Thursday, April 28, 2011

Skillet Videos

Skillet is one of my favorite Christian rock groups out there. Their music just speaks to me. Recently I found a link on youtube that scrolls through their videos. Just thought I would share it.

For those who don't like rock, please take a moment to get past the style of music to the words. They are pretty awesome!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chosen & Usable

All Scripture quotations are from the New Living Translation

Life Application Bible, Profile on Saul: “Saul was God’s chosen leader, but this did not mean he was capable of being king on his own.” Just like Saul we are God’s chosen, but that does not we are “capable” of doing God’s work, living life on our own.

11:6: “Then the Spirit of God came powerfully upon Saul, and he became angry.” Saul’s anger in this instance was driven by how his fellow citizens of Israel were being treated. God was still with Saul.

16:14-15: “Now the spirit of the Lord had left Saul, and the Lord sent a tormenting spirit that filled him with depression and fear.”

18:9-10: “So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. The very next day a tormenting spirit from God overwhelmed Saul, and he began to rave in his house like a madman.”

19:9: But one day when Saul was sitting at home, with spear in hand, the tormenting spirit from the Lord suddenly came upon him again

In chapter 16, David was sought for his skill as a musician to help soothe Saul when the tormenting Spirit fell upon Saul. David would play and Saul would feel better. His love for David was strong. Until,…

Jealousy hit Saul in chapter 18. In both instances in chapter 18 & 19 when the tormenting Spirit hit, David played his harp. Saul’s reaction was different. He had is spear in hand and hurled it at David. The music was no longer soothing.

In these instances, Saul’s anger was driven by his jealousy of David.

What was this tormenting Spirit? The Life Application Bible note suggests: "Perhaps Saul was simply depressed. Or perhaps the Holy Spirit had left Saul, and God allowed an evil spirit (a demon) to torment him as judgment for his disobedience. Either way, Saul was driven to insanity."

Saul’s downward spiral came when he was in control of his actions, attitudes and thoughts. Chosen or not, God wants to be in control. He wants our obedience.

It has been said that I have these issues of control. I can even admit that I have taken control back from God several times in my life. Like Saul, I can even say that a “tormenting spirit” has come upon me allowing depression and fear to control my thoughts and actions – leading to thoughts that would not have normally been in my head.

The bright side of all of this and the lesson we can take from this is: God wants to use our weaknesses as much – if not more so – than our strengths. I love this thought from the Life Application Bible: “…our strengths and abilities make us useful, it is our weaknesses that make us usable.”

Be chosen, be usable.

Friday, April 15, 2011

God's Presence...What Will We Do With It?

Again I am referencing the book Facing Your Giants.

For so long, I had believed the presence of the Lord had left me...that He would no longer speak to me. But the last few days have proved me wrong.

In chapter 13, Distant Diety in Max Lucado's book Facing Your Giants so much became clear, along with some Ronda stuff thrown in.

Learning a lesson from Uzzah and David about God's presence.

Uzzah's death in 2 Samuel teaches us that "God comes on his own terms." We must listen to these terms before we are dead to Him. Here are his terms: His "commands are to be revered, hearts are (to be) clean, and confession is (to be) made." You see I had to honor him with my realization that He is the one in control. I had to clean my heart before Him. He wanted to hear my confessions. Uzzah was in a hurry to get the "job" done.

David comes along to do the task differently. David didn't hurry. When David realized God's presence was with him, what did he do? He danced "with all his might before the Lord." "When God came to town, he couldn't sit still"

Do we prepare ourselves for God to visit? Do we revere him, clean our hearts and confess? And when God decides to visit, what do we do with that?

"David remembered this: God's present is his presence. His greatest gift is himself" How often do I forget this? When this is forgotten regardless of where we are, we find ourselves very alone.

What his presence helps us remember is "we are never alone. Ever." This means he knows my fears, my worries and is with me in my fears and in my worries.

"God loves you too much to leave you alone, so he hasn't He hasn't left you alone with your fears, your worries, your disease or your death. So kick up you heels for joy."

God doesn't want us to live life with a spirit that is unjoyful - as if life is to be dreaded. So many times, I believe that we think that we are to live life beaten down, always punishing ourselves. That isn't what God wants at all! With his presence with us, we are to live life dancing, joyful, like it is a continuous party.

Once the commands are obeyed, hearts cleansed, and confessions are made, then "God is with us. That is reason to celebrate."

