Many people have traveled by this well on their journeys through life, but either didn’t notice it, decided not to check it out, or tried it but left for some reason. It doesn’t appear that the well has been used in a long time. You are not even sure if the water is good. The top of the water looks unappetizing . . . . disgusting actually – covered in dust, dirt, germs, bugs and grime. Who would even want to use this well or drink its water? You dip your finger in to just taste it anyways as you realize how thirsty you are, but you only taste the stuff on top. Yuck. You’re not drinking that! But your thirst remains.
You decide to move on. . . . to find something more appealing . . . more appetizing . . . more eye-catching and tasty. You heard there was something better down the road. So you turn your back to the well and head off.
I urge you to come back.
Things are not always what they seem.
There is more to this well than the casual observer and wanderer will ever know.
Let me help you draw up the DEEP water from the well. That is where the best water resides – where the cooler, refreshing, life-giving water is. It is not tainted by the dirt, dust, germs or bugs on top of the water. Nothing has touched this deep water except the bucket and cisterns that are allowed to draw deep into it.
Are you that kind of cistern or vessel?
Are you ready to go deep?
Friday, January 15, 2010
"You cannot always help what happens TO you, but you can help what happens IN you."
"The kingdom WITHIN you will become the kingdom AROUND you."
"You are not a product OF your environment, but you are a product of the WAY YOU RESPOND to your environment."
- Kris Vallotton
These were the words that I starred and underlined in my notes last night as we listened to Kris Vallotton speak about "The Process of Developing People". He had so many good things to say - about making mistakes/failing (not morally), understanding that when we work with people - it will be messy, how to develop the structures (prepare the "soil") within us so that our spirit will accept the teaching ("seed") God places in our life, and so much more.
In fact - he even said that in order to pass this class - we will have to FAIL 3 times! :) Yes - you heard me right. If I don't fail 3 times - then I fail the class. :) Why? Because if I fail 3 times (or more . . . and we're not talking moral failures here) - then I am taking risks . . . I am stepping out of my comfort zone to do what I've never done before - to reach for the impossible (or just the difficult) - to create an opportunity for God to show up with miracles, power, glory and love! :) Pretty cool, eh?
So - today - I give you permission to FAIL! :) Try it . . . it's not so bad. I'm still alive! And what's the worst thing that could happen . . . you might actually succeed! So you pray for a woman in a wheelchair and ask her to get up out of it . . . what's the worst that could happen? She might not be able to get up. That didn't change anything. She couldn't do that before. But what MIGHT happen . . . she just might get up and be healed!! :) Why aren't we risking that?!
So -if you see me fail along the way . . . be happy for me . . . and don't judge me for my mistakes. I'm willing to take risks to see what I've never seen before, to do what I've never done before, to go where I've never been before! Are you?
I heard another familiar saying this week - "If you want what you've never had, you will have to do what you've never done."
Are you willing to do that?
What do you want? (in life? to do? etc)
My son recently told me - "Edison didn't fail 1001 times when inventing the light bulb. His invention of the light bulb had 1001 steps!" :)
I started off this blog post with the quotes by Kris Vallotton. I didn't know they would be tested in my life so soon! After our meeting last night (and thankfully - after a good time of soaking in God's presence!) I went outside to get in my car. I was watching my surroundings instead of my car, and when I opened my door I was surprised to hear something falling out of my car - like chunks of ice . . . . . . But it was glass. My driver's side window had been smashed - pried into along the side of the window and busted - I'm assuming, to get in and steal things without making too much noise while cracking my window. I wasn't the only one. The Pastor's car had the same damage. The strange thing is, though . . . nothing was taken (not that I had anything to take . . . a couple car seats, Psalty's Family Chirstmas tape . . yes . . TAPE . . I don't even have a CD player let alone a GPS or anything worth value. I even have a VCR (yes - those are still around) in my van! Who would want that?! Had they fully looked at my van without 2 hubcaps, a scary spray paint job on the front hood, etc - I don' t think they would have bothered. I guess it all looks better at night!). It didn't even look like they had opened the door as a good amount of the glass had still been in the window. So, either they were scared off (good chance - because the fire dept sirens went off during our meeting), or they were just vandalizing our 2 cars (out of at least 10 cars) - but doing it quietly?? - and only doing the one window?? Who knows?? Who cares? Really. What's done is done.
The thing that amazed me though - was the peace in my spirit and the joy actually. We stood out side (for a looong time) waiting for the cops to come and fill out a report - and we laughed and joked about the situation - especially in light of what we just learned! ACTIVATION/ APPLICATION TIME! :) I think I passed this time!
