Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Do you not know...?

This weekend was our annual women's conference at my church. The name of the conference every year is Desperate for Jesus. I like that title a lot. It is a reminder of where I want my desperation to lie--in Christ alone. You see, many are desperate, but for the wrong things: money, a Friday night date, clothes, the perfect job, etc.

This year's key note speaker was author, Beth Moore. Wow...she was phenomenal! I found it to be very refreshing to hear the Word of God being preached and proclaimed by a woman! It truly did my soul well! The Word of God states in Titus 2 women should teach women. Unfortunately, it does not happen often. There is something about another woman publicly confessing to other women the foils and follies of her life, and how God has transformed them!

Through three different messages, Beth Moore reminded the women present (4,000 by the way) of many of God's truths we tend to so easily forget. I found them to be encouraging and want to share them with you. Read them as if for the first time!

Do you not know...?

1. Your body is the temple of God? (I Corinthians 6:19-20)
2. You are not stuck with the weaknesses of your personality? (2 Peter 1:3,4)
3. God reverenced your conception? (Psalm 139:13,14)
4. The Word of God is living and active? (Hebrews 4:12)
5. God is good and His lovingkindness is everlasting? (2 Chronicles 7:3)
6. When one unites with God, they become one with Him in Spirit? (I Corinthians 6:17)

What beautiful truths I had forgotten. God desires to illuminate Himself to us and reveal who we are in Him...if only we would open His Word and dive in. After this weekend, I realized how much I'm really not desperate for Jesus. Unfortunately, I allow other things to become a priority for me, or I just become complacent in my walk. However, I came to see just how dry I was because I had not been steadfast in spending quality time with the Lord.

What a gracious God we serve...this weekend God sent me some reminders and gave me a fire to want to know Him more. The 6 things I listed above are things that I knew...but I had forgotten.

What do you not know...?

What truths has God revealed to you or reminded you of?

I pray we would all be desperate for Jesus, seeking Him with our whole hearts, and allowing Christ to answer all of our questions to, "Do you not know?"

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Lost and Found

It never ceases to amaze me. I am always losing something. The most recent article I "lost" was my wallet. I couldn't find it on Monday morning and went into panic mode because I rembered having it, yet I couldn't seem to retrace my steps back and find it. I looked under the bed, in my bed, in my car, my purses, the trash can...and no wallet.

I was afraid that someone might have picked it up. They would have been disappointed though because I had about $.50 in change in there, but my social security card was in my wallet, along with my American Express card. So, I called to check if there had been any charges made to my account, and there had not been...thank you, Lord! As I was telling my friend Kanika about my "missing wallet" and my social security card MIA as well, she gently reminded me,

"Now, you know you aren't supposed to carry your social security card, right?"

Of course I knew that, "But where am I supposed to put it?"

Now, Kanika is smart, but this was a genious piece of advice I had never considered: "Put your social security card with your passport."

"Oh." I was speechless. I really had never considered that option. I just put it in my wallet because I didn't know where to put it. I'm a little slow, I know...

Another piece of advice given by a friend who worked in the banking industry: to avoid consumer ID fraud, you can put a "fraud alert" on your credit. This way anytime credit is attempted, you will be notified. This alert can be placed for 90 days, 1 year, or 7 years.

Tuesday morning as I was rushing out of the house (as usual), I went to put something in my bag, and lo and behold: my wallet. So, I did not have to put a fraud alert on my credit, nor did I cancel any of my credit cards. Thank you, Lord!

What was lost became found...

When things like this happen, I just look up and say, "Ok, Lord...what does this mean? What is the spiritual application here?" Everytime I ask that question, the Holy Spirit is faithful to teach me something about the character of God.

Consider with me Luke 19:10, "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."

After Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, all of "you know what" broke lose and paradise was lost. Pure fellowship with God was broken, and has been since sin's advent into the world. Yet, we serve a God who did not leave us to be lost forever.

In Luke 19:10 we see Jesus' mission defined: to seek the lost in order that they may be found. However, in order to be found, one must know they are lost. Romans 3:23 states that all have sinned, and it is our sin that makes us lost and in desperate need to be found.

Are you lost?

Do you need to be found?

Here are a couple of verses to lead you to be found by God:

John 3:16
Romans 6:23
Romans 10:9

Posting this with a prayer for the lost to be found...

Monday, July 17, 2006

A Sunday Afternoon

Yesterday I went to Six Flags over Texas amuesment park. It was a last minute, spontaneous decision to go. The temp here was 105 and for some insane reason I decided to brave the heat and just go!

I must say, I did have fun on the rides, but this morning my body paid for it. I woke up feeling like I had run a marathon...two times in a row! Wow...and I had a killer headache. It really felt like a hangover! What a horrible feeling many subject themselves to every weekend! So, I decided today I am just way too old for Six Flags!

