Saturday, April 17, 2010

Happy Saturday!

Today was such an awesome day. Bruce and I attended the final Kairos Team meeting prior to the Kairos weekend which is coming up beginning Thursday. I am on the supper team and I still have so much to learn. Unfortunately, I cannot get to Wichita Falls before Friday afternoon due to a school event of which I am the sponsor. And I am still struggling because the weekend falls between two very important projects: The Great Vigil project due on Thursday for my class at Brite and having grades turned in at the first of the week after the weekend.

Romans 8:27 “If we pray in the Holy Spirit, we can always be assured that all things will work out for good. (28) God is great and mighty; there is no situation that He cannot use for good as we pray and trust Him. We dare not pray the way we want to, but as we are led by the Holy Spirit.”

I have shared with you about serving on a Kairos Prison ministry weekend. I have shared with you my doubts about if it was the right time for me to serve as I looked at my calendar and so many things are happening all at the same time. All of these things are important, but the most important thing I can do is to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and serve Him by serving His people. Today I learned about spiritual DUI. Spiritual DUI is driving under the influence of Satan. I am driving with my hands on the wheel. I must surrender the wheel of my busy life over to God. If I take my hands off of the wheel and let God take over I will not land in the ditch. I will land in the place of peace just where He wants me to be and have assurance that I have been obedient. I cannot ask God to form to me!

Tonight I learned about two kinds of joy. “The first joy is the Joy of Love and Wonder and the second is the Joy born of Love and Knowledge and in between the experience of the two Joys is discipline, disappointment and almost disillusionment.”
(from God Calling)

The way to get from Love and Wonder and Love and Knowledge is to accept the strength and persevere in being obedient to God’s will and accept His discipline and Joy will follow.

I have never experienced an illegal DUI (the kind for which you get arrested), but I have certainly experienced spiritual DUI when I want to be in control sometimes on a daily basis and more than once a day. So today I surrendered my busyness and prayed for Joy in my heart to serve where I have been asked to serve. And you know what? I am very excited that that I am being given this opportunity to serve in this ministry.

So my friends I love you all and pray that you will all take joy in the journey and as do as Carrie Underwood sings, “Let Jesus take the wheel.” Wear comfortable shoes, count your blessings and say your prayers. See you in worship tomorrow. Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Happy Friday!

1 John 4:16 “And we have known and believed the love that God has to us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him.”

Tomorrow Bruce and I will drive to Wichita Falls to attend the final team meeting for the upcoming Kairos Prison Ministry Weekend. The theme for each weekend is the same: “Listen, Listen, Love, Love.” This scripture passage speaks of God’s love and where God dwells. Where God dwells is in perfect love. For just a few hours next weekend the 42 residents of the maximum security prison who are attending this weekend will experience perfect love in a most unlikely place, a prison; a place with razor wire, men in towers with large weapons and more attitude than you and I can possible imagine. A place where there is no trust, where guilt, shame and fear abide. A place where kindness is something these men only remember (hopefully) from their life as free world people. And yet in this pit of failure and distrust, God is there. Where God dwells there is love. It is hard to imagine love in a place like that, but because there are people there who have heard the Word of God and had a personal encounter with Jesus, God dwells there.

The Kairos Prison Ministry seeks only to take the Word of God to these who are completely outcast and let them know that God loves them. The inmates also find out that there are those outside the walls who have been praying for them, cooking for them, counting thousands of cookies and lifting their names up in an act of sacrifice and worship all because God dwells in them and where God dwells there is love. And where the love of God dwells, perfect forgiveness is present showing God’s love in action with each man and woman no matter in what prison they find themselves.

Mighty prayer warriors please lift up in prayer the Kairos Prison Ministry Team, both the outside team and the team that goes inside. Pray for the men, not just the residents, but the guards and others who will be present as the Word is delivered and the talks on faith, love and grace are shared. Pray that Satan is barred from the door so that God’s Word can enter in and begin to dwell in the hearts of those chosen to hear it.

Please pray for our Pastor Joel as he lost his mother on Thursday.

Pray travel mercy on all those who travel to Wichita Falls tomorrow.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes, count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all dear friends, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Happy Thursday!

