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Monday, December 26, 2011

Let's Thank God for 2011

Hey! Do you know how good God is? There is not enough Botox to erase the lines this year has made. I must admit that sometimes I forget God is there; always caring. Oh I never doubt his omnipresence (ever present), or his goodness, or that he loves me. It is just that I don't always stop to really think about how God has blessed me.

I mean, if you were to really ponder all you went through this year, would you see God at work? I do, and I am in awe of what He has done. Not because it has been easy. It hasn't, but everyday he made a way. He still does.

Do something with me today! Let's thank God together for specific moments in 2011. Our world , in general, has been hit hard this year. I don't have to tell you the problems (both worldly or personal). Those roll off our minds with ease. But today let's focus on God's provision in those tough times... and beyond.

We won't be thanking him for the same things. God would have none of that. He made us each with a special purpose. Each special purpose comes with it's own set of hard times. I hate hard times, and left on my own I might fixate on the hard times and not the blessings. But just for today... right now let's thank God for what He has done. Let us thank him for the WHATEVER's of our life. Those whatever moments make one persevere.  Let's get started:

1- Thank God for a time this year when he met a need in an unexpected way.

2- Thank God for a special person or people in your life. Thank God for the gift that relationship has given.

3- Thank God for an area of your life in which you feel convicted to change or improve. Like any parent, that conviction is there to make your life better.

4- Thank God for something that you specifically prayed for this year that has happened.

5- Thank God for _______________________ (something you feel the Holy Spirit leading). There is a reason the Holy Spirit is leading you, and won't it be fun (if you don't already know) to one day find out why you thanked God for that!?

You can continue thanking God or simply stop. Later you may need to ask God for your needs, but for awhile just stop! Stop and THINK about what you just THANKED God for during 2011. I believe it will make you strong to later ask for any needs you have. It makes us boldly realize God is in control!

Philippians 4:8  

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 

 Psalm 150:6
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.

Psalm 104:34
May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Jesus Was Born! Now what About The Presents?

Something crazy happened this year. Usually I pull my kazillion boxes of Christmas Goo out from our shed, and have the Christmas holiday explode upon our lawn, and in our home. No room goes untouched. To add to the drama, I am at Lowes on Black Friday grabbing free evergreen from their discard pile where they cut the real trees. I use it to decorate and bring that can't miss fresh smell of holiday cheer to the home. One of my favorite holiday traditions is putting out my village. Each year I try to get a new piece (big or small). I love looking at the wonder in my youngest child's eyes as he goes house by house and figure by figure making up stories and loving that small town. None of that was meant to be.

I just didn't feel like getting it all out this 2011. Oh we are still festive! We have our tree, stockings, a few select decorations, many poinsettias, and a big red tablecloth that screams "Merry Christmas". I am just in a "decor light" kind of mood. I took a pole, and several of my friends are sort of the same way. Maybe it is a San Marcos thing? So, light decorating CHECK! Now, what to do about gifts?

Gifts are a funny thing. One lady told me a few years back that she only gives her children three gifts because that is what the wise men brought Jesus. I thought that was a good idea. Then she went onto say, "... and that is why my little 'Billy' is only getting a Wii, a kayak, and some other hundreds of dollar gift (I can't remember)." I was thinking seven of my presents would barely equal one of yours! So that was out of the question.

Another friend had a great idea. She heard it on k-love this year. Give them something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. I love it! It has become my knew chant! Well, I am sort of following that.

Money is super tight this year, and you know what? It wasn't because we didn't prepare. We are just in a tough time. It is just what we are walking through as our lives are in a transition of sorts. What do you think about the following quote?

"Do you relate poverty with evil and prosperity with good?... This false money belief can be very tempting because of the emphasis society places on the marriage of success and money. It is a rare person who does not immediately define success by using the word money. "
From:The Financially Confident Woman by Mary Hunt (pages 47 and 48)

Mary Hunt (the author of the above quote) is very smart with money, that is after she had been very dumb.
She has a lot of wise words. Mainly that money is a tool. It is not to be served, or sought for at any cost. You should be wise with money. Don't hate or love it. Don't build your self esteem on it. Take steps to be responsible with it. You are not to judge people by what they do or don't have. Instead see what they do with what they have. Even the widow got props for her two small coins.

Randy and  I are blessed with many things. Our family, friends, church,education, opportunities, community, and the list goes on and on and on... yet, we are in a tough time. God says to "consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds." So here it goes...
- thank you that we have a marriage that puts you in charge oh God

- thank you for four smart beautiful/cool NOT GREEDY children who are thankful for what they are given

- thank you that after Christmas I won't regret what we spent because spending in our budget, and tithing are non-negotiable items that help us sleep better at night

-thank you because I won't lie... I did worry... and what did you do LORD?!!! YOU PROVIDED. In the form of financial gifts from dear old friends who "just felt led"... you lead and care for your children Lord. I am and will always be amazed by what you do and how you lead others (including me)

- and I am thankful that baby Jesus was born...

Please don't get all theological on me. My husband would remind me that probably the birth of Jesus was more in the October range and that we celebrate the incarnation of Christ coming to earth as a man and not an actual birthday in December. Next he'll be telling me that the wise men showed up later! :)

Bottom line, Jesus was born and we get to celebrate that! Perhaps you think that is the best gift of Christmas? I gently disagree. The best gift is that baby grew up and died for my sins. I asked him to be The Lord and Savior of my life. God guides my steps. He led me to my husband, to this town, to ministry, to have and raise each precious child. He forgives, he challenges, and he provides. SALVATION... Best Gift EVER!


Luke 2: 1-20

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Do You Ever Get Angry?

Have you ever been angry? Like "in your anger... oh ya baby you are sinning?" It is the type of anger that is both not cool or Biblical. Anger can be a really tough thing. Righteous anger is soooooo much better. Here is the deal with righteous anger: 1) you know you are right 2) you have Biblical scripture to stand on and 3) you handle said anger in a God honoring way. Many times righteous anger pops up when you see an injustice done to someone or something else or to the Lord. Certainly there are times that righteous anger comes about when it is personal... but that is where it can get a bit tricky.

