Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ministers of Refreshment from COLORADO

Sunday morning our Pastor spoke on the ministry of refreshment that Paul writes about in 2 Timothy 1:15-18. It was an amazing little passage that honestly I have just skimmed over in the past and yet it spoke VOLUMES to my heart! I have never really thought about it much but now that I do think about it - I have been so blessed to have many in my life that have refreshed me through the years....These two beautiful young ladies are no exception! They truly brought some MUCH needed refreshment to my life throughout the past week!

Tab (on the left) and Katy (on the right) were in our youth group in Bayfield and truly are like our other daughters (we share them occassionally with their biological families! Hee hee). They made the journey from Bayfield to come see us for a whole WEEK!! Ok, so they SAID they came to check out Wayland and make preparations to attend there in January but I know it was to see us!!!

For me, this could not have come at a better time. Without going into a lot of detail, really not necessary or the time to go into it, suffice it to say that I have been really struggling the past month or so physically, spiritually, emotionally, etc. Now, PRAISE GOD HE has helped me through that and I am so much closer to Him than I have EVER been... However, just like you feel weak after an extended illness although the illness is gone that is where I was when these precious girls arrived! Yet God in ALL of His wisdom and mercy knew that I needed some SERIOUS refreshing!!!

If you have ever been around Tab or Katy, especially together, you know that these two are like a breath of fresh air! Just with their presence they can bring life into your being and revive and awaken you - which is EXACTLY what they did for me! We laughed, we talked, we played, and laughed some more, we explored, we rested and did I mention that we LAUGHED! I just love how they blend right in with our family and it was as though we had never been gone! I truly needed this past week to rejuvenize and refresh me to continue on with the work here in Borger. I am thankful that Jesus placed these two BEAUTIFUL young ladies in my life "For such a time as this."

Now that I have been refreshed, hopefully I will get back to blogging regularly cause I really miss it! Love ya all!!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Insights from the Word

The past month or so, I have been going through the book of John. I was struggling with some security issues in my faith and felt that I needed to be reintroduced to my Jesus in a new and real way! I had known that John was what we recommend to new believers and so - that is where I decided to go!

I cannot tell you how incredible this study has been for me! I have primarily been just digging in and only using Warren Wiersbe's Study Guide as I go along and it has been a phenominal experience! I have rediscovered, fell in love all over again, and in many ways met our Savior in a very new and real way. I am only on John 17 at this point but it has been amazing!!!

Yesterday, I was reading John 17 and I realized that this was a passage I hadn't read before. I knew that Jesus prayed in the Garden prior to his arrest and I knew that He prayed on the cross in His final moments...however this prayer in John 17, I had not read before. There are three parts to his prayer: Himself, the disciples, and all believers.

It was this last part that hit me HARD!!! "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am and to see my glory, the glory You have given me because You loved me before the Creation of the World." John 17:24
You see, not only did God love us enough to send His son to die for us - Jesus PRAYED to the Father that we might be with Him in glory! It was so essential to Him, so important to Him, etc. that He prayed for it!

The realization that Jesus prayed for me to be in Heaven and to see His glory for myself - that caused me to sit in awe! Not only did He die for me, rise again after 3 days defeating death, but He also longs for me to be with Him - How could I NOT follow Him step by step each day, how could I possibly doubt Him, how could I question Him?

For those reading, this is my prayer: that YOU too will either discover Jesus for the first time or you will rediscover Him in a way that you never before have. If you are at a place where you need a new part of the Bible to read - read through the book of John, I guarantee it will show you Jesus in a way you never dreamed possible!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sept 12: 10 years ago; 1 year ago

Ten years ago on Sept 12, 2001 I knew that America as we knew it would be changed forever due to the events of the previous day...

As a mom of 4 children all under the age of 4 - I had to ask myself what would the world look like for my precious children? I had grown up knowing that American Soldiers went to war but it was on other countries' soil - not ours. This would not be the case for my children - they would experience wars right here in America. Not just military wars either - wars of terrorism in the form of persecution, drugs, immorality, the destroying of family, and much more...

However - I also observed something on Sept 12, 2001 and the months that followed that was GOOD! As Americans we were aware of the fraility of life, we acknowledged the Lord in a way that had not been seen in many years, we took the time to notice our neighbors and those around us, we came together in a sense of patriotism and political parties really didn't matter any longer...our churches were full week after week as people realized that Jesus REALLY was the answer!!!

Yes - I was sad and broken about what had happened in NYC...but I was thrilled to see that America had received a MUCH needed wake up call...well, at least I thought they had. Yet, time passed, we returned to our American lives, the day to day life of being focused on self returned and sadly....God was forgotten, the churches weren't full any longer, we didn't gather together for prayer, we made it taboo to pray at public events, we adopted the term "politically correct", and politics was more vicious than EVER for both parties....We say "We will never forget" but I am here to tell you - WE ALREADY FORGOT! A mere 10 years later and we say that there is no place for prayer or scripture in our schools, courts, governments, etc. We forgot about how much we cared for our neighbors 10 years ago, we forgot to tell police officers and first responders in our community how much we appreciate them, we forgot to go to church or to read the Bible...

