Bounce

Bounce, jump, and shift are all redirect words that mean starting in one place but ending in a different one. They signal a movement from one area to another. Over the years various guy friends have shared with me a principle they call ‘bouncing’.  In order to keep from lusting when they see an attractive women in a way that would tempt them to lust they “bounce” their eyes onto something else and look away.*  One friend told me “the first look isn’t sin – we can’t help when someone walks in front of us – it’s when we keep looking or look again that it is a problem”.  I tend to agree with him.

As with all sin, we first start with the temptation to sin before we do the actually sinning. James 1:14 says:
“But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death”
We need to stop sin when the desire comes - before it births sin in us.  Temptation isn’t sin – we sin when we give into the temptation. We need to bounce our looks, or thoughts, or words.

Ladies, I think the guys are on to something here! What if we ‘bounced’ whenever the desire for sin appeared? Rather than just lust, what if we applied it to worry, pain, hurt, unforgiveness, a bad attitude or discontent?

At times we need to fight and work through our sin and issues, but once the Lord has made His position to us clear on a matter we need to “bounce” whenever our desires hasten to lead us astray.

We need to bounce:

-When we start to worry over a situation or person and bounce to remembering Who is in control of the future and all situations in it.

-When something triggers an old memory and the pain that goes with it and bounce to where we are now and what He has done.

-When someone hurts us – again – and un-forgiveness rears it’s ugly head - bounce by choosing to forgive as Christ forgives us.

-When discontentment floods our hearts over our roles, relationships (or lack thereof), and possessions - bounce to what we do have and the Provider of those things.

Bouncing is a habit that takes time and purpose to implement. The art of bouncing is something you prepare for and decide to do ahead of time – before the desire and temptation come. Make a game plan. Choose something you will bounce your thoughts and desires towards. It could be anything – sing a song, quote scripture, physically go do something, or  mentally start planning a phone call or conversation you want to have – even your grocery list. Personally for me, prayer for a specific person is my favorite bounce plan.

If you struggle with worry, a bad attitude or unforgiveness, bouncing your thoughts by praying for the person/situation is a great way to gain perspective and peace. On the other hand if you struggle with lust, pain or discontentment type desires, –trying to pray for the situation or object of your sinful desire in the moment of temptation is a lot like trying to not think of something. You will always think of and dwell on what you are trying hardest to forget! It kind of defeats the purpose. So bounce wisely. Ask the Lord what, how or whom you are to bounce your thoughts and desires towards. He’ll let you know and then do it – plan ahead for when the temptation comes.

Picking something ahead of time to bounce your thoughts towards is like loading your gun with amo in a war ahead of the battle. You don’t want to be caught without your ammunition.

May the Lord direct (redirect or bounce) your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. (From 2 Thess 3:5)  Bounce, jump and shift and we will gain the victory over what battles and defeats us!


*BTW for guys reading this post – girls do notice when you are out and about with us and you choose not to look when you see something – we/I respect you greatly for that!

How to Conquer the Christmas Blues

Blues. Why is loneliness associated with blue? Why not red and green — the colors of the Christmas season that strikes loneliness into the heart of the most contented of singles? It’s a season of gifts, when a lot singles would rather return their ‘gift of singleness’.
But then, what if? What if the Lord did give us a receipt with which to return our “gift”?

Singleness can be returned at the Focus department in the INAY (It’s Not About You) store. I know, that’s harsh – but it’s true. Bear with me and to read more about why I've come to this conclusion, and why (even though I'm in the same place I was last year) I'm enjoying Christmas without the normal blues this season continue reading here.

Tired

Tired.

I almost always see this word as a bad thing. For me it means limitations, that I’m not super woman as much as I want to be. It means I’m human.  I’m learning it means He’s God. I’ve known for years that God is my strength and when I’m weak He’s strong and yada yada yada…. But lately it’s making it’s way from my head to my heart. I KNOW that when I’m tired and at my end – it is my end and the beginning of Him. For all of my tiredness there is an opposite in Him.

Tired of being sick (physically) all fall – tired to the point of not functioning.
Tired of seeing the pain and evil - tired of my heart breaking.
Tired of the Lord revealing things to me I can’t do much about or fix – tired of surrendering it all back to Him.
Tired of fighting my own selfishness.

And yet – I’m thankful He’s not tired of me. For every time my heart breaks, it’s only because His is too.  Fighting my selfishness means that it’s dying. That He is living more. With sickness comes compassion and patience. In revelation comes responsibility to pray – utter reliance on Him. For in the end of my understanding begins His. When my heart can’t take it anymore – His is larger. Perhaps tired is a good thing. It keeps me on my knees.

5 Minute Friday Prompt – Tired. Real, raw unedited writing for 5 minutes. Join us over at the Gypsy Momma.

The Bridge of ‘So That’

So That.

Two tiny words that form a transitional phrase and a conditional clause. They are the bridge between cause and effect and the signaling/ushering in of another season. A continuation of one season as it simultaneously prepares for the next.  “So that” can explain part of the ‘why’ in life as you look back over the circumstances they bridge to the outcome, purpose and result.

The only problem with the “so that” bridge is when God is still building the bridge in our lives we can only see the “so” part. It doesn’t make sense yet – and that is exactly where I am right now. I’m in a season of wrestling. Wrestling with serving/loving/living fully in the now as God pricks and prepares my heart for the future. He is stirring things in my heart I don’t understand and don’t know how to put into words yet. My heart is breaking for things it never used too. I long and ‘weep as a man, longing for his Home’. I see God working and moving pieces in my heart but not how they connect.

Some days I feel on the outside looking in – it’s as if I’m reading the full story of my own life as it is being written, while other days I’m acutely aware of only the one or two words in front of me. My life is a paradox– in some areas I have a sense of knowing or glimpsing part of what the end will be – where He is leading me but with no idea how I’m going to get there. In other areas I just have no clue at all. There I can only see the cornerstones of the “so that” bridge in front of me – while also knowing that all the stones and pieces probably aren’t there yet to complete the bridge. 

But here’s the hope: the bridge will be made complete. The Lord’s teaching me that the “so that” in this life has a reason and purpose.  I’m very much in a season of the “so”. I don’t have a “that” to go with it yet – but I will. The Lord never leaves a job half done and if we let Him, He will “complete the good work He began in us.

