THE CALLED!!!!

THE CALLED!!!

        One of those phrases that stops you dead in your tracks and you repeat it over and over again as to register every bit of its freeing truth in the fiber of your being. Like Moses, Paul, Esther, and other faithfuls who have looked at themselves and said: I am not capable or adequate of being your ambassador, your hands, your feet, and your mouth. Who am I to do this? There is good news because in your weakness, He is your strength; in your stuttering, He is your perfect speech; In your inadequacy, He is your adequacy; In your fear, He is your shield; In your smallness, He is your Giant; and In your failures, He is your victory. . He is all that we are not and day after day preparing, equipping, and qualifying you for the work He had purposed for you to do before even time began. Here is the quote:

God does not call the qualified, but qualifies the called.” I don’t know who said it, but made my day J .

        I am sitting at the computer and trying to write down all the thoughts crossing my mind, but can’t quite summarize it. “Called”, “Chosen”, and “Predestined” are words that we have merely heard, but have not considered much. We have welcomed them into our lives, but have not examined them in light of our true nature. As you grow in your relationship with the Lord and learn to walk in His presence, His calling, His guidance, and His will, you will collide with the inevitable truth of the depth of your depravity and as that realization grows the Cross will become even more amazing, glorious, and unbelievable.

        The Psalmist says it so well in Psalm 51: 5 :“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” This is our true nature friends! A sinner at our core. A sinner who will seek our own fame, our own interest, our own glory every chance we get. A sinner who will always wander away from truth, God Himself, but what blows my mind is that God would call and choose such idolaters to represent Him.

You are Created to be His witnesses to a watching world

Isaiah 43:10-13

10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD,
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor will there be one after me.
11 I, even I, am the LORD,
and apart from me there is no savior.
12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—
I, and not some foreign god among you.
You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God.
13 Yes, and from ancient days I am he.
No one can deliver out of my hand.
When I act, who can reverse it?”

         Yes, you heard Him right. You are His witnesses. He called you knowing your true nature so that He may show Himself faithful, good, and righteous. You have been called according to His purpose to conform you into His likeness, the likeness of His Son. My brain cells can’t wrap themselves around that concept, but then who needs a God who is like us? Awesome and overwhelming truth!!!!

Romans 8:28-30:

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

        And this process of transformation He has started in you, this process of conforming you into His likeness, will go on for the duration of your existence here on earth until the day you stand in His presence when your faith shall be sight, face to face with your maker and the lover of your soul. What a glorious day that would be…….Songs and tears well up in me as I think of that day when my eyes will behold Him….Will I wrap my arms around His waste? Will I jump or wrap my arms around His neck and not leg go? Or will I be bent in adoration, humility, and worship? He will complete the work He has started in you.

Philippians 1:6:

6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

        As His transforming power goes through all the corners of who you are and purges you of what He is not, you will inevitably be faced with the depth of your depravity. And like the prophet Isaiah, words like in Isaiah 6:5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” or much like the Tax Collector in Luke 18:13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ will come out. And when you have been called, chosen, and redeemed the chorus of the anthem of your heart echoes His incomprehensible and unlimited grace and your can’t shut up about it: I am the least, but I am what I am because of His Grace.

1 Corinthians 15:9-11:

9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.

I AM WHAT I AM BY THE GRACE OF GOD!!!!

GOD IS MY QUALIFIER!!!!

THEREFORE,  I WILL BOAST IN GOD!!!!

Memory Verse : Ephesians 2:8-9:

8” For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

WISDOM IN WAITING WELL

Wisdom in Waiting Well

        My friend Mallory came to visit on 9/20/11 to share what God had been teaching her about waiting and His spirit moved and confirmed and reaffirmed His hands in both our lives. We rejoiced in pairing us up with amazing similarities in our suffering. He is perfect in all He does…His heart, His purpose, and His timing. We knew both of us were is the waiting phase of our lives, but He had more to say…..We both confessed of our impatience in our waiting sending glances of “Okay God, whatcha doing?” or even “Hello, when are you gonna move in my circumstance” instead of completely trusting Him, His delay, His detours, His goodness, and His perfect timing. We stunk at waiting well and we admitted it. Waiting well according to Charles Stanley involves the following eight important points worth quoting verbatim for all our benefit.

James 1:5-8: 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

Charles writes: (Received it on 9/21/11 thru Crosswalk. Coincidence I think not!!!!)

“If you want to benefit from your struggles, be sustained in them, and come through with Joy and victory, You must be persuaded of the following truths:

 1. God is in full control of the timing and intensity of your trial and will not allow it to go beyond His boundaries.

2. He has a specific purpose for your suffering which you may not understand until it is over

3. This trial will prove to be profitable if you submit to God and trust Him through it

4. Trying situations are opportunities for faith to prove genuine and grow stronger .

5. When you endure extreme pressure with unexplainable peace and joy, The Lord will demonstrate His sustaining power to a watching world.

