Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Colossians 1:5-8

the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world - just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God's grace. You learned it from Epaphrus, our dear fellow servant, who is a a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
Colossians 1:5-8

Faith, hope and love is a familiar "Paul" formula that he speaks about often. The basis of the Colossian believer's faith and love is their hope in heaven...their minds were on the next life....their focus is on the next life!

From the day they heard the gospel and truly understood God's grace -- that means grasping truly how they received something they did not deserve from God, which is forgiveness and the right to enter eternity with Him forever -- it bore fruit and grew amongst the people. They couldn't dare keep this blessed hope to themselves! Just try and stop them! You can't!

Because of their focus on the next world, they are making a big difference this world

Ahhh....yes....we are introduced to the faithful "man of the hour" who planted this church and is reporting to Paul about them....Ephaprus. What a guy!

Ephaprus is ONE man who changed his world. One. It just takes one. You. Me. We are just one. We qualify.

Oh, that our minds would ever be on the next world, stirring a blazing fire in us to walk in faith, hope, and love to make a difference in our world! Our world....where we go day to day....just everywhere we are. This is where our work is.....wherever we are right now. Now. Right now.

This changes how I deal with the day-to-day and the people woven in. I realize it's not about me. It's not even about that thing that just happened that made me mad, sad, distracted, or irritated, or glad, or fed up, or worried or anything. We aren't wrestling with the flesh and blood of life, but the powers of dark and the forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12). The enemy wants us to check out of our real blessed goal and focus on the big fat distraction he just plopped into it.

Nope! Not anymore! We are going to put our Ephesians 6:10-17 armor and make a difference in our world. Thank You God....and thank you Ephaprus...man with a funny name who became the change you wanted to see and inspired us to do the same!

Lord, thank You! Thank you for the blessed hope I have in heaven. Thank You for Your mercy and grace. Help me be the change and make a difference in my world, where I am and right now. Set Your Holy fire ablaze in me that Your gospel spread like a wildfire of faith, hope and love in all that I am, everywhere that I am and to everyone I see. For Your glory forever and ever.
In Jesus name, Amen.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Beauty For Ashes

Then the Lord said to me, "You have made your way around this hill country long enough; now turn north"
Deuteronomy 2:2-3

So often in life we circle around our own personal hill country. We circle and circle, and circle, and circle. God says enough! We have circled our hill country long enough and it's time we turn north!

We need to get our BUTS out if the way. Yes, we do need to get our buts out-of-the-way! "I know I need to let go, but....." or "I know I need to forgive, but....." and maybe, "I know I need to move on, but...." how about, "I know I need to make a change, but...."

God says to us in Isaiah 43:19 that He is doing a NEW THING

Christine Cain recently said, "Often, what stops us from stepping into the unknown is what we DO know. Don't let what you know stop you from discovering what all you do not know!"

Lord, thank You that you make beauty from ashes! Thank You for Your direction. Thank You for doing a new thing in me. Give me the courage to step out of this pit and into Your plan of a future and hope for me that is GOOD. Thank You that You not only heal but You restore. Turn my mess into a message of hope and restoration for Your glory forever. I accept it, I receive it, and I do treasure it! In Jesus name, amen.


Colossians 1:1-4

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by God's will, and Timothy our brother: To the saints in Christ at Colossae, who are faithful brothers. Grace to you and peace from God our Father. We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints.
Colossians 1:1-4

As we start a study in the book of Colossians, we see in the greeting that this letter is written by Paul to the church in Colossae. Timothy is with him. Paul is Timothy's father in the faith, meaning he led Timothy to Christ.

They have heard testimony from someone else about this church's genuine faith in Christ and the love they have for one another. Paul is encouraging them and letting them know that they pray often for them, thanking God for them. Here we learn that faith in Christ and our love for fellow believers are the hallmarks of genuine Christianity.

Faith in Christ and love for one another = genuine Christianity. This is how we know.

Lord, we thank You that You are a faithful God, worthy of our trust and love. May we be found faithful to You, lifting up our thanks to You for each other. Help us to remember in our busyness to pause to encourage and show each other our genuine love for them. In doing this, we show love to you. In Jesus name, amen.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Knock knock

She was usually a very easy child that loved to nap. This day however, she had other plans.

