Monday, November 30, 2009

Sit and be fed (filled)

Then Jesus said, '"Have the people sit down." there was plenty of grass in that place, so they sat down...Then Jesus took the loaves, and after giving thanks He distributed them to those who were seated - so also with the fish, as much as they wanted" (John 6:10-11, HCSB).

I was reading John 6 about Jesus feeding the 5,000 when it hit me. Jesus asked the disciples to have the people sit down. It is not a new thought to sit and eat. It is certainly what we just did for Thanksgiving when twelve members of our family gathered together to celebrate what the Lord has done for us. The thing that struck me was how many times we eat as we go. And of course the spiritual implications are what really hit many times we want the Lord to fill us yet we don't stop to sit down and be filled.

Jesus desires for us to come to him and to be filled. Yet, He desires for us to sit and be filled. If anyone was ever on a mission for God, it was Jesus. Even though He was super busy, He always took time to get away from the crowds and to be alone with the Father. He took time to sit and be filled.

Especially during the holidays it is easy to be too busy to sit and be filled. I'm going to commit to make sure I schedule that sitting time so that I can be filled with God's wisdom for the day. Anyone else want to commit to sit and be still during this busy season?

Friday, November 27, 2009

"Give thanks to God the Father for Everything."

"Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Eph. 5:19-20)

As we have celebrated Thanksgiving with you friends and family, I hope all of us had a time to reflect on God's goodness to us. I was reminded of a song I learned as a child that sums up the message to me above all about WHY I should be so thankful.

"He paid a debt He did not owe, I owed a debt I could not pay. I needed someone to take my sins away. And now I sing a brand new song "Amazing Grace," Christ Jesus paid a debt that I could never pay."
"To do" lists, school stress, project deadlines, family illness, early shopping hours and lines etc. may cause us to take our focus on Christ, but let us remember to sing a little song in our heart to the Lord. HE PAID a DEBT THAT I COULD NEVER PAY." Let us all express our thanks to Him!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

sing alleluia!

"Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him, tell of all his wondrous works! ... Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered" (Psalm 105:1-2,4-5). Let us remember our God this day, and tell others of His boundless love!

Luke wrote of David, the ancient King described much in the Old Testament: "David said about him: 'I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay'" (Acts 2:25-27). Today, we can love God and get to know Him even more, now that He sent His son to die for our sins. Jesus has risen again, and the Holy Spirit is able to come inside of us and give us joy, peace, and the strength to walk with God as our leader.
Later in Chapter 2 of Acts, Luke describes how some of the first believers gathered: "Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved" (Acts 2:46­-47). Let us be glad – wherever we are today – and praise His holy name, for we have a God whose love never ends and we have a fellowship of believers to come together to praise Him. Let us declare to all: Oh, how He loves us! Happy Thanksgiving!

Worship songs below (feel free to share some of your favorites):
"Sing Praises" by Third Day -
"How He Loves" by David Crowder Band -

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


"My Mother & My 66 Year Old Uncle Larry"
Many join me today through precious memories for our loved ones that are in heaven this year as we give thanks around our tables for the first time with their earthly chair empty but with our hearts full of Indescribable Thanks! The Lord has my heart flooded with a sweet still small message/testimony of HOPE to share with you that may be growing weary as you wait for your loved one or friend to accept the Lord as their Savior...NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!!!!!!!

I pray that these promises will encourage and strengthen your unending desire for your loved ones to turn to The Lord and be SAVED! "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."!! NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!!
1 Cor. 15:57-58 (HCSB)

As a first-generation Christian, I deeply understand some of the thoughts and feelings that many reading this blog right now are feeling as you prepare to gather with loved ones that still need the took over 10 years of unconditional love and prayer until my own mother came to know JESUS as her LORD & SAVIOR...Praise You Jesus that I had the greatest joy and privilege of leading my mother to the Lord on 2/15/92 (this date is written at the beginning of her Bible that now sits in a special prayer place of my home)!! As I celebrate these first holidays with my mother in heaven due to her home-going this past Spring from cancer...the word that I cling to that gives victory is JESUS...CELEBRATE JESUS even if it is mixed with some tears of grief especially as I cook some of her favorite recipes and decorate with some of the special tokens of love she made through the years! NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!!!!!!

