Sunday, November 30, 2008
Now, I am not questioning that He is Sovereign. In fact, I believe that He is still on His throne, an unshakable throne. It's more a question of application. There are some streams that say that we don't really need to pray because God's will is going to be done regardless. They even take it to the extreme that they won't vote on election day since God is going to put His person in authority anyway, so it doesn't matter. They also explain every bad thing that happens as "God's will". Many in this stream believe that God has predestined those who will go to heaven, so evangelism and missions are "useless". On the opposite side, there are those who believe that God's will can be changed by prayer, fasting and our free will, and that while God is sovereign, He allows humans to make choices. All choices have consequences, some good, some bad, but consequences nonetheless. Both sides have scriptural support. And this is the dilemma. God is not divided, so there has to be someway to reconcile God's sovereignty with our free will.
I don't really know the answer, so I"m sure that this will be an ongoing journey.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary online defines sovereignty as:
Sovereign is further defined as "one that exercises supreme authority within a limited sphere [or] an acknowledged leader"
I love that God is "free from external control". This means that nothing can change the fact that He is still on His throne! The economic "woes" of this country have not surprised Him. The results of the election did not surprise Him. He is not moved by the tides of "change" in our world. But, and I do mean "BUT", I believe with all my heart that God's heart is 100% toward people, not just His people, but EVERY single person on this planet. And I believe that when His people pray, He is moved with compassion and stretches out His hand in love and mercy, and that He will turn away from His wrath. I believe His mercy trumps His judgment, but He always remains just, which is a mystery.
So I pose this question to you....what are your thoughts?
Sunday, November 23, 2008
So I found myself looking over some facebook profiles of acquaintances and asking "why do their lives seem so great? I wish...." Then I stopped myself, or maybe the Holy Spirit stopped me (it was probably Him, cuz' I'm just not that smart). Why is it that we, as humans, tend to look longingly at someone else's situation and assume that it's so much greater than ours? We think, "I wish my husband were like that" or "I wish I knew people all over the world" or "I should have that job" or "I'm just as anointed" (that one's a scary one- yikes!). Yet, we never really know what their life is truly like. AND more perplexing still is the simple fact that if we were to spend as much energy seeking the Lord and walking in His perfect path for our lives, our life would be so great that nothing else would seem desirable. OUCH!
I think (and I know I've blogged about this before) that we get our "desires" so twisted sometimes. We think that we'll be fulfilled if only our husbands are perfect, or we have beautiful children, or if we have a title at work or in the church, and we completely miss that HE is EVERYTHING that we need, and that our ONLY true fulfillment comes in HIM.
Lord, I repent for looking to others to satisfy my heart, for striving to find fulfillment in the things of this world, and overlooking your arms that remain so wide open. Thank you for your gracious reminders that you really do have my best interests in mind, and that your ways and your timing are PERFECT! There is none like you, for you truly are a great and amazing Father! I love you, Lord.....
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
It's 9:33pm, and I'm sitting at my desk with my laptop, trying to get caught up on some work that I'm MUY behind on, and my lips are feeling a little chapped.
I'm surrounded by all of my scrapbooking supplies, because it's my goal to play more and work less.
Do you see where this is going???
I just picked up my glue stick and almost used it as chapstick. Thank you Jesus for stopping me from that fiasco!!!
***shaking my head***
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I implore you, now, to pray like you have never prayed before. President-Elect Obama and his family are facing one of the toughest jobs in the world. He will be faced with many challenges and decisions that will impact our nation, and he NEEDS our prayers. Regardless of how much you like or dislike the man, we are called to pray for those in authority and respect those in authority and to serve.
For some, it may be a complete shift in habits. You may have spent the last year talking about everything that's wrong with this man, and how much you dislike him. For others, you have been so excited about the change he has promised to bring. It's time for every single one of us to unite as Americans, but more importantly as Christians, and pray that God will be glorified in this land. It's time for us to stop our complaining, our slander, our disrespectful comments, and honor the man that God has placed in authority in our country. I'm going to challenge you to remember that old saying that our mothers taught us, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." I imagine that it won't be easy for any of us. Some will be watching for every mistake and rejoicing (which is petty, immature and downright disgusting). Others will be disappointed when promises are broken (and they will be broken, because no president in our history has really been able to do EVERYTHING they have promised to get elected). Either way, it will be difficult to guard our tongues, but it is possible!
Let's fight for a true change! Let's get on our knees and choose to speak life into this country again!
The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. - James 5:16
Monday, October 27, 2008
I was talking to my grandmother about this, and she was telling me that there is a company that's advertising jingle is "We're always on time, and we have a great attitude". Seriously? That's my EXPECTATION! If you're not on time, and you're in a rotten mood, you're likely going to lose my business.
