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Month: September 2015

Three Truths While Waiting For A Miracle

Three Truths While Waiting For A Miracle

There she was, kind of an outcast.  For more than a decade she had been considered unclean because of a medical issue, but one day she heard His name and learned of what He could do. She heard He was coming to town and she thought, “This, yes THIS is the day I want to see God work a miracle in my life!”  As she got ready for her day I’m sure thoughts of excitement and wonder went round and round in her mind.  If what she heard was true, she could be healed and would not have to live a life of isolation any more!

She put a shawl around her head and left her home in search of the One who could really heal her. It wasn’t hard to find Him because there were always crowds of people wherever He was.  Her heart began to pound, could this really be happening?  Doctors had given up on finding a cure so He was really her only hope!

She squeezed through the crowd, “excuse me, sorry, excuse me.”  Finally she was close enough….. close enough to just touch the hem of His garment.  “I only need to touch the hem of His garment and I will be made whole!  My miracle is so close!” she thought.

She stretched out her hand, heart pounding in her chest, and as her fingertips touched the very end of His garment she could feel herself healed!  It had worked!  She was made whole because of Jesus!  {Read about this story in Luke 8:43-48}

Have you ever yearned for a miracle yourself?  Have you seen others receive their miracles and still there you are, waiting for your own?

I have. That waiting can be so tough, isn’t it?  The waiting is certainly a test of our patience and maybe even our faith!

The tough part about waiting for answers is sometimes our faith begins to doubt.  We wonder if God is hearing us, we wonder if He really is good all the time, we wonder if His answer will be no, and if so, why is it a no?

Not very many of us are good at the waiting game.  All we have to do is call a customer service hotline and we learn real quick like how much we do not enjoy waiting!  How long can a company really keep us on hold?

Maybe you are like me and you are right smack dab in the middle of waiting to hear from God.  While we wait I would love to share three encouraging truths!

One, we must remember, no matter how long it takes to hear an answer from God, He is still good!  Our Heavenly Father is unchanging.  Therefore if He is unchanging, that means He truly is always good.  His goodness does not change because of our opinion of Him at the time.  No matter how long we wait, He is always good, this is important to remember because in our weak moments of waiting, the enemy will try to speak lies to us about God’s goodness.  Fight back with TRUTH!

Two, do not give up!  God longs to hear from us!  Look in Luke 18:1-7,

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;  Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:  And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.  And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;  Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?”

God wants us to keep bringing our petitions to Him.  Even though it may become difficult,  God sees, and knows, and hears us!  Keep praying!

Three, when we do pray, let’s pray in faith that God will answer.  There are so many passages in Scripture where Christ says to pray, or to ask, to call upon Him.  He wants us to talk with Him, but when we do, He wants us to pray in faith that He CAN and WILL answer!  Now His answer may be different from our desire, but He will answer.  When we pray, let’s not doubt God!  James 1:6, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”  Our God is able!

Friends, be encouraged!  God is listening, He is hearing the cries of our hearts, don’t give up!

Wendy

If this post has been an encouragement to you, please feel free to pass it along!

Our Two Year Anniversary at Zion Hill

Our Two Year Anniversary at Zion Hill

Next month will mark two years since my husband accepted the position of Senior Pastor at our church.  Two years that have completely flown by for sure!  On the eve of our two year anniversary since being transplanted to the south, I thought I would share a few observations/lessons I have learned.

  1. We love the people here!  Just before moving here we experienced a very hurtful experience in our former church.  We loved the people there but were extremely hurt and I, in no uncertain terms, wanted to remain in the ministry.  We had been very hurt by those we loved and served and our hearts were wounded.  So when my husband told me after receiving some counsel from close Pastor friends and mentors, that he felt God was calling him to the Sr. Pastorate you can be sure I said, “Ummmmm, I don’t think so!”  However, God did some work on my heart and over time the Lord showed me this was truly His path.  Though the path getting here was quite bumpy and road awfully curvy, I can honestly say I absolutely love where God has planted us.  This California girl has zero southern belle in her, but I love these people!  I love their sweet spirits, (their sweet tea!!) I love the grace they extend, I love that when people walk through our church doors they feel like they have come home, I love seeing them grow, and I love the influence they have on my kids.  I love how everyone here seems to be a good cook, they love to laugh, and we love having them in our home!

      2. God has taught me much the last few years about just being real and not afraid to share that I sometimes struggle too.  This has not always been okay to admit and I have been told in the past, “Our people do not need to know about your struggle.  We don’t want them to think we hired someone who can’t keep it together.”   I find this very sad because listen, I may be the Pastor’s wife, but my spiritual life is still a work in progress and I make mistakes!  I experience victories and defeats. I have to apologize to my husband and kids, I stress about different things just like other people and am learning to not stress but continually give it over to the Lord.  And all of this is okay to admit.  Letting people know that our family is real makes us more approachable and help them know we are normal people just like them!

