Friday, May 27, 2011
1 - "Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter."
2 - "Physical sickness we usually defy. Soul sickness we often resign ourselves to."
3 - “God was saying that no worship is better than apathetic worship. I wonder how many church doors God wants to shut today.”
4 - “We need to realize that how we spend our time, what our money goes toward, and where we will invest our energy is equivalent to choosing God or rejecting him”
#1 made me near about hit my knees in the customer lounge at Massey Tire. It just resonated through my body because I struggle daily in trying to figure out how to teach my kids to be afraid of this exact thing. For so long I did not “get it” myself…and I want them to learn it earlier in life! Everything I participate in now makes me wonder if it really matters. And I try so hard to remind myself that it doesn’t unless it relates to winning souls for Jesus (even as simple as just by acting like a Christian in daily living so others see it!). To me this is the foundation of true authentic following after Jesus whole heartedly …understanding what truly matters in life. And understanding that nothing on earth truly matters except maybe for intangible things like relationships!
#3 was in reference to a passage in Malachi. Mal 1:10 “Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the LORD Almighty, “and I will accept no offering from your hands.” The people had been making sacrifices with blemished animals and with a half heart. Basically God told them “if you can’t do it right then don’t do it at all!” My first thought was that how many times have I wanted to say that to folks??? =) And then quickly I realized how many times God wanted to say that to ME. And it wasn’t funny or light any longer. In fact…it hurt.
And then #4 just about ripped my heart out! I guess it is not a new concept…just one that I have ignored for convenience! Never did I truly think of those things listed as black and white…yes or no…choosing or rejecting Him!!! Oh my! Forget money…you either tithe and offer or you don’t and I think that is between you and God. But time and energy…did you ever think of that as accepting or rejecting God? Where does my time and energy go? When God looks down from heaven (Ps 53:2)…what does He see me doing? Where does He see me spending energy and time?
Out of a week…60 minutes x 24 hours x 7 days…10,080 minutes are available to me. Of those minutes what does God see me doing with the majority of my time and energy? To think that my choosing the world and some of the activities and pleasures it has to offer over spending time in His Word is completely rejecting Him! This morning I chose to hit snooze an extra time (or two!) instead of getting up so I could read today’s Bible reading. In my sleepy stupor I figured I would catch it tonight. I rejected Him in that moment. I fell short! So now I have to repent and turn and learn from it and move on. Bet you can guess what I will be doing tomorrow morning! =)
Where are you spending the majority of your resources (time, money, energy)? The key word is MAJORITY! Pray for God to show you…but be ready…it might hurt like it did for me!
And be careful…it is so easy to lose sight of Jesus in the summer…I know from experience…so find you an accountability partner and stay in His Word ladies!!!
Y’all have a great holiday weekend and be a blessing to someone!
PS - If you want to join us for the Duty or Delight Bible study…let me know so I can order the books mid-June! You can email me or post a comment to the blog.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
2 Sam 7:18 “Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said: “Who am I, Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? “
I will not lie to you…I cried. I stopped right then and cried and prayed…”Lord who am I and what is my family that you have brought us this far? “. You see I believe that we are all just one breath away from heartbreak maybe not even caused by us (and possibly absolutely caused by us…but heartbreak nonetheless). Call me weird...but I really think at any given moment tragedy can strike either as a result of a poor decision made by us or just out of the clear blue (and in that case it is no respecter of people). Just think of the folks you know that have faced a major “out of the clear blue” tragedy in the last months…from tornadoes to cancer to victims of a house fire to countless other circumstances…tragedy does not only pick certain kinds of folks…it can happen to anyone.
If you are not facing a tragedy right now thank God and then pray for mercy for someone who is facing a tragedy. I firmly believe it is not because you (including I) have done anything special to protect yourself from tragedy striking…it is just God’s mercy and His will for you at this season in your life. But the season can change in the blink of an eye…so showing the same mercy and grace of Jesus to others is probably a good thing to do while you are tragedy-free!
