Monday, June 15, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Because I did not want to take too much time away from others in sharing, I don't know that I made myself completely clear with what I shared today.
So, for those of you not there and for those of you confused, let me explain what I meant more thoroughly here.
Two years ago, the position for leading Seeds was open. I had just stepped down from being the MOPS coordinator. I rested for a couple months but really wanted to remain some part of the Women's Ministry at Hope and also be in leadership. So, I prayed - quickly - and jumped right into the position.
Shortly after I took the position, I started to question whether I heard God correctly and if I had jumped too quickly into something that he was not calling me to do but rather something I wanted to do out of obligation or pride.
So, this was about 2 or 3 months into leading that I started to look for a way out. Not because of my time with any of you but because of doubt in myself to handle the job. I prayed, wrote in my journal and shared all the reasons with God why I was not the right person.
Basically, I was scared. I was following in some footsteps of women that had been walking with the Lord for a long time. They were bible teachers, mentors, prayer warriors.
I was a fairly new Christian who had only been in ministry for about 2 years. What could I possibly offer to this group (you) of ladies? I convinced myself that I didn't have much.
Well, I never felt God give me the go to step out of my position from Seeds (until now). As a matter of fact, I felt him clearly saying - "Quit whining and do your job."
Well, maybe not in those words but I finally realized that if I was not called to serve somewhere else then I needed to glorify God in the position I was in.
So, that is what I did. I stopped worrying so much about being all wrapped up in my little kingdom and started focusing on God's kingdom. I started praying that God take the fear away and not the position.
"When we are optimistic about the future, we find the energy to create it." - Erwin McManus, Soul Cravings
Suddenly, leading Seeds and coaching small group leaders changed for me because my perspective changed. With last year's Fall kick-off, I found a new confidence and strength that only came from giving myself over to God. Giving up my insecurities and fears and leaning into God's all-sufficient being( 2 Cor 1:9). Turning away from the dark lies that the enemy would love for me to believe and toward the bright light of a God that loves me. To believe the truth he has written for me. For you.
I'm pretty sure now that it was all part of God's plan and my initial jump was me following his lead.
Often that is how God and I dance.
He says "Jump!"
I FREAK OUT.
I freak out some more.
He shows up over and over again until finally I give it over to him and let him lead.
As I wrap up this position, it is so I can take yet another position that I feel greatly under-qualified for. I have found myself again asking God, " Are you sure I'm the right one?"
I've jumped. I'm freaking out. He is calming. I have no choice but to give it over to God and let him lead me again. On paper - my resume, so to speak says that I am under-qualified. But you see, I am qualified through Him! The old saying, He doesn't call the equipped, he equips the called - it's true! Exodus 40:15, Colossians 1:12 NASB, NIV or my favorite translation of this verse in the Message...
...It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us. Colossians 1:12
The passage that I referred to today was 2 Corinthians 3:1-6. One of my pastors read this to me the other day and I was reminded that our "resume" is not about our education or our background necessarily but how we share the life changing message of Jesus Christ. As Christ-Followers , we are all qualified in this way. Just share what Jesus has done in your life with others.
I'm know that God has used me to touch people's lives. I'm pretty sure that he has used me to help grow leaders and to help people realize their gifts. What an honor! I just want him to use me some more. I never ever want to say, "I'm just too busy to be serving right now. " Going back to that same passage in 2 Corinthians - I don't say this to boast, just as Paul did not mean to boast, but to say that without God and without what I have to tell you about my Jesus -- my gifts would just amount to nothing.
I also spoke of some events that took place in my life this past year that have been difficult. Thank you for your concern. I have shared the situation with many trusted friends and have been working through it with them and God. God is faithful and good and like only he can do - he has taken these yucky situations and is making good of them.
There were days, I did not know how to go on. If I ever felt like quitting before, I definitely did during these times. But I kept serving just one step at a time - just like Su said today - the path right in front of you lit up to take just the next step.
My lesson learned here?
Life will never slow down.
It will seldom be easy.
Serve your amazing God now.
Use the gifts he has given you to further His kingdom right here on Earth - now.
Don't know what you gifts are? Find out.
Try this, try that.
Just serve HIM.
You will figure it out.
You will grow in your relationship with him and you WILL be blessed.