Interesting thing though, the “good work” or the “so that” bridge the Lord is working in us is twofold. The Lord does things so that we may grow, learn and benefit from them but it never stops there. He also does it for benefit of others whose lives we will touch. Purposefully or inadvertently, the lessons we learn affect others if we live them out.

Take Abraham.  He is the very picture of faithfulness, one of the fore fathers and part of the lineage of Christ. His “so that” story is incredible.  His faith was accredited to him for righteousness. God was faithful to Abraham by fulfilling (completing) His promise to him by giving him Isaac.  But it doesn’t end there! Abraham’s lessons weren’t just for himself. Romans 4 tells us:
“Therefore the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring – not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham… [that] ‘it was credited to him [for righteousness]’ were not written for him [Abraham] alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness – for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.” [my emphasis]
Faithfulness and believing/trusting when we don’t see where life is going was a lesson for Abraham but also for us.

I love that Abraham didn’t know where his “so that” story was going or even what it was bridging (try oodles of generations! Now that’s quite a bridge!).  Hebrews 11:8 says “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” Abraham saw God working in his life too and didn’t understand what God was doing and how he was going to get to the end (the land and Isaac) yet he obeyed anyway. Wow. I want to be like that!

The further I read in Hebrews 11 the more I realized almost all of the heroes of the faith had “so that” stories. Stories God used for them but also for all of us. They too longed for Home: “For he [Abraham] was looking forward to a city with foundations, whose architect and builder was God.” And “All these people were still living by faith when they died.”

In my finite mind, I look at all these stories (please go read all of Hebrews 11!) and think that all of their “so that” stories are complete.  David became king, Abraham had Isaac, Elisha saw God, Moses was rescued in the rushes and saved Israel, Raeahab let down the spies and lived, and so on. All these men and women saw God or part of His plan -in part. Scripture says they were still living by faith when they died and didn’t see the completion. This blows my mind. Why? God met them – that’s complete right?

It would be if it was only about us. But God’s been showing me it’s not. He doesn’t just move or act for the individual or us. As a friend put it, we almost have an entitled view of God.  As in He ‘owes us’ because it’s all about us, all about me, all about you as the individual. Wrong!

Sure, God comes through for me, but it’s not about me. His plan is all encompassing and so much broader than me, than even the heroes of old! Look how the faith chapter ends.
“These [all the old testament faith examples or “so that” stories] were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect”. 
Only together with us would they be made perfect. Wow. Think about that one for a minute. God is serious about unity and oneness, fellowship. Oneness with Himself and with other believers. We aren’t ever meant to do this life alone. Your lessons and actions will effect generations. What excitement! What responsibility!!

As Romans and Hebrews talk about faithfulness, righteousness, and lessons connecting us together – 2 Corinthians 1 says the same thing about suffering and comfort.
“For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.”
We are in this together. His purpose is for us but also beyond us to others.

So as I wrestle and my heartbreaks and I sense Him move – I realize He’s just writing my “so that” story. Building a bridge that will connect me to other believers. And whether I want it to or not, the good and bad in my life will affect you. Yours will affect mine. He is Lord of us all.

Next time you get discouraged about the future or not understanding what God is doing, remember Abraham walked it too, yet – he believed God and it was accredited to him for righteousness. It will be for us too. He who promised is faithful and He is working out a lot more in us than our current comfort or happiness. So learn well. Your “so that” bridge is going somewhere!

When I look back in a few years I know I won’t see the full picture or bridge (and won’t until eternity) but I do pray that I will have built my portion of that bridge in faithfulness to Him, in such a way that others may walk across it and learn from me as well. How about you? How are you building? 

Kite Strings

The very things that tie us down give us the freedom to soar like kite strings.  They are balance and tension between the concepts of life and reality.

Dreams. Visions. Goals - God driven ambition. Lofty ideas, concepts and philosophies that soar right into and from the gates of Heaven - slam into balance - painful. Hard. The day in and day out reality of character forming drudgery. Patience and waiting. Endurance. Growth. – The kite strings of the minute-by-minute details that allow for and are the working out of the dreams into realities.

Gender. Identity. Made equal and in the image of God. Masculinity. Femininity. Uniqueness. Distinctly different and beautiful. Created to need and be needed by the other – slams into - different roles and purposes.  Boundaries. Thought processes. Communication styles. Physical differences. The perfect balance is found in the kite strings of the tension between the two genders. Embracing, honoring, upholding and loving the very limitations in each gender is one and the same with that which makes each of us able to be free. Accepting the limitations and the freedoms that come with each gender.

 Spirit. Holy. Awesome. Comforter. Helper. Discernment. Wisdom. The forgotten and tangible part of the Trinitarian Godhead – slams into – fear. Human, sinful nature comes face to face with the Convictor. A power we can’t understand or control but need. The Holy Spirit is the balance between knowledge of God and knowing God. Between loving the gifts and the Giver of the gifts. He is the kite strings of balance and tension between standards and liberty, laws and freedom, truth and love.

Kite strings are a bit like perspective or perception. They guide us and steer us in the right direction. At first they appear to hinder or control, but really they are the very things that give us the power and ability to experience the fullness of life, of joy and peace. The irony of life – that in the tension is really the perfect balance.

-unedited and from the heart this week.

Painful Growth

Grow. Equally synonyms with growth in my mind is pain. I’ve never grown without pain. It’s either a painful circumstance that humbles me and I grow from it, or it’s the pain of dying to self as I grow closer into the likeness of Christ. I have a lot of pain left to experience! The thing with painful growth lessons is you remember them. The clique “No pain, no gain” is even more true in the spiritual realm than it is the physical.

A close girlfriend once told me she thought I was addicted to pain. I laughed but since have realized it’s true. I’m addicted to pain, to growth. Why? Because that is where Christ is! Katie Davis sums it up well:
"I realize that the hard places are good because it is there that I gained more wisdom, & though with wisdom comes sorrow on the other side of sorrow is joy. And a funny thing happens when I realize this: I want to go to the hard place again. Again and again and again."
 Growth. Pain. Joy.

Do you shy from the hard places? From the pain that comes with growth? An other friend joked that he wished he could invent spiritual growth painkillers. Again I laughed, but then – should we take them? Wouldn’t we miss the growth that comes only through the pain?

