Saturday, May 29, 2010

cool video link

i saw this video for the first time last night.  i guess this gal was at our church last night and did this painting.  i love julie meyer and her music, and this painting is so cool as well.  it is about a 5 minute long video, so take a couple minutes to enjoy and watch. 

video here


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

He told us to ask

 ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 
for everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?
or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he?
if you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!
                                                                                    matthew 7:7-11

this passage hits quite close to home these days for our family.  we are intercessory missionaries, which means we give ourselves full-time to prayer and worship of God, as well as building and pastoring a community of people who are committed to establishing around the clock prayer in our area.  it is the most amazing opportunity that i could ever imagine being available for my life.  i hoped that i could take time aside to fully commit to prayer when i was single; i never imagined the possibility when i was married with 3 little boys and one on the way.  yet, this is what God has put before us to do and we are doing it with a family.

part of this intercessory missionary lifestyle is that we live off of donations and raised financial support, just like a traditional missionary.  we have been blessed by having a faithful group of people who both support us in prayer and money, but the amount of money it takes to maintain a family of 6 is a lot.  this is not to mention the extra expenses that come up that aren't always expected.  we have learned the past year to spend a significant amount of time asking the Lord to provide finances where it sometimes seems impossible.  sometimes i start to feel like, again!  do i have to ask for God to come through in providing money again?!  but the truth is, yes!  not only is the the way He has asked our family to live, it is the way He has laid out in the Bible for all believers to live.

He desires us to ask Him to provide.  Of course we are to work at whatever He puts before us, but He wants to partner with us for our lives.  He calls Himself the Provider.  when i realize my own weakness and inability to make things happen for myself, it produces humility in my life and forces me to look to Him alone as my Source.  even though it sometimes stings so much to live this way, it is the most fulfilling and amazing way to live.  we have testimony after testimony in our own lives of God providing in crazy and amazing ways.  i wrote before the story of how we ended up being able to go to my brother-in-law's wedding when i had zero faith to even ask the Lord myself, so my husband and kids asked daily until the Lord provided.  we are experiencing financial miracles, which builds our faith to share with others that if He can do this for us, He can do it for you!

all this to say that i have to continually go back to the Bible to find what God says about money.  as my husband and i have been looking, we have found the most frequent thing the Bible says about money is that God wants us to ask Him to be our Provider.  so, we continue to ask.  i continue to strengthen myself when i am feeling discouraged by reading the passages that tell of His desire to provide for us.  i make myself say out loud all the ways He has provided in the past year to cultivate both thankfulness and faith in my heart.  i realize that when i am feeling the most weak, that is the moment He can show Himself the most strong.
"do not worry then, saying, 'what will we eat?' or 'what will we drink?' or 'what will we wear for clothing?'  
"for the gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
"but seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 
                                                                     matthew 6:31-33 

we are personally on a search for a minivan because of our soon expansion to our family (7 weeks left until the due date!).  we bought both of our cars almost 7 years ago - we aren't people who go out and make a big purchase like a car often.  God has answered our prayers of my car selling.  it sold for an amazing amount - our asking price in full!  now we are down to one car the past 3 weeks and until we find the van we are looking for to buy in cash.  the car we have for now is my husband's jeep that only has 4 seatbelts (if you do the math that is one less seatbelt than current family members).  so, besides the couple times we have had a kind friend trade us cars for a day or two, we are unable to go anywhere as a family until we buy a minivan.  this alone as made me very motivated to find one!

i am reminded to ask God again and again to be our Provider and to bring the right van before this new little one is born.  in the moments that i feel like i have asked so many times and may be tiring Him, it is so good to remind myself that He told me to ask Him!  it is so good to know that even when i weary of asking, He never wearies of hearing me come to Him to ask.  it is so good to remind myself that He knows we need all these things, so i don't have to worry!

even though i started writing this as mostly a reminder to myself to keep on asking until we see breakthrough, i want to also encourage you to not give up as well.  He wants to partner with you.  He wants to be your Source and your Provider.  He knows your needs.  He is a good Father.
and my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus,
                                                                                                philippians 4:19
...just as He has provided for ours.  He does not tire of you asking, so ASK!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

a blessing for today

do you ever have those times while reading the bible that you rediscover, or seemingly discover for the first time, a passage that you may have read 100 times, but for some reason this time it jumps out and grabs you?!  i just had one of those moments and i want to share with you all.

last night was my wonderful husband's birthday and we celebrated with cramming 50 friends and family (includes the children) into our little 1100 square foot house for dessert and fellowship.  we took a time to pray over my husband and bless his upcoming year.  this morning, while i was reading the bible, i found what would have been the perfect blessing to pray over him for this year in psalm 20.  it is a psalm of david, but it reminded me so much of the irish blessings that are on greeting cards.  it is perfect to pray over a friend who is celebrating a birthday and entering a new year or season, and completely a scriptural way to prophesy over his/her life.

may He send you help from the sanctuary and support you from zion
may He remember all your meal offerings and find your burnt offering acceptable! selah.
may He grant you your heart's desire and fulfill all your counsel
we will sing for joy over your victory, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners. may the LORD fulfill all your petitions.
now i know that the LORD saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand.
some boast in chariots and some in horses, but we will boast in the name of the LORD, our God.
they have bowed down and fallen, but we have risen and stood upright.
save, O LORD; may the King answer us in the day we call.
                                                                                          psalm 20
 so take the as a blessing for you day.  be blessed!


