Monday, July 30, 2007

Underlined Bits

I'm currently reading "In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day" by Mark Patterson.

I have never read a book before that compelled to underline things (it reduces the resell value at my recycled book store!) but this book had me pulling out a pen. And, since I don't have any friends that will read this book I'm going to steal the concept of "
Underlined Bits" and share the little bits that I've underlined. My comments will generally follow the segments.

I think the church has fixated on sins of commission for far too long. We have a long list of don'ts. Think of it as holiness by subtraction. We think holiness is the byproduct of subtracting something from our lives that shouldn't be there. And holiness certainly involves subtraction. But I think God is more concerned about sins of omission -- those things we could have and should have done. It's holiness by multiplication. Goodness is not the absence of badness. You can do nothing wrong and still do nothing right. Those who simply run away from sin are half-Christians.

I know, I know. I wrote today about cleaning up the low traffic areas for holiness' sake. I think both are right.

Is anybody else tired of reactive Christianity that is more known for what it's against than what it's for?

This statement should be followed by a loud mental "Amen".

[On Success] "Think of every opportunity as God's gift to you. What you do with those opportunities is your gift to God. "
"But right at the top of the stewardship list is what I'd call opportunity stewardship."
"But Benaiah did what lion chasers do. He defied the odds. He didn't focus on his disadvantages. he didn't make excuses. He didn't try to avoid situations where the odds were against him. Lion chasers know God is bigger and more powerful than any problem they face in this world."

The Benaiah reference is from 2 Sam. 23:20,21. The premise of the entire book Benaiah chased a lion into a pit on a snowy day and killed it. Who on earth chases a lion? Not me. But I've certainly got lions in my life. Anyone that could relate to my "What if" post certainly has lions in their life.

"There is a pattern that I see repeated throughout scripture: Sometimes God won't intervene until something is humanly impossible. And He usually does it just in the nick of time. I think that pattern reveals one dimension of God's personality: God loves impossible odds."
"Too often our prayers revolve around asking God to reduce the odds in our loves. We want everything in our favor. But maybe God wants to stack the odds against us so we can experience a miracle of divine proportions."

I never really thought about how much of my prayers focus on me trying to get the odds more in my favor. I see it now though. I didn't get excited about the possibility of the impossible hitting my life. But when you serve a God of the impossible, and you really do trust Him wouldn't you just see those impossible moments as opportunities?

A thin layer of dust

I spent Saturday cleaning my church. Vacuuming and straightening, things like that. Generally, when I do this I only hit the main spots. High traffic areas where little grass bits or small things show up and look untidy. Yes, I used the word untidy. :)

This time though, I decided I was going to vacuum the entire place because dust doesn't only settle on high traffic areas. Just because you can't see the thin layer of dust doesn't mean it's not there.
When I left the church felt cleaner to me. It was just a feeling though. It really wasn't visible. If anyone had looked at it, they wouldn't have known it had taken an extra x of time because I hit those spots. No one will probably ever know.

I've got those low traffic areas in my life. Dust settles on them, but with the background of my life you don't really see the dirt. You see my words are clean, my actions are clean, the big visible things I do all day long, maybe those are clean. But there are small areas of my life that just aren't cleaned on regularly. But God can see the dirt regardless of the background.

It's not about being unsaved. It's not about being a bad person. It's about having every single little tiny teensy weensy portion of your entire 24/7/365/366 life under Gods cleansing grace. It's about being holy. Righteous. And it's simply amazing.

I know in my life I go easy on myself. "You can't expect to be perfect 24 hours a day, come on". What? wait... Shouldn't I expect myself to be perfect 24 hours a day? Every moment, every word, every thought every action. Shouldn't I expect that? "But nobody is perfect". So what? Maybe I'll be the second most perfect. Isn't it better to aim for that goal and miss than to aim for 'so/so' and wind up so/so. Doesn't God expect that to be my aim?

It's the holiness difference.

Holiness calls things cancerous that I would call benign. Think about that. If you have a cancerous tumor, you cut the tumor out, you cut out the area around the tumor, you check anything that the cancer cells could have spread to, and then after doing all that you undergo very serious and difficult treatments to make sure the cancerous cells are dead and gone. Then you check back every so often to make certain that it hasn't snuck back in on you. If you have a benign tumor, you cut it out and move on. Think about that. Holiness calls things cancerous that I would call benign.

Here's the best news though. Holiness has the clean edge of perfection. And holiness seems to be most evident when you keep those low traffic areas as clean as the high traffic. It may not show, but it feels. My church didn't look cleaner, but it felt cleaner. And I can't think of anything more exciting than living a life that's felt more than it's seen.

Friday, July 27, 2007

What if

What if you woke up and decided to live like it was no longer about you?
Loving others had nothing to do with you and your fears and insecurities.
Stepping out in faith had nothing to do with whether you might be embarrassed or fail.
Things you said were said with the other person in mind, not your own biases or frustration.
Your actions were full and free, with no hesitation due to the possibility of rejection.
What if you didn't accept that your past allows you to have those fears, biases, and hesitation?
What if you simply said, I'm going to do exactly what Jesus would do regardless of how I feel; and then you did?

I choose Jesus.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Former oldhat Christian

I feel a little unoriginal by blogging for the second time today about something I heard someone else say, but...well, inspiration comes from everywhere.

Driving down the road this afternoon I was listening to a radio preacher, and he was teaching a very unique point about Pauls words concerning "forgetting that which is behind".
He was saying it's not about forgetting past failures, but instead, forgetting past successes. He went on, and since I can't quote him word for word, or copy/paste his words, I'm going to have to tell you about it in my own words. So consider this a stolen post. :)

Last night at church, I was profoundly disappointed. Until the guest speaker and his wife arrived (our pastor and his family were taking a well earned vacation), I was the only one there. The entire service consisted of the three of us. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind small numbers. We're a small crowd anyway, and two of our families recently had surgery (one on Mon, the other on Tues) and one lady was working.
But for no one else to show up? No one?
I confess, in my heart I just wanted to know what they were doing.

I struggled with deciding what to think about the whole thing. Do I be disappointed? Do I blow it off? Do I "in love" think no evil, and assume they all have really good reasons?

While I was still wondering the best course of heart (not action) I heard this sermon on "forgetting that which is behind". And it stirred me. The preacher was talking about setting aside our past successes that make us confident.

It made me think. And oh, how I love thinking.

It's part of the trap of becoming an 'old' Christian. You have a tendency to become an oldhat Christian. And my church - a lot of churches - are full of just that. Oldhat Christians have been there. Oldhat Christians have fought the battles. And just like any army, as the oldhat Christians aged, they were moved from the frontlines of battle to the desk job. They now train others how to do their old jobs. That's all well and good, but at some point in doing all that, they became someone that has more head knowledge than passion. I'm more likely to find them reading the bible (or in my case - blogging about the bible) than helping the single mother fix her sink. And probably more likely to find them sitting down during the worship service than crying during it.

