Monday, June 3, 2013

I Am Thankful!

I am so thankful for our church body, The Connection. I am blessed because I get to fellowship with the cream of the crop! Time after time I have seen our people step up and rally around those who are in need. Sometimes that ministry comes in the form of prayer, sometimes it comes in the form of meals or visitation. This time it came in the form of mowing lawns and fixing our sprinklers!

I am so grateful. Thank you.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

God is Working in Our Midst

God is working in our midst! I don't always feel it but He is!

I love how the Lord answers prayers that you might have given up being answered on a long time ago. This week we got to visit with a long time friend and just the fellowship was encouraging. It was like a fresh drink of cool water. We didn't talk about anything truly deep but it was refreshing nevertheless. After our friend left, the Lord reminded me about a dream and word that He had given me before. I had to chuckle because so many years later and perhaps many times of discouragement, the Lord reminded me about His promises that He had given us. I started to get excited! I can see things that might not have made sense before starting to fall together! However, I don't think that they have fallen together at all but are being pieced together like an intricate puzzle or perhaps, they are being brushed and blended together like brush strokes in a painting. A masterpiece! All along He knew the timing and the plan but I get in a hurry, running ahead, trying to help it happen like the way that I had envisioned it, instead of waiting for the way He has it planned!

If you are a person who has been disappointed or just worn down by the world, I want to encourage you! God is so very big and He has it all under control. Don't give up, keep looking because God is working out all of the details. He will deliver what He has promised.

Stirring with excitement to see what and how it is all being pieced together!


Monday, April 15, 2013

Praising Him

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
    I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
    I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High. Psalm 9:1-2

Lord, I do give You thanks! You have been and still are, and forever will be so faithful to me! You are awesome and I praise You!


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thankful Thursday!

Wow, time has flown by since the last time that I did Thankful Thursday! I have so much to be thankful for!

A week ago last Wednesday I received a phone call from a producer at KMVT television. He told me that I had been selected from a drawing at McDonalds to be in the American Idol Finale. I was skeptical because I had never entered my name in a drawing. He went on to explain to me that someone had entered my name and I was invited to come to the KMVT studio on Friday morning at 6:20. He also told me that there were eight contestants in all and it would be a trivia contest. I told him thank you and hung up. I then started pondering if I wanted to go and take a risk of making a fool of myself on television.

That evening I prayed about it and the Lord reminded me, "Remember when about three or four weeks ago when you were watching American Idol and Ryan Seacrest advertised a contest for American Idol Finale tickets?" I did remember.

I was laying in my bed watching American Idol all alone. I saw the commercial and said, "Lord, I would like to win that!" And then I finished watching the show without ever thinking about it again until when the Lord reminded me. I then made a decision that if this was a way that the Lord was trying to bless me or give me the desires of my heart then I would do my part. I was at our prospective new church building with some friends and I told Sarah of what the Lord just reminded me of. She looked at me and kind of laughed. I get that a lot.

So Thursday I did some American Idol Trivia research and made myself up three study sheets. The whole time I was studying I was telling the Lord, "God, please help me not to look like a fool." I was nervous! Finally 4:30 in the morning came and I jumped up and reviewed my notes, jumped in the shower and got ready. I left our house at 5:15 am and drove to Twin Falls. I arrived in the television studio at 5:50 am and studied some more! Finally at about 6:15 I walked into the studio. I visited with a nice woman while I was watching Rise and Shine being shot live. Pretty soon I was shown to the room where the other contestants were waiting. There were four of us that showed up! We visited and I met three really nice people, well, four if you count Clarence's daughter. 

The producer came in and explained that they had decided against the trivia game because it appeared that the others were scared off by the idea of trivia. I whispered a word of thanks to the Lord. Then He said that they hadn't decided exactly how but they were going to give us a bag of American Idol Goodies and one bag would hold the winning ticket! He left and I told the Lord, "God, could you please just have them hand us the bags or draw a number? You know how I second guess myself so I want it totally out of my control." Soon the producer came back and said that they had mixed up the bags and they would just hand them directly to us at random. Thank You Lord!

It was time. We all lined up on the blue taped line in front of the cameras. Nick handed us the bags and then they counted to three. One, two, three...I opened my bag and felt around. A marker flew out and I kept digging and then I felt it...a big laminated ticket! I WON! They shoved a microphone in front of my face and I said, "I won! Thank You Jesus and Kaylin! I'm going to Hollywood!" I was so excited.

I had never gave that whispered whim another thought but the Lord heard me. He arranged this whole event in order to bless me! It was my sweet daughter-in-love that had entered my name into McDonalds! She later told me, "I was standing there waiting and saw the box and thought I will enter mom!" Thank You Jesus! I am so blessed.

