I did all the things but…

I can not stop thinking about Tuesday…

It was such a productive day. I literally did all the things. Took the girls to VBS, grabbed a coffee, payed all the bills, started a load of laundry, took big kids to the dentist, Picked up girls from VBS, went to lunch, got biggest kid a hair cut, went back to dentist to fill a cavity and pull a baby tooth, went home and finished laundry, sewed the football jersey, took big kid to football practice, cooked the dinner, picked up big kid from football, bathed the girls, bedtime with a story and a song. BAMB

But there is one thing I didn’t do and it kept me up late in the night. Why didn’t I just do it?

While at Chic fil a with the kids for lunch there was a momma with two boys. One was about 6 and the other about 3. She was holding the (big) 3 year old in one arm and holding the other’s hand. The 7 year old was letting out a constant grown of discomfort and the 3 year old was flailing in a fit as the momma struggled to carry him from one table to the other. This wasn’t the typical kid fit. Something else developmentally or sensory was going on (not that that even matters). My kids were staring at them like their life depended on it. My biggest kid says, ” Mom if that was one of us you would snatch us to the bathroom for a spank.” and all my others started laughing. I quickly zipped there mouths and gave a big long compassion speech. But that was all I did. That was it.

I hadkingdom-woman-square a little voice in me saying, ‘Go ask her if she needs help.” and I didn’t do it. I thought, I might make it worse for the mom? I thought maybe this doesn’t phase her like it does others? But the voice said, Go ask her if she needs help and I didn’t listen. Aargh!

All the things I did that day? Non of them did anything for the Kingdom of God.

I’m sad that I missed this opportunity to love on another mom but I am also grateful for the reminder it has given me to be more thoughtful of Kingdom things than worldly things.

If your TO DO list is full of things but no Kingdom things… throw it out.

Lord, make me a woman who serves your Kingdom First and always. Make your voice louder that any other’s my ears can hear.

 

For no one can lay any other foundation than the one we already have-Jesus Christ. Now anyone who builds on that foundation may use gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay or straw. But there is going to come a time of testing at the judgment day to see what kind of work each builder has done. Everyone’s work will be out through the fire to see whether or not it keeps its value. 1 Corinthians 3:11-13

 

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Freedom Friday!!

We have Freedom from DOUBT!

 

Love them like I love you…LGBTQ

So, I have to tell you all about this book I read called “A war of Loves”. I could not put it down! It has changed my entire perspective of the LGBTQI community and it has convicted me in so many ways.

So this is the background of the book. A man named David Bennett(the author) came out to his family when he was 14. He went to a Christian school. He was treated poorly by most of his peers. He completely rebelled against the word of God and his Christian faith. I don’t want to give to much away because you must read this book for yourself BUT he gets saved in the most unlikely place, the Lord speaks to Him, his heart is softened and He is changed forever. He still calls himself a gay man but knows his true identity is in Jesus and he has sacrificed his sexual life to the Lord and lives a celibate life because he believes the word of God.

Over the past several years I have felt a “burden of a need”(what ever that even means:)) for the Lord to teach me how to love gay people well. Doesn’t that sound so gross. I’m a 37 year old Christian woman and I need to be taught how to love gay people? I know Eww, BUT What I have discovered is, it has never been about me not loving them. I have always loved gay people. I have family members and good friends that are gay. Being a performer I met and loved many gay people. Without a few of them I probably would have been found dead in the back alley of a dance club a time or two. No, the question is not how do I love them because I already do. The question is how do I love them like Jesus loves them?

His answer, The same way I love you.

I cried like a big fat baby reading the conversations the author had with the Lord. It remiwoman-adultery-mary-magadalene-Christ_and_the_sinner-copynded me of exactly how Jesus pursued me. How could I forget? How has my testimony become “what God did for me” instead of “what God continues to do for me”? Jesus walks with me Relentlessly, Perfectly and right where I am, inside my sin. How is that different from anyone else? It’s not!

The only way to love anyone well is to love them right where they are because that’s how Jesus loves us.

