Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

It is that wonderful time of year when families make an intentional effort to clear their calendars and join together for a time of feasting, fellowship, and most importantly a time to give thanks! This tradition started many years ago in a tiny region of New England called Plymouth. I was able to visit Plymouth, MA in 2007 while working in nearby Connecticut and thought I would share some of my pics just for fun!

You know the story...the Pilgrims landed the Mayflower in 1620. The picture of the boat you see here is actually a replica of the original Mayflower and is named the Mayflower II. During my visit in 2007, the natives of Plymouth were actually gearing up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Mayflower II.

The beautiful columns you see were erected as a marker to surround the gigantic "plymouth rock" that has 1620 carved into its surface. It really is just a big huge rock!

Wishing you and your family a very blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

Psalm 107:1
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Missing Me-Ma~

Today is the day that marks the one year anniversary of my Me-Ma leaving this earth to enter into the presence of the Lord! As hard as it is to say goodbye to those that we love so dearly, I am forever thankful that I have the assurance in knowing where she is today.

I was able to sit with my Me-Ma for many days leading up to her final earthly moments. The last day, I was holding hands with Me-Ma while praying for her and the thought came to my mind that I should take a picture of our hands holding each other. Somehow I knew on this day...she would be going. To this day, I frequently look at this photo of our hands locked together and have a sense of her presence as I take my mind back to those memories that are forever locked away inside my heart.

When I think of my Me-Ma, the one thing that floods my heart is LOVE! She loved me so well my entire life. She loved me unconditionally just like Jesus loves me. She was an example of Jesus to me here on this earth. Any advice she ever had to offer me was always given out of love with such a gentle spirit. She was funny with a sense of humor that clicked with mine. We were so much like 2 peas in a pod:) She always encouraged me in my marriage and shared many life experiences about her marriage to Pa (Frank Wright). He was a character...

Most importantly, she always pointed me to the cross of Christ in her own special way all throughout the many seasons of change in my life. God is and always has been so very good to me!

Everytime I see a butterfly, I can't help but think back to a conversation Me-Ma and I had one day at her kitchen table. We were just chatting away about random things and somehow the topic of death and being present with the Lord when we leave this earth came up in discussion. I told her I have no idea if this would ever be possible or not...but I often wondered if in the spiritual realm, could you show up in the lives of those left on earth in the form of a butterfly to just let them know you are near and okay. I told her which ever one of us goes to be with the Lord first should show up in the other ones life like a butterfly. I remember a few days after Me-Ma's passing, I was so heartbroken with grief and I recall telling Greg that I just want Me-Ma to land on my arm like a butterfly. So even today, when I see a butterfly, I like to think of it as a gentle reminder of her presence. God has allowed me to take comfort in his creation of the butterfly to find peace and comfort in a sweet little conversation I once shared at the kitchen table with Me-Ma.

He has also given me His promise through Joshua 1:9..."Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

Death is part of life and it comes...but knowing the giver of life allows us to face death with courage and no fear because He goes with us there and ushers us right into our new eternal...with God our Father in heaven!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

It's a lonely world out there~

I have hit the road wide open with travel for work once again. I am flying in and out of Newark, NJ weekly. The process of getting from point A to point B allows me to brush elbows and cross paths with so many people that are vastly different while at the same time they are all just alike. As I look around at all the people moving so rapidly to get to their destinations, I often wonder what condition their heart is in. I then think how can I possibly make a difference? I mean good grief…the Bible even warns me that the world is going to hate me. John 15:18 says, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” Those are real motivating words to pack up and hit the trail for sharing Jesus. I guess at least Jesus gives us warning so we are not caught off guard by the persecution and rejection that is sure to come as we go!

