Greater Than Ministries | Blog

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that has been used in the blog.
  • Login
Recent blog posts
7-Day-Camp-Devotional-for-Girls2It was the morning before I sent my 12-year old daughter off to camp for 3 weeks. My friend asked me what devotional or Bible I may be sending with her. I can’t believe that thought had not crossed my mind………..yet. I had been so busy with the packing and pre-homesick worries that I forgot about our spiritual life! I quickly searched the internet for a “Camper Devotional” appropriate for Tweens/Teens. I didn’t find much at all. God quickly moved me to stop using Google and use Him instead. I don’t know why I didn’t go there first.

The 7-Day Camper Devotional can start on any day of the week and be repeated for as many days as she is at camp. It has 7 foundational scriptures with a short commentary for each. Note that it can be used anytime, not just for camp. She can write notes/prayers on the pages. It’s hers.

Click Here to read/download the Devotional »
Hits: 296

Posted by on in He is >
 
Religion can keep us from relationship with Christ

Religion. We get caught up in that checklist mentality of, "I have to do this, I have to do that," and it may be all church related things that are good, but sometimes that keeps us from a real relationship with Jesus Christ. When He left, when He ascended to be with His Father, He said, "Go and tell, make disciples of all the nations." He wanted us to share the Gospel. He did not want us to go set rules and religious practices. Yes, the church is a body of believers and it is a good place for us to be for worship and fellowship and it is very necessary. But, we have to keep in mind that our first priority is that relationship with Him which is a LOVE relationship. Go and tell others all about Him!!

If you are looking for a Christmas present for your 18-25 year old, I highly recommend a ticket to the Passion Conference held at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Jan. 2-4, 2017. I have had the pleasure of working with Louie Giglio and the Passion Prayer Team in Houston for two years and again this coming New Year in Atlanta. My 2 teenage daughters will also be in attendance! It is the best $200 you could spend for 2-3 days with a great worship team and the most incredible christian speakers of today--Christine Caine, Louie Giglio, Levi Lusko, John Piper and Beth Moore. It is amazing to see 18-25 years old, THOUSANDS of them!!--lifting their hands in worship to the Lord, many being set free from fear, from guilt and from just not knowing that Jesus is about relationship. It's not about religion and I am doing it good enough. He loves us no matter what. It would be a GREAT Christmas present. You can google Passion2017 or 268generation.com for tickets and information.
 
 
 
 
Hits: 453

Posted by on in He is >


Point 2 – I’m so busy for the rest of my life…………….Guilt

Why am I so distracted? What is keeping me from a good faith walk with Jesus? Guilt—I think I’m not doing enough or what I am doing is not good enough. You might be busy with kids, aging parents and many other things. There is just so much guilt when we try to do so many things at one time. My former thoughts were those that if I served on many “boards” that it made me really important, but I know now that was a “self” focus on the internal and external benefits for me, rather than a focus on the eternal value. Internal value would be thoughts like this, “I am reaching all of my personal goals!” That really has no eternal value. The external value might also be a self focus on how I must look to the community, elevating my standing. This has no eternal value either.

I got to the point in my life where I needed to pare down my volunteer commitments, they were taking me over. I had no time for my children or even just personal time. God clearly showed me to focus on those things that have ETERNAL value. This scripture was very helpful to me:

That God will make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:21

He will equip you to do the work. He says He’ll make you complete in EVERY good work, not just some, but every single good work that is in His will, not my will, but what is in His will for me! It will be well pleasing in His sight, not the sight of man. His sight is so different, His sight is so different than what mere men see or even think about. This is all through Jesus Christ who gets the glory forever and ever.

Whatever your volunteer and community efforts are, don’t give yourself the glory of the good outcome. Look to God and for Him to receive the glory for your efforts.

I hope I’ve given you permission to take some things “off.” Before you put more on, remember to ask God, “What’s pleasing in your sight, what is your will for my life, does this have eternal value or am I really looking at the internal and external value for me personally?”

Do what is pleasing in His sight and have a great Thanksgiving! Love your family!


Hits: 475

Posted by on in He is >

I am busy for the rest of my life................

Teaching Series
Session 1, Point 1

I'm working on a new teaching series called, "I'm busy for the rest of my life." I don't know if you're like me, but I really do feel like I AM busy for the rest of my life. There is a sign in the Ipic Theatre that reads:

I am busy for the rest of my life.............
I am busy for the rest of my life..............
I am busy for the rest of my life................

I don't know if you are like me, but signs really do catch my attention. I guess advertising dollars are spent really well on me. I notice everything. I started writing a teaching series on it. If anything interests you that I have to say, I only have time to cover a small part of Point 1 today, I'd love to share this teaching with you at your church, small group gathering. You can contact me on the contact form of my website.

The first point I want to share with you today is what distracts me most personally. Other people.........I get distracted by people and what they are NOT doing. Maybe you do too. As embarrassing as it is to say, I just think about how they could be doing things better that would enhance our relationship. That kind of thinking contaminates my soul and my feelings for them. I can't love people the way they need to be loved, the way Christ wants me to love them. This brought me to the scripture about Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42 when Martha starts complaining about Mary, "WaWaWaWa" to Jesus. "She's not helping me, etc. etc." Mary was busy sitting at the feet of Jesus. Jesus said so sweetly to her, "Martha, Martha.....you're missing the good part." I can just hear Him saying that to me, (insert your name here) "MiMi, MiMi, you're missing the best part! You're missing the good part!

And I AM missing out on the good part of people when I am focusing on what they are NOT doing. I am missing out on seeing Jesus in them when I am focused on the negative aspect of relationship rather than the positive. Re-read Luke 10:38-42. I'd love to hear from you.

On the next blog, I'll go to Point 2!
Hits: 511

Posted by on in He is >


greaterthan-jjwjHi guys! I hope you are liking the video blog. Remember you can still read the text version or just listen while you are driving. You can scroll down through the blog email and click the view post which will take you right to the video. It's great to listen if you are too busy to read and doing all those fun things like cleaning the kitchen or doing laundry. It's a lot of work being a mom!

Last April, our Girls Enrichment Ministry Team walked out God's vision for our Mother/Daughter Conference Jesus Wears White Jeans. And yes we all wore white jeans! I have not put a resource for this conference on the website yet which is why I want to tell you about it now. If you are interested in hosting a Jesus Wears White Jeans conference for your group of moms and daughters at your church or gathering place, you can contact me on the contact page of the website. For those of you planning a Spring event, this is a good time to start praying about it.

I have found through many years of ministering to God's teens and tweens that there is still not much opportunity out there for moms and daughters to connect in Christ not even at our churches. So, stop searching now and put on your white jeans!!

Every group of girls and moms is different, different personalities, different love needs, different preferences. But we all have this need.....We are ALL hungry for Jesus. Whether we know it or not. There is a deep longing in our souls to belong to something, to want more of something and sometimes we just can't put our finger on it. I'll bet you a million bucks it's Jesus!!

At a Jesus Wears White Jeans Conference, we share dinner, great music, party pics, but most importantly, we share the Word with Mom's and daughters in a fun atmosphere. Moms and Daughters each have their own breakout sessions, and then come together to work on a biblical worksheet made just for their needs and age level. This is something that is a landmark for both mom and daughter. To really open the bible together. To read the same verse together. To talk about what it means to them, together. That is powerful, that is the heavenly fellowship God wants us to have in the body of Christ. When was the last time you opened your bible and studied God's Word with your daughter?

Well, this is your chance now. We can't rely on our churches to plan every event and predict our needs. We are all called to minister to each other's needs. Your church would probably be thrilled and supportive to your wanting to reach out to Mom's and Daughters who attend there and beyond!!!

I would love to help you plan your conference and strengthen mother/daughter relationships.

Our key verse for GEM's is Hebrews 13:1, Let Sisterly Love Continue. Let's embrace that and share God's love within the walls of our own family and together as the Body of Christ. I look forward to hearing from you!!!



Hits: 415

Posted by on in He is >
 
 
I want to talk today about expanding our focus area and noticing things or other people who might be in our peripheral vision. When Mary and Joseph lost Jesus, He was about 12, and when they found Him, He said, "Why are you looking for me?" I'm about my Father's business. From the "getgo" Jesus knew what business He was about and that's what He sought after diligently for His whole life. What are you seeking after, what am I seeking after? What are those things that distract me that I can just drop, let go, set aside for a while so I can focus on what Christ has for ME! What other people do I need to notice and let into my life? How do I speak this into my child's life, that it's not all about you, it's all about God, it's all about God's great plan for us. It's all about Jesus Christ as Savior. He wants to save us. There are so many out there who need to be saved. Let's all try to be about the Father's business and really focus and lean in to where God wants you today!
Hits: 4539

Posted by on in He is >

There she goes……..

The day has come and gone. The feelings have not. It's the day I have been dreading. Like giant waves then small ones, each feels like a personal tidal wave.  I don’t have a favorite child, but there are favorite things about each one of them that sets them apart.  Shelley is my companion, always has been, she will ride to Walgreens or anywhere I am going.  She is most always pleasant and good company.  I love her to pieces.xoxoxoxoxoxo

I have been preparing for this time for a thousand years it seems.  I began to write about it 1,000 days ago.  I would love a few more days with her, but the inevitable is just that…….inevitable.  When it’s time, it’s time.  She knows it and I know it.  Friday, as we drove closer and closer to Lexington, Virginia she became a little nervous.  As I drove away from Lexington yesterday, I wanted to stop.  Couldn’t I just stay at my hotel a little longer and just know that she was only 3 blocks away?  As the state of Virginia and the “VA” in red began to disappear out of my site on the GPS screen, reality began to set in. It's time to trust God and let go.  I've held her close for a long time.  I am so thankful for each and every second of it.  It’s a good reality though.  She is starting a completely new chapter in her life.  She has worked so hard to get where she is, being kept by God the whole way.  If He can just hold my heart now.  My sad, but happy heart.  Yesterday, I felt like my whole body had a frownie face.       :(((((((

Without faith, we can’t see God.  I have had faith, especially this past year, that He would prove Himself to her.  As she has proved faithful to Him, so has He to her.  God loves His children and He desires good things for them.  He desires for them to make good choices.  What a loving and faithful God we serve.