Do you remember your past successes? You may not think you do. I didn't think I did. I really didn't. But then I realized that's just not true. I have a sense of entitlement based on my years of service. I'm not a newbie. I may not be a general in His service, but I guarantee you I'm no new kid on the block. I expect God to take my years of service into account. Who cares that I've only had a good relationship with him for 5 years.

I've been raised in church. Been working and helping in church ministry all my life. He should count that on my record. Write it down. Gold attendance stickers. Memory verse awards. Surely He takes these things into account when I pray. And even in those years before a good relationship with God, I didn't do any of the major bad things. No drinking, smoking, I don't even use the tame bad words. God knows.

Again, it's about mindset. It's not about God not caring that I've served Him for years. It's about me serving God as though I've served Him for years. The first day Robin became sidekick to Batman, he was probably ecstatic. 2 years later, it was just routine. I don't want my service to the King of Kings to ever become routine. Whatever I've done for Him up to this point, is like dirt compared to what He deserves. The only thing even remotely worthwhile that I have to give to serve God with is my whole heart, my whole being. And even then, He's just being nice to let me serve. He doesn't need my service. He's just being nice. Has God need of man?


But because of the very nature of who He is: Yes. He desired an outlet for His love. "Let us make man in our image", He said. We add something.

All that said: I need my service today, to be as passionate and love inspired as it was the first day I knew God. It is a privilege to serve Him. And I only have so long to be able to do it. So while I'm here on this earth, I pray my heart remains steadfast and passionate. I'd rather be fiery, easily excitable, enthusiastic, rather than stoic, even tempered, and experienced.

Let me count my own previous works as dross. And my future works as the gold.

Update: Hours later, looking at this post I'm wondering if it's unkind. I count myself among the number of oldhat Christians, but I somehow doubt my church family would appreciate my applying the metaphor to them. I'm especially concerned with expressing the fact that they disappointed me.
If you have any wisdom that would say I was wrong to blog this the way I did, please feel free to tell me. As it stands, I feel obliged to keep it up. This is my walk. I'm going to make mistakes on my walk, and if I need to do a public apology I will.
I love my church family. I love them. But, much like I'd wish for anyone I care about, I desire better for them than what they've got. A closer walk than what they've got. It's the exact same as I wish for myself. And you.

A new project

Hello and good morning!

God has blessed me, richly blessed me with new experiences lately, and also a new opportunity.
I've linked up with One-Sided to produce a blog written by you. Readers.

Click here to read the motivation behind the blog.

It's called:

Hey, there's water in my cup!

My favorite part of any blog is the comments, and this new blogs focus is all about my favorite part.

The way this blog functions is, a topic is posted on the blog. YOU - Mr./Mrs. Reader then go to the comments and write something based on what the topic inspires in you. Whether it be a joke, comment, story, fact, tidbit, quote, whatever. Just post whatever the topic inspires in you.

Ultimately, once all the chapters have been commented on (1 chapter per month), Larry and I will take all the collected chapters and then publish them as an actual post, so you can see the finished product.

Listen up though - Projects like this just don't work right when people only read, get inspired/thoughtful, then leave. You have to break the comment barrier. Your words help/do/effect more than you think they do. So use 'em!

There's also a big picture on my sidebar for the new blog/project. If you'd like to put it on your blog to advertise and help get more people involved in this, just copy/paste the code found at the main site.

The first topic has already been posted, and One-Sided and I have already gotten the ball rolling with two comments so come on over and add your own.

Hey, there's water in my cup!

The Lords Prayer

I keep an eye on Transforming Sermons and this morning he published a clip of William Willimon's (of Theolog) post on prayer. I don't agree with the post entirely (especially the first part of the first paragraph). But I know I like it - because it made me think.

Here's the clip:

Prayer, at least prayer in “Jesus’ name,” as Jesus practiced it, does not come naturally. Most people I know think that our prayers ought to be “heartfelt” or “sincere.” Jesus apparently could care less about such sentimental mush. He has a definite, peculiar notion of what constitutes prayer. Prayer is not whenever I spill my guts to God: prayer is when I obey Jesus and pray for the things that he teaches me to pray for and when I pray the way he prays. Prayer is bending my feelings, my desires, my thoughts and yearnings toward Jesus and what he wants me to feel, desire and think.

In most churches I visit, a time of prayer is often preceded by a time of “Joys and Concerns.” I notice that in every congregation, the only concerns expressed are concerns for people in the congregation who are going through various health crises. Prayer becomes what we used to refer to as “Sick Call” in the army. Where on earth did we get this idea of prayer? Not from Jesus. He healed a few people from time to time, but he doesn’t pray for that. He prays for the coming of God’s kingdom, for bread (but only on a daily basis, not for a surplus) and for forgiveness for our trespasses. It’s curious that physical deterioration has become the contemporary North American church’s main concern in prayer. Jesus is most notable for teaching that we are to pray—not for recent gall bladder surgery—but for our enemies!

To be a Christian, a disciple of Jesus, is to pray like Jesus. Therefore Luther called the Lord’s Prayer “a summary of the whole gospel.” A Christian is someone who talks to God about what the Lord’s Prayer talks with God about. Thus this prayer is not only a gift that Jesus gives us, but also judgment against us as we measure our own fidelity against the standard of Jesus.

So much of what we pray is about what God can do for us. How often, seriously ask yourself this, how often do I pray concerning what Christ would want me to pray about? Sure, I'll labor at the altar for my problems. But will I labor at the altar for His problems?
It's all about mindset.

I recently blogged about having to change my mindset when I was praying God would use me. Nothing wrong with the prayer, but the mindset is what weighed me down and could have destroyed me eventually. Is your mindset right?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Trouble the waters 2

I told you originally that there was a lot to gain from the story of the pool next to the sheep market. Coming home from work last night I went again to my piano to play the song I had begun playing Sunday. And last night verses began to form to it. I had stopped my reading of the story (just like I did yesterday) with the explaination of how the angel comes to trouble the waters.
The verses to the song last night took me beyond where I originally left off. So I turned back to my bible to read the few other verses to the story.

And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. John

For 38 years he'd been sick. And he's lying at this pool. WHY is he lying at this pool?
Jesus asks him, "Do you want to be made well?"
And what does the man say? "I'll never make it in time."

My question immediately would be, "Then why do you bother coming?"

The pool didn't just give hope. It gave hope against hope.

And with good reason.

Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Trouble the waters

“Beloved when you and I have seen or heard anything which God
has revealed to us, let us go and write it or make it known by some other means
… You have not been privileged to see, merely to make glad your eyes and to
charm your soul; you have been permitted to see in order that you may make
others see”.
C H Spurgeon. Quote found at Underlined

Did I mention how incredible Sunday was?

Sunday afternoon I got home and went to my piano. As I began playing and worshipping things just began to flow. It's just an incredible experience to feel like the words coming out of your mouth are no longer inspired by yourself. I don't know how else to describe it.
As I played I began singing a song that I've never heard. I didn't write it down, so I can't say I've written it either. But it was along a theme that I never would have gone down myself.

The song was a prayer of hope and excitement about what can happen when God troubles the waters.

Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. John 5:2-4

Where God troubles the waters lives change. The blind can see. The deaf hear. The lame walk. The mute speaks. Those crippled and burdened find healing and restoration.
When the waters are troubled - there is hope.

Imagine this, just imagine it. People spend all day every day, waiting for that certain season when an angel goes down into the pool and troubles the waters.
There were waters all over the city, no one sat around those waters. There was no hope in those waters. Here, there was potential, life changing potential.

It's easy for this to remain just a story from the bible so let me ask you something: How many people do you know could use a fountain like that? Even just the thought of a fountain like that. To have hope, the idea that in a split second your world could change. To have a place you were willing to sit at, day and night, just waiting. When a breeze comes up your muscles tighten as you watch the water ripple just a little. Hope. Expectant hope. Life changing hope. Do you have that? Do you really have that? Do you really?

I found myself praying first for my church. I would desire that the waters at my church be troubled. That the lost and broken, hurting and fearful, angry and bitter, would find the waters troubled at my church. Then I realized that's just second best.

I want my life to hold waters of hope, that people would know when they're around me that the waters might be stirred and lives will change when that happens. That all those broken, hurting people would find themselves flocking to me in an ever present hope that they would be nearby when the angel steps into the waters of my life and troubles them.

I want my waters troubled. I want your waters troubled. When He troubles your waters people lying hopeless and helpless will do whatever it takes to get in the water. When He troubles the waters, family/friends will do whatever it takes to get their loved ones in the water. When He troubles the waters people will tell other people about the waters. When He troubles the waters, no one will want to leave the waters. When HE troubles the waters.

Trouble my waters Father, trouble the waters of those around me. Let us be a pool of hope to a lost and dying world.

As a small side note (there's a lot to be gained from this story)

  1. It's not really about trouble. I add that just in case you think I'm actually praying for trouble. It's about being stirred, moved, shaken, activated.
  2. It seems like a peaceful, calm pool would be the one that brings healing. But it wasn't.
  3. It seems like a healing, angelically visited pool would be close to a synagogue. But it wasn't. It was next door to the sheep market.

I don't know how glamorously you view your life, but ehem.. I know me and I sure am glad God is willing to work with sheep markets.

Sign me UP!

I found a great blog today. Purely by accident.

My favorite thing in the world is quotes. Anyone that randomly can quote someone else can hold my attention for hours on end. It's just one of my things. I love quotes.

I linked to Jesse P. (from
Prophetically Speaking) once, and upon looking at his profile I noticed that he is a member of this blog along with many many others (including Mark from Made to Praise Him).
Update:It's not Mark H. from Made to Praise Him (thanks for letting me know Mark!) Apparently there are two different Mark H's in the Christian blogosphere... who knew! Sorry for any confusion.

So - quotes might not be your thing, but if you ever want to check it out (I'll be linking to it in my next post anyway!) the link is



I know 4 people that took yesterdays post personally. I know a 5th that might have taken it personally but she just didn't call and tell me about it like the others did. As I told them, I will tell you:

This blog is my walk. Not yours.

I don't post about what I think you're doing, or how I think you should be doing it. I post about me. I don't think I'm anything like you. Mostly because I tend to believe that I'm crazy and everyone else is sane. I don't assume that what worked for me, will work for you. I don't assume my problems are anything like your problems. What I have learned to assume is that I can't assume. When I do assume something for you, I'm generally wrong and it generally results in hurt feelings.

So I don't.

I don't want my blog to ever tell you how to live your life. What I do hope is that as I tell you how I'm living mine, you find something that helps you live yours.

If my post yesterday offended you - I'm sorry. I don't think you're trying to hold onto lies, I don't think you're using your past as an excuse to not be all you can be.
I'm just telling you I did.

End of disclaimer.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Lighten the boat

The boat vanished.

I told you recently that I had a vision. In that vision, the boat vanished. The boat that I hit, was later interpreted to be a problem, that in real life was resolved. The boat vanished.
It didn't sink.
It didn't smash into pieces.
There was no debris to avoid.
I did not have to load up debris to carry with me.

The boat simply vanished.

Even if the boat had sunk to the depths of the sea, it would still exist, and some curious person is always diving down deep to find old sunken boats.

They'll never find the boat I hit.
Because it vanished.

Ok, follow me will you?
The boat = problem.

God knows me. God knew I needed my boat/problem to vanish or I would hold onto a lot of debris. I would carry the debris around with me, as a reminder of why you should be afraid to go boating. I might make a memorial to the debris. To the destruction. I would always be able to point to the spot where I struck my problem and say "This is it, this is the place, and if you look deep down you'll find the remains of that boat that I hit"
I can't do that. Because He made my boat/problem vanish.

If you asked me though, I'd say it was necessary to hold that memorial. To carry around that debris as a reminder. I'm entitled to it. The hurt and devastation it caused was my purchase price. I own it now. It's mine. I deserve to carry the debris around. You just can't tell me that I can't carry around the debris if I want to. It struck MY boat. I had to spend weeks fixing up my boat, and I don't think my boat will ever run the same!

I've struck a lot of boats in my few years. And each time, I've faithfully loaded up the debris onto my own ship, trying to clean up the area so others boating along won't hit the mess. My boat could only hold a certain amount of weight though before it got sluggish and barely moved. Any storm that came along threatened to sink me because well, I was too weighted down.

In the story of Jonah, some of the first actions of the crewmen when the storm began raging against the ship: Lighten the ship. They threw off unnecessary things. They threw off necessary things. All just to make the ship a little lighter so it would survive.

In my life, the very first thing I had to throw out was the deed I had written up, declaring my ownership of the debris. I'd paid a price for this debris, it cost me, and it's mine. That's what my deed said. I ripped it up and threw that out first. Then I started throwing out the debris.

Sure, every now and then a storm comes along and I find some little cubby that was crammed full of stuff and I didn't realize it. But I no longer own it. It's as unwanted as a stowaway. It's taking a free ride on me and I throw it over board. My ship is lighter now. Easier to steer. It moves faster. It doesn't quite turn on a dime, but it's at least improving.