6. Your difficulties are used by the Father to produce Christ-Like Character

7.God will walk with you through all the trials.

8. The Holy Spirit will enable you not only to survive but also to come out a conqueror.

        If you believe all these principles, they will shape how you respond to difficulties in your life. This perspective eliminates the negative reactions normally elicited by trials and makes supernatural responses possible. Instead of feeling miserable and hopeless, you’ll experience amazing peace and Joy.” And I thought I was going to write about something else……weird!!!!!!

The Best quote of the day: 9/21/11

Karin Patton Williams:“Hey everyone, it is gonna be a FANTASTIC day so hold on to your britches!”

Max Lucado:“Focus on your Giants-You Stumble; Focus on God-Your Giants Tumble.”

OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE!!!!!

Our God is a “Consuming Fire”

        I have been living in Austin Texas (Round Rock, Pflugerville, but mostly Austin) since May 21st,2006. When God started putting “Austin” on my heart a year and half earlier to a city I didn’t even know existed, I had always wondered what He had in store and what work he had prepared in advance for me. He had lots in the past five and half years, but I was not prepared for the revelation He gave me these past two weeks of His True Nature: Our God is a Consuming Fire.

        I have read several passages of this particular nature of His, have sang about it, but have not paid much attention to it or should I say cared to know. Two years ago, I took The Covenant class at ASCC with Terra and Kyle McDaniel, and there I was introduced to this character in Genesis 15 when God made His Covenant with Abram. (Please take time to read this passage….It is a blessing!)

 Genesis 15

The LORD’s Covenant With Abram

1 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:

“Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,
your very great reward.”

2 But Abram said, “Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”4 Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” 5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.7 He also said to him, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.”8 But Abram said, “Sovereign LORD, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?”9 So the LORD said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.”10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the LORD said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces.18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi[e] of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates— 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”

        Woooow! Was my first reaction. He just consumed it (He just ate it up) and God is a Fire…wide-eyed and in awe. I will put the list of all the passages of scripture which mention this particular attribute of God for your benefit at the end of this writing.

        All I remember about 9/4/11 was that A&M was playing SMU and the game was at 6:30pm CT and I was going to get my workout on while watching the game: the perfect plan. As I headed to my apartment gym, I saw that pool side furnitures were thrown and tossed/broken in very suspicious fashion, which even made me think that fool play might be involved (residents not being good stewards of apartment properties so took pictures to show leasing office personels). I later learned that it was the 40 miles per hour wind, the Culprit giving fuel to the fire at Bastrop besides the extreme drought that Texas had been experiencing….I have stopped counting the days without precipitation.

        There were panic Facebook updates popping up stating: “Hey there is a fire 2000 yards from our house” and “I am going to go help evacuate…., Mercy” strolling for the next couple of days and of course the loss and damage was felt all over Texas. The coolest story during this time was of God’s assurance in the midst of Chaos. My sister sent me the following scripture from all the way across the Atlantic Ocean-UK(She had no clue that we were in a Crisis here in America) and it read:

Isaiah 43

Israel’s Only Savior

1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

        I can’t remember whether it was the day of or the day after, Karen, a sister in the Lord who I was introduced a short while ago, was being evacuated with her family and that was when I started panicking. I praise God for making the wind change its course in the Vicinity where Karen lived and she was able to return to her home that night and I realized that the very scripture my sister had sent me was for her on that day. I kicked myself for not listening/believing it and strengthening her in His word. I apologized that I could be slow in getting what He was telling me, but rejoiced with what God had done for her. The fire was still moving and gaining momentum and ravaging anything in its path….leaving lifeless, bare, and death behind it. I felt that the fire was everywhere and closing in to where it had not yet visited. We waited and we were on High Alert as an apartment complex 5 miles away from where I lived was being evacuated. “Have an emergency bag ready and check the media and emails” was the norm now.

        The day that sheer panic had crossed my heart was the day I stepped out of my apartment door and took a lung full of air only to cough it right back up in distaste. The smoke was in our neighborhood and the sky was veiled by an ashy grayish thin curtain of smoke. Those who had allergies felt it the most. I literally ran to the front office and said wide eyed “do you guys smell that?”.  “Yes, we are on High Alert! Stay in tune just in case”…I was not reassured…I had not even considered where I would go and was overwhelmed and stressed (to put it mildly broke out in cold sores as I often do when my body is tense or on high alert for long periods of time). I also read FB post from friends with you tube footage of how fast these wild fires had ravaged everything they came in contact with. One footage freaked me out literally. It was a 0:50 second footage of a Wildfire in Bastrop advancing with a vengeance. It consumed all it came in contact with and left singed death behind it….all 200 or so yards of God given goodness gone within less than a minute. My heart was still. I was in awe and fear recognizing its matchless power. God arrested my thoughts on that particular footage: How much more is God? If what God had created could bring such awareness of God’s power, how much more of a “Consuming Fire” is He? The fear of God entered my heart and I stood in awe of Him. He had taught it to me before through His word, but now had given me an understanding (a glimpse) of what He said in the book of Isaiah: “Who is my equal?” My answer was: NO ONE LORD!!!!!

