Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chapter 3 - Page 23 Vision

Chapter three is about vision...

My favorite inspirational quote from this chapter is:

"How radically different would modern American youth culture be
if we stopped raising our kids to survive their world and 
started empowering them with a vision to change it?" (p.33)

I love this quote because it is a reminder that as Christians we are not just survivors - we are over-comers.  We need to believe, pray and act like it. Can you imagine? What would the world be like if right now, today, every Christian began living with a God-given vision to change the world? 

In this chapter Steven talks about his own vision to start a church in a big city to reach people for Christ. It was an audacious vision but God is blessing his faithfulness and using him to reach people for him. He also says that each of us has a vision from God if we will listen with open hearts. 

Do you ever wonder what God's plan is for you? Do you look back over the course of your life and see random happenings : a job here, a move there, an opportunity lost? Sometimes  we look for the patterns in our lives and find that they are just not there. That's because we can't see the big picture. 

God is a God of order, not chaos. He ordered the universe in all of it's striking complexities long before we came into being. He ordered our lives that way too, down to the number of our days and the very hairs on our heads. 

Here is what Steven says about that:  "God gives people the exact experiences he wants them to have in order to shape the specific destiny he's designed for them." (p.21)

What does he say about that vision? You need to read this book and find out. This is only chapter three and already I could line my office walls with quotes that I need to remember and refer to often for inspiration.

God has a vision for the world - the whole world; every place over all time. He gives us the privilege of joining with him in that vision, each according to our own gifts, talents, and experiences. Each of us is uniquely created for a God-ordained purpose. I don't want to miss mine, do you? 

The book is, SUN STAND STILL: What Happens When You Dare to ask God for the Impossible, by Steven Furtick.  Check out his website: Steven Furtick for more, and come back tomorrow for a quick review of chapter four: The Sun Stand Still Lexicon. 

Its your turn: what is God's vision for your life? What has God called you to do that is beyond your ability to do it? 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

He said what?

OK I just have to start off with my favorite quote from this chapter, because it gives me hope. See what you think:
"Audacious faith is not...entering a gifted and talented 
program for the spiritually elite." 

That gives me hope. It also takes away all of my excuses. Yours too!

Chapter two briefly recounts the story of Joshua with some amazing insights into his situation that we tend to skim over without absorbing the full impact of them. It also has THE PRAYER, which is found in Joshua 10:12 -

"O sun, stand still at Gibeon,
and O moon in the valley of Aijalon."

Not only did he tell it to stand still, he told it where to stand still! 

This chapter is short but very powerful. How many times have you heard this story? If you've been in church all your life, then you've heard it from the time you were very young. Is it like the story of Jonah and the whale? We 'believe' it happened because stuff like that was always happening - back then -to other people...

If we're honest with ourselves, do we really believe those stories? What do we think about the faith of Joshua? Do we put him on a pedestal with the "spiritual elite" from those other stories in the Bible, admiring his faith at the same time we're glad we weren't the ones swallowed by the whale or marching around Jericho or telling the sun to stand still?


Do we realize that now as then it was never about the people - it was about their God. Our God. The same God of the miracles of the Bible.

Chapter two is about audacity - audacious prayers and audacious faith. Chapter three continues the story with "Page 23 Vision".  Keep reading in Joshua and praying for God to make this story come alive for you.

It's your turn:  What do you think about Joshua's story and his faith? Do you think that God wants audacious prayers from his people? What audacious prayer have you prayed lately?

The book is: SUN STAND STILL: What Happens When You Dare to ask God for the Impossible, by Steven Furtick. Check out his website: www.SUNSTANDSTILL.ORG 

See you tomorrow for more audacious thoughts on prayer and faith. 

Monday, August 29, 2011


My friend Sharon says this all the time. "Oh mylanta!" Now when it's something really, REALLY big, bad, or amazing it comes out as three distinct words:  OH. MY. LANTA! 

I actually wrote this at the bottom of page 7 of Steven Furtick's book, Sun Stand Still, and do you know what made me write that?  This sentence:

"If the size of your vision for your life isn't intimidating to you, there's a good chance it's insulting to God."  (pg.7)

See what I mean?  OH. MY. LANTA!

Chapter one starts off with a bang. In fact, Steven says in one place that he is not writing to "calm or coddle you" but to "incite a riot in your mind". (pg.7) He's off to a great start!

