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Today I was reminded why exactly 2 years ago today I walked into the church I am attending and fell in love with them. They showed me that the body of Christ wasn’t made up of “Perfect” people and that “Everyone” is welcomed. This is something that I haven’t seen much at other churches that I have attended in the past. Don’t get me wrong, the other churches mean a lot to me and I found some of the greatest Christian mentors in them but felt not everyone was willing to be authentic.

Pastor Pete reminded me this morning why Cross Point is so different. We started a new series titled “Religion Lies.” Religions have begun to add to the equation of Salvation.

Jesus + (insert what you like here) = Salvation

For me I struggled with inserting smoking, drinking, tattoos, premarital sex, adultery, and the list goes on. Somewhere along the way in the church I was made to feel that people are horrible people if they fell in these categories. I thought these where horrible sins, sins worse than a little white lie. I was conditioned to think this at a very young age. I remember thinking bad about families I knew that had beer or wine in their house. It was hard for me to over come that and that I am not called judge or put them in the categories.

We have to remember the first Bible verse that we were taught.

“For God so Loved the World that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

No where in this verse does it say, “Whoever believes in him and doesn’t smoke, drink, have tattoos, commit adultery, ect shall not perish.” The equation is:

Jesus = Salvation

Also about today:

Cross Point launched their North Campus today. God has led me there to help lead in Kidz World under the guidance of Suzette Sanderfer and teach kindergarten and 1st grade class. It was amazing experience as I walked in today and reflected on the past 2 years there. I have been introduced to some great leaders of the church that have taken me under there wings and have helped me grow and have given me the opportunity to minister. With the church the size it is, I was afraid I might get lost in the crowd but they haven’t let that happen. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for Cross Point North in the upcoming weeks, months, and years. I pray that we don’t forget that “No One is Perfect, Everyone is Welcome, and Anything is Possible.”

Today has always been a special day for me. Yes, I know it is July 4th, the day that everyone in the United States celebrates our countries independence, and who doesn’t like to watch a good firework show. But today holds another special moment that can’t go unnoticed.

41years go at a Dairy Queen in a small town in Kentucky two wonderful people crossed paths. One was looking at moving to the big city and another was a good ol’ country boy. They never dreamed of that July 4, 1968 to change their lives. There were many phone calls made from the telephone booth so parents, siblings, and nieces wouldn’t know who they were talking to, awkward moments meeting parents, and some wonderful memories made July 4, 1968 through June 7, 1969. 

If you haven’t figured this out yet who I’m talking about, these two wonderful people are my parents. I can’t go this 4th without saying how much it means to me that God placed them in the right places at the right time in both of their lives. Just last month they celebrated their 40th anniversary These past 41 years together have had speed bumps from death a child, passing of both sets of parents, and so many more.

Though, thru these tough times they have taught me what marriage means. They both gave 100% to each other and leaned on God to pull them through all their trails. Many couples would have given up once they hit just one of these speed bumps and would have never tried to face another one together. I am so thankful for what they have taught me and pray I can be a wonderful spouse one day.

June 7   

As a single woman I wonder if I’m every going to meet my prince charming and where I will meet him. Will it be some romantic place that I can tell my kids how I looked across the candle light room and locked eyes with their dad? Or will I have a story like my parents where I was hot and sweaty one day and just went inside a restaurant to get something cool and refreshing? Sometimes I ponder on this too much but God reminds me that He is in control. I don’t need to worry about all the details but to just trust him.  God is preparing both of our heart so that when we are both ready we will be able to live happily (with speed bumps) on this earth together until God sees it is time to call us both home.

I can’t set here today and say I don’t wish God would hurry up any. I enjoy at times being single but I so long for the day to come home from a long hard day at work and cook a dinner for my husband, the day were we can set on the couch and not say a word to each other but just enjoy the moment, even running around busy with our heads cut off to make sure all the kids get to there practices. I do long for them times. God knows the desires of my heart and I have to rest assure that He will fulfill his promise.

