I am STILL thinking about that conference I attended. I know I have talked about it quite a bit, but it was THAT life changing. I have been thinking about what Bob Gladstone said about taking on the position of a servant. Hope it doesn’t sound like I am rambling but I feel compelled to share my heart with you.
Service to the body of Christ is good…very good. However each time I serve I must ask myself questions that expose my motives. Am I serving from a place of genuine love or serving with the expectation of getting something in return? Am I using my God given gifts to further the body or to showcase myself? Is my service about me or about God? Wrong motives can pollute a good thing. I must confess that I have missed the mark more than once but now more than ever I am asking the Lord to give me the heart of a true servant. This is my desire and it begins with love.
In all that I do, I must be motivated by love. I want to silence the voices of this world and position myself to hear the voice God, even the slightest whisper. I want greater revelation concerning this love thing. I want to get to the place that the Apostle Paul speaks of, a place of true love. I WANT THAT JESUS. I don’t want to back down from what you called me to, but I want to be filled up to overflowing with LOVE. JESUS LOVE. That sacrificial love that made you freely give up your place of privilege and come down to earth only to be CRUCIFIED for sins you did not commit…divine love.
I want the love that causes me to intercede for my brothers and sisters until something happens because we are family. I want to hurt when they hurt and be concerned about their highest good. And if they offend me? I let it go…all of it…immediately. I want that love that makes me immune to offenses and the praises of men. The love that makes me give without any announcements or need to be acknowledged, because I know you see and that is all that matters. The love that makes me filled with joy about serving others, not looking to be served. Birth that love in me, then I can serve your people with greater power bringing you glory!
In a previous post I mentioned a life changing leadership conference I attended. I am still processing all that I learned. I took note of what the speaker used as an icebreaker on the second day…PRAYER. He told us to find someone in the room that we did not know and pray for his/her need. I quickly found a sweet young lady. We exchanged names and she asked me with a smile, “How can I pray for you?” HOW. CAN. I. PRAY. FOR. YOU? And before I could filter my thoughts and give her a general and “safe” prayer request, I found myself opening up and spilling some very personal information about myself. Information that I would have preferred not to lead a conversation with, especially to a total stranger. But that was the point she wasn’t a stranger she was my sister in the Lord. There was a great sense of comfort as I shared. She listened with a smile, and then it was her turn. She gave her prayer request and then we took turns and prayed for each other. Then just like that the ice was broken for me. Whatever walls or inhibitions that were up came down. My heart was prepped through prayer. This prayer set the stage for me for the rest of the conference, it was the icebreaker.
That simple demonstration greatly impacted me. Allow me to explain. The speaker mentioned how we have complicated a simple thing. We go to extravagant lengths to do “church.” But what if, what if we returned to one of the traditions mentioned in bible…PRAYER! Prayer doesn’t require any special fund raising, or man made strategies. All it requires is a heart after God and a desire to see His kingdom manifested here on earth as it is in heaven. Prayer breaks every ice because it brings us directly before the throne of God. As we seek His face in genuine prayer He sends the fire. The fire that revives, purges, and makes new. I have fallen in love with prayer all over again because I have fallen in love with Jesus AGAIN. I am seeing Him in a totally different light. SIMPLY beautiful. SIMPLY. Prayer from a pure heart is one of the most beautiful things to listen to. I love to hear passionate people pray. I feel like I am getting the inside scoop between two friends. Real prayer that breaks the ice is not about proper grammar, volume, or even length . Real prayer is birth from a humble(repentant) and hungry heart. PERIOD.
