Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Do you hear it too?

Together for Adoption

Russell Moore: Adoption Awareness

Thursday, December 18, 2008

At the Feet of Jesus

At the Feet of Jesus
December 18, 2008

As 2008 comes to a close, I find myself in awe over Jesus. Each year I get to know Him in a different way. It absolutely blows my mind that I can personally know the Creator of Heaven and earth. As I look back over different seasons of my life I always find that Jesus not only shapes me and conforms me to His image, He also reveals new characters of Himself to me. I usually can name a new one each time. If I could use one word to describe God’s character revealed to me this year it would be, “Mercy”.

While preparing this letter, I reflected on the past 3 Christmas letters that I have written and I found that each one had particular difficult situations. In 2005 we were waiting on a job. Just around the corner in 2006 we picked up our family and moved to another state for ministry. Last year we lost my grandmother and watched my father battle a nasty cancer. But, none of our family was prepared for what would happen this year. None of us knew that dad would leave our world so soon and enter our Saviors. No one was ready for this! The pain, confusion and grief were indescribable. But during this unbelievable time we witnessed the hand of God and felt His presence like never before. What Mercy!

After spending nearly all of January in Texas with my mom, I whirled home in order to prepare for a brand new women’s ministry the LORD had called me to. Already sure that I was totally incapable of the calling before me, taking on a new ministry while dealing with terrible grief seemed an impossible task. Buried in studies and overcome with speaking anxieties each month, the LORD became my confidence. I was met with intense spiritual battles head on all along the way while serving in this new capacity. But God in His great mercy clothed me with strength to endure every bit of it.

The love and gratitude I have for Jesus overflows with in me. I’m drawn to the text in the gospel of John where I find Mary of Bethany at the feet of Jesus. The account reads, “Mary took a bottle of very expensive perfume made from pure nard and poured it on Jesus' feet. Then she dried his feet with her hair.”(John 12:3) I love this picture. Mary, out of love and gratitude for Jesus is found anointing Jesus’ feet with a very costly perfume. Spending time at someone’s feet was the work of a servant and a woman with her hair unbound was not a common sight in public. The incredible picture that we find in this biblical text is Mary pouring out her life in an intense personal devotion to Christ.

In the verses following we find out that the perfume was worth 3 hundred denarii. (The equivalence of about a year’s wage) Matthew and Marks gospels give testimony that some thought this was a total waste. (Mk 14:4; Matt 26:8) I have a feeling many today would scorn the behavior of one who would pour out a years worth of wages on Jesus’ feet. Think about that for a minute. What do people these days do when they have saved a year’s salary? If it is all spent in devotion to Jesus how do people react? Sadly, I believe that most would exclaim as those already mentioned, “what a waste”. Yet, Jesus describes it as a beautiful thing! (Mark 14:6)

When we get a glimpse of who He really is and what He has done for us, one can’t help but fall at His feet and give it all away! As the great hymn by Isaac Watts says, “Were the whole realm of nature mine- That were an offering far too small- Love so amazing, so divine- Demands my soul, my life, my all.” I can not think of myself in any other place than my life poured out at the feet of Jesus in total devotion, giving everything to Him for all He has done in my life. Saving me from the pit of hell was alone more than I deserve. But the fact that he goes way beyond that and gets personally involved in individuals lives and gives hope, comfort, strength and great mercy when we need it is something I’ll never understand.

At Christmas, in the midst of all the buying, decorating and celebrating some may give Jesus a glance. Others may perhaps meditate on what the birth of Jesus meant. But I hope you do more. I hope you’ll find that there is no greater place to be in this life than to be poured out at the feet of Jesus. Not just at Christmas time but at all times. There you’ll find that there is really no cost and no loss. Nothing wasted. There you’ll find all you need.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Brittnie


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

All the way my Savior leads me

All the way my Savior leads me
Who have I to ask beside
How could I doubt His tender mercy
Who through life has been my guide

All the way my Savior leads me
Cheers each winding path I tread
Gives me grace for every trial
Feeds me with the living Bread

You lead me and keep me from falling
You carry me close to Your heart
And surely Your goodness and mercy will follow me

All the way my Savior leads me
O, the fullness of His love
O, the sureness of His promise
In the triumph of His blood

And when my spirit clothed immortal
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages
Jesus led me all the way
Jesus led me all the way

All the way my Savior leads me

Lyrics by Chris Tomlin (Hello Love Album)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Last REVIVE for 2008

Ladies,
Our last REVIVE for 2008 is this Thursday night the 20th at 7:00pm in the Student building.I'll finish up our study on Jeremiah chapter 2 and focus on verses 12-13.

Hope to see you there!

Brittnie


Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's here! It's here!

It's finally here! My new ESV study bible has been on back order and it FINALLY came today! I am currently just observing it, taking in it's brand "new" smell and just dreaming of the places that God will take me with Him in this new in depth study of the WORD!

I can not wait to dig into it!

If you have not heard about this new study bible you'll want to check it out here. ESV STUDY BIBLE

It is probably by far the best study bible around.

Anyone see this?

Anyone see the article called "Why Believe in a god? Just be good for goodness sake?


click here for full article

Thoughts?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Understanding the Times

I felt like posting this again. I wrote it this time last year.

Understanding the Times

Daniel 9:1-3 In the first year of Darius son of Ahasuerus, who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom- in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.

This passage so stuck out to me that I couldn’t help but write about it. Let’s look at this together. For a little background, All Israel had transgressed God’s law and turned away, refusing to obey the LORD their God. (Dan 9:11) and because of their unfaithfulness to the LORD, He scattered them both near and far in all the countries. (vs.7) In particular God had exiled Judah to Babylon and the people were in captivity. Daniel was one of those from the tribe of Judah who had been exiled to Babylon. But Daniel, even as a young teenage boy resolved not to let the pagan culture in which he now lived to be an influence on his life as a child of God. He lived in faithfulness to his God all the days of His life.

And here we are at this passage when Daniel was old in age and we see him searching the scriptures. He is reading the prophecies of Jeremiah which tell of a 70 year captivity and he understands that the LORD will deliver His people out of captivity just as He delivered them from slavery in Egypt. Daniel understands the times. He realizes that through the Prophecies of Jeremiah and the length the people have been exiled that the time of captivity is drawing to a close and the LORD will be faithful to restore His people.

Now Daniel, understanding the prophecies and believing in God’s soon coming restoration does something so interesting. He turns to the LORD God and pleads to him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. Amazing! Why did He do this? Why wasn’t he sitting back and carrying on with his life while waiting for Gods restoration? We see very clearly through his incredibly passionate prayer that he offers up to the LORD in verses 4-19 that he is praying for his sins and the sins of God’s people will be forgiven and he is mourning over them. The people that bore the very name of GOD had been living life their way and were not turning to the LORD and God punished them. Daniel prayed for his people to turn from their sins and return to God.

This raises the hair on the back of my neck. Daniel KNEW the times and he prayed and fasted for his people!
Do we know the times that we are in? As believers are we searching scripture to understand where we are at in our day and age? In Matthew chapter 24 Jesus gives us signs of the close of the age. Jesus tells us in vs.12 that in the last days we will see an increase in wickedness and the love of many will grow cold. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 tells that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.

