Passion



Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

through to the end. (10,000 Reasons Overflow)


Saturday, February 28, 2009

Prayer


I can't seem to get prayer off my heart. Is that crazy?

You know when people say "I'll pray for you" I wonder if they do.

I know that many times I've prayed once (at the very moment they ask for it) and sometimes I honestly do move on to the next prayer. And sometimes God puts someone on my heart, and I pray. I know He's God and He already knows what they need, but I still pray.

I guess maybe prayer is on my heart so much because I am so thankful for it. I am so thankful for the connection with God. How undeserving I am, and how great God is. How thankful I am that I am chosen by Him. How greatful I am to be loved by Him.

I remember so vividly when I was younger (up until about 5 years ago) that my prayers we pleas or wishes. And how now it's so much different. I'm thankful for a relationship not a religion. I'm thankful to have an open heart to cry out to God instead of plea bargaining with Him, how my prayers and requests aren't wishes (though to be honest, I still have a few of those from time to time). Prayer is like the ultimate conversation, and how sweet the sound when He answers.

Psalm 42:8 By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life

Friday, February 27, 2009

SICK!


Oh man, I was wiped out yesterday... Got some kind of bug. Slept all day! I think I was only awake about 8 hours, and that was to cough! I am starting to feel better! But not there yet. Went to Kroger to get some Nyquil, their brand of course, thank You Jesus, buy one get one free!! We are all set in case the bug comes back again! I hate the stuff but knocks me out, I sweat and I feel better!

And... I needed some Mucinex for the daytime, and it was mis-marked. They over rang it, in Michigan if they do that to you, they owe you 10 times the difference from the marked price to what it rings up at... minimum $1.00, maximum $5. They happened to over charge me $4.16, it was marked $6.07... I got a box of Mucinex for $1.07. Regular (on sale!) $10. Thank you very much.

I'm on the mend! THANK YOU JESUS!! About to have a little Nyquil cocktail and watch Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, which I'll probably actually see 15 minutes... zzzzz


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Faith

Today in the car I was talking about Phyllis and her Columbia trip and how excited I am that she going. Following God.

Am I scared? Nope.

Am I nervous? A little.

Why? Because I am afraid someone is going to think something is funny and get shot by the drug cartel. Hey, I am nothing but honest.

It's kind of funny if you think about it. Well, not really. That's really my only fear.

This is how I look at it, if she wasn't meant to go... God would have closed every door. So that's how it goes.

maybe that's what you call faith. Or maybe some might say it's complete stupidity. I chose Faith.

It's going to be here before I know it. And I will be dropping her off at the airport, I will be crying, and praying. Until it's time to pick her up, and then I'll be crying, and praising!

Matthew 17:20 He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Simple

Today we had our Alive Staff Meeting. It's one of those things that I look forward to and dread at the same time!

I've been feeling "tugged" for awhile. My prayer: Show me God, show me where I belong, and God make it clear, I'm not that smart. And He has. And it's been amazing. Doors are slowly closing and others are slowly opening.

Today we did something different, we did this "alone time with God" all of us in the room. We were supposed to pray for ourselves. I have a problem with that. I normally don't pray for me, I mean I do, but I can easily find myself standing in the gap for someone else. It's not difficult to put someone else at the top of my prayer list. Maybe it's because I think I'm not worthy, which I'm not (but God in me I guess kind of makes me worthy - idk). But today, I prayed for me.

Where do you want me God? I've been praying that prayer for weeks, but today, in the alone time, He answered. You want to know the answer I got?

With Me.

Simple. Not doing this or doing that. I want you with Me.

Sometimes things are just that. Simple.

With Me.

1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.

Paczki Day!!

Today is “fat” Tuesday. The Day before Lent begins. In these parts its also known as Paczki day. Yummy fattening donuts started in “Pole town” or “Ham town” whichever you prefer. Two words for you “YUM-MO” but let’s not go to Meijers or Kroger or Dunkin Donuts and think you are going to get anything but a box of jelly donuts with different filling at a higher cost. Yes, that’s right, all donuts are not created equal. There is a small Bakery by my house that I paid a ridiculous amount of money for the “real thing”. So many flavors to chose from… my favorite… Apple. The original flavors Prune and Custard. Now you can get them in all flavors but if I catch you eating a chocolate filled one, I’ll chase you until we both burn off the calories, that is just not right.

