The Great Awakening

azusastreet

Go listen to this:

http://podcasts.ibethel.org/en/podcasts/resistance-persistence-and-breakthrough

I haven’t posted in a long time. A bit of a sabbatical, I guess.

But I am stirred today by His Spirit.

My daughter called me a couple of days ago and said that she and a pastor friend want to go to the Azusa street ….something or other….you know how parents can half listen and assume at the same time?? Yes, terrible of me to admit, I know.

I was both excited and dismayed my daughter wanted to go. Excited because my prayer and dream is for an “Azusa Street” like revival to come again. I read the books. I pray all the time for it.

Dismayed…well, those plane tickets are really expensive.

Today, just like any other day, I slept too long pushing snooze. Did manage to make it to the gym. And at the gym, listen to a Bethel Church podcast. I love Bill Johnson’s preaching! It was the podcast linked above. Please listen. After that I chose another podcast. Just happened to be Beni Johnson.

I started crying.

Then praying. I am stirred to my very core. I cannot stop! Every part of my being is crying out for more of GOD, more of HIS Spirit! Just MORE God!

I must fast. I must pray. I must get as many people to that place on April 9th as I can. 

So, here it is. My plea for you to join me in prayer and fasting for this event. I believe God is pouring our His Spirit on all flesh. This is just the beginning. WE  are living in an exciting time in history.

I pray you are stirred today and feel HIS presence where you are while you read this and will be drawn to HIM and cry out for MORE!

 

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The Comparison Trap: Marriage

comparison 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living in the Land of “Er”

“If I was pretty-er..”                   “If I was thin-er…”                         “If I was rich-er…”    

“If I had  more-er.”                   “If I was lucky-er..”                        “If I was smart-er..”

…I would be…Happy-er…Fun-er…Bett-er………..

I was recently listening to Andy Stanley. He preached a great lesson on the comparison trap and the Land of Er. While listening to this I realized there was a great connection for marriages. Read on as I share the connection and how your marriage can be healed.

Here’s a link to Andy Stanley’s messages: http://northpoint.org/messages/comparison-trap

Who do you compare yourself to?

Why do we compare ourselves to anyone?

Down deep inside is a part of us that needs to feel successful, accepted, and okay.

We just want to know we are OK. And how do we know we are OK? We compare ourselves to people around us that seem OK or not oK and we say “well I’m not as OK as that person, but I’m better than that person. So I am OK.” Because there is always someone better and always someone worse off.

And we compare everyone in our lives to other people too. We compare our children to everyone else’s children. “My children aren’t as smart as her kids.” “My children act better than her kids.” “My children can’t play sports like those kids.” “My son is…My daughter is…compared to….” “MY baby is prettier than all other babies!”

Who do the perfect parents compare their kids to?

Who does God compare you to? As his kid. He compares us to no one. He loves and accepts us just the way we are. You are not compared to sister so & so in the front pew. Your holiness or lack thereof or shortcomings are not compared to anyone.

When your child does something wrong you don’t love him less. When you correct him you do it for his own good. To help him live a better life as he grows up. You don’t expect him to know it all. You teach him and he develops good habits and such over time.

The Garden of Life

garden

I picture my life as a beautiful garden.

Each lesson that we learn is to pluck out the roots that cause the ugliness in our lives. Roots are being plucked out: Bitterness, unforgiveness, traumas, etc.

Think of your life as a garden. Do you want ugly weeds in your garden?

The light has to shine on it. Show that it’s there. Then we can deal with it with God’s help and healing.

We all want our Garden of Life to be beautiful-filled with joy, peace, love, patience, kindness, goodness, purity, beauty, etc.

So is there one more root that has to come out?

Comparison

 

Parable of the Talents (money bags)

Matthew 25:14

14“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,a each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.16The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

21“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

22“The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

23“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

24“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28“ ‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

  • 1.    Each servant was distributed his portion to care for. Entrusted “his wealth”

2.    Each servant had to answer for his actions.

3.    Only one servant placed blame.

           a.       He was called “wicked and lazy”.

           b.     Can we be that way sometimes in our marriage? It’s easier to complain and criticize and compare than to do something positive?

