Monday, April 26, 2010


This is where I got the name for my Blogspot!

As Christians, we are all called to minister compassion, reconcilliation, and restoration. That's the point of the entire gospel! Don't let us forget that as we are off doing good.

I think that when you have had your fill of trials, that you are better equiped to minister out of love. Pretty much becuase you've, been there-done that. I have had a life filled with trials...a quick glance back through my life, and you would see
....rejection but then adoption....teen pregnancy and then life...abuse but then forgiveness...alcoholism and then victory....a church that disowned me and then foot washing...a son who went to jail and then answered prayers...infidelity and then healing. Did these things break me? Nope, but I was bent to my knees on more than one occasion. All of these trials have made me exactly what God needs me to be. AM I a victim? No way, I am molded by loving Hands.

Isaiah 42:1-3 "Behold! My servant whom I uphold. My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have My Spirit upon Him...a bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax(a wick) He will not quench.

These verses give us a picture from Isaiah of the "bruised reed and dimly lit wick"..expressions of how fragile and weak we all are. It symbolizes all the people who have been broken...people bruised and abused by life...people without strength to bear all that life is throwing at them. They are left battered. If you all admit it, we have all felt like that more than once. Depending on the size of the trials, we experience defeat, depression, oppression. THE GOOD NEWS: Jesus always ministered to the hurt and hurting with agape love and compassion. He never falls on anyone like a ton of bricks to break you, unless you are the self-righteous pharisees.

I am excited...because I have been bent, broken, bruised, abused, weak, depressed.....oh yeah, you read the last few paragraphs. BUT Jesus has prepared me for my ministry. These are not hinderences, they are experiences and stepping stones to where God has called me. Only the pharisees would look at these things as hurdles or failures. Jesus looks at our lives, and says "oh yeah, I can use that". God is time and time again, using the useless, raising the downtrodden, and giving the least likely a platform to help others.

We gain God's insight and wisdom when we go through trials. Which is why a bruised reed can never really be broken. The wick that God lights, will not be extinguished. I am reminded that it is easy to discredit someone because they are broke, and say "that can' be fixed" or "it's too broken to ever work properly again". But GOD! God doesn't say the wick will be quenched...or the reed is going to break...even though the reed might come close, it won't break. He won't allow it! It reminds me of the children's song 'This little light of mine". All of hell can come and try to swamp us...and God might allow a little bit in order to build our chrachter...but He promises that we will make it.

Here is the awesome part! We all have the opportunity to be Jesus to other people, using those trials as wisdom. As with any work of God's in our lives, we almost always play a part in the process. Each bruised person is likely to receive sympathy and that is very appealing. It is also appealing for them to want to stay there. SURELY, there is a time and place to be consoled. But the love of God, can help people face areas that they feel victim too. God also wants to use all of us! This is where we get to put on Christ, and be ambassadors of reconcilliation. One of the biggest ways that God brings about justice for the hurt, is by healing them. We all have a part in that! The hurt are everywhere, and we all cross their paths and are hopefully entending hope, love, and reconcilliation.

How do we help them? Everything we do as Christians has to reflect Jesus. Jesus was here not to be served, but to serve. He was the perfect reflection of a compassionate love for humanity, sympathy toward the under dogs and sinners, and empathy because He had experienced everything imaginable. We are warned in Corinthians not to forget these things as we evangelize, pastor, prophesy, teach..or anything for that matter. We are His representative on earth now! We get to do it his way! We can't be like Frank Sinatra and sing "I did it my way". It is when we forget these things and try to do it our way, that we have a problem.

When we come alongside someone to minister compassion, restoration, and is always good to get on thier level. As the empathy of Jesus floods your will no longer see their sin, weakness or faults. Instead you see their humanity alongside your own humanity, the same humanity Jesus experienced. We let agape love flood every fiber of our being..and then we let them see how God sees them. We have to be careful not to let our Adam nature enter into the mix of things...lest we become like the pharisees. Pharisees always seemed to see the worst in people, they tended to "go off" about things God never had a problem with.

With God and our help we will begin to see the broken made strong, mature, and whole. That is why I am here on this earth, why I was born by a scared women who was raped...who then put me up for adoption. He knew the plans that He had for me, plans to prosper me. I wouldn't give up one of those trials, bruises, or near breaks....they stunk. But give me the broken, hurting and brusied...and I will show them Jesus.

It is easy to think we are too broken for God to use, or for us to think that someone is too broken for God to use......but we all need to know that God is not done with us yet!

What will you do?

I recently read a Facebook status and the person had quoted from a song that the band Skillet sings. And it really got me thinking. The song quote........
"What will you do to make a difference, to make a change? What will you do to help someone along the way?" - Skillet

What will you do? And I thought, the same thing as always...I would represent Jesus. This song quote reminded me of two things first a picture that hangs in my study, and something that happened about a year ago.

I was driving home from work(TIRED) and I passed a local church, where a teen girl was all balled up and crying in front of the church.

