Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Blessings of Now

When my belly is all round and full and inhabited.... my mind isn't.

So sorry for the silence.

I've longed to sit still here and let my mind park for a while on blog writing - but there's a babe filling out my belly who seems to be taking in all of me. Including my ability to form rational, coherent thoughts :)

This boy - he should be here within a month. And his Mama is ready. His room isn't. Our house isn't. His closet isn't. The family vehicle isn't. His crib isn't. But my dazed mind and heavy body - they are ready, yes :)


The blonds and their Daddy and I went to a small, intimate little Christmas concert a few nights ago. And with the house lights down low and the band ringing out Jesus - my two little fair-haired babes lounged on my lap. With one on each leg - they reclined over my blossoming mid-section...their wombed baby brother kicking their backs the whole time.

And it hit me...."I'm holding all three of them."

And hit again as this thought dawned - "only a few more weeks - with my few."

"I'll have...three?"

And the sentiment of it all....the realization....left me teary. In all of my hurrying along....in all of my wishing this boy were already here....wishing that the birth pains were over....wishing that I was back in my good jeans - I've neglected the gift of sharing this time with my two.

As of today....I have a leg for each bottom. A shoulder for each head. A hand for each hand. An eye for each child's action. An ear for each child's song. I have that right now. And I'm rushing it, wishing it - away?

Foolishness? No....immature, selfish...foolishness.

How dare I? How dare I wish away the moments with my first two loves.

And while I wallow in the fact that I've already wasted precious, precious moments - I'm grateful that I've realized it before it's too, too late.

So in these weeks leading up to labor - Lord, help me to shift my focus. Help me to love on the loves I can wrap around and hold. Just the two of them. And all the while - prepare me...prepare us - for the addition. And as we welcome him into our home...into our hearts....let us have sweet remembrances of the few weeks leading up to no longer just being a few.

And Father....as we become a family of five....pour out Your grace on this household. The five year old...the two year old...the little one...their Daddy...and this Mama - can't love without Love. And we can't give of self without the Giver. And we can't share and model and embrace and exhault and pass down joy - real joy....without realizing Jesus.

It's perfect timing, really....

Oh God, as we count down to the birth of Christ....(and the birth of this babe burying his foot in my ribcage) - empower me to love and enjoy and embrace and realize....the gift that is coming - yes, but also the gifts that are already here:

Friday, December 2, 2011

An Event

Quiet again in these parts.

Freedom: A Light Stepped Into The Darkness

Yes, yes. We have another women's event tonight. And as always - prayers are much needed and much appreciated. May the Spirit move among us tonight and may the women in attendance gleefully receive Him!

My friend, Phyllis, is doing the teaching this time. Pray for her?

I hope you have a lovely weekend, friends. Blessings to you all :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Permission to Enjoy

It's okay to enter into the glee of things.

Really. It's alright.

It's all right. Because when we enter into the glee of things - we enter into gratefulness.

He's been whispering it lately...... "Enjoy Me."

He knows that I don't. And He knows why.

It's the being aware of the sick and the starving and the stricken. It's the waking up to a world with woes. To a world with despair and dilapidation. It's knowing that pictures on calenders are only a portion of the earth's portraits. The others? We couldn't stand to stare at the site of them. While they may not don our walls -  they do dot the earth....snapshots of need and pain and torment....they are real.

Hence - the hesitancy to know joy.

He's been busting this up for me, though....

My blonds. They're giddy with delight as their young hands clinch mixing spoons - all ready to stir icing. And they laugh and they squeal and they dive into those bowls of goodness and they enjoy every lick. And I enjoy the smiles and the sticky fingers and the young joy on display in my kitchen. And the joy - yes - it leads to gratefulness.

And just as I attempt to stop myself - just as I begin putting up the walls to joy because I know others on earth will never have icing cross their lips - and I know other women will never have children graze in their kitchens (though they so long for it) - and I know that despair would love to have some part in my own future (oh, the what ifs).....just as I start to extinguish the fire of joy  - the one I wed walks in.

And he sees the freshly licked spoons and the freshly used beater and he knows this icing must have been made to go atop something. A cake, perhaps? And he smiles wide - with his face pale from fasting through the day - and across the kitchen, over the heads of those we made....he shines out joy and says, "What's all this?" And as he sits with fork in hand next to our giddy ones - they savor and enjoy and relish in a simple dessert with icing. And they are grateful for the nutmeg. And the cinnamon. And the utensil. And the plate. And their teeth. And the taste. And they enjoy...and they give thanks. And so do I.

Enjoy the blessings. Look for the blessings. Take note of them. Let them bring laughter. Let them bring joy right in. The simple ones...like blonds having the chance to eat icing. And serious ones....sacred ones....like the joy of knowing Christ. Really knowing Him....it should bring joy! It should bring celebration! Yes!

"Is there a greater way to love the Giver than to delight wildly in His gifts?"
- Ann Voskamp in One Thousand Gifts

And I'm so bad at this. And I still don't know what it should look like exactly. And I still find myself feeling guilty for having...just having. But I do know He has been whispering it....and I do know He wants me to be grateful, exuberant....inextinguishable - over what He's done for me. Not just materially, but spiritually.

And so yes....I will enter into glee. And He will enter into me and into the moments. And gratefulness will abound.

What do you think this looks like lived out? Do share. May you have a lovely, joy-filled day.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Forgiveness Talk (Part 2 of 2)

May the Lord raise us up into women (and men!) who are known for extending grace to the world. Enjoy part 2 of my notes....and again....forgive the random messyness.


Point 1: Know that forgiveness is for YOU. On many levels.
   *Level 1: The obvious....He forgives you. Of it all. Yes...of it ALL. Get that.
   *Level 2: It's for your well-being. (Emotionally, Physically, Spiritually, Mentally)
          - As I considered this point, I got another picture in my mind. (Sounds weird, doesn't it?) It was of me....holding a tiny little animal. It was a gross and vile looking little thing. Yet, I was petting it, loving it, protecting it. And I understood that this nasty animals name was 'Unforgiveness'. The problem is....this animal bites. And it bites you, not your offender.
          - Sometimes we believe that holding onto unforgiveness works more to our advantage than being healed of it. But unforgiveness will NOT allow us to have the life we want.
   *It will however, allow us to live a life of torment. Again, on many levels.
          *Emotionally: Unforgiveness can cause bitterness, depression, anger, fear, resentment, etc
          *Physically: Unforgiveness can cause high blood pressure, disease, heart problems, etc
(These ailments can derive from other sources as well - but we all too often overlook the effects of our inner turmoils on the human body.)

   *Jimmy Evans quote: "The poison of unforgiveness damages the vessel it is stored in worse than anything you can spit it on. It's killing you. The most self-loving thing you can do is forgive."

Point 2: Know that forgiveness is for THEM. (Your offender.)
   *Spurgeon quote: "He who grows in grace remembers that he is but dust...he overlooks 10,000 of their faults, because he knows his God overlooks 20,000 in his own case."
(Warning: We forgive people unfixed...before they act like they deserve to be forgiven. However, forgiving doesn't mean we go back and expose ourselves to abuse. Sometimes, we have to forgive from afar. In edition, if you are married and experiencing any type of abuse or danger....get to safety and seek wise, godly counsel.)
   *Sometimes, us forgiving them - will eventually bring them to salvation. Seeing a heart change in us - can, at times, make them seek the Heart Changer, themselves.
   *Matthew 6:9-15 (The Lord's prayer.) Notice verse 12: 'Forgive us our debts...as we have also forgiven our debtors.' And then notice verses 14 and 15: Look what Jesus decided to expound upon. He could have explained any part of the Lord's prayer - but He chose to dive deeper into our topic. Forgiveness is for them...because it circles back to you. Your forgiveness, depends on your forgiveness.
   * We can't withhold grace from others and get it from God. Life without grace from God is torment. (See emotional and physical ailments mentioned in Point 1.)