I am celebrating Heaven in a sweeter way today because my mother is with Jesus this first Thanksgiving (which is also her birthday) and CHRISTmas...GLORY TO GOD!!! You see my friends, I know your hearts desire for your loved ones to all become believers! It is one of the greatest passions of my life!! I pray that my testimony will give you ThanksLiving HOPE & JOY!! You see, not only is my mother in heaven this season, but her 66 year old brother, my uncle Larry, ACCEPTED JESUS AS HIS LORD & SAVIOR at her memorial service as God gave me the humble privilege of SHARING JESUS and sharing my mother's testimony with GREAT JOY!! NEVER GIVE UP on those that you are still trusting the Lord to reach for JESUS!!! And as you gather with your loved ones and friends that still need Jesus, I can share with you that one of the greatest witnesses we can give, even though I know it is not always easy, is ThanksLiving (attitude) and Unconditional Love (expression) that described in the key verses that I shared at the beginning of today's Blog..."be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain"!! NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!!!

I thank God for you and you can count on my prayers as God gives you supernatural strength to keep extending His Love to your loved ones (the names that He has on your heart right now)that need the Lord!! Please always feel free to e-mail me with any private prayer requests that you may have as we keep planting and watering evangelistic seeds in the hearts of those that need JESUS!! "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth." (God Will Do It!) 1 Cor. 3:6-7 (HCSB) NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!!! (Give Thanks)! (When I Get Where We Are Going)!

Monday, November 23, 2009

No Worries

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore, don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:33-34, HCSB).

I am thankful for so many things: my family, my friends, my home, my job, and so much more. Most of all I am thankful for my salvation and the joy He brings to life. In the middle of plumbing problems, a desk piled high, and Thanksgiving quickly approaching, it is of great comfort to know that God loves me, cares about me, and takes care of all the worries of this life.

Today, let's look for who we can remind that God is available to each of us. His salvation is only a prayer away.

Happy Thanksgiving week to each of you. What are you thankful for?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

"I'm in a hurry...."

"to get things done. I rush and rush until life's no fun..." Do you know that song? Sometimes we hurry & worry through life. Have you ever been there? Proverbs speaks to this dilemma we encounter in our life from time to time (or maybe you encounter it every week). Listen to this: "Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge,And he who hurries his footsteps errs." Proverbs 19:2 Did you catch the latter phrase..."he who hurries his footsteps errs." It's so true. I can tell you countless stories about little scrapes & bruises I've earned from rushing too? But can you imagine how many opportunities to share the Gospel we've missed because we're too busy to stop, too busy to listen. This week I experienced victory in this area of life and made a conscious decision to slow down to take the time to visit neighbors and hear where they were in life. And I can tell you that my schedule could wait all day but the stories I heard from a precious neighbor that needed immediate attention...they could not wait! Had I been hurrying I would have missed the opportunity. Don't miss your chance to love your neighbor because you have too much to do. Let your agenda bow down to God's will.

Friday, November 20, 2009


"That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome." (Romans 1:15)

When our first child, Kristi Marie, was born, I remember that Tim and I had our "list" of people to call to tell the good news of her birth. After we called everyone on our "list" Tim decided that he was tired and hungry after a long labor and delivery; so, he decided to go to the cafeteria to get something to eat. He told the cafeteria workers, the cashiers, the man putting mustard on his hot dog and even the people on the elevator about the good news of Kristi's birth. Then, on the way out of the parking lot later that night a horrible thought crossed his mind that "perhaps the news had not yet filtered down to the parking lot attendant about her birth." He proceeded to tell him about the birth of his new little girl.

