Sunday, November 30, 2008

Just Do It!

:) Reading my title probably brought to mind the Nike brand. Personally, I have always liked their slogan because it evokes a sense of action, passion, and a call to get out and DO! Jacob and I went to an evening church service this evening to check out the church next door. The guest speaker, George Kovoor, who is Chaplain to the Queen, spoke about how modern day Christians really lack action. We talk and talk and talk, but do we really go out and LIVE our beliefs? He talked about how the mark of a true believer is someone who, when he has a revelation, or he learns something new about God that really excites him, doesn't just go away and do nothing. But goes away changed. Goes away and does something with what he learned. He applies his knowledge to everyday life.

This got me thinking about my own life. I can read books beyond measure about how to pursue God and live for Him, but if they don't radically alter my living, what is the point? We grow spiritually when we are obedient to the call of our Lord Jesus. We grow spiritually when we aren't content to only be a Christian that talks the talk...we need to walk the walk as well! We need to just do it!

I can read books. I can talk. I can look like a "good Christian"....but if I am not getting out there and living it, it is all useless.

Kovoor gave an analogy this evening that I really liked. He asked "How many of you know the Queen?" Almost everyone raised their hands, because she is on our currency! It is almost impossible not to know who the Queen is. "But" he challenged,"If you were in a crowd of people...would the Queen recognize you?" Probably not, unless you were one of her intimate friends. Then he likened this to Jesus, do you know "of" Jesus? Or do you really know Jesus? The question is not "Do you know Jesus?". The question is:

"Does Jesus know you?"

Why do we simply settle for a kind of, halfway, "if it will get me into Heaven" type of relationship with the Savior of the universe? He desires to know us thoroughly and intimately. Let's strive for this living breathing relationship with the One who formed us by hand! Let's get out there and make a difference in this world doing something that counts for the Kingdom! Something that is worthy of the words "well done my good and faithful servant."

What are you waiting for??

Stop talking and...

JUST DO IT!!! :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

It was then that a teardrop fell...

In the middle of my quiet time this afternoon, I suddenly felt God giving me an idea for a here it is. I tried to put it into words. It brings back a lot of memories for me. Every tear that I have ever cried in my life...Jesus saw...and he cared...and he cried with me.

It was then that a teardrop fell

My twelve year old heart trembled within me
As my mom pronounced that she had gall-stones
And that she had to have surgery
It was then that a teardrop fell

Confined to a bed all summer, waiting to be free
Her eyes told me the story
About her quiet agony
It was then that a teardrop fell

Alone and trembling
Mad at God I cried
Why are we moving?
It was then that a teardrop fell

Away from all that I knew
From good friends
And childish crushes too
It was then that a teardrop fell

With my mom at a conference
A quiet knocking on my hearts door
Falling on my face in reverence
It was then that a teardrop fell

Freeing me from guilt and shame
Cleansing water flowed down
At that moment, Christ broke all my chains
It was then that a teardrop fell

Fifteen and fearful
Emotions swirling, storms raging
Life is no longer dull
It was then that a teardrop fell

Sitting on a hospital bed
Looking at my precious mom
Hearing her say "This is where Jesus has led"
It was then that a teardrop fell

"Jesus will give me the strength to cope"
Oh mom how can you say that?
When the doctor’s words are "There is no hope."
It was then that a teardrop fell

Sweet sixteen out on the lawn
A big party with lots of food
My mom still hanging on
It was then that a teardrop fell

Didn’t feel like celebrating
Ran up to my room and cried
Because my mom was slowly fading
It was then that a teardrop fell

Months passed, fall came
I didn’t want the change
Things would never be the same
It was then that a teardrop fell

So that I could cry aloud
I Ran to the middle of a field
Where at his feet I bowed
It was then that a teardrop fell

One day she slipped away
Out of her room
Where her body lay
It was then that a teardrop fell

My heart leapt within me
For her wonderful gain
She was finally free
It was then that a teardrop fell

