Wednesday, May 1, 2013
So...stay with me. Don't loose heart. God is still speaking words of life. As soon as I can I will surely share them with you. Pray for me as I pray for you! And if you don't mind...pray for my computer to be fixable...or even better to just suddenly turn on by the power of God!! ;-)
Much love! Send me your requests for prayer right now...and I will lift you up as well. It is part of the privilege that comes with being a follower of Christ. I LOVE to talk to Him...and it doesn't have to be about me. I would love to pray and seek God on your behalf. Honest!! Request away!
Saturday, March 23, 2013
A few Sunday’s ago my pastor was talking about faith. It is a normal and expected topic when attending church, don’t you think? ;) What is baffling to me, is how I have been taught my whole life about faith…and yet still have SOOO much to learn. I still have eye openers. Light bulb moments. Jaw droppers. I just love how God is so amazingly clever in how He gets through these thick skulls we have. Haha! We can read the a passage of Scripture that we undoubtedly have read before…and God can highlight it in a way that makes it as if it is the first. Fresh. New. Real. Relevant! That is just one more proof in our days that He is living and active!
Let’s take a moment to list some things that are birthed from faith. Maybe this faith we strive to strengthen isn’t as necessary as we make it out to be. (IT IS! I was playing the sarcasm card there. And since you can’t hear my tone…I want you to KNOW! I have not lost it. ;) )
Evangelism. You would have no reason to evangelize if you, yourself didn’t have faith in the hope of your future in Heaven. You would have no confidence to evangelize if you didn’t have faith in the Author of your words. Christ’s perfect life, undeserved death, and miraculous resurrection are all the reasons and confidence that you need to speak. He took the life of each of us seriously. He is asking that you do the same. And not just with your own. We are to take every human life just as serious as He did when He gave His life up for us all.
Hope. Think about people in this world that you know right now who do not know Jesus as their Savior. What do they have to hope in? They should be dreading and terrified of when their life ends. Especially not knowing when, how, and what is to come. If they DO know what is to come…they have no reason to feel hope in their days now. What do they have to look forward to? Torment.
We have everything to hope in. No matter what the enemy throws at us…he is not our future. He was our past…but we have been delivered from eternity with him. Hope is a no-brainer. If we aren’t seeing our hope… We. Aren’t. Using. Our. Brain. Simple! And if we aren’t sharing this hope we have… We. Aren’t. Using. Our. Heart. Ouch!
Grace. Why in the world would we ever extend grace to anyone if we didn’t understand, by faith, that God’s grace trumps all else? He had/has absolutely no reason to extend grace to any one SINGLE human ever to live. Ever! After all, we are born into sin. We learn to sin before we learn much else. But God is a God of agape love. (Can I get a hallelujah?!) He sees His children who have chosen salvation through His Son, Jesus, as pure. Blameless. Without blemish. So why is it that we so easily do the exact opposite? Why is it that we see each other as a teen going through puberty…covered with blemishes? Sometimes we even get really close to inspect others with a magnifying glass. Looking for any sign of even the tiniest of blackheads forming under the skin. Then, we won’t let it go. Whispers. Gossip. Things blown out of proportion. Where is the grace in that?! If you are worthy of being magnified under the same scope than by all means…inspect away. If you fall short…try grace. It will look good on anyone! ;)
Forgiveness. Are you squirming? Forgiveness is tied right into grace isn’t it? How can I forgive someone who doesn’t even understand and/or care how bad they have hurt me?! Here is my challenge to that statement. Ask God…if, and only if you are braced and prepared for His answer…to break your heart for what breaks His. Your eyes will be opened to so much hurt and pain that you never saw before. That magnifying glass you gripped tightly will gather dust on a shelf because you will be spending so much time praying for and speaking life to the lost and broken. You will not have time for trivial things. Reality…there are people dying. There are souls heading for eternal suffering. There are wars going on in the Heavenly realms that could use some earthly warriors. Forgiveness is only a choice because we have made it an option. To God…it is an absolute.
