I laughed when I realized how many years it took to discover who I am.... by first zealously exploring who I am not

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Changes from the Enemy

Tonight I sat in a room full of teenagers and was so undone I almost could not contain myself. I desperately needed a corner to just sit and cry. This morning, we received word through one of our teens that the local high school was on lockdown, there was a suicide attempt by a student and SWAT had been called in. Fortunately I am able to get information from a reputable source and was able to follow what was happening. However, there are no words to describe the true fear that I felt for our church teenagers that were in that school and the intense need I had to pick up my kids from their respective schools and hold them tightly. We see shootings on the news and it's true, you never think it will happen where you live. But this school is 20 min from us, we are rivals in ball and like I said we have students in that school that go to our church. I sat at my desk most of the morning looking for news but mostly following the posts of one of our teens that was on lockdown in the school. I was floored and amazed at the things he wrote.....

........God is in control white county, do not fear. Just pray and praise God. He's working with someone who has a spirit of suicide. God's spirit is telling me this and no reason to fear death anyway, Jesus made a way for no death. Life is here.

.........Today was interesting at WCHS. ALL DAY, I've felt God's presence here. Getting more confirmations than I could keep up with, spiritual breakthrough, saved another life, and giving me signs all over that this world needs Him. I know my God is real, I have so much proof, and I'm just amazed at what God is doing right now. White county, I told you God is coming, be ready, that's part of the spiritual storm, there may be more unless you start shining, I'm telling y'all, be ready, today's safety is all because God came and answered prayers. Time is almost up, but it's not too late to accept God, He accepts you just as you are. All you have to do is ask.

I will be honest... these are not the initial thoughts that I had as this scene was unfolding. I felt fear, I felt unsafe, I felt worry, I felt sick. I honestly can not say that I felt God's presence- however I most certainly spent my morning seeking Him and pleading for protection over those involved. 

However, tonight I have such a totally different view. You see I know at the root of all that has happened there is a very real enemy at work in the lives of our teens. From the young lady that was ready to end her life to all the students huddled in the classrooms, the enemies goal is to strike fear and convince them that their life has no purpose and no hope. He almost succeeded today. His goal is to change them and pull them from the path they are on to another path altogether. This he succeeded with today. However, I don't think he got the results he wanted. You see in that dimly lit sanctuary tonight, I saw teenagers praying for that young lady. I saw boldness to speak truth and hearts to seek God. The enemy changed their path all right. He lit up with fireworks that God is the ONLY answer to their questions. The God has the ONLY plan that will work for them. The God is the ONLY thing they need. 

So undone, I sat, with tears streaming down my face and pride at our students for who they are changing into and growing into and becoming. For their hearts that are going after God and seeking Him with all they have. The enemy had a plan this morning to change the lives of these students forever. He succeeded and I am so glad he did. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

In Christ Alone

I'm sitting in my quiet house while my family sleeps listening to Kristian Stanfill's "In Christ Alone".  My favorite part of that song is in the third verse where it states "no power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from His hand". Every time I hear that line I have a part of my soul, deep down in the farthest corners that screams... yes... please be true. I know that God's plan for my life is certain and secure, I just feel I have walked so long not knowing, seeing or really understanding where it was taking me that even on the right road I have felt lost. Even in the place I know where I'm supposed to be, I have found myself questioning my own sureness. For weeks I have been having a dream about my kitchen being unorganized. In the dream I am standing in front of my cabinets looking at a mess. I try to bring order to the chaos and can never get it to work. I stand there frustrated and overwhelmed. I haven't even realized the implications of this dream until Thursday night. You see I got a phone call last week and interviewed for a job doing marketing and bookkeeping for a local cabin rental company. As I talked to the lady about what all she needed I was so excited about being able to help her a couple days a week. At the same time this week I have finally gotten some clear direction from God about what I feel called to do with my life and in ministry. After sitting with my pastor and wife to get some clarity and a starting point, I have spent every spare moment all week working on writing some plans and putting some stuff down that I need to move forward. So back to Thursday night....I woke up Friday and before I even opened my eyes I had such an awareness of God's presence in my life. I dreamed Thursday night that I was standing in my kitchen and every shelf, every drawer, every can of food was in place, organized, sorted. Nothing was out of place. There was order where there had been none. I wasn't the one that organized it either. It was just done. As I meditated on the meaning (ok, come on... sometimes you have to really pray for God to show you the meaning of a dream, sometimes it's like Duh!) Anyway... as I meditated God showed me this. The kitchen refers to your heart... it's the heart of the home where all sustanence comes from. Our heart is our intent, motives, plans, passion, ambitions... our true desires that are placed there by God. For two years my life has felt chaotic. I have done everything I could to tame it. I lost my dream job 2 yrs ago and never thought that I would ever be happy in another job again. I literally felt like a scheme of man had robbed me from His plan. I've put very strict boundaries on relationships in my life. I don't give my presence to people who use me or hurt me. I live in a bubble and protect my heart from those who walk on it without regard. I've brought order to my life in all the ways I know how, yet I still had chaos. Yet, suddenly in the one moment, there is order. And the order is coming from His divine plan, not from anything that I could ever fathom or put together. He has brought order where there has been none. He has pushed me into the place that I needed to be. I haven't always gone willingly. In fact I have rarely gone willingly anywhere He has wanted to take me recently. But oh my goodness.... what's coming is so much more than I could ever imagine. I'm going to get to do what I love. I get to be creative. I get to imagine and dream and do all those deep things in my heart. I get to solve problems and make a plan. I get to do exactly what I was created to do..... and no power in hell.... no scheme of man can pluck me from His hand!