Monthly Archives: August 2011

Fan the Flame

Standard

Scan

2 Timothy 1:6

6You received a gift from God when I placed my hands on you to ordain you. Now I’m reminding you to fan that gift into flames. 7God didn’t give us a cowardly spirit but a spirit of power, love, and good judgment. 8So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord or be ashamed of me, his prisoner. Instead, by God’s power, join me in suffering for the sake of the Good News. 9God saved us and called us to be holy, not because of what we had done, but because of his own plan and kindness.[b] Before the world began, God planned that Christ Jesus would show us God’s kindness. 10Now with the coming of our Savior Christ Jesus, he has revealed it. Christ has destroyed death, and through the Good News he has brought eternal life into full view. 11I was appointed to be an apostle and teacher and to spread this Good News.

12For this reason I suffer as I do. However, I’m not ashamed. I know whom I trust. I’m convinced that he is able to protect what he had entrusted to me until that day.

13With faith and love for Christ Jesus, consider what you heard me say to be the pattern of accurate teachings. 14With the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us, protect the Good News that has been entrusted to you.

 

We are told to protect the Good News that has been entrusted to us.

PROTECT IT!

This means so many things to me that I don’t even know where to begin!   First of all- we can’t do it alone and we must rely on the HS to help us.   How do we protect it?  By standing firm in our faith.  By speaking up or out when we see other’s being wronged, by our actions, deeds and reactions.

Here are a few examples: Last weekend we went to see a movie and I never even thought to check the ratings.  Duh on me! Well, it wasn’t family friendly so we left and went shopping instead.  

My earlier inaction caused a reaction!  Ouch!

Today a book was brought home from school- similar to Harry Potter-which I do not like at all.  I had a fit.  I couldn’t believe the school had a book like this-promoting witchcraft and sorcery.  We had a family discussion and that book will no longer be read.    I am ready to turn off the tv and get the world out of my home.  I have realized how lax I have become over the summer about things and I am getting my house back in order.  (Shame on me!)  Not just our home, but my spiritual house as well.  THIS is how we protect the Good News.  We keep the bad stuff out of our homes and our lives.  I’m not perfect and I have a long way to go-but these are just a few examples.  Just another sign that I have been treading water.  No more! 

Last week Pastor Ronnie told us to stay as far away from that “line” in the sand as possible.  Don’t even have a toe on it.

In fact we should put on our steel toed boots, guard our hearts and minds and pray for the HS to convict us when we get too close to that line.  An inch here, two there and before you know it you’re over the line and in trouble!  It’s a good thing we have a Savior who has long, strong, and loving arms to rescue us with! 

Thank you Father! 

( look for more on this drawing in tomorrow’s blog….)

Advertisements

Art Ministry

Standard
Harrisons pic

True LOVE!

Drawn by Harrison Carico

Art Ministry will meet on September 10th at 1 pm.

Shoebox season is upon us and there are children all over the world who have never received a gift!

We want them to receive the free gift of LOVE through a box!

We will be working on Shoebox items and Grandparent Day cards.

Bring a friend and be ready for some fun!   Wear OLD clothes!

Parents are invited to stay and help

 or

drop kids off and go have a lunch date with your spouse!

I will need several helpers for this day! 

See Donna Godwin if you can help!

Kids: please bring a snack donation for kids who don’t

have snack at school.

We are blessed to be a blessing!

 

be the change design

The GREAT RECOVERY-FPU

Standard

The Great Recovery-Financial Peace University

This is a 13 week course to help you learn about personal budgeting and finance.  This Christian course is taught through the scriptures by Dave Ramsey on DVD, along with workbooks, cd’s etc. for you to use at home.  Cort Godwin is the course coordinator.  This will be his 7th time coordinating this class.  Cort is gifted in this area and his passion is to teach others how to manage their money and become debt free. When YOU become debt free ( and you will if you follow the steps!) you can give like never before to the Kingdom of God.

Start Dates: Tuesdays at 6:30 starting September 13th

at Out of the Box WORSHIP CENTER


Tuesday’s class will also offer Financial Peace Junior to your children.

This will be led by Donna and Corynn Godwin with Emily helping as needed.  Kids can pack their dinner and bring homework.

We want your entire family to be involved in this amazing journey!

OR

Wednesdays at 6:30 starting on September 14th

at OUT of the BOX Worship Center

(no child care on Weds.-kids can attend the exciting new Weds. night program at the Fulcher Street.  728-2434 for more details.)


