Archive for the ‘Church’ Category

As a contributing writer to Evangel Chapel’s Blog, you can find a variation of this post there too.


Hearing Jimmy Noble speak last week at church made me think…isn’t that the sign of a good speaker – when we go home we ponder his perspective and through that, find our own?!  He talked about the FACT that we are saints in His kingdom (Romans 8:30). I loved what Jimmy said about God giving us a gift, but with that gift comes the responsibility to walk in it.


Saul was given the gift of anointing and he made a choice not to act. What happened to him? God took away His favor with Saul and placed it on the head of another. With this favor, what did David choose to do? He chose to move, to take action, to pour out his heart to God – IN ALL WAYS, ALWAYS.  That doesn’t mean he was perfect. God gives so many glimpses into King David’s imperfections. He made mistakes all over the place.
Some of them were irreversible and fatal.
But he always turned his heart towards God,
and God called David

“A Man After His Own Heart”.

I love doors.  Everywhere we go, I am always pointing out doors. I’ve pretty well got everyone in our family on the lookout for great doors now!  The rich wood, the deep tones, the unique aspects and even flaws of different woods, stained glass…don’t even get me started on stained glass.  Oh I just love them all.

I was thinking about the gifts God gives us – sometimes we’re so self-absorbed (and busy) that we don’t even notice God has given us an offering. I wonder what might have happened if the disciples had chosen not to believe Jesus in the moment with 5 loaves and 2 fish that fed a multitude. Would they have gone hungry? It was out of their obedience and faith that those people were fed.  If we think about His gifts as doors, there are two paths of action we can take. We can walk by a beautiful door and if we’re not too busy to notice it, we might look at it, admire its beauty and just walk on by;
or we can be on the lookout for gorgeous doors.

When I see a beautiful door, I think about the craftsman. What was he doing when he made that door? What was he thinking?  How much love and time did he invest in that door? I think about the material used to create that door, what is it made of?  What was going on in time when that door was made?
I look at all the details,
all the flaws and how beautiful those flaws look in the light.

Then I start getting excited…I mean really excited!

I want to touch the door, feel its strength and beauty beneath my fingertips! I start thinking about what is behind the door. The mystery entices me and draws me in. Now I’m faced with a choice (and even if I choose nothing, it’s still a choice); will I just leave it at that or will I walk through the door?

Suddenly the enemy is right beside me.

“You really want to walk through that door? What if you fail? What if you fall? You really think God’s for you?!”

The coldness in his laugh makes me shiver and with a swift blow I am filled with fear. Another choice. Another opportunity to move from saying I have faith into walking in it by taking action.

Just as suddenly a warmth fills me and I remember 2 Corinthians 10:5, take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. Romans 13:14 Cloth yourself with Christ. Romans 14:23 Anything not of faith is sin. Romans 6:14 Sin does not have dominion over me because I am under His grace.

Let me ask you something, do you think God just plucks a gift out of space and hands it to the first person He sees?  What do you think The Craftsman was doing when that door was being created for you? Wait a minute, He made the air and water and sun for that tree to grow. He gave it a name and a place.  Can you imagine the thoughts He was having towards you when He first began to create? Think about that. He invested so much time, so much of His heart to make that door for you.  He HAND CRAFTED that gift just for you!  Don’t be a fool and walk by without noticing it. Yes there is mystery behind that door but can you really call yourself a man or woman of faith if you allow the lies of the enemy to scare you off?

So what if you fall, He’ll catch you.

So what if you fail,
He’ll turn those flaws into intricate beauties that glow in the light.

Yeah, He’s really for you!

You can’t have faith without action. Embrace the mystery.

Take what you have and offer it to the King.
See what He does with it!


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A Love Story with Him

I woke up to freezing rain today. That means no church for me. 

Mr. Handsome asked me why church is so important to me. What an opportunity to share my (unequally yoked) heart with him.

Sometimes when I’m driving in for church, as I get closer to town, I get butterflies in my tummy and I’m so excited –

like a little girl about to go on a date with the King!

I can barely wait to get there!  Then when I do, I feel such a connection with my Evangel Chapel family (click on that link and it’ll open a new window for you – don’t miss checking out Tony’s blog – click on blog at the top of the Evangel page).  It is such a blessing to be able to serve there; to invest in the men and women there, to pray for them, with them…a physical and spiritual connection that is the Christ in me touching the Christ in them!

Then there’s worship…just saying that word make Joy bubble up in my spirit.  When I’m worshipping in the house, it’s like everyone else just disappears and the music touches a place so deep in me, a place I didn’t even know existed.  It becomes a love song from my heart to His.

Church is my most precious gift.

