Lessons learned for the Christian life.

Remix V. IV

Reeemix Volume III

"And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me." --John 11:41

Military history has always fascinated me. My father was a “ground pounder” in Korea, and later a helicopter pilot in Viet Nam. This fixation with all things military is rooted in a solid case of hero worship for dad, who had been a prisoner of war in Korea (he single-handedly escaped), and had been shot down in Viet Nam. One example of this extraordinary man's heroism is the circumstances under which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (The highest award the Army can bestow, and the nation’s sixth highest decoration) because he "distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism".

I bet you'd like to hear about that, eh?  Here's a brief overview of the story:  It hinges on dad returning to a hot (under enemy fire) landing zone to rescue the crew of a helicopter that had been shot down and who's crew was under eminent threat of either being shot to death or captured. The citation reads like one of those hair raising adventure novels boiled down to a single page. A side note to the official citation is that dad’s own helicopter was damaged so severely during the rescue that it was scrapped after he managed to successfully fly it back to base with every member of his own and the rescued crew alive.  He was nominated for the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery and the incredible skill he demonstrated on this daring mission, but one of those infamous “lost paperwork” foul ups that are a particular specialty of the military, and the unit’s need to impress a visiting VIP with a rushed medal ceremony, denied him the recognition he deserves.

My father rarely discusses the years he spent in war zones, and I’ve found that to be generally true of the men and women who have experienced that particular hell. They almost never indulge in light-hearted war stories. But, one of the few aspects of dad’s military career that he talks about occasionally is the camaraderie and esprit de corps of the Army. After 22 years of service, he’s got a sack full of great jokes, anecdotes, and yarns that still captivate me.

I love my dad. I honor the sacrifice, heroism, and pain (including the anguish of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) that he has willingly spent to ensure our freedom. Since this past 4th of July with its accompanying focus on freedom, independence, and the cost of liberty; I’ve been contemplating the price exacted from my dad and our family. I’ve concluded that although today isn’t Veteran’s Day or Father’s Day or any “Special Day”, I think it would be a great idea to give my old daddy a call, just to say “Thanks dad. Thanks for everything.” He’s not a perfect man, Lord knows none us are. Still, I love my dad.

If your dad is still with us, you might want to give him a call today to express your own gratitude for all the battles that he’s fought, won, or lost… and I’m not just talking about battles fought during wartime.  Think about how little we've expressed our appreciation for his faithful participation in the 9-to-5 grind so that we could have both our needs and wants (within reason) met; or his support and advice for making our dreams come true; or... well, there's a thousand other things the average dad does that go unnoticed or under appreciated.

Gratitude is such a valuable commodity. It costs nothing, in fact, money can’t purchase it. But. Its value is far above any material any gift of silver or gold.

So, thank you dad, and thank you to my heavenly Father. Jesus paid the ultimate price for my eternal freedom, and so I'm grateful. --Mark Mullins

Move. No You Move. Your Call.

   I have been observing a little radio silence if you will. I realize it has been weeks since I have posted anything. I struggled to get passionate about anything enough, to the point where I felt lead to write about it, hence the absence of posts lately.

I was looking at my Facebook wall literally 4 minutes ago and saw an image that my uncle had been tagged in. He is a ham radio/military buff so I wasn't at all surprised when it had to do with radio communications and the military. What shocked me was the sudden and very clear way God chose to use that image to speak to me.  See the image below, then I will explain.

I love our military, especially the Navy, my dad was a sailor. So I do not post this to poke fun or imply anything disrespectful.

What struck me was that obviously the Navy knows where they are going, the have complicated, multi-million dollar instruments. I am certain they knew where they were headed on October 10, 1995, they were on a mission.  I know where I am headed, I know my mission. Like all believers God instructs me to reach others with the love of Christ. But, like that United States aircraft carrier, I have refused to budge at times because I think I know the way to get to the end. The fact remains that while I may have an idea where God is leading, I have no idea how to get there, and He very well may intend for me to alter my course by a few degrees at times. He is the Lighthouse, He doesn't change, or move. He isn't swayed, He isn't lost, He isn't wrong. I might feel strong and powerful, like I have an entire fleet behind me, but that won't save me from the rocks if I do not listen to his leading.

Tuscaloosa AL... Here We Come

   My family including my 5 children, parents, sister and niece will be driving the 5+ hours to Tuscaloosa AL to do whatever we can to help with the relief efforts going on there. We will be leaving Friday and returning home Sunday. We are funding this trip entirely ourselves, we will be purchasing food, baby items, toiletries, medical supplies or whatever is needed when we arrive in Alabama, if you would like to contribute every cent will go to purchase items for relief, you can send money to my fathers paypal account at

  We are teaming up with First Wesleyan Church of Tuscaloosa, you can follow their efforts at the link below.