I put her in her bed and she laid down as usual so I quietly left the room and shut the door.

Hard at work at my desk, I think I hear faint knocking. I got still and quiet and heard it again...that gentle knock, knock, knock....and then a faint, "Mamaaa." I rushed to the bedroom door to find my funny girl standing there with her gorgeous big blue eyes dancing, shirt off and hanging around her neck, hair a mess...and she squeals, " I FOUND YOU!!" and jumped in my arms. We washed each other in floods of hugs and kisses as if the 5 minutes that passed had been 5 years! It was delicious!

In the midst of our blissful reunion my heart was caught and I prayed, "Oh, Lord may she always look for you and find You in joy. May her heart be always searching for You in all that she sees and does. May she always open the doors You knock on and jump wholeheartedly into Your arms."

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me"

Wherever we are....there He is. Knocking. Open the door now and JUMP!


Thursday, October 25, 2012

His mighty hand...

It's such a different call...being the one here at home while my husband and daughter are away serving in Haiti. I have gained a whole new respect for all my loved ones that I left behind to go to South America. I am deeply consumed with intercessory prayer for them. My faith is strengthened. I am serving and working on things, but still in constant prayer for them.

Our family has always been tightly woven by the fingers of God. We have often heard the need to pray for one another while separated in service and work; sensing their need at that very moment, and having that confirmed afterwards as we would talk about it. It's surreal really and has been a normal thing for us our whole marriage. God's glory forever.

One day while they were in Haiti, and as I was working, a sudden urgent need caught me quickly in my spirit specifically over danger with my husband. It was so strong and heavy as I dropped what I was doing and immediately prayed long and hard.....LONG AND HARD....until I sensed the danger had passed. It was so huge and powerful. Two prayer warrior girlfriends of mine were also praying. I felt my daughter and her friend were safe but we all prayed heavily for them too. I asked God for a verse, and this is what He gave me:

The Lord will protect him and preserve his life; He will bless him in the land and not surrender him to the desire of his foes
Psalm 41:2

My husband called me a few hours later and I learned that on a path he was walking on, he was suddenly met with four men....glaring, snarling, sinister, men. He felt their intentions strongly and was praying as they were held in their spot. This was happening at the SAME TIME as when the Spirit snatched me up in prayer for him. The grateful tears washed like a river as I thanked God for His hand! My prayer warrior sister prayed Psalm 91 over them all. God's glory forever. Wow! GOD ROCKS!

When God brings someone to your heart and mind....pray sisters and brothers. Pray because the prayer is powerful and effective (James 4:16b)

This has nothing to do with any person (I mean that with a full conviction and am so serious about that), and everything to do with our powerful GOD Who is at work in and around HIS children.

Don't ever doubt that you're on HIS mind and heart....HE loves you, HE cares about you and HE'S powerful....

Now to him who is able to do IMMENSELY MORE than all we ask or imagine according to HIS POWER that is at work within us
Ephesians 3:20 (emphasis mine)

HIS power and HIS glory forever and ever


Monday, October 22, 2012

2 Chances To Get It Right

In the book of Jonah, we see a God who is merciful contrasted with the prejudices of his people.

Nineveh had been a wicked thorn in Israel's side, infecting terror and cruelty. Jonah didn't want to go preach the message of judgement to them because he knew God would be merciful to them (4:2). God is quick to teach Jonah that His compassion and forgiveness extend far beyond what Jonah expects or desires.

It's never a good idea to run from God. God is a God of second chances (3:1) and just as God heard when Jonah called from the stomach of the great big fish, and Ninevah when they heard Jonah's message, He offers us second, third, and fourth chances to call on Him and be saved.

No one is beyond God's forgiveness and love. God will deliver ALL who call out to Him....regardless of your background, way of life, ethnic group....ALL who call on the name of the Lord will be saved

"In my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry."


Friday, October 19, 2012

Haiti Update #4

Yesterday they went into homes and the communities to teach the Word, encourage the people, and do a prayer walk. They are the first EVER to do this. They took turns teaching and everyone did great. Js message touched the local spiritual leader in a special way.

