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Showing posts from July, 2020

The Main Thing

Keeping the main thing, the main thing. 
With all that's going on currently, it's so easy to get pulled into the chaos and drama. It's a slow drift. Reading an article here and there, scrolling through social media *just for a few minutes* but you then find yourself hours later, right where you started and with nothing really impacting or meaningful to account for the time you just spent. 
So am I against leisure reading? Absolutely not. Am I anti-connecting and staying in the "know" through social media? By all means, have a go at it. While it's not my particular cup of tea, we all have our ways to decompress and go-to outlets for information. However, we should proceed with caution. It's so crucial that we are sober, aware and in control of what we read and how much time we spend. While it's always been the case, but more so now than ever, emotions and tensions are at an all time high and it's so imperative that we are wise and "awake." …

Yes

YES. Defined as "used to give an affirmative response" or "an affirmative answer or decision." 
Three simple letters but when used can be life changing. It has the potential to change the trajectory of our life. The course of our life and how we live thereafter is significantly impacted by what we say "yes" too. 
Many of us said "yes" to following Jesus. And not only that, we also said yes to obeying and keeping his commands. We said yes to exchanging our life for the life he intended for us. And hands down that is the best yes we could ever make. Period. So while there is no dispute that is the single most important decision of our life, that "yes" did not come with a guarantee that life would now be painless, void of suffering and hardships. Saying yes was not the winning ticket to an easy-free life nor did it immune us to uncertainty and struggle. We are still weak at times and find ourselves weary or disappointed or even sad and anxi…

This is my Father's World

Song: This is my Father's World
This is my Father’s world, And to my list’ning ears All nature sings, and round me rings The music of the spheres. This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas— His hand the wonders wrought.
This is my Father’s world: The birds their carols raise, The morning light, the lily white, Declare their Maker’s praise. This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair; In the rustling grass I hear Him pass, He speaks to me everywhere.
This is my Father’s world: Oh, let me ne’er forget That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet. This is my Father’s world, The battle is not done: Jesus who died shall be satisfied, And earth and Heav’n be one.
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This has been a tender and sweet hymnal around our house as of late. It's my son's 2nd grade teachers favorite song and has quickly become a favorite of ours too. The words are comforting and could not be more fitting than for such a time as we find ourselves in t…

Movement is Healing

I heard that phrase not too long ago and I find it very true for myself, and even more so in the face of all that is currently taking place in our country and world today. I don't think anyone could have ever imagined we'd be where we are today. Every infrastructure and institution is severely impacted. We are all experiencing and witnessing the heartbreaking and devastating affects. The hardest part, and there are many, is to see the condition of the human heart. To be fair, not every thing we see or read is complete and certainly not "gospel" because context matters. But what we have seen and witnessed it enough to let us know we are broken. We desperately need healing. We need a touch from God. We need transformation. 

While we all process and work through challenging and painful times differently, the only way to eventually get through it is to engage and move through it. Movement is healing. Movement is healthy. We can move at our own pace. However, inactivity I&…

Healing is Here

Song: Healing is Here - 
Healing is here healing is here
Healing is here and I receive it
Healing is here healing is here
Healing is here and I believe it
I reach my hands to the heavens
I lift my eyes where my help comes from
I look to You my rock my healer
I trust in You
Freedom is here freedom is here
Freedom is here and I receive it
Freedom is here freedom is here
Freedom is here and I believe it
Sickness can't stay any longer
Your perfect love is casting out fear
You are the God of all power
And it is Your will that my life is healed
Songwriters: Groves Daniel Eric / Stockstill Joanthan L

Jesus We Love You

Song: Jesus We Love You - Bethel Worship  

Old things have passed away
Your love has stayed the same
Your constant grace remains the cornerstone Things that we thought were dead
Are breathing in life again
You cause your Son to shine on darkest nights For all that you've done, we will pour out our love
This will be our anthem song Jesus we love you
Oh how we love you
You are the one our, our hearts adore The hopeless have found their hope
The orphans now have a home
All that was lost has found its place in you You lift our weary head
You make us strong instead
You took these rags and made us beautiful For all that you've done, we will pour out our love
This will be our anthem song Jesus we love you
Oh how we love you
You are the one our, our hearts adore Oh, Jesus we love you
Oh how we love you
You are the one our, our hearts adore Our hearts adore (we adore you)
Our hearts adore
Our hearts adore Our affection, our devotion
Poured out on the feet of Jesus
Our affection, our devotion
Poured out on the feet of…

Forever I Will

Song: Forever I Will - ORU Worship (Joy Werner and Alex Haywood)

You are the God who formed my world

You are the God who spoke my life into existence
Despite my sin your grace unfolds
You welcomed me home without any resistance

What love, what grace.

That I could come to you with simply anew and meet you face to face

Forever I will worship

Forever I will song
Forever I will lift you high, the king above all kings
Forever I will bless you, my God, my faithfulness
Forever you be magnified, all your love and graciousness

Oh God, I delight in who you are


You are the God who healed my heart 

You are the God who gave me a brand new start
Confused in my pain you showed me the way
You've been with me always, even when I went astray 

What love, what grace.