Lessons from Uzzah: "No awe of God leads to the death of man. God won't be cajoled, commanded, conjured up, or called down. He is a personal God (I forget this a lot. Maybe more than a lot.) who loves and heals and helps and intervenes. He doesn't respond to magic potions or clever slogans. He looks for...reverence, obedience, and God-hungry hearts."

"And when he see them (hungry hearts), he comes! And when he comes, let the band begin. And, yes, a reverent heart and a dancing foot can belong to the same person." Look at David.

Lord, may I revere you, obey you and confess to you. May I notice when you come...and dance!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Judgmental Love

For awhile I had been given a title of Judgmental Love. I wasn’t sure what I was to do with it…where it was supposed to go. The premise that came to me was the fact that so many times we love based on how things are supposed to look. We love based on what the manual from a church says instead of going to the real source where we learn what love is…the Bible.

"Any spirit that leads you to be more judgmental, more critical, more violent, more harsh, or more hard, rather than becoming more tender, more compassionate, more loving, more aware of the poor and the broken and the outsider and outcast, is NOT from Jesus." --David Busic from a sermon in the month of March via Lisa Jones’s facebook page

From the book: So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore - Wayne Jacobsen via some friends’ facebook page.

"I'm convinced that most Christian meetings give people enough of God's things to inoculate them against the reality of His presence."

...religion is...a shame-management system, often with the best of intentions and always with the worst of the end people are still addicted to shame and bounce between self-pity and self-glory, never finding freedom to simply live in him. It makes people think God wants a cause and effect relationship with them. If they are good, he will be good to them."

"I would waste far less time ragging on religion and find out just how much Jesus wants to be your friend without any strings attached. He will care for you and if given a chance will become more real to you than your best friend.... - this really struck me and my prayer for everyone to not only learn, but feel - started reading the book last night

After hearing Tim Bourland’s sermon on 2 John
2 John 5-6 (NLT) “And now I want to urge you, dear lady, that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we had from the beginning. Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you hear from the beginning.”

Life Application Note:
We can show love in many ways: by avoiding prejudice and discrimination, by accepting people, by listening, helping, giving, serving, and refusing to judge.

If we love judgmentally or expect love to be pretty, is kind of like God accepting the rich young man based on his appearance. Real Christlike love is to be based on the grace and mercy as shown to us from Jesus. Not on the church’s list of do’s and don’ts.

2 John 9 (NLT) “For if you wander beyond the teaching of Christ you will not have fellowship with God.”

When the church (any church) takes more stock in the manual that man has written up, is this a form of wandering from the teaching of Christ? The crux is loving people unconditionally…in the manner that Christ calls us to.

Last night, April 13, 2011, God came to me. I realized that everything I have been trying in the last year, year and a half or so has been in my own strength. That nothing has been dependent upon the one who died for me…whose blood has been shed for me.

You see, the hurt that I had been holding onto was controlling my life. Because the hurt had come from the place I thought was safe (the church), I lost my trust in its people. As a result of that, I had lost my ability to trust God…to trust the one who loves me more than anyone.

Then several things came to me last night via Facebook and believe it or not from the show The Talk.

From Facebook:

Reading Jesus Calling 4 today.
"I designed u to depend on Me moment by moment, recognizing that apart from Me, u can do nothing."
BAM. (via @NatalieGrant)

From Jenny Swank:
"Remember who you are. You are not a failure. You are not incapable. You are not a loser. You are none of those things. You are a Jesus girl capable of victory. You are absolutely capable of being empowered.. God Loves you- head to toe.. Remember who you are." by Lysa Terkeurst - Made to Crave

And the following song which I first saw online while watching an episode of The Talk:

As a result of these three things and the voice of the Holy Spirit that I thought had left me, I was figuratively brought to my knees. God came to me saying, let me take control of your life once again…let me have the wheel back. And so I did

Now I am not saying the healing is totally complete, but I am more on my way than I have been in a really long time.

After releasing my life to God again, I started reading Facing Your Giants.

Then a lot of what I have been feeling and/or believing was so real in the notes below from Facing Your Giants mixed in with a few Ronda notes:

Chapter 4: “How will we the church react when someone comes in not pure?” Maybe the main question is how are we supposed to react? “Will that person find: criticism or compassion?; rejection or acceptance?; raised eyebrows or extended hands?” Where we are as individuals may not be pretty, but we are to be accepted just as God accepts us as we are warts and all…no judgement.