I don’t ask Him very often to “show Himself  quickly,” but yesterday I did.  As I drove over the top of the next mountain, there was an extremely large white cross jutting into the sky.  It was a beautiful day and a beautiful drive, full of gorgeous scenery and blue skies, bright sun.  Within a few moments, my phone began to ding many times with texts.  I pulled into the next Rest Area and saw that I had “accidentally” been included in a text from precious Prayer Warriors in Mobile, Alabama coordinating their next prayer time.  I texted my thankfulness for God’s accident and asked for prayer for Shelley and her roommate, Evy.  God sees and hears EVERYTHING and wants to bear the load for our hearts.

Many of you have already taken children to college and many have it to come.  The days are long but the years pass by so fast.  Pour into your child’s life over and over even when they are teenagers.  I have asked Shelley many times this summer, “Have we talked about everything and everything else we need to talk about?!!!!!”  I want her to hear my voice, but to hear the voice of God louder.  Knowing His ways and to walk in them.

Even as I write this, my precious friend and mentor, Betty Jo, sent me this song. God is everywhere!

https://youtu.be/IKynh0Spy-Q

Shelley, this one is for you.

https://youtu.be/q9ayN39xmsI

Hits: 470

Posted by on in He is >
Today is a day our heart's are tender toward our earthly Daddy.  I hope that each of you have a dad as wonderful as mine.  When I think about it, a father's love is God's love from heaven coming down and pouring right into the lives and hearts of His children.  That is the way it is supposed to be.  It's difficult for a child to understand but eventually a girl takes the leap from her daddy's arms right into the arms of her Heavenly Father when she becomes spiritually mature.
 
My dad has been instrumental and present in every significant event of my life, including my water baptism a few weeks ago.  Thank you, sweet Daddy, for always being there.
 
God had much in mind when He established the family from the very beginning.  There are two parents and it takes both of them, sometimes even more, to raise a family.  The man was established as the provider and the woman as the encourager.  Both have additional roles that support the family's foundation.  The most important part of a family is that they are rooted and grounded in God's Word.
 
As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith,
as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.  Colossians 2:6-7
 
There's no grey area with God.  When we know His Word--and it's important to know all of it--we know what His expectations are of us.  Take the time to study God's Word with your family.  There's nothing more handsome than seeing a father love His family this way.  Happy Father's Day!
 
 
Hits: 483

Posted by on in He is >

There’s nothing better to a Southern girl than a biscuit.  Southern girl=Southern biscuit. I’ve never met a biscuit I didn’t like.  As I travel today to Montgomery I am reminded by so many southern things I love and cultural things I don’t.  Did you know there is a MAC makeup counter at the Houston Hobby airport?  How convenient, lipstick is very southern.  My mom never went anywhere without lipstick.  I never understood why she had to apply it before we went into the grocery store.  I happily marched myself to the makeup counter t at 7am to get a summer lipstick and had the most biblical conversation with the sales associate.  As I applied and purchased the lipstick we somehow quickly and with great ease stepped into the bible.  I mentioned that if the devil couldn’t get to us, he would try to get to our children.  She laid out how the enemy pursued Solomon because he couldn’t capture King David the way he wanted.  I agreed and asked if she thought King Solomon went to heaven.  She said yes, she thought he did and that many of the betrayers/idol worshippers are enjoying eternal life.  I mentioned my favorite radio evangelist, Dr. Magee, who once said that we will be surprised at who we see in heaven and who we don’t see in heaven.  That thought always comes back to me.  We talked about Adam & Eve’s eternal place and even Judas who betrayed Jesus.  I think we all imagine Judas went straight to hell; although he threw the 30 silver coins back.  Judas took his life before he could go further.  We don’t know what else transpired in his heart.  Don’t be quick to judge the position of someone else’s salvation.

God gives us opportunities every day to talk about Him, His goodness, the trials He does allow us to walk through, how they shape and transform us, how it makes us lean on Him even harder and to let Him carry us through it.  Exercising your faith muscle makes you stronger.

On the first leg of my journey I sat next to a couple.  The female was happy and talkative to her boyfriend/husband while he was clearly agitated.  The flight was short and as we landed, he looked at his phone and said, Jesus, Holy Christ.  I wanted to say you are right, Christ is Holy.  I wonder what year in time humans started using the words Jesus and Christ, etc. as phrases of adverse expression and frustration.  The man sitting next to me would not have been happy with that statement and I did not want to appear on the TODAY show the next day so I kept quiet.  Airplane probs……..

I ate my way through the Atlanta airport which is why I mentioned the biscuit above.  The Atlanta airport has it going on!  They have a Food Network Kitchen, The Varsity, they have everything.  I had to just see what a Food Network Kitchen was like and that is where I ran into the CHEDDAR BISCUIT.  It was a head on collision and love at first sight.  Perfectly warm and no garlic. 

The flight to Montgomery was a non-event, I changed into my dress in the Montgomery Airport, noticed that the lipstick I bought didn’t look near as lovely as I thought and totally inappropriate for a southern funeral, I wiped it off, retrieved the rental car and made haste to the funeral making it within 5 minutes of its beginning.  WHEW!!!

I was immediately thrown back into my Alabama life, sweet life, and my dear friend Julie’s precious family all of whom I love.  All of them.  She lost her mother only 2 days before.  I remember the first time I met her mother and 3 aunt’s.  We were on our way to a Joyce Meyer conference in Birmingham and stopped to meet all of them for lunch.  It was a wonderful time and I was in awe of how these sisters openly talked about their faith and the working of the Almighty in their lives.  I had never really experienced that with a group of siblings.  It spoke volumes to me. 

Share your faith like everyone else knows what you’re talking about.  You know the quote “Dance like no one is watching,” I feel the same way about God.  If we don’t tell, who is going to know?  Share it like everyone knows and is in agreement.

Praise the Lord!  I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright and in the congregation. Psalm 111

Hallelujah!  I give thanks to God with everything I’ve got—wherever good people gather and in the congregation.  The Message 

I enjoyed Julie’s precious family until 8:30 pm last night, eating up her little nieces and nephews as they stole my heart.  The innocence and carefree ways of little people are refreshing to a mom of teenagers in a big city like Houston.  Or really any other city for that matter.  Teen problems are really the same across the map, it doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, the essential problems are the same.  When you’re kids are acting out they are reaching out for help.  They may just not know it.  Love them consistently through it and always point to Jesus.  The most important thing you can do for your child and your child’s friends is to always point to Jesus.  He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  If you don’t feel like you have an opportunity to share that with them, be an opportunity maker yourself.

I am the Way the Truth and the Life.  John 14:6

Flying home today I talked with a dad who had children ages 22 and 25.  I asked him if it was great to have an “empty nest” as you know I am about to send one off to college.  He looked at me with sweet eyes and said, “Sad.”  Oh no, that was not what I wanted to hear, I wanted to hear, “Great, it’s so great……….”  He said he loved being a dad especially when they were little, he loved road trips with them.  He said they visit often, but when they leave he and his wife are a little sad. My heart sank a little.

LOVE, LOVE is always the answer.  How hard do you love?  Our heart has an amazing capacity to love.  You know the verse in which Jesus says that in His house are many rooms---

My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  John 14:2

I am beginning to think that for me He is saying that in my heart there is such a place of abundance, love you can tap into, places that you can go you did not know existed.  Sometimes we don’t love God’s people because we are fearful of disappointment, non-reciprocal love, don’t want to touch the unlovely, etc.  The list goes on.  I dare you to love, love hard.  Ask God to open up your heart to something you thought you couldn’t love.  Don’t let the behavior’s of others around you affect you in a way that makes you think you’ve lost some love for them.  God can replace that with an over abundance of His undying love.  It is free and yours for the taking.

Come to think about it, I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like, or a chili-dog, biscuits and gravy, krispy kreme donut, chicken fried steak, deviled egg………….(why does it have the word devil in it anyway?!!)

Hits: 576

Posted by on in He is >
A few weeks ago I was able to travel home with my whole family--all 5 of us--for a wedding, a high school dance and time with beloved family and friends.  It was a night flight and as we rose in the air, I could see the whole city amassed in white lights.  I have always loved looking out the airplane window at earth below.  It never gets old.  There was so much dark, but the white light is what gave it its shape and form.  The light is what made it worth looking at.  The only reason I could see anything was because of the light. I thought about how big the city was and how there were so many areas I have never been to and may never go to.  There are so many things to go, see and do wherever you live.  Were there people ministering to God's people in each area of the light?  Who was and how did they get placed there?  God's appointed people minister right where they are and to whom God calls them to minister.  Sometimes I think we miss that.  Have you ever asked yourself, "What am I doing here?"  Are you trying to accomplish too many things at once?  Have you stopped for a second to think about what is most important at that moment and drop everything else to focus on what you are supposed to be doing?  We have too many TO DO lists in our brain.  Yesterday I went to Walgreens specifically for detergent and bleach.  I bought a few other things I needed and forgot about the detergent and the bleach! When I got home and made my way to the laundry room I realized what I had forgotten.  My focus seems to be in too many places sometimes.  If I am rooted and grounded--that means super duper firm--in Christ, I should have a general idea of where my focus should be.  I know mine, it is to "Shepherd My Flock" as God told me way back in April of 2003.  When I get confused about which ministry path I am to take, where to say "yes" and where to say "no," I turn back to God's 3 words for me and FOCUS.  Now, forgetfulness does come with age and children, so I am eating blueberries as I type to you at this very moment!
 
My senior daughter in high school has approximately 195 days until she leaves for college.
My sophomore daughter in high school has approximately 925 days until she leaves for college.
My fifth grade daughter in middle school has approximately 3,117 days until she leaves for college.
 
The time seems short.  When is Jesus coming back?  He says He is coming back soon?  But how soon is that?  I want to be ready.  I am expectant.  Is it today, tomorrow?
 

Luke 17:37 (NLT)

            37 “Where will this happen, Lord?” the disciples asked.

   Jesus replied, “Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.” 

Matthew 24:28 (NLT) 

28 Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near

Revelation 3:11 (NLT) 

11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown. 