Back in the day we would go to Erica’s Gramma’s house and she would have them for us, and she would make us a yummy dinner in preparation for the “fast” that was about to occur, including “giving something up for Lent” and no meat on Fridays. Fish Frys everywhere people! In our house growing up it meant fish sticks and Banquet Mac & Cheese or Fries. Thinking about fish sticks and that mac & cheese makes me want to say “ick”.

Then I read this post by Pastor Chilly from Real Church located in Pole Town. Religion and Rituals. Ugh. now what I am about to say, I certainly don’t mean to offend anyone, this is how it is in MY life, maybe not yours, but MINE! You can write your own blog about it… I’m not debating here…

I grew up in the Catholic Church, and while I knew there was a God, He was more like my “go-to” guy when I needed something. Kind of like Wish Granter. My prayers were wishes and God was someone to run from not to. Never opened a bible. Didn’t even own one. The only time I heard His Word was on Sundays when I let someone tell me about it. Now I devour His Word, like it’s my last meal.

Sickens me to think of all the years I “wasted” that I could have really known God. Had a relationship with Him. Fallen asleep praying to Him, in His arms. That’s right. I wish that someone would have explained to me that the cross was more than a symbol, it was real. It was about a God who loved me so much that He took away my sins, that He is WORTHY of our praise, He is WORTHY of our worship, that He is WORTHY to live your life for. He is our LORD AND SAVIOR. He was and He is and He is to come!

Now I belong to a “Modern Church” and I find myself thinking it would be nice to have a little tradition. We don’t do anything the same twice. It’s not always good to do everything the same way twice but it’s not always bad either. Sometimes we lose the grandness of tradition! I think we forget that when we have tradition, we have memories. As long as we don’t lose the Love that is part of the tradition.

I’m thankful that in these last few years that I’ve learned that “giving up” something is not just something I do for 40 days as part of a “sacrifice” (like I could ever have the same amount of sacrifice as Jesus did for me), I learn that giving up something that is not good for me (let’s call it what it is SIN!) will not only be better for me, but it will bring me closer to God, because it is sin that seperates us God.

I don’t know if I have a conclusion today, just love God, love Jesus for His ultimate sacrifice, for His love.

And go have a Paczki.

Psalm 145:3 Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.

Monday, February 23, 2009

what are you afraid of?


I was reading yesterday, Mark 5. I was reading about this girl who was suffering and she BELIEVED that if she just touched Jesus she would be healed. And later in the passage Jesus said "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."... "don't be afraid, just believe".

And I've been thinking a lot lately about letting go. Letting go of a lot of past hurt. And like most things I have to do it in my own time and when I'm ready even though I think (I know) it would be easier if I just let it go now.

I often wonder why I can't just let it go, what am I afraid of? Am I afraid of being hurt again (that's just plain stupid!)? Am I afraid of being free? That's even more stupid.

So, I am going to heed those words. Don't be afraid, just believe.

Mark 5:21-36 21When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet 23and pleaded earnestly with him, "My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live." 24So Jesus went with him.
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." 29Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?"
31"You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touched me?' "
32But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."
35While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. "Your daughter is dead," they said. "Why bother the teacher any more?"
36Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, "Don't be afraid; just believe."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Relaxing


Yesterday we went to Andiamo in Sterling Heights (yes, I drove all that way) and we had a great dinner.

There are times when I eat when I am like "hurry up, bring my food, I've got to go" and then there are the meals when you enjoy each bite, relax, somehow the cares of the week just vanish. Shoulders relax, the stress of the economy (yeah, what the heck am I doing eating at Andiamo's in a depression... lol), the stress of work, the stress of... they just seem to disappear even for just an hour and a half.

It's one of the best times of my week!

Ecc 2:25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Attitude

Yesterday I get a note... long story, however the cost of our trip WENT UP (a pretty significant amount)! And oh... the last payment is due next Friday. Where, Oh where am I going to come up with that last money when it wasn't in the budget?

Yes, I have a budget, and honestly, there isn't much left after everything is paid. I'm working on it.

One thing in the budget was a Scrapbooking retreat next weekend. That is probably going to be cancelled. Yes, I am disappointed, but it surely isn't necessary. I have had this planned since December. Ugh. I actually have all my stuff packed, ready to go. And now there is a good chance I won't be going, and I'm disappointed, but there are things I just need to take care of.