That’s all I got today…that verse just shook my soul and I wondered if any of you were feeling the same but not sure what to do with so I wanted to share what King David shared with me last night in how to handle that feeling of complete and utter gratefulness and awe…go to God and pray “Lord who am I?” And give thanks to Him and worship Him for being HIM! And if you are not reading on a Bible Reading plan right now…WHY NOT…(just kidding)…seriously, go read 1st and 2nd Samuel…they are probably my favorite Old Testament stories and they will bless your socks off!
Be a blessing to someone today! =)
And tomorrow night GO TO CHURCH (somewhere...anywhere) and get refueled for the rest of the week! If your church does not have a Wed night service…come to ours! You are always welcome!
PS – Pray for my friend Tammy…it is chemo day for her!
Friday, May 20, 2011
We will meet on Jun 28th at 6:30 to get our workbooks and just chit chat and eat snacks =). The workbook is going to cost between $16-$20 depending on shipping and qty we order. We will meet every other week to discuss two weeks of homework. Jul 12, Jul 26 and Aug 9. I need to know by Sunday June 12th if you want me to order you a workbook. Feel free to invite a friend we just might outgrow the porch...haha Just email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) the qty of books you need.
In other news…tomorrow is the JBA WMU Luncheon. You are welcome whether you are Baptist or not…we would love to have you! It is going to be fun!
And here is breaking news…I just got an awesome text…my friend Tammy drove her car today!!! She feels that good…Praise the Lord! She has had an excellent week this week…Praise Him! Please continue to pray for her.
There are so many sick in our midst it seems. But I saw another beautiful sight last night…Xander Pond the little boy from Princeton with cancer was running amuck at the ball field with a crowd of youngins. He was playing tag it appeared. Please pray for him as well. I don’t know his family personally but I am sure they covet prayers right now. My favorite memory verse to pray over sick people is Jer 17:14 “Heal Tammy and Xander, O Lord and they will be healed, Save them and they will be saved, for you are the one we praise!”. Because I think this Old Testament verse shows us two awesome characteristics of our Lord…HEALER and SAVIOR! Amen!
Y’all have a great weekend and be a blessing to someone! And pray that I can give my devotion I practiced on y’all this week. I get nervous speaking in front of lots of people!
Duty or Delight? Knowing Where You Stand with God is a women’s Bible study (print only) with six weeks of study. Author Tammie Head leads you on a journey of taking your relationship with God from a duty to a delight. This is a subject she’s lived, and you will enjoy her candid transparency.
God is not looking for us to perform for Him, He’s looking for us to delight in Him. Many of us hit invisible barriers when we seek the Lord with questions like:
Is God happy with me?
Does He really love me?
Am I doing enough?
Why do I feel guilty all the time?
Why can’t I seem to grow more spiritually?
Join Tammie on a journey to overcome spiritual insecurity using six foundational truths from Ephesians 1:3-23. You will discover the beautiful news that God has not only chosen you for a deep, soul-satisfying relationship but He also constantly supplies everything you need to know Him this way. If you’ve been longing for a deeper relationship with God, this study is for you!
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Where does time go? I cannot believe we are already meeting as the nominating committee. We have had two meetings so far and we have so much work to get done in the next 2 months. The annual “interest” surveys will be going out soon. This year we are shaking them up a little and breaking them into smaller chunks. The one HUGE survey has gotten so huge that I think it freaks out people. Go ahead now and be praying over where God is leading you to serve next year. I hear the pitiful WMU Director is looking for a replacement =).
OK…I need y’all to pray specifically for something for me. Most of you know that I am called to minister to women…not children! But for the next little bit I am going to be filling in for Acteens Leader…if you don’t know…Acteens are middle and high school girls. When I realized that my friend Tammy would need a break and her assistant likes being an assistant instead of a leader…my heart nearly stopped. So I did what every other good Women’s Ministry Leader would do…I whined to God about how I didn’t know anything about leading teenagers to be mission minded and couldn't someone else do it??? And He did what He always does…gave me His infallible Word in the form of a 2x4 upside the head and said USE IT woman!!!
