Saturday, April 21, 2018

Ramblings....





I am getting ready to start leading a new Bible Study, Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer.  We are reading the book by the same name and will be reading a chapter a week, then applying the truths from that chapter to our lives.  I am excited to get started leading this because it's an area of my life I feel like I have been slaking.  I allow business to get in the way of my relationship with God and then wonder why I struggle to hear Him or feel His presences. 

By leading the study (really just facilitating, it's a group effort to lead these things) I stay accountable to pray regularly.  I to pray for those who attend the study and any request I know they may have.

I stay more focused in the word. Reading the Bible and really trying to hear what God is saying in the verses I have read.

And finally the biggest part for me is the relationships/friendships that  grow because of these studies and of course Gods prompting. 

I have been pre-reading the book to get an idea of what we will be discussing and also so that I am able to help lead each week.  Wow!  I know this book is going to be good! 

I know prayer is an area of my life that I have always struggled, I have brief periods where I really felt like God was speaking to me, not in loud audible voice but more in confirming truths.  And I am hoping that through this study that I will gain some tools, and insight on how to focus on what and how God is speaking to me.  And my prayer is that those Ladies that need this will attend or at-least buy and read the book.  As we go through this study I will be posting on here about it.



On another note I have felt pulled away from God lately and I know it's me, and not God abandoning me.  I have been very unhappy in this place and I am not sure why.  I can't define anyone thing that makes me feel this way.  For a while I have felt like it's because my family is all in Ohio and I am here in Kansas.  I believe God brought us here for a purpose, I just wonder now if we have fulfilled that purpose and it's time to move on or is it my selfish desires to be close to my family that is making me unhappy!?! 

Don't get me wrong I love my job (most days), and the church we are at is wonderful!  I just have felt like something is missing.

 I am trying to rediscover who I am and what I like. It's hard when your whole existence has been wrapped up in being someones mom or wife.  I love those roles and am so blessed to have them, but I need to also be me.  I am not sure who that is exactly.  Maybe this is my mid-life crisis and  I am just trying to figure out who I am, where I belong.  Or maybe I am just crazy!  I wonder if I am the only one that feels this way.  I have to believe I am not!  I am a part of this group on Facebook for parents of kid who have "Grown and Flown" and many of the ladies in this group post about exactly what I am feeling.  What's next? What happens to us as moms when the kids are no longer dependent on us?  When we've done the best we can not to completely screw them up, so that they can become productive members of society. 

One thing I have started doing is  I started taking better care of myself and my physical needs. Like eating healthier, exercising, and taking a little time for myself.  I have been walking, a little weight lifting and am hoping to get back to running soon. Maybe through this, and adjusting my prayer life, and my spiritual life as whole I will begin to figure out who I am. 

The good thing is I know whose I am, so I know and truly believe I am not alone in this battle.  Satan really tries to pull us away and make us believe that God has abandoned us or that we are the only ones who feel this way so there must be something wrong with us.  I think I have allowed that doubt to creep in, and now I have to dismiss these lies.  I don't believe things to be a coincidence.  This past few weeks in youth we have talking about putting on the lenses of God.  Seeing the world through Jesus and His Word. 

This last week we touched on loneliness and finding fulfillment in things of this world.

Oh Boy am I there!  And I think its a lack of really connecting, really hearing what God is saying to me.  So over the next few months as we go through this book study, my prayer is that I will hear from God. (The neon sign, bonk on the head, realization that God is speaking to me) That that connection will grow and unlike our home wifi it will be strong, and always available! 

My prayer for you is that you also will feel that connection with God and know He is real, He is with you, and Created you. 

1 Corinthians 14:15 Amplified Bible (AMP)
15 Then what am I to do? I will pray with the [a]spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me] and I will pray with the mind [using words I understand]; I will sing with the spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me] and I will sing with the mind [using words I understand].


This scripture in Psalm 139 keeps coming to mind and it's my prayer right now:

Psalm 139 The Message (MSG)
A David Psalm
139 1-6 God, investigate my life;
    get all the facts firsthand.
I’m an open book to you;
    even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
    I’m never out of your sight.
You know everything I’m going to say
    before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you’re there,
    then up ahead and you’re there, too—
    your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
    I can’t take it all in!

13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
    I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.


Have a Blessed Day! 
Christina 


Monday, April 16, 2018

God got His hands dirty for you!



Part two of the YCW post:

My favorite speaker this weekend was Jeffery Dean  he is a Pastor, Father, Author and Christian Speaker.

