Hope

You may remember a blog I wrote about our current political state (here). How we as Christians need to be a Noah in today’s world. As I was thinking more about Noah’s situation and the situation we are in now I began to see a major difference. The difference being Noah had his Hope in the LORD. Do we?

As a Worship Leader, one of my favorite songs to sing and lead is “In Christ Alone.” The song’s first line is, “In Christ alone my hope is found.” Wow!

My hope is not in my kids.
My hope is not in my job.
My hope is not in the future.
My hope is not in my church.
My hope is not in my worldly possessions.

My hope IS in Christ.

In Matthew 14:29-31 it says, “”Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”” (NIV)

When Peter stepped out of the boat he had hope, but then he began to see his circumstances around him and began to sink. As Christians we are called to GO and make disciples. When we step out of the boat (we have an amazing experience with God) we are normally strong and ready to go. Then the human side sneaks in and shows us what is around us (our circumstances) then we loose that hope. God calls us to never loose sight of what he has for us.

Just like he grabbed Peter immediately, he will rescue you as well. Notice, Jesus waited for Peter to call out to him. He is waiting for you to call out to him. He is ready to rescue you, you need to acknowledge you need a Savior (saving).

I see this in my own life all the time. My 3 year old will get into a mess and I wait patiently until she calls for my help. Yes, I tried to warn her that she would get stuck under the coffee table, but she wanted to get under there still. Once she tried on her own and figured out with her own strength she can’t make it, she called and I immediately ran and rescued her. She knew I was there. She knew I could help. She had hope in me to get her out.

Jesus wants us to have that hope in him. I know circumstances get in the way. Life is hard. We are never promised an easy life. Call out to Him. Let Him be your hope.

Let me leave you with the lyrics to my favorite song: “In Christ Alone”

In Christ alone my hope is found

He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied –
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine –
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.
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THE Church

What is church? What is THE church to you? We always hear people say “I’m going to church” or my students say “Church day”. I began truly thinking about “church”.

I am a baby born in the church…as soon as I was able to be out of the house I was at church, I have been in church my entire life. I have always thought of church as Sunday morning time where we sing some songs, hear a sermon, give our offering and leave. And the. I came across the Beatitudes.

You may think, I have read them and even memorized them…what are you getting at?

Just go with me…humor me and keep reading 😊

“When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom. “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭5‬:‭1-12‬ MSG)

Did you catch that? “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.”

That shows us church is not a building, church is the people! We get so caught up in our building, the stage, the lights, the songs, the scripture hung on a wall, where the pews are, where the chairs are set we are missing the people walking down the sidewalk. What would we do if we lost our building?

A dear friend of mine lost their church home to a fire. They lost hymnals, pew, files, EVERYTHING! Guess what happened? Did they close their doors and say go somewhere else? NO! They grew! They grew closer as they picked up the pieces and moved on. They truly show that the church is the people.

We, believers, are the church. Are you acting like the church everyday? Are you being the church to everyone you see? Remember, “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.”
XOXO,
Marcy

survive or THRIVE

If you listen to Christian radio, you are familiar with the song “Thrive” by Casting Crowns. This song has penetrated Christian Music since it released in January. I expected nothing less from Casting Crowns. I have been a Casting Crowns “fan” since their first CD. The reason I am a “fan” is because they write REAL lyrics. They write music that is in your face. I have been constantly challenged by Casting Crowns music. Which is the reason I knew “Thrive” would be the same.

This song has hit me right in the face… why?

There is a line in the song that says,
It’s time for us to more than just survive; We were made to thrive

Wow.

God created me to thrive, so why am I just surviving?
Are you surviving or THRIVING?

Have you ever said,
If I can just make it through this I will be fine.
If I can just get through this week life will be better
If I can just make it through this meeting life will be good.
If I can just get through this event life will be back to “normal”

I cannot even begin to count the number of times I have said something similar to those statements.
The mindset of just getting through is surviving not THRIVING. I want to THRIVE not survive. To help me THRIVE and not survive I asked myself these questions. What area(s) in my life am I just surviving? What can I do to THRIVE? How do I THRIVE? What does THRIVING look like?

When I began my quest, I looked straight to the Bible. I came to the book of James. It did not take long for me to see an example of THRVING. James 1:1 “James, a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” James knew who he was. Do you know who you are down to your core? As I kept searching I found honestly, to truly THRIVE check your priorities. For me I am a child of the KING, a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend, a teacher, a worship leader, a mentor, and the list goes on. Where are my priorities? Where am I spending most of my time?