Provision. Oh this one hits home. This is a stumbling block for so many. Whether you are rakin’ in the dough or scraping bottom; we are all to rely on God for our provision. Isn’t it interesting that it is difficult for both ends of the spectrum. Those who have worked their way to success sometimes have difficulty remembering Who it is that provided life for them. They don’t need a Savior to work miracles with their finances. They don’t need to have faith for tomorrow. Being ‘self-sufficient’ is not always the blessing it appears to be. And then there’s those who work all day and still come up short. They can also have a hard time trusting, by faith, that God is still working on their behalf while they are slumbering. They sometimes feel as though God is just watching them squirm. Faith though. Faith is being sure of things unseen.
Let’s look at a verse that can help put things into a simple perspective. Hebrews 13:5 (NIV) “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”” I can just see some of you out there, minds turning, a bit of bitterness rising. You might be saying, in your head, ‘How in the world could I ever even think of becoming a lover of money when I have…none?! I don’t have money, that is the problem!!’ My child, read it again. It does not say that you have money, it says that you love it. You constantly think of it. You dream of the day when you can go buy whatever you want. You covet what your neighbor has. So what does contentment look like? Dive into the Word of God and find out!! You will not regret it!!
Let’s end with the four challenges and a quote that my pastor gave us when it comes to faith.
1) Don’t look at what you can’t do. (No fear.)
2) Don’t look at what you can do. (No pride.)
3) Don’t look at what you want to do. (No selfish ambition.)
4) Rather, discover what you’re supposed to (called to) do. (No limit!)
“Is God impressed with what you are capable of? Nope. But when you do it His power He will delight in you!”
Actively look for ways to strengthen your faith this week. Ask God for His revelation on areas in your life that need work. Maybe you have no problem trusting for provision, but are not showing grace. Whatever it is…be intentional! God did not leave your salvation to chance. He was absolutely intentional. Let your faith prove to Him that you are grateful for His sacrifice.
Friday, March 15, 2013
Oy… Distracted. I would say that is a good word for my past few weeks. Distracted by sickness. Distracted by life being busy. Distracted by schoolwork and stuff for my kiddos. How funny (funny as in annoying and frustrating) it is that the only line of this post that I had taken the time to write was the first one. Read it again…
Gah! How true that is. How many times have you set your alarm for the following morning? You decide in the previous night that you will wake early and spend time doing your devotions. Something happens while you sleep though. By the time morning comes you have ‘forgotten’ how passionate you were the night before about waking up and meeting with God first? It is the bed. Never has it felt warmer and cozier. Snooze. What’s another
If the enemy can get us to skip this !!!MOST IMPORTANT PART OF OUR DAY!!!…he will surely have a foot in the door of distraction for the rest of it. Let’s get serious about turning our distraction into devotion. Devotion. When was the last time you thought of the definition of that word in relation to your daily time spent with God?
Devotion-Love. Loyalty. Enthusiasm for a person, activity or cause. Selfless affection and dedication. Commitment to a purpose.
Think of something that you are or have been dedicated to. Maybe at one time it was to a sports team. Maybe it still is…only now more from a sideline or ‘couch’ position. (Yes I meant couch…not coach. You know who you are. You speak as though you are one of the team even though you are no way, shape or form a part of it. Unless you count the merchandise you purchase. Ha-ha!) ;) Or maybe now your dedication is to a team/group in your church. Maybe it is your job. Maybe it is to your new health kick. Whatever it is…how would you describe your level of devotion?
Do you think of it often? Are you constantly improving your skill? Are you wishing you could be doing it when you are not? I will use my oldest son here as my illustration. Aiden played Munchkin Football this past fall. He was
If you were a part of a team…wouldn’t you go to every practice and game? You’d have people counting on you to do your part. The same goes for your time with God. Not only will it bless you, and set you off for your day with a better heart condition…but there are also people counting on YOU. They won’t tell you. They can’t sometimes. But God has designed us in a way that we uphold each other. That is how the body works. And God can and will use someone else…but He desires to use you!