Revelation 22:7 (NLT) 

 7 “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed are those who obey the words of prophecy written in this book.” 

Revelation 22:12 (NLT) 

 12 “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. 

Revelation 22:20 (NLT) 

 20 He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!”
   Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

Philippians 4:5 (NLT) 

5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.

1 Peter 4:7 (NLT) 

 7 The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.

 

It really is a big world out there.  I want to go every place God wants me to. I want to minister to the people He knows need me most even if it takes me away from my family for a few hours a week.  I want to give lots of love to those people.  God's Word only gives us a little insight about the physical meaning of His time.

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  2 Peter 3:8

I have been talking with my teens, Shelley and Lillian, about this God time thing.  We cannot understand.  His ways are sometimes not understandable, but we know His ways are ALL GOOD.  We've been through lots of hurts this year, but no doubt He will use them for HIS PURPOSE.  We cling to that.  We know our God.  We know He is good and He loves His people, He wants us to put our LIGHT into everyone's darkness.  The light will shine through and permeate the darkness for we know that the enemy's darkness cannot hide in the light of God.  

And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness overcame it not. John 1:5

We are the hands and feet of that light.  May we all tread through it as God's warriors, on a mission in your mission field wherever that may be.  You have a mission though you may not know it.  Ask God what it is.  He's coming back for us but for now, let Him take you where He wishes.

 I will love my girls for all those 4 thousand, 2 hundred and 37 days.  They will pass so fast.  I will do God's work with them, without them and for them.  That's my light.  The light we spread goes much farther than we will ever know. Spread yours for HIM.
 
Hits: 833

Posted by on in He is >
Do you like receiving mail? Not email, but a tangible piece of mail, the old-fashioned written correspondence. My oldest daughter loves the mail. When she was little, she never understood why she did not receive any mail. I explained to her that in order to receive the kind of mail she was looking for, that she first had to send mail. That made sense to her. She still loves to collect the mail and scatter it all over the kitchen counter. It's mainly advertisements and bills these days, but we are still enjoying Christmas cards and New Year's cards. This morning I opened a piece of mail from Joyce Meyer Ministries and happily unfolded a small poster pictured above. If you haven't noticed, my ministry is called Greater Than Ministries. The poster is a wonderful reminder that God's Word is GREATER THAN all of things she listed below it. It's time to continue to look forward to 2016 and all the great things God has in store for you every day. Through good times and bad times, He is there. He is greater than my past, circumstances, feelings, doubts and shortcomings, bad days and fears. Joyce even left a blank for your personal entry. I am not sure what mine is yet, but I know that God is greater than whatever it is. This year I will continue to ask God to use me in ministry in our community. Some of the things He has laid in front of me are time consuming, out of the way and may cause glitches in our schedule. I don't think Jesus was always comfortable where He ministered. Just say YES to Him and don't make excuses. I think He will bless our socks off!
 
An Ephesians 3:20 attitude is what we all need to have. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
Hits: 1153

Posted by on in He is >
Grace sounds like a full cup.  Grace sounds like it is running over.  Grace comes from a well so deep that it is >greater than I can fathom.  No one knows its depths but the Father and Son. It doesn't dry up.  Grace must sound like happiness since it is free.  We choose to receive it and freely give it.  
 
Grace must sound heavenly since it comes from God.  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.  Ephesians 2:8   It must sound like the opening of a present on Christmas morning.  
 
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:10    Do my footsteps sound like grace in the places I walk?  Does His grace really cover me?  It must sound sweet.
 
Grace sounds like God moving closer and closer to me.  It's a provision of abundance He wants me to lavish on His kingdom here on earth.  Grace sounds like the clock ticking and God telling me not to worry because He will never run out of time.  Grace sounds like the assurance of a daddy telling his daughter, "it's all going to be okay."
 
His grace is limit-less.  God's grace has no limit of how Jesus is going to get to you and me.  He answers all the 911 calls, He is on a rescue mission.  He is attracted to our weaknesses.  He is strong where we are weak.  And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, have an abundance for every good work.  2 Cor. 9:8
 
Grace means to get something that you do not deserve; unmerited favor.
 
Grace sounds like the ransom being paid for our sins.  We'll never know how much it cost. It sounds like the stone being rolled away.  Jesus Messiah is grace perfected.  Has anyone seen the face of Jesus?  Seeing Him IS seeing perfection.
 
Have you not seen, have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.  There is no searching of His understanding.  He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.  Isaiah 40:28-31
 
Grace sounds STRONG and MIGHTY.  It sounds like He is watching, He sees all, His mighty hand catches us at the moment we need it.  For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.  2 Chronicles 16:9
 
It sounds like He is for me, not against me.
 
His grace sounds amazing. AMAZING GRACE
 
Hits: 1018

Posted by on in He is >
gems-texasIt seems that God has put me back right where I started.  Not quite, but almost.  In this picture are my adorable new daughters in Christ. 20 daughters of the King gathered last week as we began the GEM's ministry in Houston. (Girl's Enrichment Ministry)  In addition to that, we have 5 leaders, one of whom God put it on her heart to bring GEM's to these 5th grade girls and she was fervent in her pursuit to make it happen.  God did tell me when I first moved to Houston 2 years ago to "sit tight" and let Him open the doors.  And He has, all through other Kingdom workers.  That's why it's so important to be in touch with the Body of Christ.  He uses ALL of us.  If you don't think He is using you, ask Him to show you how He is, ask a good friend to tell you how He is.  Don't keep your faith a secret, it's for the telling, not for the keeping.  Doors open when we profess Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

God moved me into ministry over 15 years ago.  He put it on my heart to gather a group of women who seemed to be in the same spiritual place as me, wanting something more, but not knowing exactly what it was we were after.  One day at my grandparent's house, I told my grandfather that I needed a Bible.  I didn't have one, never owned one, I didn't know which version to buy, there are so many.  I am sure he had to contain himself not to jump out of his recliner fast as lightning to go out to his shop and select one of his well worn Bibles for me.  Don't you know he was praising God all the way out there and back.  I love my Bible.  The one he gave me is my favorite.  I have many now, but none so worn as this one.  It is the New King James Version.  When He gave it to me, the binding was secured with a piece of packing tape, but it was still in great shape.  On the inside cover, he had cut and taped a printout of the Ten Commandments and placed a hand written note with 2 Chronicles 7:14 beneath it.  He also has Genesis 22:14 written inside but without the scripture notation.  Gen 22:14 says, And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day.  In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.  I wonder why that verse was noted. This verse is placed in scripture after Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son, but the Angel of the Lord told him not to do anything. Abraham took hold of a ram caught in a nearby thicket and offered it up as a sacrifice to the Lord rather than sacrifice his one and only son.   I wonder if Papaw wrote this because he knew the Lord provided Jesus as our scapegoat or if he was searching for provision and trusting for it in another matter.  I wish he had written all over his bible like I have.  Maybe men don't do that like women do?

Papaw's bible has been used well.  I am not boasting, but I can't tell you how many people I have been given the opportunity to minister to and have used this bible for that exact purpose.  I have faith that the Word given to the author's of this great book by the Holy Spirit has changed lives.  Young girls, teens, mothers and daughters, college kids, father's, the homeless, they all have heard God's Word from this precious gift.  I wonder how Papaw picked just that one to give to me among the many he had.  I wonder if he knew God's plans for me.  As a child and as a teenager I never really understood the work that he did on the prayer line at church and delivering Meals-on-Wheels.  I used to tease him and ask him how many of those meals he ate and didn't deliver.  Now I understand all of it.  He and my grandmother never pushed "religion" on me, but I don't know two more faithful people than them.  Thank you, God, for giving me such incredible, faithful grandparents and for letting me have a close relationship with them for more than 30 years.  You never know how God will use people in your life.  Age has no boundaries in faith.  Jesus has no boundaries.  Nothing can hold Him, not even death.

At our first GEM's meeting(s), God likes to keep things pretty basic.  It's important to get on the level of who you are teaching, you don't want it to be like a school day because they are already tired of school.  We talk about what different words mean like Christian, Word, Messiah and Fellowship.  Don't ever assume anyone knows what you're talking about.  GEM's is all about fellowship.  That's one of my favorite christianese terms.  Fellowship means this-- a heavenly love that fills, or should fill, believers with love for one another.  It is more satisfying and fulfilling than mere human love.  How about that?  I have had that verse memorized since our VERY FIRST GEMs meeting ever way back in September of 2008!!!  I believe in what I call GEM's math.  It's a simple concept as I am no mathematical scholar.  I believe that one GEM has the potential to affect at least 7 people.  Herself, 2 siblings, 2 parents and 2 grandparents.  If she shares anything she learned or did at GEM's she is testifying for Jesus.  We encourage them to share.  We pray together (it's the most wonderful time) and eventually we ask anyone to share something about her faith when she is ready.  Tears on that one every time.  It's fellowship.  The bond of Christ.  It is unbreakable.  I am so thankful to add 4 new Texas GEM's Leaders to my Sister's-in-Christ list.  I don't keep a list, but you know what I mean.  We will never know the impact of our investment in God's people.  But my hope is that one day, one of our GEM's will do the same for her children.  They do say everything's bigger in Texas.

If you are interested in starting a group like GEM's for your daughter, granddaughter, niece or any girls you care about please click on this link.
http://greaterthanministries.com/speaking-ministry/speaking-topics/girl-s-ministry-gem-s   
Our GEM's range from 5th grade to seniors in high school.
 
Or maybe you are interested in investing a weekend of your time exploring your faith with your spouse or a child/teen.  Outback America gives that opportunity in many cities including Mobile and Houston. Check out their website at www.OutbackAmerica.org.

The "parent" of Outback America is the JH Ranch.  You can enjoy the same experience for a longer period of time in beautiful northern California. Their website is www.jhranch.com.
Hits: 911

Posted by on in He is >
You ask, what Kingdom?  Countries with monarchies?  No, I mean The Supreme Kingdom, the one in which God rules and overrules, the one where He is sovereign.  We are modern day workers in His Kingdom, or we are supposed to be....we are on-the-ground agents for Jesus Christ.  We are the hands and feet of Jesus.  We are to carry on until He comes again.  And He will come again.
 
