Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Be Weak...everyone is doing it OR should be

Hello to my sweet Sister Wives!! 

I have missed you, but am so excited to be on your computer screens or phones todayJ You all have been prayed for today as you start school!

A 10-year-old boy decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident.
The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn’t understand why, after three months of training the master had taught him only one move. “Sensei,”(Teacher in Japanese) the boy finally said, “Shouldn’t I be learning more moves?” “This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you’ll ever need to know,” the sensei replied.
Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training. Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The boy was now in the finals.
This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened. “No,” the sensei insisted, “Let him continue.” Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament.
He was the champion. On the way home, the boy and sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind.
“Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?”
“You won for two reasons,” the sensei answered. “First, you’ve almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of the judo. And second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm.”
The boy’s biggest weakness had become his biggest strength
We live in a world where perception of perfection is reality. Everyone has the perfect job, the perfect family, the perfect life. Social media, blogs, website, family pictures etc., all has created this illusion of perfection therefore any weakness we may have we will hide or kill ourselves trying to make it a strength. We don’t just struggle with the fear of failure, we struggle because we think perfection is our only option.  What the heck are we doing? Jesus himself, the creator, the savior, the God of the universe said,
My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Paul goes on to say…., “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”
Here me loud and clear: IF WE ARE UNABLE TO SHARE OUR WEAKNESSES, THEN WE ARE UNABLE TO SHARE IN CHRIST’S STRENGTH.
We serve a God that doesn’t want us to dig down deep and try harder to be perfect, but to say out loud and admit that we are not. Jesus didn’t die on the cross because we were perfect, but because we weren’t.
Here’s just a few of mine:
  1. I am weak at organization. It’s exhausting trying to get my crap together
  2. I am weak at finishing. The amount of books I have started to read and not finished is astonishing.
  3. I am weak at humility. I can both boast in what I can do and tear myself a part for what I can’t…both are pride and sin.
  4. I am weak at time management. I once went to a time management counselor for a year.
  5. I am weak at not letting ministry outside my home affect the ministry inside my home.
Be encouraged today that as you start this new school year off, we are not called to be perfect but to admit that we are not and trust our weaknesses to the one who is!

Love you all!!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Failing Forward

Thomas Edison tried two thousand different materials in search of a filament for the light bulb. When none worked satisfactorily, his assistant complained, “All our work is in vain. We have learned nothing, Not sure if we can use an electricity properly.”
Edison replied very confidently, “Oh, we have come a long way and we have learned a lot. We know that there are two thousand elements which we cannot use to make a good light bulb.”
Thomas Edison was just as wise as he was brilliant. And I was always taught “We are smart if we learn from our mistakes, but we are wise if were learn from other peoples mistakes.”

There is a man we can learn from when it comes to making mistakes. Because let’s be clear, it’s not IF we make a mistake, it is WHEN we make a mistake. Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples,  was discussing what people were saying regarding who Jesus wasFinally, Jesus  said to them, “But who do You say I am?”
Peter replied, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living. God.” Matthew 16:15-16

Oh but my favorite part comes next…

Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. And I will give you the keys to Heaven….” Matthew 16:17-18

The moment Peter declared who Jesus was to Him (his savior and Messiah), Jesus in turn declares who Peter was in Christ (a rock, the builder of the church, a world-changer). That same Jesus is saying who you are too! Once we make a personal confession and commitment declaring who Jesus is, that same declaration can be made of you! YOU are a rock. YOU are a builder of the Kingdom. YOU are a world-changer. Don’t forget who You are in Christ. We have to keep reminding ourselves who Jesus is and he in turn will remind you who you are.

But what about when me make mistakes?

When instead of a Rock, you crumble under the pressure of being a tired mom, wife, daughter or friend?
Or you fail at building your family up each day so how can you build the Kingdom?
You fail at changing your clothes some days so whose to say you can change the world?  

If you remember, it wasn’t too long after Peters bold declaration of who Jesus was that The Rock crumbled. Not just crumbled, but crumbled under the pressure of a little girl. He literally couldn’t tell a little girl (and two other people) that Jesus is the Messiah and he was the Rock that would build Jesus’ church. He denied Jesus. He denied His own identity. He failed. He failed. And He failed again.

