I’m back home with You

Right when I am about to lose all hope. Right when I think You’re not there. I hear Your voice. You say my name. And it’s like coming back home. 

You give me peace. I feel the love in Your voice, As You say my name. My dearest friend, How I’ve missed you! 

All those songs flood back.  Those songs about You. My love for You.  Your love for me. 

Your love is extravagant.  Your friendship intimate.  There is none like You.  How dare I doubt You.  

How dare I doubt Your love.  I see it in Your eyes.  I feel it in You touch. I hear it in Your voice.  I feel it… In my heart. It all comes back to me.  

Why did I doubt?  I love You so. 

The lover of my soul.  JESUS.  

Thank you

It has been awhile since I have posted. 

 The hustle and bustle of the holidays have me running around like a chicken with its head cut off.  

If it were nor for my close friends and family,  I’d probably go insane.  This year has been a tough one.  Financially,  spiritually,  emotionally,  and because of my surgery this summer…physically. 

But those I hold dear to my heart has been with me through it all.  Maybe not all has been here physically.. But in thoughts,  prayers,  text messages,  phone calls.  All getting me through.

  For that I feel blessed.  I couldn’t have done it without you!  

So I wanted to take the time to say thank you.  Thank you to family, to new and to old friends, and to God.  

I think Him for placing you in my life.  May your time with family be blessed.  May you continue to seek God through the new year.  

ROGUE ONE GIVES HOPE

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Alright, I know what you are thinking..”a blog about a star wars movie…really!?”

Yes!

Because I am a nerd and because it is cool how we can take movies and relate to them spiritually. (whether you agree with that or not..i am doing it anyways! :-P)

I am not going to share too much. But, if you know Star Wars you should know what this new movie..Rogue One is about. Anyways..here is the nutshell version…

Plot

Jyn Erso is the daughter of the scientist who helps build the death star. He secretly made a weakness or a way to destroy it. He didn’t want to be apart of the Empire anymore. but because they threatened he had to help. He is taken, his wife killed, and his daughter, Jyn, is hidden and then is found and raised by a friend.

SO… fast forward a few years, she is found now by the rebels. They “use” her and ask her to help the rebellion. The plans to destroy the Death Star(The Empires weapon) was given to a pilot by Jyn’s father. They go on the mission to find the plans. They finally find the plans that were transmitted at the end of the movie. But, not without an epic battle and Darth Vader coming onto the rebels ship..and just when you think the plans will not make it to Princess Leia, a rebel soldier grabs it and runs! Leaving Vader behind and mad!!

(that was very difficult to put that epic movie into that short of a text..btw)

Do you see the spiritual parallels ?

In the movie we see, for the first time, the destruction the Empire brings to the galaxy. The Death Star. Its destructive power is not fully operational as we know it is in A NEW Hope:Episode 4. But it is, nonetheless, very devastating to the planet. Just not able to destroy the whole planet…yet.

Many of the spies died bringing the plan to the Princess. Then as we know, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo risk their lives to bring the plans back so that they could finally defeat this planet killer. All the while starting the process of bringing peace to the galaxy.

Everything hinges on the Plans.

The plans that the father (of Jyn) had made.  If the rebels didn’t get the momentum started, the hope to be able to destroy the most powerful weapon they had ever seen. They may have been discouraged and given up. Just fighting small battles and not getting anywhere. But, Now they have the plans. Plans that would be the “game changer”.

Course this movie shows us the sacrifice and courage the rebels had to find the plans. Getting the plans risked many lives. But, they were willing to sacrifice so others could live. This was their hope. Their only hope. If they could destroy the death star they could do anything!! It gave them courage.

Then we see from the next movies, many more joined the rebellion and eventually the empire is destroyed. (so we think until the force awakens. but that is for another blog. ;-))

Parallels revealed

I think about how our enemy, Satan, is to us and to this world. The sin that was brought in as well. We are seeing the effects, little at first, but they are deadly as we give in more. We see our world how bad it is getting. More hatred. More killing. People following the wrong things. This is all prophetic and scriptural. Just read Revelation and or any books of the prophets.

We felt there was no way for us. We wanted hope. A chance.

Then…God gave this Plan. Our Hope. Jesus!!

Jesus gave us the victory over death and sin. He gives us hope! Many die trying to share this Hope with others. We know Jesus died to give us a chance. To give us the momentum to know that we too can over come.

There is hope. Trust the Father. Trust what Jesus has brought to us.

Death and sin has been defeated!!

Now….there is the Holy Spirit. (Like the Force.) That guides us. Empowers us to accomplish anything. We are not in this alone. Our NEW HOPE!! Life in this world will have its little battles. But, we have hope. We have the victory the upper hand. Because Jesus defeated the enemy. And He, has given us the courage and the power to get through it all.

In this season where we are remember the hope that came down, Let us be thankful for Him all the more! WE have victory Friends!. Victory. The hard part has already been done. No lets trust Him. Listen to his voice. Be led by His Spirit.

He surrounds us.

