That time I had to google the sinners prayer!

At 2:00 a.m. the phone rang.  I jumped up and answered it.

“Hello,” I said in my sleepy voice.

“Lindsay, Jesus is real; I found evidence!”

I suddenly sat up.  It was Dave, a dear friend of mine from back in my “before Jesus” days.

“Lindsay, I am serious; Jesus is real,” he exclaimed.

I thought to myself, “I know, and I can’t believe you know!”

Before I was a Christian, Dave and I had lived similar lives—what one might call crazy, with one self destructive, self-inflicted disaster after another.

However, this particular night, Dave began to share his “findings.” He was convinced of the reality of Jesus. I stared out the window in pure amazement and total shock of God.

Two hours later, Dave asked me to help him know Jesus like I did.

UH OH!

The truth was, I had no idea how to “make that happen.”  I mean, I have often heard people say things like,“I led him to Christ,”but in this moment, all I could think was, how?  How do I tell a 36-year-old, very intellectual man to “ask Jesus into his heart?”Let’s be honest, it kind of sounds absurd.

In the moment, my heart was racing; I grabbed my computer and frantically typed “Sinner’s Prayer” into Google.I tried to act normal, but then Dave said, “Lindsay, will you pray for me?”  I looked up to God and mouthed the words “help me,” then I started to pray, asking God to further reveal Himself to Dave.

Did I chicken out; did I screw up?  I didn’t pray the “Sinner’s Prayer.”

My story of coming to know Jesus was a journey that really started unfolding when I was 29. I had always thought of Jesus as a really nice character in a fairytale, like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. I mean, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are really marvelous, and the truth of the matter was, I thought the same thing about Jesus.He was marvelous, but he was indeed made up.

So I was shocked, as one Sunday morning I sat in the back of a mega church in Atlanta, listening to a pastor talk about our faith being built on a person who lived 2,000 years ago in history. I suddenly thought, “Jesus was real?”

I had no idea.

A year after I had prayed for David, he called again, asking why Jesus mattered so much. While he had found historical evidence of this truth, he still struggled to understand the connection between the Christian faith and Jesus.

The conversation ended up in a similar place as it did a year earlier.  How do I explain that a prayer gets you into heaven? It sounds crazy. I knew it was more than a prayer, but I was having trouble “explaining it.”

The next night, Dave called me again.  He was crying rather hard.  He was telling me a story about when he realized God had indeed saved his life.  But still, something was missing. After three hours on the phone, I had explained God, Jesus, and salvation in every way I knew how. I was literally on my knees at times begging God to speak through me. I was at a loss.

I felt stupid bringing up “the prayer” again even though I knew it had significance. I was having trouble with the explanation on why it mattered myself.He wasn’t buying it, and honestly, I wasn’t sure I was either.

I had now spent 10 hours on the phone with my friend over 3 days, telling him all I knew about the Bible. At one point I started to weep, realizing God taught me this for me but also for the exact moment I found myself in, sharing it with Dave. I was overwhelmed by God’s providence.

It wasn’t until I came across this section of scripture in the Message version of the Bible that I realized something.

But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. (Roman 8:9-11 MSG)

It was this passage of scripture God used to remind me that until Dave had the Holy Spirit in him, he would not fully understand what I was trying to tell him, and that was the significance of the prayer, of praying to receive the Lord into his life.

That evening, I was listening to a podcast where at the end the teacher gave a simple prayer (yes, it was a verison of the sinner’s prayer).  I got out my phone, and I texted it to Dave saying, “I thought I would give you this prayer to pray.” The next morning I received a text back from Dave saying, “I said just that in a sincere manner and feel like I am giving orders to our pal, Jesus.”

I then said, “I know it feels dumb and insignificant, but it is an admission of belief. It is the beginning of your walk with Jesus. The rest of your life is a journey with Him.”

I wanted it to be obvious. I wanted to say, “I led my friend, Dave, to the Lord,” but it took 3 years and a lot of divine appointments for me to finally come to more of a true understanding of my salvation.  I believe that for my friend as well!

God’s ways and God’s timing are perfect, and I know God is working!

Eat a Cookie and Take a Breath

Do you ever have one of those days when you see yourself acting like a wackadoodle?

You see this person that doesn’t seem to be you but in fact it is you, and this person is acting crazy. The other slightly more stable person inside of you is watching the crazy person in utter disbelief saying, “this is not who you are!”

Your crazy self knows the right thing to do, but instead your wackiness continues, you know deep inside you need to calm down, eat a cookie and take a breath.

I knew this “person” was creeping up earlier today but I wasn’t sure what the problem was or the “why” behind it. I even went to the bathroom and prayed, “Lord, help me, just help me, I know I need help”… and that was before the mini melt down.

