Thursday, July 24, 2008

God I Am Still Gonna Trust You

A little history...when our second son was 15 months old, 18 years ago, he came down with spinal meningitis (our oldest son was 4.) Daniel was not expected to live through the night. While he was in the hospital for 6 weeks I spent a lot of time in the hospital chapel.

During this time in the chapel God brought the word restoration to my mind. I did a word study on the word and wrote the definition, along with ways I was asking God to restore Daniel, in my journal. I still have that's a little worn and yellowed, but I have it as a reminder. I truly believed Daniel was going to come out of the hospital able to walk and talk and just be his normal self. There is so much to say, but bottom line, he came out of hospital, but according to neurologist in a semi-comatose state. Daniel was totally dependent upon us for his survival.

His brother, Jonathan, was a trooper. As we led our congregations we taught and preached healing and deliverance. We knew God could heal and still believe that He does. We taught our son, Jon, and his sisters to believe for Daniel's healing, as well as others. One Sunday evening when Jon was about 10 and Daniel 8 Jon went to the church nursery and brought Daniel in his wheelchair to the altar for prayer. They laid hands on Daniel and prayed for healing. Every move Daniel made Jon would open his eyes with anticipation for Daniel to get up out of the wheelchair. I saw the disappointment when it didn't happen.

My prayer over the years has been that my children continue to believe and not allow a disappointment, such as this, to hinder their faith. Jon is now 22 and having a hard time totally trusting God and allowing him to direct his life. He is trying to do things on his own.

This is hard for a mom and dad to watch, but their is nothing we can do except pray. And believe me, that is what I am doing. God has done many things for Daniel. He is happy when most people with trauma to the brain like he had, have to take medication to calm them. Not Daniel. He is happy and joyful, which was one of the things on my list of restoration. His brain is not restored, but I can still believe. If God can raise Lazarus from the dead and recreate those dead brain cells, he can do that for our son, Daniel.

In the mean time I continue to pray for my son, Jon, to overcome his hurt and disappointment and see what God has done in Daniel's life. All he can see now is a brother that was taken from him. Someone he once played with was taken and he grew up without that friend he once had. He sees Daniel lying in his bed or sitting in his wheelchair unable to do anything. If he was not taken care of he would die.

I have thought about that often. I ask God to help me continue to thank Him for the testimony Daniel has had to everyone in whom he has touched.

My main point in all this is...when you are a ministry family that believes in the miraculous and it does not happen when you expect it, or the way you expect it, do not give up on your faith. When a member of your family is hindered in their faith because of what happened in their life, keep praying. Do not ever give up! At some point they will come around. We have to keep Hebrews 11 in the forefront of our mind.

God is soveriegn and He knows what is best for all involved. When you feel like giving up read Hebrews 11. There will be those times you will want to feel sorry for yourself and have a pitty party. It is ok to feel that way. We are human. JUST DON'T STAY THERE! Find someone that will help you rise above your feelings.
Remember, God loves you and will always be by your side.

Monday, July 21, 2008

God's Got My Back!

This is for all you women who have a dream and vision in your spirit. If you have held it inside and are afraid to voice it because you're not sure anyone will listen, read what God tells Jeremiah in Jer. 1:17 - 19 of The Message, "'...up on your feet and get dressed for work! Stand up and say your piece. Say exactly what I tell you to say. Don't pull your punches or I'll pull you out of the're a one-man defense system against this culture...they'll fight you, but they won't even scratch you. I'll back you up every inch of the way.' God's Decree."

At one time I was working on something I felt God wanted me to do. It had been in my spirit for a long time and I had been praying about the timing. One day while sitting on the beach I read the scripture above and was overwhelmed with God's presence. Little did I know that when I met with leadership 2 days later I would feel exactly like what Jeremiah was talking about when he said, "You're a one-man defense system, against Judah's kings and princes, against the priests and local leaders."

I was encouraged because God told Jeremiah that they were going to fight him, but not scratch him. God said He would back Jeremiah up every step of the way. At that point in time I felt exactly like that. I felt like I was one woman against these men who had their own opinions of what should and shouldn't be done.