Here's another one:  " is not a drug to sedate you through a life you hate. It is a force to transport you to another realm of reality."  (pg. 10) So much for Christianity being a "crutch".  What is your faith for you? A crutch or a force? 

This is just the first chapter! 

Here's my favorite one, probably because I've been thinking about, praying about, and working on First Things Ministries:  "People try to explain to her that it's never been done before. And I think she likes it that way. If it's necessary, and it's never been done, she seems to assume that's because God intends for her to do it." (pg. 6)  WOW!!

Steven starts right away dispelling any notion that this is going to be a "feel good" read. This is not about feeling good. In fact, it may be about never feeling comfortable again. 

Should I pray for God to keep me intimidated forever? If I stay intimidated by the mission he gives me, does that keep me going back to his Word regularly and back to him in prayer all through the day just to stay grounded? 

I already remind myself so many times during the day that it's just not about me. No matter what I feel, think, experience, or mess up, God is God, always the same, never changing. The same yesterday, today, and forever. (Read Hebrews 13:8). 

No matter what I do or don't do, I cannot derail God's ultimate plan. I can, however, rob myself of the joy and blessing of being a part of it. I really don't want to do that. I also really hate to feel nervous and intimidated, but I think I might be willing to deal with that if it meant that God was performing miracles of Old Testament proportions in and through me! 

That's what this book is about. It is about a faith that is bold and active and solidly grounded in who Jesus is and what he came to do on this earth, and what he intends for us to do while we wait for his return. 

As I read this book I think that this is the kind of faith that he expects every Christian to have because it's the kind that changes the world. It is the light set on a hill for all to see. I want that in my life. I want that to BE my life. 

God has something audacious for you to do. Do you know what it is? Ask him and he'll show you? Share it with us and let us pray with you and work with you. 

It's your turn: What do you think about audacious faith? Too scary? Only for preachers and missionaries? Not interested?

I hope by the time we have reviewed the entire book we all will have a new understanding of audacious faith and an excitement about a life of service. 

While we review the book, make it a point to read the book of Joshua in the Old Testament. Pray for God to speak to you through both and to give you a new vision for your life. 

The book is, SUN STAND STILL: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible, by Steven Furtick (Multnomah Press, 2010)

Tomorrow - Chapter Two:  Prayer That Stops the Sun

Check out his website:

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Praying Big!

My friend Sharon and I had lunch again Saturday - Mexican of course! She is packed and waiting to be deployed with FEMA to one of the areas hit by hurricane Irene. Over chips and salsa and fried ice cream we talked about how God is using her to plant seeds of faith in so many. It's humbling to see that.

We also talked a lot about First Things Ministries - that's our non-profit (soon-to-be!). The ideas just keep coming and they are exciting. They are also God-sized. I think we prayed for that didn't we? Yes, I think we did, and it sounded so exciting - until we actually thought about what God might do. Then it got a little scary. Exciting, but scary.

That's probably a control thing. If it's God-sized then it's definitely out of my hands, but then that's exactly where it needs to be, isn't it?

I'm reading a book by Steven Furtick called, SUN STAND STILL: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible

Want to know what happens?  I'll be reviewing a chapter a day, Monday through Friday, for 4 weeks. Please visit, read, and join a discussion about asking God for the impossible. As you do, remember these two verses:

"For nothing is impossible with God."  Luke 1:37

"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name and I will do it." John 14:12-14. (NIV)

And think about this...if we ask God to direct our prayers and he directs us to pray big don't you think he's doing that because he has something amazing planned? Don't you think we can trust him to fulfill his own plan? 

How about you? Do you pray big? If so, tell us about it. If not, tell us why? Do you not believe he will answer in a big way, or are you afraid he actually will answer in a big way and that scares you to death? :) Be honest, you're among friends.  

Tomorrow Chapter One: "Welcome To Audacious Faith"

See you there!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Just Do It!!

My friend Sharon and I have this thing right now. She has a foundation - WADE In Foundation - and she has taken on projects and been involved in disaster relief...she now works for FEMA and in between disasters has some down time.

At dinner a couple of weeks ago she was telling me about this idea for a children's book and it was wonderful! I can see it becoming a big thing, like Sponge Bob or Veggie Tales. It really was great! So I asked, "Are you writing all these stories down?" She said, "I'm thinking about it."

Check in later...she's still thinking about it. I'm still thinking about my stuff...things I need to do to establish a non-profit....sending query letters to agents and publishers...

