Two Questions

You WANT to read the BIBLE!
You’ve TRIED to read it!
You make plans & commitments to do it!
But then… you open it and stare…
um… “Now what?” you say.

TRY THIS…

– Pick one of the gospels
(Matthew, Mark, Luke or John).
– Read part or all of a chapter.
– Ask yourself these two questions:

1. What does this tell me about GOD?

2. What does this tell me about ME?

– Jot down your answers.
– Praise God for the answer to #1
– Talk with Him about answer #2

Now you’ve just read The Word and prayed.
It’ll grown.
Time with Jesus becomes super personal
and incredibly addicting!!!! 🙂
But YOU have to take the time to spend
with Him.
He already made the time
to become human,
die a torturous death,
come back to life and
give you HIS Word
for encouragement & guidance.
He started it.

Now you get to enjoy it.
Your relationship can grown.
So get your
BIBLE
Notebook/Journal
Pen
and ask yourself these TWO QUESTIONS!

(Note: I don’t remember where I first heard
these questions; I’ve been sharing this idea
for over 20 years! It helps!
Now TRY it!)

A Proper Home

I excel at DIY projects… in my heart, at least.
But in reality I make a big mess, and when it’s all finished
words like “crooked” or “splotchy” come to mind.
Wouldn’t it be fabulous to know how to build & create beautiful
things that function well?

Leadership is like building, but fortunately for me,
it never requires things that are purchased from Home Depot or Lowes.
In 2 Corinthians 13:10b, Paul says,
“I want to use the authority the Lord has given me to build you up, not to tear you down.”

In this verse the phrase “build up” means constructive criticism and instruction
that builds a person up to be the suitable dwelling place of God
,
to make a suitable place where the Lord is “at home.”
What a thrill! Our job as a spiritual leader is to help others grow and
serve Jesus in a way that makes their lives a comfortable home for JESUS!

I may not be gifted at interior decorating, and I’m certainly not
good at DIY projects, but I CAN encourage and instruct others as
I whole-heartedly follow Jesus. If I am dedicated, faithful and
open myself up to those who are following me then I become a decorator!
Imagine it! Me… and YOU…
creating a comfortable & proper home for GOD Himself!!!

Eat your heart out HGTV!

Soak in The Water

Dishes!
We have LOTS of dishes!
My hands know the kitchen sink all too well.
This weekend I was washing a stack of dishes & grabbed
a pan coated in yucky, dried grossness. (How is it possible
that this icky mess was once tasty food?)

As I filled that pot with water I said to myself,
“Soaking in water does wonders. It chips away the
crusty grossness.”
And then the Holy Spirit cleared His throat.
“Ehh Hem.”

What, Lord?

“If you’d sit more quietly in my presence I could
chip away at the crusty stuff in your life; the
attitudes that are old, dried, itchy & really
bothering you.”

Oh.

Yes… indeed.
The next morning when I was reading The Word I forced
my mind to shush up, to be still, to soak in the Words
I was reading. Then quietly He whispered to my heart,
proving that He sees me better than I see myself;
showing me the yucky junk that has attached itself to
my thoughts; pointing out how those thoughts lead
to patterns that look nothing like Him. Things I
truly had not even realized were there!

Water does do wonders!
Sitting in His presence;
allowing His wonderfulness wash over me:
soften my heart;

letting my tears be a relief instead of
a frustrated outcry;
loving Him because I’m suddenly awe-struck
by His graciousness to me!

Thank you, Jesus, for speaking to me anytime,
anywhere, through any situation…
every situation…
even the kitchen sink!

John 4:14
But those who drink the water I give will
never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh,
bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

Ezekiel 36:25
“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you,
and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away…”

Savvy?

When I was growing up my Dad would often explain
something to me and then ask, “Savvy?” This means,
“Get it? Do you understand the whole of it?”

