Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tearing Down the Walls

God's working. He's working in our youth, He's working in our kids, He's working in our churches, and He's working OUT of our churches. The only problem is that we're hindering His work by worrying too much about how it appears. We worry about how it will look if we eat some humble pie and fall on our faces in the altar. We're afraid of how it will look if we give the Spirit control of our bodies and speak in tongues. We're afraid of how it will look if we run around, jump up and down, and worship our Savior without inhibition. David played, sang and DANCED! Why are we afraid to dance for God? We're afraid to admit that maybe this "doctrine" does in fact hold a water just because we were brought up to believe it didn't. Why are we so afraid of what the world thinks of us? Why? Because it's not the world who judges us. We judge ourselves. If we see so and so over there raising their hand to worship, we miss our own blessing because we're too busy judging Miss so and so on what she did last week, thinking "Yeah… look at you raising your hand… you're doing it just to be seen." We're missing our own blessing in the Spirit because we're too caught up in what's "correct". I mean, we spend so much time and energy arguing and trying to disprove others' opinions that we lose complete focus on what we're here for. We're here to love. We're here to show the world God's love. We can TELL them about God's love until we're blue in the face… but until we SHOW them God's love, they're just not going to grasp it. I can tell my children all day that I love them… but if I don't SHOW them that I love them, they're not gonna believe me! We have GOT to stop judging one another! Who are YOU to judge someone else? How big is that plank in your own eye!? I had the realization tonight that someone I care about deeply is afraid to allow someone else I care about deeply into a prayer meeting, because he's afraid the other person won't like the way they do it, and will judge them. Why are we afraid to be who God made us with one another!? Why do we continue to judge one another: Lutheran, Protestant, Pentecostal…. Baptist, Methodist, Church of Christ… come on folks!!!! WAKE UP! It is NOT about whether you agree on speaking on tongues, or on hopping pews, or on what music is ok to play and what's not ok to play! What it IS about is God's LOVE! That's what it ALL comes down to! HIS LOVE! He loves us SO MUCH, He sent His son… His own son, to die for us. To take our sins, and bear them on that cross… so that we can have a one on one relationship with Him! He wants to KNOW you! He wants YOU to know HIM! God's doing something big in our churches. He is. He's wanting to do something big in this WORLD. But until we stop arguing over silly things, and stop worrying about what others think about how we worship our Savior, then we're going to miss it. When we decide to stop arguing, and are in one mind, and one accord, and LOVE one another, as Christ loves us… we're going to miss the revival that's building! When Paul preached and wrote to each of the individual churches, he didn't change his "doctrine" for each individual church. There was ONE gospel, and He shared it with ALL of them. He advised them according to what Jesus Christ himself taught him. Jesus IS with us now. He may not be PHYSICALLY here with us, but He is within the hearts of those who ask Him there, and can walk and talk with you just as He did with Paul and all of the disciples.


I, for one, don't claim to be protestant, Lutheran, Pentecostal, or anything in between… I am a CHRISTIAN. I'm a child of the KING! And I love each and every one of you. God has really dealt with my own heart on this subject tonight, and I pray that each and every one of you will get something out of it. If I've noticed nothing else by being actively involved with my church's youth recently… it's that these kids are not afraid to make their way to the altar and pour their hearts out to God, and SEEK HIM. During the song service, in the middle of a sermon, or at the altar call. They don't care… they just want to meet God where He can be found! Didn't Jesus tell us to be like the children (Matthew 18:3)? How about we stop arguing doctrine, and start reading the Word that He gave us, and follow the commands He gave us. Jesus repeatedly emphasized that the most important command He's given us is to LOVE one another. Over and over again we are reminded of the importance of LOVE. Now, go out and share His LOVE and stop worrying about who's right or wrong! Don't worry about how your friend might think of you if you burst out in tongues. Don't worry about what the stiffnecks in the church will think if you take off running and dancing in the Spirit! WORSHIP GOD in the way that is most comfortable to you, in the way that the Spirit leads you to. And if someone does burst out in tongues, or take off pew-hopping, and you don't think it's Biblical, don't judge them. Don't let Satan steal your joy because you're so busy judging them on how wrong they are. Get down off that pedestal you've put yourself on, and stop worrying! Let God worry about whether they're right or wrong, and you just worry about YOU! And I promise you that I've only come to this little "rant" through the Spirit working on ME! I want to be like those youth at my church, who just don't care! Who don't care what so and so thinks if they literally fall on their face and cry out to God right there in front of everyone!