Being hurt can cloud our thought process. We can know and believe that God never leaves us or forsakes us, but that waiting for a clear direction can give us all sorts of time to have eight conversations with ourselves eight different ways, and not one of them will give us the peace we seek.

Peace is NOT overrated. Christ said, "My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives peace." ..."Oh Lord, I understand that, but if you want to lead me by still waters... in Hawaii that is okay!" Our hurt clouds that righteous anger and many storms of pain and confusion rise up. Anger of an unholy sort pops up.  Here is the deal with UNholy anger 1) you know you are right with a BUT (i.e. I may have spoke truth harshly but they were so mean) 2) you may be right BUT you can't stand on scripture because your heart is filled with rage and 3) you handle that anger in a Not God honoring way.

Pre-king David was right at the edge of anger. Would it be righteous anger or just your run of the mill ugliness? He was overwhelmed! King Saul was hunting him down for being more popular than he was. So where does he run? To Gath... the hometown of Goliath. The good news it that King Saul would never look for him there. The bad news is everyone else in the town was looking for him for killing their town hero. David was found out and in order to escape he acted like he was mentally ill. He spit on himself and had a disturbed look with actions to match. They thought he was mad and let him go.

I wonder if David, in a quiet moment, thought about how he went from the greatest man of faith to the guy who drooled on himself in public? How did he get there? Listen to what David wrote at a time of feeling greatly overwhelmed:

Psalm 56
 1 Be merciful to me, my God,
   for my enemies are in hot pursuit;
   all day long they press their attack.
2 My adversaries pursue me all day long;
   in their pride many are attacking me.
 3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
 4 In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
   What can mere mortals do to me?
 5 All day long they twist my words;
   all their schemes are for my ruin.
6 They conspire, they lurk,
   they watch my steps,
   hoping to take my life.
7 Because of their wickedness do not let them escape;
   in your anger, God, bring the nations down.
 8 Record my misery;
   list my tears on your scroll—
   are they not in your record?
9 Then my enemies will turn back
   when I call for help.
   By this I will know that God is for me.
 10 In God, whose word I praise,
   in the LORD, whose word I praise—
11 in God I trust and am not afraid.
   What can man do to me?
 12 I am under vows to you, my God;
   I will present my thank offerings to you.
13 For you have delivered me from death
   and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God
   in the light of life.

I am sure mixed in that misery was anger. Feeling alone and overwhelmed  David went to God; which is the first place anyone should go. One of my favorite verses in this Psalm is verse 8
 "8 Record my misery;
   list my tears on your scroll—
   are they not in your record?"
When I read it I feel like David is begging God  to notice his pain! Notice me God... write it down... is it in your record?!!!

There are no emails from God, or clear signs until God sees fit to show them. But make no mistake God sees your pain. He sees our faithfulness, our pain, our needs. Hurt, and sadness are a part of life. Anger is a byproduct of holding that pain. Dear one, you... and I are not meant to hold that pain.

David's problems were not over by the end of the Psalm. He was still running for his life. Later we know he became king and guess what... he still struggled at times. Yet David writes toward the end this psalm:
"11 in God I trust and am not afraid.
   What can man do to me?"

David lived boldly.  Not always because he wanted to, but because the option of not living in faith was to relent and declare this is too big for God. It was a choice to either give into the forces surrounding him or hold to the faith within him. We are at war my friends. Hard times come. Don't let anger roll over you and create chaos.

What do you need to give to God? He is recording your tears... he hears you. He will answer.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Fearless, Living Life


(John Maxwell is a christian speaker author, and pastor that has written over 60 books primarily about leadership)

 The title I gave is a bit of a lie. Actually anyone who tries something will have some fear. The difference is they do not let fear control them. New things can be scary. You know what is more scary? Wasting away. New doesn't have to be grandiose, it just has to be led by God (one step at a time).

 I hope you live boldly today. Seek God and go where he leads. He has made you special. Don't let fear, or money, or any numerous circumstances stop you from being who God has called you to become in him. Be the Entrepreneur God has called you to be. TRY - FAIL- AND TRY AGAIN.

Change, even for the better can be scary. It may not even seem better for a while. However, small steps with God leading is so much better than no steps and the Holy Spirit pleading for you to move and live through Christ. "I don't exactly know" is just an excuse disguised as an anchor that gives you the right to not try. TRY, LIVE. If cleaning your house today, or writing one note is your best today; do your best and give God the glory. If your best is not putting off one more day where God is leading, GO! The company he is calling you to start, the love you need to show, the faith you need to have doesn't need to look like a fortune five hundred moment today, or even in the tomorrows. Yet, if you seek God and do a little each day it will be something. Something is so much better than "one day I wish." Stop wishing and start praying and put feet to where God is leading.

"For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." (2 Timothy 1:7)

"I can do everything through him who gives me strength."  (Philippians 4:13)       

"I hope in the Lord, I seek him and he is good to me." (Lamentations 3:25)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

On Being Bi-Vocational, a peek behind the curtain

My husband and I have been in ministry for over 19 years. For many of those years we were paid a full time salary by the church. Recently within the past year this has not been the case.

My husband is now BI-VOCATIONAL. For those of you who don't know what bi-vocational means it is Greek for "Works twice as hard and gets paid twice as less." I joke. 4 kids, insurance we now pay for, and a myriad of other changes has found me rocking in the corner at times. What's more my husband started his own business. That is where we are trying to get the majority of our income. Yes it allows him to minister, but it is hard work and long hours. So, we get some of our pay from the church and make the majority up through his job and my small jobs as we raise 4 children.

Being bi-vocational has brought with it a slue of emotions. I remember when I was at OBU and a lady came to talk about how she and her husband were bi-vocational. She said they were glad they did not rely on the church for financial support. It freed them in a sense to minister in a different way. Their pay check did not hold them to where or how they ministered. 20 year old Debbie poo-pooed that notion. After all... I was called by GOD and all godly people called by GOD in the 80's were full time... not like those bi-vocational losers.