What happened to your word being your honor? What happened with taking care of the customer, even if it's "not your job"?
In Time Warner's defense, I am giving them a second chance after tonight. I emailed the VP of North Texas, a very, very, very LONG email, and I just received a response - at 10:27pm! I figure any company who's executive VP will respond to a customer complaint this late deserves at least one more shot....
Monday, September 8, 2008
Today is an overcast day in the metroplex, a nice break from the heat of summer.
God is good, and I'm trying to be faithful at work....
Love my husband, my friends, my family, my cat...and sometimes the dog.
Hope you all are having a great day!
more to come....
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Last time I checked, God says that He's after our hearts. He wants to love us and be loved by us. He wants us to be real with Him, and be with Him. In fact, I'm pretty sure He rebuked the "actors" (after all that's what "hypocrite" means - actor) and told the "religious" people that they were missing it all together. Who was it that touched His heart? It was Mary as she sat as His feet. It was John as he laid on His breast. It was the woman with the issue of blood. It was the woman caught in adultery. It was Peter who dared to get out of the boat, exploded in anger and spoke out of turn - more than once (gosh am I like that or what?). Do you know that the only time Jesus ever yelled at anyone (as recorded in Scripture) was when He was yelling at the Pharisees and people in the temple who were misusing the temple for their own personal gain.
Well, I've been going through a new "salvation" if you will. Now, I'm already "saved", but I believe that salvation doesn't end with the first prayer of confession, but merely begins (see Phil 2:12). There are actually 2 Greek words for salvation- one that means "saved" past tense, and the other means "being continually saved" (I don't have the exact verses with me, but if you would like them, I will find them - just shoot me a message). Anywho, back to the point...my new "salvation" is by far one of the deepest and most difficult things that I have had to walk through. You see, I'm being saved from religion. I'm being set free from the expectations of man, and the "Good Christian Checklist" and I'm finding new life in Christ's love. It's a complete paradigm shift. It's so outside the box of "church" and "religion" that it's like learning a new language and culture. Like I've moved to Zimbabwe or something!
Before you get your panties in a bind, hear what I'm saying. I love love love love church and gathering with my brothers and sisters. And I love reading the Word and hearing His voice and worshiping more than anything else in this whole world. But I love that stuff because it means I'm spending time with the Lover of my soul. And the coolest part of all is that He loves me! He even likes me! He thinks I'm great! He created me for His pleasure (Ps 149:4) and I make Him happy. He likes to spend time with me, and He will stop everything He's doing just to pay attention to me (I think I'm His favorite - sorry to break it to you). And He is so amazing. He is so awesome. I am daily, even hourly, amazed by how, or even why, He loves me - it's so mind boggling. And you know what my favorite thing about God is? He is soooooooooo NOT human! He is not as fickle in His love as so many have accused him of being. He doesn't get mad when I don't read the proverb of the day. He's not disappointed in me when I sing the wrong note in that worship song. He doesn't get offended when I tell Him that I'm not thrilled with whatever is going on right now and that I don't think He really knows what He's doing (yes, I've said that to Him, and of course, I was wrong! But what did you expect? I'm a bad Christian, remember?) Really, I think that He loves an honest heart. He knows what we're thinking anyway, so why not tell Him? Why not get it all on the table and let Him have it? Heaven knows that I would do that with my husband - why not God?
I'm loving this "new" salvation, the journey of this walk. It is a WALK, you realize. Saying the prayer 22 1/2 years ago didn't make me perfect. It just started this amazing hike down the narrowing (and it certainly gets more narrow - can you feel the tight squeeze?) road of life. And the great thing is that He walks with us, and carries us, and strengthens us, and we get to experience His life as we walk. It's not a "someday" salvation. Jesus said, NOW is the time of salvation. "NOW" - you mean that I don't have to wait to experience His grace, His peace, His joy? Not at all....It's all available to us NOW as we walk with Him in His salvation. WOW!!!!
So here's the rub. I've made a decision to quit religion and start my walk as a bad Christian who is loved by a super good God. Will you come with me?
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
It is with great sadness and heaviness of heart that I write this post. On Sunday, July 13, my good friend and brother in Christ, Jason, went to be with the Lord.
It was unexpected. It is unreal. It's unfair. It hurts.
For those of you who didn't get the chance to meet Jason, let me tell you a little about him.
