Daily Archives: March 21, 2011

The art of Cindy Brown

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Just when I think I can’t be filled with any more JOY – God sends me more!

Whoa!  Fill ‘er up-let it overflow!

I am sooooooooo excited to introduce Cindy Brown to you!  She is an artist that God has sent to FUMC/OOTBWC!   I am secretly hoping that she can help me with the Art Ministry!  I am soooo excited!

We seem to share the same heart in our drawings- check this out!

I love it!

Do you see what I see?  We are all in our own little boxes and we need other people to help us come out.  Just like Lazarus needed his friends to  unwrap him.    The work that is being done at out of the Box Worship Center is doing this!  People are being raised up and out of their boxes by the mighty hand of GOD!  People of all shapes and sizes.  I just love how Cindy has put a pregnant woman into the picture.  It speaks volumes to me of NEW LIFE in CHRIST!  WOW!  The person IN the box seems to be eager to reach  Christ.  We should all be this way!  Christ’s arms are wide and open and waiting for you!

Are you looking for a safe place to call  “home” on Sunday mornings?  Well, this is that place.  Jeans and tees.  Come as you are.  we love you just the way you are.  Today I was told that a young couple who visited FUMC/ OOTBWC for the first time yesterday said this:  ” wow, they really DON’T judge you there.  We are going back next Sunday!”  God is at work people!   He wants you to join us!

Sunday morning services are at 9 am and 10:30 am.  Hope to see you there!

(Well done Cindy!  Keep ’em coming!)

Our newest member at FUMC Hillsville /OOTBWC

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Meet Stephanie Johnson!

She is an awesome yoiung woman whom I have had the pleasure of getting to know this year through OOTB youth center.  She has been involved in the Art Ministry along with several other youth.  She is a woman who has a heart that yearns for God.  I just love her and what God is doing through our young people!  Welcome Stephanie!

Do you believe in REVIVAL?

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Do you believe in REVIVAL?

by Donna Godwin on Monday, March 21, 2011 at 6:33am

Do you believe in revival?

I do!  Why?  I see it in the faces and the eyes of the people I sit next to everyday.  People like you and me.  All broken and in pieces like a puzzle.  Some of us are missing pieces and need others to help us find them.  That missing piece might be grace, hope or love.  Or it could just be an invitation to meet the greatest friend you’ll ever have.  Jesus.  I saw Jesus working in our youth last night at Layspeaker training.  Wow!  They all blew my socks off!  Passionate, fun, funny and oh so in love with thier BFF-Jesus Christ.

 

You see I attend FUMC Hillsville and this family of beleivers has made a radical change to start a new place downtown called Out of the Box Worship Center. It’s something different to meet the needs of today.  It is a safe place for broken people to go to get help in picking up thier pieces.  I have been overwhelmed with the JOY of God in doing work here.  It has been a blessing of a different kind.  One that I never could’ve imagined had I not accepted the mission to follow God.  I never thought I would be a missionary on Main Street in Hillsville.  But God did… and when you really get down to the brass tacks we ar ALL missionaries wherever we go.  We must learn to think with a missionary mind and body.  Looking on the world in love and with compassion, not pointing fingers, but joining God where He is working in your own home town.  I have experienced God in so many different ways this week alone that it is hard to count all the ways.

 

I see Him in your smiling faces, your hurting eyes, your great big bear hugs, when your face lights up and your eyes bug out of your head.  I have seen Him in dancing feet, raised arms and voices singing praises in unision to our Creator.  I have seen him from a distance in the full moon of the weekend and I stop and stand in awe and ask myself, ‘ why do you love me Lord? why? I am so unworthy of anything you have ever given me…I just don’t understand it.”  Then along comes my 10 year old to remind me of how great our God IS as she shares her compassionate heart with me about how the kids on the bus were making fun of the bus driver and she didn’t like it so she moved.  I saw God in her little face and eyes when she went to her first Christian concert over the weekend.  She was awestruck!  She experienced God in a new way and I got to witness the look on her face as she did!  Priceless!  For me that was the concert!

 

Then I get in my teenage daughter’s truck for the first time and I see God everywhere inside the cab.  I sit and weep.  There is the little wooden cross, I made her last year, hanging from the mirror.  Hanging with it is the armor necklace that Charlie gave her way back in 6th grade SS.  On the back is says …” Be of good courage” from Joshua.  Then I see her “Is It Holy bracelet” wrapped around a section of the steering wheel.  On the seat next to me are her bible study notes with the title “Blessings…”  All these things are a reminder to her of how to live her life.  Sitting in this moment I am overhwlemed with how important God is to her and I thank God for blessing me with such a Spirit filled daughter who yearns for her Creator.  I am humbled to the core.

 

To me all of these things point to revival.  Isn’t this what we all yearn for?  Donna Cato says it perfectly in her FB post from yesterday.  :“Yes, a revival, I like that! Revival takes place individually and collectively. OOTBWC answers a need for so many people who can come together in a common place, all broken, all in need of unconditional love, all needing His matchless grace and mercy. People loving people, just like “HE’ does . . . “Just the way we are”. WOW, if that doesn’t revive you, I don’t know what it would take AMEN?”

 

The proof is in the pudding and we  ARE the pudding!  All mixed up and yummylicious in God’s eyes!  ( even if WE don’t think so- HE DOES!)

 

I love what God has brought me to-peace and joy in a life lived in mission for HIM.  Nothing else matters.  The naysayers don’t matter, the money doesn’t matter, the unknown doesn’t even matter.  Why? Because God holds it all in the palm of His hand and ONLY HE KNOWS THE PLANS HE HAS FOR US!  We are to follow in His footsteps and TRUST and OBEY.  That’s it.  He will do the rest.

