Sunday, October 31, 2010
I worked my volunteer job at church this morning. I'm the preschool check-in lady. That may not sound very important to you, but it is the open door that the Lord has given me to be faithful to do. Each Sunday morning, I arrive at about 9am and check in new preschoolers who come to our church. I usually leave at about 11am to go to the worship service. The church is quite large and just to give you an idea, we run about 700 preschoolers (birth through kindergarten) on a Sunday. It is quite a busy place and where I sit is also the "problem-solving headquarters" for all that is happening behind the scenes. I have to admit that I am not in charge but can problem-solve as need be. It is a perfect fit for me in this busy season when I am gone on numerous trips since it doesn't take any advance preparation (on my part - obviously there are hundreds of workers who do massive amounts of preparation!).
The best part about my job is that I get to meet newcomers to the church. You would not believe how many new parents come to church for the first time! I have gotten to share with many parents and grandparents about the love of Jesus and pray with them over things like broken relationships (separations, divorces, etc), special family needs, and lost family members. I have seen them walk up and burst into tears, seen them filled with joy over their newborn, and watched many a grandparent try to deal with armloads of young ones. Almost every week, I see someone that I know was encouraged or settled during a hectic morning.
This morning was another crazy one - but God granted a divine appointment right in the middle of it. I won't tell you all the confusion but there was a lot. God provided a moment for me to pray with a young mom who had never openly confessed her faith. I shared with her the gospel message and started with Jeremiah 29:11-13. She told me it was a sign. Yes, it was! It was a huge sign that God had led her there, was helping her to understand her new found faith, and to understand what had happened and what to do next. I promised you that I was more blessed than she was!
When we seek Him, we find Him! When we seek to lead others to Him, He uses us! What are His plans for you? How are you serving Him? Be faithful in the little things and He will show you great and mighty things! Let's make a fresh commitment for Him to use us to share the love of the Lord with those who are seeking Him!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
The world is screaming, follow me! Look at me! Me, me, me! I want...I need...I think! Somehow in a world all about me, it is easy to get lost in ourselves, our desires, and what is the best for us. The enemy is (unfortunately) doing a good job of getting us off-center.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
This afternoon, I saw an exercise t-shirt that read, "Check that off!" It made me question myself, "Do I sometimes obey God like it is a check-off for my to-do list?" Do we obey Him out of habit?
God's grace and mercy make His character stand out. God meets us where we are, no matter how messy life can seem. Action and obedience are important, yet it is God who gives us the strength to follow as we believe in, turn to and trust in Him.
I pray that we will share the Good News of His grace. We can take a deep breath and rest in knowing that He loves us and is there to guide us every step of the way.
Flashback: 2007 music video by Switchfoot, "You Already Take Me There" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8l1KgHI5GxA
Monday, October 25, 2010
Read the Baptist Press article to learn more about what God is doing with Women at Southern!
Friday, October 22, 2010
My husband and I need to make a plan--set a date-- to get the neighbors on our cul-de-sac together (we have a lot of new neighbors within the past year). We talk about it. We think about it. But we need to PLAN it--just a simple dessert fellowship. Baxter has given me the little "push" I needed to do more than just think about it!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
-2 Samuel 22:29, HCSB
This Sunday, I admired my church's candelabras. I love candles and their vintage look; also, I think there is something deeper about our attraction to light. Light can symbolize truth and understanding. When we believe in the power of the Bible as God's true Word, then God can guide us as we read. His Word brings "light" to life, and we can pray to ask him to help us follow His way through whatever we are facing that day.
A man at my work the other day was telling me about how whenever he hears his pastor speak, it is like it is speaking directly to him. He said it seems to meet him, right where he is. It's like God knew exactly what he needed to hear.
That is one thing that I love about the Bible; God's words penetrate me, and it reminds me of how awe-inspiring God is. His very nature is loving, powerful and wise. Will we try to help others see how much the Bible relates to everyday life and of our need for Christ?
How can we share His Word with someone today?
"God, Your faithful love is so valuable that people take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
They are filled from the abundance of Your house;
You let them drink from Your refreshing stream,
for with You is life's fountain.
In Your light we will see light."
-Psalm 36:7-9, HCSB
(photo from etsy.com)
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Gifted2Go Arkansas is THIS WEEKEND 10/21/10-10/23/10! Thank You for your prayers, we are fired up and excited to Share His Gifts as We GO!!! You can GO too as a Gifted2GO Praying Friend, thank you for praying as the Lord leads you!!