The KMVT staff was so awesome. They told me that I had "great energy." Smile. I know the source of my "great energy." I should also thanks to the Kyle family and Fox 14 for sponsoring the trip.  I am so grateful. My husband and I will be going to Hollywood in May!

Thank You Jesus!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What is Your Testimony?

8 Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof 9 and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10 We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. 11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. Josh. 2:8-11 NIV
A testimony is important. It was a testimony that had spoken to Rahab, the harlot of Jericho. She knew of the reports of what God had done for the Israelites. God had delivered the Israelites from the Egyptians by drying up the Dead Sea for escape and had given the victory of defeating the Amorites to the Israelites (the same people who had been slaves to the Egyptians!) When the people of Jericho had heard these reports of events their hearts melted in fear, “for the Lord God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.”
It was these same reports or testimonies that gave Rahab the courage to hide the spies from the questioning soldiers. She made a way of escape for them and asked for the safety of her and her family in return.  The spies told her, “If you don’t tell what we are doing, we will treat you kindly and faithfully when the Lord gives us the land.” She had to make sure that her family was with her in her home and she had to hang a red cord in her window.

So what is your testimony? I would love to hear it! Testimonies are important When you are adopted into God’s family you have a great testimony.  Obviously, a testimony made a huge difference in Rahab’s life and the lives of the Israelite Spies.

Testifying of God’s Greatness,


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thankful Thursday!

One week ago I read a friend's blog. This is an excerpt from it:

So, I’m going to start a list of thankfulness. A journal of joy. A bundle of blessings. Every Thursday that I can get here. Because thanksgiving is the heartbeat of joy. Don’t believe me? Give it a try. I dare you. I double dog dare you. If you take the time to focus on the positive in your life, it’s impossible to not feel hope in your heart. (Mudane Musings)

I decided to take her challenge! I have so much to be thankful for! Big things as well as little things. Joy truly is contagious.

1. I am so thankful for a wonderful husband. He is amazing. He treats me like a queen and he makes me laugh. I love hanging out with him. He has made so many sacrifices for me (our whole family). He is a great father to his kids and a marvelous grandpa! If you don't believe me, let me give you an example! A couple of years back on a cold and rainy day Jason was on grandpa duty, caring for Hannah and Abbie. I came home and found them in the family room...playing with sidewalk chalk, drawing beautiful pictures on my carpet! I about had a heart attack! I said, "What are you doing?" My little Hannah looked up at me and said, "Grandpa said it is too cold and rainy to play outside so he said we could use the chalk inside!" At that point I turned and gave him my "I cannot believe that you just let them do this" look. He then informed me that it was just chalk and it would vacuum up! did. This year Alex needed a football coach for the 6th grade league in our town and Jason signed right up! It was a great football season and now they are already planning for 7th grade football!

2. I have great kids! What started out as three kids multiplied to seven. I am proud of them. The bible says in Proverbs 31:28  that her children will rise up and bless her. They definitely bless me. There is something about being a pray for them when they are little and you continue to pray for them when they are adults. My goal was for each of them to serve Jesus to their greatest ability. You rejoice in their great times and cry with them in their hard times. I know that God is faithful. I am so thankful that they love each other. I love it when they are all home together and the lilt of laughter can be heard throughout our home!

3. I love my church family! We planted a new church this year. Our church family is such a great group of real people. They are easy to love! They love Jesus and have a heart for others. We are excited to see what God has in store for us this year!

4. I am thankful for new adventures! On Facebook we have the Prayer Connection page! God has answered so many prayers on our prayer site. From healed sickness, successful surgeries to a house being sold! I know that there are many more answers to prayer to come!

5. I am thankful for iced tea, americanos with cold cream, a good workout at the gym and for my group of kids in the Kid's Connection. They have giving hearts and great faith! They have recently adopted "Gary" at the local coffee shop to bless by buying him mochas (with their own money). They are already ministers of the Lord and I love that!

So like Rebekah, I double dog dare you to dedicate your Thursdays to being thankful! Make a joy journal! If you don't blog that's okay! You can be thankful on Facebook or in your own personal journal. It really helps you years later to read back on the blessings in our lives! I am super blessed and for that I am thankful. Thanks Rebekah!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wear It; It Looks Good on You!

