Archive for March, 2008
I know this girl. Her mood changes with the weather.
I’m not kidding.
When it’s sunny and warm outside she is the most energetic, joyful person you will ever meet.
When the sun hides behind gloomy clouds heavy with rain it’s as if the light has gone out of her spirit. Gloom and despair set in as if there were no tomorrow.
Same is true with snow and ice. Cold weather agitates her at an exponential rate.
What are we going to do with this girl? Please pray for her…
Does your mood match the weather? What is the weather like where you are right now?
Well, it was a rough night. I may not be wounded and bleeding but sometimes that’s the way I feel.
We had an arrest. (The student was later released to his mother.)
We had a fight.
The students were receptive and paid attention for the most part but there’s still those few students who mouth off to a leader, or have no respect for this place, others or themselves. After nights like this I’m left wondering “Why can’t we all just get along? Don’t any of you get it?”
Isn’t that always how it goes? I prayed over tonight probably more than I’ve prayed for a Wednesday night in a long time, and it’s one of the worst nights we’ve had!
Why is that? Why is it that the more we pray, the worse things seem to get?
“Prayer is our number one weapon when going to war against the enemy.”
Then why don’t I use it? This week God has been opening my eyes to how much I DON’T pray. If we truly believe that prayer is our number one offensive weapon in the spiritual battle we’re all facing, then why don’t we use it. Why don’t we use it the way it was meant to be used?
Maybe because we don’t really believe… So why not try it? Why not pray the way we were meant to pray for a day? A week? What’s the worst that can happen? God might act. We might actually realize that prayer works, which means we’d have to keep doing it.
Just some thoughts…
I’m doing battle today for:
My students. Please stand in prayer with me for them.
You. How can I pray for you? Please respond! If God is right (and he always is) the prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective.
What can I pray for you today? This week?
“Doubt only keeps me still, faith moves me forward. I choose faith and grab the rough, calloused hand of my Lord and run full force into the battle. He is my Warrior. I fight with Him and win.” I wrote those words in my journal after a rough day of attacks yesterday. I’m learning so much about faith right now. I’d like to share a few thoughts.
- Living a life of faith means never knowing where you are being led.
- It does mean loving and knowing the One who is leading.
- It is literally a life of faith, not of understanding and reason…
- Faith is rooted in the knowledge of a Person… not plans.
To live in faith means to live in Christ. Forget about trying to figure it all out. Focus instead on seeking the face of the One who already knows.
Is there an area in your life you’re struggling to have faith? What are your thoughts on faith?
Some thoughts taken from “My Utmost for His Highest”—Oswald Chambers
I’m back from our mission trip to Eureka, Springs with a few snap shots. I’ve never been more proud of our students. The way they put themselves aside for four days and served those less fortunate than themselves reminded me why it is I love what I do. We built decks, painted houses and brought a little piece of love to the families of the trailer park where we worked. But probably the most impacting story starts with a boy named Cory. (The boy in the brown and white stiped shirt below.)
Cory and his family live in one of the homes we fixed up. After talking to his mother we found out this freshman in high school came from a background of abuse from his father. Sadly, a couple months ago his father took his own life exposing Cory to the horrible experience. Filled with hate and frustration Cory decided to surrender everything to Christ just a couple months before we came.
It was his birthday on Friday and can I tell you what our group of students did? Out of their own spending money they raised over $500 and decided to buy Cory a guitar. The way they welcomed him in as one of our own makes my heart burst in a way that no words can describe. Cory was thrust into a group of about 50 students and became instant best freinds with just about every student there! I overheard Cory’s little brother saying to Cory, “It’s like you’re wanted… but in a good way…”
Cory’s life will never be the same because of a group of students who looked outside themselves for just a moment and saw a heart in need of hope, love and acceptance. May we live our lives everyday the very same way.
I’m taking some time off yesterday and today before we leave for our mission trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas tomorrow.
100 students from the Northwest, South and Stillwater campus will be loading busses bound for the mission site. While we’re there we’ll be renovating run-down houses for lower income families in the area. Pray for safety but especially pray that God would show Himself to these students during this mission.