2 Tim 3:16-17 16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Heb 13:20-21 20
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
How do you argue with that???? He ROCKS!!! So I researched and found us a 10 week Small Group Study that I hope they will enjoy. Honestly, I liked it for me even if they don’t…haha
You've seen the reality TV shows, but sometimes it's still hard to know what's "real" today. It can get especially confusing if you're learning what it means to follow Jesus and become more like him, yet society has a different idea of what you should be like. But when you focus on the right things, you start the kind of makeover that turns you into the real you God has created you to be. Head to Soul Makeover is a 10-week small group study that will help you become more real like Jesus as you develop your humility, confidence, courage, self-control, patience, contentment, generosity, and perseverance. Each lesson is tied to a reality show like American Idol, My Super Sweet 16, and Fear Factor, and you'll take quizzes and try the Makeover Challenges to help you grow your faith and deepen your character. It all culminates with the "Big Reveal Party" where your group will celebrate your transformations.
Doesn’t it sound awesome???? So if you know ANY middle/high school girls…send them on Wed nights starting June 8th (on my birthday…how nice we might have cake to kick off the series!).
And please pray…pray for wisdom, discernment, peace, joy, excitement, lots of girls to show up, etc! Pray specifically for me to be able to relate and connect with these girls over the next 12 weeks or so. But do NOT pray for me to have patience…my Granny Capps always said if you pray for patience you had better be ready to walk in the shoes of Job because the only way God could give you patience was for you to earn it through experience…and I don’t want to earn it right now! Haha
I will be in Acteens tonight pumping up the girls for their new curriculum. Y’all have a great Wednesday!
Don’t forget Saturday is the JBA WMU meeting…come one come all!
Monday, May 16, 2011
This time I choose Psalm 53:2. It has been on my list for a while. I think Billie preached on it a while back...noting that God is always looking down to see who on earth is seeking Him. And y'all know I want so bad to be a woman after God's own heart! So this little gem will remind me...to seek Him in everything because He is ALWAYS looking for someone that "gets it" and I don't want Him to pick someone else! (Yeah...I know...the "I gotta be the teacher's pet" thing just went through my mind too...I told y'all I was Miss Goodie Goodie haha).
Ps 53:2 (NIV)
God looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.
Let's hear your verses!
Thursday, May 12, 2011
So I thought I would use you guys as the guinea pigs to see what you think. I think I am going to do the devotion on Hebrews 12:1. The WMU theme verse for 2010-2012 is Hebrews 12:1-2. And when we did our 5k last year I memorized verse 1 because it was also the theme for the race. In fact…as I reflect back it kind of became a life verse for me. So I think it will make a good devotion…here is a rough draft of what I am thinking of saying:
Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles us and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
How many of you are moms or grandmas? Have you ever tried to do housework or cook supper with a baby on your hip? (I promise not to sing it Gretchen Wilson style *wink*) Or a toddler clinging to your leg? Or a young child hanging on your back like a monkey? I spent many Saturdays with a vacuum cleaner in one hand and a 2-3 year old on my hip…and I can testify that it takes three times as long to get the living room floor clean! Not too mention my back was aching and my vacuuming arm was overworked. That extra weight and awkwardness was a major hindrance to daily activities. Not until my children were big enough to go into another room by themselves away from the noisy vacuum did I have a peaceful cleaning experience again…that is if you can call cleaning peaceful! ha
So why is it as Christians we try to live life everyday with a child riding piggy back? Why do we carry around on a daily basis the things that we know are going to trip us up and hinder our Christian walk? Every piggy back rider is different. My piggy back rider might be the hindrance of pride or selfishness. Your piggy back rider might be the hindrance of jealousy. Someone else’s piggy back rider might be addiction. Others might be hindered by holding a material possession too closely. Think for just a moment of what hinders you daily in your walk with Jesus. What are some ways we can drop those piggy back riders onto the couch and tell them we are not carrying them around any longer?