In all honesty, it’s not about some random act of going. He has a very specific plan that is perfect, but we have to listen and go at the sound of His voice that dwells inside of our heart! I know this and try my best to yield to the Spirit as I go out into the world. I have to tell you that sometimes it can be downright lonely out there. Just like last week, I was so very lonely deep inside my heart. I was surrounded by people with such selfish agendas, foul language, and drinking just to name a few things. The part that makes me most sad is to hear how many of the people have no problem referencing their faith or spiritual things, but live out their life in such a way that has no consistency with God’s word. I mean, do they even know what the word of God says? Do they care what the word of God says?

There seems to be no conviction of sin whatsoever and I find myself in situations where I am not led to speak a word, but to just be that example with my actions. We as Christians have to be willing to pass through people’s lives and hold fast to who we are in Christ Jesus regardless of how we may feel. Sometimes, I honestly think I would be more effective if I could travel around the country with a specific agenda to speak to groups seeking after Jesus instead of those that more or less scoff at the name of Jesus.

In all honesty, it comes down to what my newfound friend, Festus shared with me in Washington DC that you may have read about in my previous post. I have to pray and allow the Holy Spirit to move, pray and allow the Holy Spirit to move, and rely on Him always and forever to guide my steps as I go into a world that can tend to get lonely sometimes. If I am brutally honest, and I usually am…it can be very lonely serving inside a group of “church people” because it is not difficult to spot those that are leading a double life. With that said, there is a scary resemblance of those both inside the church and those that are in the world. God help me to continue going into this world while NOT becoming of this world.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

He's Alive in the Hearts of His People

Here lately I have been doing a great deal of reflection on my journey with Jesus. There has just been something missing and as always I'm certain to be the problem. I try too hard to figure things out sometimes instead of just turning to God first. I get distracted sometimes and turn to Jesus last. Not my proudest momment, but it happens I must admit.

Anyway, during my time of reflection and searching I ran across a journal entry from December 3, 2007 that described a day in my life that was just like entertaining an angel. It went something like this...

We were landing in DC as we flew right past the Pentagon building. I was praying and asking God if He wanted me to go and prayer walk around the capitol building. I didn't have the right shoes for walking and really didn't want to go on this day, but was willing if God prompted me to do so. I just cried out to God to make Himself real to me on this day because I felt as if I was missing Him so much. I kid you NOT, within 30 minutes I was sitting down having lunch in the airport when a dark skinned gentleman (much like this picture) approached me and asked if he could sit with me to have lunch. This man was on break from his first week at work with the airlines. He spoke English although it was quite broken. Turns out, he is from the Sudan region of Africa. I was quietly talking to God about what to say to this man because I knew I had prayed a short time ago asking God to show Himself real to me. I knew this had to be of God. I blurted out, "Do you celebrate Christmas?" He looked back at me with a grin the size of Texas and said, "oh yes!" He proceeded to tell me that he would go to church. I asked what kind of church and he replied Pentecostal. He went on to tell me that he grew up Muslim, went to Catholic school, and now goes to a Pentacostal church. I became excited with the anticipation that he surely must know my Jesus! I immediately had to ask him if he knew Jesus and without a second of hesitation he volnteered that he was a born-again believer in Jesus Christ! The radient white teeth shining through his smile will forever be burned into my mind. He started to tell me that many people say Jesus is dead, but he took his fist and pounded it upon his heart telling me that He's NOT, Jesus is alive in the hearts of His people. He kept telling me we have to pray and let the Holy Spirit move, pray and let the Holy Spirit move. As his lunch came to an end, he let me know his time was up and he wanted to pray with me. This man reached across the table and took my right hand while praying for me. He then got up and left. I cannot tell you in words what happened inside of my heart during this moment in time. All I can say is He's Alive in the Hearts of His People and He hears our cries. I'm amazed at how the Lord sees the inside of our heart and knows what we need and when we need it. I needed that reminder that He is in fact ALIVE in the hearts of His people. God strolled my memory right back to one of the most powerful times in my journey when He revealed to me how ALIVE He is...and I receive it today!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Remember...We All Need Forgiveness~

I pretty much skipped out on the month of September and just didn't post. I tried, but just couldn't come up with anything. I must admit I've been caught up in a bit of a funk! I have been hanging on by a thread that is almost broken and I hate to admit that, but it is so true! I must say, I am so very thankful for those that have prayed for me and showered me with cards or words of encouragement through this little sad season.