Did his failures change what Jesus said was his future?
Nope…God used them to shape it.

After the Resurrection, Jesus walked and talked with Peter. I can only imagine the shame, guilt, feelings of failure that Peter felt…wait, I don’t have to imagine them I have felt them, every single one of them after each one of my failures. But during this time, Jesus didn’t condemn Peter for his failures, but reminded him of his future.

Jesus: “Do you love me more than these?”
Peter: “Yes, Lord. You know I love you.”
Jesus: “Then feed my lambs.”

Jesus: “Do you love me?”
Peter: “yes, Lord. You know I love you.”
Jesus: “Then take care of my sheep”

Jesus: “Do you love me?”
Peter: “Lord, you know everything. You know I love you.”
Jesus: “Then feed my sheep.”  (John 21:15-17)

Like Edison, we will all fail. But with Jesus we will always fail forward.


Be encouraged today sweet friends!! Love and hugs to you all!!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Choose Jesus...He chose you

Happy Day to my peeps, my sisters, and my friends!  I hope you had a great Easter with friends/familyJ
So…there was a curious frog that found himself on gas stove and jumped into a nice pot of water. The water felt warm so he did not try to jump out of the vessel, instead just stayed in it. As the temperature of the water started to rise, the frog managed to adjust its body temperature accordingly. As the water started to reach the boiling point, the frog was no longer able to keep up and manage its body temperature according to the water temperature. The frog tried to jump out of the vessel but with water temperature reaching its boiling point, the frog was not able to bear it and couldn’t make it.
As followers of Christ, this world is not our home. Like this frog, we can find ourselves tempted in so many different ways by the luring, warming, and often times, deceptive paths of this world. Jesus understood this because he lived it and prayed for us to have the strength to overcome it. In Jesus’ last moments before being arrested, he prayed for you and he prayed for me:
“….Now I am coming to you. I told them (disciples) many things while I was with them in the this world, so they would be filled with joy. I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not  belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into this world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.” John 17: 13-20 (You can read the whole amazing prayer in John 17)
Can I just say how much I love Jesus? While preparing to die, he is teaching us how to live.
When we seek happiness from the world, we have find ourselves in pot of water on a burning stove. It will last for a while but it will NEVER be good enough. We will constantly try to keep up with the ever-changing culture. Yes, we can adapt but our hearts are slowly dying in the process. This can take the form of compromising our faith out of fear of the world.  Giving into a sinful temptation that may have been knocking at our door. Following the ways of this world instead of setting the example of God’s. The question I have to ask myself and want to ask you as well, how are we choosing culture over Christ? What we watch? Who we are in relationships in? Where we go? What we do?
The enemy is not Culture, but often the culture follows where our enemy is leading….away from Jesus. This enemy Jesus prayed about is real and will come at us two ways: Temptation and Opposition. The bible teaches us how to handle this:
1)      Flee from Temptation
2)      Fight opposition
Unfortunately, we do the complete opposite. We will fight temptation and flee when it comes to opposition. All the frog had to do was jump out when the water started to get warm, but instead fought the temptation until it slowly killed him.                     
Girls, WE MUST CHOOSE CHRIST OF CULTURE, FOREVER JOY OVER TEMPORARY HAPPINESS, THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD OVER THE LIES OF THE ENEMY IN THIS WORLD. Praying for you all now!!!

Love you all!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

BAD MOMS

Yes, I am in full-time ministry.
Yes, I know people look to me as a Christ-like example.
Yes, I love Jesus.
Yes, I am aware of the things I post, listen to and watch because of the reasons listed above. BUT...

Yes, I went to the movies and watched the rated "R" movie Bad Moms

What?!!! I know right?.  I get it. Some of you will disagree with me, oppose me, or even feel disappointed by me but hear me out.
I didn't walk into the wrong movie theatre on accident. I wasn't peer pressured by Bad Moms into seeing it. I intentionally wanted to see it...from the moment I saw the previews I was drawn to it. And I wasn't alone. Mom after mom had seen it, was making plans to see it, or was on their way to see it again.

