Saturday, August 16, 2008

Confession No. 8: I Was a Superhero Sidekick

What a day! I went to the beach with some family and friends and was able to spend a few hours with 7-year old Jaime. Jaime is an expert in all things superhero. Primarily Batman and Spiderman, but his character of the day was someone called Sub-zero. As we fought evil one wave at a time, I decided that I was going to need an official superhero name as well as special powers. I finally settled on The Encourager. (Jaime asked if my character was related somehow to The Incredible Hulk.) I told him that my special power involved being able to kill with kindness. He looked a little confused, but was happy to play along.

Jaime... I mean, Sub-zero decided that I could be his sidekick. The only problem was that after coming up with a great name like The Encourager... it just felt like I should play a bigger role than "sidekick." After several minutes of negotiations, it was evident that he was not going budge on his decision. After all, it was his game. He created it and if I wanted to keep playing, I was going to need to play by his rules.

Before the day was over, I wondered if I'd been trying to steal the spotlight from GOD the same way that I was trying to do with Sub-zero. God created me to love and serve him, yet somehow I started to think that this life was all about me and my great ideas and accomplishments. I tried to make myself the Hero rather than the sidekick and in doing so, I lost site of what it was all about. today, it is with great honor that I am resuming my role as a loyal sidekick to my Hero! Will you join me? There are still many battles ahead of us and we need you on our team!

2 Corinthians 10:17-18
But, "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.

Galatians 6:14
As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Confession No. 7: I Was a Party Girl

I've spent at least half of my life as a party girl... pity party girl that is. I hate the sound of that and I hate admitting it, but the truth is that when things got tough in my life, I got depressed. Ugly, crying, snotty, depressed! The devil knocked on my door, asked if he could help me relive my pain, and I would invite him right in every time.

There are so many times in life when we feel like we deserve to cry and be angry... maybe someone betrayed you or you were treated unfairly. Whatever the situation was (or is), you have got to remember that God is still in control. The Bible tells us that God works ALL things (good and bad situations) together for our good. So if you believe that, then you need to continually ask yourself... Do I believe that God does what He says He will do? Do I believe that He has a plan for my life? The answer to both of those questions is always YES!
If you've thrown a few pity parties of your own, remember that before you were born, God created a plan for your life. You were created to serve HIM! So, wipe away the tears. Stop thinking about everything that's going wrong in your life and start thinking about how you can make the most out of the life that you've been given. When you can learn to delight yourself in the Lord, He promises to give you the desires of your heart. –Psalm 37:4

Confession No. 6: I Had Stipulations

Does your faith in God involve stipulations? I'd be embarrassed to admit to anything like that, but as I examined my own heart after God brought this to my attention, I was ashamed to say that I had to think long and hard about my answer.

As you know by now, Abraham had waited on God many many years before the promise of a child with Sarah was fulfilled. I'm almost positive that every time he looked at his son he was reminded of God's faithfulness. I wonder what went through his head when God told him to sacrifice the very promise that he had waited so long for.

At one point in time or another, we'll all face something like Abraham did and what we need to ask ourselves is... "Do we love the promise more then we love the one who made the promise to us?" Can we get so caught up in the promises of God and forget that we are here for Him, and not the other way around.

I've spent the last 10 years waiting on God to show me my purpose in life, but one day I came to a place where I had to ask myself... "What if I was just created to know and love God?... no glitz. no glamour. no glory!" Is he enough for me? If he asked me to give up everything, could I still be satisfied with Him alone? Would I be like Abraham and be willing to lay it all down or would I be like Judas who sold out for a few bucks?

Is God asking you the same question today? If He never gave you the job of your dreams, the perfect family, healing, money, or ministry... would you stick around? Would you still worship Him? Does your faith in God involve stipulations?We would love to hear your thoughts!

Confession No. 5: We Had 5 Days To Say Goodbye

Is there a dream that God has placed in your heart? Are you waiting on the promises of God for your life? If so, I'd like to encourage you not to give up hope. Abraham held onto the dream that he would be the father of many nations. He waited until he was over 90 years old before he ever saw his dream fulfilled. I can only imagine how seeing God's promise fulfilled must have ignited Abraham's affections for GOD.

Has God ever done a miracle in your life? Sometimes we forget about all of those crazy times when there is no other explanation but God. In December 2006 my uncle experienced a massive heart attack. Doctors determined that they would need to do a quintuple bypass surgery, but they waited 5 days before doing the surgery because they didn't think that he would survive. They wanted to give him some time to say goodbye before calling it quits. That was over two years ago and he is still alive today. Doctor's can't explain it, but we know that God was at work. It's situations like this that we need to remember when we feel ready to give up on our dreams. You have to remember that God is always in control and that He is working all things together for your good. The Bible tells us that his ways are not our ways.

