself, I second guess myself, and I even disqualify myself from my calling. Sometimes, I even get disgusted with myself for my perceived failures, weaknesses, and even for being insecure in the first place!!
Do you hear the word SELF a little too much in the above sentences?? That should tell me something. It occurs to me, too, that to be frustrated or even disgusted with myself means that I am depending on mySELF!! I am not relying on the power of the Holy Spirit Who lives in me! There it is: the bottom line.
Down on yourself? Then you are depending on yourself, not God.
So, what is the antidote to insecurity like this? Choose to put all my faith, trust, and hope in Christ and the promise that through Him (and ONLY through Him), I can do all things! Phil. 4:13!
It is true - on my own I can't succeed, I can't get clear direction and vision, I can't do anything but fail. But with the power of the Holy Spirit - now that is a whole different story! On my own, yes I am completely insecure.
But I am NOT ON MY OWN!! I belong to Christ, and HE is my security!
I am secure IN HIM. I can trust Him, believe Him, put my faith and hope in Him, and He will never fail me. If I am truly surrendered to the Lord, and have a clear understanding that it is the Holy Spirit in me that makes any difference at all anyway….and that my eternity is SECURE, then there is no place for insecurity.
Insecurity is just……….PRIDE. Ouch.
Proverbs 16:18: Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Exodus chapter 19. She impressed upon us that God has us in a 'wilderness' from time to time in order to bring us closer to Him, and that it will be worth it. We learned too much to mention here, but what spoke to me the most was that I need to 'pitch my tent' as they did in the wilderness so that I can experience the blessing that God has for me in that wilderness, instead of always being impatient and looking at what could be ahead (therefore missing the NOW blessing). I SO needed to hear that this weekend! I have been in a sort of wilderness myself lately, with some frustrations and questions about where ministry is headed. I am convicted to enjoy the NOW blessings in what I am doing, and let God lead me to the next step in His timing, not mine. An altar call for the opportunity to accept Christ as Savior followed, and many responded - what a moving thing to witness!
Kay Arthur spoke on Saturday, and WHOA was it convicting. That woman is just amazing and I want to be HER when I grow up!! She knows the Word of God inside out, and can bring the Word to us in a way like nobody else. She challenged Christians to make excellent use of the Word of God, especially in these times of uncertainty in our country. She gave us warning of what is happening and will happen if we do not obey the Word personally and as a nation.
Beth Moore BEGAN the afternoon with a unique altar call. She challenged us to 'mark today as the day' that you accept that you ARE forgiven, and have been delivered. Not just know it, but BELIEVE IT and live it. Lay that thang down, as she says. Hundreds went forward for prayer, and it was just a privilege to pray through that whole altar call as chains dropped off women in bondage of all sorts. It doesn't get any better than that, in my opinion! She then taught on John 1:1-18, verse by verse. We memorized it as a group (that was fun, doing it section by section with arm movements in usual Beth Moore style), and we were reminded that we have a Deliverer who 'became flesh and made His dwelling among us', and that He IS the One and Only (no man will do, only God can be Savior to us). Excellent teaching!
A fun time was had during the panel discussion. The 3 teachers took questions from the Deeper Still blog, and it was partly serious spiritual stuff, and partly hilarious, silly stuff. Kay convicted, admonished, and challenged us on the subject of sex - not many women are willing to be that bold, and I am so glad that we have a Titus 2 woman like her to talk about the hard topics with us!! It was serious, and silly, all at the same time! The 3 together make quite the comic team - it is impossible not to adore them completely by the time the event is over.
We live in amazing times as Christian women!!!! To have an event like this (5700 women this time) in a city like Las Vegas was so powerful, and you just knew God was up to something HUGE. The enemy worked hard to mess it up in more ways than we will ever know, but he did NOT get a victory this weekend in Las Vegas!! Praise the Lord and His Word!!
His Word IS LIFE TO US! Read it, meditate on it, memorize it, study it, LOVE IT!!!
Enjoy the following video recap of the event, with Travis' amazing vocals:
Sunday, August 24, 2008
This morning the word HOPE came to my mind and I couldn't shake it. I pondered the question "where IS my hope, I mean really, really....where is it?". We are tempted to answer "my hope is in heaven - that I will be there eternally with Jesus". True, we do have that hope if we are true believers!