I don’t like pain, but at the same time is missing out on the blessing of the intense fellowship with Christ that comes through the pain worth the temporary fix of the ‘pain killers’ we like to use?
Lewis writes on through the tough painful growth things in the Last Battle and says
“I almost wish–no I don’t, though,” said Jill. “What were you going to say?” “I was going to say I wished we’d never come. But I don’t, I don’t, I don’t. Even if we are killed, I’d rather be killed fighting for Narnia than grow old and stupid at home... and then die in the end just the same.”

Is growth worth the pain? Worth the risk? Do you, do I, like the way I am enough now to stay this way? To miss the adventure? I’ve come to realize it’s worth the pain to grow. Embrace pain for He is there in it – I’ve found Him– in a way that is more real than you can imagine. Grow.

5 Minute Friday Prompt. Word – Grow. 5 minutes of unedited writing simply for the joy of it! Come join the fun and link up your blog at The Gypsy Momma.

No Expectations

We all plan against it. Fear it. The unexpected, unknown, and most often the unwelcome. But yet isn’t that life? The most meticulous planner can’t control the unexpected in life as much as they try. If they could it wouldn’t be unexpected.

What if we embraced the unexpected instead of fearing it? Embraced a philosophy of no expectations? I’m not saying no standards to hold people too – God knows where our society is because of that, but no expectations on the Lord, and the ones we love and how we love? No one can meet all of our expectations and so we constantly battle a little disappointment and frustration even if it is subconscious. We want what we want, when we want it, and we want to control it. We want the Lord to move, but we want it our way.

How much more joy and gratitude would we have for the Lord and life if we just let the Lord work? Expect the unexpected with God. Expect Him to move, but not how He should move? Let go of the futile control and embrace adventure. We’re on this ride of life whether or not we want to be, so stop fighting and start enjoying!

Loving with no expectations is what Christ did and it’s there in that love that the unexpected happens. Instead we love people with preconceived biases of how they are going to act and we try to tell the Lord how to move in our lives.

Lets live a day with no expectations and see what freedom the unexpected brings!

5 Minute Friday Prompt. Word – Unexpected
. 5 minutes of unedited writing simply for the joy of it! Come join the fun and link up your blog at The Gypsy Momma.
Thanks to Jolyn for teaching me about the unexpected. :)

Identity Lost

It's not often I'm asked what I'm passionate about or that I get the chance to write on it. But this month I was asked to write on what makes me personally passionate - not just on how to define your passions. It is strangely freeing, yet with a sense of deep vulnerability, that I shared my passion with the readers over at YLCF. The Lord has gifted and called each of us to live out what He has put in us and sometimes it's reading about others passions that stir or awaken our own. For that reason I want to share mine with you! (It may also help you to see some of the heart behind Not Unredeemed.)

"Wrestling within herself, she turned away from my arms and the prayer on my lips. Her face now in shadow, she uttered a plea and prayer of her own that broke my heart. “God! Why am I worth fighting for?” At 16, Amy is a beautiful Christian girl who has already experienced enough of life’s ugliness to make her question her worth to the very God who gave it to her." To continue reading please visit Identity Lost.

Signature of the Divine

“Sorry, I know I sound whimpy…”

“Haha, sorry, just got a little excited…”

“Sorry, I’m sorry that song makes me cry every time…”

“I’m sorry, I keep talking about him, he’s on my heart…”

Ever make excuses for the way you are? What you feel and how you look? Apologize for yourself to other people for doing nothing wrong? It’s like in your mind you aren’t reaching a standard – a standard that no one has actually set. If people were really sorry for the things they said, felt, or how behaved around other people they wouldn’t actually do those things. So they aren’t sorry necessarily, what they are really asking for is permission from the other person to act or feel a certain way. Acceptance.  A casual phrase you hear in everyday conversation stems from a much deeper context: we are afraid to be who we were made to be.

What “I’m sorry…” is really saying is “Wait! Let me pause the conversation, make an excuse for the way God created me, cause I don’t want to offend anyone by walking in confidence of the way He made me to be.” Perhaps confidence should offend, or more accurately challenge those around us? Who are the leaders among us? Who are the people making a difference?  They are the ones who are confident and unapologetic of who they are and what they stand for. 

“I’m sorry…” puts the focus on us and takes it AWAY from God. Perhaps HE is the one most offended by us? He has saved us and is sanctifying us to be perfect as He is perfect – that it the redemptive process! Perfect means complete. Continually apologizing for ourselves and putting ourselves down is not humility – it is arrogance.
The way we continually talk about our own inabilities is an insult to our Creator. To complain over our incompetence is to accuse God falsely of having overlooked us. …how unbelievably inappropriate and disrespectful they [our words/perspectives] are to Him. We say things such as, “Oh, I shouldn’t claim to be sanctified; I’m not a saint.” But to say that before God means, “No, Lord, it is impossible for You to save and sanctify me; there are opportunities I have not had and so many imperfections in my brain and body; no, Lord, it isn’t possible.” That may sound wonderfully humble to others, but before God it is an attitude of defiance.
                                                                                                    – Oswald Chambers
 Humility is instead an accurate picture of how God sees us.


We are created in the image of God. Think that through for a minute! As with any beautiful painting or work of art you are signed by the Divine (Jesus Christ) – He has left His imprint on you. Made to be His witnesses and ambassadors, you are His signature here on earth. Wow. We are being transformed into His likeness. The more we know Him, the more we will reflect His glory, His divine signature.

It’s not prideful to be confident in bearing this signature. C.S. Lewis says “Humility is not thinking less of yourself – it’s thinking of yourself less.” It’s ok – right – even for us to know and understand who we are – who He is making us. There is even such a thing as a healthy pride: a stewardship responsibility that we are to have, not in what we have done – but as a reflection of what He has done in us.   Isak Dinesen says,
Pride is faith in the idea that God had when he made us. A proud man is conscious of the idea, and aspires to realize it. He does not strive towards a happiness or a comfort, which may be irrelevant to God’s idea of him. His success is the idea of God, successfully carried through, and he is in love with his destiny.
That is what a holy confidence looks like.

We apologize and make excuses for who we are or what we feel all the time because we don’t see ourselves as God sees us. (Even in jest.) The self-apologies are really arrogance  and insecurity hiding behind false humility.