I don't attribute the peace or joy to anything I could muster up . . . it was truly the "kingdom of God within" becoming the "kingdom of God around me". I had been resting in His peace and presence - accepting His peace and joy - and letting Him fill me up.
When you soak a sponge in lemon juice - what will you get if you squeeze it? Lemon juice. If you soak it in water . . . you will get water. Sometimes we have been soaking in lemon juice (the world), but have been trying to replace it with water (God's kingdom) - and it's coming out a watery lemon juice mix instead. That's ok! It's better than just the lemon! Keep soaking in the water, and eventually - it will be mostly or all water that comes out!! But sometimes we have been soaking in lemon juice but expecting water to come out. The sad thing that I see in the church and in so many people's lives (who say they are Christians) is that when times get tough (ie - squeezed) - it's not CHRIST who is being squeezed out of them. It looks more like the sour lemon juice! We are known by the "fruit" people see in our lives - not just in the good times - but in the bad as well (especially). We can't put on airs and pretend that "it is well with my soul" . . . it has to come from within. If you are not soaking in God's presence, the kingdom of God, etc - you can't expect it to come out of you in those hard times.
So . . . my challenge for you today is this:
1. FAIL! - Take risks in your relationship with God, in living out your Christianity, etc!
2. Soak in more of God today! Drink DEEP! Take in God's word - meditate on it - put on some praise music and sing (it's helps get rid of depression, anger, and more! "Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness"! You have to PUT IT ON . . . that's an action . . it doesn't just "happen". It's a choice!), spend some time in prayer - just letting God/Daddy love on you. Listen to Him. Talk to Him. Love on Him. Accept His love. Stand on the TRUTH in God's word instead of the FACTS of your situation. Truth ALWAYS trumps facts!!
Drink Deep and let that water flow out of you in the hard times!
ps - Update - I just had to share this with you . . .
Ok . . . I just finished thoroughly cleaning out my van (glass, dirt and cookies crumbs!) - and I found out that something WAS stolen (unless the guy from church removed it when cleaning my car out).
I had to laugh out loud! Under my front seat I always keep my bright blue and black reusable Walmart bags. I have them all inside one of the bags. I had just gone to the store that morning, and had stuffed them back under the seat that afternoon.
So - some thief got a disappointing surprise when he grabbed that bag and ran - thinking he probably had my GPS or something good . . . only to find that all he really had was 6 more Walmart bags! Well - now he has something to put his loot in that he steals! :)
Just had to share!
Monday, January 11, 2010
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life:
"A fight is going on inside of me," he said to the boy.
"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is guilt, rensentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."
The grandson though about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."
- American Indian Proverb
Which one are YOU feeding today?
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Are you set up for a miracle? For a GREAT miracle?! . . . then give thanks! (I know that seems to go against all you've been taught, been shown, or ever known . . . but it's biblical!)
James 1:2 - Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
Phillipains 4:6&7 - Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Don't you want that? Peace . . . . that surpasses anything you could understand? A miracle?
Keep trusting God . . . put your faith in God . . . and leave it there!
May 2010 be a year of miracles for you (not that I'm wishing difficulties on you! :) . . . not at all!)!! Let God take care of you! Get to know Him . . . His amazing love for you!! He loves taking care of His kids - better than we could even imagine!!
Ephesians 3:20 - Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. . .
Drink deeper still!
ps - that quote was from the movie "Faith like Potatoes" - based on the real life of Angus Buchan (a farmer from S. Africa). If you haven't seen the movie - go rent it today! (and watch the special features with the real Angus Buchan!)
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
At our church's morning prayer – Pictures during worship:
- God and I walking arm in arm. Instead of me being on a “leash” (where God never lets go of me, but gives me freedom to wander) walking separately from God, or even walking hand in hand – we were walking arm in arm (I was on his left side). This way he was able to support me – keep me from falling if I started to trip on a rock or something. By keeping very close to him, I was better supported – able to be held up. – Yes – I want that Lord! I want to be closer to you this year – to be arm in arm with you! Pull me close – and don’t let go! :)
- We were singing “how deep . . . how wide . . is your love for me”. I was standing arm in arm with God looking at an expanse of ocean/water. I couldn’t see the other sides or bottom. Yes – how deep and wide is your love God! But God said – “No. It’s not that Lori. Look up.” I looked toward the sky. His love was as deep and wide as the sky – the universe. It was limitless . . .without end! Even though I can’t see the other side of the ocean, or the bottom – I still know there is an end – there is a limit. Yes it’s big – very big – but it has limits. The universe does not. God’s love does not. His power does not. Wow! I’m sorry God that we have put limits on you – on your love – who you can love, how you can love, what your love looks like, what you can do through your love – and more. I’m sorry Lord. Forgive us!
