Saturday, September 20, 2008

Spiritual Renewal

Hello everyone, it is 1:00 a.m. and I am sitting in the floor of our amazing cabin in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I laid in bed last night thinking of you guys, wishing I could write and just try to explain what the Lord has done for me here. I didn't bring my computer out of obedience, but the Lord blessed me with a sweet girl here with a laptop and I felt free to say a quick hello. Let me explain what I am doing. I am here with a group of women that started as 4 sweet moms wanting to get away for a few days to what now is 22 women who are here basking in God's presence. Tonight we did a "ice breaker" because we don't all know each other, actually your first year you just know the friend that brought you. During the ice breaker the Lord performed a miracle that I have only seen a few times in my life. He opened the door for us to be real. Someone made a joke and the ICE BROKE and later there were groups all over this cabin ministering to each other, pouring into each other, being the church. Guys, I heard my husband say this recently and I felt like it was the greatest "sermon" you could ever hear, he told some friends "this God thing is real". We are a group of 22 women from all walks of life, from all denominations, from all family dynamics and from all amount of freedom and of bondage and we all have the same cure, we all have the same remedy, JESUS! Renewal is what I have experienced already and our teaching sessions haven't even began. I have layed in bed and enjoyed the peace of not needing to make a bottle or tend to a crying baby. I am surrounded by women who demand I love my Jesus more, my man more, and my children more. I have experienced something the Bible commands, rest. I have seen the true meaning of Sisters in Christ as I have hugged necks that I haven't seen since this time last year. I love you all. I pray that you know this Jesus. I pray that you believe that this God thing is real. I pray you are real instead of the all so sickening fake. I pray that if you read this and long for what I am experiencing that you will get on your knees and ask the Lord to give you an opportunity to get at His feet and most importantly that you will receive it! I love you lots!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Drum Roll Please..............

Ok, so I'm really not into living vicariously through my child, but I sure wouldn't mind if my little guy DID play the drums and rock this world for Jesus! Love you all!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Don't Blame Me...............

I sometimes struggle with being one of God’s messengers. Sometimes He puts blogs in my head and I think, “Oh, no, not again Lord, can’t we just do something light”. Can’t we just do something that feels good? Maybe some cute pictures of Cross, of the fam, of the new Student Auditorium, but no, here I sit at a cross roads asking myself, will I type as He leads or will I sugar coat it so you will keep logging on. I do think anyone that has stuck around this long has given up on light. I feel like we have weeded out any fun Cross searchers because especially lately, He has had me literally on my face rethinking everything--and if you are still in on this journey, my bet would be you are starting to question some things as well. So this blog is titled, "Don’t Blame Me." Like I said, it has been in my head for a about a week now so I am attempting to be obedient. Bear with me if I step on some toes. Honestly, mine are bruised from these truths I have been faced with lately so here goes: This is a letter from God to us!

Don’t blame me my children for the raging of the sea. Don’t blame me for the hungry or diseased. Go help them dear ones. Go rush to their aid. Go tell them of Jesus in any and every way. Feed their hungry lips instead of indulging yours. Clothe their little bodies and ignore all the stores. Wipe tears from their eyes instead of watching TV. No, it is you who was plainly called, don’t blame me.

Recently I heard or read, I really can’t even remember, a message on this and it just cut like a knife. I do, just to be real honest, look at those poor children on TV in Africa and think, why God why. The sad answer to that ‘why’ is that there is simply a lopsided allocation of funds. In America, we spend millions of dollars on football stadiums and SUVs, designer clothes, tanning beds, and big screen TVs. We get manicures and pedicures and massages for our weary feet. We have excess in the pantry, the walk-in-closets, the shoe racks and maybe most often, the baby-clothes-collection. Babies certainly don’t care what they wear! We feel that we “deserve” so much, yet in doing so are we assuming that others deserve so little? And if you say you don’t, you are lying--unless your actions prove otherwise.

Today the Lord had me give a challenge to my Bible Study, another fun request, for sure. I asked those women, some of whom are years my senior and others, my junior to just be brave enough to ask Jesus if He would have them respond to this truth in a practical way in their day to day lives. Honestly, for me personally, I do feel I have asked, but I don’t believe I 100% know the details. I know some things are changing. I know that the more I listen to sermons, the more the reoccurring theme of giving lavishly is present. I know He is slowly having me to let go of things I ounce clinched with a white knuckle fist. I am slowly visioning us without ever owning a home. I am slowly believing that our kids really can share a 9 by 9 room (when I say kid(S), plural, I promise there are none in the oven). I just mean He is starting to show me that if we all (all Christians) got on board with this others focused gospel and turned our backs on the far too popular me centered one, that we really could change the world.

I have said this before, but I do know I can be a little much. I know I can be a little over the top, but I feel like I am meeting some people, even if only by computer, that are way more over the top than myself and I will just have to be honest with you, it is exhilarating. I sometimes feel all alone and now I feel a little more normal. If you have ever sat around and thought to yourself, especially after you started following Jesus, is this really all life is, then you too are crying out for more. My mentor and I were talking about this being the button for midlife crisis for sure. You think the home, the spouse, the 2.5 kids is going to do it for you and then you wake up one day not wanting to go to your awesome job and subconsciously being so disgusted with your surplus of things and instead of seeking Jesus, you just take another angel. You take another spouse, another life, another home, another job and years go by and it just gets more empty.

So to close, my camera is broken so who knows when cute Cross pictures will be back on the scene. I honestly think that is about as far down the list of Jesus’ concerns as one issue might be. Ask yourself today, is there anything I’m missing. Go ahead, don’t be scared. As Francis Chan put it at Big Stuf where he so radically challenged students in hopes they would never have to reprogram, “I’m not asking you to give up your dreams, I am honestly just asking you to buy into some bigger ones”. I really believe there are some things on my horizon that are going to rock my world to the core and that I am going to look back and be like “house what and comfort who”. Following Jesus IS where life exists, I just think some of us are guilty of taking the lead!

Because of Him,