Sunday, October 15, 2017

Definition of dance for Students. 1 :an act of stepping or moving through a series of movements usually in time to music.
Life is a dance is a song I grew up listening to.

Life's A Dance
John Michael Montgomery
When I was fourteen I was falling fast
For a blue eyed girl in my homeroom class
Trying to find the courage to ask her out
Was like trying to get oil from a waterspout
What she would have said I can't say
I never did ask and she moved away
But I learned something from my blue eyed girl
Sink or swim you gotta give it a whirl
Life's a dance you learn as you go
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow
Don't worry about what you don't know
Life's a dance you learn as you go
The longer I live the more I believe
You do have to give if you want to receive
There's a time to listen, a time to talk
And you might have to crawl even after you walk
Had sure things blow up in my face
Seen the longshot, win the race
Been knocked down by the slamming door
Picked myself up and came back for more
Life's a dance you learn as you go
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow
Don't worry about what you don't know
Life's a dance you learn as you go
Life's a dance you learn as you go
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow
Don't worry about what you don't know
Life's a dance you learn as you go
Life's a dance you learn as you go
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow
Don't worry about what you don't know
Life's a dance you learn as you go
Life's a dance
Life's a dance
Life's a dance
Take a chance on love
Life's a dance
You learn as you go

Well as I grew iLife has taken me on a very different path then where I was at 14 and man am I glad it did. I had a crush on a guy that was fare away but it was always a great time when he was around we could talk for hours laugh and just be ourselves.  I never once danced with him but boy did we have lots of great times together. 
I went to school dances and I vividly remember many conversations with the guys in my class and the classes above me for those nights. I remember growing some friendships that became so close that it was like having a brother I never had.  I learned really quickly that it is fun to just be me and if they never danced with me again it's ok my value didn't come from  that it came from more. It came from knowing I was enjoying the life God gave me even in the midst of losing my sister.
   I knew that life could be short and I already had regrets that I didn't want to miss the chance of knowing someone just because they might not like me. I learned that it's ok if the kid I really wanted to gets attention didn't dance with me because God was protecting me from a wrong path. I learned that looking back I should have just went with a friend from another school to prom my junior year  it would have been totally fun.
When we don't do things because of fear we lose out on the things in life that God intended to be joyful movements. Times that might not be near what we thought they would.
Dancing is not always literal either it can just be the way we move through life. God dances over us as he rejoices in who we are. What are the things in life you rejoice over.  The little things that you dance about. I tend to embrace my kids as I dance about in public. I most of the time don't even know what it is I dance for. Just out of joy guess.
Today I pray that you find something totally worth dancing about.and that you know God delights in you enough that he dances over you.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

When hard things happen focus on your race!