God blessed J with his first cold water of the week and it did much to help him. Their water is slowly filtered and is hot by the time they can drink it. This was a huge thing for him. I am in deep gratitude to Daddy for blessing my man with it.

Today they will work HARD at the campus. They desire to get a lot accomplished in repairs and fixing things. They are the very first team there and they'd love to get the compound fixed up so the next team can spend most of their time outside with the people without concerning themselves with working on the compound. Among many other things, they will be repairing a fence with no tools...by hand....this means heavy strength for pulling, lifting, etc.....in that heat. Ahhh...the things we take for granted!

I know from experience that today and tomorrow is very deep internally for them. They've experienced so much and their time is drawing to a close. They will go through some culture shock as they come home tomorrow. They will be processing for days and perhaps weeks. As friends and loved ones, our role is one of love, encouragement, listener, and support, as they talk about it....and rest....and are energized all at the same time. It's EXCITING!! SO EXCITING!!!

Specific Prayer Asked for:

>Water pump is fixed!! Yay Jesus!! Dance with me and praise Him!
>Supernatural strength and energy
>Supernatural rehydration
>Supernatural Health....no passing out!
>Supernatural time to accomplish much for future teams coming
>Any and every need God lays on your heart for them as you pray


Thursday, October 18, 2012


God knows how to get my attention....especially when He uses my own devices against me. I love it!

When my children were really small, I decided on a new way to get their attention while we were in a crowd, both at home and when we were out and about. We were always in a crowd....still are. I didn't want to be loudly calling their names over the noise. It always annoyed me when Moms would do that.

Have you ever noticed that no matter the situation or crowd, someone can say "shhhhh" and people pause and look at the person saying it? I decided to use that as my tool to get my children's attention. No matter how large the crowd, I could say "shhhh" quietly and their eyes would immediately be on me. It was magical!

For several mornings now, that's how God has been waking me up! He wakes me up every day very early in the morning. I love it with every fiber in my being! Every night I get excited thinking about our time together the next morning and thank Him ahead of time for it. Several mornings now, I hear myself saying "shhhh" and my eyes pop open! It makes me laugh! He just tickles me!

In Matthew 4:19-20 Jesus says, "Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" and we see in verse 20 that immediately they stopped what they were doing and followed Him. Also, John 10:27 Jesus says, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow Me"

Has God been calling? Listen. Shhhhh.....He is speaking to you even now. Look at Him.


Haiti Update/Prayer #3

The Lord is moving with our Haiti group. Yesterday they were up in the mountain regions of tent city where they met and served food to the pastors and missionaries working there. J shared with me some things he learned that even now I cry about. I'll let them share details. Braden and Sara went to a neighboring house and helped some ladies with their chores, and played some games with the children there. They also went to the orphanage later in the day and loved on those precious children. I'll be surprised if Braden doesn't come home with one in her bag!

Today, they go out teaching in homes and the communities, and praying. I know from experience this is a mighty day. Not only does the work they've been doing and continue doing help the people in practical ways, teach them teamwork (major lesson they need), and please the Lord, but it also builds favor to God's glory. Pray with me for them. Don't just pray..... BELIEVE with me for them, pausing and doing so every time the Lord brings them to your mind and hearts:

Now in him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us. TO HIM BE THE GLORY in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen
Ephesians 3:20-21 (emphasis mine)

They go with a message on their lips and big hearts to share with all.

Prayer requests....pray believing:

>Water..water in the mountain region...BIG TIME (I'll let them share details)
>For people to receive and understand the Word and comprehend what they are saying
>hydration for the whole missionary team.
>strength and energy for the whole missionary team.
>Water pump went out and needs fixing.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Haiti Update/Prayer #2

Yesterday was full and busy for our little gang. I talked to them at separate times, so I'll give you what they each gave me. This picture is from Sunday.
The girls worked hard and got tons done at the clinic by organizing A LOT. They also worked a lot with the kids by doing skits and object lessons about germs, teaching and giving shots. Braden loved laying hands and praying for a woman that came in. Sara was taking a shower when we talked so I didn't get to talk to her much but got from Braden that Sara is fantastic. As I said yesterday, this is of absolutely no surprise. Sara is always fantastic (LOVE that girl!).