I suppose that many aren't working for the Kingdom because they don't feel intelligent enough.  Maybe not well-versed or educated in Scripture to know how to stand up for christianity.  We should all surrender our ignorance at some point and ask God to show us the way, literally.  I have a strong desire to learn more and to be active in the Kingdom.  Being in a big city is helpful as it offers conferences and workshops galore.  I have always been interested in witnessing to non-Christians.  Sounds easy, right?  It's much easier to speak Jesus with Believers.  It's easier to teach and share with Believers.  I recently attended a conference called "Without Borders" put on by Crescent Project.  Fouad Masri, Founder and President of Crescent Project, has spent most of his life sharing the love of Christ with Muslims worldwide.  The conference was for women and focused on training for us to reach out to Muslim women.  The foundation of the training is simple, to understand what the Quran says about women and what is like to be a Muslim woman.
 
So is our understanding for Kingdom work.  What is our foundation?  What foundation did Jesus lay for us?  What did He ask of us?  Are some required to do more than others?  How much can I get away with to secure my eternal destiny?  Is there any gray area?(not supposed to be)  What are other people doing?(don't compare, you'll only get frustrated)  Is this going to hurt?(maybe.)  What is it going to cost me?  (A lot.)  Interestingly enough for those of you who are on the fence about putting off your old self for the new self see what scripture says about that.

Ephesians 4:22-24The Message (MSG)

20-24 But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.

I am much happier and peaceful with my new self.  Long gone are the days of keeping up with the Joneses.  If we could just get rid of that other reality TV show.......I no longer care much about what other's think about me, what I have and don't have, I don't need to belong in certain groups, yet God requires that we live in this world exactly where He planted us so that we can minister to the people He put around us purposefully.  It's much easier to associate with your church friends, bible study friends and stay where it is safe.  It's easier to minister to people who are like-minded.
 
I can't answer the question for you, Am I Doing Enough for the Kingdom?  I know that I believe I can do more.  I would do well to stand a little stronger in my home in regards to cultural mumbo jumbo.  I know when my kids read this they are going to wonder what mumbo jumbo means.  
 
When Jesus left last time, He left us with:
 
 
1.  Peace

John 14:27 New International Version (NIV)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

 
2.  Authority

Matthew 10:1 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.

 
3.  Dominion (are you using it?)

Colossians 2:10 New International Version (NIV)

And in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.

 
4.  The Great Commission--my personal fav
 
Matthew 28:16-20  NIV
 
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
 
5.  The Holy Spirit  

John 15:26  New King James Version (NKJV)

26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

 
These are just the bigees and they cover a lot of ground.  This is a working Kingdom here on earth.  There is much work to be done.  How are you helping?  Your first ministry should be in your home, cultivating other little Kingdom workers.  The next should be outside your home which is a little more intimidating.  I try to do things which scare me a little.  I ask God for opportunities and sometimes I do not like His answer.  Of who is given much is required much.  I know I am capable.  I know you are capable.  If you care enough about doing God's work you would not have read this far.  I encourage you to join in on His great command and spread the Gospel message to all nations.  Start with your own family and ask Him for the next step.  You won't ever regret working for Jesus.
 
To read more about the Crescent Project, go to www.Crescentproject.org 
Hits: 1130

Posted by on in He is >
It's that time of year when I pick up where I left off in May. Not really sure if I am every ready to pick it all back up again.  When summer arrives, I let everything go.  And I mean everything, which is why you haven't heard from me.  What is your approach to summer?  What is your approach to Fall?
 
When my teenagers were under 4, summer was just a continuation of the daily grind, but without any pre-school or other activities.  It was really tiring for me, it's a lot of work having small children, ALL year long.  You know what I mean.  I have a friend who is a mother of 4 almost grown children.  I will never forget her sunny outlook.  It was ALWAYS sunny.  If you asked me how I was doing when I had babies at home, working 40+ hours/week, traveling husband, etc., you probably would have seen a nice grimace and heard a few complaints about the current state of my life.  Wasn't this what I always wanted?  Isn't it the dream of every girl to marry her Prince Charming and have a family?  For many, yes, and do we do it without complaining?
 
Back to my "sunny" friend.  She had a lot more to complain about than me, yet every time you see her she is smiling and thankful.  Was she born this way?  Did I miss a gene? Amid crises after crises she is smiling and loving her family.  She always has something nice to say.  Even about her children.
 
Now that all my children are potty trained and can swim, summer is so much easier.  I begin to look forward to summer around Christmas time.  I love that I don't have to get up at 6 AM or drive in the Houston traffic. I love that we don't have to do anything unless we really want to.  I love that each girl can sleep in and I get to see their beautiful, rested faces each morning.  I savor every moment with them, especially now that we have our first senior in high school.  The year before she turned 16, she had a countdown going on her phone until her birthday.  I wonder if she is counting down the days until she goes to college.............
 
I wish now that I had savored those young days a little more.  But I am thankful for my friend who turned my attitude around with hers.  God used her in a mighty way. Do you need an attitude adjustment?  It's funny how God uses people.  Do you see Him using people in your life to refine you, to make you more like Him, to help you raise your children in a Godly manner, to help you love and serve your husband?(no sighs, just smiles:))))  He has quite a strategic plan.  Are you willing to take a moment and think about what He is doing in your life?  Can you settle down with my summer attitude for just a second and ponder what He has on tap for the Fall?  If you feel like maybe you lost some time with them because of fast-paced living, know that it can still be turned around.  God is our Redeemer, He has the power to buy back the time and to multiply time and to make time stand still.  He is the God who is able to recover all we have lost.
He is the LIVING GOD!
 
I'll be honest, I don't like it when the girls go back to school.  It's the same thing, every day, homework, tests, blah blah blah and less face time for me.  Structure is good, I know that and school is good.  After Part 1 of the dream came true (marrying the man of your dreams), Part 2 comes along and we spend a lot of time shuffling them around.  What I am trying to say is, don't wish them away or overschedule them when they are young.  Enjoy.  Enjoy.  Enjoy every moment with them, even the difficult ones.  God never said life would be easy.  We are blessed by Him and we have Him to help us through the things we asked for.  You do remember wanting these things, don't you?  Someone said to me today that it is MOMENT by MOMENT with some children, not day by day.  How true is that.
 
Whatever you may be facing today with a child or a loved one, ask for God's wisdom and understanding. James 1:5 says If any of you lack wisdom, you should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to you. He is such a wealth of knowledge for us and His Word offers the most valuable insight.  There are many things I don't understand when a curve ball comes my way, but knowing that I can lean on His understanding, not mine, provides the comfort I need.  Plus, a hug from my Prince Charming is nice too!!
 
Lean not on your own understanding but in all ways acknowledge Him.  Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Proverbs 3:5
 
 
Hits: 1100

Posted by on in He is >
They say as you get older that your mouth has no filter.  For me, I would say that is partially true.  I talk to more people now that I don't even know more than ever before.  That could be because I have only lived here 20 months.  My mouth definitely has a filter because it is controlled by something greater than me, but it doesn't mean in my humanness that I don't slip up occassionally.  
 
Our words, written or verbal, text or any form of social media can have a lasting impact on others.  It can be negative or positive.  For instance, my daughter was testing to be placed in an accelerated math program for the next grade level.  Everyone was encouraged in an excellent verbal manner to take the test whether or not they thought their math skills were sufficient to pass.  I appreciated the way the faculty verbalized it to parents and students.  What I didn't like was the rejection letter that came with a capital "R."  I am so glad I caught the mail that day before she saw the letter from school addressed to her.  I felt the wording on the letter was a little harsh in its review of her test scores  It was definitely not a letter for an elementary school mind.  What were they thinking?!!  I shoved it into the bottomless pit of my purse as fast as I could.  I would figure out later how to break the news to her.  Feeling like Scarlett O'Hara, "I can't think about this today, I'll think about it tomorrow."
 
For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly. Proverbs 2:6-7
 
I didn't have to think very long about it.  News gets around fast at school.  She asked me within 24 hours if I had found out whether she had passed.  I tenderly told her "no" without much detail and she said that not many people received positive responses.  I have no desire to check the validity of her response.  I continue to encourage her with schoolwork, pouring LIFE and God's Word into her.  That's all we have at the end of the day.  Seems I've been saying that a lot lately.
 
I love to listen to teens' conversations when I am in a public place.  I guess that's called eavesdropping, but I think it's harmless.  I was waiting in line at a bakery last week.  Two high-school girls were discussing hair color.  One teen had purple "tips" at the end of her naturally red locks.  For those of you who are not familiar with this, "tips" are a trend in which the last two inches (or even less) are dyed a different color than the base color.  It's usually a color you can't help but notice like orange, green, bright pink, purple.  She was going on and on about what color she would experiment with next and all I could think was, "Her naturally red color is so beautiful--it was a very dark red--why would she mess with it AND what does her mother think about it?!!"  So, here goes the "let me give her my 2 cents conversation."  I told her that I thought her natural hair color was absolutely beautiful.  She really liked that.  I could tell by the way she smiled and was surprised that a "mom" in the line would say something like that to her.  Girls love to be complimented.  I asked her how her mom felt about it and she said her mom was okay with it as long as it wasn't permanent color.  I went on to tell her again how I thought it was beautiful without the tips and how lucky she was to have such a dark, rich red hair color.  It reminded me of a dear friend's haircolor back home.  That was all I said.  I wanted to pour into her what God thinks of her and I should have.  I should have spoken Psalm 139 to her.  That she's fearfully and wonderfully made, just the way God made her, verse 14.
 
Pour that into your children's hearts.  Those are the kinds of words we need to be filling them with.  Yes, our world is full of rejection and that is a reality that we cannot sugarcoat.  However, we can give them a future and a hope by filling them with the riches of His Kingdom.  How precious also are your thoughts to me, O God.  How great is the sum of them!  If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand. Psalm 139:17-18
 
There is a lot of evil out there.  So much of it is transpired today via text.  Be vigilant in prayer for protection for your children.  When you pray for protection you never know what type(s) of protection you are praying for.  It's just a blanket and it's a big one, believe me.  My family is living proof of God's big security blanket that is full of love and protection.
 
