Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Least Likely Candidate

I love to read stories of people who have been used by God. Many of the saints were not likely candidates but God used them mightily. These people give me hope that God can use me because I'm certainly not a likely candidate but I do have a willing heart. My story isn't pretty, but I know God can use it anyway. He can use your story too.

Last night I was blessed by the prayers of my friends in our home group at Marlene and Bill Brubaker's house. One of the ways we encourage each other is a birthday blessing time. The birthday celebrant sits in a chair in the middle of the group and everyone speaks a prayer of encouragement over their life. My birthday is a week from today so I'm going to cherish these words and celebrate all week.

We also discussed how we as the church need to ask God how He can use us to touch a world of people who don't want to listen to our "Christianese". We all agreed that LOVE is the answer. We need to touch those around us with unconditional love. He's called us to do this. Even if we don't feel equipped or wise or powerful. He'll use us because of our love. They will know we are Christians by our love. (I can hear my guitar strumming as I led worship with this song at Anaconda Central High School!) We simply need a willing heart and eyes to see others through the lense of love.

I had a big kiss on the cheek from God last night and again this morning when I focused my quiet time on 1 Corinthians 1:18-31. Many of the words prayed over me at home group gave me hope that God would continue to use me in my writing and speaking. I'd been praying about all the things I could write about and my redemptive story has been resonating in my heart. For years I've wanted to write mine and other people's testimony of God's redeeming love and call it "Your Story, God's Glory".

So when my friend Aleta said she sensed that I would be writing a story of redemption my spirit danced. It was confirmation for something I've been asking God about. How do I share my testimony and help other's see that God redeems even someone like me who has made a lot of dumb decisions in my life? I just do it! And I will tell it in many different forms, one little story or article or devotion or Bible study at a time.

Several other prayers encouraged me to keep studying the Word of God and sharing what I've learned with others. This was one more confirmation since I'm working on a Bible study book proposal for two publishers who are interested in such a book. The Word of God truly is a lamp unto my feet and it lights my every path.

I feel called to help others fall more in love with God through the study of His Word. I wake up hungry for more of the Bible every morning. I've fallen head over heals in love with Jesus simply by studying His Word every day. I love his style. He'll use the least likely servant to do amazing things. He roots for the underdog. I like that too. I want to be more and more like Him.

Let me share this Scripture that jumped out at me today in my quiet time. It was like the icing on the cake after our discussion and prayer time last night. As Beth Moore says, it was a "God Stop".

1 Corinthians 1:18-31 (New International Version)
Christ the Wisdom and Power of God

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."
20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.
26 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.

God chose us - simple people who love Jesus and He will use us mightily when we say "yes". To God be the Glory for every life we change with our love. Let the least likely candidate boast not in our own wisdom or power, but let us boast in the Lord.

I pray you will chew on this Word today. Ask God to speak to you through it. May the Lord Bless your heart today.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Grace for the Journey

It was so nice to have Grandpa Zane, Aunt Nina, the Ryans and the Goodhearts join us to celebrate Zane's graduation.

Proud Mom and Dad with WSU graduate Zane

My life has been extremely busy and blessed this month. Last weekend I watched my oldest son Zane receive his diploma from Washington State University. He graduated with a degree in Communications - Public Relations. I'm very proud of him. He will start a new job in Post Falls, Idaho in June.

We celebrated with friends and family this weekend with a barbecue at our house. We were blessed with incredibly beautiful weather. Our house was full of love and laughter. I love it!

Now that he's finished with college, the next thing on Zane's agenda is a wedding. He is going to marry his sweetheart - Kelsey Ryan. She is a wonderful woman of God. Together I know they will change the world. The wedding is only three and a half weeks away. The time has flown by since their engagement and now we are down to the final details of planning. I need grace for the journey! I am most excited about all of the family who will be here for the special occasion.

Before the wedding, I'll be finishing up the manuscript for my Caregivers Devotions to Go devotional book. It's due to my publisher on June 1st. I'm grateful for the editing help I've been receiving from my friends and family. I'm even more grateful for the uplifting stories I have to tell because of my amazing family.

I had positive news on the publishing front this week. I sold an article to VISTA magazine. I also received a positive reply to a query I submitted to Today's Christian Woman magazine. I'm finalizing another book proposal to send to an agent who requested my materials. I'm so grateful.

In the midst of all of this news I have a health concern which is requiring a biopsy on Thursday. I sense everything will be okay. I've been down this road before. However, two of my sisters were diagnosed with breast cancer in the last year so the road I'm traveling again has a few signs on it that weren't there before.

Once again, I am asking the Lord for grace for the journey. I trust He'll walk me down that road because he has always been faithful to me.

God's blessing on your day. I pray God's grace for your journey too - wherever it may take you.