The next morning in his quiet time, the Lord spoke to Tim as he read this verse and it was if if the Lord were saying to him, "Tim, you are so eager to tell people about Kristi's birth, BUT do you have that same eagerness to tell about My Son, Jesus Christ, and HIS birth?"

Wow!! That has been a conviction for both Tim and me ever since then. We all must not only be willing, but eager to share the good news of Jesus Christ and what He did for us on the cross to all who cross our path. Let us encourage each other to be EAGER to share!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Holy Spirit entrance"

In the front of a school in Louisville, there is a sign that leads into a driveway lined by trees that reads, "Holy Spirit Entrance." My roommate brought to my attention the humor in it! In fact, "Holy Spirit" is actually the name of the school, for Kindergarten through eighth graders. We know that Holy Spirit, in this case, means that the entrance to the school is near that sign. However, in everyday life, it is easy to believe that if we do one thing, then the Holy Spirit will be with us.

The Bible is clear, though, that whatever we do is marked with God's grace and fueled by His power alone. In chapter ten of Mark, Jesus explained a story of a rich man and how difficult it is for people to enter the kingdom of God. Yet, in verse 27, "Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.'" Thank God that the all-powerful God wants to save us!

A commonly-read story explains the incomparable, saving power of our God. In Daniel, chapter 3, God-followers Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refuse to worship the idols of polytheist King Nebuchadnezzar. The king decides to throw them in a furnace, leaving them to burn to death. They respond in verse 17, "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king." Later in the chapter, we watch as God in fact does save them, and they arise from the fire without harm!

King Nebuchadnezzar is moved by this, and he declares "to the peoples, nations, and men of every language, who live in all the world: May you prosper greatly! It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the most High God has performed for me" (Daniel 4:1-2). Indeed, the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego's rock-hard faith has passed throughout the generations.

I pray that we are able to live for Him and His glory, that we may remember that it is Christ alone who saved us, and that it is His name that we are to spread the good news about all across the world.

Other verses about God's saving grace: Romans 11:23, 2 Corinthians 9:8, Hebrews 7:25

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Re-Main & Re-Connect!

Jesus said, "I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me." John 15:5 (HCSB)

"...Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for all of us share that one bread....Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s Glory."1 Corinthians 10:17, 31 (HCSB)

Happy Thanksgiving!! There are many reasons why Thanksgiving is such a special part of a Christian's life! Our lives are humbled and full of gratefulness as we count our many blessings and thank God for everything that comes straight from the hand and heart of our Lord and Savior! God teaches us daily how to live with an attitude of gratitude! Thanking God for every good and perfect gift that is from above!

As we look at pictures of "circles of people" gathered around a Thanksgiving Tables "Giving Thanks", let's think about another reason that Thanksgiving is important in the life of a believer...

I would like to share something that God has on my heart this Thanksgiving... there is a unique trap that our post-modern generation is vulnerable to falling into! Christians of today may be vulnerable to falling into the trap of "Disconnection"...a feeling of distance from God and disconnecting from others!

God has called me to continually examine my own life in Christ and carefully follow His Call to share Jesus with others and encourage my sisters to do the same as I pray for and encourage others through the gifts He has given me. I thank God for the ways that the Lord keeps me sensitive to some of the warfare that the enemy is using through our post-modern technology and lifestyle against us in The Body of Christ! Some of these traps are unique to the modern high tech busy world we live in.

I may take the next few weeks after Thanksgiving to specifically dive into some of the specific ways we are disconnection in our lives so for now let's just examine our lives and ask God for His help to stay close with God and others...

As His Evangelistic Concerned for Others Gifted2Go Believer: Re-Main With God!

  1. Take Some Silent Time With God & Listen To What He Is Personally Saying To You!
  2. Take Some Time To Re-Connect With God And His Still Small Voice!
  3. Take Some Time To Thank God For Every Blessing You Have! What are some specific ideas you could share with others on Re-Connecting with God when you may feel distant from Him?

