Welcome to my blog! Odd title you say? Yes, maybe, but I bet you would agree with me that life is chaotic! I'm mindful though, in the midst of the chaos, of Colossians 3:17 "Whatever you do, do it all in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father!" I thank God that my life gets to be chaotic...I know that through the chaos He is transforming me to be more like Him!

Friday, January 29, 2010

My Daddy

I am sitting here typing this on my day off. I should probably be doing something more productive like cleaning my house since we do have people coming over tomorrow, but blogging is just more fun. It's a rainy day. It's been raining since I got up this morning! I got up this morning, got ready, spent some time with Jesus in the L3, and I've been trying to clean up some. Lunch is in the oven now, and thus I feel like blogging while I wait. I am sitting here reflecting on the events of last night, more specifically, my daddy.

Last night, Bryant and I attended a reception honoring my dad for his ministry at Crossgates Baptist Church for the last 10 years! Yesterday was his last official day to work there. It was so neat to see all the people gathered together to honor my dad. These were people that have volunteered to be a part of the media ministry God allowed him to start 10 years ago. I remember when it was nothing. God gave him a passion and desire to take the message of the church outside the walls of the church years ago, and the rest is history. Crossgates is now, by far, the best church TV program in our area. The ministry didn't just stop with TV either, God put it on my dad's heart to purchase a radio station a few years ago, and thus WSKM 104.3 exists today. It's a non-profit radio broadcast that plays worship music and teaching 24/7.

What I have learned from my dad as I have watched him over the past few years, is to trust God completely even when it doesn't make sense. My dad has always been a man of great faith in God. Even when people looked at him and told him he was crazy! He didn't waver in his belief that his God wanted to do incredible things through him! He even quit his job that was offering him a sweet promotion at the time, to pursue the media ministry full-time, even though there was no full-time position even available! He was hired full-time a month later! They told a story last night about a certain church service that my dad was editing for TV. He was having a hard time editing the service, because he couldn't figure out which parts to cut out. After he finished editing, he took the tape to WLBT, our local NBC affiliate station to air the next week. On his way there, his van collided with a truck which ended up colliding with an electric pole outside the TV station, causing the station to lose power. The devil, he thought, does not want me to get this tape inside! So he grabbed the tape and walked it into the station to be sure that whatever the devil was trying to stop from happening, would NOT be stopped! The following week, my dad found out that during the broadcast that aired, there had been a man ready to commit suicide with a gun to his head. In frustration and anger, he picked up the remote control at his house and threw it across the room. The remote control hit the wall causing it to turn on the TV. The Crossgates program was on the TV, and the man watched it in its entirety. Because of this incident, this man ended up not only saving his life, but he gave his life to Christ as a result! A story that can only be explained by our amazing God!!

Both of my parents poured their heart into serving God through Crossgates Baptist Church. My mom was "Ms. Crossgates" for about 8 years. She basically did everything but preach! Her title was Admin to the Senior Pastor, but she was much more than that! While her time there ended somewhat unfairly, I am so proud of both my parents and all they accomplished there! It's weird to think that my family won't have any more ties to the church that they have been a part of since 1988, but I'm excited about what God has in store for them in the next season of their lives! I'm also excited that they will be able to experience God in new and exciting ways than what their former church offered. God is so good and His work is a kingdom thing!

To find out more about dad and his work, you can visit http://www.vimeo.com/toddsreel.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Door Open for Jesus in Haiti

You are probably familiar with the worship leader from Texas, Kari Jobe. I have listened to her music for several years now and follow her on Twitter @karijobe. Her dad, Mark Jobe, is the Pastor of Global Ministries at Gateway Church in Texas. He and a team of people have been in Haiti for a little over a week and are returning home tonight. Below is a letter Mark Jobe posted on their church's website about what they are seeing in Haiti right now. Tears and brokeness for these people filled my heart as I read.

