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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Got Faith??

Walking with God in a real relationship- like genuine intimacy and all out surrender- requires Great Faith. I have been reading this book "Crazy Love" and was really struck by a statement that the author Francis Chan made...........
He was refering to a time in college when a professor asked his class- "What are you doing right now that requires faith". The question affected him deeply because at that time in his life he couldn't think of anything that really required some serious faith. In fact he goes on to say- "I probably wouldn't be living very differently if I didn't believe in God; my life was neither ordered nor affected by my faith like I had assumed it was."
huh.....I put the book done immediately. Had I gotten comfortable in my faith? Had it become easy? Does God call us to a comfortable life?
I couldn't tell you how many prayers I have prayed for God to just make our money situation better- I don't want to be rich or anything- just get us out from under so much debt! Couldn't we just make a little more money God? And what happens??? I get laid off!!! Thanks God! Our church can't pay Dale anymore! We have sacrificed enough for this church as it is........what are you doing here God???
I worried and fretted about getting another job- one that would fit our schedule (which by most standards is crazy) and nada, nothing.........God help us!
And He did- and He does. But not by giving me another job but another focus..... not on being comfortable for sure!!!
So no..I don't think he calls us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him sooo completely that we are not even afraid to put ourselves in situations or situations happen to us where we would or will be in huge trouble if He doesn't come through.
Awesome verse that backs this up-- Hebrews 11:6 says-
"Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him."

so the question stands- What are you doing right now that requires faith?
Would LOVE to hear your story-

Monday, October 26, 2009

and the academy award for best supporting actor goes to........

Is my role a support role or am I the lead in my own movie? Good question isn't it.....especially if you are going to be honest with yourself. This has been my journey. Honesty. And I found that I liked being the star in my life- my movie so to speak. I mean- I am giving God credit - right? I love Him, am passionate about serving Him and others. I surrendered my life to Jesus a long time ago. I have been in some sort of ministrytype role almost my entire life. Dale and I planted a church for heaven's sake! I am a believer and am not ashamed to tell others that I am a believer. I pray, read my Bible and seek Him out regularly.
But when I got still (ya know- Be Still and Know I am God -Psalm 46:10) and stop talking, it is amazing what you learn about yourself. When distractions are gone and you are alone - you get real. And what became very apparent to me is that I don't want to be in the lead role of the movie called Michelle's life....and most of us live our lives as though we are the star in our movie. Why would I say such a harsh thing? Because why would we be all stressed out, worried, dis-satisfied, discouraged, tired and weary if we weren't striving so hard to meet expectations everyone has (and we have for ourselves) for us if it was all about God. We (as christ-followers and otherwise) just get it all wrong so often. This life of mine- is not about me. Not who I want to be -- not even what great things I can do for God. It is ALL about God. He is what this is all about. The movie (life) is about Him and I am in a support role of my own movie.

What does a support role do? Make the Lead look awesome........ do everything in your ability (and He has given each of us talents/gifts) as the support actor to get the message across that the Lead actor is sharing/showing.
And my role as the support actor is so crucial that my life depends upon it..... and the lives of those in my circle of influence. It changes everything! Growing up in a church where "giving your life completely to God" was taught...I got that. It was the expectations that were killing me..... now it is all about God and His expectations. And He loves me more and better that anyone!
And I say "whew!" the pressure is off! Can you hear Braveheart yelling "FREEDOM!" Because that is what happens when you give God the Lead Role of your life story......... we no longer are striving for significance and satisfaction! It is all found in Him and a relationship with Jesus Christ! I can breathe again. I have the CREATOR as my lead!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

a change of books

Yesterday I went to family bookstore to buy a book I have been wanting to read by Beth Moore. It was on her new study of Ester. So I go in and head straight for the Beth Moore section, I was super excited to get started! And guess what-- no book. They are all out! I found a sales-clerk. She confirmed that they had to order more because of the heavy demand! I was really disappointed. Since going to BM's conference in May, I have been wanting to go through this new study of her's. But a lot has happened between last May and now.......and now I was ready. At the conference, Beth had challenged us to "go into strict training (with God) to become ALL that He wants us to be. I thought - yeah- I want that God! Bring it on! He brought it on all right! The summer put me in some strict training for sure- like everything being taken from me.......well- not everything but I lost my job, my passion for ministry, basically took me down to just me and Him. Time to get real Michelle. And it got Real scary. I was angry and bitter and I had hidden it well. God and me talked ALOT- I read His Word and cried and prayed for God to get me out of this "desert". I will have to share more about that desert time in another post but yesterday I was really ready to move forward. God and me had worked so much out and I thought the Ester study was next for me.
Well, I was determined to get a book so I decided to take this time to find something else- even though my heart was set on Ester. Guess I'll do Ester another time.
I turned around and there (in the wrong spot I might add) was a book called "Crazy Love". I didn't know anything about this book other than I have seen a couple of people carrying it around. The title intrigued me so I picked it up, not to mention that the cover is attractive. Quickly I looked it over and thought, well- let's do it.... needless to say I didn't feel like looking anymore anyways.
I had to go pick up the boys from school because it was a nasty day and I hated for them to walk home in the rain. In order to not have to search for a spot to wait for them- I went early and thought I could start my new book. Can I just say- LOVE it! Either I love a book so much I can't put it down OR I love it it so much and it is so rich I can only take it in little portions- this book is the latter. Honest. I am just to chapter 3 and am already challenged! Fortunately, I didn't really have any pre-conceived notions about what "crazy love" is all about- I am still letting it soak in. I will write more about my thoughts and insights from the book as I get more into it.

Strict training- hurts sometimes but it is crucial in our walk with Him.