“When David is running from Saul, protecting his life. Where does he go? He goes to the church. David shows his weakness, his humanity. He is untruthful with the priest. He lost is God-focus.. Despite all that is told to Ahimelech, he gives David food and a sword. As Eugene Peterson puts it, “the function of the church is to be “a sanctuary, where I, like David, get bread and a sword, strength for the day and weapons for the fight”.”

“To the spiritually hungry, the church offers nourishment, Romans 8:38-39
To the fugitive, the church offers weapons of truth, Romans 8:28

The church exists to provide both. Does she succeed in doing so?
Jesus calls the church to lean in the direction of compassion.
At the end of the sanctuary day, the question is not how many laws were broken but rather, how many desperate Davids were nourished and equipped? Ahimelech teaches the church to pursue the spirit of the law more than its letter.”

“The church just as Jesus did on the Sunday after Friday’s crucifixion is to be bread for souls (John 20:19) and provide a sword for the struggle (John 20:22). Two things that are needed in times of desperation.”

Just because someone’s situation isn’t pretty doesn’t mean we don’t love with open arms. After all as pointed out in Facing the Giants: Chapter 5, …(the church is) “one gift of grace removed from”…an ugly situation. The church is to be the place where one can find “refuge in God’s presence, comfort in his people.” Are we really being the place where this can happen? Or are we judging instead of showing the merciful compassion of our Lord?

I would appreciate some feedback from these thoughts. Not sure this is truly complete yet…there may be a part two. We will see.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Time Just Slips Through Like Sands in an Hourglass

Still journeying on this ride we call life.

Seeking truth as truth - not legalism, but what is really truth. This is where I am on this ride. How much do I believe in is based on human rules and not God's rules? Finally, I am beginning to understand what God really cares about - where his real concerns are. It isn't in the rules that man has made. It is the actual commands from God that is to guide us. It isn't a list of man's do's and don'ts. It is about what God says is right or wrong.

Seeking who I really am as this forty-something. Do we ever really figure this out - or are we always working on who we really are? Because quite honestly, I would have hoped I would have had this figured out by this time in life.

Seeking a place where I can land, where I can be who I am meant to be. Honestly, I have more confidence about who I am and where I am going than I have ever had in my life!! I find myself answering questions about life in a way that I thought would never happen. I am finding myself believing more in my ability to make decisions without questioning who I am. And realizing the decisions that are being made are just fine!

As a dear friend has been telling me (us): If we don't take care of ourselves - no one else will. That doesn't mean we don't care about other people. We just have to take better care of who we are. (Now just to convince him of that!)

Well that is enough for now. Just wanted to share with friends out there.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Time Has Been Tickin' Away

Just looked at the blog and it has been a really long time since I have posted anything on here. Life has gotten busy, but a good kind of busy.

Scott is still working at Nazarene Publishing House.

I started working August 20 and am so grateful.

We are attending Discover Community Church. This is a church plant that is currently meeting at Linden West Elementary School in Gladstone, Missouri. The pastor and his family are good friends of ours. The family and the church have really welcomed us with open arms. They have been a huge part of the healing process in our lives. We meet each Sunday at 5:00 p.m. We love having church at that time. It really feels like we get a day of rest as God had planned for the Sabbath.

It has been good to reconnect with friends up here in KC. We have been busier since we have moved back here than the last six months in Wichita. Not only have we reconnected with new friends, but we have made new friends as well. Having people involved in our lives is very important. It seems like we tend to forget that we do not live on an island and we really do need each other.

Anytime family or friends want to come for a visit. Just let us know. We would love to see you.

Not a very profound update, but this should fill you in on life at the moment.

Until next time.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rules and Control

Today while driving Scott to work, the thought came to me regarding rules and control. There are rules to control how fast we drive. There are rules about which lane of the road to be in to take a certain exit. There are also God’s rules. Do we only follow the rules when there is a presence of authority?

This came to me today as there were two lines of traffic closely following the speed limit. Some would start to pass and maybe even pass those in the “fast” lane only to find there was a reason we were closely following the speed rule. The reason for this was the presence of a police car in one of the lanes. Now, how many of us are guilty of really disobeying speed limit signs. To us, sometimes, they are only suggestions. Not something to really follow.

The same thought hit me with our relationship with God. Do we only obey His rules when His presence is directly in front of us? Are there some rules that we consider as only suggestions?

The crux of the matter is control. Rules ultimately control our lives. Whose rules are we following? Whose control are we under?

Just some thoughts for today.