But what about NOW. We have a NOW hope in Jesus! Think about the sacrifice He made for us on the cross. I can't imagine anything more horrific, tragic, painful, and awful than what He went through. We so often ask "how can God take this or that situation and use it for good?".
He took the most AWFUL thing that ever happened, and used it for good! The death of Jesus on the cross is worse than anything you or I will ever have to go through. And yet, God took that sacrifice and used it for His glory by redeeming US through it! Because of the unfathomable sacrifice of Jesus, we have access to God NOW and eternally! Now if that isn't proof that God works all things for good, I don't know what is.
Any trial we are going through, no matter how horrendous it seems....is something that God promises to use for His purposes, for His good, and for His glory. We can know He will do this because of what He did on the cross. That is something we can trust and not doubt! That is such hope!
Our hope NOW is that God will fulfill His promise to use everything, and that means EVERYTHING, for His glory. That's an amazing HOPE from an amazing God full of amazing GRACE!
ROMANS 8:28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Friday, August 22, 2008
Why do we doubt God's provision??? This is something I have been growing in for the past few years, and even more so very recently.
I firmly believe that God has placed some callings on my life. First, I am His child and I am to reflect Him in all that I say, think and do, to His glory. Then I am a wife, who is blessed to have a husband who is a hard worker with high integrity and work ethics who is also very devoted to his family. I am also a mother --- a very 'high calling'! My primary ministry is always to my family...that is true for all wives and mothers. I am also called to minister to women as a counselor, discipler, mentor, and leader. Although I volunteer my time in ministry, it is equivalent in time and effort to a full time job. I am blessed with an office at my church to work in during school hours, and am able to work a bit at home if needed during my family's down time.
I am often asked why I don't get a 'real' job (meaning, one with a paycheck for the number of hours I spend on it I suppose!). I can only answer that I am doing what I do because it is God's call on my life in this season. At this point, it affords me flexibility and independence so that I can be the mom and wife that I need to be. I once read that you know something is a "calling" when you are willing to do it for free!! I also read that you know it is a calling when you can't NOT do it. That describes me best. It's a burning passion in me to serve Jesus to women!!
Could my family use a paycheck?? Of course - I could even honestly say that we 'need' it - we really do! But God knows that, and it is up to Him how He provides for me, so I leave that in His capable hands. I am often tempted to leave what I am doing for a paycheck. But never (so far) has there been any peace about me leaving the ministry lifestyle for a paycheck. That is a choice and a decision my husband and I have made in this season, sensing God's leading all the way. Because we know it is His will, we also know and can trust that He will provide for us in any way that He sees fit.
Most recently, He has provided the means for us to purchase a home that we never dreamed possible. It was through unexpected means, something only God could come up with! It doesn't even make any human sense that we could be blessed with this house...God has provided it and to Him be all the glory!! We always thought we would need me to make a paycheck in order to buy a home in this town. God had a different idea that we never thought possible! He didn't need a paycheck to make it happen. God's ways are not our ways!
All that to say this: fulfill the calling God has placed on your life! Don't make your decisions based upon human understanding and logic, but rather on trust and faith! Otherwise, you may miss the blessing that God has for you, and the lessons He wants you to learn. Be obedient to your calling, and He will bless you. It may not be formal ministry, but you DO have a ministry. We are called to be His ambassadors in every walk of life He sees fit to put us in.
2 Thess. 1:11-12 "With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ."
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
This weekend I was able to attend the Living Proof Live Simulcast (Beth Moore). It was excellent, with some rich teaching about the importance of being in the Word. It was great teaching for the newcomer to The Word of God, as well as great teaching for the more seasoned believer to go even deeper in The Word. I was convicted and challenged! There were 70,000 women hearing that same Word that weekend all over the country and in a few other countries, too. WOW!!
I say it again - God is up to something HUGE with women right now! Here are a few key points that Beth gave us. In order to know what they mean, feel free to go to the link below this post to read my notes in a google.doc format.
The passage we were taught from is Luke 8, the parable of the sower. The theme was the 100 Fold Harvest - which is God's Word having maximum impact in our lives. I want that, don't you???!!!
