Monday, February 28, 2011

02/28/11 - Giving

Sorry if I am on a bit of a Francis Chan kick these days, but his teachings are ministering to my heart is a deep, meaningful, challenging, pruning way! Words can't really describe!

I heard him ask, "Have you ever given to someone till it hurts you?"

Honestly, no, I never have.

Just think about that question.

It's just been stirring in my heart and mind for a few days!

Did Jesus give till it hurt?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

02/26/11 - Quote

Yesterday I read this article about Francis Chan: The Crazy Mission of Francis Chan. This part just jumped out at me:

“I can give a strong message and people will nod their heads and it’s like, ‘OK, cool, he gave a tough message.’ But in the confines of the local church, when I’m with these people day in and day out, I’m like: ‘Wait, you haven’t applied that message. Let’s come up with ways in which you have to do it and not skirt around it.’ Well, that really bothers people,” Chan says. “And pretty soon they’re like, ‘You know what, never mind, quit pushing me; I’m going to go to another church.’ … I guess I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be to be rejected by people who’ve been in the church for 10 years or more, and it’s pretty painful.”

Do you ever feel like that? Like you hear this powerful, life changing message and others are like, "Oh that's nice for you dear, but I am happy with my life now."

You look at their life, not in judgement, but just in observation and you think, "Where's you're fire and passion? Where's you're desire to throw off everything for Christ? How can you be really joyful in Christ and not be moving forward in your Christian walk?"

It causes restlessness in my heart. It causes me to seek God even more and beg for His wisdom, guidance, and leading! It makes me want to be even more uncomfortable with my sin nature. I love when God's Word makes me challenged, I love it!

Friday, February 25, 2011

02/25/11 - God Sighting

Don't you just love when God radically shows off!? When He's like, "Hey watch this!"

Well, that's what happened in the last 24 hours!

Yesterday morning I woke up feeling defeated, worn out, exhausted and overwhelmed. Just a mix of a lot going on in my life, not bad, just the purging, pruning hand of God's! It's not always pleasant!

I logged onto Facebook to see a prayer request for a family who lost everything due to an apartment fire a couple of night before. I told my friend I would pray for them and asked if there was anything I could do to help.

In a mere 6 to 8 hours I was OVERWHELMED (in a very good way) at how God showed up!

We found them housing, beds, couch, coffee table, and towels. I had phone calls from people willing to donate pots, pans, kitchen stuff, clothes, food, gift cards, and a bunch more! There's a few people who reposted my request which lead to groups running donation drives this weekend!

This morning I had another person donate camp for two of the three kids, I've watched people come from everywhere to help this family! I know a we'll be able to provide for all three kids to go this summer if they want to!

God showed up in a big way!

I'll have to take a picture of all the donation, but seriously it may take two or three truck loads to get it all to their new house!

God is amazing! Thanks for letting me be apart of this...that's all I have to say! What an honor!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

02/23/11 - Girls gone Wise Wednesday

Here are this week's Questions! (If you've not gone through these, let me suggest that you do. There's a host of resources and thought provoking questions!)

Mary's V-log for this week: Tied to the Kitchen Sink

I love this chapter! It just strikes a cord deep in me because I see how our culture is so "busy" focused. We go, go, go and hardly think twice about the busyness we most find ourselves in. So our lives and our homes are chaotic!

A wise woman has habits that reflect her priorities. Priorities that include her home, her heart, her walk, and her relationships.

Mary doesn't say the problem with the "wild thing" is that she goes out too much, but that she goes out at the expense of what's really important!

"One's home is her inner private sanctum. It's the "place" - physically and spiritually - where the most important stuff happens...If a woman's surroundings are neglected, out of order, cluttered and chaotic, chances are her inner, private life shares the same fate." (pg 73)

A wise woman is attentive to her "home", so much that she's able to discern needs and issues before they get to a crisis point.

Mary points out, as only Mary can, how the wise woman of Proverbs 31 was busy, active, and involved, but her work wasn't about self-satisfaction. It was deliberate and intentional. She had self-control and put others needs above her own.

The reason the title of this chapter is "Habits" is because what you spend your time on, will revel your priorities!

So where's your focus? What are your habits? Are you keeping yourself too busy at the expense of what is really important?