If you are married how do did you meet your spouse? 

Anyone have advice on how to keep a marriage together and alive?

July 30, 2001 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia which had and would continue to change the rest of my life. For 6 months before hand I had sever pain throughout my body, unable to walk on my own, and had seen numerous doctors that didn’t know what was wrong.

 Fibromyalgia, like many other chronic pain disorders can wreak havoc on and individual’s life. On the hot July morning all I remember was that was the end of my life. Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness that once you have it you will have to learn to live with it for the rest of you life. Those words still haunt me to this day “the rest of my life.” The more I read about what I would face in the coming months and years scared me. I got to the point as I had no energy or strength to set up in bed, more less move one muscle to get out, think why does God still have for me in this life on earth.

Days got dark and lonely as I began to lose touch with friends. Their life kept going and they began to graduate and start families. My life stood still and I didn’t know what shape I would be in the following day.

 I read an article just the other day that said one of the overlooked causes of this chronic condition is dysfunction in the nervous system. With this being said some of the symptoms are: Episodes of depression/anxiety, difficulty  scanning pages while reading -check, Difficulty adding or subtracting, difficulty expressing what you want to say – check – at times, difficulty understanding what others say to you – check, loss of short or long term memory, loss of sensation (numbness) – check, use to but not much any more, changes in handwriting – check, more irritable or angry, problems with balance – check, tripping or dropping things – CHECK (At this point I began to cry. Hint- Fallen Girl), and the list continues.

 God has healed my body, though there are still little things I do that I hold my breath because I know that it isn’t the normal Karen 9 years ago. I might laugh it off around people but deep down I start seeing it being the beginning of a horrible roller coaster ride all over again. I have to have faith that God has a plan and there is a reason he brought me through this and I am on the other side and trust he healed me for a reason.

 While I was participating in the Country Music ½ Marathon a couple a weeks ago every step on the course I was reminded that God was with me. I kept seeing images of me in a wheelchair just 5 years ago and in hospital beds not being able to move. It was my Great Physician that allowed me to finish the ½ Marathon strong and He was with me every step.

Running     Marathon

I thank my Lord for all he has brought me through and where he will lead me. My prayer today, on this Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, has been for this story and all the others who are suffering with FMS.

As a Christian I say I have given my all to Christ, but have I really?

Christ doesn’t want 99.999 (hate to say 63.9) percent of my life. Without giving him everyting of my self I am unable to have everthing of Him.  I haven’t handed over fully the ropes of my life.  Everday I struggle with letting the Lord take complete control over me and my thoughts.

I have to be willing as sooon as my alarm goes off in the mornings to wake up handing the control of the day ovver to God. 

C.S. Lewis said, “All your wishes and hopes fro the day rush at you like wild animals.” Without letting God take contraol of the day as soon as I wake I am leading myself into a poth of destruction for the day. Without handing evertything over to him at that very moment I am setting myself up for a battle between Christ and myself for the rest of the day.

Luke 14:25-33 speaks of “counting the cost.”  Being a Christian there is a cost, even if oes doens’t want to admit it.  As a Christian I struggle giving up instant gratification. There are times that I have to stop and step back for a a moment. Are the things I just for me and me alone? Am I seeking pleasure for just the moment and not consideirng how it will effect me and others in the long run?

What are you struggling with today?

“But the Lord is in his holy Temple. Let all the earth be silent before him.” Habakkuk 2:20

Today during Backseat Jesus  Pastor Pete spoke about “Whatever we immerse our minds in is what our minds will be full of.”  Day to Day we are feeled with the noise of this world and wonder why we don’t hear God speaking.

What is God saying to Me?

Is God really even saying anything at all?

If so, why can’t I hear him?

