Month: January 2016 (page 2 of 2)

Pink Sisters

The headline warranted a second look,

“Pink Sisters mark 100 years of nonstop prayer, seek 100 more.”

All my  brain could muster was “Wow”.IMG_6501

Gotta read more.

100 years of nonstop prayer.  Did I read that right? 100 years?  Wow, again.

I am humbled and in awe of these amazing ladies, the Pink Sisters. Nonstop praying…

Not for 100 seconds (not quite 2 minutes)

Not for 100 minutes (not quite 2 hours)

Not for 100 hours ( a little more than 4 days)

Not for 100 days (from today until April 17)

Not for 100 weeks ( just over 2 years)

No, they have been storming His Throne nonstop for 100 years.

The Pink Sisters, named for their rose-colored habits, have prayed in shifts to ensure nonstop prayer in Philadelphia. According to the Associated Press article, the newspaper they receive does not include the entertainment or sports sections. So they are not praying for Hollywood or the NFL playoffs. Not insinuating that either need prayers, just saying. The national and international headlines must keep them very busy.

I am in awe of their commitment. To be that devoted to prayer. Puts me to shame.

An article in my devotional this week likened prayer to a drive-thru order.

“God, I’ll take a super-sized order of Your Blessings, with an order of All Things Going My Way, one large cup of Your Protection with no problems, toss in some packets of Guidance and Wisdom, and a very small order of Spiritual Growth on the side. Oh, please sprinkle in some forgiveness for all that stuff I did yesterday. Thanks.”

Drive thru; speed it up! The faster, the better. Just grab and go! And make sure the order is correct!  I hate when my order isn’t right.

Is this how I treat prayer? If this how I talk to God, the Creator of the Universe? Ouch! Why do my toes hurt?

J. C. Ryle (1816-1900) was a writer, evangelical preacher, and the first Anglican bishop of Liverpool and he got it right.

Let us never forget what a solemn thing it is to speak with God. Let us beware of rushing into His presence with carelessness and flippancy. Let us say to ourselves, “I am on Holy ground. This is none other than the gate of Heaven.”

J. C. Ryle

Prayer. It is not a drive-thru; but the gate of Heaven. I need to start praying like I understand the difference.

Let’s Walk Worthy!

Photo credit: Associated Press

Your Smile

See if you can name the song with these lyrics.

Advantage to the 40+ crowd.

When I see you smile, I can face the world,

Oh, you know I can do anything.

When I see you smile, I see a ray of light

Oh, I see it shining right through the rain.

When I see you smile, Baby when I see you smile at me.

When I See You Smile” was a #1 hit released by Bad English, an American/British rock band, on September 16, 1989. This song popped into my head when one of my sponsored children asked an awesome question.

Angel, my sponsored child from Mexico, wondered, “Why did you choose me?”

I didn’t have to think hard or ponder long, “Why did I choose him?I knew exactly why. So I wrote him and told him…..

It was your smile 🙂 

Angel’s smile. It is beautiful and pure. It melts my heart. It makes me smile; almost  giggle. ME1470100-Fullshot-200wIt causes me to want to write more  and advocate more and shout from the roof tops that there are more  children waiting. It reminds me to pray more. It encourages me to count my blessings more. It fuels my resolve to “keep on, keeping on” for all the children. It is a ray of light shining through the rain.

When I open my Bible (hopefully daily), I see Angel’s bookmark that I received with his packet. I see his picture with his smiling face. I see him smiling back at me and I smile! Yay! I love it! The tremendous love I have for this smiling, precious boy whom I have never met is of God and by God. That is so cool and goose-bumpy!

Why was he chosen? What a great question! Does Angel see other children who are not chosen? Does he have friends or neighbors who have been waiting and waiting to be chosen? How do children process all these difficult emotions?

Has your sponsored child asked you this question? Do you remember what drew you in and filled your heart? And from that moment, you just knew this child would be a member of your family? Was it their name, their birthdate, or perhaps their amazing smile? I would love to hear your reason of why.

When I see Angel smile, I am ready to face the world again.

 

Tentacles

tentacleTentacles. Yeah, those slimy, far-reaching, creepy arms that envelop you and squeeze the stuffin out.  They latch on and they don’t let go.

I am pretty sure satan has tentacles. He is commonly portrayed with a forked tail, horns and pitch fork but my visual  has him sporting tentacles too. Lots and lots of them. Tentacles equipped with suction cups to suck me in and thorny hooks to secure me.  He uses them to grab me and pull me under pressuring  my mind and body in his death grip.

He squeezes and squeezes, tighter and tighter. He wants to suffocate me with his lies. Lies that I am unworthy, God doesn’t really hear my prayers and certainly doesn’t  care about little ol’ me. Then stupid-head (satan) adds a jumbo dose of guilt.

I become entangled. I get twisted and knotted. I can’t breathe; I can’t think clearly. I am prey caught in his sickening grip. He drags me under, going deeper and darker; away from any light and air.

