Tuesday, April 29, 2008

REVIVE April 24, 2008

Here are some snippets of our last REVIVE on April 24th.
A big Thank you to Lynsey (aka, "my handler") for putting all these recaps together!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Setting of the Sun

As always, I anxiously left the office headed for home to see my boys. As I shifted from work mode back to mother/wife mode, my mind was on a hundred things, which I knew needed to be done. At the beginning and end of each day on my way to and from work I turn up my worship music and spend time singing to the Lord, offering my praise to Him through song. Well, little did I know, on this particular evening that I would be praising Him in a different way. I got into my car turned on my music and pulled out of the parking lot. As I turned onto the exiting road, which leads out of the campus where I work, I noticed a beautiful sunset out of the corner of my eye. The entire sky was a full array of color! It was quite exquisite. I took a moment and thanked the Lord for sharing His beauty. I then shifted my focus back to the music, which was playing.

As I exited the campus, heading towards the freeway, I took a different route than usual. You see, on this particular day I did not have to pick my youngest son up from school, which enabled me to head straight home. Therefore, when I made a right turn onto the road which would lead me home, I was facing the westward direction, into the sunset. Had I gone the route of my son’s school, I would have completely missed God’s wonderful display.

While traveling westward, down the road towards home, I continued to admire the beauty of the sky.As I traveled, I felt as if I were getting closer and closer to the sunset. Rarely, had I seen the sky look so marvelous. I marveled at God’s work as I felt that this splendor was designed personal, just for me.

Suddenly, I began traveling up an over-pass, which sent me up into the sky. As I reached the top of the over-pass I was completely overwhelmed. I had driven directly into the sunset! I was surrounded by the most beautiful orange and red colors that I had ever seen in my entire life. The colors had surrounded my total realm of vision; they were all I could see. My breath was taken away and I felt as though I had been suspended in time and wrapped up in the most amazing beauty. As I was enthralled with all this amazement, I heard a whisper in my spirit. “Who else can do this for you?” My eyes must have been as big as saucers. I believe that my heart may have even stopped for a tiny moment. I whispered back, “No one Lord”.

At this point my heart burst in awe and a joy swept over me! “No one Lord”, I said again, this time in an audible voice! You are mine and I am yours and no one can love me and satisfy me like you do. NO one! On this particular day, I came to know the Lord in a different way. He was like a tender husband who was trying to impress the love of his life to gain her affection. No doubt, I felt the love that He was showing me. He definitely made His point and my day, convincing me of His perfect love for me.

I then thought about all the earthly blessings that God has given me in my life. He has always revealed His love for me through His never ending gifts. But this time, it was different. He showed me that out of all the wonderful things that He has given me in life, nothing could satisfy me and thrill me like only He could. He is my heart’s affection, the love of my life. Oh how I loved and adored Him for what He showed me that day. Earlier, I mentioned that it was not a song from my lips that praised His name this day on my way home, as He requested a different type of praise; praise from my heart. It was my heart that offered Him praise as He had captured it so lovingly on this glorious evening. This heart of mine will never be the same.

From the rising to the setting of the Sun, the name of the Lord is to be praised. Psalm113:3

Brittnie April 2, 2005

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hunger for God

The last week or so I have had this intense desire for the LORD. I mean the kind of feeling where I am doubled over and can't breathe kind of desire. From the moment I wake up till I lay back down at night from the pit of my soul I hunger and thirst for more of God. Really, I live like this most of the time. It's not because I have never had a taste of God. It's because I HAVE had a taste and it is so good....that I want MORE and MORE! I can't get enough. I don't know about you, but I'll do anything to cry out to God and ask Him to give me more.

I recently picked up John Piper's book called "A Hunger for God- Desiring God through Prayer and Fasting." and started to read it.

Here is a description of the book:
A Hunger For God was written to help Christians understand the Biblical nature and purpose of fasting and prayer. In this book, John Piper looks at the phenomena of religious, political, and health-based fasting, which occur around the world, and explains what makes Christian fasting unique. He then discusses the reasons and ways the Bible commends fasting to us. Ultimately, Piper asserts, fasting is a way of expressing to God that he is the supreme hunger of our hearts—that we are starving for him.

You can Read this book online for free if you would like.