4. Suffer the Consequences

           a.  Not living the way God intended results in frustration, fear, and torment.

           b.  And results in no peace.

How does this apply to marriage?

1.    God entrusted one of his most precious treasures to us–our spouse. God’s creation. Beautifully and wonderfully made. To love, honor and cherish. God’s Treasure.

2.    In the most holy bond on earth-husband and wife united as one.

3.    How we respond to what was “entrusted” is up to us. The blame is not on God if we feel we got a bad lot. We can’t say…if only my spouse was like ….. or…if only my spouse was this or that…

               a.    The 3rd servant blames the master for his actions. “If you had given me more I could have done more with it. I didn’t have the 5 or even the two.

                You gave me just one, how am  I to make that into something great?” With God all things are possible and maybe what you look at as a “bad lot” and less than ideal                   may be the best you could ever imagine if you changed your perspective. Sometimes it is our perspective that is off not God handing you a bad situation. Sometimes                its our own sin and mess ups we pay for. But even our own mess-ups can be made into something great if we fully rely on God to so something with it. 

4.    We compare our “lot” or “spouse” to others just like we do our house, car, job, money and our children.

            a.    We say “if my husband acted better I would act better” “If my wife was..” “If he acted like so & so…” “if wasn’t as lazy as…” or “if he would just do this …”

5.    Sometimes we contributed to the way our spouses respond to us through our own disrespect, dishonor, superiority, criticism.

Living in the Land of Comparison “ER” is dangerous. The grass is NEVER greener on the other side. That is a lie. 

How do we move out of the land of “Er”?

  1. Be thankful. Recognize that God gave you that husband. (and everything else you have). His precious treasure that he shares with you.
  2. Ask God to show you what you can learn with your spouse. There is always a lesson. God is developing something in you. Look for it. Learn it. Live it.

Peace will be found when you move out of the land of “Er”. That is what we seek. PEACE

The Christian life was never meant to be just a get out of Hell free card. Jesus didn’t just give his life for that. He gave his life so we could live free and abundantly. With peace and joy. In whatever situation it is.

Don’t just say “Oh, I can be thankful because my spouse could be a lot worse.”

Instead “I am thankful because my spouse is…” Be specific. If you can’t think of anything then because “he/she is loved by God and God will save him, renew him, etc.”

Don’t let the bitterness cause you to resent your marriage. Or cause you to blame God for everything wrong in your life or marriage.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I repent for not treasuring my spouse, for not honoring him/her in my thoughts and actions. I repent for every blame I have ever put on you Lord. Holy Spirit, help me to be thankful for my spouse. Help me to praise him for things he does. Help me to recognize the gift and talents you have put in him. I repent for any resentment I may have. I trust in you Sovereign God that you give good things to your children and you do good for us all our days. I trust that my spouse is your Best for me. I will start to look at him/her in that way. I am willing to learn from him/her the lessons you want to teach me. Holy Spirit, show me what you will have me to learn.

If he/she is not saved I ask you to open his eyes and show him/her your truth. Help him/her to walk in your ways. Turn his/her heart to you. You change the heart of a man from stone to flesh. Change it Lord. Send someone to him/her to minister. Help me be the light that will shine for you and point to your grace and mercy every day.

I pray blessings over my spouse. That he/she is strong in you, that he/she is highly favored. That he/she hears your voice and follows you. That you protect him/her everywhere he/she goes. 

How Satan Stole the Church

I listened to this podcast from Your Move with Andy Stanley. I enjoy his preaching and he is one of the few podcasts to which I subscribe.

I wrestled with the term “Christianity” recently. Actually, for over a year I have struggled with the definition or lack thereof.

Andy Stanley has a series right now on this. While listening to one particular podcast in this series called “Christianity: Quitters”, I realized something. I want to share with you this thought.

