Sunday, January 31, 2010

2010 Memory Verse #3!

Well, this will likely be a shorter post because I'm tired! But I want to get this up for tomorrow in case anyone wants to tell me what they're memorizing next! : ) (That could be YOU, you know!) So here's what I'm memorizing next:
Colossians 3:15-17 "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
I've never had a "life verse" before, but have felt this week like this might be a new "life verse" for me. I know God is at work in bringing more peace and more thankfulness into my life. I long to have His words dwelling in me richly and it is my dream to teach others more about God's truth. I also love writing music and leading worship and want to honor God in whatever I do. I also have felt like in this last week - at the Celebration event and after I came home - God has confirmed that He wants me to be doing those things. God really rekindled my passion for His Word. I believe He called me again to TEACH. I love, love, love talking to women and blogging for women (and the few men that love me enough to read what I write!) but right now the main "students" I have to teach are teenagers! Young-ish ones at that... I love the youth group we have but it's definitely a much bigger challenge to teach them than it is to talk to adults. I'm grateful that they listen as much as they do and that it gives me the opportunity to learn to teach. I'm praying God will teach me how to be a better teacher as I keep practicing and learning. And I also need to be more thankful. And more peaceful. : ) (And to go to bed!) : ), Melissa PS... If you're memorizing something, tell me in the comments what it is! Don't give up!!! : )

Friday, January 29, 2010

Scripture Memory Celebration Trip - Part 2!

(I have to come up with a better title for this series!) OK... Better get moving on this or I'll never get to Houston! : ) (If you missed Part One somehow, you can start here.) OK. So I got on the flight from San Francisco to Houston, full of excitement and anticipation, already just glad to get out of the GRAY blanket of clouds that had been hanging over the valley for at least a week, enjoying listening to God's voice and JUST RESTING! It felt so good just to rest my mind! Something I've realized since last week is just how much energy I spend THINKING!!! It was nice to not have to think so much. : ) As we were sitting on the plane waiting to take off, an attendant made an announcement saying that all of the passengers and attendants were on board... but there weren't any pilots yet! : ) They were on their way, so we should be on our way soon. Immediately I knew I was being taught another lesson! I started thinking about how ridiculous it would be if I decided I couldn't wait any longer! What if the pilots never showed up??? I just couldn't wait any longer and was going to just fly that plane myself! Wouldn't that be a disaster? For me and everyone else on the plane??? Lesson #4: Wait for God even when it seems like He's late. Trust Him because He's never late and taking matters into my own hands will always end badly - for me and everyone around me. (Psalm 37:7 "Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act...") On that flight we ran into some turbulence. The pilot got on the intercom and apologized to all of us saying that we were going to be in some choppy air for about 10 minutes because there wasn't a clear altitude we could move to. We'd be through in a few minutes and we'd be fine. I've been over the ocean (on the way to Thailand) in turbulence before, but it was different in this smaller plane. I could hear and see the plane's wings bouncing around and was amazed that the plane could take that kind of jostling. (And that air could be so bumpy! But I guess wind can be awfully windy sometimes...) Have you already figured out what lesson #5 was? : ) Lesson #5: Sometimes there isn't a way around the challenges in life. I have to trust God as my Pilot to get me through them - and trust that He won't let me get torn apart in the process. Panicking and pulling out the parachute and bailing out on the process God is leading me through would only get me into a whole new set of mountains to climb. Trusting Him to get me through the turbulence in one piece is better. (Romans 5:3-5 "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings because suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts, by the Holy Spirit whom He has given us.") (Both of these scripture passages are ones I memorized last year!) Well, I made it to Houston! : ) My flight was a bit late, so I only had about an hour to get my car rented, get some food and get to the church before the celebration started! God got me through the car process and I was trusting Him to lead me through the maze out of the airport and to the church. (Remember His promise to "Get me there?") All was well until I found myself in a slow-moving line of cars and I started to feel uncertain about whether or not I had missed something. Was I in a line of cars waiting to get onto the freeway or was I in a line of people who had already gotten off the freeway??? I started to feel more and more like I was in the wrong place and pulled off into a courthouse annex parking lot. Could see the address number, but not what street I was on! Nobody was in the lot and the doors were locked. My husband wasn't answering his phone. I was alone and starting to feel a little bit panicky. Not so much that I would stay lost, but because I didn't want to be late!!!!! And I didn't know where I was!!! What good were all of my wonderful maps if I didn't KNOW WHERE I WAS??? And what happened to GOD GETTING ME THERE??????? Well, I prayed and told God I didn't know what to do! Ended up calling my in-laws and tried to get them to figure out where I was. Turned out they were looking online at a courthouse in Georgia, so I'm especially glad that while I was on the phone with them a sheriff pulled into the parking lot. Phew! I waved him down and he told me where to go and within about a minute I was heading back the right way, got on the freeway and was on my way to the church where Yvonne and Bethany (my new friends that I hadn't met yet!) were saving me a seat. All weekend I kept thinking about getting lost and wondering "What in the world was that? I was trusting God to lead me. I know He helped me and I did get there, but I still don't get it!" You might already know what the lesson there was, but I didn't figure it out until Sunday on my way home. And you'll have to wait until I get to that part of the story to see what I learned. : ) OK. Enough for now. I'll talk about the actual Celebration event next! : ) Isn't God good???