10 years ago - I saw a hope that just maybe America would realize "We need God in America today.."

One year ago on Sept 12, 2010 - My life WAS changed forever! I borded a plane headed for Zimbabwe Africa. That trip altered the way I view my "American" ways and the way I live. I learned that America is spoiled, self-centered and full of themselves. I learned that when you strip away all the comforts of this life such as 3 meals a day, a bed with a matress, a heated/air conditioned home, closets full of clothes, etc - you have no other thing to focus on but JESUS and HIM ALONE! The 14 days that I spent in Africa will be etched in my mind perhaps even more than 9/11/01 because it was there, in the simplicity of the Shongon lifestyle, that I came face to face with the life Christ has called me to...

"Go into all the world preaching and teaching the Gospel and making disciples of all men"

One year ago - I realized that the car I drive today, the home I sleep in, the job I have, the food I have are all perishible in comparison to living a life of reaching and teaching others about Jesus.

Yes - I remember where I was the morning of 9/11/01 when I heard about the attacks; I remember where our hearts and minds were focused on 9/12/01.....However, more than this I remember the lesson I learned in a country across the world when I went there on Sept 12, 2010 Serving others, Reaching Others, Telling Others, Teaching Others for the Kingdom is really the most important thing in the Christian life....

I have asked the Lord to NEVER LET ME FORGET....

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Putting it into perspective!

This past month our church had the privilege of this young man from Zimbabwe being here for a few weeks. His name is Cannon and he is a Pastor near the Zambeze River in Zimbabwe. Cannon had never left Africa, never flew on a plane and yet journeyed all the way to Borger Tx to spend time with us! How awesome!!!

While Cannon was here, our Pastor and other staff tried to ensure that he got to experience as many different aspects of American and Texas life as possible. In this picture, he is in his Cowboy Duds that were loaned to him and attending our Horsemanship Clinic by Ken McNabb that our church hosted. We thoroughly enjoyed Cannon being here and yes, I do hope to go to see him in Zimbabwe!!!

There are many stories I could share about Cannon's time here - however, two stand out completely above the rest and in a way they are related to one another. Our church librarian asked Cannon what surprised him the most about coming to America - his response? "How closely it really is like what we see on TV. We thought that was just make believe. I never thought everyone had a car, a house, three meals a day, lots of clothes. I assumed it wasn't near this wealthy." WOW! I complain about the car I have, the home I live in, the clothes that are getting old, etc and here is a young man that couldn't believe the wealth I had!

The second story is even more sobering. The day before Cannon left, our Pastor had a conversation with Cannon about the money had to go home with. Remember, Cannon had only flown out here and that was with our pastor and team sort of with him (different flights, same airports). While Cannon was here, many of our members blessed him with tangible and monetary gifts. So - our pastor wanted to make sure that Cannon knew to hide the money, how to pack, ect. Out of curiosity Pastor asked Cannon "How much money do you have to take home?" Cannon's reply - "I have $1462 - honestly more than I have ever had in my whole life, much less at one time." Pastor then continued "Cannon, I know that we have paid all your meals and everything while you were here, did you have any expenses?" Cannon, "I had one expense." Pastor, "Cannon, I am curious. What was the ONE thing that you spent money on during your time in America?"

Cannon's response, "I gave 10% of what I was given to the church." is a man who never had this amount of money in his life, the money he does have will literally help feed his family for a year or more and yet his ONE EXPENSE - tithing to the Lord! He has two kids, a wife, mom, etc - he could have bought some souveneirs, etc and yet he tithes. No one would have expected him to - the money was a gift with no expectations.

After hearing this - I was forced to think about the fact that our income in one month is a great deal more than the amount Cannon had and yet I struggle to give God His 10%. I spend money on a lot of things that really aren't important or necessities and I complain that I just can't afford to tithe. It truly is about keeping our perspective.

Our Pastor's message on Wed hit me hard. He talked about how EVERYTHING we have including life itself is a gift. We don't deserve the lifestyle we have any more than Cannon does - yet he lives in a hut, has no car, limited food and clothes. We are blessed! Pastor ended with this statement:

"Our economy is based on desire, the Kingdom of Heaven is based on contentment. Is it any wonder then that our economy is messed up?"

Our priorities and perspective are so screwed and mixed up. We focus on what we DON'T have instead of what we DO have. We complain about giving just 10% of what GOD has given us. We argue about how funds are spent in church buildings, programs, ministries, etc - when there are churches across the World that have no building, no program and yet they are ABOUNDING in ministry...

What's your perspective and where are your priorities? Mine are lacking but I am working on getting them back where they need to be!!!