A Call to End the Silence

My heart has been so heavy over the past weeks…maybe months. I no longer have the desire to turn on the daily news. I barely ever want to peek at social media because in the desire to see what my friends and loved ones are up to, I’m bombarded with the craziness that is occurring in our world.

I’ve found myself wishing it would just all go away. (Yes, I know, lovely attitude there…just being real.)

As I sat in prayer this morning, God spoke louder to me something He’s been whispering to me for a while.

stop being silent

Church, we’ve been too silent for too long! What has our silence brought us? Just look around!

  • Churches across the nation are more divided than EVER…and NOT over things that matter.
  • Reaching the lost for Christ has become more difficult because too many “Christians” do not live out what they claim to believe.
  • Sin nature in our country has overtaken our culture partly because Christians have taken their focus off of evangelism & discipleship.

I could continue a nice long list, but that’s not the point.

The point is that we need to WAKE UP! We need to rediscover the urgency of the Gospel! We need to STOP attacking each other over things that don’t matter! We need to STEP UP and PRAY for our leadership (both in the church and the nation) before we open our big mouths to tear them down to others. And, maybe, let’s be a little more Christlike and NOT tear them down anyway, just pray and pray some more.

Christians, we need to UNITE & PRAY like never before. We don’t have time for our petty differences of opinions. There are lost people dying and going to hell at a faster rate than I’ve ever seen. We need to grab onto Christ, bind ourselves to Him and His mission, and GO for what is absolutely the most important ride of our lives!

We can no longer be silent about our faith. We must fulfill the great commission. We must GO! We must TELL! We must LIVE a life fueled by and filled with the LOVE of Christ!

Matthew 28:18-20

Ephesians 4:1-6

1 John 3:11-24

1 John 4:7-21

1 Corinthians 15:1-5

Be blessed & LOUD!

-De

 

A Little Bit of Worship

My hubby and I have had many conversations recently about worship.  (Of course, over the Christmas break we traveled 1800+ miles, so there was LOTS of time to talk.) Our observation is that the majority of Christ followers just don’t truly know how to worship God anymore.  Is it that we aren’t taught?  Is it that we’ve simply forgotten due to lack of practice?  Where has it gotten lost?

Worship goes beyond singing songs on Sunday morning.  (For those who actually participate in that part of the services.)  Shouldn’t worship be how we live our lives for God?  I love this statement from Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary’s definition of worship:

All true worshipers must worship God in “spirit and in truth.” That is, true worship takes place on the inside, in the heart or spirit of the worshiper (cf. Psalm 45:1 ; 103:1-2 ). Worship pleasing to God must be unfeigned and transparent, offered with a humble and pure heart ( Psalm 24:3-4 ; Isa 66:2).

That doesn’t sound so difficult, does it.  Worship is simply our humble, heart-felt offerings to God.  Worship can happen when we are alone or with our church family.  Worship can happen while scrubbing the bathroom (crank up some praise music and offer Him your heart while doing that chore you despise) and during silent prayer in the middle of church.  Your heart is where it begins! 

When was the last time you were overwhelmed with the presence of God?  I mean that speechless place where no words or songs or sounds you could utter seemed worthy enough for Him.  But also that place when you knew that you were so wrapped in the Holy Spirit that you didn’t need to make a sound, and you simply lifted your heart and hands to the Father to offer Him your purest worship.

Oh, my sisters, that is a place I want to live!!  No, it doesn’t happen every day, but when it does…my heart cries out to my Abba Father, the joy of the Lord fills every inch of my being, and I offer Him the best of what I have to give…as unworthy as that may truly be.

Just offer ALL of yourself to Him.  Humble yourself & let Him lead you.  Pray that He will guide your worship.  Pray that He will free you to worship, if that needs to be your prayer.  And simply worship Him in spirit and truth!

Be blessed!

-De

I Will Be Audacious!

I just sat down on my couch after a blessed, blessed day! Our church hosted the Living Proof Live Simulcast today, & what a WORD God gave to Mrs. Beth!