If you haven’t signed up and are interested-please contact Cort Godwin at 733-4761.  The cost of the class is $99.51 for a lifetime membership, 13 weeks of cd’s, workbook, book and several other items are included in this cost.  You can take the class over as many times as you need to!

Please let Cort know by September 1 if you plan to attend.

Thanks and see you there!

Crumblings….

Standard

Events in the past several weeks have caused me to search my own heart and I have asked myself questions like:  “How can we be like Christ to the world if we don’t stand together as the Body of Christ?  Are we supposed to stand together or apart?  Some of us don’t even act like we belong to the Body of Christ with the gossip and name calling that goes around.  What am I supposed to learn from this Lord? ”  I have heard many stories this week of spiritual crumbling.  I am perplexed, confused and heartbroken.  I have asked myself what I believe and why.  I sense the brokenness that is happening all over our great nation.  Sin is separating the Body of Christ.  Sin keeps us from God.  

So what is keeping us ( the world) from God?  Things like abortion, homosexuality, addictions, perversions, anger, hatred, lust, adultery, lying, stealing, money, jealousy, killing and the list goes on and on and on.   Go back to the Old Testament and start in Genesis and you will see it all there.  Get a pencil and piece of paper and make a list of all the sins in Genesis.  It is incredible to see it listed on paper.  It’s all there.  Now go back and see where sin wasn’t!  Then look at how many pages you have turned when you see sin enter in.  Shocking isn’t it?  As soon as the serpent deceives Eve, and even before she took a bite-there was sin, looming, lurking and waiting like a thief in the night.  Deceit at it’s finest. 

Genesis 3:1-4

1The snake was more clever than all the wild animals the Lord God had made. He asked the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must never eat the fruit of any tree in the garden’?”

2The woman answered the snake, “We’re allowed to eat the fruit from any tree in the garden 3except the tree in the middle of the garden. God said, ‘You must never eat it or touch it. If you do, you will die!’ ”

4“You certainly won’t die!” the serpent told the woman. 5“God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened. You’ll be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Can you imagine this moment in your mind’s eye?  Eve being enticed by the slithery, slippery, lying snake who has an agenda.  His agenda is to separate the people that God breathed his very breath into from their Creator.  All Eve wants is something to eat.  Along comes this idea from this seething serpent, seething because he can’t have his own way with God so he plays the dirty card that’s up his sleeve.  Trickery, lying, deceit, pride and selfishness.  He placed the first seed of doubt in Eve’s mind.  Can you hear him now, with a sweet little, soothing voice…Just this once….come on Eve….you won’t be like God if you don’t eat it.  So, go ahead and eat it, it won’t hurt you, why if you eat it, you’ll be just like God, knowing good and evil.

And BAM!  She eats it and gives it to Adam and they both see good and evil and realize that they have been scammed.  The biggest scam in all of creation.  And that scam continues today in every way, shape, and form possible.  Satan still uses people and I know he has used me from time to time and it is only when I began to study God’s Word that I saw and understood how real spiritual warfare is.  It goes on all around us, whether we see it or not, it’s there.   Satan is madder than hell and he wants to take over God’s people and he will go to any lengths and any cost to do just that.  He is doing it right now. 

He is using the oldest sins in the world to cause spiritual crumbling.  He is using government,  church policies,  man’s rules, leaders, people,  and even the oil that God himself placed inside the earth on the day of creation.  He is tricking people into thinking that things are okay and “ I can get away with this just once, no one will know.”  Oh yes, you will know, just like Adam and Eve did-your eyes WILL be opened and if you have a conscious you won’t be able to sleep at  night knowing that what you did was against God.  I wonder how many sleepless nights Adam and Eve had? 

Have you ever agreed to do something and then while you were doing it you knew deep down in your gut that it was the wrong thing to do?  That something just didn’t feel quite right about it?  That it wasn’t wrong or illegal but that your spirit knew it was against God.  I wonder if Eve felt like this when she picked up the fruit and took a bite?  It’s almost like a door you didn’t know was there had been opened all of a sudden and you get this creepy feeling that you just let something in that you shouldn’t have.  An uneasiness. 

When I think about this uneasiness, I am reminded of Nehemiah.  When he heard that his beloved city was in ruins he wept, and fasted and prayed for days.  His heart was wrenched.  My heart feels this way too.  I feel like my beloved city is going to ruins.  Crumbling. I’m not talking about a physical city, but a spiritual one.  At times it feels like mine and other times it feels like the world.  Where is our sense of purpose?  Is it in man or God?  I don’t know what to do with the feeling except pray and write.  When I write, I also study and it helps me process what I am hearing and thinking.  I go to the scriptures and read and study for myself. 