I’d say that describes our day pretty accurately, wouldn’t you? And by reading these God breathed texts what are we doing about it? Jesus says in Matthew 24:32-33 that we can learn a good lesson from the fig tree: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he (Jesus) is near, at the very gates. Check your own spiritual pulse and the pulse of professing believers today. Do we understand the times? Or are we still going about our daily lives unconcerned about the sin in our lives or the spreading of the Gospel and totally disconnected from the Kingdom work that is to be done before Jesus’ return.

I am quickly reminded of Matthew 24:37-40 which says for as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Let this not be us! Let us be like Daniel who searched the scriptures and understood the times and cried out to God with prayers and petitions and with fasting on behalf of their sin and let us turn to the LORD with all our hearts to be ready on the day that the Son of Man returns. The time is drawing near.

Brittnie

Another one we need to hear

From Beth's Blog.

To my beloved Sisters who I esteem so highly and consistently find to be part of the solution to our problems in the Church rather than the cause,

Please join me in praying for our President-elect Barack Obama, his wife Michelle, and his precious daughters, Sasha and Malia. Go with me before the Throne of our sovereign God and ask Him to grant wisdom from above to President-elect Obama and the indwelling presence and power of Jesus Christ. In the words of the Apostle Paul, "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior..."

Please also join me in the active and deliberate pursuit of unity and purity in the Body of Christ at this historical time in our country. I implore you in Jesus Name to have zero tolerance for prejudice whether it is regarding party-affiliation, color (whether you are Black, White, or Brown), economics or the like. Disagreement is not sin. Prejudice is. Satan has plotted events and planted attitudes that, should he be successful, will result in havoc. We must not stand for his schemes or cooperate in a single way. We would severely displease God and invite untold chastisement upon Christ's Church in our nation. Speak clearly to your children and graciously but emphatically draw a line in your work places and social circles regarding your stand against prejudice of any kind.

"Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, 'Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.'" (Matthew 12:25) A united house stands. A divided house falls. The devil has much to gain. But he also has much to lose.

We are the Body of Jesus Christ and we have an opportunity to show His character. This is our watch. We stand for what is right not from our feet but from our knees.

I humble myself before you and make these pleas under such bold direction of God that I could not resist it nor disobey it. He made it a fire in my bones.

I love and esteem you so much. Shoulder to shoulder, Dear Siestas. Let's leave not one inch for the enemy to come between us.

Beth Moore

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Beth's Blog

Great words from Beth Moore's blog today!

The LPM Blog

Psalm 118:24

A few things I'm so thankful for on this election day, regardless of the outcome:

*We live in a democracy where we have the right to a vote and a voice. We have the God-given responsibility to use both wisely and in the way that best reflects what God conveys through Scripture.

*God "works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will" and "according to the plan." Ephesians 1:11

*Not only does God work out everything in conformity with His will, He has promised to work out everything for the GOOD of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

*God sets up kings and deposes them and gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. Daniel 2:21

*We, the beautifully diverse family of God, are never - not at any time - powerless. Nor are we ever victims of a system. Believing prayer takes us through doors we'll never be invited to enter and into judges chambers we'll never grace. Take a look back at Genesis 18 once again with astonishment over the dialogue between God and His servant and friend, Abraham. Rejoice that God is ever mindful of a faithful remnant. The Judge of the Earth will always do right.

*Even if persecution should await believers in Christ or harrowing circumstances hound us, God will use hardship to bring unity and purity to a people who need it desperately. The best of circumstances do not always produce the best in the Bride of Christ.

*The living God is firmly established upon His Throne and there at His holy feet we can always find grace and mercy in our time of need.

*No matter what happens today, we are GOD'S elect. He has elected us to show His heart and to walk in His ways in the culture that surrounds us. We are called to walk in the challenging balance of grace and truth.

May we be filled with Christ's Spirit today and our mouths given to praise and to believing, receiving prayer. God IS faithful and He has us firmly in His hand. We will not fear. We will not doubt. We will not hate.

"Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders." Deuteronomy 33:12

I remain your servant,
Beth

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The next five minutes

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The New Testament Church

Good stuff from A.W. Tozer’s "Paths To Power" .


The (Early) Church was not an organization merely, not a movement, but a walking incarnation of spiritual energy. The Church began in power, moved in power and moved just as long as she had power. When she no longer had power she dug in for safety and sought to conserve her gains. But her blessings were like the manna: when they tried to keep it overnight it bred worms and stank. So we have had monasticism, scholasticism, institutionalism; and they have all been indicative of the same thing: absence of spiritual power. In Church history every return to New Testament power has marked a new advance somewhere, and every diminution of power has seen the rise of some new mechanism for conservation and defense. If this analysis is reasonably correct, then we are today in a state of very low spiritual energy.

The only power God recognizes in His Church is the power of His Spirit; whereas the only power actually recognized today by the majority of evangelicals is the power of man. God does His work by the operation of the Spirit, while Christian leaders attempt to do theirs by the power of trained and devoted intellect. Bright personality has taken the place of the divine afflatus.

Only what is done through the Eternal Spirit will abide eternally.

The essence of true religion is spontaneity, the sovereign movings of the Holy Spirit upon and in the free spirit of redeemed men. When religion loses its sovereign character and becomes mere form this spontaneity is lost also, and in its place come precedent, propriety, system–and the file-card mentality. Back of the file-card mentality is the belief that spirituality can be organized.

For centuries the Church stood solidly against every form of worldly entertainment, recognizing it for what it was — a device for wasting time, a refuge from the disturbing voice of conscience, a scheme to divert attention from moral accountability. But of late she appears to have decided that if she cannot conquer the great god Entertainment she may as well join forces with him and make what use she can of his power.

Christianity is so entangled with the world that millions never guess how radically they have missed the New Testament pattern. Compromise is everywhere. The world is whitewashed just enough to pass inspection by blind men posing as believers.

Evangelical Christianity is now tragically below the New Testament standard. Worldliness is an accepted part of our way of life. Our religious mood is social instead of spiritual. We have lost the art of worship. We are not producing saints. Our models are successful business men, celebrated athletes and theatrical personalities. We carry on our religious activities after the methods of the modern advertiser. Our homes have been turned into theaters. Our literature is shallow and our hymnody borders on sacrilege. And scarcely anyone appears to care.

Much that passes for New Testament Christianity is little more than objective truth sweetened with song and made palatable by religious entertainment. Christ calls men to carry a cross; we call them to have fun in His name. He calls them to forsake the world; we assure them that if they but accept Jesus the world is their oyster. He calls them to suffer; we call them to enjoy all the bourgeois comforts modern civilization affords. He calls them to self-abnegation and death; we call them to spread themselves like green bay trees or perchance even to become stars in a pitiful fifth-rate religious zodiac. He calls them to holiness; we call them to a cheap and tawdry happiness that would have been rejected with scorn by the least of the Stoic philosophers.

A new Decalogue has been adopted by the neo-Christians of our day, the first word of which reads “Thou shalt not disagree;” and a new set of Beatitudes too, which begins “Blessed are they that tolerate everything, for they shall not be made accountable for anything.” It is now the accepted thing to talk over religious differences in public with the understanding that no one will try to convert another or point out errors in his belief. Imagine Moses agreeing to take part in a panel discussion with Israel over the golden calf; or Elijah engaging in a gentlemanly dialogue with the prophets of Baal. Or try to picture our Lord Jesus Christ seeking a meeting of minds with the Pharisees to iron out differences.

