Friday, April 27, 2007

Mighty Worshippers of Jesus

Tonight, my dad and I watched some of, Hillsong United's, worship DVD! It is so powerful! They have become one of my favorite worship bands! Oh, I want so much to see my generation taking a stand in being mighty worshippers of God! I want to see young people radically sold out for Jesus! I'm tired of seeing people living in defeat...tired of seeing people going through the same cycles over and over again.... I want the world to be able to look at us and see Christ! I want them to see lives consecrated to Him! I want us to take the torch and run this race of life victoriously! I want to see my generation spurring on and encouraging the next generation to take a stand for their Savior!

What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Touching Airport Story

For those of you who don’t know Beth Moore, she is an outstanding Bible teacher, writer of Bible Studies, and a married mother of 2 daughters.

April 20, 2005

At the airport in Knoxville

Waiting to board the plane: I had the Bible on my lap and was very intent upon what I was doing. I’d had a marvelous morning with the Lord.

I say that because I want to tell you it is a scary thing to have the Spirit of God really working in you.

You could end up doing some things you never would have done otherwise. Life in the Spirit can be dangerous for a thousands reasons, not the least of which is your ego.

I tried to keep from staring, but he was such a strange sight. Humped over in a wheelchair, he was skin and bones, dressed in clothes that obviously fit when he was at least twenty pounds heavier. His knees protruded from his trousers and his shoulders looked like the coat hanger was still in his shirt. His hands looked like tangled masses of veins and bones. The strangest part of him was his hair and nails. Stringy gray hair hung well over his shoulders and down part of his back. His fingernails were long. Clean, but strangely out of place on an old man.

I looked down at my Bible as fast as I could, discomfort burning my face. As I tried to imagine what his story might have been, I found myself wondering if I’d just had a Howard Hughes sighting.

Then, I remembered that he was dead. So this man in the airport, …an impersonator maybe?

Was a camera on us somewhere?

There I sat trying to concentrate on the Word to keep from being concerned about a thin slice of humanity served on a wheelchair only a few seats from me. All the while my heart was growing more and more overwhelmed with a feeling for him. Let’s admit it. Curiosity is a heap more comfortable than true concern, and suddenly I was awash with aching emotion for this bizarre-looking old man.

I had walked with God long enough to see the handwriting on the wall. I’ve learned that when I begin to feel what God feels, something so contrary to my natural feelings, something dramatic is bound to happen. And it may be embarrassing. I immediately
began to resist because I could feel God working on my spirit and I started arguing with God in my mind.

“Oh no, God please no.” I looked up at the ceiling as if I could stare straight through it into heaven and said, “Don’t make me witness to this man. Not right here and now. Please. I’ll do anything. Put me on the same plane, but don’t make me get up here and witness to this man in front of this gawking audience. Please, Lord!”…

There I sat in the blue vinyl chair begging His Highness, “Please don’t make me witness to this man. Not now. I’ll do it on the plane.”

Then I heard it…”I don’t want you to witness to him. I want you to brush his hair.”

The words were so clear, my heart leapt into my throat, and my thoughts spun like a top. Do I witness to the man or brush his hair? No brainer. I looked straight back up at the ceiling and said, “God, as I live and breathe, I want you to know I am ready to witness to this man. I’m on this Lord. I’m your girl! You’ve never seen a woman witness to a man faster in your life. What difference does it make if his hair is a mess if he is not redeemed? I am on him. I am going to witness to this man.”

Again as clearly as I’ve ever heard an audible word, God seemed to write this statement across the wall of my mind. “That is not what I said, Beth. I don’t want you to witness to him. I want you to go brush his hair.”

I looked up at God and quipped, “I don’t have a hairbrush. It’s in my suitcase on the plane. How am I supposed to brush his hair without a hairbrush?”…

God was so insistent that I almost involuntarily began to walk toward him as these thoughts came to me from God’s Word: “I will thoroughly furnish you unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:17) I stumbled over to the wheelchair thinking I could use one myself. Even as I retell this story, my pulse quickens and I feel those same butterflies.

I knelt down in front of the man and asked as demurely as possible, “Sir, may I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?”

He looked back at me and said, “What did you say?”

“May I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?” To which he responded in volume ten, “Little lady, if you expect me to hear you, you’re going to have to talk louder than that.” At this point, I took a deep breath and blurted out, “SIR, MAY I HAVE THE PLEASURE OF BRUSHING YOUR HAIR?”