So how do we stop apologizing for ourselves? The first step is to listen to yourself and those around you. I think you’ll be shocked how often you’ll hear those phrases. (I have been at myself!) When you hear yourself making an apology out of this false humility, repent of the wrong view of yourself and remember God’s view of you – the imperfect being made perfect.  Ask Him to show you who He says you are.  The KEY to walking in confidence is knowing the One whose image you are supposed to reflecting. 
Why then is it so mandatory for us to know God now? The reason is that man is made in God’s image; therefore, no person can love God, or walk with God until He knows God. To the degree that we know Him will be determined everything about us. God has made Himself knowable, but only in certain areas. His purpose in doing that was for our own good. When those few revelations of God’s incomprehensible character are grasped, man’s own character will begin to be altered. We are what we worship. It’s God’s life that we want, not human life trying to be godly.”
                                        –Dan Dehann, The God You Can KNOW. [A must read!]
We are changed through knowing Him.

How well do you know Him? Not know about Him, but KNOW Him? Christians are most often the worst self-apologists. Brothers and Sisters this shouldn’t be so! Let’s know Him more and change that!

Passion - Beyond the "What" to the "Why".

The purpose of our passions is to honor the One who created them in us, but we can’t worship Him with what we don’t know we have. I firmly believe everyone has a passion. Sometimes we just have to search a little bit for them. So I challenge you, do you know what your passion is? What steps do you need to take to either identify your passions or cultivate the ones you already know you have?


Be it art, music,or service we all have passions, both heart passions and physical passions. To continue reading about Identifying Your Passions please join me over at YLCF

Created in His imagine there is no room for us not to spend time seeking Him for, and honoring Him through, our passions. Go past the “what” in your life to the “why”!


Photo Compliments of The Notes on My Desk

Spoken Identity

Do you ever realize that our WORDS create things? That they create an identity for ourselves and those we speak them too?

This month I wrote an article for Young Ladies Christian Fellowship about the impact of our words and how they relate to a person's identity. Like a coat, words cover us. But do we always wear the coat the way the designer (or speaker!) intended us too?

You can design the most beautiful masterpiece in the world and if it is misused, under-valued or incorrectly worn, it completely changes the purpose for which it was created. For instance, stockings can be worn as hats, but when they are, they send a completely different message than what they were created for – like robbery!

To keep reading please visit YLCF !

Ashes

Ashes - the gray between death and new life, fire and new growth. The pause between the living sacrifice, and a purified beauty.
“Therefore I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.” Rom 12:1-2
An old friend and fellow youth worker always said, “The problem with living sacrifices, is that they crawl off the altar”. How many times have I surrendered something to the Lord, to later take it back? Or to have Him ask me to surrender in a deeper way or on a new level than before? Countless times!

Recently though I’ve encountered a new level of being a living sacrifice that has left me in something of a conundrum. What am I to do with the ashes after I’ve surrendered something completely to His will?

I echo Jim Elliot early in his relationship with Elisabeth as the Lord lead him to not pursue a relationship with her, so he (Jim) could go to Africa unattached. Despite his passionate feelings for her, he says
“'So I put you [Elisabeth] on the alter’ . . . and as the silence grew heavy . . . ‘And what is to be done with the ashes?’” – Passion and Purity
Jim and Elisabeth still had to see each other and be in each other’s lives for years before the Lord eventually brought them together. They lived with the gray ashes of their desires and dreams in front of their faces - daily  - as they choose to be living sacrifices.

In all cases and in all types of surrender, the Lord brings beauty from ashes (Isaiah 61:3) – that’s what He is in the business of doing . Be it in physical nature when a forest fire rips through and a new healthy forest springs up, or spiritual sacrifice – He brings health and goodness from it. I know that, yet it’s the day in and day out living in the reality of the ashes before the beauty comes, that is the struggle.

I’m learning two major things through this season though!  The first is that when there is nothing left but ashes - He is there! The I Am. That is beauty already! That is peace, joy and purpose!  Strangely (and not!) on the heals of that, comes the desire to breathe life back into the ashes so I can crawl off again. I don’t like this pause and want to interpret what I think could possibly be God’s beauty coming on the horizon and force it into my timetable.

I certainly don’t want to go back to the way I was– I learned my lesson and that part is dead and sacrificed. But I don’t like living with the ashes either. It’s like wanting to pick the bud rather than letting the rose bloom. So many, many, pretty things to distract before the real beauty comes.

Here’s the thing. The devil knows he can’t tempt ashes with the sin or desires of the past - they are still on the altar of Christ’s sacrifice – but he can and will tempt with the almost good enough. Tempt with the counterfeit, surface, pretty things instead of the deep, lasting, beauty. If we’ve been through the pain of the living sacrifice, why in the world would we want to give up half way? Give up just before the sunrise?

 I don’t like waiting as “we’re waiting but our eyes are wandering to all this world hold’s dear”. The waiting in the ashes is as much of a fight as the original altar was! Pretty Things by Tenth Ave North continues
“We are, we are, we’re caught in the in between. Of who we already are and who we are yet to be. And we’re looking for love but finding we’re still in need. It’s only what we have lost, will we be allowed to keep . . . Look at all the pretty things that steal my heart away. I can feel I’m fading. ‘Cause Lord I love so many things, that keep me from your face. Come and save me.”
So what is to be done with the ashes?

I don’t know. I don’t know if anything is to be done with them really. They have to remain so the beauty can rise up from them. Perhaps the ashes are a pause to give us a chance to live and walk out what we have sacrificed. It would be easy if the beauty came immediately – and then I wouldn’t need Him as much.

So if you’re in a time of ashes, remain faithful as He is faithful. The beauty will come in His time. Say no to the pretty things – know they will tempt you! 1 John 2 says that if 'we know Him we will keep His commandments'.  Knowing Him leads to being a living sacrifice, to laying down the sinful desires, as well as ones we think are healthy. So don’t let go of that knowledge in the in-between of the ashes. He who promised is faithful.

*Special thanks to my Papa, who faithfully worked through his own time of ashes. 

** Photo Complimets of Christine Britten - Yellowstone National Park - Volcanic Ash - for all of our adventures together! :) 


New

Never used, brand new, tags still on, new life, new birth, newness, new again – re new. There is something so beautifully innocent about newness, youthful exuberance, a hesitant uncertainty, a blissfully unaware, a purity, a simplicity, a long lasting impression or memory – a first.  Precious and of great value – but newness doesn’t last for long – ever. Perhaps there is more treasure and beauty in maturity, in knowledge of the old, or the complicated, the dirty or shameful. Perhaps to fully appreciate newness, or re –newness we must first glimpse the old to grasp the beauty of re new. Perhaps newness is grace, a situation redeemed, a second chance. For those are the times we really appreciate the lasting newness only found in Him.