That is how I desire for my devotion to my faith to be all the time. Not just on Sunday. Not just when life is easy. Not just when I feel like it…but always. I want to be excited to meet with other believers. I want to desire to talk to God often. I want to love to learn more and more from Him…about Him. I want to search for times to talk about Him at every opportunity I can get. I want the desires of God’s heart to be inline with mine. I want to strive be content in every, last, little thing…except for how much I know about the Word of God. That, I want to seek, as if it is treasure. It is, after all, the ONLY treasure that is eternal.
A few weeks ago our church’s assistant pastor, Bruce, spoke of an old movie called It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World. (<—Is that enough mad’s? LOL) There were people in the movie that gave their whole lives up for this treasure they searched for. They allowed it to consume their every thought. They were sold out. Nothing else mattered much anymore. All of this devotion was for money! How different this world would be if all who claimed to be Christians had that mentality about their faith. They would see that this life is not their own and they would give it up without a selfish thought. They would be consumed by God’s Word. They would be sold out to do the work of the cross and to take it into ALL the land. Nothing would matter as much or certainly not more than encouraging others in their walk to the Kingdom of Heaven!
What about our treasure? Is it clear to those around us what we treasure. No matter what we claim to treasure…is it clear by our actions? Our words? Our commitment? Our movie play list? Our television history? Our computer browser history? If we unlocked every part of our day to be open and in view…what would our treasure clearly be? (Don’t worry…I am fully aware of the plank in my eye. And yes it hurts me as much as it hurts you to read it for yourself.)
It’s not too late. It’s never too late for you. Click here to listen to the song Come Away that I’ve been loving lately by Jesus Culture. Let it speak to your mountain. Whatever it is that you have been consciously or subconsciously treasuring…it is not too late. Today. Now. Vow to treasure only that which is eternal. Make a pact with God that you will stop wasting your days on things that will rot. Instead you will begin to invest yourself, your time, your passion into things that Reign.
When you stand before God in Heaven…don’t you long to hear these words of approval? “Well done my good and faithful servant!” Picture it. Imagine yourself before the Presence of your King…imagine the emotion that will be packed into words such as those. Imagine how unworthy you will feel for them to be spoken from the lips of the Creator. Imagine how in awe of Him you will be. Let that mental image be your driving force from this day on. Devote yourself to the eternal and let it be evident to all!
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Last weekend my pastor spoke what could be some of the most important words spoken over our church. “Today, is the birth of relevant church!” WAHOOOOO!!!! (Excited much? Yes we are!) A while back (before we even started attending this church) they had decided to change the name. For the last few months I have heard it referred to by the old (Columbus Community Evangelical Church) and the new. Last week though…something changed. You see, God is moving among the people in this little town in PA and He is taking us along for the ride of a lifetime! =D
Sometimes I feel as though we, the church, feel disconnected from Scripture. Not necessarily from the the truth of the Bible…but from the application. We struggle on how we apply our knowledge, both old and new, to our every day. That is my goal. That is the purpose of why I write. I want you to understand that we serve THE GOD. The only God that is living and active. The only God that is…relevant. What a perfect word to name His church!
Relevant. Let’s go over some things that are still relevant today. Let’s look for ways that God proves Himself to still be alive and engaged in our lives.
Prayer. Never have I understood how relevant prayer truly is, until I experienced, first hand, the past year of my life. God has healed me at the prayers of myself, family, friends and church body. God has given me what I cried out for, knowing that I would not recognize it at first. Or even that sometimes I would ask Him “WHY?!” forgetting that it was at my request. *Vanesa thumps head here* God has taken me through the best of times and the worst of times…and helped me to see His plan was always greater. God has helped me counsel the hurting and broken because of what He had already given me victory over. God has helped me to speak life even when death was running rampant. My prayers of compassion and sometimes desperation reached to the heart of God. I will never be the same as I was a little over a year ago. And my pastor’s challenge to grow 2% closer each week for this year…will change me just as much or (as I am praying)…more!