What are they saying?

What is God telling me?

I often look to Nehemiah for advice. Nehemiah wanted to rebuild the city walls.  Why? So his people would have a safe place to live.  The walls were like the armor around the city.  They protected what was inside.  While in the rebuilding process Nehemiah gathered families together along each section to rebuild it.  No one family was responsible for the entire wall, but they all did it together as a team.  Nehemiah prayed for strength for his hands and in fact he didn’t do anything without praying first.  Does this mean there was no opposition?  Of course not!  There’s always opposition!  As long as we live on this earth it will always be here.  But Nehemiah was determined that he wasn’t going to let the opposition get inside.  What did he do? 

Nehemiah 4:13-14

Nehemiah positioned people by their families behind the wall where it was lowest and most exposed. The people were armed with swords, spears, and bows. 14I looked them over and proceeded to tell the nobles, the leaders, and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of our enemies. Remember how great and awe-inspiring the Lord is. Fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”

15When our enemies heard that we knew about their plots and that God had prevented their plans from being successful, we all went back to the work on the wall. Each person performed his own job.16From that day on, half of my men worked on the wall, and the other half were wearing body armor and holding spears, shields, and bows. The leaders stood behind all the Judeans 17who were rebuilding the wall. The workers who were carrying loads did the work with one hand and held their weapons with the other, 18and each builder had his sword fastened to his side. The man who was supposed to sound the trumpet alarm was with me. 19I told the nobles, the leaders, and the rest of the people, “So much work has to be done in different places that we are widely separated from one another on the wall. 20When you hear the trumpet, assemble around me. Our God will fight for us!”

21So we continued to work. Half of us held spears from early dawn until the stars came out. 22At that time I told the people, “Every man and his servant should stay overnight in Jerusalem so that we can set a guard at night and work during the day.” 23My brothers, my servants, and the guards assigned to me never changed their clothes. Neither did I. We each kept our weapons at hand.

They each did their work where they were positioned, here and there along the wall.  Some inside, some outside.  They all had their armor on ( weapons in hand) and if there was trouble they were to gather around the leader when they heard the trumpet sound and fight together.   They were heavily guarded and each one kept their weapon handy. 

What is our weapon?

The word of God

Ephesians 6:10-20

10 Finally, let the Lord make you strong. Depend on his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor. Then you can stand firm against the devil’s evil plans. 12 Our fight is not against human beings. It is against the rulers, the authorities and the powers of this dark world. It is against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly world.

13 So put on all of God’s armor. Evil days will come. But you will be able to stand up to anything. And after you have done everything you can, you will still be standing.

14 So stand firm. Put the belt of truth around your waist. Put the armor of godliness on your chest. 15Wear on your feet what will prepare you to tell the good news of peace. 16 Also, pick up the shield of faith. With it you can put out all of the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Put on the helmet of salvation. And take the sword of the Holy Spirit. The sword is God’s word.

18 At all times, pray by the power of the Spirit. Pray all kinds of prayers. Be watchful, so that you can pray. Always keep on praying for all of God’s people.

19 Pray also for me. Pray that when I open my mouth, the right words will be given to me. Then I can be bold as I tell the mystery of the good news. 20 Because of the good news, I am being held by chains as the Lord’s messenger. So pray that I will be bold as I preach the good news. That’s what I should do.

There you see that our fight is against the things that we cannot see-against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly world.  But here we have this beautiful depiction of armor- a wall so to speak.  We are to clothe ourselves with it like a beautiful robe made of the finest cloth and golden thread.  We are to wear it properly and it will protect us-just like the wall protected the city of Jerusalem once it was rebuilt.  It protected the people that were inside of it.  Our armor protects what is inside of us-God.  Without it we are doomed to crumbling. 

Are we depending on GOD or ourselves?  Are we putting on God’s armor or our own?  Are we standing in Truth?  Do we have godliness in our hearts and minds?  Are our feet sharing the good news of the gospel with all that we meet?  Is our shield of faith being held up or is it down by our side?  Do we have salvation?  Are we lashing out with cruel words and worldly judgment or are we standing firm on God’s Word to guide us?    What does God’s word say?  Do you even know?  If you don’t, you need to get a bible and read it, study it, eat the words that are in the Good book.  Get them deep down into your gut and digest the Truth.  Some of them taste sweet, others may be sour, but always know that God’s Word is the Truth and God will never deceive you or trick you up.  That is the work of the evil one.  Just ask Eve.

