Posts

Showing posts from 2015
"Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:14)

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

(I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, words by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1864)

I read the tragic and beautiful story of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and how this classic song of…

Hallelujah, He's Here....

Look at your hands, they're still so small
Someday you’re going to stretch them out and save us all…..


Emmanuel. God is with us. Somehow, it is sinking deep in me this season, this present season more so than ever before. Perhaps because it is in my lifetime the ugliest I’ve seen our world. I’m astounded how far we have all fallen from the focus God intends not just during the Christmas season, but every day of this blessed life He has given us.

He has given so much, and He could take it all away in a split second. He did it in the Bible, we read about more than one account of God wiping the earth clean in one fell swoop of epic proportions. I can’t help wondering why He hasn’t done it yet again. Because truth be told, we deserve it and nothing less.

Life was far more simple, less complicated when I was my Chloe’s age. 4 years old. Nothing more important on her mind than the simple joys of an after school snack, dress up and singing Ariel’s song from “The Little Mermaid” …

Count it all joy....

The holidays are approaching, and I am watching our schedule spin nearly out of control with so much to do and so many things to accomplish before another year comes to an end. This year has been brutal, not gonna candy coat it here. There is purpose in the process—I am learning to be more content with that statement and the depth of its meaning for my life. I am learning to find greater confidence, joy in seating myself firmly in what God has for me in this present season. And I believe wholeheartedly that is precisely what He intends for my focus to be at all times. There are lessons I have learned, wisdom gained from what I experienced in the past. Now and then, in conversation with others I find God plants nuggets in my mind and heart to share from something good I gained from past experience. But I don’t dwell on my past. I won’t. It doesn’t benefit me in any way, and it defeats me in many ways if I allow it. Satan is good at doing that to us, if we let him.

When I cons…

Perspective

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5 NIV

There is a resonating message I’ve been hearing God speak over the past week and weekend. I’m learning at this 40something age and as I am challenged day to day to balance my time between my Father God, my family, my friends, school and church schedules, work projects, and volunteer projects, the decision to say no and find time to simply rest is crucial, imperative, and absolutely vital to my physical, mental, spiritual health. Ryan and I have found ourselves this year in a season of waiting. Many doors we have walked toward, have closed. Some are still open, but just a crack it seems. Others are opportunities we are open to but realize it is not something we are ready to step into fully at this point along the pathway of life. So, what’s the resonating message I’ve been receiving?

Perspective

My entire being screams for order and predictability, and I am much more at ease if in fact things go according to …

Heart of Worship

As worship leaders, we are called, passionate about sharing the love of Christ through music. It is our tool, gifted by God to us to express His deep love for us and to move us to abide fully and wholeheartedly in His perfect presence. How do we develop a heart of worship? I believe it comes with time and practice. Here’s a few points on my view of what it takes to develop a heart of worship.


Die to self-

Parable of the Good Samaritan Luke 10:29-37

When I consider what comes first before I decide what song to sing in coordination with the message being spoken, recognizing the purpose for what I am doing points 100% to Christ----it is simple. Die to self. Become selfless. It starts with a focus free from all distractions, the biggest distraction of them all is ME. One of the greatest acts of selflessness we find in the Bible is the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Here on this road, a man lies wounded, beaten down and probably close to death because of a crime committed against h…

Step off your mat....

What’s keeping you from getting up off of your mat today? What is paralyzing you?

My devotional time this morning took me to the story of the lame man, the one whose friends brought him to see Jesus and went so far as to climb on the top of the home where he was teaching, remove sections of the ceiling and lowering their friend right down smack in the middle of the room. I can’t imagine the reaction of the people crowded into that meeting place with Jesus, and then to see the look on Jesus’ face. What a moment, if only to be a fly on the wall in that room! Amazing what his friends were willing to do to help the lame man-the love, the fiercely loyal friendship and commitment to see their friend healed and whole. I can’t imagine what that must have been like for this man. No sooner was he in the room with Jesus, laying there on his mat, then Jesus was speaking words of healing over this lame man. “Get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, he walked, and he went home praisin…

Live "sent"

I am a child of God. I am a missionary. I have purpose and power because of the Holy Spirit residing in me! God has revealed His greatness, saved me, and proclaimed His glory so that I may live a life that says I am sent by God!

