Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Holy Spirit Speak.

I am so excited for my ladies Bible Study tomorrow evening. I really feel like it is going to be wonderful. I was studying all about it today during all of our breaks during Census training and a few people asked me about it. So I said, what the hay, and I gave a teeny tiny summary of what it is about. It went over really well the second time and I was anointed in the holy goose bumps ha ha. I love it when I receive something to say from the Holy Spirit and right after I say it I can see the person registering a major aha moment while I at the same time get covered with goose bumps and get a little shiver. WOW. I really love that.

I mean, we sometimes get a little used to the Holy Spirit or don't fully register what the Holy Spirit is and perhaps we just don't get as super excited as we should sometimes when we hear from it. I am guilty of that but today I was supremely aware that God had just whispered something wonderful to me to pass on to someone else and most certainly myself too. That is incredible to me to know that as busy as God must be, he always has time for each one of us. He treasures the open & abiding connection when He can stoop down so to speak and whisper in our ears the wonderful treasures He has for us in His wisdom. Mmmmm good.

I am still perplexed as to why I am not allowed to put together a fully prepared study like the Holy Spirit and I always do. They are always well received, hmmmm. Well, can I just say how excited I am to see what God has in store for us? I have never taught just by knowing the topic well and then just winging it according to what the Holy Spirit speaks to me. It's a little daunting but you know, I teach the book and I know it says that if I am called then I am fully equipped to do it. So there. Sometimes I just tell myself put up or shut up. If I can't live it then I probably shouldn't teach it. So I will kick "Fear" in the bootaz and go do what God said to do. He said no prepared notes this time, no knowing each thing I am going to say. I am just supposed to know my verses, the story in the Bible we are applying a lesson to and that's it.

But, I can see that just from the few minutes spent on it this afternoon that it is going to be POWERFUL. God was in that room, let me tell ya. I guess I should not be surprised at the power of the words since He is all powerful right? I think so far one of the greatest blessings of my life is to be a vessel for the Lord to communicate through. Although I am an extrovert of sorts I do not like to be the center of attention or stared at so teaching a class was something I NEVER NEVER would have ever desired to do in my flesh. I am so happy he gave me the desire to teach and being able to speak His word in boldness is such a gift!!! I was so scared to death the first Sunday I had to announce to the church we were even starting a ladies class, it was a disaster ha ha. Oh I laugh about it now but ouch I didn't know I could shake that much. I was amazed that they even let me teach the class after my first announcement. Now you can't shut me up! God is so good. I know He let me stay scared and shake myself silly at the podium so I would know that this always had to be about Him and that I can't do it by my knowledge or abilities. I have to stay focused on Him, His power, His anointing and everything about each lesson must solely be about Him. I am merely the telephone He is speaking through and I am most acutely aware that anything good I say comes from Him alone because of that experience. Super excited to see what He gives me to say tomorrow night. I am ready to receive what He has for us.


Friday, April 23, 2010

25 lbs lost!!!! YAY me!

Yippe Doo, I have lost 25 lbs as of today. I am quite excited about this. I am working like a dog to get my old body back, you know, the one I actually liked. 7 days a week on the treadmill for 90 plus minutes is a big commitment but I truly look forward to it now. I protect that time like a dog hovers over his bone. Nobody is going to take it away from him. I can see pieces of the old me peeking out and I must say that I like it.

The third kid killed me. The fourth kid didn't help. The first kid, I recovered from quite nicely and still maintained 113 lbs religiously. The second kid jacked me up to 125 lbs, a still respectable size 6 but oh kid 3, what did you do to me?

I don't think it is reasonable to expect to get back to 113 lbs. I'm hoping for 125 and anything less than that is icing on the cake. I still have a ways to go but I seem to be losing on average 2.5 lbs a week. I'll take it. I am so excited to be on my way back to the old me. It feels so good to do something for myself for a change and it has made me a much happier person. It is hard to be trapped inside someone that you just know isn't you and yet, it is.