- I was hugging God (my Daddy) – and he told me to look. He took me outside and showed me a beautiful sunrise. “This is for you.” . . . and then he showed me a beautiful sunset “This is for you too”. One of our pastors then got up and said that God was saying today – “Arise” – that we were to pray for the church to Arise – for the Bride of Christ to Arise! Wow – God’s presence was great! His love was great!
- I got up to pray and saw God nudging his Bride awake from her sleep – every so gently – with his love. “Arise. Wake up. I want to show you the sunrise. Yes, there is work to be done in the daylight, but I want you awaken now – to see the things that I’ve created just for you. Beautiful things. Don’t wait until it’s fully light out – but wake up now.” I could sense that his bride has been asleep – comfortable in bed. She may be somewhat awake, or waking up – but not wanting to get out of bed. “I’ll wait until it’s light out” she says (till we see God’s glory in full all around us). But God wants us to come with Him NOW – to get up while it’s still a bit dark out – to show us His glory right now – in all it’s splendor and beauty! He has great things for us. He doesn’t want us waking up too late and having to rush to catch up with the “day”. He wants us to arise early – spend time with him enjoying the beauty of the day – and get ready for the rest of the “day” ahead. He wants to show us – not only the sunrise – but the sunset. The culmination of the “day” – the end result.
Lord – I definitely want to be around for the “sunset”! I definitely want to be awake for the sunrise! Keep nudging me awake! Keep calling to me with your love. Allow me to see all the beautiful and wonderful and amazing things you have for me to see – in this world, in your kingdom, in and through your glory, and more. I want to see all that you have for me! Awaken your church – your Bride – Lord! I am so sorry that we have been too comfortable slumbering. We know the day is approaching fast . . . . but we are too comfortable in our beds, under our covers. Get us up Lord!! Wake us up!! But do it with your love! Awaken this nation with your love! Awaken this world with your love! It is your love that transforms, saves, delivers, sustains, and sets us free! Without your love – there is nothing!! Nothing would be here without your love! Thank you for your love God! You are AWESOME!!!
I felt the Lord saying to me -
A day is coming where there will be great work to do for the Lord – where He will require much of us. Will we be caught off guard – trying to adjust to the sudden brightness of the day? Or will we get up now – let our eyes adjust to the slowly increasing light from the sunrise – so that by the time the bright noon sun has come, we are fully ready and not “stunned” by the light.
A day is coming when God’s children will be called to bring His light into the very darkest of places. Many are doing it now. However, many are still enjoying the night. God needs you to come into the bright light of the day in order to bring that light into the dark recesses around us.
Why are you still sleeping? Why are you still trying to enjoy the sunrise and the light from the comfort of your “bed”? Wake up you slumbering bride! Wake up! God is calling you. He doesn’t have a clanging cymbal or loud alarm clock –He’s gently calling to you and nudging you awake. But you are not listening. You are not responding even when you do hear. Wake up! Get up! Stop procrastinating or the day will be upon you! You will be caught off guard! Get up! Get going! TODAY is the day to get up and get going! Meet with God. Stick with God. Stop trying to still enjoy the light and the day by being lazy in your bed – in your darkened room. You can’t have both anymore. Put off your bedclothes and be clothed in His righteousness! Take His robe that He is offering – his clothes – his garments. Take them and put them on and wear them! Today is the day to stop being lazy and procrastinating and waiting for the sunlight to reach you in your bedroom. Get up – get out – and go find the sunlight – find the sunrise! It’s there. You just have to get up and look! Stop being lazy! Stop making excuses – “tomorrow I will. Not today. I’ve got too much to do. I’m too tired. I’m not interested. I’ll get around to it eventually. There’s always another day. . . . “ No there isn’t! You are not guaranteed another day. Your neighbor is not guaranteed another day. Your family, wife, spouse, kids, mom, friend . . . are not guaranteed another day. So get up! Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness – and ALL these things shall be added unto you! Get up and seek! And you will find! Get up! Get up! Get up!
Arise Bride of Christ! Arise!
Thank you Lord for how Deep and wide is your love for me!!
