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Real, raw, vulnerable.

I am taking a big leap of faith here, sharing one of the most vulnerable and intimate parts of my heart. This entry was literally taken directly out of my prayer journal this morning. God has moved me to post it. I literally cried as I wrote this. It is very real and raw, but that glorifies God so I will trust and obey. Here goes:

It is a great honor when people pour their hearts out to me. It has been happening more than ever the passed three days. As people speak their truth to me it penetrates my heart so heavily. It carries great weight, as I know "To whom much is given, much is required." They are entrusting me with their vulnerability, essentially with their fragile heart for the time being. Really they are entrusting Jesus with their heart, not me. I am just His representative here on earth. It hits my heart so hard sometimes that I feel like I got the wind knocked out of me. I do not have the human ability to convey what is in my heart, as I listen to their heart cries. It is so overwhelming, what I feel deep in my heart toward that person, and what they are saying. The empathy. But words, not even actions, not even vocal tones or nonverbal language can convey my heart to any human. Only God knows what is going on in my heart. It is bursting at the seems. I need the Holy Spirit interpreting all the time, and yet still I am left speechless. I do not have enough energy or strength or even wisdom to try to interpret or convey my heart on my own...on the human level. I wish I could. It's too lofty...what is in my heart only the Lord knows, through and through. I don't even know or understand my heart that way that you do God. "The heart is deceitful above all else, for which there is no cure." "Search me Oh God and KNOW my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts" Psalm 139:25.
So I just sit listening, hanging onto every word as I am bursting from the inside out. Wanting so badly to be like Jesus, to show them that I really truly care. That my heart is breaking-what breaks His heart, breaks my heart. That I feel so deeply, that I listen so deeply. DO they know Lord how much I care? Do they know how deeply I feel and how deeply I listen? Surely the look on my face is not anywhere near displaying the deep resonation of my heart. With everything in me I feel you, your eyes looking at them through me, your heart beating for them inside my chest. Yet I cannot express this with words or even groans, for how am I to express YOU Lord? You are immeasurable and inexpressible, matchless in every way. I want them to feel you when they are near me, when they are pouring their hearts out to me do they feel you, do they see you shining forth like the dawn? It is so overwhelming Lord, to be a carrier of your Almighty presence. A carrier of your Holiness dwelling in this perishable jar of clay-earthly tent/body. Your Holy Spirit in me, His power flows through me like a lightning bolt coursing through my veins. I am to just let it go through me and not try to hold on to it, for no human could grasp it. As it flows through me sometimes I feel like a real conduit of your energy and love, and after it hits whoever you are targeting with your love, I lay there an empty shell. Needing restoration in you. Recharging. I must seek refuge in you for a time. This is what you want of me, your servant. To need to be constantly dependent on you and relying on you to re-strengthen me in my weakness. Then I know the power is coming from you and you alone.

So I will claim the prayer of St. Francis. It says to not seek to be heard but to hear, not to be understood but to understand, not to be loved but to love, not to get but to give. "swift to hear, slow to speak." John 1:19

"This is not the slowness of ignorance, emptiness, timidity or shame. But the slowness of wisdom born of dwelling quietly on the Lord and His thoughts."