I fondly remember walking into restaurants with my girlfriends in my twenties and almost always, some man in the restaurant would pay my bill. Why men do that is beyond me, but they did. A lot. I don't think anybody would pay my bill now, ha ha. It makes me laugh just thinking about it. I remember one time at Rio Bravo the waiter told me some guy offered to buy my dinner if I let him stroke my boots. "What?" I'd like to tell you I said no but you know, when you are 25 we sometimes are dumb. So just out of the pure curiosity to see who wanted to stroke my boots I said yes and I let him and he paid for my dinner from his table. Weird. That would so not happen right now ha ha. What a hoot. I don't even remember what he looked like now, I just remember putting my leg up on his chair and sure enough, he stroked my boot. In his defense, they were very nice boots and I did have a mini skirt on so.....ya know. I am so glad I have that memory now, it's totally cheesy but it makes me laugh now and keeps me going when I am sweating like a hog on the treadmill. It's like I am working towards something, yeah, I want men to want to stroke my boots again. I'm kidding. I'm 40 now, I think my days of random people wanting to do that stuff for me are gone, lol. Oh but I was a hottie back then but I worked hard at it so I feel like I can say that. I was a gym rat, always working out. Yep, the good ole days.

I feel very optimistic about the rest of the weight coming off. I just keep playing the Mary/Martha study in my head. It's all a choice, I can choose what I eat, whether I exercise or not and for how long. I make every choice and there is no one to blame but myself. I used to blame my husband, the kids, the housework, the laundry......there is so much junk for a woman to do. Who has time? That was my mantra. Then enters Jesus, "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, 42.but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

Jesus knew all that Martha had to do, he knew it had to get done and yet Jesus was telling Martha that she was making the wrong choice to do housework and cook even though it still needed to be done without taking care of her spiritual needs first. Yeah uh huh, that's exactly what Jesus was saying. So for all us ladies who say we have too much to do to study, read and pray Jesus says we are making the wrong choice. But it has to be done, yep, I know, Jesus knows too and He said you are making the wrong choice. It all became so clear......not taking care of my self spiritually or physically because I have housework to do leaves me feeling "worried and upset about many things".

Boy, thank you Lord for that one.

Now that it's all on me, I get er dun. The house may not be as clean but I am skinnier and happier. The laundry piles up sometimes instead of me being totally on top of it, but I am healthier. And most importantly I am not "worried and upset about many things" anymore. Thank you and Amen. Now, if somebody would just offer to pay for my dinner if I let them stroke my footwear I will be tickled pink! hee hee.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New Moon with the man.

Well my hubby finally watched New Moon last night. He liked it. After making fun of us gals in the house for watching Twilight a bizillion times he finally broke down and watched that movie too and he had to admit it was a good movie. Us girls felt vindicated and did a little high five dance. Anyhoo, after it was over he still didn't get it why us gals love those movies so much. I was like, um..... if you ever read my blog you would have read the post I did to men telling you dudes why women love the Twilight series so much. I don't think he has ever read my blog actually. To be honest, I find that slightly irritating. Doesn't he care what I am up to? Hence, the love of the Twilight series. Edward and Jacob would totally be checking Bella's blog (if she had one) daily. Yes, they would.

So I tried to explain that whole thing about women want to be wanted and his man brain wasn't getting it. As I was trying to help him get it I wondered if his obviously broken emotional receptors would function better if I banged his head against a wall or a table. You know, like it totally works with the remote control. I decided against it.

He still thinks I love the movie because of Jacob's abs. Whatever..... I think it's funny that us women connect with this movie on a deep emotional level and the guys can't get past the physical. I honestly don't know how the two sexes ever properly communicate.

I tried making it simple. Mike I said, everyone has needs. Those needs need to be met or a lack is created. Satan seizes upon our lack. Lack is not good. I said, we all need to eat so it is understood someone must prepare a meal. We need clean clothes so someone must wash the dirty ones. We all need to live in a clean environment so someone needs to clean up the mess. Individually, we need more specific needs. You need me to respect you and give you praises on what a great provider you are and for all the "man things" you do. I as a woman, need you to show me you appreciate me and ahem, want me as a woman. He was perplexed as to how to do that. Good grief! Do I really have to write a manual? Maybe I should, I could be rich!! I'll call it "How to Keep Your Wife Happy and Make Her Feel Wanted". Nah, I just told him to go back and watch the two movies again. Dork. That's what I get for marrying a toolbelt cowboy :)

On a positive note, he is a great hubby. Everyone loves Mike. I think I'll keep him.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Big Church vs. Little Church, get over it.

