‘Til Death

I love being married. It can be very difficult, yet very rewarding. My husband and I are opposite in so many ways it can be a challenge for each of us. One thing we are not opposite in is our belief in marriage. Marriage between one man and one woman; as God intended. We are both saddened by the constant news about divorce and how rampant it is; even in our own families. We believe that divorce is not an option. We hear people talk about how the Bible tells us the reasons that we can get divorced. The Bible talks about how people’s hearts were hardened so they got divorced. The Bible is not a how to get divorced handbook. ‘Til death do us part is a covenant between you, your spouse, and God. To me, ’til death is pretty cut and dried. We are married until death parts us.

I am thankful for God’s grace and mercy. I believe God’s grace covers a multitude of sins, including divorce. He loves us no matter what; no matter how good we are; no matter how bad we are. He loves us…plain and simple. I love my husband; no matter how good he is, no matter how bad he is. I love him. He loves me; no matter how good I am, no matter how bad I am. Love is not an emotion. Love is not that high you get in a new relationship. Love is commitment. God is love. God hates divorce. Divorce is selfish. I know these are probably not popular words, but as Christians, followers of Christ, we seemed to have merged the path less traveled to the widest path available. We make excuses why we should be allowed to divorce our spouse. Some of these excuses are completely legitimate….as to why we should get into counseling.

People don’t just fall out of love with each other. They make choices to stop loving and remaining committed to each other. Instead of finding excuses where you can get a divorce, find excuses on why you should stay committed to each other. Start with your vows. Those are powerful words; in sickness and health, rich or poor, ’til death do us part…etc etc. Instead of naming all the reasons why your spouse is wrong or finding all their faults, start with yourself. Be honest with yourself and name your own faults. Find ways to work on yourself and go before the throne of God and find a way to begin again. Give yourself to your spouse and make your marriage about them, and not yourself. Marriage is a gift. Don’t squander it.


Leading Worship

I have many loves in my life, but one of my great passions is worship. I love to worship and to lead worship. I’m not talking about singing a couple of songs and being done. I am talking about singing and playing a worship song that I am passionate about and using that passion as a launching pad to take His people into the inner courts of heaven. You see, when the veil was torn in two in the New Testament, that means that we can boldly come before the throne of God. He wants us to have a deep and personal relationship and experience with Him.

Too many people see God as this far off being that is angry all the time and punishes people all the time. While God is a just God, He is the very definition of Love. God is Love and when we show love to others, we show them who God really is. When I worship, I begin to move away from my wants and desires and move into a place where it is all about God and nothing about me. When we worship God, we are giving Him what He is due; like tithing and following His commandments. All these things are showing worship to God, but in this moment, I am talking about that moment that you are worshiping Him with everything that you have, and you cross into His inner courts and it is just you and Yahweh. He is everything you need and you are all that He wants. He is jealous for us; for our attention.

When you lead a church into worship, I don’t believe it is a simple 3 praise songs and 2 worship songs, then the end. It’s about taking God’s people to a place where they can worship God like never before. There are so many times in worship, even when it is just me at my keyboard in my own room, that God reveals even more of Himself to me and I get so emotional. There is nothing wrong with becoming emotional when you are in the presence of God as long as your emotion isn’t taking the focus off of God and placing in on you. I can’t help but want to praise and worship a God who loves me as much as Jesus does. I don’t think we can even fathom what His love truly is until we are in that place of truly worshiping Him. His love is exquisite, perfect, magnificent, and overwhelming.

As a worship leader, you can’t just move immediately into deeper worship; at least in most cases. There are times where the people of God are more than ready to truly worship Him. There have been times where I just want to jump right into the river of God and flow right into His throne room and lay at His feet and worship Him, but as a worship leader, I get the opportunity to bring as many people as I can into His presence. I truly do not want anybody left behind. Sadly, it seems there are too often those that cannot take their focus off themselves long enough to follow, but there are so many who are able.

While I am no Kim Walker-Smith, Jenn Johnson, or Darlene Zschech, I am who God made me to be and I believe that we are to use what God gives us. I love to worship and I have gotten so many confirming prophetic words about leading worship and singing songs of heaven, that I know I am on track. I know that I know that this is what I am called to do. I have been a worship leader before for several years. I know that one day, in God’s perfect timing, that He will raise me up to lead worship once again. Until He does, I am called to lead worship in my own life and my home. That is always our first ministry. I will obediently worship Him as I am called to do, whether in my bedroom alone, or in a church, or on a stage in a whole new setting.

Thank You for the, Uh, Joy?