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:1-17 NIV  
A call to change is what I almost titled this post. Pete used this portion of scripture last night while teaching the Youth Connection.  As soon as he read this portion out loud that was the first thing that came to mind. People hate change in general. They like what is comfortable. When we make a decision to accept Christ we are committing to change. Thank goodness God is patient with us!
So how do we go about this transformation? Set your mind on things above. Focus on Jesus! When we start to slip back into old patterns get refocused! Read the Word, pray and worship. Whenever I get mad at someone I try to make it a habit to pray! If I am praying I cannot focus on the anger or the person that made me mad because I am talking to Jesus! Not only that if I am praying then I am giving God room to work in the situation!
Verse 12 says to clothe yourselves in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Then read on to vs. 13 and 14 and it says that we need to be flexible (my words), and forgiving just as the Lord has forgiven us.  Wow. I don’t know about you but there are some days that I don’t want to wear that “love outfit.” But love is something that is done unconditionally. It doesn’t matter if I “feel” like it. God didn’t say, “If you feel like loving or forgiving someone today then go ahead and do it.” He said to clothe yourself in it! WEAR IT, OWN IT! But above all of those really good virtues put on love because it is the love that is at the source.
Jesus loves me and you so much that He died to save us. He forgives me for so much and if I remember that then it should make it way easier for me to forgive someone for something petty or irritating. I love vs. 15 because it instructs us to be thankful. God loves grateful kids! When we take time to be thankful over the little things and the big things, well, life just gets better! You see so much more of what God does all of the time instead of becoming so limited in vision of the circumstances that surrounds you. So by now you can see that I changed the title of my post today to “Wear It; It Looks Good on You!”
Lord, thank You for your unending, unconditional love. Thank You for forgiving me of everything that I do. Thank You for my family and friends. Thank You for my job. Thank You for helping to wear compassion and kindness. Help me to be to shiny like You would have me to be to others and God, thank You for my foo foo coffee, I love it! Thanks for letting me be me but helping me to be more like You all at the same time. I love You.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Write It Down!

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Deut. 4:9 NIV
How true this statement is even today! The Israelites had been rescued from the Egyptians in miraculous ways but as soon as the hard days came, they were quick to forget and started complaining. They took their focus off of God, their deliverer, and started their grumbling and complaining wishing for the “good ole days of Egypt.” They were quick to forget the beatings that they received and the killing of their male babies. Most of all they were quick to forget how awesome God was to answer their cries for deliverance from slavery and gave them freedom.
How quick are we to forget the great things that God does for us today? We are quick to grumble and complain over the smallest of inconveniences. We have a joke, in our house, that labels our problems, “first world or third world” problems.
We need to realign our focus on the great things that God has given and done for us! We need to testify of God’s greatness to our children so that when hard times hit they can recall how great God is and how faithful He is to His people! For a while I wrote down (in a little book) every prayer request and answer to prayer that I had. Wow, I thought that I would never forget some of the miraculous things that God has done for me but not long ago I found that little heart’s desire book. I had forgotten some of the most precious ways that God answered my prayers. Those words leapt out to me and stirred my faith. Sometimes it isn’t even the big things but the little things that mean so much. Don’t forget! Write it down, on paper and on your hearts. Tell your kids the stories of God’s faithfulness. By doing this you are leaving a great legacy for your children and your grandchildren!
He was and is faithful throughout all times. Be on the lookout for the things that God does for you on a daily basis and then be grateful. I promise you recalling God's goodness will stir your faith and the faith of others.
God is Faithful!

Friday, March 1, 2013


Today's Post is taken from my husband's blog. It is about Love. Please enjoy!


Love never fails. …

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
I Corinthians 13:8 NKJV

This passage is often referred to as the Love Chapter. It clarifies the definition of love. It promotes love as the greatest character asset we can have. Our culture portrays love as sexuality or as having no limits and accepting every behavior every person ever commits so they can feel good about themselves. We fiercely need to know what love is so we can recognize it. We seriously need to recognize it so we can develop it in our own character. Of all the attributes that love encompasses it is this refusal to fail that I desire most.
It is not about winning with love it is about not quitting. No matter what the history is love finds a way to reconnect. Love is so non-stop that Romans 5:8 tells us that BECAUSE OF LOVE Christ died for us while we were still sinners! We have many character traits that we use to cope in life and all of them except love will fail. Great strength will finally meet its match. Intense discipline will eventually break. Gifting, talent, pride, philanthropy; all will give up, but not love.

Love bears all things. That is it carries whatever cost it needs to reach out to others. Love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love really believes that others will succeed/flourish in The Lord no matter their present condition. It even puts up with their brokenness.

Love never fails. Our society thinks that love is like a little tweeting bird on a branch that can easily be frightened out of our hearts. The Bible teaches that love is like a powerful bulldog that will never let go once it has taken hold.

Let me say it again: Love never fails.