Are we truly living “sent”? Are we truly embracing the calling God placed upon each of our lives from the day we first gave our hearts and lives to Him?
I know the feeling, I know the struggle, because I deal with it every single day of my life. And I say this to put it in perspective for all of us: No matter our position in this life, working in full time ministry or as a career missionary or in the secular workforce from a high executive level all the way down to those of us working in some of the most stressful, and at times seemingly pointless jobs, we have been called to be the light of Jesus and share the gospel precisely where we are! By choosing to live a life of excellence in Christ both personally and professionally, we are able to fully grasp…

He is never far away.....

Some days I feel like the stress is enough to suffocate me. Yesterday was one of those days. I found myself intermittently speaking to God through my day, “Give me peace, give me peace, give me peace….”

It’s hard when the burden is primarily for others. I’m at the bottom of the burden I carry, because I find the bulk of the burden I carry is for my family. Yesterday was brutal. If I’m honest, for some time I’ve been wearied by burden and soaking up every ounce of time just sitting quiet in the presence of God, needing His love and freedom to wash over me. I don’t say a whole lot, just find myself humming, singing, sighing, whispering His name, or saying nothing at all as I smile in my soul at the sense of His presence coming in to my being precisely when I need it. I want that for others, but I struggle to understand how to help others when they can’t seem to break through their current struggle.

Where is God when I need Him most? I just don’t feel Him right now. Why?

This str…

That moment He stepped in....

Back to school. I’ve been done with school for a long time, but as I watch my kids grow up and enjoy what little summer they get compared to what I had as a kid, I join them in cringing as August has come and school is starting soon. Really? It is like as soon as we pass July 4 everyone dives right in to, “Well, summer’s over, school is starting soon!” No. It just doesn’t make sense to me to even utter the words “back to school” in the month of August. It just doesn’t seem right. I love summer! I wish life could be an extended, never ending version of summer. Even though I have to work outside the home in addition to being Mom to four amazing children, and I really don’t get much of a summer, I just simply don’t want it to end. Can you relate? So, the battle to balance our schedules between work, school, church and all of our activities is about to hit us square in the face. Are you ready?

This year I’ve felt compelled, called to embrace the balance of finding rest. Breat…

Believe and Reside in Me

"Don’t just believe in Me, reside in Me….."

Meet me in the middle of my mess, my chaos and bring order, restoration, peace, joy divine.
Wreck my heart and soul with deep conviction when I fail to regularly settle into the quiet, rest of Your presence, Lord....

Day by day, I’m squeezed from all sides to accomplish what is required of me by others and what I require of myself. It can be suffocating. To the point my time with You could be squeezed out altogether. What’s the priority? How do I keep up this maddening pace? I don’t. It starts with priority #1: You, Lord! Everything else is secondary. It requires me to be okay with not being okay. It requires that I settle into regularly carving out my time alone with You, my Sabbath time with You, and walking away from what is not done. That basket of laundry can wait. Sink full of dishes, whatever. Papers and crumbs on the dining table, let it sit. Toys on the living room floor from the night before, oh well. It ca…

How do we know The Way?