It is time for me to move My God that I gave my life to over 18years ago out of the child’s booster seat in the backseat of my car called life up to the front drives seat. Time for me to allow God to have full control of my life and to lead me wherever he wants me to go.  I might even let God drive without his seatbelt on. 😉

I get so wrapped up in the day to day life that I don’t spend time with what should be the most important part of my life.  Yes, I said should be, and I say that with shame. I’ve always heard that we give our time to what matters most to us, and I fully believe that.  I shamefully admit I don’t spend as much quality time with God as I should. I put him on the back burn so many time and then wonder where He is.  It is times for me to put God in front of me.  No longer behind me or beside me, but in front of me.

At the beginning of the year I told myself that I wouldn’t spend time with my friends until I first spent time with my best friend that day.  I wouldn’t hangout with them until I had spent quality time with God.  I come here today and admit I have failed. I have not spent that quality time with him and I miss it.

Starting today I’m holding myself to this once again. God is important in my life and I long to have a deep and intimate relationship with him. I long to hear is voice throughout the day.

Currently my ears are like most of these people in this video during rush hour while the greatest musician, Joshua Bell, is give D.C. Metro stop a free concert.

I want to be the lady at the end of the video. At the end of my life I want to be able to walk up to Jesus and thank him. Thank him for the wonderful concert he has given me here on earth.

So I have a few questions for you…

While watching the video did you watch it completely without doing anything else and did you catch what the lady said at the end? It is okay if you didn’t.  I lots of time doing alot of different things while I’m flipping through all of your blogs. 🙂

What is your time with God like?

What have you found that helps you find that time?

Since I’ve been going to CrossPoint I have been involved in several small groups and last fall I began leading.  The Devil really discouraged me and I had made up my mind that I would take a break this winter from teaching.  But God kept telling me I really need to lead a group this time around. Finally, I said I wasn’t going to let my discouragement let me down and I would lead again this winter. 

I have to say God knew what He was doing to have me open my home up to some amazing women of CrossPoint.  Yesterday, God reminded me through Blake how

important community is.  He preached on the second part of our mission statement, Irrevocably Committed to One Another.  In the past when I needed support I always knew I could count on my community group/women’s Bible study class/Sunday School to be by my side.

After the message God laid on my heart to call a lady that signed up for my small group but hasn’t been able to make it out. She is 9 months pregnant and having her first child as a single mother. I finally slowed down last night around 8 I gave her a call to see how she was doing.  When she answered she said she was so happy that I called.  She had been having contractions all day and hadn’t got out of bed.  We talked for awhile, and I tried to giver her encouragement from one woman that has never been through this to one that is scared to death.  She promised that she would keep me posted, so now I wait by my phone to hear that she is either on her way to deliver or is a mother to a beautiful baby girl.  We joked that we might have to move our small group to the maternity ward tomorrow night.

I have already seen through this group in just the past 3 weeks the following…

 

 

 

“Carry each other’s burdens…” Galatians 6:2

  • “Encourage one another and build each other up…” Thessalonians 5:11
  • “Be[ing] completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Be kind and compassionate to one another – forgiving each other…” Ephesians 4:2,32

I believe this is true community. God has done some amazing things in this group.  I can’t wait to see what He has in store for the next 6 weeks of our study and beyond.

How have community groups/small Bible studies affected or changed your life?

farmington-man1

While home during the Thanksgiving Holiday I saw this article on the front page of the local newspaper.  I couldn’t help but laugh when I first saw the headline.  “Yeah right, you GAVE marijuana to people as CHARITY.  Come on, can’t you thinks of a better story.” 

But wait, this guy was saying he gave, meaning he has a giving heart, and helped people out that where in need.  In no way do I approve of what this guy was doing, giving or selling, it is illegal, though, how many of us can say we have a giving heart? 

It is the Christmas Season, a time to thank God for his giving heart, a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, a time to give. So many people are struggling this year with the economy on a downward spiral and hurting.

How are you helping the hurting this season?  Just like the man in the article you don’t have to give money.  Just giving your time, offer up a ear to listen, or just a hug can do wonders to the hurting.