Psalm 55:22 says, “Give your burdens to the LORD,
and he will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”

God promises to TAKE CARE of us when we fling
our
assignments back onto Him.
(In previous posts I discussed these Words.) In this case,
TAKE CARE implies that God will sustain, provide or to
comprehend. COMPREHEND?

YES! God not only provides, but He provides
in a way that keeps the whole picture in mind.
He gets it! I certainly do NOT!
He sees the future. I only see the now.
He understands what is unseen. I can’t even
understand what’s smack in my face.

Jesus asks me to stop trying to “handle” my life…
He most certainly is “savvy!”
Me… not so much…um, not AT ALL!

Your comments are welcome

Meat Platters on the Floor

If you thought yesterday had some unusual analogies in it,
this post will probably leaving you thinking more of the same.

“Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”

Psalm 55:22 NLT

The word “GIVE” was yesterday.
Today… “BURDENS.”

BURDENS in this case means “a lot” or “what is assigned or given,”
Wait! WHAT? God has assigned burdens for me? Not the bright
encouragement I’d hoped to find. Hmm, then God gave me the mind
picture of a child & parent situation. (I’ve experienced a few
of those situations before.. ha!) If I, the parent, asked a toddler
to help me put dinner on the table I’d certainly have EVERY inte
ntion
of helping that little one complete this assignment! I would not
want my child to grab the heavy platter of meat and zip around
towards the table. That meat would splat right on the floor and the
child would be crying because I gave him a super hard job.

So, if I’d assign the job to the toddler & as he reaches for the platter
I’d say, “Give it back to me now. Let me help you. Give it back to me!”
If he lets me help he’ll find excitement, joy and satisfaction
from his assigned “burden.”

Uh… ouch, Lord!
How many times does God place an assignment in front of me,
totally wanting me to give it right back to you. He’s saying,
“Give it back. Give it back.” But I often
scoop it up & attempt it alone. I need to work on my “giving
back” skills. Flinging it back to JESUS.

“Oh, Lord, I’m so sorry for grabbing the meat platters you’ve
assigned to me and failing to wait for your help. Then I’ve
become frustrated & angry that “You did that to me!” (Sigh)
Please help me to quickly fling my thoughts onto you
and wait for your assistance!”

(the next part of this verse is here)

Fling & Hurl

A few days ago our friend & Pastor, Kevin Berry tweeted this scripture:

“Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”

Psalm 55:22 NLT

It’s been buzzing around in my head & heart since then. I’ve dug
into it a bit and want to share a tiny snippet of it with you over several
days this week.

“GIVE” – this word (in the original Hebrew) can mean CAST, HURL,
SNATCH, THREW or FLING!

When I am burdened I can snatch up my thoughts & troubles and
fling them into God’s hands. “Fling” happens quickly and without
much contemplation. No sitting around thinking about how I feel
and how this affects me, and “poor me,” etc….
Just grab up those thoughts/situation and FLING it! Pronto!

And the word, “HURL?” It makes me laugh…
maybe it’s all those years I spent in Jr. High ministry! ha!
Hurl implies BARF! And BARF is most effective when it’s projectile
barf… it gets the yucky stuff out quickly and puts it far away
in an extremely quick manner.

That’s what I want to do with my thoughts & struggles; I choose to
FLING and HURL them on Jesus.

(And He’s OK with that! What a Gracious God!)

Your comments and thoughts are certainly welcome!

Isolating is like…

Leadership of any kind bring heaps of joys
and loads of difficulties. Being a leader
in ministry is no different. Lots of leaders
find themselves in a lonely place, caused by
a variety of reasons, but alone in a crowd
none the less.

When a lady finds herself in that situation,
the temptation can be to further isolate her
heart from others. Not good.

“Isolating yourself and your feelings is like
applying the car brakes on the ice;
it stops you from forward progress and sends
you spinning in all the wrong direction.”

(from my journal a few weeks back)

Isolating ourselves is a slow form of Quitting!