My devotional and study this morning brought some renewal to my spirit that I needed today. I’m finding in my pursuit of the Father this year, there is freedom I had not yet tapped into in my faith journey and it is providing a new burst of peace to my heart and mind. John 14 is my focus today and I’m trying to picture the scene, the Disciples asking Jesus for a better understand of Who He is and Where He is going to prepare a place for us in heaven. It is truly a frozen moment in time, causes me to stop in my own faith journey and consider, “How well do I know the Father and do I fully trust and believe He has a place for me in Heaven?” What an incredible thing to consider, Jesus was with them in the flesh, spent years with His disciples. They knew Jesus in a way we never will, and yet….they couldn’t grasp Who He was, not completely. How could they not know and believe Who He was when He was right there with them, in the flesh? To consider this struggle, in comparison with our…

Shepherd of my heart....

Freedom....joy...peace....abundant peace.....

How long has it been since you fully experienced any one of the things I just mentioned? I dare say many of you either can't or simply won't answer that. Reality is likely not often or you simply can't think of the last time you experienced any of them.

As a Christ follower, I can tell you my journey thus far these 43 years has had its share of ups and downs. I am truly thankful, blessed and amazed by the constant flow of hope, encouragement and love that I have experienced in my life simply because I chose not to give in to fear and doubt after a whole lot of time listening to my Father God, leaning into Him, and then relying on the wisdom and advice, counsel and leadership in my life by family, friends, colleagues and ministry partners throughout my life. Let's face it, life is never going to be easy and will promise us a neverending flow of stress. We can count on it. But because of the power of the Holy Spirit liv…

His love is Deep....

My morning drive into work today I was praying, asking God to break us open, renew us, restore us to who we are intended to be and that we will truly seek to be holy, set apart from this world as He expects us to be. Immediately after I prayed these words, I felt His presence pour love upon me and I immediately prayed His love be poured out upon those who are desperate need of Him today. Do you know how deep the Father’s love is for you? To the point He will discipline us when necessary and I promise you it will not be easy to bear. His discipline is necessary, but He is a good and loving Father who promises to love and care for us deeply. Are we ready for what’s coming?

My devotional this morning was spot on with what God was speaking to me this morning on the way in to work. Numbers 12:1-15 we find Moses, Miriam and Aaron immediately thrust into the reality of God’s expectation of us to be obedient, and when we are not, He will show Himself to be a just God by providing His di…

Comfy Couch of Chaos

Last night I had trouble going to sleep despite being so incredibly tired. I’ve been so burdened for several people in my life who are hurting, struggling, living in bondage, in chaos. I love them dearly but my heart breaks as the words are on the edge of my mind, my prayers crying out to God for them to be free, to choose the freedom Christ has given them! I can’t do it for them, they’ve got to choose it for themselves. Why is it so hard to do that? Why do so many of us allow ourselves to keep living in this bondage we’ve essentially put upon ourselves? There is a Name above every other name, Jesus, and He came to seek and to save the lost, to redeem and restore us! So why do we come together on Sunday and find out way to the altar after pouring out our most recent drama to someone, and then turn back around during the week and let ourselves get weighed down, pulled into the next drama? I don’t understand, and I try very hard to find a consistently loving and firm way to live…

Live in Freedom, Live in His Purpose!

Psalm 37:23 If you are right with God, He strengthens you for the journey; the Eternal will be pleased with your life.


He came. He died. He rose. He lives in us. Are we living in Him?

Praying this week for so many needs, burdened by what is happening to friends close by and our communities in our country, and in our world. Suffering, struggling, wandering and perhaps wondering if and when life is ever going to get any better. I have an answer. If you keep going at this pace...

NO. It will not.

We are given this thing called life, such a blessing to have this life and live it out as best we can. Are we doing that? Who are you living it for? Succeeding in life is wonderful, we all want that on some level personally and professionally. The sense of accomplishment when we have met a goal we set for ourselves, well, it’s an amazing feeling isn’t it? What do we do when we fail? How do we handle disappointment? How are we living beyond our past, our struggles, our mistakes? …

You are His Masterpiece

“Love each other deeply and fully. Remember the ways that I have loved you, and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways.” (John 13:34 The Voice Translation)

How amazing, how GOOD is our God?! So good, I am practically falling down in the middle of my office today at His incredible presence precisely when we need it!
What are you facing today? Well, let’s take a good hard look at ourselves in the mirror. God, you’ve given me life, breath in these lungs and a purpose today to accomplish. I’ve got to get up, get ready for work, make sure the kids are up and out the door to the bus, and I’m on my way to accomplishing whatever tasks lay before me when I arrive at work. But first….

