Tag Archives: grace

What Jesus did through us….

16 Dec

So… remember me telling you that we were going to use our tithe money to bless someone else this holiday season?
We were able to do that last night.

And IT. WAS. AWESOME!!!

Have you ever had that feeling wash over you that you are certain Jesus has everything to do with it and you had nothing to do with it? For me, it usually comes in the form of the shakes. I know that sounds silly, but I literally chatter all over the place like I’m freezing, and my heart is racing really fast.

This has happened multiple times in my life when I’m witnessing, praying, teaching and blessing others.

I don’t know if it’s obvious to anyone else, or only to myself, but last night I felt like my voice was going to vibrate out of my body because I was shaking so hard… like the way you sound when you talk into a fan.

Anyway, who did God bless? This awesome family of 7. We are just getting to know the parents, and they are so generous and giving and we love both their hearts. They have had some incredible challenges through out their married life – loss of employment, death of a child, moving and unable to sell homes, and a really rough pregnancy resulting in a son who has needed some extra therapy to get back on track.
Their story is really touching, especially because they don’t talk about need AT ALL — and everything they talk about is giving to others.

The wife is starting a non-profit business where people can come work in their garden for free food and she’s going to provide classes so you can learn to cook and also can fresh produce. Who is the target audience? Former inmates and those unable to find employment.

How awesome is that? I’m totally down with having my hands in that!!

So… what did God bless them with?

He gave us the good vision to provide a gift card for a one night stay including 7 water park passes for their entire family to Great Wolf Lodge.

What else? Because of the time we ordered, the company was giving away bonus bucks – so we got $80 in bonus bucks for them to use on food, souvenirs, or the arcade.

AND — because everyone who has a large family knows, even if a trip is free… if it’s far away, the gas is also a factor — a gas card to take that expense off their laps too.

In our own thoughts and strengths, Josh and I could never think all that up or put it all together. We don’t have the resources to bless people in that way — but if we’re out of a church right now, just so we could have a hand in what God did last night — I’m OK with that!

I know what some of you might be thinking — a vacation? There are hungry people all over the world and you gave someone a vacation?

Yes, we sure did. Why? Well for one, because we’re sure Jesus told us to. But for two, we ARE giving to the needy all the time. We also did a shoe box this year for a child sponsored by our previous church (they sponsored every child in an entire village) and we make sure when we choose a church, where part of their weekly giving is always going to missions.
Sometimes, God just likes to bless the socks off His children if only for one over night stay. The memories will be priceless and I promise you this couple — they will never forget what God did and they will absolutely pay it forward through whatever means possible!!

Thank you Jesus for letting Josh and I be apart of this. I’ve never been so blessed.

Oh before I forget, how did they react? They were shocked! Their eyes were huge. The wife involuntarily yells “I think I might have just peed your couch”, but she never let her eyes leave my face from talking as she jumped down on the floor. (Josh and I laughed so hard about that later. PRICELESS!!) They tried to say “you shouldn’t have, why didn’t you do this for yourselves…” but ultimately they said thank you a million times and were so overjoyed!!

That night her Facebook status read “I am in awe of the goodness that God has blessed us with!” Guess what, ME TOO. What an awesome God!

A glimpse of Heaven

12 Aug

When I look around the world today and the direction it’s going, it’s really easy for me to feel like we might be the only Christians on the planet.

I can’t believe that 85% of American’s call themselves Christians when the direction the Nation is taking is polar opposite of the truths Christ preached in the gospel.

Well I shouldn’t say polar opposite right?! I mean everyone takes the word “grace” and uses it to cover over everything. Somehow as if it’s a magic pill that cures blatant sin.
That’s not grace for the record. Grace does not mean accepting everyone and their sin as they are and trusting that God overlooks our rebellion with grace because none of us want to give up anything our flesh enjoys or desires.

Grace is the free gift awarded to us ONCE WE SEE OUR SIN AND REPENT FROM IT. GRACE is lavished on us to wipe away our old-self and free us from slavery to reckless abandon and create us a new person. Once we receive the GRACE which draws us to Christ even though we’ve lived a life of sin that separates us – then MERCY is present to take the penalty that is the consequence for our sin (death and eternity in Hell) and give it to Christ who paid that penalty already!

GRACE is getting what we don’t deserve.

MERCY is not getting what we do deserve.

Neither of them are a blanket to keep sinning.

At any rate, we took our boys to a Hillsong Live concert on Friday night and it was a great experience for them. Every time I go to a concert, I’m overwhelmed by the same picture thought.

When I see a room of 2,000 people singing praises to Christ and raising their hands in worship – I feel like I’m getting a SMALL glimpse at Heaven, and it’s beautiful!

I know not all of those people are actually really following Christ, but they still serve to create this scene that makes my soul pound inside my earthly body and long to go home.  To stand and kneel with the saints, with arms raised before the King and sing praises with a perfect body and perfect voice….. what a sight it will be.

Practical Application –

If you’re never been to a large conference, concert, or any gathering of 1,000 or more Christians – schedule something right now to experience that in the next 365 days.  There is something amazing about gathering with the body of Christ in large numbers that renews our hope and ministry and paints a picture of Heaven that merely describing can’t even fully grasp. You won’t regret it.