  1. We must stop believing that it is our job to tell someone what there sin is. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:4-5 to remove the log out of our own eye before we offer to get the speck out of another’s eye. We must remember his purpose in saying this was not to condone other’s sin but so that we may become humble in our relationship with the Lord and in turn become compassionate to others because we know the weight of our own sin. There is absolutely a time to speak truthfully to our friends about each other’s sin because we love each other. This conversation is only followed though by gradually  growing in relationship with this friend. Loving them fully and becoming a trusted friend. It would be a very rare instance where the Holy Spirit would lead any one of us to announce the sin of a stranger. Or to proclaim in on the internet.
  2. We must stop believing that we have any ability to save anyone. Isn’t it just like us as humans to come to the notion that we can save a soul. Out of my love for Jesus I have absolutely thought about saving people’s souls! Like, how cool because I know how much their life would change for the better and like I would totally earn some God points if I like SAVED someone. Gross.  Our own good intentions apart from the Holy Spirit is a sad day for the Kingdom of God. The job is done. The mission is complete. Our ONLY job is to tell others what Jesus has done for us and HE does the rest. HIM! He does it. John 15:4 Abide in me and I will abide on you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed form the vine. and you cannot be fruitful apart from me. I am guilty.
  3. We must stop believing that the FIRST thing Jesus would say to a sinner is stop sinning. I have yet to find anywhere in scripture where the First thing Jesus says to some one is Stop Sinning. Yes, In John 5:14 Jesus tells the Lame man, stop sinning or something even worse may happen BUT not before He tells him your sins are forgiven. Yes, In John 8:11 He tells the prostitute Go and sin no more BUT not before He says Neither do I condemn you.  Let’s do what Jesus does FIRST. Let’s tell others their sins are forgiven. This is what softens their hearts to the King of the world, Jesus.

Last but certainly NOT least I have to talk about the author’s decision to be celibate in honor of his love for our Savior. I am absolutely in aww of David’s righteous decision here and I KNOW our father in heaven is just jumping for joy that David got it! David heard God, David ran so hard after Jesus that he got it! David so loves Jesus that he has given up his earthly desires so that he may be of service to Jesus. I mean come on!! What have I ever given up that I truly desired? Phew. ALSO, How super duper precious is it that David (the author) is named David, who in the bible is considered to be a man after God’s own heart?! It may have been just a nice name to his mom at the time BUT God! Oh But God Knew.

I find it hilarious that the song that is playing at the Juice bar right now is Aerosmith’s “Walk this way”, cause really, all Jesus wants us to do is love people in a way that when He tells them to “walk His way” they will not hesitate.

Be a blessing today!

war

 

 

So the Party Began..

        for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found. So, the party began. Luke 15:24

      I once was lost but now I am found. Where you lost once? Are you still lost? Your father is running to you! He is ready to welcome you, adorn you with clothes and jewels and put shoes (Yes, Please!) on your feet!

When I was a young girl my Uncle asked me, What do you want to be when you grow up? I said,” I want to be a Party Girl (No R’s in my vocab yet.)!” . The laughter rang out throughout the family and this is when the Party Girl was born. I grew and I partied like it was 1999 all the time! I even partied when it actually was 1999! Now, I still love to party, I just Party more like it’s 2019 and I’ve got a lot of kids and I’m tired.

Since the day I found Jesus, He has been peeling the lies off my life one layer at a time.. A few years ago, after the Lord told me I would go into ministry, I was sitting in church listening to my pastor teach the protocol son story. I had read this story a thousand times as it was, in a sense “my” story.  It became knew this time and I was flooded with gratitude for all the Lord had done in my life since I found Him. Then as I’m reading along with my pastor in my bible, the red letters say, So, the party began (Luke 15:24). It was as if my heart skipped a beat. Weeks before this, I had been reading Ephesians and Ephesians 4:24 jumped off the page. You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness- Holy Righteous and True. These two scriptures collided that day and I felt the Lord say, You are my Party Girl-Holy, Righteous and True. All of my past felt redeemed in that moment. Before this, if I would have heard the phrase, “Party Girl” my heart would have winced in silent pain and regret. On that day though, the Holy Spirit took that label, cleared  out all the sin and filled it up with all of His truth. Isn’t it just like our God to turn the very things of this world that haunt us, into the very things He created us for to bring Him glory! Only God !

I tell this story to encourage you today. If you feel lost, IF you have deliberately run from the Lord, IF you are full of regret or shame, Go to your father in heaven. He is searching for you. He is longing to redeem ever part of you.

And can I just say, There ain’t no party like a Jesus party!

Good Freedom Friday!

 

Romans 5:12 – When Adam sinned, sin entered the human race. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.

