Time has gotten away from me a bit, so if you are following the "What Happens" study, I will resume next Monday. Thanks
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
1 Peter 5:7 (New International Version)
7Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
I had a brief conversation about this verse with a friend of mine the other day, it has stuck with me and I wanted to share.
What exactly does it mean "to cast"? Well here are some definitions that I found on Dictionary.com:
1) To throw or hurl
2) To throw off or away
3) To part with; lose
4) To shed or drop
5) To reject or discard
I have some decisions to make about my life right now, these decisions are ones that affect not only me, but my daughter, my parents, my brothers, my friends. Needless to say, when decisions of this magnitude come up in our lives they cause us anxiety and stress. So I have been pondering this verse. The act of casting my anxiety on Him, means to get rid of it, to release it, to throw it out of my hands and towards my Heavenly Father. To throw something,or to hurl something, disables our ability to hold onto it, when we throw a baseball, it would be impossible for us to snatch it back. This it what God wants us to do, He loves us more than we could even imagine, so why do we hesitate to give Him everything. I am going to begin casting my anxieties on Him more and more.
Thank you for your promises. Thank you for loving us enough to care about the big things and the small things. I pray for your strength to come upon me, give me the ability to let go completely. Amen
Posted by CC at 1:31 PM
Monday, September 21, 2009
When you sit in God's presence do you ask Him to use you? Are you ready to be used? If you don't ask Him to use you, is it because you are afraid of what He may ask you to do, or that He won't use you at all? Lysa began chapter 3 talking about a conference that she attended, the speaker of the conference challenged the audience to ask God to use them in extraordinary ways for His kingdom. Thus began a process, a process of becoming radically obedient. Lysa wanted this, she sought God for direction, she asked Him to use her, and to show her what He required of her.
This whole concept of becoming radically obedient is new to me. I think somewhere tucked in the depths of my heart I didn't think I needed to worry about this type of obedience because God was NOT going to ask me to do anything difficult or out of my comfort zone......you can stop laughing now!!!!! How juvenile was my thinking. I thought that I was so very ordinary that the Lord would require very little of me, I was not one versed in biblical theology, so why in the world would He call me to do something radical?! I have never doubted that God is an awesome God, that He can do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING (anything and everything for other people, just not me). Even when I was not living my life according to His will, I knew that He was a giant God. I did however, doubt myself. I guess if I am being honest I also had little faith that God loved me enough to do His work, that He loved me enough to take care of me if I stepped outside of the boat. I was someone who stumbled often, I was someone who lied, someone who had inappropriate relationships, someone who cheated, used bad language in most of my daily conversations, someone who didn't like going to church, reading my bible etc....the list would be too long. Quite a dichotomy of thoughts really. The beauty is that God does want to use us, He knows our weaknesses, and loves us despite them.
I know now,that the Lord will call me to radical obedience, He will ask me to step outside my comfort zone, and He DOES love me enough to take care of me and will work out the details for me. Lysa says "God is not interested in half our heart, He wants it all"Are you willing to lift your hands to the heavens and release your heart to Him? This is a journey. God does not expect us to be perfect at it right away, He knows that we will stumble and that there are things that we may hang on to tighter than other things. We need to be willing to go the distance, to ask Him to give us the strengh and the courage for this radical obedience. Live everyday expecting to see Him, expecting to hear from Him, expecting to be asked to do something for His kingdom. The more we allow God to use us the more peace we will find in our lives.
<strong>John 15:10 (The Message)
9-10"I've loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you'll remain intimately at home in my love. That's what I've done—kept my Father's commands and made myself at home in his love.
Say yes to God today, tomorrow, and beyond. Say yes to God in whatever the request. Say yes to God no matter what, knowing that He will direct your steps. Release your grasp on the things you hold tight, offer these things to our Lord. The more we say yes, the more God can pour out His blessings on our lives.
1.What is something that you are holding onto today?