Part of it is my personality, personalities have strengths and weaknesses.

Me overreacting and making a mountain out of a molehill is a weakness in my particular personality.

I don’t like that part of myself.

Especially when “it” comes out at the most inopportune times. it can be embarrassing and then you have this mess to clean up.  You know, sending apology texts/emails etc. so everyone does not think you have completely fallen off the deep end.

Then the condemning starts from the enemy. “Lindsay people can obviously tell you don’t trust God, how can you think that God could possibly use you when you fly off the handle, God is looking for people of peace, that is so not you, Lindsay you are so ungrateful”

And the lies go on and on in your head.

How do I find myself wondering out of this unbecoming state?

1. This writing thing, it helps, it’s like getting all the thoughts that are stirring around in my head, OUT, onto paper, out of my head. Would I post all of them, of course not, but do I post some, YEPPERS.

2. Pulling out my scripture verses (yes some of which are on little white note cards). I know the enemy wants you to think that this is so old school or so stupid but God’s Word is living and active and indeed has power!

3. Look beside you and realize that God is with you, He is right beside you and His grace truly is sufficient even if your “feelings” want to tell you different!

Sometimes the very person you think might just agree with the enemy on how you are losing your marbles might be the one who encourages you with a verse from the Bible just like this…

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard time are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the thing we can’t see now will last forever! 2 Corinthians 4: 16-18 MSG (thanks Ash)

Have you ever thought about getting out a sheet of paper or opening up a word document and just telling God everything?

If not, I suggest you try it, it has helped me through numerous hard times over the past 5 years. I pray it helps you as well!

Wisdom and Knowledge

Lately I have been seeing a lot of verses on wisdom and knowledge. When I say I have been seeing them, I mean seeing them everywhere. From sermons I hear to podcasts I listen to, and the mornings I have gotten up early enough to open my Bible this week, these two words are jumping out everywhere. It’s like they are after me or something.

When I ask God what to pray, I hear these two words again, wisdom and knowledge, when I pray and ask God for wisdom and knowledge, I hear Him say “I am with you”

That’s it?

I don’t mean to take that lightly, as that is a BIG, HUGE deal. The God of the universe, the One who created us all is with us? I know in my head this is true, but I wonder why He keeps reminding me.

I wonder a lot of things to be honest and sometimes I wonder if the amazement of God tries to sneak by me? Or maybe I should say that I let it sneak by me!

God is so kind, first to send His son Jesus to earth, to die on a cross to save us all from our humanness, our sins and frankly the wrath of Himself (God). He is so kind, yet so many don’t believe He has anything to do with their daily lives. That makes me sad.

God is with us, for heavens sake He is IN us. His Spirit, the Holy Spirit that Jesus taught would come to dwell in us once Jesus ascended up with the Father. The very Spirit of God lives in us.

That’s pretty much amazing.

I heard a great story today of a co-worker who said she was having a really really bad day a few months ago and as she was driving down the road, she wiped everything off her front seat, literally moved it to the back seat and patted her hand on the passenger seat whispering the words, “Jesus, I need you to sit beside me today.”

I love that story.

Isn’t it true for all of us? Some days or everyday for that matter, we need to know that someone is there for us, that someone is indeed with us and that someone created us. WHAT! love it..

The Bible clearly talks about God being FOR us. In Romans 8:31 it says, “if God is for us, who can be against us”?

Psalm 46 talks about God being with us. Check it out, it’s so very beautiful. If nothing else, sit on your couch, turn your head and see Jesus sitting beside you. He is indeed with you and that IS a big deal.

 

Why do people hate Jesus?

I get not knowing Him, I never really knew Him, well I knew of Him, but honestly I didn’t understand that Jesus was a real person who walked on this earth.

Don’t ask me why! I don’t know.

The past couple of weeks, I had been slacking on my Bible reading. Then I was wondering why I felt so distant from God (hmmm Lindsay- not brain surgery)

Here is the thing, God through His Holy Spirit penned the Bible through 40 different authors, the Bible is literally the Word of God. The God who created the universe.

I use to think the Bible was a special book, one you adored, maybe you would hold it or pet it (is that weird) you know what I mean.

I didn’t know people read it.

I didn’t. Serious.

Then I learned that God wrote it divinely and He didn’t do it for Himself, He did it for us.

Here is the other thing- when I first discovered God’s real love for me, I was shocked and excited. I wanted to learn all I could about living the way He the One who knows everything tells us to live. It just seemed logical to me. He created everything, He probably knows the best way to do things. Wouldn’t you think?

