Saturday, June 30, 2012

Saturday's Song


Today is my third and final day at Spirit Song.  Thursday I experienced Mosteller, Manafest, Icon for Hire, Lecrae, Jeremy Camp and Switchfoot...AND even got to meet Lecrae and Switchfoot.  Friday I experienced Jamie Grace, Royal Tailor, RED, Owl City, and Toby Mac.  Today I will experience The Lost Colors, Sent by Ravens, Nine Lashes, Family Force 5, Need to Breathe, and Third Day!  I absolutely LOVE music!  And I am on major musical overload...and LOVING every minute of it!

Here's a few videos from my weekend so far......

video
Toby Mac

video
Owl City


 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Fab5




It's that time again!  Our 7th Fab Five Friday!
We are still having a blast with this series of posts!
 
We encourage you to ponder your Fab Five.
Feel free to share the outcome of your positive reflection with us!
We truly are blessed by your feedback and participation.

 
1) This week, I am grateful for:

 
Falen:  Friends that swoop in when everything else falls apart...
 

Laura:  Gentle and not so gentle reminders of who Christ says I am.  Gentle and not so gentle reminders to flip my perspective around and seek the Favor of God in each and every situation!




2) This week, I enjoyed:

 
Falen:  Dinner with Jessa and Gary!  They are fantastic people, and we enjoyed a great meal and wondeful conversation.
 
Laura:  SPIRIT SONG!!!!!!  So far I have met Lecrae and Switchfoot, roasted in the awful heat, rode rollercoasters with my brother and friend, gorged on junk food, and worshipped from the third row with Mosteller, Manafest, Icon for Hire, Lecrae, Jeremy Camp, and Switchfoot....it's only gonna get better!!!!

Melissa, David, Rachel, and me

Meet n Greet with SWITCHFOOT!!!
 
3)  This week, I learned:

Falen:  About a fantastic blog/Twitter Trend/Instagram Movement:
  SheReadsTruth
 
If you don't know about it, check it out.  They even have Weekly Truth Lock Screens that you can save directly to your phone!  Definitely gonna dig more into this, and am pretty pumped about it too!
Laura:  That all too often I let toxic thoughts destroy my spirit.  I tend to forget who I am IN Christ and believe the lies that Satan feeds me.  Elevation Church had a guest speaker this week, Pastor Craig Groeschel, author of Soul Detox.  Pastor Groeschel spoke on toxic thoughts and how to detox your soul of the toxic thoughts that can creep in and pollute our lives.

I also learned that the Socratic method utilized in law school operates on three basic principles:
1) The professor asks the question and you give the answer (never answer the professor's question with a question-this will backfire)
2) The professor is always in control
3) The student never wins (whatever you say is wrong or at least questionable)
While I know and accept the purpose of this method...I'm scared to death!  God's got this, Laura...just breathe.  :)

4)  This week, I accomplished:

Falen:  Finishing Ephesians 3.
Laura:  Ephesians 3...and diving into my law school prep books (and the all consuming law school reading has begun, can't put it off any longer!)

5)  I am looking forward to:

Falen:

Laura:  My third and final day of Spirit Song!  I am also looking forward to spending all day Monday and Tuesday at the pool with my kids and celebrating the fact that I will officially be old on Tuesday (LOL!)  I LOVE the fact that there are always fireworks on my birthday...always makes me feel special :)



 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Valley


"That's plain enough, isn't it? You're no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You're no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He's using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he's using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home."
Ephesians 2:19-22 (The Message)

We live in the valley~the imperfect world surrounded by chaos.  Because we've been to the Mountaintop...we feel Him IN us everywhere, even in the valley low.  Convinced of his goodness because we've seen it and felt it, we persevere in the valley.

