Monday, December 13, 2010

Delirious?

GOD TV is showing a Delirious? concert over the next few days... on right now. If you have Direct TV it's channel 365. Not sure where it is on other providers.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snow, snow...

,,,everywhere snow. Why must it snow on Sunday?? We SO look forward to worship services each week, and it is so disappointing when they are cancelled because of weather. But I'm reminded that worship is an ongoing thing--a lifestyle. It shouldn't just be something that we do when we are in a group on Sunday.

It's definitely a chance for some extra Bible reading. I just started 2 Kings again. It's amazing how much I don't remember from the first time through! Fascinating reading.

We were up until about 2:30 a.m. making tracks for this morning's service, but we will have to wait for next week! It will definitely be a surprise from Luis, Lindsey and me!

In the meantime...we enjoy the beauty and quiet of the new-fallen snow. It is amazing how Christ's blood covers our sin just like snow covers everything it touches...

Pray for those working out in this weather and check on anyone around you who might be alone or need help:-)



"...the greatest of these is love."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hope...

What a journey we are on. I think sometimes how hard the enemy attacks the more I strive to know and love God. The enemy is desperate to keep us from reaching people for Christ. He will stoop to the lowest levels and use whoever he can to neutralize Christians.

That said, we can run to the cross and to God's Word and  find ourselves in the shelter of His loving and protective wings.  As easy as it is to get discouraged, it's just as easy to find hope in God. I had this Psalm on my mind yesterday, and I sure needed it today!! Funny that it's for the choir director:-)


Psalm 40

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

 1. I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
      and he turned to me and heard my cry.
 2. He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
      out of the mud and the mire.
   He set my feet on solid ground
      and steadied me as I walked along.
 3. He has given me a new song to sing,
      a hymn of praise to our God.
   Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
      They will put their trust in the Lord.

This is my prayer for today. Maybe it's yours also. Let Him lift you up. Sometimes it's hard to wait. Especially when you see unrighteousness which looks as if it is being blessed. But God is victorious in the end. Many will see and be amazed!! I am so ready to be amazed!! 

I encourage you to wait on Him. Really, He will come through. This is just a test and a learning experience. Glorify Him in all things at all times. Be thankful. He knows what He's doing:-)

Love and His blessings...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Link to "How Excellent..."

Finally I found a link to an audio file featuring the Eugene Butler anthem we are doing tomorrow. Notice how this church posts audio files of each part of the service for download.

I must say we have a phenomenal choir!! You guys have no idea what you have accomplished with this anthem!!

...click on the link or copy and paste.

http://www.faithopc.org/2010/01/10/morning-worship-of-january-10-2010/

Rehearsal...

...what it could be! Thought you might enjoy this:-) It helps that they learn their music and they have the right tools!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hillsong NYC

People with a heart to reach people for Christ no matter what it takes...

BTW...are you all reading the Psalm a day the pastor asked you to?? I challenged the choir with this a couple months ago, so at least choir members should be very well acquainted with Psalms at this point:-)



Hillsong NYC Launch from Hillsong Church on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Radical

My cousin, who is a pastor in Virginia, recommended a book to me this summer. We were talking about taking Christ to people. He had suggested that we take what we are trying to do musically outside church, like to a local coffee shop, etc. Funny thing is, we started trying to find somewhere to do just that and after some failed attempts, ended up right on our doorstep at the Baptist Children's Home our church is connected to. Before going on, I have to say that was a blessing in such a big way.  Going on...

The book is called "Radical" by David Platt. I finally got it today, and oh my word it lives up to the title in the first couple paragraphs! This is not feel good self-centered Christianity here. It is all about the sacrifice that Jesus demands of His followers. If you want to be comfortable, don't read it.  Basically his message is that we have taken Jesus and molded Him into some Americanized version that we want and have missed the true Jesus. He talks about being in a group with people so eager to here the Word that they crammed into a crowded room with a few stools and only one light bulb hanging from the ceiling. God's Word is enough for them to endure those conditions, Is it enough for us?

One particular example he used that really connected with me was a newspaper cover with an article about a church's new $23 million dollar building, while next to it was a smaller story about a church raising a mere $5,000 to help refugees in Sudan. "Twenty-three million dollars for an elaborate sanctuary and five thousand dollars for hundreds of thousands of starving men, women and children, most of who were dying apart from faith in Christ." He poses the question, where have we gone wrong?

I have only read a few chapters but I'm sure I will be getting through it pretty quickly. It is one of those life-changing experiences. I will have a copy in my office for any of you and am looking into the Bible study that goes with it for us:-)

In the meantime, all you choir people should be way ahead of the rest of the congregation in the daily Psalm reading shouldn't you??? Not that it's a contest, lol, but I know those of you who have been doing that have been seriously blessed by it. Please continue as they are so applicable to our daily struggles.

We had a wonderful meal with Omegas today! They are so faithful and always serving when and wherever needed. What great examples they are for us!!

Love you all...

(To view this clip, be sure to pause the playlist at right)





Thursday, November 4, 2010

Songs for Sunday...

I mentioned that the songs for the next few Sunday nights are on my playlist at right. Thought I might let you know which ones are for what night!

Nov. 7

"Run"
"Sing to the King"
"Everlasting God"
"Let it Rise"
"We the Redeemed"

Invitation
"Here in Your Presence"

Offertory/closing song
"I Will Exalt You"

Nov. 14

"Where the Spirit of the Lord Is"
"Your Grace is Enough"
"Hosanna" (Hillsong)
"Mighty to Save"
"Agnus Dei"

Invitation
"Lord You Have My Heart" (Delirious)

Offertory/closing song
"Majesty" (Delirious)

Nov. 21

"You Are Good"
"Today is the Day"
"Hosanna" (Baloche)
"Glorious Day" (Casting Crowns)
"The Stand"

Invitation
"How He Loves" (Jesus Culture/Kim Walker)

Offertory/closing song
"It's Your Love"

Now, this can always change depending on where the Holy Spirit leads me, but should be a good guide. There are plenty of familiar songs along with some new ones. The new ones are really easy to learn.

