Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It takes a Village!

Yes, it does take a village, or community, or church, or for crying out loud....takes a lot of work! ;o)

There is just something about children's singing that I love. Wednesday night was a real treat as the KPC's sang. It was hard to hold back the tears while listening to their voices praise and watching the faces in the congregation smile back at them.

There maybe 1 of them that is terrified to be up there. But when all 20 of them together, they become an army for the Lord.

God smiles on them. He puts so much joy in their hearts. Each of them are very unique in their own way. I love that!

They may not always hit the right note....and it's okay. They are kids. More importantly, I want them to praise God with their whole heart and enjoy the experience of worship together. I hope for them, the experience makes coming to church even brighter. Selfishly, it does for me. I can't wait to get in the doors to see them each week.

Workshop Wednesday "Celebrate" & "A New Hallelujah"

One of our more serious moments & Eli singing solo.

Don't believe them! I do not yell at them! I just talk and sing louder! ;o)

Stephen singing his lungs out! Way to go!

This is one of those moments of everyone doing something different!

Where's Alice?

It's all about technique I tell ya!

Ah! A beautiful duet together!

Night #1....stand in a line!

See, we do have fun! ;o)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wrapped up and give it a big bow!

Today we wrapped up the workshop with an amazing gathering at Memorial. Shane and the team knocked themselves out with some amazing moments of worship! The voices lifted to God this morning were loud enough to wake up all the angels in Heaven and I'm sure that is just what they did.

I loved the workshop this year and think it was one of the best! I loved the changes. I loved the classes. I love the praise. I loved it all! Could have done without the snow.....but....it allowed some great God opportunities.

I always feel a bit odd going to a class by Terry Rush at the workshop. It's one of those things where I think "I can hear Terry anytime...so I should try someone else" but I couldn't bring myself to do that this year, and I'm so glad! I loved his Saturday class which left me "hungry" for more. I'm so fortunate that I get to hear and see him and hug his neck every week! His words and his love blesses me far beyond anything I can even imagine. I love that he loves me with all of my flaws.

Patrick Mead was amazing. I've heard him speak before, but God blessed him with an extra boost of something this year that was out of this world. I hope, pray, and look forward to seeing him next year at the workshop. He has an amazing gift.

I enjoyed Steve Jackson on Saturday night as the keynote and I'm so sad that many people had to leave town due to the snow. This man brought a testimony about coming out of his muslim faith that was out of this world. I loved one point he went over about how we as the church accept people as who they are, where they are. We allow people to continue to serve, even after they've made mistakes. We're all sinners, and we all screw up from time to time. I remember a couple of times that I felt unworthy of being in any ministry at church because of mistakes I had made. But because we are such a great body of believers and we serve such an awesome God, not ONCE was I ever asked to leave, or quit, or take a break, or anything for that matter. My church family loved me right through my pain, and I'm sure in life, I will have more of it and they will continue to do so. It's because of the God we serve and their desire to be so much like Him that they truly know how to help others start life over. I've felt accepted, even when I couldn't accept myself. That's not just our human nature....but it's God working in us and us allowing Him to be a part of our lives. It's our desire to be christ-like. I love how we have a church that knows how to do that. Even in their own weakness.

The worship classes were a new treat this year. I love to sing, but what I really love is to see how God works in the ways of worship. I love the different styles of worship, and love to see how that is incorporated into illistrations of worship that I had never even thought of. I use to think I gave it all. Little did I know, I hadn't even scratched the surface.

I bought a new book this year and it took me 3 days to figure out which one I wanted. I don't have a lot of time to read anything other than text book, but I found an amazing devotional book that I can't wait to dig into. I loved that it came with a music CD directed to every chapter with original songs written just for this book. I'm sure you'll be hearing more about it on here. It is called "The final demise to the Cinderalla Syndrome". Can't wait.