A few months later
Reality sank in
I would have to live without her
It was then that a teardrop fell

Never before had I been so low
Lying on the cold floor
Nowhere for my aching heart to go
It was then that a teardrop fell

The pain was too great
She should still be here
Death should have been my fate
It was then that a teardrop fell

2,000 years ago, someone was given
He came to save the lost
By doing the will of his father in Heaven
It was then that a teardrop fell

Hanging on the cross, He died
As He satisfied my debt
"It is finished" Jesus sighed
It was then that a teardrop fell

Salvation came to humanity that day
When a sacrifice was given
Jesus came to pave the way
To our Father in heaven

The tears that fell 2,000 years ago
From Heaven to the dirty ground
Are the same ones that still flow
In my life when pain is all around

I am not alone when I grieve
He is always right there
Has promised to never leave
And hears my faintest prayer

The majestic Adoni
That made the mountains and the seas
Still hears my cries
And still cries tears with me

Remember, when you can’t feel anymore
When, all around you there are walls
And in agony, you fall to the floor
It is then that a teardrop falls

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

As the deer...

I am a reader. I love books and have always loved them. I used to stay up late and read by my nightlight just so I wouldn't have to put the book down! (It's probably why my eyes are so bad to this day! Sorry dad!) I am the type of girl that starts a million books at once and then reads a chapter here and a chapter there from each one...a new one each day. Which is why when people ask me what book I am currently reading I give them a list of five or six titles!

Regardless of this, the books that I read really fill my spirit. God seems to help me pick up a book at the exact time in my life when it will be the most beneficial to me.

One of the many books that I am currently reading is called "Radical Reliance - Living 24/7 with God at the Center" by Joseph M. Stowell. The chapter I read this morning was talking about how much we really desire God. It made the claim that a lot of Christians view God as the "divine 911" of their lives and don't really long for Him, unless their is a crisis. The book likened Christians to Camels and Deer. It explained:

" crossed my mind that many of us are more like the camel than the deer. Rarely sensing our need for God, we go for months without desiring Him.......The problem is that we weren't built for a life in a spiritual desert. We were built for regular satisfying access to the refreshing presence of God in our souls..."

Why do we not desire God simply because He is God?

As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for You, O God
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
When shall I come and appear before God?
Psalm 42:1-2

In "Radical Reliance" the author asks why the composer of Psalm 42 would express such an acute longing for God:

"....we might think he is in deep trouble or has a deep desire he wants God to fulfill. Yet surprisingly there does not appear to be a pressing material crisis or special reason for him to appeal for largess. Adequately supplied with health and wealth, the psalmist's pressing need is simply to experience the presence and the pleasure of God in the depths of his being, and that conviction drives his desire for intimacy with God."

I was amazed when I read this paragraph, because this is how I have been feeling about my own walk with God lately. Sadly but truthfully this is one of the first times I have longed to know God, for no other reason but to know him...and I am so excited! At first I was trying to think about why I had this unquenchable desire to know God deeper. When I couldn't come up with any reason, I thought..."okay....well this is great, but I wish that I knew why I am feeling this way towards God." It is awesome to know that there doesn't have to be a reason to want to know the lover of my soul! I am praying that he will take me far deeper with Him than I have ever gone before.

I find myself acting like the camel in the desert some days...but I pray that God would continue His work in my heart so that I can truly become like the deer...who doesn't need a reason to long for her creator but chooses to drink daily from the river of life.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

To be where you be like you are...