Why?

Because every freaking woman I know (whether you admit it or not) could relate to the lead character in wanting to say, "I quit".

Was the movie inappropriate? yes. Was it disturbing in a lot of ways yes. BUT...

For 2 hours I watched what I secretly wanted to do:
-bring store bought donut holes to the school bake sale
-tell my kids that mom was done and they needed to make their own breakfast
-share with other moms all the flaws of my kids without feeling the judgement of my parenting

The world was telling us what God already had.

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO BE PERFECT

The difference between the world and God is
-the world wants us to simply find peace in our imperfections
-while God knows its impossible to find peace in our imperfections without finding peace in His perfections.

As a Jew from birth born into the Israel tribe of Benjamin and a member of the religous leaders, Pharisees, Paul understood what it meant to follow the thousands of rules that went along with his religion. The Pharisees were the judgemental moms on steroids. So when he became a follower of Christ, we see througout the book of Philippians his excitment of being set free from the rules to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus.

"But I press on the posess that perfection for which Jesus first possesed me. No dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing, forgetting the past and looking foward to what lies ahead. I press on to reach the end of the race and recieve the heavenly prize for which God, thorugh Jesus is calling us." Philippians 3:12-14

Paul had not achieved what he wanted to do or who he wanted to be (can you relate?). But he wasn't discouraged by it, overwhelmed because of it, or burdened over it.
Failing meant pressing on.
Imperfection meant pressing on.
Falling short meant pressing on.

What Bad Moms did for moms is what Jesus wants to do for all moms, wives, women, people everywhere: Release us from these feelings, thoughts, and guilt of not being perfect. But know we are loved by perfection.


WE ARE CONSTANTLY SEEKING FROM THE WORLD WHAT CHRIST DIED TO GIVE US.

FREEDOM. LOVE. HOPE. GRACE. IDENTITY.

Its not about being perfect but finding feedom in the perfection of Christ.

We don't presson for our perfection, we press on to find our identity in His.

So...to all my mommas who are tired, overwhelmed and sick of living up to the "perfect pinterest" life and just want to quit...Please hang in there sweet friend.

Jesus didn't die for you because you were perfect, He died for you because you weren't!!

Lets live this life of a BAD MOM because we serve a GREAT GOD!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

OU Softball WCWS

As you watch the sooner softball team tonight there will be something you will notice both the fans and players doing each time the Sooners come off the field before they bat.

Everyone's hands will be raised.

Why?

It's biblical.

One the greatest stories of teamwork in the midst of battle is found in Exodus 17...

“Moses commanded Joshua, “Choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek for us. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand.” So Joshua did what Moses had commanded and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.”  Exodus‬ ‭17:9-13‬ ‭‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Joshua needed Moses. Moses needed Aaron and Hur. They all needed God.

Although we know this is not a real war, sports teaches and prepares is for real life. Whether on the softball field or in life...we all need each other and most importantly God!! We can do nothing on our own-even win a national championship. So as you watch (a hopefully cheer), you will see  sport imitating life inspired by Gods Word! Boomer Sooner!!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Let's be real...

Ok…so I am going to share a few things about myself with you all today:
1)      I am a 3 time state champion in track
2)      I just finished running in the OKC Marathon this past weekend
3)      Right this minute my house is spotless
4)      My kids all have field trips and projects going on and we are done with them and all permission slips are in
5)      This year has been my greatest year of fruitful ministry since I started in FCA 13 years ago

Now…before you start cursing me and thinking bad thoughts about me, I have just given you the Facebook version, the surface version of every single one of these. Now lets move past the surface to the reality of these….