Leading up to the event, I prayed for God to speak to the women who attended. To move in their heart. To prepare a word just for them. Here’s what I didn’t expect…He prepared a word just for ME!

Backstory: My hubby and I, for years, have prayed that no matter what, we would do what God calls us to do. Whether to go or stay and serve, just to follow Him & hear His direction. Now, for sometime now God has been building a ministry calling within me in addition to were He has me now. He has given me a great passion for worship leadership, & I adore preparing His church to approach His throne in worship. But, He has also been speaking a ministry of encouragement to ministry wives (and women in ministry) to my heart. My pastor hubby has been diligent in asking me what my hold-up is. Why haven’t I just stared DOING it? My answer has always been, I don’t feel prepared & most of all I don’t feel confident enough in myself to speak to these women. Fear ladies, it’s all fear. And we know who is the author of that fear!

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When Christ is the Supreme Romance of our lives, we can do ANYTHING!!!  Even face/conquer our fears!!!  Praise Jesus!!

Thank you Mrs. Beth (if by some miracle chance you read this) for calling me out! “Zero confidence in the flesh! 100% confidence in the Holy Spirit!”  Thank you for helping me realize that I can be Audacious! I am a mighty woman of God because Christ lives in me! Because Christ lives in me I can do anything that God has called me to do, or speak, without fear!!

“I’ve got the guts to give Him the glory!”

Be blessed & be AUDACIOUS!

-De

The Jedi’s Epic Adventure

As a mom, when the youth minister interrupts bible study asking for you, it’s never a good thing. This was me last week. Upon being told that my son had hurt his arm (and knowing how he usually acts when hurt) I expected to just be needed to provide comfort.

Enter the gym & immediately find the Jedi not crying, but sitting calmly & the adult looking after him mouths these words to me: “You need to go to the ER. It’s broken.”

Run. Gather stuff. Leave the youth minister to get my pastor hubby (which apparently was interesting, but not my tale), grab the Princess. & gingerly load the wounded Jedi into the van. All the while feeling every prayer being lifted.

The ER techs found the story of the injury quite epic. (First, let it be known that the Jedi was trying to minimize the pain of a broken wrist & fractured elbow. No tears over the pain.) Now, it must always be fun to ask a boy injured like this how it happened. Here is his reply to the question:

Well, there was a low basketball goal & a chair. 

Snickering came from techs and an “I like this story already!”

Apparently he had been jumping from the chair to the goal & either climbing the net to the hoop or grabbing the hoop and swinging. (All boy the Jedi is.) 

When the techs asked if he liked basketball, they guffawed when he replied no. They should have asked if he liked trying to be a ninja, that might have received at least a grin and nod.

Two days later (and while sedated in the surgery area) the wrist was set & the cast applied. 

For now, he’s learning to be a lefty & enjoying being waited on a bit.

I really am proud of my growing boy. Man, he’s getting so growny. I don’t think I’m ready! I love his compassionate heart. The only thing that truly upset him through it all was interrupting everyone’s bible studies. Bless him! ❤️ 

Trying to make his experience as epic as possible! 

    
    
 
Be blessed!

-De

Why We Celebrate

Because on this day, many seem to have forgotten why we celebrate.  This.  This is why.

The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription


IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

 

Be blessed!

-De

 

A Prayer For Our Nation

As I sat before our congregational prayer time this morning, I found myself reflecting over the events of the past week.  Not personal events, but those that deeply impact our country.  And honestly, not only the past week, but so much longer.  As my pastor hubby called the church to a time of prayer, the Holy Spirit led me to Psalm 85.  As I fell to my knees, my heart cried this prayer for our nation.  (Italicized words are mine.)