Pastor Jason

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fully Loving, Fully Living

I am reading a book that is good so far. It is titled Love Does by Bob Goff. So far what I have enjoyed about Bob is that he doesn't limit God in loving people through himself. I love this! I think Jesus desires for us to love everyone! I am only on chapter nine but so far so good!

So last night I was thinking about what I could post on Facebook that could show the love of Jesus. I have been reading the gospels and I love how Jesus ministered to everyone. When people didn't come to Him, He went to the people. What better place to do that then on Facebook? Last night I posted, "Hello Facebook how is life going? Is there anything that I can pray about for you? Let me know :)"  I am so excited about the responses that I received on my wall and in my message box! God opened another door of ministry for me!

I can get into the hearts and homes of many people in Facebook that I might not be able to touch personally just due to logistics. Please pray with me that God answers the prayers of these people who asked. I am praying until I hear differently from each one. May Jesus meet them where they are at and thank You Jesus that I get to be involved in some small way. God is good!

In Pastor Jason's message on Sunday, he talked about God recruiting you. What will you do to contribute? Pray and ask God what you can do to love fully and to live fully! You see, I am nobody, but with God it doesn't matter who I am. It just matters that God is with me! I am excited to see what God is going to do with this exciting new adventure. I know it is going to be BIG!

Fully Loving and Living,


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Act On It!

29 Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once. 31 So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them.
Mark 1:29-31

Jesus healed Peter's Mother-in-law. The next verse is important...And she served them. Peter's mom-in-law didn't sit and think, "I had better wait and see if I am really healed..." She didn't think that she should rest in case she had a relapse. She got up and served them! She took her healing and then used it. She served Jesus...probably in a practical way like getting them lunch.

Whenever the Lord heals you, you need to act on it! We need to take advantage of that healing and serve Him! We need to be thankful to the Lord! Rejoice! But whatever you do, do not let the devil talk you out of your healing! Take that healing and see where God will use you.

Excited to Serve the One Who Heals,


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

You Are Called!

11 The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.”
13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
14 The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
16 The LORD answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.” Judges 6:11-16 NIV
Gideon was hiding down in the winepress to thresh his grain. He was hiding. He was hiding when the angel of the Lord appeared and called him mighty warrior. Obviously Gideon didn’t feel like a mighty warrior, remember he was hiding! When the angel of the Lord started conversing with him, Gideon had questions! Why, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Did He bring us of Egypt to hand deliver us to the Midanites? Gideon felt deserted, abandoned by God. He felt let down and now he was threshing his grain in this deep pit at night time, so that he wouldn’t be discovered and have the food taken from him. Then this angel of the Lord appears to him and calls him, mighty warrior? Gideon was questioning God.
Have you ever questioned God? I have. I remember praying for rent money when we first moved to Burley. At the time I felt deserted. Where were all of my close Oregon friends? I felt like it was a case of, out of sight out of mind. I remember praying to the Lord and telling Him, “God, You did not call us to Burley to die. My rent is due in 8 days and we have no way of paying it. Remember God, we are here in Burley, Idaho where you called us!”  God was so patient with me. I would remind Him of the widow that prayed insistently, never giving up. Guess what? No matter how I felt God never left me.  He was right there providing for me and loving me. He would tell me, “I did call you to Burley.”
I love the Lord’s response to Gideon! “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” Basically God told Gideon to forget about his insecurities and go as you are. God would be with Gideon.
Even then Gideon questioned God again and reminded God that not only was his family the weakest family but he, himself was the least of his family!  
God didn’t say, well okay Gideon, you’re right, you are excused, I picked the wrong guy. No he just reaffirmed His call to Gideon! He told Gideon that He would go with him and that Gideon would kill all of the Midianites!
See, we are not the only one in history to feel alone and abandoned! Jesus promised us that He would never leave us or forsake us. Why did He promise that? Jesus knew that we would feel alone, or deserted sometimes. Remember God will go with us when he assigns us to do something! He loves us.
This week in service Pastor Jason spoke to us about Faith. Faith is when you grab hold of things as if they are, when they are not. When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert, one of Satan’s tactics was, if You are really the Son God…Jesus never responded to that question! We need not to go there with, “Who am I?” When the devil taunts us and asks us, “Who are you?” We need to respond with God’s Word! It doesn’t matter who I am it matters Who I serve!
We have a choice. We can follow what we have been called to do or we can do what we “feel” like we can do. He will go with us! Some of us will say, “But I don’t know what God wants me to do.” Well I have the answer for that! Read your bible and pray every day. Even when you don’t feel like it! Share your faith with others. When you do these things you will renew your mind! We condition our bodies with exercise because we want to stay healthy, it is just important, if not more, to condition your Spirit. Have accountability in your life with someone.  Do not conform to the world! Let God transform you. We also need some healing in our lives. God will show us that as we renew our mind by spending time in prayer and with the Word.
So please do not live your life by how you feel but live life in what you have been called! I am excited to see what God is going to do in Burley, Idaho. He is with us! He has promised great things and I am going to grab ahold of everything that God has promised!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Ministry Out of the Norm

And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.
When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”
And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, 11 “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” Mark 2:1-12

I love this portion of the Word because I have been at this very place in Capernaum. I remember standing in the now White Synagogue that was built on the top of the very synagogue that Jesus preached in Capernaum. The White Synagogue no longer has the ceiling but I stood there thinking about Jesus standing in the same place! It was an amazing time of reflection.

