Mar
31

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Jesus saves in more ways than one!

My testimony will be short, I lived without Jesus for 31 years, I knew OF HIM, I wouldn’t deny Him, I honestly didn’t know enough about Him to deny Him. But 5 years ago, I sat in the back of a church, I heard a sermon that answered a few of my lingering questions, I finally understood that I could be right with God, not because of anything I did or would ever do for that matter, but because of what Jesus did. I said a prayer not because that is what “saves us” from death, I said a prayer as a way of acknowledging to God what I believed about His son Jesus. My life has not been the same ever since, it is hard to explain, because it is all God, not me! He has delivered me from self hatred among MANY OTHER lies that made me want to end my life, I could go on and on, but I won’t, I will leave it up to Jesus, He is the ONLY One who can save, heal and deliver and He will, if you let Him!

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Easter Sunday 5 years ago I sat in the back of Buckhead Church, by myself, as I heard Andy Stanley depict the story of the Bible. He talked about the 66 books by 40 different authors, how it is a collection of ancient manuscripts, which is the reason it seems so hard to read like a book!

I don’t remember exactly what Andy said 5 years ago, but I do remember thinking, “OH, I never really understood that Jesus was real. I never thought of Him as a real person in history, I kind of thought of Him as a fairy tail character, like Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny”

I had the opportunity to visit Buckhead Church again this Easter. I heard Andy talk about how none of Jesus’ nearest and dearest followers (His best friends) who actually saw the miracles Jesus performed ever really thought Jesus would resurrect from the dead once they saw Him die on the cross.

To hear more on this go to: http://www.buckheadchurch.org/messages and click on Easter Message!

But that is the whole point! That is what makes Jesus more than a prophet, a teacher, one even sent by God. The fact that He rose from the dead, He took on our sin (all of us) and He died with it and then He rose again, FROM THE DEAD. That is why we celebrate Easter, the day that Mary Magdalene came to Jesus’ tomb to prepare His body in a more respectful way; she found the tomb empty and wondered what happened.

Sometimes I screw up the gospel. I want to “explain” to people why I have this sudden adoration for a man who lived 2,000 years ago, who isn’t physically here!

For me, it is hard to put into words, how acknowledging my belief that Jesus Christ was sent by God to save me from eternal death, by taking my sins upon His body on the cross and then my acknowledgment of that gift, by me receiving that gift, by me saying, yes, I will accept this gift of salvation (salvation= rescue – saving – deliverance – redemption – escape) puts me in right standing with God for one, and allows me into His Kingdom (which is heaven) for two.

I think it is hard for me to put into words, because it is so unbelievably easy, yet it seems hard.

but Jesus saves us from ourselves!

He took our sins on the cross; He died with our sins and He rose again defeating death itself, therefore defeating sin, for any and all who choose to receive this gift from Jesus!

I am just going to be honest, people, humans, we are broken and we say stupid things, we say you have to do this and that, that and this, NO, it’s all about Jesus and Jesus was for ALL people! If you get to know Jesus, you will be surprised, don’t listen to people, and don’t listen to me. Read the accounts of Jesus’ life in the Bible, in the books Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and decide for yourself what you think of Jesus!

I pray today, that no matter our issues (as humans we have them, Christian or not), no matter our differences, no matter our politics, no matter our belief on marriage, no matter our economic status, our race, our current religion, no matter our denomination, let’s just get Jesus right! Believe that He is our personal Lord and Savior, that we receive His blood to cover our sins, past, present and future and that we seek to KNOW Him better in the coming weeks, months and years.

I love you! I pray for you! May God bless you with His undeniable presence!

Mar
19

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Be with Him, He will show you!

You know me; I like to be honest with my struggle, His grace and my expectant heart!

So here goes:

I recently went to the Storyline Conference where the underlying theme was “finding your subplot in God’s story.”  I went with no real expectations, but I found myself on the first day, during our lunch break staring at the ocean in sheer panic!

“Lord, I thought YOU were going to perform YOUR purpose for my life (in and through me), now you want me to figure it out, but but…….”

“Lord, I JUST learned to surrender my plans, my will to YOU and now I find myself at a conference trying to “find my purpose”

I came home from the conference slightly disillusioned. Not because it wasn’t a great conference, more because it challenged my beliefs a tad, ran up against what I thought I had figured out about God!

2 things I started to realize:

1.       I will never “figure Him (God of the Universe) out”.  He wants me to BE STILL and KNOW THAT HE IS GOD, He wants me (and you) to be present with Him, seek His face, and get to know Him. He is standing right beside you. Stop, turn your head, realize He is there; I sometimes even grab His hand. He is our Shepherd, and He walks along side of us, step by step! The Bible says that He will never leave us or forsake us, YOU OR ME. Never, so we can count on Him, He will always be there.

2.       I was worried about figuring out what I could do for God, instead of seeking to KNOW God. Don’t we all want to be known, truly known, isn’t that what love is, to be fully known by another? Jesus (who is God) wants to be known by His creation (that’s you and I).