Monday, October 4, 2010

So Much Has Changed

We have had no internet for the past few months, at least nothing reliable, and so I've been unable to keep things updated here. Hopefully that will change soon. With the world of Facebook, I tend to keep everyone updated there and neglect this.

Our world has been a myriad of changes this past year. We've had so much going on, so many things happening, and so many things changing. PJ finally, Praise the Lord, got a job in August (I think). He has been working out of town some, and he started school in August as well, going to school 4 nights a week and working 5+ days a week. I celebrated my 29th birthday in April, Nate turned 3 in May, JRay turned 10 in June, and PJ turned 39 in September. PJ and myself will celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary tomorrow, October 5th. It really feels like it has been a LOT longer than 4 years to me! But, that is the length of it. This is going to be a LONG post, so grab a glass of tea, a bag of chips, and get comfortable.

In late Spring, we started getting a summons to court over child support for Anna. We had offered her mother some form of payment to try to re-establish a relationship with Anna in July/August of 2009, and she refused money and said instead for PJ to use that money to see a counselor of her choosing. She wanted him to have 6 visits, and then she would meet with the counselor and see if he felt PJ should be allowed back in Anna's life. So, PJ humbled himself, although it wasn't entirely fair or honest, because it wasn't by his fault alone that he hadn't had contact with Anna, but her mother has never been able to swallow her pride, humble herself, admit her own sins, and be fair. Anyway.... he had his last visit somewhere around January-February of 2010, and we didn't hear anything until May or June, when Anna's step-dad contacted the counselor wanting to meet with both PJ and myself. We had a feeling what was coming, and did a LOT of praying and seeking God in the week leading up to the meeting. At the meeting, the stepdad was very hateful and disrespectful, and actually had the nerve to curse me immediately following a statement that they had been praying about the situation. (My dad later told me I should have asked him if that was the same mouth he talked to God with). Anyway, our fears were realized when they asked PJ to sign over his rights to Anna so that the stepdad could adopt her. They had the counselor (who is supposed to be a Christian counselor, but I had to ask him to open the session with prayer) give his input that he felt Anna's life had stabilized over the past 2 years or so since PJ had been out of the picture, and she would be better off if he stayed out of the picture. It was VERY difficult for PJ to hear. Now, believe me when I tell you that PJ knows he made many mistakes in his life, especially concerning Anna, until this past year when he TRULY gave his heart to Christ. BUT, the ex-wife and her husband share a lot more of the blame in this situation than they're willing to confess to. Anyway... we left there so heartbroken and torn. Our initial reaction (inwardly) was that there was NO WAY we would give up on Anna. But, we simply told them we needed to pray and seek God on this matter, and we would get back to them. We did just that. We prayed, fasted, and sought Godly counsel from multiple trusted sources. In the end, PJ felt that God wanted him to let her go for now, and to trust Him to bring her back to Him when it honors Him. I told him that I stood beside him in whatever decision he made, but will admit that I was very apprehensive inwardly about the decision. I prayed for days, asking the Lord to give me peace over the decision if this was truly His will... and, well, He did. So, the day before they were due in court for the child support issue, where PJ was facing jail time for nonpayment (you have to remember, we weren't being allowed to see Anna or even talk to her by her mother, so he refused to pay the child support), they met at her attorney's office and signed the papers. So, now, by all LEGAL means, PJ is no longer Anna's father. But we know that God has a much greater plan, and that no matter what papers say, she is still his child, and they will be reunited one day. It's heartbreaking for me, though, because Nate has never met her. Now BOTH of my children have sisters that aren't allowed to be in their lives.

