Monday, August 30, 2010

Women at Southern: A Walk Through Psalms

Our long-awaited devotional book, Women at Southern: A Walk Through Psalms, has finally arrived on the campus of Southern Seminary! There were 409 women who graciously wrote a devotional, testimony, or some words of wisdom. What an incredible undertaking it was! I am soooo proud of all our women. May God be glorified in every word put forth in this 462 page work. I pray that you will order your copy or go by the LifeWay bookstore on the SBTS campus in Louisville and get yours. I hope you will buy a few extras to give at Thanksgiving and Christmas! All proceeds go into a scholarship fund for women. I can't think of a better way to support the work of the Lord than to give to help women who want to be trained to make a difference.

Order your copy:
Women at Southern: A Walk Through Psalms
ISBN 978-0-9840657-0-7, $25
LifeWay Christian Bookstore, Southern Seminary campus
502-987-4506 or

Thank you to Connie Jenkins who gave to underwrite the devotional so that all proceeds could go for scholarships! The dedication is to you!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Prince of Peace

"For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace"
(Isaiah 9:5-7, NIV).

God has shown me His leadership and faithfulness this week.  My week has started out feeling like a bit of a rush, since I have started new classes and a new job.  Papers are scattered across my desk, and I am still getting adjusted to waking up early to open the office where I am working.  However, God has been reminding me of His blessings all around, and He has been reminding me to rest and trust in Him.

He has given me a job that I did not think of looking for, where they train me and are taking the time to give me insider tips of how to roam the busy downtown scene.  In class, my teachers have given us time to read and absorb material before anything is due, and they are explaining things in more detail to make sure the other students and I understand.  It is a blessing, even though the week seems to be flying by! 

God  is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, and He knows what is going on in this world of people that He loves.  When we believe and trust in Him to take care of and guide us, He will, because we are His sons and daughters.  Praise God!  I pray that we continue to remember that we can rest in Him and share this with others in joy.

"Bring us love, You who are love.
Bring us peace, You who are peace.
We need love, oh, divine love.
We need your peace, merciful peace, yeah"
("Eastern Hymn," David Crowder Band).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

God Is 4 You!

"So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing Himself to the worst by sending His own Son, is there anything else He wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us - who raised to life for us! - is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you, Lord. We're sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing - nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable - absolutely nothing can get between us and God's Love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us."
Romans 8:31-39 msg
Since God is 4 me nothing will be able to drive a wedge between Christ's love for me...unless I let it!!! Beware Christian leaders that are on the front lines, the enemy knows that you are not a coward for Christ so he will try and use anything he can to cause you to doubt God's love....challenge for today: Sit down and type or write some powerful promises from God's Word until the very Words grab your heart in a fresh way and cause you to PRESS ONWARD towards the GOAL which is IN CHRIST JESUS ALONE!!! And do not forget to TAKE AS MANY OTHERS WITH YOU FOR THE CAUSE OF CHRIST!!!!! AMEN!!!! (You Are For Me - Kari Jobe)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Suffering to Hope

"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us" (Romans 5:3-5, ESV).

I'm so proud of Tracy's son, Marine Marshall Jones who just graduated as Second Lieutenant! He is sharing a word of testimony today (Sunday, August 21, 2010) at his church in Longview, Texas. If you see this in time, pray for him and all who will hear. If you see this later, please keep praying for him and for those who serve our Lord and our country faithfully on and off the field.

I read Romans 5 on Saturday and love how this verse spoke to me. Marshall is a visual of what it means. Marshall suffered through the training and it produced endurance. His endurance built his character. His character produces hope. This hope does not put us to shame because God is honored. Marshall suffered but we will all benefit from him and others serving us.

It is just a glimpse that Christ suffered for us by His death on the cross. Jesus paid the price for us - for our sins. Just as our country is worth fighting for, we are worth fighting for. Christ paid the ultimate price and we can know that if we choose to follow Him, He will fight for us. He has won the victory. His love has been poured into our hearts and the Holy Spirit is with us always. There is hope in Him!

Marshall, God bless you! May He speak through you as you share today and throughout every day of your life, on and off the field.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pray, Divide, and Conquer

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ" (Col 3:23-24, ESV).

