Friday, July 30, 2010

Human Recall Notice

I did not write this - I received it as an e-mail and thought it worthy of sharing. Kudos to the author, whoever you may be!


The Maker of all human beings (GOD) is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart. This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units.

This defect has been technically termed "Sub-sequential Internal Non-Morality," or more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is primarily expressed. Some of the symptoms include:

1. Loss of direction
2. Foul vocal emissions
3. Amnesia of origin
4. Lack of peace and joy
5. Selfish or violent behavior
6. Depression or confusion in the mental component
7. Fearfulness
8. Idolatry
9. Rebellion

The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this defect.

The Repair Technician, JESUS, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required. The number to call for repair in all areas is: PRAYER.

Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure.

Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component.

No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with:

1. Love
2. Joy
3. Peace
4. Patience
5. Kindness
6. Goodness
7. Faithfulness
8. Gentleness
9. Self control

Please see the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E. (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth) for further details on the use of these fixes.

WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous
to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded. For free emergency service, call on Jesus.

DANGER: The human being units not responding
to this recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace. The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter his Kingdom so as to prevent contamination of that facility.

Thank you for your attention!

P.S. Please assist where possible by notifying others of this important recall notice, and you may contact the Father any time by 'Knee mail'! Because He Lives

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Are you "Fine"?

The other day I was talking with a man whose father had recently died. He was getting ready to go on a trip because he felt that he really needed to just get out of town and clear his head. Rocked by his father's death, he thought some time away would help him. When I inquired about his mother, he replied that she always says she is "fine".  Then he added, "I don't know how that is because I am NOT "fine"".  I was impressed he could say that, so many of us wouldn't.

Why is it so hard to admit when we are truly in emotional turmoil?  How healthy is it for us to slap "fine" on our feelings and stuff them away? What are the repercussions of refusing to feel our feelings?

I am not talking about providing a litany of our aches pains and minor traumas to every cashier and bank teller in town, but communicating our true selves to those who love and care for us.

There is a song by the band Superchic(k) called Stand in the Rain, and one of the lyrics says,
"The shadows are long and she fears if she cries that first tear, the tears will not stop raining down".
Do you suppose that is what we are afraid of - emotional apacolypse? Afraid if we unleash all the emotions we have been stuffing down, setting aside or hiding away we won't recover from the onslaught? Perhaps if we let all that stuff go we won't recognize ourselves anymore? Maybe our friends will think differently of us if we admit we have been carrying emotional baggage.

Perhaps we are simply afraid to admit we feel painful emotions at all. Admitting how we feel to others opens up a level of intimacy we are uncomfortable with. We can Tweet and Facebook all the mundane details of our lives, but when it comes to openly and honestly communicating our feelings, needs and our deepest hurts to one another, we have nothing to say.

As painful and sometimes embarrassing (nobody likes to get to the ugly cry in public!) as it is to reveal ourselves to others, it draws us together and gives us an healthy outlet for all those swirling emotions. James 5:16 says, "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed". Unless we admit we are broken, we can't find healing. God is our ultimate counselor, but hopefully you have surrounded yourself with good, supportive people that will pray with you and for you.

The best thing about hashing that out and wading through all that emotional garbage is PEACE.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27). If you hold on to your emotions they have great power over you. Let them go. Feel them and release them, and ask God to fill up your broken places with His peace and love, you will be amazed at how much better you feel.

Do not be afraid of how you will look or what others will think. If you are not "fine" fess up. Your true friends will listen, comfort and care for you. Burdens, both physical and emotional, are easier to handle when shared.
"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2). Allow your friends to minister to you and return the favor when the tables are turned, you will be blessed.

