Saturday, March 24, 2007

I love to learn a new truth! I especially love to learn a new truth that applies to the word of God and gives me new insight as I grow in Christ. This morning as I read through 1 Timothy Chapter 2, I stopped on verse 8. It says that men are to lift up their hands in worship without anger or dispute. Shortly, after this it gives a woman's mode of worship expected at that time as well. But as I thought about men and their need to lift up their hands without anger or dispute I wondered why? Why not women? Paul did not have to tell us (women) to lift our hands in worship. Why? Demonstrative behavior typically comes easily for the ladies... not as easily for men!? I wonder... our issue with worship centered upon our adornment-- how shallow is that! But how true for even today! Men still allow anger and dispute within their hearts to stop them from worshiping and women still focus upon their outward appearances more than we should. Then I stumbled across a thought in the Qwest Study Bible that said the reason the hands were lifted centered upon two words: Dependence and trust and then culiminated in one truth... expectancy. The lifting of the hands demonstrated physically to the Father that trust is in Him not the individual! I depend on You-- not me! I expect YOU to answer and my hands are lifted to receive! How powerful is that!

It so ministered to me. See... I am in the process of rewriting one of my Bible Studies titled Redeemed to Praise. I have made a commitment to GOD to fast from requests for a season. So... everytime I begin a natural flow of requests to God I will pause and say a praise instead! Try it! I have done this for a day at a time on different days that I felt that my praise wained, but I have never done it for an undetermined amount of time. I will do this until the rewrite is complete so that my every thought is focused on praise. I am lifting my hands up to GOD trusting HIM! I am dependent upon HIM! I wait with expectancy for HIM to bring about the right answers! His answer is always better anyways! How about you? Are you willing to take my praise challenge? It isn't as easy as you think. Especially, if you prayed and talked to God for years. You will be amazed at how many requests you make in a day. If you decide to do this let me know. I want to keep up with how you are doing too! My husband said, "You need to pray for Him to help you write and teach." I said, "I have done this for years! He knows my heart in this and has heard my prayers. Now I will spend time praising HIM for all the answers HE is sending my way." We lift our Holy hands up! We learn to trust YOU! AMEN!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Every Monday morning I make the drive across town to the Open Door Mission to teach Bible Study to the ladies in the program. This morning as I entered the secured room that I teach in at the Lydia House my name was called over the loud speaker because I had a guest. Everyone’s ears perked up because volunteers very seldom have guests. I went out wondering who would come to find me here! To my delight a lady waited at the desk to enter the secured room. She did not live at the ODM, but heard about the program and one of the staff told her I was the teacher. She had me paged so she could get in the class. We greeted each other and shared simple pleasantries as I worked hard to remember her name. As we entered our area two ladies were having an animated discussion that was not pleasant for any of us in the room. My morning did not start off with women coming delighted to hear the word, but with struggles among women of God. As I knelt to pray I knew God had something special for us this day.

As I taught, I observed my new friend listening intently to the lesson about the costs of following Jesus. As I shared there are two ways to follow: the path or the person and how we cannot choose one. We must know the person to walk the path and we can’t walk the path without the person. I felt conviction move across the room. A “stillness” covered us. I knew someone needed the LORD, so as I ended my lesson I gave opportunity for anyone to come forward that might need to talk to me further about Jesus. I saw her waiting until all the others left and then slowly she approached me and said, “You know I have seen Him! Most don’t believe me when I say it, but I have seen Him!” I asked her to tell me about it. Slowly, she shared with me that He came to her house on the day her 11 year old daughter died in her arms. My heart stopped. I am begging God for compassion this year. His compassion welled up in me and I fell in love with my new friend.

As I listened to her talk I realized that she knew of HIM, but did not know HIM! So I asked, “If you were to die today, do you know you if you would go to heaven?”

“I don’t know!” she said.

“Would you like to have confidence of this?”

As tears slipped from her eyes she cried, “Yes!” A sweet sister handed me a tract to read through with her. We never finished the tract she knew what she needed, so we prayed.

Some moments are so Holy… this was a Holy moment. They are hard to explain or describe. I watched a sister go from living in the temporal to walking in the freedom of the Spiritual with Jesus Christ. As she bowed her head and prayed to receive Christ as her Savior I paused to reflect upon the marvelous ways God moves!

By the way… I will never forget her name! Please pray for my new sister in Christ! Out of respect to her I have withheld her name!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Pause... What does the word pause mean to you? Do you pause often or not at all? What might you pause for traffic, emails, text messaging or less stressful things like laughter, tears, children playing, flowers, snow, bees buzzing...? I love a good pause especially when it makes me feel deeply about someone or something. A friend sent me a great verse this week telling me she prayed this verse over my ministry. I paused...

5 God's voice thunders in marvelous ways;
he does great things beyond our understanding.

I inhaled and exhaled the wonder of God's voice. He is marvelous. Truly something worthy of pausing for. I read it over and over and then my eyes glanced to the next few verses.

6 He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth,'
and to the rain shower, 'Be a mighty downpour.'
7 So that all men he has made may know his work,
he stops every man from his labor. Job 37-5-7

This time I laughed! Why? I sit in a city that is snowed in by a blizzard. God said, "Snow!" And it fell on the earth! My children awoke rejoicing, my animals celebrated by sleeping, I paused and spent long hours in the word of God. We stopped! GOD in His marvelous ways knew we needed to pause to notice Him! As I said, I love a good pause! Do you?