 

Try it!  You might like it!

Thank you LORD for never giving up on me!!!

PS: thanks to the Bald Guy for sharing your passion with the rest of us and thanks to the crazy fun loving motorcycle riding Pastor Ty for praying God’s blessings over us as continue to work together for Him.

 

A testimony of LOVE by Brenda Harmon from OOTBWC

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My Personal Revival

by Brenda Harmon on Monday, March 21, 2011 at 7:52am

My walk has been a long odd one–but for the first time in my life, at age soon to be 37, I am now understanding the process and changing power of Grace, and Mercy, and that Salvation is a gift–a cleansing-a rebirth.  There has been a revival of my soul that was until recently gasping for breath.  I can’t explain it—there are no words!  I’m still me—but things have changed—God is breaking away all the things that weighed me down.

To break it down, when I was little I looked at God as a judge in a black robe. I thought to get to heaven you had to be perfect-like I thought everyone around me in church was.  I tried to “earn” His love, and then got completely turned off and thought it was hopeless—which ultimately made me hopeless and consumed by worries-because I thought I had to control and fix everything—both at home and at work.  Trust me, that is one pit I wouldn’t wish on ANYONE–to believe in God but also think that there’s NO WAY He could love you?  That is blackness in a bottomless hole.  Believe me.  I’ve even been down the road of running away from His love and thinking I knew how to handle my own life.  I didn’t realize it at the time but that was exactly what I was doing.  I was wrapped up in sin and self-centeredness.  It was all about me-what I wanted.  I’ve done just about everything either thinking I didn’t deserve God’s Grace, couldn’t earn it and then feeling condemned because I couldn’t, or being completely an idiot and thinking I could survive without it.  I still have those thoughts of “not deserving” creeping back in, especially lately (I think because I’ve gotten plugged back in and the devil is not happy), but the difference is now I’m armed.  And I’m arming myself more every day.  I have been in an awful place-my soul was dark, and bitter-I couldn’t even see it at the time—and it wasn’t until one friend prayed with me one night and literally commanded Satan to leave me alone, another wrote to me, and my husband stood calmly by my side praying the whole time, that my eyes were opened to what I was doing.

So through my life, first I did what I thought I was supposed to out of fear, then I tried to do what I wanted to out of rebellion.  I’ve hurt the ones I love the most, that loved me through all of it.  I’ve done things through my life that would probably surprise you.  I was acting in sin, and I almost walked away from everything.  BUT-Thanks and praise to Him, God has not left me at any point in my life.  Ever.  It’s by His grace that I’m still breathing today.  Even when I thought I was a “Christian”, I know now I still wasn’t getting it.  I wasn’t grasping that Grace, and I sure wasn’t letting it change me.  I see it now, looking back on EVERYTHING.  He was pursuing me the whole time!  Through my family, through my friends, He hammered me with His love that doesn’t know an end.  Even when I was doing things I knew I shouldn’t, he was speaking to me, deep in my heart.  He’s still hammering and I pray that He never quits.

So surprise!  I’m not perfect.  I have stumbled, and fallen, rolled around in the mud—and then I sat and cried in it.  THAT was when God said “Now, Kid–Are you Ready?”  He picked me up, used His blood to clean me off, dried my tears, told Satan “This one is MINE” and is now holding my hand.  I have begun a new and renewed walk with the One who revived me.  Sometimes it feels sort of like bootcamp—I see the tests for what they are now, and I am constantly tested, must constantly be on the mark, must constantly stay connected to my new Commander.  But it’s awesome and with His help I will stay on this course.  He has put me at a place-Out of the Box Worship Center–and has surrounded me with people who love me exactly the way I am.  There is transforming power in that church!

I’m here to tell you:  You may think you can’t trust Him–you may even think you don’t NEED to trust Him.  But that trust–that faith, no matter how small it starts out, will connect you to the most awesome changing power you’ve ever felt in your life.  It is a consuming fire that burns everything else out and begins to soften that metal in your heart so that God can mold it.  It’s not easy–don’t fool yourself with that thought—LIFE is not easy.  Things will not automatically get better for you—it’s not even about you—it’s about HIM.  AND that fire can and will hurt, because God is molding and hammering me to this day—but I will take it over where I was ANY DAY.  God is also not a genie to grant your wishes—God is God—whether you believe in Him or not–He does what He does, through you—for His will-His purposes that we can’t even begin to understand.  Even where I was has a purpose.  That black hole has a purpose.  That’s where the faith and trust have to come in.  Life on this earth is not easy, but God will give you new eyes and a new way of looking at things.  It’s a walk–it’s a daily choice to follow Christ…and He will continually feed you what you need to grow.   He WILL NOT LEAVE YOU-but He will also not leave you alone—as in expect to be changed.   He will be with you till this earth is no more and forever after that.  He promises.  I don’t even know why I’m writing this–I’m just compelled to.  I finally get it!!  It’s clicking.  Loud and clear.  I owe it first and foremost to my Savior.  But also to my husband, who also NEVER gave up on me, and to my friends, who prayed with me and helped me to see-even though I was hurting them in the process, and to Out of the Box Worship Center, where I was led to back at the beginning of the year and have set out on a journey that is bringing me closer to God every single day.  My prayer is for every soul to feel that fire and yield to it.  If you yield to it—there are no chains on this earth that can hold you!

Love In Christ,

B