Galations 6:2
“Share each other’s burdens,
and in this way obey the law of Christ.”

She Did What She Could

I’m enjoying several reading plans this month and some wonderful “extras!”
Together, our church is reading YouVersion’s 21 Day Fast , and I’m also lovin’ some wonderful videos & blogs from Mount Hope Church (who recently adopted Courage Church!!!! YIPPEE!)

One thing I read today did a little zing in my heart. Here’s the tiny verse
and then my thoughts are following.

“SHE DID WHAT SHE COULD…” – Jesus
Mark 14:8a

————————————————————————————

(The “SHE” in this verse is the lady who broke her expensive perfume and anointed
Jesus before his crucifixion and burial. She took criticism from people…
but not Jesus. He said “She did what she could.”)

-The people around that table that evening seemed far more qualified to minister
to Jesus than she, yet that didn’t stop her.

– Her sacrifice seemed “unspiritual” and lacking wisdom. (It was not!)

– She could have done many other things with that perfume, and other people
(even the “Christ-followers”) would probably have admired her for doing it.
But she chose to bless Jesus and not be affected by the others’ opinions.

– She let go of what had once been very special to her (and her culture),
because Jesus was now far more important that cultural customs & standards.

– Humility preceded this act of love.

————————————————————————————–

After realizing these truths this morning I started writing down “what I could do”
for Jesus that He sees value in, even if others do not.

Most things on my list were non-exciting, normal, daily and
“not-very-spiritual-looking.” Each one required humility, even demanded it.
(insert big SIGH here)
Others won’t notice and probably won’t even see it happening. If they do see,
they may criticize me. I may appear lazy, ridiculous and lacking in judgement.
And yet…
If these are the things that Jesus sees value in now, and asks of me,
then how can I discount their importance?
On Sunday in his sermon, (1-5-14) Chilly said,
“Our job is doing God’s purpose!”

Everywhere I look, every blog I read & pinterest I view, I’m told what I need to do to be
valuable and successful. But Mark 14:8 tells me that Jesus values my willingness to
“do what I can” for Him & directed by Him.
Simple.
Difficult.
Do-able.

Dreams fulfilled

I wrote the following things in my journal last week when I was thinking about
“dreams come true.”

 

Dreams are fulfilled in relationship, not accomplishments.

Relationship with Jesus, Chilly, my children, family and church, etc…

It doesn’t mean that these people fulfill my dreams-
that would be setting us all up for failure.

But rather, it means that the joy of
loving them,
serving them
and having them in my life is enough for me!

I’m livin’ my dreams!

 

 

 

It’s Another Friday..

It’s Good Friday again. One of my favorite days of the year!!
Last year I blogged about the HUGE miracle that Jesus had done in
in our daughter, Courtney’s life back in 1997 and the new
medical challenges that she was facing at that present time.

Now it’s 2013…
and an update is long over due.  MANY of you (who so kindly read this & have prayed)
have inquired about her health over the past year.  I will give a brief update in form
of a bullet list… cuz no one really enjoys LONG medical explainations, right?

– black outs, weakness, headaches, chills, etc
– various blood work
– many tests on her heart and brain
– doctors & specialists are unsure
– specialist finally decides to treat her as though she has particular & unusal type of Migraine
– we don’t necessary believe this what she has, but are willing to try treatment
– Courtney starts daily medication that won’t even begin working for at least TWO months
– within a couple weeks she begins to improve
– we know this is NOT the medication
– in a month or so she is close to feeling like herself again
– six months later the medication prescription ran out…
– and we choose to stop having her take it
– that was in November 2012… and she is Well!

Jesus heals!  Again!
Thank you for praying, for caring and for inquiring about her over the last year!

Another Good Friday! Thank you, Jesus!!!

Courtney Singing an original song YouCharist 2013, Courage Church, Hamtramck

Courtney Singing an original song YouCharist 2013, Courage Church, Hamtramck