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Monday, January 13, 2014

Reach. Grow. Reproduce.

How great is it that God works through the ages as we go about our lives, He is at constant work!

Yesterday...can i say it was a beautiful day you look forward to...middle of January and 60 degrees. Perfect!  Thank you Lord for the break!

Yesterday, The Lords Day...listening to my pastor teach on the beginning of the early church in Acts.  He spoke on being Fruitful. Multiply. Fill the earth. Or a modern way to say it, Reach. Grow.  Reproduce.  My heart races when i hear these words ,which is often.  To grow and reproduce the things we know and believe about Our God is one of the greatest things we as a Christ follower can do.

There have been many people that have invested in my life..i am more than blessed.  These are just a few that were on my mind while hearing the message yesterday.

i'll never forget my 6th grade year. Winchester, Indiana is where we lived at the time.  i was loving life.  We had an old house with a small apartment that we rented to a gal just out of college we called Sheila Woman!   She found these iron on transfers from the Women's Day magazine and she made my mom, me and sis T-shirts with this iron on with a big yellow rose and the word Woman underneath.  We walked around calling each other by our name then Woman...i cannot think of Sheila and not say Woman!  This Woman!  Seriously, She invested in me and valued me as well as other tween-age girls in the neighborhood.  She was always having us over and having a bible study just for us!  She was a multiplier!  A true discipler!  She took the time to invest in us.

My freshman and sophomore year in High School we lived in Omaha, Nebraska and went to this awesome church that had a young college graduate that wrote music and lead worship at our church...mind you this was the day & age when our churches were just singing hymns or the occasional Gaither song.   She introduced me to Amy Grant and many more up and comers of that day.  Her Name was Margie Howell.  She led Music from the piano and was totally led by the Spirit.  i was drawn to Him!  i could tell she loved Him more than her music...i wanted to be like her, know Him like she knew Him!  She asked me if i wanted to be in this singing group called " The Breath of Life" ummm...Yes!  We practiced each week but not just singing.  She taught us that the words we were singing were to Jesus!  We should mean what we are singing!  This were lessons that have proved Huge in my life.   Her example was truly a life changer in my life!  She has invested in so many lives!  Thank you is not enough!

   My parents announced one day during my 6th grade year that we were moving to Minnesota.  i was devastated... This was a time in my life when you are really making relationships... Starting to understand the draw to God and how He was definitely shaping me for my life in these informative years.
i remember sitting on the steps of our porch memorizing Psalms 1 so i could go to an amusement park, Kings Island.  My parents really did invest the right things in my life.  Life was not about us but about making Him Famous!  i come from a legacy from my parents as great disciplers even to this day they serve Him selflessly.  Putting Him before themselves.

   Kim came from the neighborhood on the other side of the railroad tracks.  Literally!  My parents rarely let me go to her house unless i was walking her home...i had no idea why.   Little did i know my home was a safe place for Kim...where we prayed before we ate, talked about Jesus.  i even think Kim may have gone with me often to Sheila Woman's apt. For tween bible study!  My mom gave me a bible to give to Kim and asked me to highlight verses that i had memorized.  i remember dreading doing this.  Thank you mom for asking me to be a part of giving her this bible.   We moved and took off for Minnesota.
Many years later, our first year of marriage, i got a letter from Kim asking if she reached the right address and if i was her 6th grade friend.  She gave her phone # and i made the call.  She told me of how she wanted to jump in our moving truck and come with my family and how she ran away that day.  There was much abuse in  her home.  A great family took her in and treated her as family to this very day!  She proceeded to tell me thank you for the bible...that she read it and came to know Jesus!  My heart was blessed...just like God to show Himself to the one who was seeking him.  He cared so much for her and for me to hear of this seed He grew into a strong tree that continues to grow in Grace!  i got to see my friend get married to a man that loves Jesus. Through fb I've watch her grow as a mother, teaching her children about Jesus...transferring what she has learned through bible study and prayer.

i was in tears the other day when Kim posted on her fb a blog from her daughter Mylie a college student who also loves Jesus...proclaiming His great name!   Here it is if you want to read.   http://mylienicolewinger.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/when-chick-flicks-dont-cut-it/
  I am blessed beyond measure to see the fruit of giving a bible to a friend in 6th grade even when i was shy to do it!  His Word NEVER returns void!

