Wednesday, August 24, 2011

To just sit back and reflect

I have witnessed God moving in our home and its been outstanding.  He is so good.  I am just completly been humbled and in awe of Him.  A few weeks ago I struggled for a good four days with a lot of things.  The enemy moved like a mad man in my heart, my mind and I felt as though the devil had ahold of me.  Set up camp in the pit of my stomach, and it was kinda like he picked up a paper, sat back in a Lazy Boy and just started whispering evil into my heart.  I went through a lot frustration and I seen a lot of emotions in my heart that were not in Christ's likeness.  I cried and cried and was literally sick.  Fevered and weak and miserable. This happened right immediatly after I laid a lot of things down at the foot of the cross...  (temptation anyone?)   It was hard, a lot of tears and a lot of anger.  The people who I had frustration with I appologized too for thinking even the most angry of thoughts.  This was not from Christ, these thoughts I had were not approved by God.  They were mean and vindictive.  I was not a happy camper.  I felt like I just wanted to crawl into the arms of Jesus and just weep..and I think that's basically what I did. 

God has started to move in my heart on some things.  He is showing me He totally has my back.  I am His child and He is taking care of me.  There is nothing that can stand in the way of my relationship with my heavenly Father.  Nothing. 

If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
   “For your sake we face death all day long;
   we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:31-39

This has been crucial for me.  I sometimes forget that people, events, the enemy, trials etc that may make me feel sad or fearful have nothing against my God.  And its very humbling to realize that He's going to show me the way every single time over and over again.  That by giving Him my life to use for His purpose,  has protected me from much much harm in my relationship with Him.   I can allow things that arent from God to seep into my life and torture and destroy me ultimatley or I can choose to say no and walk away.  The prize in the end is much much more important to me than satisfying curiosity now. 

I have been learning and God has been guiding me especially over the past year to trust in Him more and more.  What would have taken me 2 weeks to get over before now took me less than a week.  God is so good to His children.
To have my husband with such a hunger for God and stepping up and out above and beyond suddenly is amazing.  God is speaking such good things into his life and its amazing to watch.  Our house is a house of God, and God is clearly running it very smoothly. 

Its a time of celebration, excitement, even in those days where all I could do was cry, God was still encouraging me to keep on.  It took me a few days of selfish pity to finally grasp that though, but even in those days I really really learned alot about Christ's character and His love for me.  Its so beyond anything we could ever imagine.  To feel His presence in our lives and to just soak in it, to just be in so much love with our God and wanna praise Him all the time.  I come to realize in those moments of wanting to self help myself and figure I dont NEED God in that moment that I truly do.  When I try to do things my way, even if they run smoothly and feel good for the moment ultimatly are like that house built upon the sand...  these moments of disregarding Jesus in my life are really just not worth my time anymore.  I dont want them.  While I dont do it very often, very rarely, those moments still creep up where I dont ask God His opinion on how to handle things first.  I go everywhere and anywhere for answers besides the very Book He gave us to seek His wisdom and hear Him speak to us. 

Joyce Meyer said something in a sermon I believe it was the end of last week that really made me laugh because its totally me. While I dont find anything wrong with going to family and friends for advice,  the reason this spoke to me is who I am going to FIRST. 
"Now doesnt it just frustrate you when you are in a storm and it feels to you that Jesus is asleep?... then we start to try and figure out what we're going to do and start running to everybody for advice..let me give you a little advice, some of the people you are running too to solve your problems dont even know what to do with their own problems. Stop running to the phone and start running to the Throne. "

Its like I was doing sprints back and forth between wordly advice and the Throne of God.  I have a lot of Christian friends who do always give me terrific advice..that advice is to read my Bible and pray!  I want it to get to the point where Im not even leaving His presence... where its just a constant regular thing for me to just talk to Him first.  

Monday, August 22, 2011

Multitudes of Gifts #221-233

#221- a struggle, frustration weeks going, financially stressful... only to find out that God had an awesome plan for it all which put things in a way better line of doing than we planned.  Thankyou Lord!

