Sunday, January 15, 2017

IF:Gathering 2017

The IF:Gathering will be Feb. 3rd & 4th this year.  I hope that you attended a local event the last couple of years or at least watched at home in your pj's:)  If you haven't then know that this event is trying to equip women to do the work that God has given us, but to do it with passion, heart and a resilience that nothing will get in our way.  It's that important ladies!  These events have been some of the best I've ever attended.  The Austin team asks for a donation of $1 to attend an IF:Local.  Most retreats for a weekend are over $150, this is $1 (OK, the more money donated the more it will help this great group of ladies).

This is the fourth year for the event that is held in Austin, TX, but has IF:Local's around the world.  A weekend of amazing speakers, awesome worship and a global focus to empower women to live Jesus daily.  To share Him with those that do not know him in our homes, cities, states, countries and around the globe.  There are over 1,500 IF:Locals around the world and growing every year.  Here is the link to sign up: IF:Local.  If there is not a gathering near you I believe you can sign up as an individual and watch from your house (pj's optional).    Afterwards I usually go online to watch the sessions again.  If I have seen a really good speaker I will often watch it again so I can make sure I have everything written down.  Can you tell I'm a note taker?  I know your shocked:)

When this event is over they have IF:Table where you can get together with a few women once a month, they have Bible studies, a shop (just in case you like to shop or something).

If you are feeling like you need some motivation, inspiration, focus and just some serious Jesus love please attend or watch this incredible event.  I'll probably update my thoughts after this event is over because I am a note taker!

Friday, January 6, 2017

2017 Plans or the Lack of Plans

Well looks like I am not doing a Bible study online this year or at least not anytime soon.  I'm feeling a big NO.  I do plan on posting more, I know I'm not constant.  I need to finish Nahum, yes still on that book.  The page views last year went from around 18,000 to nearly 600,000.  I keep thinking there is a computer somewhere that keeps clicking my posts instead of real people.  I did ask God to bring people to my blog, but the numbers have been more than I could dream.  That's God, He does way more than we could ever imagine.

Hope that I post more and hope that you will continue to visit my corner of the web.  I am glad you did.  May God do big things in all of our lives, more than we could ever comprehend.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Red Army Choir (Alexandrov Military Ensemble) Plane Crash

I just heard about the plane crash yesterday that was carrying the Red Army Choir.  They were going to Syria to entertain the troops (they are like our USO) and after refueling the plane crashed with no survivors, 91 people lost their lives.  On board were singers, dancers, musicians, reporters and military personnel.  It is sad that their voices have been silenced and the joy they bring to so many has been extinguished.  Such a devastating blow to their families near Christmas (I read that Jan. 7th is when Russia celebrates Christmas, but I'm not sure if some in Russia start celebrating early).  It seems like one of the singers, Roman Valutov, could not get on the plane due to an expired passport.  If this is true (can't find much about this story) then that would be a wonderful thing.

My heart goes out to anyone suffering loss.  In grief - the location, religion, beliefs, customs or leaders I don't agree with do not matter.  Grief is a universal emotion and we all feel it.  Russia I am praying for you, praying for those who have lost loved ones.  This time of year always seems to be more difficult when suffering loss.  Many of the visitors here are from Russia (2nd highest country to visit).  I hope you will join me and pray for those missing their loved ones and the entire country of Russia during this tragic time.  May God give you peace and comfort during this time.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Quote - Merry Christmas

"Christmas, children, is not a date.  It is a state of mind."

~ Mary Ellen Chase

I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas.  I know this time of year is busy and stressful for most people.  It is good to take time out and focus on why we celebrate in the first place.  I know that the birth of Jesus gets lost in the chaos of shopping, long lines, short tempered people, stress, loneliness, high expectations and family issues.

I am guilty of letting stress ruin my Christmas and I'm trying to do better.  I would love to have a peaceful time and that just doesn't seem to happen.  I'm a work in progress.  What if we didn't think about Christmas just as one day and instead lived that state of mind every day.  I think we all would be more peaceful in our lives.

The birth of one boy changed the world forever.  A beautiful gift.  The perfect gift.  

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 5, 2016

Compassion International - Please Act to Help Children in India

We sponsor a child in Bolivia through Compassion International.  This is a wonderful organization that helps not only the child, but their family as well.  I highly recommend sponsoring a child through Compassion International.  It would be wonderful if every child in need around the world was sponsored.

The government of India has blocked funding for nine months that was suppose to go to the children who are in the Compassion program.  Whether you sponsor a child or not I pray you all will click on the link below and sign the letter which will go to your representative in Congress.  If you are in a country outside of the United States, please contact Compassion directly here to see if you can help.  Please pass this link along to others.  The more attention this gets the more our government will know we care and hopefully convince the government of India to change their minds.

If something doesn't change quickly then 130,000 children will no longer be able to continue to get the help they need.  There was no reason given for the change from the government, but when a country chooses to turn it's back on their own children then the devil is there to devour souls.  He does not want them to feel special or loved.  He knows that if given the chance to strike early in a child's life sometimes that is all that is needed to keep them away from God.  I have never understood when a country receives aid for children from another country why they would block the ability to help their own people.  Pride, religious differences or just indifference in general, no matter what the reason it is no excuse to let your poorest people suffer while the leaders live lavish lives.

They are blocking food, water, healthcare and education for the poorest children in their country.

Please click here to help the children in India.  Thank you

Friday, December 2, 2016

Throwing Stones Blind

There are all kinds of Christian blogs out there.  Which can be good and bad.  I have recently read some crazy blogs that just seem to bash on other Christians.  I'm not here to bash on the bashers, but I believe I can speak truth through the hate.