I’ll share an example from my life. I struggle with the hindrance of pride. One of the most liberating moments in my life came about 8 years ago. It was the first year I was WMU Director of this church. I was constantly trying to do mission projects and other things to make me look good and feel good about myself. I have always been a people pleaser…and when folks would set me up on a pedestal I would soak it up like a sponge. I really didn’t do anything for Jesus’ name…it was all for Kristy’s recognition. That first few months as WMU Director I was prideful in our accomplishments and I was self serving in the way I went about completing things. Everything we tried to accomplish through our WMU was hard, barely supported, and just plain miserable!
Then I enrolled in a Discipleship Training class we offer called Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby. And I experienced the power of God like I had never imagined. I developed a thirst for seeking Jesus that I had never experienced. I learned how to listen to God for direction and to follow Him instead of my own desires. Seeking Jesus wholeheartedly became my desire. And suddenly being WMU Director became a much different role. It became a “joyfully serving others role instead of a taking the credit and setting myself up high” role. We began making differences in the community through our mission projects and a lot of times we even did it anonymously. I am convinced that nothing can bless you back like doing something anonymous for another person. Seeing the joy they experience without receiving any credit is priceless!
I learned that first year through some very hard lessons from God that life is not about me. I learned humility like I never want to forget it. I learned firsthand the true meaning of Phil 2:3 “Do nothing out of self ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”
Once I threw off the hindrance of pride and began to truly put others before myself with humility…life has never been the same. Serving Jesus as WMU Director and Women’s Ministry Leader at this amazing church has blessed me more than I could ever express. And recognizing that I am nothing without Jesus has been the most freeing and wonderful realization of my life; understanding that it is not about me and is all about Jesus puts a lot of this world and what it offers into perspective.
Please don’t think that my life is now perfect, and please know that I still slip into my prideful nature from time to time, but with the help of Jesus I recognize it quickly, repent and turn and put someone else in front of me. Nothing seals repentance from pride and self absorption like immediately finding someone else to serve and thank. So think about what hinders you. And how you can throw it off and seek Jesus unhindered. And experience life serving Christ like you have never experienced life before!
Let us pray...
So what do y’all think? Too long? Too boring? Too personal? Too weird?
I can’t decide…email me if you have feedback =) Thanks ladies!
Monday, May 9, 2011
Girls I was shocked…get this…the kids were calling her “preacher’s kid sent from above”. I could not hold back my laugh. And when I laughed she screamed “mom!”. But let me explain…it cracked me up first because I pick on Travis when folks ask him if he is a preacher (it has happened at the hospital a couple times…lol) and second because really???? that is the best they could come up with???? So I explained that she is doomed because she is her mother’s child and her mother was the queen “miss goodie two shoes” at that age and she is natured much the same. And I lovingly pointed out that if that was the worst thing anyone called her in 4th grade…she has had a very successful year! And that if she is known as the "preacher's kid sent from above" then clearly her friends knew where she stands in her faith and other things in life. And that was a wonderful thing! Finally she reluctantly agreed. And then I think she started to like the nickname. Just a little…because…she is her mother’s child!
Later I got to thinking about how awesome it would be if that is what people called me! =) But what do people see when they see me? Do they see the Bible toting, Scripture quoting, Jesus loving, people loving, Proverbs 31 striving woman that I so desperately want (but fall short!!!) to be? Or do they see someone else? Someone hateful to the grocery clerk, impatient to the bank teller, snobby to the waitress, unloving to the hurting woman on the back pew, gossiping about the family in turmoil, what do they see?
I have said before that I never cared what anyone thought about me in early adulthood years. Not sure if it was the “miss goodie two shoes” overload wearing off or what! ha I just lived as me and people could like it or not…up to them. Either way it did not even cross my mind. But as of late I realize more and more that perception is one of the most important factors of your witness. And if your witness is bad…I don't know if you can truly bear good fruit for Jesus. And if we don’t bear good fruit…we may be cut down and thrown into the fire (Luke 3:8-9)!
