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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

And the answer is...

A few summers ago I was working outside on my front lawn. Several cars had passed by and I wasn't really paying attention. I was caught up in the tree that I was pruning. Another car passed by. Then, all of the sudden backed up and stopped. That got my attention.

The lady who had stopped lived exactly one block from my home. She, her husband, and their son had gone to our church for a brief time, but had quit coming. In fact, it had been over a year since they had come. We would smile at the grocery store or in the neighborhood but not much more. She had stopped that day to tell me what her preschooler said as they drove by. She said that they were driving by and their son Troy saw me working, he pointed at me and said, "Look! There's Jesus!" The truth is I was Troy's teacher in the preschool room at church for just a short while, but when he saw me, Christ is who came to mind.

All Christians have been given a high calling. 2 Corinthians 5:20 says, ..."we are Christ's ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us."  People look at you and  check out your holy meter for the day. But guess what? They should! And it is not for you to prove, but to live!

Have you thought about how much God loves you today? He does! He is waiting to whisper hopes and truth through his Word moment by moment. He is waiting for you to be a living breathing example of his love.

My life is going through some changes. No worry I have placed on it or plan I have made has not made results come any quicker. People are watching. Many are praying (thank you). This week my husband got his last full time paycheck from this church. Four kids, life responsibilities and we are going to be bi-vocational. Randy, my husband, is starting a new job that has yet to match our income. Most people think we are crazy. It reminds me of when we came to San Marcos nine and a half years ago to start a church with three kids (one was a baby) people thought we were crazy... me too. It hasn't always been easy, but we have seen lives changed and God has made our lives better for being here.

So big surprise, the God who has never failed is on the move again working his will in our lives. I don't know if anyone who drives by my house will point at me this month and say there's Jesus, but I hope they drive by and say there are the folks who love Jesus, and he is at work in their lives.

What would someone say if they drove past your home?

Romans 1:17 "The righteous will live by faith."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Knock knock, God's There

If you have ever spent significant time with a preschooler you learn very quickly to never start the dreaded knock knock jokes. It goes from silly to eye rolling very fast. It begins with one goofy joke and rolls into a stream of silly jokes that become the equivalent of a bad Las Vegas comedy act. Today I read Revelation 3:20. It said, "Behold I stand at the door and knock, If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me." Why that verse made me think of knock knock jokes, I have no idea. I think perhaps because of the line that comes after knock knock; which is, of course, who's there?

Who's there? In regards to Rev 3:20, how about the King of Kings?! Imagine, Christ came to earth, lived among us, taught us, healed us, blessed us, showed us how to live, died for our sins, conquered death, and rose again. What is Christ doing after that impressive list? He is standing at the door knocking. It is not just any door. It is yours and mine, and ANYONE'S door. Christ came to save us and he is ALL IN!

This past week I was praying everyday and fasting some of those days. I plan on fasting and praying this week as well. I pray all the time, but there is just something about adding the element of fasting. I believe fasting is a physical reminder of taking our eyes off ourselves and placing them on Christ. Christ says, " if anyone opens the door he will come in and he will eat with them, and they with me." Eating together and being together with Christ is powerful. It is a feast we could never have or afford if not for Christ.  It is more than asking "who's there" because when we answer the door we are really discovering "what's there."

When I started last week praying and fasting I sounded more like the preschooler doing her Las Vegas act. Instead of knock knock jokes I was going on and on with my long list. I was just broken and I was listing my needs. You know, on the whole it is okay to ask. I need answers, and I want them from God.

God wants us to ask, but I believe God wants us not to only ask for what we think we need, but to ask Him what does He want for us. You see, I only know what I know... and that ain't much these days. God has these amazing answers that can only be summed up as WOW! I tell folks, "Listen, the reality is you are going to go through life, and at times, trials. The question remains are you going to go through them alone or with God? Because you are you going to go through them one way or the other."

It gives me comfort knowing that God wants in! He is knocking even when I don't think He is available. I need to listen close for His knock. God wants in. The price for opening the door is allowing God to come in and change your menu from mac and cheese to steak with all the trimmings for two. Join me at You might open your door and if you do, you will find God sized answers.

Check out this sweet preschooler I found on you tube. She has a great knock knock song for us all. May we have sweet child like faith to live out these words.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Getting Answers

Today Pastor Bil preached a great sermon. It was so good that instead of tithe I almost had to write, "payment for therapy session" on the envelope. He was talking about taking your life to the next level. Being married to a pastor myself, I know that the title Welcome to the Next Level is so much better than Hey Slob, Get Your Life Going! One of the verses in his sermon was Psalm 138:8 which says, The Lord will work out his plans for my life for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don't abandon me, for you made me. " (NLT)

I love that Psalm. Most scholars believe it was written on no particular occasion, but was instead a song of love, and provision about our mighty  God. In verses 1 - 5 the psalmist is praising God for answering his prayer. In verses 6 - 8 the Lord is dealing with both the humble and the proud. Bil's first point was simple. It was to decide what you want in 2011. He said later in the sermon that most people don't work toward a goal because they see the whole problem and don't take bite sized chunks to reach the goal. I would add that sometimes we see a big goal, we see a big God who is whole, and we see our inept selves and want to crawl in a hole.

What if you are so overwhelmed by the whole that you are confused as to what you want at all? Remember when you were little and a band aid fixed everything? The band aid was almost euphoric as it covered the pain, and it seemed to disappear. As we grow we realize band aids are a fix but they are not the solution. Do you know what you want in 2011? You do? Lucky! I can't say I am quite there. Some years it comes pretty easy. This year has started as more of a journey. The thing I want most in 2011 is for God to give me a clear vision for my life. 

I have a daily calender based from the book The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormy Omartian.Today she spoke about prayer itself. She said:
"Prayer is acknowledging and experiencing the presence of God and inviting His presence into our lives and circumstances. It's seeking the presence of God and releasing the power of God, which gives us the means to overcome any problem."
For me, today was not about moving toward, but moving forward. Seeking God and loving Him along with loving my family, my church, and others I get. How 2011 looks in the big spectrum is still a bit fuzzy. A little slack please. Our lives are changing. Our finances are changing (for the better or worse I can't yet say), and did you know no one asked me if I wanted them to change?! I am, as you say, along for the ride.

Today, I am making a conscientious decision to stop this ride and ask God for directions. I mean really ask as in REALLY ASK. I am choosing to be part of a movement called Awakening. You can find it at This is 21 days of prayer, fasting, and personal devotion. Honestly, I am perplexed this year. I have pieces of  God's direction but to say I see clearly... not so much ... yet. But God is so good. I know the result of truly asking God and that is He answers.

What is ahead that God would have me go to my knees this hard? (big breath) We will see.

(also from the sermon) "...fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of maturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you."
Romans 12:2 MSG