I want you to know that I have been truly blessed by watching you each grow, growing with you and your friendship. I will miss you very much!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
*All descriptions are the words of lead singer and songwriter Mike Donehey.All songs used by permission. All rights reserved.
Love Is Here
Mike Donehey, Jason Jamison, Jason Ingram, Phillip LaRue, Drew Middleton
“‘Love is Here’ is a song that was written in response to frustration of just hearing kid after kid after kid and adult after adult after adult just saying, ‘You know I would know that God loves me if...’ Fill in the blank with whatever, but we run a dangerous game if we start asking God to prove things that he’s already proven. Romans 5:8 says God demonstrates present tense, his love, in how, while we are still sinners Christ died, past tense, died for us and basically with that verse he’s saying, ‘Look God is proving his love for you today.’ Christ died on the cross and our responsibility is to simply fix our eyes on Jesus. Love is here. Everything we are longing for, whether we would say it this way or not, is really Jesus. Our hearts are made for him and are hearts are restless until they rest in him. That’s what St. Augustine said, so that song is just a call to anyone everywhere that the thing you want is here in the name of Jesus.”
Come to the waters
You who thirst and you’ll thirst no more
Come to the Father
You who work and you’ll work no more
All you who labor in vain
And to the broken and shamed
Love is here
Love is now
Love is pouring from His hands from His brow
Love is near it satisfies
Streams of mercy flowing from His side
Cause Love is here
Come to the treasure
You who search and you’ll search no more
Come to the lover
You who want and you’ll want no more
All you who labor in vain
And to the broken and shamed
And to the bruised and fallen
Captives bound and brokenhearted
He is the Lord, He is the Lord
By His stripes He’s paid our ransom
From His wounds we drink salvation
He is the Lord, He is the Lord
© 2008 Essential Tunes / West Main Music / Formerly Music (SESAC) All rights admin. by Sony/ATV Sounds LLC (SESAC). / Peertunes, Ltd. (SESAC) / Grange Hill Music (SESAC) / Windsor Way Music (SESAC). Grange Hill Music and Windsor Way Music administered by Peertunes, Ltd. / Phillip LaRue Publishing Designee (ASCAP) / Drew Middleton (BMI)
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Luke 24 (New International Version)
The Resurrection1On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' " 8Then they remembered his words.
9When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
On the Road to Emmaus13Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven milesa]">[a] from Jerusalem. 14They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16but they were kept from recognizing him.
17He asked them, "What are you discussing together as you walk along?"
They stood still, their faces downcast. 18One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, "Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?"
19"What things?" he asked.
"About Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. "He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23but didn't find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see."
25He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26Did not the Christb]">[b] have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" 27And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
28As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. 29But they urged him strongly, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over." So he went in to stay with them.
30When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"
33They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34and saying, "It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon." 35Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
Jesus Appears to the Disciples36While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."
37They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."
40When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?" 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate it in their presence.
44He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms."
45Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."
The Ascension50When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.
You can also finish reading about the resurrection in Luke 16 by clicking HERE.
Or John 20 HERE
Happy Easter Ladies! I hope this day that we celebrate our Lord and Savior's resurrection is a day of peace for you and full of blessings with family and friends. What a glorious day!
Friday, April 10, 2009
Mark 15 (New International Version)
Jesus Before Pilate1Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, reached a decision. They bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate.
2"Are you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate.
"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied.
3The chief priests accused him of many things. 4So again Pilate asked him, "Aren't you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of."
5But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.
6Now it was the custom at the Feast to release a prisoner whom the people requested. 7A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. 8The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did.
9"Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate, 10knowing it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. 11But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead.
12"What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?" Pilate asked them.
13"Crucify him!" they shouted.
14"Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!"
15Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
The Soldiers Mock Jesus16The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers. 17They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. 18And they began to call out to him, "Hail, king of the Jews!" 19Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. 20And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.
The Crucifixion21A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. 22They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). 23Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.
25It was the third hour when they crucified him. 26The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS. 27They crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left.a]">[a] 29Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, "So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30come down from the cross and save yourself!"
31In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. "He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself! 32Let this Christ,b]">[b] this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe." Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
The Death of Jesus33At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"c]">[c]
35When some of those standing near heard this, they said, "Listen, he's calling Elijah."
36One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. "Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to take him down," he said.
37With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
38The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry andd]">[d] saw how he died, he said, "Surely this man was the Sone]">[e] of God!"
40Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. 41In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.