Something really struck me this week, snobbery, over big churches and little churches. Yep, that's right, snobbery. I have been a part of both kinds of churches and I have to say that I have enjoyed both. At this moment in time I am in a very small church. Probably 110 to 120 every Sunday morning is what we have. Two years ago I was singing in the choir in front of a couple thousand people on Sunday morning! Big change, but I go where I have been led to go.

Can I just say though how much I love love love my current small church? I just do love everyone so much! This is the friendliest group of people I have ever been surrounded by and you know what? They love me too :) That's pretty dern nice! I'm kind of a loner so it's pretty special for people to just love all over me just because they are full of love themselves. Me likey.

So the debate over small & big churches has crept up around me several times in the last couple of weeks and I am really surprised at how adamant most people are about their stance on what "church" should look & sound like. Yep, sound too. Hymnal versus no hymnal debates can bring the sweetest Jesus girls to blows, ha ha.

I really liked it when Joyce Meyer pointed out that God works in all denominations and all churches. Your church is not the "right church". He is everywhere and I was like "YES!!!". Small church people are appalled (generally speaking) by the large churches and heaven forbid the mega churches. I debate repeatedly with small church people that God does in fact exist in those large churches too and that you can in fact find friends in large churches and feel loved. It may be a little harder to stand out in a large church or be noticed but does happen. I promise. They argue no way can you feel a sense of family in a large church. Small churches are all about the family feeling. Which I must say, is awesome. I never felt the sense of "church family" until I attended a small church. I gotta say, it's pretty awesome!!! They've got something there. Small church people generally speaking don't like the music in the large churches and sing out of the hymnals a lot. I can't say how many times I've heard hymnal music is more anointed than current day music. What? I'm sorry, the Holy Spirit stopped working in 1913? Dang, I didn't know that I always say with a smile. What that really means if we want to be real is I like my music better than yours and my music is superior to yours and you are not doing it right.

I recall the two men praying, one thanking God he is not a sinner like the man standing next to him is. The sinner is just getting humble before the Lord. Hmmmm.......

Large church people, generally speaking, don't give much thought to small churches. I have heard though many times that if what was going on in the small churches was any good they would be multiplying. I disagree. There is a strong need for both kinds of churches. People are so different and we need different kinds of churches. Can I get an Amen? I don't like to dis somebody else's church unless of course they are distorting the Word. That's different.

Large churches can offer some awesome bible study courses. Large churches can offer some great social stuff for the lonely people, which is most of us, right? Large churches can offer theological degrees like my old one did. Large churches have some great great programs and may I say.....some awesome choir music. They offer really good children's programs that get more age specific. They will a lot of times have their own teen worship with teenagers in their own teen band singing praise and worship. Teens are tough to reach, large churches can offer some pretty cool stuff to get them to want to come.

Personally, I get tired of the music debate. My personal preference is modern contemporary music. I like the drums, bass guitar, electric guitar, keyboard, yada yada with the modern stuff and a little old thrown in. That's just me. But this girl was rockin it out at the Joyce Meyer conference during praise and worship with Martin Smith from Delirious. I receive and can truly worship in that kind of music.

So here is the kicker.....while many want only their own personal preference I think perhaps it is best to look at the congregation and see just who is in attendance? Isn't the point of praise and worship to bring us into praising God and worshiping Him? So, if you have lots of young people, hey get over it and sing some modern songs too, okay? My humble opinion. But, I don't say anything out loud of course. It's not my place. If you've got kids and teens, chances are most of them aren't getting their praise and worship on from songs with lots of thous and thee's and arts. Just sayin. This comes from having much discussion with young people on this subject. Don't we want them to learn to worship too? Big churches, you won't die if you take an old song and throw a bone to some older people either. Maybe make the beat a little more updated or something. Those hymnal songs if you look at the words are pretty awesome.