For the last 11 days, my extended family has been dealing with a tragic loss. It has taken me 11 days and a funeral( the hardest funeral I have ever attended, yes this was harder than my own sisters funeral) to come up with words for this. 
Suicide is hard no matter what but when there are no warning sign or letter it makes it even harder. The loss of a man that has two children in the times that they need a dad the most as early teens and a young adult is beyond comprehension to me. A wife and siblings that are still in complete dismay on how the one that always smiles could do this. I have lost a sibling but as I expressed over the past 11 days for us my sister had a terminal illness that had taken life from her long before her last breath. I have always said the death that is a shock is much harder than the ones expected.
We need to love on everyone we meet not just because we love them but because we don't know the struggle they are having inside. We need to send that prayer or even lay a hand on them whether we know them or not. God calls us not to be quiet about our faith but to live out what love he showed us through Jesus. Jesus has shown us so much that we need to be like-minded for his passion of the people and be willing to speak up about the inappropriate things that are hard to talk about. I have been weighing a few things on my mind lately with all of the things that have been in my path over the past few months and even years God has really been showing things to me that I am not good at and putting new passions in my heart.
The passion is not that of what I can do for my church or what my church does for me but my passion is for those that have struggled with the feeling of not feeling like they are enough. God has to lead me to the door of teen girls dealing with depression, he has brought me to people that have been persecuted by the people that are supposed to be leading them to love others as Christ loves them. I don't know what the road ahead has for me but I do know I have strong convictions to LOVE people for Christ, not for me but that Christ will be known. This past 11 days I too have thought what could I have done from 5hrs away and not having seen this man for years face to face, what more could I have do but then I know that what is done is done and I can't dwell on that, no matter the hurt it causes but that I must step forward with the question "What can I do?".
What can we do? We need to realize that money is not ours, it's not something to strive for it is just part of life that comes and goes. Family good or bad is family and we never know what tomorrow brings. You have a chance to make amends with a family member that is still living, DO IT!! I have seen friends forgive a father that has abused them in ways I can't mention and then complete forgiveness and relationship mended was granted after years of prayer. We need to reach out to those that are hurting and know that the Lord is the only place we can find full peace. I have said in many posts over the past three years how I have had to turn away from finding my value in my husband and others thoughts about me. I learned that I can only find value in "Who God thinks I am!". Song of Song 4:7 is a huge one to hold on to because God finds no fault in us because Christ has died and given up his perfect life that we can come to know heaven. I know that we all view Christianity in different ways but I ask you to truly search what God is calling you to know it as for yourself; not what others tell you it is.
In the past three years, I have been digging deeper in my faith and had an amazing conversation yesterday that lead me to the point of realizing where I was with my faith 7 years ago and where I have come with it since. I have lost friends to drugs, I have lost friends to depression, I have lost people to Cancer and more but I have gained friends that have up lifted me in my faith and helped me through those tough things. With that today I just want you to know that God is with you and you just need to seek his word. The past 11 days he has brought me verses that I needed at just the right time.

I ask that we seek out your word for us today what is it that you are bringing us too, who is it that we are to share your love with and how is it that you want us to look at others. Help us through our lack of understanding that we will know that we are to focus on our race and how to finish it strong for you!
In Jesus Name AMEN

Friday, February 17, 2017

“This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” Mark 9:29

    Have you ever been to that point that you just don't know what the Lord is asking of you? You feel hopeless in what your next step is on your life path?  There seem to be branches of the path going everywhere crossing over each other every few yards.  Do you cry out to God not sure if he is listening to what you are asking?  This is a frequent thing that I struggle with.  Just when I think I have a plan he takes his eraser and says, "Wait I have something much different in store."  I planned to go be encouraged by my friend that always has great things to say to me.  Today I was the one listening and finding out that she had hard things in her life too.  

      I sat there in her living room watching her on the verge of tears and knew there is only one thing we could do.  As the kids were calling on her, and at her feet, I took a hold of her in a hug and prayed for our families and our spouses. We prayed that God would grow both of us in ways that we can't imagine today.

Habakkuk 1:5  English Standard Version (ESV)
“Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told."

  When we finished I knew that God had prompted me to text her. He nudged me to meet with her even though I had not seen her since before Christmas. I had not had time to call and chat but I know that God touches our hearts with friends that need us in difficult times. I have truly been touched by the fact that I have a God that knows my friends and their hearts enough to prompt me to be there when they are in need.

      Who have you put off, being on your knees for?  I have, to be honest, I am not good at getting on my knees in prayer.   I long for that closeness to God, but feel uncomfortable in the position like it's holy but know we are to be so amazed by his power that we fall to our knees.  I feel that prayer is a very powerful tool.  I too often forget it's the first and easiest tool in my tool box that I can pull out anywhere without anyone knowing.  I can stand in at the gas pump and witness something hard to watch and just pray for Gods peace in that situation. 

     I am not always good at this, but I know that God has more power than I give him credit for. I have watched prayer bring momma's babies when Dr's have said it was impossible, heal marriages, calm spouses when hard things were brought up, and I have witnessed healing in places that others thought were not possible. I love these verses that talk about how we struggle to believe.