It is an exciting day we live in when Creative Strategic Evangelistic Leadership for Women can take place over the Internet as it is used as a gift from God for an evangelistic tool for our postmodern lives! God is faithful to equip us in the Gifts He has given as we Go and share Him through our lives, think with me how He is using blogs, e-mail, websites, instant messages, texting, christian music videos on the Internet, social networks, and the list goes on!! What are some "postmodern" ways that you are seeing Him at work? In our evangelistic gifted2go lives, one way God reminds us and encourages us through His Word as each of us have been given at least one gift or more from God so that He can minister through us, here are a couple of promises that God has encouraged and equipped my life with: "Do not neglect the gift that is in you..." 1 Timothy 4:14a "Therefore, I remind you to keep ablaze (I LOVE that word!) the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment." 2 Timothy 1:6-7 (HCSB)
We are full of great anticipation and expectation as we have the privilege of being encouraged and equipped through these Internet blogging waves! As a first-generation Christian, there are so many "firsts" that God has lovingly poured out upon my life that I look forward to sharing with you in the blogs to come, but right now I am experiencing my "first blog" and I thank you for your input and patience with great joy! This BLOGasphere (God may even give us some new first words:-)!) is amazing, just to think, that we are connecting from all over the world as we share from a keyboard, Dear Lord, let this set us ablaze in a new fresh gifted way for your Glory!
We are looking forward in the days, months, years...until Jesus' return of the joy to serve you, pray for you, and cheer you on as The Lord "keeps ablaze the gift of God that is in you" (2 Tim. 1:6b) Please know of my constant prayers for you and my availability to you in any way as the Lord leads us through His Spirit & His Word! One of my prayers, as I close my very first BLOG that I think may have been longer than I expected, is that I pray that you will feel the freedom to share what God has on your heart to evangelistically encourage others or receive encouragement yourself as we are all Gifted2Go praying friends looking to Jesus = The Greatest Gifts for ALL! Go God!!
Cheering You On In The Gifted2Go Blazing Joy Journey With Jesus,
2 Corinthians 9:2b
Monday, October 18, 2010
I don't usually rent a car when I am in Louisville, but for several reasons, I had one last week. What a joy it was to get to drive around and enjoy the beautiful fall leaves. I have to admit that fall is one of my favorite times of the year. I'm afraid in Houston we don't get enough of it.
I was driving down the road and all of a sudden, a quick gust of wind blew across the road and with it came a host of leaves, dancing right in front of my windshield. It was a beautiful sight to behold. It was as if I had been lifted up and was floating! The dead leaves from the trees were being brushed away to reveal the beautiful ones still hanging.
It reminded me of how God's Spirit works. He comes down at the most unexpected times, lifts our spirits, cleans up the dead leaves in our lives, and reminds us that there is beautiful changing work that He is doing among us.What a beautiful thing to remember! God is always at work. He desires to work in our lives and in the lives of those we meet.
Let's remember to look for the Holy Spirit's work as we go. We never know when His Spirit will fall fresh upon us on on the lives of those we are trying to reach.
How can you make a difference in the lives of young women? Bring them to the W conference!
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Funny thing happened on Friday night. I flew back to Houston after an incredible few days in Louisville. We met some friends for a quick dinner before the neighborhood high school ballgame. Someone offered a free pass to the ballgame ($5) but it would have meant that we were dishonest about who were worked for...since the intention of the pass was not for us. We turned it down and gladly paid the $10 ($5 each) to get into the game, knowing that it was the right thing to do. (Let's be honest, we can all use any extra we can get these days.) Upon giving our ticket to the girl at the entrance gate, the policeman grabbed the tickets from Dana's hand and asked him to wait there. He came back, shoved a $10 bill into Dana's hand, and "comped" him for the tickets! We had his three kids in the youth group at church years ago. It was a blessing and it was fun to catch up.
Here's the point: what if we had used the pass? He would have known that we were getting in "illegally" and we would have thrown away 20 years of integrity. It was an amazing reminder that as leaders, we are to have integrity in all we say and do...because God has integrity..He IS integrity. He is right and honest and holy. As we live out our lives, our best witness may be while living out the character of God.
May God continue to be our shield as we walk in His integrity.
Don't forget to come to the W conference! http://events.sbts.edu/wconference
Friday, October 15, 2010
Lies! Lies! Lies! That is what Satan wants us to believe. He wants us to believe that we are in bondage to __(you fill in the blank)__ and cannot break free from it. Then he uses that to make us feel incapacitated to share the gospel, which is one of our main purposes in life. We, as leaders, need to not only recognize the lies that Satan is using in our lives, but need to equip other young women to discern the lies they are believing.