Nehemiah was tested over and over and over again.  He never faltered, he never failed and he never, ever came down from his post.  Not even when the leaders of the nation sent for him.  He knew, deep down inside his own gut, that it was a trick.  It was a trick to get him to leave his post.  But he didn’t do it.  He stood firm.  He wasn’t inside or outside the wall….he was on top of the wall!  His perspective was over the entire project-not just part of it.  God gave Nehemiah a vision and he knew that Nehemiah would see it through to the finish.  Has God given you a vision for His people? 

Be a Nehemiah and lock arms with all the people along the wall, not just those in or out, but with all the people of God.  Let’s quit fussing and fighting and get on with the work of God.  People are dying because they have no protection from the evil one.  Our protector is Jesus the Christ and He is standing on the walls of heaven-overseeing the entire project-waiting to take a hold of your hand.  Will you join him there? 

I pray that you do.

 

( a note:  this blogpost was inspired by a series of events in my life over the past several weeks.  These events have caused me to go to the scriptures and seek out the Truth for myself.  What I see in retrospect is that a lot of people are dying while we ( I) are fussing and fighting over this or that instead of getting out and telling people about Jesus Christ, myself included.  God is calling me to be BOLD and to follow Him.  It isn’t about me, it’s all about HIM.  I have to get out of the way and let God do His work through me.  If I don’t-I’ll never do it and if I do…well that’s all in God’s hands too. 

Jeremiah 29:11-13  says:  “I know the plans I have for you,” announces the Lord. “I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come. 12 Then you will call out to me. You will come and pray to me. And I will listen to you. 13 When you look for me with all your heart, you will find me.

That’s a promise.

d.

God…Dogs…GRACE…

Standard

27780_1489083066065_1203600093_31396151_472208_n

I am sitting outside underneath my big maple tree, listening to the sound of the wind sliding through the branches.  I have spent the day at home, alone.  I haven’t quite been alone though!  God is always with us and today I decided to get back to my routine of being still and knowing that God is near.  Time to listen.  There has been a lot of that going on lately within the Body of Christ.  Not just me, but many, many others.  God has set this pattern in motion and we are to be like dominos and play out the game and watch all the dominos fall one after the other in perfect timing and lining up with God.  He’s always on time.  Never early, never late.   I feel like God is setting things up, one domino at a time and some are falling already and some have not fallen yet.  The lineup is infinite and it leads to eternal freedom.  Yes, I said freedom.  We must take the time to get to know God and how He works and while doing that we are developing relationships with others.  Some don’t know God and some do.  Some will walk with us, some ahead and some behind.  Unfortunately there are those who don’t want to walk with us at all.  These are the people that I am concerned about.  We really have no way of knowing who is who until we meet people and begin to develop a relationship.  Once we do that, it may or may not become evident.  God will show you.  He always does.

hands reaching

We are all God’s children and none of us deserve God’s mercy or are worthy of it, but God gives it to us anyway.  Why?  Because He loves us.  I learned a lesson from my daughter this week.  It is powerful.  She got bit by a dog last week and it hurt and she was mad at the dog and wanted to shoot it.  The owners weren’t too happy either.  Well, I didn’t like the fact that my child got bit either, but I knew that getting upset was not going to help the situation at all.  So we didn’t.  We aren’t the type of people who make threats to sue or be vindictive.  Grace was offered to us by Christ and we are to offer it to others.  If we don’t then what does that say about us?  That we are grace-less.   Grace is what make the world tolerable and it is what gives us hope-even in the case of a dog bite.  Well, Emily has been thinking over the way it happened and she has taken responsibility for her actions.  I am proud of her.  This has been a teaching moment for all of us.  She is still mad at the dog, but she no longer wants to shoot him.  She see’s where he was protecting his property, even though it was a little too much.  She had turned her bike around in the driveway and he came after her.  So she figures if she hadn’t been in his driveway she might not have gotten bit.  I don’t know.  The point is that she has thought about it and she see’s where her actions might have caused his reaction.  WOW!!!!!!!!!!  That is BIG for a 10 year old to see in herself!

