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Family Plan

“God’s plan is a family plan!” -Cheezy isn’t it? But it is so true!

If I would have to picture God as a modern day Father, I would imagine him to be that Southern or Italian dad who loves to sit at the dinner table with his wife and kids. God LOVES family!

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba,’ Father”              -Romans 8:15

God invited us into His family and we accepted that invitation once we accepted Him into our heart. The significance of God sending his one and only son down from Heaven to die for our sins and reconcile us to Him shows that God loves family. He created it, died for it, then recreated it- he is crazy about family!

[Let me make one thing clear before I get into this blog: I too, love my family! I have a great mom and dad. They have always backed me up in everything I do and have done such a good job of raising me. I also have two brothers and even though we argue and fight, they are some of the coolest and respectable guys out there! I am blessed to have such a loving family and I know that, I am truly so so thankful for them.]

On that note, let me be honest with you and say that for the past year I had grown bitter with my beautiful family. My parents got divorced last year and I never would have thought divorce to happen in my family. My whole family has also stopped going to church after I left for college to study ministry. My younger brother stopped going to youth group the summer I got home from college because our amazing youth pastor got fired. So here I am back at home, fired up for God and full heartedly pursuing my dreams in ministry…and I can’t even get my own family to come to church with me.

I started to grow bitter with my dad because he wasn’t the spiritual head of our family. I grew bitter with my mom because whenever I would share with her what God was teaching me, she never really knew how to respond. I was confused why my brother walked away from his faith on account of our youth pastor being fired. I didn’t get it! Why couldn’t my dad be the one sharing with me what he was reading in the Bible? Why couldn’t my mom pray with me? Why did my brother not show up to the small group that I was leading for his grade? Out of all places I had to be a spiritual leader, my house had now become one too?

Until this morning I couldn’t accept all of that. Until this morning, I didn’t even realize I felt any of this. Until this morning I have been a whiny Christian who wouldn’t take responsibility for her own family.Until this morning, I thought only dads were allowed to call shots on the verse in Joshua 24 that says, “but as for ME and MY household, we will serve the Lord!” It wasn’t until this morning that I declared it over my family.

Who am I to lord it over my dad’s head that he is not spiritually leading my family? It is not because he won’t, it’s because he can’t. Romans 8. My dad hasn’t experienced what I have experienced, he hasn’t been where I have been, he hasn’t learned what I have learned about the Spirit of God. My dad was raised in a culture where no one even acknowledged God. How could I ever expect him to create a culture within our family that honors God? He doesn’t know how!

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith. -Hebrews 11:7                                             Noah’s family would have been left behind if Noah didn’t take the effort to build the ark. Build an ark for your family; in setting an example, in serving, in your prayer life, in encouraging, etc.

I tell the kids in my small group to take ownership of their schools, I tell leaders at youth to take ownership of their small groups, and I can’t even take ownership of my own family? I am done dreaming about what my family will one day look like while allowing my current family to fall apart. “As for me and MY household, we will serve the Lord!” -Joshua 24:15

If your family never brought you to God, bring them to God. May we love Christ so much that we take ownership of our family, no matter what our role is. God’s plan really is a family plan, even if your dad’s not paying the bill.



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December 1, 2011 · 7:49 pm

Graduation Time.

Graduation time is rolling around for the class of 2011. I am so blessed to have gotten the privilege to be a small group leader for the seniors in Axiom this year. As I am finishing up writing a few cards to some of the graduates I am reminded of a simple truth in the Bible.

John 15 might as well be God’s graduation speech to us. I would post the whole chapter but I’m not sure if you’ll take the time to read it. Here are a few key things that stand out to me for this year’s graduates:

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” -John 15:4

I remember graduating Masters Commission as a second year last year and reading this scripture. It was a gentle reminder from God that in order to be a person who bears fruit, I don’t necessarily need to remain at Masters Commission. I just need to make sure I remain in Him. I pray that this year’s graduates know that being where God wants them to be is rarely ever about their actual geographical state, rather it is about the state of their heart in relation to God’s.

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” -John 15:18-19

I called the 2011 high school seniors ‘babies’ for the longest time. Probably because they were freshmen when I was a senior. Perhaps because my little brother is part of that class and he will always be a baby to me. Regardless, as they have been putting on their caps and gowns for practices, have participated in their baccalaureate and have received awards at their senior banquet, I am reminded that these young men and women are no longer babies.