He spoke about God being crazy in love with you!

He started in the book of Genesis Chapter 1 and in v2 it talks about  how darkness was over the surface of the deep.  I

n Hebrew  the meaning for Darkness here means Gloom & Despair.  This means we have had gloom and despair since before the beginning of time.

In v 3 it says: God said let there be light, and there was light.  Now you know light has a bigger meaning other than the opposite of darkness.  The Hebrew word here for Light actually means Relief!

God is saying He came to bring Relief to the Gloom & Despair! 

God is ahead of our hurt, pain, despair and He had the remedy before we even feel it! 

In Genesis chapter 2 it talks about God making man.

 Genesis 2:7 The Lord God took a handful of soil and made a man. God breathed life into the man, and the man started breathing. 

Jefferey shared a story about his daughter when she was younger and learning about this story in Sunday School and she asked if God got His hands dirty?

In all the times I have every read the story of creation I never once picked up on this.  God took a handful of soil, He physically touched the dirt and breathed His breathe to give life to man.  He was hands on with this aspect of creation.  All the other things God created it just says God says and it was, never mentioning that God physically touched it.

And again when God created woman He takes a rib from the man, another physical touch.

In the creation story the first time it mentions God touching anything it was Adam & Eve!

The power of touch is incredible.  It can bring feelings of joy, or comfort and it can also bring pain.  But I want to focus on the good aspects of the power of touch.  It is intimate and personal.  A hug, or holding hands, even a touch on the shoulder can be so comforting in times of pain, hurt, and despair.  And God initiated this first with humans!

There is so much beauty in the reality of God and what He has done and will continue to do in the lives of people. 

There are studies out there that talk about the power of positive touches, and how people need a certain amount of positive touches in a day.  I know of many times in my life when a hug, or holding of my hands were way more powerful than any words that could be spoken. I think about the times others have prayed for me by "laying hands" on me or when I have prayed with someone "laying hands on" and how much more powerful those prayers seem.  And to think God initiated this!

It makes me want to be more intentional with my touches and prayer also.  Instead of saying I'll pray for you, I want to grab your hands or hold you in a hug and pray right then.  Please don't freak out if this happens!  (I'll ask first!)

Jefferey went on to talk about how God made everything beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11)


 Ecclesiastes 3:11 Amplified Bible (AMP)
God Set Eternity in the Heart of Man
11 He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.

And how we were made in Gods Image. The Hebrew word for Image is Reflection.  So God has made us to reflect Him.  Are we doing that?  

This was a good reminder to me to look at how I am with others, do my words, my actions and even my thoughts show a positive reflection of who God is in me to others?  Honestly, not always!  

This doesn't mean I have to live a perfect life, that is not possible for me or any human.  Only Jesus was perfect on earth.  Jesus died so that I don't have to for the sins I commit!  But what I can do is do a better job of reflecting who God is in me and what He has done.

So how do I do this?  Being intentional with reading His word, and slowing down not just checking something off my list of things o do for the day.  But actually be intentional about praying, listening and reading!  

I am about to start a Women's Study on: Discerning the Voice of God.  It's a book by Priscilla Shirer.  Once we start I will share on this blog what I feel God is speaking to me through this study, and any notes from the chapters we read each week.  We have decided to take it slow, one chapter a week to really be able to grasp what she is talking about and allowing God to Speak to us through this.  


God got His hands dirty for me and for you.  

Have a Blessed Day!
Christina

Sunday, April 15, 2018

God has written your story!


This past month I attended Young Christians Weekend at Silver Dollar City!  It was sooo cold! But God was there.

YCW is a youth conference held at Silver Dollar City in Branson MO every year.  This year is was so very cold, we even had snow on the ground!  It's a three day conference with guest speakers, concerts, and topical small group sessions.  Then the kids and adults have the opportunity to enjoy the amusement park.

Due to cold and wintry conditions we skipped  Friday nights concert.  Saturday after a few hour weather delay we headed to the park.  We had a couple hours before our small group session.  The sessions my group and most of the girls who went on the trip went to was This is YOU (Girls Only) lead by Ashley Robbins.  Here is what I took away from her session:

1.  God is the Author to your Story
     God is in the beginning, middle and end.
     He is in the hard, harder, and the hardest!
     Don't forget who is writing your story.