Want more of Mary? She was on FamilyLife today on Monday! Click HERE!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

02/22/11 - The Pill

Recently the topic of "the pill" has come up with a couple of friends. I've never used hormonal birth control and I will never use any type of hormonal birth control, but the more I've dug, the more I feel like I can't keep silent!

I've known for sometime that the pill can cause a fertilized egg to be unable to implant, but as I've done more research and dug deeper into this issue I can't help but share.
Here's a 4 minute video that's worth your time! How "The Pill" works as an Abortifacient
Ask yourself, "Would I take the pill if there was even a 1% chance of an abortion?"

Here's an interesting article (it's about 5 pages): Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?

The most telling quote to me in this entire article is: "Dr. Walt Larimore has told me that whenever he has presented this evidence to audiences of secular physicians, there has been little or no resistance to it. But when he has presented it to Christian physicians there has been substantial resistance. Since secular physicians do not care whether the Pill prevents implantation, they tend to be objective in interpreting the evidence. After all, they have little or nothing at stake either way. Christian physicians, however, very much do not want to believe the Pill causes early abortions. Therefore, I believe, they tend to resist the evidence. This is certainly understandable. Nonetheless, we should not permit what we want to believe to distract us from what the evidence indicates we should believe."

The debate comes down to when you believe life begins. Does life begin at fertilization or implantation?

Please do your own homework! I know what the possibility is of taking the pill!

Monday, February 21, 2011

02/21/11 - Preparing for Marriage (part 8)

Over the weekend I re-read the 7 part blog posts I did on Preparing for Marriage.

As I read I realized there was something I missed. I am not really sure this would be"preparing for married when single" or "preparing for married when engaged", but here it goes.

The night John and I started dating we laid ground "rules" for our relationship. Looking back it sounds silly, but it's one thing we're both so thankful for.

We said that night that we'd always be each others #1 cheerleader and we'd always be on the same team.

A lot of couples see their mate as the enemy and because their "team" has taken so many losses they stop cheering for their team. Not only do they stop cheering, but they join the critics in the corner, picking their mate apart.

In preparing for marriage we must see that marriage creates a new team, a team that we are the #1 cheerleaders of! We must not view our mate as the enemy and strive to operate on the same page!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

02/19/11 - God's Blueprints

There's so much in my heart these days! So much I can't share yet, because we're waiting and watching the Lord for our next move.

God is beginning to show us His blueprints for our life.

It's a bit exciting!

He has put just the right people, right messages, right bible readings, all at the right time! I love how God works! He's a God of details!

Have you learned how God "speaks" to you? Look for His movement in your life. Look for His blueprints. You'll come to rest in the unknown because your plans may not be laid out perfectly, you know the One who has those plans and that His plans will be shown to you in His perfect timing!

Friday, February 18, 2011

02/18/11 - Worry

For about 6 weeks I've been reading parts or all of the sermon on the mount. It's actually been very powerful in my life to see nearly all of the key themes of Christian living in those three chapters (Matt. 5-7).

Check it out for yourself!

Anyway, at the end of chapter 6 Jesus, the Word made flesh, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, our Savoir and Lord, for whom everything has been created, tells us as simply as he can: Don't worry!

Just don't worry, God will take care of you!

I appreciate Francis Chan's take on worry in his book: Crazy Love (which will be the next book we go through on Wednesdays)

"Worry implies that we don't quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what is happening in our lives." (pg 42)

What do you worry about? What makes you bite your nails? What keep you up at night? What makes you chew your gum too loud? What causes you to snap at your family?

Worrying puts a wall between you and God, it elevates you above God in your life, it causes pride, and it's sin! Jesus tell us: Do not worry!

I know it's easier said than done, but commit these verses to memory and use them in the mental battle of worry! Take your thoughts captive and speak truth over worry. Maybe you'll be surprised at the freedom that comes from trusting in a loving, powerful, all knowing God!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

02/16/11 - Girls Gone Wise Wednesday

Here's Mary's Vlog for the week: That Girls Got Attitude

And here's her questions for: Attitude

Mary spent the first part of the chapter looking at the history of feminism and lays out how we've gotten to the place where: assertive, aggressive, tough, calculating, controlling, independent, self-reliant, self-sufficient, brazen and sexual are the desired qualities of a modern day girl!