There has been so many things going on in the lives of so many and as I have found myself ministering and loving on others, I can't help but take on their burden as part of my own. I'm pretty sure I will NEVER be immune to that nor do I really want to be. I can't help but hurt when people are hurting as they are reaching out for help. I always want to be ready to share the love of Jesus and point those in great need toward the cross of Christ!

This picture is a reflection of where forgivenss is found and I love it because it reminds me of my constant need for forgiveness in my life. Sure, I have brought many big issues of my life to Jesus, but I still battle so many things that reflect the attitude of my heart that might be less than pleasing to my savior on a good day. For example, I have belly-ached about my living situation for months now. It doesn't help that Kayla is growing wrestless and she's my baby so naturally I want to act fast for her sake. I have tried to orchestrate everything known to man so that things can change in my time and NOT so much God's time. Not a good idea and I don't recommend it:) I ultimately don't want to make any decision outside of God's perfect will for our lives, but sometimes I think I can come up with a great idea and then pray for God to bless it so it is okay to move forward with my plan exactly as I thought it up. HaHa...jokes on me with that one! I know better and am so frustrated that I fall for this tactic everytime I get impatient and tired of waiting. I have been so sideways in my life for the last month, I have fallen way short in my commitment to First Place 4 Health. I should have lost 10 pounds by now and I think with my losses and gains I am at a 2.2 pound loss overall.

The good news in all of this...I have managed to remain in God's word and in my Bible study most every single day and without doubt have been sustained during this season I've been experiencing. I am so thankful that God is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. I am the one that moves and not God.

Friday, August 19, 2011

I think I'm being "Interrupted"...

Webster defines interrupted as the following: to cause a break in the continuity or uniformity of or to stop in the midst of doing or saying something.

Tonight is the 2nd "Oxygen" young adult ministry meeting where we are going through the study Interrupted. The more I dive into this study...the more interrupted my life feels. I know this is a good thing or should I say a God thing:) Jen Hatmaker talks about how sweet it is when you get to the bottom. She says it is really nice down there. I know this to be true as I have visited there. I think I am trying to get used to this idea that just maybe...God wants me to live there and NOT just be a visitor!

For a few years now, God has often reminded me of the excess that I have in my life. It is just such a chore to get the stuff together and then actually know what to do with it to help someone in need. I know my desires for more stuff has certainly changed. I don't really want to do excessive shopping for pointless items anymore. I'm not an unreasonable clothes shopper. I guess I would honestly have to say that most of my money in excess is spent on books and eating out. God has certainly done some work in me, but as I have shared before...I have been holding out in the back of my mind for the next house. I have been anxiously awaiting that sale of our home in Greensburg so we can make plans for where we will live next. God has provided us a home in the meantime and I promise I am trying to be content, but I think it is more about having a place that is mine rather than someone elses. On the flip side...I know God is not going to sell our home until my heart lines up according to His will.

God is passing people through my life that has afforded me the great opportunity to make friends and just listen and support others that are going through tough things in life. Giving of our time is a big interruption when you race through most days to see how many things you can check off your "To Do" list and keep moving.

I was thinking the other day, if I gave all the trivial stuff away in my life, I wouldn't need a very large place to live and there would be a lot less to take care of. The money we would save in a house payment and utilities would help me to help more people that are facing really challenging times. What an amazing opportunity it would be to point people to Jesus through those relatioships.

I wonder how many other people around me feel like their lives are being interrupted for the cause of Christ?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My Anchored Heart~

I thought I had things figured out enough that I was at least going in the right direction with my heart, but I’m coming to realize that I have this anchor attached deep inside that restrains me from drifting freely to the movement of God’s Holy Spirit unhindered.