#222- My Mom and StepDad coming to visit for a few days


#224- My Moms pancakes
#225- surprise visits from Pastor Bruce and Lisa and their wonderful children!
#226- seeing family who we havent seen in a long time
#227- Marraige- congratulations Randy and Chandra!
#228- old large churches
#229- reception laughter
#230- slide shows- memories!
#231- The great I AM
#232- feeling God's presence not just during worship but having it linger for hours and hours.  Knowing that He is a personal God, desiring relationship with me and proving it too me, how can I not smile ear to ear!!!!!!!!
#233- God covering and protecting me from all that is not of HIM.  How even in a year He has prepared me and equipt me to handle situations with His strength.  Thank You Jesus!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Multitudes of gifts #202-220

A day late, but fighting a fever.  God is good and I have seen His work in even this ... this is the joy of the past week. 

202- mother in laws cooking
203- creeks around the corner
204- willow tree's bending around you
205- noticing the leaves starting to change slightly while on a run, being in total awe of Gods handywork.  He created all this for us to enjoy!
206- New places for adventure
207- shallow water
208- crayfish (please dont pinch me!)
209- water dropplets under the biggest mushroom ever.  Totally beautiful!
210- Youth camps
211- freedom in Christ. 
212- healing from faith in Christ
213- Eyes being opened to just how many people dont have Christ's salvation
214- heart being broken in millions of peices for unsaved loved ones
215- Christ showing me He has my house under His protection and He has got our backs!
216- Jesus whispering to me to read Colossians chapters 1-3 after a day of uncertainty and frustration and sadness and being totally revived and strengthened in my relationship in Christ
217- fevers and chills, a few days of quiet and rest
218-  back rubs from hubby
219- hystarical loud abnoxious laughter!
220- talking to my twin nephews (10 months) on the phone...hillarious and totally beautiful (miss you guys!)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

You were created by GOD!

Psalm 139:13-15~ For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you,when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

I have in the past year or so  picked up the hobby of spinning wool.  Nothing fancy, just a drop spindle and some roving and a few moments here and there.  But I do find it most enjoying, watching fibers rotate and spin to create the yarn that will in some time become something really beautiful to me.

As I began to use this yarn to create I began thinking of the psalm 139, and how God created us, knitting and weaving us together.  I began to imagine that we were once just piles of sheeps roving, created in His likeness, the Lamb of God, and He picked up His spindle (or maybe sat at His spinning wheel!)  and began to spin together our personalities, strengths, weaknesses, paths, likes and dislikes, our laughs the quiet giggles and the bust a gut almost peeing our pants roars of hysterics, the sound of our tears, etc, etc.  Then carefully creating-knitting and weaving together each and every one of us!  He never missed a stitch, He never made a mistake with any of us.  He has His purpose and He made us beautifully for it.  And when finished He sat back and took at look at us and went "TADA! Now this is a work of art! LOVE!"

Just sit back and think about it.  He loves us all so much that He took the time to create us, and to love each and every single one of us.  Sometimes His sheep go astray, no longer following Him

We're all like sheep who've wandered off and gotten lost.
   We've all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we've done wrong,
   on him, on him~Isaiah 53:6 (MSG)

He created us, and even when and He KNEW while He was knitting us together that we would wander off to another field to try the grass and see if it really is greener on the other side, He still wanted to die for each and every one of us. 

I think of the year I was one of those sheep and I realized that being out in that other pasture was no longer supplying my needs, that I couldn't do this on my own and the ways that the world says are the right ways.  I am reminded of the passage in  Matthew 18 :12-13 -“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?  And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. "

 Im so glad that when Jesus was out in the fields calling out to me "CANDACE COME BACK!!!!"  I heard Him... and even though I battled for a while, He kept calling me, and I finally came running back into His forgiving loving arms!
The fact that God took the time to knit and weave and spin and create me gives me all the more reason to want to worship only Him because He knows how each stitch works and why its there, why He put this thing this way and that thing that way. 

Isaiah 48:17 “...I am the Lord, your God, who teaches you WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU, who directs you in the way you should go."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

One of the best F words ever!

We have been challenged to share our thoughts on forgiveness with this weeks Walk with Him Wednesday's. 
    Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (NIV)
Forgiveness is huge.  Forgiveness releases us from bitterness, anger, jealousy, envy, ooo that whole long list of yucky stuff that creeps in so quick and likes to try and hang around for way past its welcome.
Christ calls us to forgive, and not just to forgive someone when they forget to do something for you, or looses something or lets you down... but the huge things- abuse, rape, murder, violence, constant and more constant hatred.  The people that over and over again enrage you beyond belief... these people need to be forgiven. 
    Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. (NKJV)

I think of how much Christ had to bear for us.  He carried the sins of the whole world.  Thats massive. Thats insane to think of.  He died for OUR sins.  He died for ALL people.  He died for the people who have murdered children, whiped out entire cities, bombed cars, thieves, liars, abusers, gossips, the ones who blatantly deny Him, or jumble His words, the list goes on. 

