Saturday, August 6, 2011

It's a Pj's to Pj's Day

I had every intentions of hitting the ground running this morning.
Plans were to wake up and meet my Maker for coffee out in the sacred spot and spend some time with Him and let Him walk me through putting together the rest of my lessons for this Sunday.

I have three to teach in the morning.
However God was good to set me up just right. Imagine that?

I currently am taking our young singles class through the book of Luke. We are in Luke 3, ready to begin with verse 18. I also accepted a request to lead our children's CrossGuard worship this coming Sunday and it just so happens that the lesson was based on Luke 4:1-13... which coincides right with my lesson for the young singles.

Whew, God saved me from overload... but I still had to seek Him in making these two separate lessons able to reach both age groups... of course I do get lots of practice with my own two little ones :-)

I also had to finish putting together my lesson for the Isaiah precept class on Isaiah 51-53...

So the plan was quiet time, study time, get ready and go time.

Well, I made it to quiet time, study time, then my little one finally came out the door to say good morning... or well, good mid-morning. I came into the house to fix her some breakfast and saw that it was way past the get ready and go time. I was never going to make it to the diaper shower...

So I chose to go back and do some more study time.

It's just me, my youngest, and the dog today... and well I sit here now and it's almost 3pm and I am indeed still in my pj's and so is my youngest. Why dirty up more laundry just to be at home? There are days that we should be able to go from pj's to pj's (and it not be from the flu) with no guilt at all.

I choose for today to be one of those days.

It's just been a day that we, that I, have chosen to rest. It was not my intent when I planned this day, but I think God knew I would need this day of not having to be somewhere.

So we have gone from breakfast to lunch in our pj's and we curled up on the couch and watched some Turning Point with David Jeremiah where his message was on legalism vs liberty.
He shared how legalism is absent of joy and replaces it with fear that we won't do enough or with arrogance that we have already done enough or with failure that we have made a mistake.  

So I felt this was a good sign that today was good day to practice my freedom in Christ and rest in His joy that is mine in the liberty that He has given me and just spend the day in my pj's. As a matter of fact, the afternoon coffee just dinged the ready signal. I'm going to go pour me a cup and go pile back up on the couch with my baby girl :-)

I've posted the link to the message by David Jeremiah below:

The Hardening of the Oughteries



Friday, August 5, 2011

You Can Have Me

I have spent the past week preparing myself to receive the worst news today.
This morning on the way to the hospital, as I was singing songs of praise to my Creator, my Maker, the song by the Sidewalk Prophets, You Can Have Me, came on the radio and as I drove and sang, I prayed.
I was ready.
Or at least I told myself I was.
I was ready to go through whatever God had waiting for me with these tests.
I told Him that I would count it all joy.
I told Him that I would be honored to know the joy of His suffering.
He could have me.
I would go through whatever He needed me to go through to conform me into the image of Christ.
I would go through it with grace and be a testimony of His love in the midst of whatever trials this life brings.
I was geared up and ready to fight for the glory of Christ and the increase of His kingdom. If it takes death working in me to bring eternal life to someone else, God I am ready...
Or at least I believe I think I am...

"So death works in us,
but life in you."
2 Corinthians 4:12

After the first test, they said there was no reason for the second.
They said this with a smile... so I assume it was good news.
So now I wait for the final word... but it all looks very positive, so many prayers have been answered.
Thank you for yours :-)

But now... after having geared up for the fight... I feel almost as if God did not count me as worthy to carry this cross.
I know.
How crazy is that? To desire to be able to rejoice in the fact that I was allowed to suffer for His sake...
Well maybe it's not too crazy.

"They took his advice; and after calling the apostles in,
they flogged them
and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus,
and then released them. 
So they went on their way from the presence of the Council,
rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. 
And every day, in the temple and from house to house,
they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ."  
Acts 5:40-42

The truth is death still works in me so that life may work in others. Death works in us every time we have layed down our own wants, desires, and needs for the benefit of another. It's just that as for me, it doesn't look like it will be this way at this time. Oh, but I think, maybe, I am a little more confident in my question that if He were to ask for my life, would I freely give it as He gave His...

Have you ever considered an illness in that way?
As a way to bring glory to God, instead of an attack from Satan?
This was my choice in this possibility.
I would count it all joy to be an example of living in dying because I know that to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Phil 1:21).