I went to a leadership conference this weekend that shook me up! Some of what the speaker shared confirmed what The Lord has been speaking to our local congregation….amazing! Click on this link and listen to the messages from 3/20/15 and 3/21/15 by Dr. Bob Gladstone. I heard biblical truths that challenged me on so many levels but left me hungering for more of God. The speaker spoke with a passion that could not have been fabricated. He spoke from a place of authenticity and deep connection with God. The fire was contagious and I was stirred to the core of my being. I WANT THAT FIRE. THAT PASSION. THAT FOCUS. He challenged us to become obsessed with the Gospel, which inevitably will leave us obsessed with Jesus. The truths were simple, the very truths we try to accomplish through complicated means. I was overwhelmed and didn’t quite know what to do. As the truths came at me, I wanted to worship, I wanted to cry. I wanted to repent for not always having the right focus. I wanted to shout, “THANK YOU JESUS for revelation knowledge.” Kingdom building, he reminded us can be risky, being family can be messy and we won’t always get it right but it is worth every effort. WOW! How often do we as the people of God gravitate toward what is convenient, what is comfortable? How often do we measure success by the number of people in the church, even if the spirit of God is absent? How often do we hinder the gifts from flowing because it means we lose control? How often do we neglect the essentials like loving and forgiving our brothers and sisters in Christ but want to go out and be special? How often do we make it about us and not about HIS WILL? Oh that the church will return to the traditions of God… the only ones that matter. I want to live, breathe, and be the gospel. I want His kingdom to come in my life. I want His love, mercy and grace to ooze from my words and actions spilling over into the lives of everyone I meet, ultimately showing them Jesus.
And then Sunday came, we went to church and it continued. The word was sung, preached and then demonstrated through forgiveness, prayers of intercession for our brothers and sisters in Christ, warm embraces were exchanged saying, ” I am here for you, I am going to fight with you because we are family.” We. Are. Family. I was overwhelmed to see the word come to life. How awesome is our God!
As mentioned in this video, I have started my third round of the Whole30. The older kids were on board, but all abandoned ship except for one. I have pulled most of the children in the kitchen to help with preparing the meals, especially the sauces. Our family love sauce on EVERYTHING! We try to make at least three Whole30 approved sauces at the beginning of each week.
Most of our sauces use mayo as a base. You can view this video or visit this site for how to make homemade mayo. This is a great ranch dressing recipe . You can also visit this site for other creative ideas on what to add to the mayo to make your mouth sing. We made this Whole30 Ketchup. I added 4 medjool dates to the recipe along with more water to make it smoother. While it doesn’t taste like conventional ketchup, it was super easy to make and everyone enjoyed it.
Below are some simple breakfast recipes (some can also be packed in lunch boxes).
Ham and egg cups (we have done these with bacon and it is absolutely delicious).
Baked eggs in avocado
Twice Baked Breakfast Sweet Potatoes
Homemade Breakfast sausage
Finally, I found this great site that has 40 simple Whole30 recipes. You can also visit this post for additional dinner ideas. Please let me know if you try any of these recipes.
There are parts of me that are fragile. Scarred from past hurts. I love God. I do. But sometimes I don’t look like He wants me to. He has been showing me things. About me. Ugly things that I have been carrying. Things I need to let go of to go to the next level. To be promoted. Things that I didn’t want to let go of…until now. Yes I have prayed about it before, but I still held on because I felt justified. But I recently found myself crying and confiding in God, “I don’t know how to let it go God, but I want to. I really do. It is too heavy. I don’t know how to let go of the pain, the offense, the hurt, the pride, false expectations, the jealously.” But then He whispered, ” you don’t have to let go in your own strength you just have to desire to be purged of these things, your desire for freedom invites me in to do my job….deliver.”
So I wept real hot tears. Tears of freedom. I felt the weight lifting, and I am being transformed…again. Always another level to go to but promotion always starts from the inside. It is freeing to surrender these insecurities and scars to God. No judgment, no condemnation from Him. Only pure love from my daddy. He is always gently confirming that He is worthy of my love.
So today I share my heart with you, not to glorify my weaknesses but to glorify a God who strengthens the weak. A God who understands the complexities of our past but challenges us to live beyond that because the blood of His son made it right. Made me new. I am making the choice to let go and move on.