I Blog Because...

I am a wife, a mom, a servant, a seeker and a follower of Christ. I am blogging to chronicle my own journey with God with the hope to inspire others to deepen their relationship with Him. Perhaps my mistakes and blunders will make you chuckle. Or, maybe, my disappointments, mistakes and learnings will speak to your heart. I often write at night, so forgive the grammatical mistakes and misspellings. This is a place for me to empty my mind and thoughts, with the hope of one day blessing my 2 girls with the raw honesty about life from their mom. I invite you to journey with me and share in my joys and sorrows as I seek to know my Lord. Proverbs 8:17 "I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me."



Monday, March 29, 2010

My Chronicles of the Grand Beginning

March 28, 2010, The Grand Beginning of Mountain Christian Church - Bel Air.

12:01 - Wide awake. Full of excitement and wonder about the day ahead. I try to envision the people we will meet in the morning. What are their lives like? Are they feeling anxious? Will this be their very first time in a church? I pray and thank God for all the people who will be setting their alarm clocks for the first time, or, for the first time in a very long time for church. I pray for a little boy named Ranon who may show up tomorrow with his grandfather. "Lord, let this little boy come to you, and let nothing hinder his way."

The middle of the night - ZZZZzzzzz for awhile. Slept in heavenly peace for a time. I am so excited, that I cannot stay asleep. I awaken and check the clock. I am so worried that I will oversleep or that the alarm clock will malfunction. It's around 3 a.m. and all is still and quiet. There truly is peace in the dark, quiet still of the night when you know that God is with you. There is a sense that the only 2 beings in the world right now are me and God. I tell God my fears, my hopes, my insecurities of self, and ask Him to work through me. I pray for our volunteer leaders and their teams. I am so thankful to God for all that He has done. I realize once again this truth: I AM and I am not. The great I AM is holding everything together. The great I AM is our provider for every need. The great I AM is stirring the hearts of those in the Bel Air community to come. I am simply a willing vessel to be used by God. He is the great I AM and I am not. Praise the Lord!

Back to sleep for a time: ZZZZzzzzz until 4:30 a.m. The alarms sounds. It's time. It's here. The day has finally come! I pray and ramble about a million petitions to God. I pray about there being enough goldfish crackers to someone accepting Christ!

4:45 a.m.: Time to pull out that new outfit my husband let me purchase. I really wanted to make an "I love woodchucks" T-shirt, but it just didn't happen. I hop in the shower and get ready for the day. I feel saturated with the Spirit and it is amazing. I notice God in everything, from the light in the bathroom to the shower water. It's crazy, but I am finding a praise and prayer in every moment. You are the light of the world, whoever follows you will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life. Taste the Living Water, and never thirst again. I pray this over the campus and the town of Bel Air. I drive in to John Carroll at 6:15 and as I see a glimpse of the morning breaking through the night sky, I cry. I am overwhelmed by my God. I thank Him over and over again for using me. I think back to my own transformation and I can't believe what God has done for me. I can't believe what I a doing with and for God now. "You have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty, for me to attain." Psalm 139:5 The 8 minute drive produced a personal psalm of praise.

JCS: Everyone is moving full speed ahead. We unload my mini-van, the trucks and cases are rolled into place. Our children's ministry team prays together in the cafeteria and then we begin the set up process. There is so much excitement in the air, it is almost palpable. We are a team with a mission to welcome a new community of young and old to meet Jesus.

I am praying for our leaders to arrive safely and on time. Everything is coming together beautifully. I am so proud to be a part of this staff and volunteer team.

Approx 8:45: Our entire team of staff and volunteers circled up in the hallway and we bathed the morning in prayer. It was a powerful and moving experience. It has happened, just as God had preordained. I, along with many others, are moved to tears.

Get ready, get set, GO: OPEN THE DOORS! People begin arriving. Some faces I recognize and many I do not. "Lord, let them see you. Let them see you." It is a short and simple prayer, but I was praying from the very depths of my soul. I met two apprehensive moms who needed some reassurance that their kids would be safe and in good hands. What an honor to meet them, comfort them, and talk with them. One mom said that it had been a very long time since she attended church, and she thought she'd give us a try. After service she shared how much she enjoyed the service and she plans on bringing her husband next week. I think the highlight of my day was meeting Ranon! This was the little boy I had been praying for all week. There he was, hair combed neatly and parted to the side, dressed in a suit jacket and plaid shirt and black dress shoes. He is 4 years old. I told him that a special friend of mine met his grandparents at the grocery store and told them about our church. I told him I was praying that he would be here today and that God answered my prayer. He smiled and then proceeded to tell me he knows how to spell his last name and then waived the palm branch he made today. Oh, I just love kids! It was the most beautiful encounter I have had in a long time. I believe this was my special gift today from God and I received it with open arms. I know Jesus will speak to this sweet, little spirit He created.