The semester just started and I admit it, I'm in overload. Anybody with me? One look at my fall schedule and I wonder about my sanity. I am eternally grateful for each and every opportunity, yet it never seems to end. My husband tells me I have a job because there are things to do. If there weren't, they would not need me. I got over someone "needing" me a long time ago.

I do what I do because God has called me to do it. I actually love most of it and the truth is, I do love to work. But the reason I work is to honor Christ. There was work before the fall of man, but after the fall the work just got a bit messier. I'm a sinner, and so is everyone else. Bummer (as my husband says). Wouldn't life be grand if we were all perfect? We could just work work work and all would be well!

I love new semesters with incredible new students, love the challenges of refining my teaching, and love to strive for excellence in all I do. Yet, in my humanity, I can become overwhelmed with the multitude of details screaming for attention. The only way I can deal with it is to pray, divide, and conquer. I pray for God to give me a perspective on things so I can remember for whom I am working. I divide the work into tasks so I can see what needs to happen, and then I go after one thing at a time.

I don't know what you are dealing with today, but I do know that if God has called you to do it, then you can. He will be right there. Let's keep our perspective and remember that we work for the Lord!

You are a blessing to me.
PS. Find life complicated? Sign up for the W conference.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Birth has been on my mind much this week! Our firstborn son, Micah, turned ONE! It's been an amazing time of celebration and reflection. To think, this time last year I'd just gone through 24 hours of labor, recovery, and adjusting to life with a new little one. It was wonderful, such sweet times. When I think about "first birth" it always beckons me to ask the Lord for Micah's second birth, that Micah would be born again through the Gospel via the Spirit of Christ. That's the birth I am looking forward to Lord willing! This week I encourage you to reflect on those who need to be "born again" and ask for their salvation in Christ alone. Keep on doing the work of ministry.

John 3: 1Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him." 3Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?" 5Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'

Let's pray that new life would come into someone's life this very week! And how about one more picture of the birthday boy?!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Dangerous Heat Wave Of 2010

Day after day temperatures have reached 100 degrees where we live. Heat advisories, health warnings, and dangerous outside conditions to the point where people are advised to stay indoors as we check on others especially those that are in their senior adult years.
One of the statements that I have heard over and over the past few weeks is "I want to go somewhere where I can escape this HEAT"! I can't help but think about those that need HOPE and need to escape real eternal Heat, The Lake of Fire...Calling All Christians, we have the Eternal answer for the most dangerous eternal heat wave and it is JESUS!!!
The Dangerous Heat Wave of 2010 has taken many lives His Witness, let's ask God for opportunities to share the heat quenching truth of the Only One that can rescue us from the lake of fire consequences of sin...His Name Is JESUS!!!!!

As the temperature rises this can be an opportunity to Share Jesus with others! No one wants to be separated forever from God experiencing unending severe temperatures of fire...The Dangerous Heat Wave of 2010 is the only Heat Advisory we all want to experience!!

Revelation Chapter 20 describes in detail all of the doom and gloom that Jesus came to rescue mankind from!! Who do we know that needs to be rescued? Who do we know that needs the thirst quenching drink from the well of living water so that they will thirst no more? Rev.20:15 "If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he/she was thrown into the lake of fire."

Romans 10:13 "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be SAVED."!!!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Simplifying Womanhood in a Complicated World

I have been told many times that I have the gift of simple. It is the gift of taking complicated things and making them simple, or uncomplicated. That is the whole plan with the W conference coming to Southern Seminary the weekend before Thanksgiving.

We at Southern Seminary are pretty pumped about it. Mary Kassian will be teaching her new book, Girls Gone Wise. Heather Payne, formerly with Point of Grace, will be leading us in worship, and we have some awesome breakout leaders and breakouts. All designed to help you simplify your life in this crazy, mixed-up world that we live in. Think of it as the conference for young women that will sort out what the Bible says and how to live it out as a woman in today's culture.

Check out all the info on the provided link. We would love to have you come and bring your friends. Pray that God would do a mighty work before, during, and after this conference. We'd like to see the world woman at a time.

"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise" (Ephesians 5:15, ESV).