Well, the Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together. – Obi-Wan Kenobi

picture credits: http://www.starwars.com/films/rogue-one

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confession Creates Brotherhood

Pursuing Glory

men

Every time someone new decides to join a house church in our network we sit down with the individual asking to join and talk them through what it’s going to be like. Many people are shocked to hear about our 2’s & 3’s (our small discipleship groups). Usually the shock has nothing to do with the large amount of Scripture we are asking people to read. The shock comes when I begin to lay out the questions we ask each other every week.

What do we ask every week? Questions like “Have you been exposed to any sexually explicit material or allowed your mind to entertain inappropriate thoughts about another this week,” and “Have you remained angry at anyone this week?” By the time you get done asking and answering these questions 2 or 3 weeks in a row, you start to get to know someone pretty well.

And that’s part of…

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A Broken heart

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http://www.njmake.org/broken-heart-images.html

I write this blog from a bit of a broken heart. I just found out that a young man(family friend) that use to go to our church tried to commit suicide.  We follow each other on face book and I see all kind of hurts and pains with every post. I knew recently he had broken up with his girlfriend. So his heart has been obviously heavy and broken.

We all are broken people. Every single one of us. We all suffer differently, some more than the next. Some take heartaches harder than others. I know this young man has struggled with his walk with the Lord as well. So I am praying God intervenes!!

Not to be selfish but, I reflect on my own life. My own hurts and pains. Very similar to many. Yet, I have Jesus. I get down. I might lose hope for just a bit, but I know I can get back up. I think, “how selfish of me to think I have it bad”… I have Jesus.

I truly do not know how to express my feeling right now. I just felt I had to blog this out.

Friends, we all hurt. We all need love. We all want love. We want to feel loved. And when we do not have love we get torn down. Broken. We feel abandoned. Alone. We get desperate. Hopeless. We listen to the lies of the enemy. We think we are worthless. We feel all kinds of things. Then we give in.

If you know someone who is like this…hug them. Reach out and pray with them. Do something with them or for them. They need it.

That is how we get when we do not have Christ. Maybe we go through SOME of that. But we feel the sweet whispers of the Holy Spirit. Hope fills us. He speaks to us to pray. To read His word. To listen to music. To phone a godly friend. Our head is lifted up.

WE need to offer hope. Show love. I can not stress this enough. Stop looking at ourselves. Start paying attention to people. There souls matter. Tell them God loves them. Tell them you love them.

Messed up Communion 

This last Sunday we had communion. 

 The trays get passed around and I scramble to try and ONLY touch one cracker. Failed. Isn’t it funny, maybe it’s just me, but when you try so hard to not touch them all your clumsy fingers grab three!? You quickly drop all in embarrassment. “I’m not a pig! My fingers are just not coordinated to handle the tray, grab one, and pass it on.” So in my quick grab I get a half cracker.  Fail. 

Getting a broken cracker is like getting a fortune cookie without the fortune(sad example but you know what I mean) Silly me like it’s that important to have a whole-put-together oyster cracker.  After all, Jesus body was broken.

Anyways,  as I’m looking at my broken cracker I think, “wow that’s like how I am!  …broken.”

I sit in the back working the sound system.  And as the trays are being passed around,  both ushers carrying the juice, passes me by. Fail. I look to my partner in the booth and whisper, “well, I guess we will be healed and not forgiven today”. I know,  not funny to say during communion time.  

Quick note: We don’t believe the symbols of the Lords body bring healing and forgiveness.  It is the symbols of our lords death we do in remembrance.  

But, I was trying to make lite of the fact we had been forgotten.  No disrespect to our Lord.  

The tray of juice eventually gets passed. 

I try not to spill it as,  like always,  it is stuck just ever so slightly in the tray.  So, while I am trying not to risk spilling the whole tray and looking at my broken cracker,  I’m thinking… “Wow.. I am a mess”

Here I am clumsy,  acting out,  broken… 

I set the two pieces down on the desk top. 

I’m mesmerized.  

The way the light reflects off the juice and the cup.  The half broken cracker laying there. And I think… 

“Thank you God” 

Nothing big and spectacular . I am just thankful.  I pray and partake.  But,  I partake with a thankful heart.  

Despite my flaws,  He loves me.  Despite my sin,  He loves me. 

That is enough to make my fails…Into something beautiful.  I’m healed, forgiven, and redeemed

A turkey and some mistletoe

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I do have to say that this time of the year is special.One of my favorite seasons. The falling snow. (when it is not a blizzard..lol) The sparkle of it at night in the moonlight. The  quietness. The crunch of the snow. Ok I am going to say it..the snow flakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes!

My dad and I have this silly thing, it can be dangerous too. When it is snowing out,like really heavy snow, we like to go out in it and eat as a family in the local restaurant. I don’t know what it is. It is something about being with family, eating, and watching the falling snow. I have always liked it. I know it would be safer to stay at home. But then it isn’t as special.