        As I mourn, pray, and serve (in whatever capacity the Lord leads me) those affected by this natural disaster, knowing that these fires were caused both by human error and drought and not knowing why God has allowed it, I have come to this conclusion. God has given us a glimpse of His matchless power as a “Consuming Fire.” There were over 1400 homes incinerated and also more than two lives lost to this fire: total devastation especially for the Town of Bastrop. It has shaken the world of so many who are trying to pick up the pieces of their lives and trying to move forward. Terra McDaniel, who had recently experienced similar property loss in her personal life, summarized it perfectly and simply: “Just drove through Bastrop. I wish the smell of burned air and wet ash weren’t familiar. Praying for that city!”.

        God is still at work. He allows us to be stripped bare of our comfort, familiar things, or worldly assurance, and securities, He is doing a similar work in our spiritual lives to shake all the corners of who we are and demolish those areas which are not founded in him. He wants to be our only foundation so we could endure, perservere, and withstand until the end. We may not understand all His ways, see His plans, but we could always trust His heart for us. He works all things for our good and God is in the business or redemption and restoration. I came across this song by Jimmy Needham this afternoon and the introduction to His song was so powerful and fitting that I have decided to include as part of this Blog. I am praying it blesses you and encourage you to seek all of God: His love, His mercy, His Grace, His comfort, His guidance, His leading, His peace, His justice, and His discipline as He sees fit. I love you and want God’s best for all your lives who is Christ Himself. He is our Shield and our very great reward and we need not be afraid of what comes, but walk by faith until our faith becomes sight. Glory to God!!!!!

 Here is Jimmy Needham song: Hurricane from his Album: Not without Love.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsQwPDda-ls&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZLf–Uc7V0

 Passages of Scripture describing God as a Consuming Fire:

Exodus 24:17
To the Israelites the glory of the LORD looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain.
Exodus 24:16-18 (in Context) Exodus 24 (Whole Chapter)

Deuteronomy 4:24
For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
Deuteronomy 4:23-25 (in Context) Deuteronomy 4 (Whole Chapter)

Judges 6:21
Then the angel of the LORD touched the meat and the unleavened bread with the tip of the staff that was in his hand. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the LORD disappeared.
Judges 6:20-22 (in Context) Judges 6 (Whole Chapter)

2 Samuel 22:9
Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it.
2 Samuel 22:8-10 (in Context) 2 Samuel 22 (Whole Chapter)

Psalm 18:8
Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it.
Psalm 18:7-9 (in Context) Psalm 18 (Whole Chapter)

Isaiah 30:27
See, the Name of the LORD comes from afar, with burning anger and dense clouds of smoke; his lips are full of wrath, and his tongue is a consuming fire.
Isaiah 30:26-28 (in Context) Isaiah 30 (Whole Chapter)

Isaiah 30:30
The LORD will cause people to hear his majestic voice and will make them see his arm coming down with raging anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail.
Isaiah 30:29-31 (in Context) Isaiah 30 (Whole Chapter)

Isaiah 33:14
The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: “Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?”
Isaiah 33:13-15 (in Context) Isaiah 33 (Whole Chapter)

Joel 2:5
With a noise like that of chariots they leap over the mountaintops, like a crackling fire consuming stubble, like a mighty army drawn up for battle.
Joel 2:4-6 (in Context) Joel 2 (Whole Chapter)

Hebrews 12:29
for our “God is a consuming fire.”
Hebrews 12:28-29 (in Context) Hebrews 12 (Whole Chapter)

THE UNLIMITED GOD

THE UNLIMITED ONE

I went on FB this morning and saw this quote from Tiffany Greeno from a sermon she heard this past summer:

“Stop looking at the limited resources you think you have or don’t have and start looking at the UNLIMITED God before you.” WL (Whoop There it is)

Bottom Line: “You think you have or don’t have”

You don’t have it period because it belongs to Him all of it, but He has made you stewards of it.

