Thursday, April 28, 2011

I come to you today, O Lord,

To give up my rights,

To lay down my life,

To offer my future,

To give my devotion, my skills, my energies

I shall not waste time

Deploring my weaknesses

Nor my unfittedness for the work.

I acknowledge your choice with my life

To make your Christ attractive and intelligible

To those around me.

I come to you for spiritual preparation.

Put your hand upon me,

Anoint me with the oil of the One with Good News.

Save me from compromise,

Heal my soul from small ambitions,

Deliver me from the itch to always be right,

Save me from wasting time.

I accept hard work, I ask for no easy place,

Help me not to judge others who walk a smoother path.

Show me those things that diminish spiritual power in a soul.

I now consecrate my days to you.

Make your will more precious than anybody or anything,

Fill me with your power

And when at the end of life’s journey I see you face to face

May I hear those undeserving words,

“Well done, you good and faithful servant”.

 I ask this not for myself

But for the glory of the name of your Son. Amen.


~AW Tozer

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011


It never fails to amaze me that while I'm over here in the states and Reese is over there in the UK, God is telling us similar things and we are feeling the same restlessness.

I haven't written in awhile and I'm hoping the end result of this post isn't a rambling mess. Lately I've been feeling extremely unsettled. Some of that is due to circumstances beyond my control and some of that is due to making choices in my life that have led to a very cluttered existence. I'm talking every type of clutter, spiritual/emotional clutter and physical clutter.

Overall I'm probably not going to focus on the spiritual/emotional side of things because I think that Reese is doing an amazing job covering what we are both feeling plus I'm just really starting to process some of this stuff myself and not sure I can write it out yet.

I've decided to make some real changes in my home and in my life. After our house fire 2 years ago we lost everything. Truthfully, once I got over the shock of it, it was amazing. We had very minimal clutter in our home and it was so freeing. I vowed to not allow that back. Well, 5 people in a home where both parents work full time and life is crazy, has caused clutter and I can feel it closing in on me. I've started following I love her. She tells you every day what part of your house to clean and for someone like me who lives a very crazy, busy life after work I need those little pushes.

I've also found one other blog that is so incredibly sweet. She motivates me in such sweet little ways. She reminds me that slowing down and enjoying the people in your life is what really matters. I'm definitely burnt out with our crazy life style and I'm ready to declutter of all the baggage in every area and start focusing on the important things.

So far that has included taking one extremely large black garbage back of clothes and about 10 games to our local thrift store. I plan on taking more stuff at least every other day and get our items down to an extreme minimal so that I don't have to focus so much time and energy on laundry, dusting, etc. I'm ready to focus on the people in my life and to slow down.

Speaking of people this little one is doing AMAZING!!!!! God is moving in her. She is talking, crawling and blessing every single person she comes in contact with. I can never thank our readers enough for praying for our family during her birth, and after.

Like Reese, I'm not going to make any promises, but it sure feels good to be back and writing again. I've missed it. Maybe now that I'm going to purposefully make different choices I can actually calm my life down enough to post once in awhile.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Serving Leftovers To a Holy God: My Time

First things first: there will be little-to-no spiritual growth in one's life without reading The Bible on a regular basis. Books by christian authors are great and have their place, but nothing will replace The Bible. Yes, these books enlighten and inspire; The Word of God brings life. When Jesus said He was sending The Holy Spirit after His ascension He said it was to our advantage that He go away and The Holy Spirit come. Think about that for a moment: to our advantage that Jesus go away! How is that possible?! Jesus, as both fully God and fully man, could only be in one place at one time. The Holy Spirit, fully God and not constrained by human boundaries, can be in all places at once. Jesus called Him the Comforter, the Helper, the Counselor. While I'm reading my Bible in England and the Holy Spirit is shining the light of Truth into my heart on a particular passage, He's doing the same thing for Heather in Oregon on a different passage. What a miraculous and beautiful grace our God has for us! He truly has provided all we need for life and godliness!
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. (2 Peter 1:3 NLT)
That said, Crazy Love by Francis Chan is a must-read for any christian feeling the tug of the Holy Spirit towards a Christ-centered life rather than a self-centered life. There's a reason it's been on best sellers lists for so long! I believe that this book accurately represents the Movement of Discomfort among God's people.

Chapter 5 is titled "Serving Leftovers To a Holy God" and is worth a read, even now. Click HERE for a link to the chapter, reprinted with permission.