I know the world that is out there, the evil that hides outside of those high school walls. I know the freedom that college has to offer and that the enemy is awaiting his new guests. I would love nothing more than to simply hold these graduates in my arms and shadow their eyes from the bad things in life. Verses 18 and 19 however, reveal to me that God wouldn’t even do that. He believes in us, that we can take on the world and the power of the enemy. Just remember, that the promised land was promised…but it was never promised to be easy. May we remind ourselves when the hard times come, who it is that we belong to and may we find comfort in the arms of our Heavenly Father.

It’s time to let go, it’s time to watch and see the destiny that will come out of the class of 2011, it’s graduation time.

Senior night at youth: AXIOM

Class of 2011 "We are the ones"

 

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Questioning Authenticity.

May 23, 2011

I remember when I first started getting to know God. I remember being so intrigued by His Word and drawn to His presence. I remember locking my door and getting settled with my journal and all kinds of colorful pens. I remember pacing my bedroom back an forth talking to my Creator, hoping no one would come knocking at my door to interrupt our time together. My love for Him was never a secret but my time with Him always was…because of these verses that I had found:

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” -Matthew 6:5-6

Nowadays I wonder if God has a Facebook or Twitter account.

Where has the intimacy in prayer gone?

“Go into your room, close the door.” These days, the process of getting alone takes more than just closing a door. Close your computer. Turn off your phone. Make yourself unseen to the world to get in the presence of your mighty Father who is unseen. Then He who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. I believe the reward is bigger than recognition. It is bigger than getting a ‘Like’ on your status. It is His presence.

May we do more than send God a tweet. May we do more than talk to him through our latest status update. It will be pushed down the news feed soon enough by everyone’s personal latest and greatest news. Get alone with Him and hear His whispers to you.

Disclaimer:

“What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.” -Matthew 10:27

I am all for proclaiming God’s good news. There is a difference between proclaiming and praying. Talk to God in the dark, speak of his promises in the day. Listen to what is whispered, shout out what has been spoken. Talking and listening ought to be in the intimacy of a private relationship. Shouting and proclaiming can be for the whole world and web to see.

His secrets are revealed in the secret places. As a result it will be our lifestyle, not our public prayers, that will be our cries to the nations- declaring that God is real. Intimacy creates authenticity.

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Judgment Day?

May 21, 2011

Today, Harold Camping is predicting the end of the world, starting at 6pm. globally. Seeing as how 6pm. has already passed in New Zealand and Europe, it is safe to say his predicition is wrong.

Kirk Franklin tweets: “Still here. Must mean we got more work to do.” Others have mentioned, “what if today was the last day? who would you want to know about Jesus?”

Today I am grateful to still be here. Although I would desire nothing more than to stand in the presence of the Almighty God, I do want more time to see the people I love come to know their Creator.

Erwin McManus once talked about the ability that we as humans have to envision the future; to see something that doesn’t exist: tomorrow. -This must mean God has still planted a tomorrow.

This whole debate of judgment day has encouraged ma to live more intentionally. Thank you Mr. Camping.

I don’t think Harold Camping is hearing a lot of ‘thank you’s today. Many are demanding an apology. He has been given the title of a false prophet and I am also hearing that this prediction was a simple scam to get more money for Camping’s christian radio station called, Family Radio. While all of these are valid statements, I think that maybe Camping just has an eager heart to see the Lord’s return, seeing as how he has predicted Judgment Day back in September of 1994 also. I don’t blame him, he’s been around for a while. I hope to see the Lord return during my lifetime too.

In any way, I don’t believe we should be ignorant about the end of the world. Saying that God will not come back today is just as bad as predicting that he actually is.

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” -Mark 13:32

“for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” -1 Thessalonians 5:2

The Bible also says in Matthew 24:42-44  “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

Be ready. May today encourage you to spend time in your Word each day. As the body of Christ, may we be waiting for our Lord’s return. I pray to not be like the apostles who fell asleep while Jesus went to go pray on the mountain top. I pray I will always be ready for my Lord’s return. I pray that I would not take a day on this earth for granted. I pray I become intentional about showing the world who my God is.

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