It seems that there are things in our life that can disappoint us. Many things. But our attitude is everything. Scrapbooking, it's a want, and i do love to do it, but I don't need to. I am so blessed! I mean BLESSED! and how can I complain about such a small thing. We are fed, we have shelter, and most importantly, we are LOVED!

Psalm 22:5 They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Amazed by Desperation Band




You dance over me
While I am unaware
You sing all around
But I never hear the sound

Lord I’m amazed by You
Lord I’m amazed by You
Lord I’m amazed by You
How You love me

How wide
How deep
How great
Is Your love for me

Obedience


“The will of God will never take you to where the grace of God will not protect you”

I’m reading this book, it’s amazing, every chapter seems to open a new chapter in my heart. Isn’t that awesome when that happens, and each of those chapter is a stepping stone to the next. I have a harder time putting down this book with each page I turn.

One question the book discussed that really has had me thinking lately… and I am not sure if this is the exact wording, but this is what my heart heard…

Do you want to live in the will of God because you want your life to be easy or because you want to be obedient to God?

Now, I don’t know about you, but some days it’s the first, and some days it’s the last part of that. I will tell you, I struggle with obedience. Maybe it’s because I’m self-centered (a-hem) and I’d probably be willing to be that part of you is a little self-centered too (I’m just saying). And in that struggle of obedience, I cause myself a whole lot of turmoil.

but I’m getting there.

About two weeks ago, we were stuffing programs for church, normal Sunday thing. As a team, we decided to do it one way (which by the way, wasn’t wrong), then our Pastor came up and said he wanted it another way (which wasn't wrong either). That meant more work for us. My first thought “he’ll never know if we don’t restuff and he probably wouldn’t remember that he told us”. Hey, I’m being honest here, judge me if you must. I know no one wanted to restuff. A voice inside me said “be obedient, he’s your pastor, he’s the leader of your church”. Ugh! And so I said it outloud “he’s our leader, we must be obedient”. And maybe you think this is not a big deal (stuffing programs), and really it isn’t, HOWEVER, the being obedient part, is. Baby steps.

I don’t like being obedient. I like to do things my way, God gave me a brain, I like to use it. But that is not ok if you’re going against “authority”. The scripture is clear.

Romans 13:1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

And how many times have I prayed “if it be Your will” to God. Ok, I’ll be honest again here. When I pray that, I’m usually praying for something (healing, some issue), I am really just hoping that it be God’s will. Wouldn’t it be better to just say “God, I want this” because really, He hears our hearts, no matter what our mouths say.

So I’m still working on answering that question. And I'm sure I'll be exploring this again.

Do you want to live in the will of God because you want your life to be easy or because you want to be obedient to God?

You can answer this here or on your own blog, or maybe just in your heart.

And I just think about how everyday I must die to myself in order to live for God. To live in His will because really, I do want to be obedient.

Matthew 10:39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Groceries


It's kind of an odd thing, but grocery shopping is one of my most favorite things to do. I love getting a good deal on whatever. I've learned (and been taught) that it is worth making a few trips to a few different stores, especially if you have a plan.

I was a SaveAlot shopper for a long time, and my girlfriend finally convinced me to go to Aldi's! That was quite a blessing. Both stores do have phenomenal product, they don't always have EVERYTHING, but they have more than just the basics, and it's cheap.

I do shop at Meijer and Kroger, but I am SHOCKED to see some of the prices they charge!! That big container of Oatmeal - $3.29 at Meijer... $1.79 at Aldi. And the list goes on and on. But as with everything, always know your prices, sometimes the bigger 'chain' stores do have some extraordinary deals.

I sometimes find myself saying "oh, I'm here" but last night at Kroger $1.99 cream cheese made it worth the trouble to run to Aldi. And it really wasn't any trouble, it was on my way home from Kroger anyway. And on four items I saved over $4 or I would have been ripped off $4 depending on how you look at it!

I don't know how people can survive shopping at the big chains for everything!

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

By His wounds, we are HEALED!



Psalm 32:3-5
3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess
my transgressions to the LORD "— and you forgave the guilt of my sin.


Are you holding in a secret? Are you holding in something that you've done or has been done to you? Does it continue to hurt you because you can't let it out? It's like vomit. You know, when you're sick, you just know that you'll feel better if you would just throw up. Your body was designed to get rid of stuff that doesn't belong in there. I think our hearts are the same way. We feel relieved to get rid of stuff that we've been holding in. It's like breaking free of chains that are holding us down.