First Wesleyan Church Tuscaloosa, AL

Images for the trip can be viewed HERE

   My own little world was rocked by the tragic storms of April 27, 2011. Not because I lost my house, or a loved one, I am hours away from the nearest damage. For perhaps the first time in my life, I saw people hurting and didn't think " OH, someone should help them, why isn't the government doing anything, where is the National Guard".... my heart ached to reach out, my spirit was unsettled, my mind was constantly replaying images of destruction and broken hearted faces. It wasn't someone else's problem, it was mine.

   I spent much of Thursday watching the news, reading updates online and growing increasingly unsettled. My spirit just would not rest, I prayed for those effected, I thought about sending money to help with relief, but there was a relentless gnawing inside me, an unexplainable need to be there. I am not by any means someone who handles stress well, I tend to freak out and over react so you can see how the thought of me being at ground zero, so to speak, might seem like a stretch but I know in my heart that that is exactly where God wants me right now.

   I can't live my life as a by-stander, God has called me to be all in. I need my life to mean something. I don't want to be a goat!!! Lord, help me to be a sheep!

Matthew 25:  31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
   34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
   37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
   40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
   41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
   44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
   45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
   46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

  This is going to be short, I feel like I have to get away, get by myself, get outside and look up into the sky, scream, cry, dance.... maybe all of the above. There have been moments in my Christian life where I sort of had a feeling that I was supposed to do something. I have prayed for and watched for a sign, a clue, anything really to confirm what God wanted from me, if anything- I mean I really don't feel like I have much to offer an all knowing, all powerful God. I have been having moments like this for the last couple of years, without response from Him.

    I started reading a book today that was suggested to me by my father. Heaven Is For Real is the account of a young boy <starting at age 3> who visits heaven after his appendix ruptures. (The book absolutely blew my mind. I couldn't put it down and read the entire thing in 2 hours.) I get to page 106 and right there on that page, written about 12 months earlier and lived out 7 years earlier is a message that God intended just for me. I am a worship leader, struggling with being a worship leader, and who has found a spark of passion for children's ministry and not finding enough hours in the week to do both effectively. I remember getting to page 106 and posting to facebook "Thank you Lord for the confirmation on page 106. srsly"

  An hour later I am still sort of mulling over page 106, even though I have completed the book. I sit at my desk and stare at the ever growing pile of papers, books, pencils, broken pens,.... you get the idea I am not the organized type, that is cluttering every empty space and decide to straighten up a little, which to me means put things into a pile so I have room to set my glass of Mountain Dew. I see the corner of a book that I had bought at a women's conference the month before called The Greatest Words Ever Spoken which is everything in the Bible that Jesus said, about you, your life and everything else. I thought to myself, Ok God, if you want to tell me something, let me see it.

  I pick up the book, which is open and covered in about 40 random pieces of paper. I decide to close it and then do the open it to whatever page it falls to and that is magically the page God wants me to see approach, but the book doesn't close, I straighten the dust jacket thinking it is too tight but still it won't close. I turn it in my hands and open it to find what the problem is. There is a small pamphlet tucked into the book, which had come in a box with my new phone. I look down and the first thing I see, in this book all about what Jesus has to say to me, Matthew 18: 10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.   12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

   I sit open mouthed, tears welling in my eyes and just stare at it. God may not have spoken words that I heard with my ears, honestly I may have a coronary if that ever happens, but He spoke to me today. I do not believe in coincidence, and I didn't open that book about a little boy going to heaven this morning thinking that I would have Gods plan for me laid out before my eyes. Wow, it's all I can say. Isn't He amazing. 

   Maybe you are struggling, maybe you aren't sure what to believe, you feel like you keep praying and asking God to show Himself to you.  I have been there, that has been my prayer for 3 years, Lord please just be real to me. Don't you give up. Keep believing. He has something to say to you.


I spent a few hours yesterday listening to music with my kids, they were sharing with me their favorite songs, some of which were secular. We started rewriting the lyrics to those songs, hope you guys enjoy!


OK...Now What?

   Maybe you know the feeling. It all starts with that certainty in your soul, a realization that God has a path for you and not only have you found it, YOU ARE ON IT. You are tuned in, fired up and blazing a trail in ministry. Every idea is AWESOME, the ministry is building momentum, and people want to be involved..... You branch out and start a couple more things. You are tired, but excited because you can see the fruits of your labor. It makes all of the hard work, countless hours and sacrifice worth it. 

 I rode that train until the wheels fell off. There comes a time when you look around and you notice that the new has worn off and the interest has fizzled out. It gets harder to find help and the weight of the responsibilities feels so heavy, more like a burden than a ministry. You start having trouble seeing the fruit because all you can see is the labor. That is when the questions come "can I really do this... God are you sure this is where you want I even qualified...why can't I just quit, maybe I was wrong when I thought God called me to do I even have time for all I even want to do this..."

Don't even get me started on the critics.

    Maybe I am the only one. Maybe no one else out there is frustrated and exhausted. Maybe I am the only one that questions God's plan, maybe I just willed all of this into fruition, maybe I am so fed up with it all because I am trying to do something that God doesn't want me doing after all. I need answers, I need confirmation. I feel a lot like Gideon asking God to wet a blanket, I just need a sign. I just need something real and unmistakable.

