Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My letter of blessing to you.

Dear fellow believer,
You are loved, called, and chosen. You are anointed, appointed, equipped, and enabled by the power of God that works mightily within you! No weapon formed against you will prosper and no enemy scheme against you will succeed. May you be blessed in all that you set out to do today!
Your Sister in Christ

(inspired by Susie Larson's "End of the Day" blessings on facebook...Thank you Susie Larson!!!)

Okay, I love this!!!!

TOTALLY awesome song time!!!! This video rocks! Period.

Renewing your strength by hoping in the Lord.

Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:30-31

Do not lose heart.

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How to give thanks in all things.

I adore Leslie Vernick. She sent a video out in her e-newsletter today that I am posting for anyone who cares to view it. It's nine minutes long, but worth it. She packs in wisdom like sardines, and she is cute as a button. Check her out...

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Oh, goody. Now that I have your attention... I thought that title might get you here... :)

QUESTION: Where are you at right now??

I'm in my basement, freezing my toes off. I should probably just go get a pair of socks but I am too lazy to haul my butt up the stairs. hahaha... what? :)

Okay, okay...seriously...
I don't mean where are you PHYSICALLY--I mean, where are you at spiritually?
Shootin' cute little picture messages on facebook telling everybody to "live today like it's their last"
Debbie Downer, making sarcastic jokes about all the people who post all the cutesy "live like it's the last day yadda yadda blah blah blah, kill me know" things on facebook? :)

Can I just tell you that wherever you have been on the spectrum I have probably been there, and the REALLY kinda sad truth about me is that I can be all those people in one day if I do not keep my mind and heart in check.


Chew on that for a minute. We, in our human nature, are so quick to judge one another based on the one or two things we understand of a person's situation.

With God it's different. So wonderfully, refreshingly, and radically different.
GOD sees the BIG picture. He embraces the WHOLE of you...not just the part of you.
I believe God can, and does, love you unconditionally when no one else can because He gets the intricate parts of you that no one else can. Sorry if you have heard me say this before. I believe it bears repeating since it applies in this context. He designed you, and then he watched you. He has seen when you hurt, and when you rejoiced. He has seen when you laughed til you cried, and when you cried til you puked. He mourned with you when you hunched over life's breaking points and and then He rejoiced over you when you climbed out of those things in victory as you reached your breakthrough moments. Oh, Sweet, sweet victory in Christ Jesus.


Read what He has to say to you from Matthew 5...

"Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them."
The Beatitudes
He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

~Matthew 5:1-12

Blessed are you... no matter what you are going through.
Why? Because God loves you, sees you, and cares about you.
You are not alone, no matter what you are going through. There is a GOD who LOVES you and who redeems the worst of circumstances in your life, heals the brokenness in your heart, and lovingly restores the things that have been shattered or broken...
This is such GREAT NEWS for all of us! Isn't it?

No one has to beat themselves up in their brokenness. Why? Because it was NEVER God's will for you to stay stuck in your brokenness. BLESSED are you when you come to Him with your need, because it is THERE that GOD can give you what you need and make things right again either on this side of Heaven or on the other side...and you can be at peace on this side of Heaven knowing that He is in control. It is also where He can be, and will be, glorified.

Our church did an anointing service today. The message was wonderful for people who need "healing" of any kind: spiritual, physical, emotional, whatever else I am leaving out. My mind is still kind of on those people today. If you are someone who needs healing, BLESS YOU! I plan to post the link to the message my Pastor shared later so others can hear it, so come back to my site in a couple of days. I happen to think my Pastor is dynamite and I think you will too. In the meantime, for all of us whether you are needing healing or not, hear this message.

The voice of God says this to us...
"Blessed are you when..."

and then, later in Matthew we read this...

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:22-30
There is no "baggage" in that message. There is no reason for any baggage with that message. It is a message of grace and mercy and love. THAT IS MY GOD!!! He is your God too. Hold your head high. YOU are SOOOO LOVED!!!!

If you are reading this, I am praying a special blessing for you today as I prepare to publish this post.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Awesome Song Time.