Yes, Father of Love You can have me

Peace of Christ and a Praying Husband

This morning are my tests.
I am about 15 minutes from jumping in the shower and getting ready and heading to the hospital to go through another mammogram and then follow the mammogram with an ultrasound.
Possibly in less than 12hrs I will know if this situation is behind me... or if this is just beginning.

It has indeed, as a friend described it, been "a cloud hanging over me." I know that God is sovereign. I know that He is in control and I know that He already knows what the results of these tests will be, but nevertheless, the fact that I am clueless creates the cloud.

I have been a little scattered this week, more than usual, I am at norm always a little scattered. So it's been a week with a report like scattered clouds with a chance of approaching storms...

It's been a strange, at peace but not, kind of week.

I stand in the peace of my God that is mine by the grace of my God through my faith in Jesus Christ... this peace that surpasses all understanding. It's so great that we don't have to understand the peace of God to rest in it.

I received a text from my husband this morning that just placed me in perfect peace. He told me that he had prayed over me until he fell asleep, began again when he woke up, and he prayed for me all the way to work, and was praying for me still, and if I needed him I was to call and he would leave work to come and be with me.

There just is nothing like knowing your husband is praying over you. The power of a praying husband brings a peace like no other can, not the pastor, not the Sunday school teacher, not the CBN prayer line...

 "Husbands, love your wives,
just as Christ also loved the church
and gave Himself up for her, 
so that He might sanctify her,
having cleansed her
by the washing of water with the word"
(Ephesians 5:24-26)    

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Singing Majesty

I had another crazy sleepless night, part due to some of the loudest crackling thunder I have heard in a while that seemed to last all night (and has as a matter fact rolled back in again) and the other part due to another crazy dreams nights.

Let's see last night I went to New York with our young singles class for a conference and  somehow got lost and Melanie (one of my students) found me and got me back with the group (what's funny is that this really happened at Passion in Atlanta one year, Leah thanks again for coming to my rescue!) and then the next thing I know we are in some foreign country repelling down ancient monuments into the depths of the earth and then I am swimming away from ocean crocodiles... and that's just some it. It seems that every time I woke up to a crackling thunder once I dozed back off I was swept off into a whole new night time adventure. Which could be fun except you wake up feeling as though you never actually went to sleep.

So I crawl out of bed and head to the kitchen to make my beckoning pot of joe and look out my back door to check on my sacred morning spot. Yes, as I feared. The chair is gone, the table is sideways, and all is soaking wet from the blowing rain storm that swept through our breezeway. So I chase down the chair and set everything back up straight and head back into the house for the fresh hot coffee.

These mornings remind me that my time is this spot is precious. I can't handle the cold... so once winter hits I have to leave this spot and am back in the house.
The thing about being in the house is all the distractions.
When I go out to my sacred spot it's just me and God as I sit before Him face to face with His Word. When I look up I see only the horizon and living on a mountain I often see His still breeze rustling the tops of the trees.
In the house I look up and see dishes that need washed, dining room table that needs unearthed, coffee table that needs wiped down, because yes we commit the unpardonable family sin of eating in the living room in front of the tv... gasp!
And then there is the jealous dog that won't stop trying to jump in my lap and if I leave in the kennel he just whines worse than any of my kids ever have... distractions.
So my sacred spot, is sacred to me.

So after the coffee was made I went out with a towel and dried everything off and brought out my poptart and coffee (this is my personal Lord's Supper, I eat of the bread and drink of the cup as I come together with my Jesus, my Father, and my Holy Spirit).
I open up my Bible and begin reading in Psalm 22 and then Mark 15 and then to Isaiah 53, of course I am crying by the time I get to Mark 15 and well as I finish reading Isaiah 53 I look up and before my eyes is the most glorious storm cloud pattern. It absolutely took my breath away.

So I began to sing Majesty...

Thank you Ryan Wade for singing this song last night, I love having this song on my heart...

So well, those glorious storm clouds blew in another storm which sent me fleeing my sacred spot and back in the house to save my Bible and notebooks and laptop... but oh the few minutes I had in my sacred spot were wonderful! I praise my God and am so thankful that He is not bound by time and I don't have to be either. There is no time limit on a life of praise. It is in all things, in all places, in all times, for all eternity.

May you spend today singing Majesty... Majesty... Your grace as found me just as I am, empty handed but alive in Your hands...    

