Sunday, June 12, 2011


There's been a theme swirling around. It actually truly began getting my attention this last week. I was on McHenry dancing as Big Red

to promo Love Modesto when a group of about 8 cars pulled into the parking lot & began unloading signs. In an instant I knew they were the group that goes around town holding up "God hates your abortion. Repent of murder or burn," and "Turn from your homosexual life or suffer the wrath of God" signs. They forcefully told me this was one of the corners they evangelize at and then acted surprised when I took my costume off to leave. I explained to them that of course I can't stand next to 15 sign holders yelling at cars to repent of their drunken whore lives & become holy. 
I represent a specific church, organization, & Jesus when I'm standing with a "" sign. They insisted on a debate. And what I realized from this was that my problem with their angle is the lack of grace. Turning & becoming holy is Biblical, but only after and in the grace of Jesus. Without grace, there's nothing. 

More to the theme....Something I've always struggled with is feeling that I'm such a screw-up that God can't possibly do as huge of things with me as I dream about, long for, and desire more than life itself. How is He gonna use ME for anything impactful? Something He's been showing me recently is that maybe I need to look at it differently. Maybe it's BECAUSE of the things I've been drastically redeemed from that I can be most impactful. Shawn said it well tonight when he said "God didn't look at Paul and say that he had it all right. He looked at him & said 'Look at how wrong he's got it. Now watch THIS.'" Wow. THAT is me. Issues more than you know. Years of multiple addictions while serving in ministry. Destructive social behaviors. Stealing. Lying. Controlling. Manipulating. And He reached down, pulled me out of every single pit and redeemed the bondage. Looking at me is looking at Living Proof of ultimate grace. It doesn't proof itself any more than that! And I was encouraged by that reminder tonight. Although, I was also painfully challenged. Shawn challenged us to not let that grace stop with us, but extend it somewhere it needs to be extended in our relationships. Something i think we all swallow hard to face. I don't mind working through things with Jesus. But when He draws me to do something like forgive that one person I've been nursing a grudge toward for almost a year, I just want to cover my ears and scream "I can't hear you!" like a 3 year old. I don't like this part. I want to stay angry with this person. Sometimes I think we are afraid if we extend & become a picture of His grace to others it will be like saying the hurt they caused is not that bad. Is not affecting us....

Maybe it DOES take some attention off what they did. Maybe it actually puts attention on how overwhelming & redeeming Jesu's grace is. Maybe even other Believers who've hurt us need to experience Jesu's grace in a way they only can through our forgiveness. Are we willing to set aside out whining rights to do that?
*Big sigh. *
*Swallow hard.*
This isn't easy. I have a person I need to forgive. I don't want to. Jesus, HELP!

Friday, June 10, 2011


Today I'm sitting under my waterfall.

 I'm remembering sitting in this very spot the moment I realized there was way more to Jesus than I'd thought. That day I made a decision to learn Him. Love Him. Have an intimacy with Him. And years later, it was again sitting right here that I opened my very first book  by & began an incredible journey with Miss Beth & my life began to drastically swirl around me. Many moments have happened here. And again I sit. 

It's beautiful. It's quiet. It's completely peaceful. And my ears begin to focus in on the sound of the creek at my feet. The water rushing over the rocks and around the corner, off into an unknown place. I stop and think about how like this creek Jesus is. I picture the continual sound of the water as His voice-never stops. Yet it never gets old, annoying, hard to listen to. It's a calm, strong, steady sound that's full of peace & has a refreshing ring to it. You can rest to that sound. Play next to & in that sound. Be renewed, strengthened, refreshed, lulled to sleep with that sound. Somehow even when you walk away from it, you know it's not any more quiet. You know it keeps on. 

And then I see something else in this water.

I see the strong, constant current. I see the way nothing stops it. It jut flows over anything in it's path. You can't control where it's going. And if you jump in, it sweeps you away and takes you on a bumpy but beautiful ride. It's gloriously powerful in a way that draws an almost fearful respect. You know you can't win if you try to mess with it.........

 So why do I? Why do I chose to stand on the shore & just watch the power of the water flow? Why do I decide jumping all the way in & being swept away is too much for me? Why do I have to have so much control over where I'm being swept off to? 

Sometimes you have to fight against all your tendencies & fears & do what you know is the best choice. Jump in. Trust the current. It's wild & unpredictable. And that's GOOD.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Jesus woke me up early this morning. I grumbled. I wanted to sleep more, because I've been doing very little of that lately. We compromised finally. I settled on asking Him what it was He wanted to say but refusing to budge in bed. 

