***********

My latest book, "Snapshots" is back up, please feel free to download and read (see right side bar to access your e-copy)! However, other Documents are still temporarily off-line as we continue recovery after the major hacking of our secondary site. I'm sorry for the inconvenience, in-article free download documents will be back up soon.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

50 Days of Waiting #5





I look for it out the window as the lines on the road blur by.  I'm waiting... in motion but still-on the old, warn, chenille seat. 

What will it be like?  What will THEY be like? 

Life
people
surroundings.




It is home, in a sense, the license plates stay the same, but the sky is different... the horizon is different.  The sun sets behind different trees.  The wind blows harder and longer.

There is space.  Even in this largest city in the state... it seems like just a lot of space.

A soul could get lost in so much space. 




So I float and I flit and I ponder as we park.  What will come of tomorrow?  How many tomorrows until we unlock new home?  Will there be more heart ache or will God give more celebration?  Will it be what we hope... or will we settle for because God has asked us to do just that, with a joyful heart, seeing settle for as so much more in His Kingdom and guidance? Realizing our hopes pale when held up against His plans.

I wait.  I wonder.  I long.

The final transition has been made, now we wait for a job-car-house.  We wait to transition, living like Paul, earning our ministry's way and seeking to discern our exact place in this new mode of being.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning. 
- Psalm 130:5-6

Perhaps you are fine where you are... perhaps your heart is in transition... perhaps your world is turning around too.  Where ever you are, I pray the waiting is made perfect by His presence and guidance to peaceful quiet moments in each day.

Blessings,
 
  


 Also linking up with some of these

To see 50 Days of Waiting #1 click here#2, click here#3, click here, and #4, click here,
 
 
 
If you want to swipe my graphic and wait with me... please do!  I would love to find I am gathered with many, as the disciples were, waiting.

If you decide to wait with me, feel free to share below as well.  The only rules are that your post must be about scripture, prayer, or any area of your life where you are waiting on the Lord or seeing Him move. 

Share how you are waiting on the Lord right now.  Enter into the upper room with us...





Waiting on the Lord through the season leading to Pentecost


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Vlogs, Vines, and Heart2Heart

This week we are on the road and getting settled (hopefully) into south-eastern Montana.  So I thought I would pre-post (backlog) a blog article re-promoting the new resource series starting up.  (Can you tell I am a wee-bit excited about it?!)

I realized I won't have office work or volunteer work to do for the first month or two in Montana... just what will I do with my time???  Well, probably catch up on all that school work the kids are behind on, for one!  Number two (I hope anyway) will be catching up on some resource projects I have started or planned for months now.  The nature of mobile ministry for 8 months has taken its toal on web-work... but that is still a good thing!

One other maybe-not-so-good timing idea... try to vlog 1-2 times a month.  I can't get comfortable with it until I DO it some... right?  So here it is...


As promised in the video, last week's article link:  Grafted In the Vine


And look, I did figure it out!!!  Heart to Heart Ministries


Be blessed!
 
  



 Also, maybe, sharing this news in these places, if we get settled in time!! 
 
 
**I welcome unlimited downloads and print-offs of these materials... they are meant to GROW the body of Christ.  I only request that you do NOT re-sell this material or change it in anyway without my permission. 
 
 
 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

50 Days of Waiting #4

While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, 
but to wait there for the promise of the Father. 
- Acts 1:4
If all is going well, I will be somewhere in Utah (even possibly Montana) when this article posts.  This season of waiting has been one of the most out-of-the-ordinary seasons of waiting yet!
This past week I was really convicted of the fact that each post in this serious seems down or dreary, focusing on the trials and hard times.  I believe with all my heart there was a point to those posts.  A way of seeing how, even in the dark, Christ is the light.  
So this week I just want to focus on that LIGHT.  I want to focus there because what I realized, in conviction mode, is how sometimes we focus on dark more than we should.  
In those dark places... all we see is.... dark.  We know and we trust a savior is in the darkness with us, but we forget to look over and see him there, his outline, his shine, his BRIGHTNESS.  The enemy (aka, satan) wants us to only focus on the dark.
So there we stand, waiting, just us, in the darkness, knowing our Savior is there too.