My current church sings out of the hymnals half and some current stuff too. Our current stuff is more southern gospel, some bluegrass stuff too. Now, I'll be honest, it's not for me at all. That would make a lot of people mad but it's true. I do not attend this church for the music so I don't let it bother me. I know God led my family here without a doubt so I don't get my panties in a wad because there is only one song on Sunday that I may like. I'm not there for the singing. I do just want to say though that I cannot believe how hard it is for me to praise and worship while listening to and singing music that honestly, I just don't like at all. Y'all, I fervently pray that there is no bluegrass in Heaven, lol. I can't stand it! I am amazed at how many people love old southern gospel, but hey, they sure do love it and they can get their worship on in it and that's awesome!! Me, Oh Lord, I'm happy when it's over. Isn't that terrible? Some people get mad at me but I just say, hey, this is what works for you. It does not stir anything in me. I don't knock your stuff, there is a need for it so please don't knock someone else's stuff that works for them. They need it too.

I think we all need to be just a little more open to all the ways we can worship the Lord in song and all they ways we can worship Him in a building. We aren't cookie cutter people so why would our church programs and building be cookie cutter? In the words of Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?" Sheesh.

P.S.... the debates are among friends, neighbors & such. Not a reflection of my church:)

Don't mind me, just venting!


Monday, April 12, 2010

Joyce Meyer Conference in Chatttanooga was awesome!!

12 of us ladies from my church here in Georgia took a one day road trip to the Joyce Meyer Conference in Chattanooga this past weekend April 9 & 10. I was so excited I could hardly stand it. I cannot even begin to list all the ways God has used her to teach me and mentor me. She speaks my language. I just love her!!!!!! I love the anointing on her!!!!!! I could not have been more excited when we got into the McKenzie arena and I saw that we were going to be able to sit on the floor so close to the stage. I was trying not to act like a little kid and jump up and down screaming yes yes yes. This is me and one of our teenage girls from church.

This is our group of ladies who went. We had so much fun.

Joyce taught on our identity in Christ on Friday night. Anyone who has read this blog for long knows how much I love that teaching. On my sidebar I have all the scriptures in statement form that say who we are in Christ that I got from one of her books and just reading those out loud every day for a couple of months completely changed how I view myself and how I conduct myself. Life changing to know who you are in Christ. May I just take the time to ask you to click on the link and print them out? Carry them around with you and read them, OUT LOUD every day. You will be amazed at the ways it will affect your life, especially your thoughts. She also talked about not letting the enemy or ourselves diminish ourselves. For example, Moses telling God he could not do what God was asking him to do because of his speech impediment. We need to stop telling God "I can't do it". We need to stop thinking we aren't good enough or won't do it good enough. She is so right, I have been struggling with that attitude lately with the ladies Bible Study I teach. I have felt like a failure lately because attendance has dropped off from having 7 or 8 regulars to having 4 or 5 in attendance. But I feel like a roaring lion now and even though I am okay with who comes, I was still struggling a little with feelings of failure. I like this quote from Lysa TerKeurst "I am called; therefore I am equipped". I felt like Friday's message was pointed right at me. It was wonderful and I feel so encouraged.

We stopped for a bite to eat before Friday night's meeting. I am on the left in the green. Is there a single picture I can take that does not look wretched? I never photograph well, oh well. I had a healthy bowl of soup trying to keep this weight loss going. I have lost 24 pounds now since doing this study, which I must say was completely inspired by the Holy Spirit and Joyce Meyer. Can I say again how much I stinkin love that woman?
Saturday's meeting was on forgiveness. It was really great too. Martin Smith from Delirious was our worship leader and oh my, did I love the mini concert they put on both days. I love to sing!!
Joyce is hysterical too, I mean she had us laughing lots. It was amazing and one of the things I really loved was that she and Martin both made points a few times to point out that God does not care about denominations and that we all just need to get over that. We can all come together and just worship the Lord and have relationships with God and Jesus and that is all that matters, that and walking in love. Boy, I was so glad they said that a few times.
I really liked it when Martin Smith had everyone join hands and asked them to jump up and down and dance. He said if you've never danced in church you are missing something. I agree! It was fun and I left with my spirit full. I am wondering if anyone else has ever been to one of her meetings. Did you know it is free to get in? They pass an offering bucket and I just know there will be ten hundred different kinds of crowns in Heaven for her for that! Everyone has the opportunity to be filled and blessed by her. Not just those that have, I so think Jesus would approve.
I feel so much more emboldened to teach. Yay!! I can't wait for our next ladies bible study.