This evening, God has overwhelmed my spirit. I need Jesus more than the air that I breath. If only he would reach down and scoop me up into His loving hands, I am sure that I could rest their forever. I came across the lyrics to this song by Leeland and they really matched my hearts cry. I really like the line that says "God of strength, our weakness shows, we need you, we need you Lord." What else would ever show us our need of God but the weakness within our own hearts? Every time I sin, I am made a little more aware of my desperate need for my Savior. Every thought, word, and action that is done in the flesh, makes me a little aware of how far I have fallen from the spirit of my Lord. That Jesus really would "enter this temple"! That my hearts forever cry would be communion with His spirit! To be where you be like you are... oh God you know that I long for this.
"Enter This Temple”
by Leeland
We are saved in a world that’s lost
All our hope rests in Your Cross
God of strength, our weakness shows
We need You
We need You, Lord
Father, enter this temple
Come touch Your people
We need to be where You are
And children living as their Father
Washed in pure water
We need to be like You are
We are searching for Your presence
We are knocking on Your door
Let Your wings cover us with promise
For communion
For communion
To be like You are
To be where You are
Father, come touch Your people
To be where You are
To be like You are

Monday, November 17, 2008

He never leaves...whether we are cold, sick, lonely, hurting, angry, filled with sorrow or bursting with joy, Jesus is always right there. No matter how far our Lord takes us from the place we call "home", he promises that he will never leave our side. That gives me such great hope and confidence! What is a home, anyway? My definition of home is some place where their is peace, love, and security. Jesus promises us peace as we trust in him. He promises to love us unconditionally. And He promises that we will stand secure as long as we let Him be the hand that guides us.

Nothing can take my Lord away from me! Not persecution, sickness, or even death! Why do we tend to live in fear, if this fact is indeed true? Their is no reason to be anxious about the uncertain when the only thing that truly matters is no longer cast in the shadow of doubt! Jesus has made our future with him secure...unwavering...something that does not decay with time. Now we can rest, unafraid, because of the promise "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More Surrender

Well, yesterday, someone made me think about how often we deny ourselves and really do everything that God wants us to do. How often do we throw our own plans out the window and completely surrender ourselves to Christ? I know that life can get hard, especially at my age, to figure out when, where, and what I am supposed to be doing with my life. But the Lord promises to write my life for me, word by word, if only I surrender.

Surrendering is not an easy thing to do. It takes lots of courage to really deny yourself and take up your cross. This is my true hearts desire. That I would say "no" to my plans, and "yes Lord" to his.

Following Jesus is how we can have a fufilling life! Yesterday I was reading the book "Don't Waste Your Life", by John Piper. At one point in the book Piper quotes J. Campbell White:

"Most men are not satisfied with the permanent output of their lives. Nothing can wholly satisfy the life of Christ within his followers except the adoption of Christ's purpose toward the world he came to redeem. Fame, pleasure and riches are but husks and ashes in contrast with the boundless and abiding joy of working with God for the fulfillment of his eternal plans. The men who are putting everything into Christ's undertaking are getting out of life its sweetest and most priceless rewards."

It is true that nothing can truly satisfy like Christ can! Next time you are confronted with a decision to go down a road that you want to go down, or to go down the road that Christ is calling you to, pick Christ. He alone is truly the source of our greatest joy.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Well, today I am just so thankful for all the amazing people in my life. Many of you have helped me grow in the Lord in so many ways, and I just thought that I would take a minute to say thank you! I especially appreciate all the older women in my life that have helped me through every minute without my mom. If it weren't for all you wonderful ladies, I would probably be alot more "mom sick". :) I pray that today the Lord will shower you each with His wonderful blessings.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Two years ago, today, I woke up with a mom, and went to bed that night without her. I remember the day so clearly. I am sure that it will be forever etched in my memory. I was talking with my dad last night about it and I remarked how I am still so thankful that my mom didn't have to suffer for years and years. That would have been extra stressful. It was very merciful of God to take her when He did. The weather today is actually quite similar to how it was on that day two years ago. I remember that it was a bright chilly day, just like it is today.

When I look back on the past two years, I am amazed at how far God has brought us. Jesus truly does know our needs before we ask Him. He always watches over us and holds us in the palm of his hands through every storm and trial that we face.

There will always be an ache in my heart for motherly love, but I know that God's love is much greater and sweeter than any human love could possibly give. For when I am weak, then he is strong!