We are his temple.  We are his dwelling place.  We are his hands and feet.  We are his body.  He has built us brick by brick so that he can dwell IN us.  No matter what happens in the valley, I know that He has made me a new creation (brick by painstaking brick) and will continue to dwell IN me.  Not only does he dwell IN me, but he fills me to overflow so that I can't hold Him in and must spill over into everyone and everything around me.


Lord, thank you for not leaving me when I'm in the valley.  Thank you for continually speaking to me, continually calling me back up to the Mountaintop even when I'm trying to stay in the valley of self-condemnation.  Thank you for making me a new creation IN YOU, brick by brick.  Thank you for never giving up on me.  Amen!



 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Into the Word ~ Humility

More on Ephesians.... This week I have been studying Chapter 3.  If you haven't read it, do it!  It's a quick, yet power packed chunk of scripture.  I dove into this chapter at least three times.  Each time, this verse grabbed at me...
"Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ" Ephesians 3:8
More specifically... "Less than the least."  Paul, the writer of Ephesians, was in prison, shackled to a Roman guard for 24 hours a day.  He was in prison for proclaiming Christ, which was, obviously, frowned upon.  With regard to life before Jesus, Paul said in Galatians 1:13-14...
"For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it.  I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers."
Paul tried to destroy the spread of the gospel and persecuted the church of God.  This same man humbly proclaims, "I am less than the least of all the Lord's people."  So humble and mission focused, lacking pride and self righteousness.  Therein lies my fascination and "grab" with this verse.

Humility
No matter what he did...
Regardless of where he came from...
This Grace Was Given

Paul could have easily left that sentence intro off entirely, but he did not. He recognized the glory was not his own.  He grasped that his transformation was not a self-righteous act.  He understood there was so much more to life than just what he could see.  He knew he did not deserve and could not earn the grace gifted to him by a God he could not see. 
In his humility, his testimony rang loud in this partial sentence of scripture!
Have you struggled with self righteousness? 
Have you ever viewed yourself as "not that bad?"
Do the words "I deserve" usually accomany something fabulous? 


A Word from Becky:
I would LOVE it if you linkedup with a post about what God is showing you in the Word, or in your life. Please also stop by and see what God has been teaching my beautiful co-hosts this week: 



 

Into the Word Wednesday Blog Hop Rules:
1. Write a post about what God is teaching you this week.
2.  Follow the host and hostess via GFC.
3. Grab a button to put on your blog - the more the merrier!
4. Check out (and comment) other people's blogs and be blessed by all the sisters and brothers around the world!

If you are interested in co-hosting in the future, send Becky an email and let me know!
Signature













Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Broken


This passage of scripture changed my life, Romans 7:15-25

"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it." 

(Is your head spinning yet?!

"So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin."

This passage confirms what I've believed for a very long time...I'm NOT Alright!  My nature is sinful.  I desire to do what is good, but all too often I fall short of doing that because evil is lurking at every moment.  There is a war going on between my desire to do good (my Spirit) and my sinful nature (my flesh).  I'm slowing realizing that this war within me is nothing to be ashamed of.  We're all in this war together...we are all sinful and broken.  We don't like to talk about how weak we truly are, but transparency is the best way to help others learn.  When you truly understand that everyone is broken, it's not necessary to hide your brokeness.

Now, when I say the above passage changed my life, it only did so because my despair over my brokeness led me to God.  Romans 8:1 is the resolution of all brokeness! 


Are you hiding your brokeness?  Do you need to look Upward Not Inward?!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Zombie

Zombies? 
Bible? 
Walking dead? 
Scripture? 

WHAT?!

In studying Ephesians 2, as mentioned here, I am going to incorporate scripture and zombies [For real!  No joke!] and here is why:  To read we were dead in sin, as a believer we "get it."  This dead/alive concept is easy to gloss over, as we know and easily recognize this pertains to a spiritual life.  Yet, if I did not believe what I believe (the Bible as truth) this would throw me off, because it is obvious that I am alive.  I walk, talk, act, and think.  If I did not believe what I believe, this would trip me up and would make me lose interest in the remainder of the scripture.
Stay With Me Here

Ephesians 2:1-3 -
"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath."