Dear Gateway Family,

Our assessment team landed in the Dominican Republic last Friday night and drove into Haiti. No one could have prepared us for the devastation we are seeing. People are lining the streets with signs asking for help, food, anything. We set up our tents on the property of a church where several other teams are staying. It’s a gated area and is somewhat secure. The pastor of the church came and asked if we could help transport one of his members who, in order to save her baby's life, laid over her as the roof fell in. The baby is fine; however, the mom laid on a pallet for 11 days with a broken hip, requiring surgery. We transported her to the hospital for help.

When we arrived at the main hospital in Port Au Prince, we were met by the lead doctor. She cried as we unloaded the five trunks of IV fluids and various other supplies we had with us. As we were looking around, we noticed what appeared to be a 3-story building next to the hospital that was completely destroyed. I asked her what that building was, and she began to weep as she said it was the nursing school. I asked her if there were any fatalities from the school, and she began to tremble as she told us there were 200 students and professors in the school … no one made it out, and they haven’t been able to recover anyone from the school.

The stench of death makes us want to throw up. As we visited other medical clinics, we saw people lying in hot tents with broken arms and legs, severe cuts as well as severed limbs. The doctor wept as she said the hardest thing wasn’t the lack of supplies, but it was the need for proper equipment to amputate. Right now, they’re using hacksaws to amputate.

Medical supplies are arriving at the airport, but the chaos of getting them distributed is overwhelming. One clinic, where we left our final trunk of supplies, asked if we had any bed sheets with us. We had five. They were thrilled to get them. They don’t have any supplies, so they cut them and used them for bandages.

On Tuesday, we drove through the hardest hit areas of the city and saw block after block of nothing but rubble … collapsed buildings still full of bodies and broken people waiting for their loved ones to be removed. Heavy equipment is moving slowly through the streets as crowds gather to watch and weep. The people are broken and the city destroyed.

Having never served in the military, I can only imagine what a war zone looks like … this is almost unbearable. Wounded babies and the elderly are everywhere. The US military is awesome. They are true heroes! 500 troops have moved onto the property of one of our new partners and have given out over one million meals since the start of this tragedy … although “tragedy” is an understatement.

In the midst of total devastation, we have connected with so many precious missionaries and have great contacts for returning with teams in the near future for several different missions. We have a secure place to house and care for the teams we take in, possibly as many as 25 at a time

I don't have a clue how they will rebuild. All I know is we cannot walk away and do nothing. The Gospel can change this nation. Voodoo has left a spiritual vacuum here, but right now the door is open for Jesus. We must act now and demonstrate His love. We must preach the Gospel first with action and then with words.
We are returning to the States tonight and will prepare to return to Haiti with more supplies and help. Please know how grateful we are to our Gateway family. We can truly feel your prayers covering us.

Thank you,
Pastor Mark Jobe

Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?
When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, my adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear; though war arise against me, in spite of this I shall be confident.

One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I many dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD and to meditate in His temple.
For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will left me up on a rock.
And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, and I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.

Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice, and be gracious to me and answer me.
When You said, "Seek My face," my heart said to You, "Your face, O LORD, I shall seek." Do not hide Your face from me, Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation!
For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me up.

Teach me Your way, O LORD, and lead me in a level path because of my foes.
Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen against me, and such as breathe out violence.
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Saints,Vikings, & the Holy Spirit?!