Bottom Line:He is the Unlimited God

He is the Source of all of it…..it all Belongs to Him and all was created for Him

        He is so kind and gentle in reminding you of times when you have limited Him in some way, shape, or form. So here is my confession. I have learned since then not to put him in a box or limit him to what I can understand…..He has no limit and can use anything and everyone He wishes to display who He is even secular music….Get ready to laugh J

        It was in 2005 and I had to make an early trip to Chicago to meet with my Lawyer and possibly the Judge. My stomach had been in knots the whole week and anxiety had tried to choke the joy and life our of my heart. On that very day, I woke up with this song blasting in my head….literally….Yes, you heard me right. There was no radio, or CD playing, but it was all in my head. So this girl gets up goes to the bathroom stares at the mirror in front of her and starts repenting…“Lord, I haven’t listened to this song in seven years, and I have let go of all things that doesn’t glorify you or is of the world, I am sorry”…I continued rebuking, but the song in my head kept getting louder and louder…..and as I listened to the words of the song I realized it was a message…..It was a love song from my Savior to me….on that morning to encourage my faint heart not to fret and worry. I used to be a big Bob Marley fan and I am happy to report that I still am…..God can use anything to glorify Himself….He was breaking out of the box I had put Him in and giving me wings to see him in everything around me….even in a secular songJ ….

Here are the Lyrics of the song He was blasting in my head that morning:

Rise up this mornin’; smiled with the risin’ sun.
Three little birds pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs of melodies pure and true; saying,

“This is my message to you-ou-ou.”

Singin’: “Don’t worry about a thing, ‘cause ev-ry little thing gonna be all right.”
Sayin’: “Don’t worry about a thing, ‘cause ev-ry little thing gonna be all right!”

Rise up this mornin’; smiled with the risin’ sun.
Three little birds pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs of melodies pure and true; sayin’,
“This is my message to you-ou-ou.”

Meanin’: “Don’t worry about a thing, worry about a thing,
oh! Ev-ry little thing gonna be all right.
Singin’: “Don’t worry about a thing” – I won’t worry!
‘cause every little thing gonna be all right.”

(Baby) Don’t worry about a thing,
’cause ev’ry little thing gonna be all right.

        The Triune God singing sweet song of melody pure and true over me saying “Mimi, (I like baby) don’t worry about a thing cause every little thing is gonna be alright……And it was on that day. I went with courage and assurance that He had it under control as He has it now in this season of my life of trusting and believing God for His provision in His perfect timing. Overflowing…….

        and I shall call Him “THE UNLIMITED ONE

Philippians 4:19:“And my God WILL supply ALL your needs according to HIS riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (NASB)

Poem4: WE

Psalm 19:7: “The Law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.”

Proverbs 9:10: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

We

Bound by the ankle-cuff of interdependence,

We seldom go astray from the herd

Our footprints are the labels of the choices

By which we indicate the colors of this world

to those awaiting to their steps

Making us each other’s resource

Each other’s teacher

               Inspired by those before me and those in my life

         I am thankful for all the people in my life who have opened up their lives to be seen as they are: disappointments, failures, fears, hurts, insecurities, mistakes, regrets, struggles, wounds, delight, dreams, hopes, laughs, love, joy, stewardship, and successes. I am thankful that you have allowed me to see and learn what not to do from your mistakes, but also what to do and avoid unnecessary heart breaks and disappointments. My mom always said that it is wise to learn from the lives of others without having to go through their experiences. Every life is teaching us a lesson in life, if we take the time to ponder and reflect on it. I am especially thankful for those of you who have always pointed me to Christ, The faithful One.

REFLECTION

Reflection

An Embrace of Frugal Authenticity is

A season in Purgatory

( Purgatory used in non-specific sense: condition of temporary suffering torment)

Be this my Rhapsody

Be this my Rhetoric

Time will not refurbish the realm of peace

Until you forgive.

        Inspired by actual events (2001)

 Today, the sermon on the Mount was read from the soil and land where the good Savior preached over 2000 yrs ago in Israel. No words were used, but His and the weight of it was felt deeply in all who sat at ASCC. To pray for our enemies was Matt’s plea alongside praying for our country and leaders.

As I was going through my old list of poems, which haven’t seen the light of day for over a decade, the above caught my attention. I am sharing it knowing that it was written not in light of 9/11,but the Sermon on the mount on this very day.

Matthew 6:14-15:“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

“Forgiveness is handing/entrusting all responsibilities and consequences of sins committed against you over to God and entering in His peace and healing, knowing and believing He is a just and righteous Judge”. Mimi Ayele

Forgiveness:“Generally forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended you may always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness will lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, positive parts of your life. Forgiveness can even lead to feeling of understanding, empathy, and compassion for the one who hurt you.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn’t minimize or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act. Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that you go on with life. Forgiveness is a commitment to a process of change”

Katherine Piderman, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic.

Poem: Someday

Someday

Someday, I’ll tell the truth:

My feelings, my fears, and even my mistakes.

Someday, I will believe that a criticism thrown my way,

Will make me grow and think differently.

Someday, I’ll flood people with love,

And make choices without a safety net

Someday, I will not fear the unknown,

And will learn to embrace it.

Someday, I’ll figure out why I think the way I do.

        Inspired by the thought of true freedom (2001) ! (Christ)