Zombie is defined here as:
"the body of a dead person given the semblance of life, but mute and will-less, by a supernatural force, usually for some evil purpose."
Combined:

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins (the body of a dead person given the semblance of life), in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world (mute and will-less) and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. (by a supernatural force)  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts (usually for some evil purpose). 

The Bible tells us we are born into a broken world spiritually separated from God.  While it appears we have life--we walk, talk, act, think--we are spiritually dead and disconnected from our source of life.  We are like zombies, giving a semblance of life.

It's only through Christ we are spiritually alive, no longer mute or will-less.  We have greatness to proclaim and mighty purpose!  Life is no longer all about us, but all about something extravagant, impactful, and full of transformation.  The fact that this is even possible is the mind boggling part.  But God  graciously extended this opportunity of new life to undeserved zombie-like folks out of pure, unadulterated, genuine love. 

I'm certainly not the first to compare Life in Christ and Zombies, here is a song by Family Force Five.


If anything, I hope this post broadens your view, gives you another perspective, or even makes an impact for life in Christ.  

What do you think? 
Too far fetched?  

While zombies are all the craze now, it is my hope that reading this, you will be reminded of Christ, what He did for you, and how new life awaits or has already be generously gifted to you. 





Saturday, June 23, 2012

Saturday's Song


In seven days I will be seeing Third Day live in concert for the FIFTH time!  In my excitement, I am sharing with you the very first song that made me fall in Love with Third Day (and Mac Powell's voice!)  Enjoy this live version of 'Alien' by Third Day:

I'm what you're looking for
No need to search any more
I'm in need of your saving
You, you can give me hope
Rescue my wretched soul
You are the one, I am praying

I am just like the Alien
the fatherless and the widow

Keep your watch over me
Sustain the life in me
Frustrate the ways of every wicked man
Let me inside your home
Father defend my cause
Plead for my case and my innocence

I am just like the Alien
the fatherless and the widow

Just like the Alien,
I'm a stranger in a strange land
Just like the fatherless I'm in need
of someone to take my hand
Just like the widow,
I need you right now to understand
and save me.



 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fab Five

This is our Seventh Fab Five Friday!  Can you believe it?!  We encourage you to ponder your Fab Five. Feel free to share the outcome of your positive reflection with us! We truly are blessed by your feedback and participation.



(1) This week, I am grateful for:

Laura:   Knowing I'm not alone and never will be.  He is always by my side, even when I try to push him away.  He is always there to gently whisper to me and pull me back to Him.  He never gives up on me.
 
 
Falen: For my husband's amazing ability to take tests!  If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you will know the results of a promotion test we have been awaiting were released and he made it!

(2) This week, I enjoyed: 

Laura:  Swimming, swimming, and more swimming!  I also enjoyed discovering and reading many blog posts from Weak and Loved.  And I enjoyed all my lunch time visits with friends and family this week.

Falen:  Roadtripping with the family to St. Louis. Here are some funny snapshots taken with the PhotoBooth App during the drive: 


(3) This week, I learned:

 Laura:  Perseverance:  Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

Cant Stop! Won't Stop! Must Endure!  Hebrews 12:1-3

Falen: A lot!  Ahhahaha.  Without going into too much detail, I have learned Revelations is nothing to be afraid of.  I have learned that it is okay to step out of my comfort zone and take a leap of faith.  I have learned the power of an apology.  I have learned about the vast amount of fun able to be had in Dallas.


(4) This week, I accomplished: 


Laura:  Not giving up, even when it feels like I'm getting nowhere. . .fast!


Falen:  Visiting a new life group!  I have been leery about trusting women again in the past year or so.  It was a huge step.  I made it.  And, more than likely, I will return next week.