   imagesCAXMJ2Z0

I keep thinking about the dog and how when we take on the responsibility of having a dog we must always understand that we cannot control what the dog does.  We might think we can, but we can’t.  We truly never, ever know when a dog or cat or other animal might turn on us or someone else.  There is no way of knowing that 100%.  That’s a FACT.  It is a fact that we must take into consideration when we decide to become pet owners.  Yes, my dog could bite someone.  I have had several occasions of where that has happened.  The first time it happened my dog was afraid of the tools hanging off a workman’s belt.  She wasn’t going after the workman-but after the tools.  The second time some kids decided to spray our dog with the hose and one of the kids got bit.  The third time a stranger was on our property and he got bit.  We found out later that this person was probably going to steal my motorcycle or was casing the place.  This person was trouble from then on.  He wanted to sue us and he became a menace.  He called and threatened me and scared me.  He would always call when Cort was at work and I was at home with an 18 month old.  It was a scary time.  Our dog knew that this person was trouble and she did what dogs do-protect.  I am not sorry that she did protect us.  She was a great dog and she died several years ago when she got out of her fence and got hit by a car.  RIP old girl-we miss you! 

The last time something happened was when our dog ( another dog) got sat on by a child and he bit the child because he didn’t want to be sat on.   I felt awful.  Just terrible.  He had never done that before.  But the mom told me that her son does that at home and thinks it is funny and it has happened with his own dogs at home.   My dog was offered grace, as was I.  I still felt awful and still do!   So, I’ve been thinking a lot about grace and forgiveness this week and what it truly means.  I don’t have the answers-just thoughts and reflections on the situation.  I am thanking God that Emily is okay.  I’m sorry that it happened and wish that it hadn’t.  Emily has become terrified of other dogs now and we will have to work on that.  Emily has learned a lot about herself this week and I am proud to call her “daughter”- on loan to us by our amazing Creator.  He has filled her with compassion for people and animals.  I don’t think she will soon forget her experience, but I do know that she has learned a lot from it.  I hate that it happened but I am so thankful that she has the capacity to see the lesson in it.  It is a lesson that most of us take a lifetime to learn.   

4th. em in grannys dress bikes etc. 496

I also see God’s mighty hand at work in this situation.  How you ask?  Well, during VBS we had a visit from some therapy dogs and one of the women who works with these great animals has started coming to our church!  She has been praying about how God could use her rescue dogs in ministry.  My answer to that is this:  she can minister to our daughter and offer her understanding and healing through helping her get past her new fear of dogs.  I mean, really people, does it get any better than that?  God is in every situation- every single one!!!!!!!!  Including this one.  God truly does bring the good out of the bad!  This is just another beautiful example of the grace that God offers us on a daily basis.  And you know what?  She may even be able to help the dog owner too.  How amazing is that? 

Our God is all knowing, powerful and just full of love for His Kingdom-people and animals!  Don’t ever give up, don’t ever stop fighting and always see the GOOD in everything!  It’s there…somewhere! 

I love you Lord!  I thank you for animals, neighbors and for little girls who love to ride bicycles!  Most of all I thank you for the grace you have given me through the blood of your Son.  He didn’t have to die the way he did-but He did because He knew that’s what I needed. 

Selfless love.

Amazing Love….how sweet the sound….

Indy-Plugged In

Standard

My good friend, April says that when she comes to bible study and church that she gets “PLUGGED IN!” As soon as she said that my creative juices were spilling onto the paper in my mind.       

Let’s talk about what it means to be PLUGGED IN. I asked Cort to explain how electricity works to me in layman’s terms. He said this:

Electrons are bumping into each other. Electricity has a supply source pushing it and it has to be grounded in order for it to work. It takes pressure to get the electricity to move to the ground. Without the ground it won’t move.”

This reminded me of the scripture from Ephesians 3:17 “Then Christ will live in you through faith. I also pray that love may be the ground into which you sink your roots and on which you have your foundation.”

We are rooted and grounded in love. Just like electricity needs a ground to move and produce energy-we do too. Our ground is Jesus Christ and the only way we can be energized to do His work is to be plugged into God’s Holy Word. God IS our power source. The only way we can be energized is to know Jesus as our Lord and Savior. He came to this earth to show us how to live for Him. He shows us time after time that our answers are in scripture. It is only when we take the words of this book and fill our hearts with them that we will know the Truth. When we know the Truth we begin to live, walk and work in it.

Romans 12 says that we should be a living sacrifice-holy and pleasing to God. We are to dedicate our lives to pleasing God out of our LOVE for Him. When we get plugged in we learn how to do this. It takes time, commitment, discipline, patience and yes, accountability! This is why it is so important to be in fellowship with other believers. The Body of Christ. It comes with hands, feet, eyes, ears, mouth, and purpose. The purpose is to make disciples- to teach, to love, to nurture, to grow and to help others fall in love with Jesus.

