My Family

COME ON IN, GRAB A CUP OF COFFEE & SHARE A RANDOM MOMENT WITH ME

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

my girls are coming home and the honest scrap award

i am so excited to be having amanda and olivia coming home today. they have been in tulsa with my sister for over two weeks and i am so ready for them to be back home. i am sure that they had a lot of fun. they have already told me some of the many things they got to do while they were there. but hopefully they are as ready to be home as i am for them to be here. i can't wait to see them.




last week, my wonderful, sweet, blogging friend, rosel, at off the beaten trek, nominated me for the honest scrap award. she is so awesome to have as a friend. she is faithful to come and visit me always. i love having her over. i am always in awe at the wisdom and insights that she shares when she comes to visit and every time i visit her. please go meet her. you will not be sorry. you will be forever taken with her charm and stories about her walk with the Lord and how He leads her to make a difference in so many people's lives. a few days later kat at heart to heart also blessed me with the same award and then the next day i was triple blessed by jennifer at the life and times of mommy. i can not say enough about both of these friends either. i am amazed at the friends that i have made here in the blog world. kat and jen both bless me every time that they visit and they visit me often. i love them for that. i love making my way over to their place as well. that is what friends do, you know. please stop over and meet them. they are absolutely great friends. i am sure you will love them as much as i do.

in accepting this award, i need to do the following:

1) say thanks and give a link to the presenter of the award.

2) share "ten honest things" about myself.

3) present this award to 7 others whose blogs I find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged me.

4) tell those 7 people that they've been awarded HONEST SCRAP and inform them of these guidelines in receiving it.

ten honest things about myself:

1. i am the oldest sibling of three in my family. i have a younger sister by two years, named connie and a younger brother, by seven years, named brian.

2. i have lived for the Lord my whole life. i have never strayed into the world or turned my back on Him, though i am still learning to trust Him.

3. i love to drink coffee and talk about deep, meaningful things, developing relationships and connecting hearts with people.

4. i am terrible at cliche' conversation. i can never think of what to say to people when i first meet them past "hi, how are you?" but once you get me talking, watch out!

5. i and my family just recently help to plant a church in our home town. it is absolutely a wonderful experience.

6. i went to rhema bible training center and graduated from there in 1990.

7. i went to oru in 1991-1994. but, i never graduated from there because i started having babies and i have never returned. :)

8. i lived in oklahoma for 11 years. 1988-1999 We loved it but felt the Lord lead us back home to where we were from after our youngest daughter was born in 1999.

9. i love to cook and hate to clean up afterwards. now i have teenage daughters to do that for me. :) what a blessing!

10. i love my life! God has blessed me so much! and continues to do so each and every day!

now i get to pass this award on to seven of my friends who i would love to know more about and i know that you would to once you get to meet them. so please stop by and visit them. you will be glad to meet them. they are wonderful friends and great communicators.

1. sharon at joy in the truth

2. loren at the magoo news

3. Adeye at no greater joy mom

4. mich at "mich"

5. julianne at mom on a mission

6. amanda at popping out one letter at a time

7. hope at my hope is in the Lord

all of these friends of mine would love to have you visit them and meet you. they are wonderful friends to me and they would welcome you with open arms.

Monday, June 29, 2009

baseball tournament

we just back home from josiah's last travel tournament of the season. we still have another tournament in july but that is a home tounament. it was so hottt!!! the boys struggled through but they still had a lot of fun. josiah pitched four innings in one game before he was exhausted. he did well though. he played third in another game but that did not take quite the toll that pitching did. he hit 2 for 4 with a walk for the weekend. the team did not win any of their games but they had fun anyway. it was a real bonding time for all them.
 