But how these traits are not traits that the Lord values. We have so much of pop culture screaming at women on how we need to behave and act, that to desire the opposite is viewed as old fashion and out of date.

Biblical Womanhood has to do with the internal characteristics and it involves who she is, more than what she does. It's a strength of character. A quietness has more to do with our hearts than the volume of our words.

A woman who desires to be wise in her attitude, as opposed to being "wild", will be very, counter cultural.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

02/15/11 - Peeling Layers

Not sure this title: Peeling Layers will convey what my heart is feeling, but what does it mean to let God peel layers off your heart?

I've felt such awesome peeling lately. It's just amazing and the more God peels, the more you want Him to peel.

His refinement in your life is powerful and painful, all beautifully wrapped up in His grace and love.

Friday, February 11, 2011

02/11/11 - Art of Marriage

Today is the world premiere of The Art of Marriage!

My husband and I have been planning, preparing, and praying for this since October! We have nearly 40 couples coming and I ask that you pray. Not just for our event, but there's over 700 events world wide this weekend.

Pray for a sweeping of God's Spirit on Christian marriages and that many marriages will be healed this weekend. Pray that The Art of Marriage will give couples more tools in having God-honoring marriages. Pray for those coming who are engaged or seriously dating, that this will be a helpful weekend in preparing them for marriage.

I will report back on Monday!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

02/10/11 - Sermon on the Mount

I've been reading through the sermon on the mount almost every day for this entire year (part or all of it every day).

The other night my husband and I read it out loud, which I hadn't done.

When we got to chapter six I noticed a verse repeated itself three times in that chapter:

"Your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you" vs. 4, vs. 6 and vs. 18.

Verse 1 says: Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them.

What three things does Jesus say is "practicing righteousness"

1) Giving

2) Prayer

3) Fasting

Yes, we must be people who give, pray and fast in our own personal private closet!

How are you doing in these three areas? (Not a question to answer, but to ponder!)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

02/09/11 - Girls Gone Wise Wednesday

Here's Mary's video this week: Are you a Wily Coyote?

And this week's questions: Approach

Mary spends this chapter on how we approach our love story, are we self-manipulated or God-orchestrated?

She revels how manipulative a wild woman can be when striving to get her way! How she has a personal agenda and doesn't check to see if it's God's agenda for her life!

This is what she says about Delilah in the bible, "She obviously knew how to flirt, seduce, admire, compliment, pout, cry, reason, argue, lie, accuse, nag and do whatever else was necessary to achieve her goal." (pg 48)

Then she lays out five common ways women manipulate

1) Sexual Manipulation which would include, but not limited to: immodest clothing, flirting, sexual banter and innuendo, the "come get me look" and other nonverbal turn-0ns. (pg 51)

2) Verbal Manipulation which is using words to coax, reason, nag, explain, bombard, insinuate, lecture, harangue, cajole, accuse, wheedle, convince and other wise proselytize the guy so he gives into her way of thinking. (pg 51)

3) Emotional Manipulation which can manifest itself into pouting, sulking, acting hurt, lashing out or emotionally withdrawing. (pg 52)

4) Spiritual Manipulation which is using the "God card" to prove what you want. (pg 52)

5) Circumstantial Manipulation is setting up situations that allow you to be where you want to be to get what you want to get. (pg 52-53)

Which of the five do you struggle with the most?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

02/08/11- Good Girls Don't have to Dress Bad

My friend Shanon, posted about this book: Good Girls Don't have to Dress Bad back in December.

I'm not much of a fashion guru, but as I've been really intentional about losing baby weight from 3 pregnancies I am starting to shop for clothes that fit.

I got this book and it's been helpful!

She addresses body types, clothes, accessories, modesty, swim wear, make-up, hair styles, and even glass frames that look good for your face type!

If you struggle like me with a good fashion sense, I'd recommend this book!

Monday, February 7, 2011

02/07/11 - The Middle Road

I love this clip of Francis Chan talking about: The Middle Road

At times I feel like this....Heather, the problem with you is you think everyone needs to be radical.

Why yes, I do!

If you claim the name of Jesus in your life then EVERYTHING should be effected by that! Nothing should remain untouched by the power in His name. Not one thing should stay the same!

