I LOVE to hike, I love climbing things and I truly enjoy the peace and quiet of the trail.
The other day when my husband and I set out to watch the Easter morning sunrise from the top of North mountain, we knew that we were going to miss it because we got a late start. By the time we parked, we didn't even see a reason to try and hurry up the mountain to make it, so we started off at an enjoyable leisurely pace.
That was, until..... a man running up the mountain behind us screaming profanities, yelling about 9/11 conspiracy theories scared the crap out of me! I don't scare easily, but this man got my heart pumping and I actually verbalized to my husband that I was sacred. Bob, who normally takes the lead, followed behind me sacrificially in case this man caught up to us.
This fear, unbeknownst to me, caused me to hike up the mountain at a pace I had never done before, a pace that had my husband working hard to keep up to me.
Fear of what Easter might look like with a crazy man on our tail caused my body to go into flight mode while my mind was creating scenarios (several of them) in case we had to go into fight mode.
Let me invite you into my crazy with just a few of the scenarios.
Scenario 1 - Crazy man catches my husband at gun point and asks him if he believes in Jesus. Bob answers yes and crazy man shoots him. I then take a knee ready to profess my faith in Christ willingly accepting death to uphold the Name of my King...and I willing die.
Scenario 2 - Same beginning. Bob goes down, but this time it pushes me into fight mode where I bash the crazy man in the head, knock him out where I get a hold of his gun...... I won't go on, but you get the gist.
There were a few more scenarios that played out in my mind, But I don't want you to know how truly nuts I am (in case you haven't figured it out already)
As I was reading my daily "The One Year Bible "passages, I was struck by Luke 21: 13-15 where it says:
"But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you!
That hit me! While I know the scenarios in my head were getting out of control (and yes everything turned out ok) what I needed the Word to remind me of, is this.... I don't need to rehearse how things are going to play out or what I am going to say, God will give me the words and powerful ones too. I am equipped and His Word is buried in my heart.
No matter the situation, we are given opportunities to tell people about Jesus. The reality is that the platform for those opportunities looks different for all of us and the deeper reality is that sometimes, as devastating as it is, that opportunity looks like a believer on his knees with his last breath declaring the truth of Jesus Christ and the Gospel of salvation.
That is heavy stuff for me, brothers and sisters.
On a lighter note, we made it to the top (safely) with a few moments to spare in time to see the Easter morning sun rise over the mountain, which we thought would be impossible. I guess when your in flight mode you are able to go faster than you knew your body could move.
Stay strong in Him, bury His Word in your heart and be ready at all times to give an answer for the faith you have in Christ Jesus.
I love you in the Lord.
As I stood there, singing songs of praise and worship to the Lord I love so dearly, I suddenly found myself speechless, unable to sing, unable to lift my hands and unable to breathe. Tears became my language, tears became my song, tears became my very breath as I desperately tried to turn away as each moment I was drawn in deeper.
My eyes caught a glimpse of what would ultimately wreck me and tear me apart inside. I was overwhelmed. I was changes and I was renewed.
From the corner of my eye, while the band was playing, the congregation singing and clapping, the fog and the lights blazing, I saw two women standing face to face with each other. The first women in the midst of worship simply held the hands of the women who was facing her while her back was to the stage. The women, whom I recognized as one of the interpreters for the deaf, gently swayed with the other women while she signed the song of praise into her hands.
Together the stood with their eyes closed and they worshipped. What I witnessed was the greatest worship leader I have ever seen leading a women who was blind and deaf into the presence of the King of Kings. And not only that, she lead me into the deepest moments of worship that I would ever experience up until this point in my life.
I was wrecked. I was flooded with the reality of how far we must go to reach people for Christ. I was a part of a congregation that day that did whatever it took to make sure no one left hungry, that all were able to receive the Word of God and worship Him in spirit and in truth.
The lengths that Christ went for us was again made a reality for me in that moment when I saw the length of what the body of Christ is called to do so that all can hear, see, touch and know the gospel of Jesus Christ.
It was a precious moment that God allowed me to be a part of. It was my Hellen Keller 2017 moment. I will treasure it in my heart forever.
May we too be encouraged to go as far as it takes to make sure people have the means to receive the gospel and be drawn into worhip the Mighty King of Kings. May we be wrecked for Christ so that we can fall on our knees and worship Him like we never have before. May we not only hear and see, but may we also touch people with the gospel of Christ so that they will know.
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? Romans 10:14
A message from my homeless friend, Michelle... "Anyone who sees my picture, tell them to love Jesus so they can go to heaven"
There is something overwhelming about the call of God. In spite of our present suffering, the call remains the same.... To go, tell and share the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus-The perfect sacrifice. Through Him, we are saved by grace alone through faith alone.
May you know this truth today. You are loved!
#SolaFide #SolaGratia #SoloChristo #SolaScriptura #SoliDeoGloria
On Saturday, I read from John chapter six. Jesus was teaching that He was the Bread of life and that "...unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day"
At this, some of his disciples said "This is a hard saying, who can listen to it?" and some of them fell away. But Jesus said to the twelve "Do you want to go away as well?"
The response from Simon Peter reminds me of what my response should be in the face of this world, in hard situations, in matters of truth and bearing my cross daily, when I want to cower and go with the flow, when I want to quit, give up and not fight the good fight and when I feel like truth gets hammered at every corner in the media. May I like Peter always say.....
"Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God."
Remembering this truth spurs me on to continue to speak the truth in love, in love for friends, for a city, for a nation who so desperately need the words of eternal life.
Today, Monday as I re-read this passage, I was able to simply sit in my back room and sing it to the Lord. Declare it for my soul, strengthen my heart and renew my mind. Join me in my backroom. #BackroomPrayers
Going to worship this past Sunday and sharing communion with my church family was powerful. My pastor preached the word of God, reminded us all that the Word, His Bible is the source for all truth. My favorite moment was when our church handed out a new Bible to everyone in the congregation and our Pastor had everyone read silently to themselves John 17. The beauty of the silence in the presence of the spirit at that moment as the Words of eternal life went through all of our hearts, renewing our minds was, in a word, AMAZING. That was the the true Fellowship of believers.
There are things that I know and there are times when these things that I know hit me in such a profound way that it changes me completely. I sing songs like "In Christ Alone" where I belt out the lyric "The wrath of God was satisfied." I read the Word of God which says "There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" I rejoice because my faith lies in the resurrection and the truth that Jesus died for my sins and rose that I might live with Him eternally. That's good stuff.
But, this past Sunday when the Pastor was preaching he said these words "If Jesus took the punishment of the world and received the FULL wrath of God at Calvary, Is there any wrath left for my sin?' The answer is NO, there is nothing left for me. So, now when I sing these words... "Till on that cross as Jesus died, The wrath of God was satisfied. For every sin on Him was laid; Here in the death of Christ I live." ...I sing them reminded of the depth of His love and the completeness of Christ's Gospel. God has no wrath left for me for I am in Christ Jesus!
There is a special joy in being part of a Sunday church worship team, especially when you do multiple services. We open up the service with music, we worship, we get to listen to the Pastor preach and then we get to do it all over again, but the second time, we lead the worship from a place of having been preached the Word of God and the words we sing take on a new meaning!
This past Sunday when I sand the song "Man of Sorrows" in the second service, my heart fluttered and my eyes welled as I sang the truth of God's wrath being fulfilled with a deeper understanding and renewed passion. If it were up to me, we would have done five more services, listened his sermon five more times and sang the songs with a new passion every time.
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh,could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you." Romans 8:1-11
*In Christ Alone by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty
The importance of realizing that God's wrath has been satisfied in light of this song LINK
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.