Category: Blog

An Unglued Give-away!

As a wife for thirteen years and a mom for nearly eleven, I have MANY unglued moments that I could go on about. And you’d relate and we’d giggle over them together for sure.

But, there are things in my heart and on my mind that are fresher and more painful than any of those day to day unglued moments.

A whole year for example.

Like last year for example.

2012 was a completely unglued year for me.

It began the weekend after Christmas in 2011. My husband became very ill. Some of you know the details, but I’ll just say that I’m certain his pain was far worse than I ever experienced in child-birth. –-And, you know, ladies… we don’t give that card up too freely!

During that very same weekend changes took place in his business. And those changes resulted in us making really huge decision to move to Alabama.

We thought at the time that it was God’s plan. We prayed of course, but we were super raw and emotional with him being sick and after struggling with his business for such a long time, we thought this must be His answer.

So, in June we moved our life. And the moment we arrived we were certain it was a mistake.

During our time there I experienced the absolute worst of my unglued year. Countless times I fell, crying and heart-broken to my knees. And each of those times He faithfully met me there.

He continually pieced me back together with His Truth and His peace every-single-time. 

Please don’t misunderstand me… the move and it not working out  did not surprise me about God…  I know His plans are hardly ever equal to our ideas on what’s best.

Yet, when you’re at your weakest and then hit harder and harder you tend to question your choices and whether or not they were yours or His to begin with.

I confess: I even questioned God. 

And when things seemed like they might stay broken and unglued longer than we could continue to bear… His mercy came.

The opportunity to move back to Reno came. And within weeks (six months after we arrived in Alabama) we were on the road to home again.

Praise the Lord!

Now, we filter through the year. Searching for what we are to learn. The lessons keep coming. The Humility I spoke about in my last post keeps rising. Affliction is never meant for nothing… and I’m grateful for it.

Yes, I am grateful for the entire unglued year!

Because… He showed up for me. He counted my every tear and wiped them all away. His love held me in my hopelessness and His peace surrounded me in my weariness. He rescued me.

Jesus is the answer to every unglued moment, day, month or year that we encounter. He is the answer to it all.
Photobucket

Now… who wants to receive a free copy of Unlgued by Lysa Terkeurst?

It could be you… just leave us a comment below sharing how God shows up in your unglued moments!

*One copy will be given. The winner is chosen randomly and will be announced on Friday Jan. 18th.

 

UNGLUED

 

A Little More Grace, Please…

humility

I seem to have fallen into the grace receiving category quite a lot lately.

I am beyond-words grateful to God for some really big things, like…

One very broken friendship restored… because SHE gave an abundance of sweet Grace to me.

And another friendship renewed because we exchanged Grace over several cloud-covered years of misunderstanding.

Then lately, there are some smaller grace-related blessings that I am also grateful for…

From a friend… that I was nearly a month late at spending time celebrating her birthday.

From another precious friend… for teasing her in fun… but taking it a bit too far.

And, so, so much from my dear husband… in too many personal ways to share.

I never intend to do the wrong thing… but sometimes I do.

It’s humbling.

To confess. To apologize. To seek forgiveness.

And, frankly, the whole process really hurts.

The prideful flesh in me bites so hard at her lip that she tastes the blood. Her chest puffs up within, foot stomps and in her whiniest it’s-not-fair voice says… “why is it that I seem to need so much Grace from others?!”

Oh, but the Spirit… it rises high above that flesh-girl in me… and presses her out with such force… and ushers me right into what Grace is certainly all about: HUMILITY.

Did I mention that it really hurts? Yes, you know. That stinging, stretching kind of hurt.

Jesus never said growth in Him would be pain-free. Pain-full indeed, but with such refining and worthy results. I’ll take it any day.

And I do it joyfully/painfully clinging tightly to His promises…

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.”

Psalm 11:2

 “He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.”

Psalm 25:9

 

Photobucket

Glorifying God in 2013!

Happy New Year everyone!  I want to start off the year with a challenge for all of us.  To start the year by being open to hear and receive a FOCUS WORD-a word that God lays on your heart.  You can pray and ask God for clarity, asking perhaps any of the following…

What does God want you to focus on FOR HIS GLORY in 2013? 

or

What does God want you to receive FOR HIS GLORY in 2013? 

or

How can God use you to DISPLAY HIS GLORY in 2013?

