Saturday, July 21, 2012

I can't believe it!!!!

        Well..We only have one more week of summer camp left!!
I can't believe the summer has flown by... Actually the boys get the opportunity to go to camp this week as Campers! Our last week is high school camp... We are praying for hearts to be transformed...

Another thing I can't believe is my baby will be turning 17 in TEN  DAYS!!! 
I have done the math several times, and it's true... We will be celebrating next Saturday with friends after our last day of summer camp, next weekend will be extremely busy...

Which remindes me that we have offically been in Nebraska for ONE YEAR.... I can't believe it!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Our Cross!!

 We complain about the cross we bear but don’t realize it is preparing us for the dip in the road that God can see and we cannot.
Yes, we say to God, “Oh almighty you are seeing that I am carrying this heavy cross which is just too huge for me. If you want me to complete the journey of life, I need to cut it down a little.”. And thus we cut down our cross day by day, feeling very comfortable than others in this journey of life. But, then, all of a sudden, a dangerous dip comes in our way. We can’t cross it by ourselves. What will others do? They use the cross as a bridge and cross over the dip, praising God for the Cross, without which it should have been impossible. And what will we do then?
We try to use our “small” cut down Cross as a bridge but soon realize that it has become so small a cross to help us pass the large dip on our way. So keep in mind, Our Cross is just preparing us for the dip in the road that God can see and we cannot.


Whatever your cross,
whatever your pain,
there will always be sunshine,
after the rain
Perhaps you may stumble,
perhaps even fall,
But God’s always ready,
To answer your call
He knows every heartache,
sees every tear,
A word from His lips,
can calm every fear
Your sorrows may linger,
throughout the night,
But suddenly vanish,
in dawn’s early light
The Savior is waiting,
somewhere above,
To give you His grace,
and send you His love ..
Whatever your cross,
whatever your pain,
“God always sends rainbows
after the rain.”
- – - written by Pastor Connie Ciccone

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Have you ever fallen down????

Have you ever fallen down?  Spiritually speaking, that is...

Okay so I am running this race... and along side of me comes a challenge! But this is okay because I am grounded in what the Lord has said, and I KNOW I will continue to run this race... However, as I am running the race I realized I have come to a section in the race that I am not running well.. I am not even running, I might add because I now have fallen.... What do you do? Rather, what should I do?
Do I remain here, and quit....
Do I roll over act like it didn't happen.....
OR do I get back up and continue????

To remain here and quit would look like this..

When you are provided with a situation, a challenge if you will, and pour everything you got into that thing... there is physically, emotionally and mentally nothing left to be given!
Mike and I work at camp long hours.. we love this opportunity to be serving together to make an impact on others around us.  The challenge is finding the time to invest in our personal relationship and to keep the priority of our marriage where it needs to be... It's interesting that the very passion we have is the very thing we are being tested in! Furthermore, as we are being tested I feel like I am alone.... I came across this saying on facebook the other day which was much needed

"Remember during a test, the teacher is quite"