If your heart feels like mine, join me in seeking God with all your heart. The more we are satisfied in Him, the more we'll let the things of the world go and we'll find that there is NOTHING more filling than the deep pleasures and love of God.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

REVIVE 3.27.08

Here are some pictures of our last REVIVE. Next gathering will be 4.24.08

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Holy Ground

One rainy day as I traveled to work, I was praising God through song in my car. As I approached the parking lot for work I realized that the rain had really picked up and was coming down extremely hard. Upon this realization, I was frazzled knowing that I was wearing a skirt that morning, accompanied by slip-on high heel sandals. There was no way around it; I was going to get VERY wet! I also realized that reaching the main entrance to my office building was going to be tough, if not impossible as there was a great possibility that I might slip and fall in my soon to be wet sandals and skirt. SO, in fear of falling in the gushing water, which flowed alongside the side walks, I took my sandals off. I then pulled my skirt up just enough to keep from dragging it through the water. Anxiously, I gritted my teeth as I knew I had no alternative to getting wet.

Now, those who know me also know that I am not particularly fond of walking in the rain and/or getting wet, especially, when it comes to jeopardizing my appearance prior to work. It takes almost an hour to achieve that appearance for crying out loud! However, for some reason at this particular moment, I stepped my feet into the cold rain water without reservation. It was as if I did not care, and to my surprise it was almost refreshing. It felt good to get my feet and legs wet as I made my way down the side walk in the rain. I did not even care that my clothes were getting soaked and that my hair would be a stringy mess when I reached the entrance to the building.

Well, about half way there, out of nowhere came the loudest boom I’d ever heard. The noise took me by surprise and scared me nearly half to death. It was THUNDER and it felt like it crashed right beside me. As to my knowledge there had been no prior thunder that morning. Usually thunder gradually works its way in from the distance, increasing in volume as it approaches. As the boom rattled my bones, I did not act terrified and run for my life, which is a common response I have when I hear thunder that close. Rather, I squealed as loud as I could in sheer delight. I knew immediately that this was not your normal thunder. This was God; He had shown up and the thunder was just for me. I actually sensed His presence through the thunder. It was almost as if He were applauding my time spent praising Him in the car, as I had come to meet with Him in worship and song. He too, came to meet me and I felt the personal touch of a tender yet mighty and awesome God through this experience. I began to smile and praise Him aloud the rest of the way down the side walk. I even skipped as I made my way into the office building.

Sheer delight is all I can think of when I remember how God made a special appearance just for me that day. As I recalled this incident, while writing this letter, it startled me, as I thought of my bare feet. I had originally thought that I had chosen to take off my sandals for convenience to keep from slipping. I now see how the extra gushing rain, which God caused to flood the parking lot, forced me to take my sandals off, for God had planned our special visit. No doubt He was present with me that day and little did I know that I was squealing and skipping on Holy Ground.

Exodus 3:5 Take off your sandals for the place where you are standing is holy ground.

By Brittnie February 6th 2005

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Cheap Grace

We are studying Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper in Sunday school. I wanted to post a section out of the book for you to read. (See below). Piper quotes a line out of Bonhoeffer's book called "The Cost of Discipleship" that I think is so critical for our generation. I am asking that you would comment on this line delivered by Bonhoeffer. Oh how I pray we will be done with cheap grace and be moved to do what ever it takes to follow Christ whole heartedly.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a gift to my generation of students. I pray that his costly message will be rediscovered in each generation. Even though he died at the age of thirty-nine, his life was not wasted. His life and death continue to speak with power. He was hanged in the concentration camp at Flossenb├╝rg, Germany, on April 9, 1945. He had been a pastor and teacher and leader of a small training school for the confessing church and had participated in the Protestant resistance movement against the Nazis. The book that set fire to the faith of thousands in my generation was called The Cost of Discipleship. Probably the most famous and life-shaping sentence in the book was, “The cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise God-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” Fleeing from death is the shortest path to a wasted life. Bonhoeffer’s book was a massive indictment of the “cheap grace” that he saw in the Christian Church on both sides of the Atlantic. He believed in justification by grace through faith. But he did not believe that the faith that justifies could ever leave people unchanged by the radical Christ they claim to believe. That was a cheap response to the Gospel. “The only man,” he said, “who has the right to say that he is justified by grace alone is the man who has left all to follow Christ.”