I am hoping and praying for the Holy Spirit to be poured out on these services as we try to bring in people from the "outside" who so desperately need to see Christ in us. But for us, I am praying that we lift up so much praise that has never been seen in Waynesville!!

Let's storm Heaven with our praise!! He inhabits the praises of His people!!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Spirits and such...

Since Halloween is over I thought I would share the scripture that I read on Halloween. Most of you know I'm reading through the Bible the second time.  I thought it was really funny that I would just happen to be here in 1 Samuel 28 on what is celebrated by many as Halloween.

Lea over at "My Letters to Emily"had written about why she did not send her kids out trick or treating to  celebrate Halloween. And I agree with her wholeheartedly. She said, " I know, it probably sounds like cruel and unusual punishment to not let them go trick or treating, but I just couldn't feel great about sending them out on a night dedicated to ghouls and goblins.  especially, when I believed in them."

So I just had to share this scripture from 1 Samuel 28 as I don't think anything is an accident...

4. The Philistines set up their camp at Shunem, and Saul gathered all the army of Israel and camped at Gilboa. 5. When Saul saw the vast Philistine army, he became frantic with fear. 6. He asked the Lord what he should do, but the Lord refused to answer him, either by dreams or by sacred lots or by the prophets. 7. Saul then said to his advisers, “Find a woman who is a medium, so I can go and ask her what to do.”

   His advisers replied, “There is a medium at Endor.”

 8. So Saul disguised himself by wearing ordinary clothing instead of his royal robes. Then he went to the woman’s home at night, accompanied by two of his men.

   “I have to talk to a man who has died,” he said. “Will you call up his spirit for me?”

 9. “Are you trying to get me killed?” the woman demanded. “You know that Saul has outlawed all the mediums and all who consult the spirits of the dead. Why are you setting a trap for me?”

 10. But Saul took an oath in the name of the Lord and promised, “As surely as the Lord lives, nothing bad will happen to you for doing this.”

 11. Finally, the woman said, “Well, whose spirit do you want me to call up?”

   “Call up Samuel,” Saul replied.

 12. When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed, “You’ve deceived me! You are Saul!”

 13. “Don’t be afraid!” the king told her. “What do you see?”

   “I see a god coming up out of the earth,” she said.

 14. “What does he look like?” Saul asked.

   “He is an old man wrapped in a robe,” she replied. Saul realized it was Samuel, and he fell to the ground before him.

 15. “Why have you disturbed me by calling me back?” Samuel asked Saul.

   “Because I am in deep trouble,” Saul replied. “The Philistines are at war with me, and God has left me and won’t reply by prophets or dreams. So I have called for you to tell me what to do.”

 16. But Samuel replied, “Why ask me, since the Lord has left you and has become your enemy? 17. The Lord has done just as he said he would. He has torn the kingdom from you and given it to your rival, David. 18. The Lord has done this to you today because you refused to carry out his fierce anger against the Amalekites. 19. What’s more, the Lord will hand you and the army of Israel over to the Philistines tomorrow, and you and your sons will be here with me. The Lord will bring down the entire army of Israel in defeat.”

 20. Saul fell full length on the ground, paralyzed with fright because of Samuel’s words. He was also faint with hunger, for he had eaten nothing all day and all night.


So many people, Christians, have no problem "playing" around with spirits, ouija boards, etc., but just think about who you are dealing with and what kind of power your are letting in. Something to think about...

In Mark 5, Jesus deals with a man possessed by demons:


 So they arrived at the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gerasenes. 2. When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit came out from a cemetery to meet him. 3. This man lived among the burial caves and could no longer be restrained, even with a chain. 4. Whenever he was put into chains and shackles—as he often was—he snapped the chains from his wrists and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5. Day and night he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills, howling and cutting himself with sharp stones.
 6. When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw him, ran to meet him, and bowed low before him. 7. With a shriek, he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In the name of God, I beg you, don’t torture me!” 8. For Jesus had already said to the spirit, “Come out of the man, you evil spirit.”

 9. Then Jesus demanded, “What is your name?”

   And he replied, “My name is Legion, because there are many of us inside this man.” 10. Then the evil spirits begged him again and again not to send them to some distant place.

 11. There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding on the hillside nearby. 12. “Send us into those pigs,” the spirits begged. “Let us enter them.”

 13. So Jesus gave them permission. The evil spirits came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the entire herd of 2,000 pigs plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water.

 14. The herdsmen fled to the nearby town and the surrounding countryside, spreading the news as they ran. People rushed out to see what had happened. 15. A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons. He was sitting there fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. 16. Then those who had seen what happened told the others about the demon-possessed man and the pigs. 17. And the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone.

Just food for thought...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Finding God's Will

I have posted about finding God's will before, but it has been on my mind again.

I find myself thinking about God's path for my life. How do I really know what God's will is for me? I struggle with that sometimes. How do I tell the difference between obstacles that God wants me to work hard at getting over and obstacles that are put there to steer me a different direction because that path is not God's will?

Moses never entered the promised land. He wanted to. He worked for years serving God to get God's people there, but because of his sin, he never entered. He saw it, but never entered. David planned the Temple, but  never saw its completion. But God used both of them in mighty ways to do His will. His will.

So what do you do when you are really working for something you "think" is God's will, but you are met with apathy and obstacles? Sometimes those are just things God uses to show us His power and to show us how much we need Him. But they can also be roadblocks when that path is not God's will.

The first thing I know to do is take it to God in prayer.
Luke 11: 9-10, "And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened."

Then I know I have to read His Word with an open heart and mind. Psalm 119: 105, "Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path."

 Sometimes He says no.
2 Corinthians 2: 12: "When I came to the city of Troas to preach the Good News of Christ, the Lord opened a door of opportunity for me. 13. But I had no peace of mind because my dear brother Titus hadn’t yet arrived with a report from you. So I said good-bye and went on to Macedonia to find him."

Sometimes He says yes, and sometimes He says wait, but the Holy Spirit will always guide us.


John 16:13: "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future."

The only way to know what He is saying to me, is to spend a lot more time praying about it.