I take a visit to the Nursery/Toddler area and I see my daughters serving. Natalie is caring for Asher, our worship pastor's son in the toddler room. She is amazing with this little boy. She is the only person Asher wants to be with today and she is blessed by this. She smiles as she shares with another nursery worker, "he only wants me!" I love it! My daughter is now a children's minister and I am so proud of her. My oldest daughter is running tech for preschool and serving with our 2 year olds. Over in the Elementary area my husband is leading tech and training a highschool boy for ministry in this area. My 72 year old mother is holding babies and comforting them in the nursery. Again, I am overwhelmed by God's goodness.

I stopped into the worship auditorium and we began to sing "Salvation is Here." I sang out the words to that song with everything I had to give. "I know my God saved the day and I know his word never fails, and I know my God made a way for me. Salvation is here! Salvation is here and He lives in me." Have you ever experienced the power of the Holy Spirit as you proclaim who Jesus is, and that He is alive in you? There are no words to describe this. All I know is that my God is doing something in the hearts of the people here today and He IS alive in me. Our executive pastor shares a story with me about an elderly woman in a pink coat who was worshipping a few feet away from me. She was recently widowed and came to church today because we were in walking distance for her. He reminded me this is why we are here and I am again overwhelmed to be a part of God's amazing plan and part of the great commission.

Our elementary ministry team is rocking out with the kids singing, "Jesus, you are my best friend." I can't help myself as I jump into the crowd of kids begin singing and doing the crazy motions to the song. And, if you know me, I was definitely getting a little crazy! The message of the day is simple for those kids: "You are welcome here just the way you are. We've been waiting for you. Have fun, make friends and get to know Jesus! He wants to be your best friend."

There are simply no words to describe this day. So I say, Holy is the Lord, God almighty, the earth is filled with this glory. Thank you God for using me to further Your Kingdom. "For Your mercy in my life, when I deserve to die, you took my place. For cleansing every part of the places in my heart, where there was shame, there are no words to say thank you for all You've done. I praise You, Jesus. I love You, Jesus.

Today was the grand beginning of someone's walk with Jesus. To God be the glory! Sunday comes again this week...thank you Jesus.

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. Revelation 21:6

Friday, March 5, 2010

Look Through the Window with 20/20 Vision

What do you see when you look out your window? 

I am captivated by the silvery sky and a large oak tree which is positioned off in the distance.  Its branches are bare and from my view it appears mammoth in size and canvasses the sky line.   It is almost completely dark outside but for the patch of sky which is ever so slightly giving light to the tree.  The tree, its trunk and many branches appear black against the fast approaching night sky.    Just in the moments spent typing this paragraph, I see the night descending and the daylight fading.   This happens day after day, without fail and I rarely stop to take notice.  This is amazing.  God is doing something right before my very eyes and it is amazing.

I asked my almost 13 year old daughter to look out of the same window and to tell me what she sees.  She replied by saying, "I see the sky, a tree that's blocking my view, dirty snow, some houses and cars."     Interesting observations and 100% correct.

Lately, I have been asking God to show me more and to expand my vision.  Yeah, maybe there is a big tree blocking me but how do I get around it?   Can I see beyond it?  If I can't move it, can it serve a purpose.  Can I envision what it could be?   Why is it there?  Is there something I can learn from this obstruction?  Is it really an obstacle at all, or is it something beautiful?

What does the world look like through Jesus' eyes.  What if we put on our son glasses and dared to ask God to give us 20/20 vision.    What would you see if you looked outside and beyond yourself?    Be thou my vision. 

Personal introspection and examination reveals to me that I am plagued with myopia.  I can see what is near and close to me but fail to see what is far in the distance.   I am asking God to give me His eyes and His vision.     One of my favorite contemporary Christian songs is by Brandon Heath and entitled "Give Me Your Eyes"    I am sharing the lyrics below and hope that you will join me as I make this my prayer to our great God.

Look down from a broken sky

Traced out by the city lights
My world from a mile high
Best seat in the house tonight
Touch down on the cold black top
Hold on for the sudden stop
Breath in the familiar shock
Of confusion and chaos
All those people going somewhere
Why have I never cared

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me you heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah

Step out on a busy street
See a girl and our eyes meet
Does her best to smile at me
To hide what’s underneath
There's a man just to her right
Black suit and a bright red tie
Too ashamed to tell his wife
He's out of work, He's buying time

I’ve been here a million times
A couple of million eyes
Just move and pass me by
I swear I never thought that I was wrong
I need a second glance
Give me a second chance
To see the way you’ve seen the people all along