I’m a Believer

…blessed is she that believed… -Luke 1:45

I Have to Believe (Song) October 30, 2008

I know I posted the lyrics to this song on here before, by my playlist song disappeared, so I can’t hear the song anymore. Here’s a youtube video of the same song. I love this song, and I hope you do too! Enjoy!

I’m a Believer!
Laura

 

Challenged by True Christianity October 29, 2008

Filed under: Bible,Christian Living,faith — Laura @ 8:48 am
Tags: ,

I came across this video on youtube and found it very challenging to me and to my faith and what I am supposed to do about my faith. Strangely, I agree with nearly all this man says, until the end. Watch it all the way to the end, and see if you are not only surprised, but also challenged.

So… whaddaya think?

I’m a Believer!
Laura

 

It’s Women’s Conference Time! October 24, 2008

UPDATE – CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT THE CONFERENCE & TO LISTEN TO CONFERENCE MESSAGES!

Hey y’all!  I’m not sure how many bloggy friends I have that are actually in Louisiana, but I just wanted to let you know that our 7th Annual Women’s Conference, Dream Big, is coming up November 7-8, 2008 and YOU ARE INVITED!  (I’d love to meet you!)  Our women’s ministry prayerfully anticipates this event each year.  I hope you’ll stop by the church website and read about it. 

If you don’t live close by, please pray for us that our conference would be edifying to the women who come.  Also, I would appreciate your prayers for me as I prepare a message for the conference.  It is our prayer that we lift up the name of the Lord so that He would be glorified through every single thing that is said and done as we Dream Big.

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.  ~Ephesians 3:20-21

I’m a Believer!

Laura

 

Receiving What God Has for Us – Fruitful Dreams Part 2 October 22, 2008

When we truly know how to DREAM B.I.G., then we will no longer waste our time with fruitless dreams and needless disappointments.

Discern the voice of the Lord
Receive what He has for us
Exalt Him
Allow Him the right of way
Minister to others through what He has given you.

Believe
In
God

In the previous post about Dreaming BIG, we looked at how Discerning the Voice of the Lord will help us to have fruitful dreams.  Now I would like to look at the next part of DREAM using the same portion of scripture.

1 [[[A Psalm] of David.]] Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. 3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; [so] shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring [it] to pass. 6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. 7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Psalms 37:1-7 KJV

Receive What He Has For Us

  • God wants to give us something

4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Looking at this portion of scripture we see in verse 4 that when we begin to “delight ourselves in the Lord,” that is when He wants to GIVE us something.  That “something” is the desires of our heart.  If someone wants to give us something, then our response should be to RECEIVE what is being given!  As God begins to place desires in our heart, we should joyfully receive those desires.

The funny thing I have found about the desires that God places in my heart is that those desires are often things that previously would not have had a place of priority in my life – things like a desire to serve others, a desire to forgive, a desire for more time with the Lord, a desire to give, a desire to spend more time with God’s people, a desire to share God’s word with others. In fact, it is often difficult to find a place in our old hearts to put these new desires.  Many times it may involve cleaning out some old desires to make room for new ones.  God places these desires in our hearts, but unless we receive them as God’s plan for us, we will most likely remain self-centered, and spend much of our time chasing after those fruitless dreams that we are trying to avoid!

  • Receive the “Food” that God serves

3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; [so] shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

Verse 3 tells us that we shall be fed.  I like to be fed! (Unfortunately a little too much!)  But the food that God has for His children is always good for us.  We need to receive the “food” that God has for us.  That food is His word.  We need to be hungry for and ready to receive everything the Bible tells us.  We need to partake of His word in such a way that it is digested fully and becomes part of us, making us stronger and nourishing our spirits much the same way that physical food nourishes our bodies.  When it comes to dining at the Lord’s table, we should always eat what is set before us and make a “happy plate.”

  • Retaining what we receive

One more point I would like to make about Receiving what He has for us is that we need to respond to what we receive.  As I sat in the prayer meeting reading my Bible, I felt a gentle prompting to turn to Psalm 37.  I did.  I read the portion of scripture that is listed above.  As I read that portion of scripture, God revealed DISCERN, RECEIVE, EXALT, ALLOW, MINISTER to me.  I grabbed a scrap of paper and jotted that down.  In this particular instance, I was at a prayer meeting, so I was expectant to receive something from Him.  I can’t say that I’m always ready.  I know too many times I have missed something that God has had for me because I was simply too lazy to write it down, or too doubtful that He was really trying to teach me something.

I’m grateful that in this particular instance I obeyed.  On Tuesday of the next week, my friend and Pastor’s wife asked me to give the message on our Thursday night Dream Date for the ladies (ONLY 2 DAYS LATER!).  Normally this would have caused great panic in me with only a day and a half to prepare a message, but the Lord had already given it to me and I had already received it. 

