Wednesday, July 30, 2008

WOW - GOD!!!!!

God is so amazing.  I'm constantly being reminded of His intentional plans.  I've been reading in the book of Ezra this week and it is a very cool story.  God had made a way for Israel to rebuild His Temple on its original site.  One king makes a decree (a law that MUST be carried out) that the Israelites can return back and rebuild the Temple and that the government and others would pay for it.  SO a group of people go back and start rebuilding the foundation on its original site and finish it.  Then opposition arrises, opposition always arrises, always!  There was a new king and some people wrote him a letter asking for him to stop the building of the Temple or else the Israelites would stop paying taxes and start a uprising.  This king not knowing the decree of the other king stopped all progress on the Temple.  A few kings passed by and God sent some men (prophets - Haggai & Zechariah) to the people to tell them to start rebuilding.  So they started rebuilding and you guessed it, OPPOSITION!  So some of these nerds (nerd isn't found in most Bible translations) wrote the new king (Darius) a letter asking him to check and see if there ever was ever a decree for the people to rebuild the temple!  HAHA I love this part!  The king googled (made a search of the records, but google sounds cooler) it and found the decree.  He wrote a letter back to the nerds and said "Wow, thanks for helping me discover this.  This is how this is going to go down; help them rebuild it and you pay for the FULL construction cost!  Don't you just love that!  God is so cool!  Have a huge day! 

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Meeting Needs

If any of you were at genesis last week, you may have heard me talking a little bit about the necessity of us taking on some of the character of Christ, who, seeing the needs of the people in the world, met those needs, however great or small.  In our day, we see so many more needs in our local and global worlds, and Christ calls us to strive to help those needs.  I just finished a book yesterday that I've been wanting to finish for a while, Infections and Inequalities by Paul Farmer, a man I greatly admire and respect for his work with the poor.  The book looks at how treatable infectious diseases remain huge global problems as they are not treated properly or at all in the poorer countries, or even parts of wealthy countries, such as the US.  Farmer's main focus is in Haiti, the poorest nation in our hemisphere, with tragically high rates of TB, AIDS, and other largely or completely treatable infectious diseases.  As I've read this book and others about this topic, one that God has put on my heart in a big way, I am frightened by the great degree to which I and other perfectly capable benefactors have separated ourselves from the suffering of our fellow men.  Last night, I had a nightmare resulting from the numerous lives described in that book that were wracked from disease, malnutrition, and social injustice.  I was in Haiti, being forced to do hard labor to stay alive, and all around me, the knowledge was there that nobody really cared if I got sick or died besides those I worked alongside.  Overwhelming feelings of helplessness and desperation consumed me until I finally woke up, the sick feeling of being forgotten and left behind clinging to me.  THIS is the life we allow for other human beings with needs and capabilities equal to our own.  THIS is where our version of the love of Christ has left the world.  How can we, who claim to reflect the love of Christ, who claim to be His very hands and feet, ignore the cries and the needs of those suffering right around us?  How can love be displayed through either ignorance or inaction?  Jesus was a man full of love, compassion, and action who, when he saw the needs of those around him, did not hesitate to act.  Is it not our great burden and great joy to care for those suffering, those pinned down by the heavy weight of inequality?  May our hearts and our lives be poured out to give aid to those who most desperately need it!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