You might be thinking, well I do good to just survive because I work full time, volunteer in ministries, have a spouse and family…I do good just to get through the day. And I completely understand that, but are you truly grounded in the Word? What can you cut out to truly THRIVE? Allowing yourself to be stretched thin can be harmful to you, your family, your ministry, and every aspect of life. What needs to go so you can THRIVE in every aspect of life?

Today, I challenge you to really think about what you need to do in your life to THRIVE. Pray about it, I PROMISE God will reveal how to THRIVE.

Just to know you and to make you known
We life your name on high
Shine like the sun make darkness run and hide
We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive
XOXO,
Marcy

While you’re at it…listen to the song 🙂

Ladies’ Tea

As I sit at home on my couch sipping some tea I cannot help but smile! This morning we had 39 women gather together for a Ladies’ Tea at First Evangelical Presbyterian Church and what a day it was!

The day began with my parents and I doing last minute touches to make sure the room was decorated properly, the food was prepared and on the tables, the games were ready, and most of all making sure God was in the center of it all. The room had 5 round tables, each with 8 chairs, arranged in a “U” shape. Each table had a pretty table cloth (white or peach) with a beautiful doily in the center. On top of the doily was a Teapot, cream, sugar and some beautiful fresh flowers that were cut short. For each table setting there was a different china tea cup, plate, brightly colored napkin and spoon. The mixed match tea cups made it PERFECT! On each table were 2 platters FULL of food! We had scones, muffins, quiche, sweet bread, fruit and cookies. (We like to eat at our church 😉 )

We had a table off to the side as our “vintage” decorations. These decorations are family heirlooms from my dads side of the family. We had hats (one was my Mimi’s hat she wore on her wedding day), brooches, porcelain doll, wooden rocker and even some vintage tea cups! It was a perfect accent to the room!

There was a table where everyone was able to self serve their own tea. With 7 different types of tea for the ladies to choose there was something for everyone!

Once ladies began to arrive, the sound of different ages of ladies’ voices filled the room. It was perfect! Ladies of ALL ages and stages were able to mingle and it was BEAUTIFUL! All the tables began to fill up and everyone began to serve themselves tea and yummy goodies!

Once we chatted for a good while, we played our first game. Once we had a winner, I was able to introduce a very special woman to speak…my MOM!

My mom was able to share with us how to WATCH ourselves as women. She presented it in an acronym:
W-words
A- attitude
T- temptations
C- character
H- household

Our words, no matter our age, can speak life or death. “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” (Deuteronomy 30:19 NLT)

We ALL need a positive attitude. “May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.” (Romans 15:5 NLT) Wow! We need to have the same attitude as Jesus!

We are all tempted. No matter what age or stage we are all tempted…how do we overcome it? By the WORD! (See John 16:33, 1 Corinthians 10:13, and Psalm 119:11)

Your character does matter! Our character is not only who you are when no one is watching…it’s who you are to YOUR CORE! The world changes but we must stand strong! ‘Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.”’ (1 Corinthians 15:33 NLT) You might have heard it before said that it is easier to pull someone down than to pull them up…watch your character!

Finally, Guard your household! It has been said “Home should tell the story of who you are and be the collection of what you love.” If you don’t guard your home…no one else will. (Joshua 24:15)

She left us with something to think about: What impact are we having in our corner of the world?
God put YOU here for such a time as this!

We closed the tea with a few more games and laughs.

What I loved most about the Ladies’ Tea was the women coming together and sharing life. As women, we NEED each other! We need sisters in Christ who will love on us, walk with us, hurt with us, rejoice with us and who will just do life with us. I pray today’s tea was the beginning of those relationships! I pray that all the seeds of relationships that were planted will grow and we will see sisters helping sisters in the days to come.

I challenge you to strengthen relationships you already have and tend to the new ones you made today. May we be a light for each other and our community that so desperately needs it. When life gets tough and challenges come your way, you have sisters that are ready to face the challenge head on with you!

Ladies, I LOVE each one of you more than you can ever know! I am always here for you.

XOXO,
Marcy

For those of you who would like to see pictures of the Tea, clink on the link below 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.837145529652485.1073741831.194222763944768&type=3

 

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