5 Minute Friday Prompt: New. Join us for 5 minute Friday's at the Gypsy Momma's blog where we write simply for the sheer joy of it!

Out of a Far Country

Next on my list to review from Blogging for Books is Out of a Far Country by Christopher Yuan and Angela Yaun. (I get free books to review from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group - feeds my reading habit!) It's a true story of a mother and son and their journey through homosexuality. An unusual non-fiction story that reads like fiction - Out of a Far Country is a smooth but gripping read.

I personally loved this book as it balances the homosexual issue and Christian faith very well. It has a strong presentation of biblical truth while bringing it to a personal level as the mother struggles to accept a homosexual son and that son wrestles between an orientation and a faith he doesn't understand.

This book was very helpful in opening my eyes to better understand the homosexual/faith debate. The biggest thing the book shows is that the balance for heterosexual and homosexual orientation is not one or the other but a call to holiness for both. As in the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality but holiness.

Out of a Far Country is a great, balanced book - a real testimony dealing with faith, homosexuality, and AIDS in modern day America. Check it out.

Snapshots of Summer 2011

Hello Blogging World! Hello Friends!

I have missed ya'll this summer! This past weekend ended a 3-month stretch for me of being on the road and going from one event and festival to the next. Most of the traveling was for my job but some was for pleasure!  The end result was I was only home on average for a week each month and taking a class on top of it left no time for blogging! Something I hope to remedy as soon as I catch my breath!
Here a few snap shots from the summer :)

The summer started first week of June with a last minute, unexpected, business trip to Oklahoma and a teen leadership camp there.  A co-worker and I had the privilege of shadowing and learning from this group as we plan to kick off our own teen leadership camp next summer in NY and PA.
Super Summer OK

Flying into Dallas for the camp in OK lent me the incredible opportunity to see my roommate from CO last fall. :)

Using up vacation time - road trip down the east coast to see many old friends!

Coordinated my first themed vintage wedding!


Mini Focus Alumni reunion at a classmate's wedding - singing Holy Holy Holy with tears in our eyes - beauty in community!

FLI Alum in a bookstore is like alcoholics in a bar! Our favorite or not so favorite books from the semester!

"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.' "

Summer wouldn't be complete without all the car repairs - trying to patch my muffler till I could get it to the shop!

First fruits on my garden

Hattie Village Youth Overnight - Hope to be involved more next year!

Kid's Camp - My Counselor's in Training :)

 Best part of Camp - time to connect and work with my siblings that came to help for the week!

Going for the world record of the the Largest Game of Twister at camp!

Bible Study/Small Group cook out

First Summer Festival with Co-worker and friend

Another pic from the first festival

Festival number 2 - Flash Mob! (First time ever coordinating one of those!)

Escape for time with the Lord - in a nearby state park

Teen Camping Trip and a few little ones to add to the fun!

Last event of the summer - reffing the Tug of War contest

And some how through it all the Lord provided the means to take an 5 week English class so I could keep up with college over the summer - first time I ever wrote a final paper tenting and camping!

As the summer winds to a close I hope to have more time to blog again! I've also been asked to start contributing to Young Ladies Christian Fellowship so look for blogs over there as well!


Contented Desire

Life is rarely either or, though most of us wish it was, as we prefer to live on one side of the road or the other. Maturity demands we walk the center-line, pulling elements from both sides of the road and wrestling them into balance.  And so it is with contentment and desire. Two elements I never thought could blend in the life of a single person – until I understood yada.

Several weeks ago I had the privilege of coordinating a wedding for some friends.  After the wedding I felt strange and realized I wasn’t experiencing the “wedding blues” (You know, the “how many weddings will I have to sit through before it’s my turn Lord? I hate coming to weddings alone… happy for them but trying to mask how depressed I feel” blues….). I was genuinely and completely happy for them with no all consuming/crushing longing on my part.

How did this happen?  Do I still want to get married? Absolutely! Do I still want a partner in life and ministry? More than ever.  But I’m content. I always thought that if you were “content in your singleness” it meant you were resigned to it and could no longer have the desire to be married, or you just plain didn’t care any more. But the Lord has been redefining singleness and contentment for me, showing me a different way.

The difference in how I see singleness came in part with learning about the Hebrew word “Yada”.  Yada in summary (I encourage you to study it out for yourself!) means to be known to the very core and essence of who you are. Whether it be physically (sexually), spiritually or emotionally – yada has the connotation of deep respect and value.  In many old Testament translations yada is translated to the word “know”. Used in verses such as “Adam knew his wife Eve and she conceived”(Gen 4:1) to “Oh Lord you have searched me and known me” (Psalm 139:1).

The verse that stopped me dead in my tracks and changed everything was Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know – Yada – I am God.” Wow.  The same desire I have to be known by some the Lord has to be known by me. God wants me to KNOW Him? Not just about it – but KNOW Him, His heart, what drives Him, how He sees life…  WOW.

The deep longing and drive every “single” person (every person for that matter!) has to be known, loved, respected and accepted for who they are is a God given need. But God also gives the means to fulfill that need in any stage of life.

As much as I want to be known, loved, and valued by a man -  the God of the universe already knows (yadas) and loves me perfectly in that way. And even more amazingly He wants ME to known Him as closely as He knows me. Pretty mind boggling when you think that He knows everything about us because He created us. Yet here He is offering us the pursuit. We will never know all there is to know about the Lord, but He offers us Himself anyway – so the journey never ends. You know the excitement and mystery when you’re first falling in love as you try to learn/know everything you can about the other person?  Well that’s exactly what the Lord gives to us. Because the Lord is meeting the needs in my life to be known and to know someone, the physical/sexual side of longing as a “single” is somehow more at peace.

I’m content where I am now in singleness.  That is why I can still have the desire to be married and can still be completely content. It’s a surrender of sorts. When you give your love life or lack thereof, to God, He is then free to use it and fill that spot in your life with Himself.

I fully believe if your “still single” than God has a purpose for it. That doesn’t include sitting around wishing you were in a different season of life. If you’re still single – why? What are you supposed to be doing with it?