Taking it out of the symbolic: Sometimes I've allowed myself to be afraid because hey, I've had xyz happen before and it made me afraid. I claim this event, and I'm going to carry that because it hurt me. You can't tell me it didn't hurt me and that I don't have a right to be hurt over this!
I've adamantly defended my right to be hurt, angry, afraid, bitter, resentful.
And worse yet, I've used my past as an explanation for the sins in my life today.

I've had to choose. Sure, xyz happened, but I claim I have a right to toss it overboard. I have the right to sail on past it. To move past the hurt. Because you know what? It's not my mess. Now, if you come over here and ram your boat into me and make a huge mess all around me and I may very well tell you, YOU made this mess, YOU clean it up. I've got somewhere to go. And I'm not stopping for this.

But, as I said in a recent post. Sometimes it's easier to hold onto lies, sometimes it's easier to hold onto hurt feelings and pain, than it is to hold onto the Truth. Letting go of the hurt and the past means one thing: I have no reason not to be what God would have me to be and act the way He would act. And I'm loathe to give up my excuse. Oh, but what a difference it made when I did.

May God hold you and shelter you in His peace.

The learning process

God is gracious. I just can't tell you how good God is. I had the best day yesterday. God is beginning to come down in powerfully obvious way in my life and it's just the greatest thing I've ever experienced. Saturday night I had two more visions, one concerning a friend and the other I haven't figured out yet.

I can't tell you the one concerning my friend, but the second one was amazing. The second one -specifically- wasn't a vision. I'm just calling it that because I don't know what else to call it. I simply began hearing the snap and crackle of a fire, and the sizzle of something burning. I heard it and immediately though, "YES!" Then I thought about how foolish I'd feel telling the fire department that, yes, I had heard a fire but assumed it was God - so I tried to turn and look at the spot where the sound was coming from only to find I couldn't move to see it. I could move, but I couldn't move to look at it. The next thing I remember it was morning and I woke up.

I'm blogging about all these experiences as I go along, so I want to make sure something is very clear. I don't know what I'm doing. There are a lot of things about this that I don't understand or know the best way about handling them. There are assumptions that someone more experienced in all this might make, that I haven't learned to make yet. I'm trusting God to teach me as we go.

If you have any advice, experience, or even questions... break the comment barrier and comment. Talk about it. You know different things than I do. So speak.

Friday, July 20, 2007

God answers prayer!


Can I just tell you how much I love God?
He's just awesome. He is just AWESOME.

Ok, here's the story. I was excited all the way home just itching to tell this story. If you had told me something like this was possible in my life I would have theoretically agreed that "With God all things are possible". Then I would have thought.. but... um.. that's just not gonna happen.

Ok.. really, I'll tell you the story now.

Wednesday I closed my eyes and had a vision. Here's how I blogged it when I told it in a comment over at a post on Marks blog. (Read his post concerning his vision that started this whole journey)

I had a strange thing happen yesterday as well. Except I was wide awake and it ran like a movie, all I had to do was close my eyes to watch.

I saw myself on the lake and for some reason I had a tiny toothpick with which I was moving my boat forward (not an oar). But my boat was going fast and out of no where another boat appeared and my boat smashed into it. I thought, "Well my boat is going to sink" So I opened my eyes and the images of all this went away. Something nudged me and so I thought "Maybe this isn't over yet," So I closed my eyes again and instantly I was back on that lake, having just smashed into this boat. I assumed I was going to watch my boat sink so I waited. The other boat that I'd smashed into simply vanished into thin air. It didn't sink, it just vanished. And I didn't sink. I never looked down at my boat though to actually "see" my boat, but I had a sudden realization that I wasn't in a boat. But that I was just standing on the water. Something was holding me up, and that something wasn't damaged by the collision with the other boat. And that something never sunk.

The comments that followed actually resulted in someone receiving a word from God (though they weren't sure it was for me) with an interpretation. The link to the post above has all the comments if you want to read them. The only thing I want to add here is that the interpretation isn't complete, because there is something else to the vision that I want to discover. But for the most part, Beth (the commenter) burned me with the interpretation. It was amazing.


The comments that followed ended up with me telling Mark:

I'd really enjoy just sitting down in the room around people like that when they talk. Really just to sit around listening to any group of people that's farther along in their walk than I am. It's just exciting and nothing jumpstarts my growth more than seeing what future growth looks like.

Much like these comments have turned out to be. It's been a joyful fellowship even though it's hours between comments. It's been great. Just great. I could do this for hours.

That's what I wrote today (Friday) at about 3pm.

Thursday I had received I phone call from a man. It was a little very mysterious, because he said he had information for me and wanted to meet me at a restaurant at 5:30pm on Friday. I barely know this man, but he attends a church that I use to attend and I have a lot of respect for him... so I agreed. I winced and worried, but I agreed.

At 9:30 tonight we finally parted company. For the first hour I wondered what on earth I was doing there. But the last three hours I sat talking to this man and thanking God for His amazing mercies. This man seemed to have a lot of ulterior reasons for meeting with me so a lot of things were talked about. But the last 3 hours were filled with him telling me about 6 different specific visions he's had and how they've come true (except for the one that he's waiting on fulfillment). In the most recent one he saw my city of Gainesville in the middle of a horrible flood, and his home was ok, it was protected. Exactly 1 week later the flood hit, and sure enough his home stood firm, dry and protected while his neighbors home flooded.

When I made the comment to Mark about how much I'd love to just sit around with people and listen, I never once imagined it was possible. I know a lot of Christians. But I don't seem to talk to any of them. Not about God. Not about growth. Not about change. Not about impossibilities. And certainly never about this aching desire to know God better, to have more of Him, to walk with Him just a little bit more and closer.

Mark had commented
I have a group of friends who practice prophetic evangelism and dream interpretation. They've invited me to join them because I feel drawn in this direction and I've become comfortable with the prophetic in recent years. I'm also hoping to learn a lot about dreams from them.

And when I read it and I could have cried. I told God, probably in a whiny voice, "I WANT THAT", "How do I get something like that?"

Then I got in my car and drove right to it.

God is so faithful. God is so perfect. I love Him so much. He planned my hearts desire before I ever whined about it. He hears me. He sees me.

My walk is determined by Him, led by Him, guided by Him, and restrained only by me. I spent the car ride home thanking God and repenting. I've held myself back from a closer walk. I could have so much more. He's just waiting on me. I can point to so many specific nudges and tugs Gods given me. He's always trying to get me what I say I want. I just don't always cooperate.

Over at "On Becoming Truer" he was talking about "How to experience God" and I left a comment saying I had a fairly simple way of experiencing God. I simply ask Him for it. And I'm not posting this entire testimony just because I'm excited (though I am) I'm also posting it to tell you something very important.

