"Blessed is she, who has believed, that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished." Luke 1:45

Friday, April 23, 2010

With Everything

PRAISE GOD!

We finally got the word... the Deacons had a candidate coming! We were all so excited. It's been almost a year that we have been without a pastor and I know this will sound wrong but here goes...

It's been a great year. 

There. I said it. It doesn't make sense, but it has been.  God has been moving and working in such amazing ways. Every time something happened that should have been the "final straw" really just drew us closer together as a church family.  We have spent the last months learning each other, encouraging each other to grow closer to God and to each other. We have been casting the vision for our church of what it looks like to move forward through adversity and then we put action to our faith in God. We have looked to Scripture and prayer like never before to lead and guide. And what did it lead us to?

 We have started an amazing new Mom's ministry. Although smaller than before, our youth group is still going and still excited to get together.  We still have small groups encouraging each other to grow deeper in their relationship with Christ. We have new believers coming to the Lord and we have new members joining our family. 

God has been blessing us even through the refining and sifting.

Back to the candidate. We have prayed and hoped and had faith and prayed. And prayed. And prayed.

God finally brought him this past weekend.

We had a great time getting to know him, sitting under his teaching and listening to him preach. He and his wife gave their testimonies and then he answered the church's questions. Then they left so that we could vote. In about 10 minutes the votes came back. 100%. Yes. 100% affirming him as our choice for pastor. Now, if a room full of Baptists agree 100% without debate and lively discussion, you KNOW it is God thing. The whole weekend was blessed. You could feel it in the air as everyone's excitement and expectation of God's moving grew. God, as ALWAYS, did NOT disappoint. Not at all. Not even a little bit. 

My heart is just so full of love for my God. He is so faithful and so loving and so patient. His timing really is perfect. I know it has been said so much that it has almost become cliche-ish, but it is so true. As we look back over the past year, when we were sure that God wasn't listening, that we couldn't take the strain or the uncertainty any more, we can now see how God was working in those situations. Through the things that divided us, the things that hurt our hearts and tried to shake our strength, God was saying "Trust me. Wait and trust Me." 

"So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided." Genesis 22:14

Thank you God that we did! He provided exactly what we needed!

The only song that I can sing these days is Hillsong's With Everything. I play it a lot. I sing it really loud. 

I am inviting you to join me this week in flat-out 100% glorifying God through song. 

He is soooo good!



Stop by Amy's for more great examples of God working through the lives of His children.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Salvation is Here

I was driving home Saturday morning with the music up (as usual) and just letting my thoughts flow with the music, the scenery and any other thing that popped into my mind.

I was listening to Hillsong (love it!) and Salvation is Here came on.  I have gotten to the point I will skip this track because this song has been a youth camp anthem for a couple years, and I am a little burned out, but for some reason I just went along with it and continued singing.

I actually listened to the lyrics and was allowed the opportunity to get to listen to God reveal a little truth to me that, for some reason, I just hadn’t gotten until then.

We tend to see salvation as the one and done act of our accepting Christ as our only hope of an eternal life with God, surrendering our life to him, and receiving the gift of Salvation. It is true that we only need ask for salvation once, because when God accepts us as His child, he will never let go again.

But there is so much more.

Dictionary.com defines salvation as:

1. The act of saving or protecting from harm, risk, loss, destruction, etc.
2. The state of being saved or protected from harm, risk, etc.
3. A source, cause, or means of being saved or protected from harm, risk, etc.
4. Theologydeliverance from the power and penalty of sin; redemption.

Yes, Salvation is huge. It is an unbelievable, undeserved, un-repayable gift. It is the saving of our soul from an eternity separated from God in a hell we can’t imagine.

And…

Salvation is available to us every morning that we wake up struggling with something we just can’t let go of.

Salvation is available to us every time we can’t get past the hurt that someone else has done us.

Salvation is available for those times we said something we shouldn’t , and hurt someone we love.