2 Corinthians 12:9 “And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness”.

Tonight was the next to last class on The Book of Common Prayer. I cannot believe how quickly the semester has gone by and how much I have enjoyed the class. Tonight’s topic was on confession, forgiveness and marriage. A most interesting triad!

The pastors who have aided throughout the semester spoke of the Trinity of Satan which is Fear, Guilt and Shame. They, in turn, also spoke of the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And how our triune God gives us His gift of forgiveness and how reconciliation is His gift and desire for each of us. They also spoke of why we don’t confess very often. Their take is because we don’t remember that we live in a state of forgiveness we just need to hear the word. When we finally confess whatever we need to confess we just need to hear the word “you are forgiven” and then believe that forgiveness is complete and a completely profound gift of love is given to us by God through Jesus and His death on the cross. We do not have to grovel our way up to being forgiven, we just need to ask and receive.

Receiving forgiveness happens immediately and then it is time to get on with our lives and then maybe even tell someone else about how God has forgiven us and never for a moment stopped loving and caring for us. God’s grace, our second chance, is never denied us. As one of my favorite songs says, “How great is our God! Sing with me. How great is our God. Then all will see how great, how great is our God!”

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes, count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

PS Prayer alerts! I ask you to pray for Valarie Campbell and Mr. Dennis, both are colleagues at Burton Hill and have lost siblings this week. I also ask you to pray for the family of the SW High School student in Fort Worth this week. That school has been plagued with several deaths recently. Thank you, mighty and faithful prayer warriors. Peace be the journey, gc

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Happy Wednesday!

1 Corinthians 12: 6 “God works through different people in different ways, but it is the same God who achieves His purpose through them.”

I reflected on this scripture a few days ago, but it has come before me again and so I would like to share some more thoughts.

God has given to each of us the same ministry; the ministry of reconciliation. The ministry of reconciling the world back to God has been given to each of us, but because we are all different that ministry is not going to carried out in the same ways by each of us.

I work with many children who are gifted, but I also believe that all school children have gifts as do all children of God. There is a little boy in my class who is truly gifted in math. His brain is wired to do complex math problems in his head. He does not need (for his own edification) to show how he worked out the problem. I, on the other hand, as His teacher, do need to know this. The point is that he did not do anything to attain this gift. He did not choose the gift nor did he purposefully develop it; the gift was given to him. However, even though he is a brilliant math student and a good reader, he does not write well and in fact, when I set him down to a blank sheet of paper, most likely when I return to check on him the paper is still blank.

No one is given all gifts in academics and no one is given all of the spiritual gifts. Academic gifts are most often self serving and will get you good grades and eventually scholarships, but spiritual gifts are not for our glory, but for the glory of God. These gifts, so lovingly and carefully chosen for each of us, are an expression of God’s grace to each of us. The gifts that we are given are to be used in His service and for the benefit of others. In turn, the gifts others have received are to benefit you and me. Our spiritual gifts are given long before we are a twinkle on someone’s eye and as soon as we are able, we need to discover our gifts and set about developing them.

Take some time and take an inventory of your heart. What is your first, best connection to God? Are you someone who prays? Are you someone who listens? Are you someone who loves the Word and can give comfort and understanding?

What are God’s gifts in you? What do you do share your gifts with others? Just some thoughts for the journey…

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes, count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you also much, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Happy Tuesday!

As I read my devotionals this morning at my desk at school both of them seem to say the same thing; to have a glad heart in the midst of adversity. Trust that God was in control and take joy in this knowledge and let that gladden your heart. I needed those words this morning because I had a bit of a sad start to the morning. It happens sometimes. The morning is when I miss Casey the most. I woke up with him each morning in Houston and then each morning when he was at home between hospital stays and then I would go to the hospital when he was receiving treatment or recovering each morning. Sometimes he would be asleep and I would just stand there and look at him and watch him breathe and see the look of peace on his face.

Casey stayed in close contact with the Father which gave him great peace. I am at peace about Casey. I know he is happy, whole and at complete peace with Jesus, but that does not keep me from missing him. So in my prayer time I ask God to tell him that his mama misses him and to say hello.

Romans 12:9 “Let your love be sincere…”

Today as I missed Casey and concerned myself with so many other things, I kept remembering the words of my devotional to “gladden my heart with the love of God.” Tonight’s meditation says to let love rejoice on the gray days. There are days of “wilderness” and “Mountains of Transfiguration” for we who believe. We are not immune to problems, sadness, grief, joy or happiness. But God does not want us to live from mountain to valley; He wants us to live in a state of prayer.