When you are in the midst of trying to make your dream a reality it seems as if it will never happen. We have to remind ourselves that God has our back. He planted the vision in our hearts and He will bring it about in His timing. The obstacles we face on the way are only opportunities for us to develop our spirit.

Don't give up on your dreams. What has God placed in your heart to do? Are you still holding on to dreams you have had for years? Pray over it. Listen to God and speak up and let God move. God's got your back and He will bring them about in the best time.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

We Are Not A Number!

There are 2 scriptures that have been very encouraging to me over the past several months. When it seems as if you are getting nowhere, you're going in circles with trying to get something accomplished that you know God has called you to and you're ready to give up, remember the word's of Paul.

He quotes Hosea in Romans 9 of The Message, "...I'll call nobodies and make them somebodies; I'll call the unloved and make them beloved. In the place where they yelled out, 'You're nobody!' they're calling you 'God's living children.'"
He goes on to quote Isaiah in Romans 9 of The Message, "...God doesn't count us; he calls us by name."

I love those two verses. We live in such a numeric age where everyone is a call your credit card company, they want your call the power company, they want your goes on and on and on.

Paul reminds us that God is personal, "Arithmetic is not his focus."

We are not a number to Him. He is our God, our father, our friend, our companion, our support, our deliver, our encourager, etc. He will be whatever we need Him to be at any given time in our life. And I thank Him for that constantly.

I need Him to the giver of wisdom daily with my 17 and 18 year old daughters. Even my 22 year old son seeks me out for wisdom. Thank goodness God doesn't get tired of me asking Him. I have found that as children get older, we parents, need more wisdom from God.

When our children are smaller we tell them what to do and they obey or else, right? lol When they are older we parents have to let them go, so they can make their own decisions. That is where we need wisdom. God gave our children to us to raise "in the ways of the Lord." We then have to give them to God as they are grown so they can make their own decisions. If the decisions are not the ones we would make, we have to remember our children are God's. We did what we were suppose to, now we have to make sure we do not renege and try to control their lives.


If we are wise God will teach us through the circumstances some spiritual lessons. It may be hard. It may be difficult. But, WE CAN DO IT.

I am sure if any of you reading have been through this already and have some wonderful words of encouragement the women would welcome the comments.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Remembering to Relax

I am ending a wonderful day of enjoying the beach. I was reminded that too often the life of a minister is much too hectic. Many times the minister and his wife are so busy helping their congregation they don't take time to relax and enjoy life.

Please make sure you take time to enjoy the ministry God has given and the family He has given. Spend time having fun with your family as well as time alone. This will rejuvenate and motivate you.

Think of all the good God has done and thank Him for his goodness.

I am thankful I have this time and pray I will never forget to take time to enjoy life. I allowed myself to become too busy with ministry for a long time. I am determined to not allow that to happen again.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Kiteboarding Christian/Leader (part 2)

The third type of kite surfing Christian is the Daring Christian/Daring Leader. This person is not satisfied with the norm. They are unable to sit on the shore and watch while other people enjoy the surfing. They are in the middle of all the action. The ocean is where they will be found lakes for them. They have learned from experience how to handle the waves.

Each wave is a new challenge. The stronger the wind, the better. They allow the kite to help them soar high above the wave. They head into the wave, jump it, lift the board high and go with the wind. It's crazy, some of the stunts kite surfers do. They twist, flip, go one handed, whatever they can imagine doing they do. They are only limited by their abilites and imagination.

As Christians and Leaders we need to set a goal to become a Daring Kite Surfer. The kite surfer's foundation is the board. The foundation we surf on is Christ. We need to be rooted and grounded firmly in Him with a strong belief and faith. The daring kite surfer uses only the best board available. The best board for the Christian is Christ. Let's put our feet on, grab hold of the kite handle allowing the kite of the Holy Spirit to be picked up by the wind of God and His presence. We will then be soaring into the new adventure God has for us.