The blessing of God is promised to the peacemaker, but the religious negotiator has better watch his step. Darkness and light can never be brought together by talk. Some things are not negotiable.

One hundred religious persons knit into a unity by careful organization do not constitute a church any more than eleven dead men make a football team. The first requisite is [Zoe] Life, always.

The modern vogue of bringing science to the support of Christianity proves not the truth of the Christian faith but the gnawing uncertainty in the hearts of those who must look to science to give respectability to their faith.

Science, the sweet talking goddess which but a short time ago smilingly disposed of the Bible as a trustworthy guide and took the world by the hand to lead it into a man-made millennium, has turned out to be a dragon capable of destroying that same world with a flick of her fiery tail.

The Bible tells of another world too fine for the instruments of scientific research to discover. By faith we engage that world and make it ours. It is accessible to us through the blood of the everlasting covenant.

-A.W. Tozer, Paths To Power

Monday, October 20, 2008

Next Revive

Our next Revive is this Thursday Oct 23, 2008 @ 7:00pm

Worship led by Amy Tosney
I will be teaching from Jeremiah 2.
Come join us!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Why so serious?

Why so serious? I wanted to share a thought that just ran through my mind a couple of seconds ago while walking up the stairs. I don't know who all of my readers are but I know that there are several of you subscribed to the REVIVE blog. Half of which I don't even know personally. In any case, I felt I might want to share why I am always so serious on this blog.....if any of you have ever asked that question or let that thought cross your mind.

From the beginning of the REVIVE blog, I have felt God has called me to use it strictly for ministry purposes rather than for personal drama/silliness etc.(and believe me, I have drama!) I realize that some of what I share and post are very hard things to ponder and may seem harsh at times, but the LORD has not given me permission to change that tone. The LORD has reminded me time and time again that REVIVE is to sharpen and strengthen us, His Church. No fluff. No funny business. Not here. However, I am not opposed at all to the lighter side of things in the blogger world. Not at all! I totally recognize that God can be equally effective through that kind of blogging.

And, just for the record I am real. I do have feelings. I do bleed, get bruised, get knocked down, hurt deeply and struggle with every day life situations the same as everyone else. My marriage is not perfect, my parenting skills are shabby and my walk with the LORD has it's peaks and valleys. I do love to play and have fun and even be very silly on many occasions. And if you are looking for that kind of blogging from me I hope to allow that side of me to spill over on my other blog. In the meantime, the REVIVE blog will continue to be a tool that the LORD can use to help build up, challenge and strengthen the Bride. He is pursuing His people, hard, very hard....because His delight is not in a wayward Bride, but a completely devoted Bride in full adornment! Bear with me ladies and gents...God is working!

Thank you for allowing me to share with you the things the LORD is about in my life through the REVIVE blog.

Many blessings to you.
Brittnie

Where is all the money going?

Yesterday I heard about a man in the state of Alabama who pays approximately $400 to attend each home game for his favorite college football team. After calculating up the gas to travel to the game, the price of a ticket for he and his wife, and the cost of food before, after, and during the game it totalled $400. This did not surprise me and as a math lover I was happy to see someone taking into account ALL of the costs and not just the ticket price.

This got me thinking though. Could that $400 have been used better? Are there really causes out there that are more important than college football, more important even then spending a Saturday with friends? Of course the answer is yes.

That same money could have easily fed 400 people for one day or 1 or 2 people for 1 year and 35 days assuming it cost $1 per day to feed someone like this little man pictured below. (keep in mind these are rough estimates)

Now, I know many of you will think I am a spoil sport but allow me to make my case. I love spending time with friends, I like watching college football. These things are fun and the enjoyment of them is not inheritantly evil. These are just examples to show how entertainment and self-satisfying endeavors have taken the place of our love for others. In our very comfortable world where we wake up, choose and outfit from our full closets, choose our breakfast from our multiplicity of choices, spend time in climates that are adjusted just right to keep out the summer's heat and winter's cold, and slide into plush, posturepedic beds at night in relatively safe neighborhoods we forget that there is a world that is STARVING for food and for the gospel. People are literally dying or losing abilities such as sight because they have no substantial food or no food at all.

All I am asking is that you consider it. I have had to consider myself how my budget is applied each month. As a single woman with a good job, no house payment, no car payment, and no dependents, I have money to spare each month. The question is.....has this money been given to me for my accumulation of things or for my sister in Africa, in Asia, in Alabaster? Lord, let us see our wealth and GIVE IT!
Lynsey

Monday, October 13, 2008

Excellent Movie!

I know I have mentioned the movie Fireproof a couple of times already on this blog, but I finally saw it this past weekend and it far exceeded my expectations. Facing the Giants was great, however the level of acting could have been much improved! I knew the level of acting had to be better with Kirk Cameron starring in this film, but I was REALLY impressed with this movie! It was hilarious, very moving and extremely powerful. The role of the husband loving his wife as Christ loves the church was beautifully displayed. It was an excellent movie!

I wanted to encourage you to all go and see it whether you are married or not. It is a MUST see! If you know of someone who is struggling in their marriage, do as my friend Shawn said yesterday....."buy them the tickets, the popcorn and drink" march them into the theater and stand guard at the door". This movie is truly an answer to prayer with the issue of marriages that are falling apart today. It is strengthening marriages and changing lives! Go see it!

Would love to hear your comments on the movie for those of you that have seen it!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood by John Piper

Click on link to read.
The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood

Thursday, October 9, 2008

God Speaking to the Church

When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.
1 Corinthians 14:26


Can you take this in a minute? This is a word to the church so listen up. EVERYONE (in Christ of course) has been given a hymn, a word of instruction (lesson) a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Each of us! If you are in Christ, God is communicating to you in some way. WOW! God gives us some kind of communication in order to share with the church. This is how the church is built up, strengthened.

Heavens knows that the church needs to be edified in our day and age. Look at her. She is struggling. People are falling apart and falling out left and right. Marriages failing, addictions running wild, strongholds of sin abound. Encouragement is needed, strengthening is needed, purifying is needed! We must all work together and do our part in order for the church of Jesus Christ to function properly.

So, are you doing your part? God is speaking to you. Is He saying anything to you about something you need to be doing for the church? Are you listening to what God is saying and are you sharing that with the body of Christ? Are you? Or are you too caught up in running after the lusts of the age and staying so busy with nonsense that you aren't able to hear what God is saying to you? Listen, God has a part for you in this. Don't miss it. The church needs building up and it can't function properly with out you.

God is speaking. Please, please hear me brother or sister.....Start Listening!!



Monday, October 6, 2008

Red Letters Campaign

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

REVIVE Retreat 2008 Recap

REVIVE Retreat 2008 Recap- Thanks to Lynsey!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fireproof

Hey all,

I don't know if anyone has heard of this movie Fireproof or not, but it comes out in theaters this weekend and I wanted to encourage everyone to see it. It is by the creators of Facing the Giants and it's a story about a married couple on the brink of divorce but who realize that their marriage is worth fighting for. A much needed message out there in our world today even for Christians. I hope you'll go see it. You can go to the link www.fireproofthemovie.com for more info or to watch the trailer.