Despite the extreme heat and a Six Flags hangover, it was the company of good friends which made the trip worth while.

Friends, indeed are a blessing we should not take for granted. It is when we can look outside of the discomfort of our circumstances we can find joy there. Believe me, the heat was miserable yesterday, but at least I was there with friends who love me and care for me. Even in the midst of the heat, we had a good time and were able to laugh our heads off!

Monday, July 10, 2006

I'd Rather...

...be in South Padre Island, Texas where this picture was taken.

On July 28th I will be! I'm going to South Padre with my friend Natasha, but until then, I have to be here. The problem is, I see how good it looks to be in Padre and want to be there, but I can't skip the next 18 days to get there.

I think much of life is the same way. We don't understand why we're here instead of there. We compile our lists of what we'd rather be...instead of what is!

For example:

1. I'd rather be a size __ than a size ___...
2. I'd rather live in that house instead of this house...
3. I'd rather eat this tonight instead of that...
4. I'd rather work in that job than this job...
5. I'd rather be married than single...
6. I'd rather have a new pair of shoes than wear some old ones...

And the list goes on...

When is enough? Much of life, I've discovered in my 26 years consists of learning how to be content with what you have been portioned and learning how to wait patiently. So while I'd rather be in South Padre, I have to wait until it comes. I must learn how to be content right here, right now. I can drive myslef crazy in the wait or I can rest in it. Either way, surely there is something the Lord will teach me or show me between now and July 28? I will have to wait for that too!

In the meantime, I truly want to be able to say:

"I'd rather be...here, because here is all I am promised."

Friday, July 07, 2006

Still Thirsty?

I have a confession to make—I am addicted to Diet Coke. My addiction started three years ago, and I haven’t been able to shake the habit since. It’s gotten so bad that if I do not have one by noon, I will get a headache. So, everyday I go and get a fountain Diet Coke to get my fix.

Although I enjoy my Diet Coke, one thing I have noticed when I get to the end of the drink is this—I’m still thirsty! Though pleasurable at the moment, the Diet Coke does not quench my thirst.

So why is it whenever I know water will quench my thirst I turn to Diet Coke instead?

I think the spiritual life for the Christian can be similar. We know nothing is able to quench our thirst like Christ, yet repeatedly we run in search of something else to fulfill our needs. We must honestly examine what fountain we are drinking from. What are you looking to or waiting on to quench your thirst?

Look at the conversation between the Samaritan woman and Jesus at the well:

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst…The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” John 4:14-15 (NIV)

Isn’t that they way you feel sometimes too? Are you like me and tired of having to keep drawing from a fountain which leaves you parched? Christ offers Himself as the Living Water, a Fountain which never runs dry. Other people or things may offer momentary relief, but it will never satisfy that which we truly thirst for, which is only found when we come to the Fountain.

My prayer for you and for me is that we would drink deeply from Christ with the promise He gives us to never be thirsty again.

But in the meantime, does this mean I have to give up Diet Coke?

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Bark of the Enemy

Every time I go walking in my neighborhood I take the same route. Whenever I walk by the house on the corner of my street, two dogs bark ferociously at me. The first several times it would startle me and I would jump in my skin! I cannot remember one time walking by there and the dogs not barking wildly at me. It does not startle me anymore though. In fact, I expect it. If they did not bark at me, I would think something was wrong with them. Afterall, they are dogs--and dogs bark!

Today was different though. As I walked by the house, they went to town barking their heads off at me as usual, but today I made a spiritual connection with the familiar barks.

I believe Satan is much like those barking dogs.

Satan, like those dogs does the same thing repeatedly to tempt us. Think about what is a temptation for you? Satan knows yours and my weaknesses, and these are the areas where he barks and growls at us. The first time he tempts you and he barks, it may startle you. The next time, you may jump, but eventually, you and I must come to a point in our spiritual lives where we can recognize the bark of the enemy. Better yet, we must come to an understanding of ourselves! The addage goes, "Every man should know his limitations." This is true, however, I believe:

Every man should know his temptations.

Having this knowledge allows one to be on guard for the schemes of the enemy. As I walk closer to the house on the corner, I prepare my mind and heart for the barking dogs. I know they may bark and growl at me behind the fence, but one thing now brings me comfort--they cannot touch me!

My friend, that is great news! Satan will bark and he will growl. However, being a child of God automatically guarantees you and I protection from the enemy. We must remember everything belongs to our God-even Satan. So, get ready for the barking, but do not be surprised when it comes. Satan is cunning, but he does not operate outside of the sovereign will of our Lord.

I would like to encourage you to prepare your hearts and minds in order to discern the bark of the enemy.

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me." Psalm 23:4