For so long...I have wondered what it means when someone says my identity is in Christ. Or Christ is our identity. I never really understood it all. What does it mean? How do you do it? And what does it look like? As I have been reading it has changed my thinking....check it out. In 1 Samuel 8:1-22 Samuel's son was given the role by his father as king over the Israelites. The Israelites did not like his son's ways and complained to Samuel. They desired a king that would lead them like the other nations. Samuel went to God and God said, "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king." Samuel explained what God had said to him to his people but their minds were made up and they started forsaking God and worshiping other gods. The Israelites didn't realize that they were chosen already by God, his treasured possession. They already had an identity. As Kelly Minter says, "As they started to forsake God and follow other gods, they lost sight of what the had and, most important, who they were." Right now, at this moment,we are a part of God's royalty. We are his chosen people. We don't realize it enough but we are treasured so much by our father. Although we may ask what does this look like? To be a part of God's royalty? In Peter 2:11 Christians are described as aliens and strangers to others. "We will be like strangers and aliens because our lives will stand out as so breathtakingly good in compassion with others. As a result those around us will glorify god" (Minter, 39). People will see something so crazy and different in our lives that it will trigger something within them....change. One of my favorite quotes by Donald Miller, "If you believe something passionately, people will follow you." How awesome is this. Now the next question is how do we stay consistent with our identity? First off by keeping goodness in our lives- the fruit of obedience. Staying in his word and setting ourselves away from sinful desires. Sinful desires will ruin our goodness. It causes us to have no identity at all. I guess this has just really been on my heart lately. I want it to be to the point where our identity in Christ is so crazy and different to the lives of others that they will desire what we have. An amazing relationship with our savior!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Blue skies, huge thunder storms, delicate flowers, great oak trees with dipping branches, families and friends, happy is overflowing with God's beauty and grace towards us! All of the good things in life come from Him and point to Him, yet it seems that so many of us, myself included, constantly find ways to be disappointed.  When the sun is shining, it's too hot.  When it's storming, it's too wet and cold.  Snow is too white.  Trees are too green.  We diminish the majesty of the world by lowering it to what we're comfortable with, but what's so great about comfort?  I know that in my marriage I can appreciate the security and comfort my husband offers, but if that's all I had, if there weren't love and excitement and FUN, no trust or need for trust or trials to bring us together, our relationship would be stale and worth so much less!  Isaiah 53 talks about the true beauty of our savior, predicting that the people of His time would react just like the people of our own time; they were blind to His beauty and greatness and opted for comfort, for the norm, over eternal salvation and tragic!  I pray to God that He would rid us of our deadly obsession with comfort and that He would, instead, put in us a greater appreciation for His beauty and a deep desire for adventure and discovery!  May we learn more about His glory, His love, His creation, our hope in Him daily!! May His life be birthed in us anew and give us a greater propensity for laughter and tears and dancing and falling and getting back up and growing and LIVING!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.  For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks" (Luke 6:45).  What is overflowing out of my heart? Out of yours? Out of the lives of those our lives impact?  Lately, I've been thinking a lot about potential and transformation, and I heartily believe that the ONLY way to live up to our God-given potential is to be transformed, by the Holy Spirit and by our own will.  No matter how often or earnestly I proclaim to be a Christian, if my heart is not in it, then what overflows in my life will not reflect Christ.  But how do we engage our hearts?  Throughout the bible, it is deemed essential to follow God's commands.  By listening to Him when He guides us and shows us the way, we know more of the character of God and that character is embedded in our hearts through our actions.  This is so beautiful! Can you see it?  By trying to really and intentionally live like Christ, our hearts and lives are transformed into reflections of Christ!!  In the end of Luke 6, Christ says, "I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice.  He is like a man building a house who dug down deep and laid the foundation on a rock.  When the flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built."  If we want our lives to be well built, if we desire to be beautiful inside so that God's glory overflows out of our lives, then we must seek and follow Christ's commands! I want to walk in His footsteps, to live and to think and to act like Christ!  I want to shine so brilliantly in my heart with goodness that it radiates out of me like ten thousand stars!  And may we all shine brilliantly for Him, reflecting His glory for the world.  May our hearts and lives be transformed so that we can live up to the potential we were created for!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


"Slow down and chew your food. "  I remember my mom interjecting these words into my life in a moment where I would be scarfing down some food so that I could run out and go play.  I didn't pay much attention back then and sometimes I find myself saying the same things to my boys as they are eating the food but not enjoying or appreciating it.  In the book of Psalms in the Bible , David was saying the same thing to all of us when we are running through the scriptures. "Selah (Hey guys, slowdown chew, enjoy!)"  At least thats the way that I read it.  I think that we way to often run through the God's Word without even stopping to reflect and enjoy what God is saying. Example- Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.  Selah – Psalms 62:8  Man, if I was to stop and chew on this for a while and to put some belief it what is being said - it could possibly change everything; my way of thinking, my boldness, it could kill all fear, I could fell peace.  I need to chew on this for a while!

Monday, July 07, 2008


A week ago I went to Mexico City with the youth and it was crazy. It was my first mission’s trip and I was blown away. We ministered to 7,000 people and had over 1600 salvations! It was awesome and God’s presence was so BIG! I got back and started reading in Matthew 7. Matthew 7:15-20 really stuck out. It talks about false and true teaching. And it says, “You will know them by their fruits.” And then it goes on and says, “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.” After reading I started thinking about my fruits. And I started thinking about my time in Mexico City. We all went out as representatives of God and knew people would be watching us. And it made me think of what were the fruits we were portraying? In Galatians 5 “The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Our fruits are the godly attitudes that characterize the lives of only those who belong to God. I guess what I realized is we should be consistently checking our fruits. It says that spiritual fruit is the by product of a right life. For Adam and Eve there were fruits that were desirable to make one wise and a delight to the eyes but they still weren’t good. After going to Mexico City I’ve learned that every day we are on a mission’s trip. Every day we are representing God. We are out there wherever trying to win souls. And people will see God through us by our fruits, by what we are producing!