The way you view your money, your relationships, your marriage, your thought life, your church life, how you view food, sex, power, ego, education, entertainment, mass media, and love. Oh every aspect of your life should be radically altered. You should reject the pull of this world for stuff, for power, for sex outside of God's timing, and many other things Christians just go along with!

We should be passionate about sharing Jesus' love with everyone. We're so consumed with our own security and safety we've forgotten about the dying souls of those around us. We've put our blinders on to the needs of others around us in order to stay safe, comfortable and use the name of Jesus as a back pocket "get me out of hell" card!

It shouldn't be this way!

Claiming the power of Jesus in our lives should change everything, EVERYTHING!

I will be radical and pray that God makes me more and more radical!

EDIT - Today on they posted a video of a lady who became a Christian. She echoed this post about how everything in her life changed! How I -an atheist - fell in love with Jesus

Saturday, February 5, 2011

02/05/11 - Check

Are you consistent with your daily devotionals?

I heard about a gal who texted her friend "check" when she read for the day. So one night I was chatting with a friend and we started this "check" in with each other.

It's great accountability!

Maybe you have a texting friend that this would work well for you!

Friday, February 4, 2011

02/04/11 - Prayer

It seems like all week, every where I turn, is the message of prayer!

Started Sunday at my church when my pastor taught on prayer: Kingdom Prayer

Then I've been able to listen to most of the messages from: Desiring God Pastors Conference on prayer

Then I read an article from Tim Challies post about his: Week of Prayer

And then tomorrow my pastors wife will be giving a talk on prayer.

So every where I turn has been about prayer this week.

I have two basic thoughts on prayer:

1) Want to see the health of a church, see how many come when you call a prayer meeting.

2) God is a God of details. So pray in details! Then He can show off through that specific prayer.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

02/03/11 - Fasting

Do you fast for the purpose of concentrated prayer?

Throughout my 20's I fasted and prayed on a fairly regular basis. Normally my fasting was from food, but when I got married, got pregnant, started having babies, fasting from food wasn't really an option.

Recently I was reminded that fasting and praying can be fasting from other things than food. You can fast from mass media, Internet, text messaging, phone, TV, and other outside things that remove our focus from concentrated prayer.

Do you fast? Are you intentional about not doing something for the purpose of prayer? When I've fasted from food in the past, I used the time I would be eating or preparing food to pray. Since I prepare so much food these days (three hungry boys require it almost hourly!), I think I am going to take a day and fast from the Internet for the purpose of praying, and enjoy some quality prayer time with God!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

02/02/11 - Girls Gone Wise Wednesday

Here's this week: Book Blog video from Mary Kassian

Here's this weeks: Questions

Mary takes this chapter to examine how a wise girl gets her instruction and counsel. She lays out so clearly how much time the average young lady is exposed to worldly instruction.

Think about how much your exposed to: TV, radio, iPod, video games, Internet, movies, magazines, romance novels, or newspapers? All of these are a constant drip of the world's counsel.

Mary says that the average woman exposes herself to 3,596 hours of mass media this year (pg 36). That's a full 7 months of the year!

How can we expect to not be exposed to the world view of consumerism, individualism or the ever present Post Modern world view and remain unaffected!

"A Wild Woman gets her instruction from the world. A Wise Woman gets her instruction from the Word", it's as simple as that!

All this exposure will effect us, there is simply no way around that. Now, we can't hid under a rock and avoid all the worldly messages, so we must know God's Word enough to be able to spot the counterfeit the world offers.

What are your thoughts from this week's chapter?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

02/01/11 - A Woman of Discretion

Proverbs 11:22
Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.

We live in a culture were the words like: discretion, modesty, chastity, purity, holiness, and self-restraint are viewed as restrictive, out dated, old fashion, and out of touch. But God's Word makes it clear that a beautiful woman who shows no discretion is like a gold ring in a pig's snout.

The two don't go together. Beauty has nothing to do outward appearances, but goes much deeper to the heart.

I'm reminded daily the lack of discretion women have through Facebook photos, blogs, tweets, and mass media. My heart sinks when I see them sell their beauty for a cheap substitute of what God has to offer.

Most women don't realize what when they lack the discretion God desires for them, they are left feeling empty, used, ashamed, impure, and worthless. It may not be right away and may not even be for years down the road, but at some point they will see the futility of selling their purity and modesty for a momentary boost of ego.