1.TREASURE THE WONDER
2.PROTECT YOUR HEART
3.EXPECT THE TEST
4.DIG THE ROOTS
5.STOP THE CHOKE
6.RETAIN THE WORD
7.PRESS FORTH TO YOUR 100-FOLD HARVEST
For notes on all of the above points, go here: (you will need to copy/paste to your browser):
Thank you Living Proof Ministries for always bringing a 'Fresh Word' to us and challenging us in life-changing ways!
Friday, July 25, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
In Genesis, He's the breath of life
In Exodus, He is the Passover Lamb
In Leviticus, He's our high priest
In Numbers, the fire by night
Deuteronomy, He's Israel’s Guide
Joshua, He’s salvation's choice
Judges, He’s Israel’s Guard
In Ruth, the kinsmen's redeemer
1st and 2nd Samuel, our trusted prophet
In Kings and Chronicles He is Sovereign
In Ezra, He’s the true and faithful scribe
In Nehemiah, the re-builder of broken walls and lives
In Esther, He’s Mordecai's courage
In Job, the timeless redeemer
In Psalms He is our morning song
In Proverbs, He is our wisdom
Ecclesiastes, He's the time and season
In Song of Solomon, He is the lover's dream
In Isaiah He is Prince of Peace
In Jeremiah, the weeping prophet
Lamentations, the cry for Israel
Ezekiel, the call from sin
Daniel, the stranger in the fire
Hosea, the forever faithful
Joel, the spirit’s power
Amos, the strong-arms that carry
Obadiah, the Lord our Savior
Jonah, the great missionary
Micah, the promise of peace
Nahum, our strength and shield
In Habakkuk and Zephaniah, He's brings revival
In Haggai He restores that which was lost
IN Zachariah, He’s our fountain
And in Malachi, He's the son of righteousness rising with healing in His wings
AND THAT’S JUST THE OLD TESTAMENT
In Matthew Mark Luke and John, He is God and Messiah
In the spirit filled book of Acts, He is the reigning fire from Heaven
In Romans, He is the grace of God
Corinthians, the power of love
Galatians, freedom from the curse of sin
Ephesians, our glorious treasure
Philippians, the servant's heart
Colossians, He’s God and the trinity Thessalonians, our calling King
In Timothy, Titus and Philemon, He's our mediator and our faithful pastor
In Hebrews, the everlasting courage
In James, the one who heals the sick
In 1st and 2nd Peter, our faithful shepherd
In John and Jude, He's the lover coming for His bride
AND in the Revelation, in the very end, when it’s all over, said and done, when time is NO MORE.
He is and will always be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Prince of Peace, son of Man, Lamb of God, The Great I am, Alpha and Omega, God and Savior
He is Jesus Christ the Lord
HE IS EVERYTHING THAT YOU NEED!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
If you are struggling with having quiet time with the Lord each day, try these helpful ideas:
Be honest with God and admit your struggle. Ask God to give you the desire to set aside time to be with Him. (He will SO honor this!)
Start with just a small amount of time. Even if it is just 5 minutes at first, give this 5 minutes solely to the Lord without any other distractions. Over the next weeks and months, your desire for more time with Him will increase. (It DOES! It becomes habit, and then you crave more!)
Use a version of the Bible that lends itself to study. I use the NIV Life Application Study Bible and I love it. It helps me understand the context each book was written in and gives me commentaries to understand specific verses. (this is my favorite Bible to use, and I recommend it all the time!)
Ask God for understanding as you read the Bible. When I first started reading the Bible I had a hard time, so I started praying that God would open my spiritual eyes to see the truths in a life changing way for me. (God's Word is meant to be applied, for sure!).
Write some of the verses that seem most applicable to your life on 3x5 cards and use them in your prayers. For example, Matthew 6:19-20 says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth… But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” So, I could use this verse in my prayer time by praying, “God, help me to know how to store up treasures in Heaven. Help me to relinquish my tight hold on my earthly possessions so I can use them to build your kingdom now. Show me how to best use that which you have blessed me with. Give me your mindset for the money I have.”
(my favorite 'tool', Beth Moore teaches this method so well, too).