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rachel and my niece kristen enjoying the game. well maybe! i think they just really like to watch the boys playing the game!

we all had a lot of fun! sweating!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

i am a mom on a mission

i am missing my young daughters tonight, olivia and amanda. they have been out of town with my sister for a week and a half. amanda, my youngest daughter, called last night right before i was going to bed just to talk. but, i knew she was feeling a little homesick. it really made me miss her more. rachel has said more than a couple of times that she misses them both too. nothing makes a momma's heart melt more than when one of her children show love and affection for the other, especially when most of the time, more bickering and frustration is shown than affection. it really touches me when i can experience with my own eyes what i already know is true. they love each other a lot.

when i think about my family, i am in awe at the intensity of the love that i have for them. i want them to grow up knowing that. sometimes, the everyday wear and tear of busyness prevents the expression of appreciation and love. i think that busyness is from the devil himself. his whole purpose is to extinguish love or the experience of it. he has been trying to accomplish that since the day we were created. he does anything he can do to prevent love from being expressed, mostly through lies and distractions.

i recently read a post written by Julianne at mom on a mission . she gave us moms a mission to tell our kids that we love them at least nine times each day. so, i decided to pay attention to myself and check to see how often i tell them that i love them. i realized that it was not often enough. i found myself telling my baby jacob that i loved him all the time. but, my older children did not receive the same quantity of those words of expression of love from me. why is that? i do not love jacob any more than i love my other children by any means. i love them all the same. just because they are older does not mean they do not need to know and hear that i love them over and over again too. if they do not hear it and know it, then they may doubt it. i do not want that. i want them to always be able to trust in my love for them. trust is the result of knowing they are truly loved.

so, i started being more conscientous about making sure that i tell them that i love them as often as i think about it. that is one of the things that Julianne said she did as well. i love being more aware of speaking my love to each of my children. hearing the words "i love you" does something inside of all of us and speaking the words "i love you" does too. the distractions and lies of the enemy are not going to work in my home anymore. help me Lord to remember to express my love for all of my children many times each day. i am a mom on a mission. i love them so much and i know they need to hear it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

better than a dream

when i was a little girl, i dreamed and imagined of what life would be like when i grew up. all i could remember wanting to be was a wife and mommy. i wanted a family to take care of and love. since that was my goal, i thought that i would find someone when i was young and marry young, thinking like before age 20. i wanted to be a young mommy. i did not want to be old when my kids were still young. well, life does not always go the way that you dream it as a little girl. i was 25 when i got married, which is definitely not old but not as young as i wanted to be. but, the man that i married that day has been more than the man of my dreams. i love him more today than the day that we got married.

yesterday was our anniversary. we have been married for 18 years. wow! the time goes so fast! since the day we got married, we have been sharing our lives and then raising babies together. this life that the Lord has blessed me with could not be more fulfilling. i love my life. i get to stay at home and be the mommy that is there for her kids all the time. aaron is a wonderful provider as God has blessed him with a job that pays well enough for me to fulfill my dream of taking care of a family.

sunday was father's day too. so, i want to take this opportunity to bless my husband with the thoughts and feelings written here as a token of how much i appreciate him and love him:

aaron,

when i met you 25 years ago, i thought you were the sweetest guy that i had ever met, but i had no idea the plan that God had for our lives and where he was going to take us. the memories that i have of getting to know you and seeing your heart and the potential that you had, make my heart jump just thinking about them. God knew what He was doing. He was knitting our hearts together even back then. then, spending time with you and letting who you are touch me so deeply. i think that is when i began to fall in love with you. we have grown so much together and yet the person that i met back then still moves me today. you are a wonderful husband and an absolutely excellent father. i want to honor you here, knowing that we have just celebrated father's day and our anniversary. i could not have dreamed up a more wonderful person to share my life with than you! You are better than a dream! Happy Father's Day and Happy Anniversary! I love you!
Christy

Sunday, June 21, 2009

God is love

this weekend, we headed out of town again. this time it is for a baseball tournament in danville, il. it only took two hours to get there. jacob was wonderful on this trip. we were all so glad about that. josiah, my oldest son is our baseball player. i love to support him as he enjoys the talents that God has blessed him with. we had a great weekend.

i wanted to sum up my thoughts from the "fearless" conference that i went to last weekend with this post today. for any of you who may have missed it, i have been posting a little each day, since monday, about what God was speaking there and how it has ministered to me and my family. and if you have not stopped to check out because of Jesus ministries or lifestream ministries, please do so. you will be so blessed by what they have to offer.

i was so honored and privileged to be able to speak at this conference as well. God lead me to speak on I John 4:16 and Ephesians 1:4. it was a real pleasure to lean on Him and allow Him to speak through me. i pray that many people's lives were touched as much as mine was by the other speakers.