Jason was an amazing man of God who loved God with all of his heart, and his wife, Denni, just as much. I first met Denni and Jason in Phoenix, AZ when they came to my church. We instantly became friends, as we had many of the same interests: worship, baseball, games, comedy and kitties. Denni and Jason were my family when I was a single young worship leader trying to figure out which way was up. They were more than just casual friends, they were a lifeline. We all sang together, played together, laughed together, cried together. Even after I moved away, we remained friends, always hanging out when I came to visit (Props to our favorite Pizza Joint).
Then I got married, and moved even further away. Contact dropped off a bit (much to my regret and sadness), and then I got an email....
Saturday, I heard from Denni that Jason was in the hospital, and after a long 28 hours he was still in critical condition, but stable for now. I immediately informed my praying people and I hit my knees, crying out to God for a miracle for my friend.
On Monday morning I got the call that Jason went home to be with Jesus, and my world was shaken. All I could think was "He's so young", "This can't be happening", "How in the world is Denni surviving all this?" and "I wish I could be there [Phoenix]". I just could not believe that he was really gone.
After a very, very, very long day at the office, I went to the gym. As I was working out, my heart would go back to Phoenix, and it would flutter a bit as tears welled up in my eyes. But the strangest thing kept happening. Every time I would feel sad, I kept hearing "There is joy", and peace would just wash over me. Then, as I was walking out of the gym, I heard the phrase "Singing With Jesus", and it struck me that my friend, Jason, had been promoted. He is no longer singing for Jesus, because he's singing with Jesus, and what a cool place to be. (I can't lie, a little part of me got jealous when I realized that he was with my God in heaven!) Now, while that is one of the best parts of being a believer, it doesn't take away the sadness we feel on earth. Even Jesus wept when one of his best friends died (see John 11:35). So, when I got home, the floodgates opened and I wept.
I wept for the loss of my friend and the sadness I feel inside. I wept for my friend and sister, Denni, who's world has just collapsed. I wept for the fact that it could've been me or my husband. I wept because I couldn't do anything else.
This is really my first experience with grief, a deep grief. I've lost a couple of grandparents, and while that made me sad, I was never close to them. But Jason, wow....he is my age, in the prime of his life, with so much ahead of him, my friend, my brother. And there are no answers. The question, "why" is rarely answered, yet in the midst of all these storms, we are called to lean on God's goodness.
nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls-
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer's feet,
and He will make me walk on my high hills.
And while I still feel sad, I am comforted in that I know beyond a shadow of doubt that God is good, and my friend is singing with Jesus. I'll miss you, Jason. And, Denni, if you happen to read this, I love you so much, my sister, and I'm praying and crying with you. If you need anything at all, please call me......
Monday, July 7, 2008
"For the word of the Lord holds true, and everything He does is worthy of our trust."
Ps 33:4 (NLT)
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defends trust:
1. to place confidence; depend
2. to commit or place in one's care or keeping; entrust
3. to rely on the truthfulness or accuracy of; believe
4. to hope or expect confidently
Such a small word packs a big punch. How is it that we have such a hard time with this word. I mean, it makes sense that it's hard to trust people. After all, we are all people, and we know our own tendency to screw things up and let those we love down, so it's only natural to expect the same from others. But God? He is the most amazing father, awesome in everything He does, never failing us, never leaving us, always loving us and holding us closely. And yet, we still hesitate. Is it because we think that He'll treat us like our earthly father who was abusive, or that bully that tormented us throughout our early years, or maybe that mother who was over critical of everything we said or did? Is it because we "trusted" Him once, and He let us down (oh, that could preach - it would take a whole page, at least, just to explore that)?
I put it to you that it might just be that we don't really know Him, and I mean intimately know Him. Like Moses, David, or Elisha....like Jesus knew His Father. How different would our lives be if we walked in the same face to face relationship with God that Moses walked in? What would it be like if we, like Enoch, walked with God? Would we trust then? The writer of Psalm 33 knew God to be true to His word, and if He is true to His word, then He MUST be trustworthy. Moses also sang about the trustworthiness of God. "God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?" (Num 23:19 - NLT).
So, what will it take for us to fall into His hands in complete surrender and trust? And I don't mean the semi-surrender that we call trust. You know what I mean, the "Lord, I believe that you have a plan for my life, but since you're not moving in my timeframe, I'm gonna push it along", or the "Lord, I know that my spouse loves you, but since they don't act like I think they should, I don't believe that you're really moving in their lives." OUCH!!!!
And I return to my last post. "Oh that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know Him" (Hos 6:3 - NLT) The moment that we press into Him and begin to see Him and know Him in all His splendor, we too will be able to say with all confidence that "everything He does is worthy of trust."
