Pentecost

Those times in Gods presence are so sweet. The ones where you have a deep need to just get away with Him and the Holy Spirit begins to do a work in your heart. I’m not much of a crier but lately His presence has been overcoming me so strongly and I just let go. Sometimes we try to be “strong” for someone else or try to limit our tears but it is in those places God gets to my heart closest. We just need to break, He uses that brokenness to mold us and develop character. They are also the times where He brings me into His throne room and just hugs me. There’s nothing like it.
I still believe there are roles of functions the third member of the Trinity plays; I find He brings things to my remembrance, He’s our comforter, He teaches, He leads, He is order and not confusion, He gives boldness, and He convicts, He even helps us pray when we don’t know what to say.

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Forgiveness

Some things are harder to forgive than others. Seems in my life, the big stuff is easier for me to forgive. I get very irritated when a coworker is not being a team player and I get very inwardly emotional but the moment I realized I was holding onto unforgiveness towards my father I worked and overcame it. Its the things and the people who don’t matter and that I cannot control that wear the most on me. I think it’s because my passive personality “lets things go” but I store it away for a rainy day. Garth Brooks sang a song,

We bury the hatchet, but leave the handle sticking out…

I bottle them then all of the sudden they all come out. Its because I am not immediately giving them up to the Lord. There is just too much for me in Gods plan for my life to spoil it by becoming bitter. This is an ongoing battle for me, but I can see great improvement. Everyday I take my feelings of unforgiveness to the Lord, usually multiple times. There is freedom in forgiveness and I have seen much of it in my own life over the last year. I don’t want to be intimidated by letting someone other than God control my emotions. I love what I heard P Rod say once, that just because you forgive someone doesn’t mean you are saying they are right or justified, we are forgiving because we are forgiven and He wants us to have total freedom.

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Pioneering

I am big time Legacy person. Most of the volunteering and community activities I have been involved in are because someone who I was close to had their hands in it too. I am proud if my Christian heritage and of the legacy left to me, I want to carry it on to my kids then them to theirs. When you think about it, everyone leaves a legacy, but what kind? There have always been those who have gone before us, wether on the mission field or in a school or anywhere in the community. Depending on the kind of seeds those before us have sown, we could have great harvest or very little. The things we are willing to give up and willing to endure will leave a legacy of pioneering or of stagnancy.
I love the Jim Elliot quote!

He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.

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I guess the question I have for myself is, am I willing to give up what I have to leave a lasting legacy for those who will come after me? There is a chance that the relationships formed now and the seeds planted now will be harvested by someone else. What legacy are we leaving?

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Team

Today is a very exciting entry for me. I am thankful to say, the concept of team is one of the areas identified the last go around. God and I have really made some progress. I always enjoyed working alone, not relying on anyone else, making sure it was done properly and promptly. I have since come to recognize everything does work better in teams. I cannot do everything alone. As some of my strengths and gifts have been revealed I can see the areas I excel as well as the areas where maybe I’m not so good. I can speak in front of people but it’s not a strong point, maybe someone else on the team would do that better. I can however sing pretty well. I’m passionate about worship and really enjoy leading a congregation into the presence of God where every need and desire they have can be met. It’s good to be doing what you are suppose to. So in doing my part, being a member of the body of Christ, I knew I should get involved, I joined the worship team. It’s amazing some of the things I have begun to see. Sure we all sound pretty alone but add harmonies and it’s even better, It’s something that one person alone cannot accomplish. Get where I’m going here? We all have different abilities and God given gifts specific to us – our purpose and our personality. Adding our gifts, strength and talents together, we can do together what we cannot alone…like reaching the unreached.

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Followship

As a natural born leader, I find it hard to follow. Although I don’t always let my leadership qualities show they are there. I enjoy leading behind the scenes through organization and planning, I like to work on projects and complete them. It’s hard for me to put aside my “familiar routines, skills, expectations and friendships to follow the uncertain. What I did find upon laying then down and accepting my place as a follower rather than a spectator is that my life has been filled with hope. Although things are still somewhat uncertain, I am certain that my future and the plans He has for me far outweigh the sacrifice and what would have come from my way of doing things.

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Humility

Pastor Brad told us a few weeks ago in worship team practice that “the difference in performance and worship is the attitude of the heart”. This can be applied in every aspect of life. What are our motives? Are we driven by praise and recognition or are we driven by a Godly passion for the souls of others? Jesus was Gods son, He is exalted and set high above all others. Yet through humility he was stripped naked, beaten and died because of that passion for souls. People looked at Him, mocked Him, they spit on Him yet all He saw was redemption. The closer I get to Him, the more I become like Isaiah in the 6 chapter, when I truly get a glimpse of His glory, see His face and a revelation of who He is, I see just how unclean and imperfect I am in the midst of my Holy God, the only one who I should compare myself to. He died for us all. He created us for a unique purpose, every individual in His likeness.