The seed I've received I will sow

If you're going to be the best at anything/the most faithful to one thing let it be to God. Self-care and self-love come from first receiving God's love for you. God will not open the heavens on our big dreams until we have proven faithful with the foundation of what He has entrusted to us. It starts with us. If we cannot care for ourselves, how can He trust us to care for anything else? Saying no, takes more courage and self-love than saying yes all the time to everyone and everything.
"The seed I've received I will sow." He gives me lots of seeds, deposits in my heart and spirit. But they are not for me to keep all to myself. It is my duty to sow those seeds in other's hearts. Not to bury them, but to be the faithful servant to God and the obedient messenger of His love and truth and hope. What I try to hold onto and keep, I will lose. Hold everything with an open hand, surrendered to God. He gives and takes away. Let the power and love flow through you like a conduit. I am filled up to then empty and pour out to others, so that I can be filled again. But if we miss the emptying of ourselves to others part, how can we be refilled. First receive, then pour out, and receive the circle goes round. God created us this way for a reason. He wants us to be in fellowship with our brothers and sisters. He made our hearts interdependent on each other and on Him. Otherwise we might just all go off on our little isolated islands and keep all to ourselves...never needing anyone or reaching out to help anyone else. Thank goodness that is not the way we were designed. What a lonely and empty existence that would be. God wants to be sought after wholeheartedly by us. So we first must seek Him for the seeds, to assure that what we are given (and then able to give away) is true and pure. Coming from God and His will, not counterfeit-coming from our own will.
Left to our own devices we will get just enough to barely meet our needs-yet it still won't satisfy. The black hole is still left void by our vain, willful pursuits to fill it ourselves. What resources are we left with to then give away to others? Not much, if any because we are still self-seeking. God however, designed us so that if we chase after Him to be filled- He gives us much more than we even ask or could imagine.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power in your inner being, so that His Spirit may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the FULLNESS of God. Now to HIM who is able to do immeasurably MORE than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:16-20

HIS fullness gives us an abundance to give away. Abundant love, grace, JOY, peace, mercy, patience...When I have such an abundance to give-I know it is coming from Him and Him alone. His supernatural strength is stirred up in my spirit. He gets all the glory because I know my own strength and I especially know my weaknesses.

"we have these treasures in jars of clay [*our earthly mortal bodies*] to show that this all-surpassing power is from GOD and not from us." 2 Cor.4:7
*easily broke, here one minute gone the next

We reap what we sow. I pray to sow with love and truth. "Freely you have received, freely give." Matthew 10:8

My friend's incredible story

So I went to coffee the other day with Liz Baird and she blessed me so much with an amazing experience she just recently went through. As she was telling me her story and testimony of this experience God had faced her with, tears literally came streaming down my face. It was incredible! Here is the best nutshell I can come up with... I'm sure I will not do it justice but here goes. Liz went to Mcdonald's on her way to meet her family in Georgia (I believe...forgive me on the details). As she walked in she noticed a lonely man. There were only three people there to begin with. She walked over to the man and began to ask him how he was. Tears came to his eyes as he poured his heart out to Liz-right then and there. He explained how he had recently lost $10,000 that he owed some other man. He explained that he was trying to make more money but lost it all gambling. He told Liz about the man he owed the money to, and how this very man was on his way to Mcdonald's right now to "settle" things. Liz listened to the long detailed story with compassion and empathy (as Jesus Himself would). She did not know what "settle" things meant but it did not seem good based on the fear in this man's eyes.
Liz stayed, and talked to him about Jesus and how much Jesus loves this man. That no sin is too big to be forgiven...the man listened but was so paralyzed by fear. He left to go to his car and Liz started praying. She knew at that moment that she could leave unscathed, but the Lord whispered in her not leave, I have your back. So Liz obeyed. The man came back in, only now the second man was with him. Neither of them payed any mind to Liz as they were caught up in this fight. They began to yell, and the second man pulled out a gun. Liz had another opportunity to leave, as the second man had not seen her and did not know she was there. But the Lord said again, Do not leave, I have your back. So she obeyed. The Lord prompted Liz to go up to the man with a gun (no joke) and start preaching the Word of God to Him. She asked the second man if he believed in Jesus and he looked at her like she was crazy, but said no. She tried telling him that Jesus loves him but he would not listen and started yelling at Liz. She said, "You cannot do this, you cant shoot him because he does not believe in Jesus and neither do you. If you kill him, you will both go to hell. Please don't do this. It is not too late. It is never too late." The second man then grabbed Liz and held the gun to her. He was yelling and screaming, but Liz did not hear one word he said. I believe the Lord was plugging her ears and protecting her. She then says to him, "Listen I did not hear a thing you just said, but I just want you to know that Jesus loves YOU." He pulled the trigger. Liz trembled as her heart sank, but nothing happened. The gun got caught and did not go off. As the man fumbled, trying to fix it he accidentally shot the first man. He fell to the floor and Liz ran over to Him. The second man with the gun began to cry as Liz starting preaching and praying over and to this man on the floor. She knew she did not have much time and this man needed to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior now! She said that something came over her...this adrenaline and strength from God. She admitted that she never could have done any of this without God's strength and the Holy Spirit himself, guiding her. "The Holy Spirit intercedes for us in our weakness with groans" All the man could do was groan and moan...he died within seven minutes. Liz held his hand until his last dying breath. He looked into her eyes and moaned. I believe the Holy Spirit was interpreting those groans and moans to the mind of God. WOW! The police came and as they were about to take away the second man, Liz asked them if she could talk to him for 20 minutes first. They allowed it. Mind you, this is the man that just tried to kill Liz at gunpoint. She sat with him and shared her testimony and told him that Jesus still loves him and will forgive ALL his sins. After listening and crying, he said, "but I just shot and killed a man, Jesus will never accept me or love me. I am going to hell." She told him the Truth. If he accepted Jesus right there and invited Him into his heart, all his sins would be forgiven and he could begin to walk in the light with God. "God remember your sins no more"(Isaiah 43:25) He accepted Jesus as His Lord and Savior right there in Mcdonald's, handcuffed and all. 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent" Luke 15:6-7