Mark 9:23-29 English Standard Version (ESV)

23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out[a] and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again." 26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
      Wow, there are things that can only be relieved by prayer POWERFUL stuff.  What is it that makes me not pray? Why am I afraid to lay hands on my friends and family when scripture says so clearly that there are things that can only be brought out with prayer.  Prayers of the believer's that truly trust that God has amazing power so for you today I pray that God helps heal your unbelief.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How can we put God's plan into play togeather?

The burning of old grass has a good purpose to help the new growth.  
     How has God set you apart from others in his body more or less what do you think your role is in his body?  Are you an organizer, worker bee, or creative person?  Some of us are more than one of these I for one can't do the organization part.
   This past week I have looked at this with new eyes I thought i was a worker bee for what other people put together but I have realized that I love to come up with new ideas but I am not an organized person that can make the ideas come to play.  The other night my husband and I sat at our friend's table and told them a few ideas I had that I would love to see happen in our community.  This is great I love coming up with Ideas and I love seeing them happen but to organize them into play is not a gift I have been blessed with.  
    I am to come up with the idea lay out how I think it could work but to make all the details come togeather that is not the person God created me to be.  I need to look around and pray that God will make the details come togeather through others.  If it is something more than picking up pizza and dropping them off I am overwhelmed just like I am supposed to make a meal for 60 people in our church tonight and here I am sitting at my computer telling you about how this scares the daylights out of me because I am not good at making it all come togeather.  Tonight I will grab a few bags of salad and serve brownies my daughter made with a few pans of baked spaghetti or Chicken pot pie simple most would say but that's about as elegant as I get.  The sound of blessing our AWANA families always sounds good but it is not one of my talents that are for sure.
    I want to see many outreaches happen through our church but I am not able yet to know how to take something from my mind and make it into a reality.  How do we teach our kids to do these things if we first are not willing to step up and show them well I realized early on that because of circumstances I was not shown how to do many things my family was way too busy for my mom to have me come along side her to learn the skill of how she organized her gatherings and parties for family and friends.  My goal is to become that mom but I struggle with the idea of how when it is not a skill I can fathom myself.
    Other have often told me you have a great passion for what is in your heart you just need to see it through.  At 34 years old I want others to know that those of us that have very creative passions sometimes fail to follow through because of the way our minds are wired to be creative we lack the organization skills and the wiring just don't connect with the organization part of the brain. My husband would tell you that in my brain that organization part is smaller than most brains may have.  If you are an organizer than seek out those of us that are creative and let us know you want to do something in the church you just don't have an idea of what you could help build our outreach. In that though don't forget who the author of the idea was and twist the idea completely so you can take glory in it as yours.  Those of us creators don't like when the artwork we had in mind is skewed completely for the benefit of others. I think we have all been in a classroom when ours or our friend's artwork was defiled by someone in words or actions and know the hurt that causes.   If you want to be a team member and get me the best colors or tools to finish the job that's really what I am looking for not someone to tear my idea down because it really was not my idea to being with God put it on my heart.
   Sometimes in the church others are not willing to accept the new creative ways that bring growth of faith by stepping out and seeing things in a new way so like the fire helping new growth this is how a new idea can play out a new growth in faith and in how God wants you to look at the community outside of the church.  If you are asked to step out in faith with something new look at what you may miss if you decline the movement God has put on others hearts.  

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Setting my heart on fire for him!