Workshop was overall just an amazing experience for me this year. Very different in that we didn't have a whole host of people in our house, all of our friends couldn't make it this year, and well, that part was a little sad. Tony & Tisha made a quick trip, but I hated to see them go so quickly. But I was very honored to make some new friends this year. Espeically on the Shuttle! You couldn't help but get to know people who shared in the travel to and from each building in the snow. My feet may have been wet and cold, but my heart was warmed everytime I climed aboard. I could have walked, but what a treat to catch a ride and meet some amazing people. Snow or no snow, I hope that is something that is back next year.

I liked all the changes. I liked the new building. I liked so much about this year. I like that every year I see more and more new people show up that have never even been. I liked the material changes and things you see on the surface. But most of all I LOVED how God showed up this week and gave us new thoughts, new perspectives, and a new outlook on so many things that we could never have planned with our own human talents. God is amazing when I walk around and see him in the eyes and hearts of every person there.

Let's just say, it was an amazing year.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Saying it all....

I wrote a blog earlier, but struggled to post it.
Not feeling it's what God was trying to tell me.
I put it away, and came back later.
He led me to this; and it's exactly what I've been thinking and feeling all night.
God is so good.

Psalm 139 NIRV

Lord, you have seen what is in my heart.
You know all about me.
You know when I sit down and when I get up.
You know what I'm thinking even though you are far away.
You know when I go out to work and when I come back home.
You know exactly how I live.
Lord, even before I speak a word,
you know all about it.
You are all around me. You are behind me and in front of me.
You hold me in your power.
I'm amazed at how well you know me.
It's more than I can understand.
How can I get away from your Spirit?
Where can I go to escape from you?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there.
If I lie down in the deepest parts of the earth, you are also there.
Suppose I were to rise with the sun in the east
and then cross over to the west where it sinks into the ocean.
Your hand would always be there to guide me.
Your right hand would still be holding me close.
Suppose I were to say, "I'm sure the darkness will hide me.
The light around me will become as dark as night."
Even that darkness would not be dark to you.
The night would shine like the day,
because darkness is like light to you.
You created the deepest parts of my being.
You put me together inside my mother's body.
How you made me is amazing and wonderful.
I praise you for that.
What you have done is wonderful.
I know that very well.
None of my bones was hidden from you
when you made me inside my mother's body.
That place was as dark as the deepest parts of the earth.
When you were putting me together there,
your eyes saw my body even before it was formed.
You planned how many days I would live.
You wrote down the number of them in your book
before I had lived through even one of them.
God, your thoughts about me are priceless.
No one can possibly add them all up.
If I could count them,
they would be more than the grains of sand.
If I were to fall asleep counting and then wake up,
you would still be there with me.
God, I wish you would kill the people who are evil!
I wish those murderers would get away from me!
They are your enemies. They misuse your name.
They misuse it for their own evil purposes.
Lord, I really hate those who hate you!
I really hate those who rise up against you!
I have nothing but hatred for them.
I consider them to be my enemies.
God, see what is in my heart.
Know what is there.
Put me to the test.
Know what I'm thinking.
See if there's anything in my life you don't like.
Help me live in the way that is always right.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tears, Tears, Tears, and then WHAT????? Ha!!!!

Wow! What a day I have had today.

I got to sleep in for a bit and was so excited!

I got up, ate a little breakfast, and intended to study.
Then....Emilie woke up. That was shot.

Talk to my Dr. this morning.....the one who performed my surgery last year only to find out some symptoms I am having may be a result of that and he wants to see me ......TOMORROW. Um....Tears...here they come.

So I went in to take a nice long relaxing bath this morning. Took a nice big stretch, and pulled a muscle in my chest that brought me to tears. Yeah...it only gets better from here.

After I decided to just leave the hair in a wet mess of a ponytail today, I continued with my day of giving some music lessons to a couple of KPC kids. THAT WENT GREAT! YAY! Thank you to the mothers who didn't say ANYTHING about my appearance today.

Now the house is quiet, the kids are out playing....I'm going to study.

5 minutes later, a knock at the door. A realtor wanting to show the house....RIGHT NOW. Um....NO...I said in the sweetest voice I could while my neck was bent slighty to the right due to the pulled muscle in my chest and I look like death hung over because I have no makeup on. Told her to come back in 45 minutes. I call Chad which then turns into a .....well....let's say disagreement.....which leads me to tears!