I don't know about you, but sometimes I just stand in awe of God's grace because of His love. If you have something you're holding inside. Let it out, and let God in.



Isaiah 53:5 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Do what you do

There are days that I just can’t figure out where I’m supposed to be. Not because I feel like I don’t fit in, I feel like there is so much to do. Until I remember that there are other “hands and feet” to take care of all the tasks, I don’t need to be the only ones.

Tony who is in the kitchen at Grace Centers of Hope always say “do what you do” to me. I’ve been going to the kitchen there for almost two years. I just started working with him about 2 months ago because when I’m up there I’ve been doing other things. I only need basic instruction, I'll figure the rest out.

Sometimes I need to take this very simple advice in other areas of my life.

Do what you do.

I can get a little overwhelmed when I look at the work that needs to be done. I get overwhelmed because I want to do it all. And then I remember, I can’t do it all. Only God can do it all, and sometimes we are just called to be a vessel in which He can do some work.

Yesterday was one of those days, Adam talked about the kids in our Youth Group, they are struggling, some I know first hand, and some I don’t know at all. Part of me wants to help them all, but that’s not really possible. Ok, it’s not possible at all.

Sometimes I look at my roll as a Youth Leader, and I think it’s not all that fun. Sure, I love what I do, however, I am not the one who plans fun video road rallies or big fun events, I typically don’t even go to them, but I do pray for them. I might help plan a trip and help get it executed and cook and clean. But then I started thinking about it…

And I started thinking about it in a very simple way.

I’m a mom. I do what I do. I’m there. I make sure you eat, have a warm, comfortable place to lay your head. A mom is always “there”. And I pray, like a mother, because nobody prays for you like your mother.

And sometimes I just laugh out loud because I had great examples of moms, but not having one first hand in my life I feel like most days I have no idea how I know what to do.

I will continue to do what I do. But not probably the way you think… I’ll do what I do, with Christ in me, because He’s really how I do anything.

2 Cor 12:9-10 9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

BTW… We worshiped to a “new” song for us. The Revelation Song. I posted it sung by someone else, but let me tell you this… No one does the song better than Katie. Bar none.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentinie's Day... after


I don't think I've ever had a better Valentinie's Day.

Isn't is great when we have a day that we can say "it's never been better". Nothing magical or romantical about it.

We went to Grace Centers of Hope. The day did not start out as we planned. However, it ended better than we expected. We accomplished more than I think they thought we would, I think that happens everytime we go. And the crazy thing? It never seems like a lot because we love what we do. The kids are amazing and inspiring. After that, Phyllis, Gibby, Kevin, and I went to Olive Garden. It was packed, but well worth the hour wait (I never thought I would find an Olive Garden that I would say that about!). I just remember sitting there thinking "my heart is overflowing with joy".

I think people make a big deal about Valentinie's Day for all the wrong reasons. They have crazy mixed up expectations. It is just like every other day. It is a gift from God to love on each other, and that's what we should do. Valentinie's Day and every other day.

Romans 12:9-11 9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentinie's Day!


Today is Valentinie's Day!

Yes, I am well aware that it's a Hallmark holiday.

Get over it people.

Maybe if everyone was a little sweeter and loved a little more, we wouldn't need Valentinie's Day... huh? One thing though... have you noticed that the cards are getting sillier not sweeter? Now Hoops & YoYo... yes... silly songs... no.

And yes, I love Valentinie's Day. I made cookies for work, we're serving at Grace Centers of Hope today (made cookies with the girls last night too), sent e-cards, I made meatballs for the "I don't have a Valentine" potluck/hangout for Alive tonight (even though I'm not going), got a cute hug from the Thrift Store for someone at work. Took my friend out to lunch yesterday.

Yes, I know it's all completely dorky, but I love it anyway!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Things I'd like for Valentine's Day

1. Homemade dinner (by someone else)
2. A card
3. A kiss
4. A hug
5. Daisies
6. Cherry Lemonade Candle
7. No snow!
8. Someone to read the bible to me
9. Hoops & YoYo anything
10. The new Men of Grace CD

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I want to do more...