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Blessed When We Rest

This is an excerpt, a little sneak peak, you might say into the rough draft of the book I am currently working on Devotions From Exodus. I thought I might share it with you. :-)

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." Exodus 20:8

I began this devotion on the fourth commandment of our God and had to stop. As I read it I couldn't get past the obvious fact that as a modern American church this is the one and only commandment we do not seem to practice, to observe, as it is written. 

Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God;
in it you shall not do any work,
you or your son or your daughter,
your male or your female servant
or your cattle
or your sojourner who stays with you.
For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them,
and rested on the seventh day;
 therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.
Exodus 20:9-11

As I was discussing this thought on the Sabbath commandment online with family and friends one of them pointed out that this is the only commandment that begins with God telling us to "remember" it. I would agree with her that there must be a very good reason for that beginning. This commandment also is the last commandment that addresses our relationship with God specifically.

Do we as the modern western church choose to ignore this commandment? There are christian denominations that choose to observe worship on Saturday instead of Sunday, but is that the same as keeping the sabbath holy?

What does Jesus have to say about the Sabbath?

In John 5:18 we read that "the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He was not only breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God." There is something terribly wrong with this picture.

The Jews are saying that Jesus is breaking the Sabbath. We know that this cannot be true, because Jesus kept the Law of God with perfection. We have to look at the context of this verse and find out why the Jews made this accusation. When we look at the context we see they accuse Him of breaking the Sabbath because He healed a man and told the man to pick up his pallet and walk.

Now the Jews tell this newly healed man that he is breaking the Sabbath because it is not permissible for him to carry his pallet on the Sabbath. If we look back at Exodus 20:8-11, I do not read anywhere that God said, "thou shalt not carry thy pallet". I believe the Jews made this accusation not because Jesus was breaking God's Sabbath, but because He was breaking the Jews tradition of sabbath. It was for this that they sought all the more to kill Him. A friend of mine pointed out that in this verse we do not see the Jews even consider giving praise to God for this man's healing, they are only concerned that he is breaking their rules.

In the book of Matthew we read more of Jesus and the Sabbath. In Matthew 12:1-8 we read of the Pharisees accusing the disciples of Christ of breaking the Sabbath because they have picked grains of wheat to eat in their hunger. Jesus then points out to the Pharisees that the priests of the temple do themselves break the Sabbath as they continue to perform their temple work on that holy day. He then tells them that something greater than the temple is here. In Matthew 12:8 Jesus declares "For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."

Then in Matthew 12:9-14 Jesus goes on to heal another man on the Sabbath. The Pharisees then question Him about whether or not it is lawful to heal on the Sabbath. If I was Jesus I would probably be rolling my eyes at this point and shaking my head in disbelief at these men, but Jesus simply answers, "What man is there among you has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep!"

These Pharisees, these religious tyrants, had missed the whole point of the Sabbath command. They missed it because their focus was to control men by the Law, not help them. Truth be known they probably did value the sheep over the man because their sheep would make them money which would bring them power and that man would cost them money and they would have to humble themselves in order to serve and help him.

The fourth command is to remember the Sabbath. In Mark 2:27 Jesus tells us that "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." The instructions following this fourth commandment concerning the sabbath day in Exodus 20 tells us that we are to remember this day by rest.

"In repentance and rest you will be saved,
in quietness and trust is your strength."
Isaiah 30:15

So what exactly is Jesus trying to get across to these religious men about their view of the Sabbath? How does what Jesus say to them relate to us today? Are we breaking the Sabbath by worshiping on Sunday instead of Saturday?

Let us reason together.

We have to remember what this command says.
It tells us to remember to rest.
To rest in rest?
No, to rest in God.

I don't know about you but Sunday is not a day of rest for me. However, I don't really believe it was designed nor intended to be. When we are called to assemble together as the church we are called to serve and be employed, "As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." (1 Peter 4:10). Sunday is the day we come together as a body of believers to grow in grace and truth. It is the day that we are supposed to spend building each other up. I believe this is separate from the Sabbath, which is to be a day of rest.

We are commanded by God to remember the Sabbath and commanded by Christ to remember Him by the Lord's Supper, the breaking of bread and the drinking of the cup (Luke 22:19-20).
Remember the Sabbath and remember Me, the Lord of the Sabbath, when you come together by the Lord's Supper.

Maybe our Lord is saying "Remember by the breaking of this bread and the drinking of this cup that you could not work enough to earn your salvation. Remember that I alone am God, set up no idols of worship in your heart, do not consider my name as useless or ordinary because it is by this name that you are saved. Remember the Sabbath and rest in Me, knowing that in Me you are complete, it is finished."