He may have to spend the rest of his life in prison but he can spend the rest of eternity in heaven with God. Hell on earth is survivable when you know where you are headed...the ultimate light at the end of the tunnel. Eternal rest and peace in heaven with your spiritual Father who loves you unconditionally. All the police men got to witness this miracle and power of God.
There is a lot more to this story that only Liz herself can explain, but I just had to share as much as I could. It is such a God-glorifying story! Liz is a true carrier of His almighty presence. We are so blessed to have her on the Basement team and I am so blessed to have her as a friend and sister in Christ.

"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son [child].'

"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

"But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him...Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate."
Luke 15:19-24

The good way

Mind's racing
But the page is blank
Too much to process
Yet a blank slate
Overwhelm is blinding
But I keep denying
All these feelings
Lord I'm trying
This I know to be true
Distractions do not come from you
Martha's concerned with many things
While Mary sits at Jesus' feet
Let it go just learn to be
These cannot be taken from thee
Choose the good way, do not conform
Stop pretending, don't perform

"Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:1

Trust in waiting...

Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. Isaiah 40:31

Cause me to hear Your devotion and compassion in the morning, for I have put my trust in you. Psalm 143:8

In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice;
In the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3

After Daniel was left in the lions den overnight, the King rose in the morning and rushed to the den, asking "Daniel servant of the living God, has your God whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you?...No wound was found on him because he had trusted in his God." Daniel 6:20,23 I wish I could always say the same for myself. During the waiting is when it is the hardest to trust and be patient, yet that faith in trust is what will bring about the breakthrough and the deliverance. It is easy to grow weary while we wait, but this encourages me. Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, but don't just wait. Nurture and reinforce that wait with trust-THEN deliverance will come. If you are waiting in some den of helplessness, as Daniel waited in the lions den, spend that time as he did trusting God. Strength will come as I wait on the Lord and trust Him with all my heart. Daniel trusted God so much during his wait, that not even the threat of death make him turn away from God or stop trusting God. In fact, it reinforced His trust and dependence on God even more. I want that kind of perspective while I am waiting on God. There is beauty in the waiting and the longing. Trust and faith and strength are born out of waiting, if we choose to believe. God gave us free will, so we do not have to trust. It is our choice. When I do choose to trust, somehow things are smoother, less painful and the light at the end of the tunnel comes much quicker.