As His Evangelistic Concerned for Others Gifted2Go Believer: Re-Connection With Others!

  1. Take Some Time And Ask God To Help You Re-Connection With Others!
  2. Take Some Time To Write Down A Re-Connection With Others Simple Plan!
  3. Take Some Time To Re-Connect With Those That Are Close To You & At Least 1 New Person That Needs Jesus! What are some specific ideas you could share with others on Re-Connecting with people?

Re-maining & Re-connecting with God and Others will take some honesty, confession, vulnerability, expression, courage, and many more EMOTIONS may come over you for His Glory....for example; in order to re-connect through the telecommunication business that I serve in, there are daily "trouble tickets" that we troubleshoot until re-connection is accomplished.

As we re-main close lose to God and connection is accomplished with others you can look forward to community (fellowship)...just like the picture of a thanksgiving banquet table that is not "fit for a king" but is "Full of The King of Kings" as another "Happy Thanksgiving" is enjoyed by All for His Glory! AMEN!!

Due to a Thanksgiving mini-blogation, this post will be my last post for November blogs will still be posted from my blogging buddies as the Lord leads (Happy Thanksgiving Blogging Buddies)...see you again December 2nd...I Thank God for each and everyone of you!You are a blessing and inspiration "ECO:Gifted2Go" praying friends!
Happy Thanksgiving!!!
"Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good."! Psalm 107:1 (giving thanks with a grateful heart!) (draw me close, Lord!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thank You

Today, I received a very convicting email from another teacher where I work. I have copied it for you to read below.

These are some thoughts you may want to share with your students regarding the Operation Christmas Child boxes. This afternoon I translated a thank you note from a 7 year-old girl in Burkina Faso who had received a shoebox. Here’s the letter.

June 5, 2009

I have the great pleasure of hearing from you. My name is Guedraogo Safiatou. I am in an elementary school class in the village of Toba in the department (county) Yaba of the province (state) Mayah. I am the oldest girl of a family of farmers. I have 5 older brothers and 5 younger brothers. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for all the wonderful gifts that you gave us here in Toba. I want to send my greetings to all your family and friends in America. I hope that your friendship will continue forever if God wills it so.

Thank you!

Guedraogo Safiatou

I got to thinking as I returned the letter back to the elementary office. In saying thank you, Guedraogo had spent about $2 between the cost of paper, stamps and the photo. It doesn’t sound like much to us until one realizes average person’s yearly income in Burkina Faso is about $320. She spent a small fortune or about 0.6% of the average Burkinabe’s income. For one of us to say thank you in an equivalent manner as this little girl, it would be $196 (about 0.6 % of $31,800, the average US worker’s income).

It’s kind of humbling. Would I say thank you if it cost me $196? And how often have I forgotten to say thank you?

“Give thanks in all circumstances!” I Thessalonians 5:17

What an appropriate challenge heading into the Thanksgiving season. Take the time today to thank first our Lord Jesus Christ for what He has done. How often do we forget to tell our Creator thank you for our very life? Today, commit to living thankfully unto the Lord. Also, take the time to show someone else your thanks for what they have done. Let us be a people characterized by thankful hearts!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fragmented Lives

"Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think - according to the power that works in you - to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21, HCSB).

This morning, I feel very fragmented. It is Monday again and I have numerous projects scattered around the office and the house that need to be taken care of. Things like writing projects, emails to respond to, messages to prepare, papers to grade, a shower that still needs a new shower pan, a computer that is with the Geek Squad being fixed, food to prepare for Thanksgiving, and well...the list goes on. Not too much different from the list that you have of things that need to be completed.

I am reminded that no matter how many broken pieces that there are right now, that God will use them all together for His glory. He still has a plan. He is still on the throne. He can make all the broken pieces come together into a beautiful story - much like a stained glass window.

Stained glass windows are dark until the light shines on them and through them. Today, let's commit together to let Jesus shine His light through out dark and broken lives. Let's let Him work our lives together into a beautiful masterpiece. Oh Lord, shine through me today to a broken world - let me share with one who desperately needs to know you.