Flash forward to my life today and I am prostrate on the ground thanking God that Randy has not only an M-Div from seminary, but a computer programming degree from Texas A&M. I have a few things in the works as we grow in this new field of being bi-vocational.

There are a few things I think you should know if you are in the ministry. Whether you plan to be bi-vocational or not these are powerful points that you would do well to adhere to in your life.

POINT #1: Dave Ramsey is right. Save and get rid of debt. These past months our account has been like a magic trick... watch it disappear! Yet, I am so grateful we had a cushion. The rainy day came and while our umbrella wasn't super big we all squished together and are ridding out the storm there. Get your finances in order. Not being prepared financially is like never planning out your sermon and just showing up to speak. For the most part God likes it when we are prepared. Be financially prepared. 

POINT #2: Aquire various skills. If I could I would jump in my time machine and go back to 1989 and shake young Debbie's shoulders and say, "Get multiple job skills... oh yes and don't date. Your husband is totally worth the wait!" A few years ago I got a sobering post card in the mail. It was from Buckner's Home. That is a place in Dallas Texas. It is a children's home, and it also has a retirement home on site. The post card read, "Adopt a Retired Senior Pastor and Wife." The  post card went onto say that many of that generation lived in parsonages and when they retired they had no home and no savings. These godly people were in effect refugees.  They had to leave the land of the provided home and now find their own way. I do not want to be a refugee when I retire. Having other skills gives you options. You could fix up homes, or use your degree for a part time income. You could create a new income using new skills. God is not a one trick wonder. Yes, he made you special and for a purpose... kind of like Paul. Paul not only preached but he made a separate living. He advocated for others to be paid for full time ministry. For him, it just wasn't that way. Using other skills grows your portfolio and brings peace of mind. We may one day go back to full time ministry. I would like that. However, this experience is teaching us faith and doing life in a whole new way.

POINT #3: Being bi-vocational makes you one of  "the peeps." Who has always tithed? That would be my husband and me. We would talk about it and share how we firmly agree with scripture that tithing is a spiritual act of worship. At times I had the feeling that people felt we had to say that. After all where did our income come from? GOD IS THE ANSWER, but others would say the tithe. Like it wasn't financially hard back then... it was! Money has always been tight (although I sure miss the insurance plan). We have four kids! Now we tithe just like we always have, but to me we talk about tithing with more authority in the eyes of our church. There are many days Randy works from the morning till late at night. He sneaks in his dad time, his wife time amidst his Quiet time, church time, and civic/fun time. I appreciate the sacrifices working folk make to be a part of this church and they appreciate the sacrifices we (always working but now in a new way) make as we lead and work.It doesn't make me think twice about being in a Life Group (Bible Study). It just makes me appreciate the pizza someone bought (because they had no time) to set next to the dessert I bought (same reason)!

FINAL POINT: Being bi-vocational is not glamorous. It is the hardest, scariest thing we have ever done. We only do it because we know God has us here for a reason. PRAYER and FAITH are the main ingredients to being bi-vocational. We could have left and gone somewhere else for full pay. God has us here. God is making a new way. I would say it is harder than planting a church... and I have done both.The only reason one should be bi-vocational is because God is leading in that area. However, everyone (in my opinion) should have bi-vocational tendencies. Having other sources of income, and saving, free ministers from ever feeling stuck. If God called you somewhere would you / could you go? God always provides, but what if he provided by giving you a skill to help provide. That is what he did with Paul (and Aquila and Priscilla).

Most of the time God requires more from us than we are able to do alone. Work hard, but rest hard too. If you are bi-vocational or in full time vocational ministry, God will make a way. Just make sure faith is number one on your check list for anything you do.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”  Pr 16:3

Acts 18:1-4  "1 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. 4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Pastor's Wife and a Dirty Little Secret

I was at a conference a year ago and I met a pastor. We talked about ministry and the subject of women married to pastors came up. He was very quiet as he listened to me talk about the subject. There was a sadness in his eyes and a quietness in his voice as he said, "My wife isn't involved much at the church anymore... I think she was just hurt one to many times." I told him I was sorry that she was hurt, and we talked and I prayed for her later that night.

A few days ago I was at Loews and I ran into some friends. The husband preaches at another church in town, and they are newly married. His wife said it has been interesting (that is code for foreign being a pastor's wife and hard at times) to fit into the pastor's wife "role". We all had a good talk, and the husband thanked me for encouraging her to be strong and to live her faith months ago.

Here we have two women who, in my opinion, represent a pretty healthy group of pastor's wives. You have wives who are involved in ministry and some that aren't. There are various types of involvement, and I think God leads where and when someone should serve. However, I want to caution you about a dirty little secret that we don't always talk about.

Sometimes wives are just busy. They are working a full time job, or meeting various needs that have them for a time serving light at church. Unfortunately, there are some that quit serving all together because someone(s) or something(s) seemed too painful. It was a real I'll take my toys and go home moment for the wife.I would like to say a sympathetic "I feel ya dog" at this juncture. 19 years in wedded bliss and blisters and I understand that sometimes in the body of Christ you don't feel like and eye or a hand, but a bruise that people keep poking. In fact your hiatus may even be in the name of your husband because you can't stand "those people" (those people usually meaning less than five) treating him like that.

So what's the dirty little secret? Sadly, it is that some pastor's wives quit serving their Lord and Savior because they have been hurt. The pastor wife stays away and nurses those hurts, and amazingly church goes on even though others wonder where she is. She is stuck in her hurts and life moves on, except for her. I believe that isn't even the worst secret. Compassionately I say the worst is that she just allowed others to squelch what she was made for (ministry). She is making a choice to say I will base my ministry on the opinion of others.

I know that sounds harsh. People were mean to her and I want her to stay? You know this isn't just pastor's wives. Throughout the years I've seen good people... great people have ministries and at the point that it became rough they fled to either another church or into a nothingness that wrote their time with God somewhere between trying line dancing and taking up a hobby. It is a dirty secret because it is a lie from Satan that stops God's leaders from succeeding.

Look, I am never going to say you have to be abused emotionally, but I am always going to say YOUR MINISTRY IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR! Perhaps these five tips might help you when you feel like opening up the exit door and sliding onto the tarmac and walking away.