knowing that the theme for the conference was "fearless" and the main Scripture was I John 4:18, "perfect love casts out all fear," i felt the Lord leading me to speak on what perfect love was and how we miss so much of what He has to offer us because we do not understand the intensity or the quality of His love for us. i think there are several reasons for that. one, is because we only understand love to the degree that we have experienced it or have given it and we associate our understanding of love with God. when we hear that God loves us, we think He loves like we do, with conditions and expectations. but, God's love is perfect agape' love defined as; chosen, self sacrificial action and acceptance given without conditions or expectations of anything in return, a love that is always looking to move on behalf of the one that is beloved, never self serving, and always acting on behalf of who He is. it is unending and unfailing. it is not the human kind of love that has to be returned in order to continue.

another reason it is hard for us to understand God's love is because we have an enemy who tries his hardest to keep us from really knowing and believing the kind of love that God has for us. he deceived eve in the garden by convincing her that God really did not love her as much as He said that He did and that He was really holding something back from her that was wonderful. he is a liar! the only thing God was holding back was the destruction of sin. the enemies lies are still the same. he is still trying to convince us that God is not thoroughly in love with us and might not be there for us when we need Him. deception! it is the only tool he has to use on us anymore.

I john 4:16 tells us, "God is love." that is who God is. the entirety of who God is. everything He does or says is the result of who He is. the absence of love is sin. we could say that God is righteous because God is love! God is holy because God is love! God is awesome because God is love! if God ceased to love, He would cease to be. to understand this is to know that everything that God thinks and acts toward us is originated out of His love for us. Ephesians 1:4 tells us, "...He chose us, in love, before the foundation of the earth..." agape' love is chosen love. Love chose US! He chose US! He chose us to be the beneficiary of all that He is. we are what God is all about. we are the ones that make God continue to be who He is. He created us to love us. we were born for no other reason but to be loved with the perfect love of a holy God. when we begin to fully recognize the love that God has for us, we will love Him back. We love Him because He first loved us. our love for Him is the result of knowing His love for us. and, when we are in the midst of difficult circumstances or huge storms in our life it is easy to trust the One that we know loves us and has our best interest at heart enabling us to live fearless. no matter what!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

one lovely blog award


I am so honored to have been given the "one lovely blog award" from godsown at my journey . She also has a lovely blog. Thanks so much! I sincerely appreciate it and I love passing it along. I have met so many new friends lately and i am so excited to give them a shout out so others might be able to meet them too.


The rules on how to give this blog award away are:

1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Now, I am passing on this award to the following lovely blogs:

amanda at proud mommy of four. she is wonderful! she is open and honest and will tell you everything that is going on in her heart and in her life. and, that is a lot because she has four babies under the age of four. whew!

lori at joy unspeakable. she is in the process of trying to adopt a young girl from china. they have a beautiful family and are looking to welcome her into their hearts. they are delightful to get to know.

mary at my new 30. recipes galore! she just got nominated for the tastiest blog award. please stop by and check out her site. when you do i know you will want to vote for her.

jenn at spejory. she is a momma of three boys and is raising them in the country, homeschooling and enjoying her wonderful life. she is a pleasure to visit.

charlene at bring on the rain. she is such an inspiration. her relationship with Jesus is so evident in everything that she does. she will challenge you to dig deeper into your walk with the Lord.

christy at my gifts, among other things. she is a military mommy who has her hands full depending upon Jesus all along the way.

hope at my hope is in the Lord. she is a mommy of five children who would love to have more. she is dedicated to her kids and loves her calling to motherhood. it refreshes my soul to stop by and visit her.

pilar at the starck family. she is a missionary to Spain and a mommy to three beautiful girls. she tells wonderful stories of ministering for Jesus there.

kim at homesteader's heart. if you want a good laugh, stop by and visit Kim. i always put her on my people to visit list each day because she lightens my heart each time i do.

carrie at martin manor happenings. she and her beautiful family will bring smiles to your day too. she has two beautiful kids and is a stay at home mommy who enjoys every minute of it.

adeye at no greater joy mom. she is a mommy from south africa living in America. she has five kids, three sons of her own making and two daughters with special needs from China. her story will brings laughter and tears to your heart.