So...anyone that knows me knows that football just doesn't thrill my heart. Just let me go shopping!! But having been married for 14 months to an avid sports enthusiast, it's always on tv at our house...except for the few minutes of the week he turns it to HGTV and pretends to be interested with me! I must say though, Bryant has been able to get me to watch it a little more since we've been married, and last night was one of those times. Vikings vs Saints. Would Brett Farve go to the Super Bowl for perhaps the last time or would the New Orleans Saints go to the Super Bowl for the first time ever?! We decided to watch the football game together! It was a great idea and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed myself! Only problem...I was cheering for the Vikings...he was cheering for the Saints. I have just never been a fan of the Saints, not because of their playing record, just because I don't like so much black! It was up and down, back and forth the whole football game long! I didn't get bored once! One minute it looked like the Vikings were going to win, the next definitely the Saints, then wait, maybe the Vikings after all...only for the Saints to win it all in overtime! So, what does that have to do with the Holy Spirit you may be asking? Well, this morning I was reading in Acts 1. Jesus had ascended into Heaven and while Jesus had promised the Holy Spirit, He had not yet come. So here's Peter in verse 26 trying to make an important decision, without the help of Jesus or the Holy Spirit. Who would be the disciple to replace Judas? Would it be Joseph or Matthias? "Well," Peter reasoned," Jo would be good because he has a good heart, but Matthias would be good too because He has been with us the whole time, but so has Jo...." you get the idea. Who should they pick? They had to draw lots in order to decide and just hope they drew correctly! No pressure! Let's face it, if I had taken a gamble on who would win that football game last night, one minute I would've wanted to choose the Vikings, the next minute the Saints...I would've failed miserably. In fact, I did because I chose the Vikings to win! How great God is that He didn't just leave us here to wonder back and forth every time we must make an important decision, more important than who's going to win a football game! I am so thankful we don't have to cast lots in order to know what to do! I thank God that He gave us the Holy Spirit to speak to us and give us wisdom to know what to do when we don't have a clue! If we will just listen and be obedient, our tough life decisions are already decided! And unless the Saints decide to go with gold jerseys for the Super Bowl, it looks like I'm going to have to cheer for Peyton Manning and the Colts!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

L3 - Learn. Live. Lead.

I posted a blog about a week ago intiteled "L3- Is Your Fruit in Season?" I thought you may want to know what L3 is. The L3 Journal is a reading plan that our church (Pinelake Church) produced to help you dig deeper in the Word in 2010. What makes this reading plan different than others is the L3 focuses just on 1 or 2 chapters of the Bible per day. The purpose is to encourage you to dig deeper and find out more about the Scripture instead of merely skimming it and checking it off your list. It's about learning, living, and leading. Learning what God says in His Word, living it out, and leading others to do the same. You can find out more about the L3 Journal here: http://pinelake.org/blogs/l3/. You can even get it sent to your smartphone! God has already revealed so many things so far and we're only on day 20!

Monday, January 11, 2010

L3-Is Your Fruit In Season?

Mark 11:12-14
On the next day, when they had left Bethany, He [Jesus] became hungry. Seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. He said to it,"May no one ever eat fruit from you again!"

I think it's interesting how Jesus expected to find fruit on the tree to eat even though He knew it wasn't the season for the fruit. We go through different seasons in life like Solomon so wisely noted in Ecclesiastes 3. We may not always be in our best season or our favorite season, but God is still expecting us to produce fruit for Him. Yes, there will be seasons where it is easier to bear fruit and seasons where we will bear more fruit than other seasons of life, but there should never be a season when we aren't bearing any fruit.

What fruit are we talking about? Galatians 5:22-23 says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control..." This is the fruit that Jesus wants us to produce. Different seasons of life will usually dictate which fruit we are producing more of or less of, but Jesus should never come to us expecting fruit and find nothing. He was so passionate about it that when He found no fruit on the fig tree, He cursed it so that it died. Notice that the tree was not without leaves though. So much so, it was misleading. It had leaves which would make one assume it also had fruit. God didn't call us to produce leaves. Leaves can be things like going to church, volunteering, leading a Bible study, etc. While these are good things, apart from a relationship with God, they cannot produce fruit. Anyone can produce leaves, but we have to let God produce the fruit within us.

How do we make sure we are always producing fruit? We will only produce fruit as we are daily in God's word and in constant communication with Him. God uses different seasons in our life to produce more fruit in us. We must wait for something because God is producing in us the fruit of patience. We discover addictions in our life so God can produce in us the fruit of self-control. We go through times that test our faith so God can produce in us the fruit of faithfulness. The wilted, dried up fig tree was of no use to Jesus when He needed it. May Jesus always find us hungry for His word, communing with Him, and producing fruit that He can use to bring Himself glory through us!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thoughts from Passion 2010...

