Sunday, August 24, 2008

Where is YOUR hope??

I don't know why, but I do some of my deepest thinking in the shower! I call them my 'shower moments' (hmm, maybe that will be the title of the book I've always wanted to write someday?) ;)
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."

AMEN!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fulfilling A Calling

I have mostly kept this blog to ministry-related posts in one form or another....but today I feel led to get a bit more personal and share a few things God has been showing me. Maybe the blog will be taking a bit of a turn that way, we'll see!
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."
AMEN!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

BAGGAGE

I pray as you watch this video, you will lay YOUR burdens down...

Monday, August 4, 2008

100 Fold Harvest!!

See the bottom of this post for a video re-cap of the Living Proof Simulcast from August 1-2,2008!!!
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):
http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dhqvdbsm_4ftvg6zcx
Thank you Living Proof Ministries for always bringing a 'Fresh Word' to us and challenging us in life-changing ways!
video