I could have done what was good for my flesh and drive by, going home to make supper for my family. OR I could pull over and offer the love of Christ to the lost and dying world(that is right outside my back door). I pulled over...went and got down low onto the ground and the level she was at.....and I sat and gave her an ear and a shoulder. I didn't know her..her problems weren't mine to solve.

Because someone at that moment decided they would do something. She knew love at that moment...and I had the opportunity to use some of my life experiences to offer her hope. Some of my mistakes in life, became wisdom that I could share. What if I had never been through those things? God allows trials in our lives, and not only do we grow from them...but it allows us the ability to get down low where someone is at, and share in the experience. I am so glad that I had life grew my compassion for her.

After an hour, she felt better, she knew the name of a nice Christian teen, she wasn't running away from her problems and her family, and knew alcohol was not going to make it better. It was worth it! It is worth it to help soemeone change, or to help someone along my way. Sometimes it is easier, or more conveinent, or safe to drive on by...or even hope that someone else will do it. But every day God watches and waits for us saying "what will you do?". We are comissioned to GO...We are commissioned to LOVE...We are commissioned to share the peace and love of the gospel.

I left her standing up--instead of on the ground in a ball. I left her smiling--not crying. I left her knowing that someone and Jesus cared for her--not thinkiing thinking nobody cared. I wept a little as I drove home...not because I was sad, or proud of what I had done. But because that lamb didn't crash at the bottom of some ravine.

It was worth me leaving my family (the many), to go ofter that one sheep who was about to fall off the cliff. Sheep aren't very smart and they will walk right off the side of the mountian. It's true! But that is why the parable of the lost sheep(Luke 15)... paints a picture of sheep and shepherds. It shows us how Jesus cares for us...and how we are to care for each other. God's primary concern isn't the organized church, our midweek programs, the size of our congregations, what leadership title we have...first and formost He is concerned with those who stray.

The reason Jesus leaves the many to rescue the one who is because sheep follow sheep. Jesus is the Chief Shepherd...if He rescues the one sheep that was straying and about to fall off the side of the cliff...IMAGINE with me, how many sheep were about to follow that lost and straying sheep. But He needs our hands, feet, hearts and surrendered lives to be "out on the edge" for Him. If that one is rescued... HOW MANY MORE WILL BE SAVED! How many might have followed that sheep? If we will make a difference for just one person. If we will assist in change for just one person. If we will help someone, instead of turn our heads the other way. We can effect the multitudes...while we grow our own hearts.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Faith Killers