This is a poem I wrote to my mom, a few months after she died. It is nothing eloquent or beautifully worded, but it does convey my heart:


Mommy do you know how much I love you?
You were always the one that knew just what to do.

Mommy do you know how special you are to me?
With you, I could be anything that I wanted to be.

Mommy do you know that you’re the best?
A unique piece of artwork, different from the rest.

Mommy do you know how many lives you changed?
The precise times and places, only God could have arranged.

Mommy do you know how beautiful you are?
Compared to a diamond, you are more beautiful by far.

Mommy do you know how many things you taught me?
For instance, who a women of God should be.

Mommy do you know that we wanted you to stay?
With you, my life seemed like a perfect summer day.

Then, all too soon, you were gone from my side.
And I had to accept Jesus as my one and only guide.

Mommy, Its hard to accept that you are no longer here
Yet, I know that you wouldn't want me to live in fear.

It's hard to understand why heavens work couldn't wait another day.
But I know that God must have had a good reason to call you away.
Mommy I will miss you as long as I live
Yet I know that Gods love is sweeter than any I could give.

Mommy I’m so happy that you’re out of pain
You lost an earthly body, but got an eternal gain.

Mommy even though earthly life God did not give,
In my heart you will continue to live.
Jesus is so good to me. I would only be existing, not truly living, if it weren't for what He has done in my life. I will continue to miss my mom for as long as I live, but I know that God's plans for my life are perfect. His timing is perfect. His love is perfect, and it is and will always be, all that I will ever need.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A blank sheet of paper...

Yesterday, I was reading a book called "Emotions - Can You Trust Them?" by Dr. Dobson. I read a story about a young man that really impacted me. It was so good, that I wanted to share it with you, even though it is kind of long. It also goes along with this whole "listening" theme that God is trying to get through to me.

Personal Story by the Reverend Everett Howard:

I've spent thirty-six years in missionary service - a lifetime that has passed so quickly. About fifty years ago when I was just a young boy I knew that God was calling me, but I was confused. I didn't know just where or when or what he wanted me to do. Years passed and I went on through school and college and into Lincoln and Lee Dental University in Kansas City, Missouri. I was still fighting and battling away, unsure of God's direction for my life.

One day I came to the point of a definite decision. My dad was a Christian and his prayers were inspirational. But that was secondhand, and I wanted something that could be mine - something I could take through life with me. So I went into the little church where my dad was pastoring and locked the doors so I could be alone. I guess I was ashamed for anyone to hear me pray, but that's the way it was. I knelt down at the little altar and took a piece of paper and a pencil and said, "Now this is going to be for life!"

I listed everything on that page. I filled it with promises of what I would do for God, including my willingness to be a missionary, and every possible alternative I could think of. I promised to sing in the choir and give my tithes and read the Bible and do all the things I thought God might want of me. I had a long list of promises and I really meant them.

Then when I had finished that well-written page, I signed my name at the bottom and laid it on the alter. There alone in the church I looked up and waited for "thunder and lightning" or some act of approval from the Lord. I thought I would experience what Saint Paul did on the road to Damascus, or something equally dramatic. I knew that God must be terribly proud of me - a young fellow who would make a consecration like that. But nothing happened. It was quiet, still and I was so disappointed.

I couldn't understand it, so I thought I must have forgotten something. I took out my pencil again and tried to think about what I'd left out. But I couldn't remember anything else. I prayed again and told the Lord that I had put everything possible on that paper. Still nothing happened, though I waited and waited.

Then it came. I felt the voice of God speaking in my heart. He didn't shout or hit me over the head. I just felt in my own soul a voice speak so clearly. It said, "Son, you're going about it wrong. I don't want a consecration like this. Just tear up the paper you've written."

I said, "All right, Lord." And I took the paper I had written so carefully and wadded it up.

Then the voice of God seemed to whisper again, "Son, I want you to take a blank piece of paper and sign your name on the bottom of it, and let Me fill it in."

"Oh! oh! that's different, Lord," I cried. But I did what He said there at the altar in the little church.

