Monday, January 26, 2009

You've Got Mail



The familiar site of a stuffed mailbox always brings a smile to my face for some strange reason, I don't even mind the mounds of junk mail, ask my dear husband I'm a catalog collector (they just might save me that cute black skirt from 3 seasons ago, you never know). Everyday I come home from work and the first thing I do is check the mail box to see what the kind USPS delivery man has brought just for me and my house.

Tonight we rushed home from work, ate something fast, rushed off to prayer at church and then out to coffee with friends, a quick trip to the grocery store and when we got home I was ready for bed, but wait!!! I missed my ritual trip to the mail box, so at 10:45 pm I made my way to the front porch, unlocked the mailbox and pulled out the various pieces...junk mail, bills, a couple of packages, a catalog and a piece of mail that looked like one of those mortgage offers that you get hundreds of once you buy a house, I almost threw it away, but I opened it "just in case" and to my delight there was a check inside from a class action suit that was settled and we were one of many on the list to get a part of the settlement. There is much more meaning behind the check, but that's another story for another blog post. Tonight I am simply and eternally grateful for God's mercy, grace and HIS blessings that I can't even explain they are INDESCRIBABLE!!!

If you live within driving distance of the Rock Church, please don't wait another minute to join us in service. God has been performing the miraculous and it is amazing! From backsliders finding their way back home, to people being filled with HIS holy ghost for the first time, diseases being healed, and financial miracles - God has NO LIMITS, watch out world!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Timeless

This is a great photograph taken from the city of Mumbai, more commonly known as Bombay. Washed in sepia tones, the suspended timepiece reminds us that time ticks on without regard for life or destruction. Irrespective of construction or catastrophe, time's militia marches on with a militant like mandate.
Eventually, time too will end. In that moment, when everything else has vanished, we will 'know and be known.' When time expires and no one else remembers your employment, the Mercedes or the custom suit, just what will they know, and how will we be remembered?

That's something worth keeping in mind if you plan to be around others somewhere for eternity. Daily, our calendar alarm system gives us the opportunity to act on the words of my Pastor, who, echoing Elder Grisham's wisdom, taught us to 'do something everyday that will outlive you.'

Preach passionately, teach effectively, communicate clearly; place a call, whisper sweet 'somethings', write a memo, letter, send a card - even an email or text message. Take time and make memories, good, long-lasting ones.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Faith and Specificity

I love this picture. It illustrates the innocence of youth coupled with child-like faith in the Father who takes good pleasure in providing for His own. It initiated flashbacks, child-hood memories and specific prayers that I prayed, and God answered.

A close friend and I shared something from this past week's Bible reading and devotion that jumped out to both of us. It is amazing how specific the Israelites were particularly when they prayed to Jehovah, when they fleeced Him for direction and were trying to determine the 'will of God', if you will. The servants were no exception!

'The one who not only offers me a drink, but who also offers to draw water for all of my camels - she will be the one God has chosen for my Master's son.' There are multiple examples, but here the servant responds to his master's call and embarks on the journey with general, yet minimal direction. With a lot at stake (lineage, blessing, etc.), the servant takes it upon himself to pray specifically, and asked for a specific sign. Repeatedly, the results are the eventual receipt of the exact specifications of each request.

I can remember praying as a 4-year old on a family stroll for God to cause two swans which were swimming away from us in the lagoon, to turn around, climb out ad put their bills in my hand. No sooner had I opened my eyes than they reversed their course, and did just as I had child-like faith to ask. I recall praying as a ten-year old 5th grader for God to make a way for our family to live in a real house (as Home Missionaries, we'd been living in a grocery store we were renovating into a sanctuary). I will never forget the day the City Clerk evicted our family for living in unpermissable arrangements, or the day a generous property owner made a way for us to move into one of his townhomes. Then, there's the prayer I began at the age of 12 and have repeated through the years, where I've asked for God's favor - and to be one of His favorites.

In the grand scheme of life I don't know how relevant those prayers were, or how much they directly accomplished-unless you consider the faith that was fostered, allowed to grow, and encouraged to be become specific.

Too many times as analysts, critics, intellectuals- or quite frankly as adults- we second guess everything and leave the details to Him in the name of 'trust' and 'God knows' when quite possibly He could be awaiting our specificity.

I was inspired again, and am determined to challenge my own faith by being more specific with the One who can with a spoken Word create evidence out of things not seen, from the substance of things we hope for.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Friday Experiences, Testimonies and Fluorescent Lights



Tonight, during the High School breakout of TRGYC's January Experience, we heard the live, awesome testimony of a Turkish Muslim who converted to Christianity nearly four years ago. Aydin Coskun of Calgary, Alberta Canada shared the saga of his seven year quest spanning 21 nations in search for truth, self-identity, and peace of mind. He relived for us the coffee-shop Bible study experience where the revelation of the mighty God in Christ was illuminated for him, 'like a giant fluorescent light.' If revelation is the art of the Spirit, than we know it wasn't fluorescent or incandescent light really, but rather it was the natural, transparent light of Truth from above - an experience that cannot be extinguished, and light that cannot be quenched.

Brother Aydin, thanks for sharing your testimony and letting your light shine to a room full of High School students and teenagers. Friends like you and Sam Hassas are modern-day, living epistles and a reminder to us that light can only be successful when it is allowed to confront the darkness beyond the insulation of a bushel.

Each one of us have our own 'historic' and unique introduction to Truth - our own experience, our own testimony, our own light. Don't make light of it, make a light out of it and allow your personal experience to penetrate the darkness around you. The world is suffering because of too many closet Christians - or should I say Sunday Christians.

This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine, let it shine, let it shine...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Redeeming Thursday

Someone said 'a wealthy man is not one who has most everything, but one who makes the most of everything he has.' All we are born with in this life is a natural body, a spirit and time. If the average life span of a human being is 75 years and can be reduced to 365 day-24 hour-60 minute increments, and the spirit, which is eternal, hangs in a balance between Heaven and Hell, just how important and imperative is it that we redeem the time that we do have?! Add the evil of our day to the equation, and the Apostle's mandate looms larger than ever before as we consider resolutions, habit changes and the brand new year ahead.

Paul challenged the saints at Ephesus to 'walk circumspectly (watchful, cautiously, discretely), not as fools, but as wise,
redeeming the time, because the days are evil' (Ephesians 5:15-16).

That's good advice. Time is an ultimate measuring tool and barometer of sorts. How much time will we give an account for? How much time are we borrowing, losing, spending, taking, investing, redeeming? How much time are we praying, sharing, learning, loving, communicating? Go ahead - take it back, share it, give it away, spend it with Him and those you love - it's Wednesday, but tomorrow is Thursday and January 8th is as good a day to wrest away from evil as any.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Listen to the Voice of Truth

'Oh, what I would do to have the kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I'm in onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone into the realm of the unknown
Where Jesus is, and he's holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me time and time again
"Boy, you'll never win, you'll never win."

Oh, what I would do to have the kind of strength it takes
To stand before a giant with just a sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors
shaking in their armor, wishing they'd have had the strength to stand

But the giant's calling out my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me time and time again
"Boy you'll never win, you'll never win."

But the stone was just the right size to put the giant on the ground
and the waves they don't seem so high from on top of them looking down
I will soar with the wings of eagles when I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus singing over me

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
The voice of truth says do not be afraid
And the voice of truth says this is for my glory
Out of all the voices calling out to me I will choose to listen and believe
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.'

In 2009, do not be afraid - listen to the Voice of Truth, believe and overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony.

*Words by Casting Crowns