Click here to go to PART THREE!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Scripture Memory Celebration Trip - Part One!

At the Celebration event I attended this weekend, one of the things Mama Beth shared was her concern that so often when we hear a Word from God, we so quickly start thinking "so and so really needs to hear this!" and whether it's via blogs or twitter or FB (or anything else) we just start passing everything on before we allow the truth of what was said to be planted in our own hearts. You can count me guilty of that! Maybe not passing everything on, but certainly reading the Bible with the youth group in mind, etc. instead of reading with the focus squarely on allowing God to feed my heart and speak truth to my heart. So before I started telling my story from this weekend, I wanted to make sure I allowed at least a little bit of time for the truths of it to sink deeper into my heart. But now I'm ready!!!

I'm breaking this up into parts because otherwise it would be the longest blog post ever AND I don't have that much time today. Neither do you! So in parts it is. There is so much I want to share with you all. I'm praying even now as I type this for the Holy Spirit to help me put it all into words you will understand. And I'm praying you like details because apparently I do!

I woke up early Friday morning and my longtime prayer partner Lisa picked me up to take me to the airport. I got there and checked in and waited for my flight with no problem. Have I mentioned to y'all (I did just get back from TX, so I can say y'all) that I've never flown anywhere alone before in my life except for a one way trip to Portland where Lowell met me at the airport? This was a big deal for me to be going on a trip like this by myself. I wasn't concerned about the flying, but I had been praying a lot about finding my way around Houston in a rental car without getting lost. God really convicted me when He said to me "If I've gone to all this work just to get you there, do you think I'm not going to GET YOU THERE???" I was clinging to Isa. 30:21 "Whether you turn to the left or to the right, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying "This is the way. Walk in it." Trusting Him to lead me and GET ME THERE!

It was fun to get a phone call in the airport from my new friends Yvonne and Bethany (both from the valley here) so I knew that even though we hadn't met in person yet, they were there and waiting for me! Yay! (Do you see now why I'm going to need several posts to tell this whole story?????) SO. All 8 (yes EIGHT!) passengers were on the first plane waiting to fly when the attendant got on the speaker saying we were going to be delayed about 30 min while maintenance fixed a switch in the cockpit. I overheard the co-pilot explaining to her that we could have flown without it, but he and the pilot wouldn't have been able to hear each other. God immediately started speaking to me about how important it is for me to be able to HEAR HIM. If I'm not hearing Him or sensing His presence, it might be worth stopping some other stuff (like ministry!) to get whatever is wrong fixed. Lesson #1: Make sure I can hear the pilot. (Luke 10:39 "She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said.")

