Sunday, October 29, 2006

My friend Susan

My friend Susan has been dealing with cancer for a year and a half or so. God has the ability to heal her still today. But if he does not her hours here on earth are short. Susan has been a mentor to me. She's one of those rare people who wants to dive right into exploring where you are in your walk with the Lord. She wants to really know how you are.

I have felt sad for a while now about Susan's illness and all that it will mean for those she loves. If God does not heal her and allow her to remain here with us her hours on earth are very short. Today, I am not just sad. I am grieving. While I'm grateful to report I am not experiencing despair because I know where she is going and that God will be faithful to those she leaves behind, I am feeling the pain of loss. I've already lost the ability to call her or visit her. It's no longer reasonable to look forward to a dinner that's just the four of us. I've lost the access to all the lessons she's learned about God's goodness.

Susan was called by God to be a prayer warrior on my behalf. I doubt based on what I've been told she has the ablitity to be involved in that calling any longer. I don't know what to believe about whether she will have the ability to petition God on my behalf once He takes her home. If she cannot, I hope he provides someone else just as faithful as Susan. Most of all I hope I have learned from her example to be faithful in prayer for others.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

One of my best titles: Matt's Mom

Today I have a fourteen year old son. Wow!

I'm in a class this quarter that is wrestling with texts about women in leadership and one of the hardest texts for this room to understand is 1 Timothy 2:15 - Yet she (women) will be saved through childbearing...

Most people in this room are male or women who haven't yet given birth to a child. There are a many many verses in Scripture that even after long periods of study I would be clueless about but this one I think I get at least one perspective on. Nothing puts a woman on her knees faster then endless nights of too little sleep or lonliness from lack of adult interaction. In particular there was the series of two week periods, when Matt was three, that he was certain that I wasn't sure about the meaning of "n" ,"o", no!

I prayed and asked God how to teach Matt and ideas would come and they would work. I prayed and asked God for wisdom about school and we saw God's hand every year. Having a child has been the motivation for wanting a prayer life that actually stuck.

We're proud of our son Matt. He has a tender heart like his Mom. He has a sharp mind like his Dad. He has boundless Matt energy that could only come from God. He is quick with a smile and desires relationship with the body of Christ and our Heavenly Father. What a blessing!

Dear Lord,

Thank you God for transforming parts of my heart to be more like your heart through my relationship with Matt. He has indeed been a part of the working out of my salvation.

Thank you for giving us Matt. May you bless him and keep him. May you make your face to shine upon him and grant him your peace. Now and forevermore. Amen

Thursday, October 19, 2006

There it is again TRUST

My lips will Praise you O God.

Daniel praised you, there was a Lion

David praised you, there were enemies

Jesus praised you, you asked him to die

Job praised you, the enemy took his family

Mary praised you, others thought she was a tramp

I will praise you, in all things I will learn to praise you.

You are my God and my redeemer the deliverer of my soul.

I was reminded again today that God wants me to learn to respond to life free of despair. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Give thanks to the Lord in all things. God is able to do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine. God is glorified when nothing but an answer from Him can be the explanation.

Satan wants me to see my rebellion and the rebellion of others as a death blow. God wants me to see it as an opportunity for an eventual victory party. Sometimes the party is around the corner. Sometimes there are many days that require thanksgiving in spite of the circumstances until the victory dance can begin.

My breath prayer since this summer has been: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, help me to trust you!!

I want to learn to have trust as my automatic response. Thank you Lord for providing lots of opportunities for such a response. May I see them for what they are much sooner in the future.

Thank you Lord for two timely emails, one television station, one radio station and a DVD. Thank you for speaking to me through it all.

Have a mentioned to you lately how amazing I think you are?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

What will you and I choose?

When I was talking with a friend today I realized how much I want people that I love to experience what I have been recently coming to believe. God loves me. God has buckets and buckets of patience with me. But it is also true that God will not be mocked. God will not allow rebellion in his children to go on unendingly without consequences. I don't mean just natural consequences. I mean God gets involved in teaching you a lesson consequences. If your a parent and you live in a household that is at all like mine you walk this tight rope all the time. When is it wise to let circumstances in relationships or activities to be the teacher? When do you have to force an end to destructive behavior? Who can know the mind of God on this one? From my perspective there seems to be no consistent pattern on God's part. But I am attempting to believe that God does know when to let us suffer natural consequences and when to stop us in our tracks.