Get involved in a Bible Study with friends. This will help hold you accountable to getting your study time done and will open up great discussions to deepen everyone’s understanding of applying God’s truths to everyday life. (AMEN!!!!!!!!! See the post below this one, and consider getting a good Bible study workbook to go through either solo or with friends this summer!).
(So, ladies, let's get in to the Word and stay there!)
Monday, June 16, 2008
If you are looking for a very unique Bible Study opportunity for summer, this is IT! It is Kelly Minter's 'No Other Gods'. I wasn't planning on doing it until I watched this on the Living Proof Blog today (Beth Moore), and I decided I don't want to miss out. I will be one of those doing it solo, since I didn't get my act together sooner to try to get a few ladies to join me (any local ladies want to make a go of this-we can catch up!?). Anyway - I'm game, even solo. How about you??? Are you IN THE WORD this summer?
Go to www.lproof.org, click on 'blog', and read about it there. Here's Beth's video post from today to explain what this is all about (more info is on the blog in today's post plus a prior post you will have to search back a couple of weeks for). (by the way, "Siesta" is her nickname of the blogging 'sisters'...long story).
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Then I remembered a conversation I had with my younger girls yesterday. My 13 year old (who has wisdom beyond her years) had been on the phone with a friend. I was listening to her side of the conversation, and heard things like this:
"NO, you can't do that, you need to respect yourself more than that". And, "our behavior is supposed to honor God, and that does not honor God when you do that". And, "You are being ridiculous and not listening to me. If you can't listen to my advice then don't ask for it".
I thought to myself "uh oh, I have rubbed off on her. She sounds like a mini-counselor (although that last statement could have been a bit less harsh, lol!)!". She hung up, and I asked her what was going on. She said her friend was having a bad week and threatening to join some peers in smoking pot. My daughter was adamantly against that idea (whew) and tried her hardest to convince her friend what a bad idea that is. Then my daughter got quiet for a minute, and finally said "Mom!! I am turning in to YOU!""I am treating my friend like I am her COUNSELOR!".
I got a kick out of that, because she is right. But then I realized that we should ALL be treating our friends like we are their counselor (and vice versa). It's Biblical! We are not to sit back and watch our fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord sin. We are to admonish, reprove, confront. We are called to LOVE ONE ANOTHER, and we can't be loving if we are watching our brother (or sister) disobey the Lord. Below is a great list of verses that are the 'one anothers' that we are called to follow towards one another! Use it as a checklist of sorts, and see if you are being a good 'counselor' to others!
1. Romans 12:10 - Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
2. Romans 12:16 - Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
3. Romans 13:8 - Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.
4. Romans 14:13 -Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.
5. Romans 15:7 -Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
6. Romans 16:16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings.
7. 1 Corinthians 1:10 - I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
8. 1 Corinthians 16:20 -All the brothers here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
9. 2 Corinthians 13:12 - Greet one another with a holy kiss.
10. Galatians 5:13 - You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature ; rather, serve one another in love.
11. Ephesians 4:2 - Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
12. Ephesians 4:32 - Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
13. Ephesians 5:19 - Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,
14. Ephesians 5:21 - Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
15. Colossians 3:13 - Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
16. Colossians 3:16 - Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
17. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 - Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
18. Titus 3:3 - At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
19. Hebrews 3:13 - But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
20. Hebrews 10:24 - And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
21. Hebrews 10:25 - Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
22. James 4:11 - Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.
23. 1 Peter 1:22 - Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.
24. 1 Peter 3:8 - Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.
25. 1 Peter 4:9 - Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
26. 1 Peter 5:5 - Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
27. 1 Peter 5:14 - Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
28. 1 John 1:7 - But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
29. 1 John 3:11 - This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.
30. 1 John 3:23 - And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
31. 1 John 4:7 - Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
32. 1 John 4:11 - Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
33. 1 John 4:12 - No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
34. 2 John 1:5 - And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Sometimes we find ourselves asking questions like “Why do I feel so discouraged and lonely all the time? I can barely get out of bed in the morning, should I go on an antidepressant? I pray, read my Bible, and go to church, so why am I feeling so depressed? Do these panic attacks mean that I am a bad Christian? Who can I talk to at church about my failing marriage? My kids are rebelling, what kind of help is there for me? I have chronic pain and just feel so defeated all the time – what hope is there? I am so worried all the time, how can I trust God when things are so bad? Why can’t I sleep at night? I’m so stressed out, how can that change? How do I get these negative thoughts out of my head?”, and so many more.