Colossians 3:16-17: "Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father."

Then just be still and listen.

Isaiah 30:21
'Your own ears will hear him.

Right behind you a voice will say,
“This is the way you should go,”
whether to the right or to the left.'

I think we tend to get in a rut of doing things because we have always done them. Maybe the obstacles in our way are God's way of saying, go a different direction.

Sometimes we push too hard. Sometimes we give up too easily.  Be open, willing, and let Him work. It all comes down to bathing everything in prayer and waiting expectantly for HIS answer. Remember, it's not what we want. It's what HE wants:-)

Love you all in Him,

Anita

Thursday, September 30, 2010

See You at the Altar...

Hi all! We are going to gather Saturday at noon at the altar to pray. Pray for what, you ask? Specifically I would like for us to pray for healing, hearts to be opened, unity, direction, and commitment to Christ and His church. Even if you are not able to be there, stop where you are and pray specifically for these things in our church family. I ask that we start with this scripture from Psalm 139 before we gather:


23. Search me, O God, and know my heart;
  test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24. Point out anything in me that offends you,
  and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

See you at the altar:-)

Anita

Worship with the iphone

Yes, really. Thought you would enjoy this! Be sure to pause the playlist at on the sidebar or you will have two different things playing.

Monday, September 27, 2010

God is in Control

Just watched Donnie McClurkin on TBN. He is so living in the spirit. How incredible to see people freely worshipping and praising the God who has given us life. Then Michael W. Smith just finished up with only a keyboard-- no band behind him. Incredible, anointed worship leading. Love him. Luis and I worked with one of his lighting people on the last tour we were on in Europe entertaining troops, and he truly lives the Christian life he writes and sings about.

It's amazing how God sends things when He knows we are discouraged. He knows what He has planned, and He knows the enemy wants to stop it. It is so amazing that in the storms and darkness the enemy tries to bring to distract us from God's work, the glimmer of a diamond shines in the acceptance of Christ by one special young lady. That makes me smile and know that God is in control. How great are You God:-)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Random Tuesday thinking...

Thanks to everyone who came out and supported revival! Most of you were also there all four services, and I think we are on the right path in doing what God has called us to do.

It was eye-opening for me, and that's always a good thing. Hopefully we can move ahead and keep that spirit stirring as we minister to our community. There are so many things I would like to see happening as we move forward. I tend to think outside the box and that usually gets me those stares of bewilderment I love so much. We have to get outside our comfort zones if we are going to reach people.

As I read through Joshua, I am ever more thankful for Christ and what He did for us. I am constantly challenged as I read, but I find my faith deepens instead of wavering. Read  the Word.

Psalm 146 (New Living Translation)

1. Praise the Lord! Let all that I am praise the Lord.
2. I will praise the Lord as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.
3.  Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.
4. When they breathe their last, they return to the earth, and all their plans die with them.
5.  But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God.
6. He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever.
7. He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The Lord frees the prisoners.
8. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down. The Lord loves the godly.
9. The Lord protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.
10. The Lord will reign forever. He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations.
   Praise the Lord!

I will let ALL that I am praise Him!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

How lovely...

So wonderful to worship together at His feet! It is even more wonderful to see visitors there brought by our own. If ONE person comes to know Christ through what we have tried to do this week, then every ounce of effort is SO worth it.

Also it is exciting and incredible to talk with people who are so dedicated to His service that they drive from Greenville to worship with us! Hello?!?! Can't we all take some lessons from that? They are beautiful people serving God with ALL they have and serving people because they love God so much. That's what it's all about.

You know I tend to speak my mind (in love:-) about things because I am passionate about Christ. I am passionate about what He can do in our lives because I have experienced it firsthand. I do not apologize for my zeal in worship.

Let's go forward on our knees asking for the Holy Spirit to be poured out so we have the POWER to accomplish what He wants us to.

Keep praying. Keep reading God's Word. Keep your hands lifted up!

Anita

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Revival

"A revival is something that can never be arranged and organized by men. A revival is the result of the direct action of the Holy Ghost in authority and power. A revival does not just mean preaching the gospel with the result that a number of people are converted. A revival means the Holy Ghost descending upon a Church or a community or a countryside in power and in might, in an unmistakable manner, breaking men down, and perhaps even casting them physically to the ground. It leads to agonies of repentance and longings for Christ and for peace and salvation. That is what is meant by revival."

D.M.Lloyd-Jones, Authority, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1984) p. 93

Let's pray and obey as we prepare and pray for God's spirit to be poured out on our community!

Anita

Monday, September 6, 2010

Get Ready for Revival...

A prayer for revival...I'll be posting scripture here every day this week as we prepare for revival. I also added some of the music we'll be doing on the playlist. Ok, we won't be doing the "James Brown" style "Revive Us Again." Luis and I would love to, but...

The choir loft will be open to ANYONE who wants to sing for praise and worship:-)

From Psalm 84 (New Living Translation)

1. For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah. LORD, you have poured out amazing blessings on your land! You have restored the fortunes of Israel.

2. You have forgiven the guilt of your people -- yes, you have covered all their sins. Interlude

3. You have withdrawn your fury. You have ended your blazing anger.

4. Now turn to us again, O God of our salvation. Put aside your anger against us.

5. Will you be angry with us always? Will you prolong your wrath to distant generations?

6. Won't you revive us again, so your people can rejoice in you?

7. Show us your unfailing love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation.

8. I listen carefully to what God the LORD is saying, for he speaks peace to his people, his faithful ones. But let them not return to their foolish ways.

9. Surely his salvation is near to those who honor him; our land will be filled with his glory.

10. Unfailing love and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed!

11. Truth springs up from the earth, and righteousness smiles down from heaven.

12. Yes, the LORD pours down his blessings. Our land will yield its bountiful crops.

13. Righteousness goes as a herald before him, preparing the way for his steps.

Let's prepare for his steps by praying, reading, inviting others and opening our hearts!!

Anita

Sunday, August 29, 2010

With All I Am...