(5)  I am looking forward to:


Laura:  SPIRIT SONG!!!!!!  In six days I will be spending three days at Kings Island riding rollercoasters and stuffing my face full of junk food and worshiping every evening to some Amazing christian artists!!!!  Ahhhh...music IS my worship!  If you even ask me about it, you can visually see the excitement flowing out of me!  Wow, see, the excitement is even flowing in my fingers as I type!!!!
 

Falen:  Hearing all about how awesome Spirit Song is from Laura!  And, shopping this weekend for a romantic getaway weekend in Dallas next weekend.
 
We love to engage our readers,
learn about them,
and get to know them.
 
 
Please comment and let us know one or even all
of your Fab Five's of the week.

                   

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Comfort

My daughter misplaced her beloved "blankie" on Sunday and had to sleep without it for one horrible night.  She was very distraught and it took her a very long time to fall asleep.  She was unable to soothe and comfort herself with any other blanket as it was not "as soft" as her blankie.  After many tears and back rubs she did finally fall asleep and make it through the night.




The difficulty she had comforting herself without her beloved "blankie" made me reflect on how I comfort myself.  This is something I have struggled with for a very long time but only recently came to realize.  I've tried it all:  food, television, alcohol, lust, friendship.  There have been times where I've even longed to hear a certain voice or hug a certain person to comfort myself.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort."  2 Corinthians 1:3-7

God can fill all those empty holes that need comfort.  God is more than enough.  In fact, he's the only comfort that will truly fit completely into those empty holes.  When I need comfort, I need to turn to the true source of comfort and not to perceived comfort that is short-lived!  Even though I have a long way to go, I am on my way to finding my true Comforter, my All in All in Christ Alone!  I trust that he can and will fill me till I'm overflowing, complete me in every way, and comfort me when I'm suffering or lonely.

Lord, strengthen me to be able to not turn to any other means of comfort than You.  Heavenly Father, fill me....complete me....comfort me.  YOU are my Comforter.  YOU are my All in All!  Amen!



 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Into The Word ~ But God

Here and here, I talked about how I am currently diving into Ephesians.  This week, I'm concentrating on Ephesians 2.  This chapter really drives home two concepts: old v. the new and close v. far away with the joining themes being life in sin and life in Christ.  Great chapter.  Check it out...
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) ~ Ephesians2:3-5
This section of scripture begins with our "old" life.  Before Christ, we focused self-gratification, self-satisfaction, self-fulfillment, getting what we want, doing what we want to do, thinking the thoughts we wanted to think, quenching the desires we had for ourselves.  All this inward focus is the norm.  We are selfish "by nature." 

BUT GOD

But God.
Rich in Mercy. 
With Great Love FOR Us. 
Brought us together with Christ. 
BY GRACE WE ARE SAVED!

Knowing that by nature I am selfish.  Knowing I am bent toward doing whatever I feel like doing.  Knowing I am more likely to think thoughts that are either beneficial only for me or detrimental only for me.  Knowing that I am really out to only better myself, buy for myself, do for myself, worry about myself:

It is impossible to say that I can make myself right with God.  It is completely out of my hands.  BUT GOD, made a possibility purely out of love for me.

No quantity of "good" can get me right with God.  BUT GOD's good is big enough for all of humanity if we accept and believe it.

My mortal attempts to please God will never amount to more than that.... attempts.  BUT GOD has boundless mercy and limitless grace made obvious to us through the sacrifice of his Son!  It is through Christ we are are blameless, guiltless, and have the possibility to please God.

This hinge of "but God" changes the whole chapter of Ephesians 2.  I'm not sure about you, but I am so thankful it is there!

What Love!
What Grace!
How underserving am I of such a gift?
BUT GOD!
He loves me THAT much!
He loves you too!
Feel that in your heart today.


