Saturday, May 26, 2018

Time Flying By

It started Sunday with my youngest giving her first sermon in our church's family service. This brought so many thoughts to my head. This was not my shy little girl.

When she was around 3, I remember hearing her passionately praying that she becomes a preacher, but if not, could she at least marry one.

Then there was May 20, 2012, her and her best friend both went to the altar during an outpouring service and asked Jesus into their hearts. This was so special because it was not anyone's idea, but their own. They made the decision that it was their time. (They were both baptized together a few years later.)

Fast forward to May 20, 2018 and there is my baby standing behind a makeshift pulpit (music stand), and giving her first sermon. Not to kid's church, not just to our congregation, but to everyone who also tuned in to see service that day and the days to follow on the website.

Who would have thought, six years to the day of her salvation, she would be getting up in front of thousands to speak what God had placed on her heart.

She spoke on choices and how we need to be sure to base our choices on God's word. It was a great word and spoken from the heart. She spoke with confidence and no one realized that on the inside she was a nervous wreck. Why? It was because she was speaking what God told her, and He had sent His Holy Spirit to give her confidence.

I have spoken in front of the congregation and I know how hard it is. I am beyond proud of this little girl.

Of course, I am proud of both my girls. My oldest is developing a love for photography and I am trying to find ways to help her, although I am not a photographer. Maybe one day she will allow me to share her work on here or maybe you all will be paying to have her pictures hanging in your house.

She has the sweetest heart and I love that the little children are drawn to her no matter where she is. She treats them with a respect, love, and kindness that so many tend to forget to show the little ones. Little hearts matter as much as a big hearts.

What blows my mind is how she is officially a teenager. It amazes how she has grown and how fast the time has flown. Cherish all the moments you have with your babies because those moments don't last forever.

I pray that my girls will always seek to nourish the bond we have, that no matter where they go, their momma will be praying and loving and proud of all they are.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Free

Last Wednesday we sang a praise song with the lines:

"Just a moment there
Set me free"

It was after a couple times thru that a realization came to me. It doesn't say 'for' a moment, it says 'just' a moment.

For a moment means you go back to bondage, back to old ways, back to being captive. It gives a time constraint to the freedom God promises. That you can be free, but only for a time limit, that's it.....no more freedom after that. For a moment means temporary not forever.

Just a moment means it only takes a moment, a second, to be forever set free. The freedom doesn't expire, doesn't go away, doesn't disappear.

There are times we come to God and we need to linger in our prayers......there are times we come and our prayers are answered almost immediately. But no matter if we linger or not, as soon as we come before God - He sets us free from the worry, concern, pain, the chaos of uncertainty.

How many times have I gone to the altar or my prayer closet, felt the freedom of my requests/burdens be lifted, then left and that weight come back? More times than I should..... You see, I didn't give those to Jesus, I didn't release my hold on them. I laid them down, then picked them back up again. Why? Probably bc I have control issues and the thought of not knowing was worse than carrying them. WOW! Do I know better than God? Do I have my best intentions in mind? Ummmm.....no.

That is selfish of me to even think that. It is time to step into the presence of God and be completely free.

Give your life to Jesus, everything you have and witness a freedom you've never felt before.

John 8:36 "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Odd-Man Out

A feeling I know way to well. From an early age I always felt like I was on the outside looking in.

When your little, you just dream that one day you will find that friend or group and never feel alone. You may find a friend or group for a few years then almost feel pushed out. As you age, you realize that those groups are already formed and no matter how hard you try, you aren’t breaking into it.

Hurt radiates off every part of you, but you mask it. Maybe you make jokes, portray false confidence in your independence, make yourself ‘busy’ or just isolate yourself.

It's not easy on a person to feel left out. Lonely is a feeling that no one wants to have. It can overtake your life if you allow it.

When that feeling tries to overtake me, I find it best to remember that I am not alone, I always have Jesus. It may sound cheesy, but it's true.

He is the only one who can fill the emptiness that is there when you don't fit in. My husband and kids can't, and it's not fair to them for me to try to make them.

I was once told if I put God where he needs to be in my life, then everything else will fall into place. It was then that I knew that I needed to readjust my focus. Am I giving Him my first? my best? Am I looking to Him for guidance? direction? love? Why have I allowed myself to take my eyes off the one who truly sees me for who I am?

No matter where you are, or lonely you are, you are just a pray away from being overwhelmed by God's unending love. Let Him be the friend or group you long for.

Isaiah 41:10 "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Proverbs 18:24 "One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Early Mornings

Quiet moments....

5:30 am, every morning for the last several weeks I have been awakened. Just a soft nudge, a gentle push to open my eyes and begin my day. Sometimes I listen and sometimes I fight it.