Pastor Les said that the prayer ministries and prayer warriors of ‘the’ church, are the most vital. Prayer is the start of everything else. It is our most intimate time alone with our Father. We can tell Him all. No holding back. Anger. Hurt. Shame. Brokenness. Reality. He wants us to be genuine. And when we are…He will cover over each of those with truth. Simple truth. The darkness of anger will lift. The shattered hurt will begin to heal. The shame will turn to humble growth. The transparent brokenness will allow His power to become evident in your circumstance. And your reality…it will suddenly make sense. No matter what the mountain is that lies before us…blocking our view of victory…we will take each step up to the top with a renewed purpose and passion. And all of this starts with a simple prayer. Talking to God is not difficult. It is a conversation in which you are real and so is HE!
Worship. relevant worship…has a nice ring to it don’t you think? ;) Our worship IS to be relevant. We will always appreciate the things of old. We still love the past…but we refuse to stay stuck in it. We want to always be engaged in what is to come. What is current. Think about it. God is writing new songs each day. He is reaching out to us with new words of life that we can sing to Him. He has not run out of ideas. He never will. The songs they sing in Heaven are relevant. I can’t even begin to imagine how amazing they are. And when they reach the hearts of someone here on earth…that is to be celebrated. Not just on Sunday…but always. Sing to your King anywhere and everywhere! Show Him how much you adore Him because He is absolutely CRAZY about you my friend!!
Let me set up a scenario for you. It happens often to me…and I am sure it happens to SOMEONE out there too! You are driving down the road and you hear a song. It doesn’t have to be the first time you’ve ever heard the song…but maybe it is first time you really listened to it. You are silent. You just sit and listen with fresh ears. The words speak directly to you…way down deep. If you are like me, you silently weep as they minister to you in a very specific way. You know that God wrote that song. You understand that He had you in mind for this exact moment of when you would need and accept it. You sit humbled. Thankful. Inspired. And feeling genuinely loved and adored by your God that is alive and engaged in your day. That…is relevant worship. It will happen more and more. Look for it. Be open to it. Bask in it’s glory and goodness when you feel it wash over you in waves of power. *A chill just ran through my body because these words are going to open up someone’s eyes today. Right now the enemy’s blinders are being peeled away in someone’s life…and the God of all Creation will be seen and praised. His power WILL be life-changing and forever evident.
Faith. Our faith must be relevant in our everyday. The stories of the power of God that we read in the Bible absolutely still serve a powerful purpose. For the mother who’s womb is barren…the story of Sarah gives hope. For the man who feels too weak to fight for what is right…the story of Gideon encourages strength in the name of Jesus. For the thief, the drunk, the liar who feels like he/she is too far gone…the story of the Cross proves that grace is available to all. We are still to learn from these Bible stories. We are still to apply their foundational truths to our daily walk. Just because they are ‘old’ doesn’t mean they are outdated. The Word of God is absolutely relevant. I dare you to try it out. Double dog dare you. Talk to God. Tell Him what you are struggling with. Ask Him to show you His relevancy in His Word. It might be a verse in a devotional that you pick up. It might be a verse on Facebook. It might be a seemingly ‘random’ passage in your Bible. Figure out what it is that God is teaching you…and be sure to praise Him for it. Talk about it. Lead by example and show your friends how He can be relevant in their lives as well.
Here is a thought provoking challenge question from Pastor Les to you…people out there in the world of cyber. ;) “If you were mentioned in the Bible…what would it say about you? Would they even know you were saved according to how you lived your life? Not according to how you act or ‘appear’ on Sunday…but how the rest of the days of the week that end in the word ‘day’ are. Would your name be recorded because of all you did for the Kingdom?”