When/if the Lord brings a man into my life I want to be found busy about my Father’s work. The more time I spend learning to “yada” the Lord and serving Him the less time there is for pity parties – till they're gone completely.

So if you’re single I challenge you to this – ask the Lord to show you Himself – ask him what it means to “yada” Him. Then ask Him how to use this gift of singleness He’s given you. (And yes it is a gift and no – It can’t be returned!  )
Funny thing is – I’m starting to really enjoy being single – I plan to FULLY enjoy being married so why not FULLY enjoy this season too? Laugh at yourself a little! For example this week I walked into my bedroom and started laughing  - there were books piled everywhere! And the thought that went through my head was “ Good thing you’re single Katie – cause what guy wants to share bed space with a big fat concordance?”.

So laugh, embrace the identity of being singly set apart by God for this time. Desire, but desire Him and His plan for you more. Use singleness to learn to yada Him. Be amazed at what He does in you and through it.

Contentment isn’t lack of desire, it’s surrendered desire. It’s the middle of the road.

I Took the Red Pill

You choose – the red pill or the blue pill?

  “You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.” Morpheus – The Matrix

   The thing with the red pill is that once you take it, there is no going back. But the choice is yours – it’s never forced on you.

Friends, I have a confession. Almost exactly a year ago I had the choice of whether or not to choose red pill.  Tonight I’m sitting on the lakefront near my home amazed at what this past year has brought and what it has taught me. Funny thing is, it all started here on this lakefront. Last July I sat here too, but in a different frame of mind. I sat begging the Lord for wisdom, guidance and direction for me life. I was confused, burdened, and overwhelmed. As I cried out to Him for wisdom and discernment I clearly heard Him say to me “ Katie, am I not Wisdom? Am I not Discernment? Seek Me!” And so the journey began. But then again maybe it didn’t, maybe it started long before I was born… You see for me, this journey, this choice, to take the red pill – it’s the journey of discovery, a journey of pursuing and being pursued by the Holy Spirit. 

Like the “red pill” and the wonderland rabbit hole from the Matrix, the Holy Spirit was a mystery I knew was out there, but in the end terrified me.  The journey of how I came to make the choice was a long one full of wrestling, logic, scriptures and questions. A friend of mine but put some of our discussions on his blog if you’re interested.  The more I sought the Lord, the more I wanted of Him.  Perhaps the journey is a story for another day – but in the end – I chose the red pill. I chose to surrender and let the Holy Spirit fully come into my life.

By this I mean, I asked Him to invade my life with the fullness of His presence (beyond what I got at Salvation, or a refilling, a Baptism of the Holy Spirit as some call it) giving Him permission to grow and use the gifts in my life. I was terrified to give Him control of that part of my life. My biggest fear was that I would turn into a charasmaniac. That I ‘d love the gifts more the giver of the gifts and abuse them like I’d seen others do. What if (horrors!) I started speaking in tongues? Up until this point I’d been able to control my Christianity. What if I could no longer control my emotions? What if I turned into one of THOSE people?

At this point, please note that the terms “baptism or re baptism of the Holy Spirit and being filled” all come with various connotations. In fact I dislike those terms immensely because of that. Whenever we “get saved” or come to the Lord we get a full measure of His Holy Spirit. We get, but we (or I!) don’t always use, tap into, or allow the Lord to work out that measure or the gifts that come with it, into our lives. For me it was the next step to go deeper with the Lord, to be come more serious about Him. That is why I had to choose to take the “red pill”.

When my desire for more of the Lord grew bigger than my fear of people, I surrendered.  At once my world changed. My walk with the Lord had always been steady, strong and beautiful but it was like I took off my sunglasses. Everything was brighter, sharper, and more beautiful – more of Him. The rabbit hole is longer than I imagined. Wonderland lacks words to describe. Scriptures come alive. I understand passages like “the love of Christ constrains me”, “I wrestle with the power that so wonderfully works in me” and “The Spirit is our guarantee” in the very core of who I am.

I could go on but that is not the point of this blog.  You see, I have wanted to blog on this for a while but, because the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is such a controversial issue, I haven’t. I was also scared of what all of you would think – that you’d think I was nuts! I’ve tried to just live this part of my life but I haven’t talked about it much.  Till I remembered that one of the very things I asked the Lord that day was that He would use me to be a balanced light. To live a powerful Spirit-filled life without crossing the line and abusing the gifts so many of us hear about all the time. That I would never be the stumbling block to others that people were to me.

So my friends, I have a confession to make – yes, Focus on the Family dramatically changed my life and I came home very different. But I also came home different because of what the Holy Spirit was doing in me, and the choice I made almost a year ago to take the red pill.

I can’t go back. There are days I wish I could, simply because with knowledge comes responsibility. Jill, in C. S. Lewis’ The Last Battle, describes the tension and the worth better than I ever could
“I almost wish–no I don’t, though,” said Jill. “What were you going to say?” “I was going to say I wished we’d never come. But I don’t, I don’t, I don’t. Even if we are killed, I’d rather be killed fighting for Narnia than grow old and stupid at home... and then die in the end just the same.”
I’d rather embrace this scary adventure than always wonder if there was more – the more I read about in scripture. He is Wisdom, He is Discernment and with more of Him came more responsibility – but more joy. And passion, and the desire to write for His glory. 

Operating in or being baptized in the Holy Spirit (whatever term you want to use) doesn’t make anyone person any more holy than the next. In fact, I know a lot of people that use the gifts and never had an experience where they “choose” or they don’t even know they are using some of the gifts. But for me the path was a choice. A choice to allow the Holy Spirit to give and use through me any of the gifts He decided I should have. 

Each of us have “red and blue pill” choices in our walk with the Lord. As unique as each of our walks with the Lord are, so will the choices be. But we all have them. The choices we make will detract from, or add to our walk with the Lord, choices to go deeper with Him, to live more dangerously. What’s your red pill choice?

For me, the red pill was choosing to allow the Holy Spirit to have His way in my life - it simply heightened the adventure. And so that my friends, is my confession.