I have found that when I listen, I don't necessarily have to even rise from bed. It is quiet and I just listen to the soft chirping of birds, the stirring of our dogs.....the soft calling of the Lord. I will spend time praying......thanking God for a new day, asking for peace, and pleading for the needs of others. As I finish the time in prayer, I sometimes even fall back to sleep and rest for a bit longer. My day is calm, my energy is great, my attitude is pleasant.

When I fight bc my flesh is weak.......I toss and turn, spend the day tired, exhausted and grouchy.

Over the years, when my heart is drawn into prayer in the wee morning hours......it is almost always for others.....there was the 36 weeks I awoke at 4am every morning to pray for my dear friend....I don't remember God ever waking me to pray in the wee hours for myself......it is for others.

I have come to the conclusion that if I am awaken by God......it is a call to pray and He will reveal who and what to pray. Maybe just a name, a situation, but I have learned to listen.

Today I challenge you to listen to the one who made you, the one who loves you more than anyone else.......tune your heart to His. He will not leave you disappointed.

"Let my prayer be set before You as incense. The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice." Psalm 141:2

Friday, April 13, 2018

Treasured

Wednesday my youngest won a new bike at church. Because she already had a bike, she declined and said to draw again for a new winner. The next name drawn was a little girl who only gets to come because a neighbor brings her and her siblings.

God's love in action. Between my daughter and this neighbor, a family sees that God is not just a name, but an action. It took a lot for a child to give up a new bike. But from what I understand (I was in a different part of the church) she didn't hesitate. She didn't have to think about it. She just did it. (I'm very proud of her too!)

Hmmm....how many times has God asked us to give up something and we hesitate? To do something and we have to think about it first?

Obedience isn't always easy or fun. Obedience sometimes makes you the odd-man out. But afterwards, there is a peace that will overwhelm you.

My daughter gave up something because she knew that is what God wanted her to do. She left feeling happy and at peace because she was obedient. She was obedient without hesitation, obedient without nudging from friends, obedient because she knows the voice of God.

Recently, i was to meet some friends for lunch. I felt like God said to skip this one. I did and it was hard. But as soon as I messaged them and backed out, there was a peace that overtook me. It was freeing. You see, sometimes we put our worth in others. We put more emphasis on what others think than what God thinks. My time with God wasn't where it should have been and because of that my mind set was a bit skewed. I needed that time to spend with God.....to refocus my sight on Him.

(It's not bad to spend time with friends - my group is great - this time God was teaching me a lesson)

This is reminder today to not hesitate when God tells you to do/say something.

"Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." Exodus 19:5-6

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Who am I trying to be

For many years, I have been a Christian. I was raised in church, literally. When the doors were opened, we were there. You would think that I would have this Christian walk down, right? I should know who I am, right? But then, why do I try to be everyone else? I sit and compare my walk with those around me. Why can't I be as strong as she is, why can't I worship as freely as her, why can't I speak as eloquently as she does? I could go on and on (and on and on).

Here recently I have struggled with insecurity. I feel so inadequate - inferior - expendable.

That is when God steps in and asks - When have I ever asked you to be anyone but you?

Yes, God, but I probably won't ruffle as many feathers, if I had a little more gentleness like so-and-so. I am sure that they would prefer someone who prays more eloquently.

Then I am reminded how I am God's handiwork.

Ephesians 2:10 For [I am] God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for [me] to do.

How many opportunities have I missed trying to be like ___(insert name)_______? I have let my insecurities keep me from walking in the fullness Christ intended for me. I can't be anyone but me.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Where Does Your Ministry Start?

As I watch my two girls out the window with a friend, the Lord impresses a question on my mind - Where does my ministry start? Does it start at church, work, at the grocery store?

No, my ministry starts at home - with my family. It doesn't matter how many services I attend, if I fail to live it at home, then its all been in vain.

Dueteronomy 6:5-7 says "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up."

When we go through everyday living, we must demonstrate the qualities of God. Telling them what Jesus is, is not enough. This is a generation that needs to see Jesus in action.

We've been given a great responsiblity, a great blessing and a means to succeed. God didn't set us loose with kids. He gave us His Word to teach us, to encourage us and help us succeed. He gave us a helpmate - the Holy Spirit to guide us. It is not too late to step into the role God designed you for. Just stop, pray and trust God! He will direct your steps. (Psalm 119:133 "Direct my steps by Your word, And let no iniquity have dominion over me.")

Lord, help me to walk out my witness in front of my girls. Help me be the type of Godly woman that they look up to. I want to be their mentor, not just their mom. I want to influence them more than the world. Make me more like you, Jesus!