There are times when I just want to swoop in and do SOMETHING, ANYTHING. And yet, all I can do is pray. It seems like nothing sometimes. It seems like some small little thing, however, it's a big thing.
I think sometimes we might think it's a small thing, because anything that happens because WE didn't do anything. Sure, we requested, we called out, we cried, even maybe shouted but WE didn't do anything, God does it all.
We want to make a difference, sure for the glory of God, but I don't know about you, but I want to know that God uses me, I want somehow to be able to "earn my keep". And yes, I do know that is self-centered. I know that there is NO way in Heaven that I can return what has been given to me in anyway. But truly, I want to make a difference, I want the mess that I have made to be used for the Glory of God.
A few times in my life I have wanted to be a foster parent. You know, the good kind, not one of those crazies that people right books about, but a good one. Last night was one of those days, I think I would have ended up with 6 kids. And I wonder... is it me or is that something that God has laid on my heart? Or is He planting a seed of something that will be someday.... hmmmm

So, I just pray, and I trust in Him that it's enough, that if He wants to use me to be a vessel, He will, because He knows I will. I pray quietly, I pray in the car, I cry, I yell, slow, fast, with scripture, without scripture. I just pray.

And that's enough.

2 Chron 6:28-31 28 "When famine or plague comes to the land, or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, or when enemies besiege them in any of their cities, whatever disaster or disease may come, 29 and when a prayer or plea is made by any of your people Israel—each one aware of his afflictions and pains, and spreading out his hands toward this temple- 30 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive, and deal with each man according to all he does, since you know his heart (for you alone know the hearts of men), 31 so that they will fear you and walk in your ways all the time they live in the land you gave our fathers.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

With Everything

So thankful tonight to be burdened with prayer. Worship with me! Pray with me, whatever your heart is burdened with, stop what you are doing and PRAY!



Open our hearts,
To see the things
That make Your heart cry,
To be the church
The You would desire.
Light to be seen.

Break down our pride,
And all the walls
We've built up inside,
Our earthly crowns
And all our desires,
We lay at Your feet.

So let hope rise,
And darkness tremble
In Your holy light,
And every eye will see
Jesus, our God,
Great and mighty to be praised.

God of all days,
Glorious in all of Your ways.
Your majesty, the wonder and grace,
In the light of Your name.

With everything,
With everything,
We will shout for your glory.

With everything,
With everything,
We will shout forth your praise.

Our hearts will cry
Be glorified,
Be lifted high,
Above all names.
For You our King,
With everything,
We will shout forth your praise.

So small

I've been very "nerved up" lately. working on it. Making mountains out of mole hills. This morning i was listening to my MP3 player and the song "so small" by Carrie Underwood came on (I listened it about 10 times in a row), I've posted the song before, it just really rang true to my heart today.

And I've really had to listen to the voice of God the last few days in order to drown out the voice of hell whispering in my ear. In that, I was burdened (not in a bad way) yesterday to pray for someone. I don't even know how to explain it, but I was all alone in the house (Phyllis and Gibby had just left) and it almost felt like I was being pushed to my knees, so I didn't resist. I pray for that person everyday already, but it was different this time. On my knees, face buried in the carpet, praying.

Ecc 3:9-11 9 What does the worker gain from his toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.




So Small lyrics

[Verse 1]
What you got if you ain't got love
the kind that you just want to give away
It's okay to open up
go ahead and let the light shine through
I know it's hard on a rainy day
you want to shut the world out and just be left alone
But don't run out on your faith

[Chorus]
'Cause sometimes that mountain you've been climbing is just a grain of sand
What you've been up there searching for
forever is in your hands
When you figure out love is all that matters after all
It sure makes everything else
seem so small

[Verse 2]
It's so easy to get lost inside
a problem that seems so big at the time
it's like a river thats so wide
it swallows you whole
While you sit around thinking about what you can't change
and worrying about all the wrong things
time's flying by
moving so fast
you better make it count 'cause you can't get it back

[Chorus]
Sometimes that mountain you've been climbing is just a grain of sand
What you've been up there searching for
forever is in your hands
When you figure out love is all that matters after all
It sure makes everything else
Seem so small

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I was walking today. What a gift. The last song to hear as I was walking on my ipod... " I can only imagine". I was thinking about my friend and how he can sing it but he doesn't... (You know who you are).

That song reminds me of Rhonda Hart. It reminds me of her husband, Erik.

It reminded me about some stuff that's had me all nerved up the last couple days.

And as it was playing, and I was walking, I could not help but to put my hands up in the air. I am sure my neighborhood thought I was a koo-koo bird. I don't care. I just couldn't help it. Hopefully their windows were closed because I was singing LOUD (and I can't sing).

