April 13, 2011 § 9 Comments
Have you watched the movie Facing Giants? Here is a short scene I want you to watch:
God has given me a vision. It is a big one. One that I cannot make happen myself. One that I have to trust God to do in His time and in His way. At times this dream seems unreachable and things don’t seem to fall into place like I think they should. Doors are not opening up, rejection notices come, my e-mail box remains empty. When I start to despair I remember this scene. Am I trusting that God will bring the rain? If I am then I must prepare my fields.
My dreams for sharing Him with others through the written and spoken word are huge. I know that God can do it through me and that I cannot do it myself. I am humbled when one person says my writing blessed him or her. I am honored that God would use me to point other to Jesus. Oh that all our hearts would burn for Him.
So while I wait for the rain, I write. I submit. I fail. I succeed. I wait. I write. I speak. I fail. I succeed. All of it is for God’s glory. All of it is to bring praise to Him. All is because He loves me enough to give me breath and words and thoughts. All for Him.
So as I am praying for rain for this ministry, for articles I have submitted, for the book I am writing, for speaking engagements, for women struggling with infertility, for others struggling with dark times, for us all to be more like Him, will you pray with me? Will you pray that I will obey and wait and write and prepare my fields? I can’t wait to see the God’s sized harvest God is going to reap through this ministry. I am so glad that you want to be a part of it.
How can you help me?
1. Pray (I have submitted three articles. I am waiting to know if the editors have accepted them. I am also working on one more and finishing my book)
2. Tell your women’s ministry director about me. (I would love to come and speak at your church)
3. Tell your friends about me and my blog.
Now how can I pray for you? Leave a comment or if you need to click on the contact me and send me an e-mail. I would love to lift you up in prayer.
March 16, 2011 § 8 Comments
Someone asked me knowing what I know now what I would tell my sixteen-year-old self if I could go back in time.
Sixteen…Driving…High School…After school job…Kansas Bible Camp…Debate/Forensics (speaking tournaments not CSI type stuff)…Youth Group…
I was the “good little Christian girl.” I carried my Bible to school. I helped lead a Bible Study (held off campus on Thursday nights). I spent summers working at Kansas Bible Camp. I went to church every Sunday and since my church was too small for a youth group I went to Topeka Bible Church on Sunday nights for youth stuff. I prayed at See ya at the Pole events.
I looked great on the outside. Oh, but I missed out on something. Somehow I thought I was smart enough to figure out that I needed God. Everyone who hadn’t figured out they needed Jesus were less intelligent than me.
I stood in judgment of those who were not following Jesus. Instead of extending grace, I looked down. Instead of considering someone’s story, held them accountable for what I had experienced. Surely everyone heard of Jesus, surely they should know. I did not realize the depth of my need. Instead I decided who was worthy of God’s love.
I fear I pushed more away from God than towards Him. I behaved like a self-righteous Pharisee and I looked great on the outside, while on the inside I was a rotting corpse. I missed grace and mercy. I read James and didn’t apply verses like:
“Act and speak as those who will be judged by the law that gives freedom because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:12-13
I am grateful that God’s mercy extended to even me. I have since become aware that I am helpless and hopeless without Jesus. I am aware of the ugliness of my sin and my desperate need for grace and mercy. Since God has made me aware of this, I am more able to offer mercy and grace to others.
How about you? What would you tell your 16 year-old self?
March 12, 2011 § 21 Comments
Facebook status: “My last ultrasound showed my baby was small, next test scheduled on Tuesday.”
I commented: “Praying for you.”
Facebook status: “My husband is going on his 50th job interview over the last nine months. Pray he gets this one.”
Many comment: “Praying”
The question is what does “praying for you” really mean? Do we really pray right then as we send our comment into cyberspace? Are we adding these people to our prayer lists (if we have them)? Or are we holding up our Christian card and keeping up appearances?
Or is it possible that “praying for you” is only another way of saying “hugs” or “thinking about you?” It is a comfort term rather than something we are actually doing? Does that term make us sound good and holy when we are not even bringing the concern to the Throne of Grace? Have we gotten too comfortable with praying that we don’t even realize we are addressing the God who created all things, the all-powerful One?
I admit it is easy to say, “praying for you,” and not really mean it. I pray that I never say/write it without actually praying for that person right then…Most often when I say/write it I mean I have prayed for you and as God brings you to mind I will pray for you again. I am not a list maker or a prayer journal-er. I sometimes aspire to be, but it is not the way I am wired.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, most of my prayer time is the “pray continually” kind. As I am wiping noses, observing children, washing dishes, driving, I am praying. So I have my mental list and my mental list may not be as “good” as it used to be. I am becoming more and more forgetful. Ok I admitted it, I like to blame it on my kids. I mean I have more brain cells dedicated to different people now than ever before…My point is that I may only “pray” for a situation rather than truly “praying.” Does the comment “praying for you” hold water when I only pray once?
