Sunday, July 31, 2022

Love Covering

I bought this print for my mom two years ago for Mother's day. It now sits on the mantle waiting for her to move into her love covering. 

As a woman there is a gift we bring to our families that no one else brings. We are the heart guardians. The older I get the more I understand why God took a rib from Adam as He fashioned and formed woman. There is strength, support, and a framing that a rib provides to the heart. 

Some might accuse and say, "Stop spiritualizing!" My answer to them, "Be silent!" If what I say causes a wife to love more and sacrifice once more or a mother to get up when she thought should could not get up or a daughter to lift up her family then it's worth speaking.

Women, we are called to provide the love covering to our families. This is a sacred role. That means it is HOLY! 

Our gifts are not relegated to a season, title, or position. They are in a person. Us! We are the gift. Right now. Right where you are! Exactly in what you are doing. Whether it is in the mundane or the profound by man's economy is not important. What is important in God's economy is what is happening in the heart gardens around you. How you cover your family so growth and blessing may take place is what matters. 

Love is a covering. It is a shelter in the storm. It is a word to lift up. It is a hand to hold. It is a shoulder to lean on. It is an ear to hear. It is a body that responds. It is. 

My lovelies when we provide the love covering it is when we are most like Jesus. 

My prayer is this covers you with the encouragement you need today. Beloved, you are loved with an everlasting love. He has covered us let us go and cover what He has given us. Amen

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

When Children Ministered to Me

As all the children gathered in the room at One Hope, their energy was palpable. I was there to share about going and telling Bible stories. I wondered will they listen? Will they get it and go and tell? Why I ever wonder such things behooves me! I know the power of story and how it can cause a child or adult sit and listen! 

So I opened with a personal story,
"Back in March I got on a plane and I flew all the way to Dallas, Texas!" I said while holding my arms out like I was flying as I moved across the room in front if the children. "I then got on another plane and flew all the way across the ocean to a far away place." I moved further around the room going behind the children. "I continued on this journey for four different flights and after 36 hours, we finally landed in Asia. 

But then my friends said, 'Get some rest for tomorrow we will fly for another hour and forty-five minutes.' After that flight, we got in a car and drove for well over an hour only to get out and walk a path to a remote village in jungle area. We finally reached our destination and I was able to tell a Bible story to six people sitting on grass mat's in the dirt who had never heard this Bible story.

Children ages four to twelve sat quietly as they listened. Caught up in the story. 

"I am here today to tell you that Jesus wants you to go and tell too! We will learn a new word today in our Bible story. It is 'witnesses.' A witness it someone who sees and hears something and they then go and tell what they have seen and heard. 

Our Bible verse is "You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, to the outermost parts of the world." I used hand motions to help them remember their verse and had them stand up and practice it several times. I told them to listen closely so that when they heard the verse in the story they coukd help me by doing the handmotions.

I then told the story,

"One day the disciples were standing together talking and one of the disciples asked Jesus, 'Will this be when you bring in the kingdom of God?"

Jesus said, "It is not for you to know the times, dates, or seasons. Only the Father has the authority to know the times, dates, and seasons. But, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all of Judea, Samaria to the outer most parts of the world..."

I continued telling Acts 1:1-11 and then told it again so that the story could settle in their hearts and minds. When I asked if anyone was willing to tell the story a little girl that was maybe four or an early five waved her hand. Kat (name changed) needed me to start the story, but once she received a few story prompts she got it and started telling it in her own words.

Unexpectedly, I met God through my little storyteller. In her little helium sounding voice, she looked me in the eye with complete trust while she held my hand and said, "It's not for you to know. The Father knows!" Tears welled up in my eyes. Her little summation had perfect meaning and her pure heart believed it. It was as if God spoke directly to my heart. 

I had just learned that my step dad had a bacteria in his blood stream. He was very sick. I had my own questions that I was bringing before the Father. He chose to use a little storyteller speak to my heart. "It's not for you to know! The Father knows!" Peace covered me.

Later that day, I was teaching the same lesson at our south campus and again God used a child to speak a message to me. The service was going longer so our class there was longer so after the storytelling and game to learn how to go and tell, I invited the children to draw out the story. One twelve year-old decided to create an envelope and fill the envelope with little notes. On each note he wrote parts of the story. The first part of the story he chose to show me was "It's not for you know!" 

This time I just sat in awe of God! Not once but twice He used the younger storytellers to speak truth back to me. 