Plus I had tried it my way for 31 years and although I don’t regret those years, they were a complete disaster especially on the inside. I don’t even know if anyone really knew what was going on inside my soul. It was ugly.

The enemy will lie to you…. oh he will lie.

BUT Jesus came to SET US FREE!!!! AMEN AMEN.. The Truth will set you free.

I learned the Word of God is TRUTH and everything else, lies… Lies set out to steal from you, steal life from you.

31 years had been stolen from me and when I found out, I was kinda ticked off, not at Jesus, He was the One who came to show me the Truth. Jesus is the Truth, the Bible says He is the Word made flesh, WHAT. SO awesome!!!!!

I was ticked at the enemy of my soul. He comes to kill, steal and destroy. He doesn’t have any real power, but the Bible refers to him as the Father of Lies, so that is that.

He wants you to think I am a nut case, he wants you to think this is a bunch of crap, he wants you as believers to think “you have got this”, he wants you to think you have read the Bible and you are good, he wants you to think that reading your Bible daily is legalistic or over spiritual.

Jesus, He said it is the bread of life. The Bible says the Word is Jesus and Jesus is the Word.

I surely don’t know all the answers, but I do believe sticking close to God and the Bible, all the while knowing there is grace for “those days”, is probably a wise thing to do!

Blog from Alaska- THEME TRUST

This is all a little strange.

If you could see me now, you would shake your head in confusion, you may laugh and say to yourself, what on earth is she doing?

It’s more like a strange dream than a vacation. As I sit and type this to you, I see Ketchikan Alaska to my right, it’s not bad, just different. Different than where I ever thought I would be.

We all have our list, you know “the travel wish list” and this wasn’t on mine. Of course I am extra interested in all the workers on board, seeing they are from the Philippines and India. I just want to talk to them, hear their stories, go with them to visit their countries. I think they think I am strange.

It’s ok to be strange. (smile)

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful, I am just slightly confused why I am here. I am snickering as I write this, it’s just funny. A fish out of water, no pun intended.

I have eaten a lot. I am really full as I sit here and wait on my biscuits and gravy.

You may wonder why I am here and what the point of this blog is, good question.

I am learning about visual storytelling! It’s something that seems easy, but there is a lot to it, it’s an art all of it’s own!

The conference is small and the teachers are brilliant! They are Hollywood people! Like the real kind. It’s crazy! They also love Jesus, which of course I think is awesome!

The others at the conference are way ahead of me in the art of “screenwriting”- I just came to check it out! My new friends have pilots written, screenplays even. As for me, I just enjoy being the dumbest person in the room, you learn best that way!

We have been talking a lot about THEME, plot and characters.

And the theme of this trip seems to be TRUST. I keep coming back to TRUST.

Throughout the week God keeps asking me if I trust Him?

Me: “Yes Lord, I do!” I repeatedly clamor!

As the next thought that zips across my brain is “what on earth am I doing here? Have I totally lost my marbles?”

Again His response to me: “Do you trust me Lindsay?”

As I look over my journal from the past few days, I find empty pages with a date at the top and then the words: “I have no idea”

To be honest, I am starting to think this “no idea” part is exactly where God wants me.

Nothing, not even one thing seems to “make sense”.

Suddenly I was reminded to take a sip of my own medicine, “read your own blog Lindsay” I heard in my head. Let go of the need to know. Trust the Lord with all of your heart, lean not on your own understanding, let Him write the next scene of your life”

It’s all a little too ironic.

I reminded myself again, He (GOD) created the universe, the glaciers I saw, the ocean I am floating around in, He created all of it.

I “randomly” opened my Bible over coffee yesterday morning and saw this in Psalm 97 (verse 3) For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods. The depths of the earth are in His hand, and the mountain peaks are His. (I saw some of His mountain peaks, they indeed are incredible) it goes on to say: The sea is His, He made it, His hands formed the dry land.

Ya’all THAT’S crazy.

God who created it all, loves us, cares about what we care about, cries with us when we cry.

Don’t let the world steal that from you, it’s a big deal, the Bible says, draw near to God and He will draw near to you!

This cruise, this screenwriting stuff, it’s all kind of irrelevant if I am being really honest with myself, especially compared to the LOVE of the One who created love.

We wouldn’t even know what LOVE was if it were not for Him.

I have put my identity in plenty of things over the past 36 years. I refuse to do it again, it isn’t about what I may or may not accomplish in my writing, on this cruise, in this lifetime. It is about the hard to understand, but ever present LOVE of the One who created me, and YOU.

That’s it, that’s all I really know! That and the fact that every town in Alaska looks like an episode of Northern Exposure!

I had to post this quick, internet is .75 cents a minute.. so excuse any mistakes…