So according to this passage Jesus was preaching to a full and overflowing house. There was no more room! Let me tell you of a personal experience that I had while growing up. My mom could share the love of Jesus to anyone and everyone who would listen. I am sure that she was offensive to some. When I was about nine years old my mom started a prayer meeting. We lived in a tiny farming community called Powell Butte, Oregon. The nearest town was eight miles away. My mom spread the word that she was starting this prayer meeting. None of the people out of the church we attended came to the bible study slash prayer meeting. I remember the apartment above the double car garage being full and overflowing. I remember sitting in the closet during worship literally! My mom's little word of mouth prayer meeting grew to over 150 people. Did I mention that most of these people were not the typical church goers? They were the hippies of the 70's that gathered together and worshipped the Lord and the Lord's presence would show up because they were seeking Him! I remember the Fire Marshal coming out and telling my mom that not another person would be allowed to come because of the fire danger, so she moved the meeting outside in the summer so that if more wanted to come that they could. I remember the police coming and checking my mom out because they thought that there must be some sort of illegal activity going on with all of "those hippies" coming. My mom loved each and everyone. She told them the truth in love. The Word of God was preached and awesome worship was done in harmony. I saw many supernatural things happen during those meetings. God moved.

Back to the says in vs. 2 that Jesus preached the word to the crowd and people came! People were so desperate that when they couldn't get the paralytic to Him they tore a part the roof to get their friend to Jesus. Talk about friends and desperation. They went to drastic measures to help their friend. Now that is good friends! Jesus told the man that his sins were forgiven. The scribes who were witnessing all of this were being critical in their hearts and Jesus knew it! So he addressed their critisims in vs. 9 and 10. Jesus then turned around and healed the paralized man.

I love verse 12, 12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” And ALL were amazed and glorified God.

We are coming to a time where there are hungry people. People who are searching for the truth. They may not be looking in traditional avenues or in traditional ways but there is a need for people to meet and bring the truth to them! Some are so desperate that they are searching in the wrong places and in wrong ways but we need to be willing to overlook somethings and not be so easily offended that we miss opportunities of ministry.

I am so thankful that I got to witness first hand ministry not in the traditional setting. Let me tell you, I heard my mom being criticized by others who were in ministry! Did she quit? No. She knew that these young people needed Jesus even if they were not the ordinary. She loved each and everyone! I heard my mom called names like, witch and heard the rumors that she must be practicing witch craft by other Christians. Shoot, even the police came out to check it out because why else would there be 150 or more people out in the middle of no where?  I knew better because I was there observing Jesus ministering first hand! Things like deliverance, healing and discipling were happening all around. My mom was not "seeker friendly" but she was genuine. She did not sugar coat anything, lol, but she loved them and shared the Word of God.

So be willing to share the Word of God anywhere and everywhere. Do not be critical in your heart. Jesus can and will detect it! If you do get criticized, get over it and do not get hung up on it because that will just get in the way of ministry. Jesus is big. He didn't let the critics stop Him or His ministry. When people saw miracles happening there was no way to deny it. When God moves, He moves. Just make sure that you don't miss it when He does because it doesn't fit inside your box :)

Excited about what is going to happen!


Wednesday, January 30, 2013


16 And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
19 When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets. 20 And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.
Nepotism (noun) nep-o-tism means favoritism shown to relatives.
In the past our kids have been involved in ministry. At different times we have had several people question our children being in leadership. In this portion of scripture Jesus called families to serve Him. In verse 16 Jesus called Simon Peter and Andrew his brother. In verse verses 19 and 20 Jesus called John and James, brothers again.
Jesus called families to the ministry, and still does. He also called people out of their families to serve Him. Once we enter God’s family aren’t we all related? That might be something to think about. But nevertheless, to some people it bothers them that some families minister together in ministry. If you are a complainer are you ready to commit to minister? Because the Word of God says that, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” We need laborers. If someone is willing to labor for the harvest I don’t care who they are related to!
Now some of you would say, “But their Father wasn’t the senior pastor and his sons, the youth pastor or associate pastors.” My response to that is God chose His only Son to be the Savior of the world. Yep I went there. If God chose His one and only Son to become the Savior of the World then I think that He set the example. I am not saying that every ministry has to be in clusters of family but if there is a family that serves together, don’t criticize them, pray for them! And then ask how you can serve too.  I can guarantee that there is room for everyone to minister. If you have a problem with that go talk to the Lord. He called them and He set the exampleJ
Praying for families in ministry together,