God's Word is not just efficient, it is SUFFICIENT.  

Ephesians 5:19The Message (MSG)

18-20  Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him. Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 55:11The Message (MSG)

8-11 “I don’t think the way you think.
    The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
        God’s Decree.
“For as the sky soars high above earth,
    so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
    and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
    and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
    producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
So will the words that come out of my mouth
    not come back empty-handed.
They’ll do the work I sent them to do,
    they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.

 

Let's complete our verbal assignments in their entirety by being in complete obedience to our Saving Lord who is full of ALL goodness, mercy and love.  Thanks for reading!

Hits: 1304

Posted by on in He is >
Yesterday I was entering a large, high school parking lot to park and watch one of my teens play Varsity Tennis.  As I waited for a student to get into her super-sized Jeep Wrangler, I couldn't help but wonder, "What were her parents thinking when they awarded her with the giganti-saurus car?!!"  Yes, that's a word I just made up, but you know what I mean.  After she pulled out, it took her several attempts to move the car in the forward position.  Surely, the Jeep was a "stick-shift" and she was still in training for driving this vehicle made for a giant.  My father made sure we knew how to drive using a stickshift before the automatic engine.  I waited patiently, but was ready to jump out and move the car for her and give her some pointers if need be.
 
This made me wonder, how many times do parents give children things which they are not yet equipped for?  Our children demand the moon and the stars and if we offer it to them, yes, they will take them.  This student had no business being on the road in that vehicle.  The tires were so large that it made the vehicle as tall as a school bus!  Wouldn't responsible, loving parents ensure proper training in driving the super-sized Jeep?  I am just glad that I wasn't too close to her because she could have rolled over the top of my car like Evel Kneival on a motorcycle.
 
It is our job as parents to equip and train those who belong to us.  Some of us are called to train many more in addition to those in the home.  What areas in your life are you ignoring?  Being ignorant and turning your head doesn't please God.  I know that on a daily basis, I run out of time and energy to do all the things He asks of me.  The Lord disciplines and corrects those He loves.  We can save our children from some (only some) of the consequences if we train and equip them.  I daily bring life's challenges back to Jesus.  I know my children get tired of it, but I know that I am serving them TRUTH which is the only thing that has eternal value.  Free will is a great gift, but it has a great responsibility.  Choose LIFE.  
 
We are all guilty of being ignorant of our own behavior and that of our children.  "Oh, that TV show only has a few bad parts, a few curse words.  The rated R movie only has a little sex."  All the "few and little" normalize those behaviors making them acceptable to our young people.  Today's culture feeds them SEX in unbiblical methods.  And it's not just sex, it's behavior.  When we allow the culture to seep in, we have to continuously "un-do" the damage.  It's exhausting.  Would you give your precious baby dirty food to eat or dirty water to drink?  Ofcourse not.  When we knowingly let them participate in "wordly" media, we are saying it's OK.  
 
It's much easier to say "yes" than "no."  Sorry kids, but sometimes "No" is the best answer.  I love you too much to be ignorant of what God's Word says.  Let me take back what you cannot handle nor were ever meant to handle.  I'll pass it on to Jesus.
 
You shall not eat it, that it may go well with you and your children after you, when you do what is right in the sight of the Lord.  Deuteronomy 12:25
 
Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.  Deuteronomy 12:32
 
These scriptures from the Book of Deuteronomy are God's words to the children of Israel before they enter the Promised Land.  Every word in the Bible is relevant for today.  I do consider watching and listening to fowl things the same as eating them.  You digest them.  Garbage in, garbage out.  Don't add to or take away from God's Word.  We are called to be obedient to it as it is for He is the Great I AM.
 
Today someone is looking to you for encouragement.  Be of good courage for we know He has overcome the world!  The fight has been fought, victory is ours!  Equip them and follow Him.  Alleluia!
 
 
 
Hits: 895

Posted by on in He is >
 
 
You may all be hopping (excuse the pun!) around like crazy to get oot (out of town) for Spring Break or for the Easter holiday so I"ll keep this one short.  On my way home from carpool this AM I was listening to my Passion CD and Chris Tomlin was singing "The Saving One."  In my younger years, I was perplexed about this "saving" and the "tomb" and the resurrection.  What did all this mean?  Like any other "know it all" person, I never asked anyone about it.  When it all was slowly and divinely revealed to me, all I could do was believe in the awe and majesty of it.  If Jesus Christ can raise himself from the dead, what does it mean for us?
 
His resurrection means that He has the capability of conquering death and all that means.  What does that mean?  That means this, whatever you are facing is not too big for God.  His power is SUPER-natural.  Too often, we here on earth, only pull from the natural.  We are not even exercising to the "nth" the super-natural power of God which He offers us.  It is free for the taking.  Who doesn't want something free??  Isn't it great when you receive a free gift at the makeup counter or an unexpected % off at the check-out counter?  Well, stop clipping coupons and waiting for specials because this one is available at ANY TIME.  It does not have an expiration date either.
 
You are facing many challenges today.  Heartbreak, wayward children, learning issues, financial hardship, deals gone bad, alcohol, extra-marital affairs, loneliness, depression--there are just too many to name.  Here's your good news, JESUS SAVES!  We too, can resurrect ourselves from the death that the enemy has waiting for us at every turn.  Ask God to pull you out of any despair you are facing.  He will.
 
One more thing, one of my favorite all-time pastors is the Rev. Tim Smith.  When I was a baby-believer I remember any given Sunday his voice would boom from the pulpit, "Alleluia, Christ is Risen.  Christ is Risen INDEED."  Those words shook me to the core every time I heard him say them.  Jesus is alive, He's not dead.  Have faith and believe in the Living Son of God!
 
Happy Easter!!
 
Click on the link below for "The Saving One" by Chris Tomlin
 
 
 
Hits: 799

Posted by on in He is >
First things first, if you did not read the post before this as you were getting ready for Spring Break, please read Hurry Up and Wait Part 1.  
 
 
If you are in a hurry, you need to know that HU means "Hurry Up," or "Hurry-Upping."  Got it?
 
When I left you last time, I was quickly making my way to the carpool line.  I jetted into the store for dinner ingredients and I couldn't help but notice the MANY people in a hurry.  People in the grocery store today are nothing like I've ever seen before.  I don't know if Americans are just the poorest of time-managers or if there is such a need for task-completion these days that we don't take time to enjoy anything anymore.  The aisles of the store were wide, but I found myself more than once pulled by an invisible magnetic force to the opposing side of the aisle to prevent myself from any bodily harm by the "Hurry-Upper" coming my way.  "Whew" and "whew" as they briskly made their way down the aisles.  I couldn't help but to smile and giggle to myself about the RUSH that everyone is in.  I thought that if my grandparents were alive they would find this grocery store activity incredulous.  Watch out shoppers!!!  Who knew grocery shopping could be dangerous to your health?
 
Yesterday I was at the dentist for a cleaning.  It was not particularly pleasant.  I must have eaten a lot of candy the past 6 months is what I concluded after the results of the x-rays.  I wanted to HU and get out of there.  That's an okay thing to HU for, right?
 
What's not okay to HU about?  I've heard people say before that they can't wait for their kids to HU and grow up and get out of the house.  That makes my heart sad because I don't feel that way at all.  We are a selfish people, I know, but it seems that when God gives us our heart's desire (husband and children seem to be the main goal of women) we wish it away.  I also understand that some children are difficult and parenting strategies may have to be modified and/or implemented in a stronger way for him/her than your other children.  Parenting is NOT easy, but is it the most rewarding work I have ever done.  I invest more of my time into my children and the Lord than anything else. (still working on catch up with my husband)  My time is the most valuable thing I have control of, you too.  You cannot put a price tag on your time.  
 
There are different ways we spend time with our children.  For instance, my youngest needs a lot of assistance with her work and this means a few hours (not kidding) every afternoon with her.  It's especially difficult for me when we are preparing for a test or solving long math problems and LOTS of math problems.  I want to HU and get it over with, but I know that the time I am tutoring her has VALUE.  I could easily hire a tutor for her and I may have to one day, but for now, I am showing her love and patience by helping her and that it's important to me that she succeed in her schoolwork.  Our girls will be mothers one day.  Isn't it our job to model christian behavior for them?  God tells us in Titus 2:3-5 that older women should teach and train younger women.  See link to the scripture below.
 
 
I am so incredibly thankful for the "older" women who taught me so many things.  I wish that my grandmother was still here so I could ask her a zillion more questions.  I am now the "older" woman and I so enjoy spending time with girls of all ages talking about life and sharing God's truths with them.
 
The time we spend with our children is invaluable.  Don't be in a rush.  My oldest daughter now has a countdown on her phone of the days she has left with her family before she leaves for college.  It will break my heart to see her go as you know if you read this blog post....http://greaterthanministries.com/easyblog/entry/dealing-with-the-inevitable

Last night, I disclosed to my teenagers a not-so-pleasant fact about men and the Muslim religion from the book Destination Jerusalem. I will not disclose it here, you'll have to call me. It was very disturbing to them. As parents, we have the opportunity to discuss many unpleasant topics with our children. If we don't, someone else will. Be brave, be courageous. Your children will remember the spoken life lessons. I know I do:))  And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.  Galatians 6:9

There is a beautiful harvest to be had with your children.  Be expectant, don't lose expectancy.  Don't get tired, don't complain.  Ask God for grace, lots and lots of grace, children grace.  Grace to get through.

As we inch closer and closer to Easter, take the time to think about the act of love God committed for us.  It was an ACTIVE gift of love by sending His Son to live with His created people for 33 years and then to die for our sins.  Jesus spent time with us, a lot of time.  The 3 most active years of His ministry impacted our world greater than > any other figure known to man.  The Holy Bible remains the top-selling book of ALL time.  Only God can do that.  He is control of ALL time.  Spend some time in your Bible, pray for revelation of His Word to you.  It is for your enjoyment.  Get in a small group, start a Bible-study, pray with your family.  Bless God with your time and don't HU through it.
 