At which point every eye in the place darted right at me. I was the only thing in the room looking more peculiar than old Mr. Longlocks. Face crimson and forehead breaking out in a sweat, I watched him look up at me with absolute shock on his face and say, “If you really want to.”

Are you kidding? Of course I didn’t want to. But God didn’t seem interested in my personal preference right about then. He pressed on my heart until I could utter the words, “Yes, sir, I would be pleased. But I have one little problem. I don’t have hairbrush.”

“I have one in my bag, “ he responded. I went around to the back of that wheelchair and got on my hands and knees and unzipped the stranger’s old carry-on, hardly believing what I was doing. I stood up and started brushing the old man’s hair. It was perfectly clean, but it was tangled and matted. I don’t do many things well, but I must admit I’ve had notable experience untangling knotted hair mothering two little girls.

Like I’d done with either Amanda or Melissa in such a condition, I began brushing at the very bottom of the strands, remembering to take my time not to pull. A miraculous thing happened to me as I started brushing that old man’s hair. Everybody else in the room disappeared. There was no one alive for those moments except that old man and me.

I brushed and I brushed and I brushed until every tangle was out of that hair.

I know this sounds so strange, but I’ve never felt that kind of love for another soul in my entire life. I believe with all my heart, that I – for that few minutes – felt a portion of the very love of God. That He had overtaken my heart for a little while like someone renting a room and making Himself at home for a short while. The emotions were so strong and so pure that I knew they had to be God’s.

His hair was finally as soft as an infant’s. I slipped the brush back in the bag, went around the chair to face him. I got back down on my knees, put my hands on his knees, and said, “Sir, do you know my Jesus?”

He said, “Yes, I do.” Well, that figures, I thought. He explained, “I’ve known Him since I married my bride. She wouldn’t marry me until I got to know the Savior.” He said, “You see, the problem is, I haven’t seen my bride in months. I’ve had open-heart surgery and she’s been too ill to come see me. I was sitting here thinking to myself, what a mess I must be for my bride.”

Only God knows how often He allows us to be part of a divine moment when we’re completely unaware of the significance. This, on the other hand, was one of those rare encounters when I knew God had intervened in details only He could have known. It was a God moment and I’ll never forget it. Our time came to board and we were not on the same plane. I was deeply ashamed of how I’d acted earlier and would have been so proud to have accompanied him on that aircraft.

I still had a few minutes and as I gathered my things to board, the airline hostess returned from the corridor, tears streaming down her cheeks. She said, “That old man’s sitting on the plane, sobbing. Why did you do that? What made you do that?”

I said, “Do you know Jesus? He can be the bossiest thing!” And we got to share. I learned something about God that day. He knows if you’re exhausted because you’re hungry, you’re serving in the wrong place or it is time to move on, but you feel too responsible to budge. He knows if you’re hurting or feeling rejected. He knows if you’re sick or drowning under a wave of temptation. Or He knows if you just need your hair brushed. He sees you as an individual. Tell Him your need!

I got on my own flight, sobs choking my throat, wondering how many opportunities just like that one I had missed along the way…all because I didn’t want people to think I was strange. God didn’t send me to that old man, He sent that old man to me.

John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

By: Beth Moore

“Life shouldn’t be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather, to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly shouting…”Wow! What a ride! Thanks You Lord!” - Author unknown

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Stand

The Stand
By: Hillsong United

You stood before creation
Eternity within Your hand
You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to stand

You stood before my failure
Carried the Cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon Your shoulders
My soul now to stand

So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You

So I'll walk upon salvation
Your Spirit alive in me
This life to declare Your promise
My soul now to stand

So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You

So I’ll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all

So I’ll stand
My soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours

Show me Your heart
Show me Your way
Show me Your glory

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Throw away the classy heels and fuzzy slippers and PUT ON your hiking boots...