denise at a sacred longing
. she shares her deep walk with the Lord and will inspire you with her wisdom.

beth at outnumbered, three to one. she is a mom to two boys and loves every minute of it. i love to visit her and enjoy her love for her family.

julianne at mom on a mission. she most definitely is a mom on a mission, a mission to be a better mom. she will challenge you to prioritize your life to enjoy more of it and be the best mom that you can be.

alan at the people of the way. he is a wonderful man from the united kingdom. he is always writing inspiring things to remind us that we are the people of the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

i visit all of these blogs regularly and i am always glad that i did. please stop by and meet them. you will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

one step closer to a full recovery

one of the things that keeps mulling over and over in my heart since this last weekend is that the lives we live here on this earth were not meant to be overwhelming at all. we all need to be set free from addictive behavior, behavior that reveals insecurity, stress and fear concerning the issues of our lives. we are all in recovery. recovery from believing the lies of our enemy, keeping us far from our Father, overwhelmed and scared. the Scripture tells us that we will have trials in this world but to be of good cheer because Jesus has overcome the world. be of good cheer! be happy! can we actually be happy if our circumstances are not what we would like for them to be? i believe so! we do not have to be happy about our situation that is not so fun. but, we can be happy that we have hope for tomorrow! hope in our Lord brings joy and happiness in the midst of anything.

everyone of us has different things that we go through and fears that we face. being fearful and happy do not ever happen at the same time. one replaces the other. a person who is truly happy knows that life has a lot of bumps and turns but everyone of them can be overcome if he remains safely in the arms of his loving God.

living loved! that was a phrase that we heard many times this last weekend. learning to live in the unconditional, unending, unfailing love of God! learning to live and respond to everything that we encounter knowing that it is going to be OK because God loves me! just the thought of His perfect love brings a calm sense to my soul. if i am afraid or overwhelmed, i am not living loved! because perfect love casts out all fear! i want to live loved in the midst of everything! i want that!

wayne jacobsen from Lifestream Ministries was another speaker that ministered this past weekend. he spoke about reconizing that any time we wonder if God is going to take care of us, we are not living in His love. we are still seeing Him as a harsh, judgemental dictator that just might not be satisfied with our lives at the moment and therefore may not answer us when we call out to Him. there should be no wondering! God is satisfied with us because of Jesus! always! He is longing for us to respond to the revelation of how intense His love is for us, because He knows when we do, we will be able to experience the abundant life that He has for us. He is all about relationship and hates religion. religion is man trying to figure out how to make God happy with him. man trying!!! relationship is man living in the love of His Father because He has no fear of the punishment that has already been paid for. man resting in God's accomplished work!! resulting in only love and acceptance! always!

it is hard sometimes to remember God's goodness when religion of today and yesterday continues to steer us toward looking to our outward behavior intead of our inward transformation. the pharisees were so concerned about everyone following the Law but had no concern for the issues of true righteousness of the heart that came from faith. if we all were very honest with ourselves, we would recognize pharisetical tendencies in our own lives. these tendencies keep us from living loved by God. but each time that we get a deeper revelation of His true love for us, revealed in Jesus, we walk in a little more freedom of our religious attitude and experience more of our love relationship with God. we are all recovering pharisees. some more recovered than others. each step we take in recognizing His love for us is one step closer to a full recovery.

to be continued...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

perfect love casts out all fear

the theme for the conference that we attended this past weekend was "fearless." it was hosted by Because of Jesus ministries. with all that is going on in the world today, the theme was perfectly selected by God to bring teachings about Who He is and His great love for us so that we can rest in His love and care in the midst of such trials and hardships that seem to be overwhelming the lives of so many in the world right now. the main Scripture was I John 4:18, .."perfect love casts out all fear..." how is it that we can experience such perfect love that we have no fear in the midst of the life that we live? this question was bombarded by Truth as each speaker presented the message that God laid upon their heart.

connie witter opened the conference by sharing some of her experiences of temptations to feeling fear and how she looked to Jesus to reveal the truth of God's overwhelming love for her. "God i know that You love me," are the words that she shared that she would speak to Him to help her get her heart and mind back on Jesus, where there is perfect peace and no fear. perfect love does cast out all fear!

i loved it that my whole family was there. i want my children to learn to experience that peace that passes all understanding in the midst of chaos and tragedy. that peace that replaces fear when we relish in the love that God has for us. so much distress and worry can be prevented in their lives as the revelation of God's unconditional, unfailing love becomes more real to them than anything else. it was wonderful knowing that their ears and their hearts were hearing such Truth. they may not ever be able to know or understand everything that is going on around them. but they can know the love that their Heavenly Father has for them will never change.

to be continued...