   What I need is some faith. What I need is to trust. What I need is to read the encouragement God has for me in the Bible. Everything I need is right there. It isn't about me, it is about JESUS. He didn't say it was too hard and quit when God's will brought HIM to the cross.

   Who am I to question HIM, what gives me the right to suggest HE may have been wrong about me, that I am not cut out for all of this. He created me, HE knows me, HE believes I can accomplish this mission. So the real question is Do I believe HIM? I do.  I think sometimes I forget, but I trust HIM.

Philippians 1:6  
Philippians 2:16  
Hebrews 12:1-2  
Isaiah 40:30-31   
Philippians 4:6   
Philippians 4:13  
2 Corinthians 12:9  
Colossians 1:11   
1 Timothy 1:12  
1 Corinthians 16:13   
Psalm 31:24 
Ephesians 6:10  
Matthew 11:28
1 Peter 5:7



Lessons Learned On The Lawn

     I have spent the better part of the last year feeling utterly defeated. I have prayed, I have talked to friends, I have talked to my pastor, I praised God through the storm but nothing seemed to lift the cloud. I realize, and have written about, the fact that we can't spend our entire lives on the mountain top. Would it be so much to ask though for just a few more mountain tops and not so many valleys??

   Those who read regularly will know that I have a plan to be out of debt this year, and that I am doing some pretty unusual things to save money like making my own shampoo and household cleaners. Well my newest brilliant idea came to me when my husband informed me that it was going to cost about $200.00 to get the lawn mower riding again this year. I just thought, jeeeez really, what next?!?!?!

   I did some math (on a Saturday of all things) and figured I could save money by getting a manual mower. I brought the thing home and put it together and started pushing it back and forth on the grass, which in some places is pretty steep. It went along pretty well... for about 45 seconds. Then I hit that first acorn, the mower came to a stop and I just about went flipping over the handlebars.

   I managed to free the acorn and get back on track. It wasn't long until I felt that same jolt that meant that I would again need to stop and pry something loose from the blades of the mower (a small stick this time).  Right about then is when I started rethinking this whole work hard and save scenario. I wanted to pack that joke of a mower back up in its neat little box and carry it right back to Lowe's and forget the whole mess.

   Isn't that just how we sometimes treat the Christian life. We grab a hold with both hands and take off in a straight line, then we inevitably hit an acorn or a stick that stops us in our tracks. How many times do we pack it up and throw it back in the box, forget living this life, it's too hard.

   I am not going to get all metaphorical and equate the sticks to sin or trials. I will tell you that after a bit of a pity party I got out in the yard with the help of my kids and cleared away everything that might trip me up or get caught in the mower.  I still ran into a few that we missed, and again had to stop the whole operation to clear out the blades, but I got through it. I am still trying to clear out all of the acorns and sticks from my Christian life, something seems to be snagging me up as I try to push ahead, so I stop for a minute (or a month) and just try to figure out what I comes next, but I don't give up. I keep trusting in the One that saves me.


Let's Make A Deal

   We have all done it, you know.... Try to bargain with God. I have done it more than my fair share of times.
"Oh God, if you will just let this hangover/trouble go away then I will never drink again."
"God if you would please just see fit to help me pass this test that I didn't study for because I was too busy watching tv/talking on the phone, I will be a model student from now on...I will even get straight A's, God"

   I really could go on, but you get the idea. When I think of God, I think Almighty, Powerful, In Control...... not wheelin' and dealin'. In fact, I sort of wonder how insulting it must be to God when we try to buy him off. Like he was an unruly 2 year old that we are trying to bribe into eating their vegetables.

   I was reading Judges this morning and was completely disgusted by the deal that Jephthah offered God. He promised to sacrifice the first thing that walked out of his house to greet him when he got home if God would give him victory over the Ammonites. We already know this isn't going to end well, it isn't like his pack of cigarettes, or cinamax, facebook or something else we readily think of when people are giving things up for God- those things aren't going to get up and walk out of his house. And I do not think that at that time they have their pet beagles in the house with them. So we pretty much know this is going to be a person in his house... maybe he hoped it would be a servant.. maybe he knew it would be someone he cared about like his wife. Turns out God did give him victory over the Ammonites, so when Jephthah went home and it was time to pay up his beloved daughter, his only child, walked out to meet him.

   This is where things get a little gray for me, I mean it isn't like God offered him the deal, God wasn't asking for the sacrifice of his only child, and God certainly could have made sure that the town felon would exit the house as Jephthah came home instead of his child. But I have to wonder if just maybe this is meant to show us just how much we offend God when we try to buy His favor.


What is your FIGHT SONG

   For those of you wondering why I haven't posted anything in 8 days... well I got a little behind. When I say a little behind what I mean is that I didn't read the book of Joshua at all. I don't even know what happened, I guess those old quitter habits got the best of me again. I will make up Joshua but I started back this morning where I should be and that is Judges. It took me a few minutes to get back into the swing of not glazing over the words and letting the Holy Spirit speak to my heart while I read, but once I did it was a doozy.