We can go along on an even keel and enjoy the smooth surfing; but, before too long though, it will become mundane and boring, with no excitement. As a daring kite surfer we will understand the challenges we face, as Christians, will only be waves giving us the opportunity to grow in Christ. We will be able to learn new techniques on the board and develop our spiritual discipline. We will be on our way to new heights and new levels in Christ.

As a daring Christian we will realize the obstacles are not there to deter us, but opportunities to become stronger and more daring. We will become someone the devil will not be able to overtake.

When the wind is stronger and the waves are larger the kite surfer can go higher and farther. They will be carried on the wind, which spiritually speaking is God's presence. The hurts, disappointments, and trials that come into our lives will not deter the daring Christian. They will head straight into them knowing they will be able to do some crazy stunts; such as believe for people to be healed, believe for people to accept Christ, or stand up for morals and go against the norm of society, to name a few.

They will become stronger and wiser as they are going through these trials. James 1:2-4 tells us to "count it all joy" when this happens because we grow stronger.

As daring Christians we need to allow the Holy Spirit to take us higher and farther in our spiritual journey. Use the wave, which is our trial, to rise higher than we ever thought possible. Do not allow it to take us under and wipe out. If this happens we will be able to get back up, but not without injury.

Become a daring believer with me. Let's show this generation and generations to come what a true Christian is all about. Life in Christ is an adventure. Don't be satisfied with the smooth surfing of everyday life. Take the challenge and welcome the raging sea. Ride high on the waves that come. They won't be every day. The ocean, and God, is like that...smooth surfing one day and daring the next. This allows for rest and recovery.

No kite surfer can surf 24/7. Physically they would be exhausted. We all have to spend quiet time developing our inner being. We have to learn to be who God wants us to be. This helps us recover from the energy spent on rough surfing and sharing our faith...doing crazy stunts for Christ. (Phil. 4:13)

Will you join me for the ride of our life? Let's ride the waves together and be the Daring Christian/Daring Leader God means for us to be.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Kiteboarding Christian/Leader (part 1)

I was sitting on my 3rd floor balcony one evening about 8 pm and noticed a kite surfer in the water. The water was not calm, but this guy was having a great time. He was doing some awesome jumps; soaring with the wind.

This was another one of those times the Holy Spirit dropped a thought into my heart. He is helping me to develop it...

As Christian's and spiritual leaders we can learn from the kite surfer. We can be one of three types of Christians:

Safe Christian/Safe Leader:
This person is like the kite surfer that goes out on a day when the water is smooth and the wind is not too strong. They prefer the safety of the lakes. They know their surfboard (their foundation) will keep them afloat. The kite wil take them around the lake and they can see the shore line. They see their boundaries. The lake is one big circle, so they can only go so far with in the limits of the lake. More often than not the water is calm with no waves, unless a boat passes by and stirs up the water. No rough surfing for this type of kite surfer.

They are comfortable. There are no risks. Spiritually speaking kite surfer Christians are careful not to upset the "norm" of church life. "If we haven't needed to do something different in the past why start now?" They would prefer not to change things up. If someone challenges the way things are done they are seen as rebellious and non-conforming, not wanting to submit, and the "Safe Christian/Safe Leader" does not want to be seen in that light.

Bold Christian/Bold Leader:
Now this person is a little more open in the way they do life in general. They like it when a boat comes along in the lake and brings a few waves for them to jump. They will even venture out into the ocean. They see the waves as a challenge and a way to improve their kite surfing ability. They accept and welcome the challenge. They do not run from it, they surf into it straight on, nose into the wave. They even have the courage to jump a few waves. They are becoming bolder with each jump.

Each jump makes them stronger. They develop stronger muscles in the arms and start learning more techniques that others start to admire. The way they are developing and growing inspires others to follow along after them. Others say, "Hey I want to do that...I can do that!"

Spiritually speaking this type of kite surfer, the "Bold Christian/Bold Leader," begins to enjoy their Christian life and leadership more and more. When they see how their ability to surf inspires others they become restless and more daring in their surfing. They want to do better because others are watching them and want to be like them. Without realizing it they have become a daring Christian.

Be sure to watch for the next post and conclusion to the "Kite Surfing Christian/Leader."