Hits: 1154

Posted by on in He is >
Americans do a lot of rushing around.  I do a lot of rushing around only to "hurry up and wait" once I get there.  Think about your day.  What are you doing?  Rise early, hurry up and take care of the dogs before I wake the girls.  Hurry up and get the 10-yr old going so we can hurry up and have breakfast and hurry up and get to school.  Hurry up and get home so I can wash dishes, do laundry and hopefully hurry up and tackle "the desk" (as my friend calls it) before I have to hurry up to carpool at 3.  Oh sure, there's plenty of time for some fun things in there, hopefully some exercise---does all the "hurry upping" count for CARDIO??--  
 
Let's just use "HU" for hurry up or hurry upping from here on out.
 
I recently read a Stanford Study which stated that "multi-tasking may damage your career and your brain."  Well, I guess I'll be out of a job soon and this would explain my multi-directional brain (if just I could turn my head 360 degrees) because yesterday as I was doing 10 things at once, I picked up my cell phone to make a call, pressed all the numbers, put the phone to my ear, nothing happened, I looked at the face of my phone and I had punched the number I was calling on the calculator.  I'm seeing the signs..........You should read the article at the link below, BUT FINISH READING THIS FIRST.  Task completion, then you can move on to the next one:))  Small steps ladies!
 
 
HU and WAIT.  What are you waiting for?  What am I waiting for?  We don't like to wait, FOR ANYTHING.  We are in a fast-food society and I don't mean just for food.  We make a face if the person in front of us in line is taking too long or when you are in Houston traffic and accidentally get behind the city bus at one of its long stops.....
 
Then there are the serious things we are waiting for.  Waiting for God to move a mountain for financial freedom from a debt, praying for a child's crisis to pass, waiting for something to be decided in your favor, waiting for loved ones to come to Christ.  Do you have faith that God is going to do all the things He has promised?  What is behind your faith?  Belief should be behind it.  But when you pray for a need, Jesus says this, "I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them." Mark 11:24
 
How much belief backs up your faith?  50%?  25%?  Have you ever thought about that?  When you are asking for something, do you truly believe God will make it happen?  Sometimes when we have been asking for the same thing since forever, it feels like a useless, unheard prayer.  But as believers, we know He rises from His Mercy Seat to hear us.  His timing is not our timing.  It's so easy to see the picture and the evidence of His hand AFTER the prayer has been answered, I know.  Is He testing our faith?  Is He stretching us?  Trying to grow us up for complete dependance on Him?  I thought we were done growing up.  In K-12 I can remember counting how many years left until I didn't have to go to school anymore, how much longer until I could go to college and not get in trouble with my parent's anymore.  It is fun to grow up with Christ.  But we have to stop the HU with Him.  He is not in the rush that we are.  He is in control of the time and NONE of it is wasted.
 
Experiencing His goodness, sharing it and praising Him for it is the most fulfilling growing up I have ever done.  When we dis-believe (I know that's not a word-remember the article said my brain was damaged) we don't believe what God says.  When we don't believe what God says we only believe Him a little.  Isn't there something about the whole truth and nothing but the truth?  It's true or it's false.  There is no grey area with God.  This makes me think about an alarming statement I read in Francis Chan's book Crazy Love.  His belief is that "lukewarm Christians won't go to Heaven."  I believe it is backed up by Revelation 3:15-16, "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot.  I could wish you were cold or hot.  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth."  There it is, right there.  We are in or we are out.  I believe this is a great call to building our belief in our faith in the Almighty.  Our 100% belief.  Say it and mean it.
 
Well, sorry about this guys, but I've got to Hurry Up and get to carpool............TO BE CONTINUED
Hits: 953

Posted by on in He is >

 

Last week I had the opportunity to speak to a lovely group of women in Houston.  One of the things I talked about was a Re-Do, a Refresh.  I wouldn’t consider myself completely technology challenged, but after 1998 so many things changed with computers and cellular telephones that if you or your husband weren’t a member of the Geek Squad then good luck to you.  What happened to the CPU, the keystroke commands, etc.?  I grasped the mouse concept fairly quickly, I mean who can’t point and click?  Too much pointing and clicking can quickly turn into The House of Mirrors with No Way Out.  Call a young person if that’s you.  They were born into this Technology Age plus they have the added bonus of classroom instruction starting in K4. 

I can move my way around the MAC now fairly easily.  Tabs can be an issue, but who can’t fix that with the space bar?  Aggravating, yes, but solvable.

When I was working on my ministry website, www.Greaterthanministries.com, my web designer, who could move easily from Geek Squad language to English, would ask me to do things like copy and paste in the browser—oh no, what’s the browser?—MiMi would mess up and then he would tell me to press the Refresh button.  Oh no, what’s the Refresh button?  I was familiar with the terms, not always sure what they would do nor did I know the proper name for them.  I need a class, I know what you are thinking.

When you press the Refresh button it takes you back.  It takes you back to your original search.  Maybe you didn’t like where you ended up so you press the Refresh button for a fresh start. 

And so is Life.  Sometimes we need a Refresh, a Re-do.  Press that button now.  Forget about what is behind, your past failures, maybe where someone failed you, maybe your child failed, someone you love failed, disappointments, maybe something didn’t work out the way you were hoping it would.  Close that open page and don’t view it or search it again.  Clear the history.  Don’t play that PowerPoint  in your head again.  REDO—let that be the slide in your head, REFRESH, REDO, REFRESH, REDO.

Jesus came so that we may have life and abundance to the full. John 10:10.  Why are you settling for less than abundant?  Don’t settle for mediocre or less than<.  I want Greater Than>!!  I want the abundance of the good life.  Are you not living happily ever after?  Tap into what Jesus has to offer.  He longs to give you the abundant life.

 

If you would let Him.  If you would let Him.  If you would let Him.  If you would let Him.  If you would let Him. 

If you would let Him.  If you would let Him.  If you would let Him.  If you would let Him.

 

What’s the best thing that could happen if you would let Him?  What is about to burst out of your heart?  What do you want to let Him do but you are afraid to release it to Him?  Maybe you are thinking that it’s not going to happen, that He’s not going to change it, that it is just impossible and you need to just deal with it.  No, I say, release it and let Him.  Let Him do the supernatural thing that only He can do.  Pretend it is a rock and you have a sling shot in your right hand.  Now catapult that thing to Him.  He will catch it easily.  He can smush it between His thumb and forefinger into fine grains of sand.  Smooth and soft.  Let Him.

There may be a person in your life who you need to grant a Re-do to.  Confess that sin of unforgiveness and give them a chance.   The Holy Bible tells but one story, God’s redeeming love for His people.  He will redeem the time you may have lost and restore it with His goodness.  That is something only He can provide.

Some of you are just so hardheaded that this process is like using an ice pick on a glacier.  If that is you, LAUGH NOW.  Yes, I am speaking to you.  I am just chip, chip, chipping away at the hardness of unbelief.  But I AM a believer, you say.  I understand, I know it’s hard to even grasp the idea, the thought that Jesus can be the problem solver, the Healer.  But He is, He is the great I AM.  If you would just let Him.  He can soften any heart, yours too.  He can give you understanding, insight into the situation/issue/problem.

Maybe you feel like He has failed you in the past.  Give Him a Re-Do.  He would jump at the chance. 

Hits: 1797
Posted by on in He is >

Remember when you were heading out of town and your children were small?  What did you do?  You left a list for the babysitter or the Grandparent.  A long list, a very detailed list.  You expected the caregiver to follow that list and pay attention to every detail.  We worry when we leave a loved one or a child in the care of someone else.  We want things done right, routines to remain the same while we are absent.

We have all just come from a Christmas season full of details.  Are you exhausted?  We turn right around to the details of putting it all away in an organized manner for next year.  Sometimes when we are in the middle of the execution it doesn’t seem like anyone cares about the details except for us.  The menu prep, polishing silver, pulling out the china and the crystal, the linens, making sure each person in your family likes at least one food item on the menu, ordering special items like cakes and pies.  I’m not even going into the detail of this meal clean up!!! 

God loves details.  To some readers of the Bible, it may seem there were no details for the birth place of Jesus.  We are all limited in our understanding of God’s ways.  It’s all in our perspective of God and how we see Him.  I long to see His goodness and understand His ways.  I love to point out His attention to the details in my life.  One would think that our Newborn King would be born in a palace amid beautiful servants and clean, soft linens for Him to be swaddled in.  Not so.  The Word says Mary laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the Inn. (Luke 2:7)

Suppose Jesus had been born in a palace high on a hill, unreachable by common man?  Born a king by human standards who could only be reached by the wealthy and noble, the few.  This would cause a gap, a separation of man from the Son of God.  Jesus came to fill the gap, to tear the veil which separated sinful man from God.  He came to us in the lowliest of states so that we could all reach Him.  Imagine the difference in your approach to a shepherd versus a king.  Most of us don’t have access to a king but we all have access to a shepherd.  It’s all in the details.

It’s a New Year.  Last night on the 700 Club there was a story about resolutions and how to eat right in 2015.  The story pointed out the obvious, the American addiction to sugar and how we need to “watch” our intake.  Many eat as much as 25 teaspoons of sugar a day, some more.  I thought that sounded like a lot until this morning when I ate 4 do-nuts in the car.  There lay at least 25 teaspoons of sugar in my stomach.  What will you be “watching for” this year?

We have access to Jesus on a daily basis.  His death closed the gap and covered our sin so we can enjoy fellowship with the Father.  We can read God’s details in the Word.  We can choose to notice the details of His hand in our lives.  I think that’s a good New Year’s Resolution.  You may feel He doesn’t know where you are right now or that He doesn’t understand what you are going through.  Do you feel He is absent from your life?  Or is it that you are absent from Him because of your lack of communication with Him? He is there, He is working on the details and eventually you will see it, be certain of that. 

I watched the hand of God in my details over Christmas break.  My oldest daughter had a tonsillectomy the first day of her holiday.  Several days later she “bled out” and had emergency surgery within a few short hours.  At the moment she began bleeding—at that very moment—I was on the phone with her doctor who had called to check in on her.  The interesting thing was that I was trying to get an additional medicine for her nausea and was on the phone with another doctor in that same practice.  Who ever has 2 doctors on the phone at the same time?  Her doctor knew something just wasn’t right.  It was after hours, it was New Year’s Eve yet he was still at his office.  Hmmm.  We rushed there and then we all rushed to the hospital.  Her doctor was with us every moment even while she was stuck with needles trying to get a successful IV.  His presence calmed her and me.  How fortunate we were to be with our doctor and not an unknown from the ER.  We saw every detail.  God makes the best of a bad situation.  It ended up being a late night, we rung in the New Year in Room 319. 