The homes decorated with lights. The glow of the lights on your children’s faces (or loved ones). Kids building snow forts from the mounds. Seeing tracks of that bunny that raced through the yard. Hot cocoa heaping with marshmallows. Warm cookies. Sugar, ginger, snicker doodle. The frosting of the cookies and the sprinkles that get everywhere. The red hots that mark the nose on the reindeer, or the buttons on the snow man you just made.  There is just something in the air.The smell of cinnamon maybe?

You see neighbors helping each other out. Shoveling sidewalks, driveways, and digging cars out of the snow. Icicles forming. Windows frosting over.  It is cold outside but you feel so warm on the inside.

Those dreamy wintery songs. The Christmas carols and hymns. Candle light services.Christmas programs. The nativity scene.

Hope, Love, and Peace. For a moment in time. We agree all around the world. Men at war have come to a stand still in honor and respect for Christmas. There is something about this season.

It is about the reason.

Jesus

He brings the peace, the Love, and the hope. Our eyes seem to be more open this time of the year for a reason. I know Christmas started out as a pagan holiday, but it has become about Jesus. Whether, it was a compromise to worldly tradition, or not most Christians associate this holiday with our Lord. They honor and bless his name. This is why I like this season. It means so much more.

If he hadn’t come, we would all be lost. We celebrate it this time for many reason. Not because Jesus was literally born on December 25th (because he wasn’t). Some believe that it was when the magi came and offered their gifts. It is because the world had taken this time to worship something other than God. Why not bring it back to Him. Should we not glorify him in every season? Even more in the dark seasons. Bringing light. Just like the Lord did for us. Bring light into our dark world.

So don’t get wrapped up in the craziness of the holiday. Think about what and who it is all about. Enjoy your family. Maybe it is a time to refocus, it has been a crazy year. Rekindle that love for the Lord. Whatever it is for you…I want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. And I thank the Lord for you!

 

Why me? 

GENESIS 6:8 “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord”

We read the account of man in Genesis,  how wicked they were.  Doing whatever they wanted. God was not pleased with his creation.  But then there was Noah.  

How humbling it must have been , to know the Creator of everything found you worthy. That through you many would be saved. 

It makes me think,  “what am I doing that God finds me worthy enough to be used by him? ” I feel I am not worthy what so ever! 

But,  I know I love him.  I mess up sure.  But I still want to follow him.  He sees my heart.  Nothing is hidden from him. He knows that in me there are good things. Things I want to do for him.  

Why does He choose to use this broken vessel to reach others? I do not know.  But, through me one soul could be saved.  

One soul saved,  if I am just willing to be used. It’s not my work, but Him moving through me.  Though He doesn’t need me.  He knows the people I am speaking to would hear better if He spoke through me.  And that,  my friend,  is humbling. 

This verse has always meant something to me.  Paul says it best,

So much more…

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Today as I was reading a devotion a thought hit me..it hit me hard.

It is great to have devotions. It is great to read your bible. It is even better to pray. But at some point we are called…ASKED to do more. We gain all this information, we build our relationship with Christ, our faith increases…but is all of that for just our own good?

NO!

We are to do. We are to apply what we have learned. We are to go forth and share the things the Lord has taught us.

Some people feel empty and search for things to make them feel whole or more complete. When in reality it is God who is calling us to go deeper by becoming a teacher for Sunday school. Or to go out and evangelize or lead a bible study. To take the next step in our walk. In doing so, one is brought deeper into their faith and walk with the Lord.

Will we ever arrive? Will we ever be perfect? Is reading through scripture and studying it, and memorizing it, enough to live life as God has asked us to?

No one is perfect. No one will know it all. No one, at least while on this current earth and imperfections, will be able to do it on their own and be a spiritual giant. We constantly need to grow. We constantly need to be moving forward. We constantly need our Savior.

Let us take what God is doing in us and give it to others. He is wanting to use you to reach many for His kingdom. Be open be willing. Seek Him.

There is more…so much more.

His name

His name is wonderful.  His name is power.

Our enemy,  Satan knows how powerful Jesus very name can be when a Christian uses it.  We have authority in Jesus name.

Jesus said,  “whatever you ask in my name this I will do” John 14:13

This world will deny Him,  yet use His name in vain.  Our enemy knows how to lead people away from using His name in away that can break chains of bondage,  heal,  tear down strong hold etc.

He(Satan)  knows that if a person knew the authority in Christ name alone… Mountains would be moved!!  Lives changed!!

We read in Isaiah 9:6 some names that Jesus has.

Wonderful counselor. Helping us and guiding us in all things.

Mighty God, our Creator. Who has all things in control so we do not need to fear.

Everlasting Father. He is there for us always.  Providing,  healing,  comforting.

Prince of Peace. NO MATTER what we go through.. He is there to give us peace that passes all understanding.

Because…He is Emmanuel...

God with us!

He.  Is.  With.  Us!!!

Friend let’s remind ourselves, as we go into this advent season,  whose name is above all names!  Who is in control.  Who loves us with an everlasting love!  Who offers hope and salvation!!

And let’s share Him with others!!