Thursday, July 31, 2008

< > or =

I've always thought of myself as more of a left-brain sort of girl. After all, I have a degree in biology, with a minor in chemistry. Very left-brainy stuff. But I have this singer side too. Which gets me into so much more trouble. Because for some reason there seems to be an over sized bag of insecurity hanging over that shoulder. Unfortunately, it is not a very fashionable bag.

Musician types are known for being hyper-sensitive, neurotic, prima donna. Of course, I would never put myself in that category. But if I'm honest, what goes on inside my head some days would certainly qualify me. I usually keep a tight lid on all that mess!

I just realized today, that this whole thing starts in first grade. First Grade! I was sorting through my son's school papers from last year and saw a Comparison Worksheet. There it was in black and white. We learn this skill in first grade and it never stops does it? Less than, greater than or equal to:

< > or =

Why do I want to be greater than? Why do I most often feel less than? What is true about me? In a moment of vulnerability Don Moen, a pioneer of modern worship, expressed his own insecurities as a worship leader. It was surprising, a little sad and yet so beautiful. I heard him make this statement: God will not anoint who you want to be, He anoints who you are. And then he said this: You.....are enough.

Who am I to judge myself as less than? How does that make my creator feel? My self-measurement is not inspiring a grateful heart or delight in His design. Now, I see a new operator on the comparison sheet of my giftedness. No, it's not greater than. It's not equal to. But it's not less than either. Its ENOUGH.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Need a Lift?

Psalm 40:1-3 I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.

Are you singing a song of rejection, pain, or loss? Well, stop listening to country music! Ha!

God can put a new song in your heart and in your mouth.

I think sometimes he uses a song to lift us up out of the pits of life. So many times a song has lifted me. One in particular stands out in my memory today. Still Standing by Israel Houghton and Cindy Cruise Ratcliff (from the Alive in South Africa project)

If you need a lift today Click Here

"You gave me courage to believe, that all your goodness I would see, and if it had not been for you standing on my side, where would I be?

If not for your goodness, if not for your grace, I don't know where I would be today, If not for your kindness, I never could say I'm still standing. If not for your mercy, if not for your love, I most likely would have given up. If not for your favor I never could say I'm still standing. But by the grace of God.

To you I lift my offering, and set my heart on higher things, for it if had not been for you standing on my side, where would I be?"

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Here I Am (07/27 ministry time)

When we sing “Here I am” to the Lord, we are not expressing our geographical location…but our heart…our willingness…our faith in him.

There was a young woman in the Bible who expressed this so beautifully.
In Luke 1:38 the angel Gabriel had just delivered an amazing message to Mary…God’s word for her life…..and Mary responds…”I am the Lord’s servant may it be to me as you have said”…she is saying: Here I am Lord…I surrender to your plan…I say yes to you… I believe your word.

The Angel told her “Nothing is impossible with God” some manuscripts say “The Word of God will never fail”. When God speaks things have to happen. What is God’s word in your situation?

-Are you concerned about your finances?
Philippians 4:19 says my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

-Maybe you are struggling with sickness and wondering about this life…how much longer will you be on the planet?
Psalm 91:16 says with long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.

-There is probably someone reading this who feels broken on the inside; you have a mess in your mind and emotions…
Ps 23:3 simply says “He restores my soul”…he fixes me on the inside.

These are just a few examples of what God has spoken to us…what do we do with his words over our life?

I love what Mary does …verse 39 says she hurries…she runs… to Elizabeth. She goes to someone who also believes and is experiencing God’s word come to pass in her life.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Walk with me

Come, walk with me. That is not to say- get up - you need some exercise. No. It is an invitation to intimacy. Hand in hand. Conversation. Connection. I find that its easier to open up your heart when you are walking. There is something about the movement that frees you. Being still can be so stiffling.

In Genesis 3 after the fall, we find Adam and Eve hiding because they heard the sound of God walking in the garden in the cool of the evening. You get the feeling that maybe this was their time to connect. The Message Bible says God was strolling. I love that. Picture someone strolling. Slowly, taking in the night breeze, enjoying the stars and anticipating companionship. Only for these three, those walks came to an end. Adam and Eve lost their home in the garden. I wonder if God continued to stroll there alone after that night.

Generations later, we learn that Enoch walked with God. God enjoyed their companionship so much that He just took him one day. Noah, also walked with God. His fellowship with the Almighty saved him and his whole family!

Walking is slow, and you have to walk for a long time to take much ground. Honestly, we don't walk that much these days. We fly. We drive. We run from place to place. Anyone else longing for a nice stroll in the cool of the evening?

Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Friday, July 18, 2008

charity : water

I've shamelessly added a global cause to my blog today.

Yesterday, my oldest son had a touch of something. A little flu bug, or something. No big deal. I actually said to him "I'm sorry you don't feel well this morning, but you have a strong healthy body and you'll feel better this afternoon." And he did.

While he was at home recovering, I went to the Y with my ipod. I listened to the story of Scott Harrison and how God rescued him from a self-indulgent life and planted in him a heart for the poor. 80% of the diseases facing these people are related to water. Mothers in these countries are not so cavalier about things like vomiting and diarrhea.

Anyway, I can't stop thinking about the fact that one in six people on our planet do not have clean water to drink. That 4,500 children died today due to water related diseases. I ordered a case of water.

I hope you'll check out All you have to do is click on the banner.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Capture My Heart

This weekend at Shoreline South, we have planned to sing Your Love Is Extravagant by Darrell Evans. I just love this song, it's been around for a while but it is such a beautiful, poetic love song to the Lord.

I was thinking about the last line "Capture my heart again" and I thought...gee I should find a scripture to share, surely there is a verse in the Bible that says that....somewhere...

Well, it was interesting. In my search for "capture" everything that came up was in the context of battle. The enemy was captured. The city was captured. The temple treasure was captured. Taken. Seized by force. Apprehended. Arrested.

I did find the phrase "capture my heart" in Song of Solomon 4 in the Message Bible: You've captured my heart, dear friend. You looked at me, and I fell in love. One look my way and I was hopelessly in love! How beautiful your love, dear, dear friend....

But it is the voice of the Lover to the beloved. The voice of the Father to the child. God says to us "You've captured MY heart. I'm seized, overtaken, arrested by my love for you." Amazing...
Just like the song says, we see this extravagant love spread wide in the arms of Christ.

My heart is often complacent, easily distracted. Could it ever be completely captured?
Oh Jesus! Seize me. Arrest me. Overtake me.......capture this heart Lord!

Here I am, raising my white flag. I surrender.