Monday, December 12, 2011

this Christmas Eve

I am one of those people that enjoys trying new things but also loves traditions. I do not get tired of doing the same thing on a particular holiday with family and friends that I would always do. However, I love trying new things as well because you never know when that will turn into a tradition that I will love! Christmas Eve is coming soon......A family tradition of ours is to gather and eat finger foods, watch a Christmas movie, and everyone gets to open one present. I added to this tradition about 6 years ago with my daughter, she was a month and a half old, when we attended the Christmas Eve service at Grace Community Church. I loved being able to see friends and worship together the night before Christmas. Christmas is so much more than presents and visiting with out of town guests, we all know that, but we rarely show it. Coming together to actually celebrate the meaning of Christmas was very special to me and something I knew I wanted to do with my family each year.
One thing that made it so special was that half way through the service my daughter began to cry, and as a new mother I was nervous and freaking out a bit. Chad, one of our pastors, quietly and with no hesitance, took my daughter and walked her through the halls while I enjoyed the rest of the service. I realized then that that was part of what Christmas was serve others humbly. And the leadership at Grace was setting that example. What a great Christmas Eve that was.
It is part of our family's tradition now to attend Christmas Eve services at Grace. We get to worship with family and friends and I get a reminder of what Christmas is really about, getting all the 'stuff' that really doesn't matter out of the way.
There are 3 Christmas Eve services this year at Grace Community Church. There are two at Rossview High (4:30 and 6:00) and one at Kenwood High (8:30). What a great opportunity for you to start making this a tradition for your family as well. Have a blessed Christmas and don't get bogged down with the things of the world and the holiday itself, but remember why we really celebrate. Come celebrate with us on Christmas Eve!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Our vision

Just havin one of those days that we all have once in awhile.....feeling melancholy, a bit hopeless, and no joy. The visions I have for myself and my future and my family just seem so far away. I stopped everything to pray and was led to Oswald Chambers once again, I love his writings and as I read what today's message said I was reminded once again that God IS there, He DOES love me, and He is FOR me. He wants me to walk in joy and victory but He cares more about my holiness than my happiness. Once I give in to Him completely and let Him have the control, I can rest in His joy and peace. Why is it so hard for us to trust?....I pray I will remember times like these when He is speaking to me and telling me that He has not left me and He feels everything I am going through.

"And the parched ground shall become a pool." Isaiah 35:7
We always have visions, before a thing is made real. When we realize that although the vision is real, it is not real in us, then is the time that satan comes in with his temptations, and we are apt to say it is no use to go on. Instead of the vision becoming real, there has come the valley of humiliation.
Life is not as idle ore,
But iron dug from central gloom,
And batter'd by the shocks of doom
To shape and use.
God gives us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way. every visions will be made real if we will have patience. Think of the enormous leisure of God! He is never in a hurry. We are always in such a frantic hurry. In the light of the glory of the vision we go forth to do things, but the vision is not real in us yet; and God has to take us into the valley, and put us through fires and floods to batter us into shape, until we get to the place where He can trust us with the veritable reality. Ever since we had the vision God has been at work, getting us into the shape of the ideal, and over and over again we escape from His hand and try to batter ourselves into our own shape.
The vision is not a castle int he air, but a vision of what God wants you to be. Let Him put you on His wheel and whirl you as He likes, and as sure as God is God and you are you, you will turn out exactly in accordance with the vision of God, you may try as you like to be satisfied on a lower level, but God will never let you. Oswald Chambers

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ephesians 1:17-18...we are called to hope!!!

"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which you have been called..."Ephesians 1:17-18

I'm aware that when I come to an understanding about why I did some behavior (usually something unhealthy) I find it much easier to change that behavior. It's like the Holy Spirit opens my eyes to something that was probably obvious to others, and I get it. Then it's much easier to change that particular behavior or belief.