I'm all for thinking. Most of us need to do more of it, especially before we speak. (Take a minute there...) But sometimes "thinking about it" becomes just another way to avoid actually doing it.

Thinking about it doesn't get my closet cleaned out.
Thinking about exercise doesn't get me out on the track walking.
Thinking about finding an agent doesn't get a letter written.
Thinking about growing a ministry doesn't get paperwork filed.

Add your own here:  Thinking about _____________ doesn't get __________________.

You may not see the whole path, the big picture, and you may find once you arrive at your destination, that the end was not at all what you envisioned. God has a way of doing His own thing. All we're responsible for TODAY are the opportunities he places before us.

Meditate on His word?  Yes.

Use the wisdom and common sense he gave you? Yes.

Trust him to lead? Absolutely!

Step out on faith today with that first step? That's what it's all about.


What do you need to do today that you've been "thinking about"?

For me:

1) organize, photograph, and upload a list of stuff to sell on line. My first fund raiser for my ministry! :)

2) write a letter to a friend who is in jail.

3) Contact some women's groups about speaking to them

That should keep me busy and moving forward. My pastor likes to say that, "always moving forward". God is not a stagnant, inactive being who just sits around waiting for things to happen. He is always at work and he has things for us to do. Some are what we think of as "spiritual", others are much more practical and require us to get working and get our hands dirty.

You will be surprised at what actually gets rolling when you just take that first step. Do it today. Write it down right now, and don't go to bed tonight until it's done.


Monday, August 22, 2011

A Great Story...

Sometimes in the middle of planning, working, looking ahead, and panicking a little it helps to be inspired again by someone else's story. I read a great one this week and want to share it with you today.

Check out this story of Sara Goff, a woman who prayed for God to make her useful - and WOW! - did he ever do just that! Think there's nothing you can do where you are?

Click here to

Sara is no different than we are. She just made herself available to God and was obedient. That's all he wants.

"To obey is better than sacrifice."  1 Samuel 15:22.  God doesn't want us to do great things for him - as if we ever could. He wants our obedience, and through that HE will do great things. He has something for you to do today. Ask him what it is, listen, then go and do it.

Blessings on you today as you  bless those around you because you are obedient to him.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ministry Update

Things are moving along. God is providing a way, financially, for all the little things to get done. And these are just the preliminaries. I'll be advertising my "fictitious name" this week, and then registering the name with the state. I have a PO Box now because I don't want to list my home address.

(I think I'll write myself a letter of encouragement and send it to my box!! )  :)

I'll be having a conversation this week with someone who's been there - done that, about bylaws and all of the official things that have to be done, and will schedule an appointment to speak with an attorney friend to see if he will help me file papers, and to see if he might be interested in being a part of the ministry.

I'm still praying that God will send someone with financial skills and a ministry heart. I know he has the perfect person in mind.

I'm going to check on my logo today. Can't wait to see it and share it with you. And if I'm really honest - can't wait to see it on a business card and letter head!

I want to get pretty folders to organize my 'ministry stuff' and I'm thinking about T-shirts and a name's so easy to get carried away with the fluff - the fun stuff. I do believe that God wants us to be balanced. Starting a ministry is a lot of work and most of it right now is out of my comfort zone and new to me. I have so many things to pray about in that regard.

I also believe that God wants us to find joy in our service of him. I think it's fine to get excited about the fluff - as long as that doesn't become our focus. We can minister without fluff. We can't change lives and eternal situations with fluff alone. To truly do that, we need substance. That's where prayer and studying God's word comes in. Without those things in our lives daily to be our anchor and our compass, it's too easy to lose our focus. When that happens, ministry turns into just so much more work, or worse, a way to promote ourselves.

My prayer list for First Things Ministries continues to grow and is becoming more specific. I'm looking forward to opportunities to share with women's groups in Jackson County about the ministry and enlisting their prayer support first, then getting them involved according to God's leading.

Yes, I love the fluff! I'm an organizer and planner and I love that stuff. I pray that God gives me balance in this endeavor. I don't believe he called me to a ministry of failure. There will be difficult times, and a bit of a steep learning curve in some cases, but his ultimate goal is to see souls come to know him. That can happen whether I'm always successful or not. God does some of his best work when I have failed at something. Remember, he works all things together for good...!

Thank you for stopping by and keeping up. Please keep this ministry in your prayers. Maybe you will join us one day.