I admit I struggle, I want to HELP GOD, and typically it is with a pure heart, it is because I am so grateful for what He has done in my life that I want to do all I can for Him. I don’t believe this is wrong but I do believe it needs to be in the right order.

Scripture reads: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”.

All these things, which seems to include what to do for God and for others. The Bible says in the book of Jeremiah “Pray that the LORD your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do”

In the New Testament, the Bible says:

“I (Jesus) am the vine; you (humans) are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing

Apart from Him we can do nothing; those are His words not mine!

I know God wants us to co-labor with Him to do as He commands in the Bible, no question. I also know that He knit each one of us together in our mother’s womb. He gifted us differently, His timing is perfect and He will lead us if we choose to TRUST Him. If we choose follow Him, to listen to Him, to be still and know He really is the One who created the entire Universe, therefore, He is worthy of our TRUST.

I think it’s hard, I think it is easier to plan, to do, to try to figure out, than it is to rest and trust that He will accomplish His will in and through us if we stay close, listen well and {Walk Forward} with Him. TRUSTING in an invisible but ever present God (of the Universe). A God who really wants a real relationship with us! For more on the idea of personal relationship with God click here..

God knows the needs of our hurting world and He calls us to co-labor, but we are FIRST CALLED to seek His kingdom moment by moment, to seek His face and then He will lead us where He wants us to go and what He wants us to do, step by step.

Feb
22

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Walk Forward

I wrote a blog about 6 months ago called “Joy in Suffering”!  In the book of James, chapter 1 in the Bible it begins with “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds”.

Let’s face it; we live in a fallen, broken world and we needed a Savior 2,000 years ago as much as we need that same Savior every single day!

We need Him with us through it all, the good and the not so good.

As I recently walked through a very confusing time in my life, painful to say the least, I did everything in my power to hold tight onto Jesus in the mists of it all. I will be honest; I didn’t always do a good job. By God’s grace He put people around me that kept me close to His Truth! The Bible talks about our enemy some refer to him as satan or the devil, his only real power is deception. Basically he is a liar and the truth of the matter is he doesn’t let up with his lies during our dark times. I tend to think the lies alone can cause the dark times to seem even darker because you hear things like: “well that’s it, there is no hope, you will never be happy, you will be sad for the rest of your life” LIAR LIAR LIAR……. He is a liar, but when you are in the middle of the valley, it is hard to recognize the lie.

During that painful and confusing season the only thing I could hear God say to me was “Walk Forward” ahhhh I screamed in my car “WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?”

“REALLY GOD that is all you have for me? In the mist of my hurt and utter confusion I was hoping you would have something a little more concrete to tell me than -Walk Forward”.

The one thing I knew through it all was “I have to hold on tight to the TRUTH of GOD, I KNOW God is for me, I know God has good things, I can’t see straight at the moment, but I KNOW God will work this for good, I just know that is His nature.”

All of the sudden, things started to make sense in a very real way, when I say real, I mean, SHUT UP LORD, THIS IS WHAT YOU WANTED ME TO WALK FORWARD INTO???? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH (NOTE: THAT SCREAM IS IN THE MOST SHOCKED AND PLEASANTLY SURPRISED WAY EVER)

As the clouds cleared and the sun started to shine on new and exciting opportunities in my life! I was taken back!

These opportunities connected to dreams that had been hidden away for many many years. I honestly had forgotten about them, BUT God didn’t, He was waiting for me for the past 35 years to STOP trying to make everything happen. He wanted to show me He was God. He wanted me to put down the pencil; He wasn’t going to pry it out of my hands.

It was like darkness became light in a matter of weeks, He started presenting opportunities leading in the way of my dream. Putting pieces together that I could have never done myself, I was, well I still am in a bit of shock and AWE of how real God is and HOW much He really does care about each one of us. The Bible says He knows every hair on our head! Now that is AMAZING.

Praise YOU Jesus, because you ARE in control! Although I do think you wait for us to give you control, total control and sometimes that comes out of brokenness. Now I kind of understand a few more things than I use too. I understand that YOU are my JOY, YOU were with me in the dark valley and you led me to the light. All along YOU had these amazing doors open and You were just patiently waiting for me, but I had to keep walking {forward} when I really didn’t feel like it!

WALK FORWARD, He is leading, push past the feelings, the lies that hold you down, PRESS ON, He has good plans. We may never understand the brokenness of our world, of our lives, but we can understand the goodness of our God. WALK FORWARD with Him, trusting Him, trusting His goodness, even if it seems dark, He is leading you to the light where you will rejoice, praise and stand in amazement all for His Glory.

before Haiti….

Thursday, August 25, 2011

This is the blog post I wrote for our team blog while in Haiti, I wrote our first blog for the trip, so if you want to see…

all the people

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sitting in a starbucks with my computer, internet on, facebook up, twitter feed going, water and sandwich to my left, phone in my bag and a window to…

it’s a relationship

Friday, June 10, 2011

What I am starting to realize is that like any relationship, a relationship with God requires the same thing that any relationship requires…. If you think of those…

Another Day on the Journey

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Sunday… as a kid I never really understood what Easter was all about, don’t get me wrong I LOVED waking up on Easter Sunday getting all dressed…