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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Light on the Hilltop

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." (Matthew 5:14-16 NLT)

This was the Scripture passage that our Pastor preached on last Sunday and the girls also learned about this passage in Kid's Church. This morning I read 1 Peter 2:11-12 to the girls and it brought up Matthew 5:14-16 (above).

"Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world." (1 Peter 2:11-12 NLT)

We discussed living like a bright light on a hilltop and how we should be different than the world. It was a good discussion, because they knew exactly what I was talking about from what they learned on Sunday. It has really been heavy on my heart to lead them in way to not live of this world. I want them to learn to look up for the things to come and focus on the things that are righteous in only our Father's eyes, but I also want them to learn to do this life (as a light in the hilltop) as they walk in the world and walk beside those who desperately seek out the things of this world. (I am still trying to figure this out for myself too... Haha!)

I had dreams last night of the hardship of living as a Christian and I believe that dream came from a blog I read about the Egyptian Christians, who were just martyred. I want to raise little children that will not fear a thing as they grow up, but instead look to their Heavenly Father for their strength to know He is right beside them. I want them to know His power is mighty and nothing NOTHING can over power Him! My girls are going to go through rougher times than what today is throwing at us and they HAVE to be ready to stand in such a way that their light will be so bright it would blind the evil one and transform the ones caught in the deceivers traps. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Phone Bank of Hope

I am some what at a loss for words. My heart is aching, but there are no words to describe the anguish I have for the hurt so many are struggling with.

Yesterday I had the privilege to go along side a ministry called Pruning Hooks (www.pruninghooks.com), who has made it available to ordinary women living ordinary lives to get their hands dirty for Jesus. Jackie Hooks, the founder of Pruning Hooks Ministry, has locked arms with Rescue Houston and started a phone bank out of her home that will reach out to escorts in Houston using a website that gives these women the opportunity to put themselves out there for unspeakable opportunities for men (and maybe women) to use them and then throw them away. This website lets the escorts use it like Craigslist... They are able to put provocative pictures up that would lure men in for what these men are looking for.

We (10 ladies) got into this website, where the escorts were selling themselves, we read their information they put up about themselves, we looked at their pictures for any information we could offer Rescue Houston (such as blurred faces (meaning they could be under age), any markings/tattoos, if they were in a hotel, if there was anyone else in the picture (men or other women), etc.), we documented everything, we prayed for her, and then we called her and read off a script to guide our words and to give the right information. I was a caller and it was probably the scariest thing I have ever done, but I offered a glimmer of hope. I did not talk to one girl, but I left voice messages hoping that they would listen and maybe use that glimmer of hope to be bold, step out in faith, and see themselves as so much more. As I left a message I made sure to tell them they had been prayed for, because no matter what your belief is it is always comforting to know you are being thought of and that someone is thinking about you. I pray by that message left that those girls will know they matter!

Calling those ladies was so scary, but oh so rewarding. Rewarding in the fact that I got my hands dirty for Jesus... That I actually was bold enough to step out of my comfortable life to breathe a little hope into someone else. How often does that happen??

Don't get me wrong it took me some time to say yes to what Jesus was asking and for that I am ashamed. He asked me last month to go, but I let my fear take over... Because really what was I going to say to these girls that go day in and day out in their worldly hell! I missed that chance to see His awesomeness... And I told myself and Him that would not happen again!

I have seen prostitution in India. I have seen the ladies lined up on the side of the street waiting for their clients and wondering about the unknown pain that would happen to them that night. But, yesterday I saw something new... I saw women of all ages lining up in a never ending line-up with pictures of parts of their body that will be etched in the mind of anyone and everyone that saw them. And you know once you see a picture it is forever there... And that precious woman, who was created for greatness sees a little less of herself every time and begins to harden her heart a little more every time as she gives herself to the world. My heart is hurting to an unending pain and I know our Father in heaven is in deep pain we couldn't even fathom, He is probably weeping rain from His eyes as He sees His precious creation being trampled on and not being cared for in a way He intended.

But... Nothing is to far gone! He sees them, He hears their hurts and pain, He holds every tear with tenderness, and He will bring justice! But we as believers have to stand up for such injustice! We have to be good shepards and help find the lost! We have to believe we are on this earth to walk with the Lord... He allows us to reveal His glory as His Holy Spirit guides and leads us! He doesn't need us, because He could do it all, but we wants us to experience His majesty.

These women, who are lost for what ever reason will be found!

"I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak. But I will destroy those who are fat and powerful. I will feed them, yes—feed them justice!"(Ezekiel 34:16 NLT)

And He promises...

“I will make a covenant of peace with my people and drive away the dangerous animals from the land. Then they will be able to camp safely in the wildest places and sleep in the woods without fear. I will bless my people and their homes around my holy hill. And in the proper season I will send the showers they need. There will be showers of blessing. The orchards and fields of my people will yield bumper crops, and everyone will live in safety. When I have broken their chains of slavery and rescued them from those who enslaved them, then they will know that I am the LORD. They will no longer be prey for other nations, and wild animals will no longer devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will frighten them. “And I will make their land famous for its crops, so my people will never again suffer from famines or the insults of foreign nations. In this way, they will know that I, the LORD their God, am with them. And they will know that they, the people of Israel, are my people, says the Sovereign LORD. You are my flock, the sheep of my pasture. You are my people, and I am your God. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!” (Ezekiel 34:16, 25-31 NLT)

And His promises NEVER fail!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Faith and Trust

I have been thinking about my faith a lot lately and truly how deep I trust in Him. I have been thinking a lot about if it came down to life or death what my response would be. If I had a knife to my throat and I was about to be executed... What would my response be. I would hope my response would be love and asking my Father in heaven to forgive the executors.

Have you ever thought about that? These  innocent people being executed lately... What were their last thoughts? Did they know the Lord? Was He with them? Etc.

This faith question comes from the devotional the girls and I have done and discussing. We read about Noah and how disgusted God was with the people in the world (because they were so evil) and he was regretting their creation, but here was Noah a righteous man. God saw hope in him and put him to the test. God asked Noah to build a huge gigantic boat... Noah had no idea how to build such a boat... He may not have even known what a boat was... And God was going to flood the earth... What?!? Noah probably was like "What's a flood?" maybe "What's rain?" Can you imagine?!? He had no idea the size, but He didn't question his God, who he held so precious to his heart. He did exactly what God asked of him. Noah may have felt inadequate and dumb, but He trusted in his Faith of his magnificent God. No matter if people teased, called him names, or outcasted Noah and his family... Noah continued to have faith.

So it makes me think... Is my faith this big? Would I stop my life and build a gigantic boat if my God asked me to? I hope my response would be yes.

I have said yes to things he asked me to do before and sometimes it goes as I had envisioned and sometimes nothing like I had envisioned. But should that stop me... No, but when things don't go the way I envisioned it kinda of puts me in a slow pace sometimes a halt. Can you relate?

I want my answer to always be "YES! God I trust you no matter what!" I want my God to surpass any henderance or questions I might have...  And that's when my faith has to come in to play. Even though I can not see Him or maybe not even feel Him near, but to trust in His promises and have Faith that what he says is true, right, safe, and He never EVER changes.