When my heart is overflowing you hear it.  We have had great sermons the past few weeks after a crazy summer I feel blessed to be filled with a passion to spread Gods word.   Week one and two of being back at church after spending almost a whole month away from our church pastor preached on using our workplace as a place to find Gods joy and share it.  I am now a stay at home homeschooling mom. Hmmm that's funny I don't think I have been home a full day other than maybe two Saturdays in the past month.  Well then that opens up my mission field.  I see an average of even just 5 people a day in my little stops here and there that I can share the truth of Gods word with just a smile and kinds words because God says the greatest thing is to love.  Here is my story of how a mission field expands to way more than I can touch in just a month.
   I have had many people struggle with the fact that I have been to Ukraine twice on a mission trip how come I spend all that money and time to travel halfway across the world to share the gospel with people that have an amazing faith.  The thing that hit me more this past month and a half since I have been home is the amount of people I have shared the stories of faith that the people have there and how God provided for us each step of the way.
   The first place I shared was with the kids in my group in Ukraine which was 12 kids they went home shared with their families.  I would guess even if they  just had two people each of them shared with that is 24 more people that got to hear about Jesus.  The youth night I meet 26 youth plus 6 adults and if they each shared with one more person that I was saved because I wanted to go to heaven after finding out my sister was dying than that is now 66 people that have heard about Jesus. We also had a ladies night that my teammate shared at that had 16 or so people at that we hope shared with up to one person about where they went that night that brings it up to almost one hundred people that learned about Gods love for the first time or just a reminder when some of them may have been down and needing to have hope from somewhere. On our way through the airports, we were asked by 6-10 security personal about what we did on our travels along with the people on our flights that asked us. When we got back in the state my family and friends found out about a few things that I shared on facebook so that is another hundred or so people.  We shared with our Church and the women's group here so they could once again see the results of what God was doing through their time and funds they put into the trip we are now well over 400 people that heard about it.  Then I shared with my dentist and his assistant, the hair stylist, our waiter was shocked I like straight up tea well that came from the trip to Ukraine so I shared with her.  So would you spend $10 to share with someone about the gospel because when it comes down to the $ which we Americans put in such a high standard on  was it worth the money? NO Doubt in my mind it was!
   My team member and I could go in secret and give the food shelter $6000 worth of food but then how does that spread the gospel?
   We could and I now hope to see something more done here with less.  I hope to see things
open up to do family movie nights at our church to open up the doors that we could use the building to bring his people in and fellow ship that they would eventually come to hear and see Christ lived out.  Today what do I feel God is calling me to do? I feel God is calling me to just love everyone I meet no matter what the background they come from or the clothing they wear.  When you don't think you can share the gospel remember that you are the gospel if you have a story where God showed up when you least expected it.  I have lots of hard thing in life that I have been through and I could sit and dwell on them.  Trust me there are days where I know Satin is wanting me to do just that.  I find the days that I feel the most like pouting and staying in bed are the days I end up having the most doors open and see God at work after it is all said and done.

 My prayer for you today is that God would put a fire in you to share with just one person one thing that he has done in your life that you can't help but know that you were blessed by.  This can be as simple as having a friend call you to as big as a life changing event that you know God played a huge role in.  Look for the little things and you will find big blessings.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

What are your calm waters?

      This summer has been a hard one for me. It started with a close friend pulling out of my life. Then another dear friend passed away weeks later. I was just coming to grips with all of that and I travelled across the globe on a mission trip that had both very high moments and times we hit rock bottom. With jet lag, it just seemed even harder for us to process everything. I got back home and our family had 8 days before my husband left for his 6-8 weeks of traveling for the harvest.  
   In the midst of it all, I am learning once again hopefully more permanently that God is my peace in troubled times. We also started to homeschool over this summer. The past week and into next week we are looking at Psalms 23. 
A Psalm of David.
1The LORD is my shepherd,
            I shall not want.
      2He makes me lie down in green pastures;
            He leads me beside quiet waters.
      3He restores my soul;
            He guides me in the paths of righteousness
            For His name’s sake.
      4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
            I fear no evil, for You are with me;
            Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
      5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
            You have anointed my head with oil;
            My cup overflows.
      6Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
            And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. 