I had a flash back of years ago, when I was in High school. I remembered one time when Rick (he used to be my high school pastor) walked down the aisle to speak like he did each week. Except for one thing- he was juggling a large amount of suitcases. Some he carried. Some were chained to him & the way in which he walked gave you the feeling that he had gotten so used to living with the bulk & weight of them attached that he didn't even remember they existed. He didn't offer an explanation. He just let the image sink in. Then he began his talk as usual. Towards the end, it began to tie into his message. If each suitcase were an issue we've had and have, some which we've shoved aside for so long that we've forgotten they exist, we would get so weighed down. Maybe without even realizing it. Maybe with all these suitcases building up, we'd begin juggling them all without really thinking about it & suddenly that would take over & we'd be doing more juggling than anything else.
And just maybe when Jesus calls us very specifically to run-either to Him, or to a new place & season- we'd find we've been so weighed down by the accumulation of suitcases that we can't. And we continue to remain weighed down & chained because we know freedom would Involve unpacking the dirty laundry we've shoved away before others. We don't like the possibility of being that open & raw. But is it worth where we're at? 

I don't want that to be me. Jesus, help me to see all I need to put down, let go of, unpack, and empty out so that I can freely run like crazy when you call me to!  

Friday, June 3, 2011

The wildest ride in the wilderness.

I have a weakness for tv shows. One of my favorite things in the whole world is finding a show that's been on for a few seasons and is on DVD or netflix. I love watching it for hours on end on a day off. Yesterday & today with the exception of one Zumba class & short shift @ Curves,  I confined myself to my house for recovery & rest after several hellish weeks which resulted in a horrible cold that is not leaving. I have started & become completely engrossed in Friday Night Lights. 

This afternoon I turned it off for a few hours and just silently hung out with Jesus. I was thinking about how there's just nothing quite like watching a show for the first time, from the beginning. There's just something about getting to know the setting well, meeting the characters, falling in love with them, riding the drama like it's really happening. It's like taking off on a new huge adventure. 

Jesus spoke into that today.
"Hey, what was that thing we talked about earlier this week? What was it you've been saying & writing?"
"U mean the part about living with authority & power? Being able to move a mountain, heal disease, cast out demons & all that?" 
"Yes. All that. Sounds pretty wild & adventurous to me. Even better than the adventures you see on T.V. And being a part? that's what you were created for."
"So, all these shows. All this attachment to them. It's the great adventure I'm liking. Because I'm built to want that."
"Yeah. But if we're built for that, how come so many Believers don't live that way?"
"Do you want to look like all the other believers you know? Is that what you desire for your life?"
"No, Sir."
"Child, I'll take you places you never dreamed. You want adventure? I am the biggest adventure you'll EVER experience. I'm wild and not tame, but I'm always good. Hop on. It's gonna be the wildest ride of your life."

I don't have the foggiest idea where we're going. And despite what culture & well-meaning people say about that, it's okay not to know. But I know one thing's for sure. It's gonna be better than any tv show!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Blue ribbons.

 So in the old testament, priests were commanded to go through an intense purification and then sanctification before they could come before the Lord on behalf of the people & receive a word & power. Recently, I've been learning that WE are now the priests. Scary! 

While learning about this I was prompted & pushed by the Spirit to give up any last consistent sin i've been clinging to so tightly. I desperately desire more intimacy, boldness, power, & authority in Him & knew deep down that being under the umbrella of the Spirit was only going to happen if I rein myself humbly under His control & the strictness of obedience & consistent humility before others. The priests used to wear a blue tassel on their robes to remind them of the strictness they were now under, and the new, pure, holy being they have become. So, I decided to do the same. Beth has u do this during Believing God, & I thought it'd be a good idea. So I put a blue ribbon on my right arm to remind me. And I worked hard and intensely at defeating the enemy. And I'm excited to say that one month later, I'm still sanctified. 

The cool part is that tonight-one month to the day-I was given a chance to minister to several people in ways I believe to be powerful & effective. I sensed the Spirit's leading and words. I got to experience what it's like to be under the Spirit's umbrella of blessing. And I love it!!!!!

God tells us in His flawless word that we can have the power to stop a tree from moving. Make a mountain shift out of our path. Heal disease. Kick demonic butt. And I want that to be me. I want to be that dynamic & powerful & effective. And I'm so excited to see what He does with me!