If I get really honest with myself and God I am really ashamed and embarrassed that I am finding myself in this place. I desire to please God, but when it starts to cut a little too deep into what I am comfortable with I tend to pull back and find a place that allows me to be okay with it all. Here lately, the “American Dream” is being tossed in front of me. The Interrupted study we recently started talks about how we are too busy ministering to saved people and dreaming about our next big home. Then, today I find “Radical” and on the cover it says taking back your faith from the American Dream. I visited the website of “Radical” and listened to the video clip available online. It talked about how God might just call you to sell everything you own and follow Him. Could I do it? My stomach did a flip and I sat there with this feeling of not knowing what to do next. The truth of the matter is this...I honestly have tried to get a visual in my minds eye about what it would be like to sell all things that were not absolutely necessary. We are not debt free, but we have been striving toward that goal for a few years now and there is a freedom that comes with paying off debt! We are closer than we have ever been and sometimes I think how cool it would be to just sell off all things that are not needed and pay the remainder of our debt so that all of our income could be directed toward the Kingdom of God. Then...the reality of it all hits me square in the face and takes my breath. Lately, my idea of the American Dream is being flipped upside down.

There is one thing that Jen Hatmaker stated during the Interrupted study...(and I paraphrase)"This isn't fun, but when you get down there in this part of your heart it is where true fulfillment lies." Do you want it? Do I want it?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Accepting the things you cannot change~

Tonight I am sharing my testimony with women at the jail. I know I will be facing a group from all walks of life that are in a place they never really planned for their lives. I will be speaking to someone's mom, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, etc... I have never been in jail myself, but I know that my drug addiction could have very easily led me there if my situation had not come to a stop when it did. I still experienced many of the feelings personally that I know these women in jail are dealing with. I remember thinking my life was over on some level and I feared that I would never be respected as a nurse again. I was worried that I would forever carry with me a stereotype that screamed drug addict! I was truly at the end of "myself" as I like to call it. In looking back now...this was such a sweet place to be. When I am weak, He is strong! Without doubt, God had to allow this in my life so He could get me still and humble enough to listen and realize that I for once didn't have all the answers. Today, I can honestly say I am thankful for my drug addiction because it was through this valley that I was able to have the eyes of my heart fully opened to see Jesus for who He really is to me.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Are you seriously "for real"?

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. Matthew 7:15 NKJV

As time marches on and this old world continues to turn on it's axis, surely as it is written in Matthew 24:24...For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

It's happening all around me. There is just enough Jesus sprinkled on so many people's faith to give it the flavor of truth mentioned in the Bible, but at the same time leaving the doorway open for negotiation when those uncomfortable with the "truth" are called to task in putting legs on their faith. Walking with Jesus is not about unicorns and rainbows in a world of utopia where all things turn out to have a nice and sweet little ending. The truth is about a Holy God, our creator, desiring worship from His children in spite of our nasty selves so much so that He made a way for us through the blood of Jesus Christ!

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."

That being said and true, this means that we have to come to the realization that we have nothing within our own strength to save ourself. There is absolutely nothing we can do and therefore we are weak and powerless in our own skin. We must have the power of the Holy Spirit to come in and provide what we need to be saved. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is making that provision for ALL who believe on the name of Jesus and profess Him as Lord and Savior!!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hebrew 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever~

I visited Multnomah Falls in Portland, OR on Sunday afternoon and this picture was just one of many taken. This natural beauty is so majestic you cannot restrain from just wanting to take picture after picture in hopes of capturing that perfect angle of the falls thundering down. The soothing sound of water falling continuously with no end suddenly reminded me of God's unending love for each of His children. His love is never changing...Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

And...the neat thing about you take the journey with Jesus, you never know what the path will look like. As I was making my way to Multnomah Falls I took a wrong turn with the use of my GPS...go figure...