He'll do the same for you.

Ask Him for more, even if you don't know what "more" will look like yet. Just ask Him. Leave yourself open to strange encounters (I nearly cancelled meeting this guy a hundred times because the entire thing sounded so strange). Trust God. Follow those nudges even if they seem small. FOLLOW THEM. Gods nudge this morning was to read His word. In Jeremiah. I don't know what I was suppose to get out of Jeremiah. My eyes were blurry and I yawned through most of it to be honest. But I did it. For no better reason than God was urging me to. Follow His urges. At least, if you want a closer relationship anyway.

I'm so happy. I'm so blessed to have the opportunity to get to know God. To live in Him. God is so good.

trust Me

I love you.

I sent my Son, my beloved Son, to die for the world, yes. But I sent Him specifically for you as well. I don't want you to have to face eternity without Me. I'd do it again, and so would my Son.

Besides loving you, one of the reasons We were willing to do so much to preserve you, is because We knew the plans We had for you. We knew the purpose you would acheive with your life. It's a good purpose (We gave it to you!) and it's worth dying for. It was worth dying for, because We love the people you're going to touch as well.

And what kind of Father would I be if I sent you to do something that really couldn't be done? I'm going to help. I promise. Because I'm here, YOU will accomplish all things, through my Sons strength. I've put you in a position to do something. So don't be afraid, trust Me, and I will help you accomplish things you are certain are beyond you. Because nothing is beyond Me.

I know what people say about Me. I know what they say about you as well. I wish you could hear some of the things people didn't say about you though. I heard them. And I was proud. They were talking about My child and they've said some pretty terrific things about you. My child. You.

You are doing a good job. I know you can't see all the results of the little things you've done, but you really have done a good job. I'm pleased. You've touched peoples hearts and lives with the words and actions I've given you. I see Myself in you so much sometimes it's uncanny. I'm so proud. Don't get discouraged, oh, don't get discouraged. You just don't see what I see. Trust Me though, you've done more than you imagine.

I've spoken so much to you, but sometimes you've just been too hurt and confused to hear Me. So just trust in this: I hear your prayers. And I'm working things out. You may not see the results yet, and I know you're tired of Me telling you to be patient, but you do simply have to be patient. And, My thoughts aren't your thoughts, so when My end result doesn't look like you think it should: trust Me.

I love you. I love you like no one else loves you. And know you like no one else knows you. I have sent my Spirit to comfort you. Let Him. Let go of the things I've brought you out of and move forward. Keep walking. Trust Me to see you through the end of this journey. The road is difficult, and narrow, I know. But you're going to love what you find at the end. Trust Me.

- God

Thursday, July 19, 2007

For every lie there is a truth.

If the devils lies were bricks, I'd be living in a brick mansion.

To be honest, I don't know about anyone elses walk. Maybe none of you face the same things I do. If you don't, maybe you just read my blog so you can go to bed at night with a sigh of relief saying "there but for the grace of God go I!"

But I blog on. And you read on. I hope it's useful.

Driving in to work this morning I made a really sad realization. It's one I've been aware of before, maybe even stopped to think about it before, but it pierced a little more deeply this time I believe.

Sometimes, I've chosen to believe the devils lies, because it's easier than hoping.

For every lie, there is a truth. The devil says I'm worthless. God says I'm worth dying for. Look at yourself, which one is easier for you to believe? Is it easier to shout at the devil that you're worth dying for or to cry out to God that you're worthless?

I know my answer. And unfortunately I spend way too much time crying out to God the devils lies.

But just because the lies are easier to believe., doesn't make them any truer.

Imagine, just for a moment, if you threw all the lies of the devil out the window for just one day.
For just one day, you didn't believe people were out to get you.
For just one day, you believed you didn't have to be afraid.
For just one day, you weren't afraid to trust, love, hope, or step out of the boat.
For just one day, you knew everything would be ok.
For just one day, you didn't think fill in name was beyond Gods reach.
For just one day, you didn't think _________ was impossible.
For just one day, you didn't think you were alone.
For just one day, you didn't think fill in person/church/event/relationship was going to fail.

I don't really believe that the biggest problem is that we can't tell the difference between the lie and the truth. I generally know the devils lies. I know when he's lying to me. But, I also know the devils way seems deceptively easier. It's easier to believe _______ is impossible, than to step out of the boat and take a risk.
10 years later though, maybe even just a month later, you realize life is a lot more difficult because you didn't step out to grab the impossible.

Not 20 minutes ago, my 5'5" co-worker was chased down the hallway by a big roach looking thing with wings. She stepped into the restroom, and popped right back out with a shout I can't repeat on a Christian blog. For several minutes I listened to the sounds of her trying to exterminate him. She's got a good 5'4" on this guy, but he had wings, and could run fast. This bug has been predetermined to be nasty and so she didn't want to touch him. Afraid that he would touch her, she ran.

I went back there, finally, and stepped on him.
Here's the moral.

The devil will fill your mind with his nasty little lies. He'd be happy to. He's got plenty of time on his hands. I can either spend my time running away from his lies, hoping they won't touch me and make me feel bad. Or I can march over to it and stomp on it. I can't handle this? STOMP. My friend will have to figure out how to live with and control the pain of her fibromyalgia? STOMP. God won't provide? STOMP. That guy looks too dirty to offer him a ride? STOMP. God has condemned me? STOMP. I'm not smart enough about biblical things to witness? STOMP.

I want a bug free life. I want a bug free mind. Peace, real peace doesn't come from running from those bugs the devil has hatched in my mind, but from killing them. And then clinging to the truth. The Truth. For every lie, there is a truth. And I will never find freedom, peace, joy, until I find the truths that God has provided for each lie, and cling.

I just long for freedom. I long to see people experiencing freedom around me. Not just people running from the enemy, but grabbing onto God. There's a difference. Too much religion is about running from the devil, and not about running to God. I'm longing. Longing for better for myself. Longing for better for everyone around me.
And if I'm longing for that, I can only imagine how much God is longing for that. But first I have to stomp that little bug that says God doesn't spend time longing for me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I'm just helping my Father.

I had to take a step back. To be honest, I chuckled when I realized what I'd done. Fortunately, God loves me and He took a second to show me what I was saying.

I was praying this morning, and found myself praying that God would use me. That He would help me use the right words on my blog, words that would penetrate and change lives. That He would help me make a difference in the lives of the children that will be soon coming my way. That He would help me to break chains of bondage that hold so many people back. That He would help me to.........

That's when it hit me. It wasn't so much my words as it was my mindset. "Help me do what I'm doing." rather than "Help me do what You're doing."