Salvation is available for each and every habit we can’t seem to break, relationship we damage, sin that hinders us, and hurt that holds us down.

When did we forget that God is good all the time? He wouldn’t offer us the gift of eternal life, His love, His protection, His blessings, and not also give us a way out from under those things that threaten to suffocate and separate us from knowing Him here and now.  The gifts and fruits of salvation began the day we declared Him Lord over all we are and will ever be. 

We have to be strong enough and brave enough to reach for it over and over. 

“Salvation is here and He lives in me.”

We have the power and the ability to break down every strong hold, give up every sin, and take captive every thought.  We have the power do to it through Christ. And he wants to keep on, as the first definition of salvation says: “protecting from harm, risk, loss, destruction, etc” all who call on Him.

He loves you.  So much.

What do you need salvation from today? What is keeping you from taking that next, deeper step in your relationship with Christ?

Jesus longs to protect you from those things that keep you from experiencing the true depth of His love.

Bring them to Him today. Lay them down at His feet.  Salvation is there.  

"My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure" Psalm 71:15

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Where We Belong

There have been so many flash moments for me this week...

Wednesday morning on the way to work the sky was the richest blue with not a cloud to find. I am driving along looking at the trees and how they seem to reach up to the sky, to God, and I suddenly realized, I am living the exact same Wednesday Christ did before he was crucified.

 I had a hectic morning getting the kids ready for the sitter and for school, getting ready for work, hurrying out the door with less compassion than I should have shown. I was focused on the clock and getting my daughter to the sitter and getting to work on time. As I was driving and looking I realized, 

Christ was focused on tying up the loose ends of His earthly ministry in preparation for the coming days and the completion of God's perfect plan.

Thursday morning I woke up to live the same Thursday morning that Christ did.

My morning was slow and lazy knowing I didn't have a lot on my plate for the day. I was off work, planning to go to the park with the kids, take my son to the doctor for a cough, meet a friend to walk in the afternoon and then Bible study with my women's group that night. 

Jesus was preparing to be the ultimate servant as he washed his disciples feet, shared his last meal with them, and ultimately, face the fact that they would all abandon him in just a few hours. he was entering into the most passionate, grueling, heart-wrenching and desperate time of prayer in all of His ministry. He would be kissed with betrayal and denied again and again. 

Friday morning I again woke up to the same Friday morning that Christ did.

We went shopping as a family and picked up some odds and ends for the kids and the home, dropped them off at Nana and Papas, I got a haircut while the hubby took a nap, shopped a little, ate dinner out, and then picked the kids up to relax at home.

My Savior was abandoned, beaten, whipped, ridiculed, abused, tortured, paraded, crucified, mocked, forsaken and pierced so that his blood poured out. His death was not swift, or private, or peaceful. His body was carried to a tomb, wrapped in cloth and sealed away.

We lived the same three days. The same twenty-four hours. But look what He did.

For me.

For you. 

For us all. The World. 

I keep having these flash moments during my very, very ordinary days. These little moments where my chest clenches for what seems to be no reason. But all of a sudden, I feel this flood of Love for Jesus so strong, so intense, that I want to just sit and sob from the emotions I feel. I feel so much joy that I don't know what to do with it all. 

I see the clear skies and feel the warm sun and winds that blow me away and I am so aware of the breathe of God and the warmth that comes from the Light of Christ. I see the buds on the trees, the daffodils in bloom and the hastas shoots breaking free of the ground and all I can think is, "Oh, Sunday, I can't wait for you to come! Christ is risen, yes, He is risen indeed!

Our choir will be singing, I know our worship will be amazing, we will be talking about the final prayers of Jesus in my youth group class, our Pastor will be speaking about our risen Savior, and I just can't wait for it to get here! It is better than any birthday celebration, it is our salvation celebration! 

Would you like to join me a little early in celebrating our precious, passionate RISEN Savior? 

Happy Easter!



For more opportunities to share in the joy of the season, go see Amy.