When we sink our teeth into someone we sure do feel knowledgeable and mighty.

I understand that there are false teachers out there and we should hold them accountable when they go off the narrow path.  With this blog I am aware I have an obligation to not misrepresent the Bible.  If I have an opinion I try to say so, but not to confuse it with scripture.  This is why I write out all the scriptures at the top so we can see what the Bible says.  The rest is what I think or quotes from others and helps me understand.  I have no intention of leading anyone away from God.  I will be held accountable by God for what I say.

When I see so much hate towards someone I always look back at the person saying it and wonder why they are thinking that.  These blogs decided to pick on one person although looking at other topics on their blog they seem to be the "Christian Judge" out there making sure that nothing slips through the cracks.  This almost always sends up red flags for me.  The hate, judgement and condemnation are so targeted as to leave no doubt how they feel.

God did not call us to judge others.  We can call out sin, hate, evil, indifference, injustice, abuse; but not people.  I believe if someone is saying things that are against God's word then that is different.  There are many examples of beliefs that run against the Bible; there is always someone who says they know when the world will end, some think there is no hell, some thing Jesus is not God's son, etc.

In my last Bible study there was a girl who said she did not believe in anything that has to do with visions or experiences that are from the spirit realm.  I think most people that say that have never experienced anything like that so they just assume that there is nothing out there like it.  I think both women would think I was a loon hearing some of the things I have seen or felt.  Everything I have seen has made me more in awe of God.  Anything I have seen is not because I'm such a religious person, it's actually because I have been just as stubborn as the Israelite's in the Bible.  I'm also a visual learner so He uses that sometimes.  I will eventually share some of that on here.

If someone is trying to follow God and live for Him and they say something that isn't etched in stone then some will vilify them.  This is sad to see.  I think the core of the issue is pride and/or jealously.  Pride can blind us and jealously can corrupt the soul.  

This example is of someone who thinks that God can only speak to you through prayer and the Bible.  He can speak through anything; dreams, situations, people, in our heads, soul, prayer, scripture and beyond.  This person said the teacher was false because they said God spoke to them.  This right there puts up a wall trying to filter people who are not up to their standards, but it also can keep God out with a lack of wisdom.  I don't always respond to blogs, but this one I did.  Here is my response:

If you are throwing stones at others then please check yourself to make sure you have no sin.  After reading this post I think that you have never had an experience with God besides prayer and reading the Bible.  Which is OK, except when you use it to dismantle someone else.  Anytime anyone says they have seen or heard something that is not "normal" then you should look if what they are saying brings glory to God.  If not then it's self, but what if you are so busy judging others that you miss what God is trying to show you through that experience?  I wonder if you think God is different that the God of the Bible?  He has not changed.  I think He may not always do those big signs, but often we are not paying attention when He does.  He has many ways to speak to use not just in prayer or through reading the Bible.  All you have to do is look at how He interacted with His people.  It's funny how people try to limit Him and put Him in this neat little box while explaining others away.  I hope you will do a heart check because when we push ourselves up we end up pushing others down.

Those who throw stones blind only end up hitting themselves.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Post Election View

I was sad to see the outcome of the election.  This has been a complicated election and hopefully there will never be anything like this in the future.  There is such hate on both sides.  I have seen pictures from schools that kids are writing white power and other hate messages in the bathrooms.  There are protesters who have signs that say "Trump is not my president."  This is really showing that as a nation we really haven't grown much due to this kind of thinking.  It always seems that when someone in power chooses to share their hate that brings people out of the woodwork and they are not afraid to share these thoughts with the world.  

I do not think that everyone who voted for Trump agrees with his hateful thoughts.  We have a short memory and think that since a party is in office for four or eight years that we then need the other party to fix America (neither side seems to do much of anything for the people).  I really hope that Trump does change things in Washington, but if he doesn't then I'm still turning to God either way.

 We Christians are called to pray for our leaders.  1 Timothy 2 says that we are suppose to pray for our leaders so we will live in peace, this pleases God.  God gave us the Ten Commandments, but everything else He said is a command.  He doesn't offer suggestions timidly, He is I AM and does not ask things from us that we are incapable of doing.  We are expected to follow His commands whether we want to or not.  I believe we have the right to our opinions and can disagree with a leaders policy, but we are not to bash on them.  I can't believe how many Christians I know that have bashed on Obama these last eight years feeding right into the fear machine.  Our media doesn't help, leading sheep to the slaughter by using fear.  I think that in some cases there must be some prejudice underlining those comments since they were the worst comments that I have ever hear of any president.  But no one would admit that.  Hiding behind a political party to spread hate is no excuse.  We are called to a higher standard no matter what party is in office.  OK, I have let my Facebook friends know how I feel about Trump because I don't agree with the hate that he so causally spreads.  When he takes office I am called to pray for him and our country so are you.  God knew Trump was going to be president before we even were a country.  He has got this, that I am sure of.  God is calling us to turn to Him instead of another leader.  God is the only one who can take care of this country and He keeps showing us that by the leaders that we have, but we are too busy focusing on what the other party has done wrong to see the real issue.

This is going to be a big test for a lot of Christians besides me over the next four years.  I hope you will join me in giving this all to God.  I assure you that when this happens, I mean giving 100% to Him, you will be peaceful facing the unknown.  This my friend is not a drill, this really is the unknown.  Maybe we need a support group for this sort of thing!

I am now stepping down from my soap box.

If Christians would stand up for God then who knows what would happen in the world.