Share your 2013 focus word with others on this blog (in the comments section) or your close friends or family.  And then start looking through the eyes of the Holy Spirit to see why God has laid this word on your heart.  Share what is your word, how did you choose it, what does it mean to you right now, how is it affecting your choices and your life, and anything else relevant to your focus word.

My focus word for 2013 is PASSION! I will write more but I am already so inspired by the Holy Spirit!

Taken from my favorite, pastor John Piper…

“One of the reasons pursuing a PASSION for Christ and whatever else glorifies God is so important is the good effects it has on others. If you have it, and if it is really a passion for Christ, then it will have a God-designed effect on others. This is part of why passion is so good. It is an honor to Christ, and satisfying to us, and transforming to others. So, Lord, for your glory and my joy and the “stirring up” of others, give me a passion for your great name.”

Here’s to the most God-Glorifying New Year!!!

Glorifying God with you,

Erin

 

Discipleship Isn’t Always Fun

We’ve been ministering at the Castaway Motel for about eight months. Some of the residents have spilled into other motels and we keep in touch. I’ve spent a lot of time developing new friendships and trying to explain to them their need for Jesus. Needless to say, it hasn’t been easy. Some weeks I want to stay in my comfortable world of oblivion and forget they even exist. I wish I could tell you a bunch of stories of lives that have changed as a result. I wish I could tell you that hundreds have repented and are now serving the Lord faithfully. I wish I could tell you everyone invited attended the banquet last month. But unfortunately, I can’t say that.

Instead, my heart feels heavy as very few of my new friends are ready to ditch their lives to follow Jesus. Some are not convinced they need to repent at all. Some just want a ride or food. Some have had their fill of religion. Others are not convinced He is worth it.

Sometimes I am overeager like the two blind men described in Matthew 9:28. They shout for Jesus to heal them, to give them sight.  Only to have Jesus respond with a question, “Do you think I can do this?” I sense Jesus impress this same question on my heart daily. “Kelli, do you think I can do this? Do you believe I have the power to save these people?”

The good news is that I often see God do supernatural things. My problem is that I expect these miracles to result in a mini motel revival, but now I understand what Jesus meant when He said, “If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.” (Luke 16:31).

Lately, my weary soul finds comfort that Jesus never promised revival; in fact, He told us to expect the opposite (2 Tim. 4:3-4). Even when people saw the supernatural, it usually didn’t lead to repentance (Luke 10:13). They had Jesus right in front of them and they still couldn’t see the Truth. What Jesus did promise was that we would have His presence with us as we made disciples (Matthew 28:20). This I have definitely witnessed.

I find myself needing encouragement. This post is to encourage myself now and for years to come. I hope it encourages you too. I used to think that ministry was only successful if there were people falling on their faces and coming to Christ. This isn’t necessarily true. For those who are sharing Christ without much result, without seeing any fruit, take heart and continue to endure. We may not often see repentance in the harvest, but we do experience God being with us; and we do enjoy the peace knowing we tried. And that makes it all worth it, because He is worth it, worth ditching my plans for, worth losing my life for…

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58

Photobucket

Squeezed In

“Your paperwork is complete and we’ve reserved time for you to see the kids,” she says. These are the same children I took in for awhile when they were homeless; the ones who came to Vacation Bible School months ago. The same ones I told about Jesus. The ones my friends and I fed, clothed, bathed. The same ones recently ushered into foster care.

I hop in the car and it recklessly jerks from side to side across snowy pavement. I meet the parents there. I turn off the ignition and God prepares me. He prepares my heart for the break it’s about to encounter. The parents and I quickly grab the packaged Christmas gifts and race to the door. We blast through double doors into a small corridor and we wait. We squeeze inside a cramped county facility that is home to many orphaned children or children waiting to be reunified with their parents. The room feels small ~ maybe it’s because the need here is so very big. I see watchful children squished in as they gaze into a glass window that separates them from me. Peeking from inside are hopeful eyes and rosy cheeks waiting for the moment when someone comes for them.

I wonder what their future will hold. I wonder if they’ll ever truly know what God’s grace feels like.

A door unlocks and we’re relocated to another room. Suddenly, four shining faces bolt into limited space with us. We squeeze inside, exchange hugs, kisses, and they open their presents. I watch them and remember. I remember the day I came to share Jesus with their parents. I remember the filth they lived in and how good they look now. I remember being squished inside the confines of a motel room.