Enjoy His Deep love today!
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Are you ready for a journey with me this year?!
I have signed up to be a part of a School of Supernatural Ministry -locally - but through/with the curriculum from Bethel Church in Redding, CA - Bill Johnson's church. If you haven't read any of his books . . . GO GET ONE! They will change your life - they way you think - the way you live! And the proof of what he teaches in in the pudding . . . . his life, his church, and the students at his school are living it out! They are living radical, transformed, supernatural lives for God - and touching the lives of people where ever they go - even in Walmart!!
So - I wanted to include you in my journey through this school. Part of our "homework" is to read - 3 chapters of the Bible a day, as well as several books. I wanted to share with you what God is showing me. Bear with me. I'm not sure what this will look like - or how theologically "perfect" I will be - but it will be me . . . and God . . . and you! :) My heart's desire is to love God with all my heart, soul, strength and mind - and then love others as I love myself! I can't love others if I don't love myself - and I can't love myself unless I love God and know His love for me! So, in order to reach people with God's love - I need to know it, experience it myself - firsthand. You do too. And one way in which He shows us His love is through His love letters - His word - the Bible. We get to know more about Him - who He is, what He is like, what He is NOT like, and more.
So journey with me this year - and let's see what God has to say to us - to me - to you! Will you? :) Let me know what you think too - what God is saying to you! Read along with me - 3 chapters a day. I even went to the library to get the audio Bible on CD (dramatized version!) to listen to as I read along in my Bible (or online at Biblegateway.com). And if you want - you can also read the books that I am reading. Currently I am reading Bill Johnson's book - "When Heaven invades Earth".
Here we go!! . . .
1:6 – “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”
(Ok – so I have to ask this first . . . though it’s not what I wanted to talk about! Was Adam with her the whole time that Eve and the serpent were having their conversation? Was he just not listening or paying attention? :) Or did he hear it all, but didn’t decide to participate until his wife convinced him? Hmmm . . . . )
I was struck by this verse – mainly because I can see how the enemy still uses this tactic today – in my life and in so many people’s lives.
How many times are we presented with something in our lives that looks good, sounds good, tastes good, seems good for us, etc . . . and yet it goes against what we know God has told us not to do? . . . . And how many times do we “take a bite” after reasoning that it must be good for us . . . just look at it . . .just smell it . . . it will make me smarter . . it will increase my salary to provide for my family (so I can give more to my church too) . . . it will save me money so I don’t have to buy that item – I’ll just copy it . . . it makes me feel good inside when I drink/eat it . . . I feel all happy when I watch/listen to it . . . what could be wrong with that?! Plus – we have something that Eve didn’t have or couldn’t say – “Everyone else is doing it!”
Oh how we are deceived! And oh how sad it is that we don’t realize what we’ve done immediately afterwards like Adam and Eve did. Why not? Why did they? Why did they realize right away that what they had done was wrong? Their “eyes were opened” (vs 7 – “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made covering for themselves.”). How were their eyes opened? Were they blind before? No, of course not. But they now saw something they had never seen before . . .their sin . . their nakedness. This was something that was new to them. However, in the world we live in . . . we see and experience it everyday - don't we? We've become numb/blind to some of it. So how can we become more aware - how can we become more sensitive to our sin and grieving the Holy Spirit?
Spend time with the Lord, in the presence of God - the Holy Spirit. Get to know Him, His ways, His commands, His love, His power and more. It's like wearing a dirty shirt. When you are in a darkened room, you don't - and can't - really see the dirt or stains on your shirt. It might even feel or smell clean. However, start shining a light on it, or step into a room that has better lighting, and you start to notice the stains, the dirt. You are amazed that you never saw them before! You are embarrassed. How could you have walked around with such a dirty shirt on and never know it. When you start walking with the "light" of this world - you will become more aware of the dirt and stains that had been on your shirt. But when you accept Christ and his forgiveness - He gives you a NEW shirt! :) Stay in the light. If you do - you will quickly see and realize if you accidentally (or intentionally) get your new shirt dirty - and you can deal with it quickly then. If you wander back into the darker room - you won't be as aware (you might feel/smell clean there - but it's a false sense of purity.).