I believe that we are called to remember the Sabbath and to come together and worship on Sunday. The Sabbath is for us individually (Mark 2:27) and the Lord's Supper for us collectively, "Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread." (1 Corin 10:17).

Also let us notice that the command is not "Remember Saturday and keep it holy". It is remember the sabbath. The first sabbath is the seventh day. We read of it in the beginning in Genesis.

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. 
By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done,
and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 
Then God blessed the seventh day
and sanctified it,
because in it He rested from all His work
which God had created and made.
Genesis 2:1-3 

Have you noticed that in Genesis when God tells us of creation He doesn't say there was evening and morning, Sunday, then there was evening and morning, Monday, etc? He simply says one day, then the second day... I have to think that also is for a reason, don't you?

Let's just for the moment look at the observance of the Sabbath in practicality.
Let us just imagine if we as a church would put away the idols of immorality, impurity, passion, evil desires and greed (Colossians 3:5), would we rest more?
If we put these idols away, what would happen to the round the clock seven days a week work schedule? Would we need to run a business 24/7 if we did not worship the idol of greed. Or try to make money off of those who worship the idol of greed?
Let us even consider the medical field. How much emptier would our hospitals be if we removed all the patients that were their due to stress induced illnesses, from being overworked, or from immoral living?
Let us consider the prisons. How much emptier would they be if we put away the idol of greed and remembered that God was our Creator and Sustainer and Provider?

How many of our families would still be intact if at least one day a week we chose to rest in God. To be still before Him. To not require work from our children or our employees and to do none ourselves. If we just one day a week stopped and looked at all that we have accomplished and was content and said, "you know this is good, very good." What if just one day every week we just stopped in the midst of all the craziness of life and worshiped our God by casting all our cares on Him and enjoying the abundant blessing of Himself while trusting that He would take care of tomorrow.

I don't believe it's that we are to not move on the sabbath or carry our pallet or pick grain in our hunger or heal a man or even to hold a church service on a particular day. I believe it is simply that we are not to strive on this day.

I believe God is saying "I am mindful that you are but flesh, I know the worries of this world that flood your soul, just give Me one day. One day. And I promise if You will stop this one day and remember and fall into my arms, then I promise I will carry you the rest of the week. Just trust Me."

Just ponder it my friend.
Then look at your own heart and examine yourself.
Are you remembering the Sabbath to keep it holy?
Let us not forget that we are blessed when we rest.

Oh Father,

Thank you for your Sabbath. Thank you for giving us permission to rest. Forgive me Father, for not giving You this time. You are indeed my Creator and You will carry me. Help me to honor You in this way, by willingly allowing You to carry me. Calling on You in my time of need and not wasting my time by striving on my own. My Jesus, I cast my cares on You this day and I come to You, my God, for rest (Matthew 11:28).

My Jesus it is in Your name I pray,

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Poem Inspired From the Study of Isaiah 40-53

I wrote this poem this morning during my quiet time with my God. It's a poem of praise and worship inspired from the truths that God gives us in His Word in the book of Isaiah... may you praise Him with me :-)

My God I am here, my body still before You now
Still my heart and open my mind to the whisper of Your voice
Let the truth of Your word saturate my soul
Awake my ear this morning
Open my eyes so that You I behold
Allow me to bask in the beauty of Your word
Let me know, let me feel, the weight of your glory
Teach me Your ways oh my God
Lead me in the way that I should go
May Your word alone light the way of my path
Your will alone be the push behind each of my steps
I rest in You, in Your glorious hope
I am quietly strengthened by what of You I know
Grow me, my God, in Your mercy and grace
Refine me as silver until in me You see the reflection of Your precious Son's face

I am here to be still before You my God
I will wait through the trial, temptations, whatever it takes
I'll pass through Your fire so all this dross might be burned away
Righteousness and holiness is what You require
Repentance and belief is what You desire
You are the One who forms light and causes well things
And You are the One who creates calamity and darkness to open eyes that refuse to see
Though I was stubborn-minded and far from Your grace
You brought near to me Your righteousness and Your salvation did not delay
You told me that you loved me and that I was precious in Your sight
You reminded me that I was not forgotten and You were my God
Surrender is what You asked for, just to fall in Your arms
You promised You would carry me however long no matter how far
Oh yes You are God, the Lord of hosts is Your name
No other is like You and those who trust in You will not be put to shame
Your salvation is forever, from everlasting to everlasting in You I am saved
It is You alone who wipes out my sin and transgressions for Your gloroious name's sake

