Thursday, January 28, 2016

Closing the fast

As I sit here this morning enjoying my cup of coffee so much more than I usually do, I am reflecting on how much I take for granted; not necessarily the big things but the little things; like simply a hot cup of coffee. Every year, as I deny myself food for a short period of time my Spirit is heightened. I'm able to step out of the chaos and focus only on Him and every year is so good!!

For the last night of the fast we all got back together at the church to worship and take communion. As I walked in, they had lined an aisle with candles and had rose petals sprinkled down it which all led to a lit archway. It took my breath away.  This was a perfect picture for us as the Bride of Christ. But we were all in for a treat!! Earlier yesterday a couple who had been engaged and living together for quite some time came to our pastor and said that God told them it was time to make right what they were doing and to get married that night and if all possible they wanted our pastor to do the ceremony.  So within a few hours they whipped up some decorations, a few flowers, punch and cake!  It was amazing and simple and sweet and a surprise to both of them!!  

As we worshiped and took the Lord's Supper and heard them say their vows I kept thinking what a gift God gave all of us last night! We got to see in the physical what will take place in the spiritual when Jesus returns for His Bride!  

Since 2009, when my world turned upside down, and I found myself a single mom, I also found Jesus as my Husband. It was such a sweet time, a hard time, but also so sweet, with just me and Him and falling in love with Him in a new way as He took care of me and the boys. This fast has reminded me over and over that even though my life is more stable now He still desires that intimate relationship with me and I have thoroughly enjoyed reconnecting with my one true Love!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Heart, Soul and Mind

In Matthew 22:37 it says:
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind."

We are called to have one One Love, one Master, one Craving, and it's all supposed to be Him! 

Our heart deals with our affections. Our relationships are to be second to our relationship with Jesus, even our children and our spouse are to be second. God is a jealous God and wants our affection. I pray that no one will capture my heart and affection above Him and I will work diligently to keep Him as my first Love.

Our soul deals with adoration. This would be things we serve or follow or obey above Him.  It could include money, a job, hobbies, etc...If it has taken over our life, it has become a master. In the new song called Breathe by Jonny Diaz there is a line that I love so much, it says "lay down what's good and find what's best"
I pray that I will not serve anything above you, Lord and even those good things in my life I will surrender to you.

Our mind deals with appetite.  These are cravings we place above our hunger and thirst for righteousness; food, addictions, alcoholism, etc.  I pray that I will not put any craving above my craving for Your Word, Lord.

In Genesis 3 we see that the serpent got to Eve in these three areas. Her eyes turned to look at another, her ears began to listen to another master and her mouth began to crave a different fruit.  My study that I'm doing gave three ways to help in our efforts to keep these areas pure.  

Any affection that has been placed above God requires repentance through prayer.

Any adoration that has become what we serve requires removal through giving.

Any appetite that has become greater than our hunger for Him requires restraint through fasting. 

Wow! What a great message this morning! I believe these three disciplines are so important to the root of following Jesus and hope someone else out there needed to hear this as much as I did today!

Monday, January 25, 2016

It's that time again...

Corporate fasting! Our church is so good at challenging me to get out of my comfort zone. We have started a new series called 'back to the roots' and it looks at the three principles that keep us devoted to the Lord; prayer, giving and fasting.  So, last night we began a three day fast and 24/7 prayer at  the church. We do something like this every year and every year I am amazed at how much thought and preparation goes into it all. Each night the church will have corporate worship from 6-8 in our warehouse, which is usually filled with storage boxes and food for our food pantry, but last night, as we walked in, it was all transformed.  We walked in through a transparent sheet and the band was quietly playing and singing.
There were tables with paper and pencils and markers and crayons if you felt led to write or draw.
There was a whole wall people were writing prayer requests on.
Several tables were set up where you could read scripture.
And a place for communion.
There were chairs and couches set up along with pillows and rugs up around the stage so we could sit or kneel. They truly did think of everything and I love that worship is not only sitting or standing and singing, but can be expressed in so many different ways, and there is freedom to do that here.

Fasting is never easy, but I know it's a spiritual discipline that makes me more like Him and I'm excited to see what He shows me during this time.

Monday, January 18, 2016


Disciple Now was a huge success.  We joined with a church in Thornton, Texas and had a great turn out! We have a great group of kids and they make friends quick so by Friday night they were already mingling and exchanging social media names with the other group.  In a world where most teens have lost the art of making a new friend face to face, without social media, I think it's so important to give our kids these kinds of opportunities.  I was very proud of them for choosing to step out rather than stay in our own church clique! 

They all loved knockerball!!  I wouldn't be surprised if this was Richard's next business venture. It was a lot of fun and was hours of entertainment.

The worship and the message all weekend was super!  I think it challenged every kid there and I pray they take what they heard and apply it as we get back to the normalcy of life.

Byron was our speaker and Brandan was the youth pastor from the other church.  It was a great weekend because of these three and the preparation they all put in!

Saturday, January 02, 2016

2016 Word

Over the last year there has been many times where this word has surfaced, so I had an idea this might be my 2016 word of the year. 

Several times I've had Titus 2 spoken over me, which talks about how the elder women are to teach the younger ones, etc...  As youth leaders, Richard and I sometimes have to say hard things to those in our group or even those just around us in our everyday lives.  I'm not too good at this and I'm hoping to get better.

I've also had this word come up in my career. As teachers we are observed in the classroom and then we, along with our administrators, get to set goals for ourselves. My administrator was so encouraging and said she wanted me to take more of a leader role.  I had to smile as God nudged my heart again.  

And for about a year I've been wanting a Baylor intern in my room but there is certain criteria that must be met first, but last month I found out that this coming semester I will get to have a Baylor intern!  

As much as this word is out of my comfort zone, I know God wants me to pursue it.  In my head, it's hard for me to lead because I don't want people to think I know it all or that I have it all together, because that is far from the truth, so I just keep quiet. I'm hoping this year He will teach me how to speak up where I can, humbly and in love.

I had a parent of one of my students give me the sweetest card for Christmas and I want to take her words into this next year as encouragement. She asked the Lord what He sees in me and then wrote down the following 
"The first impression I had was of a fire hydrant where the top had come off and water was gushing high into the air.  The word strength and refreshment came to my mind. A picture of children running to get soaked by the falling water." 
Wow, what a great word! I'm so thankful she took the time to share it! It will be something I treasure and refer back to when things get hard. So, here we go 2016, make me a leader!