Friday, February 22, 2013

Confessions of a Good Girl-A Guest Post

Today you can find me on The Whatever Girls blog sharing a story from my teenage years. Testimonies are all unique and useful in seeing God's glory and the Gospel lived out. Many think that if their story isn't dramatic then no one wants to hear it. It is my conviction that it is the "good kids" who can have the hardest time seeing their need for Christ. We all need grace. We all need Jesus. He is the author and perfecter of our faith. See the post here:
Confessions of a Good Girl

Hebrews 12:1-3
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow wearyand lose heart."

Friday, February 8, 2013

Difficult Discipleship

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" -Matthew 28:19 (NIV)

Help is relative. I find this to be true in all aspects of life. When you think you might be offering what  YOU CONSIDER to be help for someone, they may perceive that you are not or at least not to their expectations. This experience has been observed with my kids (I clean their room and they get mad I "messed it up", at work (a patient who wants "help" but is unwilling to adhere to the recommendations of the doctor) and in ministry (you offer discipleship and relationship but the recipient doesn't want to submit, to change or simply doesn't want what you are offering). 

I love this scene in Jerry McGuire. Both men are frustrated and expect the other to understand their own perspective. It's a great "clip" of humanity and the difficulty of relationships. Both are men are invested, but neither one is hearing what the other one needs or wants. Relationships are rarely easy and I would argue, if it comes too easy then you are not being vulnerable or honest enough in or about that relationship. The truth is we all have something, and I would contend MUCH, to learn and relationships, specifically in marriage and in the fellowship of believers, are intended to offer a balance of gifts, perspectives, experience and leadership. Without is bland, boring and is often lacking perspective or growth. No one goes to a school where the teacher is no more educated than the student. We pursue to learn and get help from those who've studied, those who've practiced and those who know more than ourselves.

What I've observed, so far in my recent experiences, is there are those who ONLY want to be led and those who DON'T want to be led at all. You're probably thinking...duh. But real relationship and discipleship require both. If we just sit around waiting for someone to tell us what to do in our spiritual life, we never learn to decipher the Spirit's voice for ourselves. If we refuse to seek wise and Godly (those two words being key here) counsel and listen to it or flat out refuse to obey the clear commands of scripture , then we miss out on learning...miss out on growing and place ourselves, our desires and our thoughts as an idol before the Lord. 

I share this because I see myself in both the men in this clip. I am frustrated because I long to encourage women for Christ but find that currently, not many want that. I also find that there are very few women who feel it is their responsibility to lead/disciple, even in a sinmple relationship. Our society is generally coming from place of "make me feel better", "make me look better"...but "don't make it hard" and "don't make me change". That's true of the old and young. It's true of the leaders and the followers. Sometimes, it's true of me. 

Let me be clear that it is Christ who works in us to draw out change in us and for His purposes. It is His Spirit inside of us that compels us to even desire it. So, what does that mean for us in the body and in the realm of discipleship? 

This question has and is still clouding my mind. I believe God's Word is clear that we should be:
1. Speaking the Truth of His Word to unbelievers.
2. Instructing and equipping the believers to do the same
3. Being in fellowship and submitting ourselves to Christ and those He has placed in leadership over us

Sitting in church once a week does not fall into these categories. Spending time with people who are only like-minded friends does not either. 

I do not have this all figured out myself. I confess that I struggle with evangelism to the lost. I confess my fear and pride keep me from stepping out most times. BUT, my affections are for Christ and His people and I'm learning how He can use my failings for His glory. The obvious ways to do this is to be in His Word, in prayer BUT the less traveled path by people in the church is to be in genuine discipleship with someone, both in submission to someone AND as an example or guide to someone else. 

I pray for women who genuinely want this. Women who want to lead and women who want to be led. I'm tired of being frustrated yelling out "Help me Help you!!" 