Isnt that WILD!!!!!!!!!!

It gives me goosebumps to think.  He did all this for us, and when we say to Christ "Im yours, YOU are LORD,  have your way in my life, forgive me of all I have done that isnt in Your likeness Lord Jesus." ... you are clean!  Thats forgiveness.  It is wiped CLEAN. 

    Matthew 6:14-16 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (NIV)

I honestly still cannot fully grasp it somedays.  How God can be so forgiving.  I have had a hard time letting things go.  I have had a hard time forgiving people sometimes..and you know what, Im horrible at realizing that God forgives me of the things I do to others sometimes, those things I do that are NOT like Him.  Im so glad His ways are not my ways.  He has such a better grasp on things than we ever will.  Its amazing.  I am very glad to have His forgiveness and I am glad I get to forgive others with His strength and wisdom, to live a life in freedom.  To live a life with Him and to grow more and more each day.  And if it wasnt for His forgiveness, it couldnt happen.  :)  Forgiveness is freedom, along with Faith ...they are the best F words ever!!!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

multitudes of gifts #180-201

180- chineese food from down the street. SOOO GOOD
181- our two year old bringing me toys to play with in the bathtub.
182- patchwork quits on couches
183- my daughter and I planning a special dinner for the boys, candles, napkins, matching place settings (very rare event)
184- my husbands bruising on his broken foot practically gone.  The men prayed over his foot on Sunday. I truly believe that on Monday morning when we were examining his foot, that God heard those prayers and helped his foot feel and look so much better than it did.  Although I dont know he should really be playing basketball on it yet ;)
185- rain under big maple tree's
186- big huge fluffy clouds
187- roving dyed turquoise and green... spinning on a spindle on a cool summer afternoon
188- watercolours
189- pottery
190- free yarn and roving... such a kind gift to recieve!
191- Girl Guide cookies...Praise the Lord
192- watching the rain fall with Zayden quietly in the afternoon
193- New to us shelves, patio chairs and mugs
194- bike rides with the kids
195- wading pools and imagination
196- "There is not a person in this world that God cannot touch"
197- God moving in our house, showing us the path to take.
198- The children trying to wash all the crayon off the walls with out even being asked, showing a serving attitude
199- children dancing to make us laugh
200- my daughter making me a toe ring.  Very sweet. 
201- a husbands hunger for God.  Growing and growing

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Im not moving from this spot....

So I realised that Jesus Cultures Awakening conference was being streamed live on the internet for the next few days.  I decided that since one child was sleeping, and the other two were outside, I would put it on and watch.  When they started to pray I was excited for the people in that arena.  There are going to be people there that may have never encountered God in ways that I know that sometimes worship music does to people.  It does to me, at Church, while its playing out of speakers at our home, or while just singing in the shower, brings me close to God. However while watching this on the computer this afternoon I did not expect to feel anything.  I was praying along with them, hours away in Chicago and this heavyness, so light, but so strong just pressed upon me.  Does that make sense?  Like it wasnt a painful heavyness, it wasnt like weights were being pressed on me..  Its like thick...  Its not swaying, or windy, there is just Him.  Its this feeling intense.  I didnt want to move, I just sat there my hand on my heart, eyes welling up, a huge smile, like "Im not moving from this spot."  Jesus is in this place.
But I had to get up out of the chair, I have three kids... but just even moving around the house I could feel Him.  I was like "whoa. Okay Jesus, lets keep it this way.  What can I do to keep it this way?"  I had to start to put dishes away and this glass shattered on the floor(the sneaky thing, it was hiding in my casserole dish).   This would be ample time to curse my little heart out (thats a Candace classic.)  But I didnt, I was so calm, I just stood there and just grabbed the broom.  It didnt matter that the glass broke, what mattered is that Jesus was right there.  There is no room for anger when He is there... I want that,  permanent.  This anger in my heart was what was broken.  That was what I was paying attention too.  It was gone.  Swept away by Him.
Kim Walker of Jesus Culture was talking just before the music started about trying to keep that feeling of worship going constant, not just right before Church on Sunday but all the time.  To keep that line of communication between us and Christ opened all the time.  It is so possible. Sometimes put Christ on the back burner.  I dont ever want to do that anymore, I catch myself doing it..a day or two without reading Scripture, without prayers, but I dont want too and its in these moments when we are so captured by God, that we realise just how important that feeling is.  It can be permanent... we just gotta do what we need to do to obtain it.  To pray, to be in constant awareness of Him.  I think too that I do get angry and frustrated, but I can approach it different.  I cry, I complain to God, but in the same time to give thanks for it, to worship Him in it knowing full out that He is doing good in my life through this.  Thats what I crave.  Not just in this moment, but in the moments hours from now when things are going to happen that are going to cause me to wanna loose this feeling and just be miserable.
I think I ramble the same things over and over in my blogs sometime, but God I think is really really trying to teach me to become fully 100% dependant on Him for everything in my life.  Its my walk with Him, no one is going to have the exact same one.  But I know Im going to look back and be like "whoa.  ThankYou Lord!"  Its coming up to a year ago where I felt the presense of God totally ripped from me, where I doubted Christ.  Last fall was crazy in my life.  Went from two months of total dryness in my faith, to the end of October when my faith exploded and its been the most phenominal life changing journey ever since.  I have seen such change and I know I am going to step into these coming seasons with a totally different perspective as I did a year ago.   I want to see so much glory brought to Him.  I want to feel Him as close as possible as much as possible.  If I have to fight for it I think I might.  And pray without ceasing, and spend less time on things that arent as important as I think they are, and use that time for Him.  First and always Him.