1- You are a child of The Most High. Don't you ever for one second think you are any less. When people have gossiped about me, and they have, it has hurt. Mainly, I think, "Who cares?!" I'll tell you what, if they are reaching the lost, and loving everyone (including me) like they should then perhaps I should worry. Until then there is only one I need to please; my Father in heaven. His agenda is usually met with question marks and concern by those who are not able to understand that God's boundaries have no end. For a time my husband felt led to have a worship time at night in a bar for college kids. People were saved and those who came from that type of lifestyle were excited to be a part. Imagine my surprise when I went to a local coffee house and heard two strangers at a table next to me saying, "I get what he wants to do but church in a bar... he has gone too far!" These men didn't go to my church. I said, "I don't know it isn't so bad." They replied. Really... why?" I said, "Well Jesus went to places like a tax collector's home and a well shared by Samaritans (woman even) to share the love of God. But if you want to know more you should really ask my husband... he is THE PASTOR OF THAT CHURCH (smile)." They turned pale and left. There is more to that "funny now" story, but the bottom line is this WE ARE HERE TO PLEASE GOD ... PERIOD! Are you ministering? Good! Then keep it up, it is not for man but God to lead.

 2- The old saying is true, "WE ARE ONE GENERATION AWAY FROM CHRISTIANITY BECOMING EXTINCT IF WE DO NOT SHARE THE LOVE OF CHRIST." What is one more soul anyway? I mean you've done your part and no one said thank you. Besides, what and who does baby watching, toilet cleaning, and all day 'Sundaying' really help? Everyone else is busy. Hey you are busy! So, let someone else do it! You are done being thanklessly taken for granted! Gently I say it isn't just baby watching! It is loving on a family by allowing new parents to be still for 45 minutes and really hear from God. It is potentially rewriting a child's future through 1 hour of service. It isn't just toilet cleaning. It is making sure God's house says HELLO and not WHO CARES SO WHY SHOULD YOU to new visitors. And it isn't all day 'Sundaying'. It is a personal stand for Christ that says, "for me and my house, we will serve the Lord     (Joshua 24:15)." And by the way God doesn't rely on you he replies through you. What is one more soul anyway? ANSWER: Everything to that one more soul.

3- VISION IS DANGEROUS. You aren't there to please others. I know that sounds crazy and yes "a gentle answer turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1)." So I'm not saying up their nose with a rubber hose. I am saying faith is personal. My experience is ten times out of ten God will ask more of you than you can do yourself. When people tell me crazy stuff like I want to start a ministry for dog owners who make their own dog snacks. I try really hard not to process their Holy Spirit moment through my own filter. My filter says, "That will never work." But God's filter says, "I am already working through that person to whom I gave the vision." Don't let anyone steal or make fun of where God is leading.

4- PRAY HARD because Big Girl Panties are better than diapers :)- "For God has not given you a spirit of fear but a spirit of power, and of love, and of self-control (2 Timothy 1:7)." How many friends do you speak with from High School? Probably the answer is some to none. You don't base your life on the head cheerleader's thoughts anymore so why continue pleasing people in your present life if it means not pleasing God? Who are your life long friends? I have a lot of close friends. By a lot of life long friends I mean a handful plus a few more. These are friends I have met at various places and stages of my life. Why are they super close? They are my prayer warrior sisters in Christ. They have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly and still call me friend (and I them). Big girl panties are meant for those who try. They are for those who understand that God has given them a spirit of power through him, and just as powerful love and the self control it takes to be strong even when it is hard. It is about seeing it through. Diapers are for those who make a mess and expect others to clean it up. Never allow yourself to be reduced in your ministry by anyone; especially those wearing spiritual diapers. My friends help me in times of my greatest needs. Sometimes I don't even feel I can go on but I know I should. Prayers put the power back into the hands of God. You need someone/ many praying for you. Make sure you bathe your life in prayer. It makes the phrase "nothing is impossible with God" possible.

5- Bottom Line, YOU MATTER! You are special, loved by God, washed in the blood of forgiveness through Christ's redeeming act of dying on the cross for your sin and rising again. He made a way where there seemed to be no way for you AND HE STILL DOES. He never promised that it would always be easy, but always promises to ease what is going on by having you take his yoke upon you (Matthew 20:11). GIRL! Why would you ever give anyone the power (including yourself) to exclude you from a life lived for God? And I hate to brake it to you, but ministry isn't just ministry. It is a spiritual act of worship that without it takes our love for Christ and reduces us to words. If you told your loved ones for one month you loved them, but didn't hug them or help them, what would they say about that love? You matter! A big part of who we are should always be a daily walk with God in every way. Let go and let God fully impact you even when "those mean people" hurt your feelings. You'll find when you make God's will a priority, other things just don't seem to phase you.

Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you." (NASB)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

When Tragedy Strikes

The town of Bastrop is about 50 miles from my house. Texas has had severe weather this summer. We have had over 50 plus days of temperatures in the 100's with no real rain (maybe a ten minute shower twice all summer).  Dry isn't even the word I would use. Even some of the cactus and the palm trees have turned brown in the weather. The lack of storms became the perfect storm for the fires that have broken out.

This is not the only fire. Additional fires in two other nearby towns also destroyed over 200 homes. Bastrop has over 500 homes destroyed with 5,000 people displaced at this time. Also, my friend who lives in The Woodlands (a town near Houston 100's of miles away) is also dealing with fire near her home. My 10 year old son asked me yesterday from the back seat of the car if I thought the fires would come to San Marcos? I told him I didn't think so, but even if they did we would make sure everyone in our family was safe. I said our family's safety was the most important thing.

 I don't know if you have ever had a tragedy in your life. I have. Some tragedies stem from natural occurrences. Some are man made, and they range from fire to horrific moments that make one rebuild  life in one way or another. When people have tragedies I believe there are three specific things we should do to help.