God loves us, so He rebukes and chastises us. Hey! He does...tough times are our opportunity to grow. And God uses everything. Sometimes the rebuke comes through those we love or just like, just like in the book of Job. Sometimes He sends our Friend, the Holy Spirit to teach us.
Recently I was alone with God...ok, I am alone with God alot. But with a purpose, I was seeking God's heart for me. I knew the next day would have some potential, I was asking God to take all of me and make me what He wanted. I was asking God to show me my imperfections and flaws, so that I would reflect Him at a meeting I was attending the following day. In the past I would have approached things diffrently...I would have been asking God for a list of things that might suit me and still line up with the word. But this time, I just wanted to reflect Jesus. i waited God began to prepare me for battle. I fought the process, as I knew that I wasn't into any type of offensive stance for this upcoming meeting. If it began to seem like it would be a battle...I would have skipped the whole thing. I argued this with God for a while, and being the silly girl that I am....I suggested God change His directions for me. As I was only seeking peace. God pursued over and over that I prepare for battle. I wrestled, although I have not noticed that I walk with a limp--LOL! It is when I fully surrendered to God that I learned what He was teaching me. And I believe the whole body of Jesus can learn from it. I am making myself vulnerable so that maybe others would benifit.
God took me to the book of Joshua...the 10th chapter to be specific. Joshua was being given some 'holy direction'. I was excited because I needed 'holy direction'. But I have to be honest I was totally not in the battle groove. BUT...Joshua was to massacre 5 kings, by putting his foot on thier necks and then he was to hang them in the trees. The whole time God was saying "fear not", "do not be dismayed", "don't freak out". God was showing us all how to deal with our enemies. So, here I was saying to God...but I chose love, I don't want to call anyone an enemy. But none-the-less God was saying to me that He will smite my enemies and give me voctory over them....and then we get to hang them in the tree for all to see.
I wasn't totally sold on God's direction...UNTIL I surrendered just a little bit more. HEY! I am still a flesh monster! The whole time I was thinking the battle is not with flesh and blood, but instead ruling powers. And how I wanted to love my enemies no matter what. Once I started "listening" again, God began to reveal that the 5 kings that Joshua defeated...and how they represent our 5 senses. He showed me how like the 5 kings our senses hide out in darkness until we drag them out into the light. And He started to show me how I have already put my foot on the neck of many of these "kings" over the past several years....He said to me " you have subdued these kings...but you have not yet hung them in the trees for all to see" So, here I am getting a Holy Ghost download that will prepare me to subdue my senses and maintain my faith in the day to come.
Here are the 5 senses/kings that we must subdue, and how we can do it easily with God's help.
The "king of smell"-- Daniel was in the fiery furnace and when he made it out of that trial. They remarked that not a hair was harmed OR did he smell like smoke. We have the opportunity to walk through trials and not stink from them. Sometimes when we go through the fire of testing we come out stinking, we get stuck in the situation and won't let it go, we don't stop talking about it. In order to subdue the sense of smell we have to step OUTSIDE our circumstance and and get victory over smell. The priests knew how to get rid of stench that lingered....they spent time in the stinking nasty courtyard killing and cooking animals. But they knew to go burn incense. They knew that they defeated stench by going nearer to God and praying and praising. We put our foot on the neck of the king of smell, by being intimate with God. Even Lazarus must have stunk after 3 days...the people knew it. But Jesus said roll the stone away. They were expecting some stink...that was un-belief. We subdue smell, when we change what we expect to smell. You see, sometimes we get burned or upset, or lose our faith a little bit, but just because we have been through the fire doesn't mean we have to smell like it.
The "king of touch/feelings"--you can't get into your feelings more than you do your faith. Feelings are an enemy of faith. Think about the story of Isaac who was blind and on his death bed. Jacob tried to trick him...he had the goat hair on his arm and was pretending he was his brother Esau. His dad says, "who is it?" Jacob gives him his arm to feel. And his dad began to "feel". Then his dad made a statement that warns us to be careful. His dad said "you sound like Jacob, but you feel like Esau". He decided to go with with his "feelings" instead of what he heard. If we go by what we feel, and not by what we hear...we will miss it! We have to put our foot on the neck of our "feelings". Or we might be talked right out of our destiny. I know because it happened to me.
The "king of sight" ---seeing wrong will talk us out of our destiny and kill our faith. After all we walk by faith and not by sight. Elisha sent his servant to check things out. The servant saw enemies chariots. Elisha prayed a crazy prayer, asking the Lord to open his eyes. After another look WITH EYES OF FAITH. We get in a battle and all we see is ground level...we have to raise our eyes and see where out help comes from. When we get bad reports(and we will) or impossible situations we need to see what he sees. God's church has to see what God sees in one another! We can look at one another with natural eyes, or we can look at one another with His eyes. When the servant walked out, he saw chariots and angels. What are we going to focus on, the problem? Or can we see promises...what are we going to focus on?! In order to put our foot on the neck of the king of sight...we have to see with eyes of faith and stop looking at one another without the filter of God's eyes.
The "king of hearing" --Don't be talked out of your miracles. You go by what God says..not by what you see. Jesus said take heed to what you listen to. The biggest faith killer and unity basher in God's church is gossip. It will ruin the best of people...and crash God's plans quickly to the ground. We all want to hear another's opinion of someone, or what they did. But God clearly says never to gossip. If we want to truly understand a person or situation, we must go to that person. It is never just or right to seek information from another person. There aren't loop-holes just because you are in leadership. We must guard our ears at all times. We have to get victory over what we hear! Elijah was there and every body was saying famine and drought...but Elijah decided he was not going to listen to grumblings and whining. He was going to hear with ears of faith. And said " I hear the sound of the abundance of rain!" That is hearing with kingdom ears. All around God is making faith-filled sounds, and if we stop listening to people we will hear God-sounds. We can be like David and know God is near us, when we are facing hard situations. Like David waited on God and heard the rustling of the mulberry bushes...we will know God is with us. We must believe His report. Or as believers we will allow others to talk us out of our blessing. We put our foot on the neck of the king of hearing ...when we stop listening to grumbling, rumors, and gossip.
The "king of taste"--there was a pot of stew that was poisoned. In reality everyone should have avoided it like the plague. We do that with our brothers and sisters..I have been guilty. But in the bible the prophet said we just have to put some meal into it. The meal represents God's word--the bread of life. When we deal with poisonous people, we simply have to pour a little "meal" into them. The Amish would shun a person for poisonous behavior....but what if they tried pouring a little bit of the word their way. They would have saved their brother or sister. When we pour on places no limitations on God, and God places no limitations on faith. A little prayer and a little meal and even sister sassy-bucket will be restored. Instead what we usually do with a poisoned brother or sister is we chose to eat bitterness toward them. The taste in our mouth is bitter, and everything we eat after that will have a bitter taste. Remember when Jesus was on the cross? After all He had been through , prior pain, those who once cared for him turning against him, beatings and bruising...they put a sponge with vinegar and gall on it to His mouth and told him to drink. Jesus our wonderful Saviour didn't drink the bitter fluid. He had victory over the king of taste. He refused to become bitter. We have a choice to drink of bitterness...and we have a choice to add the word when dealing with tough people.
I have battled and won the battle against these kings. For the most part I have hung the pummeled king in the tree for all to see. But since I am human and totally fall short of the glory of God.......I have areas in my life where my foot is on the neck, but I haven't yet hung it in the tree for all to see. I am looking forward to applying Gods word to my life!