"Great is the Lord, he is holy and just;
By his power we trust in his love."

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." Exodus 14:14

"In the quiet in the stillness I know that you are God. In the secret of your presence I know there I am restored."
HALT-Hungry Angry Lonely Tired. When I am in this state, is when I need quiet restoration time with God the most. If I got into a car accident, an ambulance would come get me and hook me up to all these machines, get me wrapped up and warm, in a safe place, give my body all that it needs...etc. As I grew more aware of my surroundings and my circumstances I might start to struggle, fight, or flail around a little. The doctors and technicians would say to me, "Just be still, just be still, stay calm, just rest." In order for them to do their job, they would need me to do mine, "Be still." Isn't that how God treats us after we've been in an accident...emotionally, physically or spiritually. "Be still and know that I am God,"(Ps 46:10) He says to us. Our Mighty rock and our refuge (Ps.62:7). Be still.

"You'll go forth a little stronger, With a fresh supply of grace,
If each day you meet the Savior, In a secret, quiet place"-Adams.

But if we are so busy "doing" or struggling, how can we get restored? Hang on the vine, hook-up to THE source of life...God is the vine and we are the fruit. We must just hang there, be still for a while with Him alone, in order to have the measure of strength and grace we need to carry out His will for us each and every day. I savor spiritual sustenance, I need it, I crave it. "I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread" Job 23:12.
Let's face it, when I am not plugged into God, receiving my daily download from Him...what I am giving away to others will become counterfeit if I do not remain in HIM. Apart from Him nothing remains. In His presence is where I am healed, restored, renewed, made whole. Holiness-Whole-iness. He did not die for us to have rules, regulations, religion...He wants a relationship with us. Personal time with us. Pursue Him. Choose Him. For today I will not let my pursuit of other things derail my pursuit of Jesus.


Fellow Pilgrim. We are cannot fall off the middle. The edge is where we belong, its where the risk's also where the reward is. There is a high cost of being like-minded with Jesus. A high-cost and high risk of following Him the ends of the earth, wherever He personally leads you on your journey. He anoints, honors and blesses obedience. To obey is to humble ourselves, take a seat at His feet, trust Him and follow Him no matter what the risk. We risk failure, rejection, falling on our face...but God's sovereignty covers it all. To risk our lives and our pride for God is the beginning of humility. EGO= Edging God Out. Thinking it is all about us, thinking we can do it all, we have it all together, all figured out. It is not about me or you. It is always about God. Keeping my eyes on Him and my focus on Him, takes the focus off of me and that is where the healing and love and truth is. "Do nothing out of selfish ambition and vein conceit." Humility is the Christian virtue if we are to walk in likeness of Jesus. Humility is the anecdote to most, if not all, of my problems. Humble myself enough to be teachable (because Lord knows I do not know it all). Humble myself enough to surrender to a power greater than myself (God). Humble myself enough to forgive and to love unconditionally. To risk my feelings, my comfort, even my dreams because I trust in God. TRUST= True Reliance Under Severe Testing/Trial. I usually need trust and humility the most when I really don't want them. But I cannot act based on my feelings. Nor can I base my position on my feelings. My position is based solely on the Truth of Gods Word, which is unchanging and everlasting. Unlike my fleeting emotions and feelings. My feelings are usually centered around myself, which is the opposite of humility which is selfless.
Jesus is the only perfect example to follow of humility. No one else has ever been perfect, we are human, we all fall short of the glory of God. So I follow His example one day at a time, to the best of my ability. Think about this, Jesus, "descended into greatness." WOW! "He made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness, being made in human likeness...he humbled himself." Most people would think that you would ascend into greatness, not descend. That doesn't make any sense right?!? How can you bow down, bend your knee, bow your head, and kneel as a servant, and become great? Our pride tells us, "Be confident, exalt yourself, work harder, try harder, push your way to the top, stand taller." But Jesus did just the opposite, and God himself exalted Him to the highest throne. You see, when we kneel before God, we can stand before anyone. It takes humility to bow down, to yield, to shorten our posture in order that God would become higher. More God, less me. Let Him become higher and I become lower. The knee of a servant bends, the heart of a servant yields, the head of a servant bows...Jesus came to serve, not to be served. I strive to follow His example and not the world's example. For I know that when I exalt myself, I will be humbled. It never fails.