2.What is something God has asked of you recently? Did you say yes?
Read Genesis chapters 6-9. There was nothing about what Noah did that was practical or common, what he did was radically obedient. He listened and did what the Father asked of him sacrificing his reputation giving up things that he held onto. Because he said "yes", God blessed him.
Give us the courage and strenth to be radically obedient no matter what you ask of us. Amen.
Posted by CC at 2:01 PM
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
I am in awe that the God of this universe, the maker of everything, the Almighty, wants to talk to me EVERYDAY!! He wants to talk to all of us everyday. Lysa tells us that God wants us to live in expectation of hearing from Him. So, how do we discern God's voice from the voices of others, how can we know for sure that it is God speaking to us?
Lysa gives us 5 key questions to ask ourselves:
1. Does what I am hearing line up with scripture?
2. Is it consistent with God's character?
3. Is it being confirmed through other messages I'm hearing at church or studying in my quiet time?
4. Is it beyond me?
5. Would it please God?
Asking these questions can help in recognizing God's voice in your life.
1. Does it line up with Scripture?
Psalm 119:9 (The Message)
9-16 How can a young person live a clean life?
By carefully reading the map of your Word.
I'm single-minded in pursuit of you;
don't let me miss the road signs you've posted.
I've banked your promises in the vault of my heart
so I won't sin myself bankrupt.
Be blessed, God;
train me in your ways of wise living.
I'll transfer to my lips
all the counsel that comes from your mouth;
I delight far more in what you tell me about living
than in gathering a pile of riches.
I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you,
I attentively watch how you've done it.
I relish everything you've told me of life,
I won't forget a word of it.
We need to know the word, we need to study the word, we need to memorize the word. God would never tell us something that contradicts His words. I never realized when I was a child the importance of memory verses and to be honest never took it seriously. I have only just recently realized this truth, now I have a small notebook that I carry around with me, in this book are verses for everyday. I would like to say that I have done a good job at memorizing them, the truth is that I have not, but I am working on it. Get into the word everyday.
2. Is it consistent with God's character?
Galatians 5:22 (New International Version)
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
God would never tell us to do something that went against who He is.
3. Is what I am hearing being confirmed through other messages?
I don't know about you, but when God wants to tell me something, I cannot run from it. The message is reiterated at every turn. If you spend time with the Lord, if you have a personal relationship with Him, you know all about this. I think we have all had this happen in our lives. If you have something that is being reiterated, don't ignore it, open yourself up to it.
4. Is it beyond me?
If what you are hearing is beyond you, then chances are God is speaking to you, asking you to do something for Him, for His glory. Moses was called to do something beyond himself, he was scattered, he "was slow to speech", God asked him to do something totally beyond himself.
5. Would it please God?
This is an important question. Lysa says that if what you are doing pleases God, then even if it wasn't His voice that you heard, you still please Him and we should always be in pursuit of everything pleasing to Him.
God wants to speak to us, He wants us to hear Him. The more we practice hearing from Him and the more we are expectant of this, the easier it will be to discern His voice.
Take a moment to think about how you discern God's voice in your life. When have you tried to run from the message He has been speaking to your heart? Think of a time when you said yes to Him, think of a time when you said no. Is there something that God is trying to tell you today? Are you listening? Are you ready?
Thank you for your word. Father I pray that you guide our thoughts, open up our hearts to recognize your voice. I pray that we would all long to do what you ask of us, giving you all the glory. Amen
Posted by CC at 4:30 PM
Sunday, September 6, 2009
This is the first week of the "What happens when women say yes to God" bible study. My hope is that this study will open our eyes to what the Lord is telling us to do, and to help us find the courage to do what He asks of us everyday.
What I would like you to do first is to sit quietly, allow God to be present with you, open you heart and your mind to Him. Ask Him to show you what He wants you to learn today.