A Word from Becky:
I would LOVE it if you linkedup with a post about what God is showing you in the Word, or in your life. Please also stop by and see what God has been teaching my beautiful co-hosts this week: 




 

Into the Word Wednesday Blog Hop Rules:
1. Write a post about what God is teaching you this week.
2.  Follow the host and hostess via GFC.
3. Grab a button to put on your blog - the more the merrier!
4. Check out (and comment) other people's blogs and be blessed by all the sisters and brothers around the world!
If you are interested in co-hosting in the future, send Becky an email and let me know!
Signature





Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Seed


The Parable of the Mustard Seed (Matthew 13:31-32): He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

The Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-9):
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

I AM A SEED!  I've been pushed down by many.  I've been trampled on by many.  Many have walked all over me.  Push me down, trample on me, walk all over me...regardless, I will rise up a Tree.  In fact, you pushing me down and trampling on me and walking all over me only causes me to turn to the provider of strength and power (Ephesians 1:19-20) and rise up the tree He calls me to be (Ephesians 1:18).  I delight in being trampled on and walked on because I know that in ALL THINGS God works for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).  Any trial or suffering I may go through only works to improve and build my patience, experience, character, and Hope (Romans 5:3-4).

God calls me to be a seed, to take whatever life throws at me and use it to grow into a tree.  But God also calls me to be a sower of seeds.  The Parable of the Sower is God's "Guide to Gardening".  God tells me where to plant seeds.  It's not the seed that is bad, it's all in where and how you plant the seed!


 I am a seed and I am planted in God's good soil. 
Where are you planted?


 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Created & Chosen

Lift up your eyes
and look to the Heavens:
Who created all these?
Isaiah 40:26a


Road tripping this weekend with the family to St. Louis this weekend, I was able to somewhat escape the usual scenery of flat fields and houses, office buildings, and shopping centers.  I always look forward to taking in the new lanscaping multi-state drives have to offer.  This trip was no different. Many of the miles are flat and peppered with the random cow, goat, horse, or even llama (we saw at least two this trip).  Amidst a study of Ephesians and gazing upon God's beautiful creation, I remember:


As if God's creation isn't breathtaking enough, you, me, I, we were chosen before the world came to be!  We were not chosen for destruction.  We were not chosen to be this life's punching bag.  We were not chosen for continual defeat.  We were not chosen for perpetual failure. We were not chosen for unending thoughts of dread, sorrow, anxiety, or woulda/coulda/shouldas.  We were not chosen to focus on our next purchase.  We were not chosen to drown in the flood of loneliness.  No!  We were chosen to be holy:  Dedicated and devoted to God; Godly; Spiritually pure.  We were chosen to be blameless:  Innocent; Guiltless. 


Before seeds and trees,
before clouds and oceans,
before sunrises and eclipses,
YOU were chosen! 
You were thought of. 
Not merely your existence,
but your purpose. 
Not just your bloodline,
but your calling. 
Not only your name,
but your legacy.

Oh the splendor
 if all the chosen
choose Him too. . .

Are you a road-tripper? 
What scenery makes you marvel? 



Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saturday's Song


My absolute favorite song, hands down, is  'How He Loves' by David Crowder Band!  One of my closest moments with God was at a David Crowder Band concert surrounded by fellow fans singing 'How He Loves'....

He is jealous for me
Loves like a hurricane
I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy

When all of a sudden
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me

And oh, how He loves us so
Oh how He loves us
How He loves us all
Yeah, He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves

And we are His portion and
He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking
And Heaven meets Earth like an unforeseen kiss
And my heart it turns violently inside of my chest

I don't have time to maintain these regrets when I think about, the way....



 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fab Five

This is our SIXTH Fab Five Friday. We are having a blast with this series of posts!  We encourage you to ponder your Fab Five. Feel free to share the outcome of your positive reflection with us! We truly are blessed by your feedback and participation.



(1) This week, I am grateful for:
 
Laura:  Brutal honesty and accountability from friends.  I am also very grateful for the gift of a lap top!  I was going to have to purchase one this summer before I started law school.  I just saved hundreds of dollars!!!  Oh, yeah, and modern medicine...it's amazing how the right dose of medicine makes all the difference.
 
