Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Hi darlings!  Soooo... A few weeks ago I posted a blog for you all and mentioned the Life Story of Lee Stoneking being raised from the dead... YES, RAISED FROM THE DEAD! (I always hear "Dead man walkin'" in my head when I think about this...) Now, before you get all creeped out just let me say, it's not creepy at all, no incantations or voodoo or anything like that, just a miracle from God! Lee Stoneking was dead for at least 35 minutes... He dropped dead of a massive heart attack in an Australian airport and remained dead through extensive CPR and shocking until he arrived at the Hospital and was pronounced dead by another doctor... BUT NOT BY GOD!  The rest of the story is better told by Mr. Stoneking himself and better heard in person... And you are in luck, you can see Mr. Stoneking THIS WEEKEND! Lee Stoneking will be at Capital Community in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada THIS WEEKEND July 27-29! (Friday at 7:00 pm, Saturday at 7:00 pm and Sunday at 11:00 am and 6:00 pm!)

I will be there and you need to be there too! Lee will be bringing his medical records, written confirmation from some of his doctors and more! I need to hear and see this for myself and you do too.

So seriously, if you are ANYWAY NEAR NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA or can get here for any or all of the nights you NEED TO! Directions to Capital community can be found via mapquest or google maps via this link. I've posted below the poster for the event as well as a great deal on a hotel room I was sent if you need one!

Come meet me and Lee (see, I'm even droppin' the rhymes for you! haha!) Hope to see you this weekend!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Angry Birds & Cross Words

Yesterday just before I left work the phone rang... Decision time: it's 5:02, do I answer?  I'm not sure where anyone else stands on this issue or even where the right place to stand would be so I'll keep my personal opinion out of that.  I did answer last night's late call... Mistake # 1. Some lawyer in Ontario proceeded to not even say hello, just "I want to speak with ______ immediately!" And trust me, that exclamation point is there purposely.  Anyway I stated our office was actually closed at 5:00 but I could have the person they were looking for call them in the morning.  Without me giving any names or enough information away for any of you to figure anything out, let me just say that offer was mistake # 2 and "cross words doesn't really even touch the explanation of what I got to experience lat night. The lawyer in Ontario proceeded to explain his whole situation and, of course, helpful me (rolling my eyes) thought I should offer suggestions of "this will make it okay" sort of solutions... Mistake # 3 and 4.  My offer was met with "OH, YOU THINK YOU KNOW THE LAW DO YOU!?" along with some other belittling phrases I care not to share... Next thing I know it's 6:00 pm and that lawyer is still on the phone...  Although, venting that little bit is probably good therapy for me, the real reason I share this story is not to vent... It's because after listening to God's word through my pastor, Raymond Woodward, and reading it for myself last night, I awoke this morning and found a different perspective...

I hate conflict, I never understand what it is that makes people want to rip someone else (especially someone they don't even know) to sheds verbally. Alas, when my temper gets the best of me, I've been known to say some hurtful words myself... And before you start puffing yourself up in your own mind think about some of the words you're ashamed you've said to people.  The thing is, we can't get away from it, even if we lived lives of perfect harmony toward others there would be some jerk who would have to come and be angry because you're just too peaceful or something.  My boss always says "no one ever sees themselves as the bad guy.  Try to think of it from their perspective."  I suppose he has a point... Okay, okay I know he does, it's good advice, and if you can follow it kudos to you! 

I, personally, am usually in such a state I don't want to see it from their perspective... I'm of that "there's no excuse" school of thought. The problem with that? There kind of is an excuse, I mean, even if someone is just plain idiotic, that's an excuse in itself.  People just don't get it, we've been raised to do whatever feels good to you at any given moment, climb that ladder, do whatever you have to do to make life better for ourselves... But if we've been raised that way we've not been raised according to scripture.  God has always taught us to prefer others, lift others up, love our neighbors... You know the 1st shall be last and all that "servanty stuff".

My last and most important realization about all this "how do I deal with an angry bird?" matter is found no-so-buried in the pages of the Bible... "Father forgive them, for the know not what they do." Luke 23:34   Listen, us Christians of all people are the ones without excuse, we are supposed to "get it..." but I'll be honest, yesterday when I was being reamed out by the angry bird on the other end of the telephone line I wasn't really thinking any "Father forgive" type thoughts... Maybe "Father pile-drive..." hah, that was a joke, sort of... As a Christian though I must understand that people have not given their lives over to Christ are still living their lives under the oppressive dictatorship of sin and death. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden it introduced death and we've had no opt. out box to check ever since... But the moment "It is finished" was spoken by Jesus... It really was!  We now live under his authority, above sin and beyond death!  (I just need to take a moment to say "I love Jesus! He's been so good to me and although I don't deserve five minutes of His love I've received a whole lifetime and more!  Thank you God!") However, people who have not experienced a life change with God yet really cannot be expected to realize what they are doing when they are in the middle of conflict... I rarely get it right and I've had YEARS experience at this Christianity thing.

So what am I saying? Maybe we get angry with the wrong bird...  Maybe it's not really the people but the force behind it we should be in conflict with.... Maybe we need to pray more and vent, yell and/or whine less!  Maybe we should be saying "Father forgive them" in the middle of the fight instead of "Father forgive me for what I'm about to say/do."  I know all this won't come easy, I know it will take a little or maybe a lot of time but it will come.  Jesus told us not to be surprised if the world hates us because they hated Him so let's not be surprised... Jesus knew they hated Him and He also knew they couldn't help themselves... He knew something we MUST remember: Angry birds don't even know what they're doing or why they are doing it. 