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hidden Opportunity

If you've been in ministry for some time you well know that there are students tucked away in Bible classes that have yet to meet Jesus personally. It can be hard to remember that fact, but it is imperative that we do so.

God sent a vivid reminder my way through a precious young woman in a Bible study that I am privileged to lead for young women, like myself, in their twenties and thirties. This particular friend sent me an email. I had known her previously through our mom's ministry called iMom. She had even served a bit around our local church. When I got her email to meet one on one I assumed that we be talking about a number of discipleship issues: Bible study, sharing our faith, and so forth. We sat down over a couple of Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha's and started sharing. I had never heard her testimony so I asked her to share it with me. After a few minutes of listening to my friend I'm sure my eyes were wide with astonishment. I wasn't hearing a testimony of life change but rather a testimony full of works righteousness and trying harder. That I knew was not salvation in Christ, that was not salvation at all. I had to look no further than Ephesians 2:4-10

4But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— 6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

As I explained true salvation in Christ apart from works, I think I saw the lights start to come on. We didn't pray right there, but the Holy Spirit surely was continuing work on my friends heart.

The reason I share this story is because had we not have had the one on one meeting I could have continued on thinking that this young woman knew Jesus. She may have kept coming to studies for years, for the rest of her life, trying harder but never entering His rest. As you lead women, remember that perhaps there are some eyes staring back at you in that Bible study that haven't been opened just yet. Don't forget to share the Gospel everywhere!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What are you doing on your face?

"The Lord said to Joshua, "Stand up! What are you doing down on your face?" (Joshua 7:6).

So, I laughed this morning when I read this verse.  God seems straightforward when He talks to Joshua.  As a background to the story, the success of the Israelites against their enemies took a turn: after their success in taking Jericho, they do not have immediate success in taking Ai (verses 3-5). I think Joshua wonders what is going on all of the sudden.

Then, Joshua gets on his knees and prays.  God speaks in return.  How incredible it would be to hear His voice out loud!  What happened was that the Israelites disobeyed God; they violated His covenant with them (verse 11).

God explains: "Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, 'Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: That which is devoted is among you, O Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove it" (verse 13).

Then, Joshua checked the different camps of the Israelites, and they find that someone has stolen and disobeyed God.   The man who is found guilty is killed.  This seems a depressing moment, but then:  God turns from his "fierce anger" (verse 26). 
When we pray to God, His responses can vary.  Sometimes he says yes, no, and wait.  Someone told me earlier this summer, though, that sometimes, God may be asking us to follow His last response to us.  God always hears us, I believe, but I think sometimes He stays quiet until we respond to the last thing He told us.  
God is so patient with us.  I pray that we hear His Word to us today and are indeed changed.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Too Much Stuff

"And because they did not think it worthwhile to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them over to a worthless mind to do what is morally wrong" (Romans 1:28, HCSB).

I have entered a new era in my life. I have gone from gathering to de-cluttering. As a young adult, I gathered things. I hung onto anything and everything just in case I might need it later. After watching my parents downsize (and going to many estate sales like the one shown in the photo), I have come to the conclusion that I do not want Kelli to have to go through my stuff when I graduate into heaven. Tell me, who needs so much stuff? While it may have meaning to me, it is only clutter that takes up valuable space.

Our minds are like this. We input all sort of things and we keep them...just in case. When we try to bring in some good things, there is hardly room because of all the things that keep crowding the new things out. Then it becomes hard to sort out the items of value from the junk. God calls on us to renew our minds. "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect" (Romans 12:1-2, ESV). We begin this process of getting rid of the trash so that there is room for the things of God.

Yesterday, we had lunch with some dear, longtime friends. One of the ladies is a therapist (and oversees 30 therapists). We got on the discussion of a depraved mind and she gave us an example. When a homosexual performs the act, their brain literally changes and this can be seen on images (x-rays?). It makes them believe that what they are doing is okay. Their brains are being physically transformed for evil. Romans 1:28 in HCSV (above) calls it being given over to a worthless mind to do what is morally wrong. Many versions call it a depraved mind.
As leaders who minister in a perverse culture, we must protect our minds. We must de-clutter and remove the junk and restore the things of value. Time spent with God to know the difference is the starting place.
Oh Lord, get the sin out of my life! Transform my mind today!