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