The first is pray. Who does not have all the answers?... that would be me. I've said it before but please allow me to say it one more time... welcome to this ain't heaven... population the human race. Our imperfection sees something like the fires and the hopelessness and it makes us overwhelmed. So take your burdens and prayer requests to God. And PLEASE don't pray a wimpy prayer like,  "well God if you could see fit make this a little better, please help anyway you can... uh amen... I hope." When I had tragedy strike, it struck without warning. My prayers were in the aftermath. My need was great at that point and I yearned to have God lead me out of a very dark place. Pray for the person in a tragedy. Those fervent prayers (for me) took a while. People in need - need prayers from you on their behalf because they frankly may not have the strength to pray with the conviction they should.

The second thing we can do is to be sympathetic. Job's friends had total "street cred" when for three long days they just sat with their friend... and then they opened their mouth! They said all sorts of stupid things which mainly posed the question, "What did you do Job to deserve this?" Hey guess what not in heaven people? Sometimes bad stuff just happens to everyday folks. In addition, yes, all things do work to the glory of God for those who love him and are called according to his purpose. It is just that after a tragedy someone has not walked out the other side to see that glory yet. A friend of mine said that after the death of his son, someone asked him a month later if he was finished grieving yet?! What do you say to such stupidity? Last month my brakes needed to be replaced. 300 dollars later I was on the road... until the next day when my 500 dollar fuel pump also had to be replaced. I must have looked upset because the man across from me at the repair shop said, "Don't look so sad. I always realize there is someone else who is always worse off than I am." I thought, "Yes and you are looking at her." :)  He was right. I got my car fixed and drove back to my home. Yet, in times of great tragedy a hug, or listening to or sitting with someone are much more important than an answer. If you do have to say something I believe the most powerful thing you can say is, "I'm sorry you are going through this, and I am here for you." Listening and sympathy help people on a road to recovery.

The final thing you can do is act. Today a friend of mine from church sent out a text that a lady and her ten month old need clothes. Her home was destroyed in the fire. Christians need to ask, "what can I do?" When the 9-11 tragedy hit, I did not go to New York. I did give blood. I did send money to the Red Cross. When Katrina hit, Bay Area Fellowship flew bottled water to New Orleans. When my friend had cancer, I picked her children up from school for a while. Needs can be overwhelming. You are not a messiah, but you are called by the Messiah to be a light. Ask God what to do, and the Holy Spirit will be happy to guide you toward how you can make a difference. I believe folks see God through our kindness.

Be a bridge in helping someone walk from hopelessness to healing by serving God through your compassion.  

Micha 6:8 "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.  And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

How to Spell McDonalds

I was reading the other day when Jeremy, my four year old, came up to me and said, "Mommy, I know how to spell McDonalds. (This I had to hear.) I looked at Jeremy and asked him, "How do you spell McDonalds?" He said, "You make an M and you color it yellow!" My smile was huge and I thanked Jeremy for enlightening me.

I was just on Facebook where a friend posed the question if you have ever pictured your life turning out one way, and (clearly by her statement) it not turning out the way you wanted it to at all? I don't answer every Facebook comment, but that one I did. I wanted to post, "Sister! Take a number!" or " Do you think these worry lines are from smiling too much?!" I thought about my options, but in the end there really is only one option, God.

Sometimes I think we have a "yellow M" mentality about life. I'll just... then it will all...! Low and behold, it turns out there is more to "spelling McDonalds." You have your c and just where you think a space should be there is no space at all and you go straight to the capital D (and so it goes)! Life is rarely predictable. If you have a predictable life, don't tell me. Coveting is a sin and I would surely sin.

Take my life for example. 19 years ago I said "I do" to a youth pastor. We were going to have kids some day (probably two) and live happily ever after (yes that was my big master plan). :) Fast forward 9 years and we are three kids into married life and just starting a church. Fast forward eight more years and we now have four children and our church plant is a satellite of a larger church... add a little over one more year and said satellite's future is shaky... and many months later my husband is bi-vocational, finances are tight, our children are still beautiful, and our main church is building out a new building for this satellite and we see excitement we haven't seen in a long time and people have vision and are starting to invite others! Don't make me relive that... instructions for where to send a donation for a three hour massage will be at the conclusion of this blog.  Yes nineteen years of marriage, children, church, and finances. Let me be VERY CLEAR I could not do this life alone! I NEED GOD LEADING EVERY STEP OF THE WAY!

Why is life so hard?!!! That is what my friend was asking. Why can't we just spell McDonalds with a yellow M and be done with it? I don't have an answer for that, but I do have another question. Why is God so good? Money is more than tight as my husband and his business partner start their own company and I am ashamed to admit I worry more than I should, but we are making it. We tithe and last week God (yet again) proved that he honors faithfulness. Last Wednesday my friend said meet her at the gas station. She filled up my car (a total surprise). That gas allowed me to drive back and forth buying supplies for fixing up the church, going to and from the church as I spent many hours driving around town getting ready for each night last week for painting. I would not have been reimbursed that gas money. I did not have that kind of gas money. God made a way. Someone else surprised me with money that I used to buy food. Not glamorous, but there was zero time for cooking and that yellow M came in handy last week.

In the midst of the God privilege of fixing up a church building and inviting so many more to come, and seeing what for me has been a ten year journey of a calling to come to San Marcos and start a work that will lead to a building that helps lead 1000's to the Lord; a light has been given. Honestly, I close my eyes and I don't know how I have made it or why God trusted our family with this particular mission. I just know He is faithful. Life is hard. Life rarely turns out the simple way we want it to be. But we are refined by the fire. We are at war with sin that seeks to make us less than what God intended. Yet we are more than conquerors through Christ; the defeater of sin. I am brought to my knees when I think of all I have gone through, and I am flat on the floor when I think of all God has done, given, and answered that makes me who I am today. God will answer. He has made a way, and that is as easy as spelling Mickey D' with a yellow M. Ask Christ to be your savior. It is a gift. Make room for God to make a way to guide you and  protect you. "I'm lovin' it!" God is faithful!

Philippians 1:6 "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." (NAS)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Serenity Prayer

Ask God and He WILL answer. Take it to the Lord today.

The Serenity Prayer       
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will direct your paths.