Monday, June 15, 2009

nine hours in the van (twice) and the love ya award

our weekend was wonderful and i have so many things to say about it. i am going to take the next week and write about the different things that i experienced a little each day. our van trip went rather well. everyone got along and enjoyed each other. i guess my kids are all getting older and able to handle the long trip to tulsa a little bit better. everone except jacob, of course. he did great for the first seven hours and pretty much cried for the last two. he hit his maximum car seat time then and let everyone know it for two solid hours. earphones helped the other kids to handle it and aaron and i just had to tune him out. but, guess what! ten minutes before we got to our hotel, he decided it was time for the nap that he had been fighting for the last two hours. he is such a stinker. that was the trip there. but the trip home was almost identical. i think we need to shorten any other trips we take for awhile to seven hours or less.

i was welcomed home with a wonderful blogging award from two of my sweet blogging friends. Kat from Heart to Heart and Mary from Pile of Smiles both awarded me the Love Ya Friendship award and i was so deeply touched by their thoughts of friendship toward me. please stop by and visit them. they are great friends to have. they will inspire you and uplift you with all of their posts and their comments on yours.


So here's what you must do upon accepting this award. please create a post stating the following about the award:

These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

Here are the friends that i want to pass this award on to:

Jennifer at The Life and Times of Mommy. She has five children too. She is a busy mom who loves Jesus and trusts in the grace of God to help her accomplish all she needs to in each day. Her posts will truly cause you to see Jesus in her life.

Michelle at Psalm 104:24. she is a farm lovin, blog writin, baby wantin momma who loves Jesus too. Her posts will always make you smile as she shares her life with her friends.

Erica at Scottsville. She is the funnest mom I know. Constantly coming up with fun things for her and her kids to do in Texas, where she is proud to live, she makes being a mom seem like a blast.

Daveda at Grace Talk with Daveda. She is my real life friend. She shares her revelation of Truth in her posts and will inspire you to think deeply about what you really believe when you visit her.

Joye at Joyeful Journey. Her journey with the Lord and her family will touch your heart every time in her writings. She is a breath of fresh air.

Kellie at Warrior Woman takes on the World. She is another real life friend of mine who I love dearly. I have seen her grow so much in her relationship with God. Warrior woman is such a great title for her. She is a mighty woman of God.

Alicia at Confessions of a Snowflake. She will make you laugh and make you cry in her writings. She expresses herself beautifully in her writing.

Kathleen at Sassy Granny. The wisdom that flows from her posts will amaze you. You can not go visit her and leave without learning something deep concerning the Lord.

I am so proud to consider each one of these wonderful ladies my friends. In some way, they all have deposited something into my life through their friendship. Please take some time to stop and visit them, they will welcome your friendship as well.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

i am expecting great things

i am expecting great things!

today, we are leaving for tulsa, oklahoma. it is a nine hour trip in our van. that is a long time for a family of seven to travel together and remain friendly the whole time. but, we have made this trip many times before. we used to live there. aaron and i went to school in tulsa. we got married and had all of our babies there, except for jacob of course, who was just born last year. both, aaron and i were born in illinois, where we live now and have lived for 10 years. most of our family is still here. so, we frequently made trips each year back and forth from illinois to oklahoma. we know how long the trip is. we know that we will probably be settling some spats along the way. we know it is going to be so much fun! ok that was a little sarcastic. sorry. but, this trip is going to be different for us than the others. we are not just going back to visit family and friends. we are going to a conference together, called "Because of Jesus." i have been to it many times but the rest of my family has not. it is an awesome time of allowing God to reveal Himself and direct our hearts and minds back to Jesus and Jesus alone. the theme this year for the conference is "fearless." i am excited to be a part of this conference and learn what God is desiring for us to know more of to make us more confident in Him. i will be speaking in the afternoon session on Saturday and i am depending on Him to speak through me as I yield my mouth to His unction.