It is never too late. Today is a new day. Start a new chapter in which you are sold out. Committed. Passionate. Let your faith be evident…not for the cause of being remembered…but for the sake of someone’s eternity. True love as the Father intended it cares more about souls brought to the reality of the Cross, than all of the wealth in the world. World changers. We need world changers who are Christ-driven to rise up.
Speaking of “it’s never too late”…take a moment to listen to a song by a Christian group named Jesus Culture. The song is called Come Away and I feel like it’s message is absolutely relevant to where we are headed. Click here to be inspired and challenged to worship as if you are standing in the Presence of the Almighty. You are. Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." It’s not too late!
Please understand I do not expect you, the reader, to just accept my list as complete. My hope is that you spend time searching for your own relevant applications. I would LOVE to hear how God is showing Himself to be relevant in your life! I know that He is. I believe it with all that I am. If you are not seeing Him…please let me know and I will pray for His revelation to become boldly evident to you. relevant church is praying for those of you out there that are reading this right now. Let us know the fruits of our prayers and/or how we can pray more specifically! After all, we are called to be Christ’s hands and feet!
I leave you with Colossians 1:3-6. “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints- the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.”
Watch out…relevant church is on the map! ;) relevant church is now alive. It has a heart beat. A heart that beats like it’s Heavenly Father. Curious? You should be!! Come and see what God is doing in a little community in Pennsylvania…that will someday soon have a huge impact on a world that is lost and broken. We believe that God is all together relevant and we are saying… “Why not use us?!”
Monday, February 11, 2013
Waiting to be like those that you see already reaching out. Waiting for your time to be used for a greater purpose. Waiting to be noticed. Waiting to be ‘old enough’. Waiting for this phase of life to pass that so that you can feel fulfilled. Waiting to finish school. Waiting for your kids to grow. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting!
What is happening while we are waiting? What ministries are starving because they are ours to step into? What ‘phase’ are we just rushing to get through and missing out on? Does our God seem like One who would waste our time with day after day of things that served absolutely no purpose? Does he even care about our age in regards to what He has planned for us?
Today. Tonight. Whatever time it is where you are. I want you to stop waiting. Not in a place of discontent…but rather in a place of peace. Look for ways to be used by God for a greater purpose. Pray for them. Be aware of how God speaks to you. Listen intently to His voice. He notices you. He thinks you are the perfect age to be a light in the darkness. He is using this phase you are in, to mold you for what is to come. He has people for you to reach out to exactly where you are. He wants you to love and delight in watching children grow as they look to you to be an example.
It is time to bloom!
No more waiting for ‘some day’. No more hiding. Bloom. Because you are more beautiful when you act like your Father. The more you resemble His character…the more fragrant you become. The more you rely on Him for endurance and strength, the more opportunities He will open up for you to do even greater works in Jesus Name!!
Reach out in your community. Do whatever it is that God asks of you. Make a phone call. Visit a friend from the past who could use some uplifting. Send a card with a personal note to the person that God is laying on your heart. (Don’t worry…I am talking to myself here too. I feel the tug of Christ. I know who God is asking me to reach out to this week. This has been a tugging that has gone on for weeks. I’ve been ‘waiting’. For what…I’m not sure. But if I am asking YOU to reach out…you had better believe that I am planning to do it as well!)
I am guilty of the waiting game. As soon as God pointed it out to me tonight, I knew that I had fallen right into the trap of the enemy.
“Wait until your kids are all in school to proceed with your dream to publish a book.”
“Wait until you are older to try to teach 'actual' adults.”
“Wait until you have money.”
“Wait until your house is finished.”
“Wait until you have been at your church at least 6 months before you trust in friendships.”
Nonsense. The enemy is always trying to hold me/us back. And when he gets caught in his stanky-scheme…oh how happy it makes me. satan and I both know that when I am on to him, God is about to help me overcome! Ahaha! God does not make mistakes. He need not wait if the time has come.
What have you been waiting for? Who have you been waiting on? The time is now. This world is reaching out to the unlovable. They are accepting the sinful. What is your position church? The time of waiting is over. These people are hungry! Let’s introduce them to the Bread of Life. They are thirsty. Let’s take them to a place where Christ’s Living Water flows freely. Never will they hunger or thirst again because our God provides for His children.