I'm not some organization that has a burden for certain things that seeks a sponsor to help them reach their goals.

I was the cart, asking the horse to push me down the hill.

Here's the difference. And it might not seem like much, but it really is. I'm helping God achieve His purpose. Gods using me to accomplish things. Like I said, the difference may not be obvious right off the bat, but the opposite of it is this: Gods helping me achieve my purposes. I'm using God to accomplish things.
It's the difference between being a child and helping your parents with the laundry, and being the adult doing laundry and letting the child help.
The difference is in where the responsibility lies. Where the burden lies. His yoke is easy, and it's His yoke.
He is the bearer of the burden. Like a small child determinedly grabbing onto something too heavy for them, and "helping" to lift it. That is me. I think I'm stronger than I am, and am determined to help. "I can do it!" Often slowing the work down, but growing from the effort. I'm not carrying anything close to the weight being lifted though. His yoke is easy, His burden light.
It never struck me before, how such a thing was possible. The enormity of what Christ did, and is doing on this earth... that's no light burden at all. Yet His yoke on me is easy, and His burden light.
All that is possible because He's still carrying the burden. I may put on His yoke and grunt and sweat, but there's a very large hand holding onto that yoke that keeps me from bearing the full weight.
He knows what I can handle. I trust Him to challenge me for growth. I trust Him to not put more on me than I can bear. I trust Him. Period.
God is gracious.

Monday, July 16, 2007

This walk.

This, is my walk.

It's filled with a lot of victory, some change, and a lot of struggles. This entire blog is evidence of my walk. Whatever the state my my walk, my blog is evidence.
And so this morning, I'm sitting down to the difficult task to tell you of my walk.

Last Monday I reached out for God and I found Him. He was back in a powerful way, more powerful than usual. I felt Him. My entire demeanor changed the moment I felt His presence. Holding onto the hand of my Protector and Provider, I boldly, probably arrogantly, began shaking my fist at the devil.
Tuesday morning I believe the devil smirked, and tapped me on the shoulder. He then elegantly drove his wrecking ball into my life.
He told me the problems from my past would be problems in my future as well. And he brought forth evidences to prove it.
He told me who I was, was intrinsically bad, and brought forth evidences to prove it.
He told me no good thing would last. And brought forth evidences to prove that.
He told me I would never know peace, love, or pure friendship. And stomped his evidence of that into my heart.

His lies were as constant and overpowering as the flood waters that recently wrecked the homes in my city. I struggled to keep my head above water.

Are you discouraged yet? I sure am.
But... BUT but BUT but BUT.

Here's what I know. Maybe I don't feel it yet, that's ok. Here's what I know.

God, who I trust, called the devil the "Father of lies". God, who I trust, said the "truth is not in Him {the devil}". That means, what the devil said, isn't the truth. Period.
That means the devil is lying to me. Period.

I don't have to feel good. I don't have to feel happy. I don't have to feel peaceful. I just have to trust God. The devil might steal from me. Maybe I won't win this battle. But this I know.

I'm not a fair weather Christian anymore. I have grabbed onto the truth like a bulldog and no matter what, my teeth are sunk in and I'm not letting go. He is my shelter, my provider, my comforter, my keeper, my calm, my peace, my patience, my joy, my rock. And I will not leave His side. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
He is with me.
In the presence of my enemies.
He is with me.
In the darkness of the storm.
He is with me.

I am not alone. Because He told me I wouldn't be alone.

And at some point, you just have to put your foot down and say that old quote: "God said it, I believe it, and that settles it."

It's not about how you feel. It's not about how the situation looks. It's not about what your past looks like. It's not about what you're afraid will happen. It's about what God said. Period.

It is a narrow path though.

My pastor in his sermon yesterday mentioned how runway lights seem to narrow the farther down to the end you look. And he was comparing it to the road we're on and how that's only an optical illusion and it's actually just as wide at the end as it is at the start of the lights. I got his point, and it fit his sermon, but personally, I want the lights to narrow. Those runways seems small from a distance, but if I'm walking down that runway, I've got a lot of room to scootch from the left to the right, and I could wear myself out zigzagging across the way.

I want my path to narrow the farther along I go. I want my focus to be zeroed in on my target, my goal, my aim, my highest joy. I want the things, even the good things, that distract me on this runway, to be excluded the farther along I go. Until when I reach the end, and there is only room for me and Him.

I'm going through. Not because I'm special. Not because I've done something amazing. Not because I'm stronger or more spiritual. Because if anything, I've no doubt that I'm weaker and less spiritual than most of my readers now. But I'm going through simply because I'm convinced. He's convinced me. And I won't move from that.

Lord, I have started to walk in the light
That shines on my pathway so clearly, so bright;
I’ve bade the world and its follies adieu,
And now with my Savior I mean to go through.

I’m going through, I’m going through,
I’ll pay the price, whatever others do;
I’ll take the way with the Lord’s despised few;
I’m going through, Jesus, I’m going through.

Many once started to run in this race,
But with our Redeemer they could not keep pace;
Others accepted because it was new,
But not very many seem bound to go through.

Let me but follow my Lord all alone,
And have for my pillow, like Jacob, a stone,
Rather than vain worldly pleasures pursue,
Than turn from this pathway and fail to go through.

Come then, my comrades, and walk in this way
That leads to the kingdom of unending day;
Turn from your idols and join with the few,
Start in with your Savior, and keep going through.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Why are you eating?

It was an accident. A foolish accident, but an accident none-the-less.
I cut myself.

Earlier in the week - I'm still not exactly sure how - I cut myself. I did a good job of it too. If I had put my cut in a better place, I might could have checked my body for cancer before closing up. In hindsight, it's funny. At least more so than that night.

To date, this injury tops the charts of my very few physical injuries. Blood seemed to just pour and it took forever to get it to stop. By the time I did get things to calm down, it was late into the night, and all I wanted to do was sleep. I didn't eat. I'd skipped lunch, thinking I would have time to eat that night, but then right after I got home this happened. So I skipped supper in hopes of sleep.

Morning came and it was time to go to work. Still feeling some effects from the night before, it took three times as long as usual to get ready, plus the new movement had started the bleeding again. I skipped breakfast.

Skipping over the long hours at work, by the time I got home my stomach was upset. I still hadn't eaten. My body was crazy weak, and just driving home broke me out into a sweat.
Sitting in my car, trying to figure out how best to please this suddenly strange body I was living in, I had my first good idea. I need to eat something.

My house contains a lot of easy, spur of the moment, junk food. But I knew the only reason I was eating was because my body needed something to help it survive. So, with a great deal of work, I ate.

I ate to live. I'm not trying to be dramatic. I wasn't dying, or anywhere close. But I ate specifically for life. I didn't eat for hungers sake, I didn't eat because it was a social setting and people expect you to join in. I ate, to live. I ate to give my body strength.