Make this a year to give thanks for God’s goodness, give Him the glory He deserves, make a list of the things you are grateful for.  Stop the pity party and rejoice in Him because He cares for YOU.

Hits: 949

Posted by on in He is >
Do you ever wake up in the morning and think to yourself, "I could write a book about what's going on in my life."???""
 
I am accustomed to surprises, but I can still be caught off guard.  Christmas is not a time I welcome unexpected surprises with everything else that is going on.  We've had our fair share of expected visitors, unexpected visitors, conversations I'd rather not remember, you name it.  You are probably making your last minute plans for this "close and coming fast" Christmas Day, not to mention Christmas Eve.
 
Mary had an unexpected visitor.  His name was Gabriel and he was a messenger from God.  He had some big news for Mary.  For some it seemed to be bad news, but for us believers on the other side of the Cross, we know it was good news.  It is great news just like the angel of the Lord said to the shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. "I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."  Luke 2:9-11
 
How did Mary react to her unexpected visitor?  She stopped and she listened. She responded.
 
I am sure that young Mary had plans and dreams for her life.  Plans that did not include all that Gabriel had just told her, that SHE would conceive God's son in HER womb and name Him JESUS.  What would you say?  What would you have done?  What kind of interruption would this be and how long is it going to last?  When will things get back to normal?  Mary's "normal" had just been drastically altered.
 
The Bible says in Luke 1:38 that Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord!  Let it be to me according to your word."
 
Mary said "Yes."  How often do you say "yes"?  Yes to the unexpected, yes to the interruptions, yes to dealing with the mess that we feel others cause?
 
Mary was full of God's grace.  She had found favor with God.  She was the one.  She must have replaced any bitterness about the situation with God's grace.  The Word does not go into great detail about Mary's situation and how she was treated by her village.  We can only imagine the curiosity, the disbelief, the division, the ridicule that she and her family faced, not to mention how Joseph felt.
 
Whatever may seem unexpected this Christmas, let's think about what is going right.  Jesus is the gift, He is the Light of the world.  He has overcome the world.  So can we.
 
These things I have spoken to you that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.  John 16:33
 
 
 
Hits: 849

Posted by on in He is >

Lately my ears have been opened to the negative conversations that occur when attempting something new.  The normal reaction to a new venture or an enhancement to an existing one seems to be vocalizing all the negative comments first.  Murphy’s Law is known for just this……….Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.  Let me take you back 20 years.  It was summer and I was home from college at my parent’s home.  I always enjoyed visiting my grandparents and decided that day would be a good day to drive to Mobile, Alabama to visit them.  While I was there my grandfather asked me if I needed the oil changed in my car.  He enjoyed doing nice things for and with his grandchildren; though I didn’t plan on participating in this one, just reaping the benefits of it.  I knew I should have been in a supervisory position instead of going inside and having fun with my grandmother.  First thing that should have clued me in, my cousin who will go unnamed (you know who you are!) showed up to help Papaw.   It was a known fact that when Papaw, my brother and my cousin united in an activity, something was bound to go wrong.  Murphy’s Law applied and was activated during most of their outings, mainly fishing trips.  Today was my turn.  Later that afternoon, I left Mobile for the hour and a half journey home on I-10 West.  My cousin decided to ride with me and visit my brother for the rest of the weekend.  That should have been my second clue.  Halfway home, my car started smoking.  The situation seemed serious so we pulled over.  Almost immediately, a nice couple came along and asked if we needed help.  It was the 1900’s, Stone Age, no cell phones.  Ofcourse, I needed help.  The problem was this, the nice couple was in a pick-up truck that had no rear seat, only the wide-open-air flatbed.  “Hop on in the back,” they said.  There’s something you need to know about me.  Back then, I thought I was the coolest of cool teenagers, not one who would DARE ride in the back of a pick-up truck on Interstate 10!  I had no choice but to get in.  I looked at my cousin and gave him the “look of all looks” that only a mad mother can give.  Somehow I knew this was all his fault, I just didn’t know how, YET.  To shorten this story, it turns out that the oil in my car was successfully changed, but someone on the “oil changing team”  forgot to put the oil cap on securely.  I can laugh about it now.

Things will go wrong in life.  How we respond when we come face to face with it is what matters.  Jesus came face to face with obstacles, interruptions and accusers.  One of my favorite reactions of His is in the Gospel of Matthew 10:14, And whoever will not hear you nor receive your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.  Just shake it off.  My dad always said that to me.  Don’t let negative comments affect the plan and purpose God has for you.  Don’t let Satan steal your joy.  Sometimes we have to do things scared.   A verse to cling to is this, Perfect love casts out fear. 1 John 4:18

The perfect love that God and His Son has for you should settle you and give you rest.

Be an encourager to someone, not a discourager.  The power of life and death is in the tongue.  Proverbs 18:21   Be a life-giver, not a life-sucker.  Look for the positive side, the great blessings that are in store for you as His Kingdom employee.

Christmas is coming and fast.  Mistakes are going to happen, like a few years ago when I picked up our very large turkey the day before Christmas expecting it to be warm and juicy and COOKED.  It was frozen.  I was shocked.  My mom handled it like a pro and didn’t get mad at me.  She went head to head with the frozen turkey and delivered a beautifully cooked turkey the next day.

A lot of your issues are probably more complex than a frozen turkey, but know that you have to look on the bright side and find the things to be grateful for in the midst of the mess.  Instead of thinking about what could go wrong, make a mental list of what could go RIGHT!

Praying for your eyes to be opened to His goodness and wishing you a December that focuses on the real meaning of Christmas, the birth of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

Hits: 697

Posted by on in He is >
treasure-box-photoI love to clean and organize small areas. I choose small areas because of my limited time. I like to do it properly and not end up with small stacks of items that need a home. I like to discard unnecessary items and organize the leftovers. I live in a small rental house, storage space is valuable around here. Sometimes during this organization process I receive a real blessing like old pictures or child artwork, but in this case it was for my daughter, Lillian. I came across a red folder filled with "Get Well" notes from her class written during her 4th grade year. Lillian has asthma, her 5th grade year was her first and worst case of asthma ever. She was in ICU for a full week. There was a point during that week I thought I would lose her. God intervened like only He can and brought us the medical team she needed. I was really in awe that week of the pastoral visits, care baskets, phone calls and texts we received. My fingers actually hurt from responding to all the texts. Lillian was really not supposed to have ANY visitors because it takes oxygen to expend energy, to smile, to verbalize. Did you know that? When your oxygen level is low, it requires an extra effort to do all those things we take for granted and leaves you exhausted. (there is not even a word I can think of to explain how she felt.) Somewhere along the way, a special person brought us the red folder which contained the most precious, sincere and loving notes. I had no idea I would come across it on a pantry shelf in the breakfast room 5 years later. Most of our life and keepsakes are in boxes in storage at the present moment. How did this folder escape that destiny?

Where is your treasure? In that instant, for us, it was in the love-filled letters from her classmates and teachers in that red folder. Notes of affirmation, encouragement and love. When was the last time you wrote someone a letter? And I mean with a pen, filled with ink, written on a piece of paper, affixing a stamp to the envelope and mailing it. I encourage you to write someone a letter. I bet at this very moment, there is someone on your heart. It might be a happy thought or a sad thought, but write it out. The actual written word with a pen is losing its place in our society today. And if you're at that point in your life when all you can find is a crayon and a sticky note, use it!! Thank someone, encourage someone—include a Bible verse—and if you can't think of a Bible verse, use a concordance. A concordance can sometimes be found in the back of your Bible. You can search a particular word like "love" or "forgiveness" and it will list several Bible verses that speak on the topic. You choose the one that's right for you.

Here's a link to an online concordance. www.biblestudytools.com/concordances

You can also use a Topical Bible. You should be able to connect with one from the above link.

Back to the folder....Lillian was very happy to re-read the notes when I showed her my treasure find. They were and are the breath of life for her. God was the first Being to breathe life into His creation. Genesis 2:7 says, And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. Isn't that an awesome discovery? You probably remember when you birthed your babies, what was the first thing that happened? There was that moment while you waited for him or her to take their first breath! Without an air supply, we are not living. Ofcourse, I knew that when Lillian was in the hospital, but until I saw with my very own eyes what life looked like with a low oxygen supply I could not truly understand it. Won't you take the time to breathe life into someone else with God's Word and Truth? We are not really living until we receive the breath of life. Do that for someone.

I'm including a pic of a personal treasure box of mine. My dear friend, Julie, created this box for me before I left Mobile to move to Houston. It contains the most precious letters from girls I shared God's Word with. When I brought it home to read the contents, I asked my family to please not bother me while I sat on the patio and cried while I read each letter. Thank you, Julie! This box hold many "breaths" of Life for me. Thank you, Jesus.
Hits: 744

Posted by on in He is >

My oldest daughter is a junior in high school.  My completely unbiased self sees her as God sees her;  blessed, beautiful, brilliant, blonde, bold and full of courage, silly and fun, just perfect in every way.  Isn’t it comforting to know that God sees you and me as perfect because of what His Son did for us?  His Son bore our every sin so that we can stand before our Maker one day.  We don’t always see each other that way, do we?  We so easily judge others.  Won’t you turn from that today and ask God to give you a Christ-like love for one another?   Click on this link for a teaching sample I have used for teen girls, I believe it will transfer for us adults also!!  http://greaterthanministries.com/resources/how-to-start-a-girls-ministry/teaching-topics/how-do-i-show-love-for-god-and-others-even-when-i-don-t-feel-like-it

Being able to love those who have hurt you or your loved ones does not make you a doormat.  It is in the image of Christ that you are given the ability to love others, it’s a love that doesn’t try to do the math.  You don’t have tic marks or checks next to your name, we are all even.  God is greater than our inability to love equally.   He’s >.  In His eyes, you=me.  Get it?  Apply the God math and focus on your loved ones’ positive attributes.  Call them out in praise, affirm your children, pray for the Holy Spirit to do what you cannot do.  Don’t try to change anyone, gently guide them.  Jesus needs you to be His hands, His feet and His voice.

