Sunday, February 28, 2010

God is so cool how He always does that!

I've been craving a really good Bible study lately.... like a Beth Moore with lots of homework. I know, I know.... a glutton for punishment! How can I do homework when I can't even keep up with my kids' homework?! I called my neighbor Amy and asked if she was interested and coincidentally (God is sovereign) she was starting up a Beth Moore study the very next week! Cool, huh?

The Bible Study title is Breaking Free. Now I did this study about ten years ago and boy did I have a lot of things to break free from! But now it is just as fresh and exciting and new because over the past ten years I've worked up a whole other set of things that need to be dealt with. Also, (again God is sovereign) I got to meet another neighbor who is part of the group whom I'd only met in passing before. Not only do we share the same house number (although on different streets), we share a lot of other similarities and struggles with our children. I feel like we are Divine Appointments in one another's lives.

Okay, so I'm starting week one of the homework and part of it is to memorize a verse for the week. When I read the verse I was so excited I just HAD to share it!!!

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the the prisoners...
~Isaiah 61:1

WOW! This is NOT a coincidence and I'm again amazed by God and His perfect timing and His love for me. This is just another reassurance of the calling on my life... to be His ambassador to the ends of the earth! Did I mention that I CANNOT WAIT to go to Uganda with Ekissa in May so I can do the work that the Lord has called me to do?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Ekissa in Uganda this week!

Sarah, Michelle, and Kathy as well as two guys (Scott and Les) from Upward sports are in Uganda this week! Check out the blog to read about their adventures!

I'm so excited for my May trip that I can't stand it!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What that guy said......

Thanks to all who voted and responded to yesterday's post about the church and debt. Someone I don't know posted this response and I thought it worth sharing. Thanks Brian for taking the time to write it and give your scriptural references! Here ya go:

Churches across this country have become so saddled with debt to the point of where it seems to have become the norm for churches in our society. There are, however, so many issues with the church going into debt.

Every single mention of debt or borrowing in the Bible portrays it as something negative and not to be desired. This is a clear indication the debt should not be the norm for a church (or for an individual Christian).

There are two very big problems in terms of church debt from a Biblical perspective. The first is that debt presumes upon the future. James 4:13-14 says "Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit'; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." When a church borrows money, they are presuming that they will have the money come in in tithes and offerings so that they can pay that debt back. They do not know what will happen to the economy, and if half of their congregation suddenly becomes unemployed, they will definitely see a drop in tithes and offerings. This could lead to an inability to repay their debt, and the Bible states that “the wicked borrow and do not repay” (Psalm 37:21). Some people say that this is "stepping out in faith", but doing something that God's word directly advises against doing (i.e. going into debt) is not a matter of faith, it is a matter of presumption.

Secondly, Proverbs 22:7 states that "the borrower is servant (or slave) to the lender". When a church goes into debt, they are putting themselves/their congregation in the position of a servant to a secular financial institution. The only master that a church should be serving is God. They certainly should not be serving a bank.

Furthermore, when a church rushes out and uses debt a solution to meeting a "need", they often deny God the opportunity to show Himself mighty in the way that He can provide. The majorly expensive Chrystal Cathedral in California was built without one cent of debt. Churches would often be better off by waiting on the Lord rather than looking at how they can finance an expense. Is God always going to provide? No, but in the cases where He does not provide it may mean that He was not wanting the church to do what they were planning to do in the first place.

I could probably go on and on about this subject, but instead I will close by saying that I do not think it is a good idea for churches to go into debt, and from what I read in His word, God doesn't seem to think so either.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Church and Debt

Hi Everyone, if you look to your right you can see that I've created a poll about the church and debt. Should the church go into debt to buy stuff that would make the church seem more attractive (by the world's standards)?

I'd love your feedback so feel free to leave your anonymous comment below. If possible, back it up with a scriptural reference.