I will update daily on our mission blog here. Check it out and leave us some love.
Anyone else on spring break? Any good mission trip stories to share?
I’m a woman youth pastor.
Often times when people hear what I do I get a surprised look. Women, in pastor roles are rare in the church world. I’m thankful to serve in a place that isn’t afraid to blaze new trails in this area of ministry and go outside the stereotypical mindset of how church “should” be.
Bottom line is this: I know what I’m called to do. I know that when I’m pastoring, I’m alive! So should I get caught up in the way things “ought” to be and miss my calling? Should I allow the opinions of others to keep me from what I was created to do?
It’s a constant lie I battle: I can’t do this because I’m a woman. No one will respect me because I’m a woman. I’ll get overlooked because I’m a woman. I have to work extra hard because I’m a woman.
I don’t want to become one of those crazy women activists who think they are every bit as good as the men. I know my place as a woman but at the same time I have to ask: what am I to do with my calling?
If we’re to continue to be relevant to the ever-changing world around us are there some conventional traditions we need to consider overcoming? I sure hope so.
What are your thoughts on women in leadership?
The best and simplest message I heard at a recent wedding was when the pastor gave one word to each the bride and the groom.
Sitting in the pew I completely expected the words to be something like: Leader and Submission, but what I heard was surprisingly different.
To the groom he said the one thing he could be to his wife was a:
Friend: As women we must have someone to talk to. When something happens we call our best friend to tell them. I want my husband to be my best friend. The best kind of husband and wife relationship is built on a firm friendship.
To the bride he said the one thing she could be to her husband was a:
Cheerleader: If a husband knows that his wife is his biggest fan, he can face anything thrown his way. A wife’s role is to be a constant encourager, always giving life with her words.
If you’re married: do you agree? Would you say this is true in your relationship?
If you’re unmarried: what ways can you begin cultivating these characteristics so that you will be a good husband or wife for your mate?
At one particular wedding I heard an amazing three-point message of wisdom.
When a husband and wife are married they walk into three things:
- Intimacy and
Priority—No person will be more important to the husband than his wife. The same goes for the wife. They are each others’ priority.
Intimacy—no other person will know you better than your husband or wife. Sometimes they will know you better than you know yourself…
Power—When two stand together they are a much more powerful force than one. They are able to face whatever the world throws at them because they know someone is right there with them.
I love the thought that the same can be true in my relationship with Christ.
Priority—Christ should be my priority. I’m His. Time with Him should be the most important time in my whole day.
Intimacy—No other person will know me better than God. My faults, doubts, struggles and fears…
Power—because I stand with Him I am able to face whatever the world throws my way. With Him by my side I have power.
“Marriage is a picture of the relationship God longs to have with us.”
I’ve heard this said before. You probably have too. But as I heard it from the pulpit, as the beautiful white-clad bride stood by her husband-to-be, the truth of it rang fresh in my ears. He went on to explain it like this:
First, Christ calls us SLAVES—He bought us. We belong to Him.
But as we learn more about our relationship with Him, He says we become His SHEEP and He our shepherd—but sheep are dumb and have to be led around…
So as our understanding of Him continues to grow he longs to call us CHILDREN—having more interaction with Him, taking what He’s taught us and learning to walk it out.
But an even greater connection begs to be had… so as we grow he calls us…
FRIEND—“no longer are you a servant who does not know your master’s business,” nor a child who has no say. We are God’s friend. We can share our deepest secrets, desires, hurts and dreams.
But for Christ, His love for us runs even deeper; deeper than we really imagine. So He gives us an example of His love in the picture of a husband and wife.
He calls us His LOVER—Christ longs to love us THAT deeply. The way a husband loves his wife. Intimately. Fully. Unconditionally. He longs to know my every detail and what’s more, He longs for me to know His in return.
I know this may speak volumes to the women, but I want to hear from the men…
How do you apply the truth that we are God’s lovers? How does this progression of relationship look in your life?
Everyone: Where would you say you are in your walk at this moment? Which word do you see yourself in the most?