We learn through God’s Word what it means to be the hands and feet of the Body of Christ. Like a beautiful flower in the garden that starts as a seed, we are watered, nurtured and fed. When the time is right, then weBLOOM! It takes a dedicated gardener to get us to this point. Blooming is a process. When we bloom we become the hands and feet of Christ out of love. We don’t do things out of a sense of duty, but because we are rooted and grounded in love. Out of love we cook food for the hungry at Lamb’s table and we fill backpacks with food for kids to take home, kids who may not have a meal all weekend long. In compassion we visit the sick and lonely in the nursing homes and hospital. We go out into our communities as missionaries to serve God to others in the way that they need it. I don’t think Jesus wanted to die the way he did, but He knew that was the way that we needed it. Selfless love. We were created to BE, we were made to DO and we were told to GO.

In Deuteronomy 6:4 we are told this Truth: “The Lord is our God. The Lord is the only God. 5Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “

To me this means I am to love God and God alone. The first book of Genesis tells us that he is the source of life. “ In the beginning GOD created….” He is my Creator, my power source, and my outlet. I must plug myself into Him in order to do the rest! In order to love Him with ALL of my heartnot just part of it. In order to love Him with all of my soulnot just a piece it. In order to love Him with every ounce of strength that I have and then some. But how do I do these things when I know can’t do them alone?

Matthew 19:26 says: “With man, that is impossible. But with God, all things are possible.” Without God I can do nothing. But with God all things can be done! This is why we must plug ourselves INTO the power outlet of God Almighty!Once we plug into God’s power then the gifts that he has poured into us will begin to come to life.

We all need help coming to life-just as Lazarus needed help being unwrapped. It takes others to help us unwrap and we cannot do it alone. We aren’t meant to. Jesus commanded the friends of Lazarus to unwrap him-why? Because Lazarus was just standing there, in bondage with no control over the situation and all he could do was wait for his friends to begin to take the wrapping off. Can you imagine being Lazarus? Peering out from behind the smelly, stinky, itchy, cloth of the grave? After 3 days of death I can only imagine that there were a few bugs up inside those wrappings…If I were Lazarus I would have had my eyes wide open screaming, “Let me outta here so I can tell everyone what my God has done for me! He really does love me and yes, he can use a dead man!” Imagine being Lazarus… waiting and watching for his friends to move….what would have happened if no one moved? He’d still be wrapped up and in bondage! He couldn’t do anything, but his friends loved him enough to do it for him and when Jesus told them to take off the grave clothes and let him go they did!

I saw Lazarus this week with my own eyes. Not the Lazarus in scripture but someone resembling him. You see I am involved with a group of people who go out and serve the needy. On this particular occasion a family needed help moving. A family that none of us knew. They had been evicted. The father is out of work, the mother is deaf and the young son has a seizure disorder. They had no vehicle and they had to move their belongings about a mile away. 6 of us went to help this family move yesterday, but the funny thing is we didn’t help them, they helped us! I’ll never forget it, ever. When we pulled up and got out of our vehicles the man came running up to us with a big grin on his face and he said, “ you all are awesome, I can’t believe you are doing this. I am so thankful that you are here. We didn’t know what we were going to do.” Later on he told us that their only other alternative was to walk to their new home carrying all their belongings with them. They would have been exhausted from going back and forth so many times. They had no vehicle. But they had faith that their friends would come. Friends that we didn’t even know we had! Our family grew by three more yesterday and I got a glimpse of what Lazarus might have seen behind his wrappings….” They are here! They are here! They have come to unwrap me and to free me from this bondage! They really do love me…”

But the really funny thing is that I was the one who was being unwrapped! We were all unwrapped by this family yesterday. Their attitude of willingness, work and commitment spoke to each one of us in a different way and today we are all a little lighter because we left some of our own wrappings along the road with theirs.

You see, life and growth is a process that doesn’t happen overnight. It takes prayer, commitment, discipline and yes….friends and sometimes it is a friend you don’t even know yet, but God knows. Friends who are willing to unwrap you one layer at a time until they get down to the fresh, new, beautiful person that is underneath those graveclothes-the person that God made and that Jesus commanded to COME OUT! Lazarus was changed from the inside out because of the POWER of God! I’ll bet you that he was jumping out of his skin to get out of that wrapping and tell the world what happened to him because of the power of God and I know a little boy and 6 adults who have already told people what has happened to them.

All things are possible with GOD!

Let’s pray!

Father we come to you with humble hearts this morning and we give you thanks for all that you have done for us this week and in the week to come. We ask that you put people in our path to unwrap us and for us to help unwrap. We all need help Lord and this is why we are called a family. There are other family members out there whom we have not even met yet and we ask you to place them in our paths for a divine meeting from you.