"For we are His creation - created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10, HCSB).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

catching my fall

This week, my understanding of God's power has increased through a series of events. All were humbling, some were from the Bible, some from teachings about it, but one is embarrassing!

Tuesday, the girls that I babysit had two neighbors ask them to play in their backyard. As I walked towards the girls, who were playing on a swing, I tried to pet their neighbor's Shetland Terrier. One of the girls called my name, I looked up, and walked onto a covered pool! I fell and was close enough to the edge to not slide into the middle. I think the girls were playing and didn't realize, and I just laughed.

Sometimes, I let sin fog my mind, and then I feel like it is inescapable. It takes time for me to realize that God is the only one who has the power to save me.

This week, as I listened to Tony Rose speak, he said (rephrased): "You are in a race. Your biggest competitor? You." He referred to this verse to show how to find power to run:
"For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as to divide soul, spirit, joints, and marrow; it is a judge of the ideas and thoughts of the heart." – Hebrews 4:12 (HCSB)

Why, this sin that holds on to us can actually help us see our need for God. He, in His incomparable mercy and absolute power, has given us the opportunity to turn to Him and away from sin. When we focus on the sin and do not forgive ourselves, do we truly trust in His incredible power? Hebrews 4:16 (HCSB) explains: "Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time."

Christ is strong enough to fight the sin! I pray that we are quick to turn to Him when we fall.

Other verses: Daniel 6:26-27
Picture from

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You For Your Service!

"Fight the good fight for the faith; take hold of eternal life, to which you were called and have made a good confession before many witnesses." 1 Timothy 6:12 (HCSB)

"For you are called to freedom, brothers; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love." Galatians 5:13 (HCSB)

On this day, Veterans Day (the 11th Day of the 11th Month) we pause to thank God for all that have served and sacrificed for the sake of Freedom...Freedom is not Free...many have paid a price we could not pay as we thank and remember all who serve!

As we thank God for those that have served and sacrificed much, let's evaluate our life in Christ, a life of service, and continue to "fight the good fight for the which you were called" until the Lord returns...

The word "veteran" is listed below from "" we read the meanings listed, let us take hold of each opportunity to thank God, honor His servants, and allow this day to cause us all to be found faithful in the good fight for which the Lord took hold of us as believers. Let us look around and share Jesus, as His servant witness, to someone that needs the Lord. Jesus is our ultimate example of a Veteran-Servant of all Servants! Will you join the few, the called, the forgiven and share Jesus with others? Praying for all veterans as we all strive to be servants for the we are Lord, send Us!

1. a person who has had long service or experience in an occupation, office, or the like: a veteran of the police force; a veteran of many sports competitions.
2. a person who has served in a military force, esp. one who has fought in a war: a veteran.
3. (of soldiers) having had service or experience in warfare: veteran troops.
4. experienced through long service or practice; having served for a long period: a veteran member of Congress.
5. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of veterans.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Why Christ

This past weekend, my husband and I visited hs his home church where the special music was a Southern Gospel song. The words basically talked about visiting the tomb of Buddha and finding him there. Move on to the tomb of Mohommed and see his body. Yet when you get the tomb of Christ, he has risen and death has died. As I was reading yesterday morning in 2 Corinthians 1:20, Paul writes "For all the promises of God find their Yes in [Christ]". Many times when we talk about Christianity, it can be easy to get caught up in discussing secondary issues concerning certain Scripture verses, moral living, worship preferences and more. Today, take time to read God's Word in search of His promises and know that because of Jesus Christ, the answer to these promises is YES! The foundation to everything we believe is knowing that the grave was defeated, the tomb is in fact empty. Because of this good news, we can claim the promises of God in Christ. Thank you Lord for Jesus Christ, whose death and resurrection is what moves us from death to life.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Focus on the Foundation

"According to God's grace that was given to me, as a skilled master builder I have laid a foundation, and another builds on it. But each one must be careful how he builds on it, because no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid - that is, Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:10-11).