Anyway, I turned around when I realized I was headed in the wrong direction. Sometimes when we make wrong turns things might not always look this amazing, but they certainly can once we turn around and give all the broken peices of our lives to Him. Which reminds me of one of my favorite Bible verses...Romans 8:28

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

All we have is today~

These words have never rang more true to me than this week while I have been vacationing with my family in Key West. Monday afternoon, Memorial Day, we received news that my dear friend and his wife, Bill and Peggy Stephenson, were murdered in their Florence, KY home. I met Bill a few years ago at the KBC Evangelism Conference in Bowling Green, KY. He and I became friends over the last few years and he literally invested his time, prayers, and life into my personal journey with Jesus. In fact, Bill had just called me on May 6th to check in with me and find out how things were going with me and Greg. I still have his voicemail and can't help but giggle out loud when I listen to his message. Bill was certainly a character and such a joy and blessing to talk with. I have often counted it such a blessing for me to have someone that I can call when I am struggling and just need an ear to listen and then give me that nudge of encouragement. Oh how I will miss this from Bill.

I pray that God is glorified in every way possible through this horrible tragedy. I know Satan is out to steal, kill, and destroy, but greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. That's what Bill would tell me.

Lord, please help the authorities find the killer and bring justice in this case. Comfort the family as only you can. Help me remember that all we have is today. I don't want to live in fear because of that, but to live in action because tomorrow may be too late for someone.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Narrow Path

Walking the straight and narrow is NOT required for that would be law (works based salvation), but...once the eyes of your heart are opened... your life starts to take on this desire to follow the narrow path because its just right and your heart knows it:)

Matthew 7:14
But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Are you one of the few that has found the way or are you still searching?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wait......Return to Holiness

Our family is in a time of transition right now and so many decisions have to be made. Do we buy a house, build a house, or move in my mother-in-law's house? Add to this, I like to rush God for an answer in the process. Sometimes, I tend to over analyze things and find myself in a state of turmoil where decision making is concerned. I become grouchy with everyone around me if I'm not careful because I don't know what to do and then I can't think rationally enough to make decisions. Does anyone else battle with this? I'm certain there is someone out there that can identify with my situation... Here's the real deal breaker...God has already spoke to my heart about waiting upon Him and don't rush. Then what do I do? I rush and try to avoid the wait (smile). Finally, I arrived at a place of peace to wait upon the Lord and in the meantime (which I learned today is God-time) "Return to Holiness".

Do not despair...God is at work in me and speaking. He provides what we need when we need it if we will just seek Him to find it. He will do the same for you to my friends! I have a friend that called me about a month ago to tell me about a little book she found as she was doing some deep cleaning and moving furniture around. The book she found is called "Return to Holiness" by Dr. Gregory R. Frizzell. My friend was so excited about what God was speaking to her through this little book full of scriptural treasures! Soooo, I became curious with excitement too and visited the internet for my own search for the book. I found a website and saved it to my favorites, but for whatever reason did not place an order at the time for a book. I kept thinking I would download a copy to my iPad, but didn't. As God reminded me of this book again last week, I called my friend and just asked her if she happened to have an extra copy that I could get from her. She called a few days later after searching and did find one last copy that I could have. Oh my this ever a great book! This is NOT just any book. This book is one of those quiet time treasures full of wisdom and truth that truly ushers you right to the heart of God. We must be cleansed and made holy through Jesus Christ! This book "Returning to Holiness" is further designed as a biblical strategy for overcoming church wide sin problems. Our churches can never go where we do not lead by personal example and experience. It is vital to understand that Jesus didn't die just to take you to heaven, but to indwell and empower you here on earth! So as I dove into this book and began preparing for the journey to be cleansed and made starts with a must do certain of your own salvation! I read on to find 3 scriptures with enormous relevance: (1) On the day of judgment Matthew 7:23 states that many who think they are saved will discover they do not know God; (2) According to John 17:3, true salvation consists of knowing Christ in a life-changing personal relationship; (3) People who are genuinely saved have a strong supernatural assurance of their salvation (Romans 8:16)

Reading on...I came across several questions for reflection. I found the following question to be so specific to me, "Would you be willing to live with less in order to embrace more God-centered patterns for your money?" As I read this question I have to admit it felt like God whopped me upside the head with something to interrupt my house hunting efforts. At once, I knew that a "wait" is in order. The wait isn't easy in the flesh, but knowing God has a plan that is perfect gives me strength to hold on and somehow waiting while seeking a place of Holiness is a place of contentment where priorities seem to take a supernatural shift.

