Thursday, May 11, 2017

Finding a ministry. . .

Do you sometimes want to do more, but don't know where to start?
Maybe it's just me.

Do you sometimes learn more, then fell overwhelmed by the possibilities, then don't start?
Maybe it's just me.

I long to serve more. Then, I get overwhelmed and do nothing
Because that is helpful. [insert sarcasm]

To help myself, and maybe those like me, I thought I would add to this blog, if you can call it that, information about different ministries. Ministries I come across--that I wish I had known about.

Then, maybe someday, I will find exactly where to jump in. OR just jump in. . .

Maybe into this ministry. Check this video out: Kairos Ministry

I'm moved by people whose lives go from dark to light. Because, really, that's all of us. We lived in darkness, without life then. . .Jesus.

Maybe you are being called to prison ministry. Maybe I am.

Regardless, will you pray? Can you pray for a group of women who will engage in ministry within prison walls to another group of women the weekend of May 18-21. Would you pray? Did you know some of the women within those walls have never known of someone praying for them? I can't imagine that. Maybe you can. Maybe you have been there. Maybe you will be the one praying for them.

Real lives. Real need. Real change. With a Real Jesus. You are His Hands. His feet. The one to bring them before the throne room of the Most High. Join me?

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Compassion. Can you give it?

"Everyone needs compassion. A love that's never failing. Let mercy fall on me."
And my favorite line, "Everyone needs forgiveness. The kindness of a Savior."
(Song: Mighty to Save. Artist: Hillsong)

There are so many things on my heart, so many I could say right now.
I do feel an urgency. An urgency for true followers of Christ to rise. To show compassion.
Before we lose the lost world to the louder voices. 

What would Jesus want from us?
If they need the kindness of  a Savior, and we are an extension of Christ--then, we should BE the kindness.
Have you been kind? Have I been kind?

Everyone needs compassion.
Your neighbor needs compassion.
Your boss needs compassion.
Your spouse needs compassion.
Your political right friend needs compassion. As does your political left.
Hillary Clinton needs compassion.
Donald Trump needs compassion.
Those who hate you need compassion.
People of color need compassion.
Racists need compassion. (and, no, I don't support racism at all. but only love wins.)
Police officers need compassion.
The McDonald's worker needs compassion.
NONE need more compassion than the other.
If we are giving compassion out freely, there would be no condemnation between us.

You get the idea. "Fill in the blank" needs compassion. Where do you stand?
Do those you have put in the blank feel compassion?

Have our actions this past month made people want what we have (the Spirit) or made them run as far away as possible? Heaven help us if it's the latter.

I am writing to myself.
I am writing to you if you claim to follow Christ.
Could we agree to show more compassion?

Could we get off our phones at check out, the drive thru, and in our homes and genuinely look at the person across from us and show compassion? Smile and show we care. Ask how someone is doing. Pray for the broken-hearted whether we know them or not?

Could we go out of our way to reassure those who are fearful right now?
Go out of the way to show compassion?
Whether or not you understand their fear isn't the issue.
Their fear is real and, honestly, once we take the time to understand those different from us we will realize they have a reason to fear.

Could we take time to hear the other side?
I can be compassionate. I can demonstrate mercy and still know what I believe to be true.

I wonder if any of us really want to live in Heaven?
Because at that time, we will have to live together in harmony. Yes, the Prince of Peace will be in front of us. But, He's left us POWER for now. The Holy Spirit. Jesus was on earth and yet LEFT so that the Spirit could come. Christian, grab that power. We are not left without hope. We are not left without a love that should be exploding around us.
Hold onto your truth. Teach when you should teach.
But wake up--without love you are a noisy gong.
Love. Show Mercy. Show Compassion. Take a Sabbath rest to remind yourself of what you were rescued from, then show the same forgiveness given you and give it to others.

Let's do this together. Compassion. Can you give it?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Thoughts on the Presidency & His Word

Today, we elected a new president, Donald Trump. I did not vote for him nor his main opponent Hillary Clinton. But honestly, that is beside the point. It really isn't about them or, frankly, me.