 
Falen:  Technology!!  First, without it this form of ministry would not be possible.  Second, by means of Skype colliding with Facebook, I got to see my mom.  If you remember from this post or from the first half of my testimony, I am 100% a momma's girl.  We live states apart, and I got to see her smile, laugh, adjust her bangs, and her reactions to all the off the wall comments I made.  HA!


(2) This week, I enjoyed:
 
Laura:  Visiting my neighbors with my kids, our small country adventures:)  I finally purchased my Illumination tickets for this September.
 



 
Falen:  Making reservations for our hotel this weekend!  AND, purchasing my Women of Faith ticket for the conference in August here in Oklahoma City!  AND, the Thunder in the Play Offs!  :)
 
(3) This week, I learned:
 
Laura: 1) I'm doing better than I think I am. 2) I matter more than I think I do. 3) It's less about me than I think it is.  All these encouraging words courtesy of Pastor Steven Furtick in his sermon "The Most Encouraging Message You've Never Heard."  I was in a constant struggle this week with my children who refuse to listen to what they are told.  When I would ask my children "Why don't you listen to me", God pressed it on my heart that I don't listen to Him as I ask my children to listen to me.  Obedience was a major theme for me this week.  "Yes, God I heard you.  Sorry you have to tell me over and over just like I have to tell my children.  Thank you for your Grace which allows me to repent and be made new."
 
 
Falen:  even more of the obvious: how selfish I am.  I know I was made this way, but in the second half of my study of Ephesians 1 this week it became more than obvious.  I wrote out a little prayer next to each verse (as a lot of this text IS prayer), and rereading my one line prayers I realized they were all about me.  When reading the verses again, Paul (the writer of Ephesians) was NOT praying for himself.  He was praying for the church in Ephesus.  I was convicted.  Then, I rewrote each little prayer for people other than me. Even before that, I was listening this sermon by Mark Driscoll and convicted of the same thing. 
 
(4) This week, I accomplished:
 
Laura: Cleaning my disaster of a car...the trash...the food crumbs...the toys...it's all gone.  Now, how long will it stay that way?!
 
 
Falen:  Another week of P90X every single day!  However, this week, I broke down and put all pouting and refusal aside and began the nutrition plan, too.  Added bonus:  My hubby is doing it right along side of me!  This all started by joining a FREE challenge with Allison as my coach.  She has July challenge slots open.  Click here if you are interested.

(5) I am looking forward to:
 
Laura: Decorating for VBS on Saturday morning.  Attending another Kairos reunion on Sunday.  And the thing I'm most looking forward to (even though it's not for another 13 days)...SPIRIT SONG!!!!!!
 
 
Falen:  We have a loooong weekend coming up with driving from Oklahoma City to St. Louis on Saturday and then back home on Sunday.  Best part:  I will get to hug my amazing mother-in-law!!  She is graciously taking my kiddos for three weeks!  It's a bittersweet situation.  I will miss my kiddos for sure.  At the same time, they are going to have a BLAST, and she gets to love on her lil' sweethearts for three weeks!!  Date nights with the hubby without looking for a sitter?  Yes please!!

 
We love to engage our readers,
learn about them,
and get to know them.

Please comment and let us know one or even all
of your Fab Five's of the week.
 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Eyes of Your Heart

Toward the end of Ephesians 1, Paul prays for the church in Ephesus.  In verse 18, he prays that:

"Eyes of your understanding being enlightened," (KJV)
or
"Eyes of your heart may be enlightened," (NIV)

When I first read it, I thought what on Earth does that mean?  So... I looked up:

Enlighten:to give intellectual or spiritual light to

Then, I ended up with this:

Shine a spiritual light on what you see from your heart :



Still a little stumped yet intrigued....