REVIVE Retreat

Our REVIVE ladies retreat is this weekend. We have been waiting for this weekend to get here for a very long time. We are really excited about what God is going to do. We look forward to His word and Presence and fellowship between other sisters in Christ. OH, and did I mention just some time away from the normal business of our lives! The camp that we will be going to is absolutely beautiful and the weather is supposed to be gorgeous! I can't wait to meet with the LORD. Would you be willing to pray for us this weekend?

Oh, and btw....there is still room to join us if you can come!

http://www.hunterstreet.org/info/ministries/Revive_Bible_Study.html


Brittnie

Saturday, September 20, 2008

New Blog Gadget

Hey everyone!
Have you seen the new blog gadget called "follower"?
It enables people that read your blog to allow their blog profile picture to be seen on your blog. I would love for those that read my blog to sign in as a reader. I have several people that have subscribed to my blog and I don't know who you are. Would love to be able to know who's reading! I have added this new gadget on my side bar. I've put it at the very top for it to be easily found.Just click "follow this blog" and you are all set!

Would love to hear from you!

Brittnie

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

As I continue my study this week for the REVIVE retreat on the way of the Kingdom, I ran across this prayer by Francis of Assisi. This is the way of a Kingdom heart. May we sit at the feet of Christ and learn from Him and allow Him to change us from the inside out and be a people who reflect His love.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Streams of Living Water

I did it again. Before it began, I nearly ruined a divine weekend set up for my husband Jeff and me. It was a very crazy time in our lives and I was desperate for restoration in the Lord though I didn’t realize it at the time. From the moment I heard the words, “I am surprising you on a weekend get away”, I began to panic. It was our 10 year anniversary and we were going on a trip. Already my mind was swarmed with many questions and concerns. Some of which were money, kids, weather, clothes etc. How would I prepare and pack for an unknown destination and what would I do with weekend commitments that were already planned out? Should I really go? Most importantly, can I hand over complete control to Jeff who was so lovingly planning this get away? I did not have a choice. It was a done deal and so off we went for a weekend away from our chaotic lives.

Upon the arrival to our destination, we discovered the keys for our stay were left for us and that we were the only guests at this location. We were tucked away nice and snug in a great little cabin on a beautiful camp ground nestled off in the Texas Hill Country. The excitement began the moment we stepped foot onto the camp ground. We arose the next morning to the most splendid weather and glorious site, God’s creation! Jeff and I were anxious to get started with our weekend and immediately we began exploring this beautifully fashioned piece of acreage. Explore we did, all day long!

Surrounded by God's glory, I thought it appropriate to ask Him for a thrill. Selfishly, I began requesting this thrill from God as if He owed it to me and this is what I began to seek. My eyes became focused on what I demanded instead of on what He wanted to show me. After a few hours of searching for something that I just knew would knock my socks off, I began to notice something else. My ears were hearing the constant and amazing sounds of water flowing through out the hills of the country land. That wonderful sound of the water trickling and flowing down the hills became more evident. Not only did my ears finally tune in, but my eyes were now beholding the beauty!

Jeff and I began following a stream down to its end and discovered the most wonderful site of all. This stream of water dumped right into a small but deep creek bed. It was a tiny piece of heaven right before our eyes with crystal clear waters. We both gazed at this water and found ourselves in awe. We could see clear down to the bottom and watched large bass and catfish as they swam freely around with no caution of our presence. Like little kids, we began running for our equipment back at the car. With fishing gear in hand, we scurried back to this place that we felt was made just for us. We began sinking line after line and bringing up these beauties! What a THRILL! What? NO, this was more than a thrill; this was rest for my weary soul. OH how I needed it. As I drank it in and let it refresh me I thanked Him!

Let me tell you, God was not done with me. Once I recognized what I needed most and that this weekend had been given and divinely arranged, He showed me that I still needed more. About that time, I stepped backward to grab my line and forgot that I had hopped onto a large rock in the middle of the creek and I lost my balance. Yep, you guessed it and all the way in up to my neck! God not only let me rest by His streams of water, He bathed me in them. I was renewed and refreshed. At this point, it was all I could do not to hear God prompting me to think of the words living water. (Since I was swimming in it none the less.) Living Water is what God gives to those who believe and are athirst. There is no doubt that was what He was showing me.

As our weekend came to a close and it was time to head home, I reflected on my selfishness of seeking "something" instead of someone. That someone was my heavenly Father and I was reminded in scripture this day that He is "the enough". What ever we are seeking or require, He is the only one who can fill. He is the source that we must stay focused on and His resources will so infinitely surpass our requirements. He is sufficient and He is enough. Beyond that, He is more than enough, He is everything! I am so thankful that I did not ruin this perfect weekend that God planned especially for us.

Whoever believes in me, streams of living water will flow from within him. John 7:38

Brittnie 9.8.05

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sing to the LORD

Psalm 18:1 David sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said: I love you, O LORD, my strength.

As I sit and soak the words of this Psalm up, I can't get over David's relationship with the LORD. David knew God and talked with him. What is more, David adored God and he sang to him, "I love you O LORD, my strength". When is the last time you sang to God? I'm not talking about singing about God at your last church gathering or with friends. I'm talking about sitting all by your self before the LIVING GOD who speaks and communes with His people and offering up your voice in the stillness of that moment and pouring out your love to Him in a song. There is nothing like the intimacy of singing to your Beloved!

It's so easy to hurry through our time with God. Don't rush this time and miss the Divine Romance that lies waiting for you. The next time you have your quiet moments with God and you have talked with Him and have read His word....let the dialog between you and Elohim-Mikarov (God who is Near) overflow into a song and express your deep love for Him.


Monday, September 1, 2008

REVIVE Recap 8.21.08

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Inheritance

Most of our REVIVE team along with several other women from our church headed down to San Antonio, Tx and joined 10,000 other ladies for a Beth Moore (Living Proof Live) conference. WOW! It was an amazing weekend! We gathered in the Alamodome for worship and the Word! It was Incredible!

Beth's prayer for us was that God would do everything but kill us with His Glory. By His mercy He relented but oh, the Glory that He revealed was so magnificent! The presence of God was so heavy that I could barely stand on my feet. My body trembled nearly the entire time from the power of the Holy Spirit doing a work in me and in that place. Oh, how I praise Him for His love and Grace.

Here is a bit of a recap from the teaching we had from Beth.

It was based on Psalm Sixteen which says:


“Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.

I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you. As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.

The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips.

The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.

I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
__________________________________________________________________________________

Our The Theme for the weekend was Inheritance. Beth showed that the Inheritance principal was interwoven through out His Word from Genesis to Revelation.

She proved that Inheritance from God always involves 3 elements:

1. Presence - "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

2. People - "But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people of his own inheritance, as you are this day." Deut. 4:20

3. Property - "The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, Among these the land shall be divided for inheritance according to the number of names. To a large tribe you shall give a large inheritance, and to a small tribe you shall give a small inheritance; every tribe shall be given its inheritance in proportion to its list. But the land shall be divided by lot. According to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit. Their inheritance shall be divided according to lot between the larger and the smaller." Numbers 26:52-56

8 points were made under the emphasis of
"I AM AN HEIR(ess) OF GOD"...

1. My life is NOT left to chance. (oh thank you LORD that even all the things that don't make sense to me make perfect sense to you)

2. I am inheriting a Kingdom. – Matthew 25:34-Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 1 Peter 1:4 says to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. Daniel 7:18- The Saints will possess the Kingdom forever and ever!

