Tag Archives: church

Hidden Seeds

Galatians 6:8

The Message (MSG)

7-8 Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.

seeds

How many of us have sat in church service after church service and gleaned valuable information about God and the Bible?  Now, how many of us have taken that to the streets and shared it?  The New Testament tells us to tell all the nations. Share the Good News with everyone you meet!  Why do we find it so hard to share the Awesome News of Jesus everywhere we go?

We are like squirrels.  Yup! Squirrels.  We find a seed. Stalk it out. Make sure no one is looking and then we bury it, often not knowing where it is in a few months time.  In Michigan we have an abundance of forgotten about seeds call Oak Trees.  I think it might just be God’s humor but they multiply and so do their leaves.  Any way, I digress I bit.  God gives us seeds to be planted in others.  We accept Jesus, go to church and learn how to teach others about Jesus.  Why does it seem like the message stops at the pew?

This is a plaguing question for many of us.  We want everyone to be saved yet we know there is rejection out there and we have had enough of that so we are going to just bury that seed in our hearts and we will use it when necessary, when we come across just the right person.  Now I know that we are to keep the Word of God hidden in our hearts so I am not talking about that at the moment.  I mean spiritual truths that might win somebody to Christ.  Words of wisdom that may make a person go, “Hmmmm, that does make sense.”

So I encourage all of us not be like those squirrels who gather and bury all day long.  Let’s be doers of the Word and start planting seeds which will grow into fruitful trees of life which can be found resting along the river banks.  If each one of us planted one seed the moment we left church say at the grocery store or the local park, could you imagine how many people could be reached for Jesus?  Plant seeds, remember where you plant them and watch life happen right before your eyes! Oh, and one more thing…..someone once planted a seed in you.

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Where’s Your Water Supply?

John 4:10-13

New Living Translation (NLT)

10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”

13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again.

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So I must apologize, I have been slacking!!  Some changes are happening in my life and we are in pursue of a house to rent and work has been busy.  In the mean time I seem to have put my writing aside a bit and I know that I need to prioritize things better so as not to begin back-sliding in the things of God.  So, I am back and I will continue to push for at least 5 blogs a week. On that note, here is today’s blog:

Rivers of living water are suppose to flow from our bellies when we are walking with God.  People should know right away that we are different in some way.  They should also be able to detect that we bring life with us where ever we go.  How is it that so many Christians are not portraying this?  Is the water we carry with us fresh and untainted?  Is it worthy to be shared so others may come to know this Jesus we carry in our hearts?

Let me just begin by saying simply, we once drew from the river of life, but now it seems as if we all draw from our own water supplies instead of seeking God for fresh water.  Let me explain how I feel about water supplies.  Once upon a time, long ago, there was one religion.  One way of seeking God.  One river which brought life to anyone who touched it.  Is Christianity today having the same affect or does it seem stagnant and not worthy of even possessing?    In my opinion, somehow we have gotten too far away from the main water supply and we are drawing from whatever suits our needs the best.

Not trying to step on any toes here are far as to religions, however, if we look at Christianity as a relationship then we all have to drink from the same well.  God loves each person on this planet, equally.  He desires for all mankind to come to know His Son and to be saved so that they may spend eternity in heaven.  How is this going to happen if we are all on different pages and in different books?  Christianity is a call for unity.  A call to be free in the things of God.  If this is to be proven true, then why are so many Christians in disagreement?  If we all love Jesus then why is there so much separation?

There is only one answer that makes any sense…Satan has used the conquer and divide method very well.  The more he can bind our thinking, the more confusion he brings to the body of Christ.  So we think we have all the answers and we take our “portion” of living water and set ourselves apart from the unity of the body because we think we are more right than the next person.  I feel that no matter what church we belong to, we should all be seeking the same water supply.

In conclusion, I just want to make it clear that it really does not matter how we get to God in the end, but it matters that we are all in the river of life when Jesus comes, not in our own little pool.  The purpose of our lives is to love one another and spread the gospel, so how did things get so out of focus?  We should not be focused on the number of people attending our churches but rather on the number of lives we can save from hell.