So next time you're in the heat of a scream fest like I was just zone out for a second and Remember these things:
  1. It's not really even coming from that person, it's coming from sin and death.
  2. They don't see themselves as the "bad guy."
  3. They just don't "get it."
  4. Most importantly remember the words of Jesus in His most hurtful moment and say with Him "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I Can't Remember!

Hi! It's sooo late for me to be blogging today!  I usually have it all written up for you guys Tuesdays so I can post at lunch time... Alas, summer is SUPER BUSY at work for me so I've been working overtime, staining my deck once I finally get home and churchin' the rest of the time! 

Can I just say, God is so AWESOME! I love Him so much! I was praying last night and all I could think was without Him I would not be here... I would have never survived the hard times in my life. God has been my provider more times than I can count financially and my only hope personally!  Honestly, I haven't spent enough time thinking about all the things God has done for me. I appreciate His love so much and just have to tell you, try Him for yourself, don't base your opinion on the past or on what the people around you think, have your own experience with Him.  I did and I promise you won't regret it!

All that being said, tonight I thought of some mistakes in my past... At first I was thinking about all God has kept me from but one memory popped up in my brain and wouldn't go away... But then I remembered something else: "You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea" Micah 7:19  "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more" Hebrews 8:12 "And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more" Hebrews 10:17 "as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us" Psalm 103:12

See we all remember our short-comings, we all know our own weaknesses and if you're like me at the end of each day when you pillow your head everything you did that disappointed yourself that day floods to the forefront of your mind... But when I thought about mine tonight I believe God spoke... "I don't remember them, you have got to choose to forget them too."

Here's the thing, have you repented? (Repentance is not just feeling bad or saying sorry, it's not even tears of regret, it's a decision making process of turning away from sin.) If you have then God has cast every one of your sins away, He has removed them as far as East is from West... You can travel East forever and never meet up with West, East can never be West!  Best of all, even when we remember our sins and sometimes remind God of them, He just can't seem to recall them! 

So here's the deal: stop remembering them, stop giving them your time and for goodness' sake stop giving those mistakes your future!  The thing about mistakes is we all make them. The thing about regrets? We all have them.  The thing about God? He's bigger than all them! The Bible says he has "removed the effects of sin" once you've repented so stop worrying about it, God's got it!  The future is bright because the light of the world is with you! Move forward!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Dead Sea or Living Water?

The reason the Dead Sea is, well, dead is because there is no outflow of water... Lots of water flows into the Dead Sea everyday but not one drop flows out.  If you think about it, although mysteriously beautiful, the Dead Sea is where everything else goes to die... Every living thing flowing into the Dead Sea, whether it knows it or not is on a path to the death. The Dead Sea is just one huge grave yard.
Dead Sea, Jordan
I can't stop thinking about the Dead Sea, I keep relating it to my life... Hearing one question in my mind, over and over again "Do you have outflow?" God daily heaps blessing into my life (and yours), He takes care of me and has given me so much grace that I simply do not deserve. "Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our salvation." Psalm 68:19 (KJV) But if I don't let those things flow out of my life into the lives of others around me I'm letting that blessing, care and grace die, I'm becoming the Dead Sea of Blessing, the Dead Sea of Care, the Dead Sea of Grace. I don't want to be the place where blessing, care and grace die! Don't let God's love flow into your life and die there, let it flow out of you into the lives of the people around you! Don't let the people who come to you find themselves on the path to death. Don't allow yourself to become a grave yard of everything good, make sure there is an outflow!

Listen, outflow isn't for the sake of reputation, it's not about what you get out of it or who sees you giving... If you don't have outflow God probably isn't going to totally cut you off from receiving from Him but you will die and so will everything around you. Yes, the river of life is flowing freely to everyone but don't forget that same river of living water is supposed to flow out of you! "Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them" John 7:38 (NIV)

God loves all of us, even if He knew dying on a cross at Calvary would only save one soul. Even if that one saved soul was only you He would have still walked the Via Dolorosa, He would have taken every stripe, heard each curse of His name, He would still watch the nails pierce is flesh and tear through His veins, He would have still prayed "Father forgive them" as their spit reached his face, He wouldn't have refused the crown of thorns nor would he stand up for Himself as they mocked His life of love... He still would have been ripped off the tree, wrapped in grave cloths while His mother wept over his unrecognizable body screaming into the heavens why her baby... He would have still gone into the grave... He would have still risen victorious on the third day, He would have still done all of that and more, even if just for you. But how can we let that die with us, if He rose again to save us how could we not rise in witness to His love and power? How could we become the Dead Sea of redemption?

God isn't willing for one person to die. He doesn't plan for you to become a Dead Sea. "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV) So you have to ask yourself one thing, "what does God desire from me?" I think the answer is obvious but just in case you're struggling, He wants you to have out flow, let the blessing, care, grace, love and redemption that He's freely given you flow out of you and touch everyone you come in contact with! And, since we know now that God wants us to be witnesses for Him we need to also realize He will help us, He is that river flowing out of us and if we just open the floodgate and let Him flow! He will do the work, we don't have to worry if that water will change the course of someone's life; our job is just to let the river flow out of us it's the power of the river that influences the direction of anything it flows over.