Lysa begins this chapter writing about a time on a plane, a time when she was tired and wanted nothing more then to close her eyes and sleep for a while. God had other plans. I will skip straight to the detail most important, she was asked by God to give a total stranger her Bible. Just pause for a second and imagine yourself in this situation, a total stranger sits next to you on a plane, engages you in a conversation that you would much rather avoid altogether, you end up talking to this stranger about a topic your passionate about, God, so that makes up for it, and then out of nowhere, God tells you to give this man your Bible, a Bible that you cherish, a Bible that you have written in, highlighted, cried over, smiled over, prayed with......etc...
I was convicted when I read this. I wondered, could I give someone my Bible? Would I even be open to a conversation or would my attitude get in the way? The question is, do we open up and allow God to use us in those moments that He has paused for someone else? Are we listening to the gentle whispers and nudges the way that Lysa was that day? I know how she felt, so exhausted that the last thing on your list of things to do would be to chat with the person sitting next to you. How many times do we say "no" to God when He wants to use us? How many times throughout our busy days do we pause to say, Lord, I am here and a willing servant, use me in whatever way you can today. Do we allow Jesus to be seen in our actions?
Saying "yes" to God won't always be easy. Sometimes the things He will ask us to do will take us completely out of our comfort zone, are you ready?
1. Think of some people in the Bible who said yes to God.
Read Genesis 22:1-19
2. Has God asked you to do something that was difficult? Did you say yes, or did you say no?
3. How would your life be changed if you said yes every morning before getting out of bed?
I have some work to do, this I know for sure. I have to be ready to say yes to God even before I know what it is He will ask of me. Scary. "God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called". I need to remind myself that "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength" Philippians 4:13
Please write down any ways that this chapter spoke to you. I would love to hear from you. Write down some of the inspirational people from the Bible and from your everyday life who have said yes to Him. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart and lets become the "yes" women that we need to be.
Thank you for Lysa, thanks you for using her and for giving her the strength and courage to share with us what You have done in and through her. Open our eyes and our ears to hear you. Remind of us of your strength, reveal yourself to us. Forgive me for saying no when I should have said yes. Amen
Posted by CC at 6:30 PM
Friday, September 4, 2009
Philippians 1:9-11 (The Message)
So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover's life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.
Posted by CC at 9:28 AM
Thursday, September 3, 2009
168 million needy children in this world
147 million orphans
11 million children starve to death or die from preventable, treatable illnesses every year
8.5 million work as child slaves, prostitutes, or in other horrific conditions
2.3 million children worldwide are living with HIV
I have tried to wrap my head around these numbers in the past, tried to understand the reasons why. I have sat in the quietness of my home, with tears rolling down my cheeks, crying out to God to show me why this kind of suffering is happening. I have come to realize that the "why" is not important, the "how" doesn't matter. What matters is what I am going to do about it. I cannot save the world, I know that, but I can make a difference.
In the short time that I have been blogging, the Lord has directed me to many, many wonderful blogs, written by amazing women. Women who love Jesus and are striving to live their lives in accordance to His words and instructions. Women who are unashamedly sharing the love of Christ, and in the words of Lysa Terkeurst becoming the "yes women" we need to be. I came across a blog today that spoke directly to my heart. This young woman lives in Uganda, she is from Tennessee. She is only 20 years old. This beautiful girl has given up the life of a "regular" 20 year old, the Starbucks, the designer jeans, the fancy car, everything that most 20 year old girls, most women who live in the western world for that matter, hold dear. WOW! Inspiring, truly inspiring. Amazima.org, check out her website, her blog can be found here too. Read some of her posts, be inspired, be changed, I know I was.
