Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I wonder as I ponder how much time I have squandered
Minutes that faded away while I chose to play rather than pray

Moments I can never recover now in my past
Filled with momentary pleasure rather than things that would last

Now I determine no more to waste what is given
Instead I endeavor to live a life worth livin'

Prayer is the key, faith is the door,
His Word the light to my path as I travel this world

Value once placed on my whims Now firmly placed on Him
No more squander as I ponder His wonder

Friday, March 11, 2011

Imperfect Joys of the Shepherd and Saint - Discounted Hands of Peace

This post is a disjointed effort to share something God has shown me through recent circumstances.

To those who have been damaged by a Shepherd: I am not giving this as an excuse...but there is none, no not one, perfect except Christ Jesus.To those who have been damaged by a Saint: Again, not given as an excuse....but there is none, no not one, perfect except Christ Jesus.

Yes, even those shepherds who have been given care of the flocks/church are just imperfect human beings trying to do right...and sometimes they fail. Sometimes they fail to see beyond the obvious. Sometimes they fail to extend grace and mercy toward one of their own flock who has fallen into the wolf's den. Sometimes, rather than help heal those that have fallen, they break them against the rocks and leave them laying there without help or care. Sometimes. they are carrying their own bitterness and pain and fail to see beyond themselves. Simply put, sometimes they fail....

Sometimes, WE, the saint, fail to see when the shepherd or another saint is hurting. Sometimes, we fail to see our own fault and failure. Sometimes, we simply will not admit to our sin and want things to continue as before. Sometimes, we fail to see beyond the obvious. Sometimes, we fail to extend grace and mercy toward our shepherd or our fellow saint who has hurt us. Simply put, sometimes we fail...

Through my 40+ years being raised in church, I have seen ministers and saints alike fall into sin...adultery, fornication, bitterness, unforgiveness, lying, hatred, gossip, etc. I have seen many of them make it back to the throne of grace but more often, I saw them eaten alive by the very flock they were trying to shepherd or the very shepherd they were trying to follow. Chewed up, spit out, cursed, reviled, maligned, and kicked to the curb without hope, I still saw many stand up, confess their faults, and do their best to make it back into church. I, myself, have sinned and struggled to be restored to the faith.

How did some make it and some not? It falls on the sinner, whether they wore the mantle of shepherd or saint, to confess their sins, to ask forgiveness, to plead the blood of Christ, and to forgive themselves. If we are away from God, even if it is a temporary moment of willfulness, then WE must do whatever it takes to get right with God again. WE must read the Word. WE must pray. WE must seek the face of God UNTIL we get the answer we need. AND, we must listen to HIS Word and follow HIS ordinances...not man-made rules...but GOD'S laws. If we do that, then shepherd nor saint can remove us from the hand of God and his forgiveness.

When we are right with God, then we can stand on Romans 8:35-39:

"35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

   “For your sake we face death all day long;
   we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a]

 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Only you or I can take ourselves out of God's hand. When we fall into sin and are mishandled, or even fall and are given every opportunity to make things right, it still is our responsibility to search out our own salvation. I am not advocating the circumventing of ministry, we need them to preach the Word and to help us make heaven. The local shepherd of God's flock have much responsibility for our salvation but ultimately WE must be right, even if the shepherd isn't. We must set our eyes on Christ and follow Him only. Man will fail us.

Here's the disjointed part:
Sometimes, we ask for a hand to reach out and help us and they do but we fail to see it.

Be careful to acknowledge when those hands are being extended. Sometimes it may only be a friend who is holding you up in prayer and encouraging you. And it can be easy to discount that hand as unimportant because the Ministry, the Shepherd, the one you want to notice, isn't the one reaching. Maybe the earthly shepherd will never reach for you....but will you discount the hands of those God is sending your way? Will you discount His hand?

As I am writing this, a song by Casting Crowns comes to mind that deals with this scenario:

"It's crowded in worship today
As she slips in
Trying to fade into the faces
The girls' teasing laughter is carrying farther than they know
Farther than they know

But if we are the Body
Why aren't His arms reaching
Why aren't His hands healing
Why aren't His words teaching
And if we are the Body
Why aren't His feet going
Why is His love not showing them there is a way
There is a way

Jesus is the way

A traveler is far away from home
He sheds his coat
And quietly sinks into the back row
The weight of their judgemental glances tell him that his chances
Are better out on the road "

Will we be the hands that reach, whether we be saint or shepherd? Will those that need to be reached discount our reaching hands because we aren't what they want? Will I do my part to reach for the lost, no matter who they are?