Now, I'm trying to move quickly, holding my head in a certain position, frustrated thinking they are just going to say no anyway, frantically trying to sweep the floors....open the diswasher....and it's WHAT??? BACKED UP???? Open the cabinet door and the pipes are WHAT????? LEAKING???? This after the garbage disposal broke yesterday and well, that's enough of the kitchen. I put the dirty ones in there and just close the door and continue to just CRY!

The kids and I go for a drive...to return home to a very disturbing phone call from the showing realtor telling me we are asking too much for the house. I asked if I lowered the price would the couple consider it??? She said no it wouldn't work for them. I burst into tears. This house stuff is really killing me lately!

So then.....then kids wanted to go to the park....and I thought YES!!! We can go to the park, I can sit and study, and they can play! PERFECT! I needed to get away from here anyway.

NEXT............NEXT!!!!!!! Here comes Ian and Emilie running toward me telling me that a man is calling the fire department because Lukus is stuck in a tree and can't get down. WHAT???? Oh my goodness. Lord...please just take me now!

Sure enough...he's about 20-25 feet in the air, the firetruck comes with sirens blazing ladders flying and about 100 people watching....AND VIDEO TAPING this marvelous event taking place......WITH MY KID!!!!! Yes, beautiful day, spring break = lots of people at the park!!! GGGGGRRRRRRRR!!!!

He gets down and well, we are home. We are not going anywhere else today. I am staying put. You couldn't PAY ME to get out of this house!!!! Unless you want to buy it of course!

God truly had a sense of humor when he gave me kids. I don't know weather to laugh or cry anymore. But thankfully, I have some friends coming over tonight to cheer me up! Just what I needed!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Do you know how to juggle?

I love ministry! It's just something that I feel I can do and gives me purpose and strength to keep going each day. I guess it's not really "ministry" that does that, but it's God in the ministry that does it all.

I believe you can serve in many areas whether in public or behind the scenes. Some ministries we serve in, nobody will ever know about. That's the cool thing about "serving". You don't do it to please others, you do it because your heart is in it to serve the best you can to glorify God. Some ministries we are great in. Some we are more support than leaders. And some we are still growing in. Whatever it is, we are all still servents of the Father. We are all connected and should support eachother in places where we are passionate about God. How can you have a ministry if you are all alone. God sends us each other, and the people to minister to.

Over the past few months, Satan has wanted to throw some fire at me and see what I would do with it.

Little did he know....I'm a juggler! I can put a GREAT spin on it. One that satan doesn't like. He throws it...and I spin it back into something that glorifies God. I just wish I would have figured out this concept about a year ago.

I seem to laugh and smile so much more. It makes me feel so good! Oh sure, there are hard days and difficult times and still times to cry in joy and in pain, but the things that Satan is trying to destroy in me is my passion for ministry. And not just one....but the passion I have in ALL the ministries that I serve in. And he's not just coming straight at me. He's using other beautiful christians to get to me. I'm really trying to figure out why he thinks it's okay to mess with me. With God on my side....I'm just not one to be messed with.

Um...Hello?? I'm God's Child! I have a shield that, when used properly, will protect me from evil. So watch me throw the bowling pins in the air and spin the chainsaws while running. It's not over til....I start singing! ;o)

Don't let him get to you. It's not worth your time. Satan will destory and I mean D E S T O R Y whatever he can get his hands on. He has done it over and over in my life and I refuse to let him take something so precious away from me. My God is much bigger than that.
I'll continue to juggle in ministry and be glorified in the things that delight the Lord. Anything else, just doesn't really matter.

So my question is....Can you juggle?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I've found my place.

What kind of theatre person are you?

Sounds kinda like a silly question huh? But it takes all kinds of people to put on a top notch theatre performance. I'm excited as we are getting ready to purchase our tickets to "Wicked" for this summer's performance. I can't wait!

But it got me thinking about how many people it takes to put on such a show. From the directors, actors, writers, musicians, stage hands, PAC workers, and janitors, and even the security that locks up at the end of the night. They all have an important role in making something successful. One is not good without the other.
Sure, one person could get out there and tell the story, but without each other, there just seems to be a void. We have to appreciate the fact that they all bring it to life to portray the message.