If you are wondering how you can equip young ladies (and yourselves) to live in the truth as wise women in a world of lies, then you should seriously consider bringing a group of ladies, college students, and/or high school students to the W conference with Mary Kassian and Heather Payne on the campus of Southern Seminary, November 19-20, will be an equipping tool in how to truly live in the truth and not be disabled by lies. Check out the website for other information. I am certainly going and taking as many high school students (girls) that I can from the high school where I teach. Let's not miss this opportunity!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
The above is the first part of Deborah and Barak's song. Leaders from Israel, from different clans like Benjamin and Zebulun, had gathered to fight against Sisera. These Israelites praise the Lord, since God gave them victory over Sisera.
Recently, I got to meet a woman who was running for the office of a judge. She impressed me with how evident it was that she loved her family as well as the people of the city.
How do we love our God? He has gifted us all in different ways, just like He gifted Deborah and this woman I met. We can trust in Him to use our strengths and to help us overcome our weaknesses to do great, good things for His story.
Deborah's story reminds me that no matter what I think of my weaknesses, that God is glad to lead His children. If we love Him, believe in Him and call on His Name, He will be sure to answer (John 1:12). I pray that we trust Him and that we remember to share how Christ died to save us, so that we may live (1 Peter 2:24).
"Lord, may all your enemies perish as Sisera did. But may those who love Him be like the rising of the sun in its strength" (Judges 5:31, HCSB).
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Last week I cleaned out our minivan in preparation for our family to take a weekend trip. As I was doing this I found a sippy cup underneath one of the bucket seats. I tossed it in the "take inside" pile and finished cleaning up. A few minutes later, I was standing at the kitchen sink with this cup in my hands. I unscrewed the lid and moved to place the cup underneath the faucet when I was met with an unbelievable, overpowering odor! Turns out my sweet little girl had tossed the sippy cup under the seat BEFORE finishing her milk a few weeks ago! Let's just say that the inside of that cup was one of the most disgusting things I have ever witnessed in my time as a mother (including diaper duty)! As I was talking with my husband later that night, he brought up the passage in Luke where Jesus is talking to the Pharisees. In Luke 11:39-41, Jesus condemns the Pharisees for cleaning "the outside of the cup and dish, but inside [being] full of greed and wickedness". The Pharisees were people who had all external appearance of holiness down perfectly. However, once Christ took a look inside, he exposed the dirty mess of their hearts. Even though that sippy cup looked perfect on the outside, I would have never been able to give it to my children since the inside was so disgusting and would harm my children. However, many times I think this is exactly the attitude we can have before the Lord. We try to focus on looking right, talking right, acting right and overall convincing ourselves and those around us that we are living a good Christian life. This week, choose instead to take a look inside and allow the Lord to examine your heart. Would you do what you do if no one was looking? Would you stop what you were doing if someone was watching? Would you continue to serve if no one notice to give you praise? This week choose to spend your resources on your heart and clean out the inside of the cup!
Monday, October 11, 2010
The end of last week was a great time of remembering what being a woman in ministry is all about. On Wednesday, I got to be with some of the finest young women who are in our girls ministry class happening this semester at Southern Seminary.
We were blessed to be joined on Thursday by Women's Ministry leaders who came to our campus where we discussed the ways to reach young women with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Chris Adams was our guest. On Friday, the students gave presentations of how one would base a ministry to girls on the Word of God, and carry out Titus 2 ministry to middle and high school girls. It was an incredible week.
I was reminded of this verse in Philippians 2:15. One of the groups based their ministry plan on it. What a great reminder! We are called to lead young women to be blameless and innocent in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation. We are to lead them to shine like stars, holy and pure, pleasing to God!
This is what our W Conference is all about...showing women how to reach the next generation, modeling how to live holy and pure lives, and making a difference in the world we live in. We need your help! Please pray. Please bring women. Please come and help us by being available to reach out to those who come. Find more details about W at http://events.sbts.edu/wconference.
Please pray. We want to change the world!
Friday, October 8, 2010
"Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." (James 1:22)
As I have been reading some current books on total abandonment to God and the emphasis we must all have in our lives on sharing the gospel, I re-read a portion of a journal written by my husband back in 1991 on the Puritan pastor, Richard Baxter, and his views on evangelism. "Baxter taught that each individual Christian had the responsibility to witness. The profession of true religion is such a great duty that only foolish persons would try to conceal their faith or keep it to themselves. Baxter stands amazed that anyone could be genuinely converted and not be telling others about salvation through Jesus Christ." (Beougher, "Richard Baxter and Puritan Evangelism")
Baxter himself said: "Can a man have a taste of heaven upon his heart, and the kingdom of God begun within him, and yet not express his life or joy?....What! have the love of God shed abroad in their hearts, and say nothing of it? have the pardon of sin in the blood of Christ, and say nothing of it? What! see many hundred souls in danger of damnation, and say nothing, but let them perish?"