If there is anyone who is listening who would like to know you better I ask that you place someone in their life who can help them to fall in love with you. We love you Lord, It’s in your Holy and Precious Name that I pray, Amen

A side note: Many thanks to all who have unwrapped me during my life but especially these past few weeks.  I feel like, I too, have been raised from the dead! 

You know who you are and I love you all!  Blessings for your own journeys…..d.

Blessings Galore!

Standard

Woo!

What a week!  I can’t even put it into words.  My mind is still processing it all and I am about to jump up and down in joy over all that God has done and said to me this week.  I feel like my light switch has flipped back to the ON position.  Last night I had a long talk with a very dear friend-one who knows and understands this journey I have been on with God-the pushing, the pulling, the stretching, groaning and growing.   In that talk I realized that I have been treading water for quite some time.  Treading to keep from drowning and filling my time with “church work.”   I heard myself telling her that I am tired of being a “yes” person and that from now on I was striving to be a “spirit” person.  What I mean by that is that I do not want to be in bondage with church work.  I desire to be led by the Holy Spirit in doing what GOD is calling me to do.   God is teaching me how to do this and this week I have been given freedom from merely doing church work to BEING the church.

It all started with being asked to speak tomorrow.  I haven’t spoken in awhile and am feeling anxious.  But it was also an affirmation to me that God still desires to use me even though I’ve been running in the other direction.  Then I heard a message about not getting caught with your work undone.  Well, it spiraled from there because that really made me think about what kind of work I’ve been doing.  Some of it has been for God and some for the church.  Now I am not saying that church work is unimportant, but that we shouldn’t let mere church work consume us the way I tend to let it.  I am a DOER and I have to be very careful about how much DOING I do and why.  There’s a fine line there.

God has shown me through other people that there’s plenty of work to do right here and that people right under our noses are in need of love and grace.  Strangers to us, but children to God.  None of God’s children should ever feel unloved, but they do.  Why?  Because we, the Body of Christ, are NOT doing our jobs.  I know, it hurts, doesn’t it?  There’s no easy answer except to get out and start helping.    I serve with an amazing bunch of people who are not afraid to get out of their comfort zones and go into the world and be weird.  Following Christ requires us to do things differently and to be bold and passionate in all that we do.  We are not normal.  In order to have spiritual wealth we must break ourselves in other areas…areas like pride and selfishness.  When we get out into the world and make ourselves available to the hungry, hurting and needy is when we become broken and unwrapped.  It’s in this time of brokenness and unwrapping that we begin to see who are in Christ’s image.  We look in the mirror and the person looking back looks a little more Christ after each wrapping comes off.  It takes others to help us unwrap and we cannot do it alone.  We aren’t meant to.  Jesus commanded the friends of Lazarus to unwrap him-why?  Because Lazarus was just standing there, in bondage with no control over the situation and all he could do was wait for his friends to begin taking the wrapping off.  Can you imagine being Lazarus?  Peering out from behind the smelly, stinky, itchy, cloth of the grave?  After 3 days of death I can only imagine there were a few bugs up inside those wrappings…If I were Lazarus I would have had my eyes wide open screaming, “Let me outta here so I can tell everyone what my God has done for me!  He really does love me and yes, he can use a dead man!  “

Imagine being Lazarus…the waiting and watching for his friends to move….

what would have happened if no one moved?

Isn’t that what we do sometimes?  We say, ” oh I can’t do that, or I can’t do this….”  Why?  Are we afraid of what God might reveal?  Are we afraid that it is too hard? Too painful?  Or that we will go nuts and be depressed because the world is a worrisome place?  That is my worry.  I have been running away from God because I know I am not strong enough to do what I think he is asking me to do.  I’m a chicken.  I have depression issues from time to time and I am afraid that answering God’s call will bring me to a deeper level of depression.  ( and isn’t that just like negativity to take over and invade everything that is good? )   I have a tendency to wear people’s problems, I take them on as my own.  I have also seen, over the last several years, how God has been dealing with me on that issue.  He has been strengthening me and giving me tools to use.  I don’t want to be a depressed blubbering idiot so I run in the other direction.  Lately I’ve been hiding behind my own wrappings of fear and worry.    That has been made evident to me this week.  Not by any one particular thing, but by all things together.  In talking with my friend, I got choked up and the tears wouldn’t hold back any longer.  I said to her, ” where did those tears come from?  ”  In the kindest, softest voice she said, ” don’t you know?”  it was almost like a whisper.  I felt like God was talking to me in that moment and that he was saying, “child, I love you, don’t you know that?  Don’t you know that you have worth and that I need to use you?  Why won’t you let me?”

groan. sigh…..