I am expecting great things! for myself and my whole family!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

heading to the lion's den

six years ago, aaron and i decided that we were going to put our kids in public school. it was a very hard decision for me. i had homeschooled all of my kids up to that point and i felt like by sending them into the world for schooling, i was sending my babies, whom i had mothered and protected, into a den of hungry lions ready to pounce on them and devour them. it was a very heartwrenching thing for me to do until i had settled in my heart that they were not going into the lions den on their own. they were going to be just as protected there as they were in my home because they were encompassed in the care of my God. He is a much better mother and protector than i could ever be. and, He could be with them all of the time, while i could not.

i remember talking to the Lord one day before we had come to this decision and i was crying because i knew that it was time for me to be done teaching my children at home and yet it frightened me so. it was time for my youngest daughter to go to kindergarden and i was already teaching my older three kids and beginning to struggle under the pressure of having to accomplish so much teaching at different levels in one day. i was feeling overwhelmed with the idea of adding Amanda's lessons to my already-behind daily schedule. what should i do? should i continue to stuggle? believe God to empower me to take on the extra lesson time? send them to public school and trust God to protect them? maybe the time had come to let them venture into the world and take their Jesus with them? but, it still hurt my heart to know that what i had protected them from up to that point was going to be thrown right in their face. i did not want my sweet, innocent children to be influenced by the ugly, harsh world. i wanted to know that they would be able to stand in the midst of worldliness with their heart connected strongly to their God fulfilling the destiny upon their life of shining the character of Jesus in that dark place, not them be pulled into the worldiness and leave their beliefs behind for acceptance of the world they were entering into.

i remember vividly where i was when i felt God speak to my heart and say, "christy, whatever you decide to do, they will be ok. I will be with them. they hear My voice, they will follow Me." with tears streaming down my face and a burden so heavily upon my heart being lifted, i found myself relax in His word of promise to me. i knew that He would keep them in the midst of all the evil in the world. He would protect them. He would bring them through and empower them to live in Him. from that point forward, i have had peace in sending my children to school.

i can't say that i haven't had to remind myself and God of what He told me that day several times. but, overall i have been able to trust God to keep them as they leave home and venture into the lion's den everyday. and, as they are getting older now, i feel as if God is helping me to teach them that it is important for them to look to Him to meet all of their needs and to recognize the deception of the enemy in looking to substitutes to be first place in their life. I John 5:21 tells us all to do the same with our own heart as well. thank you Jesus for being with my children each day and preserving them for your glory. thank you for giving my heart rest as i trust You to keep your promise.

Monday, June 8, 2009

summer is here

summer is here. this is the first full week out of school for the summer. it is going to go so fast. i can see it now. this weekend we will be going to a conference in tulsa, oklahoma. after the conference, my young girls are staying there for 2 1/2 weeks with my sister and i am bringing her oldest daughter home with me. the next two weekends we will be gone to baseball tounaments with Josiah. my sister is coming to visit for two 1/2 weeks after that, bringing my girls home with her. They are all going to church camp the next week. by then july will be over and school will start two weeks after that. it seems like a blurr already.

this week i am going to try to spend some quality time with my kids individually. i do not want to just slide into all of our events for the summer and miss relationship time with them. so, my prayer is that God will direct our activities as to build our lives together with Him in the very center of all that we do. help me Lord to depend on you to make the best of this time that i have with them because i know that i will never get it back again. i want them to feel loved and special as if they were my very life after You. because of course they are. i am looking to you to help me be the best mommy that i can be. in doing that i know we will have the best summer ever and memories to last a lifetime.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

where is my accuser now?

recently, i found myself falling under the trap of condemnation without even realizing that i was there. i believe that happens more than we recognize. but, God desires to deliver us from that trap. He is consantly at work in us shining the light of Truth on all of the lies that the enemy traps us in so that we can see and live truly free from sin experiencing all that Jesus bought and paid for us to have. He did this for me in a very unique way not too long ago.