This past week I chose to turn around.  To search for the light, run towards the light, cling to the light.  It may have been a spec when I first surveyed... but it was there.  

That doesn't mean I had all the answers I needed. 

I was still waiting.


But instead of waiting on a bench in the dark corner, I sat down on a bench in the full-blown sunshine.  I turned my face up, lightly closed my eyes and smiled... breathing in the peace of God.

I realized, no matter where I am, there God will be and I must look directly at him.  I may be somewhere horrible... I may be somewhere marvelous.  I may be where I think I should be... or where I don't think I was meant to be at all... but the fact is; if we GO where and when God calls, we will never be anywhere outside of just.where.we.belong!

I realized this as I thought on our trip to Phoenix.  We hopped in the RV on a Wednesday afternoon, 2 hours later we began the bypass of Nashville and a few hours after that we got out of the RV... still in Nashville.  As a matter of fact, 8 days later we finally drove out.  Finally headed west.  Then, 2 days into that leg of our trip, a severe wind and then sand storm pulled us into Pecos, Texas to hunker down a few days.

Christmas was coming.  My heart was longing to just be settled.  This same heart cried out, "Why have You forsaken me?!"

But God had a plan.

I was focused on the dark, not the light.  I was focused on my ideas of the plan, forgetting to just wait for God's ideas to play out.

Then, God opened a door to speak.  Of all evenings, all days, all times to be there - then, THIS was the one God ordained.  

I taught and spoke and shared all that God led me to.  At the end of the night I looked over as a tough young woman melted, tear stained cheeks, hugs to those she had argued with just hours before, now she was giving herself over to her Savior.  

This whole trip; giving up car, RV breaking down, repairs ongoing, heart-ached relationships, breaking down again, the specific route we took, the moment we arrived.  GOD USED EVERY LAST PART OF IT.  The pain, the joy and everything inbetween.

He.was.in.control all along.

All I needed to do was sit back, wait, and see.

That story came to me this past week as I thought on dark vs. light.  The candles in this meme's icon vs. the dark in the background.  What will we focus on as we wait.  The trials and darkness?  Or will we look for the light and walk towards it, sit in it, cling to it... while we wait.

I pray you bask in the light of His love today.  That you soak up the good times and turn your face toward the glimmer in the bad.  God has a plan.  Just wait.
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.  
- Isaiah 40:31

Blessings,
 
  



 Also linking up with some of these

To see 50 Days of Waiting #1 click here#2, click here. and #3, click here
If you want to swipe my graphic and wait with me... please do!  I would love to find I am gathered with many, as the disciples were, waiting.

If you decide to wait with me, feel free to share below as well.  The only rules are that your post must be about scripture, prayer, or any area of your life where you are waiting on the Lord or seeing Him move. 

Share how you are waiting on the Lord right now.  Enter into the upper room with us...






Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Grafted In the Vine

I have a new resource up and I am praising God for the ability to put it together quicker than I expected!  It is on the right side bar here and it looks like this:


This is something I am very passionate about... the core of my calling into ministry: Teaching women to study their Bible in such a way that they develop a deep and lasting relationship with Christ.

The drive for me to assemble resources, during our time here in Phoenix, has come from helping a local church develop a women's ministry.  Through initial meeting development, God showed me a vision for:


I hope to have this resource up soon as well.  It is the first installment of a study series geared towards helping women see their potential in ministry as they walk through a daily Bible Study that also serves the purpose of showing them just how easy it is to take just 5 or 10 minutes in the Word each day!

My most profound memories of my earlier years walking with Christ were of those late nights and early mornings curled up on my couch with the Good Book and a journal in my lap.  All the times when the Word breathed out and I breathed in and more of the Father filled me with peace and hope and understanding.  

All that breathing and growing even while my husband was still not a Christ follower.  All those mornings and evenings with babies and toddlers and teenagers.  Through financial struggles and fruitful times... through it all I was grafted in and I grew and I bore fruit and I found.