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Giving

So I haven’t really told this story yet because it is so fresh. In fact I only told one person, a coworker. At the beginning of the year P Rod had us fill out a missions pledge card for the year. I thought about it and I thought. I could fill up my buddy barrel and easily do $20 a month. I felt a little convicted and thought I should probably get a little more uncomfortable in my giving, after all I have a heart for missions. February rolled around and honestly I had not been very faithful. It was more like I filled up my BGMC (Boys and Girls Missionary Crusade) buddy barrel usually amounting to about $25-$30 and I would drop my change in the offering. Same thing I have been doing since I was a kid. While I was babysitting the first weekend in April and my mind was very much on kids and missions. I had two kids for the weekend and decided to give them the change from my buddy barrel so they could turn in it and that I was going to be faithful to my pledge. I put the money (From Jan-March also) into the offering and repromised to be faithful in my missions giving. Pastor Rod prayed for all of those giving in that offering, he called those in business and sales specifically and I received that for myself. Within the first week of April, several orders came through amounting to my monthly quota, within the first three weeks I had hit my quarter quota. Are you kidding me? I attribute that to my faithfulness in my missions pledge. I was not doing it to “test God”, I was doing it out of obedience and it paid off.  I guess you hear those stories a lot in church. I usually hear them and they go in one ear and out the other. In fact I am a little uncomfortable sharing this myself. Maybe it is not financial rewards that you reap but money is not the only blessing. I know a couple who has always been faithful in tithing, always giving above and beyond to the church and to the work of the Lord. They came upon financial hardship, I saw them really get (for lack of a better word) screwed by people. They do not have much money or material possessions, but God has always provided. The most beautiful thing about them, is their family. Every person within their family, from kids to grandkids are serving the Lord faithfully. Not only does the entire family attend church on a weekly basis but they are serving in ministry in one way or another. Eternally what matters? An extravagant lifestyle or your entire family serving God and bring those around them into a vibrant relationship with Christ? Easy answer!

In bible college I was told that it was estimated that for every $3 you give one person hears the gospel of Christ that has never heard it before. Still think you can bend when it comes to your missions pledge?

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Hospitality

To me, serving and hospitality aren’t the same thing. Hospitality is one of the many ways you can serve. My excuse for my lack of hospitality is that there are other ways to serve. Apparently I am not valuing the souls of those around me enough to bring them to my home. Am I wrong for being cautious? I am hospitable with my friends. They know there’s always an open door. Even when it’s not reciprocated, I rush to make sure they are taken care of and when they are down I am there. It’s my nature. I’m quite caring. I have questions.

If I am honest with myself many times I see people as an inconvenience. I do not want the new guy at work coming to my desk, picking up my putter and hitting my golf ball while asking me football questions. Can’t he see I’m trying to work? If someone new introduces themselves I’m pretty quick not to look them in the eye and say hi but be obviously not into the conversation. I’ve even found myself quietly sneaking up the driveway into my house so my neighbor doesn’t hear me and won’t come out and talk to me. Whats my problem? Do I say every soul matters to God but really my daily routine and activities, comfortability level and the work I need to get done matter more? Shame on me! Hospitality isn’t just allowing people to come in your home and preparing a meal for them, it’s a state of the heart. Father forgive me for putting my selfish self before those whose souls matter to your heart.

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Flexibility

Life is making me much for flexible then I once was. My routine and schedule seldom wavered. I’ve never been a fan of surprises and if something is planned it happens or I get irritated. I’ve never been much for change but I’ve learned that’s no way to live life. I take it to seriously. Everything doesn’t always have to be perfect and have order. It’s ok to sometimes just live life, and live a life worth living.

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Worship

A couple months ago I asked myself what my favorite characteristics of God were. I thought; Holy, Healer, Savior…the obvious. Even though these are true I asked God to reveal to me more of who He is, I wanted a deeper revelation of His great attributes.
Over the next few weeks I got some; in the relationship with my dad-He’s been my Restorer, in life’s plans-He’s my direction and my Shepard leading and guiding me, He is gracious and merciful-His grace gives me what I don’t deserve and His mercy guards me from what I do, He’s my keeper-He’s protected me from the harm I put myself in front of-I am a kept woman, He is my future, He’s my rest and He’s my joy.
I love all of these but one has stuck out to me over the last year, “I AM”. Anything can be tacked onto that, He is all encompassing, everything we need, everything we want: He is all the things that are good. He IS.

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