one evening, i was watching a minister on tv. i was really being ministered to from what the person was teaching about. it felt as if i was hearing confirmation from God about a revelation that He had shown me just recently and i was hearing someone else teach the same thing right then and there. i felt overwhelmed by the goodness of God and appreciation for Him showing me that i do hear and listen to His voice.

at that moment, i lifted my heart up to Him in worship to show my thankfulness for Who He was and to recognize His love for me in revealing Himself in such a sweet and real way. as i did that, i felt the presence of God so strongly come into my living room, more so than i could ever remember in a very long time. it was as if He was responding to me, smiling and reaching His arms out to love on me. it was then that i recognized that i was feeling condemned because my response was to lower my head, turn away and cower in his presence, as if i felt ashamed and undeserving of His admonition. my response to Him shocked me! i could not believe that without even having a chance to think it through, i responded in shame. i was horrified at myself! i teach people to stand in the presence of God boldly in Christ. i recognize condemnation in others and help them to see that they are being lied to by the devil and that lie is keeping them from truly being able to go to God and ask Him to take care of them, believing that He will. God had revealed to me a revelation of my righteousness in Christ a long time ago and i knew that because of His goodness and grace, i could stand before Him and expect Him to welcome and take care of me. but, my response to the tangible presnce of God had shown me that unnoticed by me, the enemy had sneakily been deceiving me into looking at myself outside of Jesus. and, it was revealed when i felt guilt and shame in His presence.

i was so mad! mad at myself for listening to the lies of the enemy and not shouting "redeemed!" at him when he pointed at me and expected me to see myself outside of Jesus! i immediately repented and asked God to forgive me for cowering in His presence when He had redeemed me from that. i thanked Him for showing me that i was feeling condemned in an area of my life. and, i realized that it was keeping me from being able to trust Him to deliver me from the very thing that i was feeling condemned for. I lifted my head and stood before Him accepting His acceptance of me, not because i deserved it and did everything right. just one thing! the one thing that was necessary, i believed what He said about me and not the accusation of my enemy. i then enjoyed the loving arms of God and relished in His love and acceptance of me, fully relaxed and at ease. i remember thinking then, "where is my accuser now?"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Romans 8:1

Condemned!

Such a horrible word!

It brings with it such a sense of bondage to punishment!

It is the word that God had to use for every person who came to Him before Jesus came to redeem us from that fate. We were condemned to failure to the Law of God, therefore, we were condemned to death, the punishment for our sin. No matter how hard one tried to do what was right, the sin within them destined them to failure, therefore condemnation and punishment.

Redeemed!

Such a beautiful word!

It brings with it such a sense of freedom!

It is the word that God uses every time the devil tries to condemn us in our current failures. We could not master the Law on our own so Jesus mastered it for us. and His perfect fulfillment of the Righteous Law of God was the gift He gave us in exchange for our failed attempts. Then He suffered the condemnation that we so deserved and redeemed us from ever having to hear those words from God again.

so, now when the devil tries to make us feel condemned because we fail to walk in our gift of grace, "redeemed" is the word we should shout back to Him.

Romans 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.

"

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

the super pill

I have a couple of friends who always seem to be asking the question, "Isn't there more than this? I want to hear something new. I keep hearing the same thing at church week after week." It is really odd to me, because I most definitely do not hear the same thing at church week after week. the message is always the Gospel of Jesus. but, the revelation of His salvation and how it affects me in every aspect of our lives is different and mind blowing. it seems like a story or a puzzle that unfolds a little at a time. each week a different portion of the story or piece of the puzzle is revealed and each week the full picture of Jesus gets clearer and clearer. why is it that my friends can only hear the surface of what is being said and not the depth of the truth that God is longing to reveal to them within the message? why is it?