The pastor is getting us prepared for revival coming up, and this song has been very much on my heart as we get closer. My prayer is that we go all out in our efforts to love Christ and to worship Him with all we have:-)


(Be sure to pause the playlist at right to listen to the video)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Glory of the Lord

Exodus 24:15-18
15. Then Moses climbed up the mountain, and the cloud covered it. 




16. And the glory of the LORD settled down on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day the LORD called to Moses from inside the cloud.


17. To the Israelites at the foot of the mountain, the glory of the LORD appeared at the summit like a consuming fire.


18. Then Moses disappeared into the cloud as he climbed higher up the mountain. He remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights.



This was what I encountered as I drove home from teaching a piano lesson this afternoon.  The glory of the Lord is amazing and so much bigger than we can ever imagine:-)

Anita


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Seminars for worship...

I wanted to remind you all in worship/praise/band teams about this upcoming seminar in Augusta, GA, November 5-6.  I would LOVE to take a group because I know it would change how we approach worship leading. Some of my favorites will be there...Paul Baloche, Brian Doerkson, etc., and some seriously incredible seminars planned. Take a look...

http://www.seminars4worship.com/

Monday, August 16, 2010

Worship...

Good morning all! I ran across some excerpts from a book called, "Holy Spirit – Revelation and Revolution" by Reinhard Bonnke, and thought I would share them with you.

I thought it was interesting because I have been thinking a lot about encountering God in a real, more manifest way. I have noticed when I talk about encountering God and feeling his spirit surrounding me, I am generally met with glazed looks of bewilderment. The more I post scripture about God's presence or talk about it, the more puzzled looks I get.

I just finished Numbers and started back through Deuteronomy. God is so present in so many different ways and so powerful that I find myself thinking that there is more to experiencing Him in our culture. Well, I know there is because I have experienced it. Luis and I experienced God's presence at the Cove so powerfully. I think the main reason was because every person came for the same reason: to encounter God and learn more about Him. We had incredible discussions with people we do not even know because we were all there for the same thing. Shouldn't church be like that? Shouldn't we all come there eager to talk to others about Christ? Shouldn't we all want to encounter the Lord our God in a real and manifest way?

Following are some excerpts to spark some thought...

“The silence of God” has been a popular theme, but it misrepresents God. Christ’s name, “the Word,” hardly suggests a silent God. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit spoke through 120 throats. He came with the noise of a tornado, and inspired a roar of praise of 120 men and women speaking in tongues. They spoke, but he gave them utterance – a noise directly echoing God’s noise."

The worship of God is the best of all opportunities as an outlet for exuberance. To worship God we should let our spirit soar without the weights and fears of social custom to repress us.


It is one of the greatest tragedies in history that the church should have decided to adopt the attitude of subdued emotions for worship. Calling that solemnity “reverence” is an abuse of the English language. How “reverent” is it to be glum when remembering all God has done for us?


Our efforts not to be emotional when God is in view must come as a surprise to God. Is he happy with switched-off worshipers, deadpan faces, as rigid as gravestone figures? … Frigid worship is excused as “dignified.” The nine-fold fruit of the Spirit does not include dignity. Dignity is no response to Christ crucified. In Scripture, worshipers fall at the feet of Christ. On the day of Pentecost believers were thought to be drunk as they left the upper room."

My prayer is that we are released to worship God with abandonment. I pray that we really, deep down inside can appreciate what Christ did for us. I pray that we all come to church for the right reasons, and that our focus is on Christ and not each other. I pray that we lift up God and what He has done and not people. I want the foundation to shake and a cloud to fill the building.

It comes down to this: I love God. I love Christ, and what He did for me is worthy of ALL I can give Him. And that means all of me and all of my life.

Let's give Him everything we have!

Love you all in Him,

Anita







Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Into the sanctuary...

I wanted to share some scripture from Hebrews with you all tonight. As I read through Numbers, I am reminded how incredible Christ's sacrifice really is. I cannot imagine having to live like the Israelites lived as they offered up sacrifices for just about everything. In Hebrews 4: 14, the author says:



14. "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. 16. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

In chapter 7:16, 

16. Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. 17. God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. 18. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. 19. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. 20. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek. (For more on Melchizedek, see Genesis 14)

Is that incredible or what? We have access to God's inner sanctuary! Why? Because of Jesus. That is enough for me to rejoice over! This is an opportunity that is too good to pass up. I encourage you to come to the inner sanctuary often. Pray, read, pray, read and worship. Get to know Him! He loves you so much He sent His son to make the ultimate sacrifice so you can come to Him washed white as snow. don't you just want to be right there in the presence of God all the time? 

Love you all:-)
Anita



Saturday, July 24, 2010

And the greatest of these is love...

I thought I would post a couple videos for you all today, as you might be *tired* of my sermons, lol!! You will need to pause the playlist on the right of the screen in order to listen to the videos.









Love you, love Him...


Anita

Monday, July 19, 2010

Take it to the street...

What awesome worship we experienced at both services yesterday! How wonderful it was to come together and lift up praise to the Creator!! Rickey was a huge blessing, and I always enjoy sharing the platform with him. Offering up praise is so important as we communicate with a holy God, but also for us as we seek to be filled with His glorious presence. I felt His presence yesterday, and there is nothing more incredible than that.

As you head out for another week, I just wanted to remind you that we are one in Him. Now we have the opportunity to take Christ out to the people who so desperately need Him. Let's keep that spirit we experienced yesterday going! God will accomplish great things through us if we let Him. I was reminded of this passage in Ephesians 4:


2. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. 4. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. 5. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6. and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.



30. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.


 31. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

So let's go out and be a light for Christ in a very dark world. We can win more people to Christ if we act more like Him. Let's spread the good news!

Love you all,
Anita

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tell of His greatness!

Good Thursday all! I hope you are having a good week. We do have a lot of people who are sick, hurting, going through hard times. Please be in prayer for all of them...without ceasing.

I am looking forward to Sunday as we welcome Rickey Taylor back to worship with us. We will be doing some beautiful songs about Heaven from "Beulah Land" all the way to "Revelation Song." Prepare your hearts now as we come together expecting the Holy Spirit to rain down and fill us.