Adam and Eve had a life that we all, deep down – in our spirits, desire. We want to walk and talk with our Lord all throughout the day – to have an intimate and personal relationship with God in a tangible way. They lived with Him, ate with Him, talked and laughed with Him – every day. It was all they knew. They wouldn’t have even thought about the tree in the middle of the garden – the forbidden fruit. Why should they? They had all they needed. It wasn’t even a consideration. But the enemy threw a thought in there . . . he planted a seed in their minds. Once he saw that the seed was definitely planted (when Eve responded to him and told him that God said they couldn’t even “touch it” or they would die – which God never said not to touch it) – then Satan watered that seed. “You will not surely die!” He got Eve thinking about it more – allowing that thought to take root and grow. Look how good that fruit looks. Why would such a good God keep something so good from you? He would want you to have it! And it’s not just good to eat, and good to look at – but it will give you wisdom, so you can be more like God! Don’t you think that if God really loved you that He would want you to be more like Him? Why is He keeping that from you?
Satan got her thinking, doubting, analyzing, being introspective and rationalizing . . . which all sound like good things (God gave us a mind didn’t He? So why not use it?!). However – as good as it all sounded, looked, etc . . . it still went against what God had said. And just THAT fact alone – made it “not good” – made it wrong – made it a sin. It doesn’t matter how “good” something looks, feels, tastes, seems, etc in our own rationalizing mind . . . . if it goes against what God has said – then it is wrong – it is sin – and it leads to death.
How many times have you compromised in your life . . . this past year . . . this month . . . today? How many times have you said – “It’s not that big a deal. . . . . It will help us out in the long run. . . . It’s just this once. . . . . It won’t affect me. . . “ etc? How many “little” compromises . . . aka – “bites” have you taken?
I challenge you to DECLARE WAR ON COMPROMISE today. Don’t take a bite. In fact – to make it even easier on you (to not take a bite . . . compromise) – don’t even entertain the idea – the thoughts. Stop it before it starts! Kick the enemy out of your “garden” – out of your mind – and life! Don’t’ let him whisper things to you. Yes – they sound and look good . . . but they are not. They lead to death! The thoughts will come – but we need to take them captive – 2 Cor. 10:5 – “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Colossians 2:8 – “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”
The enemy has kept us trapped – captive (2 Tim 2:26) – and he starts with our thoughts. Let’s not let him continue to have access and the ability to trap us and keep us captive anymore! DECLARE WAR ON COMPROMISE!
I was asked once –what the difference really was between drinking alcohol to get a buzz – to feel good, relaxed, drunk, happy, etc. . . . and wanting to be “drunk in the Holy Spirit’s presence”? Both of them make you feel good – but you still have to keep going back for more to keep feeling good. So what makes one better than the other? Is there really a difference?
Yes - One leads to life . . . the other leads to death. Plain and simple.
When you are filled with the Holy Spirit and enjoying his presence and power – the feeling is indescribable (actually waaay better than when you are drunk on alcohol!). You are on cloud nine! You are flying high! And it’s not just the nice (drunk) feeling - You are experiencing a love you have never known! It’s beyond anything I could even describe – a love so pure, so holy, so perfect, so safe (which you don’t get from alcohol or drugs). When the experience is over though . . . here’s the difference . . . you don’t wake up with a hangover! You wake up happy (not depressed, lonely, sad, regretful, with a headache) – and feeling totally loved and peaceful!
What does this have to do with compromise? Everything. I’m not saying that if you drink a glass of wine here and there with dinner, or if you go see a movie or listen to “non-christian music” that you are on your way to hell. I’m definitely not anti-wine, anti-media, anit-pleasure. And this isn’t just about drinking – but about all kinds of compromise – financial, work, relationships, physical intimacy, what we watch, listen to, what we say – or don’t say, etc. What I am trying to say is . . . Does what you are doing go against what God has said – to you personally – or through His word – etc? Are you looking to find the real thing – the tree of LIFE – in the alternative – the tree of “death” (sin)? It’s a cheap imitation. It can never be truly the same. It looks, sounds, tastes, smells, seems good and similar . . . but it’s not. It’s the devil’s cheap imitation of the real thing – of what God can give you – of what He has for you. Follow God’s ways – and you will be amazed! His ways are soooo much better! You don’t have to take my word for it . . . listen to God’s . . .
I want to leave you with the words of God spoken to Moses and the Israelites (Deuteronomy 30: 11-20)
The Offer of Life or Death
11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws, then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Love (God) . . . Walk (in His ways) . . . Keep (His commands)!
Love (God) . . . Listen (to His voice) . . .Hold fast (to Him)!
THEN you will live and increase!
The Lord IS your LIFE!
No more excuses - DECLARE WAR ON COMPROMISE Today!
Make a decision to go deeper today!