Imagine all the opportunities we will have if we willingly and faithfully receive everything that God has for us!

I’m a Believer!

Laura

 

Roosting Day October 15, 2008

The proverbial tax chickens have come home to roost.  The procrastination party is over.  Now I’ve gone and done it.  I’ve filed my taxes.  Not at midnight, as I threatened, but at 4:45 p.m.  I’m not sure if I let myself down, or impressed myself.  I think I learned something, though, doing taxes 6 months later is still just as miserable as doing them earlier.  Does this mean I will file them in April next time?  I’m not sure.  But I will file them online again, because having TurboTax do them is MUCH LESS PAINFUL than using pencil and paper.

Here’s a little trivia about the “roosting chickens”…  I find word and phrase origins interesting, so here’s a little tidbit according to Phrase Finder:

Chickens scratch around in the barnyard, in the fields and woods during the day. But at night they come home to the hen-house to roost. This saying is comparing a person’s evil or foolish deeds to chickens. If a person does wrong, the “payback” might not be immediate. But at some point, at the end of the day, those “chickens” will come home to roost. “

According to this definition it seems I may be admitting that my procrastination is a foolish or evil deed.  I personally think taxes themselves are foolish and evil.  Ok, not really, just painful.

And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.  -Mark 12:17

I’m a Believer!

Laura

 

Tag, I’m It – 7 Random Things October 13, 2008

My good buddy Rena over at Insert Grace Here tagged me. I’m supposed to tell the public seven random things about me. In an ideal world, I’m thinking they should be things that should be somewhat interesting. So, these are seven things, they are random, and whether or not they are interesting is up for debate. Strange? Maybe. Intersting? Doubtful. But thanks for the stress, Rena! I really needed one more thing to do today. (You know I’m kidding, right?)

7 Random things about me…

1. My second toe is shorter than my third toe, just like my mom. No, my mom is not shorter than my third toe – my mom’s second toe is shorter than her third, and mine are like hers. I know this was supposed to be random things about ME – sorry to drag you into this whole ugly mess, Mom. Hope that wasn’t a secret!

2. I have all my wisdom teeth (and I have no fillings or cavities). That’s why I’m so smart! I also get this from my mom, but I won’t go into the whole “mom’s teeth” thing. I think her toes have been stepped on enough for today.  Also, I consider this a blessing from God because I am DEATHLY AFRAID of the dentist after a traumatic childhood visit to the sadist dentist.

3. I can recite the Girl Scout Promise in French. Had to learn it for some sort of international badge. I don’t know why it’s still in my memory taking up space. I sure could use that space for something else more useful, I’m sure.

4. I can’t chew gum in church. We weren’t allowed to chew gum in church as kids. Sometimes I chew gum as I drive all the way to church, walk through the parking lot, into the hallway, go to the fellowship hall, visit with friends, but when I walk through the church door into the sanctuary, I get this horrible feeling that I have something really bad in my mouth that needs to be spit out. I DO! It’s gum!! “Spit that gum out, young lady!  This is God’s house.”  (That’s not my mom, that’s the voice in my head.)

5. I like almost all foods, except for celery. It repulses me.  And to pair it with peanut butter and raisins??  Are you kidding me?  Who wants to eat “ants on a log” anyway?  Wait!  I’ve just figure it out – that’s what it feels like when I have gum in my mouth at church – like I just bit into a giant piece of celery coated with peanut butter and raisins.  Ewww – I’ve gotta go spit…

6. I was horrified when my dad made me take public speaking in High School – “When will I ever use that in the future??!!” Now I love to speak at women’s conferences, bible studies, retreats, etc. I still get just as nervous in a room of only 25 ladies that are close friends as I do in a room of over 100 ladies.  I hope they don’t read this, then I’ll be really nervous.

7. I think cookie dough always tastes better than the actual baked cookie. My favorite cookie dough is oatmeal, followed by chocolate chip cookie dough. I used to love sugar cookie dough, but having overindulged in the past, I have a bit of an aversion there.

Oh – and you get a bonus today …

8.  I love corny puns.  Especially when I make them up. 🙂  Here’s my latest.  “Please don’t burn my toast.  I’m black-toast intolerant.”  See?  Hilarious, I know!

Alrighty then.  That’s about it for the randomness.  I think I’ve freaked myself out (and probably my mom, too).  I’m going to make an appointment for therapy. 

I’m a Believer!