"He who is the least among you all- he is the greatest." Luke 9:48

"A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master." Matthew 10:24

"Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many." mark 10:43-45

"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3-4

"Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother of children of fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last and many who are last will be first." Matthew 19:29-30

Lifelong connections

So glad to be home...well my Alabama home anyways. I just finished a six day house-sitting job. It just feels so nice to sleep in your own bed : )

Now this blows my mind...the kids I nannied for in CALI have been calling me nonstop. Apparently they just got a cell phone to share between the two of them. They got my phone number from their mom, and have been texting and calling away. I love getting their little picture texts of themselves and of their dog London...accompanied by the "London loves you and misses you!" texts. What a blessing that I still get to be a part of these kids lives. They were asking me when I am coming home so we can hangout. One of their precious texts: "We wanit to see you for along time" soooo cute! We talked on Saturday...they put me on speakerphone so I could hear them both. Awww! I love them! I promised them that we would talk once every couple weeks, we would keep texting and that when I come home in December we will go Christmas light looking together.
Another blessing...I was a personal assistant to a woman in Cali before I moved. She also called me and my mom to check up on me and see how I was doing in Alabama. How sweet?!?! So I finally got a chance to call her back yesterday. Wow she is such a strong woman of God! She is 93 years old, almost legally blind and you would NEVER know it. The strength of God shines so brightly through her. She taught me so much about myself and about God when I was working for her. She would always hug me before I left and tell me that I was her little angel...but truly she was MY angel all along! We were constantly reading amazing books together about God (I would read aloud to her since she could not see), she would share her amazing stories with me and her testimonies throughout the years. She has been a Christian since 1941. We even went through her old hymnal books and copied twelve of her favorite praise songs. Then I organized them and put them in several books for her, because she was starting a Hymnal Choir for God amongst the women she knew in her community. Like I said, you would never know she was 93. I used to sing to her while I was organizing stuff around the house. It truly was a Divine appointment. So the blessing was truly all mine. Anyhow, it was so nice to talk with her and share all my stories and see how she is doing back home. We also scheduled a dinner date around Christmas time. I am truly blown away at how God puts these amazing people in my life, and that they actually want to stay in touch with forever. But that is what its all about isn't it? Eternity. This is just the dress rehearsal, the finale, the real show is upstairs in heaven. So it makes sense to want to stay in touch because we will all be together again in eternity (forever). Gives me chill bumps.
I am not a big phone talker (as most people know) but these two phone calls were well worth it. It was not about me, it was all about them : ) The way it should be. More about God and others than about myself. Back to my previous thought...since this is the dress rehearsal and audition for heaven, I cannot leave earth until my work here is done. That is ultimately up to God. While I am here doing my work for Him, He is watching very carefully and lovingly. I am auditioning for the role He will entrust me with in heaven. He is shaping me and creating me and watching me grow into whatever role He has assigned for me. Isn't that incredible? Too much to try to wrap our heads around, but its about our hearts anyways and about faith. Faith does not always make sense. The more I open my heart to God and His abounding love, the less I look through the "worldly view lens." I want faith to be my eyes. I do not want to put the Holy Spirit in a box ever again. We are natural but God is supernatural. What naturally makes sense to us and is comfortable to us, is not normal for God. Thus why He tells us to love our enemies...pray for them, even bless them. Totally outside the box right?!?! Which is why I want to be more like HIM and less like me.