My passion is that others would find too.  Others would be grafted and fruit bearing and growing in faith and devotion and relationship... to know the peace and hope and understanding in good times and in bad, simply because God's Word was touchable.

As we get re-settled into Montana over the next few months, I hope to fully develop this series, and gradually upload each piece to this site as I get them done!

For now, from sunny Phoenix Arizona, for just a little longer, I pray you are grafted in.  I pray you will share your faith, loudly from the rooftops, because of deep breathing understanding discovered in quiet mornings and slow-down evenings.

Blessings,
  
  



 Also sharing this news in these places


**I welcome unlimited downloads and print-offs of these materials... they are meant to GROW the body of Christ.  I only request that you do NOT re-sell this material or change it in anyway without my permission.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

50 Days of Waiting #3

While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, 
but to wait there for the promise of the Father. 
- Acts 1:4

T -minus- 6 days and counting... we will be leaving Phoenix and, if all goes well, this time next week we will be somewhere between Utah and Idaho, bound for Billings, Montana.

Waiting is so hard.  Waiting for what... we don't know.  Will we be able to go straight through?  Will there be any problems with the RV?  Will the roads be clear and easy to traverse (snow has been through the northern region just this past Sunday).  Waiting to see what job God will give us there.  Wondering how all will balance and fall into place to settle in.
But the hardest waiting, is waiting for understanding.  

Today I was reminded of our trials and tribulations while in Tennessee.  Two-and-a-half months of some of the most difficult ministry work and persecution I think we have ever experienced.  Holding tight to every last shred of light we could still glimpse in the darkness that surrounded us.  
Two-and-a-half months... was that really all?  It felt like forever as we waited for everything to come together.  What is two-and-a-half-months, really, but a blink... a moment.... a breath in all of time.  Yet in the waiting it seemed endless and, at times, almost insuferable!!  

But isn't that just it?  The valleys we walk through, the waiting as we trudge and as we do, we find ourselves closer to the One who is always close.  The valley may be dark, it may be hard to see, but HE is always there, guiding us like a Good Shepherd.  And out we will rise... we always rise, sometimes sooner or later than other times... but always. 

The mountains will bring peace to the people,
And the little hills, by righteousness.
Psalm 72:3 (NKJV) 

Peace and righteousness are what we rise to what God lifts us to as we exit the valley.  That is our hope and joy though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.  Waiting, walking and knowing... KNOWING the Shepherd is with me, guiding me, growing me, teaching me... makes it all so wonderful in the end!

I pray, whether you are in valleys, on hills, or enjoying the view from a mountaintop, that the waiting in-between grows and blesses you and expands your awe and love of our One True King!

Blessings,
 
  



 Also linking up with some of these

To see 50 Days of Waiting #1 click here. and #2, click here.

If you want to swipe my graphic and wait with me... please do!  I would love to find I am gathered with many, as the disciples were, waiting.


If you decide to wait with me, feel free to share below as well.  The only rules are that your post must be about scripture, prayer, or any area of your life where you are waiting on the Lord or seeing Him move.  I can't promise a particular day of link-up (I know, big no-no in Linky etiquette!!) but we will be traveling again soon so my Internet access will be spotty at times.  Watch the site, watch on Facebook... it will increase the value of waiting!  Or contact me if you might be willing to guest host a specific day of link-up as I prepare and travel :-)


Share how you are waiting on the Lord right now.  Enter into the upper room with us...



Share how you are waiting on the Lord right now.





Thursday, April 11, 2013

Well-side Encounters


There were equal signs this week... and un-equal signs and Facebook and boldness from people who love Jesus more than they love life and acceptance in what is 'deemed norm' by all.  I'm not typically outwardly 'political' but this issue wasn't politics... it was Bible and Christian brothers and sisters were being verbally martyred... so I stood up, beside my spiritual siblings, I spoke up and took the fall.  But Jesus is worth it, he blessed me with rebuttals and peace and in the end I will not be ashamed. 


So as I studied John 4 this morning, these thoughts came to my mind...