Wow! If we have experienced the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ in our own lives, we MUST speak of what we have seen, heard, and know!
Lord, help me be a doer of the word and not merely a hearer!
Beougher, Tim. "Richard Baxter and Puritan Evangelism." from the Journal of the Academy for Evangelism in Theological Education, Vol. VII, 1991-1992.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
let us hold on to grace.
By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe;
for our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:28-29, HCSB).
Has someone asked why you have patience when coffee spills on your new clothes, why you are able to not gossip when the office talks about an insulting customer or how you are able to trust that God will take care of your family in the midst of a challenging time?
The other day, a man from FedEx came in to my office and asked why I was smiling. My response was quick, and I explained that I was able to pray that morning. Yet, the true reason is deeper. As I think about it, it is because God has given me hope.
As believers, it is Jesus Christ who has changed our lives from the inside out. Are we in awe of Him? I pray that if someone asks us why we have hope that we are able to tie it to the original source, that we know as followers of Christ. We have a mighty King and Savior who is dependable, a strong fortress and our true source of joy and peace.
"But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed.
Do not fear what they fear or be disturbed,
but set apart the Messiah as Lord in your hearts,
and always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you
for a reason for the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:14-15, HCSB).
YouTube - "A Mighty Fortress," Christy Nockles
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
"This ONE THING I do..." Philippians 3:13
"....you have persevered and endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet...return to your FIRST LOVE...Remember...Repent, and do the works you did at first..." Revelation 2:4-5
New Season~New Opportunitity For Jesus In And Through Our Lives!!
Let's Ask Ourselves Some Challenging Questions Today:
- On A Scale From 1-10, how passionately "IN LOVE" Are We With JESUS?
- Do We Remember A Day That We Loved Him More?
- What Are Some Things/Activities/People/Habits That Can Take First Place First Love In Our Lives?
- Will We Do Whatever It Takes To "Fall In Love With Jesus" Anew & Afresh This New Season?
HOW? Good News!! Here is a Simple Plan:
Simple Steps To Take DAILY (the word DAILY is very important!): PRAY, CONFESS, TURN TO HIM, RUN HARD AFTER GOD, NEVER FORGET WHAT IT WAS LIKE BEING LOST OR AWAY FROM HIM, GET SATURATED WITH GOD THINGS-HIS WORD-HIS PRAISE & WORSHIP-HIS WAYS-HIS WILL & MOST OF ALL TAKE AS MANY OTHER PEOPLE WITH US AS WE CAN because God has GiftedU2GO!!!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
In the past few weeks, my kids have been amazed at the changing leaves. Every morning when we walk outside, my two year old girl exclaims (again) "Mommy!!! There are MORE leaves on the ground!" It has become part of our daily routine to go out and play in the piles of leaves after our naptime. We talk about the colors and I answer questions every minute about "how come the leaves don't like to be green anymore?" As I have spent my days focusing on the things that are changing around us, I have been so comforted to be reminded of a truth that Malachi records for us: "I the Lord do not change. So you, O descendents of Jacob are not destroyed" (Malachi 3:6). While I love to watch the beauty of the seasons changing, I am so thankful today that my God remains constant. That the One I worship is consistent. That the Lord's Word is dependable without exception. God can be trusted without hesitation. This season, as you praise the Lord for the beauty of the changing seasons, take a moment to stop and thank Him for His unchanging nature that continues to forgive, accept and love you without condition or changing standards. "The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of our God endures forever!" (Isaiah 40:8).
Friday, October 1, 2010
Some high school students where I teach are going through the book Radical by David Platt. Many students are giving up their lunch times to crowd into a room to read and discuss this book. Platt challenges the way it seems we often do evangelism--i.e. bow our heads, close our eyes, and pray a prayer. Evangelism is sometimes reduced to series of steps. But Platt says: "Meanwhile, the biblical gospel says, 'You are an enemy of God, dead in your sin, and in your present state of rebellion, you are not even able to see that you need life, much less to cause yourself to come to life. Therefore, you are radically dependent on God to do something in your life that you could never do."
This book has challenged all of us, who are reading it, to make sure when we share the gospel, we share the WHOLE gospel, not just try to add to our numbers by offering a series of steps.