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tom, Follower and Believer of Christ

24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20:24-29 NIV

You know, I think that Thomas gets a bum rap in the christian world. He is known as "Doubting Thomas." When I read this passage what I think is that Thomas is just human. As a matter of fact let's call him Tom. Now think about it, Tom, was one of the twelve disciples. So he was one of Jesus' friends/followers. He knew that Jesus, his friend, was crucified and died a horrible death. He probably knew that they were not on the top twelve of the most popular people list either. One day his friends said that Jesus came and visited them and he wasn't dead afterall.

Okay...wait a minute...if you knew that someone was dead and you knew where he was burried (totally dead) wouldn't you be a little skeptical? I know that I would probably think, "Wow, their grief has driven them a bit crazy! They must have seen a guy who looks like Christ because I know that he is dead! I was there!" Or could it be an imposter trying to find all of the remaining twelve to cash in on a little reward money? But alive? No way, not unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side!"

Who could blame the poor guy? And how many times have you said, "Not unless I see it myself with my own eyes will I believe such in such."

But Jesus knew. He knew Tom. Jesus came and told Tom to reach right in my nail scars and touch me...believe's true! I am really here! Jesus actually said, "Stop doubting and believe.” But I think that Jesus gave Tom what He knew that Tom needed. Jesus gave Tom the confirmation that yes, indeed, it is true...I have risen from the really is ME! Jesus was gracious to Tom. There have been so many people who refer to Doubting Thomas in a negative connatation but I am wondering if those very same people wouldn't have done the same thing if they were in that situation? But Jesus loved Tom enough to provide the exact evidence, of what Tom needed, to believe in Him.

After Tom touched the nail scarred hands, he immediately knew that it was true. He believed! He exclaimed, "My Lord and my God!"

Then scripture says in vs. 29 that Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

We are blessed! We have never seen Jesus in the flesh and we believe! Yippy! But I am here to tell you that even if we haven't seen Jesus in the flesh we have seen glimpses of Him. We have seen miraculous provision and miracles. We have seen His love displayed through others. I am truly blessed in so many ways. Jesus knows our needs and meets those very needs. He "knows" us by name. And I am truly thankful that He doesn't know me by "Doubting Shanin." He knows me by the name of Shanin, Daughter of the Most High. You noticed He never called Tom "Doubting Thomas." He didn't label or define him by that one moment or action. His name was Thomas, one of the twelve, His friend and follower of Christ. Thomas the believer :)

The world will label you. The enemy will try and tell you that you are a doubter, you are ineffective, a loser but our Father says that you are a son or daughter of Christ! You are victorious through Him. So proudly claim what He has provided for you, salvation, the crown of righteousness. Don't let people label you a doubting Suzy or John. You are a child of the King!


Friday, January 25, 2013

Respond Don't React

Have you ever had conflict? How did you handle it? Did you react or respond? Reacting is that knee jerk reaction. The quick terse response and then hit "send." You know what I mean, he pushed me so I pushed him back!

Responding is taking time to evaluate and then to prepare a response that would be righteous and healing. I have been guilty of reacting and responding. I am here to tell you that responding is always better unless you are in physical danger:)

One of the most valuable things my sweet husband has taught me is to take a step back and think to yourself, "What is their motive?" Most usually, especially if it is your friend or someone that you have fellowship with, their motive is never to injure or offend you. What is your motive in your response?

God's desire for us is for us to be healthy and flourishing and fruitful. In Matt. 12:20 it says, A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering which He will not snuff out, till He leads justice to victory. NIV

The enemy loves for you to be offended so he can get you to isolate!

So what stunts our growth or separates from the vine?

I. The Offense
Like mold the offense starts to grow and spreads all over you. It's a trap! It's the trigger on the mouse trap. It robs you of your blessing while you are in the trap. However, the offense is an opportunity for growth and release. How to escape from the trap is forgiveness.

II. Admit The Offense To Yourself.
We have all been trapped and we have all trapped. In Luke 17 Jesus tells us that it is impossible not to be offended and it's impossible not to offend people and He teaches that it is hard on both ends. You are not the only on that this has happened to.