    This passage has hit me with a much deeper meaning this past week as I have been digging into it. I always looked at it as something that calmed people but I never really looked closely at it as they are verses I have known all my life. In fact, I am sure they were part of my sister's funeral along with many other funerals I have been at. I just looked at it as the funeral verses.  
     This week I see that when I want peace I do tend to look for two things, water and fields. I am not surprised by this as I grew up with both close by.  I grew up on a dairy farm that had out on the back 40 acres what we called the cow pond. It was just a pond that had enough water for the cows to drink from even in the dry years.  This was a place of peace for me along with the lake just down the road that my aunt and uncle lived on and my parents later purchased their house.  It is now my favorite place to be at the lake on a mostly quiet day. I can still feel the peace that lifts everything away that comes from the quite sounds of his creation. God speaks and draws me closer to who he is in those moments. 
    What about the valley?  I think of that as the part that the pasture is in a lot of the times. At least for me, I picture a valley as a beautiful place. To think of the valley of the shadow of death I have to picture it covered with the storm hanging over it.  Even in the moonlight skies, you see the glory of the heavenly father's stars.  This valley is a valley of storms that Christ needs us to encounter to look at him to become our peace. 
     I struggled with moking and could have even said I eat at the table of my enemies in the past few months. These have been some of my times of storms. I know that God walked alongside me and covered me in his peace.  This was when I saw how god filled my cup to overflowing with his love because it was with his love that I could still be kind to the people I felt anger towards.
     As far as verse 6 goes I can't claim that one as mine yet I still struggle with knowing that goodness and kindness will cover me all of my days because I am human and I will fail myself and others. I know also that Jesus has carried all of my sins on his shoulders that I can be white as snow in Gods eyes not because of what I have done but that I have put my trust in Jesus as my savior.
     What do you think of when you hear these verses. What does the quite water or green pastures look like to you?  

Lord, I pray that you give each reader a new perspective on what you have provided to be their quiet waters and green pastures. I pray that if the valley is covered with a shadow of death you will turn to the only one that can bring the quite waters to you in that time. 
In Jesus name, I pray,

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Our hands!

What have we done with our hands?  I think when I look at the older generation like my grand parents and back.  Where did the wrinkles come from; all the things they did with their hands "I ponder what have I done with my hands?".
  I just wrote a poem for a dear prayer warrior of mine and placed it with a picture of her hands. It tells the little bit of the path her hands have been on and how they have blessed others.  With that I wondered if my kids or others ever sit down and think about my hands what would they think of my hands.  My hands have not done near enough holding and caressing my kids as they should have, I am a stern mom when it comes to injuries "Get up and keep going." I will usually say.  My hands can be demanding at times.  Then I think of the times my hands do cuddle the kids and hold them after a bad day at school.  I have not been the best at letting my kids see my hands in prayer even though I pray they are not always folded.  My hands do lay on them as I tuck them in most nights and say the same prayer that the kids have begged for as it is our bedtime prayer.   If I think about it I hope that what my kids know my hands for is that they did have love and as they get older they see the little bumps and bangs were making them tough enough but when they needed my hands for the rougher stuff my hands where there full of love.
  What hands do you remember growing up? Did you have someone that had hands of love and protection.  I know some of you had hands that you feared and my question to you is what are the hands you have and how will they impact the Generations to come.
  My kids all know that Hannah prayed daily for our family and my husbands health the day I went to see Hannah for possibly the last time my oldest daughter came with me and what a blessing it was to share that time with her as well. Hannah as of this morning is still with us but we know her days are very near the end and with that It brings me to reflect on my hands.

Dear Lord,
I thank you for the hands of others who come along side of me and carry me through the tough stuff. I thank you for the hands that twitch with laughter as friends are gathered. I thank you for the hard working hands that bring us what you provide. Lord I thank you for the hard times as I know that some have lost their hands and I thank you for the Dr.s that are their to care for them along with the people that you intrust to care for those that have emotional battles because of it. Lord I think you that you have blessed me with the hands that pray more than anything.  I pray for those who struggle with the fear of the hands that should be there to love and care for them. Lord I pray that you open the eyes to the angry hands that they will come to find you.  Thank you Jesus For your love and the sacrifice of taking nails in your hands that we might have hope in heaven.
In Jesus name AMAN