Point 3: Know that forgiveness is FROM HIM.
   * We have a tendency to think, "if only my offender would show true repentence....then I could fully forgive." Or sometimes we think, "If only I could give them a piece of my mind...then I could fully forgive." Both...are lies. The sting of what our offenders have done to us - will usually overpower their remorse (or your revenge) for it. Our offender, no matter what, can't make us forgive from the heart. The only way to reap a harvest of forgiveness is by His power alone.
   *Revisit Chapter 10 of Hosea. The whole chapter is about the Lord's people having false hearts...having thorns and thistles in their fallow ground. Verse 12... is God's perscription for His people. It's His council for those with hard hearts.
   * He is capable. He is capable of healing our hearts, of helping us extend forgiveness to those who don't deserve it, of breaking up our hard ground and reaping a harvest of forgiveness in us. US....broken, wounded, afflicted, tainted women like you and me.

I closed with some stories. And then we offered prayer during worship.

I truly enjoyed delving into this topic with the ladies of my church. It's an honor to serve them through our women's ministry. May He spur us onward in faith and in forgiveness. Blessings and love to you all :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Forgiveness Talk (Part 1 of 2)

Sometimes we strangle our own selves.

A tree was dying in my parent's yard, and upon investigation....it's very own root was wrapped around itself. All twisted and tight and blocking goodness. As the tentacle was loosened - the tree thrived and produced and lives, still.

And I think about this tree - how it's own apendage of sorts reaked havoc on it's life. How on the surface - the viscious entanglement went unseen. But under the dirt, deep down, compressed and silent - the tree's very own ways caused it to just about cease.

In that tree - I see this woman.

Hello, friends :) I told you I would scribble out a blog post containing some of my notes from Friday's forgiveness event - and I'm here to deliver. I'll post half of my notes today and half on my next post -for lengths sake :) And perhaps some anticipation? :) The story above was my intro. May the Lord stir all of us into a deeper, more real, more meaningful, more steadfast walk with Him.

(Forgive the random messyness of these notes, please? It was meant to be spoken, not typed :) Grace!)


*I too have a root that threatens to strangle me....it's called unforgiveness.

*None of us would have to go far for material on this topic. We all know pain. We all have wounds. And we all need healing.

*Unforgiveness has a harvest. It's a diseased and a corrupted one...but it has a harvest. The good news? Forgiveness has a harvest, too - a good, fruitful one.

*Hosea 10:12 - Sow for yourselves rightousness. Reep steadfast love. Break up your fallow ground. For it is time to seek the Lord - that He may come and rain rightousness upon you.
       - 'Break up your fallow ground' - that's what we began doing Friday night
       - 'Fallow' in the Hebrew is 'niyr' - it means hard, untilled ground, yes - but it is tillable!
       - Notice how the Lord provides. He tells us in the first lines 'sow rightousness, reap love' and then He says, 'seek Me....and I will provide the ability to do that for you, child.'
       - His power alone is the only way we forgive....from the heart. The Forgiver Himself, alone.

*I began prepping this talk by asking, "God, what do you want to teach me about forgiveness?" And I instantly got a very clear picture in my mind:
       - It was the front of my body....with my torso opened up to expose my heart and belly. And I understood that the heart and belly I saw were healthy. And the Lord whispered, "Katie, I want you to know forgiveness HERE. In your depths. In those places only I can see and only you can feel, child. Through and through. And by the way, the only way you can have this is by ME."
       - Forgiveness is a heart issue.

*Luke 6:37-38: Judge not and you will not be judged; condemn not and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven; give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.
       - Notice the word 'lap'. That's the ESV version. The NKJV uses the word, 'bosom'. Both words are translated from the Greek word, 'kolpos'. (Now keep in mind the vision the Lord gave me before I ever cracked open the scriptures on this topic.) The word 'kolpos' means: the front of the body between the arms. Is the Lord not confirming that He yearns for us to know forgiveness in.our.hearts? In our inner most places? Indeed, He is.

*Luke 6:45: The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
     - Notice the 'of the heart' in this verse....the Lord speaking it yet again.
     - Before we can mean forgiveness in our faces, before we can speak it with our mouths, we have to mean it in our hearts.
     - God's calling everyone to forgiveness - from the heart. He's made it clear.

*At this point you may be thinking, "Okay, I get it. The Lord wants us to know forgiveness in the deep...in the heart. But what does this look like? How do we go about doing this?"

Good question.

Won't you check back real soon for part two? To find out what God has revealed about this whole forgivness challenge? Oh, please do. Because He has done some revealing, friends! Until then, seek His face and you'll find it.

Love to you all :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Request for Prayer

Ah yes. Things have been quiet in my corner - in my little nook of the Internet.

Here's why:

The Next Current Event

I've got a women's event coming up this week. And I'm teaching on....forgiveness. Come to find out...the Lord has a lot to say on this topic. To me especially, it seems :)

(If you don't want to be messed with in a certain area - don't teach on it. God knows the only way you can effectively, lovingly, and humbly speak something - is if He has spoken it to you - and you have been in need of it.)

And let's just say - He has been doing a lot of speaking :)

So kind friends, as I prepare for this event - would you go to the throne with me in prayer? Oh - I do need for it to be lifted up. Forgiveness is a deep, unworldly, anti-cultural thing. It's a serious thing. A God thing. And so prayers lifted up on behalf of all the ladies attending - is much needed. And prayers are never wasted on this lady, either :)

Perhaps I'll post my notes from the event this very weekend?

Love and grace and laughter and joy and peace and contentment and faith and warm hugs to you all.

"The call to follow Christ always means a call to share the work of forgiving men their sins. Forgiveness is the Christ-like suffering which it is the Christian's duty to bear." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

That's so hard, Lord. Help.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Sometimes, we have to see it in others to see it in ourselves. The vileness of it is only considered violent when we're the victim.

Ungratefulness. Entitlement. A scoffing directed right at you.

When our actions towards another are met with a shrug, a lofty grimace - it runs deep and stabs at the center of us.

At the center of me.

And while I'm reminded that my offerings should not be fueled by reactions....that what I pour into someone probably won't be poured back - I still sink.

But why?

Look at my Christ.

All stretched out, spit-adorned, man-mocked, nailed and hanging.

Yes, for me. Me, the follower, etched on the mind of the Forgiver as He takes it all on in my place.

And I, mortal woman, boil at the sight of another's sin. All the while blind to the same sin in self.

Perhaps it's the plank. The plank in my very own eye - casting darkness into my very own vision. And in this state I spot a speck in my offender. But who's really the offensive one here?

This is hard, though. That sin speck in the other - pains me. Pains me at my core. And while yes - I am plank-ridden myself - that speck ails me. So what is an offenderer to do when offended?

Look at her Christ.

For perspective, yes....but for power to forgive and forge onward, peace to just live, provision to give....

And plank removal.

Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, when you yourself do not see the plank in your own eye?
..... Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother's eye.
Luke 6:41-42

Friday, September 23, 2011


When I search the scriptures of Luke, the first chapter, I see my reflection.

Gabriel reveals news, marvelous news, to an old Zacharias:

...the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John."

...he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.

The promise of a Spirit-filled babe in belly is a beautiful thing. A miraculous thing.

But Zacharias in a ripe age, replies like the woman who types this would...

"How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years."

This angel, Gabriel, who stands in the presence of our very God who was sent to speak to Zacharias and bring him these glad tidings, answers....

"You will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time."

There, in that verse above, is where I pass the mirror.

Zacharias was without words because he didn't believe The Word.

And perhaps this wasn't meant as a punishment - but as protection. For a person who doesn't believe that their God can and will do what He says He will do - that is a dangerous tongue to have speaking, (or even dangerous fingers to have writing) on His behalf.