Photo Compliments of Fotolia

Welcome

5 Minute Friday Prompt:


Warm, inviting, beautiful, calm, relaxing, friendly, picturesque – welcoming. Every term I can think of to describe welcoming draws a picture of comfort and peace – a sense of calling and being drawn into.  We welcome people into things and for things.  And so it is with the Lord. We want to welcome him into beauty, into order even chaos - when we really need Him. But what about welcoming Him into the places in our lives where it is uncomfortable?  Places of sin yes, we are all good at knowing we should welcome the Lord in there, but what about the places of our self righteousness? Or preconceived notions of what are right? Or maybe things we don’t want to think about and don’t have an opinion on. Those UNCOMFORTABLE places. Places where having an opinion and re examining our stance and views will lead to action. What about those places? Is He welcome there?


Want to take five minutes with me and just write without worrying if it’s just right or not. Here’s how we do it:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing, tweaking or self critiquing.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my right side bar}
3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words meant to you. Every writer longs to feel heard.
It’s a great way to exhale at the end of a beautiful week.

Life is a Highway

Metaphors can be found anywhere in life and although fun to see, they are not always easy to apply or relate to on a personal level. That is until they stop you in your tracks. Until you’re King David and Nathan the Prophet says, “you are that man”. Ouch.

 Driving back from a recent road trip I had one of those moments. Not quite a King David but still a metaphoric moment coming alive.  A couple hundred miles from home I had a sense of where I was and where I needed to be going. I knew I needed to head directly north but my GPS insisted on taking me east around a city and on a toll road to boot. It was mid morning on a Monday and almost no traffic so going miles out of my way made no sense. I kept heading northbound while Tomtom (my GPS) protested loudly from the dashboard. “Exit here!”, “Exit left - toll road”, “Recalculating”, “exit left ahead”. He kept insisting I take a different route. I'd had a bout enough of him! The day before Tomtom left stranded in DC as he couldn’t recognize HOV lanes. According to him we were on unnamed roads and he was freaking out about it.

I started complaining just as loudly about Tomtom. Couldn’t he get it straight? This was simple. Couldn’t he just follow my directions? The way I had programmed him? Why did he want to go his own way? Or if he went my way why did he have to protest it so much? Get with the program Tomtom!

Then came the voice of the Lord.
Lord: “Katie, aren’t you a bit like Tomtom?”
Me: “ouch!”
Lord: "You have given control of your life - I’m driving, but you are still sitting on the dashboard whining. Can’t you trust Me, that I know the direction and destination I have planned for your life?”

Ouch. I am like Tomtom at times. I want the Lord in control of my life - He is driving it. I’ve given Him the wheel but I still freak when He goes off what I think the course should be. I almost never recognize HOV lanes – the bypasses in life saving me from the tangled wrecks and congested areas – until I’m on the other side of them. I complain because they aren’t “normal” and I have to trust Him to tell me when it is safe for me or best for me to get back on the main lanes.

I want to divert to the toll roads and distractions that will ultimately cost me something. Sometimes a lot of something’s.  There are times the Lord wants me to bypass a city, other times He wants me to go through it. Why can’t I trust Him to know the difference? Follow his leading in different seasons. Ultimately we will arrive at our destination even if we take the toll roads – that is His grace in action – but how am I stewarding that grace? Lord forgive me for whining, and thank you that I get to watch the adventure of this life as it unfolds from the dashboard!

Are you whining or enjoying the ride?

Removing the Veil

The first thing I see every day when I walk in my door is my refrigerator. A refrigerator covered in a plethora of wedding invitations. I’ve lost count of the number of people I know getting married this year!  I’m excited – no I’m stoked for all these weddings! Do I love helping friends where I can with the planning, dresses, cakes, or even being in the wedding? Yes. Do I love getting to see people and an excuse to wear a pretty dress and heels? Yes. But what I love the most is the picture their marriage is painting to me and to the world.

The Trinity is the most beautiful picture of unity, oneness, perfect unconditional love and diversity/equality that the Lord gives us. God gave us marriage and family that so we can mirror that picture in a tangible way. In the first few verses of the Bible God says He wants to “make man in our image” signifying that man was made for community. Community and fellowship like the Lord has through the Trinity.

In Radical David Platt puts it this way:
“Apart from everything else God created, we were made in his image. We alone have the capacity to enjoy an intimate relationship with him. The first word the Bible uses to describe that relationship is blessing… God immediately followed his blessing with a command. ‘God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it’. God gave his people his image for a reason – so they might multiply his image throughout the world.” p. 65

We can love and serve the Lord alone successfully and Paul advocates that at times, but it’s in the context of unity within a marriage that allows the world to see the power of the love Christ has for them and for His church. That is why I am so excited about all these weddings!!! As my friends commit to a covenant with each other and the Lord they enter a deeper understanding of who the Lord is. Check out these illustrations* from a dear former professor of mine, Dr. Del Tackett.





Marriage is under an attack because it directly reflects the nature of God. Marriage is about happiness sure, but it’s about holiness and learning to reflect a love that changes the world.

In 2 Corinthians 3 it talks bout how when we turn to the Lord the veil that lies on our hearts is taken way. The context speaks about the old and new covenants. When people believe in the Lord, He removes the veil from their eyes and hearts allowing them to see and experience the new covenant which brings freedom from the law making the way for a deep, personal relationship and community with God.

I can’t help but think of that as I watch these brides remove their veils and enter a new covenant with their husbands and the Lord. A new covenant that testifies to the world the divine design for unity, love and relationship the Lord offers us. We are his image bears. It’s a scary but incredible responsibility and testimony.

This blog is for little brother, his wife and all my friends who got or are getting married this year! I’m proud of, pray for, and love you guys! I'm unbelievably excited for you!
My bother and sister-in-law
Adam and Pihla, Jeremy and Melissa, Alexandria and Will, Joanna and Dave, Sarah and Jordan, Annalee and Amos, Jordan and Joellen, Rachel and Robert, Laura and Steve, Katie and Ed, Danielle and Dave, Mark and Becca, Emily and Jedidiah, Luke and Joyce, Jessica and Joshua, Lindy and Jon, Justin and Brandy and all the others – I pray the Lord will grow and strengthen your relationship together in Him -that He would add depth, dimension and a greater hunger for Him to it. May He unify and strengthen the ties between you. Thank you for your example to me and to the world. We watch, we see and rejoice with you as the veil is removed!


*Slides taken from The Truth Project, Lesson 7 – Sociology: The Divine Imprint.  Copyright 2006 Focus on the Family.  Learn more about the Truth Project.