For years I gave God leftovers and felt no shame. I simply took my eyes off Scripture and instead compared myself to others. The bones I threw at God had more meat on them than the bones others threw, so I figured I was doing fine. ~Francis Chan, Crazy Love

Hm. Yep. That's me in most areas of my life. Maybe all areas. The one I am thinking about today is my time.

When I was a kid there was a song by Larnelle Harris that always ran through my head, the lyrics being a message from God and went something like:

I miss my time with you, those moments together. I long to be with you each day and it hurts me when you say you're too busy. Too busy trying to serve Me. But how can you serve Me when your spirit's empty? There's a longing in My heart, a longing for more than just a part of you. It's true, I miss My time with you.

Even now, more than 20 years later, that song runs through my head sometimes and continues to convict me. It was the background music in my head as yesterday my pastor (the amazing Pastor Ken!) referenced Malachi 1:8 and asked bluntly "What sacrifices are you bringing to The Lord?"

Instantly I thought of my time. The Holy Spirit has been calling me to early morning prayer and Bible study for literally years. This is almost laughable when you know me-- I'm usually very sleepy as it is! The very thought of leaving my bed early is actually quite absurd-- but so was the thought of the King and Creator of the universe dying as a human on a splintered cross. Is heeding the call of my 5 am alarm really, truly that absurd?!

But my humanity cries out "No!" I have at least 5 reasons on any given day not to roll out of bed; or worse, not to even set my alarm before bed. It's not essential to my salvation. Plenty of very godly people have devotions at more convenient times. Why would God want me to be tired all day? I'm already getting by spiritually on a fairly healthy level.

It's called sacrifice for a reason. God asks for a "tithe" and the "first fruits" for a reason. The Holy Spirit is calling me for a reason. It's time I find out how my life looks when I obey. And so I post it here: as both a confession and a challenge. Now that it's out there and out of my head, I can deal with it. And you can hold me accountable.

My challenge for you today: in what areas are you serving our Holy God leftovers?

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The Hole in MY Gospel

I've learned my lesson about being hasty and exclaiming "I'M BACK" after a long absence. How many times have I done that here?! Twice? Three times? Ten?

So, I'm not back. Just here, for now. Maybe I'll be back tomorrow. Maybe next week. Maybe not. But I will try.

Here's my life, in list form:
  • I'm attending my church Bible school, part time, and loving it.
  • I'm shuffling my kids back and forth between school and home.
  • I'm looking to revamp my life.... as usual!
In the past few years I've read several books that have really changed my perspective and challenged me to reexamine my life: Not For Sale by David Batstone; The Hole In Our Gospel by Richard Stearns; Compelled By Love by Heidi Baker; Crazy Love and Forgotten God by Francis Chan; Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream by David Platt; More Than Conquerors: A Call To Radical Discipleship by Simon Guillebaud; books about African culture seem to regularly find their ways into my hands. I can't read these books about the harsh realities faced by christians, trafficked peoples, and the poor in hostile places without comparing my easy, sheltered life and feeling very sick at the blatant contrast.

When in history did it become okay for a christian to pursue comfort? When did it become more strange for a western christian to shun wealth and safety than to live like a non-christian? (And when I say "live like a non-christian" I don't mean being "evil" but being "normal". When did "normal" become acceptable behavior for us?) Why do I fit in with non-believers so comfortably? Does my life more resemble my non-christian neighbors or Jesus'? When did the word "missionary" become dirty? When did Christianity become acceptably private? Am I really achieving my best when the total sum of my witness is not drinking, not cussing and not watching X-rated movies?

How different am I- really- than the world?

And when I ask these questions about myself and don't like the answers, what does a homemaking, military wife do about it?

That's what I want to pursue over the next few posts: how to become all I can for God, from where I am, in the context and position of my life as God has given it to me now. Is it a matter of buying less and giving more? Spending more time before God, crying out for wisdom and opportunities? How am I to speak and act differently in the light of a new way of thinking- a new way of being?

In truth, I think there is a wave of change moving across the Western World. I believe that the People of God are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with our lifestyles and more convicted by The Spirit to step into new and exciting things. I'm going to explore what this might look like for the average person.

I heartily recommend the books I've mentioned here. There's also the subject of human trafficking and how buying fair trade products can make a difference, and what to watch for in our own communities to spot trafficked people. (None of us want to believe it can happen near us, but with 2-4 million men, women, and children trafficked every year, there's a chance you could come into contact with someone who has been victimized.) There are missionaries to be sent and missions to support, children and impoverished communities to sponsor. Skim through these sites: Smile International, Stop The Traffik, World Vision. Over the course of several posts I want to introduce some people I have met who are making a difference in the areas God called them to.

We all have a part. What's yours?

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