For what good is a woman merely filled with her own words? What good is a woman counting on her own spirit to guide her? What good is a woman who hears only from her heart? Not good at all, actually...

He who trusts in his own heart is a fool.... Proverbs 28:26 says.

And isn't this so contrary to what the world would have us say? "Follow your heart!!! The answers are there!!! Vie for your own voice, woman!!! You are the source of your power." Is that not what our culture tells us?

Sweet friends, if I were to follow my heart - I would be following folly. I would be following merely flesh. And I'd be faint....in feeling, and in effectiveness.

To believe in the Word spoken over you, of you....this takes great faith. Faith that I can't find on my own - but faith that is revealed and given by the Spirit alone. Catch that. Belief in truth does not come from the depths of one's own heart....one's own spirit...one's own power. Rather, it is given as a gift and placed their in love by Grace. By The Spirit. Not your spirit.

And this is good. If it were all me - I'd be so puffed with pride and arrogance that my feet would never hit the ground.

But isn't this where he has us? Grounded. Going. Giving. Sharing. Telling. Shouting. Showing?


Oh Father. Help me to believe in Your words spoken over me. Help me to believe that You not only speak  - but that you fulfill what's been spoken. Whether it be babes in wombs, or wild men in wildernesses, or floods under arks, or kings on thrones, or simply the wildest most seemingly impossible prophecy...when it's of You - let me believe it....

Because I want the words that slip down my tongue to only be dangerous to the Enemy - and only  victorious for You.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Beloved

With one hand lifted high to heaven, and the other resting on the small of my back - he worships. With his palms he praises. With reverence and awe, he stands. And while doing this - he steadies me.

This man, this God-seeker, this worshiper - wears the wedding band that matches mine.

And when I see it there - up in the air - giving praise and gratitude and worship to the Father - thankfulness explodes.

Just typing this, tears form.

My husband is a man, changed. A man, transformed. A man taken, smitten, in love with Love Himself. And it shocks me. Startles me. Crumbles me to gratefulness.

To lay beside a man each eve who worships - this is grace.

I know where he's come from, and he, I. And our love is all the more because of this.

Even more....he knows where I still am. Where I still toil and struggle and sneer - and he pours on love even more in the uprisings of these weaknesses.

To rest next to the one who rests in Him - oh what a safe place. Under his wing.

His prayers over me cover me. And our babes see it. And they too have learned to come and place hands on head and bow in reverence and send prayers up lofting from sweet young lips. Because their Daddy has taught them so. And isn't this just right?

To the one I wed....

It's not lost on me.

The way you strive and the way you care and the way you love  - I see.

In the midst of madness - in the midst of toddler cries and five year old fits and broken toilets and burnt dinners and dwindling bank accounts and worries wafting from a weary wife and....oh, I see a man of calm tenderness.

And it nourishes me.

For you - and all you are, and all you attain to be, and all your pure love, and all your never-ending patience, and all your working, and all your providing, and all your faith lived out....I am a bride who is in love, yes....but I am a broken bride made a bit more whole who.is.grateful.

Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the sons....
Song of Solomon 2:3

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


A devotional I wrote for my church last week. Enjoy! Love and blessings and revelations to you all :)


A humble heart.

I truly believe that discipleship must start with a heart that exudes humbleness.

Think about it. Discipleship is the process of becoming more like Christ. It is the purposed journey of the believer. It is falling into cadence with the One we follow. It is falling in line, falling in character, and falling into…. His will.

Not ours. His.

And that takes humbleness. It begins with humbleness. Realizing our own need for Jesus and setting aside our own agenda and desires takes zeal, yes. It takes faith and passion and trust and resiliency, yes. But it also demands for us to yield to Him. Really, yield.

Because a Christ follower must move over. Die to self. And give way to The Way.

Once a person realizes this – and decides to soften to the gentle promptings of the Spirit – they find that instead of restriction or rule-keeping or religion – they experience contentment and peace and blessing. As a Christian steps up his or her game….decides to dive-in, build-up, and flow-out….our whole beings grow closer to the heart of Jesus. Our lives become ones of impact and influence and purpose….in our homes, work-places, relationships, community service endeavors, our speech, our thoughts, and so on.

Here’s a practical example: I’m from Texas and they have a lot of ‘service roads’ down there that run along highways. To get on or off of the freeway, one has to take a sharp exit ramp while yielding to fast-approaching, on-coming traffic. It can be tense to say the least. If a person decides not to yield…if a driver decides to demand his own way and will of the road – a collision will ensue – guaranteed.

The same is true on our journey with Jesus. If we decide that our way is best, that reverence for Scripture and Christian principles aren’t necessary for us, that we don’t need a Savior or saving, that what we desire is worth more to us than what He desires….we’re on course for a collision. A haughty heart can’t align with the humble heart of Jesus – making it impossible to become a disciple….a follower of His teachings and ways. And this leads to destruction – every time.

His way is always better. No matter how comfortable or fun or easy the lane you’re choosing to drive in may feel – what He has is better. As we embark on this adventure of discipleship – let’s begin with a humbleness of heart. God honors that. Always.

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.- Proverbs 16:18

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It Smelled of Heaven

I decided to go out and sit in the sun.

I needed it that day. My patience had run out before the dawn and I was pregnant weary and overwhelmed and needing light. And needing Light.

I plopped myself into a lawn chair and began to watch my two little cherubs enter into an outside world of wonder. I was calloused and showing it.

But as for them....from the moment they stepped off the concrete patio....they flew. Oh to be two again, five again. Free.

The both of them...the younger mimicking the older...spread their arms out wide, tilt their sweet heads back, knees lifted in a runners form....and yes, fly. Playing airplanes. Pretending to soar while their souls really do. Feet still on the earth's floor - but heart's climbing high towards heaven and faces showing it.

They're barefoot...unafraid of what might lay beneath their tiny feet - they frolic in faith. And they swing on skinny tree limbs and they flourish. They don't miss out. They won't let shoeless feet or thin tree branches keep them from divine discovery, from joy.

And it cuts away at my callousness a little.

As the young one guides a toy tractor along our fence post - the older one brings me a simple white flower from our landscaping. Almost out of duty, I stick my nose in the center ...not expecting to smell anything good, hope-empty, and void of expectancy. I take a careless whiff.

And I'm shocked at what my nose is telling me. With my boy still standing next to me - my eyes grow wide and I smell again. Hope arises. And I smell again. And I'm divinely reminded of beauty and goodness and grace. And I smell again. Faith is found in a simple white flower that has been planted outside my kitchen window for years. Yet, I had never sniffed of it.

It had the smell of jasmine and lilac and honeysuckle and sweetness all rolled into a white blossom. It was so unlike the headache-inducing bottled variety. It was pure. And undefiled. And beautifully pleasant.

Because of my doubt in Goodness - I was surprised by a scent. Because of their child-like faith - they weren't.

As the children realized my delight (for they had known it would smell of Him) they went over and with small hands continued to pick my faith flowers. They came and stuck them to my nose and then dropped them in my lap. Dozens of them. And dozens more. And delighted in watching their Mommy find Him.

With each whiff I heard a whisper...

"How did it get there, Kate? How do you think the sweet smell your inhaling got there? How? Tell Me, doubt-filled one. Tell Me. Where did the fragrance of flowers come from, child?"

And I almost cry. Because yes - it had to get there somehow. By Someone. Yes - the Flower Former Himself. How else could such a lovely fragrance waft from something born of seed in dirt? Yes - from Love.

Just like the fragrance of flowers can't be mocked or mimicked in a bottle...I can't describe what this simple pleasure did for my faith-less heart. I can't bottle it up into words.

And perhaps He didn't want me to. Perhaps it was meant just for me. (For He meets each one where they are - in surprising and undoing ways.)

As I look now - at those white flowers flourishing out my window....a fresh faith begins to emerge. Because the Flower Former is the Faith Filler, too. Faith is a grace gift. And I receive it.