Valentine’s Day is almost here!! Let that be your excuse to show love and compassion to those who you know or see that are broken-hearted. They won’t even know what hit them! ;) Let the joy of the Lord be evident. Let the spark that is set off by your words…set fire for a whole new kind of revelation. Christ. Reveal Him and watch Him spread! Get excited because love is in the air! Angels are working. The Holy Spirit is leading. And Christ will make Himself real to someone that you reach out to this week. Oooo…I just got chills when I typed that. =) GO BLOOM!
Saturday, February 9, 2013
It was about 8am when I first woke up. (That NEVER happens! I remember that there was no school that day…and my kids actually slept in! *Cue the angelic music here!*) I laid in bed for another 15 minutes and then woke up annoyed that I wasted that much time of silence to write! I had allowed myself to be distracted.
Once I finally pulled myself up and put my feet on the cold floor I decided it was time to make coffee. (I love to write with a steaming cup of flavored coffee next to me.) Distracted.
I loaded the wood stove full so that my house would warm up now that I was out of my comfy, cozy bed. Distracted, necessary, but distracted.
I put in The Lion King for my now very awake children. Distracted.
I wiped off all of my counter tops. Distracted again!
Are you seeing the sly scheme? I was doing everything but what I knew I had been called to do. When I started to clean out my dog’s food dish…it finally occurred to me that I was being distracted from God’s purpose for my morning. UGH! I can’t stand that little punk! No more distractions!
By this time it was 9am…and I was getting stubborn! The enemy really should know better than to mess with this girl and her writing. Oh how he tries to keep me silent…but what he so often forgets is that my Daddy is bigger than him! :p Haha!
Soooo, onto sludge. I am starting with the mental picture of sludge today. I want you to think of something that is sludge-like. Ugh…even just to
I don’t trust my children to not test me on the “Don’t splash in that puddle or you will regret it!” instruction that I have given them. And
Think about it. Water. It is one of God’s most perfect and utilized creations. It is from Him, for our daily use in life. It is used to keep us healthy. To cleanse us. To cook our food. To grow our food. Etc…
Water always starts out clear. (Unless you live in a little country house like mine…then ‘pale rust’ is the shade I would call it! Haha!) How does something that started out to crystal clear and perfect, turn into something so disgusting and unrecognizable? How does water become so sludge-like? How does it fall from the sky transparent and perfect for nourishment…and eventually turn into something that everyone avoids? How does a simple mud puddle turn to complete blackness with the most awful stench!?
It is quite simple acutally. It takes abosulutely no effort at all to go from fresh...to stagnant. Therein lies the problem...
Water falls down pure and perfect and then just sits. Motionless. Void of life. It’s usefulness being wasted. It’s rancid smell obvious to those who are near. No one will walk close for fear of coming away with the same stench. Any new droplets of water that fall into the stagnant puddle…immediately become black and carry the same vomit-inducing odor. Have I painted a clear mental picture for you? Movement is vital!
Have you ever known a person who has slowly become stagnant? Someone who doesn’t seem to be fulfilling much of their life's purpose. They don’t even seem to try. They are the ‘glass half empty’ type. You leave a conversation with them and feel more depressed about your own circumstance. Can I ask a hard question...are they Christians? Sadly…sometimes (gulp) too often we can answer that with a Yes. =/
I pray that that is NOT the type of person and/or Christian we are. When God gives us a gift, a purpose, a job, I pray that we actively search for ways to be used. I pray that WE (the church) don’t just let them sit. I pray that we are not void of words that give life. I pray that people do not fear spending time with us because they will leave feeling worse than when they came!