Lord, have I told you how much I love you today? Have I chosen the first words from my mouth to be words of gratitude? Have I checked my focus to allow what I know to be true about the being you’ve created me to be, prioritize everything that comes after this very moment around You? I hope a…

Blessed Assurance....

In spite of how busy our lives are, trying to manage 4 jobs between the two of us, our 4 children’s schedules (our son Bailey just wrapped up his amazing performance in his school play “Into the Woods Jr” as the Wolf!) and getting our daughter Rylee ready to graduate high school in a matter of weeks, projects, events, gatherings, family time, etc. the last week I have found in particular three precious moments in time that are resonating in my heart and mind this morning after my devotional. God is good, so good. No matter what life throws at us, we will say it loud and say it proud, OUR GOD IS SO GOOD! The day we stop saying it, is the day that bitterness, despair and hopelessness begins to reign. It is truly heartbreaking to me when I think of people in my life who are struggling with this very issue.
In Colossians 3, Paul is speaking to a group and reminding them, encouraging them, challenging them to be filled and overflowing with thanks daily, to clothe themselves with a holy…

Hopeful, Broken, Waiting....Lord, Move Us!

Don't let the title of this blog entry send any of you into panic mode. We are not moving anywhere and are in fact content to stay put, right where we are, for the rest of our lives. If....that is what the Lord has purposed for us. Did you catch that? There is a message to be heard from that statement I just made.

Life is good. Most of us can say that, because hopefully we have put the experiences of life we have had thus far or are enduring this very moment, into perspective because quite simply God works it all together for our good! All of it! The crap you are putting up with in your family, whether is simply struggling to get along with your spouse and work out issues in your marriage, with your children, with your job, in your circle of friends, etc. Whatever it is, stop right now and consider in the grand scheme of things you are blessed! I guarantee you have at least 3 things you can point to right now in your life that you are thankful for. So, with that, are you…

Sinking or Seeking?

Having one of those days, and they seem to be hitting me in groups of several days in a row lately. Just sinking dangerously close to a place that seems harder to climb out sometimes. If I didn't have the amazing force of love and encouragement around me in my family, my inspiring friends, key women in my life who are truly mentors to me, well, I'd simply let myself be sunk and probably settle there comfortably for awhile. The vicious cycle of life, a brutally busy schedule, and no choice but to keep moving forward or get run over is staggering most days because I would quite simply prefer to roll over under my cozy comforter than to force myself to stumble step by step out of my bed at around 6:00am-ish in the morning. The startling truth though of my reality is that the "hard" of life, is well, just what I need. And not only do I know it, but God knows it because He allows it. He has a purpose for this regardless of my understanding it. So I have a choice, e…
Another Monday, it's upon me whether I'm ready for it or not. I gotta do this, I have responsibilities, and God how I'd much rather stay in bed and sleep because it is freaking bitterly cold outside and my bed is really soft and warm but I get it. You're right. I can do this, I need to this, and somehow You give me the strength I need to face it and make the best of it. Thanks God. But if I'm being honest here, I'm just not up for it. Routine Monday morning, got Chloe to daycare and myself settled in at work. Or so I thought. I am not settling in. In fact, I have this almost tangible feeling of well, simply feeling unsettled today. Why is that? I immediately went to the Father in prayer asking His presence to fill my life, the lives of others today who are in need of simply knowing He is there, and to trust Him fully, and then He gave it to me.....Psalm 46.

Be still and know that I am God. Just be still, be calm.

It hasn't sunk in yet, so perhap…