Proverbs 3, 5-6

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Drinking in the JOY during and after a Journey

Isaiah 12:3-5

New International Version (NIV)

3 With joy you will draw water
   from the wells of salvation.

 4 In that day you will say:
   “Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name;
   make known among the nations what he has done,
   and proclaim that his name is exalted.
5 Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things;
   let this be known to all the world

May I ask an obvious question? Who wants hard times? No one! Sometimes hard times are a result of others disobedience (called sin) spilling over onto our lives. Many times, hard times are a result of either our own disobedience or a push from the Lord to get us out our comfort zone

Do you ever wish that push was more of a nudge? As in a little scoot with a smile and off you would go? I think God knows a nudge would get us exactly three steps out of our comfort zone before we would turn around and run back to it! 

Let me be frank. What is glorious about pain? Where does hope fit in when a father of three looks at me and says he can't find work? What good is there for the mom who wants to stay home but must go back to work because of the finances? 

Sometimes when I pray for myself or others I can't help but realize God is waiting for me to ask as much as I am waiting for him to answer. This past Sunday Pastor Bil preached a great message. He said. "Many times God gives us our answer in bite size portions because, as Bil said, 'we can't handle the truth' (in his best Jack Nicholson Voice)" He meant that illusive big picture... that "best" for our lives could not be given to us in the state we are in now. It is the fire (aka hard times) that refines us. It is the one more time that takes us to that next level. I'm sure knowing that must make you feel better about the hard time you are in now. No? Me either. My life still needs answers, and my prayers for others are still waiting for those best answers. My human flesh is at war with the knowledge that I am a child of the Most High and that God loves me and has a plan.

What I do know is this... I have had hard times, God has never let me down, and His timing and BIG PICTURE MOMENTS are perfect and could have only come from those refining moments. 

We are in a drought. Wells are very important! A family member's home is on a well, and they ran out of well water this past week! Water is slowly trickling back to the well. Don't miss the above verse that says "with Joy you will draw from the wells of salvation." When my family member had no water, it was a harsh reality of the hard drought we are in. Later, when they turned the faucet and water came back, they rejoiced! The Israelite nation new this all to well. The above verse starts out telling us they drew from the wells of salvation. Their disobedience created hard times and as a result they walked through a long journey and realized the "YES", the water when they saw it.

I know God will answer. You will see your "Yes" and draw joy from your well and rejoice. Perhaps you are doing that now. Perhaps you need to start asking God for answers. God is there, and when it is hard to rejoice draw from The well spring of God's Word. Read the Bible and go to church. Satan has a hard time drying up your life when you are watering it with God's promises.

Jeremiah 33:3 "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." (NIV)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

God, Please Send the Rain

I sat by my window, and listened to the faint pitter patter of rain as it rolled into a thunderous symphony of water beating against the ground. The drops pounded like a tympani drum against the street and on my windows. I touched the windows and it instantly felt ten degrees cooler than it had been moments before. The darker clouds didn't seem scary, but comforting as they hovered above like a shield protecting me from the harsh sun.

The rain stopped. I opened the door to the steel gray sky. I breathed a deep breath. The world smelled like it had washed itself clean of the dirt and odor. I looked around at the wet ground soaking in every ounce it could of the sweet rain. Even though it had only been an hour, the plants and trees seemed more majestic as they stood outside bathed in dew. It seemed that the world had been reset somehow.

That rain was months ago. Yesterday, I was driving with my son Jeremy. He is four. From the back seat I heard him singing, "Rain- rain, go away come again some other day." Jeremy stopped singing and asked, "Momma, where is the rain?" I answered, "I don't know where that rain has been Jeremy, but we need to pray God brings some."

There are several places in the Bible where God stops the rain from falling. One that comes to mind is when Elijah told King Ahab that there would be no more rain until he and the people turn back to God. For three long years there was no rain! Elijah had to hide away, and by the time God told him to go back and confront the king, the king had issued an order to find and kill Elijah!

Elijah had a "showdown" at Mt Carmel! It is one of my favorite reads in the Bible. THE God verses their false god. It is quite the story! ( 1 Kings 18 ) Spoiler alert! The statue doesn't win! One very important note is that  Elijah prayed for God to send the rain. He didn't pray once, but seven times. The man with Elijah looked the seventh time out into the sea, and finally said, "I see a cloud about the size of a man's fist..." That little cloud rolled onto the land, and became a shower that ended a three year drought! It fed the earth and was yet another reminder to the Israelite people that God is in control.

July and August are always the hottest months in Texas. 100 plus days are more than common. However, no rain has made this the worst recorded drought in Texas history! PRAY! The Israelite Nation did not have three thousand plus years ago. Perhaps it was for the best, because it has not brought any added joy as I look at the extended 30 day forecast and see no end in sight to the hot, dry weather. My only comfort is that God does not follow, He creates it! In the blink of an eye, God can make the rain come and they would have to scramble to replace that hot dry picture of the sun with the precious icon of a cloud with, let's all say it together, RAIN!

I'm asking you to pray that God sends rain to the entire state of Texas, and to all who need rain. We need to ask God and believe he will answer. Many times I feel the Holy Spirit saying pray for someone or something. Today, God woke me up at 4:55 with prayers on my mind. I was so tired, but the need to pray was stronger than the need to sleep. Rain was on the list. It is a big item that needs your prayers too. As you pray today, add rain in that prayer. Our God is great and can do great things. Pray for refreshing rain!

Psalm 147:8 "He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills." (NIV)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cool Off and Fill Up With These Great Recipies

 Okay! With the heat as high as we have ever had, and the water as low as it has ever been, we need some summer fun in the form of food! Check out these great ideas from They will make your lips smack and your family smile.