Is God calling you to wait on you seek Him and "Return to Holiness"?

Monday, March 14, 2011

The bitter sweet of this world~

We had an amazing day at Liberty Baptist Church on Sunday, March 13th! It's official!!! Greg Estes is the pastor of LBC and our family is so very excited about what God has in store. We were blessed with an amazing time of worship through song with Karen Peck and New River Sunday evening and boy was it gooooood! Love the sweet spirit of this group! Soooo, needless to say, this day will mark the kick-off for the Estes family and LBC as we embrace the call God has placed upon our lives to serve the families in this church and those in the community looking for a church home.

While we are rejoicing in the blessings of God, a half a world away there is a massive region of Japan suffering the destructive effects of a record breaking earthquake and tsunami. My heart becomes heavy with burden as I continually follow updates of the devestation and view overwhelming sights from the pictures being shared on national television and the internet. I feel so helpless in anything I would personally have to offer these people so far away, although very near in my heart. As I pause for a moment in search of what I can do, there is only one answer that comes to my mind...PRAY!

Also, the theme verse of this blog came rushing into my mind. Psalm 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

~My One and Only You, God~

You breathe the air of life into me when the world is smothering my very existence.

You comfort me from the hurt inflicted by the overwhelming evil that lurks.

You nourish my starving soul from weakness.

You lead the way out of turmoil into peace.

You reveal beauty that was created for my eyes only.

You show me how to grieve with a smile.

You restore laughter and strength in times that seem hopeless.

And you, God, forgive me over and over from the pits of sin.

So it's you, God, I will live to serve all the days of my life.

By: Kelli Estes (July 5, 2005)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Only God opens the eyes to your heart to see Jesus!

It's up to us to invite Him into our heart to live and reign over our life forevermore!

I'm always amazed when God reaches down from heaven and touches one of His precious children on this earth. Only a Holy God can touch a heart by the power of His Holy Spirit through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ!

Jesus is alive in the hearts of His people and we are commanded to spread this good news!!!

I had the awesome privilege of being right beside a young lady Sunday as she made an eternity altering decision for Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life! The eyes of her heart were opened and the truth of the gospel penetrated through to her heart in a way that it never had before.

This young lady had been in church many years, but had never seen Jesus through the eyes of her heart until February 13, 2011. Thank God for the free gift of salvation!

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What's love got to do with it?

I bet the lyrics of Tina Turner are racing through your thoughts about right now!

Valentine’s Day is upon us…once again! The one day of the year when we are all reminded to celebrate “love” and “romance”. We all desire to be loved every single day of our lives and oh how we long for that romance we once new when our relationships were in infancy, but it is especially important to us on Valentine’s Day because of the central focus placed upon this special day! I guess I’m probably speaking for the ladies out there more so than the gentlemen.
I wonder how many people celebrating their love for that special someone will have a truthful perception of what love really is? I was watching a movie a few months ago called, “Why Did I Get Married Too”. There was an older couple talking about how “true love” NEVER comes back void. My wheels began to turn because I know God’s word NEVER comes back void as stated in the Bible, but I never really thought about love.

I grabbed my Bible and went to work searching the scriptures and this is what I found out...

Isaiah 55:11
So is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Then…I began thinking about how God is the word.

1 John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

1 John 4:8
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love

Sooo, if God is the Word and God is love then God, His Word, and Love are all one in the same just like the trinity I suppose.

True Love NEVER comes back void for real!!!

The very best Valentine gift of love that I can think of is John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Ladies…once we receive this kind of love into our hearts, every single day with our spouses and loved ones can be Valentine’s Day! Thank you Jesus!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Currently reading...