What is church to you?
I wonder how many people are going to church today and believing it’s another chore they have to get through. I wonder how many Christians will read their Bible and never ever know the truth that it is
God’s love letter to them…personally.  A story He painstakingly recorded for YOU – all the while pouring Himself, His heart for you, into the words of truth that are meant to give you life; from His heart, to yours (and mine). How many people will sing in church without ever feeling the deep calling out to deep that IS worship; a love song to the King.

There is a reason the Bible calls us to gather together…but what is it? 
We’re created for relationship. 
My pastor is exceptionally gifted as a teacher, his sermons always challenge and inspire me. 

Shouldn’t being part of a church family impact you in some way? 

Isn’t it our responsibility to take what our pastor gives us, out into the body (and then into the city) to challenge, inspire and encourage one another?  Next time you are sitting in church, take a moment to look around…SEE the widow who stills mourns for her great love.  SEE the woman who is perishing from the loneliness within. SEE the man who fights the good fight but struggles with who he is in Christ!  Don’t miss out on the gift of church by simply walking in, listening and walking out…a mere slice of the whole that is your life. Let being part of a church family impact you. 

You are here to serve the King.

There will be seasons in your life where you are on fire and ready to take on the world! Don’t keep that to yourself!  There will be seasons when you are so broken that just getting to church takes all you have to give – don’t walk in that alone. Reach out your hand – feel someone’s hand slip into yours so you know you’re not alone.
That is what family is for. 
Don’t walk out when Pastor releases you – look around and SEE. Pray for someone. Invite someone to lunch. Hug someone. Shake someone’s hand and tell them you noticed they haven’t been here in a few weeks – you’re so glad to see them!

There are Christians who will go through their entire lives and never feel butterflies in their tummies as they get closer to church. There are Christians who will read their Bible and never know the blood and tears that went into that love letter from Him to them.  There are Christians who will look at church as a slice of their week, a chore, an obligation and never know the depth of the gift God gives us to meet together!

Being part of a church family should impact you.
Deep calling out to deep…the love story of a King and His Beloved.

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My pastor is an exceptionally gifted teacher, quite frankly like none I have ever known. I have quietly admired his openness to others and the way he and his wife are deeply invested in community.  So it didn’t surprise me when Sunday’s guest speaker walked to the front and sat down at the piano (did I mention my pastor is also a musical genius).  The Guest’s hair, a naturally mussed mass of curls.  Earrings in his ears and one in his eyebrow.  Tattoos and a savvy scarf.  His fingers touched the keys and I closed my eyes.  The sweetest sound began to caress my senses…and that was the beginning of the tears that flowed freely throughout almost the entire message.   From the moment he sat down to his last statement at the end of service, 

I could actually HEAR his heart beating and it danced with the rhythm of my own. 

Rik Leaf and his wife Zara sold their house and spent their life savings travelling around the world with their two kids.  He penned a book titled Four Homeless Millionaires.”  Among other things, he talked about community and our integral desideratum for relationship.  At one point he was explaining how a friend had asked him what makes someone completely obliterate their security and up and do something like this.  He said “I discovered right there that I had never found security it my home or things but rather in my wife and children…this explains why I was much more excited about it than my friend was.”  Obviously this is a man who isn’t afraid of taking risks, who knows the sound of his own voice and is married to a woman who sees these qualities as amazing strengths.  I can’t possibly share here all that he said, nor even begin to express the depth with which his heart and story impacted my own…

But I will tell you that the 2 hour drive home was spent in total silence as I pondered his message.  His book sat next to me, longing to be opened, discovered – devoured.  I got home and my own heart hit the paper running as I spent the next 3 days journaling until my arm ached and tears refused to break forth as I emptied my soul on the paper. 

The third night, I slept fitfully. 
…running down a dark corridor with my hands out in front of me, tears streaming down my face.  I think I’ve been here before.  I wanted to scream…I clawed at my throat, but my vocal cords betrayed me.  

Where was my voice? 

I bolted upright in bed. 2:03am. Terror rose up to my throat and as a small test, I opened my mouth…and blessed sound came out.  I looked beside me where my beloved husband laid blissfully in slumber.  Where was my voice?

What does it mean to turn over a new leaf?  In all honesty, it’s a lot more than turning over a new leaf – I think this moment was life changing for me.  God has something really powerful for me, for Evangel Chapel, in this message and I’m so excited to see where God intends to take us!

Am I willing to take the risk, embrace the mystery?

God is moving in me in the area of understanding what it means to love others, to be committed to relationship and community.  I want to teach that to my kids and I think Mr. Handsome and I are doing that by the way we live.  Also though, I think it means thinking about my dreams – about OUR dreams; my voice and the language I want to express it in.  I think it means listening to the sound of my own heart beating and maybe even unveiling the dreams I’ve worked so hard to hide.  It means, to me, being able to take risks with abandon…it means teaching my kids to listen to and recognize their own voice, find their own language of expression. 
Teaching them how to laugh.
How to cry.
How to ask questions and take risks themselves.