Facing Reality

Psalm 66:12

Then you put a leader over us. We went through fire and flood, but you brought us to a place of great abundance.
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Time to be real…hate that.  I am really great at pretending everything is just fine when the reality of the situation rears its ugly face and I come to the strange realization that I have been hiding again.  Each time I think I have things all figured out, something sneaks up and grabs me out of no where and it shakes me until I stare it in the face and deal with it.  Sigh, some call it walking through the fire, I like to call it a cry in the wilderness.  No wait, SCREAMING, in the face of distress.
I spent a lot of my life making everything on the surface seem fine.  I held a full time job, raised two kids, went to church and made the world think things were just honky dory when the reality of the situation was I was falling apart piece by piece and no one even noticed.  I lived each day the same as the one before and it seemed as if I did not know any different.  As I began to seek God in my life, things began to change.  I cried every time the worship started at church.  I began to share my story with the people God had placed in my life.  God began cracking my shell and soon I was spilling my guts out everywhere and this is where God could finally take over.
Once I was an open book so to speak, God could start writing new chapters again.  He created a new life for me and it was if I slammed the first book closed, right when I thought things were all in alignment again.  I moved into a whole new book even though there were unfinished chapters in the first one.  For you see, I moved on with me and what God had set in motion for my life and left my kids behind in the other book.  Hmmmm, I wonder how that happened?
Today, I faced the reality of a split family face to face, nose to nose.  Though I have moved out of my life of disarray I seemed to have left my own children to fend for themselves…who does that?  In light of all of this, I can see hope.  Now that things have been brought to the surface they can be dealt with.  Now that each party has been forced so to speak to spill their guts, things can change for the better.  Facing reality may not seem like a fun thing to do, however it opens up our hearts for the possibility for change.
Facing reality can be labeled as toxic, not to be messed with our hearts are not open to the possibility of things being set right.  Facing reality means you have to stop pretending everything is okay.  Facing reality means there are some changes that will occur.  Finally, facing reality means coming to terms with rejection, pride, self-worth, pain, brokenness, heart issues, run-a-way emotions, anger issues and so many other ugly things about ourselves.  Is it time for a reality check in your life?

Judgement or Encouragement

Romans 14:19

So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up
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How we do we know the difference between judging someone for where they stand with God and encouraging them to dip their toe a little deeper into the river of life?  Sometimes we see bothers and sisters in Christ struggling with so many things and having walked a certain path we know where our help comes from and we have this desire to show them the way to hope, yet they think we are judging them for where they are.  Soon we are arguing about who is right and what is wrong; soon the scene seems to become so hopeless.
There are many hurting people out there and sadly lots  of them are Christians who know God has a plan for their lives and He is their help in present time.  I just want to shake them until they get it, yet I know it is best to just love them where they are at.  I always joke about how I can post something cheesy about God on Facebook and 12 plus people will like it but the moment I mention revival I barely can get any response.  I guess what I am trying to say is that revival changed my life when it came to nearby church.  I have not been the same since I fell in love with Jesus again and I just want others to experience this too.
I wish I could show people just how much can change in your life when you begin to seek a body of Christ to be a part of.  I know the church is not a physical building but rather the church is alive in each of us and moves about the earth proclaiming Jesus is Lord.  Yet I know in my heart of hearts that if I did not have an actual group of Christians to hang out with I would surely have slipped into my old ways.
Let me be real for a moment.  When I separated from my first husband I was so broken and in need of love that I might have fallen into so many traps if I had not been in an actual church.  I might have gone back to my partying days or started sleeping around with other men.  Had it not been for the good group of people I was surrounded by I may have just left God all together.  I was so hurt I would have done anything for love even if it was the wrong kind, yet I was held true to God through the entire process.  I respected the love God had for me enough to know I did not want to wander back into my old style of living.
If onlys flood my mind as I try to convey this message.  If only they would go to church…if only they would surrender it all…if only they would choose worship music to listen to….if only they would stop using drugs and  alcohol as a hiding place…if only they would choose to come to revival….if only they would want to change…if only they would love my Jesus like I do.  Nope, I am not perfect in any way, shape or form, but I know there is a God who loves me unconditionally, no matter where I am at and I have this desire to do the same for His people.
So call it judging if you want to but I just want you to know the love of Jesus in your life.  I want you to allow God to radically change you.  I want you to press in and reach the hem of Jesus’ garment.  I want you to be healed and whole so that together as a church body we can bring the light of Jesus to a lost and dying world.  This is why I invite you to revival over and over again.  This is why I invite you to join our women’s group week after week.  This is why I plaster my Facebook wall with Jesus stuff….it’s not because I am religious but because I want you to feel this love.

