April 20, 2011 § 4 Comments
God has given us all missions. Jesus sent us all to make disciples. God has a mission for you – a mission to bring Him glory and honor.
Things to know about your mission…
1. God-given missions never contradict God’s word
2. God-given missions are beyond your abilities that is why you have God and why they are God-given.
3. God has gifted, shaped, and directed your life (sin, painful, dark times and all) to prepare you for your mission.
4. You have a mission now. God wants to use you as a kid, a mother of young kids, a grandparent, a barren woman, a single man, a married couple, a senior adult, etc. Your mission never ends and it begins the moment you accept Jesus as your savior. From then on you are His and you are on mission for Him.
Jesus had a mission too. This holy week, I want you to think about His mission. Born to die for our sins that we may live with Him in eternity. What a SAVIOR!
Now I have a mission for you as well…If you choose to accept it. 😉 My new blog is ready for prime time…YEA!!!!!!! The kicker? Even if you subscribe to this blog, I need you to sign up again on my new blog. I tried to import you all, but feedburner would not let me do it. So kindly meet me over there and tomorrow (Good Friday) there will be a give away for the official opening day of Rethinking My Thinking’s new blog! Click on over here and join me at my new home!!!
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 3, 2011 § 8 Comments
I used to know a lot more than I do now.
I had the best opinions about everything. I knew how to solve complicated problems because I was right.
I was going to be President. It would be easy, I already had all the answers.
I didn’t have experience, but I didn’t need it. I had a great imagination and logic.
I was smart once, but I also missed out on some things.
I didn’t realize how much grace I really needed. I lost sight of mercy in the pride that I “figured out” that I needed Christ. Somehow I saw that I needed Christ “back then,” before I asked Him to be my Savior, but then I had it handled from there.
I would put on a self-righteous smug smile and say I loved the lost, but in reality I found them less intelligent than me.
I never stopped to consider their backgrounds and experiences that could drive them away from Christ. I never considered that grace was the answer. Instead I spewed judgment. I was right and they were wrong.
It took me many years to discover it wasn’t judgment that brings others to Christ it is grace. Romans 2:4 says, “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?”
Grace and kindness lead us to the cross. Getting a glimpse of the depth of God’s grace, the magnitude of His kindness draws me to Him. Swimming in the sea of His kindness and grace is where I find a deep and abiding love for Him.
The more I realize the depth of my need, the more His grace and kindness grow. The larger His grace and kindness, the larger my love for Him. The more I love Him the more I desire to obey His commands.
His ways are upside-down, inside-out and topsy-turvy in our society of personal rights. He even told us in 2 Cor 1:27 that, “…God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”
I was smart, once. Now I am a humbled, grace covered, child of God. I hope as I swim in God’s sea of grace, I fall more in love with Him and that my love with be contagious. I know I have said it before, but knowing I am in desperate need of graces frees me to extend grace to others. The more I swim in that ocean of God’s grace, the easier it is for me to live a life of grace.
Do you have a story to tell about how you used to be smart and God changed your brilliance to foolishness? I would love to hear your stories. The comment button is under the title of the post.
Consider joining in…Sign-up to get e-mails each time I post or get the posts in your favorite RSS reader or follow me on Networked Blogs. Like my Facebook page to get updates of speaking engagements and have more opportunities to discuss and encourage each other. I can’t wait to get to know you!
February 23, 2011 § 4 Comments
Last week I got a call from my sister. She was preparing a devotional talk for the inmates at a woman’s prison. She and several other women go to the jail to play basketball with the inmates and share Christ with them. She had a great idea about what to share, but needed some direction. So we began bouncing ideas around…Here is the general idea of her talk…
Everyone likes heroes. Little boys love super heroes. They are strong and tough. These heroes fight for what is right! Our society has lots of heroes. Sports heroes like A-Rod, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers who just won the Super Bowl. After 9-11 our society realized there are also everyday heroes. Firefighters, police men and women, EMT’s all who willingly laid down their lives for the sake of others.
Do you have a hero? What if someone came into this jail today and told you that he would serve the rest of your sentence? So that you can go free now. Would he be a hero to you?
I have a sentence against me. The Bible says, “the wages of sin is death,” (Romans 6:23) eternal separation from God. That is what I have earned for doing things that do not please God. But God sent His son Jesus, my hero. He took my sentence for me so that I can live in heaven with God forever! “For God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
I have a hero, and His name is Jesus. Do you want to know Him as your hero? Romans 10:9 says, “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Powerful stuff isn’t it? Jesus our SUPER HERO, our sentence bearer, God wrapped in flesh, died to make us His adopted children. It still amazes me. I pray I will never get tired of hearing this news and that each time I hear it, I will be more and more amazed by it.
Is Jesus your hero? Tell me what He is doing in your life or how He is amazing you. Have you asked Jesus to be your hero (or Savior)? Please consider praying this prayer:
Dear God, I know that I am a helpless sinner. Your word tells me that I have earned death – eternal separation from You – for the choices I have made that are not pleasing to you. Please forgive me for my sins. I thank You for sending Jesus to take my sentence so that I can live with You forever. I accept His offer to be my Hero, my Savior, my Lord. I give You my life from now on. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
Now tell someone that you made this step of faith. Share it here so I can be praying for and with you.
February 18, 2011 § 3 Comments
Did you know that I am writing a book? I have a few friends reading over the manuscript currently. One of them e-mailed me and said that the difference between Christians and Non-Christians is their foundation. The wise builder and the foolish builder went through the same flood, but the one with the firm foundation wasn’t wiped away.
We all go through floods. Floods of illness, infertility, financial crisis, death, loss. The question is how firm is your foundation? Have you allowed Jesus to be your foundation? Have you dug in deep to His truth? Are you walking in close relationship to Him daily?