Return to us (our Nation), God of our salvation,
and abandon Your displeasure with us (and forgive our abandoning of You).
Will You be angry with us forever?
Will You prolong Your anger for all generations?
Will You not revive us again
so that Your people may rejoice in You? (Father, oh please, revive Your people.  Let revival begin in each of us.)
Show us Your faithful love, Lord,
and give us Your salvation. (Fill us with Your love for all, so that we will not fear sharing Your truths. Our nation’s only hope is You.  Spark a revival in the hearts of Your church, grow it there until it can’t be contained.  Then allow it to spill over into the streets, cities, states, country & world, Father. )

God is our only answer, guys!  We keep allowing Him to be pushed out of every aspect of our nation.  He will never abandon us, but we are continually abandoning Him.  This, my friends, is why there is so much hate, so much anger, so much apathy everywhere.  Will our country ever return to God?  I don’t know, but as believers, will we continue allowing Him to be pushed out?

prayernation

I ask that you take this chapter of this book of the Word of God and meditate on it.  Join me in praying it during this week leading to Memorial Day.  If the thought of losing our nation to the world doesn’t pierce your heart, it’s time for a check-up.

Psalm 85 (HSCB)

Lord, You showed favor to Your land;
You restored Jacob’s prosperity.
You took away Your people’s guilt;
You covered all their sin. Selah
You withdrew all Your fury;
You turned from Your burning anger.

Return to us, God of our salvation,
and abandon Your displeasure with us.
Will You be angry with us forever?
Will You prolong Your anger for all generations?
Will You not revive us again
so that Your people may rejoice in You?
Show us Your faithful love, Lord,
and give us Your salvation.

I will listen to what God will say;
surely the Lord will declare peace
to His people, His godly ones,
and not let them go back to foolish ways.
His salvation is very near those who fear Him,
so that glory may dwell in our land.

10 Faithful love and truth will join together;
righteousness and peace will embrace.
11 Truth will spring up from the earth,
and righteousness will look down from heaven.
12 Also, the Lord will provide what is good,
and our land will yield its crops.
13 Righteousness will go before Him
to prepare the way for His steps.

Pray and be blessed!

-De

Have Things Really Changed?

Every night, before bed, my hubby and I always spend some time together watching a little TV or movies.  It’s just something we’ve always done.  Usually it’s episodes from some of our favorite shows (Doctor Who, LOST, Once Upon A Time, Friends), nothing too serious.  Occasionally we’ll find a movie to spread over a couple nights, also, generally light-hearted flicks.  But over the past two nights we changed that a little bit.  We finally relented and let a movie that we’ve put off for several years move to the top of our Netflix DVD queue.  One, most people our age watched years ago, but that for some reason, we’d both avoided. Schindler’s List.

Being a huge lover of history, I’d always wanted to watch it.  But, anyone who has ever studied that part of world history also knows why I’ve always avoided it.  It’s painful. Very painful.  I still can’t wrap my mind around the Holocaust.  It just doesn’t make sense to me.  How?  Why?  What were they really thinking?  I mean…there are no words, only a million questions.  I will never understand how anyone could justify any of that.

But what has weighed heavy on my mind and heart since we finished the film last night…have things really changed?

Sure, the scale of genocide that occurred then was massive, and things like that don’t happen very often even on a small scale.  But the hatred.  The pure hatred of people who are the slightest bit different…has that changed in our society?  Watch the news for 5 minutes and you’ll know it hasn’t.

Most of culture doesn’t seem to value life.

Just because your ethnicity is different than mine, doesn’t mean you don’t have value.

Just because your lifestyle doesn’t line up with what I believe, doesn’t mean you don’t have value.

Just because you worship (or don’t worship) a god that isn’t my God, doesn’t mean you don’t have value.

Just because you were “unplanned” doesn’t mean you don’t have value.

LIFE IS VALUE!

You live. You breathe. Your heart beats. You think. You love. You hurt. You laugh. YOU HAVE VALUE!

For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139: 13-16

120208_Romans12_10

We will never all agree on lifestyles, religions, etc.  But disagreeing doesn’t mean we have to hate.

Christian sisters & brothers, please, oh please, hear this.  Christ called us to love the world.  LOVE.  Don’t be confused or misled. Take a lesson from Paul:

Romans 12 English Standard Version (ESV)

A Living Sacrifice

12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Gifts of Grace

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Marks of the True Christian

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Be blessed!

-De