A week after that, we went to church camp as counselors. THIS is where PJ found God, I mean REALLY found the Holy Spirit's annointing, for the first time. This is also where I got a fresh annointing, and where my precious JRay found the Spirit of the Living God! It was an amazing week that we enjoyed so much! We came home and Satan immediately attacked us with papers in the mail stating that we were in default on our mobile home payments, and had 10 days to pay the entire balance or lose the home. We had been living on unemployment for 2 years nearly, and there was a lull in benefits right after Easter that put us behind, and we were never able to catch it back up. So, here we are, high on the Spirit of God, and being faced with homelessness. But, we kept trusting God, and started seeking a place to live. This was a blessing in disguise for us, because this mobile home was literally falling apart, and had mold growing in the ceiling, and was making us sick! But, the home was still in my ex husband's name, so I kept up the payments for 10 years so as not to ruin his credit. Anyway, after 2 months of searching and being rejected for multiple apartments because of our credit situation, we finally signed a lease on a house in SE Decatur on September 18. PJ had to go out of town the 20th-26th for work, so my Daddy and a few guys from church helped me and the boys get most everything moved starting that Monday. It was a long, exhausting, and PAINFUL process! We were just starting to get unpacked when....

PJ's job had been going slow for the past week. They were sending people home because of lack of work, and it was ONLY because of the long hours he put in while out of town that we will have a full paycheck this week. On Thursday, PJ came home at lunch, and then received a text saying that there was a mandatory meeting that afternoon. Fear hit us in the face, and we were CERTAIN that layoffs were coming. PJ went to the meeting, and called me about 25 minutes later and told me to take a deep breath. He said there were no layoffs, but asked me if I was ready to move to Florida. Keep in mind, I am STILL unpacking after 2 weeks of moving. So, I said that I guess I have to be! Anyway, they have contracts that are going to be opening up here, but it could be a few weeks, but they have a lot of work opening up in Florida, and need volunteers to move down there. So, we're volunteering to go, in hopes of having a little more job security than we would staying here where there are more employees with seniority over him. We have not received any official confirmation yet, so it's not FOR SURE that we're moving to Florida, but it is looking very likely. So please, continue to pray for us in this situation! We want only to be in God's will, and to follow the path He has set for us. We just want to be sure that we're following HIS path, and not our own.

Other little tidbits/updates: we are down to 1 car out of 3 again... but Praise the Lord that one is still running, because the rear seal is going out in it and some precious friends of ours tried unsuccessfully to replace it! Homeschooling is going, albeit off to a rough start this year because of all of the moving and uncertainty. But, we still love it, and look forward to finally settling down somewhere so that we can really get into the swing of it. Nate is just constantly changing and growing in so many ways. He's quite the little talker now, and very much a daredevil. He has a black eye right now, and we have NO IDEA how he got it! JRay is becoming such an amazing young man that I am SO PROUD to call my son. God is all over this boy, and I know now, more than ever, (and I've known it since he was very small) that God has GREAT plans for him. He is still the most compassionate, unselfish, and all around amazing person. He blesses me daily with his servant's heart, and does his chores so diligently! PJ gave up on school for the time being because of all of the craziness of our lives. There is just SO MUCH going on, and so much uncertainty, that it was overwhelming us both. We prayed about it, and felt that God wanted him to put his time and efforts into work instead of school. Oh, and I won tickets from the local radio station to go hear Chris Tomlin in concert on Saturday night! We are so stoked over it, and are using this as a time to celebrate our anniversary :)

So, please, if I have not kept in touch with you, please understand it is not because I do not love you! I have had SO MUCH going on, and have been so overwhelmed with all of the changes, that the past few months are honestly a BLUR to me! What I have just relayed to you is just the Cliff Notes version of what has happened! There is so much more that I didn't mention, just the key points! We covet your prayers always, and we lift many of you up in our prayers daily! We are hoping and praying for a REVIVAL in the hearts of ALL Christians, so that we can turn this country back to Christ! We know that He has done a work in our hearts over the past months, and we are so much closer to Him than either of us has ever been. We aren't perfect, we still fail Him from time to time, but those failures are coming much less often these days, and that is ALL HIM, not us!

I will try to do a better job of keeping everyone up to date here, but, as my history reveals, I rarely follow through on that! Sorry!

My Crazy Life

My photo
I am a Christian wife and homeschooling mom of two precious boys. I enjoy photography and spending time with my family, along with any other hobby I can manage to dig my nails into. I'm married to PJ, God's precious gift to me ;) I'm honest, passionate, and find myself falling deeper and deeper in love with my Creator each and every day that passes. I was diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic at the age of 10. I chose not to care about my health then, and am paying the price now with multiple complications including kidney damage and neuropathy. I currently reside in Florida, where God led my family in February of 2011, but my heart is, and will forever be, in Alabama.