I finished Leviticus and have now started in Numbers. I'm telling you the second time around is like the first time. There are so many things I must have missed the first time! I'm sure the translation has something to do with that too as I read King James with New American Standard the first time. I cannot say enough about the "New Living Translation." Combine that with the Life Application study guide, and it becomes so accessible.  Did you know that the New Testament was written in basic, every day "on the street" Greek? It was not written in language that was lofty or "schooled" but for the common people. Hmm. So I encourage you to get a *translation* you can understand. I am not a fan of paraphrases, at least at the beginning,  because I think it's like using "Cliff's Notes." Remember those? But that's just my opinion.

On to something encouraging...now,  this was written by David after he had pretended to be insane in front of Abimelech.

From Psalm 34:

 1. I will praise the Lord at all times.
      I will constantly speak his praises.
 2.  I will boast only in the Lord;
      let all who are helpless take heart.
 3.  Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
      let us exalt his name together.


What a wonderful reminder as we prepare to come together to worship!

Pray, read, worship:-)

Love you ALL!

Anita

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

More thoughts...

What would "church" be like if we put God first, I mean *really* put God first? What if every decision we made about everything was about Him and not about us and our preferences? Think about it...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thursday encouragement...

Here it is Thursday again and we are headed into another day of worship. God is so good and so faithful. I wonder how He does it. His grace and mercy are so immeasurable. Thank goodness! We need it...and we need a lot of it.

I talk about Psalms a lot because I find myself there everyday looking for passages that reflect the emotions I am feeling. The one for today is Psalm 25. I'll just be honest, it's very easy to get discouraged in ministry. And, of course, the enemy will use that to keep us all from doing God's work. I'm the kind of person who is not satisfied with status quo. I want more in my relationship with Christ. I want to read more, I want to pray more, I want to worship more. I want to do more. Then comes the enemy. He *is* satisfied with the status quo. When he sees us striving to be more like Christ, he gets mad and goes to work. Ironically, I should take comfort in that. But I'm human and some things just hurt. BTW, it's very easy to wallow around in self-pity, but we have to consciously make the effort to give it to Him and find His purpose in it. In other words, be thankful for it.

I love God. I love Him so much that all I want is to please Him. Which also gives me the desire I have to reach others for Him...however possible. My heart aches for people who do not know His love and mercy. And my heart aches for people who don't know His joy. My heart aches for people who just scratch the surface of a relationship with Jesus but never get to really experience Him. I've been in those places.

So my number one goal is to lead people to Him through my testimony and through any other means He gives me to use. And there comes Satan again trying to discourage and stir up bad feelings and keep us from being effective. In the words of David, "O Lord, I give my life to you. I trust in you, my God! Do not let me be disgraced, or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat. No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others. Show me the right path, O Lord;       point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you."

Whatever you are facing as you try to live for Christ is not a new problem for God. He sees all our hearts. He knows what is pure and honest. And He will show us the right path. In the end, He wins. I encourage you to keep working toward a more meaningful relationship with Him. Take refuge in Him when things get hard and pray this prayer, "May integrity and honesty protect me, for I put my hope in you."

Put your hope in Him. Then, love each other. It's not as easy as it sounds, and we are challenged when we feel hurt or attacked. But He loves us with "unfailing" love. Unfailing. I wonder how He does it. He's God.

I love ALL of you because of Him, and I lift ALL of you up in prayer as we go forward on our journey of worship:-)

Anita

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Look up...


Psalm 121

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.
 1 I look up to the mountains—
      does my help come from there?
 2 My help comes from the Lord,
      who made heaven and earth! 3 He will not let you stumble;
      the one who watches over you will not slumber.
 4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel
      never slumbers or sleeps.
 5 The Lord himself watches over you!
      The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
 6 The sun will not harm you by day,
      nor the moon at night.
 7 The Lord keeps you from all harm
      and watches over your life.
 8 The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
      both now and forever.


I LOVE that Psalm. Having grown up here in the mountains of Western NC, I have always appreciated the beauty and majesty of these mountains. But as beautiful and glorious as they are, the One who made them is more majestic and grand! And He watches over us and keeps us from stumbling. How awesome is that!!!


But the best part, is that He will take care of us and watch over us forever. Forever:-)

I took these photos with the iphone last Sunday night after a really bad storm. They cannot capture what the sky actually looked like. The girls wanted me to play "His Glory Appears" as we took it all in.

Love you in Him...

Anita

Friday, June 25, 2010

The beginning...

Well VBS is over for another year and all the cowboys and cowgirls can pack up their saddles and head back home. Hopefully, they will take with them a new approach to how they live their lives.

Whenever we come away from something inspiring, we are so pumped up. We are ready to take on the world and whatever comes our way. Then reality hits.

All these children will go back to a different situation, and some of them will go back to extremely difficult lives. So as excited as we get about the great week, let's not forget that the really hard work is ahead.

We all need to remember to bathe these children and their families in prayer...and a lot of prayer! It's hard enough to come back to a church full of Christians after something inspiring, but imagine going back into a home where no one knows Christ and could care less about knowing Him. There is a phrase in the song, "Hosanna" that simply says, "break my heart for what breaks yours." You know God's heart must break to see children hurting. We have to do something about it.

We have the opportunity to reach so many hurting families in our community who need Christ, through these children God sent our way. Guys, that's a pretty big responsibility! Our job is not done, it's just beginning, and I challenge all of us to do our part in keeping up with these children and their families. This is how we make a difference. If we really *want* to make a difference, then we have to get to work.

Can you imagine what God could do if all of us *really* came together to accomplish His will? I don't think we know what He could do if only we could get ourselves out of the way. I for one am ready to see great things. I'm ready to be used by Him for great things, not ordinary things. I'm ready to see our church be *the* beacon in this community. I'm never satisfied with just ok. I want better than that because I know He can do it and I know He wants to do it through us.