It was just a secret between God and me, as I signed the paper. And God has been filling it in for the past thirty-six years.

Maybe I'm glad that I didn't know what was going to be written on the page. Things like... lying sick in the lonely mountains of the Cape Verde Islands, burning up with fever, with no medicine and no doctor, and the closest hospital more than 3,000 miles away. And the famine, when almost a third of the population in our part of the country had starved to death... money wasn't coming through...nine months without one single check or a penny... everything we owned had to be sold in order to live... that wasn't written on the page until the time came. But, you know, there was no depression. Those were the most blessed days, because God was there! And if I could turn around and do it again, I'd go every step of the way that we've traveled for the last thirty-six years.

To those who are listening to me tonight, I hope you will also put your name at the bottom of a blank sheet of paper and let God fill it in. Especially if you're worried about who you should marry or where to go to school or what training you should get, and all those questions which cause young people to struggle. You don't know the answers to such questions and neither do I. If I tried to tell you what to do it would probably be wrong. But God knows. Let Him fill in the page, regardless of where He leads or the difficulties you will experience. And of this I am absolutely confident: the Lord will make his purposes and plans known in plenty of time for you to heed them.

This story prompted me to take my own blank piece of paper and sign it. I know in my head that God will fill it and direct my life in the manner that he chooses, but sometimes it is hard to feel it in my heart. Just the physical act of surrendering, literally surrendering to the plans that God has for you in his time is a scary thing, but oh so rewarding! I know that His plans for me are so much better than the plans that I have for myself. I pray that I would never try to take the pen back from God, but would willingly leave it in his loving hands.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Are you listening?

I wonder if the Lord is trying to teach me something about listening. This morning, I opened up a little devotional book that I haven't read in awhile called "Grace For the Moment" by Max Lucado. The verse for today is Matthew 7:8 - "Everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find." What a promise! In this devotional Lucado describes a man who is blind to everything the Lord is doing because he is expecting the Lord to work in a certain way:

"Once there was a man who dared God to speak: Burn the bush like you did for Moses, God. And I will follow. Collapse the walls like you did for Joshua, God. And I will fight. Still the waves like you did on Galilee, God. And I will listen.
And so the man sat by a bush, near a wall, close to the sea and waited for God to speak.
And God heard the man, so God answered. He sent fire, not for a bush, but for a church. He brought down a wall, not of brick, but of sin. He stilled a storm, not of the sea, but of a soul.
And God waited for the man to respond. And he waited...and waited.
But because the man was looking at bushes, not hearts; bricks and not lives, seas and not souls, he decided that God had done nothing.
Finally he looked to God and asked, Have you lost your power?
And God looked at him and said, Have you lost your hearing?"

While slightly comical, I can't laugh at this devotional too terribly much because it rings true in my own life. If only I would be looking where God is actually moving! Maybe if I surrendered myself to His will and didn't look in one direction, but many, I would see Him working in many more places than I realized.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ears to hear...

My devotional this morning made me think about how often I actually do something about the things I hear. How often do I actually take action and really change areas of my life that I need to change? All too often I read a good inspirational book, or hear someone speak about something that I am really passionate about, and then...two weeks later...I have forgotten all about it!
"Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.
Why do the nations say, "Where is their God?"
Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.
But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men.
They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see;
they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell;
they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk;
nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.
O house of Israel, trust in the LORD— he is their help and shield."
Psalm 115:1-9
Oh! That I would never be like the ones that have ears but do not hear! Be forever listening but never hearing! I so desperately long that Jesus would teach me things and that I would actually be able to hear and obey! Some listen, but not all actually hear. Jesus is speaking to his disciples in Matthew Chapter 13 when he says this to them:
"Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: " 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.' But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it."
They did not hear because their hearts had become "calloused". I know that I have let my heart dwell in this calloused state so many times before. I can only strive to be more of an active listener. One that hears, not only with her ears, but with her mind and heart as well.
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