I thought about all the stuff that gets me nerved up, it doesn't matter in the big scheme of things. And I seem lately to come back to the same thing... The only thing that matters is Love. Not the kind of love that we can give, but the kind that comes from knowing Jesus.

And then I thought about the video that's below. I remember seeing it for the first time, I remember watching it and the tears just rolling down my face. I couldn't help it.

I wonder sometimes what heaven will be like. I wonder who I will "see" first. I can only imagine.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Characteristics

One of the things that Phyllis has to do in order to go on the Mission Trip to Columbia is to rank herself in the following characteristics. I started to think about how I would rank myself.

Here they are:

Perseverance
Compassion
Flexibility
Obedience
Leadership
Encouragement
Evangelism
Positive Attitude
Servant
Sacrifice

And then I started thinking about a conversation I had with a friend of mine yesterday. He said that one of my worst qualities (because I'm a woman) is that I am strong. Also, I have a strong personality. Funny, I never really think of myself as strong. I often think of myself as weak. I just sometimes put on the front of being strong. Sure, I deal with a lot of stuff. That's because I have to. I'm not strong, I perservere.

Perservere: : to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement

Main Entry:
per·se·vere

Pronunciation:
\ˌpər-sə-ˈvir\
Function:
intransitive verb
Inflected Form(s):
per·se·vered; per·se·ver·ing
Etymology:
Middle English, from Anglo-French parseverer, from Latin perseverare, from per- through + severus severe


To go through something severe. Sometimes the story of my life. Many times the story of my life. Sometimes I just think it's stupidity. Just keep on trudging through. I don't always see that as a strength, I think it's sometimes a weakness. I've changed my way of thinking lately. I don't do it all on my own anymore. I think about things a lot more now and how they should be dealt with before I trudge through. I seek wisdom.

The Alive Band has a song they wrote.

I can't live by my own strength anymore.
I won't be the same
You've drawn me near
You know my name.
I won't be the same
You've washed my heart
You took the blame.
You gave
Your Son
To be crushed and wounded
Hung on a tree
You gave Your Son
He suffered, died, so that I could be free
You are the source
Of hope and peace and salvation
You are my source
And into Your arms I will run
Your Love
Saved my life
My Soul Sings Hallelujuh

This song has been radiating in my heart. Into Your arms I will run.

I keep on going, I perservere. I go through something severe. Sometimes it's not really severe. Sometimes I make it severe. That's not strength, that's weakness.

Sometimes I put up walls so that no one can get in. That's that strong personality. Make people think you're strong so that they won't see that you're weak. The weak don't survive. That's not strength, that's weakness.

You know when I'm strong? When I let God use me. When I take the gifts that's He's given me, and I use them. I'm strong when I'm in Him. I'm strongest when I'm weak. I'm strong when I'm in constant surrender. When I say... "it's not about me". When I'm encouraging and loving. When I'm obedient. When I'm weak. I've heard it said "don't mistake my kindness for weakness". Kindness might be mistaken for a weak quality. Kindness by definition is "a kind deed". That's not weakness. God called us to love our neighbors as ourselves. That's not weakness. When someone needs a ride because their kids are sick, and you're obedient, that's not weakness, that's strength, because it's using a gift that God has given us. When you see someone hurting, a beautiful girl, who just needs to be held and loved, and you do, and you pray, and you cry with her. Crying, that's not weakness, that's strength. Crying out to be rescued, by only Him that can rescue. That's not weakness, that's strength.

I wonder, of those personality characteristics, which one do I think ranks up on my list of what I am: Perserverence. Thinking about it this way, would I say it's a strength or a weakness? I'm not really sure. I guess it depends on what I am perserving through, or rather, maybe it's who I am persevering to.

Romans 5:1-5

1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a]have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we[c] also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

A fight to the finish

Sometimes my spirit battles a war within me.

But this time I feel like it's my flesh fighting my spirit.

Ugh.

Ever feel like you belong one place, but you're afraid to leave where you are?

Maybe its just me.

It's kind of like moving.

You're excited.

You think of all the new possibilities (and it's usually better than you expected once you get moving)

But the thought of leaving the things you love is almost heart-breaking. I think I am going to be a Psalm-singer today.

Psalm 30

1 I will exalt you, O LORD,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
2 O LORD my God, I called to you for help
and you healed me.