Other bride/groom picture compliments of:Alena Root - Fotolia.com

At Home

5 Minute Friday Prompt: Home
The word home brings a million different associations to my mind, but most recently I feel at home where ever it is I can hear the Lord speaking to me. Learning to hear His voice and follow Him as taken me a lot of places, but He is the home that always comes with me. He makes the difference between a job and a ministry, between an apt and a home and being at home with people.  Some people just make you feel at home. In the last 6 months the Lord has put two wonderful older (than me!) godly women in my life who make me feel at home. I feel at home with them because I see the Lord in them. They have taken the charge in Titus 2 seriously and have mentored, discipled, encouraged and challenged me to find my home in the Lord. NJTS and NST you have blessed my life! Thank you for being a safe home for me. A place to be myself, to cry, to be weak, to ask the hard questions, to laugh and when I run out of words you still understand. You comfort me, encourage me, call me out and challenge me when I need it. Your friendships mean more than I can say. Whenever I hear this song I think of you and I cry for the Lord knew how much I needed you in this season of my life!

"Something brought you to my mind today
 - I thought about the funny ways
 you make me laugh
 - And yet I feel like it's ok to cry with you - 
Something about just being with you - 
When I leave I feel like I've been with God - 
and that's the way it ought to be, yeah

 - Chorus: - 
Cause you've been more than a friend to me - 
you fight off my enemies for me
 - cause you have spoken the truth over my life - 
And you'll never know what it means to me - 
just to know you've been on your knees for me
 - Oh, you have blessed my life
 - more than you'll ever know
 - Yeah, yeah, yeah, more than you'll ever know
 - Yeah, yeah, yeah

 - You had faith
 when I had none - 
You prayed God would bring me a brand new song
 - When I didn't think I could find the strength to sing - 
and all the while I've been hoping that I'll
 - do the kind of praying for you that you've done for me - 
and that's the way it ought to be, yeah

 - Chorus

 - You have carried me
 -You have taken on a burden
 - that wasn't your own, yeah
 - may that blessing return to you
 - A hundredfold
 - oh oh yeah, a hundredfold" More Than You'll Ever Know by Watermark

I do pray the blessing will return to you and that I in turn can be a safe haven and a home for other women as you have been to me. Thank you for making me at home!


5 Minute Fridays from the Gypsy Momma
To paint a verbal picture. To just write and not worry if it’s just write or not.
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Get a little crazy with encouragement for the five minuter who linked up before you.

Backwards

The more I know of life the more I see it is all backwards. At least a life serving Christ is backwards. When how did we get and define the normal views of achievement and success? Climbing corporate ladders, families with white picket fences, the American dream…. We always think up and more is better yet God came down and had less.

Backwards. 

He must increase and we must decrease. Dying to ourselves, letting our will’s be molded with His.

 Backwards.


“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher then the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than our thoughts.”

Backwards.

Daily I am seeing backwards is better. We put so much hype into Christianity and make the gospel so relevant it looses its power. Truth doesn’t need our help, it can stand on it’s own feet solid and unmovable, not rushing forwards like we do to the newest coolest thing.

 Backwards.

C.S. Lewis puts it this way “Reality, in fact, is always something you couldn't have guessed. That's one of the reasons I believe Christianity. It's a religion you couldn't have guessed."

Backwards.

Christianity is delightfully backwards yet it works forwards!

5 Minute Friday Prompt : Backwards
From the Gypsy Momma. Come join the fun. http://thegypsymama.com/

Take a deep breath. You made it. It’s Friday.
Got five minutes? Let’s write. Let’s write in shades of real and brave and unscripted.
Let’s just write and not worry if it’s just right or not.
1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.


2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. Get a little crazy with encouragement for the five minuter who linked up before you.

Listening Scared

Listening to the Holy Spirit is scary! What if we hear wrong and mess up? It could mean stepping out of our comfort zones, looking crazy and taking risks.
But what is life lived comfortably?

Last night, I was sitting in a service of church and youth leaders preparing for a large summer camp. I’m simply in the service to observe and learn. From the side view I watch as executive leaders prayed over their team leaders.  As I entered into prayer for the camp I looked up and saw the camp director sitting by himself on the center stage with head bowed.

Enter Holy Spirit prompt. I don’t know why or how but I knew someone needed to pray for that man.  Chicken that I am I leaned over and nudged my co –worker: “Hey someone should go pray for that guy”. His reply: “Really? I was just thinking the same thing.” Guess who that ‘someone’ became?

Walk up to the stage in front of hundreds of leaders? Scary. Pray for someone we met only an hour before and don’t know? Risky. Pray when we don’t know what to say? Crazy.


But we did. Gulp.

Sitting back down the thoughts of “who am I a little no body from nowhere, praying for an experienced leader, a big somebody? He’s going to think we are nuts! I here to observe, learn, and I wanted to make a good impression not a stumbling bumbling one!” I prayed the first thing that came to mind asking the Lord to refresh and renew this director during the week. It was a weak prayer in human terms and I got up feeling so inadequate. But battling the inadequacy was the peace that came from knowing that I had obeyed. I left it there.

This morning in chapel the director preached from Proverbs 11:25 “… He who refreshes will himself be refreshed”. After encouraging the leaders to refresh the teens coming in this week he began to share the story of how he was praying the night before and two people came out of the blue and started praying for him, asking the Lord to refresh him. He too needed to be refreshed as he was refreshing the leaders under him. He said “it was like she got into my head as she was praying and knew what I was planning for the message this morning!” Scary. Crazy. Risky.

AWESOME!

Sitting in my seat I got shivers. The Holy Spirit knew. I had no idea, but He always does.  When will I learn to trust? Will I mess up sometimes and hear wrong? Definitely.  Not too many months ago I did. I felt the nudge to get up but stayed glued to my seat preferring the comfortable life. I missed an opportunity to help someone  I KNEW was hurting because of my pride. I still regret it to this day. Taking a risk is chancy but missing one is even more so.  Is it worth the risk? Every time.

God uses little scared people. How does He want to use you? Are you listening to Him? Or are you scared to?  Run towards the challenge and see what He does! Is the bigger risk possibly making a mistake or never finding out how God can use you? Wants to use you? Guess what? He’s bigger than you and me. Go for it!


Photo compliments of Fotolia: Man - Woman

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About Me

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I'm a fun loving, people person, with a passion for ministry and the Lord. My greatest desire is to see people come to realize who they are in Christ and how that effects every area of their relationships and lives.I want to know Him more.