What it is about is what I say I believe. . .and how I live it out during the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

I believe that my Father above is good. . .therefore, I will, with His help, try to also be good to others.
I believe that my Father exhibits loving kindness. . .therefore, I will try to exhibit loving kindness to all I encounter.
I believe my Father fights for the widows & the orphan. . .therefore, I will commit to do the same.
I believe my Father desires ALL to come to Him and repent and follow Him. . . therefore, I will tell any who desires to know Him.
Because He loved all of us and gave His Son up for us, I will (only with His love) try to love those around me. . .not just the easy to love ones, but my enemies. Those who disagree with me. Those who look different than me. Those who think different from me. 
Because He is just, I will try to fight for justice. . .for all who need it. 
Because He was about His kingdom, I will be about His kingdom. . .not the kingdom of America. (Please know that I am grateful for all my rights and freedoms and am thankful for my country. However, my citizenship here does NOT override my true citizenship with Christ and His kingdom)

So, President Elect Trump and Vice President Pence. . .I will pray for you. Your job will not be easy. I will pray that you are humble before the Lord and before the people He has put under you. I will pray that my country, including myself, will give you a chance to start anew and that we will be humbled as well. We all should remember, the Lord Himself sets up kingdoms and tears them down.

But, rest assured, I will not support evil towards others. I will pray for you but I will only stand with you when your decisions are for good and not evil. I will watch how others are treated. I won't stand by and let humanity be torn down for the sake of democracy. But, I will pray. I will give you a chance. I am able to do so because HE lives, and HE holds my tomorrow. 

Isaiah 8:12-13 ESV "Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the LORD of hosts, Him you shall honor as holy. Let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread."

Psalm 146:3-5: "Do not trust in nobles, in man, who cannot save. When his breath leaves him, he returns to the ground; on that day his plans die. Happy is the one whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God."

Daniel 2:20-22 ESV "Daniel answered and said: "Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him."

Psalm 147:1-6 ESV "Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting. The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. The LORD lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground."

Friday, April 24, 2015

God Keeps Using Real Life. . .

. . .to make His point.

Adoption teaches a lot of hard truths. Typically, in the midst of the journey, He brings the lesson. Sometimes, it hurts. One thing He taught me as I went through it was that He was in charge. No matter how hard I wanted to try to exert control. . .it was not in my power to do so.

Guess what? I'm still learning that lesson. Recently, a business that I co-own was thrown a curve ball. The place we host our event was possibly no longer going to be available. It's a great venue. The place, the people love Christ. It shows. People constantly comment about how amazing the facility is but more importantly how kind everyone is. We love it there.

So, we have been praying fervently about where our home will be. God knows that the desire of our hearts is to be there. But, the bigger desire is to desire His will. . .then there is never disappointment.

As we prayed this week, this is the Bible study lesson that was in my face with the small group of ladies I have been meeting with. . .Breathe by Priscilla Shirer. Well, if you want anything to "get into your business", do this study. MAN! OUCH! The study in on the Sabbath, Shabbat--God requiring us to "pause" or to "bring things to an end" so that we can remember "who we were (slaves to sin and stuff)" and that we are NO longer slaves. This time that we can set apart to change our slave mentality and to remember to walk in freedom. To remind ourselves that there should no longer be chains.

Exodus 16:16-27 says, "This is what the LORD has commanded: 'Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.' The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed. Then Moses said to them, "No one is to keep any of it until morning." However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them. Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much--two omers for each person--and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. He said to them, "This is what the LORD commanded: 'Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the LORD. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.'  So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. "Eat it today," Moses said, "because today is a sabbath to the LORD. You will not find any of it on the ground today. Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any." Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none."

God's directive was clear. Gather for today. Not for tomorrow. I will provide what you need when you need. Then, when I ask you to pause, I will give you a DOUBLE PORTION. But, the people still went out to gather--even though it had already been provided. Really, Lord? Do we ever get this lesson down? Do we ever stop gathering more than we need when You have promised to care for us.

Well, today we learned that our sale will continue for the fall while they continue to evaluate the future beyond that. Hmmm. . .the fall is my "manna". It's what I need now. He will provide it. I think He is really trying to prove His point. I'm hard headed, so it takes real lessons. He is in charge. Not man. He will make the decision, not man. And, He will provide when I need it and not before. He's also teaching me amidst other struggles. I'm in prayer about other major decisions in my life. Wondering if He is pushing me towards a "pause"/"an end" in order to show me His double blessing. I don't know where He is calling me or what He is calling me to, but I continue to need prayer. Amazed by His gift given today. Right when I needed it. Of course it was.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hard Truths

Writing this is taking time.
Thoughts have swirled around in my mind for days, almost a week.
I'm not even sure I'm ready now.
So, this might get finished later.

I didn't know if this should be in the adoption blog
or this one.
Because it is through adoption that God is speaking,
I placed it hear.

The hard truth is that this journey brings
to the surface a lot of feelings:
Fear. Distrust. Anger. Jealousy. Depression. Rebellion.
& Unspeakable Joy.