3.  The more you pray for people, the more you love and care about them and desire to see God’s best for them!  Never have I been so burdened before to pray pray pray for others!  Each morning my husband and I pray together for the people in our church by name.  We want to see God do a work in this church where the only explanation is “Only God could have done this!”  We long to see people desire to be rooted and grounded in God’s Word.  We long to see people with a prayer life that is deeper and more real than ever before.  The more we pray for them the more we care for them.  We want the people in our church to know we love them enough to pray for them by name every day.

4. This was a big one…. I’m almost afraid to admit it.  It has been tough for me to learn that when others are not faithful to church, it is not personal towards my husband.  I used to feel it was.  I thought people didn’t come back on Sunday night or they became hit and miss to church altogether because they didn’t like him, or us, or our family.  I know that may sound totally crazy, but I did for awhile struggle with it!  One day when I admitted this to my husband he said, “It isn’t personal towards us, it is personal towards God. It’s an issue between them and God, not them and us.”  My husband is a very wise man.  But, if I’m being honest here, I have to admit this is something God has taught me.  Sometimes all we can do for people is love them and pray for them and allow the Holy Spirit to do the work only He was meant to do.

5. It has been exciting to watch God grow our church!  He has been doing a great work and answering our prayers!  We have prayed every day that God would grow our church spiritually and numerically and He is doing both!  Just this coming Sunday we are going to have THREE people get baptized and we could not be more ecstatic!  It is thrilling to see God at work!  He is growing our Awana program, He has added more young families to our church, He has opened up opportunities for discipleship, there is just no doubt that He is at work and we are THRILLED to get to be a part of it!

These last two years have been wonderful.  We have rejoiced with those that rejoiced, we have wept and held others while they grieved.  We have seen souls saved and baptized and we have seen God add to His church.  These two years have held mountains and valleys, I have seen God draw me closer to Him and when I am closer to Him, no matter what is going on around us, my heart is at peace.  Ministry life is not always easy, I oftentimes feel we are on the front-lines of the battlefield, however, it is always rewarding.  It is amazing to be able to teach our Cubbies class and see these little ones following along with the story and seeing their attention so captivated as they learn about Jesus!  What an amazing opportunity God has given us to share the love of Jesus with the sweet people of our church and community!  I love 1 Timothy 1:12, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 

God is so good, He is so gracious, and we are thankful for another year He has allowed us to serve alongside these wonderful people!

When Walking With Christ, Defeat is Not Included

When Walking With Christ, Defeat is Not Included

My first ever attempt at baking was kind of a big flop.  I was a young teen and I decided I was going to make my first ever batch of brownies!  I had the box right in front of me and I carefully read all of the ingredients I needed.  I cracked the eggs, measured the water, dumped in some oil, and was ready to turn the mixer on.  I read the next step and that is when it all fell apart.  The directions read, mix until all of the dry ingredients are wet.

I looked from the box to my bowl.

From the bowl back to the box.

Ummmmm, there were no dry ingredients in my bowl!  Only eggs, oil, and water and that did not sound like it would make wonderful chocolatey brownies!  Where is the chocolate?!

Confused I went to my mom and explained my dire circumstances and that’s when she began to laugh.  Yes, my own mother laughed at me.  She said, “Wendy, you have to open the box and pour in the mix!”  {Resume more laughter.}

Totally embarrassed at my mistake, I went back to the kitchen, opened the box, poured in the mix, and I am happy to report that my brownies turned out like a charm!

Can I tell you that to this very day, my family, yes, my own flesh and blood, still laughs at my mistake.  Looking back I can’t say that I blame them 🙂  It was pretty humorous!

You know, we tend to do that in our every day lives, do we not?

If we have accepted Christ as our Savior, the living Holy Spirit is alive within us and yet we do not access the very power that dwells within us!   We go through our days wondering why we just cannot get victory over one of our pet sins, or why it seems our days are always stressed filled.  Why is our home not a happy one and where did the Joy of my salvation run off to?

Many times instead of accessing the Holy Spirit within us, we stifle the Holy Spirit and convince ourselves that must be doomed to just live a life of defeat.

Oh friends, that is not the case at.all!!

If that is the mindset you find yourself in right now, stop!  I promise you, defeat is not the plan God has for you!

John 10:10b is very clear, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”. {emphasis mine}  Does life more abundant sound like a defeated life?  No way Jose! Life more abundant sounds wonderful!

In order to have that though we have to be daily walking with Christ.  Even if we skip just one day we will find ourselves run down, believing the lies of the enemy, wondering where our joy has gone, and living in defeat! Defeat is where Satan longs for us to dwell.  John 10:10a let’s us know, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.”  Yes, the enemy revels when we live in defeat.  Ladies, kick that enemy out of your home and remind Him that, “Greater is HE {God!} that is in you, than he {Satan} that is in the world.” I John 4:4

Just like I had the ingredients I needed for my brownies, I had to open the box to access them!  We have to open God’s Word to access His power!  We have to spend time in prayer daily, not just when we feel we can squeeze in time every other day, but every single day.

Ladies, let’s open the box!  Let’s let the Holy Spirit reign in our lives!  We can have victory!  We can have joy!  If we have accepted Christ’s free gift of salvation, we have exactly what we need living right inside of us to live a victorious Christian life!  Let Him rule in your heart today!

Be encouraged!

Wendy