I do not always walk closely with my Lord. I sometimes falter and fail. I turn to myself, my friends, my husband, my children and build my life on them instead of Him. Those parts of my building crumble when the floods come. Only the parts deeply rooted in Jesus stand firm. There were times when the floods came and I discovered I had Jesus as my foundation, but nothing deeply rooted in Him. The flood swept it all away. I was left with my foundation. I was left with my Savior.
He is more than enough, but I don’t want to labor in vain. I my life to stand firm despite the raging flood. I want my life to count. Not because it makes me a better person, I am a wretch. Not because it makes God love me more, all my deeds are like filth to Him. I want my life to count because I want to bring glory to God. I want Him to get the credit, honor, and glory for all of it.
How do we build a firm foundation? We read His word, we find a fellowship of believers who sharpens us, challenges us, guides us, loves us, supports us. We pray and live a life of thanksgiving to the Giver of all things. Each thing we thank God for strengthens our foundation. Each prayer sent up draws us ever closer to Him, who is our Strength. Each time we dig into His word, we discover more about His abundant grace. Let’s never forget to dig down deep into our God who loves us so!
How is your foundation? What are you doing to dig deep into your Foundation? Stick around and share with me…I can’t wait to hear about your foundation.
February 14, 2011 § 7 Comments
I seriously have an issue with Valentine’s Day. As a kid my parents did give us candy and tell us they loved us. At school I got candy and those little cards that get thrown away almost as soon as you get home. I gave them too. As I got older, I secretly wished a certain boy would send me a card that shared secret feelings. I hoped and wished, always to be disappointed. Even if I received a card from a certain boy that said something like “Be Mine” I could never be sure if he really wanted me or if he gave that same card to everyone.
Then middle school came around and high school. Every Valentine’s day I knew I didn’t have anyone “special,” but I wanted someone. So I quietly tried to squash the hope that rose in me each year, a hope that was repeatedly disappointed. UGH! Valentine’s Day. Sure now that I am married, I have enjoyed many Valentine’s Days. I have my true Valentine. The one who asked me forever and offered his forever to me.
I look at my kids and groan. Valentine’s Day at school. Inevitably someone ends up with hurt feelings. Little hearts are filled with hope that another little heart will give them approval. I see it on Facebook statuses, like this one:
Copy this to your status and see what you get INBOXED!(:
GOLD : Be my valentine this year?
RED: I used to like you..
ORANGE: You will be mine
……GREEN: I wanna date you!
BLUE: I love you
PURPLE: I wanna chill
PINK: I like you
YELLOW: Your sweet
WHITE: You’re funny
BROWN: You’re amazing
SILVER: You’re cute(:
Approval, love, acceptance…We all want it. We want to know others love us, like us, think we are good-looking. Yet we already have all the acceptance we need in God. He loves you despite knowing all of you (Psalm 139). Not just the you that you try hard to portray. God knows you and loves you. God sent His Son to die for YOU!
So how do I teach my kids to “guard your heart” (Prov 4:23) when in this world we are placing our hearts out there to be filled by anyone? I am not perfect, but this is what I told them. I want them to know on everyday, but especially the day the world celebrates love that God loves them and that mommy and daddy love them. I want their hearts filled with God’s love and the love of their parents so they don’t need to offer their hearts to others until it is time. As Song of Solomon suggests (at least three times), “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”
My goal is to use this day to teach my kids real love. The 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love that is only from God and can only be lived out with the Holy Spirit working it out in us. I pray my husband and I live it out in front of our kids. I pray we pour Godly love into them. I seek to make this day about His kind of love, not our sinful messed up kind. In case you are wondering, yes my sweet husband will be giving me a token of his affection today as I will for him.
What do you think about Valentine’s Day? What are you teaching your kids, friends, family about love?
Hang around leave a comment.
February 10, 2011 § 9 Comments
Deep down that word makes me cringe. It makes the inner rebellious child in me stand up and say, “I don’t need anyone to tell me what to do.” It is hard for me to swallow the truth that I need help.
The bottom line is that I like to think I have it all together and I don’t need someone to speak truth in my life except for God.
There I said it. It is ugly. It is pride. I don’t like it about myself.
So for years I had this debate going on inside me. I knew I needed someone to keep me accountable, but who? How do you decide? How do you open up the ugly parts of yourself to someone? I feared rejection, I feared the ugly would make others think less of me. I feared my response when I didn’t live up to the accountability.
So essentially pride and fear kept me from obeying God. As I searched for and prayed for someone to help me. Someone I could do accountability with, God started speaking to me. Here is what I discovered:
Accountability is either specific or organic. Specific is you come to a friend and say, “Please hold me accountable for _____________ .” Then set up times to get together and talk about it or text each other.
The organic kind is sticky, but it happens when you and a friend are chatting. It happens in sharing the stories of your lives together. It must be wrapped in grace and left as a present. Your friend may not accept that present. Your story may be too raw or fresh, but if shared with love, given as a gift in grace, then you can leave that gift with him or her to open and use as he or she feels fit. If your friend does not use your gift of accountability and falls headlong into sin you lovingly speak of God’s grace. We all need it. Grace to get out of the pit we dug, grace to redeem our dirty messed up lives.
Accountability is God’s grace. It is His way of helping us avoid the pits of sin we are apt to fall into. I discovered that my fear was really pride. That my pride was sin and sin is exactly why I need accountability.
Tomorrow I will share a story of organic accountability. I hope you tune in to see what happens.
Do you have an accountability partner? How do you work that relationship out? Is it organic or specific? I would love to know your thoughts. Please leave a comment.