I am part of the people that You formed for Yourself
I cannot sit silent and set my life on the world's shelf
You formed me my God to declare Your praise
You saved me my God to carry Your name
You command me my God to go out and proclaim
My voice it is calling "Clear out! For the Lord, clear the way!"
I lift up my voice mightily and Your good news I shout
I point to Yeshua and say "Here is your God!
The Savior, your Redeemer, please do not doubt!"
He was despised and forsaken and hated by men
He was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our sin
The cup of wrath that is ours He willingly drank
So that by the sacrifice of Himself we might be eternally saved
Oh How great the Father's love is for us
I praise You my Jesus and in You I do trust
My God I am Your watchman and I lift up my voice
I joyfully shout and expectantly wait,
I announce Your salvation,
Oh bring Your good news with these feet!
Let me proclaim and declare and shout
The Lord has bared His holy arm in the sight of all nations
That the salvation of God all the ends of the earth may see.
So come, come now, to His springs of living water, come now and drink

Monday, August 1, 2011

It's All Good

I love these days, they are rare and few between, but nevertheless they at least are. Things have been peaceful in my inner person. I am thankful that God knows when we have reached our limit and He is faithful to never put more on us than we can bare.

The funny thing is that nothing has really changed on the outside... all the same things that had me so torn up before are still here. They have not been removed, yet I have overcome in the power of my God and my everlasting hope in Christ has won me over. He always does.

The house is still on the market... even though I have learned that all my neighbors are praying against it's sale. I talked to one of our neighbors this morning who informed me that I just needed to go ahead and take that sign down because God was obviously answering her prayers and not mine. This came two days after another neighbor jokingly shared that when someone comes to look at our house she throws beer cans and a couch out in her front yard and puts on the best redneck accent her yankee accent can imitate and welcomes the lookers to the neighborhood. So I guess you can tell that the house is not for sale because we hate our neighbors. We live in an area where the "love your neighbor as yourself" command is quite easy to obey.

The truth is my plate is still full and running over.
The house, that has not yet sold, is an absolute wreck after a week of winshape camp and my husband being on nightshift (lol, this is a whole nother blog in itself).
We didn't win the lottery and nobody has showed up with a big fat check and a bunch of balloons, so the same money issues remain.
I still am waiting to find out exactly what that abnormality is that was discovered on my mammogram, I go for more tests this Friday.
I have homeschool curriculum to put together and purchase.
My dear friend and I still have to finish getting CrossRoads Christian Academy (homeschool co-op) ready for enrollment next Monday.
And... well, there's that whole wife and mother thing... that's pretty important and time consuming and plate filling all by itself.

The point is my outside circumstances have not changed. I have just chosen to rest in the sovereignty of my God.
Resting is so much better isn't it?
I like this so much more than feeling like a hamster in a cage on the wheel running my heart out but never getting anywhere... only accomplishing to wear myself out and make everyone's life around me miserable as I pout around in the depths of despair (a little Anne of Green Gables there for you). 

"In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength."
Isaiah 30:15 

I have to enjoy this while it lasts, because I am afraid it will not last long. Because I know me. I am thankful that God also knows me. I am so grateful that He has left us His word and has filled it with His promises and encouragements. 

"Do not fear; for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you,
for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
Isaiah 41:10 

Did you know that in the New American Standard Bible translation, the phrase "do not fear" is used 57 times and "do not be afraid" is used 46 times.
I think God is really trying to tell us something, don't you?

Now tomorrow I just might be in freak-out mode. Tomorrow, I might find myself biting my kids heads off for not picking up a mess I already twice asked them to or I might find myself grumbling my displeasure under my breathe behind somebody's back who has just said or done something to irritate the living daylights out of me (but being a Christian woman I'll just murmer to myself and sick God on them and smile anyway). Tomorrow, I might even once again find myself doubting the provision and love of my God or tomorrow I might again find myself in the pit of overwhelmment...

But today, well, it's all good :-) 

Yes, today I think I'll just obey my Jesus and just rest in Him and be loved by, in, and through Him and let tomorrow take care of itself.

“So do not worry about tomorrow;
for tomorrow will care for itself..."
Matthew 6:34 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Back in the Journal "What is My Gift?"