Had such a fun afternoon with my sister Nichole today. Just went over for a quick surprise hug and we ended up cracking up, she fell in the bathtub and hit her funny bone, I broke out into a full on Disney themed song and dance for her roomate, she asked if we were the Fuji sisters...we said yes and laughed. Maybe you had to be there, but it was awesome! Her roomate ended by saying "I just met the other half of crazy" oh yes and she told me that I should be the next Disney princess. Funny story is that my mom always wanted me to be one of the Disney princesses on the floats/parades at Disneyland. never know what God has in store. haha

Defrosted, softened

The enemy attacks our area of anointing before we know it is anointed, meanwhile God is using it to strengthen the foundation of our ministry and our gifts. God has been putting me and my best-friends through the blow-torch fire and defrosting our hearts through each other. He is refining us through the fire so that we come out the other side, pure as gold-shining so brightly for Him.

"The sun that hardens clay to brick
Can soften wax to shape and mold;
So too life's trials will harden some,
While others purify as gold."-Sper

Defrosted, softened: "Do not harden your heart as you did in the rebellion." Hebrews 3:8. "But Pharaoh's heart was hard and he would not listen, just as God had said. Ex. 8:19

God had designed a plague to get Pharaoh to repent...but instead he hardened his heart. God has been using my friendships with my Christian sisters to soften our hearts through each other and through all the trials. Sure there were times when we went the other way and let the pain harden us, but we always eventually came back to God and got softened and humbled all over again. When we humbled ourselves it was not quite as painful as when God had to humble us (stubborn haha), but either way he made sure we did NOT "pride ourselves" for too long. Humble is the best place to be; it is where we are soft and moldable and teachable. We are closest to God when we are here. Jesus was the most humble of other King could have so humbly come. A friend of mine (leader in ministry) recently told me how she used to hate the fact that women were looked at as weaker than men. Then she had a revelation as she realized that the seemingly "weak" quality that people were picking up on was truly one of the most beautiful qualities: submission, humility, surrender. As women we have the honor of carrying the gentle humble spirit of God within us. In our weakness, God is strong, He gets the glory when His strength shines through in our surrender. "Everything that Jesus did was in surrender."
Let's resist the urge to harden our hearts and instead submit to God.

Mary vs. Martha

Martha vs. Mary: 6 Clues You’re Acting More like Martha than Mary

We all know the New Testament sisters Mary and Martha. And we all know that
Mary comes off better in the gospels. She’s the one commended by Jesus for
choosing the one thing that was necessary. She’s the one He said would be
remembered down through the ages for her act of pouring perfume on His feet. And
she’s the one to whom the New Testament seems to attribute the salvation of many
Jews—they came to visit Mary as she mourned her brother’s death, saw Lazarus
resurrected and believed. Didn’t any of those Jews come to visit Martha? Maybe
not. Maybe she was too much of a pain in the you know what.

The saddest thing about Martha is that her attitude caused her to miss out on so much:
she missed the opportunity to sit at a Bible study led by Jesus; she misunderstood the
comfort He offered her at her brother’s grave; left up to her own devices, she would
even have missed the miracle of her brother’s resurrection; and finally she missed the
opportunity to lavish love and attention on Jesus’ just days before He died.

Here are 6 clues that you’re acting more like a modern day Martha than like Mary and
may be missing out on opportunities God offers you:

1. You are worried or distracted by many things. Frazzled. Running around like
a chicken with your head cut off. You know what I am talking about. There’s a
lot to do and it ALL seems to be a high priority. Jesus told Martha that she was
worried and distracted by many things but that Mary had focused on the one
necessary thing—sitting at Jesus’ feet. So when you begin to feel frazzled, stop
and take a deep breath. Ask yourself if you’ve done the one thing that was really
necessary today. Did you sit at Jesus’ feet? Right now, whether you are in the
kitchen, grocery store or office, put yourself at His feet and ask for His wisdom,
peace and calm. Ask Him to bring your mind into focus, allay your worries,
prioritize your day, and eliminate those things that don’t really need to be done.