Laura

 

Discerning the Voice of the Lord – Fruitful Dreams Part 1 October 10, 2008

As little girls we sang the song A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes along with Cinderella.  We had full faith in the part that said “Have faith in your dreams, and someday, your rainbow will come smiling through.  No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true. ”  Something happened as we got older.  The dreams that we were wishing were not necessarily coming true.  Why not?  Although it is a beautiful song, with beautiful sentiment, it’s saying the wrong thing about faith.  The song tells us to have faith in our dream, but the Bible tells us to have faith in God.  The song tells us that if we keep on believing in our dreams long enough, they will come true.  I know from personal experience that just because I believe something for a long time doesn’t mean that it will happen – I’ve dreamed of being a size 4 for years!  But I do want to dream, and I do want my dreams to come true!  Is this possible?  Yes!  God has placed desires in our hearts, and He wants to fulfill them.

A portion of scripture that has always spoken to me about fulfilled dreams is Psalm 37:4.  

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

This little verse is nestled among several verses that will give us a good idea of what it takes to have our dreams come true! 

1 A Psalm of David. Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. 3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. 7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. (Psalms 37:1-7 KJV)

Looking at this portion of scripture, the part that always jumps out at me is that the Lord wants to give me the desires of my heart!  I’ve also come to realize that He not only fulfills the desires of our hearts (our dreams), He gives them to us in the sense that He directly places the desires in our hearts, so that He can fulfill them and we can find our satisfaction and wholeness in Him.  That is so exciting to me! 

The difficult part is sorting out which are the dreams that He has given me that will bear fruit, and which are vain imaginations on my part, which are things that may make me temporarily happy, but will not be of any consequence to the Kingdom of God, which are things that will distract me from God’s true purpose as I try to attain something which God never had for me, and which are the desires that He has genuinely placed in my heart so that He can fulfill them.  I believe some of the answers to having fruitful dreams are found in Psalm 37:1-7.  When we truly know how to DREAM B.I.G., then we will no longer waste our time with fruitless dreams and needless disappointments.

Discern the voice of the Lord
Receive what He has for us
Exalt Him
Allow Him the right of way
Minister to others through what He has given you.

Believe
In
God

Discern the Voice of the Lord

As we first begin to search our hearts for what God has placed in us, it is necessary that we discern His voice.  It is urgent that we not only hear His voice, but that we recognize His voice.

 

  • Fret Not!

  • Psalm 37 begins with an admonition for us:

    1Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.  2For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.   Psalm 37:1-2

    We are told “fret not”.  The verse does not discount the fact that there is evil going on, but it tells us that “evildoers” and “workers of iniquity” should be of no consequence to us, mainly because of the fact that God already has plans for those folks!  Many times I believe we are distracted from hearing the voice of God because we are focusing on everything but God.  We are so busy worrying about our circumstances, that we simply miss His voice.  We don’t even hear it at all.

    • Rest and Wait (and PS, “fret not”)

    So, let’s say we stop “fretting ourselves” how do we actually begin to hear what may be God’s voice?  Let’s look at Psalm 37:7

    7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

    How do we recognize His voice among the many voices (translate:  responsibilities, obligations, habits, opinions) that call to us on a daily basis?  This scripture tell us that we must “rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.”  The word “rest” in this particular scripture means to be silent or still.  It is necessary for us to simply be quiet and be still with the purpose of hearing from God.  If you’ve ever tried to have a personal, private, intimate conversation in the middle of a crowd, you will understand the necessity of quiet in having meaningful communication.  God is simply saying “Can we go somewhere that’s a little quieter?”  I encourage you to turn away from your busy-ness and go somewhere a little quieter with God.

    Another important part of this is “wait patiently.”  It may be excruciating to wait for God’s timing in many of our situations.  You may be tempted to tap your toe, twitch, writhe and jump around with anxiety – but we are told to “wait patiently” as we are resting, being quiet, and being still before Him.  His timing is always perfect.

    PS – we are told “fret not” again – just in case we forgot!

    • Be Fed

    This Psalm was written by David, God’s “Shepherd King”.  As in many of the psalms, there is some imagery associated with sheep in the fields.  Psalm 37:3 tells us

    Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

    The imagery here is of lambs dwelling in safety and being led and fed by the shepherd. 

    In the new testament, Jesus is our Shepherd King.  In John 10:27 Jesus Himself says that His sheep will recognize His voice.

    My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: John 10:27

    If we are truly a follower of Jesus, we are given the ability to know His voice and to follow Him.  As children of the New Covenant, our food is to be the Word of God.  With Jesus as our Shepherd, we can hear His voice and feed on the Word.

    This scripture tells us that “verily thou shalt be fed.”  The word “verily” in this verse implies a faithful steadfastness and steadiness.  I’m so glad that I will be faithfully and steadily fed with the good things that my Shepherd has for me.

    I’m a Believer!

    Laura

    Read Fruitful Dreams Part 2:  Receiving What He Has For Us