Okay so some of you guys have been on me for not writing lately.  For that you get two post in one day.

As I was headed back to work after my lunch break I got to experience the wonderful drivers in Nashville. I was in the far left lane getting ready to change to the middle lane on I-65 with my blinker on when the truck on the far right side decided to just start moving into the middle lane without his blinks on.  As I didn’t want to hit him I swerved back into the left lane. Though the swerve ended up being a wobble, wobble, hit the median wall, do a 360, and land on the right hand shoulder without hitting any of the on coming traffic and no scratches on me (the car on the other hand not so lucky). 

This just really didn’t help the day I was having.  I set in the car waiting for my cousin to pick me up when realized that I was luck that it was just my car.  Looking back at the scuff marks I left on the median wall and replaying the event in my head I don’t see how I wasn’t jackknift or thrown over wall.  A day just like today was we when I had a friend in high school that was killed in an accident like this.

I set here today thankful that God speared my life and set and wonder what the reason is.   What does God have in store for my life to keep me alive for another moment?

Today’s question is: Have you ever been in a car accident and what happen?

I just got back from a much needed vacation to Orange Beach celebrating Dinger’s 30th Birthday.  It was so great to be able to go lie on the beach and not worry about anything for a few days. 

 

                        

         

 

Jellyfish brings back bad childhood memories for me and there was a ton of them on the beach this past weekend.  Here is one some boys laid out on the beach.

 

Something God reviled to me during my trip

I am currently reading Rob Bell’s book Sex God.  In the book Rob talks about your sexuality.  While on my morning walk on the beach God point out something to me that I have struggled with my whole life and reasons why I don’t always feel comfortable in my own skin at times.  I am a pretty self-confident woman but I do struggle at times as most of you do as well.  During this trip I believe it was the first time ever (or at least in a long time) that I didn’t worry at all what other are think.  I was able to feel comfortable in my skin.  I didn’t have to hide the true me.  Thank you Rachel, Jes, and Dinger for being a support team and an encourager.

Do you feel comfortable in your own skin?

Thank you God for giving us this beautiful earth…” a prayer of Melissa’s 3 year old son this past Sunday.

I am amazed at what all God has created for us.  This month I am teaching about God’s creation and yesterday it was great to hear the prayers that my 3-5 year olds prayed, thanking God for giving us light and dark, earth, and our families.  This past weekend I had the chance to experience some of his creations as I went camping with three amazing girls. We seem to always enjoy having girl’s night but this one I would say tops them all off. 

Friday, we left at 7, headed towards Rock Island.  God showed his presence the whole way.  We arrived at the campsite at 10…an hour before the park closed, Grace #1.  After finally finding the park we kept driving around trying to find a campsite.  After driving through the entire campsite and there being no vacancies we came across one that was reserved for Saturday but not Friday.  We jumped out took down the reserved sign and claimed the last campsite of the night, Grace #2.  Let me say, it would have been a long trip home if God didn’t provide us a place to pitch our tent.  This is where Grace #3 comes. We four girls were able to pitch a tent and start a fire in the pitch black with a total of 30 minutes.  We are GOOD.  We enjoyed the campfire Friday night and didn’t want it to die. “Just one more log” was said over and over until we were down to our last log.  The girls decided to save the last log of Saturday morning as they wanted to see how I was going to boil water for my hot coco over the campfire.  Let me say, God provided again.  Saturday morning we were able to find enough sticks and limbs to have a pretty good fire.  Then Grace #4 occurred, our next camping neighbor saw us poor girls search for wood to keep us warm so he gave up 4 of his family logs for us.  Something about camping brings the good out of people.  And lastly just for this guy, God provided one more Grace for me, Grace #5, I made the whole trip without a fall. 🙂

    

 

I am so excited as this weekend I get to experience another great creation of God’s.  I’m headed to the beach Thursday morning.  I’ll post once I get back on that beautiful side as well.

 

So what creations are you thankful for?