   First of all, let me say that I am thrilled to pieces that there was at least one girl prophet/judge. Deborah struck me as the kind of girl who told it like it is. She told Barak to takes 10,000 fighting men from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun to face Sisera, the commander of the Canaanite kings army.

   O.K. so here is where it gets funny, Barak, a military chief <so, I read> who has an army of 10,000 men will not go out to fight unless Deborah  A GIRL!!!! goes with him. Deborah agrees to go but she tells Barak that he will not be honored for the victory- a woman will! I literally LOL'd at that part.

   So, just like Deborah said a girl gets the victory, in a rather gory way I might add, she hammers a tent peg through Sisera's head and into the ground.

   All this is awesome of course, but it wasn't until I was nearly finished with today's reading that God hit me over the head with today's insight.  Judges chapter 5. Deborah and Barak start singing a song about the victory.

   Judges 5:15 The princes of Issachar were with Deborah and Barak.
      They followed Barak, rushing into the valley.
   But in the tribe of Reuben
      there was great indecision.
 16 Why did you sit at home among the sheepfolds—
      to hear the shepherds whistle for their flocks?
   Yes, in the tribe of Reuben
      there was great indecision.
 17 Gilead remained east of the Jordan.
      And why did Dan stay home?
   Asher sat unmoved at the seashore,
      remaining in his harbors.
 18 But Zebulun risked his life,
      as did Naphtali, on the heights of the battlefield.

  The clans of  Reuben, Gilead, Dan and Asher are getting called out for not taking up arms and joining their brothers in battle. I went back and looked at chapter 4 where Deborah tells Barak what the Lord says “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: Call out 10,000 warriors from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun at Mount Tabor. 7 And I will call out Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army, along with his chariots and warriors, to the Kishon River. There I will give you victory over him.” It doesn't say anything about any tribes except for Naphtali and Zebulun. Apparently though, they were still expected to get off of their rears and help, even without the invitation to do so.

   All of that to say this, when the battle is over and we head "HOME" and the fight song is ringing out. What will be said about you? Did you sit at home because no one asked you to do anything or will you notice the work others are doing and get involved without an invitation to do so? I don't want to be remembered as someone who watched from the sidelines, I don't think there is a second string in the Kingdom.

Sunday Psalms 117

Psalm 117

 1 Praise the Lord, all you nations.
      Praise him, all you people of the earth.
 2 For he loves us with unfailing love;
      the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever.

   Praise the Lord!

Less Talk, More Praise.

Josh Wilson I refuse

Casting Crowns Glorious Day
Mercy Me God With Us



I know I struggle with it. I know I desire to have it—more of it, all of it—all the time. Can you sense why this may be an issue for someone who wants to be fully surrendered to the will of God? I feel like Gollum (from Lord Of The Rings. I frequently show my NERDness with these sorts of illustrations) when he gets all crazy wide-eyed at seeing "THE RING," and says, "We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious. They stole it from us!" If you have seen the movie, you know that this little creature goes straight-up berserk when he loses that ring.

That is how I feel when I am not in complete control of any given situation. I can rationalize (rational lies) this compulsive need if I try hard enough. I was married to an abusive drug addict that tried to kill me—frequently. So to someone who had no control over whether they were getting beaten or held hostage, control can seem like something they want to get and keep.

More recently, my controlling ways have kept me directly outside of God's will. I served as a worship leader at my church for two years, then stepped away from that due to stress, a bit of a burn-out, and feeling called into another area of ministry. For a few weeks, I was blissfully happy not having to deal with people not showing up to practice, finding songs to sing, putting together PowerPoint presentations, etc.

Then there was this gnawing ache within me. I felt like my puppy died. I was mourning the loss of a ministry that God had gifted me for. I will not deny that I needed a break, time to gather my thoughts, focus on my relationship with God, restore my soul, and renew my love for music and worship, but I do not believe He intended for me to quit the position like I did. Now it has been a couple of months, everyone is asking me when I will sing again, and one of the leaders that took over for me left our church. I can feel God leading me back to the worship team. I called up the pastor, he seemed thrilled at the idea, and spoke with the group I used to lead. Great! They wanted me to come back! I went to church the next day feeling pretty good, happy to get back into the swing of things, and discovered that my team is following another leader. (Can they even do that?) My role is being filled by someone else. She is arranging the practices, selecting the music, and—dare I say it?—telling me what to do!


I actually went home that night, after telling them that I wasn't ready to come back after all, and told my husband that if I couldn't be in charge, then I didn't want to play—errr, sing. As soon as the words left my lips I was so ashamed. Lord help me, I know that this isn't about me. I do not want my life to be the "Angie Show, Starring Angie!" I want to live as a humble servant whose life reflects Christ.