III. Admit The Offense To The Other Person.
Let's state this very clearly...Admission is not accusation!!! You can never know what their motive was! Generally they were oblivious or careless or hurt. How often have you "plotted" to hurt someone? Most usually it is a misunderstanding and the enemy uses it for his advantage (to set that trap). Please make sure that your heart is right with the Lord before going to do this. LOVE needs to be your motivation. Don't go to "confront" the person...go in love.

IV. Forgive The Offense.
God forgave us for so much how can we not forgive for so little? Be mature, make the first move, right or wrong. We have to make the choice to will forgiveness. When we forgive, it releases the issue to God so He can take care of it. When we forgive that is letting the vine dresser to lift us up out of the mud. He then washes the mold off and stakes us to the vine so that we can produce fruit.

Unforgiveness cuts us off from the nutrients of the Word, Prayer, Worship and Fellowship.

V. Get Back Into The Game.
Once we get out of the mud we need to get back into the exercise of reading the Word, praying, worshipping and fellowshipping which equals ABIDING!

Pray for God to reveal any unforgiveness in your life. Unforgiveness is like poison and as it courses through your veins it kills you! Do not let the enemy plant a seed of bitterness in your life. Listen to your outside voice and use that for your heart check. Make the choice to be righteous no matter what the situation is and everytime God will cover you. It may not feel like it at the moment but I promise you that you will reap the benefits of doing the right thing.

Like I said before that I have been guilty of not responding and reacting. When I have done that I am saying that I do not trust God to take care of me. God has convicted my heart of this very thing. I have repented and made a decision to respond not react, especially in my workplace. I cannot tell you how much better it is for me! Thank You Jesus for bringing my focus back to You and not making things "just" or "fair."

No matter the outcome, God is in control!

Still learning,


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It's Over There, No It's Over There!

Today while I was at work in my office I could hear a cell phone set to vibrate, buzzing away. I had heard it go off two or three times and then silence and then start again. I got up to go look for it because it was driving me crazy! So I talked to my co-worker and said, "Do you hear that? I think it is in your area."

He replied, "No, I am pretty sure it is in your office." I checked my phone that was in my pocket just in case but it wasn't the culprit. So I decided to get up and go look for it about the fourth time that it started ringing. It started again and then my co-worker said to go look in another office...but to no avail! All of a sudden I heard it ring again and found it! It was in my co-worker's office on his filing cabinet and that is why I could hear it! He was surprised but another co-worker had set it down there and left it. We both got a good chuckle out of the whole situation.

Then I remembered one night while I was in Israel last year. We were spending the night in the middle of the desert. We were staying in a giant tent of the Bedouin people. I mean that this tent was HUGE! It has big wool rugs on the floors and walls to help insulate the tent. They had a giant heater at one end to heat the tent. We had about 48 women sleeping in the tent. One big giant sleep over. It was so much fun. Finally everyone was falling asleep and I would hear this cell phone notification. About every ten minutes this phone would chirp. Well Rebecca Bauer and Kimberly Dirmann were on the opposite wall from me. Rebekah whispered, "Shanin, is that your phone?"

I replied, "No!" We went back and forth for a while like this. I finally had to take my phone out to prove that it was off!  I got to laughing. So we got up out of our sleeping bags with our flashlights trying to find the phone in the few chirps it would make before stopping again for another ten or fifteen minutes. Did I mention that this tent was huge? I mean HUGE! LOL Everytime it would go off I would think that the ring was coming from the other side. We searched the entire tent till finally it chirped while we were nearby and we found it! The owner of the phone had her earplugs firmly placed in her ears, eye mask on (not mentioning any names Tracy Barber!) and could not hear the notification. We woke her up so she could turn it off! This sleeping bag was only two bags away from me! I would have never guessed that this phone was nearby because to me it sounded like it was over by Rebecca. I laughed today when this was brought to my memory by that buzzing phone.

The bible talks about a time when there will be people who claim to be Christ and for us not to be fooled. And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. Matthew 24:3 NKJV
We need to know Jesus's voice and to know him so well that we will not be conned! Otherwise if we think that every person that performs a "miracle" or claims to be Christ is over there then we will run over there! All of the time being deceived running back and forth and not following Jesus! We will get lost and confused.

We need to know the Word so that when it is twisted we will be able to recognize a counterfeit. Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 2 Timothy 4:2-4 NIV How will we be able to tell the difference if we don't know the Word of God? I already hear Christians who say, "Well, I know the bible says that but I don't believe that way." How sad. They are changing the Word to fit into their lifestyle or into what their itching ears want to hear. The Word of the Lord says to be discerning! Part of discernment comes from knowing the Word of God.