There was a woman,
and a well,
and a man who was more than meets the eye.

This man asked,
the woman answered,
and through their conversation she SAW.

There were men,
on an errand,
who returned to find their Master
talking to a woman,
by a well
who simply was not accepted.

She was searching,
without knowing,
and Jesus had the answers. 
He healed her,
not physically,
but her heart was made new that day.

The disciples,
they pondered,
'how could you talk to a Samaritan'
and Jesus,
he knew,
because he created them all.

He didn't come
to be accepted
or to do what made everyone happy
He came
to be Truth
that we all might not be lost.

In life,
we have choices,
to follow the Risen Savior. 
To speak out,
speak up,
against and without regard
to what is socially norm.

It may be normal
to do wrong,
to go against the Bible. 
To speak out,
against it,
may just seem absurd.

In an age of,
political-correctness,
we deny the well-side encounters. 
To Speak Truth,
like a savior,
about all that has been wrong.

But it is through
these well-side encounters
that eyes begin to open
a life
marred with sin
can finally be made whole.

If you
today are thinking
of well-side encounters
where the Bible
is shining
and sin is shown wrong
Speak loving
but speak boldly
even if it is not acceptable
because Jesus
in loving boldness
set an example for us all.


 ...a little something to to Think About


Blessings





Linking up, with some GREAT blogs including Thought Provoking Thursday



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Looking vs. Finding


Are you looking for something today?  I have a devotion up over at Group412.org today that may spark some thought.  Looking vs. Finding.  

I pray you find what God is showing you!

Blessings,
 
  



 Also linking up with some of these

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

50 Days of Waiting #2

While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. 
- Acts 1:4

This season of waiting is an interesting one.  Most years I enter into this time looking for direction on an issue or topic... seeking fulfillment or direction to a call.  But this year, I just wait.

I wait to check all the corners of places we have rested for 4 months to be sure nothing is left.

I wait to clean windows and buckle down 'hatches' for mobility and safety.

I wait to see how far our gas will get us, what new sights will we see along the way.

I wait to know where we will re-park and how long till HOME is finally established.

I simply.just.wait.

All in all, I don't mind the waiting.  I am not anxious (though the HOME thing gives me a stir of excitement!) But the difference this season is that we are waiting for the fulfillment and establishment of God's call in another place. 

And the 'enemy' is not pleased.

I ask myself and those close to me lately:  "WHAT ON EARTH IS IN BILLINGS MONTANA."  I don't mean... what is there to do there or what are the hot-spots.  NO.  I am wondering just what God has going on that He is drawing us into and the enemy is fighting tooth and nail to keep us out of.

It isn't "closed doors".  We recognize those.  Right now the doors are quiet, neither open or shut which tells us clearly God is NOT saying "no"... simply, wait.  (He already used "closed doors" to tell us it was time to GO!!).

No, we wonder what is so important that the dirty scoundrel has to haggle with my oldest daughter's heart, poke my youngest to be whiny, jostle all of us to misunderstandings and odd disagreements and, finally, last night, to torment me in such a way that I almost felt his ugly presence stirring me into restlessness and bad dreams.

But this waiting thing comes in and I rise this morning; coffee, pen, journal in hand... and I pray and I wait and I see.


I see a Man trudging up a hill, tattered and torn, beaten and bruised, nearly crumbling under the burden of wood and sin and world.  A Man so innocent of His alleged crimes that only the humility of His willing God-heart-big-heart-love of this world could keep him moving forward.

I see another man, scramble forward, hoisting one heavy end of the burden up.  Was it appointment or destiny or both that kept him there.

But at the top of that hill He met with peace and on the other side of the weekend he rose with Life and victory.

And then I see it again but this time, I myself running forward, helping the Man and His burden.  It isn't appointment or destiny but simply desire to humility.  He made it to the top and I will too... I know there is peace at the top of that hill, there is victory on the other side of the weekend and no matter how many flaming arrows the enemy whips my way, I will not stop, I will not bend, I will not fall.  I will simply wait.  Wait as I walk towards the top, wait for the other side of the weekend.  Victory. Will. Come.