Humble—wow. Isn't control all about pride? I don't want that. I don't want any part of it. I know what happens after pride shows up. Control is something that you can never have enough of, like an addiction. I am going to have to surrender (relinquish control) of my control issues to God and live every day trying to kick the habit. I guess this means that when I show up for practice next week I will be eating a big fat plate of humble pie.

And I intend to relish every second of it.

All The Single Ladies

   Deuteronomy 7:3 You must not intermarry with them. Do not let your daughters and sons marry their sons and daughters, 4 for they will lead your children away from me to worship other gods.

   This one goes out to the single ladies that can't step away from those wrong boys. I know all about it, I was you... 20 years ago.... man that hurts to "say out loud"

   The truth of the matter is, (you are not going to want to hear this) you can't, won't, will never, are incapable of, may as well forget about, changing him. Listen to me, you can't save him, you can't fix him, you can't make him better, you can't want it for him and you can't wait it out. 

   Now, I know that he is going to tell you everything you want to hear. He will say the right things, act the right way, stop drinking, swearing, smoking __________ <insert his shortcoming here> but if he does not have an intimate relationship with God, if he has not come to the realization that he is a sinner in need of the Savior, if he isn't in The Word, if he doesn't respect your body, your morals, your family, if he does not go to church because he can find God at home in the lazy-boy.........sister, walk away.

   I am speaking from experience, this is a road that I want to spare as many girls from as I possibly can. The absolute only way you will ever find "THE ONE" is if you aren't dating mr. wrong. And before you even say it NO, God doesn't want you to marry a non believer so you can convert him. Yes, share your faith with him. No, don't share your bed with him.

 Could It Be Anthony Evans

It wasn’t worth it to give myself away
They didn’t deserve it but they had all of me
I tried to find myself in someone elses eyes
A broken heart is all they left behind
And now the question that was haunting me
Is somehow comforting

Could it be everything that I was looking for
Could it be everything that I was missing before
Could it be everything that I could want and more
Is only You Lord
Could it be the only one who really satisfies
Was always standing here right before my very eyes
Could it be You my Lord

It felt so perfect I thought I had it all
For a moment and then it all went wrong
Captivated by the all the lies
They used me and left this soul to die
And now the question that was haunting me
Is all I’m holding

Could it be everything that I was looking for
Could it be everything that I was missing before
Could it be everything that I could want and more
Is only You Lord
Could it be the only one who really satisfies
Was always standing here right before my very eyes
Could it be You my Lord

I wanted  so bad to be loved and to love
I wanted so bad that I gave myself up
Everything I had it could never be enough
Could it be, could it be you




Sunday Psalms 146

Psalm 146

 1 Praise the Lord!

   Let all that I am praise the Lord.
    2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live.
      I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.

 3 Don’t put your confidence in powerful people;
      there is no help for you there.
 4 When they breathe their last, they return to the earth,
      and all their plans die with them.
 5 But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper,
      whose hope is in the Lord their God.
 6 He made heaven and earth,
      the sea, and everything in them.
      He keeps every promise forever.
 7 He gives justice to the oppressed
      and food to the hungry.
   The Lord frees the prisoners.
    8 The Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
   The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down.
      The Lord loves the godly.
 9 The Lord protects the foreigners among us.
      He cares for the orphans and widows,
      but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.

 10 The Lord will reign forever.
      He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations.

   Praise the Lord!

Weekend Worship III

Less talk/ More praise

The Stand- Anthony Evans

Your Name- Phillips, Craig and Dean

How Great Is Our God- Chris Tomlin

My First Guest Spot

   I am so excited to be able to guest post for The Lazy Christian today. Each Friday Rachel offers  a "Friendly Friday" post and I am just floored that someone would actually let me write on their blog, like for real....

   This is literally the first blog I get up and read in the morning. Hop on over there and check it out.

12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God.

  There are plenty of people out there who  sit the bench (pew) for one hour a week then go on about life as usual believing that they are going to be OK in God's eyes because they went to church to listen to the preacher.  Look, I don't see anything in there that says sitting through a sermon is going to get you out of hell.

   There was a pretty popular quote going around facebook several months ago. It said "Sitting in church doesn't make you a Christian anymore than sitting in a garage makes you a car" It actually upset met he first time I read it, because it was posted by someone who I had been inviting to church. Someone who claimed Christianity but didn't go to church, had no evidence of fruit in their life, and was perfectly happy living in sin and claiming that everyone went to heaven.
   Dude, if anyone needed some Biblical instruction....... It upset me because she was saying that I wasn't any better off than her just because I went to church, and she was right. That said if you aren't going to a Bible preaching church you are depriving yourself of corporate worship, Christian fellowship, discipleship, accountability, guidance..... I really could go on but it isn't about just walking into the doors of a church on Sunday mornings. It is about believing that there is one God that sent His son, Jesus, to die for you, acknowledging and confessing our sin and turning away from it, surrendering your life and will to follow God.

   I do not believe that there will be any part time followers in heaven, that is my opinion. I believe that God is an all or nothing God. If you can't give Him your all, He will give you nothing.