I am very sadly realizing that my time with my oldest daughter is nearing its end.  Though we have almost 2 years left with her in our home, we are beginning to seriously look at college choices.  While it is fun and exhilarating to see her hard work bear fruit, I am selfishly concerned about how we will feel when she is gone, and if I’m really honest, my main concern is how I will deal with it.   I’m sure several of you like me, gave up careers and goals to stay home and raise your family.  The days were long, but the years have flown by.  Have I done everything I could do to prepare her? Have I loved her well?  Have I warned her about every single thing that could possibly happen should she go outside in the dark OR just every single thing that could happen at any time of the day?  Does she know not to leave her purse in the car or the sunroof open?  Does she know not to eat anything perishable that has been on the kitchen counter for too long?  Does she know to check expiration dates?

Will she miss me as much as I am already missing her?

I had my first real heartbreak about it the other night when she and I went to an off-campus meeting for a University that is a little too far away for me to be happy about.  We were both excited to hear what the spokesperson had to say.  As the slide show started and the campus looked inviting, I realized it wasn’t a party for me.  It’s just for her.  The tears began to well in my eyes and I REALLY had to hold back.  She’s really going away was all I could think.  Maybe some of you have already dealt with this, the beginning of the empty nest, or you are dealing with it now or it’s right around the corner.  God help us is all I can say.

Don’t worry, she didn’t see me cry, but I told her about it later.  She just laughed.

We all have times of transition and they do pass.  Prayer is what will get me and you through our transitions.  I have to start praying NOW for God to prepare my heart for her departure.  Prayer for Him to reveal to me anything I have left undone in raising her.  Prayer for our entire household to adjust and to happily let her go.  Prayer for her to finish well and strong this K-12 stage of life.  Prayer for us all to love one another well and skip past the shortcomings of each other. Praise Him for the gift of her.  Where does the time go?  Can you relate? 

God’s mercies are new every day.  Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:22-23 

His Word is so true.

He knew how I felt.  I received the sweetest present first thing the next morning.  My smallest person sang during her Chapel Service with 2 of her precious friends.  They sang 3 songs at the microphone on the altar. Their young voices sang hymns of praise, which I know were a sweet aroma to Him.  My daughter kept looking at me and smiling and giving me a little wave.  She just wanted to see that I was there, that I didn’t leave, that I saw her.  I couldn’t take my eyes off her.  That’s how God sees us, He doesn’t take His eyes off us, EVER.

I thank God for the gift of time, for what is left and for the fun to come with the rest of my little people.

Hits: 1009

Posted by on in He is >

Today I’m singing of all that Jesus has done for me.  Sing out (say) what Jesus has done for you. How can the spoken Word not sound like a beautiful song?  He transforms our words of glory for Him into a song for another person who needs to hear it.  Your “song” will lift up others when they desperately need it.  The spoken Word will not return void. (Isaiah 55:11) Sometimes I need to take the focus off myself so I can see what He is doing for me today.  I want to take the scales from my eyes so I can see His glory, His “Shekinah” (the glory of God where He dwells) glory and dwell in it also.  When I’m not in the Word, (reading Scripture) not listening to praise & worship music, my persona can easily jump back into the material world especially now that I’m back on the 2-school carpool circuit and in a RUSH, rush, rush.  I need to be praising Him in my rush because it allows me to be the person he wants me to be, the mom he wants me to be, the wife, the friend---AND ACTUALLY ENJOY BEING IT!  Do you see it as an honor to be all the things He has called you to be?  If not, ask Him to change your heart and thank Him for all the people you parent, mentor and tend to.  I can’t be it if I don’t have Jesus.  Jesus isn’t a one-day deal or just a snack on Sunday’s.  He’s not the “cram one week into a day” Bible study (guilty as charged.)   Drink from His over-flowing well of Living Water.

What has He done for you?  We are called to share it, not to keep it private, it’s an act of fellowship when we share our good and our bad with other Christians.  When I am teaching, I love to talk about fellowship.  It has the best definition. Fellowship is that heavenly love that fills or should fill the hearts of believers one for another and for God.  This fellowship is deeper and more satisfying than any mere human love. (Definition from Zondervan’s New International Bible Dictionary)

True fellowship offers this, isn’t that good news?  Do you feel like you’re missing something with your friends?  It could be the love void that only He can fill for you and when you share it with your sisters and brothers in Christ there is nothing else like it.  Do you see those girls in this picture on the >Ministries website? I guess we are called ladies now, but click on the following link:
http://greaterthanministries.com/resources/how-to-start-a-girls-ministry/tips-for-gem-s-leaders   

I would lay down my life for any one of them or their family in a heartbeat.  We share a fellowship in Jesus Christ and a heavenly love for each other.  That has eternal value.  Those relationships are eternal. Our friendship is actually going somewhere.  I will be with them in heaven one day.  Isn’t that good news?  

Back to the singing---One of my little people was struggling last night with an issue, she was carrying a burden she wasn’t meant to carry, but the sweetness of her spirit and the compassion she has for others filled me with gratitude for Christ living within her at such a young age.  She desires fellowship with her friends.  I can sing of that and give God glory for what He’s doing in her, that she has eyes to see and a heart to care for her peers. 

What do you see in your loved ones and yourself that gives you the desire to thank the Lord?  Take a moment and imagine their faces in your mind and give God thanks.

Having momentary brain delay with a praise-worthy scene from your life?  God is > that.

Here’s a song that will inspire you to sing:)

Click on the following link: http://youtu.be/XFRjr_x-yxU

Phil Wickham—This is Amazing Grace
Hits: 714

Posted by on in He is >
Today I was talking with a group of teenagers and young adults about the negative comments we have received from teachers, coaches and other adults over our lifetimes.  It’s interesting how all of us were able to immediately retrieve the negative comments made to each of us rather than any positive comments.  The negative comments seem to “stick.”  My response, God is Greater Than > any negative comment made to me or you.

What’s God Greater Than in your life?

I’ll share a few of mine and I’d love to hear yours by using the Comments section below…
 
God is > disappointments
God is > feeling unequipped 
God is > social status
Hits: 1164

Posted by on in He is >

Tonight we are 3 for 3, all doing something new.  One daughter is participating in a sports camp, though she has never played this sport before.  Another is competing in a summer sport, unhappily and  I get to work the compeition with people I don’t know.

It didn’t go so well for me. I didn’t manage to make any new friends. Is it ok for me to talk about me first? Maybe it was the suffering from re-entry from my hometown where it’s familiar and I come back here and within the first 24 hours manage to feel so, so completely unknown? Or that I watched close girlfriends talk and laugh and wished I was sitting with them? I could go on, but I think I’ll stop there.

I think my teenager fared better than I did. The other competed in a lowest rank (though that doesn’t matter) and came in first and second. Maybe that’s where we feel we all score right now, in the lowest rank. What a humbling place to be. I’d call that character building. I think my precious husband and my own dad would call it that. Then, if they say that, and I value every word they speak, I accept it. I am in the lowest rank. Do I have to be in the first heat? Absolutely not. Jesus ranked in such a low order of importance in our human world that He was born in a stable and ended up homeless and then put to death by His Father’s chosen people. So I guess I need to put my sad self aside and “chin up we are with you” as my mother would say. 

In the moments I am allowed to feel the despair, I cry out to Jesus and listen to one of my favorite songs “Come to Jesus and Live.” He wants to take my sadness, He is > my sadness. I know that, but I can’t hide from my humanness. I’m crawling here, I’m new, I’m a baby at being new again. I know that. I guess sometimes my humanness surprises even me. Sometimes, I am lonely.  What’s wrong with saying that? Does that make me a weak person? No, it just shows my full reliance needs to be on Jesus. He sees me. He sees my puffy, tear filled brown eyes that I don’t want anyone else to see. That’s ok. I think I’m finished crying now. I nail this, too, to the cross.

It's hard at any age to be the new girl.  I need to be content being new.  God is > my newness.

 .

 

Hits: 691

Posted by on in He is >

 

It’s exciting to start something new. Intimidating and fun all at the same time. When I was a child, my father told me to do the things that scared me, not anything that would get me in trouble, but anything I feared that I may fail in. There’s nothing wrong with failing. It makes us stronger when a challenge attempted doesn’t go quite as planned. It’s part of our testimony. God calls us to be obedient with His plan for us. I am trying to listen really hard to His new plan for me, and believe me, there is a lot of noise for me to weed through with my very talkative 9-year old. She knows just when to start talking, at exactly the moment I begin typing.

Ministry is not a new plan for me, but this phase is Part II. I’ve left my home city to take on a much larger one, I’ve left all my familiar areas of ministry for new, unknown ones. Like I said before, it’s intimidating and fun all at the same time. Has God asked you to get out of your comfort zone recently, to try something new, to take a risk? Are you a risk taker or are you more comfortable staying right where you are? I think I’m a little of both, but I don’t have anything to risk now except the change of devoting more time than usual to Greater Than Ministries. God is > my fear of not having enough time for my family. He is > my poor system of time management. He will accomplish His plan and purpose for you and me. Isn’t that good news? What is He greater than for you?

Sometimes I forget I am new in this city until I arrive at an event, look around and realize I don’t know anyone! It’s not the best feeling in the world, but I can do 1 of 2 things. Options: I could have a pity party (that’s always fun, right?) for myself and go home OR know who I am in Christ and step into what He has for me at that moment. Life’s not easy, it’s not easy making friends all over again. I decided before I moved that in my new city I would not try to be anything else other than who I really am. I am a person with a heart devoted to Christ. I am devoted to verbalizing the Good News and sharing it with as many people as I can. My desire is to stir up the emotions of Christians and awaken them to the call Christ has on their lives. I can’t answer the call for them, but I can let them know that yes, each person has a job God designed for them, a job description that fits them to a “T.” And will you walk it out? God is > your fear of taking the first step. Go For It. What are you waiting for?

 

Hits: 646