I am totally convinced that through worship God can change us and our hearts toward others. As always, I encourage you to worship Him not only on Sunday and Wednesday, but every day. Read, read, read, pray, pray, pray, and then just be still and know that He is God. Just be still. Let His presence fill you up until you are overflowing. Then get to work:-)

Philippians 4:13 NLT, "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength."

Let's do it!!

Anita





Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday ramblings...

Yesterday was a wonderful day of worship!! I was so happy to share the platform with praise band and vocalists for the first time in the morning service. You all did a fabulous job! I cannot believe that we just started a few months ago. Thanks for all your hard work, but more importantly, your hearts for God.  And Brittani...you did such a great job, I am SO proud of you!!

We had a lot of visitors yesterday, so I hope you all said "hi" to somebody you didn't know and made them feel welcome. We have the answer people are looking for, so let's let them know:-)

Now VBS is in full swing, and we will have the opportunity to share Jesus with so many kids from all different kinds of backgrounds. Please be praying for them, their families, the workers and staff as we go through this week. Also, we will have new opportunities to help those who might be in need. I encourage you to look for those opportunities and act on them. There is also plenty of need in our own church for different things. Please, take the opportunity to help out. You will get such a blessing if you are one to someone else:-)

It's Monday, so I *hope* you are reading through John, maybe?? At least start Psalms and do it for this week. One chapter, or more if you can a day. I just encourage you to read, and pray and worship and see what God can do in your life.

He is amazing! He is right there within reach of us, every moment of every day. How awesome is that? Get to know Him. It will change your life and the life of our His church.

Psalm 47:  "Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise! For the Lord Most High is awesome. He is the great King of all the earth."

Serving Him,

Anita

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Digging deeper...

Do any of you ever feel like you need to get down deeper in your relationship with Christ? Trust me, we all need to.  Just getting closer to Him and experiencing His presence all the time is an amazing thing. I was thinking about something we talked a little about in prayer time last night--having the right attitude. Having a thankful attitude in every situation really can make any situation a positive one.

I'm trying to have that attitude. It's not easy, but it's very rewarding and fulfilling when you can get it. In fact, I think it's one of the keys to being a Christian in love with Jesus.

I feel that we are experiencing a lot of attack from the enemy. You know who. It's a good thing because he knows that God is about to do something big through all of us. But he is trying to keep us from it. Instead of just backing down, let's do  few things to put him in his place, and grow deeper in our relationship with Christ.

1. Read, read, read, your Bible. And I don't mean just read for the sake of reading. Start somewhere like John, reading one chapter a night, read the whole book. Supplement that with a couple Psalms every day, starting with Psalm 1. Every emotion we could possibly face, is right there in Psalms. They transcend time and culture!

2. Pray, pray, pray without ceasing. Do you commute alone? Turn off the radio and pray during that time. Do it again on the way home. Pray every time you think about it. You'll think about it more than you think, and you'll pray more than you think.

3.  Find another Christian you can talk to about Jesus. I find that sharing that passion with another person helps both people to grow. FYI, Luis and I are seriously missing that SS sharing time, because we cannot be there. We really are praying about starting a small group to study, pray, worship during the week.

4. Worship, worship, worship. I have recently found that true, authentic, honest worship is the way to God's heart. I have felt His presence like at no other time in my life and I attribute that only to my attitude toward worship. You can also do that in the car, after you've prayed! I've been listening to "It's Your Love" by Hillsong when I take the girls to school, and I have had some awesome experiences.

5. Keep the right attitude through whatever comes at you. Ok, this is not so easy, but I promise if you do all the above things, it will be easier.

6. Now, in order to do all this, you might have to turn off TV, the computer, etc. Watch what you put in. What you put in, will come out. Did you get that? I challenge you to start this next week and really try to stick with these ideas for one week. You will see a difference, that I am sure of.

Now, imagine if all of us do all these things. They are not difficult. And they are mostly personal time things anyway. Can you imagine what God could do with us???? The possibilities are endless!!

Philippians 4:13: For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

EVERYTHING, you guys, EVERYTHING!!

Anita

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Deliverance...

Hi all! I hope your Tuesday is going well! Luis spent all day in the yard, and I have been in the house doing some "spring" cleaning. I know it's a little late, but since the girls are now out of school, I can actually get in their room and clean it out. Fun.

I wanted to share something I heard last night. I was watching, on local cable, a minister give his testimony about how he had been delivered from drugs, porn, etc., and now has a successful street ministry. What really stuck with me was this thought: when you have been delivered from sin, you can't just go sit in church and leave everyone behind drowning in sin. If God has delivered you, you have to go back out and help Him deliver some more people from sin or you have no purpose. The point was if you've been there you know what it's like to be there and experience deliverance.

We get very comfy in church arguing over little things like what style of music we like or if something is too LOUD, or if so and so didn't speak to us. We get so comfy inside our four walls we forget why we are there in the first place.

Christ went out to the people who needed Him. We have to do that as well. All of us have a testimony. We have all been delivered from something, and that something is what our testimony is based on. If we love Christ with the passion that He wants, then we have to love people with so much passion that we don't lock our doors and turn our heads to the hurting people right in our front door.  If no one goes to them, they will stay right where they are. They will not come to us.

I posted this scripture a few days ago, but for some reason it keeps on coming back:-)



Matthew 9: 9-13
9. As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. 10. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. 11. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?" 12. On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Let's get outside our boxes and hit the highways and byways as Jesus did so others can know the saving power and incredible love of Jesus!

Anita

Monday, June 14, 2010

Random Monday thoughts...

What wonderful services we had yesterday! I hope you all feel as I do that we *must* make sure we are not playing church, but that we *are* the church, ie going out and being Christ to someone. So many need Him.

I was moved by Jo Ann's offertory! Wow, that was like storming Heaven with praise! I think that when you really know what God has done for you, and what a sacrifice Christ is for us, that you cannot keep quiet, or still, or soft. I think that if the rocks have to cry out, because we don't praise Him, it will not be softly.

I was touched by the testimonies of all the children from Broyhill. It's amazing what God can do when His people answer His call. I'm so thankful for Jenny and Rick and all the lives they are changing through Christ. Continue to pray for them and the children...