   So back to my original point if you can start out keeping one day a week set apart for God, do nothing but focus on Him, worship Him and live for Him, I think you will be pleasantly surprised how quickly one day turns into 7. So, challenge for today, let's set apart everyday this week and keep it holy for God.

   Like I said, all or nothing.

Remember the Sabbath Hour Part 1

Deuteronomy 5:12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God.   

   I don't know if you noticed, but it says dedicate the day (not Worship Service hour) to the Lord and keep it holy.

   Can I ask you how you dedicate your Sabbath to the Lord? Are you able to keep it holy while watching that Sunday afternoon game while all the scantily clad women in beer commercials bombard your vision ever 13 minutes?

   Take a look at these definitions from (emphasis mine)

1. Set apart to the service or worship of God; hallowed; sacred; reserved from profane or common use; holy vessels; a holy priesthood.
2. Spiritually whole or sound; of unimpaired innocence and virtue; free from sinful affections; pure in heart; godly; pious; irreproachable; guiltless; acceptable to God.

   My challenge to you and myself this week is to not let anything unholy take part in God's Sabbath but, let's not stop there. We are called to be holy, like God is holy- everyday.

What Is Worship, Anyway? - Rev. Mark Mullins

 Special guest post by: Reverend Mark Mullins from

I've been thinking a lot about what worship consists of.  I mean, if we don't know what worship is... what its comprised of... how do you know when you are doing it?  Oh yeah, isn't that what church is for? We ride a pew once a week and feel justified in checking worship off our list. Sweet! You did it! Congratulations.  Now tell me what you did while you were "riding the pine" that dinged the worship bell.  You sang a little? (Don't get me started on meaningless-feel-good-praise-choruses that neither contain praise nor content) You listened attentively to a 40 minute monologue on morality?  oooOOoOoo.  Is that what worship means to you?

   No kidding, now: Worship is crucial to a right relationship with God.  Right? RIGHT??!!!  Worship involves every aspect of our being: Body, Soul, and Spirit.  In other words:
  • Worship expresses the heart (giving our praise to God)
  • Worship engages your intellect (hearing God's Word expounded and assimilating His instruction)
  • Worship employs you physically (acting on the instruction you've received from God's Word)
   Betcha don't think about that when you skip a Sunday morning service (OR Sunday night, OR <Fill in your church's service time here>), huh?  Woah, big fella! You mean God is actually paying attention to me NOT paying attention to the preacher? That's called giving God lip service, second best, left overs... the dregs.

   You say that you won't ("NO! I. WILL. NOT.") sing? Your praises are important to God. C'mon, show Jesus a little appreciation by enthusiastically lifting your praises. Read the words. Mean them. Do it LOUDLY, the old folks in the back are hard of hearing.

   Yeah, yeah, I'm all good with all that... except the part about actually doing something, am-i-rite?  What vast eternal plan could possibly be derailed if I'm a spiritual couch potato?  Dude. Get yourself a copy of Francis Chan's book, "Crazy Love".  Don't put it off, you slacker! Get up, go get the book, stop at Taco Bell on the way home (because you won't be cooking today), read it now.  Hmmm. You aren't looking for your keys. You aren't going to read it, so let me synopsize for you:
  1. God is absolutely INSANELY in love with --- you.
  2. If your relationship with God could be characterized as "luke warm", then something is hideously wrong.  There is zero room in the Bible for room temperature Christians... Francis thinks you are probably NOT a Christian.
  3. Remember what its like to fall in love? You'll go to any lengths. Now apply that to loving God.
  4. Interest leads to attraction leads to relationship leads to love leads to obsession.
  5. There are a bazillion examples of heroic men and women who have made the leap, and you can too.
  6. As a consequence of all this, we ought to reciprocate God's Crazy Love
Worship. Think about it.

Mark Mullins

Is Your House Clean?

   Deuteronomy 7:26 Do not bring any detestable objects into your home, for then you will be destroyed, just like them. You must utterly detest such things, for they are set apart for destruction. 

   My friends and family know that my husband is the housekeeper in our home. I am not a slob or anything, it is just that he is a neat freak, and when I clean it never seems to be clean enough for him. In fact I have spent an entire day cleaning the house from top to bottom, and when he comes home he notices the one thing I didn't think about doing, the one thing I didn't think was all that important... wash the walls, are you serious?
   I have to believe that God runs a pretty tight ship, His house is no doubt impeccably clean. He doesn't allow detestable things into His house. Detestable is one of those words that even if you don't really know the definition, you can sort of tell it means "bad". Here are a few synonyms for detestable: contemptible, despicable, dirty, dishonorable, execrable, low, low-down, low-minded, mean, nasty, paltry, snide, sordid, vile, wretched

   Is there anything in your home that would be detestable to God? Have you sat down in front of your DVD collection and wondered if God would think what you watch is "clean enough"? Is the language you use in your home dishonorable? Do you have vile thoughts while reading your magazines, books, whatever is on your computer monitor when no one else is around?