If you want to read some of my Pastor’s blog writing on Rik Leaf and his visit to our church, see here and here (those two separate post links will open in a new window). Thought provoking, good stuff! 

In reading back thru some of my old posts, I see where God was beginning to stir these things in my heart.  You might like the posts City Builders ~ Fire Lighters, and Divine Darkness.

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I wonder what you are doing right now dear friends?  Do you slumber as I write?  Are your church cloths laid out in wait?

Tonight I am watching the snow blow and the temperature drop.  I won’t be able to go to church tomorrow. Over two hours (one way) on the roads with babes, with a windchill of a predicted -41, it isn’t safe to travel.  I haven’t been to church now since November 19th.  Oh, how I am longing to be with my church family, to receive the gift of worshipping with others.

So tomorrow I will sit by the fire, Bible in hand.  I will snuggle my babes. I will remember the gift that it is to be able to go to church.

Do you know how blessed you are if you weren’t able to read this until you arrived home from church?

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Yes, the angels are dancing, the birds are singing….the kids are excited and I’m bubbling over!

I am going to church!

I feel like I’m going on my first date with my love…it’s been weeks since I’ve been able to drive the two hours in for church.  Yes, of course I’ve taken time to study, I’ve got my prayer group (online) and my dear sweet sisters in Christ through my forum ~ but I’ve needed to be IN the house soaking in the sweet fellowship and just giving Him my all there!

I don’t know where you are today, if you get to go to church, if you’re weary of going to church – if your heart is heavy or filled with peace…but where ever you are, I’ve got two whole hours of driving to get to town – and two whole hours to pray for you (and two whole hours home again). So please know readers, friends, that my heart walks with yours today in prayer. Actually, it’s dancing and singing and bubbling and bursting – which is even better, I’m sure!

Walk with the King beloved friends! From My Heart to Yours, with love!

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Hey friends.  Good to be with you today.  The past week has been a whirlwind but also fabulous!  I had a good friend out for a few days – it was good to have some “girl time”.

Wow!  God’s been doing some really amazing things; not just in my heart and house but in our city!  He is so good, so faithful! 

Our church, Evangel Chapel, has been studying Daniel and just finished with the Daniel fast.  This month, our pastor has set out a challenge to us to open the window, as Daniel did and pray publicly!  I love this idea!  I’m not much of a social network kind of girl.  I avoid Facebook and pretty much anything else networky – but in honor of this challenge, I created a twitter account for the month of April!  If you want to see what we’re up to – just search on twitter for #prayfsj and you can see the cries of our hearts for our city!

Prayer is a passion of mine.  This is my 4th year of having a prayer group called the Prayer Warriors.  Once a week a group of us meet using instant messenger, and we pray together for one hour.  There have been times when I’ve had women on my team from Australia, USA, Canada, Spain, and Turkey.  How amazing that we can reach across continents to pray together!  What a blessing to be able to come together, where two or more are gathered, and agree for Christ! AWESOME!

Perhaps that is why I’m so pleased by this challenge!  Yes, God wants us to pray in the private of our closets – alone just Him and I; but He also wants us to declare for His kingdom publicly! 

The power of prayer is really on my heart this week as I petition for the marriages of Loving Our Husbands, for friends, for the salvation of my Beloved…and for my city!

Lord, hear my cries. Rise up mighty warriors!

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I have so many things to praise Him for in regards to my marriage – I could not count them all. But this is the topic of today’s Happy Husband Project!

Last Sunday Mr. H was finished up with his present job and invited me to go to town for church without the children.  It is very rare that I go anywhere without the children.  I excitedly took him up on it. 

Oh, the 2 hour drive to town was bliss – I turned my XM radio up and sang my heart out to God, all the way there!  Church was truly amazing.  No words could express – it was spirit lead and a beautiful service.  I am so blessed by my church.  Bible study was fantastic and we got two new ladies – so two new opportunities for me to invest in the heart of woman at my church!  Quick grocery stop and then a blissful 2 hour drive back home…

When I arrived home, it was 6:30pm.  I walked in to a spotless kitchen and a beautiful hot supper on the table waiting for me!  Mr. H had gotten the pretty dishes out and cut up cheese in a special way and had it all set out beautifully.  Can you imagine the sweetness I felt in that moment?!  I told him that it was like he’d given me 6 dozen roses.

I think back to a time in our marriage, where we were both so selfish and struggling. I think back to a time that makes me cringe in regards to the wife I was. I am so deeply blessed that God loves my marriage; more than I do even. I love this man beyond measure!

Imagine me, a wretched heart, deserving such a man?

God is good! All the time.

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