Life is tough as a Christian. I am not going to lie, but where is the joy that should be in a Christian’s life? How many times do we talk with our friends or loved ones and hear them say, “Oh I am happy to be alive”? What!?!?!?!?! Life with Jesus is so joyful that you are happy to be alive; to be breathing?! So if the joy of the Lord gives us strength…..is that why so many Christians are weak today?

Don’t get me wrong, we all have those days where either somebody has done something so incredibly hurtful to us that even getting out of bed hurts; or we are having to pay the consequences of making a stupid decision. These are times when we learn from our mistakes, pick ourselves up, and move on. Our lives are supposed to be examples of being Christ-like. How many people look at how Christians are living, or acting, and want that life?

God gave us this life to enjoy it, not to just suffer through it until we reach the great beyond. I want people to look at me at any time during my day and see that unexplained joy and peace on my face. I don’t want people to see me suffering through life, barely getting by. I want the fruits of His Spirit to be so evident in my life that people want to turn to the Love of Jesus because of it. Find things that make you happy. Help others. Love on other people. Show people what God’s love is all about. Don’t make the choice to suffer through life. Enjoy it. Embrace it. Love it!

Love Like Children

I am tough on myself. I wish I wasn’t. I find myself at the end of each day, planning on doing better the next day; being better. I end my day happy that I did some good, happy that my kids made it through the day still loving me, still believing I’m the best Mom in the world. Kids are so forgiving and so loving, so innocent and so resilient. I see my kids and understand how Jesus loved the children around Him and said, “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.  “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” 

As we turn from children into teenagers, young adults, adults, and finally elderly, we gain wisdom. As we get older though, we also gain hurts, distrust, cynicism, pessimism, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, among many other things. God did not intend for us to hold onto anything but the true definition of love in I Corinthians 13; withouth love, I have nothing, I gain nothing. My kids go to bed ever night still believing the best in me. They still love me and they easily forgive me. 

It can be very difficult to change. I want to be more like my children. I want to go to bed every night believing the best in people and not assume the worst. I need to bless those who curse me. I want to believe that there is a possibility that I may not be seeing things clearly. I need to be ready to admit to myself that I am seeing the world through hurts and sacrifices that I never wanted. I need to be honest with others, but with myself more.

God’s mercies are new every morning. I need to wake up every day and believe that I can be more like my children. They are a great example of how God sees us. Children learn a lot from us. Let us not be so arrogant to think they are not in our lives so that we can learn from them. I love my sons more than I can even understand; more than I thought I ever could. I hope one day they can understand just how much they have given me, how much God has blessed me through them.   

Alternative Lifestyle

I love to watch the news. I like to know what is going on in the world, nation, and locally. I don’t ever want to be ignorant about politics and where my vote goes. I have seen the news releases where NBC talked about the alternative lifestyle a member of the USA Olympic team had because he is married to a woman and has a young child. He also says he goes to church and could see himself being a Pastor in the future. HUH!!!??? Since when has God’s definition of two becoming one become an alternative lifestyle? 

I have been reading the bible in a year together with my husband this year. If I am honest, reading much of the Old Testament is difficult for me. I have grown up in an era where life and Christianity is all about God’s grace and mercy. While I know we would all probably be dead if it wasn’t for His grace and mercy; I think we live in a society where we rely too much on God’s grace and mercy. We do first; ask forgiveness later because we know God is a merciful and forgiving God. I am grateful for His love and grace and mercy; don’t get me wrong. Uzzah was killed for touching the Ark of the Covenant. Lot’s wife was turned to a pillar of salt when she disobediently turned to look back. Nadab and Abihu were consumed with fire after offering unauthorized fire before the Lord. 

The scripture is filled with people like that who were disobedient to God’s laws and paid the price. The presence of God is a sacred thing. We are blessed to have His presence constantly with us. We are blessed to be able to ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Why then, when we find ourselves at a crossroads where we can choose to sin or not sin, do we choose to sin?! We rely on God’s grace. Instead of trying to live as the Holy Spirit leads us to live, we attempt to change laws; we try to talk our way out of doing the right thing because it is now unpopular. God’s word never changes. 

God’s view of marriage is not an alternative lifestyle. People can fight it, argue against it, belittle others who disagree, but love is not love. God is love. If God is love and God is against homosexuality, beastiality, and all perversion; then those things are not love. We need to love each other whether or not somebody is a homosexual or sinning in any other form. God loves all of us, and we all sin, but God still loves us. 

As I read the Old Testament and see all these people who lacked a true fear of God actually die from disobedience, I wonder what will happen to this nation. Every day I watch the news and every day I can only pray for forgiveness and grace and mercy because today I woke up to living in an alternative lifestyle, and wonder, what will the world attempt to do to Jesus next?