Where do believers go, then, for answers? There is a philosophy of counseling that is contrary to what you will find in the secular realm, and contrary to what you will find in many professional counseling practices that offer Christian Counseling.
This type of counseling, Biblical Counseling, is done in the local church by trained lay-counselors in the spirit of bearing one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”).
There are several benefits to counseling in the context of the church. The counselor is held accountable to the church leadership, to ensure this his/her own walk is growing in a godly direction and that ministry is solidly biblical. The counselor and counselee often have a relationship within the body aside from the counseling context alone. This enables the counselor to be involved in the counselee’s life more personally and deeply. The counselee, as a part of the church body, is ministered to by more than just the counselor as he/she participates in church life, and therefore is able to be held accountable. The counselee, as progress is made, can be encouraged in to areas of service according to their gifts. Also of importance is that biblical counseling is a ministry, and therefore there often is no charge, making it available to virtually everyone.
The goal of biblical counseling is change in a godly direction. The Bible contains both the truth which describes the answer to the problem (2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”), and the means to change (John 17:17 “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”). God has given us the Scripture for the very purpose of instructing, rebuking, correcting and training us in righteousness (abandoning sinful thinking and behavior). By His Word, God molds us into the kind of people He intends us to be. In this way He equips us to function as He intended us to live.
Application of scripture is the primary emphasis of biblical counsel. Counseling is the work of the Holy Spirit. He comes alongside the counselor and the one being counseled to apply the Scriptures to the human heart. Counseling is carried on with the understanding that the Spirit is the one who effects regeneration and sanctification. He produces His fruit in the life of the counselee. We also supply practical tools, to enable putting the Word into practice in life (Ephesians 4:22-24 “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”). The focus of biblical counseling is on the biblical solutions to problems, and when the counseling ends, the counselee can have victory and be a ‘doer of the Word’ in that area of his/her life (James 1:25 “But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”)
My counseling ministry is currently thriving and growing. The counseling team I serve on currently consists of one certified counselor (me) and my pastor. God has seen fit to use the ministry to address some deep needs in the lives of women and marriages. The ministry has been focused on my church family, but is not necessarily limited to that. Currently the ministry offers 1:1 Biblical Counseling and discipleship for women and girls, as well as Ladies Bible studies in groups or 1:1. We also have available team counseling for couples. Referrals can be made for men and boys.
It is our desire to point people to the Word of God for the answers they seek, and walk alongside them through the process of change. It is an honor and privilege to see God change hearts and lives as we serve him!
Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
In case you haven't heard this news, here it is:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The 5-year-old daughter of Grammy-winning Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman was struck and killed Wednesday by a sport utility vehicle driven by her brother, authorities said.
The girl, Maria, was hit in the driveway of the family's home Wednesday afternoon by a Toyota Land Cruiser driven by her teenage brother, said Laura McPherson, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
The brother, whose name and exact age weren't available, apparently did not see the girl, McPherson said. No charges are expected.
"It looks like a tragic accident," she said.
Several family members witnessed the accident, which happened in Williamson County just south of Nashville. The girl died later at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, hospital spokeswoman Laurie Holloway said.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
It truly is a privilege to suffer in any way that God sees fit to allow, for His sake. I want to always be able to honestly pray "bring it on, Lord, so that you will be glorified".
I pray this will minister to you, and challenge you to repent of self-focus, as it did for me today:
DYING TO SELF
When you are forgotten, or neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you don't sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight, but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ.
THAT IS DYING TO SELF
When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart, or even defend yourself, but take in all in patient, loving silence.
THAT IS DYING TO SELF
When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, any unpunctuality, or any annoyance; when you stand face-to- face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility-and endure it as Jesus endured.
THAT IS DYING TO SELF
When you are content with any food, any offering, any climate, any society, any raiment, any interruption by the will of God.