Saturday, July 5, 2008
After considering all of this, the question was posed to me, "What kind of kid are you going to be?" Am I going to be content doing my own thing, spending minimal time with Daddy at my own convenience, or am I going to be relentless in my pursuit of His attention?
"Let us know,
Let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. "
Monday, June 30, 2008
As a bonus, there is so much great stuff happening on the internet. For example, check out God.tv, a website that broadcasts Christian programming 24-7, and is dedicated to reaching the world for Christ. Then there are all the sites that have access to hundreds of different Bibles, commentaries, study materials. It's endless!!! I bet the Apostle Paul would've killed for this kind of technology. Well, maybe he's just sitting up in heaven, cheering us on to use what God has given us for His glory, the internet included!
So, Lord, please be glorified in this blog, in this page, because anything else is just trivial. Love you!!!!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
For me, it shows up with the age old question "why". Why is it that "she" is pregnant and doesn't even want a baby. Why am I stuck in this job? Why can't I get a pedicure? Why can't I go to Europe? Me, Me, Me, Me, Me.....
Have you identified the monster? Do you struggle with the same thing?
Maybe I'm the only one....
Lord, help me see You as the only thing I need. May I crave You more than any earthly thing. May I find my place and my peace in You. Let everything else disappear in the glorious light of who You are....
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Monday, June 2, 2008
Speaking of a happy God, one of my favorite sayings is that "God is always in a good mood". He is good, ALL the time, not just some of the time. His very being, His glory is goodness, and He doesn't change, regardless of the circumstances. Our pastor has been talking a lot about this, and the more I meditate on it, the more it's truth sinks down into my heart.
Have you heard about the outpouring in Florida? Now, I realize that there are many suspicions about "outpourings" and a lot of people who will try to disprove that all of these "wonders" are actually of GOD, and I've had my questions. How many times have we seen men and women of God fall, thus seemingly discounting everything that happened as a result of their ministries? And to be honest, I kinda wondered about this "movement". It's now on day 62, and I've been listening and watching it on God.tv (online- great site, you should check it out - it's FREE!). I wondered if this will be just another "revival" that lasts for a brief period of time, giving Holy Ghostbumps, but producing no change in the status quo. Then God really started to convict my spirit. You see, it's not about how long it lasts, or what it looks like, or who's leading it. It's about recognizing God and being where He is. Our pastor was talking about worship yesterday, and he said "it's not about what you like, but about what HE likes". It's the same thing with these types of services. I may not be comfortable with people yelling, or speaking in tongues, or shaking, rattling, rolling, dancing, singing, shouting, etc, etc, etc, but what if I'm limiting what God wants to do in my life? Am I like Michal, David's wife, who scorns the move of God, and therefore becomes barren in my life? Or will I abandon everything in me to worship God and serve Him with everything in me, even if it means dancing all over the place? I don't want to be like the people of Israel, waiting at the bottom of the mountain because I am scared of the presence of God. I want to be Moses, walking into the fiery presence of God, where I can talk to Him face to face as a friend. I don't care what people think. I don't care if it's not "normal" or "non-traditional". Jesus was "out there" too, and if He's my example, I'd better be about my Father's business. All of this to say, I want MORE. There is more to God and I want to know Him, more and more every day, and I will do whatever it takes to meet Him, every day, everywhere.
Now that I'm talking about God, I don't want to bring up the Green Monster...that will just have to be a teaser for the next episode. All I know is that in His presence, there is nothing else.
Let's go deeper....will you come with me?
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Life has been so busy that I'm still writing February on checks and wondering where March and April have gone. All good stuff, though. Paul and I are working with people to get debt free thru Financial Peace University-God is so good, and we are so grateful to be a part of it! Also, spending time in various life groups and training classes at church. We've met some great new friends, and we're loving hanging with them as well as our "old" (not in age-no offenses-teehee) friends. Working and working out (ya...I'm feeling it today...yikes).
All in all...God remains faithful and so good, and I am so thankful for His everyday presence in our lives.
Peace out....(love you Amy!!!!)
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Well, that's kinda how today is. There are things going on, but really it's nothing to be excited about. It's sunny outside, but chilly. Football games are on, old movies are on, Animal Planet is on (by the way the Hippos beat the Crocs to claim the title as the most vicious). It's all about comfy clothes, fuzzy blankets, nap time. I love these kinds of days, where you can enjoy your family and rest in His Sabbath. So with that said....Love to you all!
Saturday, January 5, 2008
This verse has been taken out of context amongst several schools of theology. I've heard it used to promote a "santa clause" type of God, you know the one who will give you what you want if you perform for him.