Here's a pic from yesterday. In the first picture, Sara is to the left of the Haitian woman, Braden is kneeling in front of Sara with her hands on her praying. The last picture is of the children at the Shiloh school where they worked (picture courtesy of Brent Gambrell Ministries).

Braden went on and on about the food. She loves it and is eating things she never eats at home. She told me she didn't know what she was going to do when she gets back to America after eating their food. I said the same things when I was in South America. Of course, you guys know that something funny always happens with the girls. Yesterday as they were walking the path, a little girl comes to them. This isn't unusual as they are fascinated by them. Braden learned a little of the language and greets them. This particular little girl came up and started talking to them and saying words in her language they didn't understand. This little girl looks at them like they are insane! When their interpreter came up, the girls asked him what a certain word meant. The interpreter looks at them like they're insane and has no idea so he went to the little girl and asked in Creole what she wanted to say to the girls. Immediately the interpreter and everyone around starts laughing as they find out she was speaking ENGLISH to the girls the WHOLE time and they didn't understand her! Haha! Of course Braden and Sara crack up in themselves too.
Braden sang for worship last night. When I asked what the favorite thing of the day was, it took a few minutes because they loved everything. Finally, it was when they were walking back from the morning work to eat lunch (which is about like walking from my house to Springfield in rough terrain) a group of kids came by and they all started giving them high fives and giggling. This was so special because they knew they were connecting with the locals. Remember, no one has served this area yet besides nurse Jenny! The kids go to school in two shifts. This means the teachers are there teaching from 7am-7pm. It was a new shift of children that was coming by.
Today they go back to the clinic to work and then on to the orphanage. They are excited to go there! They are doing a craft where they are taking pictures of each child, helping them frame them to take them home. To understand the significance of this, read my previous post titled "Mirror Mirror" written by Brandon about an encounter J had yesterday.
When I talked to J, he was full of things to tell me too. He also went on and on about watching his daughter Braden jump in on things. He called her "on fire" and loved watching her work and embrace the kids, the adults, the other missionaries. He loves how she doesn't even think about how she impacts people and just jumps in. He took pictures of her giving the kids shots. She has never been squeamish about needles and the like, but this fascinated him because he hates them. He went on and on about her singing last night and her volunteering to do tonight's devotion with the missionaries. He said Sara is jumping right in too and is doing extremely well. He is so proud of both of the girls.
He loves the food as well. He loves working with Nurse Jenny and mentioned she reminded him of a sweet missionary woman named Gladys Farmer that we both new as children. Any of you reading this remember her? AWESOME woman of God! She touched so many people everywhere she went. Nurse Jenny was a nurse in New York City that came down to Haiti with Brent two years ago, heard God's call and moved there. She is doing so many good things there.
After spending the morning at the clinic, he stayed at the compound after lunch (by then, the Haitian guys were back from that 6 hour trek to the market getting the supplies that he told them to get!) and started working there. Not without first giving the men going with the girls STRICT instructions on watching his girls...where to walk so he can see them at all times, etc....even made him promise! Ha! And this was an american missionary! Ha!
He and his team are building decks, doing plumbing, fixing faucets, putting locks on the dorms, etc. There are two Haitian women doing the cooking for them all. He said right after one meal, they start preparing for the next one because it's all from scratch. They have a spot under a tree they like to go to sit and start meal prep. He was busy working when these women came screaming and yelling because 5 snakes were after them. J and his men took care of them but it made him laugh so hard! His laugh makes me laugh. Oh how I love that man!
He mentioned a conversation he had with the locals about the local "law". He learned that all they need is three witnesses saying you did a certain thing, and the law enforcement would come shoot you. Especially over stealing. Interesting. Wow.
His favorite part of the day was building the deck, watching all the kids at the clinic and the encounter he had on the path with the lady and the camera. Read my post titled "Mirror Mirror" about that.
Today, he finishes the decks, plumbing for the bungalows, builds sink supports. They have a generator for about two hours a night so he is going to do some plugs for them.
Prayer requests:
All of them mentioned rehydration. They are drinking, but it's easy to get busy and forget....and they are sweating more than usual so they're losing more than usual. I sent them with some rehydrating powder to put in water and drink. Pray for their health and rehydration. This can be dangerous for anyone but especially for a man with a stint. Also pray for opportunities to share His love and message. Pray continuously as you think of them.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Mirror, mirror...