So… I just want to leave you with two questions to encourage you as you wait on God. Do you believe that God is who He says He is and do you believe that He can do what He says he can do?

If you are waiting on God for a dream to be fulfilled, send us your comments, we would love to hold you up in prayer.

Confession No. 4: I Assumed Tomorrow Was Mine Too

I laughed as I played a message that was left on my voicemail last Thursday. A friend left a message saying... "I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is that we are still alive and that God gave us one more day. The bad news is that we won't be able to make it to your office today." I remembered his words (and my laugh) later in the day as our car spun out of control on the expressway during a crazy rain storm. In that tense moment of terror I was reminded that God never promises us tomorrow. (James 4) As we get caught up in day to day living, we kind of just take it for granted.

Have you thought much about your life lately? Where you've been? Where you want to go? Don't wait until it's too late to get things right. The Bible tells us in James 4:14 that "Life is like a vapor. Here today and gone tomorrow."

So what do we do with today? Before you were even born, God skillfully crafted every part of your being to prepare you for this life. He knows everything about you and despite your imperfections, He wants to use you to make a difference in this world. Out of the billions of people that have ever lived or will ever live on this Earth, there is not even one other that is like you. God is depending on you to do what He created you to do before your last day comes. Start asking him to reveal His plan for your life to you. He is so faithful to answer when we call.

Don't make the same mistake that I did... appreciate EVERY single moment. Surrender your life to God and He will help you make it count!

One day... maybe on your last day, you'll look back at your life. What will you see? I heard it said best in Angelina Jolie's movie (Life or Something Like It)... "Live everyday like it's your last, because one day it will be."

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Confession No. 3: I Wanted To Sing Along

My mom and I went to the movies to see Mamma Mia. We intended to see something else, but arrived too late only to find ourselves sitting in with a room full of bright eyed and enthusiastic women. It was so amazing how God worked it out for us to be there. I wouldn't have chosen it otherwise, but I walked away with some great songs stuck in my head and a sincere appreciation for friendship GOD-style.

As a struggling work-a-holic, I spent too many years neglecting my girl time and more recently GOD has been showing me the beauty of a group of women coming together to let go and have a little fun. You'd be surprised at what a spiritual experience it can be. The truth is that we were created for fellowship with GOD and with others... not just casual fellowship either. We were created for deep meaningful friendships. Jesus had them! He hung around with a big crew of about 72, then of course he had the 12 disciples, and we even find that He was especially close to three of them.

Let's make that our goal. Why not take those friendships to the next level. The entire world is suffering from loneliness and all we have to do is reach out to the people that GOD has already placed all around us. Go to lunch or a movie. Share what's on your heart. Be a good listener and an even better forgiver. Friendship is hard work, but it is oh so rewarding.

Anyone up for some margaritas... oops! I mean coffee?

Confession No. 2: I'm Letting Go of Me

I always saw myself as a compassionate person, but a look at my inner thoughts and fears would tell you otherwise. I worry about how others will perceive me. I worry about how I will reach my goals. I even worry about how I can do something HUGE for GOD. The only problem with all of these worries is that they are all focused on ME! Notice how each sentence starts with I.

Through a series of circumstances, GOD has begun to reveal my selfishness, so today I'm asking GOD to help me let go of myself... to let go of my fears and ambitions and to become a women that waits on Him. Today, I'm posting the words of John 3:30 on the window of my heart: He must increase, and I must decrease.

God promises that as we put him first in our lives then He will provide all that we need in every area of our lives. I'd love to hear from you! What are some ways that we can focus more on GOD and less on ourselves?

Confession No. 1: Paris and I Share...

Even though Paris and I are thousands of miles away from each other, we share one thing in common. We are both passionate about pink! From my pink keyboard, calendar, inbox, and bathroom, to her purses, cars and dog clothes: some people might mistake us for twins... ok maybe not. Maybe we don't share anything but the love for the color pink, but even in my clearance isle shoes and my Target top, I know that I'm an heiress to something much more magnificent than her millions.

I'm a daughter of the most high GOD. The creator of the universe, the one that controls the sun, moon, and stars has called me his own. He has crowned me as part of His royal priesthood and doesn't see me for my failures and faults. No, instead when He sees me, He sees the perfection of His son. If Christ is Lord over your life, then you too are an heiress to the throne and I am honored to call you sister, princess, and friend.

I hope that you'll follow along with me on this blog as we dig deeper into what GOD expects from His girls. He has so much that He wants to show us about our role in His kingdom. Freedom comes through confession and I believe that as we confess our sin one to another and before GOD, then He will be faithful to not only forgive, but to help us become ALL that He created us to be.