Romans 5:17- The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over us , but all who receive God’s wonderful, gracious gift of righteousness will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:6-11- When we were utterly helpless, Christ came as just the right time and died for us sinners. But God showed hi  great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s judgment. For since we were restored to friendship with God by the death of His son while we were still his enemies we will certainly be delivered from eternal punishment by his life. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God. All because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God.

 

It’s a GOOD Freedom Friday!!
I am loving what the Lord is doing through these Freedom Fridays. Especially in me. These are all things I am learning myself. I am a struggler. I want to “get it right” “for God”. I bind myself in needless worries when all I really have to do is love people, tell about what God has done for me and He does the rest. The Freedom in His love and sacrifice is sufficient. Happy Easter! I hope your holiday is especially filled with the Power of the Holy Spirit.

By nature…

Ephesians 2:3 says that we are all “by nature children of wrath.” If we are all “by nature children of wrath,” it can only be because we are all by nature sinners — for God does not direct His wrath towards those who are not guilty. God did not create the human race sinful, but upright. But we fell into sin and became sinful due to the sin of Adam.

Yes, you very well may have been born this way BUT you certainly were not born again this way.

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ John 3:5-7

Put on your new nature, created to be like God- Holy, righteous and true. Ephesians 4:24

My heart aches for anyone who is being told that the sin they were born with is not only unredeemable (or redeemed by a false notion) but it is also their identity. Isn’t that exactly what the enemy wants us to believe?

Jesus overcame the world. Jesus overcame your sin and he rose again to be sure that you had the power to overcome it on this side of heaven.

I pray truth and freedom for you all today💕

Freedom from the familiar and worldly

 

“There is FREEDOM to be found in letting go of the familiar, worldly ways of measuring a human life.”

I found this quote by Soren Kierkegaard, an amazing thinker of the 19th century and it is rocking my world!

How easy is it for us to measure ourselves and others based on what is familiar to us in this world?!

Well, once in Christ, we are no longer of this world. When we look to the specific spiritual gifts that we have been given by the Holy Spirit, there is where we find the measure of our life.

In 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 it tells us of the different gifts the Holy Spirit gives to us. I encourage you to read the word of God, find out what your spiritual gifts are and operate in the freedom of those gifts.

HAPPY FREEDOM FRIDAY!

living in free will vs. living in freedom

For weeks I have been wrestling with my self about whether or not I am loving others well. Loving them the way Jesus loves them. I have been wrestling with why I feel so strongly about certain things and if those feelings are righteous or are they condemning. The word that the Lord had began answering me with is Freedom. Freedom?

This past weekend my husband and I spent the night in Downtown Nashville for his birthday. Saturday morning we went to a breakfast place called Another broken egg. We each ordered a cup of coffee and when they were delivered to us they cam in the most fabulous coffee cup I had ever seen at a breakfast restaurant. Each cup was a different color. Pryor’s was a cool dark brown and tan mix and mine was ivory and purple. They were the perfect little size and looked hand crafted and hand spun. They were seriously so cool. I began looking around the restaurant and realized everyone’s coffee cup was  a different color and each one was more beautiful than the next. In my humanness, I leaneIMG_1330d over to Pryor and said I love these coffee cups. Do you think I could put one in my purse and take it home? In other words, can I steel it? Pryor confirmed how cool the coffee cups were and said, Babe, if you want one that bad I’m sure they sell them. I’ll buy it for you. And so he did.

Just the night before Pryor and I had been talking about how every sin is created equal. I was adamant about it. He is a great questions asker and no matter what he asked me I stood my ground about every person being equally guilty because of our sin and equally saved because of Jesus. So a few days after my coffee cup humanness we were on the couch and Pryor asked me, If you really think that every sin is equal than why would you even consider stealing that coffee cup? I thought about it for a bit and realized I wasn’t really worried about stealing the coffee cup because I knew my salvation was secure in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. I felt yucky admitting that but it was true.

So, think with me a bit here… If I would have stolen that coffee cup out of my free will to do so my salvation would have been safe at hand because of my faith in Jesus Christ as my savior but naturally (because this is what sin does) a little piece of my heart would have become bound by my transgression. I would have had a little bit of shame, maybe guilt about it and the enemy could have used it to trick me. That certainly is not freedom.  Since I didn’t steal  it, I am free. I am light hearted and my conscience is clear.