Is there something that you feel God calling you to do? What is stopping you? What one step would you need to take to get started and be obedient? Will you take that step today? 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Intentional Makes Things Happen

Do you ever wonder why some people seem to get so much done when you don't? I do.

The sad thing is that I've had very productive times in my life -and some, not so much. What makes the difference? 

Intention. Planning. Choosing. Preparing.

Intentional living is deliberate living. Not being tossed around by every thing and every doctrine that comes along (read James). What is my purpose today? At the end of the day today what is it that I want to see when I think about my day? If I don't know that, I'm probably going to be reacting to things instead of being proactive. That means I'm living someone else's agenda instead of mine. 

Planning for success means looking ahead. What needs to be managed? Where will I have pockets of time? What do I need to have on hand to complete my tasks? This step is a huge time saver. It also keeps me focused on my agenda, not someone else's.

Choosing what I will do is important because it is also choosing what I will not do. It is prioritizing. This is my 'to-do' list for the day. I love making lists. What I love even more is checking things off my lists as I do them. That's almost as good as chocolate! Almost! :)

Preparing for my day is not just making lists and planning. It is not just about the tasks of the day, or logistics. It is also about spiritual preparation. Without this the tasks of the day are just so much busy work. They are meaningless in the grand scheme of things. 

God orders our days, our entire lives. He did it long before we were born - because he has a purpose for us: for life, for this year, for this moment. If that's true do we still need to plan?

Absolutely. We don't live a life committed to Christ by accident. It doesn't just happen. It will NEVER just happen because our very nature is to be selfish and live for ourselves. We must choose daily, moment to moment to live a life committed to Christ and his service. 

We must choose not to be distracted. We must be intentional, purposeful in living a life that shines the light of the gospel in our world today. 

Start with time alone with God. He is your source for everything. Continue your conversation with him throughout the day as you deal with people and make decisions. Use the gifts, talents, and skills that he has given you, but always remember who guides your steps and orders your days.   

Be an intentional Christian today. The life you change will be yours! 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bonus post - Ministry Update

Two things coming up...

1) I'll be registering my ministry's name with the state -  "First Things Ministries" - this week

2) I should have a first draft of my logo to review soon - can't wait to see it and share it with you

I know I said 2 but...

3) as soon as the ministry name is registered I'll be stepping further into the world of social networking and launching a Facebook page and a twitter account

As my friend Sharon says, "OH MYLANTA!"

It's getting exciting as things slowly begin to take shape. I'm contacting women's groups in the area to talk with them about the ministry and to ask them to pray with me about these very crucial first steps. I want to be in the center of God's will with this and I am asking for his favor here. I think he has great things planned for this ministry; not because I am part of it, but because he has a heart for hurting, lost souls and wants to use this ministry to reach them in our community.

Thanks for stopping by and keeping up. All prayers appreciated!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Harder than it has to be...

Once again I just realized that I'm taking things into my own hands and trying to work them out to please God, when what I NEED to do is take them to God in the first place and let Him tell me what he wants. This is the second reminder in two days! Why am I so thick-headed?

Yesterday I attended a Homeless Coalition meeting with my friend Sharon who will be on the board of my non-profit. She's also been my friend and accountability partner for a while now. Yesterday she held me accountable! Again! We were riding home from the meeting, excited and pumped up and I was talking about the future, specifically how I might be able to transition from my current job to being full-time with the non-profit. I was talking about timing and surgery and babies and work-loads, etc...

 and she said..."Sounds like you're trying to be in control."

and I said, "No, I'm just trying to figure out the timing."  OK, really?

Yes I actually said that, and it was yet another example of why we should all talk out loud to ourselves. Some things sound so much better running around in my head. It's not at all the same when I speak it! Please, can I get a witness?

Now fast forward a little and I'm thinking about the whole social  networking thing, specifically Face Book and Twitter, which I have been studiously avoiding. Blogging and getting involved with on-line writers groups has already taken me far past my comfort zone with this, and it can be overwhelming at times. Do you know how many blogs are out there? How many on-line things? I've been feeling out of balance with this lately, and although I keep being told that a strong on-line presence is necessary for promoting a non-profit ministry and for a writer, I'm not sure I'm managing it well. Perhaps because I keep seeing it as the enemy in some ways and not my friend.

I have also not given it back to God. It's something that I've always viewed kind of negatively, but now I'm joining in. That's a little skewed - like trying to be a good manager of a bad habit: i.e. "I'm going to be the best darn smoker at my job!"  Again, really?