We are called...Reach..Grow...Reproduce!

i guess my thought pattern is how pivotal it is to invest in young peoples lives with a genuine love!  A real life where others can see Jesus?,  We can see how He uses us to advance His Kingdom!  Thank you Sheila Woman, Margie, Mom and Kim for investing!  i love You!   i am in debt to you!   He really is everything..we are nothing!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Fly...freedom!



Last year....wow what a year.  i have been reluctant to write...so much in this messy brain.  I have like 15 things i want to blog about but the time it takes to organize thoughts to pen is great!  Last year can be summed up for me in a few words...individually meaning one thing, collectively meaning a much bigger thing.  Here are the words...
Value...Placing VALUE on others
Love...Loving people like God the Father loved His Son Jesus. John 15
Less...He must increase, i must decrease. Phil. 2

i must say these have been hefty lessons to learn and since it is the beginning of the year a new word has been emerging....one that builds on the past words....once a word has such impact they just stay with us....i like that! The word is Metamorphosis...my husband & i prayed for a fresh word this year and of course he uses this scientific word being that he used to be a science teacher...i like the more simple...Transform.

Of course he spent time telling me all the ins and outs of the caterpillar to the butterfly and i have been thinking...what part of this process am i?  There are 4 stages...the egg, the larva (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis) and the adult (butterfly).

Side note...when my sister Cassi & i were younger we would try to get our little brother Zach to believe that the caterpillar was really called a capilitter or callapitter...seriously when writing this i could not remember the right pronunciation.  Haha!

Ok so I've so been the caterpillar ...walking to and fro eating up what i can, learning much about Gods great creation, learning life's lessons...it's hard being a catapillar. Did you even know that this furry little creature sheds it's skin 4 or 5 times in his little life span?  Just like us...shedding the old man for the new.  1 Corinthians 5:17 says, if any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old things passed away, behold all things become new!  What comfort!

You never know when you could be eaten up or stomped on...when our oldest daughter Franke was little we went to the zoo and on the sidewalk was the most beautiful caterpillar, colorful and fuzzy...she walked right up to it and stomped on it...guts and all...i was horrified knowing the outcome of this soon to be butterfly...pat and i sat her down and explained that not all little creatures needed to be stomped on...some needed to grow up and be beautiful butterflies...just like her... God was preparing her right then to grow and mature and someday Fly for His great purposes...she is graduating this May...oh my...that is just TOO much for this momma!  i will never forget that day...but by all means we can still stomp on spiders, mosquitos, and other pesky insects....right?

This next season called the pupa stage is just like the word sounds...i find myself in & out of this stage...this is a season of divine change...of renewal...a time of listening...being still...waiting.  i must say that growing hurts sometimes but i know the great plans HE has for me are IMMEASURABLY  More an i could ever ask or think...i don't just say that lightly...i actually know it! i BELIEVE it!  i wonder if the caterpillar knew?  The best is yet to come....listen to this verse with fresh ears...i have also heard it about a million times...let these Words breathe on you...they came from God Himself...
Romans 12:1,2
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Sometimes the cocoon is for re wallpapering our minds...some redecorating has to take place.  Not thinking of what could have been but what will be...what secrets God wants to reveal to us...a sacrifice for His Renown!  

So does being in a cocoon mean that I will be transformed? The cocoon is stifling, uncomfortable, cramped, not enough air but just enough to survive. i don't like it...but i am willing to do GO through the process if it will make me more like Jesus and if i kneel to Him and beg Him to transform me.  YES!  i am asking this year for Him to bring on the transformation in so many ways...some i will share with you and some are just secrets with HIM.  He is my favorite!  

i remember as a child catching butterflies in jars with breathable lids and just staring at them...i could never bring myself to keep them...i knew they needed to fly...i felt freedom watching them fly out of the jar...i think God takes great delight when we allow Him to take us through this process of molding us...
i challenge you...will you allow Him this year to change your life...to Renew?  To Metamorphosis? Soar, Fly?
i cannot wait to share with you my seasons of flying... The butterfly stage....it is a reflection of the verses in Phil 2 about working out salvation in fear and trembling...i am choosing to do it a little scared knowing the outcome are some beautifully wings ( i hope orange, pink blue & black) that will take me to heights i cannot imagine...FLY!  
if you are interested this is a beautiful short film of the caterpillar to the butterfly.