Lord, I need You. I pray for the work of your Spirit to inspire me to seek you more, to be submissive and to see people who desire true discipleship....true discipleship. You're Word and Spirit are complete and I know Lord you do not need my help, but Your Word tells us to be obedient in these areas and God, I pray for a response. Not to me. But to you. I pray that Your Spirit would compel in myself and in other women to desire this and be willing to take a step outside their comfort zone and be vulnerable. Father, I know this will hurt and it may not look like I envision, but I ask that you give me more of You so that I can be faithful to the call. I need courage and I need a patience from you that I do NOT have on my own. I pray for humility and for a heart that loves others more than myself. I ask God that I would have a heart of worship for YOU. 


Thursday, January 10, 2013

"Alone, bad. Friend, good." --Bride of Frankenstein

I've spoken with a few different people lately who've felt alone. People who, without saying a word, were visibly sad. It's not hard to see really...unless your eyes are closed. It hangs on their faces, lingers in their voices and lays heavy on their hearts.

I don't claim to have the answers to anyone's problems. In fact, I don't claim much except that God alone should be our sustainer. But He designed us to be relational, didn't He? He created us, marriage, the family, the church and friendships. He designed us for relationship. Relationship with Him and also, with each other.

I know, that even in crowds, I have experienced loneliness. The church itself is filled with people who feel unknown. What is it that we need to do differently? How are we failing each other? Is it even anyone's fault or is it the culmination of the human condition in a sinful world who fail to pursue God that leads to this sadness? Money and more freedom don't help. Political agendas don't help. More churches haven't helped. More programs haven't helped. Medicine or a diagnosis doesn't help. So what now...

What are your thoughts?

How can we as a body of believers... how can I encourage you? For no one should be left to wander this earth alone...

Luke 19:10
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

Psalm 147:3
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Monday, December 31, 2012


 Let us be silent so we may hear the whisper of God. -Emerson

 It's been a quiet day and I've just spent the last 5+ hours reorganizing my desk, burning old papers, filing important ones and putting memories in a special place for keeping. I've cancelled credit cards then cut them up and made a plan to spend different. To, in fact, spend less. There's something cleansing about cleaning out your home, in the cleaning up the mess, throwing out the old, getting rid of the needless and making a clean start. It's a jab at my pride whenever I do this because I see how truly unorganized I am and even, I admit, delusional about who I believe myself to be because you cannot hide from the filth or the hidden mess. You cannot set in order your life without first throwing out the trash. We've all got trash (ie. sin, lies, inappropriately placed values) in our lives, some of us just manage it differently. I am thankful for the gift of the Holy Spirit who reveals this in me and then works to help me set my priorities and heart in order. It's apparent that I need more that just a Spring cleaning. I may need a an overhaul.

I'v realized that maybe I've tried to manage things myself and failed. This is true in my finances, in family and most painfully in my spiritual life. There have been some eye opening moments...some that caused me to question my past faith compared to the understanding I attained. There has been some moments of feeling drawn in to the Lord's presence and some of feeling rebellion toward Him in my heart. In all this I keep talking to Him and telling Him how I want things to "go down"...but asking for His will as well. What I've heard from Him today is that I have not been listening enough. 

It's no shock, if you know me, that I'm chatty and that I love to make people laugh and love to encourage but often I fill the uncomfortable silent moments of my life and my conversations with more of my talking, my planning and my purposes rather that wait on God to lead it. 

I've heard others mention on facebook that instead of having a resolution, they're choosing a word to live this year by and I am choosing to do the same. This year, I choose to Him, His Spirit and to the people around me. I pray this year is His and that whatever He brings about in and through me is a result of His direction and not my ambitious pursuits. I will wait for and lean in to hear His direction all the while pursuing to be faithful to what I know He has already called me to as a wife, a mother, an employee, a member of a church body and as a missionary for Christ in the world He has placed me in. This is my purpose and Christ is more than sufficient. Here I am Lord. 

"And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave."-I Kings 19:11-13

"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." -Phil 1:21