Are You Ready to Be Unwrapped?

John 11:40-43

40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

unwrapped

God keeps bringing me back over and over again in the last few weeks to a point in my life where I had to really let go and surrender it all.  It was in that hospital room watching a man fight for his life from a drug oversdose and the need for me to be released from a twenty year span of wandering in the desert.  Today the sermon at church was centered on never quitting, funny story that was a blog from a few days ago for me.  It also was focused on looking over and reflecting on what God has already pulled you from.  Sure made me cry as I thought about sitting in that hospital room trying to figure out how I had gotten to where I was.

After the sermon, someone came up and spoke about the scripture verse quoted above.  She explain how Lazarus needed to be unwrapped before he could be free.  He was alive but unable to move because he was still bound up in his grave clothes.  He needed people to unwrap him and set him free from the past.  Isn’t that how we should be as a church body?  Should we not help bring people back to llife by showing them Jesus and then begin the process of stripping them of all the guilt and pressures of the past?

Sometimes we come to God so wrapped up in guilt and shame that we don’t even know where to begin, this is where the body of Christ should begin to minister.  We should be willing to step out of our comfort zones and use the power within us to heal the brokeness these people have.  I know for me, I would not be standing where I am today without the help and direction of those who loved me right where I was enough to begin to “unwrap” me, releasing me to be alive and free.  I was scared, confused and wanting to be active again.  I needed people to begin to show me who I was. I needed others to show me God so that I could find peace once more.

Are you ready to be unwrapped?  If you have not come to know Jesus yet, are you ready?  If you have begun a relationship with Jesus, are you being held back by your grave clothes?  Do you need someone to begin the unwrapping process for you and set you free?  I encourage each of you to look deep into yourself and ask God for your freedom.  I know He will show up for He hears the cries of His children and is quick to send help.

2 Chronicles 20:9

‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’

Time to Move: Full Force

048Psalm 37:23
The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.

Well the wedding is over.  The honeymoon was an awesome respite.  Now it is time to see what God is going to do next with our ministry.  But before we get to that part, let’s see just how awesome our God can be.  First of all, John and I are still standing on the fact that we did nothing to force this union.  God gave each of us the love we have for each other and we just walk daily in faith.  God has spent a lot of time on the littlest of details for this wedding and I will do my best to paint this picture for you!

First was the rings.  John prayed for God to give him the perfect ring for me and God provided.  I had a ring picked out for John but when I went to go get it, it was gone, so I too prayed and God provided again.  Our rings were gifts to us as a couple from two separate people in our lives.  Then came the date.  We had set a date in October but it just kept having issues.  We listened for God’s voice and set a new date for 12-7-12 and everything just feel right into place.  Next came the photography.  Yup, God made that possible too.  A friend of ours gave his old engagement ring, yes, gave away, in exchange for photography services.  The dress and his suit were gifts.  John and I made all the flowers and the wedding cake, so not much expense went into this wedding at all.