That I could come to you with simply anew and meet you face to face

Forever I will worship

Forever I will song
Forever I will lift you high, the king above all kings
Forever I will bless you, my God, my faithfulness
Forever you be magnified, all your love and …

Sails

Song: Sails - Pat Barrett

Falling is easy, but staying in love is hard
Hard to be honest and keep our heart open
To be who we truly are
Without the excuses, without the fa├žade
There's no pretending
Here in Your love
Oh, Lord set me free
Oh, Lord set me free
I'm finally seeing You were here all along
Your love wasn't absent, no
It doesn't come or go
The image I've had is starting to fail
You're patient with me
You're lifting the veil
Oh, Lord set me free
Oh, Lord set me free
Oh, Lord set me free (set me free)
Oh, Lord set me free (set me free)
I let out the sails of my heart
Here I am, here You are
I let out the sails of my heart
Here I am, here You are
I let out the sails of my heart
Here I am, here You are
I let out the sails of my heart
Here I am, here You are
I let out the sails of my heart
Here I am, here You are
I let out the sails of my heart
Here I am, oh, here You are
I let out the sails of my heart
Here I am, here You are
I let out the sails of my heart
Here I am, here You are

Wilderness

Wilderness, a wild and uncultivated region, as of forest or desert, uninhabited or inhabited only by wild animals; a tract of wasteland. 
Wilderness, a tract or region uncultivated and uninhabited by human beings.

When I think of wilderness, I think of uncharted territory for the purpose of preparation. Either God is physically leading us to a new place, and/or God is preparing us for a new thing, and/or a new assignment, or all three. Most definitely he is taking us somewhere. The wilderness is not the same as the desert tough the wilderness can have a desert and a desert can have a region of wilderness. But that's besides my point. Just know whether wilderness or desert, nothing is wasted. God can use all things and turn it for our good and benefit. One thing is for certain, he daily invites us to go on adventure with him. 

During a wilderness season, God draws us into this intense, greenhouse of solitude where there are minimal distractions. It's just him and us. This also may…

USA

I love our country. 

I cannot hear the Stars Spangled Banner or the Pledge of Allegiance or see the American flag or a solider without getting a lump in my throat or tear filled eyes. I am just super grateful for our country, our freedom and liberty. I am thankful for the life I have been given to live free, particularly the freedom to worship my God. 

So when I read and see images of the lawlessness, blatant disregard and disrespect for our country, the American flag, our men and women in uniform and the very foundation for which this great nation was founded, my heart is grieved. I am broken. It pains me greatly of the division, the hate and evil. There is a righteous anger that wells up in me. It's not right and it's not okay. 

This is not a political issue. This is a heart issue. It's a gospel, bible, truth issue. It's a sin issue. We are not honoring and respecting one another as fellow image bearers of our God. We teach children not to hit or say unkind words. We to…

Light and Momentary

Our family routinely prays for missionaries. The truth is, we're all called to be "missionaries." We are called to live a missional life, where ever and in what ever context. As Christ followers and recipients of new life, we too have now been called to the same ministry of reconciliation that found and saved us. We are to share the Good News at all times, to all people. 

The missionaries we particularly pray for are those who live and serve the Lord in regions, areas and countries where there is great opposition to Christianity. Our brothers and sisters living in various parts of the country risk their lives every day just to worship God or to tell others about his love. Something we freely can do here in the United States but yet so infrequently find ourselves doing. It is their daily reality to literally live out what scripture says in Corinthians, "We are afflicted in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abando…

Invitation

Invitation. 

Every day God is inviting us into something new. First and foremost, he always invites us into friendship and fellowship with him. Daily. Second, he invites us to partner with him. To go where he is going and to do what he is doing on the earth today. It starts within ourselves. Then to our family, our work, our neighborhood, our community, our city, our state, our nation, and our world. Every day he invites us into something fresh and new. 

The question is, are we ready? But even before that, are we even asking him? Are we listening? Do we even think he is inviting us to different adventures, places, work? To a deeper level of healing or intimacy?  

Friend, let's begin each morning with the practice of worship, thanksgiving and praise and devotion. Then before we set out with our own agenda and plan, let's ask, "What do you want me to do? What are you calling me to say yes to? God, what are you saying to me today? 

May God help us to live lives that are continua…

Build My Life

Song: Build My Life 

Worthy of every song we could ever sing
Worthy of all the praise we could ever bring
Worthy of every breath we could ever breathe
We live for You Jesus, the Name above every other name
Jesus, the only One who could ever save
Worthy of every breath we could ever breathe
We live for You
Oh, we live for You Holy, there is no one like You
There is none beside You
Open up my eyes in wonder
And show me who You are
And fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those around me Worthy
Worthy of every song we could ever sing
Worthy of all the praise we could ever bring
Worthy of every breath we could ever breathe
We live for You
Oh, we live for You
Jesus Jesus, the Name above every other name
Jesus, the only One who could ever save
Worthy of every breath we could ever breathe
We live for You
Oh, we live for You And holy, there is no one like You
There is none beside You
Open up my eyes in wonder
And show me who You are
And fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those (around me)
Holy
O…

Anger

Anger. What is anger? Merriam-Webster defines anger as a strong feeling of displeasure and usually of antagonism. 

