Monday, October 22, 2007

Laying Down Your Life

I was just listening to a song by Steven Curtis Chapman about laying down your life so another may live. I believe he was writing about Jim Elliot who gave his life for the tribe in South America in the '50's. Jim Elliot said "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." It struck me how prophetic was his statement. How soon into the mission he gave his life. And I recall that most of the tribe came to embrace the Savior, that these barbaric men are now submitted to the Lord, gentle and free.

In God's "economy" our loss is gain for the kingdom. I read in Voice of the Martyrs magazine of the profound losses that our brothers and sisters in Christ endure in hostile countries and feel like I am sacrificing very little for the Lord. He has given me so much, born in the USA. Health, freedom, abundant provision, a whole family, a wonderful church family...And to think I have a hard time giving up chocolate. I struggle to fast. I indulge myself too much, my Christian CD collection is embarrassing when I have to go through it to find a certain song for someone. I give, but not like the widow Jesus highlighted who gave her all. I think I need an overhaul. Yes, I give my time to ministry (by the grace of God) and to my family. I give some money to causes that the Lord lays on my heart... I'm seeing that the Lord wants me to pray that I will get a greater vision, and desire to give more, to give all for Him.

I walked through Herbergers today, my daughter and I went to restock on our Clinique skin-care. I used to feel guilty buying it, now that I am over the guilt, I wonder, was it really a bad thing? Now I don't think a thing of it. I walked through the clothing department looking at price tags on things I would like to wear...$60.00 for a sweater (I already have a closet full of sweaters) That same $60.00 could purchase over 20 Bibles through the American Bible Society or sponsor 2 children with World Vision. I didn't buy a sweater today, but I did spend that much on one once. I wear it (my 60.00 one) 3-5 times a winter...hmm... Eternal value: zip.

Help me Lord to live by your economic priorities. It all belongs to you and I have taken it for granted. Change me.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Contrast Enhances

Finally. A georgeous fall day here in western WI. It is peak week for color, however, most of the maples are leafless due to days on end of rain and wind. So the colors are browns and yellows with very little reds or oranges. What I have learned with all this rain and cloudy days is when the sun finally shines, I am more in awe of the effect it has on everything. The leaves are more intense-even the brown ones are pretty, the sky and the lakes are bluest blues. The sparkling water is awe-inspiring. My spirit soars. I love to be outside. People are more vibrant too.

I love the parallel (I am sure it is very intentional by the Lord) of the sun and the Son...
I think the sun's enhancement of creation on earth to be a shadow of heaven's glory, and it takes my breath away-what colors we have never imagined will be there? What will His radiance shining on heaven's waters be like? What will our eyes be like to take it in??? So...I think earth is the cloud and rain before heaven's splendor. What wondrous things we have to look forward to.

My daughter recently was appreciating a contrast that she has had after a very difficult relationship she was in more than a year ago. It was very painful for all of us. The Lord faithfully walked us through she has a new boyfriend with a very different personality and the contrast makes her appreciate the good things she is experiencing rather than taking them for granted. Talking with her about it made me able to see some of the good that the Lord is working out for her after that difficult time.

I love the Lord's ability to teach and show Himself in our everyday world!! His creation-wondrous. His glory revealed all around. Rejoice with me...Halleluiah

Monday, October 8, 2007

A Time To Tear Down

Today is a time to "tear down" Eccl 3:3 ...I need to tear down the old way of being a mom to my 18 year old daughter and build a new way...As a mother of middle-schoolers or highschoolers, much of our time is spent doing what Timothy was encouraged to do for his congregation in 2Tim 4:2. It says: "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction."

I think I leaned heavy on the correct and rebuke part and added encouragement when I would intentionally think of it. Now I need to listen more and let the Lord do the correcting and rebuking. I was confronted with this reality today, as my lovely and gifted daughter told me she didn't want to talk to me about some concerns because I would always tell her what to do and not just listen. I had to think about this...hmmm, is it possible? To just listen? As I drove around doing my errands, I found myself weeping at my wretchedness, asking the Lord to change me (thankfully, He promises that He will...He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus Phil 1:6) I have learned that His grace is sufficient and I am anticipating His work in me rebuilding this area of my life with more closed lips...leaning more heavily on the encouragement part. Please pray for me.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Prayer Power

The Lord has been teaching me so much about prayer for the past hmmmm...19 years (since He became my Lord) but lately He is answering in such profound ways and so soon after I pray that my soul wells up with halleluiahs. I must proclaim His glorious goodness once again.

Sunday my sis called me with overwhelming circumstances happening in her family, in tears and in need of prayer. I prayed over her and with her, pouring over her the Word of God with the authority of Jesus, and (as reported to me over the next couple of days) the load was lifted, the light dawned and freedom from the oppression that threatens to overwhelm us in difficult circumstances was secured. What a blessing that God causes us to need each other to pray.These experiences not only free us, but they bond us together. They also build our faith-our greatest treasure.

Yesterday, as my husband was finishing a job that has been very trying (he supervised the building of a bank) He was under deadlines for inspections, and had already had a few setbacks, with pressure to finish timely closing in, he called me to pray. He had an hour job on the roof that needed to be done in 5 minutes. They had extra guys, but I know it was our Mighty God that I called upon that made it the next call came, I was informed of the success of the inspection..Ah-hah, Ah-hah. The Lord of hosts moved on our behalf once again.

Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
Oh, how He cares.
PS...if you only knew how many exclaimation points I had to erase since they are not allowed.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Battles for Building

Today...There are many battles raging around me...people hurting, and lives breaking with divorce, unfaithfulness, death, family friction. As we encounter these broken things, we are fighting with the weapon of prayer. Struggling to take thoughts captive. Speaking truth over their situations. We have seen God's hand move in mighty ways as we bring our needs to the throne of grace. One of my favorite authors: Francis Frangipane sent an email today that was full of encouragement. It ignited my heart, and made me feel priveleged to be in the battle and moved me to face them with more worship, faith and firmness.

He reminded me that victory in warfare comes from true worship. That our pain is a sweet fragrance to the One who loves us and blesses our surrender to Him with life and Christlikeness. Reminding me of the privelege of suffering for Christ. The fact that He uses our pain for gain, for His Kingdom and for our own good helps us to stick it out with faith. Keeping our eyes on the author and perfector of it, Jesus.

You can read the article at It is called "God's army of Worshipers"