And I believe.

And I'm unravelled. And I want to spread my arms out wide and soar and I want to run barefoot - baring soul - and I want to swing from risky tree limbs and I don't want to miss out on a thing.

Especially the faith flowers.

Because if I dare -  if I'm brave enough to adventure into a world of wonder with the Whisperer - maybe, just maybe I'll get to a place in life....where I get to be the child-like, faith-filled one....picking faith flowers for other noses void of hope and dull in grace.

Make me more like them, Father. Like the two year old and the five year old fresh from You. They know You and trust You and see You and recognize You. Yes, Father - undo me....into a woman who continues to waft in and take whiffs of.... Grace. And while my feet are still planted here on earth's soil....let my faith soar! Let it take flight and furnish other unbelieving minds with the stuff of You! In Jesus...

John 1:1-13
Matthew 19:13-14

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

For Mothers....and Fathers, too

I turn down the music.

Because the voices I hear bellowing through my window - is all the music I need right now.

Two voices - two little blonde heads - two laughs in unison. It's medicine.

The sounds of young hearts content in exploration and the splashing of water and the dance of their conversation - all mingling with cricket chirps and trees blowing. It's music.

And us Mama's are wise to not forget it. Wise to take note....of the notes playing right before us, of the rhythms that are bouncing off our very own walls, of the pitches of childhood glee.

Because pitter-pattering feet....make melodies if we let them.

The squeals and the loud laughter and the excited gasps that come from our own - these are the gifts that fill our days.

The yells, and the whines, and the shrills of toddler anger - these - these are presents, too. Presents - because they mean that we're alive. Presents...because they do tend to unwrap us a tad.

The music that comes from little ones - is ointment. But we must apply it. It's meant to be rubbed in. We must do this day after day after day - and after a while we look back and we see sheets of songs lining the years and we see how we've grown and how we've changed and how we've been healed - all from the gift of tiny mouths making joyful noises in the midst of the mundane...in the midst of motherhood.

So let's tune in. He knows we will find healing and strength and laughter and thanksgiving and peace, in the lullaby's that come from our little, lovely blessings.

P.S. Y'all should know....that yesterday while I was driving down the road with my two 'lovely blessings' - I turned UP the music. There was a situation in the back seat between the two blondes that was causing whines and screams - on their part, and angst - on my part. So while I'm fully aware of the precious open window moments I shared in this post today - I'm also fully aware of the days that call for a loud radio :)

Love to you all.

Monday, August 15, 2011

It's a Music Kind of Monday

'Shine' - The David Crowder Band

I sincerely hope that you have a marvelous Monday!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Eyes that see Love

"What words will you fill me with today, Father?"

I ask this question. And while its not always so clear.... numerous times over the last few weeks I've heard "Mark 12, child. Read Mark 12."

44 verses, parables, and quotes, and questions, and commandments, and examples....all pointing to love. All pointing to Love.

But this day - it's the vinedressers. It's their story that stirs me.

*(This passage is at the bottom of the post. But if you can, flip open the Scripts with your own hands and read with your own eyes, and be filled.)

I see myself there. Not in the vineyard owner (God). Not in the servants (God's faithful.) But in the vinedressers (those who reject God's message and His messengers.)

How many times have I done this? How many messengers of God have I rejected? Yes - his messengers still come by way of prophets and words and sermons - but also they come....

...in the eyes of a child. In those moments of escalating anger - how they open wide as if saying, "Mother, I'm watching you. Be careful - the way you live your life, Mama, can determine how I end up living mine. With Love or without Him."

...in the eyes of hunger. The child who isn't interested in a full toy box, but in a full tummy - has eyes that not only scrounge for food - but scrounge for the faithful, as if saying, "Who will have compassion on me? Who will show me His love? Anyone?"

...in the eyes of pain. The person who has known loss, affliction, addiction - their faces drawn and tired as if to say "Come to me in His name. Lighten my load even if just a little. All in the name of Love."

And how can I mention God's messengers - without mentioning beauty. Color. Life. Stare at a black-eyed susan....and the flower will stare back at you - as if to say, "See me. Do you see me? I exist. Beauty exists. And because of Him...I open wide my petals and give off glory that only comes from Glory."

I miss the messengers.

And then Jesus Himself....when He knocks (and He does knock) do I hear him? Or does the doubt, the distraction, the daily-grind drowned Him out? Or perhaps I hear Him - and choose to leave the door bolted shut. Rejecting - even Him.

The Cornerstone.

To my own eyes - this brings tears. I don't want to miss the messengers! I don't want anything to deafen my ears to the knocking!

And this.... it's up to me. I choose. Reject, recoil verses receive, rejoice. The choice is mine.

Oh Father - that you would open my eyes to the message. That you would open my ears to the knocking. That my mind would be tilted to the Maker. That I would catch the countenance of the chief cornerstone.

Let me not only see - but go looking. For You. In the utterances,and in the eyes - of the ones you send.

"The only way to see God manifested in the world around is with the eyes of Jesus within."
- Ann Voskamp - One Thousand Gifts

To participate in Walk with Him Wednesdays go here.


*1 Then He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a place for the wine vat and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country. 2 Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that he might receive some of the fruit of the vineyard from the vinedressers. 3 And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Again he sent them another servant, and at him they threw stones, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated. 5 And again he sent another, and him they killed; and many others, beating some and killing some. 6 Therefore still having one son, his beloved, he also sent him to them last, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 But those vinedressers said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 So they took him and killed him and cast him out of the vineyard.

9 “Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vinedressers, and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not even read this Scripture:

'The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the Lord's doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes'?"

(New King James Version)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Walk with Him Wednesday

My day has dawned. And the first thing my flesh wants to do is break the fast.

My spirit however, understands that a bowl of grains will not fill me like feasting on the Word will.

So I sit. And I flip open the pages and I land softly, in the Psalms.

And as I do - before I even have the chance to take them in - I hear the words of my husband spoken the night before:

"Write your own psalms, Katie."

This - coming from a braveheart with rugged hands,  a man with no inclination to weave words....but a man who knows his woman. And her Maker. And how the two commune.

And with the pages open before me - I'm thankful for the Words and I'm thankful for the rugged yet tender man who encourages me to consume Them, and then pen some of my own.

So I do. And there - I find that it is vital for me to put words to the worries - to the doubts, to the questions, to the discoveries.

Especially the discoveries. For we shall not forget how He reveals Himself to us and grows our faith and leads us to Love. We must remember the revelations.

As I pour out my mind's thoughts - my mind heals. In between the scribbles - the Savior sits. For me. Maybe not for the braveheart...but for the braveheart's bride. The Saving One, the Stand-In, sifts the visions and voices in my head until the worries, the doubts, the questions are swept away - so that the peace, the revelations, the Jesus-joy reigns in my recollections, instead.

Feasting on the Word - starves the flesh. Penning evil thoughts - empties my mind of their power. And early morning devotions to the Father - fill.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. - Romans 12:2

Oh Lord, let my mind be lifted higher
Out of the earth's dirt. Out of the filth. Out of the worldliness.
A battle rages behind my eyes.
The doubts and anxieties foraging there - stifle me.
And I know that those fears flaming between my thoughts...
    can only be thwarted by You.
I know. Because I've tried - and tried - and tirelessly tried..
    to quiet them in my own power.
But their power overpowers mine.
But God!
But God.
Enter your mercy. Your grace.
Jesus, your presence.
And they flee.
Oh, Lord. Your immeasurable grace...
   seats my mind in a safe place
Out of this world
In with Yours.
And I praise You.
For this - Father, I praise You.

Friend, pen it out. Or if you are like my braveheart - just pour it out. He meets us in the penning and the pouring - when it's Him we are seeking there. Love to you.

Ephesians 2:1-10

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Today and Tomorrow

Bogged down. Heavy. Processed.