Most of my friends know that I have a background in interior design so just one of the ways that I de-stress is by watching HGTV. I love to see how they rebuild bathrooms - they rip the whole room apart and go back to the foundation. They are always careful to get to the root of the problem and not just patch a leak.

All that HGTV may be paying off this week since our master bedroom shower has to be redone. That leak that we have been patching for years has finally gotten to the point that it requires major attention. Nothing like spending the weekend with contractors, removing carpeting, and looking at ways to fix the shower, tile, carpeting, etc. (Who was it that thought placing the shower next to the master closet was a good idea anyway?) It will all be fine...even if I have to live with concrete floors and one shower until after the Thanksgiving crew is gone. : )

The point of all this is that the foundation is critical. In our lives, it is Jesus Christ. It is the basics of discipleship that get us in trouble. As I work with women, I am continually amazed that what gets them confused is not the issues of culture, but the issues of continuing to focus on and live out the basics. The culture has thrown us all for a loop; however, the only way to navigate it with success is to continue with the foundation - daily prayer and bible study, keeping the relationship of the Lord in tact which spills over into the relationships we have with others. I contend that it is the basic foundational truths that we are overlooking that are leading us astray.

Today, let's make a commitment to concentrate on the basics. When we keep the foundatioal truths of Christ in order, it will take care of the rest. It may be messy for awhile, but it is worth it in the end.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Labor & Delivery

That handsome little baby boy is our precious pride & joy. Whenever I look on him I am completely delighted. The truth of the matter is that I have never worked harder for one thing in my life! 24 hours of labor & 3 and a half hours of pushing, not to mention 9 months of pregnancy (which was highly enjoyable minus the 12 weeks of morning sickness and the last 2 weeks of utter discomfort, so worth it though)! Two things occur to me as a result of having Micah. One, the Gospel is SO amazing. Who could fathom giving their only son for anyone much less for a wretched sinner. Two, channeling the words of Jesus in John 4...every man and woman MUST be BORN again in order to receive life eternal through the death & resurrection of Jesus Christ! How we ought to LABOR to share Christ, to see Christ formed in as many as would come to Jesus and be saved. It won't be an easy labor of may be 24 hours, 24 days, 24 months, or 24 years before we see the fruit of our labor, but imagine the great joy of watching a lost soul be delivered from sin, death, & the wrath of God. This is a greater joy, because I'll tell you what I want to see that son of mine be BORN again...that day will be greater than the first birth because it will mean life in Christ forever. Don't grow weary...labor over souls and watch them be delivered.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Light in the Dark

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds, and praise your Father in heaven."

Last Friday night my husband and daughter were out of town and I decided around 7:00 p.m. that it would be a perfect time to paint one of the rooms in our house. I went to a local store and picked out a paint color, got all my drop cloths, rollers, brushes, etc. together, and started taping the trim about 9:00 p.m. I painted the area by the ceiling with a paint brush and then poured the paint into the tray to begin to paint the walls with the roller. On the first stroke with the roller, all the lights suddenly went out and I was in complete darkness. I panicked because I hate blackness. The lights were out everywhere in the neighborhood and the rain kept away any hope of light from the moon. I awkwardly stumbled through the room feeling my way with my hands, stepping over the paint tray and made my way through the obstacle course in my hallway praying that I could find a match for a candle. My heart was beating fast because of my fear. After a few minutes I found one book of matches and one votive candle. I was so thrilled to find it--as soon as I lit the small candle the darkness was lifted. I could then see to find my way to all the other candles in my house.

If you work in secular place, live in a secular neighborhood, or are surrounded by unbelievers, remember that it just takes one small candle to dispel the darkness. Therefore, it just takes one believer living for Jesus that can shed light that is so welcomed in a place of darkness. Take courage, and remember that it takes just one person to shine for Him. Then it will ripple out to other dark places. Let us all shine for Him!!!