3. He is my portion, and I am His. Psalm 16:5, Deut. 10:8-9,Ephesians 1:18 These were incredible words. Not only is Jesus our portion and Inheritance, but we are HIS! Mind blowing... But, since we are God's inheritance we are to be a pure spotless Bride.

4. The down payment has been made.- Eph. 1:14

5. My boundary lines form a pleasing place. – Psalm 16:6
God has given us boundary lines that involve our Past, Faith, Gifting, Life Experiences and Intimacy with God. These boundary lines are for my good and God's glory. It's a gift from God.

6. The will has been activated. – Heb. 9:15-17

7. I can be secure. – Col. 3:23-24

8. I have a beautiful inheritance. – 2 Timothy 4:6-8, Eph. 3:6
We not only have a beautiful inheritance but we will receive a double portion!

I couldn't get over how much of God's word from Beth was so much the same of what God had me share with the girls at REVIVE 8.21.08 just the night before. He is preparing His people. Oh LORD, plunge your people deeper. Purify Your Bride! May she be the most gorgeous thing that you have ever seen when we step into the fullness of your Kingdom and may we bask in the splendor of our most beautiful, glorious Inheritance. You!
______________________________________________________
In addition to a powerful Word the LORD also provided the sweetest fellowship among us sisters. We got to enjoy each other, some incredible Mexican food and some site seeing on the River Walk and Alamo! We had a BLAST!! Praise you LORD, you are so good.

Here are some photos of our time

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I LOVE my church

I LOVE my church! Our pastor started a new series called Devoted:Being a Genuine Church. This past Sunday was on worship. Here are some things he shared with us on how to be ready to worship each Sunday morning. (see below) There are some wonderful things happening in the life of our church and I am so pumped! I believe our church is about to have a head on collision with Yahweh! Bring it on!

Week 2: The Devoted Dozen

At the end of last week’s sermon Buddy shared some practical ways to make the most of worship each Sunday.

1. Devote yourself to worshiping God every day. Your worship on Sunday grows out of your personal worship each day. So, seek to do all to the glory of God as you engage in your spiritual worship by daily offering yourself as a living sacrifice.

2. Get a good night’s sleep on Saturday night. Make a conscious effort of going to bed early on Saturday night so you can be alert and attentive to the majesty and presence of God on Sunday morning. Remind yourself that you are not “going to church” but you are going to worship the Lord God with your brothers and sisters in Christ. You may even want to spend time with the Lord before you head to bed. This will certainly help put you in the right attitude to worship.

3. Plan to be at least five minutes early to the worship service. If you see that you are always late to the service, then set out your clothes on Saturday night and/or wake you and your family up 15 minutes earlier on Sunday. There really is no good reason to be late on a regular basis. It robs you of a blessing and God of his deserved worship.

4. Try to spend some time alone with the Lord before coming to church. It may be hard to do, but you will arrive eager to worship God.

5. When you enter, warmly greet those you see. (The early Christians greeted one another with a holy kiss! In our culture, a smile and a gentle hug will do!) There is a healthy balance between greeting friends and being quiet as the service begins. When seated, pray or read a psalm, or read the scriptures on the sermon notes from your own Bible.

6. Be conscious that God is present. God is indeed with us when we gather for worship. We are also joining in worship with all believers in heaven as well as the angels in the worship of God. (Hebrews 12:22-23)

7. Think as you worship. Concentrate on each phrase spoken, sung, or prayed.

8. Sing to the Lord. Sing with great joy. Sing with great volume and with great thought. Think about the words of the song and make them your own. Think about what they mean. Let your mind focus on the theology behind them. Remind yourself that you are singing to the creator of the universe, your Savior and Lord.

9. Listen carefully to the Word as it is read and preached. The Word is God’s living voice speaking to you. Give the sermon your full attention; pray to learn from it. Take notes. And, please pray for your pastor!

10. Respond. At the end of the service there is a time of commitment and reflection. Remember, this is not the time to think about where you are going to eat after church. This time is personal between you and God. Reflect back on what you just heard in the sermon and turn it into a prayer to God.

11. Stay until the service is completely over. Leaving early or running out of the door to beat the other cars out of the parking lot betrays a consumer mentality. Take the time to actually speak to five people on your way out. Be especially aware of visitors at this time and take some time to get to know them.

12. After the worship service, ask, “Was God pleased with my worship?”

13. Before the day is over, ask God to show you what things you need to learn, change, make right, repent of, or begin as a result of what you heard on this Lord’s day. If possible, discuss the sermon with family members or friends. Begin now to anticipate gathering again for worship with your church family.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

REVIVE 8.21.08

Ladies,
It's that time again!
Revive starts back up this week, Thursday August 21st. We will meet again at Hunter Street in the High School worship room at 7:00pm. We are very excited about what God has in store for us through REVIVE! Hope to see you there.

For more information you may check here and here





Thursday, August 7, 2008

God's love for orphans

God's love for orphans.....I don't know about you, but this has been on my heart day and night. I have been praying and asking God what He would have me do over this issue. Could not help but post the following article by Steven Curtis Chapman.....and following the article is some videos from his ministry called Shaohannah's Hope. Pray with me over this issue and see what God would have us do!



Our tragedy and God's love for orphans
By Steven Curtis Chapman

Special to CNN

FRANKLIN, Tennessee (CNN) -- According to UNICEF, there are 143 million children in the world who have lost one or both parents.

In America alone, there are half a million children in foster care, and approximately 120,000 of these children are waiting to be adopted. In many countries, children are too often orphaned or abandoned because of poverty, disabilities and disease; every 15 seconds, a child loses a parent because of AIDS. These are staggering facts that can seem overwhelming and discouraging, but I believe that God has a loving plan for each child, and that plan is you and me.

Caring for these children is not the job of governments or institutions; instead, it is the job of families, people and communities. As Christians, our compassion is simply a response to the love that God has already shown us. Mother Teresa would constantly remind those who worked with her that the Bible clearly teaches that whatever we do for the least of these, we do for Jesus. So in a very real sense, caring for orphans is a chance to meet the person of Jesus in "the guise of human suffering." This is an invitation from the heart of God to know him and to experience his love.

Nine years ago, my wife and my eldest daughter, Emily, traveled to Haiti on a mission trip. Having been exposed to extreme poverty for the first time, Emily returned home with a determined passion to make a difference in the lives of at-risk children.

Only 12 years old, Emily went on an all-out campaign to persuade us to adopt. She bought a book on international adoption with her Christmas money and would read it to us regularly. She began fervently praying and writing letters to Mary Beth and me, encouraging us to consider giving a waiting child a home. Emily knew God was leading us in the direction of adoption; however, Mary Beth and I were not yet convinced.

My wife and I had always supported the idea of adoption, and as Christians, we understood the importance of loving and caring for others. But what I had not yet grasped was that adoption is a physical picture of what Jesus has done for me. I did nothing to deserve God's love; in fact, I was living as an orphan, without hope. Yet God chose to pursue a relationship with me, and through the death of his son Jesus, I was adopted into God's family.

My wife and I began moving toward adoption with fear and trembling and asking all the questions people ask. I remember Mary Beth crying herself to sleep at night saying, "What are we doing? I can't do this." However, God kept reassuring us that this was the direction he was leading us. It was a huge journey of faith for us.

In May of 2000, we found ourselves in a hotel room in China's Hunan province, welcoming the newest member of our family, Shaohannah Hope. From that moment, we began our journey into the world of adoption, orphan care and Shaohannah's Hope.