I feel that way today.

How could I not? 

I go to the grocery and throw boxes into my squeaky wheeled cart - and I buy bread made with machines and my cravings are for cream-filled snacks made in the same way.

I buy clothes off of racks made by worn hands who aren't compensated for the wear. And I rarely stop to consider their precious efforts.

My children play with plastic toys that make noise (and headaches). They watch shows and films that keep them from living in real color - where they could actually experience the scenes flashing across our television, instead of just hypnotically watching them.

I grow more grass than I do vegetables. And I spend my time shearing it off each week instead of tending to a worthwhile crop.

I throw my clothes in. They moisten, drain, and spin....and I throw them in another...they warm and tumble and dry. And all that's left for my calloused-lacking hands is hanging and folding. In the midst of which I complain about the task.

I rinse my dishes and line them up in the black box next to my sink...and I pour in the suds. The box and bubbles do the job that was once designated for my hands....leaving them, as mentioned, uncalloused and less than worn.

I store up more than I give out. I cling to the temporary security that money brings - all the while refusing to feed the mouths of the poor and clothe the backs of the needy. I grow in debt and shrink in decency.

But it's all starting to bother me. Just because it's mainstream - doesn't mean its for me. Often times - that can mean that it isn't. 

Today - I want to purge our pantry of the packages. I want to kneed and twist and mold mounds of bread right here in my own kitchen. I want to wear clothes made by my own hands - with stitches and needles. I want my children to discover and learn and play in dirt and come in with rosy cheeks and mud under fingernails. I want my garden to be something I tend and nourish - because it tends and nourishes me. And if I'm being honest today, I don't want to washboard clean my wardrobe - but I do want to be thankful for the manner in which my clothes become fresh - and I do want to hang them out to dry in the air that leaves them smelling of summer. I want to use a rag to clean my dishes and as each cup passes through my hands to a drying rack - I want to thank God for how my cup always overflows.

Today - I'm craving the simple. I want to consume less and feel thankful for more. I want to minimize the stuff and maximize the blessings. I want to rid myself of the longing for things.....and fill myself with a longing for Him.

Do you ever feel this way?

Do you ever feel like doing it different?

Today - I do. And in the tomorrows ahead - I pray that the prodding continues. I pray that He prompts me to give up what never should have been mine in the first place. I pray He teaches me how....how on earth to go against the flow and live opposite of the current. 

Because with less -  I could do more. 
With callouses come experience. 
And with the simple...comes the Divine.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Realization

As I sat ....listening to an extraordinary author speak about thankfulness - tears moved down my cheeks in a constant flow of emotion - each tear saying....

 "Lord, I'm so sorry for the ungratefulness I exude."

As she spoke - about death, about grace, about children, about love, about joy, about Jesus..... the overwhelming, yet gentle conviction I felt in my spirit was more than me, or the box of tissues at our conference table, could handle. The conviction emptied me....and I emptied the tissue box.

The sorrow I felt for being so ungrateful in the midst of such blessings - made the tears pour forth... and pour forth....and pour forth.

I looked back at myself - my thoughts, my feelings...and my spirit crumbled to pieces. As I turned my attention to the past...to 5 years before...to 5 minutes before - I suddenly realized the ugly and immature web I wove of constant unsatisfaction and ungratefulness. A web, that only caught in it's trap more unsatisfaction and more ungratefulness.

And in that moment - an author much wiser than I - brought to my attention the affliction:

A blindness to blessings.

What's even more startling is that I created the blindness myself. The blessings have always been there. They weren't hidden or twisted or even small - they were in the light, obvious, and larger than life...... It was the sin-darkened, world-tented eyesight I had let myself develop - that tainted my seeing them. The blessings, that is. The bright and many blessings that littered my life.

What the author said of herself is also true of me...

"My default is always unsatisfaction. Always."

And it can't go on this way. My womb has been full too many times....my pantry too stocked....my mind to educated....my marriage too committed....my bed too soft...my thirst too quenched....my soul too saved - to live wallowing in ungratefulness.

So now...as I wipe the tears and gather the pieces of myself  - I reach up to the One...the Grace-Giver, the Blessing Bringer, the Banisher of Blindness - to pour His grace forth on me. And the thought of His grace pouring forth....again, makes my tears pour forth. And I'm grateful.

The pouring out of me and the pouring in of Him...isn't that what we're after?

So He has me where He wants me. Not at a conference or a lecture or a city - but broken in the palm of His hand. And as I lay in a convicted and tired heap in his touch - my eyes are opened. Not only to the dark realities of my ungrateful heart - but to the scars that lay there as well. For the palm that holds me - held the nails that save me. And the grace that drips from those wounds - heals the blindness in me...and the blessings begin to out-do the bitterness.

So as I charge into the everyday  - where life isn't a pretty poem and the Enemy crouches around corners - I realize my default can only be outdone by the out-pouring of Grace.

 And the web of darkness I once wove is torn because of Him. And it leaves me thankful, void of unsatisfaction ... full of Jesus.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Be My Calm

This morning - as I opened the Scripts to Mark - this little gem spoke right to my scared little soul:

Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. - Mark 4:39

He can do the same thing in the tumultuous seas of our weary souls. He is our Wind-Ceaser, our Storm-Calmer, our Peace-Bringer, too.

With eyes wide open - I study the next verse:

But He said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?"

He is saying that to me. And He is probably saying that to you. And He wants us to recognize His power, His dominion, His authority, His ability - in all things. Even in the scary. Even in the ugly. And He knows we both need help with this.

Then verse 41 goes on to say:

And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, "Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!"

Notice that their unhealthy, earthly fear - turned into a holy, God-revearing fear. Just like it should.

They asked the question, "Who can this be?" The answer: No one but the One who spoke it all into motion in the first place.

Oh, Jesus - let me recognize You for who You really are. This much afraid, timid little heart wants to trade in her worldly fears for faith. On land. On sea. In the sacred. In the scary. Always. Come. And be my Calm. You're the only One who can.


May the Lord bring you peace and reassurance and a fresh wave of faith this week! He is trustworthy.

So thankful for you all :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dark to Light

Just another devo I wrote for my church....this one makes me squirm. Love to you all.

I’ve been consumed lately by the many mentions of ‘light’ in the Bible--particularly in the New Testament. It’s everywhere. Jesus is all over it--constantly contrasting the light with the dark, the night with the day, the seeing with the blind.

Jesus even went so far as to call Himself ‘the light’. And indeed He was. Still is.
There are so many awesome and pertinent passages in the Bible concerning light--I regret we can’t discuss them all here! Since we aren’t able to, go with me to the book of John.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." - John 8:12

That sounds good doesn’t it? Follow Jesus, and you follow the Light. Chase after Him…and His brightness will chase after you. And because of it…your life--the way you live, the way you love, the way you linger here--will illuminate the dark corners of our universe.

And there are so many dark corners, aren’t there? In the room of a dimly lit home office an addict drowns in the darkness of lust. In a third world country in the middle of the night, a girl is engulfed with the reality of darkness overtaking her life in the form of slavery. In the black of the womb a forming child’s life is in jeopardy because of the dark lie it’s precious mother is believing, “I have no other option.” In aloneness a crying and devastated person is morning the loss of a loved one. And just today, I read an article concerning the darkest of the dark… rape and baby killing as a weapon of war. The dark corners are many.

And then there is Jesus. And the ones who follow Him. You and me. We are aware that there are dark corners. But are we going to them? Are we bold enough in our faiths to wonder from the comforts of our light-illumined churches to shine some Jesus bulbs onto the dirty and darkened edges of the world? Make no mistake…in one way or another, this is our calling: To follow Jesus. Live in the Light. And love on others because of it.

Let’s be keenly aware of the darkness crouching at our doors… attempting to extinguish the light we have been given. There IS an extinguisher of the flame. And he wants nothing more than to pull you away from the Light Source. His goal is to shatter your light-bulb--the one you’re capable of taking into the dark-infested corners of our world.