God is coming back soon....are you ready? Are you reaching? Or are you part of the body who is just simply failing God, the ministry, the saints, and the sinner? Oh, God please help me to do my part and to be ready for your soon return!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Flowin' Joys

Recently, I was in a service at Teen Challenge, Riverside, and the staff member who was leading the service made a statement about an intern "flowin'" with the thought they had presented at the beginning of the service. He was excited about how that young man's thought "flowed" into the same thought this leader felt God wanted himself to share with the men. The staff member said it was "off the hook" how the things were "flowin'." My girls and I kind of giggled because it was such a "hip" way of saying God's anointing had led each of these men to share HIS message of the evening.

I have jokingly used this phrase several times since that service but today it hit me that this is what is SUPPOSED to be happening when we share God with others. His message should flow out of us like rivers of living water! We should be so full of God that he oozes out of our every conversation, out of our very thoughts.

When I am called upon to select music for a worship service or for a group to sing there should be a flowing of anointing that helps those songs to smoothly usher the congregation into the presence of our Almighty and prepares their hearts for the Word of God that will be preached. I almost always know when the "flow" was happening correctly...for if it isn't, I leave the platform discouraged or I notice that the congregation is not as attentive to the preaching as it could be. I know ministers probably love it when the worship service and the special music flow along with the idea/thought/message that they have received from God. As saints we have experienced services where everything just "flowed" so perfectly together and when it was all said and done, we left the service refreshed, revived, and ready to continue our quest to live for God.

My goal is to continue to strive for a relationship with God that enables that flow. God, please let songs flow out from to bless others. Please let words of knowledge and wisdom flow from my heart when a brother or sister is in need. God, let Your Holy Ghost anointing fall on me and burn away all the chaff of my doubts and fears.

Lord, help me to be a vessel worthy of the call you have on my life. I surrender everything to You, use me as You WILL, and flow from me into others who need more of You.

I want to be "flowin'" "off the hook!"

Thursday, January 27, 2011

31 Reasons Why

Tonight my pastor taught about something that we as Christians, people who are striving to be like Christ, should not have as part of our lives. Yes, he spoke about television and the movie industry. No, he did not just give us examples or simply admonish us to refrain. He took the time and gave us scriptural reasons we should refrain. Oh, and the bible study he taught was not something he put together himself. It was originally put together by an Assemblies of God minister back in the 60's. The scriptures are still the same, God is still the same, but television is DEFINITELY different than it was back then! There are people of great intelligence who have chosen to refrain from having a television in their homes. They feel it is a waste of time and can "dumb down" a child that is exposed to it. Psychologists have said that children are being numbed by the violence they see. That children's psyche are being adversely affected. In fact, many of Hollywood's own stars do not allow their own children to watch television or the movies they themselves are a part of. Why? Because there is too much violence, sex, mayhem, gossip, etc. that they don't want their children to be damaged by.

I am not judging anyone who has a television. Instead, I challenge all of us to study the scriptures that were given tonight and honestly seek God's will about this topic. If you are interested, you can listen to the Bible Study at on the Sermons tab. The title of the Bible Study is "Scriptural Reasons Why Television and Hollywood are Unacceptable to a Christian."

My husband took down the scripture references and reason from each scripture while our pastor spoke. Here is the list he compiled:

Deut 7;26
Do not bring an abomination into your house

Psalms 1:1-2
It puts viewers in the seat of the scornful.

Psalms 101 2-3
No wicked thing before my eyes

2 Cor 6:14
  Fellow-shipping with works of darkness

Phil 4:5
It pollutes righteous thoughts

2 Cor 6 16-17
Touching the unclean things

Rev 21;2 Luke 1:17
Unsuited for the someone preparing him/herself  to be the "bride" of Christ.

Eph 5: 14-16
We are not to waste time but to redeem it.

Eph 5: 3-13
Do not partake of idols with the children of disobedience
Amos 6: 1-3-4-6
Viewers are sitting in the seat of violence, which take away the grief for sin. Fences are deadened

Romans 12: 1-2
Does not renew your mind, in Godly thinking

1 Cor 5 6-7
Represents the leaven of the world
It should be purged from the home.

Col 3:1-6
Mortify all things ungodly.
Don't set your affection on things beneath.

Col 3:8
Put off filthy communications

1 Thess 2:10-12
Not walking worthy of God, it is unholy

1 Thes 3:4-7
Viewers are not keeping themselves holy.

James 3:10-12
It is a polluted fountain

Jeremiah 8:12
It takes away the blush of sin.

Rev 3:18
Jesus calls us to anoint our eyes.
Do not poison our eyes

2 Cor 7:1
Cleanse ourselves.

2 Cor 4 1-2
Renounce the hidden things of dishonesty

Psalms 97:7
Idols that confuse and confound

Mark 9:42
It offends children and causes them to stumble.

Psalms 19 7-14
Viewing becomes presumptuous sin
In your face sins!! Let them not have dominion over me!!