How do I battle back? How can I loosen his grip? How do I get free? Is there any hope? Can I free myself? No, I can’t. Not on my own power. I am powerless.

Realizing this and admitting this is part of the battle plan. Another key battle plan component is know your enemy! Call him by his disgusting names:  father of lies, destroyer, accuser, murderer, wicked one, prowling lion, and poopy-head.  Be aware of his tactics and tricks.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 6:12 NIV

What tentacles are entangling you? What lies are being whispered in your ear? It’s a New Year but we have the same ole enemy. Always prowling, always searching, always reaching out with his nasty tentacles ready to grab hold and squeeze the Life out of you and me.

But the Battle has been won!!! I came up for air today. A big gulp of God-air.

My dear Krista, you come from God and belong to God. You have already won a big victory over these false teachers, for the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world.

1 John 4:4  Personalized from The Message

I lift my face towards the Son and I breathe Him in deeply and fully.

I return my swords of worship, praise and Scripture to their sheaths. I am ready to do battle but I never battle alone.

Be strong, Krista. Take courage, Krista. Don’t be intimidated, Krista. Don’t give your enemies a second thought because God, YOUR GOD, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you, Krista. He won’t let you down, Krista; He won’t leave you, Krista.

Deuteronomy 31: 6 Personalized from The Message

 

 

 

Lead Well – Leave Well

hand turning pageJanuary 3, 2016

Dear Fellow Travelers,

A New Year cannot begin without tearing off the last page of the Old Year. A New Chapter cannot begin without turning the last page of the Previous Chapter. Endings mean something new is about to begin. New can be scary and exciting; a great leap of faith.  What is God going to do next? Where will He lead? What will He write on my blank life-pages?

I just finished another life-chapter. Ready to lick my finger and turn the page. It is time to move on from leading a ministry that God began with a whisper, an idea, a “Why not?” 5 years ago. He planted the seed,  watered it abundantly and blessed the growth. He brought amazingly dedicated team members. He provided finances. His faithfulness was apparent at every phase. I was privileged to be used to do His Work and to watch the maturation.

But just as important to be open to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to step into leadership; it is equally important to be listening  for when He lovingly and gently says, “It’s time to move on. You are done here.” My loving Heavenly Father was nudging me; elbowing me in my side. God had ordained my beginning 5 years ago and now He was orchestrating my departing time. It was time to hand-off and hand-over. Transition time. Ready, set, let go.

Now it is time for someone else to face the challenges and receive the blessings. Now the new leader will have the opportunity to use her God-given gifts to make the ministry what God wants it to be moving forward.

When you understand it is not “my work or my ministry” but His, it is easier to let go and move on. This was never really mine. Transition well. Lead well and Leave well.

I heard a leader once say ( I want to credit Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church but not sure),  that you can finalize leadership transition when your successor has developed 60% of the necessary leadership responsibilities. They will continue to  grow and invent the remaining 40%. No need to wait until 100% is achieved,  because you would never leave. I find this to be true and very freeing. open book

So I am letting go, moving on, turning the page.

Waiting  patiently as the Author of my life pens the next chapter.

It will be exciting!

Let’s Walk Worthy!

 

A Pretty Big But

What’s that? nemo
I know what that is. Sandy Plankton saw one. He called it… uh… he said it was called a “butt”.
That’s a pretty big butt. 

 

 

When you are driving alone for 8 hours, you have a lot of time to think and to listen to music. My CD player was locked and loaded.

Newsboys (my preference is “old” with Peter Furler), Abba ( 2 words: Dancing Queen), Fleetwood Mac (no explanation needed), Bee Gees (sometimes you just need to hear some falsetto), Downhere (can’t beat Marc Martel’s uncanny vocal resemble to Queen’s Freddie Mercury), and Sidewalk Prophets (recently saw them in concert).  On standby was ELO and Celine Dion. Eclectic mix but I stayed awake!

That is a pretty big BUT.  “I am the sweat from your brow, BUT You love me anyway.” A really gigantic BUT. There’s more…..

IMG_6470

Everyday I screw up and everyday Jesus’ response is, “BUT I love you, Krista, anyway.” Did I already stain my 2016 clean slate?  Yes! Did I already allow unwholesome words to come out of my mouth (see previous post, “Build”)? Yes!  BUT He loves me anyway.

“I ( Krista) am the nail in your wrist, BUT You love me anyway.”  I caused Him pain, I betrayed Him,  and I nailed Him to the cross. His response? BUT He Loves me anyway!

That is a pretty  (insert all the synonyms for “big”) colossal, hefty, immense, huge, gigantic, mammoth, jumbo, oversize, whopping………..  BUT.

On this fresh, New Year, there is great Freedom and amazing Grace in knowing  when I  ____________________; But He loves me anyway.

It cost Jesus His life to be able to offer this to you and to me. This is serious. I am very grateful and deeply humbled by these words replaying in my head. I will keep hitting rewind.  I need to be reminded everyday of His Ultimate Sacrifice and the pretty big BUT.

Photo Credit: Disney’s, “Finding Nemo

 

Newer posts