3 O LORD, you brought me up from the grave [b] ;
you spared me from going down into the pit.

4 Sing to the LORD, you saints of his;
praise his holy name.

5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.

6 When I felt secure, I said,
"I will never be shaken."

7 O LORD, when you favored me,
you made my mountain [c] stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.

8 To you, O LORD, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:

9 "What gain is there in my destruction, [d]
in my going down into the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?

10 Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me;
O LORD, be my help."

11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever


Saturday, February 07, 2009

I expect myself...

Totally stealing from Sara...

1. To read God's Word everyday
2. To take care of myself
3. To be a mom that supports her daughter
4. To keep my house clean
5. To make dinner at least once a week
6. To be a good example of Christ to teenagers
7. To let go when it's time
8. To be fair
9. To be a good steward of the money God has entrusted me with
10. To love above all things

Micah 6:8
He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Who saves you?


Today I was in Pontiac, I took a picture for my project 365 of the House of Hart & Hope. Stopped at Summit Place Mall for a quick run into JCPenney. It’s pretty empty. Sad really. (Picture taken there)

Thinking about last night’s sermon that Pastor Clark gave. I told the women something about the exciting news at Grace Centers of Hope. The lady was more excited about the Hollywood film studio. It’s going to bring jobs and something along the lines of it saving Pontiac.

This is no new revolution. Hollywood is not going to save Pontiac. Sure jobs are great, we could use a few new ones after Granholm has chased companies out of Michigan like an old lady with a slipper. But let’s make no mistake about one thing…

Only Jesus saves. Put your faith in HIM!

I think that sometimes people think I do some great work because I collect pennies (nickels & dimes too) for Grace Centers of Hope, I am running the 10K for as a fundraiser for them, I love volunteering in the kitchen, I go to church up there on occasion. But let me tell you something, I am blessed and count myself blessed that I can be a part of their ministry in a small way, whatever it is. I am blessed because I get to see God move, I get to watch the impossible become possible (Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.") by the Hand of God. I see people who society would have cast aside, being used and loved by God. People helping people. Children being loved. Women becoming who they were meant to be. Blessed and highly favored!

You know why?

Because Jesus saves.

His Word is Alive and it’s real.

May you be blessed by a ministry that you begin to serve in, and may you see the Hand of God at work in your life.

Psalm 29
1 Ascribe to the LORD, O mighty ones,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of his [a] holiness.

3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.

4 The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is majestic.

5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.

6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
Sirion [b] like a young wild ox.

7 The voice of the LORD strikes
with flashes of lightning.

8 The voice of the LORD shakes the desert;
the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh.

9 The voice of the LORD twists the oaks [c]
and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, "Glory!"

10 The LORD sits [d] enthroned over the flood;
the LORD is enthroned as King forever.

11 The LORD gives strength to his people;
the LORD blesses his people with peace.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Running


I forgot how much I love to run, although yesterday I only ran for 5 minutes (out of 20) and it wasn't that fast, but I still ran. I felt so good when I got off the treadmill with my mp3 player and my favorite shoes.

I have two goals, they are very close together.

I am running a 5k in May a fundraiser for Breast Cancer

I am running a 10k in June (actually the weekend after the 5K) a fundraiser for Grace Centers of Hope.

I'm training for the 10k that way the 5K will be a warm up :)

The gym was packed yesterday, I need to get my endurance up this winter and then when the weather breaks I will start running outside. I pretty excited about getting back to the gym, I've been working on making better choices in eating habits and so it's time to throw some exercise in the game.

I've been feeling better, sleeping better, some of that is eating habits, and some of that is taking some things out of my schedule (like getting my nails done - which I miss but I love being home!), and some of that is taking better care of myself.

I think of my dad who has quite a bit of health problems, and I don't want to be like that. So it's time to get my act together!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ramblings...

I got a bunch of rambling on my brain…

First… it’s 7am, do your children know who Stevie Wonder is?

Stevie Wonder was playing on the radio today and I asked the cashier – ‘do you know who is singing?’ Her response ‘no clue’. WHAT A TRAGEDY! Ok, I know it’s really not a tragedy, but Stevie Wonder? You don’t know who Stevie Wonder is… Yikes. I told her to google him. I love Stevie Wonder, I love his music, his passion, and he is an inspiration. Phyllis has known who he is since she was… born. My favorite song of all time is by him. As. I feel like it’s a love song from God to me, the words given to Stevie by God Himself.
Yes, I do realize that I am a complete dork!