When we live in a spirit of prayer we remain in constant contact with the One who created us and knows and loves us best. If we stay in a spirit of prayer then we will find ourselves at peace whatever the task or situation placed before us. Even if the day is gray or we are on the mountaintop or we are just walking the path, the love of God is always there for each of us. The joy of God’s love in our hearts which is directing our lives is the gladness we are meant to experience every day.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes, count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy Monday to you!

I have spent the day in the jury services of Tarrant County. I spent until around 10:00 in the Tarrant Co. Courthouse in downtown Fort Worth only to be sent to serve on a jury back here in Arlington. I was not selected to hear the jury so I was excused to go home and finish typing my term paper for my class at TCU. I did finish the first draft of the typed copy and sent it on to my wonderful editor, Bruce, for proofreading and editing. Thanks, darlin’!

Ephesians 3:20 “Now to Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the Power that works in us.”

Tonight I am going to reflect on the meditation provided for today. In this meditation God reminds us that He is our guide and will help us if we trust Him wholly. Yesterday, I really needed to hear this scripture because I was running a bit low on faith and rapidly on the way to a meltdown because I was trying to solve a problem using the world’s resources instead of trusting that God will provide what we need when we need it.

Our need is God’s chance to help. When we turn to God in faith that is what God needs to manifest His Power. The passage tells us that that Power (another name for God) exists in us and works in us, but the key to releasing that Power is having faith in God and trusting Him wholly. When I look at certain aspects of my life all I see are my own imperfections, failures, uncertainties and faithlessness, but (according to the meditation tonight) God looks at me and sees faithfulness because God loves to change our hearts of doubt, imperfections, failures and uncertainties into hearts and minds of faith. So, friends, let us trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understandings and become faithful people.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes, count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Blessed Sunday to you all.

Due to an all night battle with a stomach bug I was unable to attend worship this morning. I am feeling much better and should be just fine and able to attend the jury service to which I have been called for tomorrow. My classroom is in good hands with a very fine student teacher and an excellent substitute by the name of Geni Chrystie.

While somewhat incapacitated today I finished the first hand-written draft of my paper for my class at TCU. I will begin typing tomorrow and hopefully have it completed by tomorrow evening (if jury duty isn’t very long) or at least by Tuesday. Due to a late arrival of my research materials my professor gave me a one week extension.

Just in case you did not read last night’s journal entry…Travis won the Strong Man Teen Division yesterday. Geni posted a brief video of his events on You Tube. If you wish to watch the video about 5 minutes in length) go to and type in fepic22 in the search box. It is a worthy watch if I do say so myself.

Luke 14:33 “So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.”

I began to meditate on this scripture earlier this evening and really had a prize case of writer’s block and could not think of a single thing to reflect upon this verse. Bruce, knowing my love for really good sermons collected Pastor Joel’s sermon for me and brought it home for me. I walked away from my computer and ate some dinner and watched a bit of TV hoping space would take care of the block. While I was watching TV I read the sermon. It was very helpful.

God has called each of into a life of service to Him by serving others. In the body of worship there are many who serve. There clergy, laity, choir, other musicians, altar guild, ushers, acolytes and others. All of these people serve in worship as a part of their calling to serve God. Today, they said “yes” to the mission to which they have been called.

What these people did not say was “yes, but…” and then make an excuse not to serve. When Jesus called the disciples they said “yes.” They said yes to whatever the Master told them to do. They seemed to accomplish their ministries and they seemed to trust Jesus without reservation. If you remember the story of the rich young ruler who was not allowed to serve as a disciple because he said, “Yes, but I have to go and bury my Mother and Father.” God calls each of us to serve Him without reservation. He calls us to a life of faith and then He provides us with the gift of faith.

Pastor Joel posed the question to the congregation today, “Are you experiencing challenges in your life today?” I know I am. “Can we take a lesson from those early disciples and respond to God’s calling in our lives not with “yes, but…” and instead “but, Yes, and what else can I do for the kingdom?!!!”

Take joy in the journey my friends. Wear comfortable shoes, count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you faithful friends, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.