I know what I think, but I want to know what you think.
What do you mean when you say/write, “praying for you?” What do you think others mean when they say/write, “praying for you?”
Jump in and join the discussion… And thank you Justin Voris for the idea that prompted this post!
March 10, 2011 § 11 Comments
I am studying the book of Daniel in Bible Study. I struggle studying prophecy. I just don’t have pertinent historical facts filed away in my brain. Then there are about as many ways to interpret prophecy as there are people. So the prophetic portions of Daniel have taught me three things. God has a plan, His plan cannot be thwarted, and God wants us to be alert and ready for His return.
This week we studied Daniel chapter 9. Here is where God just got up in my grill. Like the baseball manager who presses his belly against the umpire’s chest protector and screams his displeasure. Only it was God voicing His displeasure with love, while I – the lowly manager of the time, talents, and resources He has given me – go all silent. Then I get the look. That sheepish one. You know that look of suddenly realizing you are in the wrong and how foolish you look.
Well there I was studying for Bible study, after I had read my quiet time passage, and written my blog post. I had done some pretty good time with God today. I was feeling pretty good about myself. Then I saw it…Daniel was reading his Bible too. The book of Jeremiah to be exact and when he got to a certain place, he did something. He put on sackcloth, sat in ashes, fasted, and prayed.
So backing up here, I had read my Bible, written a blog post to encourage others to be more Godly, and was studying my Bible, but God’s word hadn’t driven me to pray. I wasn’t moved in my emotions or my thinking. I was studiously checking things of my list. As if God cares about sacrifice. NO He cares about a broken and contrite spirit. He wants my faith, my time in the word to be translated into action. Specifically He wants me to pray for myself, for others, for our nation, for other nations.
I pray. I pray as I get up, as I wash dishes, I pray with each of my kids as they wake up and when they go to sleep. I pray on the fly, everywhere. But do I pray? Do I sit down without computer, phone, distraction and really pray? Do I come before God like Daniel did to confess sins, to ask for mercy. Do I sit still on my knees and pray? I confess not very often and by that I mean once a month would be stretching it.
Do I ever REALLY PRAY? Does God expect me to pray that way? I mean Him and me and nothing else…On my knees? Jesus prayed. He prayed for hours. Could it be that my bed bound grandmother is doing more kingdom work as she prays throughout her day than I do as I chase my kids, write, speak, teach Sunday School, and lead small groups?
What would it look like if I would at least weekly spend 5, 10, 15 minutes on my knees literally?
So here it is…I commit to spend at least 15 minutes a week on my knees in intentional prayer time. This does not change my pray continually lifestyle that I am still working on. No, it just adds a new dimension.
Anyone care to join me? Let’s talk more about this subject of prayer. I can’t wait to hear what God is telling you! I hope you join me!
Thanks for stopping by. Please join in…Leave a comment (click the word comment under the title of each post), sign-up for e-mail delivery of each post, consider joining my facebook fan page, or follow my blog on networked blogs. I can’t wait to get to know you!
July 20, 2010 § 3 Comments
Envision a bright, sunny, winter day. Snow is on the ground, and the sun creates a magnificently brilliant, and blinding glare. That is the day this idea came to me. I was walking between classes at college, without my sunglasses on, and God seemed to tell me. “The reason you can’t look at My holiness, and My glory is that you are not wearing your Son-glasses. That is why the world didn’t recognize Jesus as God when He came to earth. They weren’t wearing their shades” Only through the lenses of God’s Son, Jesus, can we hope to “see” God. Ezekiel 1:27 mentions a vision of Jesus on his throne, and says that “brilliant light surrounded him.” God is that amazing! God’s glory is brilliant, too brilliant for our human eyes to see. That is why Moses only got to see God’s back. (Exodus 33:12-27). Only through the redeeming blood of our Savior, Jesus; only through the Son-glasses of salvation can we see God.
The thing is that we often think we are smart enough to put on our “Son-glasses.” That somehow, we had something to do with finding salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” The first “that” in the verse is referring to our faith, not God’s grace. So our faith is THE gift of God. If our faith itself comes from God, then how can we say, I am better or smarter than those who don’t choose God? No we are all in need of grace. At some point we are all deceived by sin. We are blessed to accept Jesus, not smart enough. Yes, God in His sovereignty allows choice some how, don’t ask me how. The point is that we need to be gracious to those who don’t know God. We need to show them how salvation affects our daily lives; how we live out our salvation in all we say and do. They don’t need condemnation. They don’t need a watered down version of the truth. They need to see God’s kindness which leads them to repentance. (Romans 2:4)
Oh, that I would live a life full of God’s kindness. That I would live a life viewed through the Son-glasses of salvation so I can be intimate with God. As I view life through those wonderful, grace given, Son-glasses, I pray my heart and my perspective will change to be more like God’s.
Now are you wearing your shades?