Painting Pictures of Egypt

January 26, 2010

Exodus 14:10-12

They were totally afraid. They cried out in terror to God. They told Moses, “Weren’t the cemeteries large enough in Egypt so that you had to take us out here in the wilderness to die? What have you done to us, taking us out of Egypt? Back in Egypt didn’t we tell you this would happen? Didn’t we tell you, ‘Leave us alone here in Egypt—we’re better off as slaves in Egypt than as corpses in the wilderness.'”

So the Isrealites were slaves, beaten, starved and murdered. They lived a terrible life. And God told Moses to lead them out of Egypt. The Isrealites were glad to get out of that life and move on. They had dreams of a better life. They had hope. And just when things started getting a little sketchy they started to back pedal. Turning on the person that was freeing them from a life of slavery. Crying out to God and Moses to take them back. This path is just to hard and scary to keep going down. It wasn’t easy and it was actually uncomfortable and they were afraid.

This is my story. I am an Isrealite. When things get hard and scary and sketchy and uncomfortable. Even just a little bit….I start back peddling. I start painting pictures of Egypt. Leaving out what it lacked. Forgetting that it wasn’t what I was meant for. Making it all shiny and pretty. Instead of dreary and hopeless. The future looks so very hard and I want to go back. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know, right?

But if I give up now, what will I miss out on? This story is an example to us. To me. This moment in my life is not what I had planned. It’s challenging. Not what I dreamed it was going to be. But I know if I continue through the struggle, I will become who He wants me to be. More like Him. And really, that is what it is all for. Not the circumstances but the person. And maybe, just maybe I will reach the promise land.

13 Moses spoke to the people: “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and watch God do his work of salvation for you today…God will fight the battle for you today.


8000

January 19, 2010

I was reading today in Luke 19. The story of Zaccheaus. When I was a kid in church we would sing the song “Zaccheaus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he…Did you sing that too?

The Bible says that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. In Luke 19 it says Zaccheaus was a rich man. So that was a strike against him. But he was a rich man with a curiosity to know who this Jesus was. He climbed into a tree just to see and hear him speak. After spending time with Jesus, Zaccheaus says that he will give half of his riches to the poor and pay back anyone he has cheated. He had a metanoia. A profound change of mind.

I read this and think about what rich means. In America…even the lower class is rich compared to many of the world. We have so much. We spend so much. We are blessed. We are rich. We are Zaccheaus.

This brings me to my family at Restore. The Zaccheaus’s of Restore have spent time with Jesus. We get it. We have changed and do you know what, we are responding like Zaccheaus. We are giving. Not only have the people at Restore built a church in Haiti, school, orphan homes, support all the children in those homes, given to help people find their way back to God in Liberty, but this past Sunday on top of their regular giving….they gave 8000 dollars to the people of Haiti. The people of Restore get it. I am humbled to be a apart of this family.

And this is Jesus response:

-10Jesus said, “Today is salvation day in this home! Here he is: Zacchaeus, son of Abraham! For the Son of Man came to find and restore the lost.”


Get Up and Walk.

January 13, 2010

Totally just copied this from a blog. It is so good. So good that I thought I would repost it word for word. I use this blog as an online journal for me of sorts. I can look back at it and see what was going on with me at certain times…and what was impacting me on my journey. This post is so so true. Be changed by it.

Acts 3:2
Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts.

Acts 3:6-7
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.

These two verses are interesting when you look at them side by side. I think they kind of reflect two different ministry philosophies.

There’s a crippled man. He needs help.
One group of people decides to help him by carrying him to the gate to beg everyday.
Peter and John decided to help him by reaching down, pulling him up on his feet, and telling him to walk.

Our ministry philosophy  is more like the latter. We don’t really have much interest in carrying people to the gate to beg. We don’t coddle and cater and spoon feed.

We’ll reach down and help you. We’ll impart the healing power of Jesus to you. But you’ve got to get up and walk. You’ve got to make a personal investment into studying God’s Word for yourself.

How about you? Are you investing too much time in carrying people to the gate and dropping them off to beg? Are you the one doing the begging when you should be lifting somebody else’s burden?

Take some advice from Peter.

In the name of Jesus, walk.


Given

January 12, 2010

Luke 12:48 says that to whom much is given, much is required.

When I read this verse it scares me and inspires me at the same time.

