Thursday, February 28, 2013

Monday, February 25, 2013

Personal Psalm

Lord, I lived a life of my own choices.

Selfish, and self-centered, I built a wall around myself
So I could be alone.
Alone with my shame,
Alone with my guilt,
Alone with the consequences of my sins,
Alone and isolated within darkness.

Lord, I lived a life that knew no peace, no joy, no hope.
I dwelt in a prison of my own making
And could find no way out.

God, I don’t have the words to fully express
My gratitude for what you have done.
You held the key that set me free.
My sins have been forgiven
Shame and guilt have faded away

I’ve been given a second chance at life
And an awesome gift of peace and comfort.
My heart is filled with joy
I’ve been healed, and I no longer am alone.

Lord, I now live a life that is led by you.
A God-centered life
Filled with light and hope.
A life lived within your embrace.

My refuge, my guide.
My shelter, my hope.
My Father, Redeemer
I give you my life, my faith, and my trust.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Notes - Generosity 02/24/13

Sermon by Chip Henderson.  Notes by me.  (Short notes too because I didn't have my notebook, so I wrote them on the little handout thing.)

Main text was 2 Corinthian 9: 6-15.  Third week of celebrating Outlive with a focus on Give.

Give!  Be Generous!  Five reasons why we should be generous people.

1.  Giving taps into the law of the harvest.  Whoever plants much will harvest much.  We will reap what we sow.

2.  God loves a cheerful giver.  Motivation is important.  We are to give with love, joy, and gladness.

3.  God opens up heaven when you give.  God blesses those who give.  This often gets misinterpreted.  It is important to remember that most of God's blessings are non-monetary.  God blessed us with joy, peace, character, and other external spiritual gifts.  By giving we are laying up treasure in heaven.  (And that is where it really counts!)

4.  Giving helps other people.  By giving we meet their needs.  Our giving can be an answer to their prayers.

5.  Giving is our thanks to God.  God has given us an indescribable gift in His Son.  We say thanks by giving to others.

So...Go - Grow - Give!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Prayer

Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.
Give me the faith to remember you hold all things, even on the darkest days.
Give me courage to make the hard decisions when they need to be made.
Give me a heart of mercy so hard decisions are made with love.
Fill me with peace, shielding my mind from doubts, knowing that with you the future is secure.
Lord, You are my rock, my refuge, and my shelter in the storm.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Posted on my desk - a reminder that I'm still very much a work in progress.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

God Holds Me

Had to write a personal Psalm for the Reclaim group I'm co-leading at Pinelake. 
This was my first attempt.  It isn't bad, but it doesn't really seem like a psalm to me.

I hid in shame
Closed off in despair
Not realizing
That God,
You held hope.

I lived with sadness
Crying for an end
Not caring
That God,
You held my life

My days were filled with darkness
All alone with guilty thoughts
Until the day you showed me
That God,
You held my light.

I set out on a new path
It has been a rocky journey
I know each time I stumbled
That God,
You held my hand

I know I’ve been forgiven
And brought into the light.
My debt has now been paid
And God,
You hold my heart


Saturday, February 9, 2013


If He sends me, will I?
Really - Think about it - Am I willing?

The big question - Am I willing to totally trust God?

Even though I don't know exactly what will happen.
God knows - This I do believe wholeheartedly.

I don't know and this frustrates me.
I want to have everything laid out, neatly arranged into daily to-do lists.
I want to know the full schedule weeks in advance.

But God doesn't work that way.

God gives me what I need to have when I need to have it.
Not weeks in advance, but moment by moment.

It leaves me with a choice.

I can give in to my frustration and refuse to fully trust God
Because He's not living by my rules and my expectations.
Or I can trust.

Knowing which choice is the right one is easy.
It's not about me.

Living the choice is up to me.
Am I willing to live a life totally defined by trust in God?

Friday, February 1, 2013

God Is Good

I recently came across this that I wrote sometime last year but never posted.  My search for God's will involves growing by learning more about who God is, keeping myself open to Him, and what happens when I do that. God speaks in unexpected ways.

God is good.

God’s love is constant and never changing.

Romans 8:38-39 says, “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” God's love is part of my daily life - their is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can change that.

I have learned that when we find ourselves going through dark days, it does not mean that God’s love has changed or that God has disappeared and abandoned us.

In August 2011, I was, quite unexpectedly, diagnosed with appendix cancer. A CT scan also revealed two large masses in my lower abdomen and back. Suddenly, I was faced with major surgery followed by an extended recovery. A little voice spoke up in the back of my head asking, “So, is God still good?” I had cancer. It may have spread. The masses could be malignant. So the question I was forced to consider: “Is God still good?”

For me, the answer was yes.

If the surgery removed all traces of cancer, if the masses turned out to be benign, and if my recovery went smooth, then God is good. He is the one who guides the surgeon’s hands. He is the God who can provide physical healing. He has a plan for my life and there is still more for me to do.

But I realized that the opposite was also true. If the surgery resulted in the finding of more cancer, if I had to have further treatments or surgeries, if I died, then God is good. He is the God who redeemed me. He forgave me, cleaned me up, and gave me a new life with a new purpose. He is the one who has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams over the past few years. He will continue to be my rock and my refuge. Yes, God is good.

I told literally everyone I knew what I was facing. I asked them all to pray for me, to pray for the doctors, and to pray for my family. I learned that there is incredible strength to be found in the knowledge that others are lifting you up to God in prayer. I went into surgery on September 28, 2011 with this attitude.

Whatever happens God is good.

Whatever happens His Will be done.

Four hours and three surgeons later I was wheeled out of surgery 14 pounds lighter and cancer free. God is good! I am still recovering from the experience. I still marvel at the miracle of it all. I felt such peace as I faced an unknown situation. That peace was a gift from God and I am so very thankful for that. And I praise God for the healing he has blessed me with. I am looking forward to growing more in God’s Word as I continue to live out His purpose in my life. He’s not finished with me yet!