Waiting is so hard, dear friend, but walking with Jesus while you wait, sharing the burdens, sharing the victories, these moments... every.single.breathing.moment... is meant to be with Him.  I pray your burdens are not to heavy to carry, that the hilltop comes and the victory is won.

Blessings,
 
  



 Also linking up with some of these

To see 50 Days of Waiting #1 click here.

If you want to swipe my graphic and wait with me... please do!  I would love to find I am gathered with many, as the disciples were, waiting.


If you decide to wait with me, feel free to share below as well.  The only rules are that your post must be about scripture, prayer, or any area of your life where you are waiting on the Lord or seeing Him move.  I can't promise a particular day of link-up (I know, big no-no in Linky etiquette!!) but we will be traveling again soon so my Internet access will be spotty at times.  Watch the site, watch on Facebook... it will increase the value of waiting!  Or contact me if you might be willing to guest host a specific day of link-up as I prepare and travel :-)


Share how you are waiting on the Lord right now.  Enter into the upper room with us...







Thursday, April 4, 2013

When We Ask-The Word Answers


It has been ca-ra-zy around me lately!  Like the world is flying about and I can't seem to put my hands around anything.  EVERYTHING has been off-kilt; school work, blog work, ministry work... but the worst off-kilt part of my life has been my Bible study time.

But God answers prayers when we pray according to His Word... and I prayed to be impacted through Bible study. 

God drew me, NOT through the James study I had expected to begin doing/writing.  No, He called me to sit and simply follow for a little while.  To be at the feet of Jesus in the book of John... a book I have wanted to dive into but procrastinated because of its length (and how I like to study=lots of time!).

I'm so glad He answered - and that I listened!  Especially with nuggets like these from this morning:

And he said to him, "Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man." 
John 1:51

John 1:51 is prefaced by the fact that Nathanael asked.  Jesus answered and then he went on to state the verse above.

Consider this from the beginning of John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.  
John 1:1-2

... and the word became flesh.  The "Word" is Jesus... as it is God... it is all ONE.

So, when I read verse 51 I saw:

And He [the Word] said to him, "Very truly, I tell you, you will see..."

Jesus, the Word that was in the beginning with God, Speaks... and when He speaks, He reveals.

God's Word, the Bible, speaks to us today and when it speaks... it reveals sharper than a two edged sword... it cuts to the heart and reveals!  And when we ask of God's Word... It will answer!

Something to think about today!


However your world spins today, I pray He answers when you pray, that His Word speaks and reveals.

Be blessed,





Want a challenge?  Go through John 1 and highlight EVERYWHERE you see "Jesus", "the word" and all pronouns and synonyms referring to it... including "only begotten son".  You will be amazed! I am following this wonderful Bible Study:


(Don't be deceived by the title, it is simply a Study on the Book of John from beginning to end!  She doesn't tell you what to think about John... she simply shows you how to search the scripture and hear God speak.  It is called the inductive approach which I have done for a few years now but never under such close tutelage and I am loving it!)


Linking up, with some GREAT blogs including Thought Provoking Thursday


 


 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

*Vlog* Across the Kitchen Table Challenge

So, this is my first time... I started to try Vloging (Video + blogging) last winter but never felt confident enough to follow through... not to mention, I had NO WHERE quiet to do it! 

This year is different.

This year, there is a challenge right when I have been talking to my husband about the habit I would like to form around Vloging... but here I get ahead of myself, I explain it all in this Vlog:

I don't feel super great about the screen shot!  BUT, it isn't about "me"!

Jen's challenge at "FindingHeavenToday.com" (isn't that a lovely blog title?) is to Vlog... and to visit other Vlogs!  I loved her idea so much, I felt encouraged to start... even if I don't have my kitchen table set up yet!

I hope you watched, I hope you are encouraged.  If you don't know how to do it, visit Jen and read her post: 

What are you Chasing? Across the Kitchen Table

She will be glad to help you work through the HOWs and provide a platform for you to speak.... literally!