I suspect that was Paul's intention and desire when he was praying for the Ephesians. It may be that when our inner eyes are opened by the Holy Spirit, we see differently and thus respond to a particular action or behavior differently from that point forward. Maybe once we see what the Holy Spirit wants to change and reveals where He wants to take us, the process becomes Holy Spirit empowered.

My prayer for you over the following encouragements is the same one Paul prayed for the Ephesians: That the Holy Spirit would open your eyes to areas you might be resisting and you would come to a different understanding of His desired work in your life. Then I pray you find the freedom to follow that leadership into a new lifestyle and deeper work in your life.

Eli Machen

This is so true in my life and I love these verses....sometimes I just need the Spirit to remind me of the hope I've been called to. And there are times that I do things, big or small, that I don't even realize I am doing. A friend of mine made a point to me last night about something I do in relationships that is demanding and controlling. I was clueless to the fact that I do that, but once it was pointed out to me, I began to explore why I do that and how I can change it. My desire is to become more like Him in everything I do, and every relationship I have. God is pulling me to Him to learn more about His Spirit and listening.....listening to the things that need to be changed, refined, added, and taken away from my life. So thankful that He has not given up on me!!! What a miracle, what grace, what mercy, what love!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


"To keep me from being conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

2 Corinthians 12:7-9

Conceit can take many forms depending on where we are in life. It could be our thinking that our particular behavior isn't as bad as someone else's, or saying to yourself, "I'm not the one who needs help" or even "I can do recovery on my own!"

Whatever your life situation is, when you take the attitude that you are strong enough and don't need help, you are in trouble. Most individuals I have had the privilege to work with have struggled with feeling weak and have fought the concept of admitting weakness.

Yet, here is Paul, one of the greatest influences used by God in His Church, not only admitting weakness but delighting in the fact that he sees himself as weak. It is through this portal of humility he enters into God's design and receivership of God's strength and power.

With all that Paul accomplished in his ministry, humility was his corner stone. This is a valuable lesson his thorn taught him.

Rather than asking God to fix, change, sober up, or remove the "thorn," ask Him what the thorn in your life is supposed to teach you.

Eli Machen

This was a great email I received the other day and it fits perfectly with what I am going through right now. I am so consumed with my struggles, my weaknesses, and my imperfections that it has turned into self-pity and insecurity, which is a form of pride. Taking the example of Paul, I must look at what God is trying to teach me through these thorns, and how can I draw nearer to Him during this time? I pray all the time that I will be a better person, a stronger believer....and God is answering that prayer, just now how I wanted Him to. My challenge is to receive these weaknesses and let God move in me and change me. Take away my pride, oh Lord, and use me for Your fame alone.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

let's MOVE!

I love seeing people that are not self-involved. They look around them at those that are hurting, experiencing tragedy, and pain and they want to do something about it. We all at times stop for a minute and realize that we are blessed and we do want to help other people but we don't have the opportunity, time, money....(excuses are endless) Here's a link to a challenge for churches to help raise money for those affected by the storms in recent days. I get excited to see people that step out of their little box, their little world, and realize that more is going on around them and WE, all of us, are responsible for helping, loving, caring, doing something about it! God's Word says it! We need to get out of our bubbles and stop putting so much emphasis on the things that are not eternal and that only last for a mere second, and let's put our energy, money, time, prayers, and take our families with us to start being aware of what is going on around us. Let's do God's work, and let's focus on what is eternal. That is all that matters.

If you attend Grace Community Church, we will be participating in this challenge this Sunday. Hope to see you there!
Thanks for all you do each week in the lives of children and parents!! You are all amazing!! Please take a look at this link and pray about your part as our church takes part in this challenge this Sunday......