a concerned friend, "why just Jesus?"

The question "why" is what got me to become a Christian.  To dig deep, to get questions answered, I never wanted to settle for little knowledge of God, I crave to know more about Him each day.  I recieved an email from a friend, this friend expresses concern for my faith.  This friend knows me from before I was a Christian, knows a side of me that is no longer here.  I have been given permission to blog this and I thank my friend for this.  My friend writes- 

My wonderful Candace, I have been following your blog, everytime you get a new post up I read it.  Boy, you sure have changed from the girl I knew before.  What happened?  You used to think all Religions were the same, now you say you are 'clinging to Christ'.  Why do you put this stuff out there, have your opinions changed?  Clearly they have...but why?  What does Christianity have that the other faiths dont have that makes you dismiss them very boldley now.  You have offended me much on many accounts un-intentionally I know that of you.  You used to say such evil things about church, and now you are calling out for people to come.......  I am honstly waiting for you to blog a big "KIDDING!" at the end of some of these articles.  But you never do.   But I must ask why?  why?  -signed your friend <keeping annon. but feel free to blog, infact do, that way I can see that you are really all in it for Jesus>

Dear my friend, my wonderful friend.  Thankyou for asking me "why".  "Why" is a huge question.  "Why" is what has got me here.  "Why" is what has brought me to this Love for Christ, to give it all for Him.  Our home, He reigns.  This freedom, is all because of "why?"
Yes, I did used to believe that all faiths lead to the same God.  I truly did.  I dont know if you wanted me to get technical, or to just dance around my words into a whirlwind of praise for Christ and all He has done for my family since we put our faith fully only on Him ( and let me tell you, the change has been phenominal)
I dont know exactically when I clicked in and understood that all faiths cant be right. "God doesnt have an identity crisis" is something that I have quoted to myself over time and to others.  It sounds harsh to those who dont follow the same beliefs I do, and I dont know when I stopped trying to be careful with my words either to not hurt anyone.   I believe Jesus is the only way.  He calls us to love ALL, to put our trust in Him, the one who made us.  Sounds pretty straight forward, not too complicated.  I do not aim to offend people, infact I just want to inspire people to want to know about Him.  Thats what we are called to do. 
I am just thinking of how to describe it too you.  I have picked and pulled from relgions for so long... enlightened faiths, Wicca, black magic (oh those were some darker days)...

I think Im just going to have to let this reply flow...