In the book "What happens when women say yes to God" by Lysa Terkeurst she talks about the fact that sometimes the God of this universe pauses for one person. When I sat back after reading some of Katies blog posts this quotation came to my mind, it struck me, that if He could pause for me, why shouldn't or why couldn't I pause for Him? What I mean by this is, why can't I put my life here in Brockville Ontario on pause for a while? Why shouldn't I let God use me? Why is it so hard to say "yes" to Him in the call to the mission field? Sometimes I ask, "why me?". I don't know why God has spoken to me in this way, or why He has called me to go, I am an ordinary girl, with no special talents. I am an ordinary girl who has allowed fear to penetrate the very depths of her soul when it comes to moving away from her cushy life here. Some people in my life may think that I have no fear, that I am courageous enough to take on this calling, but to be honest, I am terrified. Katie says "Courage is not about knowing the path, it is about taking the first step", so true. I can no longer ignore the gentle whispers of my Father, I can no longer be afraid. What is the Lord whispering in your ears today?
What does all of his mean in my life? I will let you know. I am certainly on a journey of listening, of hearing, of obeying, and most of all I am on a journey of trusting. I know that God will light the path, He will open doors, He will, because He is. I will ask, if you will, pray for my heart and my mind to be in total surrender to Him, please pray for the details to become clear, please pray for my daughter, that her heart too would be touched in this very special way. Pray that we would both experience our heavenly Father in a way that has never happened before, that we would not question the path. Thank you.
2 Samuel 24:24
...."No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing." .....
Posted by CC at 11:47 AM
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
In my previous post I mentioned that many times over the last few weeks I have sat down hoping to write something inspiring and heart felt, but the words didn't come. I was beginning to feel like I had been a fool to think that this "blogging" thing was for me. Perhaps I had said all that I had to say, knowing deep down that this could not be the case because my mind is always turning frantically with thoughts. Sometimes the thoughts make total sense, other times, they are just random thoughts that make sense only in my head. I hoped to spare all of you from those thoughts and reserve this blog for only the important, thought provoking, inspiring ones that make sense to all of us.
Over the last few weeks, especially the last few days, I have also felt very attacked. The struggles that had such a strong hold on me in the past had crept back into my mind and my heart. Sin, that I thought I had conquered once and for all, was back, with a vengeance I might add. I have been discouraged, deflated, feeling the guilt consume my thoughts and my heart. "How could you allow that back into your life?" I asked. "What kind of a christian woman are you anyway?" I muttered to myself in anger and disgust. Then it hit me, like a brick wall, the enemy wants nothing more then for me to feel these things. Don't get me wrong, I am not blaming the enemy for my opening the door fully and completely when this particular sin came knocking, I did it, with a willing heart, but the enemy sure cheered for me when I did. I gave him a foothold, and he managed to increase the problem. ARGH........SIGH.......
I am working through this right now. I know that my loving Father has forgiven me and that I have no right to hang onto it and not forgive myself, however, I am finding that very difficult. Why do we hang onto things? Why do we feel that it is necessary sometimes to carry guilt around for a bit longer, to dig the knife in a little bit farther, do we think that God doesn't get it? That He didn't really understand how bad we were? That even though we asked Him to forgive us, we truly didn't deserve it and he didn't know that? HE GETS IT, HE UNDERSTANDS, HE KNOWS!! We have no right to hold to things once we have sought His forgiveness, once we have surrendered whatever it is to Him.
I love the song "Perfect People" by Natalie Grant. It speaks to me every time I hear it. I think all too often that I need to be perfect and when I fall short of perfection......hello....EVERYDAY, EVERY SECOND.......I need to hang on and suffer for it. I forget the fact that Jesus already suffered, that He gave His precious life for my life. He does not expect us to hang on the way we do, His arms are reaching for us to give it to Him, fully and completely, so that His love and forgiveness can fall over us and bring us peace.
I pray that your peace would fall on me today. Forgive me for holding on when I have no right to do this. Forgive me for my sins. Thank you Jesus for going to the cross for me, for shedding your blood for me, even though I am so undeserving. Thank you for loving me despite my imperfections. I love you. Amen.
Posted by CC at 10:00 AM