We went on to adopt Stevey Joy and Maria. Recently, our youngest daughter, Maria, passed from life on this earth and is now safely in the arms of Jesus. We have been completely overwhelmed by the love and support of so many during this time of deep, deep sadness. Through all that we've experienced, one thing we still know is true: God's heart is for the orphan.

In our travels to Latin America, Africa and Asia, we have visited many different orphanages. If you look past the surroundings and into the eyes of the children, they all have the same look. They seem to convey, "I don't think this is what I was made for. Where do I belong?"

These children are crying out for the hope of a family, for the hope of community, for the hope of a permanent love. Our mission, and the mission of our adoption charity, Shaohannah's Hope, is to show hope to these children and to mobilize people, families and communities to be living examples of God's love for them.

We started Shaohannah's Hope in order to connect willing families with waiting children, but the reality is that there are many orphans who cannot be adopted. Even though we may not be able to bring them into our homes, we still have the opportunity to show them the hope we have.

If only 7 percent of the 2 billion Christians in the world would care for a single orphan in distress, there would effectively be no more orphans. If everybody would be willing to simply do something to care for one of these precious treasures, I think we would be amazed by just how much we could change the world.

We can each do something, whether it is donating, adopting, fostering, mentoring, visiting orphans or supporting families that have taken in orphans. You can change the world for an orphan.







Friday, July 11, 2008

REVIVE Website Goes Live!

Ladies,
We have more exciting news about REVIVE. Our Website went live today! It's not 100% complete but we are officially up and running....(thanks to 2 pretty special people)! Take a look. www.reviveministry.org

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Revive Promo Video and Retreat Sign Up

Ladies, spread the word....REVIVE returns August 21st.
Use this promo video to share with others a glimpse of what REVIVE is about.
Also, see the Revive info link below to sign up for our REVIVE retreat coming in Sept! REVIVE Info and Retreat Sign up

Friday, June 27, 2008

Casual Christianity

"When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away." Matthew 13:21


Casual Christianity is an oxymoron. There is no such thing as a low-commitment version of our faith. It is impossible to say, "I'm a follower of Jesus, but I'm not prepared to lay down my life for the Gospel." Both of those assertions cannot be true. "When Jesus calls a man," to quote Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "He bids him come and die." Ours is a faith that demands our entire allegiance; it can be no half-hearted thing.

Church history is filled with martyrs. Missionary kids have seen their parents executed. Many Christians have lost a spouse or child to persecution. Whole communities have been tortured or imprisoned. And many have given their own lives. Whether this is a tragedy or the glory of the Church-and it is, in fact, both-is not the point. It is a given. It is assumed of Jesus' followers that they will follow Him where ever he goes. And He goes to places like the Cross.

Martyrdom is not something that confronts most of us. Few of us are persecuted. Yet all of us can say with assurance that sometimes following our Savior is difficult. He asks us to make sacrifices. He asks us to be obedient, even when obedience is painful. And though He doesn't ask all of us to die for Him, He does ask all of us to live for Him. When we were bought by His blood, we became His possession. Gloriously, joyfully His possession, but His nonetheless.

One of the great weaknesses of today's American church is our unwillingness to humble ourselves as our Savior did. We are often consumer Christians, shopping around for a faith that suits us well. But when we really encounter Christ, we face a choice: Stand firm in our faith, despite our many tests and troubles, or settle for a lukewarmness that can barely, if at all, be called "Christian." We must be prepared for the trials. They will come. And how we respond will tell us-and others-whether we are His disciples.

Chris Tiegreen

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fireproof

I wanted to make these resources available for anyone who has not seen the advertisements of this new movie called Fireproof. It's created by the same people (Sherwood Bapt) who made the movie "Facing the Giants". Fireproof is a movie about marriage....and it is definitely needed today as we watch the enemy go after our marriages and families. I hope that you'll be able to see this movie when it comes out. Our marriages are worth fighting for!



Friday, June 13, 2008

Worship God with my mind

Here are some thoughts I jotted down back from April that I meant to blog and never got to it.


I went for a run yesterday. It was a beautiful afternoon and I was enjoying the sun on my face and the cool wind that helped to soften the blow of the growing April heat. Lately I’ve been running with a group of girls to help motivate me and push me in getting the exercise I need. But this time I was prompted to run all by myself. I was proud in that fact that I stepped out (in what I thought) was my own determination of some much needed cardio. But I quickly understood that cardio wasn’t the only thing needed. I needed some time to free my thoughts…..to worship God with my mind.

In our running group the one thing that is always running (beside my legs) is my mouth. This time I was able to also run my mind. Rarely is my mind on anything but the LORD Jesus and so it was this day as well. However, this time the LORD led me to pack a little punch into this thinking. After some appropriate praise to the only One worthy of my thoughts, my mind was flooded with the WORD of God. Oh how God’s word satisfies my soul. But even more it pushes me to be who God has called me to be. There is no way I can read it/meditate on it and be left unchanged.

The Lord immediately shifted my focus to the word “holiness”. It’s no wonder. I jut got through teaching on this topic the week before in my monthly women’s bible study. Don’t think for a moment that I teach on things that God does not want to do a number on me in the process. So, here I am at holiness. As a disciple of Jesus I am called to be holy. To be set apart for Him. So because this is what is required of me, this is what I desire. Heavy thinking went on in my brain as I further meditated on its meaning in my life.

“Oh God”, I cried out, “I desire to be holy as you are holy. And as this prayer filled my mind, even the song on my iPod sang to the heart of the thought process. “Holiness is what I long for. Holiness is what I need; holiness is what you want from me. Take my heart and form it, take my mind transform it, take my will conform it, to Yours” This desire was so intense it had me bent over at the waist (still running of course) all the while lifting my hands to the God who was calling me to ponder and act upon such an awesome calling.

Again, “Oh God, make me more like You”. I want to go where you tell me to go, say what you want me to say, be who you want me to be and do what you want me to do. I want to follow You at all costs. I am so sick of allowing my life to be entertained by vain things. Empty things. I want you and only you. Satisfy me with your unfailing love. As my run came to an end, I was thrilled that I was prompted to go. I was given a special opportunity to worship God with my mind. I was pushed in my discipleship to the LORD by the LORD Himself! I resolved once again, I will live for God and God alone. I will be holy, I will be set apart. I am not trying to proclaim that I am the example for anyone. I am just saying, “here I am LORD, send me, use me. Anyone care to join me?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bean Dip and Jesus

Yes, I realize this is a strange title, but tonight while cooking supper, I opened up a can of refried beans to go with our Mexican meal and the minute I opened the can, the smell captured me and transported me back about 28 years or so to elementary school. It reminded me of all the days that I would sit in the cafeteria at lunch or just after a gymnastic meet and crack open my bag of Frito's and my little individual size can of Frito-Lay Bean dip. Anyone remember those?



I don't know if they still sell them at the stores, but that used to be one of my favorite snacks of all! Oh, it was so good and the memory of it took me back to the sweet days of childhood. The care free days of play and innocence (or in my case, probably not so innocent) But either way, sweet, sweet memories!