Now I know that this coffee cup thing could seem a little silly but As I’ve wrapped my head around my answer I have realized that my answer is the reason so many people are living without the full freedom of the resurrection of Christ. In fact (though this is not actually happening) I feel like the Lord is screaming at me, This is it! The resurrection is it!  Its as if we have accepted the covering of our sins by Jesus’ blood but have rejected the Freedom of His resurrection!

Just yesterday I saw a social media post of a woman who is a very influential speaker and writer and a can I just tell you something about her. She is fabulous! She is gorgeous, talented, kind, loving and everything she wears I wish I had in my closet. One thing that concerns me though is her perspective on freedom. Her post was speaking on how she was so thankful for the people who came before her so that she now is afforded the FREEDOM to stand on stage , love her wife, hold her had and live out load with her in FREEDOM. As I read her post this question stirred in me. Is she living in free will or is she living in freedom?

The safety net of Jesus’ blood can deceive us (this actually has nothing to do with Jesus but is of the enemy)

into living in free will and not in true freedom. We are completely innocent form sin through faith in Jesus Christ. Let me say that again, We are completely innocent from sin because of our faith in Jesus Christ. We can easily live a wonderful life safe in our free will because of the blood Jesus shed for us but why would we stay there? It is in the resurrection that our FREEDOM is born. When we accept Jesus and live only in our free will we are living half the gospel. The Resurrection is where the freedom comes in. The new life comes in. The old things become new! The dead become alive.

I have so much jumping around in my head about this I could go on forever but I have too many kids for all that. One could be coloring on the walls somewhere at this point. I will leave you with this.

Where in your life are you living in your free will but you think it’s freedom? Do you know the resurrection freedom?  Real freedom? Biblical freedom? Godly freedom? Righteous freedom? God fearing, holy, righteous and true freedom?

Fun side note: I find it hilarious that the café where we ate was called “Another broken egg café” because it reminded me that I am just another broken egg in need of Jesus.

UMC vs. LGBT – even without the sin

Before I begin, Lord thank you for the beautiful creation you have made in each one of us. May the truth of your word stand firm always. May the words I write be full of love, righteousness and truth. Send your healing spirit to all that is unhealthy in this nation. Come soon, Jesus. In your name I pray.

The conversation between the LGBT community and organized religions is always an emotional one. For some time now the Lord has been calling  me to learn about what He says about who we are in Him and the role our bodies play in living a Holy life. In regards to the latest UMC decision on LGBT community we must think objectively in order to make sense of it. There are a few questions we have to ask ourselves before we say the UMC was right or wrong in their decision. The two questions the church was facing are:

  1. Should gay and lesbian pastors be ordained in the UM church?

2.  Should same-sex couples be able to be married in the UM church?

What we need to ask is:

How would the UM church go about making these decisions?

Just as any other organization, they have set “core values” that the elders or leaders of the church refer to in making decisions for the future of their congregation. Again, just as in any other organization they have set requirements that candidates must  meet in order to be qualified for a leadership position. It is important to note that the United Methodist church was founded on biblical truths and values.  The two questions that the UM church had to answer were rooted in this one question….

Is being involved in a gay relationship a sin? 

Lets look at Romans 1:24-27.

So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever. Amen.

That is why God abandoned then to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other  men and as a result suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved.

I chose this scripture (though there are many) to reference because it gives such a good description of how God feels about sexual immorality. Now sexual immorality is not only a description of gay sex. All of us who participate in sexual relations that are not as God intended are guilty of sexual immorality. I myself have a past full of sexual immorality and this is why this subject is so dear to my heart. Seeing people freed of being involved in or free of  being full of shame because of their involvement in sexual sin has become a passion of mine. I want to mention that this verse is from the New testament. I often hear things like, ‘Oh, only the old testament talks about homosexuality and its very vague. ” That simply isn’t the truth but we wont go into all of that now. Take some time to search your bible for what the Lord says about this, on your own.

Based on this verse alone ( again, though there are many) the biblical answer to this question is Yes. This yes is reason enough for the UM’s ruling but..

*Let’s take the sin out of it…

Taking sin off the table,  every organization , no matter the their denomination or function, is founded on “Core Values” . When I opened the Dance project I had to complete an exhaustive application to become a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. When the process began I was frustrated by the redundancy of the  questions, What is your mission statement? How will you execute your mission? What is your vision? How will you execute your vision? Who will serve on your board of directors? What will their role be in maintaining the integrity of your vision? After completing the application I found myself appreciative through the years of those in depth questions because they gave me a firm foundation to lean into as I made decisions for the future of Dance Project.