THAT IS DYING TO SELF
When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good works, or itch after commendations, when you can truly love to be unknown.
THAT IS DYING TO SELF
When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy, nor question God, while your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances.
THAT IS DYING TO SELF
When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart.
THAT IS DYING TO SELF
Are you dead yet? In these last days, the Spirit would bring us to the cross.
That I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death. Phil. 3:10
Sunday, May 4, 2008
1 Peter 3:15 tells us to always be prepared to share the reason for the hope that we have. That is true for all believers of course. But it was during this conference that I began to sense God's calling on my life in to full time ministry. I knew that The Lord was challenging me to 'step it up', to be sure that I knew what I knew, and to be sure that I could defend it, and pass it on to others who were hurting and stuck in their Christian walk. It was a call to a higher standard, which would require me to pursue the calling with fervent prayer, passionate study of the Word, and great sacrifice of time, finances, and pursuit of earthly pleasures.
That was almost 4 years ago. Since that conference when that verse was prayed over me, I have completed my counseling certification and have logged a few hundred hours of counseling in my local church. This past year brought another call to 'step it up' and share the reason for the hope that I have to women beyond just the counseling. God has expanded my reach to women in general as I take on the task of Women's Ministry Director. I will still be counseling - that is just how God wired me and I can't NOT do it. So, I remain more than ever on my face in fervent prayer, in the Word for even more passionate study, and the sacrifice of my time, finances, and pursuit of earlthy pleasures is even bigger now.
Some have asked me WHY. All I can say is that I consider this all training ground for.......something........I have no idea what.......but I just know that it is right and that I AM called to it. There is no stopping me, short of God calling me out of it as clearly as He called me in to it!
So there you have it - the reason for The Reason For The Hope That I Have!!!
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
The theme was, yes, Jesus as our ROCK. We had a great speaker (well, two actually because she brought a friend that added much to the weekend!), and enjoyed the rock theme with stones and pebbles interwoven all through the weekend (rock candy at our tables, rock fabric water bottle holders, writing sins that need to be 'cast off' on rocks and tossing them in the creek, songs that sing of Jesus as our Rock, etc!). The sessions centered around scripture that points us to Jesus as our firm foundation, the Rock. It was a great way to focus our hearts and minds on Who He is in our lives!
To my sisters in Christ who went this weekend: Thanks for your prayers, encouragement, and support of the news that I am now the Women's Ministry Director at our church. But the BIG THANKS goes to God Himself, Who SHOWED UP this morning in a powerful way as I had the privilege of presenting a message this morning about our communion with God, and communion with each other, and how they are both involved in our partaking of the Lord's Supper. I just can't stop praising God for the way that He moved among us as we shared that intimate time with Him and with one another this morning. I came home humbled, blessed, and in awe of the way that His Holy Spirit was SO evident. We 'SAW' You there this morning, Lord!! We did not miss it! Thank YOU, Jesus!
((((As soon as I figure out how, I will post the notes of the message That God gave me to share with the ladies about communion this morning. It's long, and I need to figure out how to take you to a link to read it instead of taking up a whole page here!! Be patient with me!)))
After you are done here, stop and remember that Jesus IS our Rock!!!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
The second night, they sang it again, and they did sing "My Jesus"!!! WOW. Jesus has been sung to and about in this season's American Idol more than ever.....Jason Castro has been bold enough to do so and he is not yet voted off - good for him (he's got my vote!)!! Dolly Parton gave glory to Jesus when she sang on an episode, too. Ryan Seacrest barely knew what to do with that!
Watch this clip of the second performance (the one that they do use Jesus' name!) and enjoy!
