Words have power. Written words provide proof. You can read them, and reread them whenever you want. They can speak life to someone who needs encouragement. They can speak death to someone who is being deceived. The choice lies within you. How is it that you want people to remember you? Encourager...that is the gift that God has laid on my heart. To use my written, spoken, and/or sung words to lift people up. To be one link in their road to healing, restoration, joy. I have been without those things, and I claim them to be mine again. If you want me to seek God on a prayer for a specific situation...that is why I am here. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to pray God's Word of Life over you.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Relevant Reflections (Why Not?!?!)

Do you ever daydream about being a world changer for Christ? Why not?! This past Sunday’s sermon sets the theme for this year, 2013! I will say it again and again…Why NOT?!? God has placed within each of us specific skills. Specific abilities. Specific dreams. And all that He requires from us is the willingness to be used. He does the hard work…and the awesome thing is…we still end up being blessed. Think about it! God deserves all that we have, all that we are. He deserves our best, not just our final moments of the day seconds before our head hits the pillow. Or a rushed, monotonous prayer before a meal. He deserves the passionate side of us. He has created us to be passionate people. I can not think of anyone more worthy of my best!

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Let’s start out by reading from the book of Ephesians. When my pastor said to turn to Ephesians because it was packed full of amazing verses…I smiled. Do you want to see my Ephesians? This is what my Bible looks like. ======>

I clearly LOVE the book of Ephesians! I have written all around the verses. In the margins. I write whatever the verses speak to me that day. And I try to always add the month and year beside what God speaks to me. It is awesome to see when I heard from God…and how far I’ve traveled since. =) Try it. It is liberating. I just realized today…I will probably never go to technology forms of Bible for my quiet time. I want to be able to underline and write next to the Word of God. After all…the same God that spoke the Bible…is speaking to ME! I want to remember my Father’s Words!!

Let’s look at the word of God and apply it to our challenge for this year 2013 that we are in. Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Think your dreams are too big? Doubt that they can ever really happen? Read those verses again. Immeasurably more than all we ask or IMAGINE! Those are not words for the doubting church. They are living and active! They still apply! Align yourself with God’s Word. Ask Him what His goals are for you this year. Then brace yourself. Be ready. Be willing to follow through with His answer. Your life will be so full of purpose and power that I promise you will not regret it!

I’m not trying to brag here…but do you  have a team of pastors in your church and IN your life that are committing themselves to ‘do everything in their power to make sure that you get closer to Christ’? I DO!!!!! If you don’t, it is for your benefit that you find one! You see…those are the words that were spoken by my pastor Bruce this past Sunday. They sounded loud and clear to my listening ear. To know that they really WANT their church body to know Christ more deeply and passionately…oh how wonderful news that is. And to know that they want to see new ministry, new life, new believers, new callings…called into existence. That is what it is about. Genuine love for the body of Christ…rare, but remarkable!

And how about this statement? “THE CHURCH HAS LEFT THE BUILDING!” All caps makes it seem in writing like I am yelling those words right? That is what it is about. We go to church to commune. To be fed. To serve. To be built up and encouraged. To use our giftings. But then…we are called to go out. Out to the lost. Out into our community. Out to other countries. Out to whoever God places in your path. We become the hands and feet of Christ. We put into practice what we have been taught. We pray when God speaks to our hearts. We speak when God prompts our lips. We do what God instructs. What a world that would be to live in! Close your eyes and picture it. His design is perfect in every way! Get out of His way…and step into His way. Does that make sense?

My church’s challenge for 2013 is to make an effort, each week, to try to become 2% closer to Christ. Just 2% per week. That seems do-able right? And by Christmas, at the end of 2013…oh the world changers that will have been made. I am in. I am ready. I am really excited for the year 2013! I could not have said that a month ago. But God, oh He can do wonders, miracles when we just trust His ways.

I, in my house, in my life…I am making some life goals for myself. I am writing them to you…so that you can pray them into reality too. I want to change as much this year as I did last year…plus some! I want to be relevant and alive. I want those who meet me, to know Christ because He is just bursting out!

Exciting things have happened to me already. Really! This year has JUST begun. Here it is the 8th of January and let me show you two things that God has already blessed me with…
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The first…I got published in my first devotional book!!!!! It is called Living the Gospel Life. (Click <== that link if you want to see how you can get copies of these in your home, your church!)                                                                          
Here is my first devotional page the January-March issue.  Fox Family Ins-Craig's List 156 Fox Family Ins-Craig's List 157<=Ack! That’s my name! =)

This is my first writing job where I get paid to do what I LOVE! That can only be the planning and workings of my God. He placed this desire to write, within me. He molded it along the way. He tweaked it. And now I feel humbled, blessed and extremely excited to be able to write with a divine purpose. What is to come? My very own devotional! Full pages of what God speaks to me. In print. In stores. Because…why not? Why wouldn’t God do that with me? He placed the desire within me…and this year I am going all out! =)

The second…I won my first photography contest! Fox Family Ins-Craig's List 152
I am pretty confident that when I ripped open the magazine Fox Family Ins-Craig's List 153 to see the contest results…that I squealed.

Fox Family Ins-Craig's List 144 I had hoped, but not expected.

I know I posted this picture recently…but I will post it again. This was the winning photo in the ‘Editor’s Choice’ category for the 2012 Penn Lines Magazine contest. Fox Family Ins-Craig's List 148 Fox Family Ins-Craig's List 151 And just to keep me humble…my daughter’s favorite photo is the beautiful butterfly in the bottom left hand corner of the magazine. Bahahaha…I love her honesty! And I do admit ,without any hesitation, that it IS a beautifully captured butterfly!

And again…it is not much…but there is a cash prize. Isn’t God so good? He taught me to do some amazing things with my photography and writing this year. I am fully aware of who my Teacher is! I give Him the credit because without Him I have no purpose. He is the reason I create! He has created such wonderful things of beauty. Sunrises. My Children. Flowers. Animals. Churches. I can keep going… ;)

I have no idea how photography fits into His plan for 2013. I have some ideas for Him…but I will wait for His lead. I will trust that His eye is on target. When He is in it…it is just easy.

I am also praying for new songs to be poured out from God, into the hearts of people that surround me. New songs! As in songs never heard before. We serve a God who is a very creative Artist! He has does not run out of ideas. His song book is just bursting as it waits to enter into the earthly realm. Be open to Him. I know I am! I am praying for it. I am believing for it. I am waiting…with my mind wide open to His will in 2013! Join me! Why not?

I have always heard it said. Find out what you love to do…and figure out a way to get paid for it. WHY NOT!?!? I am actively searching to be used and utilized for a divine calling!

How about you blogger land? How can I pray for you? Seriously! Write me a comment. Email me. Message me on facebook. I want to hear how I can speak to the heart of Christ for YOU, my friend. What did God bring to your mind while reading this post? What can you do this year to become closer to Christ?

Will you memorize Words of Life? Will you write a new song to your King? Will you give your testimony of salvation, of healing, of provision, of God’s never-ending faithfulness to someone that God sends into your path? Ask God to speak to you. Ask Him to be specific. Write down what He tells you. Tell someone you trust…tell me if you’d like. I would love to know that I am not alone.

Be excited, because in 2013, the church is going to Rise Up and make a difference. Don’t sit back and think you aren’t/can’t be a part of it. You are not weak. If you think you are…you are believing a lie. The God who resides in your heart is all-powerful! Rise up to what He is calling forth in you. I am praying for you! Much love my sisters and brothers!

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