There's a moral to my story, or I wouldn't be publishing it. So keep reading.

Do you eat, from God only because you're hungry? Don't. Your spiritual body needs food. Period. Whether you feel hungry or not, eat. You might not sense it as clearly as you would your physical bodies need, but, lack of food makes your spiritual body weak, just the same as it does your physical body. You need to eat. When you're sick, tired, hurting, broken, you may not want to eat. You're too tired to eat. You don't want to cook (healthy God-food takes some effort, it's not generally fast food). Work, cook, eat anyway.

So many people are hungry, yet their spiritual diets are superficial. I wouldn't call it 'junk' per se, but a person can't live a healthy life on just peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Sure, spending time singing praise choruses to God is great. But is that all you do? Reading your bible is great. But is that all you do?

I don't think I'm the person to come up with the details of 5 spiritual food groups, but I wish someone would. Or at least publish the health statement that a regular daily diet from ALL 5 groups is necessary for a healthy spiritual life.

There's always going to be a group you excel at. Some people just love vegetables and don't want meat. Some people love meat and don't want vegetables. But regardless of your preferences, variety in each category is required.
Sure, you'll grow without it. But are you growing spiritually healthy?

Laying in bed the morning after, I knew I didn't feel well. But the extent of the weakness wasn't clear until I stood up.
At some point in your Christian life, you're going to stand up. And instead of being strong and able to get up and go where you want to go, you're going to find yourself sitting on the edge of your bed, sweating, shaking, and thinking "This wasn't hard yesterday."

Did you eat?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Prayer request

I don't know the name. God does.
I don't know the exact problem. God does.

Someone, I don't know, found my blog based on the search phrase "Jesus, why is my nephew sick?"

I don't need to know any more than that to pray. Take a moment, when you see this, and pray. Please.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Great job with a good retirement plan.

I'm sitting here wondering about motives.

Thinking of the army/our military in general. I know some people have signed up for our military because there are good benefits. They help pay for college, hospital care free of charge for their veterans, loans at a lower interest rate. They help train you in jobs you wouldn't normally be able to get fresh out of high school. They teach you things like discipline and leadership that help you through life.

I wonder though if I'd rather have soldiers that joined the army for the benefits, or soldiers that joined because they love freedom and wanted to destroy the enemy to our freedom.

How many Christians have signed on to salvation simply for the benefits?
Which soldier are you?

The Cost of Power

The Healing Revivalist posted on "Keep the Fire burning". It was a great post, but the dream that he mentioned is what engraved on my heart.

"It may cost more to constantly remain connected to the Holy Spirit because in order to do so you may have to eliminate some things that you do and likewise it costs more to have the water heater going every day so that the water is hot. However, the cost is worth it. I am reminded of a dream that one of the interns had in which he was turning on the lights in this huge house and a woman, who represented the Holy Spirit, kept turning them off. After arguing with her about keeping the lights on to let people know she was there, she ran throughout the house and turned on every last light, coming back to tell him, "Power costs!""

I admit, it took me a minute to get the dream. I thought, "Why would the Holy Spirit be turning it off?" Finally enlightenment hit and I realized it was much like the electric company turning your power off. If you haven't paid the cost, you don't receive the power. Simple as that. I can't run my a/c on all day unless I'm willing to pay the cost. If I'm only willing to pay a small amount, then I'll only get a small amount. This message reaches deep.

He went on to say:

It is costly to walk in power. Many people, myself included have tried to just turn on the heat when they are in the moment, but that doesn't usually work. To see the best results, the heater needs to be on all the time.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Growing up

Ok. I've got a question for you. Several, actually. And I'm doing this on the honor system. Whatever you do, DO NOT find a scripture in your bible to answer with. If you have one in your head/heart that you can answer with... fine. Use it. But if not, don't look up what the "right" answer should be before you answer.

I've talked about meat. Told you all - and myself - to grow up. I mean it, and I think it's important. But, I want to be sure of something in myself before I start blogging so much about growing.

So here are your questions.

1. Are you a Christian?
2. Do you want to grow ?
3. Why?
4. How do you define growth? (i.e. what do you expect)

Question 3 seems to be my stumbling block. I know some of the typical "right" answers. The spiritual answers. The problem with being raised in and around church with my entire life is that it becomes hard to differentiate between the "right" answers, and how I really feel.

Why do you want to grow?

The Obedience of Faith

Chris Hamer-Hodges blogged about "The Obedience of Faith" today. More meat if you ask me. It might not be steak, but it's certainly not milk. Yum.

I won't give you his whole article, since that feels like cheating him. But I will tease you with the last few paragraphs of it. It was a good post and well worth reading.

And what is faith without obedience? Nothing, certainly not the faith of the kind that God responds to. It is just mental assent. A conviction of truth that does nothing to change our behaviour. James says even the demons have this kind of "faith" in God.

But faith married with obedience, what a team! The faith that does not just grip your thoughts, but moves your feet. A mustard seed's worth of this kind of faith can see the power of God released.

The faith that enabled Peter to walk on the water, was not a conviction that he would float (it is debatable how much of this kind of faith he had) but the determination that he would take that first step out of the boat. That step of obedience was the true manifestation of his faith, and the means of the miracle.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Are you hungry?

At this exact moment, I feel gorged. I've descimated my blogs and except for a few friends I've only left the blogs that contain good chunks of meat. I went to bed feasting on Jeremiah, and woke up breaking fast with Romans and then after a brief interlude of 'activity', I sat down and feasted at this screen.

I've got three different blogs open at this moment besides this page.
Chris Hammer-Hodges is telling me to give up the good, to pursue the best.

It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night.

Piper isn't saying that it is fine to indulge in wickedness or watch explicit videos, but that this is not the only issue. There is behaviour that is sinful and behaviour that is unhelpful. It's not just an issue of what we watch, but how much we watch. We must certainly deal with the former, but if we only deal with the former we will still be lacking. To truly progress in the journey of faith we must not just be prepared to set aside what is evil, we must also be prepared to set aside what is good in order to pursue the best. This is at the very heart of what it is to fast.

Peter Smythe is quoting an amazing story (taken from the book of Church History) about the apostle John. Well worth reading, it's a ways into a good post. It teaches how zealous we should be for our lost, and how seriously we should take our responsibility towards them.

Jesse Phillips at Prophetically Speaking had a link to a Spiritual Gifts Test. I scored painfully low ( 1) in tongues. I'm thankful it wasn't a required admittance test before joining my IPHC church.

And, John Smulo , a Jesus-follower, tempted me beyond my ability to keep silent with his request not to be stereotyped as a Christian.