2. You are Beautiful!
     external beauty is fleeting, Psalm 139 tells us we were knit together in our mothers womb by God
     our creator.  Your beauty runs deep in your soul

3.  It is just a Seasons!
     It's a bad day not a bad life! Breathe, look around
     Things come in seasons-it's not permanent!
     Take in the joyful.
     In the hard times/ hard seasons remember God's word and truths.
     Take your mamma's hand, turn up the music and dance, eat the ice cream, have a moment.

4.  Be Humble!
     Your humility does not need to be told to others.
     You are not above any job, chore, or task in life.
      You are not above any one person either.

5.  Don't lose Face!
     Put down the phone!
     Life is more than just you!
     Interact with others! (In real life, face to face, person to person)
     Every moment in your life doesn't have to be documented, just enjoy the moment.
     Your words Matter, Speak Kindly or Shut Up!

6.  Be your Worth!
     Know your worth! it's bigger than a cute boy, fitting in, being popular, and Instagram likes.
     Have Respect for you!

God has written your story!

1 Corinthians 2:9 New International Version (NIV)
9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”[a]—
    the things God has prepared for those who love him

I like this version as well: 

1 Corinthians 2:9 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
9 But it is just as the Scriptures say,
“What God has planned
    for people who love him
is more than eyes have seen
    or ears have heard.
It has never even
    entered our minds!”

Trust in the Lord & do good!
Delight yourself in the Lord!
Commit your ways to the Lord!
Be still before the Lord, be patient!


I'll write more about this weekend and Saturday Afternoon/Evenings worship and speaker a little later!

Have a Blessed Day! 
Christina


Hills and Valleys

 


I believe our Christian faith walk is filled with lots of hills and valleys, some are longer and deeper than others.

It's been 4 years since I have blogged!

A lot can happen and has happened in these four years!

I have had some hilltop moments and some deep dark valleys as well!

Not sure why it has taken so long or even why I am even considering blogging again other than I am feeling lead to start this journey of sharing with others what God has done and is doing in my life.

So a quick update a lot has happened since I last blogged!

We left the church we were at and my hubby left paid full time ministry.

Our two kiddos graduated high school and both started college.
They are both growing into beautiful young women, who will find their places and callings in this world!  (I know it because I continually pray for it and I know God hears those prayers)

We are still living in Kansas, but honestly if it were up to me I would be back in Ohio.  God knows my hearts desire for this.

We both hubby and I have joined a church where we feel loved, welcomed, accepted and are involved in ministry.  (Hubby is working with the children, and I am with the youth and leading women's bible studies as well as discipleship)

At some point with the spirits leading I will share some of my struggles, and triumphs over last last three years.  For now It'll be whatever God is laying on my heart that day!



here is some inspiration for this time:  Tauren Wells Hills and Valleys

https://youtu.be/kEDB6hM0PLI


Have a Blessed Day! 
Christina 

The Answer!

I've been doing this devotional on the book of Daniel. And also just finished a book and small group study on the book the Circle Maker by Mark Batterson (it's about prayer).  I love how God puts the same message in my midst multiple times and from many different places. I guess he really wants me to get it!
Anyway as we finished up this study we as individuals and as a group prayed for many things, some we've seen answer right away (jobs, healing, etc...) some we may never see the answers but we won't stop circling these things in prayer, things like loved ones who've turned away from God, missions opportunities, unity in our church etc...
There are times when we pray that we want, or hope to see answers right away, but that doesn't always happen. In fact it rarely happens. I have been a follower of Christ long enough to know that! But I also know and believe that as soon as we think the thought, speak the words, or even mumble in distress God begins to work!
Daniel 9:23 AMP
At the beginning of your prayers, the word [giving an answer] went forth, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved. Therefore consider the matter and understand the vision.
Oh, how I wish I had a visit from Gabriel!
I am always Praying for the neon sign, bonk on the head, whatever it takes to know without a doubt God is answering. Who doesn't want to know that God is there interceeding for you or would like to know why something did or didn't happen. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is there death, and pain? Abuse? And hundreds of other questions.
When Daniel prayed God sent Gabriel.
When Gabriel visits Daniel, it's not by accident. Daniel brought him there. Daniel was praying. He was confessing his sin. He was seeking the Lord. And that's when the answers came.
I know that's the same for us, when pray seeking God he sends His messengers. He has all along, sometimes we (Me) need to quiet ourselves long enough to hear.
Jesus was sent to be a messenger  to us, and through His word we can find that message, of redemption, freedom, love,forgiveness, sacrifice! We need His message! We need Him!
We need Him when we're grieving, when the world hurts us, amidst the confusion the chaos, the pain, the joy and the situations that seem to have no answer. The situations that seem hopeless.
We need this Heavenly Visitor daily. And like Daniel, He comes to us when we pray. He pulls us closer when we confess our sin. He gives us rest from answer-seeking when we seek Him and love Him with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind and all our strength.
Whatever you are walking through today, whatever you are fighting to understand, make sense of or see- I hope you know Jesus is the answer! 
He is the Answer!
So don't give up! Know He hasn't left you alone!  He is with you!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

You may be the only Jesus they see!