There HAS to be a personal living God. He has spoken His wisdom to me, given me gifts, He has told me "yes."  He has told me "no".   He is not just some formless abstract thing..He is Christ.  He is personal with all of us.  Its the best relationship I have ever had, that my husband has ever had, my children will ever have.  He is our best friend.  We have spent quiet evenings together,  I have felt His presence.  Inhaled His Spirit in a moment of panic, and melted into calm.  We have put our whole lives in His hands.. our finances have never worked better,  our relationship has never been stronger, our house has never worked better.
I no longer see this world as a place that I need to escape suffering because one- I have a God who suffered much more than I ever will , and two-every trial and situation that has been put in my path has brought me closer to Him and He has used to such a purpose in our lives that was for good.  Even in the worst situations, there has been a freedom in the end, and thanks, and you know my past and the stuff I crawled through, and I still thank Him for that.  I never want to reach a Nirvana type state of life, because this means I would miss out in these moments when He makes His presense so known to me that I kneel, or raise my arms in praise, those surprise moments.  I know He is always present, but those tiny gifts he leaves around, or the thoughts He places at just the right time... how could I live without?... and I do long for Heaven, that Jesus died for me, that I only live once here, for such a short time and then I get to go be with Him forever!  To be able to experience that feeling permanently.  I dont have to work for my salvation.  It was my free gift when I said "Jesus, Im so Yours!"  I do not believe we can save ourselves because if that was the case we would refuse to have bad happen to us.  If we were 'gods' we would not allow negativity to creep in our selves.  It would be banned.  And its not.  World peace..would be here.  ages ago
I do believe in sin.  There is no way that I can sit here and look at the state that the world is in and say that human beings are not sinful beings.   I sin, daily, its a constant battle against myself.  I do believe in Gods grace, and His forgiveness for sin, I do believe that when we give our lives to Christ we are cleaned, and will be clean infront of God.  This doesnt mean we are to take advantage of this salvation, but to walk like Him.  And to try hard, not just half in. 
I do believe God is seperate from His creation.  I do not believe anymore that I can recieve special things from nature... tree's fall down, flowers wither and die.  This earth is rotting more or less.  Its beautiful though isnt it, the trees the acorns, the moss... I adore nature, I do really enjoy His creation.  His creation for us to enjoy.  I love to sit and listen to the grasses swaying, the tree's bending, the frogs singing, all praises to Him.  Jesus is forever alive.  God is eternal.  I will live forever because of Him.   I dont want my own power.  I want to glorify Him.  I want to make Him to be the one making things happen in our lives.  I want to be humble.  I dont want to be all prideful anymore.   I dont want to call on a handful of spirits to get the work done, I give it to HIM and HE always gets the work done, and He does it so gracefully and so percise.  I dont have to look in my little black book and figure out who Im going to call upon to get this job done... He can get it ALL done.  And He is a jealous God, He doesnt want us going to other things for answers, just Him.  Do you believe that the one who created you, would do what is best for you?  I sure do now! I've seen it. 
I do believe that the Bible is the one and only source of hearing Gods word.  I have written about this before and for the sake of time I wont get into it tonight.  I did a few posts back, Im sure you read it, but if not here is the link  But I do encourage you not to skim over certain parts, or to pick and choose what you want to hear.  Study it.  If you want to know who Jesus is, get into His word, check out a Church, get with like minded people.  Dont be afraid if your thoughts start to change, dont be afraid of loosing friends dont be afraid of anything that comes your way because when we put our lives in Christ, He's got our backs!  He never strikes out, He always hits homeruns for His.  I used to be so afraid of loosing friends, but then I realized, I dont want them to miss out on Jesus.  I didnt start quoting tons of scripture to you tonight because I dont know if you'd "get it" since you are not "in it".   But if you need me too,  I'd be more than happy.  Two that I'm  feeling the need to share are Galatians 5:13 and Colossians 3:16   
Thankyou for letting me blog with you tonight. I never want to offend,  I just want to share.      

Monday, August 1, 2011

Multitudes on Monday #162-179

162- my husbands broken foot, being able to take care of him
163- ponds in the roots of a ash tree
164- new friends
165- sleepovers and visits with Grandmothers
166- God sharing His word, His wisdom with us right when we need it.
167- cool summer nights
168- a boys imagination

169- The book of Matthew
170- The fact that I own a Bible and can read it freely where some places of the world cannot
171- free mud baths for the skin
172- conclusions discovered and everything good
173- evening trips to the park
174- toddlers at play in the bathtub, pretending to swim
175- discovering free homeschooling cirriculum
176- preparing to start two weeks of homeschool tryouts in our house
177- our church teaming together to make sure my husband doesnt have to walk too and from work for the weeks he will be in a cast- so thankful
178- four year olds creating new dances
179- first day of homeschool a success