For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, "'I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'" - Acts 13:47

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Another Idol

I think we would all agree that church is a good thing. Doing life with a body of believers is a blessing, indeed. At the church’s core….Christ-followers can find comradery, encouragement, resources, prayer warriors, teachings, insights, counsel, service, and love. Coming together with other Christians to worship and learn and grow and do – is a beautiful, God-designed thing.
But can church…yes even church…become an idol?
Absolutely. I’m guilty of it myself. It’s easy to do, really. When a church has an excellent praise and worship band – it’s tempting to start idolizing the talents rather than the Talent-Giver. The same can be true for anointed and effective preachers, teachers, and leaders. Even large, fancy, well-built church buildings become the object of our admiration over the One that made it all possible in the first place.
It’s so like Satan to distract and consume and enamor ….even with good, God-given gifts. That’s trickery at it’s best.  And we shouldn’t fall for it.
To illustrate – take a look at Revelation.
(Ch.1 v.16) In his (Jesus’) right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.
(v.20) As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
I once read a commentary* that pointed out something so interesting about these passages…
If you were seeing this vision as John did – you would see Jesus holding seven stars in His hand. The stars represent the angels of the churches. His face would be shining as bright as the sun. And He would be standing amongst the lampstands. The lampstands represent the churches themselves. If you were seeing this - yes…the seven lampstands would be bright. The seven stars would be even brighter. But compared to the face of Jesus….shining like the sun….the lampstands and stars pale in comparison. The churches and the angels are beautiful…but compared to our Savior shining like the sun…they are but a mere nightlight.
 While the brightness that the church gives off illuminates the darkness around it….Let’s not get so impressed with the church that we ignore Jesus.
It’s not about us – it’s all about Him. Let’s make sure our worship sees it as so.
*Guzik, David. "Study Guide for Revelation 1." Enduring Word. Blue Letter Bible. 7 Jul 2006. 2011. 16 Jun 2011.

Monday, June 6, 2011


I wrote a devotional for my church's devo booklet this week. I thought I'd post it here as well. Enjoy - and have a lovely week :)


We’re all susceptible to it. We all have a tendency to drift toward the temporary, man-made, and carnal. It might look different for you than it does for me. Yours might take a different form than mine does – but it all has the same effect. It all leaves you lacking and yearning for more.

It’s idol worship. And it’s serious. Not because I say so – but because God does. Take a look:

Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal:
I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:4

"Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD:
Repent and turn away from your idols and turn away your faces from all your abominations.
Ezekiel 14:6

In addition, Ezekiel 14:5 mentions that Israel was “estranged” from the Lord because of its idol worship. And we are no different. We might not worship golden calves or kneel at worthless shrines…but we have the same issue. We worship and idolize sports, people, talents, celebrities, technology, relationships, time, food, addictions, and so on.

No matter what kind of temporary satisfaction and security we receive from those things....what God boasts is better.  Always. When we surrender…when we hand over the defiled items we are idolizing…what He offers us in return is soul-satisfying goodness. Every time.

Anything we are holding onto…will simply leave us hanging.

But when we worship the only One worthy of worship – we are made whole. We find healing and love and contentment and joy. The Lord doesn’t shun idol worship because He is a rule-keeping, worship-hoard. He shuns idol worship because it leaves us darkened, unfulfilled, and distracted from a real relationship with Him. And nothing can match that. Absolutely nothing.

Father, forgive us for anything we are holding onto that keeps us from You. Encourage us to put away those things that we have put on Your throne instead of You. Because You are enough! Strengthen us – let us turn towards you – and let it be so much more satisfying than anything else. We praise You. In Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Do you know what the word 'countenance' means? Yeah. I didn't either up until a few weeks ago. Now that I know though....I'm completely blown away. You will be, too.

It all started with a Jesus Culture song. Many of my revelations do for some reason. They are such a sound, Spirit-filled band. Their song, Light of Your Face, starts out like this:
Oh Lord bless me
And keep me
And cause Your face to shine on me
Lord be gracious
With the light of Your countenance
Give me peace.
Countenance. When I first heard them sing it - I was intrigued. But the party really got started when shortly after I noticed it in the song...I ran across the same word in Scripture. I took that as my cue to delve deeper.

Upon looking up every occurrence of the word 'countenance' in the NKJV Bible - I ran across a few treasures. Take a look at Numbers 6:24-26 with me:
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
Sounds familiar. I love it when bands get their lyrics straight from Scripture. There's something powerful that happens when we use The Word in worship. Anyhow, back to 'countenance'. When I looked it up in the Hebrew lexicon, I discovered that the Hebrew word for 'countenance' is paniym. It means 'face'. And the root word is panah. It means 'to turn'. So the word 'countenance' in this verse literally means 'to turn His face towards you.' This gets me excited. Like super excited. If you don't know why....read this. Even if you do know why...fancy me and refresh your memory anyway. I just read it again my own self! The Lord's face has been a huge theme for me this year. It's changed my life, really.

That's what's so cool about all this. The Lord has 'turned His face towards me' so many times over the past few months. He pursued me and my doubt-filled heart - turning my puny, almost non-existent faith into a raging fire of faith and freedom. And just when my light needs a little rekindling....He does it again.

Great is His faithfulness.

What a beautiful picture all of this paints. For a Father to look upon...gaze upon...watch and turn His attention to.... His children - is just sweet. To have the attention of Abba - the ultimate Daddy - just makes me feel so pursued and sought after. What's more...His face turning upon us doesn't only mean that He has shifted His eyes towards us....it also means that His light is shining in our direction. We know from John's vision in Revelation 1:16 that...
...His countenance was like the sun shining in it's strength.
When we look for Him, yearn for Him, long for Him - He turns towards you. His eyes and His face cast a light on you - causing you to never ever be the same. Ever.

Oh friends - may we have a hunger and a thirst that fails to be satisfied by anything or anyone but Him. Can I shoot straight with ya for a sec? Ladies - the gaze of a man pales sadly in comparison to the gaze of your Lord. Remember that. His gaze is always good. Let's long for the pure and holy eyes of The King - instead of the earthly, often times lustful eyes of man. And men - while your Savior graciously turns His gaze upon you...what will He find your gaze upon? Let it not be on a computer screen, or a magazine, or a pin-up or on the figure of a woman who isn't wearing your ring. Let's conduct ourselves like we know Him. (Sorry for the random tangent - it just fit.)

May we see Him facing us in all His glory. May we feel His light shining on us in all His warmth and realness. And may the realization that we were indeed created by a Creator who pursues - set us ablaze for His Kingdom cause and purpose.

Take it away Jesus Culture, take it away:

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My Man on Reconciliation

I'd like to introduce you to the love of my life. My husband! I'm wild for him.

Goodness - the Lord has done a mighty work in this man over the last 12 months or so. I've had a front row seat to it all. And it's been unreal. Remarkable, really. The Spirit has stirred him up and it has spilled out on everyone in our household. It's amazing what can happen when a man (or woman!) allows the Spirit to infiltrate their everything. I'm a life (and wife!) that has been changed because of it. Here is a devotional my husband wrote for our church this week. Our pastor is doing a series on reconciliation. We pray this devotional encourages you and blesses you and inspires you in all the right ways and places :) Enjoy!

Reconciliation is a Process

Reconciliation is a process that brings about peace or renewal in a relationship. I like things to be simple, so I came up with a list of what the process of reconciliation consists of:

1. A positive relationship exists

2. A negative or hurtful act is committed by one or both parties

3. One or both parties humble themselves to admit wrongdoing and asks for forgiveness

4. Forgiveness is willfully granted

5. Renewed or reconciled relationship exists

The Word of God gives us many examples of this process of reconciliation. One of my favorite parables follows this process from beginning to end.

