Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Good things are coming...

The next month for me is going to be filled with incredible God-moments! I have high anticipation...but before I say what's happening, here's a warm-up testimony!

A few weeks ago I lost a ring that is really special and significant to me. I never take it off, except for when I'm doing dishes. I've been really bummed about it and asking God to help me find it. It was no where in my house! Yesterday, I pulled a load of laundry out of the washer and there it sat! I'm convinced God put it there because how else would it travel from the window ledge in my kitchen down to my basement? This particular ring is a constant reminder of His love for me and my love for Him. It matters to me. So, it must matter to Him! I'm thankful...

So...about this next month...

This week at Redeemer we have a team from Bethel Church out of Redding, California coming. They are being led by Chris Overstreet. The conference is called Bethel School of Supernatural Evangelism. It will run Wednesday-Saturday of this week. This group of people are so great and we love hosting them! I get to lead worship at this conference and it's so fun! The atmosphere is very thick with joy and excitement over what God will do...a worship leader's dream! It is a sanctuary filled with hungry children for more of their Father.

The following week at Redeemer (June 4th-5th) we will be doing a live worship recording for my CD that's coming out. Anyone is invited to attend. This is something God has totally brought about. His goodness and favor are overwhelming. The worship nights will be Friday at 7:00 and Saturday at 6:00. My heart is not so much about capturing good music. I'm more excited about capturing a God encounter so that years from now I can listen to it and say, "Remember what God did that night? Remember how that person was set free from ___________? Remember how that person experienced the love of God for the first time?" That excites me!

Two weeks after that our worship team travels to Green Lake, Wisconsin for the annual Holy Spirit Renewal Ministries conference. This year Randy Clark is the main speaker. God's favor and presence over this man's life and ministry is incredible. To check out his ministry, click here. I can't wait to see what God does and to simply have that week set aside to be with Him. Life has been so busy the past few months and even though leading worship at this conference is a lot of hard work, it brings rest to my heart. 

I've gone through seasons where it seems that God is silent or distant. These seasons are where I find I grow the most...but I hate them! :) I'm thankful for the days ahead. I'm thankful for His voice. I'm thankful that I can see Him moving. I'm thankful that I can trust His goodness...and that soon, very soon, fulfillment of promises are coming. Taste and see that the Lord is good!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

PSALM 103

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers we are dust.        ~Psalm 103:11-14

This first picture is the view from Panera Bread in Monroe. Today in my quiet time I've been spending time in Psalm 103 and when I read verse 11, I took a minute and looked up into the sky to try to gain a perspective on how far God has removed my sin from me. As I did that, I began to feel a release from things I've been carrying recently. It often feels like my sin and my failures live right up in my face. I can't get away from the things I struggle with. When I read verses like these, however, I come back to true reality that Jesus has set me free from the torment of sin and death and that I am free to move and breathe. I am free to have joy and peace. I am free to accept His forgiveness and forgive others...BECAUSE...as high as the heavens are above the earth, that is how great His love is towards me! Anyone ready for a glory run???

(ps - the rest of these pictures are taken from the Hubble Telescope. These images catch God in  His creativity just showing off! As you look through them, think about how vastly far away He has removed your sin from you. If you haven't made the decision to follow after this loving God, then hear and receive this truth that forgiveness is offered to you, too!)
 
 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

He is the I AM...not the I WAS or I WILL BE

My title of this post has been stolen from John Piippo out of his blogpost called "The Sacrament of the Present Moment." You can read his post here: 


His post has me thinking much on how "present" God is. He is present, as in near and He is present, as in time...like past or future. I spend so much effort on waiting for God to come. My thoughts are propelled forward that He will come through SOON. I'm in waiting mode. This may be a season for me right now. I am waiting for Him to bring about certain things in my life. But, I find myself getting so caught up in the waiting that I forget He desires to be with me right now...and right now...and again...now. He has peace to bring in this very moment. He has righteousness to dress me in at this precise time. He wants to hear my voice tomorrow, but how much more fun for Him if I talk to Him right now. 

I don't mean to do this, but I find myself often waiting to talk to God until I can put my best foot forward. Without being aware of it, I wait until I only have "pretty" things to bring to Him. I'm realizing more and more that He isn't concerned with my condition when I come to Him. He's concerned about whether I will come. He wants...me and all that comes with that package. He wants my goodness and my funk. He wants my joy, my righteousness. He wants my fears and my anger, frustration and confusion. He wants my submission and my stubbornness. He wants my wisdom and my ignorance. He wants...me. I can't pretty my heart up and put a bow on it and think that I can present myself to Him any more wonderful than what He already thinks. 

Today, I was reading a quote about prayer and relationship with God, and the person had this to say:

Do you remember Moses at the burning bush? God had to tell him to take off his shoes - he didn't know it was holy ground. And if we can just come to see that right where we are is holy ground - in our jobs and homes, with our co-workers and friends and families. This is where we learn to pray. 

I love this! Moses was the Old Testament deliverer! He saw things of God that in my wildest dreams I'm hungry to experience. He was a super-giant...and yet, God had to inform him he was standing on holy ground. Moses, the super-giant, was naive and blind just as I, in my human state, am naive and blind to many things of God. This brings such hope and freedom to my heart! God will use anyone yielded and hungry for Him. He will even use someone like...me. He is the NOW God. He wants to be in all things...this moment...and now this moment. He's ready to talk now. He's ready to move now. Every moment of our lives can be holy ground because He is invited into it. His desire is for me...and for you. 

This makes me hungry for Him, which is a great place to be. 
  

Friday, May 7, 2010

FIG LEAVES...

Any barrier I create to hide my true condition from God's all-seeing, all-loving eye. I have many. I have leaves of shame, leaves of denial, leaves of fear. I have leaves of false holiness - if I can convince myself I am holy enough, maybe God can be fooled, too. The layers of leaves grow thicker and thicker, covering up all freedom and vulnerability. What am I afraid of?

What childishness to live my life saying to Omniscient God, "If I can't see You, You can't see me!" He knows ALL of me...every part. Intimately. Passionately. Lovingly. He sees every vile thought, every vile act. He sees when I try to cover my sin with righteousness and striving. I have defiled this temple I work so hard to cover. He knows...and still...He desires without repulsion. 
                                                  He calls me. 
                                                  He woos me.
                                                  He haunts me.
                                                  He washes me
           and one by painful one, He removes them. Cheap leaf after cheap leaf. Lie after lie. False identity after false identity. Until...there I stand before His perfect beauty, naked and bare, real and raw. Just as I am before Him as He is. I wait for the grimace. I wait for the disappointed gaze or for His very face to turn away at the sight of my true condition. 
                               What is He thinking when He sees me?
                                       Wounds, scars, imperfections...are these where His eyes fall?

NO.

My Forgiver, my Beloved says, "Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold you are beautiful. Your eyes are doves. You have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes. You are altogether beautiful, my love, my fair one. There is no flaw in you." 

He sees. He knows...and still...He desires without repulsion. Let beauty arise, and fig leaves fall.