(P.S. I did finish painting the whole room by candlelight before I went to sleep. )

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." –Matthew 6:21 (Holeman Christian Standard Bible)

Lately, a number of things have been reminding me of this verse. Rachel's fundraising story is one of them.

Recently, a girl that I babysit, whom I will call Rachel, added a new element to our game of school: fundraising. She asked me what city I was from again, and I smiled and said, "Houston, Texas." Rachel then explained that our next task was to raise money for the poor people in Houston. After she found an empty jar, she proceeded to imagine how we would raise the money to fill it. When her mom arrived home, she unveiled her plan!

Her excitement about the cause touched me. It made me question, "What are my time and efforts moving towards?" My first step should at least be spending less time scanning shopping websites!

The book Advanced Strategic Planning by Aubrey Malphurs (BakerBooks, 2005) suggests that churches look at their budgets and see in what categories their funds are allocated (p. 263). Malphurs points out that this is important for individuals as well (p. 258). This reminded me to evaluate my expenditures in time and money.

A verse that a friend reminded me of last night explains, "Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow" (James 1:17, New Living Translation). How are we using our gifts? How would Jesus use them?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Looking Through A New Window!

"After he had seen the vision, we immediately made efforts to set out for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to evangelize them."
Acts 16:10 (hcsb)

As my old 1950's windows are being replaced this week in my home, God laid it on my heart that looking through a new window is so much like the vision given to Paul in Acts 16 to evangelize Europe! WOW, can you imagine what it was like to catch an evangelistic vision like this? My old windows have actually become dangerous because they stuck, unable to open with the crank type of openings, and many of the glass panes are cracked...just plain OLD! There is nothing like looking through a clear clean NEW window that can also give you new vision!

There are special times in the Christian life we have the privilege of looking through a new window at a new fresh vision that causes us to "immediately" have a new fresh evangelistic plan to add to the ones we use to share Jesus with others!

This is how I feel about "ECO: GIFTED2GO"! Just reading and describing the title fans the flame of The Holy Spirit in my heart as the first steps of publishing takes place in order to prepare The Body of Christ for "the evangelize them"...the important part of all of the evangelistic tools God has blessed the Body of Christ with is for us to "use them!" I can not wait for ECO:GIFTED2GO, but as we wait for the publishing process...LET'S PRAY as God gets ready to cast another effective vision for "Evangelistic Concern for Others: Gifted2Go" Take it from someone that has been trying to look through some old windows from the 1950's...there is nothing like CLEAR vision like I now have as I am looking through new windows!

In what ways is God casting a new fresh clear evangelistic vision in your life? Will we obey Him as He calls Christians to "come follow me" and "go"!? I join you in praying and sharing the GREATEST GIFT~JESUS with others using all of the awesome evangelistic tools that He has blessed the Body of Christ with! To The Ends of The Earth & Beyond!! (taking JESUS to the ends of the earth!)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In My Name

I recently returned from a fall break mission trip with high school students. We took a group of 19 kids to Appalachia (Pikeville, KY). We spent the time there working with the local housing authority helping with home repairs for elderly and disabled. We did several projects, but for one home in particular we stripped an old roof, put on a new roof, painted all window and door trim, raked, trimmed hedges and trees and fit in new boards around her windows to keep out the winter wind. As we were meeting one evening, I asked the students to share what one thing stuck out in their minds from the trip. One of my boys looked up and said "I never realized that having the ability to swing a hammer with my arm was a way to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I wonder what else I can do to share Christ that I haven't done yet?" What a great question for us to consider! In Matthew 25, Jesus explains that when we meet the needs of others in the name of Christ, it is like serving Christ Jesus himself. When I stop to think about all the "small" things I do every day, I realize there are so many ways to share Christ that I have not pursued yet in HIS name. As you go about your day today, look for opportunities to do the seemingly everyday things IN THE NAME OF JESUS.