Thanks for participating!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Romans 12:2 MSG

This hit me hard today:

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Disenchantment, Part 2

Again, let me add my disclaimer here: I am not directing this post at any one church or person or population segment. It is merely my opinion, which I am fully entitled to. I in know way expect everyone to agree with me. I don’t expect ANYONE to agree with me. This is just what God has laid on my heart through His word and the path my life has taken. If it steps on your toes, then maybe it’s time you take a good hard look at the direction of your church and the condition of it’s heart. And from some of you I can hear a resounding “AMEN” because your church is doing things right. Take it or leave it.

Over the course of my life I have found myself sitting on the other side of a counselor's desk, pastor's office, or paying for the listening ear of some other professional. One of the very best things anyone ever told me was this: Faith is a FACT, not a feeling. Scott was counseling me at a time when I was doing a lot of working for the church, my husband was doing a lot of working in the church, I was a counselor to others, and from the outside I looked like I had it all together, yet inside I was a mess. I was tired and I just didn't "feel" God's presence in my life. Everything was going wrong. Scott drove home this piece of wisdom: Faith is a FACT, not a feeling. This has become my mantra of sorts and whenever (which is often) I find myself not "feeling it", I fall back on those words. Thanks Scott for your dedication to the Truth in Grace!

Okay, so you know my mantra: FAITH IS A FACT, NOT A FEELING.

Why is it in church services these days we are trying so hard to evoke "feelings"? We try to create this environment where people can "feel" and "encounter" while they're there, yet when they leave and this "environment" is gone, they go about their lives without any real connection to the Living God?


One of my children went on a youth retreat where lots of the kids experienced "feelings" of the Holy Spirit being upon them. This in and of itself was powerful to witness and was definitely a remarkable thing. It was a "mountaintop experience".

But, during the weeks that followed my child slumped into depression and anxiety. This child was locked up in their room, pouring over scripture (which was NOT a bad thing), praying, and crying out to God because they wanted that "feeling" back. It was an extreme let-down that God was not manifesting Himself in the same way as on the mountain. My child thought there was something wrong with themself, that they were inadequate, not good enough, etc. I held my child and rocked and prayed for my child while they sat sobbing in a heap on the floor thinking that they didn't know the secret to intimacy with their Creator.


I got to pray with and tell my child that his/her faith was not dependent upon how they felt, but that their faith was real, and that God was real, and that He desired a relationship with them whether they could feel it or not.

Haven't we all been here? I have had many a day, especially lately, that I could not "feel" God's presence, but my faith lies in the fact that He is always there, always loving, always merciful, always extending His hand, whether I feel it or not.


There are four hundred years between the old and new testaments in the Bible where God was silent. Does that mean that He wasn't there? NO! God is always there, whether we're in a car, scrubbing toilets, doing laundry, punching a time clock, or in a church.

I'm disenchanted with the whole "fabricating a feeling" thing. It's hurt me in my past, and now it's hurt my family. I've seen it hurt others. If there is one thing that I want to impart on my children, it is my mantra: FAITH IS A FACT, NOT A FEELING. It is my desire for the "church" in general to make this part of theirs, instead of focusing on whether people "feel" welcomed, or "feel" comfortable, or "feel" entertained. Sure, we want people to leave "feeling" loved, by us and our Creator, but they also need to be sure that God is God no matter how they feel.

Where is the balance? No really, I'm asking. I'm struggling with this one. John 13:35 says “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” But what does that look like? Does it make us strive to make people "feel" a certain way? Or should we just be out there, loving, serving, and spreading Hope? Just asking.....

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Disenchantment with the Contemporary Church, Part 1

Ahh, the proverbial elephant in the room, the one people tiptoe around. As they say here in the south…. It’s a big ‘un!

Let me add my disclaimer here: I am not directing this post at any one church or person or population segment. It is merely my opinion, which I am fully entitled to. I in know way expect everyone to agree with me. I don’t expect ANYONE to agree with me. This is just what God has laid on my heart through His word and the path my life has taken. If it steps on your toes, then maybe it’s time you take a good hard look at the direction of your church and the condition of it’s heart. And from some of you I can hear a resounding “AMEN” because your church is doing things right. Take it or leave it.

