Friday, April 27, 2012
Let's talk about measuring up.
The truth is, everybody has at least one person they're trying to measure up for. Oh, we may not really know it. We may not recognize that's what's going on. But it's happening.
Most likely, we either adore them or despise them. It may be a co-worker, classmate, fellow worker in ministry, family member. We may be nice to them every day. But we secretly get heated within ourselves whenever we think about their lives. When we look at us put alongside of them. When they are on stage leading worship every week while our talent goes un-noticed in the pew. When they get promoted & we want so badly to be appreciated & recognized instead of her just once. Who is that for you? Get that person or persons in your mind. Picture their faces. We think we hide our jealousy so well from them. We probably don't. And we spend countless moments caught in daydreaming over the ways in which we'd like to look good in front of them. Anybody with me here? Am I lying? Be honest with yourself here. Who's your person?
I have several. It's such a struggle sometimes to see what I think are such amazing lives that I want. I see these girls & want to BE them.
If I continue to dwell on these women and the way I wish I was them, or the jealousy I have over their talents and opportunities, I am going to be eaten alive. I have spent YEARS being envious of people like this. I'm learning something BIG here recently. Jealousy is fatal. It destroys. It kills me being who I'm meant to be. It chokes the person I am from arising. It creates misery, unhappiness, and throws me into a pit that will keep me prisoner from being dynamic, effective, and glorifying to God. I'm coming to realize The root of my jealousy is Insecurity. Insecurity is almost always the root of the worst decisions I've made. It's turned me into a complete idiot at times. I invite you. Test it out and see if it's true. If we stopped measuring ourselves against others, how dynamically would that change our lives?
Let's DO something about this, women. Let's get freed up of insecurity. Sure, it takes work. Nobody who's incredibly healthy, free, & effective gets there by accident. They've worked very hard to get there. If I've learned anything on my journey, it's that radical freedom takes radical measures. RADICAL freedom takes RADICAL measures. What measures do each of us need to take to flourish? Think about it.
Let's learn to look to Jesus and Jesus alone for our worth. For our status. For our identity. Let's quit using these people as our mirror. Look up.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
When God puts one of our issues right in our face, when we begin to see weaknesses and ugly within ourselves, there's a very specific purpose. We don't usually see it this way, but it's true.
God delights in GOOD. In working everything out to the very best for His kids. If we believe that, and I mean REALLY believe it, seeing weakness in ourselves will suddenly take on an entire new light. No longer will we be ashamed of it. No longer will we feel as if we must not allow others to see it. No longer will we have to dread the inevitable coming of these painful moments of clarity.
Suddenly, we can realize that God allowing us to see within ourselves something that needs healing, work, redeeming, improvement, is only for one reason and one alone. To be done with it. There really is no other explanation Scripturally speaking for this kind of revelation. The Character of God would only place our "ugly" in front of our face to work with us through it until we're over and done with it. He does not intend for us to stare a bad habit in the face or realize we're in a pit of some sort without taking us out. The knowledge would be no good at all if we were intended to simply sit in it. But how often so we?.....How many times have we made a statement like "I know I continue to do that. But I can't change it. It's just who I am." That's so often how we function. Trying to keep the unhealthy parts under control, constantly pushing it down under lock and key. The problem with that is, well, it doesn't work. Eventually, life is gonna get stressful. Busy. Tiring. Chaotic. And in our efforts to hold onto everything at once, we let go of the monster and it rears it's hundred-foot high head. Come on-you know exactly what i'm talking about!
Instead, the King of the Universe desires for us to be strong, dynamic powerhouses that have walked through and OVERCOME our junk so that we can 1.)minister to and affect others who may be going through the same thing some day &
2.) know Him with an intimacy that only comes from needing Him with a desperation because we can't do it on our own. And quite frankly, I'm excited. I'm excited when one of my ugly sides begins to surface a lot, because as humiliating as it can be to have others see or hear it in me, it means I have to deal with it, walk it through with Jesus and hard work and humbling myself before the Body. To be loved and valued enough by God himself that He wants to take time and work making me a more healthy and effective person? That's an honor. That's a very precious and high thing. It's beautiful beyond comprehension. Doesn't the thought just take your breath away?!
What is it for you? For me, it's comparison and jealousy. I struggle deeply with these things and it stops me from being fully the woman I'm meant to be. I'm working on it. And I'm determined to defeat it. What is it for you? How about we stand together, pucker up, and kiss it good-bye?
A lot of people are asking me what exactly we do in Mexico. Instead of giving you my view of what Mexico is all about, I thought I'd share this list of stats. I believe it says a lot more than I could.....