2. You’re disgruntled because you feel like you are doing all the work. Notice
Martha’s complaint to Jesus: my sister has left me to do the work by myself. Do
you ever feel like Martha? Sure you do. I hear you: “My husband never does a
thing around the house!” “The kids don’t appreciate all I do!” “My co-workers
are a bunch of idiots. I have to do everything myself!” Well, maybe your
complaints are true, but they’re still complaints. And they are the opposite of the
servant’s attitude Christ demonstrated and His command to love your neighbor as
yourself. When you hear yourself starting to complain like this it’s a flashing red
light warning you that you probably aren’t spending enough time sitting at Jesus
feet. Calm down and tell Him that you feel like you’ve been left holding the bag,
ask for His help, and make sure you are setting aside time to spend alone with
Him each day.

3. You feel like Jesus doesn’t care about your situation. Not only did Martha feel
abandoned by her sister, she felt abandoned by Jesus. She said “Lord, don’t you
care?” Her complaint sounds silly when we read it 2000 years later but how often
do we feel the same way? Sometimes we outwardly accuse Him of not noticing
the frustrating or painful situation we’re in. More often we just act like He
doesn’t notice or care by failing to cast our worries, frustrations and fears on Him.
He told us not to worry, but instead to pray. When we don’t do that—when we
continue to fuss, fret and fume on our own—what are we saying? Acknowledge
right now that He does care, even about the little domestic details, and talk to Him
about them. You’ll get the same loving response and direction that Martha got.

4. You’re having theological discussions with Jesus instead of listening to Him.
When her brother died, Jesus told Martha that her brother would rise again.
Martha immediately responded that she knew her brother would rise again in the
resurrection at the last day. She got her doctrine right but she got what Jesus was
saying to her that day wrong. Now, don’t mistake what I am saying here. We all
need to learn basic doctrine, but for some of us the acquisition of Bible
knowledge becomes more of a goal than hearing what God is saying to us through
the Bible. If you find yourself listening to sermon after sermon and reading book
after Christian book without asking yourself what it all means in your life right
here and right now, you might be caught in Martha’s trap. When you read the
Bible or listen to some teaching, start asking yourself what does this mean for me?
What will change in my life today now that I know this?

5. You make rational excuses about why you can’t do what Jesus tells you to do.
When Jesus said that the stone should be rolled away from Lazarus’ tomb, Martha
helpfully piped up that the stench would be awful. Sensible, logical, practical.
But Jesus had told them to open the tomb so why was Martha coming up with
reasons not to do it? Do you find yourself making excuses about why you
shouldn’t do what God is telling you to do? What? You don’t know what He is
telling you to do? Sure you do. For example, He told us to forgive people who
wrong us. But we often reason that the other person was at fault and they should
be the first to ask for forgiveness. He tells us to give generously to those in need
but we quite sensibly think we better get some bills paid off first. He tells us not
to worry about food and clothing but we think “How illogical and impractical is
that attitude? Someone’s got to worry about getting food on the table, right?” If
you find yourself rationally resisting what you know God has clearly told you to
do, double check your reasoning.