First, let’s give you some background on this subject.
Above is a link that is part of Andy’s introduction of his 30 minute podcast. He so eloquently describes an atheist turned Christian, turned non-Christian 10 years later. If you watch only this segment and stop you will miss the point.
(Maybe you were raised in church, maybe you don’t like church because of the people. I get it. And so does Andy Stanley. Watch or listen to his entire series on this subject if you are struggling with this same issue of the definition of Christianity.)

The term Christian is my issue. There is no definition of this term that is universal and agreed upon by all. It is one word that means different things to every person.
To some it means to act like Jesus Christ or to resemble him as much as possible.
To others it describes someone who attends church. To others it may mean someone who believes in Jesus. And yet, I do not have enough time or space on this page to list all the possible definitions I personally have discovered.
I get so confused with so many definitions of this one word. Even to the group that call themselves Christians they don’t agree on just one single definition.

Did you ever speak to someone that said “oh yeah, I’m a Christian”? But then your definition of that term did not match their actions. So you determined quietly within yourself that they are not really a Christian. And thus judged them as not the same as you. “I don’t know what he/she is but it’s not what “I” call a Christian!” And they may have said the same thing about you.

Andy made an interesting point. The term Christian was not even used by the early church. They called themselves disciples of Jesus Christ. The term Christian was actually a derogatory term used to describe Christ’s disciples of the early church.
Over time this term stuck and is a widely popular and most used term to describe people of the church. I live in the Bible Belt so it’s super common.

Here’s my profound thought! (It was Big deal to me)

Satan is the king of compromise. If he can’t get you to out-right break one of the Ten Commandments maybe he can blur the lines a bit. Let’s diffuse the label. Let’s take out all the meaning. Since the term Christianity can mean a wide variety of lifestyles, beliefs, and practices the term has no substance.
The term Christianity has no standard. We say the Bible is the Word of God and is the standard by which we all must live and be judged. But anyone referring to that term does not have to adhere to the standard of the Bible.
In fact, there’s much confusion in the church world even of what the standard is.

The term Jesus used was “disciple”. That carries a hefty weight. You can do all kinds of things in the name of Christianity but if you call yourself a disciple you are “locked” into a very specific, well defined description. It describes behavior. It describes thoughts.
Disciple: learner, pupil, follower.

John 13:34-35 (NIV) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”


THIS is how you know you are a disciple.

If you want to make an impact on the world it will be because HOW you love. Not what you say you are.

1 John 5:2 NIV This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.

If I do not SHOW love to everyone I cannot say that I am a “disciple” of Jesus Christ.

1 Cor 13:1 NLT If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I pray better than anyone else. If I can preach so well that all who listen are stirred to tears. If I can sing so that goose bumps go down your spine. If I am used in the gift of the Holy Spirit but I do not love I am no better than a clanging cymbal. I make no more impact on the world than a loud, short, annoying, forgotten noise.

Satan will try everything he can to cripple the Church from promoting the Kingdom of God. Anything he can do disable the Gospel.

How easy is it then to destroy the meaning of Christianity? Water it down. Take out the LOVE command. I can love my friends, love the people I hang out with. But don’t expect me to love those heathens. Or to love those that hurt me.

If we don’t love the way Christ loved then we cannot call ourselves a disciple of Jesus Christ. That is what “Christianity” is supposed to mean-Disciple of Jesus Christ. My life should resemble His. I should strive for the same standard by which Jesus lived.

It is time to take back the church. Take it back what God intended.

The author Andy speaks about in the clip above said “It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group.”

My prayer is that the church of Jesus Christ does not resemble that description. Granted, not everyone that calls themselves a Christian behaves like that. However, it is too common to see hateful, judgmental, condemning behavior.

Join with me to pray that the church gets a new, full dose of LOVE the way Jesus lived it.

Podcasts-Joyce Meyer Ministries

Joyce Meyer is one of my favorite authors and speakers. Listen to her audio or video.

http://joycemeyer.org/broadcasthome.aspx

Podcasts-Shane Warren

 

 

One of my favorite Pastors to listen to is Shane Warren. He shares the truth of God’s word and revelations.

You can listen to podcasts of his preaching on itunes.

You can purchase cd’s and books. I highly recommend the series on Spriritual Warfare.

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