We had a great rehearsal with praise band! What a group of young people all with gifts they want to bring as an offering. We were amazed! We have three music majors right here in our church offering up their talents, combined with our guitarists and vocalists, who are ready to serve and lead worship. God has given us the resource, now we have to nurture and develop it for His glory.

I have been thinking about the beautiful cathedrals of Europe where the masters of classical music wrote and offered their works to God. So many of them are now only tourist attractions and virtually empty. I wonder why? Is it because they are linked only with a culture that died out? While the music has lasted, as great music does, the worship in that particular style seems to have faded. Maybe it's because culture changes. And with that, worship styles change. Not because God changes, because we all know He does not, but because people change. Their situations change. Their challenges change. Their lifestyles change. Culture around them changes. But their need for God does not change. His ability to meet them does not change. We have to be very careful not to worship culture and tradition, but to worship God and let Him lead us as we try to bring the saving grace of His son to a world which needs Him badly. I think that's what it means to worship Him in truth--not what we want, but what He wants.

Let's challenge ourselves and pray about new ways to not only reach out, but reach in so we can nurture and grow a new generation of people with hearts and PASSION for Christ:-)

Matthew 9: 9-13
9. As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. 10. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. 11. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?" 12. On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Let's go find the sick...

Anita

Friday, June 11, 2010

You'll Come...




I wanted to encourage you all as we head in to Sunday services once 
again to be praying for the Spirit of God to fall on us as we enter into 
His holy presence. He will be there, but we have to ask for His glory to be
revealed, then be open and ready to accept it. I so look forward to worship 
with you all and lifting Him up with song, prayer and the Word.  


Acts 13:52 Luke writes, "And the believers were filled with joy 
and with the Holy Spirit."  


Ezekiel 36:26, "And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new 
spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, 
responsive heart. 27. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my 
decrees and be careful to obey my regulations."  


Isn't it exciting that we are about to come into His presence, 
and let His Spirit fall on us??  


Keep praying, without ceasing for our services Sunday!!  


Love you all in Him... 


Anita

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"Jesus is Coming Soon" vintage video clip

I promised to post a video of the Inspirations doing "Jesus is Coming Soon" so here are two vintage clips for you guys! Notice the church in the second...wouldn't you love to have that platform here??








Monday, June 7, 2010

Monday again...

Well another Sunday has come and gone, and I'm thinking ahead as usual:-)  What incredible worship services we had yesterday! I was thrilled to have Rickey Taylor lead worship with such honesty and beauty. He will be back in July, so I'm sure we will all look forward to that! And I *do* know you all want to keep him:-) It was nice for me to be able to share with him about his church and ministry there in Florida. What great things God is doing there!

Also, I am SO excited for Amy as she begins this next phase of her service. Luis and I are really jealous (in a good way) because we would love to be 26 and heading to seminary! We are all praying for you Amy and know this is such an incredible step for you and for what God has planned in your life:-) I had just asked her to pray about singing in a worship team with Luis and me! But we have the whole summer...

God was in the house last night as Blue Ridge ministered in song! If you missed it, you missed the presence of God! Just like the pastor has said many times, it's not the style of music or worship that God cares about, but that we WORSHIP Him honestly and with pure hearts. And that goes both ways guys! Thanks to all of you who supported this group by coming and supporting their ministry. We will set another date for them to come back.


We had a great rehearsal with praise band and vocalists! We have some very talented musicians taking time to use their gifts for God. He has put them here for us, and we need to support them as they grow in their gift and service for Christ. Lindsey, Ashleigh, Frances, Kevin and Greg--these are the musicians we have coming up in our church and they will be using their gifts to lead worship on Father's Day. God expects us to be faithful with the resources He has given us. Amy gave me this scripture last night, and I wanted to share it because it is so applicable in how I try to approach my job.

1 Corinthians 4, "Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.  So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due."


So I am here to serve the Lord with all of you. Let's give Him our best and make the most of what He has so graciously given us!!

Anita

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Psalm I love...

I wanted to share this Psalm with you guys. It's one I love. I actually love them all because they hit pretty much every situation and emotion we go through as Christians, from the lowest to the highest and everything in between. I also love the New Living Translation. I highly recommend it if you are looking for one in relevant English.

Psalm 16 (New Living Translation)


A psalm of David.

 1 Keep me safe, O God,
      for I have come to you for refuge.
 2 I said to the Lord, “You are my Master!
      Every good thing I have comes from you.”
 3 The godly people in the land
      are my true heroes!
      I take pleasure in them!
 4 Troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods.
      I will not take part in their sacrifices of blood
      or even speak the names of their gods.

 5 Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing.
      You guard all that is mine.
 6 The land you have given me is a pleasant land.
      What a wonderful inheritance!

 7 I will bless the Lord who guides me;
      even at night my heart instructs me.
 8 I know the Lord is always with me.
      I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

 9 No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.
      My body rests in safety.
 10 For you will not leave my soul among the dead
      or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.
 11 You will show me the way of life,
      granting me the joy of your presence
      and the pleasures of living with you forever.

I think as we head into corporate worship Sunday I look so forward to the "joy of His presence." What can be better than that?

Pray for honest and true worship uninhibited by culture or tradition. Worship can change us from the inside out:-)

Love you all,

Anita

Monday, May 31, 2010

Fanatical Christians...

I was moved yesterday by the sermon. I always feel it is directed at me and really try to go back and examine the "weeds" in my own life. I have been thinking about commitment.


Commitment: the act of committing or the state of being committed.
      • dedication; application : the company's commitment to quality.
      • a pledge or undertaking : I cannot make such a commitment at the moment.
      • an act of pledging or setting aside something

It's a pretty big word that carries a huge responsibility. In Revelation 3:15, Christ tells John to write in a letter to the church in Laodicea: “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!"  

I think He wants us to be sold out, on fire, working for His kingdom. What does that mean exactly? 

One thing the pastor mentioned yesterday was being in church...every Sunday. The writer of Hebrews tells us in chapter 10, "Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near."