So what do folks see? Look at yourself as if you are an outsider looking in. Or better yet…for homework find you 2-3 trustworthy folks that will lovingly tell you the truth even if it is not pleasant. Ask them to tell you what they see when they look at you…a good fruit producer or do you need pruning? Get out the shears ladies!!! It is gardening season =)
Have a blessed week!
Friday, May 6, 2011
For a while I prayed for God to wake me up at 6am so I could read and pray, but then I gave up and continued to hit snooze. And for the last several years now I have been justifying the reasons I am not and cannot and will not be a morning person. I was so tickled that I had found scriptural references to support my stance. The book of Exodus was riddled with support…Ex 23:16, 23:19, 34:26, also Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Nehemiah all supported me. All of these verses discuss giving the Lord the firstfruits of your harvest and livestock, and oil, and everything else. And the Bible clearly identifies the firstfruits as “the BEST” portion that you have. So I was clearly living in God’s Will because my “best” is not 6am….it is 9pm when the kids are tucked in and I can sit in my chair on the porch and take in His glorious creation. So there…take that Phyllis! (Disclaimer - I am quite certain I have told some of you these same things that I have told myself…to comfort you for not being a morning person either…so if I have…you had better STOP here…because reading to the end might be dangerous for you!)
The problem is…the subject kept coming back!!! I cannot tell you the number of times in the last four years Billie, Tim, and even Beth Moore have preached directly to me about Mark 1:35. Most times it was because they were reading a bigger portion of scripture and just breezed by that one…but it did not breeze by my heart. And then this year at Caswell…Phyllis did it again with a different message but the same scripture!!!
A year ago I started running. And I am speaking literally here in case you got lost because on surface you would be like “what? How did she get from Jesus to running????” I realize the transition is bad…but I am not coming up with anything smoother…sorry! =)
When we planned the WMU 5K last year and I ran my first ever 5K without stopping to walk…I really could not stop to walk! I fell in serious like with the feeling from running…tired, shaky, sometimes like I would throw up but amazingly so satisfied! Then on Jan 1 when I decided to start weight watchers to lose enough weight to get off of my blood pressure meds, I kept running to get activity points. 3 miles was worth 6 points and that was a great feeling of accomplishment! Not too mention helping TREMENDOUSLY with the weight loss and NO MORE meds!!! (Praise Jesus!)
OK so here is where it gets back to Jesus. All those months running by myself I was praying for a running accountability partner. Kind of like a spiritual accountability partner…someone stronger at running than me to push me along…not so we could enter a bunch of “official” races because I honestly could care less if we ever participate in anything official. Then a few months ago out of the clear blue I got a text from a friend who saw me running by myself during ball practice and lo and behold I have hooked with an awesome running partner (*wink* to her)…and we are scheduled to run a half marathon this fall!
And then as if that answered prayer wasn’t enough…He decided to really show off His power! Which I absolutely L-O-V-E when He does that!! *grin* You see juggling 4 kids on 3 different baseball teams and a dancer, two full time working and church volunteering moms and two husbands who are also busy at church, home and work makes for a VERY difficult time to find an hour each evening for running. So we decided to get up at 5am 3-4 days a week to run our short runs so we could make sure to get in 15-20 miles a week. Yes…you read that correctly…5am (eastern standard time in case you doubted me!)!!!
So the absolutely, positively, NOT a morning woman is now a 5am running 3-4 miles, coming in at 6am and reading her Bible and praying before showering woman! And it is ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, WITHOUT A DOUBT, COMPLETELY a God thing!!! I would never in a million years do it on my own accord…it is His and His alone!
So ladies, never doubt that He will answer a prayer that is prayed IN HIS WILL for your life. He answers in His time and in His way…but there is always an answer if you pray IN HIS WILL! And if what you are praying is scriptural (ex- Mark 1:35 above) then you are assuredly praying His Will! Just anxiously wait for His time and His way! Remembering that "wait" is an active verb....but that is another post on another day!