Life and growth is a process that doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes prayer, commitment, discipline and yes….friends.  Friends who are willing to unwrap you one layer at a time until they get down to the fresh, new, beautiful person that is underneath those  graveclothes-the person that God made and that Jesus commanded to COME OUT!

Wow.

We serve a God of POWER and MIGHT and we have to go out like Lazarus did and tell the world!

There’s no one stopping us because if God is for us-then who can be against us?

Amen, Amen, Amen.

Psalm 16:8  I keep my eyes always on the LORD.

   With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Hope rises

Standard

911 rescue color draft

I was asked to work up something for a tribute to 911 rescue workers.  This year will be the 10th anniversary of the tragedy that happened on 911.  This is just a rough idea and I’m going to be changing it but I thought I would share it and get some feedback from my readers.

Inside the base of the cross you see the crumbling Twin Towers.  Behind them is the shape of a heart with the flag inside of that.  The sun is something I am going to take out or put somewhere else.   I think it’s too much to look at and it hides the Twin Towers.

So, that will be another day’s project.  I have been so full of creativity this week and I am amazed that I have spent the entire day in the studio today.  I got a lot done!

So, for now it’s goodnight!  Have a blessed evening!

d.

Be the change

Standard

My last post was about being tied up in red tape.  I was sent a note by a friend who has challenged me to a different way of thinking.  This challenge has caused me to think in a positive direction.    This is why God gave us accountability people. 

Thank you…friend! 

In drawing this second piece I have come to realize that I must BE the change I want to see.  I’m not sure how to do that yet, but I have a feeling that part is coming!  I am supposed to get the scissors and with others, together, we are to free the church of the bondage of red tape. 

Nothing is possible without God, but WITH GOD ALL things are possible!

Purpose church

 

Do you see the difference in the drawings?  I can see it even in the style-each has it’s own.  The PURPOSE CHURCH has gotten softer and lighter where the Dead Ends church is darker and more harsh.  Interesting to observe them both together.  I did the Dead Ends this morning and the Purpose Church this afternoon.  I realized I was looking at it all wrong. 

all I can say is wow…a humbling experience on paper.

Lord,

Thank you for friends.

loving you,

me

 

Dead Ends and Red Tape

Embracing conviction

Standard

Conviction.

This is a drawing of how the rules and regulations ( or red tape) of the business of church can keep us from getting God’s work done.

You have to make a choice to take chance

or

your life will never change.

quoted to me by a 10 year old little girl who adores God.

what do you see?

Dead Ends and Red Tape

God has me under terrific conviction of the injustices of the “system” that man has put into place.

I can no longer deny this conviction.  

My guide is the Holy Word of God. 

My bible says this:

Matthew 25

42I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink. 43I was a stranger, and you didn’t take me into your homes. I needed clothes, and you didn’t give me anything to wear. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t take care of me.’

44“They, too, will ask, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or as a stranger or in need of clothes or sick or in prison and didn’t help you?’

45“He will answer them, ‘I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you failed to do for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you failed to do for me.’

46“These people will go away into eternal punishment, but those with God’s approval will go into eternal life.”

So, you tell me…

when I see what is happening in the picture happening am I supposed to watch it happen? 

or am I supposed to try to make a difference and change the way things are done?   

My bible doesn’t say pick and choose-it says:

Matthew 25:34-40

‘Come, my Father has blessed you! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me into your home. 36I needed clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you took care of me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

37“Then the people who have God’s approval will reply to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or see you thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you as a stranger and take you into our homes or see you in need of clothes and give you something to wear? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40“The king will answer them, ‘I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you did for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did for me.’

 and what happens when we don’t do this?

Matthew 25:41-46

41“Then the king will say to those on his left, ‘Get away from me! God has cursed you! Go into everlasting fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels! 42I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink. 43I was a stranger, and you didn’t take me into your homes. I needed clothes, and you didn’t give me anything to wear. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t take care of me.’

44“They, too, will ask, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or as a stranger or in need of clothes or sick or in prison and didn’t help you?’

45“He will answer them, ‘I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you failed to do for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you failed to do for me.’

46“These people will go away into eternal punishment, but those with God’s approval will go into eternal life.”

“You have to make a choice to take a chance

or

your life will never change.”

I have a wise daughter.

Thank you Lord.