So how do I fix this? Well as I was thinking about things this morning, I realized that they are many things that I have not taken before God. Yes, I believe that he is leading me in this venture and that he has plans to reach people through it.Yes, I have dedicated it as a whole to him and have tried to keep it covered with prayer. Now that things are progressing there are more specific things that need to go on the prayer list, and the whole social networking thing is one of them.

Instead of viewing it as a necessary evil, I need to thank God for it and ask him to help me use it wisely. It is like many other things in life, basically neutral - neither good nor bad. How we use them makes the difference. If this is a tool I will be using to reach people and grow this ministry, how could I not dedicate it to him and ask for his blessing? I will surely make a mess of this if left to my own devices, but scripture promises that God will take whatever I have and use it to his glory, if I will take my hands off.

So today, all that changes. I will first dedicate this social networking activity to God. I will ask him to guide me as I write - even small twitter things (tweets?) - and learn terminology :) I will ask him to draw people to my sites that need to be there, and to draw me to the sites that I need to see. I will ask him to use it and me for his glory.

I will recite the memory verse from Proverbs daily as a reminder. What a promise there is in that verse! I want that for my life, every day.

I will also thank God today for once again taking the chaos that is my life and brain, and focusing it first on him, and then on the task he has for me. His plans and timing are always perfect, and as I wait for direction on this new venture I will pray for him to help me be faithful and fruitful where he has placed me for today.

God's way is not always easy, but it is always simple. I complicate it when I start trying to manage things on my own. Aren't you glad that all it takes to get back on track is a heart that turns again back to God?  I can do that right now.

How about you? What is it in your life that you tend to subtly take back, even without realizing it? How do you get back on track with God? 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ministry Report

Yesterday I shared with my Sunday School class a little about the non-profit I'm working on and asked for their prayer support. It's in the early phases but definitely moving forward. This week I'll be contacting women's groups in the area to set up a time to meet with them, talk about the ministry, and begin to develop prayer support groups. I have some ideas about financing the cost of incorporation and will be working on that as well.

It's a small beginning...a step of obedience. I believe that as I take one step God will reveal the next one, then the next...

Sometimes I have little spurts of panic about taking on such a project. At other times I'm designing T-shirts and signs - fun stuff to advertise and promote. What a crazy ride! I know that's all part of it, I just want to always keep my focus on God and remember that this ministry is being established because of his leading and for his purpose.

Long ago I memorized Proverbs 3:5-6. It's good to go back to the basics; things are so much clearer there without the noise of the world distracting and distorting. When my trust is in God and my prayer is for him to do a God-sized thing amazing things will happen and I will get to be a part of it. That is exciting and humbling at the same time. So, I'll read these words again and trust and obey...

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own
understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will 
make your paths straight."

I'll also remember the first line of the next verse:  "Do not be wise in your own eyes..." 

I'll keep you posted. For now, if you're reading this please pray for this ministry and for me and my friend Sharon who is joining me in this. We know God will make a way where he is leading, and are looking forward to serving him through our service to others. 

What about you? Where is God leading you to serve? Tell us about it. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I asked for this...right?

Have you heard people talking about dogs chasing cars and wondering what they would do with one should they ever happen to catch it? Well, I'm reminded right now of that - and it's not about my dog, it's about ME!

If you've looked at my ministry project page you know that I'm looking at ways to address the problem of homeless families in Jackson County, especially those with school aged children. I'll be going to a Homeless Coalition meeting next week for our district, and have three local contacts in this county now. This is what I've been looking for...

So why do I have this little edge of tension right now? Is it fear or excitement? Is it because now instead of just thinking about what I can do to help I'm about to be told what I can do and it might be harder than I thought? In my head, things turn out so perfectly...everyone cooperates with loving hearts and open arms, the people we want to help are all lovely and thankful, and soon we've eradicated the entire homeless problem in Jackson County.  Yes, I do have an active fantasy life!

The thing is, a God-sized problem can receive a God-sized intervention - that's what I'm praying for. That still doesn't mean it will be easy; in fact, it can mean just the opposite. Anytime we attempt to do something for God, the enemy steps in and tries to wreak havoc in our lives. The funny thing about that is it should have just the opposite effect. It should only make us praise and worship more. I'm sure that isn't what the enemy has in mind, but wouldn't it be a wonderful thing if every time we encountered a fear or problem we immediately praised God for being greater? Every time.