I've pondered this verse hundreds of times, and if I were to be completely honest, I've tried to use it to my advantage. I can't tell you how many times I've prayed "God, you're my delight, now can I have....?" How easy it is to get sucked into the selfishness of using God for my personal agenda, rather than truly delighting in Him. As if that's not enough, I have pretended to know what the desires of my heart really are. I think that God must have fun laughing at my plans and my thoughts. In retrospect, I have fun laughing at my plans and thoughts.
You see, I have found in my life that as you delight in the Lord, I mean truly pursue Him above all else, He will begin to reveal His truest desires for your life. I believe that He's placed these desires in your heart, and that you just don't know what they are until you're so wrapped up in pleasing God that nothing else matters.
How do I know? It's like this. When I met Paul, I was on the heels of a bad break-up. My heart was mush, and I was convinced that I knew what I wanted. Heck, I thought I knew what God wanted. The truth was, I was so broken-hearted, I didn't know what was real. That is, the only thing I could be sure of was (and is) God's faithfulness. You see, it was during this time that I fell so completely into God's hands. There was nowhere else I could go. His heart was the only safe place for me. It was during this time that I met Paul.
Here's where this verse comes in....Paul is the man my heart has always desired, only I never knew it. He is nothing like I expected, or thought I wanted, but He is PERFECT for me, and God knew that. God, in His faithfulness, awakened my heart and gave me the desires that had been sleeping there in my heart. And now every day, I see God's heart in my husband. Every day I see that God knew exactly what I needed, and what I've always wanted, and He gave me Paul. And I can't tell you how many times I've thanked God that He didn't give me what I thought my desires were. Whew!
What are your desires? What are you delighting in? Let it be Him! God is so good. He is so faithful, and He loves you so much more than you could ever imagine. Fall into Him. Press into Him. It's worth it, not for the gifts He gives, but for who He is.
For meditation.....Jer 9:23-24
"Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories, glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth, For in these I delight."
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
I woke up this morning not feeling superb, so I decided to sleep in a little bit and get to work late (the beauty of flex time). My plan was to get to the office about 9:30, and the office is about 15 minutes away. It was 9:15, and I put Daisy in her crate, grabbed my lunch and was about to head out the door when I realized that I couldn't find my keys. I tore apart the house, and could not find them. I searched the truck (from outside since it was locked) and couldn't see them. Now this has never happened to me, so this was a new phenomenon.
On a normal day, I could've just called in and said, "I'm working from home", but since my laptop was locked in the back of the truck that wasn't an option. I debated calling in sick, but although I wasn't feeling great, I wasn't really sick, and it always looks bad to call in sick the day after a holiday (unless, of course, you really are sick).
So here's the humility lesson times 3 - First I had to call Paul and ask him to come home from work to let me in the truck. Then I had to call a colleague and let him know I was going to be late because I lost my keys. AND then (here's the worst part) I had to call my team (you know, the people that work for me?) and tell them why I was going to be late.
The beautiful part of the story is that my precious Knight in Shining Armor came sweeping down in his white 205 "horse"power F150 and rescued this damsel in distress. The keys were locked safely in the console of the truck (he had driven yesterday, so I threw my keys in there for safe-keeping, and they were safe!). I got to work at 10:30 (only an hour late) and had a good day in spite of its start (and aside from a few wisecracks about my crazy morning).
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
New Years Day is traditionally known for resolutions, or at least the facade that we will actually change that one thing we dislike about ourselves...really, this year...I'm going to do it...sure, whatever. Realistically, can any of us really say what we're going to do or not do in this next year? The Bible says that tomorrow is never guaranteed, and if we're going to have a tomorrow, it will have it's own set of circumstances to think about (Christi's translation), so can we ever really plan? Sure it's great to set goals, to work to become more disciplined whether with working out, praying more, spending more time with family and less money avoiding them, but when 2009 comes around, what is the one thing that you want to look back and be able to say "I did it!"?
I've been thinking about this for the last couple of weeks. You see, I have a TON of things that I need to change about myself, and a TON more that I would like to accomplish. It's actually quite overwhelming. As I've been pondering these things, I've decided to boil it down to one thing, and one thing only. I want to live each day in the perfect will of GOD, to be directed by HIS Spirit alone rather than my selfishness, to allow GOD to make every call in my life as He's shaping me to become more like HIM! When I sit down on 1/1/09 I want to know that I've done exactly what He wanted me to do, learned every lesson that He wanted me to learn, and to be exactly who He wants me to be.
It's a good thing that He is strong in our weaknesses!
I pray that God blesses you in this new year and may God increase you in the knowledge and revelation of His love!