Rom 13: 12-14.  And 1 John 3:3
We need to cast off works of darkness. Put on Jesus Christ.

Deut 7 5-6
God commands us to tear down unholiness, idols.

James 4: 3-4
Friendship with the world is enmity with God

1 Pet 3 10- 13
Hate evil, eschew evil. Love life and see good days.

2 Pet 3:13-17
Is it only a spot on your garment?
It is still wrong!!

1 John 2 15-17
Fulfills the lust of the flesh, pride of life!!

Hosea 14-8
Overcomers who have seen Jesus do not need it!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Joy of Things Past

We, as knowledge seeking humans, are forever looking over our shoulders at "What Could Have Been's", "What Should Have Been's", "Oh, My Why Did I??'s", and a host of other ruminations about what has happened in our lives. Looking back can give you insight but most often it simply re-condemns you for things you allowed to happen or did to others and yourself. Oh, sure there are good things that happen in life, Thank the Lord, and those are always nice to pull out of the mental filing cabinet and reminisce on the happiness and joy you felt. But more often than not, we find ourselves reminiscing about the "one that got away", the sins we committed before coming to know Jesus, or more likely, the sins we committed AFTER coming to know Jesus.

The sneaky little snake that has been around since Eden likes to remind us of the failures and sins of our pasts. He likes to point out how many times we fell, how many people we hurt, how many times we disappointed God. But I just want to take a moment today to say, "Snake, you conniving little devil, get thee behind me!" My sins, my failures of past days have been repented of, forgiven by my Father, washed in the blood of the Lamb, and when God looks at me today, He only sees a forgiven child striving to do her best to live for Him. He only sees the red stain that blots out the black sins once written in The Lamb's Book of Life. And me? I choose to look toward the future and the glorious things God has in store for my life.

What happened in the past, stays in the past. I am an overcomer through Christ and I choose to only see the Joy of Things Past!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Joy To The World - Time To Blog Again

Shock! Gasp! The blogger still lives? It's only been 4 months since her last post!?! Where has she been? And why is she back? LOL

Joy To The World, I have finally "found" time to blog again. Perhaps more accurately put, I have found the "inspiration and want-to" to blog again. The time was always there if I really had wanted to write. Why has it been so long since my last post? To tell the truth, I think I just lost my oomph, my inspiration, my desire, my willingness to write. Life is busy, yes, but not really any busier than it was before. A different format of busy-ness but busy none the less. Nothing HUGE has happened in the last 4 months that compelled me to run to the computer, or much less paper, and write about it. God has been good and merciful towards us. Jessica has recovered from her appendicitis and appendectomy. Marissa continues to create FABULOUS meals for us to enjoy. Justin continues to waste a lot of time in front of the computer and yet still wow us with his knowledge of all things historical or scientific. Mark continues to drive up and down the Cajon Pass just so that his family is taken care of financially.

And myself? I continue to home-school the kids, work for the church in Music Ministry, and now have 20+ piano and voice students that are a joyous way to supplement our income. Teen Challenge is a larger part of my work week as I now work with the Worship Team as well as continuing to work with the choir each week. Nostalgia Singers is a larger part of my week as well as I am now the Director AND accompanist. Oh, and I am working on a CD project, FINALLY, and should have the first song released on iTunes real soon. I am working with Norris Evans of Fire Crew Productions and Doug Wayne of Genesis Music and God's Talent Inc. Both of these gentlemen are incredibly talented and their arrangements of my songs make me want to weep with joy! All the songs are original songs written under the inspiration of God. We are recording the album at a new recording company, High Tower Records. There are very talented people in the "camp" who are or will be working with me on this project.

My plans for 2011? I don't want to call them resolutions per se but I am resolute in my passion to fulfill them. My plan: To be a Christian in everything I do and say...especially OUTSIDE the church. To strive to be like Christ in every reaction to life; to love unconditionally, to be forgiving, to reach for those who are hurting, to simply be Christian.

How am I going to do this?

*Prayer, daily, continually, with fervor.
*Reading the Word, often, and with an open heart and spirit for direction.
*Following the directions for a Christian life without hesitation or question.
*Accepting the challenges found in life and learning life lessons the first time I go through it.
*Heeding His call through the scriptures and being willing to go where He leads.
*Reaching out to others through conversations, music, witnessing, and encouraging them to know God in a deeper and more profound way.

In recent days my girls have been drawn deeper into prayer and consecration. This has been an answer to prayer for my hubby and me! Both of the girls felt "sad" and a "heavy"  feeling and they spent over an hour in prayer, possibly intercessory, when they responded to that feeling. I look forward to watching their prayer lives develop even deeper and more powerful in the coming year. In fact, I look forward to everything this new year will bring!!

Happy New Year to my friends and family who take a moment to check out my blog from time to time! Love you all!