There are times when my flesh is weak and I look back at my life and think haven’t I given everything?  My parents were pastors and our lives revolved around church, I went to bible college, spent the last 11 years serving in churches. My flesh sometimes says….what could you have done if you hadn’t chosen that path? What would your life look like? Would Nate be designing videos and graphics for major companies? Would I have pursued music and done that professionally? Would we be rich? Would that have made us happier?

My flesh always looses though. Because I know I haven’t given enough. Much has been given to me. Much more than I can ever ever give back to God. I am blessed beyond anything I could have ever hoped for. The gifts, talents, provisions that have been given to this family will always be used to help people find their way back to God. And even if I had chosen another path…I would still give what I have back to Him however that would look like.

So just like a good old fashioned bar fight, my flesh looses and I’m inspired by Luke 12:48. I have been given much. And so much more is required. And I am ready to see what that will look like for me in 2010.

What about you? Have you been given much in your talents, in your finances, in who you are? If so, much is required. Take a look at how you can give back….are you ready to give?


Superpowers

January 8, 2010

I was reading in Luke 8 today which tells of miracles performed by Jesus like raising people from the dead and calming the sea. Because I have not seen things like these with my own eyes happen I can only imagine what it was like to experience. As I was reading, my mind instantly starting thinking about movies like X-Men and shows like Heros where people have these amazing superpowers. These movies draw us in because people have extrondinary gifts that usually help save the day.

If you could have a superpower what would you choose? I’ve always wanted to be able to read peoples minds. I’d love to know what people are really thinking. Or what about that kid on Heros that could get money from an atm machine…thats pretty cool. 🙂 I’m also so pathetic that I would choose to have the “be able to eat a plate full of chocolate chip cookies and not gain a pound” power. Not sure how that would save the world though….but I digress.

Those movies and shows are great and all. But they are just make believe.

Yet how awesome, how amazing, how crazy is it that on earth there walked a man who could change water into wine, calm the sea, walk on water. Thats not make believe. Its truth.


Resolutions

January 6, 2010

Do you do them? I do. Every year. I fail every year. But I think it is a good thing to set goals for yourself. Try to achieve something different. New Years bring fresh starts in my mind. Hope.

So for 2010 I resolve to:

-Read my leadership community reading plan and journal everyday….because sometimes its hard to fit in that hour when theres facebook.

– Eat more healthy…..because lets face it….these hips don’t lie….I am an addict plain and simple.

-Exercise….because I hate it…..I think all of you who say you get a high of some sort are big bunch of liars.

-Think on whatsoever things are lovely, pure, honorable, good report, etc………because I can find the cloud in every silver lining.

-Practice my guitar everyday……because I want to be that blonde chick on the Micheal Jackson movie.

-Be more intentional with relationships……because believe it or not I’m an introvert that enjoys my home with the garage door shut and the code to the garage kept secret.

Well those are enough to take on at the start of this new year. I may add more later if it seems I’m conquering these goals easily.

I give any of you full permission….if anyone reads this….to help me with my goals. Which means if you see me eating a scone from the bux…slap me. Or if you have a good workout plan….I’ll take all the help I can get. Or if you can play the guitar and wanna give me some free pointers I’ll take them.

And let me know your resolutions so I can encourage you in your journey as well!


Year End Review

January 5, 2010

Wow. What a year it has been. Difficult, challenging, faith-building, rewarding, hopeful. These are the words I would describe 2009. I spent the first part of the year worrying about our future. Feeling hopeless.  Would we lose our house? Would we have enough money to pay our bills. Our children were plagued with sickness. What were we supposed to do next with our lives.  I questioned God. Prayed. Wondered if he had forgotten about us. And then….then God did what he does. He showed us His infinite love. Provided right in the nick of time.  I got promotions exactly when we needed them. Nate got side video/graphic jobs right when we needed them. The miracle of all miracles that we needed was for our house to sell. And it did. Not losing money on it. And it doesn’t stop there. The people of Restore gave generously, miraculously to help people find their way back to God in Liberty, Mo. And we are leading that charge.

I prayed for months in the beginning of 2009  for God to show me a burning bush type sign. One that I can not explain away. (cause I tend to do that) One that I can look back to when times get tough….and they will…as a sign of God’s unexplainable love  for us. For me. That he has called me and will be with me not matter what it seems like.

So as Tommy so aptly wrote “HOPE HAS COME!!” And I look forward to what 2010 brings.

Here are a few pics from the end of the year.

Our princess.

Let it Snow!

Warming up with some Hot Cocoa.

Liberty’s Community Christmas Celebration, 225 people joining in our twist to candlight services.

Nate

Ethan excited about his present “it IS the most wonderful time of the year!”