Berry Orange Sorbet

 From FamilyFun Magazine
  • rated star 1 rated star 2 rated star 3 rated star 4 rated star 5
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  • Rated by 55 members
Made with a food processor, this sweet and tangy sorbet is extra-smooth. You can make it in an ice-cream machine, too--just follow the manufacturer's directions.
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or thawed raspberries or blackberries
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  1. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of the water and all of the sugar. Bring the liquid to a simmer and continue simmering it for about 3 minutes, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat and let the syrup cool.
  2. Berry Orange Sorbet Step 2 Put the berries and the remaining 1/4 cup of water into the bowl of a food processor and puree them for 30 seconds. Strain the puree to remove the seeds.
  3. Berry Orange Sorbet Step 3 In a pitcher, stir together the cooked syrup, the orange and lemon juices, and the seedless berry puree. Pour the mixture into two ice-cube trays and freeze until firm (generally 6 or more hours). A pitcher or a mixing bowl with a spout will make filling the ice-cube trays easier and neater.
  4. When you're ready to serve the sorbet, chill serving dishes in the freezer and briefly chill your food processor bowl and blade as well. Then transfer the fruit cubes to the food processor and pulse them, in short bursts, to make a smooth sorbet. Spoon the sorbet into the chilled dishes and serve immediately. Makes about 6 servings.

      Our town can not have 4th of July Fireworks because of the heat. However, this recipe will spice up the night! I will probably just place the red salsa and the sour cream in a bowl by the blue chips (no cheese unless I make them as nachos).

    Nation's B-day Nachos

    Put a South of the Border twist on a red, white and blue treat.
    by Sharon Cindrich and Judith Fertig, Photographs by David Roth From FamilyFun Magazine
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    • Rated by 2 members
    Cook Time:
    5-7 minutes
    Give everyone's favorite Tex-Mex appetizer a patriotic makeover.


  • 1 bag blue corn tortilla chips
  • Cooking spray
  • Aluminum foil
  • Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
  1. Place blue corn tortilla chips on a foil-covered baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
  2. Sprinkle the chips with shredded Monterrey Jack, then bake at 350° for 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Top the nachos with salsa and sour cream.

    Have fun! has a lot of fun craft ideas and easy recipes!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Forgive and Keep Forgiving Till You Mean It

(Sign says: "My bike was stolen from my front lawn last week. It is a one speed bike with a skull flag and a lightening bolt on it. The lightening bolt and flag may have been removed. This bike was brand new from the store. NO REWARD. I Don't even want the bike back. I just made these fliers to tell you I hate you Bike Thief. I hope you ride my bike without a helmet and get hit by a monster truck. I hope my bike takes you straight to hell")

WOW! Obviously, this person felt wronged! He was so hurt he made up a sign to tell that person how much he thought they stink! This sign represents some nameless person exercising their right to express how they feel. I mean... come on... they stole his bike with the custom flag and the lightening bolt symbol!
Have you ever felt wronged? What would your sign say? What picture would you draw? How do you take your hurts to God? What would you say? What would God say? I think it would go something like this...

God, all sorts of Bible verses come to mind like Ephesians 6:24 "In your anger do not sin." Are you kidding me God!? Do you know what they did to me, and how little they must care, because if you did you would not have even put that verse in the Bible! 

WHAT'S THAT YOU SAY LORD... that verse isn't for them.... it's for me? You put that there so my choices don't make a bad situation worse... for me? So, drawing a picture with a nasty note and putting it on an electric pole is out of the question? Okay fine, but what do I do with all this hurt!?

PRAY FOR THEM? That is a great idea! You mean one of those Psalm prayers... "Lord smite my enemy"... uh no not that type of prayer.... then what? A Matthew 5:44 prayer!Pray for those who have hurt you! Just a minute Lord I'll be right back.... uh I checked and God there is not an out clause on that verse. Like, what if they have REALLY hurt you? ... pray for them any way huh? That might be a pretty tall order. 

You want me to pray for them? WHY SHOULD I?! Because why... I was never meant to carry that burden of hurt alone? Oh... but I am hurt God... pray anyway huh. Okay... here it goes... 
Dear God....(the prayer)......... AMEN.

Hey you know what? You're right. I feel better... I feel not alone in my sadness anymore... Here you go God... all my fears... all my hurt... all my anger about this... you handle it. It was really weighing me down. God, why doesn't it weigh you down? ...You are love and give love... you are all knowing... bigger than anything... I see.  Honestly God... I'm still scared and hurt... keep praying huh. Okay, you're the boss. :) Actually you're my dad. So here you go... take it all. I will not live in fear, but I will live in your righteousness just like you planned. No sign for me.

What do you need to give to God today? What hurt stops you from living who you are in Christ! Hey new creation, God knows. So live for him.

2 Corinthians 5:17

New International Version (NIV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Monday, June 20, 2011


God, The Almighty loves us so much that he made a way, THROUGH HIS SON, for us to be with him. MMM, do you think God, who is mightier than we could ever know, would show that much love, and sacrifice that much; so he might "sometime" hear us, and maybe get around to helping us? NO WAY! Prayer is our time (our anytime and always time) to communicate with our God who loves us so much, he gave his only son.These are just a few of my favorite verses on prayer:

Matthew 7:7-11
7"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 9"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Mark 10:27
27Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."

Luke 11:9-10
9"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

John 14:13
13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 

2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

1 John 5:14-15
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him

There are so many verses on prayer. Pray with confidence. Know that your loving God will answer.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Happy Father's Day

 A young college girl came up to me last Sunday. She said she was going out of town next week and couldn't work in the children's area. I said, "Going home for Father's Day?" She said yes, but I knew that look all to well. I had felt every facial expression when I was a young person that she was now giving. She flashed her kind eyes with a slight pause and a half turned smile, and I knew. I asked, "Are your parents still married?" She said no. We talked about our MIA dads. A bit later in the conversation I told her I thought it was wonderful that she was going home to be with her mom. I joked and told her when Father's Day rolled around I had to find cards for my dad the equivalent of "because you're breathing"... "because you didn't buy my prom dress"... She laughed, and said it was very similar to her circumstance.

Truth be told even though my dad was MIA at times,I had a great mom and amazing grandparents that lived in the same town. They loved the Lord and taught me many things. I think grandpa's greatest gift was love. He loved the Lord, he loved his wife, and loved his family. That love set a great example, and that love is what I sought to find in the man I would marry.

