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.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Have Some Faith Man…Don’t Look!

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. ;) )



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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! ;)2013 Early Winter 248

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.2013 Early Winter 266 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

Just a little Devotion

“satan doesn’t need to take away your whole devotion he only needs to distract you.” –Pastor Bruce

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 five ten thirty minutes of beauty sleep? Or maybe it is a sick child. Perhaps it is that pesky, relentless mental to-do list. Whatever it may be…it is a distraction.

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 the cutest little blonde a rough-n-tough Titan. ;) 2012 Munchkin Football 144 2012 Munchkin Football 158 (I am fully aware that he is not really ‘playing’ ‘football’ *I’m a big fan of inserting finger quotes when necessary* in either of these pictures. But I just love that handsome little face…so I just had to add the ones of him smiling!) Back to the illustration…Aiden had never played football before but that didn’t phase him. He was genuinely excited to go to each night of practice. He loved getting a chance to race the other players. He loved learning about the game. He loved winning. And he even learned to be a gracious loser. (Seriously…I AM proud of that one!!) He worked hard to improve. He didn’t want to miss a single opportunity to learn more and to play longer. He still talks about it and can’t wait until he can play again this coming season.

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!