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The wedding was perfect.  There was an issue with the songs at first but we decided God needed someone to hear the song that was accidently played.  I was able to surprise John with his favorite worship song during special music.  Our sand jar was the perfect representation of our new union.  Friends of ours painted portraits of lions for display.  God was in EVERY aspect of our marriage.  And He still provided things afterwards.  We got discounts on both of the hotel stays.  The most favor though was at the second place we stayed.  God changed our plans bright and early Saturday morning and we were headed to  this quaint Bed and Breakfast only a short drive just north of us.

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From the moment we arrived at The Shack, we were filled with peace and joy.  As John shook the hand of the man who was the manager, he was overtaken by the love of the Father Himself.  After handing us the key to the perfect room God had waiting for us I began to feel the love as well.  It was room 151.  The ones represented John and myself, the 5 represents the 5 fold ministry we are about to enter into as a married couple and all the numbers add up to 7 which is our wedding day and the number for completion.  How cool is our God to focus on every detail of our marriage?

To top all of this off, one of the most perfect gifts we received was a set of mugs, not just ordinary mugs, prayed for mugs. John had been on a journey for some time now for mugs for us to have in the morning for our coffee.  As we unwrapped this precious gift we just sat and cried.  We had read every card we received and marveled at our gifts but this one was so God organized we could hardly believe it.  We discovered as we opened our gift we noticed that they had Bible verses on them and they were the exact ones we had read at the ceremony.  The person who we received these from would not have had a clue as to what we had chosen for our verses, this was truly someone listening to God as they chose the perfect gift for us.

034All I can say is that God is awesome and He does delight in each of us.  Every day during our honeymoon we had opportunities to meet people, pray for people and minster everywhere we went.  Now it is time to get back into the swing of things.  Back to daily blogging.  Moving forward at our new Revival Fire Church.  Getting the two written books published.  We are both ready for what God has already planned out for us.  We have come to the conclusion that God designed our lives so that we could love each other now in this moment.  We have surrendered everything to God and as we eagerly await the house we will soon be moving into, we know beyond the shadow of doubt that God is in control of every little detail!

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Stepping Out in Faith

John 17:18
Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.

Today I am listening to God more than I ever have.  As I follow my heart and lean not on my own understanding, I fall deeper and deeper in love with Jesus.  Sometimes He leads me to places where I have to have completely trust in Him.  I need to step out in faith and totally let go of everything I had trusted in.  Yes, being sold out to Jesus is a most awesome place to be, yet it can scary sometimes.

Tonight I left a church I have been at for 8 years.  The church where I was healed from great brokenness.  A place where I learned to trust people again.  I body of people who accepted me just as I am, brokenness and all.  I learned so many things from so many different people, things I will treasure forever.  I made friends and even was an encourager to some.  When God started tugging on my heartstrings to move, I was perplexed.  I was a youth leader.  I had made good friends.  I felt grounded and comfortable. I did not understand why God was showing me to move into a different direction.

There is was, that word, comfortable.  God will always lead us to places where we can grow so when we get comfy and feel like things are just the way we want them, He moves us.  He stirs our hearts and begins to tug us into a new direction.  As I have been attending revival meetings I am being drawn closer and closer to moving into the destiny God has already set out for me.  I am sad to be moving on but I also know this is moving forward.  Being asked to move into a ministry position in a revival setting is where my heart truly is.

As I am taking this leap of faith I am realizing just how much I need to lean on God in these circumstances.  Some just won’t understand why and others will be supportive.  I am not leaving for any other reason but God is pulling me closer to the destiny He has set out for me.  I will miss the youth greatly and the wonderful friends I have made, yet I know that I will be rewarded for my obedience in moving when God says to move.  He has such great things planned out for each of us, it is our moment to shine when we say, “Yes” to God and move.

Thank you for the love and the compassion over the years.  I wish I could personally thank each person who has touched my life, but time does not allow it.  I pray for each of you that you believe in Jeremiah 29:11 and begin to see that no matter what stage you are in your life, He still has your destiny in His hands.  As I press into the things God has for me, surely I will find great joy and refuge in doing the work of the Lord.