I was reminded this week, how important your actions are. Words count don't get me wrong. However if what you say doesn't match up with what you do people will notice! 


I struggle a lot with people pleasing. God gave me a tender heart for others and sometimes, a lot of times it seems more important to me what people think of me then what God thinks of me. So I will say yes, way more often than no. I don't necessarily think this is all bad, but I have begun to recognize that you can do good things, and still not be doing what God is requiring of you.

Terry used a great example in his sermon Sunday.  If we need to forgive our brother, and don't right away but instead read scripture, do bible study etc... (which are good thing!) And put off the forgiveness, then you are not being obedient.  

All to often we will bypass what we need to do because it is hard, or boring, or whatever excuse we come up with, to do something that's more enjoyable, easier, etc..  or maybe we allow fear of not pleasing others, not fitting in, not stirring others up. 

This week two boys reminded me it okay to show, and share my faith everyday and everywhere!  The first boy is wearing his drama camp shirt that has this scripture on it:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with alll your mind and with all your strength.  Mark 12:30 

While enjoying some ice cream at DQ an older gentleman approached him, commented on his shirt and asked if he wore it to school. He replied yes. The older gentleman then asked if he went to christian school or public, the boy replied with public school. The older gentleman thanked him went on his way, as he was leaving he dropped something on the boys table.  
After opening the paper he realized it was $10.   Rather than blow it on more ice cream or something for himself, this young man gave it as an offering that night at his church.  God had blessed him and he was blessing others. His actions were way more powerful than his words.  


The next young man attends the school I work at.  He wore this shirt last week .  When I asked if i could take a picture of his shirt he was proud to show me and even proceeded to talk to me about the movie, and music that goes right along with it.  What a great way to get others talking and sharing about Gods love.  
These two boys showed me by example what it means to walk the talk.  They not only show it with their words but their actions as well. 

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with alll your mind and with all your strength.  
Mark 12:30 

They do this, even more they exemplify the next verse 
Mark 12:31
The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no commandment greater than these.

We can all learn a lot from these two scriptures and these two boys. Just remember  you may be the only Jesus some one else sees!  

Have a Beautiful Day! 
Christina 



(I had permission from both boy's parents to post their pictures) 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

One day at a time!

Jesus Calling seems to be spot on lately! I've taken on a new attitude, since returning from my trip to Honduras. It's an attitude of letting go of self! Way easier said than done.  But I am working on it, not willing to give up, because I know God's not through with me yet!

Below is the devotion written by Sarah Young and my ramblings in the {brackets}

Stop trying to work things out before their times have come.

{How often do I do this trying to rush God, as if I could! Thinking God isn't listening if He doesn't respond my way,in my time!}

Accept the limitations of living one day at a time.  {Ask fir help, knowing it's impossible with out God}{So much easier said than done, But not impossible}

When something comes to your attention, ask Me whether or not it is part of today’s agenda. If it isn’t, release{don't keep going back for it } it into My care and go on about today’s duties. When you follow this practice, there will be a beautiful simplicity about your life: a time for everything, and everything in its time.

A life lived close to Me is not complicated or cluttered. {I am seeing that more and more, even though my circumstances haven't changed my perspective on them has!}

When your focus is on My Presence, many things that once troubled you lose their power over you. {Those things lose the power they once held over you}

Though the world around you is messy and confusing, remember that I have overcome the world. I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have Peace. {Such amazing peace. A peace that cannot be faked, altered,or copied. A peace you can only get from Christ!}

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. —Ecclesiastes 3:1

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” —John 16:33

God has been using so many things around me to speak His truth and His peace unto me, from my morning bible reading, (Daniel), my devotions (Jesus Calling ), our small group study (The Circle Maker), and  even songs on the radio. I know I am always growing, stretching, learning, about Christ and His role in my life, and I am excited to see what God reveals to me, in His timing of course. So for now it will be One day at a time.