Passion Twenty Ten
Atlanta, GA
My husband and I recently spent a few days at Passion 2010 with 21,000 college students and leaders, and some of our favorite worship leaders and speakers. Here are some thoughts I wrote down from the conference and wanted to share with you...
Beth Moore

God equips us to do His will for our life. Col 1 "Be filled with the knowledge of His will."
The word equip in Greek means "to prepare, adjust, to fit, to re-adjust, to supply, to mend, to complete."
3 Ways God Equips us...
1. God equips us by preparing us. Eph 1, Eph 2:10 Our natural line - physical circumstances, who your parents were, how you grew up, etc. Our spiritual line - people who influenced you spiritually.
2. God equips us by adjusting us. Maybe you don't think you fit where you are, but maybe it is fitting for you to be there. God allows us to be around people who bring out the worst in us so He can bring out the best in us.
3. God equips us by repairing us. Will you let Him restore you, or are you just going to be mad at Him because of your circumstances or in denial that He really cares?
4. God equips us by filling us. Whatever God has called you to do, you cannot do. Only by God's Spirit equipping you.

*You can find out more about Beth by visiting her webisite: lproof.org.
Andy Stanley
"It's always a mistake to decide what you're going to do before you decide who you're going to be."
"Who you are on the inside will determine what you will do." "Your talent and ability can possibly sweep you past what your character can uphold." "Your doing will always come out of your being."
Everyone should sit and think about what you want certain people to say about you at your funeral. Write down names and what you want them specifically to say. Then, take a characteristic such as honesty, and ask yourself, "What's at stake with honesty?" "Why is it important?" Well, it's important because it's the basis of every relationship in your life.
What you want said about you at your funeral is your personal definition of success.
Determine, what you want to be, but make sure you won't sacrifice your convictions to get there.
"What values do you want to form the perimeter around you?"

*Andy Stanley is the pastor at North Point Community Church in Atlanta, GA: northpoint.org
Louie Giglio
John 11
Jesus allowed Lazurus to remain sick for 2 days even though He knew.
Jesus wake me up! v11
Jesus told them to roll away the stone. They replied, "It stinks!"
"Jesus is not afraid of the smell behind your stone."
"Don't make any more promises to God, just surrender your life."
"Let others see the playback of what God's doing in your life on your face."

*Louie is the pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, GA. passioncitychurch.com
John Piper
Is God an egomaniac?
There are many verses in the Bible in which God demands people or things to give Him glory.
(Isa. 43:6, Jer. 13:11, Psalm 106:7, Isa. 48:9) Does this make Him an egomaniac?
1. Eternity Past - Eph 1:4-6 Before the foundation of the world God predestined us to be a part of His family for the praise of the glory of His grace. We don't have to choose between God getting glory and our joy!
C.S. Lewis said, "We delight to praise what we enjoy because it brings us joy! We were created for it...it's the satisfaction of our fulfillment. We can only be happy in seeing God's glory!"
2. Eternity Future - John 17:24 We are sinners, so we don't like having a greater treasure outside of ourselves. Neither do we deserve it.
3. The Cross, the Center - Rom 3:23-26, Rom 8:3 Everytime you sin, you are belittling God and choosing something else as more important than God's glory. The foundation of our salvation is not our worth, but God's worth.
Psalm 25:11 "For Your namesake, O Lord, forgive me of my sins for they are many!"
"We are awaiting an eternity of self-forgetfulness not full of mirror walls that reflect what we like. They will reflect God's glory!"
"Self-exultation by God is not the act of an ego-maniac, desperate for attention, but of infinite self-giving for our enjoyment!"
"It's not that He won't be fully God unless He gets glory, but we won't be fully happy until we give it!"