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. But have you ever thought about how much a reflection is worth?
My Dad is in Haiti on a mission trip. He was walking down a path when two children came running out of the bush. Their mother followed, running after them. They were excited and asked my dad to take their picture. Some people there like for you to take their picture and show it to them because they don't have mirrors and wonder what they look like. She was so joyous to be able to see what she looked like!
So the question is, "How much is a reflection worth?" To Americans it may seem simple, but to a Haitian it is worth a lot. We get up every day and look in the mirror. To a Haitian that is a luxury that is far from reach.
Imagine never being able to know what you look like until you meet a total stranger and ask him to take your picture. Imagine how much a reflection is worth to them.
This reminds me of what the Bible says, "And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever‑increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."
(2 Corinthians 3:18)

My friends, Christ equals freedom, life, and liberty. Everyone is looking for these in some way.
Remember that when we look at people we are looking at someone who is searching for a reflection that means more....that means life. Let's show the world what, or rather Who, we are made of. Lets show them our Love, Savior, and Redeemer. Let's reflect Christ. Let's be His mirror. Let's be love.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a reflection worth? Eternity.
My friends... live life reflecting Christ. It really is a life and death matter. Some people don't know what they are missing until they've seen it.
Remember that true freedom is found through the cross. When He said it is finished he meant it! We are not made of this world! We are made in God's image
This post is written by my son, Brandon.

Haiti update and Prayer request

On Saturday, (R to L) my husband J, daughter Braden, and friend Sara, left for Haiti to serve with a ministry called A Door To Hope with Brent Gambrell. This is a picture of them at the airport just before we left them at the gate.

This is the area they are living for the week. I have talked with them several times. God is doing amazing things. They sound different every time they call. I love it!
They are pioneering a new work in the clinic, school and orphanage in the Grand Goave area for this ministry. There's a whole other aspect to this trip that I will publish next week as I don't want to freak people out while they're gone. You'll understand better when you read next week :)

They are staying in bungalows near the ocean that a group from Canada built for the area a while back. They are there to help a nurse named Jenny who came there to serve some time back, and has since moved there. They have two guards there.

Today, Braden and Sara will be working at the clinic helping nurse Jenny and then at the orphanage where she will teach. Braden is having the time of her life. She is embracing all the hardships like a trooper and has a joyfulness in her voice that says she is soaking up every minute with a smile on her face. She is eager to get to work and explains every minute of her time. I love it! She says Sara is doing GREAT which is no surprise at all because she is always great!

J has been placed in charge of the men there. He is directing projects with the Haitians and other missionaries there. Today, he goes for the morning with the girls and assesses and works on the school and will help at the orphanage. The school, the church, the clinic and the orphanage are near each other but about a 30-45 min (rough!) walk from where they are sleeping. After lunch, the girls will go with a team back to the orphanage and J will stay on the compound with some Haitian men and direct the rebuilding of the walls, securing the bungalows, etc. he spent yesterday afternoon talking with the Haitian men about what they need to gather on their THREE HOUR...(ONE WAY...THAT MEANS 6 HOURS)....trek to the market area. (I will remember this next time I complain about my terrible 10 minute DRIVE to Walmart! Ugh! We are so spoiled!). J is so moved by the people and the conditions there. He tells me every minute of his day too as he is so touched by them. The people are curious about them. He is a strong leader with a huge heart. I know he and Braden are going to fall in love with those children today!

Pray for safety today as they work. Pray for supernatural protection, strength, wisdom, and love to and through them today. I know and pray as He says in Isaiah 52 and 58, He will go before them and be their rear guard. It looks like the humidity is at 91% today so pray for their supernatural comfort as they serve. Pray for the opportunities I know God has for them to share His Gospel as they serve. I know God is going before them and preparing hearts for the message. Thank God for each person that came before my family and friend got there and built those bungalows, the clinic, that school, that orphanage and that church. Thank Him for nurse Jenny and her work there and for Brent and A Door To Hope as their work there. God's glory forever. Pray for the people there.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

BAM! HE's got you!