Let’s speak only what we would say if we were standing at the Throne of Grace. Let’s imagine that Jesus plays an active part in each conversation that we have. He does! Think about it. Really!! You know that check you feel in your spirit when you are about to say something that you shouldn’t? That is Jesus. You know that Scripture reference that pops into your head when you need it? Jesus. You know that sudden thought of compassion and prayer for a complete stranger? Jesus. You know that word of encouragement that you give or receive as ‘random’? Jesus! Those that I’ve listed are just some of the examples of our Father in Heaven being relevant, living and active.
How amazing it is to see God orchestrate each detail of our day. Look for Him in your today! No matter what day it is…or how long it has been since I wrote this post…tell me about how God was relevant in your day. I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! I want to be encouraged and excited with you. I want to rejoice. I want to sing praises for you. I want to thank God for how He showed Himself forever faithful. Leave me a comment in 3…2…1…
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Phone. (I haven't a clue what that expression even means. Hold the phone…eh…moving on.)
Did I just write that? A good pig chase?! Oy, how my life is different than I ever pictured it. Not worse…just very different. Haha!
Growing up, the number of times I was ever at a farm or even near farm animals could’ve been counted by holding up my ten fingers. (Super interesting, random and funny fact of the day…my husband’s parents were the ones that gave me most of my interaction with farm animals when I was a child. Every year they would bring their horses to the AWANA fair so that all the kids could sit on their backs and be led around the parking lot.)
The fact that I live on a farm now has presented me with many challenges. (Like trying to bottle feed four calves with only ONE bottle. Patience my little cow friends. Your turn will come!)
Some of those challenges resulted in fear. (Like when the bee keeper told us the queen had 'left' and the bees would not return. Do you see bees? Cause I saw and heard LOTS of bees in the side of my barn the two years after he said they had ‘left’.)
Some pain. (All six of us have been attacked by a rooster at least once!)
Some challenges...okay most of them bring some degree of frustration. Some spark a prayer session. But my favorites are when they result in laughter.
And pig chases…are all inclusive.
A couple of nights ago, my husband returned home from work and requested my assistance in the barn. Our pig was due to go to the butcher shop…and that meant only one thing. We were going on a pig chase! Have you ever seen a pig chase on a movie? I happen to have just watched “The Man in the Iron Mask” this past weekend. It includes a pig chase…complete with an adorable little piglet and a jewel prize for whomever was to catch it. Ours…was nothing like that. Much more manure was involved. Much louder squealing. Much huffing and puffing from chasing and pulling. And cold…it was so cold! Oh…and absolutely no prize jewel, just an angry pig.
I tried to be a competent helper. I really did! My job sounded so simple…just “pull this bucket over the pig’s head,” said my husband. He would “take care of the rest”. After several failed attempts he, surprisingly, calmly asked me to call his father. *Insert a sigh of relief here* I could tell that he was trying to not show his frustration through his heavy breaths from wrestling with a 400-lb pig.
I quickly left the barn to make the phone call
Anywhoooo, Eric’s dad arrived quickly and I watched as they chased the pig around our barn. After several more failed attempts to get Daisy into the trailer I decided to go for a new game plan. The very hilarious “coax her down the isle way with pieces of plywood then grab her tail and attempt to cover her head with a bucket so you can hoist her into the trailer” technique was so not working. I went with the ever powerful…Prayer. Why not?! God cares about everything right? I believe that…and so I quietly prayed for favor and ease.
The guys coaxed the pig down the length of the barn one more time and Daisy walked right into the trailer. SHE. WALKED. RIGHT. INTO. THE. TRAILER!!! That never happens! I laughed out loud. Eric’s dad looked right at me…pointed…and said with tears in his eyes and a quiver in his voice, “You prayed didn’t you?” *Huge grin here!* God didn’t have to ‘show up and show off’…but oh how glad we were that he did! It just gives us a little boost of confidence. If He cared enough to answer that silly request…how much more does he care about the health of my children. Or the restoration of my husband. He hears. He really listens! I have proof…and she will soon be in the freezer of my pastors. =)
Why is it that we don’t take the
I’m sure most of you have heard it said, “We serve a crock pot God in a microwave world”. I can say that I always, not-so-secretly, want to have microwave results. But I am sure that I would grow to be unappreciative of those immediate answers as well. *Eeesch…the truth hurts!* Those are the ones that help to strengthen our faith little bits at a time.