In His Peace - 

Full lyrics to Stand in the Rain from Superchic(k): 
Stand In The Rain:

She never slows down / She doesn’t know why, but she knows / That when she’s all alone / It feels like it’s all coming down / She won’t turn around / The shadows are long and she fears / If she cries that first tear / The tears will not stop raining down

[CHORUS] So stand in the rain / Stand your ground / Stand up when it’s all crashing down / You stand through the pain / You won’t drown / And one day what’s lost can be found / You stand in the rain

She won’t make a sound / Alone in this fight with herself / And the fear’s whispering / If she stands, she’ll fall down / She wants to be found / The only way out is through everything / She’s running from / She wants to give up and lie down

[CHORUS] So stand in the rain / Stand your ground / Stand up when it’s all crashing down / You stand through the pain / You won’t drown / And one day what’s lost can be found / You stand in the rain

**Why is it that lyrics don't have the same effect here on the page without the music??**

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What is your Spiritual Temperature?

As the youth from our church are traveling back from the Youth Gathering in New Orleans I am remembering similar worship events that I have attended. I never had the opportunity to attend as a youth, but I have as an adult and I highly recommend an annual trek to a big worship event. You will be richly blessed. I have never left with an empty heart - a changed one for sure, but never empty. It has been my experience that you leave feeling so full of the spirit that you can feel it bubbling out of you onto others. You are on fire with love for Jesus and a desire to walk every footstep in line with His will. Your eyes have been opened to new verses which have spoken to the very heart of you and leave you with a hunger for more. 


When you leave that place where God himself most certainly stood among you (because you could feel His presence to your very marrow) - it is like someone pulled the plug on the tub and your fullness starts draining away. 


The first drain starts when you have to deal with the traffic leaving the arena. How hard it is to hang on to that full heart feeling when traffic is bumper to bumper and you can't find a single person to cut you some slack and let you out?! How quickly we return to our sin-filled selves behind the wheel of the car! (One of my major flaws!) Traffic clears, you take a breath and put on some praise music and your heart fills back up a little. Praising Jesus in song all the way home!


Then you get home and the house is a mess, your kids are still up and it is WAY past their bedtime and your husband just looks at you like,"What? I don't see a problem here." Now there is a whirlpool in the tub because it is draining so fast. You scowl at your spouse, scoot the kids off to bed and start the clean up. By the time you have yourself ready for bed you are hard pressed to capture the heart-full feeling you had a few hours ago. The new day dawns and it is back to the same old grind and you can't even remember how it felt to be full of the Spirit. 


How do we capture that feeling a daily basis? 


The most important way is to stay in the Word. Find time to read the Bible every day. There is a huge variety of devotional books and daily reading Bibles on the market. I have found books which are split into daily readings are easier for me to tackle than just sitting down and reading my study Bible.  I also enjoy devotionals with uplifting stories along with a related Bible verse. I switch back and forth what I use each day depending on my mood. The key is to feed your spirit on a daily basis.  Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation (1 Peter 2:2).


Study your Bible! Preferably in a group setting where there is discussion and accountability. It is so much easier to stay focused on God when you are digging deep into His book. If you have never done a Bible study I challenge you to try one. Bible study is not boring! Both groups that I am in have a great time and we all feel like we are being better representatives of Christ to the world when we are entrenched in a study.  If you don't know what is in the owner's manual how can you live the Christian life? Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. (Deuteronomy 6:8)


Christian music is a great spirit filler. The lyrics are clean and you can find music to suit most any taste from classic hymns to hard rock. Personally, I listen to K-LOVE radio (which is all over the country, if you aren't familiar with it check for a station near you), K-LOVE is always on in the car. I never have to worry about what my children may hear or learn with K-LOVE on. Oh, how I love it when they sing along! I can't count the number of times that just the right song has played - with the exact lyrics I needed to hear. God is amazing like that. Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music (Psalm 98:4).

Avoid Spirit suckers. I am not talking about people. That will have to be a whole different blog! I am talking about what you watch, read, listen to, play and do on a daily basis. If you could picture God looking over your shoulder at what you are filling your mind with would you still do it? Phillipians 4:8 gives very specific instruction on what we should focus on: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.


Jesus said in the book of Revelation, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!  So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth."  Jesus is telling us not to be complacent in our faith. Faith should be active and alive every day,  not just something that you rouse awake on Sunday to go to church! I want my spirit to be burning hot, although I am woefully human and I run at all three temperatures, but my aim is for hot! I want to live so sparks are falling off of me catching others on fire, too!