So the moral today is….pray in His will and He will answer; maybe not in your time or in your way…but sometimes even better than you could imagine!
And also…be careful what you pray for because the Lord might just give it to you!!!! My Granny Capps always told me that and until the last few years I never understood it…but now it makes me grin to say it to my children and makes me want to give her a hug…someday on the other side…
Anyway, sorry it was long…and not very “ministry” related…but it helps me so much as a woman to hear others testify to His greatness and unfathomable power…so I wanted to share with y’all!
Have a Happy Mother’s Day weekend! And keep seeking Him!
Love you all!
PS - For the record...I still save my in depth Bible Studying for 9pm. But now I begin the day in His Word and end the day in His Word...and my have my days of late been blessed!
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
So other than that...I guess I don’t have anything else to share (don’t faint!).
Oh before I forget…I need to take a poll. I usually do a 6-8 week Bible Study on my back porch each summer with my neighbors, but I was thinking of doing something different this year to help encourage my church lady and blog peeps to STAY IN THE WORD. Summer is so hard to stay committed because well I don’t really know why…it just scientifically is harder! So let me know how many of you (two readers ;) ) would be interested in doing a summer Bible Study together (meeting every other week instead of weekly – so only 3-4 times all summer). If you live in Princeton/Pine Level you can jump in on my Back Porch Bible Study in my neighborhood. My neighbors welcome visitors…and it is my house anyway….haha! If you do not live close to me but need something to help hold you accountable this summer let me know and I will see what I can work out.
You have heard the expression you are what you eat…I always thought that was stupid. As a child I rolled my eyes at it when my Dad told me to eat my vegetables. It's not like I really wanted to grow up to be a VeggiTale character anyway so who needed peas! But over the years I have come to be a FIRM believer that “YOU ARE WHAT YOU INTAKE THE MOST OF” whether it be food, words, television, music, etc. So what are you “in-taking the most of”? The world and it’s “fruitless deeds of darkness” (Eph 5:11)? Or Jesus? Because honestly if we are not face planted in His Word on a daily basis and studying how to be Christ-like on a daily basis….how do we expect to “shine among them like the stars in the sky” Phil 2:14-15, or “stand firm” 1 Cor 15:58 or “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” Eph 6:10…ETC ETC ETC!
Y’all please pray for me to take in more Jesus than world! I want to shine and stand firm and be strong! And I know that can only happen through prayer and continuously seeking Him!
Ok that’s it for today…be a blessing to someone today…and I realize my "nothing else to say" ended up not being nothing else to say…should have known better than to even type it…haha
And seriously let me know what you plan to study this summer and if you want to join together in something =) Matt 18:20 "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them" Remind me someday to tell y'all why this became my life verse in Women's Ministry *wink*...
Monday, May 2, 2011
Ps 27:14 ” Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord”. (NIV)
Beth used a different version in which "wait" was translated "rely". I liked it too, but when I saw the NIV translation...it just stuck with me. Because I struggle with the whole "wait" concept. Sometimes I forget to wait on the Lord for instruction and things go incredibly WRONG! And then sometimes I wait for the Lord but don't do anything while I am waiting and things go incredibly WRONG. I need the balance...wait for the Lord but continue to seek Him and pray for direction while I "wait"! In most places the word "wait" is used in the Bible it is an action verb...meaning doing something while you "wait"! So y'all pray I can "actively wait" on the Lord and bring Him glory.
Let's hear your verses! Bless someone this week!
PS - I also want to fess up that I am still working on last time's verse. It was a little harder for me...so I don't have it perfect yet. Let that encourage you...keep trying and don't give up. You will never ever waste a minute on memorizing God's Word. Just the shear discipline of trying to memorize it allows you to meditate on it...which absolutely does a heart good! Amen? Love you ladies!