Has God been whispering in your ear showing you the natural consequences of rebellion? Do you see it and continue to choose what is unholy? Do you believe that God will get more serious about convincing you are on the wrong path in an area of your life? Do you feel out of control and helpless yet? Yes? Good! Then you still have time to fall on your face before God repent and humble yourself before Him. If you make this choice you will be rescued from destruction.

Or has God already orchestrated events that have forced you to stop what your doing? If He has your still faced with a choice? Even now you can choose not to submit yourself to Him. But oh my, my, my if you do submit. You will see miracles in your life you don't even believe is possible. You can be redeemed from absolutely anything by God's hand. You can be healed. You can be used for God's glory no matter what you've done. You can be full of hope. You can be full of joy. You can know the truth and the truth will set you free.

So what are you going to choose? Are you going to submit yourself to God? Are you going to die to yourself? Are you going to abide, remain in, hang out with, think with, love with Christ? Or are you just going to check in when it gets to tough to do it on your own. When are we going to wake up? When are we going to bow down low in worship?

Do I sound angry? Well I am. I'm angry that our flesh leads us to selfishness every single moment it gets a chance. I'm angry that the evil one is smart enough to trick us. I'm angry my son is growing up in a world that is overflowing with selfishness and pain in every direction.

I wish more people in my life were saying I have to learn to submit myself to God or I'm going to be in serious trouble. I wish more people say obeying God as a priveledge rather then a scary uninviting chore.

I wish God wasn't so in love with the idea of letting us choose between ourselves and Him.

I'm tired of people believing their playing a game of Sorry and it ends up being Russian Roulette.

I'm tired of caring about people and then having to deal with the pain of watching them self destruct.

I don't understand how God has done that for generation upon generation of people!!!!!

Dear God,

I am in awe of your patience, wisdom and self-restraining power. I am thankful that you call on us to submit to you. I'm thankful you go out of your way to teach us you are worthy to be obeyed. I am grateful you are good. I'm grateful your goodness is never ending. Lord forgive us for taking advantage of you. Please keep calling us into your presence. Lord renew our hearts and our minds. Help us to accept your love and forgiveness. Help us to cry out to you day and night. Help us to trust you with all things and in all your ways. Teach us to be true worshipers of you.

There is more in my heart then I can express in words may your Spirit take over and speak on my behalf.

Amen and Amen

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

No Confidence

I have no confidence in the flesh.

Since last Wednesday these words have not been just Paul's, but because of the Holy Spirit, they have become my own. I have been placed by the allowing hand of God and the willful choices of men and women into a season of sorrow upon sorrow. Before that season began I was experiencing a season of personal humiliation. I have dealt with a great deal of pain. At times it has taken me to moments of feely abandoned but that has been rare. Primarily I have experienced God presence. I have crumbled easily. But He has always been quick to lead me back to a place of communion with Him as I try to understand what it is He wants me to learn about Him and about my humanity.

I have experienced some radical changes in my perspectives. Attaining wealth is not something I aspire to. I believe many Chrisitans use the Bible to justify the excess we have and purposely avoid helping the poor. I fear for our future as a people if we don't begin to repent and change course on this issue.

I have avoided denying self. I have avoided surrendering my life to Christ. I have avoided hard truth. I have avoided believing that I can take some confidence in the flesh. I have avoided abiding in Christ. I have avoided a meaningful relationships with Jesus Christ through prayer. This season of sorrow and humiliation has successfully opened my eyes to all I have avoided and has invited me to embrace a deeper and more committed relationship to Jesus Christ.

What I am looking for now is the God given ability to willfully choose: Lord Jesus Christ I will trust you no matter how much trusting you hurts or costs me. I believe that the evidence that this has changed in me will be the ability to be joyful in the midst of sorrow.