It feels to me like they take the information they are told and put it in their pocket like a collection. but, they don't add what they learned each week together so as to get a fuller, richer revelation of Truth within the message. Psalm 119:160 states, "the sum of Your Word is Truth." this clearly shows that Truth is built in our hearts by one revelation being added to the next. but, there is only one Truth! there is nothing new outside of the Gospel that God needs us to know. Every bit of knowledge and wisdom that we need is revealed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. we learn new things about Him every day we ask of Him and He reveals Himself to us in a deeper way. but, His revelation to us can always be found within the Word of God, never outside of it. II John warns us in verse 9 and 10 to not run ahead of God and look outside of the doctrine of Jesus to find contentment and excitement. and, to not receive anyone who comes to us bringing any doctrine other than what Jesus taught.

to answer my own question, i think that my friends are wanting a quick-fix cure-all to their discontented situations. we all somewhat, have this ailment in the world we live today. we want to hear the one thing that is going to make everything in our lives perfect, the super pill that we can take to make us look, feel, act, and live exactly the way we want to. the real truth is, Jesus is that super pill for our spiritual condition. faith in Him changes us immediately from a sinner to a righteous child of God. but, the manifestation of this new person we have become is a jouney of realizing and recognizing the greatness of what has just happened to us because of our faith. it is a journey with God where he reveals, moment by moment, new depths of knowledge within the redemption provided for us in Jesus. We are changed as He renews our minds a little at a time, one revelation after another, precept upon precept until the day we see Him face to face. that new thing my friends seem to long for isn't outside of the message they hear each week or every time they read the Bible. it is within it, buried treasure ready to be revealed as they look to Jesus to do so.

Monday, June 1, 2009

God showed me something new today

God showed me something new today! i keep thinking about it and how the revelation of this could transform mine and so many people's lives if we could get a glimpse of this Truth.

i was driving down the street that i live on, in my van. i was not going very fast because i was traveling in my neighborhood. but suddenly, i had to slam on my brakes. from my right side darted two little bunnies right out in front of me. at first, i was startled and a little scared because i actually almost hit them. but, they did not just run across the road. they began to use the street as their playground. they were hopping back and forth chasing each other, jumping on each other and playing right in the middle of the road. i could not do anything but just watch. it was like they were performing for me. at first i just sat there amazed that they would not get out of the road. then, i began to really pay attention to what they were doing. they were having fun playing. they had no idea the danger they were just in. they were so involved with the fun they were having they were completely unaware of the danger that had come and gone. i began to really enjoy watching them play. they seemed to be having so much fun that i began to laugh myself.

as i was thoroughly enjoying watching them play, i began to think back to several days before when i was watching my youngest daughter playing with her baby brother. she was playing some silly game that was just making him laugh really hard. then he would mimick her and she would pretend to laugh really hard at him, which made him laugh again. neither of them noticed that i was watching them until i could not keep myself from laughing out loud with them. as i was thinking about that moment and gazing at the bunnies still playing the same game, i did not notice that they had moved their game to the side of the road into the grassy ditch. i was so involved with enjoying their fun, i did not realize that i was still stopped in the middle of the road. i looked around to see if anyone noticed that i was just parked in the middle of the street. no one was paying attention, that i know of. so, i took my foot off of the brake and continued on my way.

as i was driving down the road, i kept thinking about the performance that had just been given me and i felt God speak to my heart and say that just as i enjoyed watching those bunnies and my own children playing and having fun, He so enjoys watching me enjoy myself and have fun. it makes Him smile when i smile and laugh when i laugh. He wants my life to be a theatre of pleasure for Him. i was so overwhelmed by the loving presence of God at that moment that i felt tears whelling up in my eyes. but quickly my tears dried up and i began to laugh. i am sure i looked really silly laughing so hard when no one else was with me in my van. but Someone was. we were laughing together. playing and laughing. laughing and playing.

i experienced God differently today than ever before. He loves it when i have fun. He wants to have fun with me. sometimes, i think we get so caught up in the rules and religious ways that we believe are so important to God, that we miss out on the Person of God. i believe that God is wanting to clear up some misconceptions about Himself. when we believe He is serious, stoic and intenionally stern, we step back and have a hard time trusting that He wants good things for us. but, knowing He is
thrilled when we are experiencing fun and laughter in this life He has given us, not difficulty and hardship, helps us to trust Him more.

Habakkuk 1:5 says, "look around among the nations and see! and be astonished! be astounded! for i am putting into effect a work in your days that you would not believe it if it were told you." God is showing me a deeper truth in Him that makes me in awe. i am astonished! i am astounded! He longs to laugh and enjoy me enjoying Him in every aspect of my life. God showed me something new today!