There is food out there. FOOD. M E A T. Challenge yourself. Read the word, and test it in the real world. Throw your scriptures out there for others to see and be proved wrong. Who knows, every now and then you just might be proved right. Don't go in to fight, but go in to be sharpened. The scriptures are already sharp, we just seem to get confused as to where the pointy end should go. Master your sword. Use your scriptures. Pull out your bible and spar with your brothers and sisters. Find your weaknesses in your practice. Gain confidence, stability, and the ability not to panic when you suddenly find yourself facing an enemy that won't let you run and get your Strongs. But remember it is to be used to destroy only the enemy. It has a special purpose for our brothers and sisters. Use it as God intended.

And foremost, I encourage you to grow up.

Two things...

Good morning. In my blog rounds today, I found two things I wanted to share. The first comes from Dan Edelen from Cerulean Sanctum. It'll take you two seconds - literally - to read his post, but, as I commented at his site it is short, but sharp. It might just poke you if you're not careful.

Read it: "How to Tell You’re Not a Christian (Even If You Think You Are) #1 "

And next... The Healing Revivalist wrote a post "Preparation for Acceleration"
It's long enough that I can give you an excerpt, but the entire article is great. It's food to make you hungry. Isn't it about time we got hungry for more hunger?

Don't wait for a plate of food to show up in front of you, go prepare it. Too often we wait until God gives us the thing we long for when the reality is that He already gave it to us and we don't even realize it. We wait to be clothed in power before we will pray for the sick but the truth is that they won't be healed until you pray for them.
As my friend aptly stated on a firestorm a few weeks ago, if you don't do anything then nothing is going to happen. If you want to continue experiencing the results you are now, keep not doing what you aren't doing. Did you get that? But if you are wanting an increase in results, take a risk. John Wimber says faith is spelled R-I-S-K. Do something you wouldn't normally do, pray for something that scares you to pray for, and pray for every person that you want to see healed (which should be everyone!). How can God use you to see limbs grow back if you never pray for anyone who has a missing limb? Take a risk and prepare to be accelerated.

Yes, that's right... R I S K.

Monday, July 09, 2007

F I G H T!

You don't know how hard it is to not post his ENTIRE article. David Copeland over at Revival Journal posted Satanic Attacks and an Open Heaven. I'll only give you a piece of his article, but it's well worth taking the time to go to his site and read the whole thing.

"I sense satan has stepped up the warfare for 2 reasons:
1. satan is attempting to close our open heaven. satan always attacks directly before, or directly after a great blessing from God! I don’t believe satan has the power to reverse something God has done, nor reverse what He has decreed be done: but when he begins to bombard us with temptation, failures and physical attacks, along with that comes an assignment of unbelief! It’s easy to keep your faith strong when everything is going great. The challenge comes when you fail, yield to a temptation or a besetting sin…when your body feels like it is about to lay you down for the last time; when your check book tries to tell you giving to God is a gimmick, a hopeless waste of time, that’s when it becomes a real challenge to keep your faith strong in the Lord and in the power of His might!"

No, I'm not telling you the second reason.. you'll just have to go to his site!

"Every blessing God pours into your life, He does it to increase your dependence on Him and your addiction to His Spirit!"

Hello, my name is Jeanette... and I'm addicted to the Holy Spirit.


" I want to encourage you: Be strong, and be encouraged! We ARE in a season of an open heaven! And even though we have not experienced everything we thought we would experience in this season, God IS releasing your miracle, your deliverance, your finances, and your restoration for you, your marriage and your ministry!
You will not just see it with your eyes you will hold it in your hands!"


11:58am and not a moment too soon.

11:58am. That's when it happened. I should have started whining and complaining a week ago.

You can call me crazy, I won't mind. If you had this, you wouldn't care whether anyone believed you either.
Years ago I told God that I needed a Father. And if I couldn't have a really good relationship with my earthly father, I needed Him to be as physically real as possible to me. That was the first time He held me.

Since then I've walked with Him, I've held His hand, I've sat back and literally leaned on Him for support. He's knelt over me as I cried, and He sat with me the last time I was very sick. As I began writing this post His hands were resting on my shoulders. There is a deep river of peace.

The sadness has vanished and my tears now are overwhelming with joy and relief. Like someone taking a heavy weight from your hands, your muscles tremble with relief. That is what His return feels like.

There is no confusion, no more sorrow, only sweet fellowship. I read a blog recently saying that they wouldn't describe Jesus as sweet. I get what he said but can't find another term to describe this fellowship. The words He began whispering into my soul upon His return planted a root of determination and focus that wasn't there before.

I'm burned with a need to know the scriptures better. The Holy Spirit brings discernment, but without faithful study of scriptural evidence I find myself holding a sword that I have no mastery in wielding. This begins to end today.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Paul, to the Ephesians

I do want to be strong. But I don't want to appear it. I'd like to look clumsy as David must have underneath the weight of armor that was too large and heavy for him. I want to look simple and overly zealous in a seemingly foolish and pathetic attempt to achieve the impossible, as David must have standing in his simple shepherds clothes holding a slingshot and some stones yelling at a giant with a sword. That's what I want to look like. When you meet me one day, I want you to walk away saying that "she didn't look like much... BUT".
Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to gather stones. And I double dog dare you to try and stop me.


I've had this scripture taped to my monitor since May 1st, when I originally found it, loved it, and blogged about it.

"Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." Psalms 27:14

I would not have paid too much attention to the verse taped to my monitor... except for no apparent reason it fell off. It fell off my monitor, and I stopped to read it again before taping it back up. I don't have to feel good, to know that God IS good.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

I'll take it from here.

Have you seen the show where the guy whose grandma just died went to a New Years Eve party?
I won't go into detail, but by the time he left the party (to catch a plane for the funeral) everyone in the room needed tissues.

I don't want to crash your day.

I made a decision at some point along the way of this blogs life that good days and bad alike would go on record. THIS WALK is, well, my walk. Some days are good, some days are bad. I won't hide the bad and pretend my walk is all roses.

I admit, I never found the 'faith' line that I complained talked about before. That point where it's ok to share a burden. I still don't understand saying that everything is good, when there's a problem. I just don't get it. But I can do it. And now, I figure I've done the part I insisted I do. I've made it clear that I've hit into a wall of sorts. What I don't figure, is that you all want to come around every day and listen to me whine and moan about it.

So.... until I'm ready to quit bawling, whining, moaning, complaining, and in generally just being a serious downer to anyone that's happy... blogging is suspended. I like you too much to bring you down. And I'd hate to see Nancy just start blogging sad poems. :)

I appreciate that some of you have cared enough to comment. From new anonymous people to my fellow blogging friend Larry. Thank you. And, I'll be back. Soon.