Saturday, May 14, 2011

Just Because it is Awesome!

This song is one of the best! And, she sings it like no one else. If this doesn't move you, well, I don't know what to tell you. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Heaven Is For Real

This book by Todd Burpo is a hot topic right now, so I thought I would weigh in on it. I quickly glanced at it in the bookstore, and my initial thought was, "huh, not interested!" and I moved on, giving it little thought.

Lately I've heard many of my friends discussing on facebook how much they enjoyed the book. So, I thought I should read it. To my surprise, it blessed my socks off. Now, don't get me wrong, I read it with my typical skepticism, looking for a flaw. But, guess what? God blessed me anyway!

I thought the book was fantastic. By the time it was over, I saw it as an awesome testimony that could have been added on to my bible or the book of Revelations. It was a small glimpse into what God has waiting for us.  It was God blessing us, giving us hope that our faith is for real. Giving his believers another reason to hang on and know that he cares for us and he is waiting for us. There are some things we will not know until we get to heaven, but I'm grateful he gives us these little tidbits as we go so that we don't lose our faith.

There is another book written by an older gentleman called Flight to Heaven. It gives more vivid details because it was an adult giving the account. It made the Holy Spirit do summer-saults in my heart. I loved what God did in this man's life. He waited 30 or 40 years before he wrote his book because he wanted to "live out" what he saw in heaven. And he did, then he wrote a book about it. Amazing testimony.

One common thread in these books is the overwhelming love that these people feel when they return from heaven. They have an unexplainable love for people...a longing to make sure they go to heaven...a longing to make sure they know Jesus. That kind of love only comes from one place - God! It is the only thing that can transform a person overnight - or in three minutes.

Love is what makes me believe that these books are true testimonies. People don't change...unless they have had an encounter with God...then they are different forever.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Authority of Jesus' Name

One more quick thing.

I found a nugget last night in the Word of God. It was actually hidden in the commentary. It said when people prayed in the "name of Jesus" they were saying "by the authority of Jesus Christ." This struck a cord with me.

The name of Jesus is so powerful, but when you say "by the AUTHORITY of Jesus" it has a strong, authoritative ring to it! That resonated with me.

I am going to concentrate for the next couple of weeks on saying "by the authority of Jesus" and not "the name of Jesus". One is not better than the other, but it gives me a more concentrated authority to my prayer life! It feels more powerful right now. Like I said, it was nugget for me!

The name of Jesus is super powerful. Just today this blog post came to my inbox. As always, so timely. Hope you too enjoy it!

Keeping it Real

Sometimes, the things that make me think a little deeper can be very strange things! Recently, I downloaded a new cd by Mandisa. The title is "What if we were real". Leading up to the release of this cd, I had been reading several tweets by Mandisa and how this album came about. She became very frustrated with herself, her struggle with weight, etc., and one day she blurted something out on twitter. Something very real to what she was struggleing with that day. I have to admit, I've always thought her tweets were more real than something I would but out for the public to see. (Let me be very clear, she is always tasteful and is never putting out information to get attention. But, she tells the truth about exactly what she is doing that day.) Somedays are up and some are down.

This has had me thinking about being real with people. I always try to be authentic with people, yet I'm not sure I really do a good job of speaking what is on my heart. Sometimes I'm not even sure what is stirring in my heart! lol  I don't always have the words to describe how something affects me. I certainly rarely have the words to describe what God is trying to do in my life. Sometimes, I'm not even spending enough time with God to give any advice on that category. Now that is real!! lol

One day recently, God gave me two situations where people were very real with me. In just a matter of "hello how is it going?" two different people poured their heart out to me about some very tough stuff going on in their life. I was blown away they trusted me enough to share this information. I was reminded that people are real, if we will just listen. And, I was reminded that my heart needs to be open to really hear what they are saying. And, I was challenged to be more real with people. They don't want or need fake Christianity. They need the real deal! I appreciate it when folks are real, so why would they feel any different?

Now, I'm not saying go and tell everyone your problems, but you know who you can trust. You know who has a heart for Jesus. You know a kindred spirit when you see one! So, share! Open up, be honest! You might just be surprised what God will do with it.

The Holy Spirit has Spoken, I have Listened

My heart has been plowed this weekend and I don't even know where to begin.

First, let me say that the Holy Spirit is real - in case you had a doubt! And, sometimes, when you hear him speak, you can't translate it into words. But, your heart knows when it has been spoken to. Your heart is different. Your heart is better. I'm convinced this is why we all get tripped up on explaining God to people because you simply can't put the Holy Spirit into words.

I told you last week I was longing for my Jesus. Today (and it's Monday to boot!), my cup is overflowing. Not my bank account, not my situations, nothing has changed at my house...except my heart.

When the Holy Spirt works in my heart, he allows me to "feel" more and to soak up Jesus. With ease I can soak up his love for me, his grace, his majesty. Somedays I can put on the music, pull out the Word, but I'm just not feeling it. But when the Holy Spirit shows up, it is effortless.

Today as I listened to a song that mentioned him being slain for me, it hit me fresh: Jesus, not any other god that people bow down to, or make up or worship, was slain for me and you. What other god has that resume? I don't know of one who laid his life down for his people like Jesus did. (Historically the bible is true. A man died. Whether you recognize the spiritual element of his death or not, someone was really slain and died a brutal death.)

This weekend, the Holy Spirit spoke. The ground didn't shake. Lightening didn't strike. He simply used someone who was listening to Him, to speak to his people. My longing heart has heard and is filled. My ears are opened. My walls have been knocked down...once again. All of these make it easy for me to feel his presence, hear his word and draw near to him. It is amazing that a few words, uttered by an obedient disciple of Christ, words that in the natural make no sense, can open my heart and plow hard ground like nothing else I could ever dream up on my own. The Holy Spirit has spoken and praise God that he has allowed my heart to hear and be changed.

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