I love how I get the privilege to go and tell His stories, but He reminds me often that He ministers to me as much if not more through those I think I have gone to go and serve. 

On this particular day at two different churches, He chose to use the story I was telling to speak life back to me through His little children.

No wonder Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me!"

Friday, July 22, 2022

Go and Tell Lessons

Yesterday at camp, God blessed me so much. I had two groups, the Blue Group the first hour and the Red Group the second hour.

You never know how a lesson will go the first time you teach it. I always learn more and adjust as I go. When it was time to place the Blue Group into four groups to play the Go Tell Game. I just assigned them groups. Then I gave them their assignments. 

When I asked Blue Group 1 if they would like to stay together or split up to go tell the Bible story. They chose to stay together. So we were one big group traveling from group to group to tell the story. They did it, but it took a long time and there was ALOT of waiting for the other groups. I knew this could happen so I gave them things to discuss while waiting. 

We did not get to finish the lesson, but they left knowing we are called to be His witnesses in our city, state, with people we don't like, and the nations. I later heard that they were retelling their Bible story at crafts so they did get it.

The Red Group came in ready to go. When I divided them up, I tweaked it one way. I simply asked who in the room wants to be the storyteller? I then chose them to be Group 1. 

After giving group assignments I asked them, "Do you want to go as a group or split up?" They jumped up and down and said, "Split up!" So I let them choose where they went. They equally divided and ran to their groups to go tell the Bible story.

The Red Group was able to tell all of the groups the Bible story and even bring others along to go tell other groups. They multiplied faster and more people heard the story and more people told the story.

What an incredible visual God gave me through the two groups. When we say, "I don't want to leave my group. We want to stay together. We can't do it unless others are with us." We still get it done, but not as fast and not to all places. It means alot of people do not hear in time before they die. But, when we get it, go, and give it away in as many places as we can then more people hear and more can get the call to go. We multiply faster. 

I had no clue how God was going to use this lesson, but He sure gave me a great visual that I will now use as a model as to why we each have a responsibility to go. 

What does your church look like the Blue Group or the Red Group? Pray you and your church become a Red Group! 

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Conquering What You Possess

As I was reading about Israel conquering the land this morning, I noticed in Deuteronomy 3:18-20 that it says that "Your God has given you the land..." and later it says the "LORD gives rest..."  I noticed that the LORD gives us both the ability to conquer and the ability to rest, but in both cases it is our responsibility to take possession of both. Israel couldn't conquer the land if they did not go into battle. The LORD made it very clear "go to this land and leave this land alone." Not all things or places are our responsibility to conquer. He also promised Israel rest, but they had to take it. 

For the most part, I get the conquer responsibility in that I must do my part. I fight the rest part. I might be thinking of the next thing I need to conquer instead of resting. Or how I can conquer rest. Lol!

Being with people and creating art are restful for me. Lately, I have been literally mind craving the need to create. This shows me that I have been in conquer mode for too long. I must take time to take possession of the rest the LORD gives me. 

So, I have been studying Impasto painting. I think I want to learn how to do it. Lol. I know I won't be able to conquer it!  Lol!  But I want to sit and see what God might create in me and through it rest.

Where do you struggle with taking possession of what God has given you? Do you struggle more with conquering the task or taking the rest? 

Father, please help us to be more mindful if what You have already given us and help us to take possession of it for Your glory.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Get Up and Go Get Grain

"When Jacob heard that grain was available in Egypt, he said to his sons, "Why are you standing around looking at one another?"

If the situation wasn't so serious I would let my laughter spill out because I can see me in this story. I have been in this type of situation before. You know one of those moments when life hits... A diagnosis, a death, a natural disaster, a person... And you find yourself just standing there frozen. Just staring at others not really knowing what to do when someone with a voice of reason speaks and then boom. You can move again. The voice of reason breathes life and causes the shock to disappear. Thanking God for all of the different voices of reason that God has sent to get me moving again. 

Now, on the side of the one who speaks reason. I have been there, too. It is so easy to walk in and see no movement and just forget the human factor that has just happened. Just because we may be able to see the next step doesn't mean we should forget the people. Praying that my reasoning is full of grace. Oh wisdom let generous grace over flow when we reason together through the trials of life.

 I have heard there is grain in Egypt. Go down there, and buy enough grain to keep us alive. Otherwise, we will die. (Genesis 42:1).

Monday, July 11, 2022