If an organization is looking to hire someone to teach “A” and after the interview process the organization realizes that that candidate does not feel they should teach “A” but will teach “B”, it would make sense that they aren’t the right fit for the position because the core values of that particular company ( and the task at hand) will not be upheld in this persons teaching.

What’s our logical takeaway?

I think it is safe to say that a man or woman who is participating in a same sex relationship believes that this is morally acceptable and if asked they would condone their behavior.  I also think it is safe to say that a man or woman who wants to be married as a same sex couple are choosing this because they feel their is nothing morally wrong with their decision. The UM church’s teaching’s are based on the biblical foundation that participating in homosexual behavior is not natural to God’s intentions of sexual relationship. To ordain a priest who is participating in a gay relationship or who is living a gay lifestyle simply does not fit into the foundational values that the church was founded on.  The UMC was founded on the biblical belief that God intended marriage to be between a man and woman. To marry a same sex couple simply does not fit into the foundational values that the church was founded on. Based on these simple facts, the UM church would be correct in their ruling to deny same sex marriage participation and the ordainment of a man or woman living a homosexual lifestyle. The United Methodist church is a Christian organization, formed on biblical values, it is not strange or hateful or selfish for their ruling to reflect their foundational values.

With all of this said,

*I have seen posts slashing the United Methodist Church. Saying they have “kicked God out of church”. “Doubled-down its opposition”, they are “desperate defenders of their own relevance.” These are all bogus! It’s disheartening to me that the public speaker who said these things is heard by hundreds of thousands of men and women. I challenge the one who posted these things to ask those questions of themselves. Who’s the real “defender of their own relevance”? It seems to me that the United Methodist Church has acted as a TRUE defender of the word of God.

*There is no sin greater than the other. We are ALL in need of Jesus’ covering.  Jesus’ blood has washed us all white as snow. I pray you seek Him always.

 

“This was for you”

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting in an auditorium chair, the lights around me were dark and the stage lights in front of me shone bright like a beacon from above. My mom and I had gone to see a friend’s dance recital. I was no more than 5 years old. As I left the auditorium that day I knew I was a dancer. I could imagine myself on that stage, shining exactly like the girls I had just watched.

There was a dance program that came to my elementary school every Friday after school. My mom signed  me up. Through the years those Fridays turned into Monday through Thursday classes at a studio and being the helper at that Friday after school program. I was dancing everyday and I loved it.

The truth of the matter though, was that I had to work really hard. I was not naturally a good dancer.  My legs were awkwardly long, my turn out was dismal,and I essentially had two left feet. I was determined to keep at it though because I had never loved anything more.

Fast forward to a few nights ago…  I had just finished taking a dance fitness class. As I came up from drinking out of the water fountain a woman said to me, ” I had so much fun watching you in class. You looked like you were having a blast. You literally smiled to whole time.” I thanked her and confirmed the fun I had just had. I began getting my things from the cubbies and another woman came up to me and said, ” I loved watching you today. You looked like you were having so much fun.” At this point I began to wonder if I had just tuned out everyone in that class. I thanked the woman and said, ” I just really love to dance.” As the words flowed from my mouth my heart leapt with joy and (it felt like) my entire dance career played through  my head up until this moment and in the same instance the Lord softly said, “This was for you”.

The gift of dance began for me out of love. My earliest memories of dancing go as far back as my daddy holding me in his arms swaying to his favorite songs in our living room and having a blast  dancing with my cousins at wedding receptions. Then it became dance classes, then college, then audition after audition. Hearing no more than yes71b45dc7a10b08e9ed1df7502d66b68d. After opening a dance studio it became about proof of progress. Why should we support your cause? Prove to us its worth it. The Lord then began nudging me to close the studio. Now God was saying no? But then, “This was for you”. In those words the Lord was saying to me, The love of dance that I knit in you was always intended for you. It was always supposed to be the thing that brought you joy. The vehicle to drive you from place to place until you arrived to me. I’m giving it back to you. You can just love it again. You don’t have to prove a thing.

 

Phew….What a gift. What a precious, humbling, peace giving gift..

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. (psalm 37:4)

Through the years my love for dance became the need to prove that I was good enough. The Lord would not stand for that. His faithfulness stood true once again.

What is the desire of your heart? Do you think the Lord would agree with you? I encourage you to ask him. He is eager to answer.

I pray you are doing what you love today!