How about those crock pot answers though? You know, the ones that you pray for months or years maybe even decades. What enormous strides of faith are gained when we see God prove that he is forever faithful to our constant prayers? When we finally see that God had us through every prayer. He was working while we were sleeping. He was molding while we were busy living our day to day. He was preparing us for what was to come…while we were still concerned with what was.
Our God does not slumber. He does not forget us. He is always working on our behalf. Trusting in His timing is one of the most freeing steps we can take in our Christian walk. It frees us from doubt. From fear. From worry. From anger.
What reason have you for not trusting? Think hard. If you are able to come up with a reason…find scripture that will cover over that lie. Find a prayer partner who can help pray you through this hurdle. Because once you are on the other side…you will have JOY. Unexplainable joy! It won’t make sense…and you won’t care.
Whatever it is that we are to learn. Whether it is to pray without ceasing, or to talk to God about all things big or small, or to trust God’s time. Let’s just try to do this one thing first. Let’s put God back on His throne. Let’s not put Him in the same group as the people that surround us. There are people in our lives that just don’t care. They don’t want to be bothered to pray for our headaches and sniffles. Or for our stubbed toes. Or for our success to chase a pig into a trailer. But God is unlike ‘us’. He is flat out A-mazing! He is always waiting, anticipating the next time He will hear our voice.
I leave you with the beauty of our Maker. He orchestrated this sunset for
Prayers are forever beautiful just like pictures. They are unique and beautiful. (All the more reason to write them as well as speak them!) God does not forget a single one…just as I do not forget each picture in which I have captured God’s Creation. Keep speaking to your King. Keep laying your requests before Him. Keep speaking of His faithfulness in His answers. Keep looking for people to pray for. Get excited to pray. Ask a table full of children who wants to pray for the meal and watch as they, without hesitation, fight over who gets to go first. WHY NOT learn from them?!
I had a powerful time of prayer in my hubby’s truck tonight. I had to run a quick errand and I decided to do some warring. God was in that truck with me. NO QUESTION! I could feel His presence. I could sense that my Spirit was talking directly to Him and hearing directly from Him. It was so so so fun! I laughed. I cried. I screamed a bit…just making sure the enemy knows that I do not watch my spiritual family or actual family suffer without getting involved. I put him in his place. Beneath!
Do you remember a few posts ago when I wrote about God breaking my heart for what broke His? (Click here if you want to gain understanding into your emotional reactions to what may seem to be a simple prayer request from a friend/stranger.) At the end of that post I asked for requests. I wanted to be used as a prayer warrior for you. Whoever you may be.
To my surprise I actually got a few responses. Yipee!! Each time a new person called or texted, I knew it was them that I had been praying for God to send to me. They would give me their circumstance…and I could not help but smile. When you see the hand of God orchestrating something powerful, you just have to get excited! I get to talk to God. I get to pray passionately for the healing and restoration of these women that God has sent to me. Haha…I am excited! I can’t wait to see how God uses these things in their testimony. I believe because I have no reason not to. The God that I talk to…He is the same one that rose from the dead. He is the same one that parted the sea. He can handle this! I have no doubt!
Keep them coming. Keep sending me your requests. I don’t have to know you to pray for you. I don’t have to know details to speak life into your circumstance. This thing you battle…it is no surprise to God. He knew it was coming. Let’s ask Him what He wants to do with it! Let’s trust Him…and let’s become over comers.
You want to pray for me? I would absolutely LOVE that!!! Pray for healing and restoration in this house. Completeness. Pray for softness. Pray for supernatural understanding and grace.
How about you? How can I pray for you? It is my delight. It is my honor. It is my privilege. It is my joy to pray. Make a girl’s day would ya? =)