Don't forget, drop back by here and let me know if you did it, pop a link in the comment section so I can come say HI!  It is OK if you miss Jen's meme... just do it anyway!  Your sister bloggers want to meet you!

Blessings,
 




Linking up with Jen at Finding Heaven Today.

50 Days of Waiting #1


After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.  While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father.  "This," he said, "is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."
Acts 1:3-5

For a few years now I have felt led by God to continue honoring the "Easter Season" through to Pentecost.  I spend the time waiting on Him.  Most of the time I have asked questions of Him and waited for answers. But this time is different.  This time I am simply waiting

For what?  You might ask... I don't know.  I feel like, Jesus has done so much for me; living in human form, teaching, suffering, dieing, raising.  And what have I done?  Lately my prayer and study life has NOT been as good as it should be.  My time is more self-focused than God focused.  Not that I leave God out... just that I am getting into a rut of working AT things with the presumption that he is beside me when I need to be working TOWARDS things He is leading me. 

I have done this before, to my own detriment.  By His Grace, it has been drawn to my attention BEFORE the detrimental stage this time!  And just as Easter was approaching.  So I Knew... I just knew that this Pentecost season I had to simply wait

The disciples, in Acts 1, waited by spending their time praying, gathering, praying, choosing, praying, remembering, praying.... waiting

This mom, wife, disciple, in US 2013, will be spending my time denying my flesh on certain things to remember the sacrifices of Christ.  I will be holding myself to conquering pertinent tasks and Living because He conquered and lived. 

I will be waiting and searching and waiting and studying his promises and waiting... for anything He desires to reveal to me.  Anything that I have not given Him the time or attention to reveal lately.  And if all I find is peace, quiet, Him and no great revelation... no wind or flame or language break... that is OK too.  Because most of all I am just.waiting.for.Him.  To see Him more, know Him more, rely on Him more, trust Him more.  The Holy Spirit may not blow in and sit like fire upon my head... but I believe with all my heart that the Holy Spirit will rest in my soul as I wait.

I don't know what all this will lead to in blogging.  But I do know I want to share pieces of my journey with you.  I realized, after this Call on my heart, that I was experiencing another piece of the Blooming God desires for my life this year - that was exciting to me! 

I pray you find hope and peace in waiting on and for the Lord!

Be Blessed,

 
 
 
 
  
Also linking up with some of these



I have determined that the waiting thoughts I share here I would indicate with the graphic at the top.  If you want to swipe my graphic and wait with me... please do!  I would love to find I am gathered with many, as the disciples were, waiting.

If you decide to wait with me, feel free to share here as well.  The only rules are that your post must be about scripture, prayer, or any area of your life where you are waiting on the Lord or seeing Him move.  I can't promise a particular day of link-up (I know, big no-no in Linky etiquette!!) but we will be traveling again soon so my Internet access will be spotty at times.  Watch the site, watch on Facebook... it will increase the value of waiting!  Or contact me if you might be willing to guest host a specific day of link-up as I prepare and travel :-)






Monday, April 1, 2013

Upside Down and Waiting

It is a new day, a new week, a new month... all NEW the day after Life was made New by victory over the grave.

It is also a season of waiting.  Waiting for the other great gift... the Spirit given, like flame, fire, LIGHT.

In this season of newness and waiting I am also preparing and looking and waiting as we see travel time coming again and a new season for our family and our ministry.  I contemplate what it is to truly be an UpsideDown blogger... holding true to the Ministry God has called me to on this site.  The Message, the Heart, the sharing.

It
is
a
season

... and I contemplate and wait all this newness, revelation and revival.  Centuries before and centuries ahead and I feel as though I stand in this pivoting moment.... waiting.

Something is coming.

I breathe and I know and I pray, upside down blogging... living, loving, and knowing.... it isn't about me, my numbers, my thoughts.  It is about Him, His mark, His leading, His blessing and loving and knowing.

Upside down and following, standing, waiting.

This is my jumbled heart this post-resurrection morning... the light is coming too!

Blessings,