Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Little Picture vs. Big Picture

I have been impressed lately with the importance of drawing close to God. When I come in contact with God's work I realize, my definite need to be close to God and only doing His work, His way. There are ways I think are right, I think will be easier, ways that make more sense to me, but I need to hear God's voice and follow His instructions.

Tonight I'm teaching the kids about Saul and the little picture vs. the big picture. Saul made all kinds of mistakes in his leadership because he was looking from his perspective, the little picture. He saw a way that made more sense to him than God's way, so he took it. Over and over he chose the way that made sense to him in the little picture, instead of following God's big picture. Eventually, the kingdom was taken away from him and he stopped hearing God's voice and guidance.

Reading about Saul's leadership helps me to put my leadership into the Big Picture perspective. I don't have the big picture, every once in a while I catch a glimpse of a portion of it, but most of the time I have the little picture perspective. God's the one with the Big Picture perspective. Reading about Saul really makes me ask, "When I'm up against a situation where God's way doesn't make sense and I see a different way that seems better, will I have enough faith to trust and follow Him?"

The nice thing is, God's instructions weren't some hidden mystery to Saul. God's way was clearly laid out so when Saul chose the wrong way, he knew he wasn't following God's way. God doesn't hide his way from me either.

There are days when I choose wrong, but I'm realizing more and more the need I have for God. For His way to trump my way every time. The need I have to be close to Him so that I can hear His instructions and follow through.

God, help me to have the faith to follow Your way every time. Thank you so much for who You are. Amen.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Announcement

I'm breaking my blogging silence to issue an exciting announcement. Tim and I are engaged! Yep, that's right, we're getting married! Very exciting. He proposed in the same place we first prayed together, which is very meaningful for both of us. Delightful!

Bring on the crazy wedding plans... I'm a little nervous that I could become a Bridezilla, but hopefully with even headed people like my mother, father and Tim with me I will navigate the decisions without turning into a crazy woman.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Books of the Bible

One of the greatest tools I gained from my years as a Missionette in elementary school was the songs that help me remember the order of the books of the Bible. As a children's pastor I want to make sure Highland kids know their Bibles too. Tim tipped me off to this excellent song/video put out by The Bigsby Show.

Pretty sure this is the winner. Kids Rock kids will be able to learn and sing this song for Rock Shop Points. Enjoy relearning your books of the Bible.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Summer Giving Challenge

At the beginning of the summer God drew my attention to how much He has blessed me financially. As far as things in America go, I am not rich. However, in comparison with the rest of the world I am incredibly wealthy.

So I asked Tim to start a money adventure with me. In June, we decided to would take our weekly allotments out of the bank each week, but use as little money as possible. At the end of each week for a month, we planned to set aside the saved money. The saved money would then be given to missions in some way or another.

During our giving challenge, our eyes were opened to God's great blessings in our lives and the excesses to which we had become accustom. We drove less, tried to use less electricity, played cards instead of going to the movies, ate picnics instead of going out to dinner. Rather than buying new clothes or accesories, I became more creative with the things I own. If we did go out to dinner, we just got water and inexpensive items on the menu. Tim and I traded off brining lunches and dinners to work, but most exciting were the times God would make dinner! Numerous times we'd show up to church and be told so-n-so was making lunch for the staff or my dad would take us out to dinner or left overs from a leadership meal or church function were fantastic reheated. We didn't starve ourselves or walk everywhere, we just learned to live on less, a lesson that has continue to have it's benefits after our money adventure ended.

I anticipated saving $20-$25 each a week, but after our month finished and we counted up our money we realized that in just one month we had saved $360! I was shocked and so grateful for God's wonderful blessings in my life that allowed me to give!

Shortly after we finished our "money fast", Tim and I had the pleasure of hearing Charlie Chivers' vision for the future of Special Touch, a ministry to people with disabilities. I was moved to give to that great ministry. I talked with Tim and when I suggested our saved money for missions could go to Special Touch, he was hesitant. When we began our saving we had mentioned giving the money to some missionary friends and Tim had been thinking of them the entire time and thought our money needed to go to them. Then Tim tentatively said words I will never forget, "We could do it again."

The moment he said it, I'm just going to be honest, I was not excited. But I knew it was the right thing to do and he did too. The next day we sent out the money to our missionary friends with great joy and began our saving adventure part 2 for Special Touch. And again, we saw God's great blessing and provision in our lives. It was remarkable. The second time through, I expected we might be able to save $300. At the end of our month, we totalled our savings and the Lord had enabled us to save $390 to give to Special Touch.

I was amazed and in awe of our great God. During the second month of our money adventure I found this verse in a prayer given by King David.

"But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand." 2 Chronicles 29:14

I cried and praised God when I read this verse because it was and is exactly what the Lord taught me during my great sumer giving challenge and what is in my heart. I am amazed by how much he has blessed me that I am able to generously give. God can do incredible things when we surrender our lives to Him, including our finances.

"But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand." What a great adventure.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Inspired by kindness

I just got back into town from a fantastic trip to visit my best friend, Julianne, and her family as we all celebrated Julianne and her now husband, Matt, getting married! Pictures and more on the wedding will come shortly, but first I want to share one of the incredible things I was inspired by this weekend: kindness.

Great love and care was taken this weekend and most of that love was shown through great kindness. It was almost overwhelming to me. The way Julianne and her family always went the extra mile, even during such a busy and crazy time as a wedding weekend, to make everyone feel special, cared for and appreciated was remarkable. What a wonderful testimony of God's generosity and character. I am filled with so much love and gratitude for them.

And I am inpsired. I am reminded to look past my current to-do list to the people and lives around me. To find the extra step I can take to show gratitude, love and compassion through kindness to those around me. I'm also awakened to the great kindnesses I am shown by those around me every day.

In Jeremiah 31:3 God said, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness." That is amazingly true. God's kindness is so true and undeserved and is so often what He uses to draw us to Himself. It is wonderful to be the recipient of His great kindness, to recognize it in His creation and to give it out.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Lord, I need more of You

Often when I'm doing my devotions I'll get songs stuck in my head, but this morning I didn't have one song, I had several. They all centered on the same theme: More of God. That's what I say I want all the time, but sometimes my prayers, attitudes and actions may not reflect that spoken desire. Today though, it's different.

There are mornings when I have to drag myself to the living room to do my devotions and labor through my Bible reading for the day. But this morning it was a true joy to read the Word of God. It wasn't because I was reading something that was incredibly relevant to a situation I'm going through. I didn't receive divine inspiration for a project I'm working on for worship or for the kids. It was just a joy to be sitting with God and reading what He wrote for me to read thousands of years ago.

And I was just sitting here at my desk and I thought about my desire for God and almost came to tears. There are times when I think about the character of God and it seems like it's just a nice list in my mind: faithfulness, goodness, justice, love, peace. But today His character is a reality in my heart and I find myself just wanting more of Him in my life.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Max 7

I just found out about this great new site for children's ministry resources. It's called Max 7 and it's all about helping children and pre-teens live their lives to the maximum for Jesus 24/7. The ministry resources are all free. Better yet, they are creative, great and free. You can get free lessons and videos a lot of the time, but they aren't usually the greatest. I've already found some wonderful videos I plan on using throughout our year in Kids Rock. Check it out.



This is my favorite video so far.



Jesus Crucifixion


video