If we could measure the health status of your faith by taking it's temperature would it be hot, cold or lukewarm?  

If your find your status to be chilly, dust off your Bible, crank up the praise music and get your spiritual motor running!


In His Peace


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Watermark Moments

At the opening of a Beth Moore conference a few years ago, Travis Cottrell, Beth's worship leader, prayed at the event opening. (If you are ever in need of some outstanding worship music buy Travis Cottrell CDs!) Travis challenged us to earnestly seek God during the conference and implored of God that every woman there experience a watermark moment. Travis went on to explain a watermark moment to be something that marks you, something that you can look back on and note a change in yourself or your life, good or bad.

Watermarks tend to be the events in our life that we remember most strongly. The birth of a child, or the loss of a loved one, a new job, or even moving to a new home. Any event with which you tend to mentally mark the passage of time is a watermark event. If you did not grow up a Christian and answered the call of Christ later in your life, that would definitely be a watermark moment for you!

This concept of watermark moments has stayed with me. Nineteen teenagers and five adult chaperones from our church are in New Orleans this week along with 25,000 other kids from around the country for the National Youth Gathering.Thanks to modern technology we were able to watch some of the event online. What an amazing experience.  Thousands of young people together praising the One True God - it brings tears to my eyes. All those kids from all walks of life, from all over the country and of every color of the rainbow, together under one roof worshiping our God. Even watching online you could feel the absolute radiance of the Holy Spirit among the attendees. I pray that this is a watermark event for these young people. I pray that they can look back to this week and say THIS was the event that changed me- the week that fueled my passion for Jesus and lit my faith afire.

Have you had a watermark moment with Christ? A moment when you knew without a shadow of a doubt that you were loved, forgiven and redeemed? God says in the book of Jeremiah, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness." Everlasting love. Not temporary, not just when you are being "good", not when you have all your problems solved, not when He is in the mood, but everlasting - forever. All your yesterdays, your today, and all your tomorrows. God loves You.  Let that soak in for a minute. Close your eyes and feel it:  Gods love washing over you like water.
Amazing, everlasting, ever present Love.

I will leave you basking in the love of God because it is a great place to be.

Let that love leave a forever watermark upon you.

In His Peace

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Power of Words

A fresh blog site and a clean blog page. Where does a gal start?

I am having one of those weeks where there are a lot of things rattling around in my head with no where to go. In this crazy world of instantaneous information, where else would I go with my random thoughts but blog-world?
I may regret putting cursor to clean screen, but for now I am going to roll with it.

Here in the Midwest, the weather tends to be, well, fickle. Check out the picture I posted. It was taken on the 4th of July. The 4th dawned a rainy morning, broke out into a lovely afternoon and then had some very interesting but quick moving storm clouds blow through and drop a some showers in the early evening, followed again by clear skies. Three totally different weather scenarios in the same day.

Daily life can be like that. Some days just start out dreary. Most Mondays can be considered dreary. As much as we may love our jobs, days off are pretty great and returning to work is, well, returning to work. Ugh.

Even the dreariness of Monday can be lifted by a simple act of kindness, or a compliment, a genuine thank you, or even a simple smile. A sunny day can be ruined by a snide remark, a rude comment or a nasty phone call. The emotional weather pattern of your day can be changed by those around you. Words are powerful.

I have been reading the book of Proverbs during my devotional time. I have been amazed at how many times King Solomon touched on words and how the wise should use them. A few examples:

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Proverbs 12:8)

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  (Proverbs 15:1)

The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.  (Proverbs 15:2)

A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. (Proverbs 17:27)

How can we apply all this to our daily lives? Be aware of how YOU affect the emotional weather patterns in your home and work place. We have no control over others, but we do have control of ourselves. Sometimes the best response is no response (Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue. Proverbs 17:28) . Your comments and your response to others can keep the sun shining or bring in the storm clouds.

Words have great power. Use them wisely!
In His Peace -