Take a look at Luke 15:11-32, you will find the story of the prodigal son. Read through this passage to see how it aligns with the process described above.

1. Luke 15:11, 12 – A father and son relationship exists.

2. Luke 15:13,14 – The son negatively impacts his father by taking his inheritance (a large portion of his father’s wealth/retirement) and wasting it on wild living

3. Luke 15:18, 19 – The son humbles himself and is going to request his father’s forgiveness and the opportunity to become one of his father’s hired servants

4. Luke 15:22 – The father willfully accepts and forgives his son and welcomes him back into the family.

5. Luke 15:24 – The Father and son have a renewed relationship.

This simple story gives us a great example of the process of reconciliation. It includes three aspects that are always involved with reconciliation: humbleness, love, and forgiveness. God desires to have a reconciled relationship with each one of us. In fact, the purpose of Jesus becoming a man and his death and resurrection was so that He could reconcile man’s relationship with God. This is the ultimate reconciliation:

1. God had an intimate relationship with man - Genesis 2:7-25

2. Sin entered the world through disobedience - Genesis 3:11-13, Romans 3:23

3. We must humbly confess our sin and ask for forgiveness – Psalms 51:1-2, Hosea 5:15

4. Jesus is willing to forgive the sins of all those who put their faith in Him – Isaiah 43:25

5. We then enter into a relationship with God which will last for eternity – John 10:27-29

God loves us so much that He put this beautiful process together so that we can have an intimate and fulfilling relationship with Him. He also desires for us to have fulfilling relationships with our family and friends. Jesus consistently preached that we are to forgive not only our friends, but our enemies (Matthew 18:21-22). He has given us the process, now we have to put it in action!

Ask yourself these tough questions:

Who do I need to forgive today? How can I show them love?
Is there a relationship in my life that God is calling me to reconcile?

He's a gem, isn't he? I'm gonna go kiss him on the face right now. Blessings and love to you all!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Price - Paid

As I consider Jesus this week - who He was, who He still is, His character, His love, His teachings, His deity - I sense myself covering my eyes, shielding my heart, and forgetting what He actually did for me - and for each soul festering on this planet.

I love the easy:
I love to think about Him as Royal....at Christmas for instance. A little baby - born as King. (Luke 1 and 2, etc )

I love to think about Him as Defender ... rebuking the disciples trying to keep the children away - pulling the babes into his lap to bless them. (Mark 10:13-16)

I love to think about Him as Healer - traveling around touching the pain-stricken. Touching them. Does that strike you in your core? It should. His holy hands touched the defiled. The sore-covered. The bleeding..... The dead. We are wise to get the enormity of that. (Matthew 15:29-31, Mark 7:31-37, etc)

I love to think about Him as Deliverer - freeing people of demonic oppression - rebuking and casting out unclean spirits - thwarting their destruction of human hearts with just a word. (Mark 1:32-34, Luke 4:31-37, etc)

I love to think about Him as Teacher - sitting with the multitudes, having compassion on their souls, opening up their lives to the Divine. (Luke 8:4-15, etc)

I love to think about Him as Revealer - answering the door to anyone wholeheartedly knocking down doors to find Him. (Jeremiah 29:13, Luke 11:9)

But Jesus as Sacrifice? -  As tortured, stricken, beaten, crucified? I neglect it - out of ease and ignorance and haughtiness. All too often I look at the cross - I wear it around my neck and I point people to it and write about it....but I never stop to consider the reality of that tree - stained with innocent blood all for the cause of saving my soul. (John 18 and 19, etc)

 Jesus as Payment? As Stand-In? There's no words for that - and yet I still have very few thoughts towards it.

This may be why:
I fail to recognize the enormity and filthiness and number of my sin. I fail to recognize my absolute need for Him in this way. Sure - I can recognize Him as my King, my Protector, my Mender, my Reliever, my Instructor, my Affirmer - but oh, my Atonement? He is that, too. He is that, mostly.

His whole reason for moving among us? Me and you.

What's so incredible about this...audacious even....is that He knew it would be this way. (Isaiah 53) He knew that the one's He came to rescue would spit in His face. He knew that we would fail to grasp the gift He bestowed on us when He died in our place. He knew we would forget, refuse, and shun Him. And He did it anyway.

I've been praying a daring prayer- that He would show me my need for Him - particularly my need for One who is my Sacrifice and Savior. May it be so - for all of us....that we would get a glimpse of our own sins-pardoned. And that we would see Him, truly.

At Easter and always.

Lord, let us see You and know You for who You are, really. Let us be aware of our need for You. Lead us into truth and belief and understanding. We praise You for the price You paid for us all. Shed light on us, Lord.  In Jesus, Amen.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Funky Mama

Let's lighten it up a bit.

I'm digging this dude. His raps are like sermons, y'all. Fo' real.

Would you believe that this stay-at-home-mama did a little hip-hop dancing in college? Believe it, sista. The key word here however is did. Not does. I'm not so funky anymore, friends. But that doesn't mean I don't get crazy to a sweet rhyme every now and then. The only difference is that these days I listen to righteous raps - not the raunchy ones. Praise Him for it.

Preach it, Lecrea.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Shopping for Socks

Will the real Jesus please stand up?

As you well know, He's been revealing Himself to me lately. The real Jesus, that is. Not the one that I made up in my head. Not the one that I had preconceived notions about. Not the one that is vengeful or hate-filled or down right crazy. Not the one that's made it into books and movies where they twist his story. Not the one that isn't divine. The real One.

And it's knocking my socks off.

A few days ago - my doorbell rang. As I peered through the peep hole I saw what I expected to see - a middle-aged woman, wearing a long dark dress, holding a Bible and a leaflet. I could have chosen to leave her there. But with my children yelling, "WHO IS IT!?!" from the inside of our door - I had to open it. I kind of wanted to, anyway. Since I've been doing a little research on our door to door friends...I thought I might need some armor before I answered her call. So I beckoned for some..."Father, let the Spirit be present and speak through me. Please be here."....and then I unlocked the door. And I was able to do so with more faith and courage than ever before.

She began her spiel, sweetly. As I listened...my heart sank. She was talking about Jesus.  And as she presented her gospel - the one that had been presented to her by a governing body of sorts...not Jesus Himself...I was struck with how crafty the enemy can be. As her words lofted through the too-cold-for-spring air and landed on my eardrums - I felt a surge of defensiveness welling up in every fiber of my being. Her words were littered with just enough truth to make the twisted ones seem safe. The Enemy of our souls is famous for that. He takes truth...God's Word even...and turns the dial on it just enough to create a twisted gospel. (Genesis 3:1-5, Matthew 4:1-11) Since it's mixed and masked with very true messages - the very un-true messages are more easily welcomed and received.

It's trickery. It breaks my heart and makes me nauseated. Please know though... the shattered heart and queasy stomach don't come from a combative, "I'm right, your wrong", overly conservative, closed-minded place in me. They come from a place of compassion...a place that has known the confusion and seen the Truth. People are being led astray. Not only by my door-step lady-friend and her beliefs - but by health and wealth preachers, false teachers, and false doctrines. I know because I've been deceived by it my own self. While Jesus has certainly revealed Himself to me....you must know that I am fully aware of my blatant ignorance on this topic...still. I have A LOT to learn when it comes to Jesus...the Bible...history...life. But there are some things that I'm absolutely convinced of: Jesus is real. The Bible is true. And Jesus Himself will show you that.

After listening to this precious woman for a moment, I stopped her. And I said....

"Who do YOU say that Jesus is?"

I really discovered who Jesus was when I opened my Bible (and my heart) myself and asked God to reveal Himself to me there. When I decided to learn about Jesus  - instead of simply being told who He was by elders or authors or governing bodies or whoever.....that's when I found Him. And that's what I told her.