February 8, 2002

Father I just want to give You praise for all that You have given me Lord. You have had Your hand of protection on me my whole life. I know that You must have something planned for me Lord because with all that I have done out of Your will I should be dead or sick. But I'm not! I'm healthy, happily married, with a wonderful baby girl. Maybe this was all of what You had planned, if it was, it's enough. I know You have blessed me in so many ways and I know You have held on to me and loved me and I just praise You for it. I bless You Lord, for You are a Mighty God. You are sovereign! I know that You are in control and I trust completely in You! I want to walk in Your presence and surround myself with Your Word! I know Your will, will be done! You are the Great I Am!

August 8, 2002

Father, I ask for guidance in giving my testimony Wed night to the Manna class. I'm not sure where I need to start and what I need I need to say or if I even need to say anything at all. What is my mission Lord? What is my purpose on this earth? What is my gift? How am I supposed to be serving You? I want to serve You. I want to help others learn to lean on You and to love You and to fear You. I want to be filled with You! I want my thoughts, my words, my actions, to be filled with You and to glorify You. Forgive me when I get angry at You Lord. Forgive me when I think You aren't doing enough for me. You owe me nothing and I owe You everything. 
In Jesus name, 

It was almost 10 years ago that I wrote these prayers and praise in my journal. In these almost 10 years since, God has answered the prayers and I still sing these same praises to Him. And yes, sadly enough, I often am still asking for forgiveness for some of these same things...

There is something very strong about the impatience of human nature.

I read these entries again and I can't help but smile... especially since in September I will begin leading a Precept course on spiritual gifts at my church. Almost ten years after I made this cry to my God He is going to use me to hopefully answer the same cry that is coming from someone else.

I sit here once again in tears as I think upon the mercy of my God. Oh His grace! His glorious grace! The person, the woman, that I was, the things that I had done... Oh how I have so profaned the name of my God... but He redeemed me anyway. He redeemed my life from the pit and He continues to redeem me.

Oh Father, who am I that You would be so mindful of me? Who am I that You allow me the great honor to teach You Word, to open my mouth and have You speak through me to proclaim You Word, Your truth... to serve You...

I teach with fear and trembling. It is a scary thing, a very scary thing. With each lesson I feel as if it was a total train wreck. I begin in fear and I close in fear and half the time I have no clue what happened in the middle. I finish and then I immediately try to remember everything that was said so I can make sure that I did not just misquote or misinterpret the Word of the One who upholds the entire universe by this Word of His power that I have just attempted to teach and share with someone else.  

My prayer is always that the Holy Spirit would guide me into all truth and He alone would speak and that He would just shut me up.

I have a little personal litmus test for classes. For my Sunday morning class, I look for the Pastor to confirm the lesson. I ask God to let me know that I was in tune with His Spirit by someway having the Pastor share a Scripture I covered or back what I had taught with a like word or similar story. You see I believe that the same Holy Spirit that is in me is in my Pastor and if I am in tune with the Holy Spirit then what we teach will not contradict and I believe that whatever message God has for the church that particular day will be woven through every deliverance of His Word and be used to build on each other precept upon precept.
Some of today's words were "turtledove" and "nothing added to it"
I was teaching from Luke 3:1-18 and our Pastor was teaching on and administering the Lord's Supper...

I rarely have peace with a lesson until God confirms it... after this I am able to take a deep breathe and say "Thank You Lord. I was afraid I had really screwed that one up and that I made it a jumbled up mess."
You see I might have done just that, delivered a jumbled mess, but God just reminded me that He was the One who would unjumble it in the hearts of the hearers and He would take my worship and use it to profit. Becasue He is sovereign over all

"The LORD has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all.
Psalm 103:19

So I suppose you have noticed by now that the answer to my prayers on Feb and Aug of 2002 was teaching. I love to teach the Word. I'll teach any age any where, it doesn't matter to me. Teaching is like breathing to me now... not because I had a talent for it, but because it is my spiritual gift in Christ.

I can only teach in and by faith because it scares me to death... but God has taught me to do it scared, that's what faith is for.

So I am excited to have the great joy and honor of being used by my God to teach of the gifts that belong only to those that are His in Christ and I pray for those who are seeking as I was. I first thank God that they are seeking and then I pray that they will know what their gift is and employ it in the work of the building up of the saints of our God.

And I look forward to sharing with you what I learn through this study...