Monday, April 14, 2008
9,000 women attended the Living Proof Live Event with Beth Moore in San Diego this past weekend. I was one of them, somewhere in that huge crowd! It was just an awesome time of worship and teaching. Travis Cottrell led the worship - amazing is all I can say. Beth brought a message from Psalm 139. Our key word was 'KNOWN'. It was a deeply personal application of this Psalm, because it is an intimately personal passage (read it!). This event was about our very personal relationship with God, and we focused on how He knows us as we worked our way through the Psalm. I was caught off-guard because I thought I knew why I was there before the event began. I thought I was going to focus on some direction for some new ministry challenges I have ahead of me. I was wrong - but God knew and He met me there in a profound and life-changing way as he dealt with my personal walk in some places that I had not surrendered to Him fully. It is for freedom that Christ has set me free! Take a look at the video re-cap and enjoy Travis' singing while watching. If ever there is a Living Proof Live event near you, GO!!! You will not regret it.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Monday, March 31, 2008
It simply is not biblical to try to 'forgive ourselves'. Nowhere in scripture does it say 'forgive yourself'. We are to accept God's forgiveness, and forgive others, but not forgive ourselves. To do so is to take the place of God on the throne, and try to do what He has already done for us as true believers! I don't think she means that, though....I truly believe she just chose poor language to say what she meant. For example, better language might be "I still have regrets", or "I still feel guilty", or "I keep beating myself up over that thing", even though you have God's forgiveness. If these are the case, then your problem is not that you need to forgive yourself......the problem is that you need to take the focus OFF OF SELF, and on to the cross, and repent of the sin of unbelief! It is unbelief because you are not believing that Christ's death on the cross WAS sufficient, and that you are forgiven completely.
Well, I could go on and on about this topic, because it is kinda a pet peeve of mine (no offense to Beth - I totally love her and her studies and other teachings have been life changing for me - I couldn't recommend them more strongly!). Just ask the ladies I minister to. ;) This 'self forgiveness' thing comes up fairly often and they've heard me say all this a zillion times by now. WHY?? Because it is THAT important! Our very faith is all about forgiveness, and we must have a clear understanding of it. When we don't have that clarity, we tend to say things like "If only I could forgive myself", when what we really mean is "we should stop disbelieving that we ARE forgiven (therefore, no need to forgive ourSELVES)".
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
He is the First and Last,
The Beginning and the End!
He is the keeper of Creation and the Creator of all!
He is the Architect of the universe and the Manager of all times.
He always was, He always is, and He always will be ...
unmoved, Unchanged, Undefeated, and never Undone!
He was bruised and brought healing!
He was pierced and eased pain!
He was persecuted and brought freedom!
He was dead and brought life!
He is risen and brings power!
He reigns and brings Peace!
The world can't understand him,
The armies can't defeat Him,
The schools can't explain Him, and The leaders can't ignore Him.
Herod couldn't kill Him, The Pharisees couldn't confuse Him,
and The people couldn't hold Him!
Nero couldn't crush Him, Hitler couldn't silence Him,
The New Age can't replace Him, and "Oprah" can't explain Him away!
He is light, love, longevity, and Lord.
He is goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and God.
He is Holy, Righteous, mighty, powerful, and pure.
His ways are right,
His word is eternal,
His will is unchanging, and His mind is on me.
He is my Savior,
He is my guide, and He is my peace!
He is my Joy,
He is my comfort,
He is my Lord, and He rules my life!
I serve Him because His bond is love,
His burden is light, and His goal for me is abundant life.
I follow Him because He is the wisdom of the wise,
the power of the powerful,
the ancient of days, the ruler of rulers, the leader of leaders,
the overseer of the overcomers, and is to come. And if that
seems impressive to you, try this for size.
His goal is a relationship with ME!
He will never leave me,
never forsake me,
never mislead me,
never forget me,
never overlook me and
never cancel my appointment in His appointment book!
When I fall, He lifts me up!
When I fail, He forgives!
When I am weak, He is strong!
When I am lost, He is the way!
When I am afraid, He is my courage!
When I stumble, He steadies me!
When I am hurt, He heals me!
When I am broken, He mends me!
When I am blind, He leads me!
When I am hungry, He feeds me!
When I face trials, He is with me!
When I face persecution, He shields me!
When I face problems, He comforts me!
When I face loss, He provides for me!
When I face Death, He carries me Home!
He is everything for everybody everywhere, every time, and every
He is God, He is faithful. I am His, and He is mine!
My Father in heaven can whip the father of this world.
So, if you're wondering why I feel so secure, understand this...
He said it and that settles it.
God is in control, I am on His side,
and that means all is well with my soul.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
This is a work in progress, by no means complete, so keep coming back to see new stuff added!
Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question!