Day 1 – Travel to Escondido, Ca
Day 2 – Travel to Col Vicente Guerrero, set up base camp
Day 3 – Sunrise Easter Service, ministry sites for prayer, "Listen2Him" theme chapel
Day 4 – Ministry sites for service projects, vbs, outreach, pastor's conference, women's conference
Day 5 – Ministry sites for service projects, vbs, outreach, pastor's conference
Day 6 – Ministry sites for service projects, vbs, outreach, pastor's conference, student outreach concert
Day 7 – Tear down base camp, travel to Glendora, Ca
Day 8 – Travel to Modesto, Ca
Interesting Assortment of Stats:
· 117 Total students and staff
· 8 Total days donated of Spring Break
· 3 month total commitment by all students and staff
· $30,000 Raised by students and staff
· 4 days of student ministry efforts at 7 local churches including: prayer, service projects, vbs, and outreach
· 4 days of Pastoral ministry training by Spanish Team focused on learning and teaching biblical doctrines
· 1 Women's Conference by Spanish Team
· 1 Student Outreach Concert with Quimi, the students and staff, and the 9 local churches
· 1,750 Miles traveled with 7 - 15 Passenger Vans and 3 - Trucks and Trailers
· 1560 Gallons of fuel consumed valuing $6,630.00
· 767,000,000 Total tire rotations on vehicles and trailers
·42,120,000 Total engine rotations on vehicles
·1,952 Total meals served over 8 days by the cook team
· 2,160 pounds of food consumed by campers (18.47 Total pounds of food eaten per person over 8 days)
• $1.63 cost per meal per person (pretty good!)
· 200+ pounds of food donated to local pastors by the cook team
· 65,520 Total bible verses read this week
· 10,000 pictures taken by the media team
· 2 hours of video taken by the media team
· Army style base camp erected in 2 hours
· Army style base camp taken down in 40 minutes
· NO MAJOR INJURIES !!!
· NO MAJOR SICKNESS !!!
· NO FEE PAID TO ENTER MEXICO!!! (First time ever according to Sass)
Glory to God.
Work that was done:
Team # 1:
·6 dual pane vinyl windows for pastor's home
· 2 custom solid wood exterior doors for pastor's home
·34 sticks of lumber for interior wall for pastor's home
·1 interior door for pastor's home
·7 sacks of cement for flooring in pastor's home
·3 mattresses and 2 box springs for pastor's family
·Donations of blankets, pillows, and sleeping bags to pastor's family
·Complete exterior of church painted the color of pastor's choice
·Interior pews of church painted the color of pastor's choice
Team # 2:
Complete exterior of church painted the color of pastor's choice
·Complete exterior of apartment building painted the color of pastor's choice
·Complete exterior of 2 property buildings painted the color of pastor's choice
Team # 3:
2 Interior rooms of church painted for conversion into pastor's home painted the color of pastor's choice
·Donation for kitchen sink and cabinets in the room of the church for conversion into pastor's home
Team # 4:
4 custom solid wood exterior doors for church expansion project
· 3 dual pane vinyl windows for church expansion project
·3 sticks of lumber for church expansion project
Team # 5:
·Interior of church repainted the color of pastor's choice
· Donation for family vehicle for pastor (walking 15+ miles one way into town for pastor's conferences)
Team # 6:
Complete exterior of church painted the color of pastor's choice
· 40 sticks of lumber for interior wall for church expansion project
· Baby crib provided to physically/mentally incapacitated 4 year old who had no bed to sleep in
Team # 7:
·Complete exterior of pastor's house painted the color of pastor's choice
· Custom student designed mural on the side of pastor's house with bible verse
·Brand new guitar (very nice!!) given to bless the worship team of the church
Monday, April 16, 2012
Let me ask a question. I want to ask that you stick with me here. Really think about what I'm about to ask.....
How often is that us? How often are we living with a knowledge of all we've been freed from, of all Jesus Christ has done and is doing, but not having it drastically change and affect everything about us? We don't fully believe its true. And so we live in whatever the bondage may be, believing the lie of the enemy that we just have to put up with our issue. Jesus died for our sins, sure. Freed us from hell. But we stop at that. We don't live as if the very power that hand-created the every detail of this universe is the same that wants a personal relationship with us. Adopted us into His Kindgom and handed over a full inheritance. No. Instead we continue in addiction. Chains. Shame. Guilt. Self-Destuctive lack of confidence and security. Unhealthy habits, patterns, friendships and marriages. How many years is it gonna take each of US to finally stand up, unlock the shackles from our hands and feet, and walk straight up out of the pit we're remaining in?! Seriously. What IS our problem? You and I have the GOD OF THE UNIVERSE, THE SAVIOR OF THE ENTIRE PLANET, AND THE UNSTOPPABLE AND IMMOVABLE HOLY SPIRIT WITHIN US. And we're settling for "well, dealing with a little fear issue isn't so bad." Or "Someday it'll get better. I'll just be content until then." I want to say something boldly and in total love. STOP!!! Just STOP!!! Let's arise. Grab the signant ring our Father is holding out to us. Use it. In the name of the ultimate King and authority-remove the evil. The spirits that've co-habited with us. Kick them out in the name of the King. But we don't do this. Maybe we're not believing. Maybe we're not used to seeing others work so intensely at walking away from bondage and so the thought of it scares us. Whatever the reason, something's gotta change. That something is us. Our actions. The way in which we live. Approach our days; our lives. Do something different. Stand up. Look at your chains head-on. Realize you can walk away. And GO! Do it. Do the hard work. Walk away. work hard at Health and change. Be free. Because you're all that's stopping you. Not the enemy. YOU. He may seem to be. That's what he wants you to believe. But he has no jurisdiction in the King's court. No authority. And you're the King's kid. So walk away. Kick him out. And thrive.