God in all His omnipotence knew that humans needed more than just
We needed Words in Pictures.
So, He created marriage.
To show His love for His bride.
His untainted, faithful love.
A love that gave up His life.
Then, we screwed up the word picture.

He created families.
To show how strong love can be IMMEDIATELY
between a parent and a child.
We do OK at times, and at other times, well. . .we screw it up.

Then He redeemed the word picture
And used Adoption.
Taking what was not intended (orphans) and using it
As another way to demonstrate who He is.
A Father who comes RUNNING to us, who longs for us, who will stop at NOTHING to get us "home", in His arms.

Then, "we" enter the picture. And, sometimes we screw it up with our wait in the process.
So, this is the real deal. I want you to know the truth.

Some days, I'm angry at everyone. Some days at God. I ask questions like if you set the lonely in families why is it necessary to drag this thing out??? (and, I know the TRUTH people. Just want you to know what happens on this journey).

Some days, I'm on cloud 9.
Some days, I'm jealous. This is just sinful. PLAIN & Simple. Jealous that our file hasn't moved, jealous that I didn't hear anything, jealous that I'm crying when others are rejoicing.
Some days, I'm ecstatic for my friends in this journey. Leaping for joy! And, other days crying and praying with them.
Some days, I think, "What did we do God to deserve the delay? What are we still needing to learn? Teach us. We are ready. Why aren't we being blessed?"

You know we ask this. Let's be real. We ask this during MANY life circumstances. We ASSUME it about others going through things. We ALLUDE to it when we say that we are so blessed to have___________ (fill in your blank: obedient children, loving parents, a nice car, a big house).
Don't get me wrong, every good and perfect gift does come from God. But because one person keeps their job and one person loses their job doesn't necessarily mean one is blessed by God and one isn't.

So, God is dealing with me on a few things. First, in Acts 12, there is an intersting, yet hard truth. It is why that while I pray earnestly to God in this process that I'm not always confident in how it will turn out. At the beginning of the chapter, James the brother of John was put to death by the sword. Then, IN THE SAME CHAPTER, Peter is arrested with the possibility of death, but Peter is rescued and escaped. Both loved dearly by Jesus. Both doing the stuff. Both assisting in the explosion of Christianity. Both with a radical faith. One dies. One lives. Hard truths. But, a truth that opened my eyes last weekend at Living Proof Live. I'll let the Spirit speak to you about the message.

What matters is how I've stood on the Rock not how many times I've been knocked down. What matters is that His will is accomplished. Not mine. I'm simply to stand on the solid rock. As the three in the fiery furnace (I don't feel like spelling tonight) said--and I paraphrase--We know God can deliver us but even if He doesn't we will NOT deny Him.

Maybe, I'll share the next "lesson" I'm learning on this journey on another day. Once I can bare to admit it. Just know, last night we received great news that the clerk is going to release J's book next week, which means we can get a birth certificate. Pray that there are no errors on it. We will keep you posted. Just know that I had mixed feelings with the "good" news. Not b/c of the news. But b/c of me. Stay tuned for the rest of the story.

If I can write it.

Today's Gifts

76.  A clerk in Ha*ti ready to release the book
77.  Genuinely kind people
78.  Daughters
79.  Daughters, who after asking where a certain scripture is, remembers that its in Psalm 122
80.  Married people demonstrating it as intended in His word
81.  Fireplaces
82.  Dogs named Candy. . .
83.  Memories of childhood
84.  Underground house on a stormy night
85.  A house filled with windows on a sunny day
86.  Adoption world
87.  Teachers who get it
88.  Ethical people
89.  Being able to read
90.  My mom
91.  My dad
92.  My sister
93.  Grandparents: one of His most thoughtful gifts
94.  Redemption
95.  Salvation
96.  Grace as we need it
97.  Mercy
98.  Christian people really striving to live out Christ's commands
99.  Newly saved people wanting to figure it out
100.  Ha*tian boys with tear-stained cheeks and adults who are loving on him

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Still counting my gifts. . .I'm a long way away.

64.  True friends. And, the revealing of who they are.
65.  M's kisses.
66.  L's genuineness (is that a word?)
67.  My eyesight
68.  My love, My best friend. His 43 years.
69.  For the truth of the Word.
70.  My bed.
71.  My home.
72.  A cozy couch.
73.  A sunshine day with cool breezes.
74.  My warm, cozy sweatpants.
75.  Joy that comes in the morning.

Grateful for my Father above, the giver of EVERY good & perfect gift. He loves me more than I love my own children, and that is something I can "kind of" grasp.