If Only

If only. Two words. If only I could pass this test, then I would be happy. If only I could get this raise, life would be so much easier. How many times over our lives have we used those two words? I use those words as if something is improbable; out of reach; impossible, but fun to think about. 

I am always humbled and truly amazed at the faith of the woman with the flow of blood in the New Testament. She used those words; if only. She used those words in the most powerful way. If only I can touch the hem of His garment. If I could just touch the a piece of clothing that the Son of God wears, then my whole life will change. I will be healed. If only….

It literally brings me to tears that she only wanted to touch His clothes. She didn’t want to bother Him. She fought her way through the crowd to touch His clothes. She understood the power and authority that Jesus walked in. Wait; hold on a minute. Didn’t Jesus say that even greater things we would do than He did?! So that means, WE have that same power and authority that Jesus has. My if only’s need to grow in faith. My God is the creator of the universe! He is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. He has time for everybody and everything. I shouldn’t be wishing for enough money to pay my bills. I should be understanding Who I worship and serve. I should understand that I have full power and authority to completely believe as the woman with the flow of blood did. 

How do I do that? Pray without ceasing. Worship Him in good times and bad. Get in His word and stay in it. Don’t give up and understand who you are and who He made you to be!! He loves you!!

Love Story

Sometimes I have this huge desire to write a love story. I have never really told anybody that. I love romance and love stories. I think most people do; even men. I think men sometimes have trouble with them because they make love look unattainable. Hollywood has made love look like this perfect dance or song that has no sour notes or unpointed toe in it. It is perfection. Really, I am not sure Hollywood could tell the perfect love story. I don’t think any writer could tell that love story. Maybe one day I will write one; of course not the perfect one, but a good one nonetheless. 

There is but one love story that has been told that is perfection. That story is the story of a man who gave everything for love. He lived only a short portion of life as we know it for love. He loved like no other. He actually gave His life for love. Who is this man? I think you know; Jesus. God sent His one and only Son to die for us. There is no greater love than that. I could never write another love story that comes even close to matching that. 

I know some may say that. Sure, we’ve all heard about that, but really, read the story. Read those words in the Bible. Just do it; read them slowly and let them sink in. Can you imagine loving so many people that you give your one and only son to come into this world, only to be tortured and murdered? I can’t; and I love people. God loves in the purest sense. It is almost unbearable to comprehend that pure unfiltered love for me. God loves me even though He sees my flaws. He sees me mess up; sometimes a little; and sometimes horribly so. He loves me! There is no doubt. God is love. That is the definition of God. That does not mean He accepts my sins, but He forgives me if I ask and repent. In fact, when I repent and ask Him for forgiveness, He actually forgets about it!! 

There is no greater love story than of that man Jesus. There is no greater love. One day I may have a completed love story to finish on paper, but in my heart, I know there is no greater love than the love of my Father. He loves us!

Just Because…

My husband and I were getting some groceries last night and he grabbed me a beautiful bouquet of flowers. He bought me flowers for no reason at all; just because. Those ‘just because’ moments are probably the most meaningful. You don’t need to repay this moment. You don’t know what you did to deserve this moment. It just happened. When he gives me those moments, I want to express my love to him in so many more ways. I want to show him I love him, just because. 

How many times in our life have we gotten those ‘just because’ moments? How many times have we given those moments? How many times do we call a friend because we need something? Do I call or text to tell them what they mean to me? So many questions we can ask ourself about friends; about our husband; about our wife; about our family; about God. I look back at my own relationship with Jesus and wonder how many times I talk with Him out of a need in my life. Have I had ‘just because’ moments with Him? I am so in love with Jesus, but how many times a day do I tell Him; show Him? Jesus loves me so much that He died for me! There is no greater sacrifice. He died for me yet I make choices daily to be selfish and needy, because I have developed an expectation of getting something in return

I want to be known as the ‘just because’ friend; the ‘just because’ wife; mother; daughter; Christian. I want to be a Godly example of love. ‘Just because’ is a great example of God’s love. God does things just because He loves us. My husband does things for me just because He loves me. What a great way to show the Love of God. 

God is love. That is what His word says. So if God is love, and we show people love, then we show people who God is. God is a ‘just because’ God. He loves us; just because! 

I challenge you today. I challenge myself.  Let us give more of those moments to each other. I will tell you that Jesus loves YOU! I love you. We may not know each other, but God knows you. He knows every hair on your head. He loves you because He loves you…..just because!