My heart is so full as I write today. I start my husband and daughter on malaria meds today in preparation for their first overseas mission trip. I'm so excited in an extraordinary way. The intricate things God did in this sends me soaring to the moon with excitement! Our family has done a lot of mission work here in the USA but this is their first time overseas.

In the beginning stages of planning, I was to go on this trip with our daughter. I've been a missionary to South America and wouldn't hesitate to go. In fact, my hubby originally said that in order for our daughter to go, I must go. In my heart, I knew this was his trip. I had major neck surgery earlier this year and right at the time of confirming flights, etc I had a big set back. I knew this was a God thing to move things around. I prayed and my hubby said he would go. BAM! There are some things I can't share right now about my daughter specifically that I see God doing (I want her to hear from God with no influence from me first), and have been praying about it. We were soon after notified that their assignment changed completely for this trip and they are now pioneering a new area for future missionaries. This correlates so much with those things I've prayed about. BAM! God gave her a job that helped prepare her for this. BAM! My husband had God speak to him in a mighty way while on a retreat two weeks ago. BAM! Their financing for this trip came in faster than I've EVER seen on a team I was on, or a team I have led. BAM! God began calling our family in a special way to orphans. BAM! BAM! BAM!

For I know the plans I have for you declares the LORD plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Trust. We say, trust God. How can anyone ever doubt God after the ways he sees to our needs IN SUCH DETAIL?? God has you. HE has declared that HE has you...a promise that will not be broken. You are HIS beloved. Ask HIM anything...tell HIM anything....bring HIM anything. HE loves you deeply.....grasp how wide, and long, and high, and deep is the love of Christ (Ephesians 2:18)....for YOU


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Draw Near

I've just returned from a four day retreat. Ahhhh! Feel my smile? I had such a powerful experience that my soul is resting so peacefully in! I'll say it again.....ahhhh! I am so glad it happened when it did because October is an extremely busy month. God told me back in late summer that October was going to be an increase and a speeding up in things for my family.....and He wasn't kidding! Our home is usually hustling and moving. All of us here work hard and serve hard in several areas of ministry. So far, my husband, son and I have each been on one trip separately at different times to different areas, two members of my family will be leaving the country on a mission trip, then three members are leaving for two different trips out, I have two conferences I'm serving at, and one I'm speaking at....all this in addition to our usual things we do, like working regular jobs....all in October!! People are at my house throughout and the security cameras and alarm systems stay on.

It is so important to stay grounded and close to the Lord at all times. In busy times it's tempting to skip out on our quiet time (I like to call it cuddle time) and studying of the Word with Daddy. It's tempting to sleep in juuuust a little longer. Don't fall for it! We have to be on guard at all times, especially in busy work...even if that work is for the Lord. I began telling my family several weeks ago that October was going to be extremely intense with activity so stay close to His Word and communication with Him. Along with the busyness we need to draw near to God and He will draw near to us. James 4:8

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Everyday Urgency

I'm sitting here in the Pittsburgh airport anxiously awaiting a couple flights which will land me in Mexico. Me and 12 other young adults are on our way to do some missions work in San Luis.

Why is it that missions trips create a spiritual urgency in us? We pray harder. We prepare. We go with expectation believing for miracles and transformed lives.

But when it comes to the every day, we coast. We're comfortable. We have our ministry down to a science. We don't even have to pray that much. We just do it.

Consider this verse from the Acts 20:22-23:

"And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me."

You know what stands out to me here? In the face of pain and difficulty, Paul was compelled to go. He wasn't concerned for his own well-being - he was sold out to the cause.

Every day was a new adventure because He was following the Holy Spirit.

What about you?

When you're following the Holy Spirit, you feel compelled. There's a burning in your heart to do what He calls you to do - go where He calls you to go - and be who He's called you to be.