For Love's Sake was written by a former Campbellsville University student, Jessica J. Davis. This book challenges me to walk deeper into nothingness with Jesus! I may not see the next step, but thank God He does! If you know the one who can see the next step then you can trust Him enough to just go...whatever that may look like. Jessica creatively reminds me of just how much Jesus desires us to be a part of what He is doing throughout our world and in our own backdoor. He wants us to be actively involved in bringing heaven to earth and there is absolutely nothing I can do to make that happen...only the power of the Holy Spirit flowing through me can move a mountain! My heart wants to move with the ebb and flow of the Holy Spirit, but I have to be constantly reminded and taught that without the Spirit I can do nothing. Repeatedly, God allowed Jessica to be in helpless situations that only He could bring the answer. I am constantly being driven deeper into situations that require my total dependance on God and sometimes I take that step of faith and sometimes I hold back. How are you doing with taking those steps of faith? Are you wresting with obedience to the Lord's call upon your life?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

the prayer dare

Turn off the phone, turn off the TV, log-off of facebook, and get behind closed doors if that's what it takes to intentionally get still before the Lord. We just finished week 2 of the Bible study "When God's People Pray" and the challenge this week is for all of us to be more intentional with our time spent in prayer. I hope you'll rise to the challenge and embrace sacred time with the just might find yourself standing on Holy ground:)

I am taking ~the prayer dare~ for 40 days and it starts today!

Could it be that God often does not meet our needs because we fail to ask?

James 4:2
You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Amazing Power of Prayer

When the people of God pray~heaven is moved! WOW...that is pretty powerful stuff! I have been studying session two of the Bible study "When God's People Pray" and it is truly overwhelming when you still yourself long enough to internalize the fact that God's Holy Spirit dwells inside His people and helps us to pray what we ought.

Romans 8:26
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Amazing things happen...

We had a very exciting turnout for our first week into the study, "When God's People Pray". I believe we had 27 women present for session one!

I have to share an amazing story that just happened tonight! I arrived into Madison, WI and called the Hilton shuttle to pick me up. The same guy (Jordan) that has picked me up before shows up. We were chatting about my work and his school as we drove along the seriously snow covered roads! Somehow the conversation shifted to my husband and the type of work he does that allows me to travel since we have a 13 year old daughter. I was sharing about the ministry work our family has been led into and how that all came about in the short span of the last four years. Turns out, Jordan openly confesses that he too has been trying to find his own faith after I had shared what our family had experienced through faith in Jesus Christ. I have to admit, this created quite an excitement in my heart! I immediately reflected to the video I had just watched a little over 24 hours prior and was able to see myself in the pages of God's plan for another one of his beautifully created children. I talked with Jordan about getting into God's word for himself and asking God to reveal Himself personally. I told him I would be praying for him as he seeks God for the answers he personally needs in finding his way right now. Before I went to bed, I heard the words of Wanda in the video echo..."The day you call on the namne of the Lord you will be set free". I am praying that God will allow me another opportunity to talk with Jordan and continue to water the already planted seed that is in his life!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Why Feathers of Refuge?

Prior to creating this blog, I was thinking about the things I was hearing women share regarding refuge and shelter in the Lord. I looked up the word "refuge" in Merriam-Webster and it means shelter or protection from danger or distress.

Psalms 91:4 says, He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge.

The Lord is truly our refuge and shelter and he will cover us with his feathers and protect us from whatever we are going through. My prayer is for "Feathers of Refuge" to be a place of refreshment that you will enjoy reading posts and commenting, viewing pictures, watching for new announcements, finding neat links, and who knows what else just might show up here!

I must confess I am NOT a seasoned blogger, but I enjoy creating and playing around with the many neat functions blog design has to offer! With that said, the appearance of this blog may change from week to week as I play around and apply new things that I am learning.

I am so very excited about the study we are starting January 16th, "When God's People Pray"! I am certain God is going to do some amazing things in the lives of His people!

I am so very thankful God has placed you in the path of my ~Journey with Jesus~!