I breathe in deep and blink away tears.

I am so glad Jesus doesn’t leave us in squeezed in places like this alone. I am glad he meets us in the tiny places. In the narrow spaces vacant of hope. I am thankful he is here filling these spaces, the inevitable gaps, with the hem of his robe and a glimpse of his glory.

I think of Bethlehem and how it had no room. I think of how the parents of Jesus squeezed between animals, between stalls, to place Him in a feeding trough. I’m sure it was muddy, smelly, and loud in there, but the sky twinkled with the light of that star, the heavens bursting with joy at the initiation of God’s promise, Grace.

I look around this place and I know ~ this is what He came for. This galactic God who created the universe, who commanded creation and it stood firm (Ps. 33:9), who left an unrivaled symphony in the heavens, laid aside his crown, exchanged his royal robe for swaddling clothes, and squeezed all of the fullness of God into one tiny womb.

He calls my name and how I am desperate to recognize Him here, right here, in between orphans and lostness.

The squeezed in places, the moments that are muddy and messy and uncertain, this is what He came for. The wounds that our sin carves heavy against our hearts, that’s why He is here. All this doubt and heartbreak taking place in front of me… isn’t this why we celebrate the coming of our King, our Savior? To provide that glimpse of hope and promise and grace he so freely gives?

As we embark on a new year I am thankful … thankful that the birth, glory, and grace of this King wrecks my life every day, in a good way. I am thankful that the Spirit of God leads us through a process of reclaiming the wreckage and putting us back together again and on a new track, the track of his glorious plan. 

Photobucket

Merry Christmas!

A Baby Changes Everything

I just heard this song at a Christmas tea last weekend for the very first time.

So beautiful. Enjoy…


*Linking up with Into the Beautiful and Winsome Wednesday.

Blessings,

Heidi

Still Praying…

My heart is just so crushed over this terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  

I know you feel exactly the same.

I’m sure I don’t even need to ask, but lets continue in fervent prayer for all of those families that are in so much unbelievable pain.

My pastor said today that in these kinds of situations people do one of two things… run to God or run from Him.

Pray with me that they are running hard after Him… in their anger… in their agony… in their seeking… for answers and understanding. May His comfort settle on them and give an un-explainable peace and rest for their weary souls.

May God’s glory shine through it all. 

You may have seen this poem already on Facebook, but I thought it was just beautiful and worth sharing, just in case you missed it…

twas’ 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate.
their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
they were filled with such joy, they didn’t know what to say.

they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
“where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
“this is heaven.” declared a small boy. “we’re spending Christmas at God’s house.”
when what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.
and as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of mom and dad.”
then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!”
“may this country be delivered from the hands of fools”
“I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools!”
then He and the children stood up without a sound.
“come now my children, let me show you around.”
excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
and i heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
“in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”

Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA

Blessings,

Heidi 

Just Like Mary…

When it comes to Mary, people tend to go to one of two extremes. They either magnify her so much that Jesus takes second place (Luke 1:32) or they ignore her and fail to give her the esteem she deserves (Luke 1:48).

Mary’s humbled submission to the will of God always overwhelms me. “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her, (Luke 1:38).

In every spiritual transaction there are three forces at work. The Word of God ~ what God promised Mary; the Will of the person ~ Mary chose to follow God’s plan; and the Work of God ~ the Holy Spirit came upon Mary. I am not as trusting as Mary. But I desire to be more like her ~ believing in the promises of God; choosing His plan instead of my own; and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in and through me. How amazing that the same God who used Mary can use us too.

This year as I unearth new yet simple treasures from the Christmas story, there are six things I learn from Mary. They are:

  1. Serving God will not always be easy;
  2. Faithfulness and obedience will pay spiritual dividends;
  3. No matter who you are, God can use you;
  4. No matter what problems you face, God will be with you;
  5. The birth of Christ is for you but it isn’t about you; and
  6. “With God, all things are possible!”

Mary knew that her future, her body, and her reputation were not her own but her Master’s. Therefore, she was free to let go and let God do His miracle in her. I pray in this New Year that we all follow in obedience like Mary, offer our lives as we deny ourselves like Mary, and submit completely and radically to the will of God no matter the costjust like Mary

Photobucket

The Banquet

He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just,” Luke 14:12-14.

Page 5 of 45« First...34567...102030...Last »