Sunday, February 23, 2014

A hard headed church...

I went to church with the girls this morning and I'm cautiously optimistic about this church we went to. We're searching for a new church, one that will be our home. My stipulations are thus:

  • Bible believing and teaching
  • Active in the community
  • Strong on social issues
  • Not afraid to speak the truth
  • Active Youth group

I've visited a few churches since we left the one we'd been in for 3 years. Finding a new home church is not an easy task, especially when I have specific requirements. The church we visited today is called Calvary Christian Fellowship. The congregation is quite small- about 10 in Sunday School and about 40 in worship. All of the people greeted us and engaged us in conversation, all were very friendly and these are good things but not on my list of must haves. 

The Sunday School lesson was good. It focused on making restitution for wrong doings. We read Exodus chapter 22 and discussed it. The people in attendance were engaged and talkative. This is good and shows me that they listen and are active and don't just sit waiting for the service to be over. 

Then things got good! Worship service started. The musicians took their places on the stage with their instruments- piano, violin, 2 guitars, drums, and a keyboard. The music started with a quick beat and we sang and then it happened...the song that's been on my heart so much lately, the one that I posted the video link for in my previous post, Go Light Your World was played. My heart filled to overflowing and I dropped to my knees right there in the pew and sobbed. The music continued, Jesus I Need You was played and I cried harder. I was a mess but I felt God there, I FELT Him! He was right there in that sanctuary moving me to tears. I couldn't have stopped if I'd wanted to and I didn't want to! I've been in worship services like that before and Oh how I've missed it! People raising their hands in praise, singing with all their hearts. 

The message that the pastor brought was also an indicator for me. He titled it Persistence with God. He talked about being a hard headed church. A church that stands up against the pressure of the unbelieving world. Fighting for our rights to worship and believe as we do. Walking in the Spirit and behaving like a Child of God even when no one is looking. Be bold and confident in God and stop  believing the lies of satan. Satan wants to discourage us, make us believe we're not worth God's time. He wants to constantly remind us that we're sinners, that we've messed up, and convince us that God couldn't possibly want anything to do with us. 


Why else would God send his precious only Son to die on the cross for us if He didn't want us? He could have ended it all like He did in Sodom and Gomorrah but He didn't. He made a way. He bridged the un-crossable gap so we could be reunited with Him. He wants us! 

Be bold! Ask, Seek, Knock. These are action words. Ask and it SHALL be given, Seek and you WILL find, Knock and the door WILL be opened. Matthew 7:7 does not say ask and it might be given, seek and you might find, knock and maybe the door will open. It's affirmative. Do it and it WILL happen. 

Walk in the Spirit, Be bold, Do not be afraid, Nothing is impossible with God. Be a hard headed church and DO God's work and nothing can stop you.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A City on a Hill

My Bible study this morning was about being a light in the darkness, a city on a hill. In the book of Matthew, chapter 5, Jesus commands us to be the light of the world. To let our light shine before men so that men will see our good works and glorify God in Heaven.

We are not to do good works for a pat on the back or kudos that tickle our ears and inflate our pride and egos. We are also not to hide the light. Do not place the light under a basket and keep it all to ourselves. We are to share the source of the light- Jesus Christ- with those around us.

We, as humans, tend to underestimate how much one life can impact the world. We can be a beacon of hope for the lost or we can be the one person who turns someone from Christ forever by being hateful or arrogant in our salvation. With a single word or action we can be the one to lead someone to Jesus...or turn a seeking soul away. What kind of legacy do you want to leave? What kind of impact do you want to have on this world we live in but are not part of?

Help the homeless, the needy, the hungry, and the hurting. Be a good example to your children even in the privacy of your home when no one else sees. Be a good spouse. Treat each and every person you come across with dignity and respect even if you think they don't deserve it- Because after all, we don't deserve anything from God either. We're all wretched sinners in the eyes of God, yet He sent His only Son to die for us so that we might live. How then can we treat other sinners as though we're better than they are?

The Light of the world is meant to shed light in the dark places, the same dark places we once used to reside in. I'm posting a video of a song that I instantly thought of while doing my study this morning. One I've heard dozens of times and it touches my heart each time.

Chris Rice- Go Light Your World:

How are you, how am I, being a candle in the darkness? Will Jesus be able to say to us, "Well done, good and faithful servant." ?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hello? Is anybody there?

Do you ever feel like God isn't hearing you? Like maybe he's turned His back on you? Or maybe in the chaos of this world He's simply overlooking you?

That's how I feel today. That's how I feel a lot lately. The Bible teaches us to ask and it will be given, but I ask and ask and ask and still I struggle. I know I have to ask for His will to be done so maybe what I'm asking for isn't in His will but it's something I really need, not something I want. It's a need and He promises to take care of our needs and because this need is not being met I'm crying out and asking and begging and it feels like my prayers fall on deaf ears.

I know He hears me so I have to ask, Why do I continue to suffer this way? Why do I continue to struggle in this manner? What is He trying to show me through this? What do I need to learn from it? He promised He would never give me more than I could bear but I feel like I'm at the end of my rope and barely hanging on. What do I do? To whom do I turn? How can I get through this when I feel so alone?

Please, Father, you know my needs. You know what's going on in my life right now. Please have mercy on my family, Lord. Please let me know You're listening and forgive me for my questions and my seeming lack of faith. I have faith which is why I haven't given up completely, but I need You, Lord. I need to hear from You and I need Your help. Please help me.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Spiritual Gifts

My Bible study today was about spiritual gifts and how we won't know true joy until we acknowledge and carry out the mission God has given us with those gifts. To fulfill the purpose for which the Lord has placed us in this world so that when we stand before Him he might say to us, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

When Jesus asked Peter- three times- "Do you love me?" and each time Peter replied in the affirmative, Jesus instructed Peter to Feed His sheep, tend His sheep. This was the gift He'd given to Peter and it wasn't a request, it was a command. Do this thing I've put before you.

So what is the gift that God has given me? What gift has He given you? What is the mission he has charged us with and what tools has He given us to carry out that mission?

I ask myself, "How do I know what gift I've been given?" And each time I ask myself this, a still small voice whispers to my heart "WRITE".

I believe God wants me to use my writing to feed His sheep. So how can I do this? With this blog? My poetry? Write a book?

I'm not sure yet but I do know that He wants me to write and reach the lost in a way that maybe no one else can- at least a portion of the lost. And if I can reach even one, just one...that's one more person destined for the kingdom because God chose to use me as a tool and I was obedient and used the tools He gave me. But I must be obedient first. I must reach out in faith and follow His leading, blindly if I must, because I know He will take me where I need to go, where He wants me to be.

Yesterday's service at a new church we visited- a very tiny church with about 40 attendees- was about joy. Claiming the joy that God promises. It belongs to us, it is guaranteed to us if we would follow His word and pursue the tasks He's charged us with. Satan does all he can to distract us from that. He draws our attention from God's word. TV, radio, computers, busy-ness, stress of daily living, disobedient children, etc. We forget the mission God has put before us and we lose our joy.

What is your gift? Are you using it to complete the mission God has given you? I must find the path God has intended me to follow with my writing because I have no doubt that the written word is my gift.