1)      These state championships were because I was on a relay with 3 really fast girls. I was not even close to winning anything in an individual race
2)      The same goes for the Marathon. I ran the Marathon as relay with 5 others girls because there is no way in the world I would ever put myself through running 26 miles…to be honest that sounds like my version of hellJ (Serious props to all marathon runners, you are rock stars) 
3)      I ask for no presents from my family throughout the year so I can have Marciela come and clean my house each month. We love Marciella and feel like she is a part of our family. I think I would give up a kid before I would give up Marciella. She just came yesterday and we were gone all last night hence it is still clean. I have no doubt my kids will come home today and see it is clean and think “we must get this house back to normal asap.”
4)      You know the moms that are on top of everything? The type “A” moms that if it wasn’t for them, nothing would get done? I have sought out that mom in each one of my kids classes and have begged them to take me under their wing and help this little sad mess of a crazy mom. They have each taken pity on me and send me the lifesaving text messages like
“The history project is due this Friday and you will need a tri-fold board, do you need me to pick you up one?”
“The permission form is due today, do you want me to forge your name and turn it in for you?”
“Did you remember to get the skittles for the Math project?”
5)      I have sought professional counseling twice: Pattye, who specialized in Time management counseling (I didn’t even know this was a thing until my boss signed me up for it, which was his way of saying you have got to get your act together)
And the latest was Mareen, a professional counselor who specializes in counseling those in full time ministry. She is the perfect balance of sweet, bake you cookies Grandma and no filter, tell you how it is grandma. Both, God used to help me be the best I can possibly be in this calling of full time ministry-in and outside of my home.
A couple of things I want you to learn from this…
1)      Jesus said, “Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.” John 7:24. We try so hard to live on the surface for others and then just look at the surface of others. Relationships are not built on the surface, but by doing life with others sharing in all of each other’s messiness. God is a relational God and we see that through His Son Jesus. Does he want anything less from our relationships with each other? We are the body of Christ, which basically means “imperfect people doing this life with the help of a perfect God and other imperfect people.”
2)      That leads me to this point: WE NEED EACH OTHER. As much as we would love to show the world that we are strong enough to do everything on our own, God’s strength is shown through our weakness. We get God’s strength when we show humility, realizing this life is not about us, but about Him! We need those women who will pour life into us through their teaching ability, pour life into us through their generosity, and pour life into us through their hospitality.  God teaches us in Ecclesiastes 4:9, “Two are better than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” God has placed so many women in my path to make me the mom, wife, Bible teacher, FCA leader He wants me to be. It takes a village, or in my case a whole state to do all that God has called me to do.
Let’s do this life together, You, me and Jesus! ….I’m in for your messiness if you are in for mineJ

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Dealing with those that make us Hard-working Christians?



I have nicknames for all my kids. I call Cale my heart, Chloe my joy, Case my light, Cruz my hope... All things that they have taught me or bring into my life etc.

This was Chloe and I’s conversation last week
C: “Why do you call Cale your heart?”
Me: “Because he is the one that made me a mom”
C: “Well, I am the one who makes you a hard-working mom”

I love her so much but she is my queen of one-liners and is completely telling the truthJ

Do you have that person in your life that makes you a hard-working Christian? They are just not easy to love. You want to act non-christian to them and say non-christian things to them or about them.
-maybe a student of yours
-maybe your mother or mother-in-law
-maybe a parent
-maybe a child
-maybe a frienemy

We all have them! They can make our lives miserable. So how do we deal with those that make life hard work? 

“A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. There were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks. Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.”

There was an earthquake and all the doors flew open and the chains were broken.

“The jailer woke up to see the doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. But Paul Shouted, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!’…the jailer said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Acts 16:22-29

I know you are thinking, “there is no way in…..I can start singing hymns and praying with this person.” (Just me?:))

The answer isn’t what they did, but who their focus was on. It wasn’t on the jailer, who locked them up and most likely took part in the beatings, it was on Jesus. They weren’t focused on the beating of their body, but the raised body of Jesus. They weren’t focused on their pain physically, but on the one that saved them spiritually. They weren’t focused on the enemy that put them there, but the God that could get them out.

We see what honest to goodness faith in the one True God looks like in this story and we can all experience it. The encouraging thing is when we do, like Paul and Silas everybody is watching and/or listening. That is when we get to rejoice because what the enemy meant to drive us over the edge is what God uses to make lost people found!