Once we were finally in the air, at one point we were flying through some clouds and God brought to my mind how sometimes in life I can't see where in the world God is taking me. Looking from my perspective it might even look like we're not moving at all! But I have to trust that , number one, we ARE moving, and number two, God knows exactly where He's taking me. Lesson #2: Trust God to lead me, even when I can't see a thing. (Jeremiah 10:23 "I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own. It is not for man to determine his steps.")

OK… I'd better stop for now. See what I mean? God had already started speaking to me and we hadn't even gotten to San Francisco yet! J May you listen to Him as He leads you today… He loves us so very much.

Y, Melissa

You can keep reading PART TWO here!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm Leavin' On a Jet Plane...

Well, first I actually have to take a prop plane but eventually tomorrow morning I'll be on a jet plane to Houston to attend the LPM Scripture Memory Team Celebration (google it if you're curious) at Beth Moore's home church! I'm super excited and just about packed and ready to go! All I really have time for at the moment is to post (late!) what I'm memorizing and pondering this half of January. It's a passage that has always fascinated and perplexed me.
Luke 10:38-42 "As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, 'Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!' 'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, 'you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
In my pondering and praying about this passage this week, so far I've noticed:
  • Martha wasn't just working. She was "distracted, worried & upset". Hmmm...
  • Mary was listening to Jesus.
  • Martha thought Jesus didn't care.
  • I wish Jesus had been more specific about the "one thing" that is needed. Was it just for that day? The only thing that's ever needed???
  • Mary's choice to sit at the Lord's feet would not be taken away from her.
God's been showing me more and more how important it is for me to seek Him more and to sit with Him more and to listen to Him more - ALL DAY LONG. EVERY DAY. That just might be the "one thing." Being close to Him... This is another verse I discovered the other day that I'm listening to... Jeremiah 10:23 "I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps." I'm learning to trust the Holy Spirit to direct my steps more often. And right now He's directing me to stop and go to bed so I can wake up in the morning and get on that plane. Can't wait to tell you all what I learn while I'm gone!!!!! : ) ~Melissa PS What are you memorizing???

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Happy 2010!!!

Happy New Year everyone! I'm just hopping on here quickly to share with you my first memory verse for 2010! It doesn't look like Beth Moore is doing the Scripture Memory challenge again this year, but I wanted to do it again and found someone else online who is inviting others to join her (on her blog) as well. Same format as last year... you log in on the 1st and 15th of every month with what verse(s) your memorizing. Just like I exercise more consistently with someone to do it with, I memorized more scripture last year than ever before because I had others to do it with! I looked forward every 1st and 15th to picking my next verses and was really feeling the need to find some others to do it with again! So glad I found eLisa at : ) Yay! IF YOU AREN'T MEMORIZING SCRIPTURE consistently, can I encourage you to join me??? Get yourself a spiral bound set of index cards (or just a post-it note!) and just get started! You surely won't regret it!!! You can share with me what you're memorizing or log in over at eLisa's blog. Just don't procrastinate and do it! : ) After a busy, fun, filled Christmas vacation (the kids still have one more week off, but it should be more "normal") I'm really needing to get back to going to bed earlier so I can wake up earlier! I've been sleeping in a lot and am really missing my Bible study time in the mornings. So here are my first verses for 2010:
Psalm 119:135 & 147
"Make your face shine upon your servant and teach me your decrees." "I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your Word."
I LOVE picturing God's face shining on me as I seek Him in His Word. And I'm determining to get up early... starting tomorrow! To cry for help and find my hope in His Word. It is life to me! I can't afford to sleep through any more times I could be having with Him... : ) Pray for me that I will be wise and get to bed on time so I can get up! What do you need me to pray for you about? Let me know! : )
Grace & Peace,