That's how it is in life with everything.

Friday I had an event where I was an active part in saving a man's life. I didn't come home and tell Chad. I didn't tell anyone. It was just one of those things that we do. But I was surprised when I got to school on Monday to be recognized by one of my teachers. I hadn't told anyone so how did they know? Several students were surprised I didn't say anything to them about it and kinda mad they didn't get to hear the cool story!
But there was nothing to brag about. Nothing to be praised for. I did not do this alone....I was part of a team. All I did was contribute a very small part.....which turned out to be huge when it was all over. Would it have been a success without my part in it? I will never know. But my role was still important.
I was a small part of saving this man's life and it worked. But really, God worked through us. We had nothing to do with it.
If God wanted him now, he would have taken Him and there is nothing I or we could have done. Sure we are trained this way, but only He knows the outcome. Very rarely do we win them all.

God teaches me so much with such BIG visuals! Apparently, I don't take hints very well! Tonight, I was completely brought to my knees again by His power to keep me humble. He is teaching me my place in the Kingdom. He is teaching me that I am completely nothing on my own. I am completely nothing without Him.

Tonight I was teaching Emilie the song "Beautiful Lamb of God" and in it the words say: "Like sheep we've gone astray, each turned to his own way, But Jesus will take our sins away"

My prayer has been for so long that God will convict me of my prideful attitude every time it shows up. And yet, He never lets me down. I love Him for that. He is faithful in all of His ways teaching me to serve Him better.

So who am I in the theatre....I'm the back stage girl. I am the one that likes to open and close the curtains and set up props. I am a support person. I want to produce things that make other people smile. I want to create the atmosphere. No name on a program. No name in lights. But a smile on each face that walks in is all I need.

I've found my place. I thank God for his mercy on me. He is making me to be such a better person everyday.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Why feel inadequate? We all are!

I get so frustrated with myself at church when I can't remember a verse, or a story, or something important in the Bible like others. I LOVE to be around people from AIM because they are a total wealth of biblical knowledge and I love it! I often wonder if I will ever be where they are. I'm there in my heart, but it hasn't all quite reached the communication portion of my brain yet!

God uses our inadequacies to help strengthen us in our weakest times. Often it is just as simple as giving us the right words to say to a friend. I can't tell you how many times I've talked to someone where I thought "I wish I had a scripture to reference". What I find happening in my life is that I don't always need to quote scripture. God is keeping me simple. He wants me to learn, but I don't have to feel bad because I can't come up with one off the top of my head. When I rely on Him, He will give me the exact words He wants me to say.

I love the story of Moses in Exodus 3. So many times, I feel like Moses when he was practically begging God to send someone else to talkt to Pharaoh. So many times, I feel that I am not adequately prepared to talk to others in communicating God's word effectively. But God didn't give up on Moses. It seems to me like the more Moses persisted to NOT do this task, the more God was eager to use Him. Seriously, how many signs does one have to get? God gave him three, told them what they were, how to use them, and then put the exact words into his mouth to say in order to convince the Israelites! God used that feeling of inadequacy in Moses to make Him stronger and a better leader in order to bring His people to the promised land.

We can't give up on ourselves just because we feel inadequate. We each are equally important in the kingdom of God. But we can't all be the same. Then only one type of message would get out. We have to be different. We have to be unique. We have to strong......and we have to be inadequate so that He can work in us to make us what He wants us to be.

God~ You are so powerful....and yes, at times, I feel inadequate to do the work you have put me here to do. But you've made me adequate in the areas of life that are the most important to you. You put me here for a specific purpose. You continue to help me grow each day into those other areas where I feel a bit "less than" adequate for the task. I thank you for those opportunities. I thank you for the hard times that I can learn from. Keep challenging me. Push me farther so that I can come to know you more, believe in you more, trust you more, and have the strength to do the things I'm not always so comfortable with. Send me to where you want me to be. Even if it's difficult, I trust you.