Monday, May 17, 2010

more than just a good ole "Lord, bless them."

i have a prayer list of people that i try to pray for semi-regularly.  sometimes i get stuck in what to pray for them.  of course i want them to be generally blessed and have health and provision, but beyond the generic it is often difficult to go deep in prayer for someone and be confident that my prayers are biblical.

i have found that using the prayers that the apostle paul prayed in the different letters he wrote to churches in the new testament is a great starting place to launch me into plenty of material to pray for someone on my prayer list.  one particular prayer i like to use as a starting place is ephesians 3:14-21.  i will break down how i have found useful to use it, so if you want to take some of these points or even pray word for word through what he prayed for the church of ephesis, you will have confidence in asking the Father.

1. i pray to the Father.

for this reason i bow my knees before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,
                                                                 ephesians 3:14-15

i read an article written by john piper that pointed out how most prayers in the Bible are addressed to Father God, even prayers by Jesus Himself and his apostles after His death and resurrection.  Jesus even instructed His disciples that they should pray in this way, "our Father who is in heaven..."  i realized after reading piper's article that i usually had addressed Jesus first in prayer.  i am not saying that we shouldn't pray to Jesus or the Holy Spirit, but in studying prayer in the bible and Jesus' own instruction on prayer i have shifted my focus to asking the Father just as Jesus asked the Father.  Jesus even said, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. (john 16:23)  i do ask in the name of Jesus, but most often now address the Father directly in my prayers.

2. i ask that his/her spirit man would be strengthened by the Holy Spirit's power.

that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,
                                                                     ephesians 3:16

how many times in our lives do we struggle with discouragement?  even king david wrote many times in the psalms, why are you downcast, oh my soul?  put your hope in God!  it is part of our frail humanity to go through times of being extremely aware of our own brokenness and weakness.  this is not contrary to the goal of the gospel:  in fact, when i am weak, He is made strong in me.  (2 corinthians 12:10)  it is always appropriate to ask the Father to show His strength in a person and to build up his/her inner man or spirit.  He is rich in glory.  He is all powerful.  He wants to turn to us and strengthen us in the midst of our weakness. 

3.  i ask that he/she would be grounded in love through Christ.

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
                                                                       ephesians 3:17

all people seek for love.  the only way we will ever know a love that satisfies or holds us steady in the midst of storms in life is through Jesus Christ.  there is no other love that satisfies.  i pray for my friend to know this love in a very experiential way that would cause his/her roots to go down deep in Jesus like the righteous man in psalms 1 or the wise man in matthew 7.  we can know of Him with our minds, but until we experience His love for ourselves we will never grow deep and mature in love.  i want this for every person i care about.

4.  i ask for supernatural understanding of the vastness of Jesus' love for him/her.

may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge,
                                                             ephesians 3:18-19

i ask that he/she would know all 4 dimensions of His love for him/her.   it is a love that is beyond knowledge.  we cease to be amazed by the new levels and dimensions of His love that still are unfolding to us.  it is a love that is transforms us.  it is the love we all desire.

5.  i pray that he/she would be filled to the fullness of God.

that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
                                                             ephesians 3:19b

i ask that my friend would have a fresh encounter with God and a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit.  even though if we know Jesus, we have already had those life-changing encounters, we can always use more encounter with Him.  can you imagine being completely full of Him?  there is so much i haven't experienced yet in Him.  there is so much i have yet to encounter, and i want this very thing for those i love the most as well.

6.  i remind myself that He can do all i ask and praise Him.

now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 
to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. amen. 
                                                               ephesians 3:20-21

prayer is not a wish list.  He said that if we ask, we will receive.  He is not only willing to answer us when we come to Him, but He is able to do far more than we can even imagine or have the guts to ask of Him.  this power He puts within us.  that is so crazy!  to realize His vast ability and His huge desire that we come ask causes praise and worship to spill out of our hearts.  i want to consciously realize that He is more than able and praise Him because of who He is.

so simple, right?  i don't know anyone who wouldn't want these things prayed over them.  pick a couple people that you pray for and try praying through this passage over them this week.  the bible is such a great tool to use to strengthen and deepen our prayers.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

you must allow me to tell you

i have to give a plug for this amazing mug that i got for mother's day from my amazing husband and kids (mostly my husband though)!  my good friend brooke at  makes all sorts of great treasures, but i have been eying her pride and prejudice mugs for a while.  the problem was when i went to order one for a gift for someone for christmas, they were already sold out!  what a good problem to have as a seller, right?  she sells both on etsy and is now a wholesale distributor for different boutiques around the world (literally!), so her work is very good and very desirable. 

i have to say that drinking morning coffee or evening rooibos tea in this mug just makes me feel special all over.  so silly, i know, but who can resist the famous quote from the proposal between mr. darcy and elizabeth?  not me!  i watched this movie over and over and over again as i knit christmas presents and was confined to my couch with intense all day pregnancy sickness during the winter.  of all the scenes in the movie, that has to be my favorite of all.  my husband did good when he picked this one out for me. 

so, take a second if you will to go check out her etsy site.  i promise you will love what you find if you are anything like me.  if you are not... still fun to go check out.  she has a separate etsy site where she displays her amazing art work that has been featured in local art shows.  check it out as well.

then leave me a comment on what is your favorite find.  i haven't been blogging for a while... i have been very busy with life but i haven't forgotten the blog world.  i actually may be changing up my commenting again... just a thought swirling in my head that is actually hindered me from blogging because i wanted to decide what to do first.  i just finally decided that i need to blog and then decide what to do later.  more blogs coming soon!

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