Monday, April 16, 2012


As a new Christian I was amazed by those in the church who seemed to be able to do everything. I mean they were everywhere. Appearing at the front door, greeting you with a welcoming smile, hug or handshake when you arrived (even if you were late :-/).
Praying in front of the church with others after a service and then taking the lead evangelistic outreaches. 
Walking down the hallway, you would catch a glimpse of them enthusiastically placing colorful fabric disciples on a flannelboard to instruct even the littlest of lambs in God’s flock. Then, rounding the corner there they were again! ( How did they do that?) Opening the door for you to exit, they sent you off into the real world with a pat on the back and a hearty “God bless you!”
These Super-saints had to be cut from a special cloth. I was just sure that they had an giant “S” emblazoned on their undershirts.
During this time I wanted to do everything too! I especially wanted to do street outreach and visit people that had requested someone in the church to come and talk with them about faith in Jesus. Passionately sharing this desire at a small group, another Christian a bit older than me in the Lord said, “zeal without knowledge is not good.” Ouch! What was he saying? That I didn’t KNOW enough?!?!?! I mean I had been already Christian for a month!
Now,... I believe every Christian from the one who has just received Christ yesterday to the one who has walked with Him faithfully for 50 years has a testimony. Because the unshakable reality is that Jesus has saved their lives. If that is all we know, that is enough to help someone else grab hold of the Life vest and get out of the deadly ocean of sin.
But I understand what he was saying to me...”slow down ...grow.. get grounded a bit more ..let your faith be tested and developed before you step out.” 
Good advice.
I began to notice that some of the people that got saved around the same time as me, who those everywhere Christians, suddenly seemed AWOL. I mean, they just kinda disappeared,
When I was considering this phenomenon, a very wise person shared this analogy with me: ”When you look at the night sky, the stars you see have been in place for a very long time. Now, a shooting star will blaze across the darkness and undoubtedly get your attention; but, as quickly as it has appeared on the is gone and what you will see clearly once again, are the enduring and well established stars.”
That spoke volumes to me.
If I wanted to finish this race of faith strong then I needed to be more concerned with faithfulness than flash. 
Last week I went for my follow up brain MRI and PET Scan. 
My brain is unremarkable. ( they could use a better word, right?) 
But, seriously that is a great report....all is good in there! 
My PET scan came back basically the same as the last one:
No lymph nodes are seen and the mass is only seen as an opacity.
When we met with the doctor to receive the results she said, “this is good. It’s stable.”
Now “stable” may not sound like the most exciting adjective, but take a look at it’s definition:
Relatively unchanging, permanent; firmly fixed or established, consistent, not easily to be moved, changed, unbalanced, destroyed or altered in value.”
Turns out that in terms of health-physically and spiritually, stability is a beautiful thing.
Be a consistent Christian. You burn brightly for Jesus every single day as you faithfully serve and walk with Him through the small and not so small details of your beautiful life.
 “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7

*Thank you saints for praying for me so consistently! He shines through you!..:-) To Him be the glory!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Just Ask

Ok, if you have teenagers you will recognize the following scenario.
It goes something like this. Suddenly, this child of yours becomes extremely attentive and kind to you. Maybe they start by asking if they can get you anything or inquiring about how your day was and even acting extremely interested when you respond! Suddenly the lightbulb goes off in your brain as your recognize familiar territory. The ruse is up and the stage has been set....”I get it....they want something!” you think to yourself.
Currently our ladies Bible study is studying the book of Joshua. 
In the portion we are covering this week, Joshua, the fearless leader whom God appointed and equipped to lead the children of Israel into the promised land, has conquered most Canaanite territory and is now in the process of dividing up the land according to various tribes’ inheritances.
The tribe of Judah is up to receive their portion and Joshua’s well known faith-full friend, Caleb is in that tribe. He steps up, reminds Joshua of Moses’  promise to him and ends with a request.
“You know the word which the LORD said to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh Barnea. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart. Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the LORD my God. So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the LORD my God.’ And now, behold, the LORD has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the LORD spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the LORD spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the LORD will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the LORD said.” Joshua 15:6-12
I think seeing the 85 year old Caleb ask for a mountain to conquer must have made Joshua smile. He of course, grants him his request.
In the next passage, we see Caleb offering a reward (his daughter as a wife) to the man who would help him attack the territory. Othniel steps up, takes the land and the hand of Caleb’s daughter, Achsah and the two are married.
What comes next is my favorite part though...
Achsah has her Dad’s spirit. 
After she is married, she persuades her husband to ask her Father, Caleb for a field.
Then, she makes her own request.
“Now it was so, when she came to him, that she persuaded him to ask her father for a field. So she dismounted from her donkey, and Caleb said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered, “Give me a blessing; since you have given me land in the South, give me also springs of water.” So he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs. Joshua 15:18-19
I like her approach.
I would rather my kids just ask me for what they need rather then to put on pretense.
Our relationship is established. I love them immeasurably! They hold the most tender of places in my heart and they don’t have to do anything to win my affection or favor.
If they have a need and I can help them, I will and I think they know that. 
This all reminds me of Jesus‘ words in Matthew 6:8
“...your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”
Sometimes when I talk with God, I speak alot about the things that I have done wrong that day, or what I perceive is in error in my heart. It seems I just want things to be right with Him before I proceed to ask Him for anything. While repentance is good an attitude change of the heart is more important than many words,
Lately though in such moments,  I have sensed the Lord speaking gently to my heart...”what do you want to ask Me.” 
Ugh...Am I like the teenager? Am I trying to butter up God?
Thankfully, God is already well-pleased with me..and you, His child. And not because of what we have done..but because of what Jesus has accomplished. And WHO He is..The Father’s Own Beloved Son.
Because of Jesus’ sacrifice I am in right standing with God 
As I make my requests in Jesus’ name, the Father is attentive.
What’s even more amazing is that I am encouraged to ask..
“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask  anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13, 14
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will  ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” John 15:7-8
“Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.” John 16:23
What is it that you need today greatly loved of God? With a humble, surrendered heart, and childlike to Your Father arms and just ask.
Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:24
*Today (Tuesday, April 10th) I will be having a follow up brain MRI and PET scans of my whole body. Please pray about those procedures. May HE be greatly glorified in me...and you!