What if you approached your worship leading this Sunday like you would a missions trip? What if you were "on your toes" - prayed up, expectant, focused, and believing for the miraculous?

Because God is always up to miraculous work - saving the lost, healing the sick, awakening lifeless hearts. And He wants to do that through you.

Are you ready?

Praying for you and your ministry, Christy.


I send a special email newsletter to people who opted in at my website davidsantistevan.com. Thanks for joining!

Our mailing address is:
David Santistevan
8 Yale Ave
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15229

Copyright (C) 2012 David Santistevan All rights reserved.

David wholeheartedly gave me permission to use this email that he sent out. I wanted to share this because I too have felt this way about our mission field being wherever we are right now....and not saving that urgency for when we get on that plane. I've done missionary work here in the U.S. and in South America....as well as everyday serving where I am. There shouldn't be a difference in our "spiritual urgency". There is a battle going on all over this planet, and people needing the Savior everywhere. Stand up soldier, and rise to your call. Let's be on our faces praying for our fellow brothers and sisters who are serving all over this world, and in our own churches and neighborhoods. If you've ever asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, you are a missionary right now and have received the call, see Matthew 28:19-20.

The following is a tag I use with my email signature:
We are free-ist when we obey.....tallest when we're kneeling.....most alive when we die


Monday, October 1, 2012

Take The Lid Off Your Church

I recently had the privilege to preview an eBook written by Tony Morgan called Take The Lid Off Your Church: 6 Steps To Building A Healthier Senior Leadership Team. Below is the review on Amazon and also a link to purchase it. Believe me brothers and sisters....go read some of the other leader's reviews and grab it too...you won't be sorry! I truly wish I had this book YEARS ago! So glad it's here NOW! It's a very easy and pleasant read.

Amazon review:
My son is in the very beginning stages of planting a church. When I received the notice that I was chosen to read and review this eBook I was ecstatic. If you are beginning a ministry, this is a must have for your library. Tony Morgan gives clear steps on how to choose the leaders right, right from the start. Consider this an important "how-to" for building from the ground up. Placing the right people on the right team can truly bless the health of the ministry. Healthy leadership=healthy ministry.

If your a church that has some issues or "something just isn't right"....this is for you. Maybe you've noticed things aren't moving in your ministry as you envisioned it, some gaps, or ill-placed people on your team..... this eBook is great for you too. This isn't the first ministry our family has started/helped start and I guarantee you this will be brought to the table every time.

I advise this for all my friends and family in any ministry no matter where you are on your timeline!

Go NOW and purchase it here: Take The Lid Off

I am gifting this to some people I know personally! You should too!


Appetite satisfied.....

Since you have heard about Jesus and learned the truth that comes from Him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted through deceitful desires. Instead, let the spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:21-24

When this hard, rebellious man walked down the isle at his church and got saved it seemed we could feel all of heaven clap in praise....and so did the entire congregation. Tears flowed long and hard in rejoicing over this man. I know I cried a mess all over another mans suit that day! You see, this man was loved so much and prayed about by everyone for so long. He had been at death's door several times. He had lived a hard, sinful life. He had hurt a lot of people in his lifetime. BUT....then he met Jesus! The day he met Jesus he was transformed radically. A modern day "Saul to Paul" transformation. He gained a ravenous appetite for God and His Word that was impressive. He shared Jesus everywhere he went. Because of his background, he was able to reach people that others couldn't....all but one area....his family. He called one day hurt about this and said, "I know the Lord saved me and forgave me. They all know this. Why don't they accept me now?"

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there at the altar and go, be reconciled to that person and then come offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24

You see....Jesus had indeed forgiven him of all he had done. However, he had burned some bridges with others in his family, and with friends. That wonderful man left that conversation with me and spent the next several weeks going to each person he had ever done wrong and apologized in detail to them and asked their forgiveness. He died a short while later, and while at his funeral, lines and lines of people told me how after years had passed between them, he showed up one day telling them he was sorry, and how Jesus had transformed his life.....friends, family, and even his ex-wife! What a blessed example of a man transformed at the cross and used for God's glory!

This man was my father. A man radically and boldly changed; who now has all of his hunger satisfied, feasting at the table of His precious Jesus.