I am tired, I am worn out from the daily tasks and there are days where I want to quit or at least give less of myself. In this challenge we face... The pain is doubled when the same mistakes are made that we thought we moved past.  To try and make things better I internalize my pain, which is the root of my anger, which causes resentment and bitterness, which then leads to disrespect... OH THE VICIOUS CYCLE that leads to quilt!!
Well, when we do something wrong, we are supposed to feel guilty, right? That's our conscious kicking in. We would have no sense of right or wrong and society would deteriorate into chaos. Yes, our conscious is a very good thing and that little sting of "guiltiness" that we feel is our internal signal that something is wrong. God intended guilt, however, to be a trigger, not a lifestyle.
The Bible says something important about guilt in II Corinthians 7:10. "For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death." The word "sorrow" in this passage is referring to that guilty feeling. The writer is saying that there are really two kinds of guilt; one that leads to a turnaround and frees us and another kind that leads to spiritual and emotional death. So there is a good kind of guilt and a bad kind of guilt.
How can you tell the difference? First let's start with the acknowledgement that you have done something wrong. No burying your head in the sand. No excuses. When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden after they sinned; "they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden." (Genesis 3:8) They tried to cover up and avoid God because of their sin and mankind has been trying to hide that same way ever since. Don't do it. Admit to yourself and to God that you have blown it.
Now you have a choice to make. Do you want the guilt that leads to freedom or the guilt that leads to death? If you choose freedom you have to do something hard but it will be worth it. You have to follow God's directions and actually repent of the sin. 
The real meaning of the word repentance is that you stop, turn around, and go a different direction. Real repentance is marked by a genuine grief over the sin and a humble sincere heart that recognizes the truth of the weakness inside each of us.Making the choice to acknowledge your sin and then repent of it points you through the door to freedom. One of God's best promises now kicks in: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (I John 1:9) In this scenario, guilt did its work; it triggered the soul to seek reconciliation with God. Now that work is finished and the guilt should get lost fast.
But there is another kind of guilt. It uses that initial trigger to lead us to an entirely different place. There is one other than God who whispers in your ear to embrace this kind of guilt. We have a fierce and unrelenting enemy who is the devil, Satan. First he encourages us to commit every kind of sin and then he tells us how bad we are - how guilty - every time we fall. His game is to use guilt as a trap. At all costs he wants you to avoid actually acknowledging the reality of the sin and then repenting of it. Instead, he wants you to wallow in the guilt itself, keeping your eyes on yourself and off the Lord who can deliver you. As you wallow you are robbed of the joy and happiness of life. In the scripture, Jesus called the devil "the thief." John 10:10 says; "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."

Do I roll over and act like it didn't happened?

Okay so to continue with the story.... I have let a week go by trying to act like the challenge is not before me, the longer I go the more angry I become.. As a result, my focus is on me and not the Lords.  Then shame becomes so evident in my life that I no longer want anything to do with the mercy and grace God has for me, because I feel unworthy......

Kari Jobe "I'm not worthy"

Though I'm not worthy
To see Your precious face
I bow before Thee
Pour out Your holy grace
For You alone can wash my sin
And cleanse my soul so deep within

Heal me, wash me in Your mercy
Mend these broken pieces of my heart
Love me, though I am not worthy
Cleanse my soul and make me whole again
Only say the word
And I shall be healed

Though I'm not worthy
In Your grace I long to stand
And bow before Thee
Stretch out Your healing hand
For You alone can purify
And heal these wounds so deep inside

Heal me, wash me in Your mercy
Mend these broken pieces of my heart
Love me, though I am not worthy
Cleanse my soul and make me whole again
Only say the word
And I shall be healed

Be healed, I'm not worthy
To feel Your love, oh Lord
I bow before Thee
My Savior be adored
For You alone break hardened hearts
And bid all bitterness depart

Heal me, wash me in Your mercy
Mend these broken pieces of my heart
Love me, though I am not worthy
Cleanse my soul and make me whole again
Only say the word
And I shall be healed

It is our responsibility to know Him. It is our need to be "in Christ" It is His strength, His victory, His grace, His forgiveness.. We (I) must come to him in faith and repentance.  Using the disciplines of prayer, study, worship and fellowship which are the "power cord" that keeps us plugged into the power of Christ.  Stepping away from the source is what causes us to be weak and soon we WILL fail. We must stay connected and continue to fight... "MY ROCK camp devotion"

Do I get back up and continue?

The sin that separates us from God is a massive problem-it absolutely prevents us from having a personal relationship with him.  We have no right to approach God, even in worship, because of the gap between us and Him.  However, that gap was once and for all bridged by Jesus Christ, the Lamb who was slain. His death on the cross was made possible for all believers to have a personal relationship and an open line of communication with a previously unreachable God. (MY ROCK)
"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing" Revelation 5:12

Okay.. so I have fallen, and got caught in Satan's snare-wallowing in despair and sincerely grieving over my spiritual shortcomings... However, I choose to allow the deliverance and assurance to echoes in my ears.
"Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" Romans 8:1
I choose to GET UP!  I choose to allow God to work in me, through me and for me... I can not do this alone.. I will fall over and over but as long as I remain in him he will provide the strength that I need.  After all it is about him and not about me!!

John 15:4 "Remain in me, and I will remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine." 

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God"
Hebrews 12: 1-2