   I know that I need to do some house cleaning, what about you?


Sunday Psalms 100

Psalm 100
 1 Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
    2 Worship the Lord with gladness.
      Come before him, singing with joy.
 3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
      He made us, and we are his.
      We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
      go into his courts with praise.
      Give thanks to him and praise his name.
 5 For the Lord is good.
      His unfailing love continues forever,
      and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

And The Bloggy Goes To.....

Wow, I never win anything. I have entered Publishers Clearinghouse faithfully for the last 2 years, but no balloon bearing television host has come knocking on my door. I entered the Dreamhome giveaway..... zilch. I never ever, like, EVER win anything.

Which makes this next part even more amazing! You ready? I won something!!

Thank you Kimberly at Mining For Diamonds

 for awarding me with the Versatile Blogger Award. This is a great award that is given to bloggers, by bloggers. So, now that I have won it, I actually get to give it out to others.

Here is what you have to do.

* Tell us 7 things about yourself.
 * Award 15 recently discovered new bloggers.   Contact these bloggers and let them know they've received the award(s)

7 things about me...... huh..... wow....let's go with the faves then.

Fave color: I have always told people it's blue, but I really think it is peachy pink.
Fave thing to do: curl up with a good book. I love Sci-Fi
Fave animal: Domestic-dog, Wild- elephant
Fave food: Mexican... no, Chinese..... I can't pick just one.
Fave sweet: I love Mike & Ike's
Fave tv Show: tough one..... Survivor, baby!
Fave music: I really love Kari Jobe
These are a few of my fav-o-rite things. 

15 recently discovered blogs Of course I love Mining For Diamonds by Kimberly!
1. Rachel The Lazy Christian
2. Mary Kathryn Beauty For Ashes
3. Mike A Heart For God
4. Jenny Covered In His Dust
5. Christin Joyful Mothering
6. Kevin Wake Up My Faith
7. Richard Prodigal Returns
8. Ben Life And Theology
9. Lisa This Little Light Of Mine
10. Stephanie Uplifting Words
11. Becky This I Know
12. Cherie Heart And Soul
13. MaryBeth Let It Grow
14. John John Threesixteen
15.Ken Following Jesus

I finished the book of Numbers this morning. I am excited that I have gotten as far as I have, 50 days straight without missing one. That is quite an accomplishment for this reformed quitter. 2011 is shaping up to be a year where I finish a lot of things, completed a website, ate a whole heart of chocolate on Valentine's Day, and I have gotten through books of the Bible that used to bore me to tears. More than just having read the books, I have actually been able to understand them, take what I read and apply it to my life.

I have nearly an entire month of writing invested into this blog. A whole month, seriously, that is not like me at all. I am a starter, not a finisher, at least I used to be. I can sense God moving me into new directions lately, changing the desires of my heart, giving me new focus, new ministries and apparently the drive to see them through to completion.

2010 was a rough one, and it ended with me being ready to quit church and ministry altogether but I persevered even when it was tough, even when I didn't want to and I feel like everything is finally coming back together. Not like I had to wander the desert for 40 years. I just had a few shaky months and looking back on them, I grew from those experiences.

I am also thankful for that time in my life where I was frustrated, unsure, angry and hurt. I needed to feel those things, I needed to be reminded that life isn't going to be hunky-dory, the storms will still come, I just have to trust in Him, and praise Him no matter what.

Less Talk, More Praise

Awakening- Chris Tomlin

Revelation Song- Gateway Worship

Healing is in Your Hands- Christy Nockles

Jesus Saves- Jeremy Camp

My Savior My God- Aaron Shust

Freedom Song - Mandisa

Sidewalk Prophets- You Love Me Anyway

You Have A Splinter, Where?

   Numbers 33:55 But if you fail to drive out the people who live in the land, those who remain will be like splinters in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will harass you in the land where you live.

   God was clear about the rules of inhabiting the land He promised the Israelites. They were to completely drive out the people already inhabiting the land. I think that this is not just because God did not want His chosen people harassed in their promised land. I believe that this also has everything to do with the sins of the nations that were being driven out. Sins of idolatry, immorality, etc. I love the verse above where God tells Moses that failing to drive the people out will be a thorn in their sides or a splinter in their eye.

   I have never had a splinter in my eye, I can only imagine that it is pretty horrible. If you ignore the splinter, hope that maybe it won't be bad enough to hurt you or cause you pain it can cause some real damage maybe even begin to fester and require surgery to remove. Maybe you realize that the splinter is bad or it hurts and you want to remove it, so you grab a hold of it and tug, but you don't quite get it all. One small little sliver of wood can fester into a full blown life threatening infection.

   This makes me think a lot about sin. The small little minute things we let crawl under our skin, wiggle into our daily lives. Often we ignore them until they start to bother us by drawing us away from our intimate relationship with God. Sometimes we just pull out the big nasty pieces that everyone else sees as harmful, but leave behind tiny shards that no one else sees.