As amazing as grandpa was, there was another Father in my life. It was of course God our Father. At 8 years old I asked Christ to come into my heart. As I read the Bible I could see God's fatherly advice emerging. Proverbs with it's wise words. Galatians with a list of what folks will see when God is in your life (fruit of the spirit). So many things he has to tell us, and the greatest? Perhaps at that time, and still today, that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5-6).

My dad died of cancer nineteen and a half years ago. It was a half a year before I married. For the last three months of his life I drove 450 miles almost every weekend to visit my dad in the VA Hospital. I wanted to make sure he knew how much God loved him and that God had a place waiting for him. My dad did come to know Christ as his savior. My earthly dad's greatest gift to me was a look of peace I had never seen on his face until that day.

Father's Day can be tricky for some. Now, my children and I lavish Randy (my husband) with love on that day. We also send love to my mom for being one of those amazing parents who were both mom and dad. We show love to Randy's dad. The gift of love is realized more since Randy's brother passed away; also of cancer. One realizes the honor to be together and say, "I love you." And even though we may not be with everyone we love this Father's Day, we have an eternity of days to one day be with them again. Our Father made sure of that.

Joshua 1:9
...Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (NIV)

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies (Psalm 36:5).

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Love In Action

Well ladies and gentleman. The earth shook, the stars rotated, and Randy and I celebrated another year as husband and wife. We now have 19 years under our belt! There is something about growing older as a couple. Like you have somehow arrived.

Arriving to those 19 years have been filled with every emotion you can think of, and then some. Those 19 years for better or worse have been mostly better and we are not any worse but stronger from the challenges. So below is my gift to you in honor of our anniversary! Through God's love and grace may you laugh today, love your family and grow stronger from what lies ahead. I thank God for my husband and family.

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Good Four Letter Word

I ran into an old friend on Saturday. She is a former co-worker. She's the type of person you love running into and wonder why you don't run into her ON PURPOSE more often! Her name is Kathy and her daughter is married to (cue foreboding music... DUN-DUN- DUUUUUN) a pastor! He is the worst kind I'm afraid. He is a church planter (says the wife of a church planter). :)

Kathy said, "Debbie, I told my daughter your crazy donut lady story (check blog post with similar name), and now I have a story for you!" Kathy then tells me that her son in law had a church member that wanted to meet with him. When the lady arrived she told the pastor that she had been wanting to leave the church. There were several things she didn't like, and there were certain things about his sermons that she didn't care for when he spoke.

At this point in the story I am sure you think she went on her way... not so fast. She told Kathy's son in law that she had- had a change of heart and now felt she should stay because she now realized that she had a ministry at this church. She realized that she had (and I quote) "the spiritual gift of correction." Yes, that is right. The Almighty himself had blessed her with the "gift" of correcting others. By the way, I hope you are not slouching as you read this (just flexing my spiritual correction gift)! It is true, I went to seminary, but I don't claim to know everything. I am pretty sure correcting others toward your comfort zone doesn't  qualify as a spiritual gift. In fact, Christ had something to say about that very topic.

Matthew 7

Judging Others
 1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.    3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Now, TD Jakes has a good saying. He says, "Your misery is your ministry." He means, the desire you have to see something done well, inspires you to serve. I think if you can't respect your leadership, and enjoy (for the most part) where you serve, your misery is just that... misery... for everyone. You can never find the good four letter word that is HOPE when you are holding onto the bad.

 Let's hear it for hope! It is one of the top three hits of the "love chapter" (1 Corinthians 13). Faith, HOPE, and Love, and while the greatest of these is love, hope isn't a bad consolation. I think that the other good four letter word, love, is how you get to hope. Love puts you in a Jesus state of mind. Love enables you to find the good and that allows you to find the hope.

What about you? Got any non-spiritual gifts weighing you down? The "gift" of complaining, or the "gift" of worry? Psst, they ain't gifts and they for sure ain't spiritual. Filter your life through God's love and you will find the hope that alludes many in both the good times and the hard times. 

Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

Monday, May 23, 2011

WARNING! The End of the World is May 21s.... Oh, Never Mind

Perhaps you do not live near I-35 in San Marcos Texas. So you were not aware of the impending doom that was awaiting us this past Saturday. You see, someone had bought a bill board add on the highway that said the end of the world was May 21st. In fact it was to be at 6pm. Now, he wasn't sure if it was going to be six o'clock our time, or six in Jerusalem. 30 plus hours have passed, and it is safe to say he was incorrect. God could end the world as we know it at any moment. I am pretty sure He will wait at least five minutes from any time someone has determined. Which leads us to our verse. This is what Christ said about the day the Lord comes.

The Day and Hour Unknown Matthew 24:36-42
    36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.    42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.

I must say, all that end of the world talk made me roll my eyes. Not because I don't think it will happen, but because someone spent all that time trying to determine and then incite others to believe his "findings". There was a positive side effect from this man's bill board. It made folks in San Marcos talk about the end of the world. College folks at my church did not like the bill board which led them to post verses like the above on their facebook page. It caused discussion about the end of the world as we know it. The check out lady at my grocery store brought it up. Her's was more of a nervous laugh. Everywhere I have gone the past week it seems to be someone's joke, or someone's worry. 

So, for all you folks who do not live near a bill board of prophecy, I have a prediction of my own. THE END OF THE WORLD IS NEAR! Nearer than it was yesterday anyway. How do you feel about that? Are you ready? Have those you love (and don't love) been told about Christ and his amazing love? 

I don't like that - that man created fear, and made one of the biggest events to come a "joke" to some. I do like it made Christians think and proclaim our faith. If rapture happens when I am here on Earth, I hope the person I am next to goes to heaven too. I hope as I am leaving I don't regret not telling someone about Christ's amazing love. In the end, which we don't know when that is, everyone will have made their own choice. We need to tell whoever will listen how much God loves them. I am thankful for the reminder of why I should tell even if it came in the form of a crazy bill board on I-35.

Check out this video. How messed up is this? The women of  The View weigh in. Still, it is really interesting to listen to their ... view. I am sad that to most it was a joke, and to almost all on the show it seems out of their grasp at this time. I think it is interesting that it merited a segment. Truly, if God can save me, and help me understand, ANYONE can come to know him.