6. You’re still in the kitchen while others are lavishing worship on Jesus. Soon
after her brother was raised from the dead, Martha served another dinner to Jesus.
Perhaps this time she did it without complaining since we read without further
comment that she served. That’s a step in the right direction but the experience
still fell far short of what it could have been. Where was Mary during this dinner?
She was again at Jesus’ feet, this time pouring perfume on them and wiping them
with her hair. Why wasn’t Martha in on the worship? Jesus had already pointed
out to her the importance of sitting at His feet and her brother had just been raised
from the dead for heaven’s sake! She should have been falling all over Jesus but
she was too busy in the kitchen. (I wonder how she felt during those three days
that He was dead the following week?) Listen. Don’t waste your opportunities to
worship. If you generally find yourself washing dishes in the church kitchen
while the worship service goes on without you, stop. If you find yourself slipping
out before the end of a service or Bible study to go put out the coffee and snacks
for the fellowship hour afterwards, ask yourself why. Yes, you are right that
someone has to do these chores. But it doesn’t have to be you! Or, it can be
you—but you can organize it in such a way that you’re focused on worship, not
food. Remember that Jesus told the disciples that the poor would always be with
them when they criticized Mary for wasting her resources on worship rather than
giving to the poor. Well, the dishes, the coffee and the doughnuts will always be
with us too. Prioritize them several notches below worship.

It’s pretty obvious that Martha habits die hard. We see Martha three times in the gospels
and all three times we see her tendency to miss her opportunity to listen, to learn and to
worship. Use these six clues to determine whether you might be missing out on God’s
opportunities as well.

Faithful Provision and Support : ) Gratitude

Humble yourself before the Lord and you will be exalted.

Well I am humbling myself. There is no time or place for pride these days. Being in full-time ministry, you see how crucial humility God is your provider, not man. This may seem strange to people who give to you, but hopefully they know (and God has placed on their heart) that they are just the vessel the conduit for God to meet other's needs through them. Love offerings, provision, gifts, grocery's, gas money, refunds, rebates, blessings, "let me take you to lunch" offers...all God's provision through other people. Not any ONE man is my provider, "Jehoveh-Jireh"-The Lord provides. The Lord rewards and honors and blesses obedience. He knows my obedience to Him. He blesses the good steward, those that are faithful and righteous with what God has given them. He promises this and I hold Him to HIS WORD. God is doing amazing things in my life, I have never been more alive and passionate! This does not mean everything is easy and gravy. My pride would love that, but God loves me more and does not want my pride to be my stumbling block. So as he does these amazing things, and pours into my life, and gives me life and purpose for Him...He keeps me humble. Humble enough to ask for help. Humble enough to admit that I need support. Whether that means through prayer, encouragement, words of affirmation, love offerings, money, food...whatever HE places on your heart is between you and Him. One gift is not better than another...prayer is just as crucial a necessity as money. The Lord will reward and honor your prayers, just as He will reward and honor any other giving that you choose to do. "Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, (prayer and giving) will reward you." Matthew 6:4 and 6:6

I am asking you to stand in faith with me...If you believe in what God is doing in my life, and if you believe in me. I cannot do it alone. "What is impossible for man, is possible with God."
This is not a letter that is driven by fear. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It is a leap of faith. I know the Lord will meet all my needs according to His glorious riches...I just have to do the footwork. This is just a small part of that equation.

I just want to say thank you to those of you, you know who you are (and so does God), who have faithfully sent me care packages, given me gas money, bought me lunch here and there, took care of me while I was sick, have had my back in prayer-so faithfully, listened to me process emotional stuff, drove me across the country and got me settled in, gone to coffee with me to just be a shoulder to lean on or an ear to listen, believed in me more than I believed in myself, encouraged me with words of affirmation and special cards and notes in the mail, sent me snail mail letters or emails, the occasional text's saying you love me or your praying for me, the invitations to dinners and functions, the connections and opportunities afforded to me through you, the hour long phone calls when I am feeling homesick, the sweet voicemail's (that I save on my phone to encourage and uplift me), the gift cards to grocery stores, love offerings in the mail or on the doorstep, the abundant giving from a cheerful giver...and SOOO MUCH MORE! It is not taken for granted, it is sooooo appreciated and God honors it and will honor YOU for it! Thank you!

M.M. MUSIC (Making Us Second in Christ) Ministry

Donations will be up and running within two business days...just set up the paypal account, so waiting for my card confirmation. After that, anyone will be able to directly deposit money to my paypal account (free of extra charge).