If I'm seeing from my heart...  Psalm 73:26 says: "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

Even further, in KJV it states the eyes of your understanding.  Well, that takes it to another level.  I can't doddle eyes on understanding...

If one views things from their understanding:

PERSPECTIVE!

(A topic near and dear to my heart, I think this is why I really wanted to get this text.) 

So, my struggle through understanding a tiny segment of Paul's prayer for the church in Ephesus ended with this phrase:




That is my prayer for every set of eyes that reads this blog, their families, and their friends.  As you go about your day, I pray that when things seem a little off that you see the situation, circumstance, or atmosphere from another perspective.  What really is the issue? 

Have you ever struggled through a verse and once the Holy Spirit guided you through it, it was exactly what you wanted to hear? 

 Have a wonderful day everyone!





Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Collision


I remember all too vividly questioning Why?  Why did my sister die?  Why now?  Why so young?  Why didn't she get to see her babies grow up?  Why did my parents lose their daughter?  Why would God let this happen?  Why didn't I get to say goodbye?  Why did some guy think it was ok to drink and drive?  WHY?  There is no answer to Why!!!  The closest thing God gives us to an answer to the question Why is in Romans 8:28:  "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."  I know that my sister's death is not in vain because my Heavenly Father tells me that he works for the good in ALL THINGS.  We don't always see the good right away, but I promise you it is there!  When someone is ripped from our lives too quickly, it seems like we are sooo very alone.  But God NEVER leaves our side. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

I also remember feeling like I couldn't live another day with her gone.  It was work just to breathe, to move, to get out of bed, to carry out daily activities.  How have 11 1/2 years passed by in my life without my sister when, at the time, I couldn't imagine another day without her?  "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."  2 Corinthians 4.  I fixed my eyes on Jesus and let him carry me through my suffering.  (Isaiah 40:11)
 
This song by Mercy Me depicts the moment of collision when our Hurt meets the one and only who truly Heals.
 
It's the moment when humanity
Is overcome by majesty
When grace is ushered in for good
And all our scars our understood
 
When mercy takes its rightful place
And all these questions fade away
When out of weakness we must bow
And hear you say "It's over now."
 
 
Jesus, come and break my fear
Wake my heart and take my tears
Find your glory even here
When the hurt and the healer collide.
 
I pray that if you are Hurting you will find that perfect Collision with the one true Healer.  Amen!
 

Monday, June 11, 2012

What's Next?



I can officially say I have completed a thorough study of each chapter in the book of Romans. With the indepth immersion into each verse, section, chapter, I see and hear Romans everywhere. 

Verses like:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (8:28)

If God is for us, who can be against us? (8:31b)

In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (8:27)

We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope. (5:4)

They are all in Romans, and I hear them all the time, either in song or in church services.  They are "go to" memory verses.  Life giving verses.  Life transforming verses.  Hope instilling verses.  Perspective altering verses.

Blog posts spurred by the study of Romans:


Next up:  Ephesians! Can't wait!

What are you studying? 
What are you learning? 
What are some of your favorite "go to" verses?


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Saturday's Song


For the very first Saturday's Song, I bring to you 'What Love Really Means' by J.J. Heller.  This song is near and dear to my heart as I have a passion for prison ministry.  And since I am attending a Kairos Reunion at ORW today it was only fitting to share this song with our readers.  This portion of the song gives me chills every time I hear it:
He's waiting to die
As he sits all alone.
He's a man, in a cell,
Who regrets what he's done.

He utters a cry
From the depths of his soul.
"Oh Lord, forgive me,
I wanna go home."

Then he heard a voice.
Somewhere deep inside.
And it said,

"I know you've murdered,
And I know you've lied.
And I have watched you suffer,
All of your life.

And now that you'll listen,
I'll tell you that I...."

I will love, you for you.
Not for what you have done,
Or what you will become.

I will love, you for you.
I will give you the love.
The love that you never knew.


 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...