I love gathering with God's people to worship Him. I was not always this way, however. I think as I get older, and I realize the magnitude of what God has done for me I become more passionate in my love for HIm. We have so many older saints who clearly love Him. They are in church even though they are fighting incredible physical pain and a multitude of other issues. Oh that we can learn from them. 

So let's apply the commitment thing to the music ministry. Since God wants us to bring Him our best, we have to try our best to do that. What does that mean for us? It means we make a pledge to Him. It's not a commitment to me or to the church, but to God and His church. Which means:

- We need to be at rehearsals--every rehearsal and on time. When everyone is not at rehearsal we waste valuable time repeating the same thing for those who were not there. None of us are such great musicians that we can show up and sight read at Sunday morning's run through. In fact, incredible musicians don't show up and sight read. They prepare, and prepare many hours before bringing their gift. It can only hurt the team if people are missing.

-We need to be prepared for rehearsals, spiritually. We need to make sure our hearts are prepared to learn and worship. Rehearsal is also a time of worship as we prepare our offering to God. 

-We need to be in the services. We are the leaders of worship, and as such we need to be the example. As leaders of worship we should want to be in services. It doesn't provide a good example to lead on Sunday morning, then not be there at all on Sunday night. I guess the question we all need to ask ourselves is would we be there in the service if we weren't leading? I hope and pray the answer is yes. Sunday night could be when we have our most intimate worship with our Creator. 

God could do amazing things through us if we are committed to Him and His church. It's not easy. It requires a sacrifice. But the blessings are so amazing that we won't even remember the sacrifice. If we love Him, truly love him, then we want to be with him, serve Him, love Him, worship Him 24-7, not just Sunday morning. 

My prayer is that we all fall in love with Jesus all over again and are so on fire that, like the pastor said yesterday, we are known as those "fanatical" Christians. Would that be the coolest thing or what? 

He doesn't want lukewarm...He wants fanatical:-)

Anita

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pulling weeds...

I don't think I can sleep. My mind is always racing after services on Sunday. All week we focus on the services coming up, so after they are over, we feel recharged and start thinking ahead to the next one, or in my case, the ever-increasing pile of Christmas music on my desk to listen to.

We had incredible worship services today! I love being in the house of God with His people, singing His praises. I love listening to the message, knowing that I have some "weeds to pull" out of my life, but also knowing that home is only "14 inches" away. I love feeling His presence, knowing that He is working in the lives of the people He loves so dearly.

Sometimes we base the success of worship services on how we "feel" things are going. But we can't do that. We have to base it on faith knowing that, regardless of how we "feel," God is working in someone's life. I reminded myself of that this morning.

When we walked out and sat down, I felt a huge weight of responsibility leading us all to worship. And a small voice inside my head said, "Anita, you cannot do this." And I replied, "You're right! I cannot do this! I am not worthy." But somewhere deep inside the Holy Spirit reminded me that God CAN work through me and all I need is faith. Not feeling...faith. He is always faithful.

And He moved in His house this morning!! He worked through the choir and Beth as they sang that beautiful song. He worked through Cheryl as she lifted up praise in a stirring offertory. He worked through Mike as he juggled TV and live sound and made everything work so flawlessly. He worked through the pastor as he challenged me then sent me right back to pull out those weeds. And He worked in so many other ways that we will never know.

But he also worked in a mighty way bringing a beautiful new family into our congregation. A family with faith.

Faith in God.

God can do amazing things through people who trust Him.

I pray that all of us take our faith on a test drive this week. Pray and read, then go out and put that faith in action. There are people all around us who need to see the love of Jesus through our actions. They need to see our faith in action.


I just posted this scripture yesterday, but it keeps going through my head. Jesus says in Matthew 25, "For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’


Let's do it unto Him.

I love you my brothers and sisters in Christ!
Anita

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Give Him Your Best...

I've been thinking a lot about our upcoming "Free Market" lately. What a wonderful opportunity to reach out to others. In Matthew 25 Jesus says,

"For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

So we all know we are supposed to show the love of Christ to others by taking care of those in need. So it's such a blessing that people are willing to come together and bring items to give away for free. What I want to focus on are the items we bring. Let's make sure that we don't dwell on donating things we no longer want or need.  If we are really trying to show people the love of Christ do we really want to give them the cast offs and things we do not care whether we have or not? Really? I think God is calling us to make a sacrifice. Give something away you DO want. Give something you LOVE away. Go buy something NEW to give to a child who NEEDS it. Give your FAVORITE Christian CD away. Maybe someone will come to know Christ through it.

We must examine our motivation for everything we bring to God. Are we bringing our best or just some old stuff we don't want anymore? There's nothing wrong with sharing things we don't use or don't fit, etc., but this outreach event is not the place to dump all the "stuff" we just want rid of then sit back and think we've done something great and expect God to bless it. Now, let me stop right here and tell you that I'm in no way saying any of us would do that! I'm only saying that we need to consciously examine our hearts and motives so we don't stumble as we approach this event.  He deserves only our best and His people deserve our BEST. If we humble ourselves and give Him our best, just watch what He can do through us.

Our God is amazing! He can do incredible things with our "Free Market" if we are willing to let Him do what He wants to do through us and not what we want. Pray for the event. Pray for people who will come. Pray for the items we will all bring in to donate. Pray for God to use us to do His work. It's all about Him:-)

Love you all,
Anita

Friday, May 14, 2010

Worship Revolution with Darlene Zschech and Hillsong at The Cove...


You all know how much I admire the songs of Darlene Zschech and Hillsong, so I can tell you that this week's seminar at The Cove was incredible!! The worship was so intense and Christ-centered that we are exhausted! There were about 500 other worship leaders, pastors, and musicians there all worshiping, learning, and getting ready to go out and declare that God is here!! Isn't it amazing that the creator of the universe wants to have a relationship with us? We will be sharing more with everyone, hopefully, in a service. Just know that we are changed in a big way and ready to worship!!


Sorry for the iphone photos, but we were not ready! I just went to say hi and she gave me a big hug! She definitely has a heart for Christ:-)










Rise Up & Praise Him (Paul Baloche)

Saturday, May 1, 2010