   Sin is a lot like a splinter, it might seem small and harmless, but if you do not cut it out completely, entirely and disinfect the whole area it was lodged in, it is not going to just go away. It is going to fester and seep into other parts of your life.  Sin is what distances us from God. If you are feeling like you are not as close to God as you once were, or want to be, I suggest taking a good hard look at your life, you may need to cut out some splinters.

   If you are joining me in my "Bible in a Year" challenge you spent today reading about (again) all of the sacrifices that were required of the Israelites in order to be in fellowship with God. It really is staggering. Daily offerings, Passover offerings, Monthly offerings, Sabbath offerings, Festival offerings. My mind can't seem to wrap around the amount of livestock that they sacrificed, not to mention grain, olive oil and wine. (Numbers 29)

   This wasn't just a few stray lambs or goats and a drop of oil. The offerings they brought before the Lord were costing the Israelites something. They weren't giving 'left-overs' (as my pastor puts it). God stated, more than a few times, that the offerings must be the best of the flock or crop, unblemished.

   How would God view your offerings? I am not talking about the money you put into the offering plate. I mean what are you giving to God of yourself? Are you using your gifts in ministry to the best of your ability? What about the amount of time you offer to God, is it just your left over time, a few minutes here or there, 60 minutes on Sundays? What about your thought life, does God get the best of that, or are your private thoughts off limits? (FYI- He does know what you are thinking about) Prayer and Bible study....  when you need something? Have you given to God the very best of your life?

   God hasn't changed, He never will. (Malachi 3:6) What makes us think that He would accept anything less than our very all, and the best we have to give. He didn't accept seconds from the Israelites and I don't believe He would be pleased with anything less from us.


Numbers- Not Just For Counting

  I am finding out that Numbers is not just a book of numbers. There is a lot more to it that taking the census of the tribes of Israel. It is full of rich stories of God's provision for His people. It seems to be that Israel may have had a learning disability of some kind. They complained, God provided, they went too far, people got swallowed up by the earth... or worse. The people of Israel were even provided for and protected when they had no idea it was going on.

   King Balak summoned Balaam to curse the people of Israel before they could conquer Moab. I haven't done a lot of studying on this, but I am eager to do so. After reading these chapters ( Numbers 22, 23, 24 ) It does not sounds like Balaam is one of God's prophets, I didn't even read anything that led me to think that Balaam even believed in God. He was a diviner. which I am pretty sure is some kind of hocus pocus stuff. But God spoke to Balaam and instead of cursing Israel, he blessed them 3 times!

   God's hand was on Israel, He provided for them. God still provides, my husband was laid off before Christmas, and has since found another job, but at  20,000 dollars less a year. That is a lot of money, and a lot of extra stuff has been cut out of our budget. But our needs are still met, and even some of our wants. It is easy to complain about the the loss of income, or because we can no longer afford whatever we want on a whim. It is easy to overlook God's provision of another job and complain that the salary isn't as much as we are used to. The hard part is trusting, and we are doing it in faith because we can look back over the last couple of years and see many times that God had His hand on us, protecting and providing. And I am certain there are times that we are not even aware of, just like with Balak, Balaam and the Isaelites.

The Greatest Valentine

    John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

   Valentine's Day, it reminded me that we already have the greatest gift of love ever conceived. 

   1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

   One thing I am very certain that I am NOT,  and that is Love. There is not a single one of these "good things" that I  posses at all times, and not a single one of these  "bad things" that I am not at one point or another. 

   Here it is Valentine's Day, and I am currently not speaking to my husband. (let's here it for how mature the silent treatment is) I know that as a wife I am supposed to be submissive, it's Biblical (Ephesians 5:24). But there is  something inside me screaming "it's just not fair!!!"  when I do not get my way, or I have to ask permission to do something "I am a grown woman" (worldly thinking), or "his" rules are not the same rules he expects me to live by. 

   I didn't read anything in there about love being fair, believe me, I checked several translations it isn't in there. I believe that is because love is one of those things that should be unconditional. As I taught my Sunday School class of k-2nd graders yesterday, unconditional means "NO MATTER WHAT!!" (we like to say things loud in my class)  That means that no matter how unfair I feel certain things are in my relationship with my husband (who by the way is an amazing, Christian man) I need to exhibit these qualities of love <sigh> because I do love him. 

   So, I have a phone call to make, perhaps you do too. After I have asked for forgiveness I am going to print this verse and tape it to my desk so that I can focus on the things I should and shouldn't do to the person I love.



Sunday Psalms 95

 1 Come, let us sing to the Lord!
      Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
 2 Let us come to him with thanksgiving.
      Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
 3 For the Lord is a great God,
      a great King above all gods.
 4 He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
      and the mightiest mountains.
 5 The sea belongs to him, for he made it.
      His hands formed the dry land, too.
 6 Come, let us worship and bow down.
      Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,
    7 for he is our God.
   We are the people he watches over,
      the flock under his care.