So, why on earth am I telling you about Bean Dip? Well, because it is such a great reminder of life that we live as believers. (Bear with me here) There are many people who are going through a tough time in life right now. Your relationship with the LORD may feel distant or dry. When we encounter those times, we can sometimes doubt or wonder if God really loves us or if He even cares. We may struggle and start to give up or throw in the towel. But, we have a precious gift from God. Our memory.

Our memory can serve us in many different ways. Sometimes it can cause pain and hurt as we reflect on a very difficult time. Or, it can remind us of times when we made serious mistakes and the consequences were high. We may never make that mistake again because of our memory. But, our memory serves us best when we go back to a sweet time and remember how things once were. This is so important.

While we go through dark or dry times in our walk with the LORD, we must remember the sweet times with Him in the past in order to persevere. It is our nature to forget get and begin to doubt. That's why I think it is so important to keep a journal or some sort of a record of your times with the LORD. Make notes when He speaks to you through His Word or when His presence was so heavy that you could barely breathe. We must remember the good times with the LORD in order to make it through some of the harder times.

God is good all the time and He never does us any wrong even when we may be going through the roughest time. It is always for His glory and our good that we journey on such a path, but why is it that we can so easily forget God’s goodness and His love for us and quickly find ourselves discouraged. So, today…if you find yourself in a dry place with God, go straight to your source of memories with Him and bask in the gift of remembering how good Jesus is and with a fresh wind of faith, press on.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

What's the difference between living for the Kingdom and living for the American dream?

What's the difference between living for the Kingdom and living for the American dream?

by John Piper

The essential difference is, What are you trying to make much of? Do you want to make much of Christ in the world, or do you want to make much of yourself, your business, or your family? What are you passionate about seeing exalted, praised and enjoyed?

I want to put that central because if we don't ask the question day by day–What am I going to make much of today?–then we will gravitate towards making much of the same things that everybody around us is making much of, like sports teams, food, or a new computer program. None of these things are sin unless they become the thing that we're driven by.

The difference between a Kingdom mindset and a worldly mindset is the King. What place does the King have? Is he central in our affections, our vocabulary, and in what we want to see happen at work, church, and in our leisure?

Does the "wartime lifestyle" come easily to you?

No, and I don't think it comes easy for anybody. If it starts coming easily then it may result in pride. That may not always be the case, because the things we work hard at are sometimes the things we boast in the most. Pride is a very insidious and subtle thing.

When I say "wartime lifestyle" I mean something very complex. That's why I say "wartime" and not "simple" lifestyle because of this complexity. In wartime you may need to build a B-52 bomber, which costs millions and millions of dollars, in order to win the war. In a simple lifestyle, however, you wouldn't fiddle around with bombers. Instead you would just move out to Idaho, plant potatoes, and be irrelevant.

In a wartime lifestyle you always ask yourself, How can my life count to advance the cause of Christ? And if it means buying a computer to keep in touch with your missionaries through email, then you're going to invest several thousand dollars into a computer and software. That's a wartime lifestyle. But you might not eat out as often, or you might buy a used car so that you can buy that computer. That's what I mean by wartime lifestyle. The alternative is to just go with the flow. Everybody gets his toys: bigger house and car, more clothing, more fine food, etc., without even thinking about how the war effort is advancing.

Personally, I must battle everyday against drifting. It isn't about making choices so much. The battle is primarily against becoming comfortable with things that aren't essential to the war effort. So you have to check yourself. Sit down with your wife and ask, How are we doing with our spending? How are we doing with the use of our discretionary money for leisure?, etc.

I admit that this is difficult. I don't have any laws to lay down about what specific things you should be doing either once a week or never or whatever. It's just tough, which is why it is tough for me.

How does what you're saying accord with the prosperity gospel–the belief that external signs of wealth are a key testimony to the world of God's blessing?

It doesn't accord. We must reject the prosperity gospel. It's just dead wrong. The world is not impressed by the prosperity of Christians. What the prosperity of Christians says to the world is nothing redemptive.

I'm not saying that all prosperity is necessarily wrong. I'm just making the point that the prosperity of a Christian says absolutely zero about Christ to the world. Christians who simply follow the American trend of "moving up" financially and materially causes the world to simply say, "They're just like us! They love the same things we love and do the same things we do." This has zero witness to the world.

The person who follows the prosperity track must find other ways to testify to the world about Jesus, because their wealth, health, and prosperity are not saying anything redemptive.

My way of remedying this lack of witness is to identify that the prosperity gospel is wrong. Don't go that direction! Don't believe that prosperity is our evidence to the world that we belong to the King. It doesn't work that way. In fact, if you look in the New Testament you'll see that the things that bear the clearest witness to our faith are the occasions when we're willing to suffer for him.

A little child can understand that. Something is valuable to you to the degree that you're willing to suffer in order to have it, not to the degree that it gives you other things that you really like. God is not shown to be valuable because he gives us other things that we like more than God. God is shown to be valuable when we're willing, for God's sake, to let certain things go which we wouldn't let go if he wasn't so precious to us.

Our testimony to the world works precisely opposite to what the prosperity gospel says. When Christians are willing to suffer for the cause of the unborn, for racial justice, and for spreading the gospel, then the world is going to say–just like it does in 1 Peter 3:15–"Where is your hope?"

Our answer will not be, "In houses, cars, and lands." Rather, we will say, "My hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is going to take me to himself. To live is Christ and to die is gain. I'm here on earth to spread the gospel. I'm going to keep my life as wartime as I can in order to maximize my effect for showing Jesus as valuable, not things as valuable."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Idols of Wealth

"How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!" Mark 10:24

Jesus has harsh things to say about wealth. "Woe to you who are rich," He says in Luke 6:24. "A man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions," He says in Luke 12:15. He tells parables that cast a bad light on the wealthy (the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16, for example). And here in Mark 10, He tells His disciples that "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (vs. 25).

Many of us who read these verses are incredibly wealthy, by worldwide standards, and so we spiritualize them. Jesus is really talking about those who place their hope in riches, we determine. And because we know that salvation is a matter of the heart and not of the bank account, we are right to do so. But we miss an important lesson if we dismiss these warnings too quickly.

The lesson is this: There is false worship in every human heart, and Jesus knows that all of it has some component of wealth. We either seek wealth and materialism as an idol in itself, or we have other idols that we cannot support without more money (approval of others, achievement, education, lifestyles, hobbies, food, fashion etc.). Almost any idol we can conceive of revolves around money as its object or for its sustenance. And when we harbor such idols, the kingdom of God is like the eye of a needle to us. We just can't fit.

What idols grip your heart? Whatever they are, cut off their supply. They are fed by wealth, and they consume the kingdom's resources, giving nothing of substance in return. If we are to live as kingdom citizens, we must turn our hearts toward kingdom purposes. Our wealth, our time, our abilities-all resources God has given us-must be invested in lasting goals. Our treasure will be where our heart is. And our hearts are in the Kingdom.
by Chris Tiegreen.

I couldn't help but post this devotional today. I don't think that we can hear this message too much in our culture. It is very evident that the church is living for the same things the world lives for. If we are going to enter the Kingdom of God and advance it....we are going to have to let the things of the world go. We are to treasure Christ above all the accumulation of stuff and lay up treasure in heaven not on earth.

As John Piper says....The world will not glorify Christ because they see that Christians are wealthy, healthy and prosperous because that is what they live for. They are not impressed with us- prosperous, safe, middle class, do what every body else does kind of church. Our great reward is in heaven with Christ! We are to be so profoundly heavenly minded that we are free from this world. Free from stuff. Stuff....Stuff! Stuff is killing us. Houses, cars, books, computers, electronic gadgets are killing us.