Anger is also a basic human emotion, we all experience it to varying degrees and for different reasons. Some psychologist even say anger is related to the "fight, flight, or freeze" response of the sympathetic nervous system. Anger is literally something that physically happens in us. We feel it and it rises up in us and demands a response. An output. An expression. I have to "do" something about it. Something "physical" needs to happen, but that does not mean that "physical" action should be an act of violence, destruction or harm to someone or defacing physical structures. 

So how can you be angry without sinning? How do you release this strong emotion in a healthy way? How can we work through our anger and not get stuck but move forward and grow? I am still learning myself. Unfortunately, I didn't grow up in a family that model…

Forever

Song: Forever - Kari Jobe The moon and stars they wept
The morning sun was dead
The Savior of the world was fallen
His body on the cross
His blood poured out for us
The weight of every curse upon him
One final breath He gave
As Heaven looked away
The Son of God was laid in darkness
A battle in the grave
The war on death was waged
The power of hell forever broken
The ground began to shake
The stone was rolled away
His perfect love could not be overcome
Now death where is your sting
Our resurrected King has rendered you defeated
Forever, He is glorified
Forever, He is lifted high
Forever, He is risen
He is alive
He is alive
The ground began to shake
The stone was rolled away
His perfect love could not be overcome
Now death where is your sting
Our resurrected King has rendered you defeated
Forever, He is glorified
Forever, He is lifted high
Forever, He is risen
He is alive
He is alive
Forever, forever
You have overcome
Your resurrected King
You have overcome the grave
You have overcome
We sing Hallelujah
We sing Hallelujah
We …

Blessed

You've probably have heard this saying. "You are blessed to be a blessing."  It's nice. It's cute and there is truth to the statement. I've probably have spoken that same expression, and there is nothing inherently wrong about it. But in my opinion, it's incomplete. And if I take it a step further, it leaves room for varying interpretations and applications that can fall short of the original intent. 

Yes, we are called to be vessels and a conduit of God's love, grace and mercy. We are his servants, an "extension" of Jesus if you will, to carry out the Great Commission. We are called to be generous and to help those in needs. So in some sense, yes we are blessed to be a blessing. But even greater and ultimately, we are called to rightly and compellingly bear the image of God. How do we do that? In all that we say, do and accomplish here on earth, it is with one singular aim and focus - to point to our great and glorious God. Period. To make m…

Shame

Shame is not from God. We can feel embarrassed, remorseful or even "ashamed" for a sinful action. But we are not the sum of our mistakes, especially for those who are in Christ. The bible says if we repent and ask for forgiveness, there is no condemnation. (Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1) Please do not trample and take God's grace as a license to intentionally and consciously continue to live contrary to God's word. But even still, the grace of God cannot be undone. 

Jesus Christ paid a great price, his own life to take all of our shame and guilt. 

While we are all on this journey of becoming more like Christ, a good indicator something is not from God is when old feelings of shame or victim mentality (anything of the old nature) tempts to creep back into our thoughts. We should be alert and take that as a signal that there may be an area in our heart, belief and thinking that needs to be tended too. It needs to be sur…

My dad

Image
I believe in giving honor where honor is due. I also believe in honoring the story God has given, and being a good steward in re-telling and recounting HisStory and faithfulness. This week, I was reminded of my father's story. Here is the cliffnote version. I share because this too is part of my story. I cannot tell one without the other. 

I honor my father and praise God that he made the best decision for me ever, and that was to receive Jesus Christ as his lord and savior. It has forever changed the course of my life and destiny and for generations to come. So thank you, Dad. 

God’s hand and providence is on my life but first starting with my dad. My dad and mom have an incredible story of God’s rescue and redemption as a refugee (Vietnam, April 1975). He courageously escaped to find freedom and a better future. While on route with my mom, his less than one month old daughter (my sister), and his 3 younger siblings, they set out by boat for freedom. They banded together and took c…

All along

RockStar Hubs shared a story yesterday and I told him it would "preach." 

He's been taking care of some long overdue house things we just have not had the time to do, one of them being the gutters. He's a one man show (not necessarily by choice but circumstances) and juggles so many things. He does more things and jobs in one day than any person I know. God bless him for how incredibly hard he works. Lord knows and I sure do! But thankfully our son is a little older and is able to help here and there. It's been brutally hot here in Houston so all the more reasons why I appreciate my husband. But I digress. 

So RockStar Hubs shared that he had a conversation with God yesterday while on the ladder, trying to figure out what he needed to do to solve or fix the gutter. (Side note, RockStar Hubs is a nature/outdoor/hands on kind of guy and talks with God in unconventional places and ways). He was asking God to help him figure out a solution, give insight and direction w…