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Trust in His wisdom, even when it looks dark

Almost everything I am reading about or listening to lately is focused on trusting God through tough times and through situations we don't understand.....this is a great blog about that as well. I am learning for my first reaction when crazy things happen is not to stress or get angry but to trust and look for what God is trying to teach me...He's always trying to teach me something. So thankful He loves me enough to change me.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

No Time to Lay Down- Running to Your Arms

God has been doing a lot of work in my life the past couple of weeks which is what He does I think at times when things are the hardest and things are not going how you think they should be. The last two weeks have been a series of events that I would not have chosen to happen. Things have gone wrong and things have been taken away....everyone has an idea of the way they think their lives should go and when things don't, we all react in different ways. I am one to shrink up, push people away, escape from the world, and shut down. I had that temptation on Wednesday morning when I woke up feeling hopeless and confused. I opened the Word and began to pray and the Holy Spirit pushed me out of the bed (I know that sounds weird, but I didn't do it on my own!!) and I got ready and went to work. Throughout that morning I connected with several friends, accomplished a lot at work, and the Lord began to speak to me. I realized what an idiot I've been!! Wasted so much time when things didn't go my way or something was taken from me.....just feeling sorry for myself and what use was I to anyone around me, or more importantly to God?? I decided that I would not waste another minute of my life in regret. God has a plan for me, for my life, but even for today. And I dishonor Him when I spend time thinking about what I don't have instead of working on what He has for me to accomplish that day. Wednesday ended up being a great day. I had some great conversations with friends, I spent some amazing time with my daughter, and more importantly, I realized that I needed to change. My reactions to disappoint in life will not be to shrink away anymore but to move forward and fight for the day that God has given to me. It doesn't mean that there isn't sadness, tears, or moments of pain. But it's what we do with those emotions that count. The world has taught us a different way to deal with our emotions and it's all lies. We need to run to Jesus every time......
I was also talking to a friend and I was reminded that when things are taken away from us it's hard but it can be an opportunity to realize that whatever it was is not God and can never replace Him. And He is the only one that will ever satisfy completely. We read about it and we sing about it but it's made real when we experience it. I've been listening to this song a lot lately.....I'm running to Your arms, the riches of Your love will always be enough. Nothing compares to Your embrace......Nothing compares. NOTHING. If we can get that through our heads then when we experience loss, pain, heartbreak, betrayal....we know we can move on and still have all that we need. It's not just words, it's not just a song. It's truth.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

So thankful for Brandon Reed and the college ministry at GCC....check this out!!

Everyone has a story to share!!!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blessings & Good Times the Past 6 mos....

last post

In my last post, I talked about the sermon from Matt Chandler that I had recently listened to. When I was thinking about that sermon again last night and today, I realized that He had not yet known that he was going to suffer from a brain tumor. The amazing thing about that is that you can read and listen to him since he has gone through surgery, chemo, and all kinds of suffering, and he is still saying the same thing: God is enough. Wow, it just really hits home with me! How I desire to be a woman like that.....through tragedy, heartbreak, loss, disappointments, loneliness, fear....God IS enough and I really believe it and I really live it. My prayer is that one day I will be that woman.
Here are a few things you can read and see about Matt and his situation.....

Monday, January 31, 2011

"God is most glorified, most seen as powerful, glorious, worthy, when everything has gone wrong....and He's enough." M.Chandler

We all have our days...when things are going is stressful. kids are testing us. relationships are hard. health is declining. I've had one of those weeks...and honestly I've been trying hard not to feel sorry for myself, thinking about all the horrible things that so many people are going through. There is so much pain and sorrow out there and I am so blessed and should be continually grateful for my life. And I am. But my human nature creeps in and I have been extrememly melancholy and even broken the last few days. The Lord is so good and continues to watch over me....I don't know why I still get suprised about that at times:) I opened an old email and saw a sermon link someone sent me and listened to it. My favorite pastor.....Matt Chandler. It was much truth that I needed to hear JUST for today, JUST for this moment. How can I ever doubt that God is real? And that He loves me so incredibly that He will do whatever it takes to encourage me and remind me He is there. No matter what.....
I put a few of the quotes from his sermon on twitter but if you have some time at work, or while you're on the comp at home, driving down the road.....listen. You won't regret the time you spent. It's a good reminder for all of us that God is there no matter what and that we don't always know why things happen like they do but He has not left us. And He never will.