What is it going to take to see that Christ is our treasure and not our stuff? Until we get this and let it go....we will have little or no impact in the Kingdom. That should break our hearts!


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

REVIVE Spring Events

Ladies, we had an excellent time worshiping with you this Spring.  We can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for the Fall.  Join us again in August (21st) as we kick off REVIVE again!


Until then, enjoy these pictures from our Spring events.....


Monday, May 12, 2008

Revival

True Revivals have happened only when people have gained a right idea of God and his majesty and his holiness. Revivals have happened when people grew in there understanding of Christ work on the Cross. In their understanding of the call to trust Christ alone. These are the times when God visits his church with revival by pouring out his spirit on the land.

Question for thought:
If revivals depend on a renewed understanding of God’s majesty and a deepened conviction of own sin, what is the best way to promote revival in the land?

Quote by Mark Dever from his book "The Message of the Old Testament"

Saturday, May 10, 2008

When We Know God....

When We Know God.....

  • Routine religion is no longer tolerable.
How can we have routine religion when we have a God that calls the stars by name?
Isaiah 40:26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
  • Casual worship is no longer possible.
When we truly know God, there is no way we can remain unmoved when we worship Him. Sitting rigid in pews with casual reverence is (in my opinion) offensive to God
  • Total Surrender is no longer optional.
When we read passages like.......
Luke 9:60-62
And Jesus said to him, "Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Yet another said, "I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home." Jesus said to him, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."

Or

Matthew 10:36-38 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

.........there is no way we can sit on the fence. Total surrender is the only option for one who claims to follow Christ.

  • Global missions is no longer negotiable.
This is something that God began to open my eyes to a few years ago through scripture. When we begin to "know" God through His word He begins to share his heart with you. AND His heart is for the lost. We should squirm knowing that millions are perishing while we enjoy comfortable America. When we hear God's heart, western Contemporary Christianity must go because global missions is no longer negotiable. God says....go and make disciples of ALL nations!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Top of My Lungs

I spend most of my days studying the WORD preparing for Sunday School and REVIVE. And it is the hardest thing not to break out into worship all throughout the day as I learn more about the GREATNESS of God. Seriously, I find myself on the floor in humbled reverence or jumping around singing to the ONE who is so worthy of all my praise! Good heavens, I can't get enough of HIM!

Anyway, here are some words that I have been worshiping with today as I study.

Words of worship rise like a river within me. Thoughts to express are so many. I want to bless you God. Can’t be silent. I think of the mercies you show me. My lips begin overflowing. Great is your love. Such gratitude for all that you do Jesus to you.

At the top of my lungs I will sing hallelujah, you’re the one who saved me, the one who gave me this life I live forevermore, forevermore. At the top of my lungs I will sing hallelujah. I’m not ashamed; I’ll praise your name. Let the whole world know that I love you LORD.

You are worthy, I join the song of creation, it rings out across every nation. Let my heart be heard. I need you so, I don’t care who knows from the depth of my soul.

At the top of my lungs I will sing hallelujah, you’re the one who saved me, the one who gave me this life I live forevermore, forevermore. At the top of my lungs I will sing hallelujah I’m not ashamed; I’ll praise your name. Let the whole world know that I love you LORD.

Let my love be like a sweet joyful noise. Only for you…I lift up my voice.

At the top of my lungs I will sing hallelujah, you’re the one who saved me, the one who gave me this life I live forevermore, forevermore. At the top of my lungs I will sing hallelujah I’m not ashamed; I’ll praise your name. Let the whole world know that I love you LORD.

Words by Phillips, Craig and Dean

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

How We Know God

I Corinthians 2:10-16
But God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment:
16"For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?"But we have the mind of Christ.

Isaiah 64:4
Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.

  • Only the Spirit of God knows the fullness of the glory of God.
  • If we want to know God, then we need the Spirit to reveal Him to us.
  • Therefore, a people who are desperate to know God will be desperate for His Spirit.
~If we are not desperate for His Spirit, it is a sure indicator that we have grown content with knowing little about God.
  • Do we want to know the glory of God?
~Then let us be a people desperate for the Spirit of God
~And when we're desperate for the Spirit, our hearts will begin to understand God with the very perspective of Christ.

"We have but to want Him badly enough, and he will come and manifest Himself to us."
~A.W. Tozer

I don't know about you, but I want Him so badly that I can't stand it. I am desperate for the Spirit of God. Let's not be content with knowing little about God. Let's be a people desperate to know God.



Monday, May 5, 2008

Why Are We Here?

Saturday night, I attended an incredible teaching by Dr. David Platt called "Who is God?" This was 6 intense hours of studying God's word together from 6pm-midnight. It was WOW! The first thing they said to us when we got there was this:"Do not come to Secret Church if all you want to do is learn for yourself--the objective is for you to pass along what you learn to others, so that you can be a disciple-maker for Christ, both locally and globally."

So, with that said, I will most likely be blogging on much of what was taught that night so I can share all that I have learned about God.

Here is what I thought that I would share first.


"This is what the Lord says:"Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this:that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight, "declares the Lord. " Jeremiah 9:23-24


"What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us."


"Were we able to extract from any man a complete answer to the question, 'What comes into your mind when you think about God?' we might predict with certainty the spiritual future of that man. Were we able to know exactly what our most influential religious leaders think of God today, we might be able with some precision to foretell where the Church will stand tomorrow."


It is not a cheerful though that millions of us who live in a land of Bibles, who belong to churches and labor to promote the Christian religion, may yet pass our whole life on this earth without once having thought or tried to think seriously about the being God. Few of us have let our hearts gaze in wonder at the I AM, the self-existent self back of which no creature can think. Such thoughts are too painful for us. We prefer to think where it will do more good-about how to build a better mousetrap, for instance, or how to make two blades of grass grow where one grew before. For this we are now paying a too heavy price in the secularization of our religion and the decay of our inner lives."


"The heaviest obligation lying upon the Christian Church today is to purify and elevate her concept of God until is it once more worthy of Him-and of her."

-A.W. Tozer

The first teaching that we had was Why are we here?

  • To know God's Glory
  • To learn God's Word
  • To advance God's Kingdom

  • The Reality.....
~God is incomprehensible
~We can never fully understand any single thing about God.
~We can know something about God's love, power, wisdom and other attributes.
~But we can never know His live, power wisdom or other attributes exhaustively.

  • The Reason....
~We can't know God fully because of both our sinfulness and His greatness.
~Because of our sin, we are hindered from glimpsing the fullness of God.
~ But even when all sin will be removed from us, we will still be finite and God will still be infinite
~For all of eternity we will increase in our knowledge of Him.
*If in pride we want to be equal to God in knowledge, this will depress us.
*If in humility we want to live to adore and worship God, this will delight us.

  • The Resolution....
~Though we cannot understand God fully, we can understand God truly.
~So based on scripture, even though we don't have exhaustive knowledge of God, we have true knowledge of God.
~Though God is incomprehensible, he is knowable.


These thoughts in themselves are mind blowing. God is more than our finite minds can comprehend, but He is knowable. Knowable! Does this not make your head spin? This is the most thrilling thing EVER! How awesome that we can spend all eternity getting to know more of this God.