Every time I feel doubt - praise him for being my rock.
Every time I feel fear - praise him for being my shelter and protector.
Every time I feel angry or hurt - praise him for being the balm of my soul.
Every time I feel excited - praise him for being the spring of living water to my soul.
Every time I feel lost - praise him for being the Way.
Every time I feel adrift - praise him for being the light that lights my way.
Every time I feel confused - praise him for being the truth.
Every time...Praise Him!

Did I ask for this? Yes I did. My wonderful Sunday School teacher, David, challenges us every week to not be comfortable just sitting and soaking up good feelings in church. We are meant to take Jesus to the world. So, I asked God to use me and this is where he has led for now. 

He doesn't lead where he has not been.

He doesn't lead to leave us stranded.

He leads with purpose, with provision, with a passion for hurting and lost souls. It is an honor to be a part of his work. I want to remember to praise him and follow him every step of the way; to expect God-sized things, to expect conflict and obstacles of every kind, and to be ready to celebrate when I see his mighty hand move. 

Yes I did ask for this. I'm excited. I'm ready. I will press on.

What about you? Have you asked God to do something God-sized through you, in you? What happened? If you haven't, what are you waiting for?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sold Out - Not Sucked In

Several years ago Aaron Tippen had a country song called You've got to Stand for Something or You'll Fall for Anything!  What a great song! As it turns out, it's also great theology. Read the passage from James listed just to the left of this post. Now read verse six again: "He who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed about by the sea."

Tossed about...sometimes life can do that to us. Sometimes it's just part of life. Things happen: people get sick, the car breaks down, someone loses a job... That's not the kind of tossing James is talking about here. What he's describing is someone without a spiritual foundation, an anchor, a home-base for their faith. Consider this scenario: I am a Christian and find myself in conversation with someone who is not, or thinks they were, or might have been at one time... the longer the discussion goes the more convoluted it gets with my friend describing to me how she thinks she may have lost her salvation a while back because she may have sinned. I want to reassure her that she did not lose her salvation, but suddenly I'm not so sure anymore that I know what I know. You know?

Now take this same scenario, only this time I can walk her through the Roman Road to salvation. I can talk to her with confidence about the gift of God - the grace of God and assure her that her works/actions have nothing to do with saving her. What if I can then go to Romans 8:35-39 and assure her without a doubt that nothing can separate us from the love of God! Then I assure her that she has indeed sinned and I take her to 1 John 1:9 where she finds a promises that if she confesses her sin He is faithful to forgive and to cleanse? What if I can do that for her?

That is truth. That is powerful. That is my anchor. Those verses, along with the rest of scripture are the foundation of my life. They are the foundation of everything we do as Christians. As children we memorized Psalm 119:11, "I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you." Why do we have children learn this verse? Is it one of those verses that we learned so early and have repeated so often that we fail to meditate on it and let the power of it fill us? How many times do we repeat John 3:16 without a complete sense of awe, wonder and humility at the sacrifice given for us; the awesome love that God demonstrated for us?

If someone asked you about salvation or forgiveness or praise or divorce or abortion or racism or money management or...this list is endless. What would you tell them? Would their questions confuse you and make you doubt what you know, or would you be able to say "here's what I've learned from scripture..."

This isn't about scripture memory, although it's great to have a verse come to mind when we need it. This is about KNOWING the truths found in the word because we have tested them, lived them, meditated on them, and they have become a part of us. They have moved from our heads to our hearts.

What would it take for someone to convince you that the law of gravity doesn't really apply anymore? Could anything convince you of that? Of course not! Why?  Because whether you think about it or not, you are bound by it every day. When you drop something it hits the floor not the ceiling. When you fall you fall down, not up.

We can be just as certain of God's truths in our lives. (By the way, gravity is one of his laws. Just sayin'). We need to read them, meditate on them, prove them. They will anchor us firmly in a world of shifting values and will become a beacon of hope for those who watch us every day.

In the middle of life's storms it is good when we can say, "I don't know how long this will last or what the end will be, but I do know that my captain walks on water!"

Don't get sucked in by doubts, half-truths, and outright lies. Get sold out to Jesus. Know that you know that you know! "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." Meditate on that for a minute.

What about you? How do you anchor yourself in your faith? What is it that attacks you most frequently and causes you to question or doubt? How does that affect your Christian service?