My Disenchantment With The Contemporary American Church, Part 1

It is no secret that I’ve become disenchanted with the contemporary Christian Church these days. It’s just that when you’ve looked into the faces of innocent children that go days and weeks eating only bugs and poop, it changes your perspective. Then, to see them raise their faces and hands to God and praising him for His provision and being part of a “church service” right there in the middle of nowhere with a dirt floor and a couple of drums, well it sends chills up your spine. I know without a doubt that I saw the face of Jesus in that place and amongst those people.

So I struggle. I walk into a typical contemporary church and am supposed to be wowed and transcended into this “worship experience” of sounds and lights and artificial fog. It seems that this is how we are wooing the “unchurched” into our church services, by creating this artificial “environment”. The Bible says in John 13:35 “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

Do our churches attract people because we love, or do they attract people because we have the coolest music, a laser light show and superb programming?

It’s just something to think about. I’m not saying that those things are inherently bad, but if they are our focus, then we’ve gotten off track. That is my opinion. More later.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Why Go?

Recently I was asked this question: Why would you spend a few thousand dollars on going on a mission trip when you could just send the money and have it go much further?

That was a pretty good question and I started thinking about it. I talked around it a little bit but this was something I really needed to pray about and be able to adequately communicate.

My first answer was easy. God had told me to GO. This wasn't an audible voice that I heard with my ears, but rather a verse that God gave to my heart.

"Go swift messengers to a people tall and smooth skinned, to a people feared far and wide, an aggressive nation of strange speech whose land is divided by rivers" ~ Isaiah 18:2

God told me to GO. He didn't say write a check... He said GO.

I was reading in Luke and was captivated as the words jumped off the page at me: Jesus told his disciples to GO! He told them to NOT take any money. (Luke 10: 3-4)

Jesus told His disciples to GO.

Then, by no coincidence (God is sovereign), I listened to a podcast by David Platt, pastor of Brookhills Church in Burmingham, AL. It was called "One Life With A Global Gospel". David told this story:

He was getting ready to take a $3,000 trip to Sudan. He knew this was a lot of money. Someone in the church came to him and said "Why are you going to spend three thousand dollars on a trip when you could just send the $3,000 and it could go a lot farther than you going there?

(Sound familiar? emphasis mine)

David says he wrestled with that.... until he got to the Sudan and spent time encouraging his Christian brothers and sisters there, sharing in their persecutions and struggles. One brother looked back at David and said, "David, over the last twenty years of persecution many different organizations have sent resources to us and we are extremely thankful, But, " he said, "do you know how we can tell who a true brother is? A true brother comes to be with you in your deepest time of need." He thanked David for being a true brother and at that moment it hits him... this is the very essence of the Gospel.

When God chose to bring salvation to you and me, He did not send gold or silver or cash or a check. He sent Himself. So how will we ever show this Gospel to the world if all we ever send is our money?

If we only send or spend our money we will miss part of the point of global missions!

Thanks to David for that awesome reminder. If only the Church in America would embrace it!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Ugandan Beads!!

I'm selling these beads to benefit the ministry of

Each bead is hand made from recycled paper and is special and unique. They were purchased at a fair trade price from widows in Uganda. All the proceeds from the necklaces go right back to buy more necklaces, therefore supporting the idea that these widows can be self-sustaining and support their families. Ekissa seeks to provide a holistic approach and do our part to help alleviate poverty in Uganda while sharing the hope of Christ.

Some strands are shorter, and some are longer, but each is unique!
The ones are my neck is one long strand that I have tripled, so you can make it
suit what you're wearing.

They are $10 each plus actual shipping. So, the more you buy, the cheaper to ship!
But if you live near me, I'd love to hand them to you in person!