Dear Heavenly Father,
There have been days when I have felt lost and I have not understood your purposes. Thank you for walking right next to me. Thank you for your patience with me. Thank you for your steadfastness with me. Thank you for speaking to me through your Word and Your Spirit. Thank you for calling me into a deeper relationship with you. Thank you for sustaining me and providing me endurance I do not posess. Thank you for my brothers and sisters in the Lord who understand this journey and have been priceless to me as I have held on during days marked by evil. Lord teach me to hate sin. Thank you for your promise that you will keep loving me. Thank you that your love overflows to others through a surrendered life. I desire to continue growing in my friendship with you and in your Lordship over my life. I praise you that out of that reality will be opportunities for service that will bring help to others and glory to your name. I have no confidence in the flesh. You are Holy and mighty and worthy of all praise and glory forever and ever. Amen

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I'm sure this post will be a rambling journey because that is exactly what is happening in my heart.

My heart was broken recently. Everyone around me is pointing me to Jesus. That was extremely helpful in the beginning. Because I did pull my hand from Jesus hand. I did turn my back towards Him. I did get angry with Him. I had hours of time when I wondered if all of us who have faith in Jesus Christ have been duped. I have never before spent hours in that place. I have only spent brief seconds there in the past. The combination of evidence in my life and the accumulation of evidence from the lives of other believers has in the past always brought me away from that place quickly. That wasn't enough this time. The fear in those hours was almost overwhelming. I was grasping for something anything. I don't know what. I was confused. I was sad. I was scared. If I didn't come out of this my identity would be changed and therefore every relationship I have would be changed. I couldn't bear thinking beyond that point. I slept a few hours. I got up. I can't go to church. I can't pray. I can't read the bible. I'm lost. Hours past. I came to the conclusion there would be nothing in my life left if God did not exist.

So I sat down in my office. I picked up my Bible and I said okay God if you exist your going to have to show up. I randomly opened up my bible. I started reading at II Kings 6. Elisha has been getting messages from the Lord that allowed the Israel troops to be on guard and avoid conflict with their enemies. The enemies were getting fed up and decided to go after Elisha. Overnight the encampment where Elisha lived was surrounded by the enemy. When the servant woke up he was understandably afraid. Elisha asked the Lord to allow his servant to see who it was that was on their side. The Lord showed them the hills were full of horses and chariots of fire..... And then the wall I was building crumbled. In a second I was aware that God had brought me to a passage of scripture that was dealing with the very epicenter of my fear.

The situation that broke my heart last week it seems was the straw that broke the camels back. In the last three years and particuarily in the last six months my husband and I have been surrounded by life and death stories of those who have chosen to follow after their flesh and have not submitted themselves to God. These aren't people that are out there somewhere that we hear about. These are people we love and have personal relationships with. The victories are small and the tragedies are great. We are watching people literally killing themselves physically and emotionally. I was just like the servant of Elisha standing there with nothing left to do. From my vantage point the only thing left was defeat. The enemy had outsmarted us. When God spoke to me through His word and spoke directly to my worst fear the floodgates of faith opened up. God does not let us demand what we do not need. But when we need something He gives it to us generously. I had no right to demand a message from the Lord. But because He knew I needed it He did it in such a way to minister to my deepest need at the time. What an amazing blessing and perfect gift from the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

One of the gifts I have received from my broken heart is this phrase: I put no confidence in the flesh. Without putting it into those words before I realize now that I have been in an intense battle. I know in my head that God teaches us not to put in confidence in our flesh. But my heart has been reluctant to believe this or understand this. My heart gets it now. I hope my heart doesn't forget it.

My questions:

What is it going to take for us to hate sin?

When are we going to realize that dying to self and living for God is the one and only way to experience life?

When are we going to realize that pride isn't just annoying it destroys us and it hurts the people around us?

How do we submit ourselves wholly unto God and not appear to be a freakshow in this age?

How has God endured the sorrow of broken lives for thousands upon thousands of years?

I will not survive the sorrow without God. I want to have a heart that walks with joy regardless of the realities of this world. I want to be able to trust Him always.

So to everyone that pointed me to Jesus. Thank you. To my God, thank you for the promise that you will never let us go. Thank you for not letting me go.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above, ye heavenly host. Praise Father Son and Holy Ghost. Amen