Tonight, I got to watch the first video session to, Believing God, by Beth Moore. My friend and I started a Mother/Daughter Prayer and Bible-Study group last year, and we just decided to start working through this particular Bible-Study! I am so excited! As I sat and watched, I couldn't help but be in awe of the awesome truths that seemed to explode inside of me. The theme of this course is learning what it means to truly believe in God and living lives full of radical faith in the wonderful promises that are given to us in His Word! I came to a greater realization that my journey in taking ownership of my "promised land" (my calling) is going to be messy work. The enemy is defiantly standing on what belongs to me (through Christ)... and he certainly doesn't want to see me working on the land that is rightfully mine. Beth Moore was encouraging the Body of Christ to throw away our classy heels and fuzzy slippers and just make a decision to put on our hiking boots! The Body of Christ needs to wake-up and stop allowing itself to be paralyzed by unbelief. I need to stop whining and wishing and start believing and receiving! I now have a greater sense of hope knowing that my Almighty Father has a calling for my life! He loves me and He loves you and desires us to live lives where our theology merges with our reality. He longs to see us living authentic, genuine lives that will impact lives for the Kingdom! In Romans, it talks about God's children being more than conquerors through Christ! Titus 2:11-14 states, "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good." John Bevere states in his book, A Heart Ablaze, "The grace of God is God's empowering presence which gives us the ability to do what truth demands of us." We have the power to live set apart lives for the Lord...let's choose to walk in victory! Let's choose to believe in God no matter what situation you may find yourself in! He is faithful! Have faith my friend!

In His Service,

P.S. Guys, sorry about the shoe analogy! :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Family Vacation

Hey Everyone,

Just wanted to let ya'll know that my family and I are going to be out of town. We are traveling to Corpus Christi to go spend some quality time with friends on the beach and in the water! :)

Your Sister in Christ,

Friday, April 6, 2007

Meet my family... :)

From Top Left to Right: My Dad (?) and Me (18), My Mom (Never), Alan (17), Michelle (14), Philip (18), Sarah (16), Samuel (14)... I love my family! :)

We actually adopted Philip, Sarah, and Samuel from Russia three years ago! God has been so amazing and faithful! It cost $32,000 dollars to adopt them and every penny of it was given to us! None of it came from our pocket! When God starts something...He finishes that something! I love the quote that says, "When God orders something, He pays!"

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Beauty From Ashes

"Provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor."-Isaiah 61:3

She was young and ordinary - a poor Jewish girl. But dwelling in the innermost parts of her being there burned a heart that reverently feared God, sacrificially obeyed Him, and willingly let go. She was entrusted with a sacred secret: a promise from Yahweh. It was a promise that she treasured and tucked away most dearly. She would carry the One who tells the oceans how far they can go, the One who’s words can catch a falling star, the One who would conquer death to give us victory, the One who holds us when we’re broken. Mary would carry THE One. She would bear this child for nine months and then experience hard labor, feed Him, change His diapers, teach Him to read, comfort Him when He was hurt, tuck Him in bed at night (maybe with a few bedtime stories), but, in the end, she would let Him go.

As I ponder this amazing story, I am overwhelmed. How could anything beautiful come out of letting her Son go? Mary had to watch her promise, her Son, be tortured, battered, bruised, and then crucified on a cross.

We, as Christians, experience trials and we ask, “Why?” But our finite minds cannot grasp the big picture. In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul states, “We only know in part...” We don’t know the finished artwork yet! Mary saw what (in the natural) looked like a complete failure, when in reality, it was a battle won! What Satan meant for evil, God meant for good!

There have been numerous times when I’ve had to undergo a “sackcloth and ashes” experience. But ultimately, Christ was the Lifter of my head! He has been the one who has dried my tears when I have cried out to Him! He truly has taken my sackcloth and ashes and has given me His robe of beauty and joy!I know many have (or even at present) are going through difficult times. But please understand me when I say that it is possible to have peace in the midst of a storm.

Think of it this way: Even in a great tempest with violent winds and torrents of rain, a bird is able to sleep peacefully and remain on a swaying branch because its claws were designed to lock themselves for stability, regardless of the circumstances. In the same way, in our personal storms, we as Christian girls have to cling to Jesus! We need to run desperately after Him!

Young men and women, I encourage you that even in the most treacherous hurricane there is calmness found in the eye (the center) of the storm. Why was Jesus able to sleep soundly during the storm? Because inside He was at peace with the Father! He trusted and knew that His Abba Father was faithful and would see Him through! The same with us, even when the situation looks like it is all but ashes, God by His grace, can make something that looks so bleak and ugly so very beautiful – in His perfect timing!

Romans 8:28 – “For God works all things together for good, to them that love God and who are called according to His purpose.”

As I close, I want to encourage you with the lyrics to this powerful song called Still, by Reuben Morgan from Hillsongs Australia. Ponder these words as you exchange your ashes for His beauty: Hide me now under Your wings / Cover me within Your mighty hand // When the oceans rise and thunders roar / I will soar with You above the storm / Father, You are King over the flood / I will be still and know You are God // Find rest my soul in Christ alone / Know His power in quietness and trust