(Please note though, I consider it very important to seek biblical truth, advice, council, and accountability from mentors, pastors, teachers, and the like. But we are blessed with the privilege of having the opportunity to know Him personally. One on One. Creator with the created. And that's a beautiful thing that you don't want to miss out on.)

If you ask the real Jesus to please stand up...The real Jesus will rise up above the rest - and as He emerges right before your eyes - you'll be changed forever. Open your Bible. Open your heart. Open up your mind. Ask the Lord to show you Himself. And then go buy some more socks....He will be blowing yours off in no time.

"The Bible invites us into life with God, but it does not try to force us into it. It leaves enough space that we can pass by this life if we desire to do so. The living Christ will not overpower us, but he does make himself available to those who want to find him. One of the primary ways he does this is through the Bible." from Life With God by Richard J. Foster

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I won. And I'm still peeing my pants over it.

Something like 370 women entered a contest on the She Reads blog to win a scholarship to She Speaks this summer. And can y'all believe I won the thing?

I've been praising Jesus ever since. It had to have been Him. The other entries were so clever and beautiful and thought-provoking. Like I said in my last post - I almost didn't try because of the awesomeness that had already entered. (The Enemy will do that to you, ya know. Right before you achieve victory in some area...He will convince you to thwart the pursuit. Keep an eye out for that, sisters. And stay in the race.) I'm just doubled over with thankfulness.

This means that I get to go to North Carolina in July and learn all about how to communicate and teach and witness for the Lover of my Soul. You do know that's what He is, don't you? The Lover of your Soul. He is jealous for you. And He longs for you to really know Him. Yep, you. He isn't in the business of simply revealing Himself to your pastor or your favorite Bible teacher or your favorite author or your Mama. He is in the business of revealing Himself to YOU. He's incredible like that. And captivating. And willing. It's a beautiful thing, isn't it? That the One who dreamed me up - cares enough to chase me down. That's the kind of stuff that will make you raise your hands in church.

May the Lord surprise you in new and refreshing ways this week, friends. Go ahead - ask Him to reveal Himself to you...right where you need it most. He will. And He'll do things that will make you just about pee your pants.

I would know :)

Father, thank you. I'm just so humbled. And honored. And grateful...for your provision.... your surprises...and your never-ending grace. Work on me so that You can work through me. Show me Your glory, Lord. Prepare me for the She Speaks conference. And let me be a blessing there. In the holy name of Jesus - Amen.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My Entry

One college couple. Two pink lines.

That's the story of how I became a Mama :)

I'm entering into a contest over at She Reads tonight to win a scholarship to the She Speaks Conference put on by the ladies at Proverbs 31 Ministries. I had to write a story in 6 words or less. Yep. Only 6 words. Lord, help me.

After browsing through the entries....I almost decided to bow out. They are all so awesome and thought-provoking and creative. Beautiful, even. I don't know how they are going to pick only one winner - because there is some seriously talented sisters who entered. Whew.

But back to the college couple.....That's us. We were just babies when we got married - not even half-way through college yet. A little over a year after we said, "I do" I stood in our tiny apartment bathroom and almost fainted when I saw two lines on the pregnancy test. TWO LINES.

We were immature. (Still are, pretty much.) My husband played football when he wasn't in his engineering classes and I still called my Mama every night before bed. (I may or may not still do this.) We had no money. We had no idea how to be good marriage partners - much less good parents. And we were shocked. "How did this happen?" is what we kept asking ourselves. Don't you love that question? We all know the answer to it - but we ask it like there isn't one. (grin)

While it's true we were utterly clueless when it came to raising a baby - and while it's true the two pink lines catapulted us into an unknown territory....we felt blessed. Three positive pregnancy tests later - and we still feel the same way. Yes - three. While two of my little darlings are sound asleep in their rooms right now....one is sitting at the feet of Jesus. Another 6 word story of mine could go like this: Two pink lines. One empty womb. I miscarried one of our little sweeties shortly after I found out about him or her. Someday - I'll find out which one it was :)

As for now - I'll never forget the day these two babies found out they were having....a baby. And it will always be true that I wouldn't have had it any other way :)

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. - Romans 8:28

Monday, March 28, 2011

Our Armor

One of the first things I do every morning is open the curtains. I can't seem to get myself moving until the drapes are delivered of their duties and the darkness in our home is exposed to a hot sun - ready to fill my home with warmth and daylight.

There's just something about letting the light in that lifts me.

While sunlight is good....Son-Light is even better. 

Like I said in my last post - the Lord has some rays of light that He wants to cast in your direction. And often times - most of the time, actually - He does it with His Word. This once doubt-filled and downtrodden girl can type that without flinching. Why? Because I know it to be true. Praise God in Heaven.

Romans 13:12 says... The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

The armor of light. I love the sound of that. Doesn't it remind you of Ephesians 6? Verse 17 says..."And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Likewise, Hebrews 4:12 says...For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than any two-edged sword....

Know what all that means? I think it means that the Word of God (written and spoken) is living. It means that it is capable of overcoming my raunchiest of ways. It means that it is able to defend my faith against the most deafening of doubts. It's our weapon in battle. Our armor. Our sword. And frankly - any Christian going into their daily wars without it - is entering into a danger zone with zero power. Without the word of God we are charging into battle blind and weapon-less. That doesn't sound like a real good way to find lasting victory.


Be encouraged by the following:

"The battle is intense. and it cannot be fought with little thoughts in a daily devotional or petty ideas from a preacher on Sunday. It certainly can't be fought with minds numbed by the constant drivel of entertainment on television, DVD's, video games, and the Internet. If you and I are going to penetrate our culture and the cultures of the world with the gospel, we desperately need minds saturated with God's Word." 
(from the book Radical by David Platt)

"You will be prone to confusion if the only place you are getting the Word is through other people."
(from a sermon by Marcus Brecheen entitled Sword of the Spirit)

"We agree with the words of Satan because we don't know the words of God. Your intellect cannot defeat the enemy." (from a sermon by Robert Morris entitled The Water of Life)

"Many Christians remain in bondage to fears and anxieties simply because they do not avail themselves of the discipline of study." (from the book Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster)

Let's be mature in His Word. Let's be people who know what we claim. Let's decide to dive in. Everyday. Let's go into our daily triumphs and trials armed with power and truth. I'm convinced you and I will experience profound freedom and healing when we allow the Scriptures to penetrate our lives. Let's commit to not hurrying through our study of God's Word. The only thing we will gain from that is the trite satisfaction we feel when we check "quiet time" off of our to-do lists. But when we overcome our tendency to be undisciplined, uninterested, and quiet frankly, lazy-we will enter into a completely different realm. When we ask the Lord to open up our minds and hearts to His Word...He will. And we will be changed, transformed, and enlightened because of it. Now that sounds like victory. The lasting kind.


Resources that may inspire and encourage you in your study:

The sermon series from pastor Robert Morris entitled The Holy Bible. Go here. Find the "Browse By" box on the left and click on "Series Name". Scroll down and click "The Holy Bible." Scroll back up and start with the first sermon....The Bread of Heaven. This series totally changed the way I view and value the Bible. It's a must.

This website rocks. My husband and I use it often. It's a great resource. That being said - this website shouldn't be used in place of a Bible that you actually hold in your hand. There's something about flipping through the pages of the Holy Scripts that's good for you. Also, I've learned to use commentaries with caution. If you are struggling with certain passages in Scripture - let's ask the Author of them to help us grasp their meanings before we head straight to mere humans for enlightenment. He wants to reveal truth to us - ordinary, non-seminary attending, people like you and me! He is faithful.

And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. - Luke 24:45

Lord, meet us in the Word. Give us a desire for it. Help us to not be able to keep ourselves out of it. Open up our minds and our hearts and our souls to what You have spoken and what You are still speaking. Let us be diligent and disciplined in our pursuit of You. And let it bring us joy and contentment to know You more intimately. In Jesus, Amen.