Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Blow me away!

2012: Blow me away! I want to grow closer to Christ. Become more like Him. Know Him more. Be molded into the person He is calling me to. I want to be amazed by Him. Be lead by him. Seek Him. Put my wills behind to let His be first. I want to be blown away... I am excited about where God is bringing us. What He is doing in us, and being a part of something bigger than I can imagine. This past year has been amazing seeing Him work. Watching Him move. Seeing lives changed, people saved, and being blown away at what He is doing at Grace Community Church. I know He's got more in store for 2012. What are you looking forward to in 2012? What is He calling you to? Are you ready to be a part of something bigger than yourself? Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Am I seeking Him, or following the wolves?

Throughout Pauls letters he addresses the need to stand for truth, beware of false teachers, and those who distort the gospels. This concept has become a passion of mine over the last year as I have walked through a few different situations where I have seen the gospel distorted, truth twisted, and people decieved. My heart is saddened by these situations, as I have seen people hurt, broken, and walk away from meaningful relationships, and for some even Christ. As I have been wrestling with this, I have even questioned my own heart. Am I standing for truth? Am I distorting it to fit my own agenda's? Am I really hearing God, or is it my own selfishness that is leading my decisions, the way I handled things? and as I have searched my heart, my soul, and have sought God in it, I praise Him that as I keep coming back to the scriptures, He is confirming my decisions in these situations. I have learned a lot through this year. I have learned more of who God is, how big is he is, and that he will continue to blow me away. I have also learned that there are those who will willingly walk away from this truth to fulfill their own desires, and claim to be walking in Christ. We have a choice to make... We follow Christ in all his Glory, we surrender completely to Him, and risk it all to shepard, love, and guide those around us, or we become like the wolves who lead people astray. Our actions, our words, and our lives reflect one of two things - either we live for Christ, or we don't. Have I lived a life that reflects Him? Have I been a shepard, or a wolf? Do I portray Christ in my life? We all need to examine our lives daily. Live for Him, and let Him do the rest. Galations 1:10 "For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or, am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a 'servant' of Christ." I pray that my life refects one who is seeking the approval of God, not man. I know that I struggle with this - as I am a people pleaser by nature. I pray that as you read this, you also examine your heart. Seek Him. Let Him reveal truth to you. I pray that you will not be lead astray by the wolves, but allow the shepard to keep you close.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"I believe that God can do the unbelievable."

As I begin to hear the stories of families who lost everything this weekend from Hurricane Irene, I look around and see how blessed I truely am. As I sit here stressed about what volunteers I need to fill, or what tasks I need to complete, there are people, neighbors, brothers and sisters in Christ around me, wondering what volunteers are going to help them salvage what remains of their homes. They've lost everything. The damage is unbelievable...

Just as the disciples in Mark 9:14-32, so often I think that I believe, but neglect to see that there is such unbelief in my inner-being. Lord, help me to believe even in my unbelief that you are able to do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine, in the little things of my daily life, or the big things. Help my 'hope' become 'faith.' God you are great, and even in my little faith, you do mighty things. "I believe that God can do the unbelievable." He can rescue those who are homeless, those who are brokenhearted, those who have lost everything... He is able.

Friday, July 1, 2011

A new step in the journey

I am on the first step of a new adventure, a new journey in ministry. For about three years now I have felt God's pull on my heart to be more involved in Children's ministry. I have volunteered in both Graceland, and Promiseland during this time and absolutely love what God is doing in our children's ministry here at Grace!

After much prayer, I have accepted the position of Promiseland Director for a 1 year interim as Grace seeks to find a Full-time Children's Pastor. I am very excited about taking on this role, and watching how God works through me in the ministry.

God is blowing me away with what is happening here at Grace! He keeps going beyond my beyond in expectations, "The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us." (Numbers 14:7-8) God is leading me to new lands that are exceedingly good. I pray that he is pleased with me, and that he is glorified each day through this ministry!

:) May God bring you to a land flowing with milk and honey.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Some personal thoughts...

Psalm 19:14 ESV

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

This is my prayer.

I want to go deeper. I want my heart to reflect Christ's. I want my words to reflect those of His heart, not mine. I want to stand for truth, and not waiver, yet have a heart of compassion while presenting it. I want to to be acceptable in His sight.

My God delights in me. Do I delight in Him? Are my words, my meditations acceptable in His sight? I hunger for that. I want those around me to know his love by my actions. I pray that I do things out of a heart of love, and not a heart of self.

My journey in going deeper in my marriage, my motherhood, and my ministry needs to first be centered on Christ. My prayer is that I don't lose that focus. Christ.

Please pray with me that I get better at this. My heart, and my flesh don't always reflect each other.

Lord, may the words of my mouth, and the mediations of my heart be pleasing to you. I need your help in this! Amen.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Seek out Truth...