Can someone explain why I believe that when the bible says in song of Solomon 4:7 ‘All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you’ that it applies to everyone but me? How is it that I believe that God loved me, He saved me, that if I was the only one, He still would have gotten up on that cross. That He loves me in spite of me and the mess I make, but I can’t believe that I am beautiful. Somehow I’ve got to get over this mess that I think my whole life I can’t remember anyone saying I was cute or pretty or beautiful. How come I can only remember all the times I’ve always been “too” something? Too fat, too skinny (what the heck, I’ve never been too skinny but I’ve been told I was!), hair was… too long, to short, too blond, too dark, I’m too loud, talk too much… ok, you get the picture. How come I can look at others and see their beauty but some days I just can’t see it in myself!

Song of Solomon 1:15 How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Prayer

I pray everyday. Most days its a conversation, and most nights I fall asleep praying, and the most prayer is done in my car. There are somethings I pray for everyday, somethings I pray for when I'm reminded.

Today I am reminded how God answers our prayers. I have a co-worker who was temporarily laid off in November. Many of those people who received that same package did not come back to work. He was given an extended month, however today he returned to work. I was so thankful to God for bringing him back. He's such a sweet person, hard-worker, knowledgeable, and sometimes when things get a little rough, he can bring a smile to my face just when I really need one.

I've also been reminded about God's guidance. I've prayed the entire time Phyllis has had "knee issues" that I would have the wisdom to make the right choices about her care. She started a nutritional supplement that she took a long time ago (coincidentaly at the same time she went in remission ;) ), this morning I asked her how her knees were feeling... her reply (I held my breath for an answer) "great". hmmm...

God is good.

Praying about a lot of things, these two especially...

I'm praying for Ashley and Kyle, Kyle took too many pills, ended up in the hospital, he needs to go to Grace Centers of Hope. Praying his heart will be open to it. Now not later. Ashley to be strong, the strength she has is drawn from God.

Praying for the beautiful Ann Marie who is out there, who needs to come home. I'd go get her if I knew where she was, and I'd bring her back to Grace Centers of Hope.

It's a crazy thing about that place, and maybe it's a crazy thing about love. There are days that I just can't get that place off my heart, there are certain people there that never leave my heart or my prayers. No rhyme or reason for it.

God is good... I'm so thankful for prayer, it's one of the greatest gifts God has given us. I believe that it is something to be taken seriously. When I say "I will pray for you" or any prayer request, really, I mean it. It might be an on going thing or it might be "then and there" but I pray. I've even stepped out of my comfort zone lately and I pray for people "on the spot" outloud. That might not seem like a big deal to you, but it was something that made me uncomfortable for a long time.

Matthew 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

I started My own Project 365 like Kelly

Sunday, February 01, 2009

what do you do?

I was talking to a friend today (or maybe it was yesterday, I don't know) and we were talking about why people vote. He said that a lot of 'evangelical christians' choose who they vote for based on the whole 'abortion' thing. And what have the people we voted for (who stood against abortion) done to solve this 'problem'. Let me first say... I don't choose who I vote for based on that issue. It's not an issue for me. I know... gasp.

But here's what I am saying. If there is some injustice in the world (the whole world or just your tiny part of it) that you believe should be stood up against, do you do something about it? Or do you just sit there waiting for someone 'to do something'.

It's no secret that I work with youth. I love teenagers. Really. I know, it's kind of odd for me too. I didn't like teenagers when I was a teenager. lol.

WHY? because I want them to live a life full of joy and love and not of consequence, like I did. Do you know that I am still jacked up from my teenage years. I want them to live a life of Christ, He's our Lord and Savior.

I was listening to a CD that Adam gave the Youth Staff (Adam, I really do listen to those things). It said that if we teach students to cling to what is good we won't have to teach them to hate what is evil (that's Romans 12:9 for those of you taking notes). And how true is that?! Cling to what is good. If you do, you won't go looking for evil and if it comes looking for you, you won't gravitate towards it because you are clinging to what is good. It's not that easy but it is that true.

So, we voted all these people in. And what are they doing?

But most importantly, what are you doing?

I always come back to the same thing. LOVE.

What are you doing to love?

What are you doing to make sure that those in our world 'cling to what is good'?

Romans 12:9-10 9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.