I had the privilege of hearing my dear friend share a smidgen of his testimony last night and then share this song afterward. He was celebrating 5 years of being free from his drug addiction. I've heard it said before that "the depths of the dealing always corresponds to the height of the calling". I love delivering that message to people because I truly do believe that it is true. I do think that there is a special depth to Alex that is only there because of the "depths" God has pulled him through, and I believe God has a calling for Him that maxes out in height in comparison the depths that God pulled him from. I am VERY, VERY excited for what God has in store for him. He is at the very early stages of his journey toward what I believe will be a VERY large and successful ministry for the Lord someday that will span across the country and eventually the world...although I cannot tell you for sure what exactly that will look like yet. I believe he is destined for GREAT things. Currently we are blessed to have him helping to lead worship at our church in good old humble Valparaiso, Indiana. Check out this message to one of his songs that he wrote:

Push on through to your destination.
Move along without hesitation.
This ain't about denomination.
It's a rising up of a generation.
Sing Amen.

I hear Angels singing in the back of my mind.
God is good all the time.
All the time God is good.

Push on through to your destination.

This is a beautiful song, Alex with a powerful message. Thank you for sharing this! Proud of you brother. Keep on pushing through to your destination Alex. You're right!!! You're absolutely right!!! That IS a message from the Lord! :0)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Restless Hearts Find Rest

"You have made us for yourself, O Lord,
and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you."

-- St. Augustine in "Confessions"

What are you going to do with your baggage?


Okay, let's move on...
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

#1. Rest. Wait, what?
Resting should be the easiest thing for us to do, as humans, right? What's easier to do than doing nothing? I think that sometimes doing nothing can be harder for us than doing everything. This is so counter-cultural. It might be because we equate doing "things" with being important, and deep down we really want to know that we are important. God says you are important just by BEING who you are, not because of what you do. You don't have to DO anything or PROVE anything to BE important to Him.
Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
~Isaiah 54:10

Isn't that refreshing to know?

#2. Surrender. HUH?
Surrendering our "baggage" can be difficult. We're so used to carrying it everywhere. We don't know what to do once we let go of it. I think God designed us with a tendency to want to have some element of control over the things around us. This is not an entirely bad thing really. God does not want us to live in a world of chaos. There is a place for planning and creating strategy in our lives. But, there is also a place in our lives for surrendering as well. The question is, when do we work through something in faith, and when do we release that thing and let it go (which is also as an act of faith)?

As far as the "baggage" in your life goes, it becomes a matter of surrendering. If you want freedom from your "past baggage" it is not something you fight for, it is something you surrender to God. We don't have to FIGHT for our freedom from those things; we get to rest in God's freedom from those things as we lay them at His feet and allow Him to sift out the stuff we can't. Isn't that ironic? There is a spiritual warfare going on over your life that you cannot see. Satan wants you to think that you have to FIGHT tooth and nail, and wear yourself out fighting, working out every little detail of every little thing in your life. God tells you to stop fighting and to rest in Him, allowing HIM to be God. Lay "it" all down at the feet of the cross and in doing so you will experience the freedom you crave. Isn't that rich? Salvation is the moment you asked God into your heart. Sanctification is the ongoing process of surrendering of your will, and in doing so you will find freedom from the baggage that would otherwise wear you down. Both are in your best interest. God loves you and is crazy about you, and ALWAYS has your best interest in mind.

3. Serve. Ah...Yes. Okay. Now I get it.
So it was never really about me? No! It was! But, God also cares about everyone else as well. Once you are free from your "baggage" what are you going to do with your new freedom? Now you are free to serve those around you. Where once you were completely absorbed in your own "self", you are now free to serve those around you, to the glory of God. This will not sound appealing at all to some people who have not accepted Jesus into their heart yet. It might sound foolish, actually. Can I just tell you, though, there is NOTHING more satisfying in all your life then when you can get to this point... when you are free from the "baggage" and are able to joyfully CHOOSE to serve others, out of the love that God has placed in your heart for them. It's liberating and rewarding, and this is where God's blessings are POURED out. You'll love it. What are you waiting for?

Sanctification was the topic of our sermon this past Sunday at my church....allowing God to be God of your life, putting HIM on the throne where He rightfully belongs-- There is freedom in that. Why? Because putting God on the throne takes all of the other "things" off the throne and releases the bondage and the "hold" that they have on you, giving you the abundant life that God promises in the Bible. Well, now, that sounds good when you put it that way, doesn't it?
Here's a link to the sermon that my Pastor preached this past week if you are interested in listening to it in its entirety:
Pastor Gene Tanner preaches on sanctification on October 30, 2011.

Okay, awesome song time.