2 Timothy 4:3-5 ESV

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

As I write tonight, I am saddened by the mere truths of this. So many times we take scriptures, and twist them to fit our own agendas. We look to find people in ministry, Christian song lyrics, and guidance from friends and take the pieces of advice that suit our own passions, and fall into the trap of making our own desires, what we think is God's desire for our lives. It is so easy to become deceived, buy into the lies, and be blinded to the truth of the scriptures, and the walk away from the promises God has for us. Willingly, we walk down a path allowing pride and deceptions to cloud our emotions. We walk away from the truth and wander off into myths.

It is vital that we become aware how easy it is to allow emotions, and desires stand in the way of God's best for our lives and settle for less. By grounding our lives in the truth if the scriptures, allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to us, and matching up the advice we are given to God's advice in the word, we can protect ourselves from deception.

Praying tonight that my life and actions can be an example of truth and not one that will lead others astray. May my words, my prayers, and who I am reflect those of Christ. I will fail, I am not perfect... but I AM FORGIVEN! I praise God for the cross, and desire to exemplify Him to those around me.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Head knowledge vs. Heart knowledge: False Hope vs Eternal Hope

** A repeat post from FB - but one I feel is important to reshare!  Enjoy!

As I sat in the church during my Uncle’s memorial service, I heard of all the wonderful characteristics of who he was, how he portrayed so many “Christ-like” characteristics, and how much he was loved. I also heard a message that is often given at funerals of how he is now in heaven, and one day we will join him if we only believe in Jesus. It was during this message, I found myself to become unsettled. I felt the Holy Spirit stirring in my heart some thoughts as I heard the all too famous verse being quoted from John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
All we had to do is believe in Christ and we one day would join him in heaven. Hmmm… really all we have to do is believe. As I looked around the church, and watched so many people agreeing with this message the pit in my stomach grew deeper. Not because of the message given, but because there is more to it the just the knowledge of who Christ is, and the belief that he came and died on the cross for our sins, it is a matter of head vs. heart.
Many people understand and even believe in Christ, yet, have no relationship with Christ, and have not yet made Him the Lord and Savior of their life. Many even claim to be Christians, yet bear no fruit, or understanding what it means to be a Christian. They get it in their head, but not in their heart. Heck, even the demons get it in their head, they even believe in Christ, but to follow Christ is a whole different story. We see this in James 2:18-19 “But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works. "Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! “
This is all too common and really hit home to me today. I am saddened that so many have this false hope, that they too will be in heaven, because they believe that Jesus died on the cross, yet never accepted him to be their personal savior. We see this through Luke 13:22-30: “He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem. And someone said to him, "Lord, will those who are saved be few?" And he said to them, "Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, 'Lord, open to us,' then he will answer you, 'I do not know where you come from.' Then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.' But he will say, 'I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!' In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out. And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”
We are told all too often that it is all so simple “just believe,” and so many “just believe.” It is head knowledge. It is a false sense of security that they too will be going to heaven because they believe that Jesus came and died for their sins. They believe that this is the answer that will win them eternity in heaven, and that they have nothing to worry about.

Believing who Christ is, is only a part of the key to heaven. Knowing who Christ is, having a relationship with Christ, and walking with Christ, living a life pleasing to him, is the answer. Having heart knowledge of who HE is, and becoming so close to him, that he says, Yes, Father, I know who he/she is! I paid the price on the cross for him/her. That is the heart of believing. It is so much more than just knowledge about Christ; it is the knowledge of his character, and so desperately striving to be more like him. I love how Paul puts this in Ephesians 4:17-32
“Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
I pray that I will have a relationship with Christ like this, bear the fruits of the Spirit, and on that day that my name is called in Heaven, I will hear the words “well done, my good and faithful servant!” I pray that you too will come to know the saving knowledge of who Christ is, and that you have the eternal hope that I have, not a hope built on false perceptions.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Journey Begins...

God has been teaching me to step out of my little box and grow deeper in my walk with him.  As I journey through life, I pray each new challange and obsticle, brings me one step closer to understanding Him, and trusting Him even more.  The verse that has been really stretching my thinking is the basis of this blog's theme and now the heart of who I am.

Ephesians 3:20-21 "(Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."

I have always had my limits on what God can do.  I still have my limits on what I expect him to do.  I put him in a box.  He fit nicely in my box.  I have had my doctrines, my views, and my understanding of him set before me even as a child.  I grew up knowing Christ as my Savior, and still had my box.

 God has been blowing my box up, bursting the seems wide open and going beyond my beyond.  Each new day, he has been opening my eyes and streching my comfort zones, and bringing me a little closer to understanding how BIG my God really is.  He is stretching me in ways that are uncomfortable.  Making me trust Him, when I don't understand, and blowing my mind in what He is doing with each situation.  He is calling me to pray, seek, and really get to know him.

Join me on this journey as I face the challanges and new mercies of each day as a wife of a pastor, a mother of three beautiful children, and in my own ministries.  I hope you are challenged, and encouraged by my posts, as I am real with you about where God is bringing me.... Going beyond my beyond.