I know that some of you will say, "Well, I am too busy or I don't like to read or I can't understand it when I read it." When I was younger I used everyone of these excuses. Then one day I prayed that the Lord would help me to grasp, remember and understand what I was reading. I made a decision to read His Word. People, this changed my life! My identity started changing to reflect Christ! I started understanding it...I started grasping it and I started to remember! It is like drinking water. I have heard many people tell me that they hate the taste of water or that they are never thirsty. Do you know that if you are dehydrated that you won't be thirsty? You won't get thirsty until after you start drinking it! After a while it will even taste better! (If not get a filter!lol) Before long your skin will improve and you will wash away toxins that are stored in your body! A lot like the Living Water! Try it! Commit to reading a chapter or two everyday. Before long I am guessing that you will want to read more of the Word! Take one scripture that stands out to you and write about it! We use a bible program call SOAP. Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. Write your observation and then how it applys to your life and then write a prayer to the Lord. Lord, help me to implement this in my life or Lord, help me to understand your Word! He will answer you! He will speak to your heart! BTW all of this only takes up about a 5x7 piece of paper. If you make it into a journal you can look back and see how you have grown or what the Lord has spoken to your heart! I even keep track of answered prayers and many days when I have looked back it stirs my faith!

Take the Challenge! Then let me know how it works.

Still Soaping!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

No One Knows!

Remember when Jesus was supposed to come back last year? Remember when the end of the world was going to happen in December of 2012?  I never get too stirred up over these predictions. Why? Simple! Jesus told us that:

36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

I am confident that if Jesus said that no one knows only His Dad knows then NO ONE KNOWS! The Word of God is true. So if Jesus clued us in on that I doubt that some self proclaimed prophet, who has missed the date before, is going to know before the angels of heavens knows ;)

But this I do know...we need to be ready for when He does come! Jesus will come one day and I want to be ready. I want everyone I know to be ready!

So when you hear people telling you that Jesus is coming back next Friday at 3:16 don't worry! But be ready for when he does come! I am thinking that God likes surprises :) And that will be one party that I won't want to miss!


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Reach Out and Reach Up!

34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret.
35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed. Matthew 14:34-36 NKJV
These two verses of Matthew speak volumes! Jesus had landed at Gennesaret. And as soon as people started recognizing it was Jesus they spread the word. They didn’t have the internet but still the word spread! They sent the word out to everyone to bring all of the sick to Jesus.
We live in a small town of approximately 10,000 people. We have the luxury of internet or cell phones and if someone famous is in town the word gets around fast! You will see it on Facebook or it will be texted to you. Chances are if you live in a small community and something happens big you will find out about it before it has time to hit the 6:00 news. If we get so excited about some famous singer or actor (who doesn’t even know your name) and eagerly spread that news about, how come we don’t spread the news about Jesus around with such determination of getting “the good news” out to everyone? This is just something to think about.
Okay back to the story. People started showing up by the groves bringing the sick to Jesus. They were desperate! How do I know this? Because the scripture says that they begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak. Can you imagine being so desperate that you would beg to touch someone’s coat or blazer? Americans are so blessed that there are very few that are desperate, much less find a need for a Savior in their lives. Yet there are many who have a gaping, God shaped hole in their lives and they try to fill that emptiness with everything from material goods, work, busy schedules, food, sex, drugs or alcohol out of desperation. They need Jesus…correction, we need Jesus.
Here is the good part…and all who touched it were healed. Out of their need or desperation or sickness, they reached out to grab at his clothing and they were healed! We need to grab at Jesus instead of clinging to what doesn’t fill that God shaped hole in our lives. Whenever I start to feel needy or scared or unsure instead of reaching for that bowl of ice cream or doing some “shopping therapy”, I need to reach out to Jesus to fill those needsJ. He will meet those needs or those hurts right where I need them met.
So let’s recap. First of all reach out! Be eager to spread the word about Jesus. There are so many people who don’t know Him. If you know of someone in need invite them to church or to just hang out with you! The worse thing that can happen is that they might say no. (I invite people every opportunity I get!) Second point, reach up! Reach up to touch Jesus; even if all you can do is grab at the hem of His garment He will reach back to catch your hand. He loves you so very much that when you reach out to Him, cry out to Him or even just beg to touch His garment, He will touch you. He is faithful. He reaches out to everybody, the rich and poor, the healthy, needy or the desperate. He came for everyone. I am very thankful that He is there all of the time for me.
Reaching for Him,

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Facing the Giants of Life

I normally write different posts for each of my blogs but today I am going to link you to my other blog because I did a two day post on Facing the Giants in your life...David faced Goliath with all odds stacked against him. Be sure to read both day's to get the whole story :)


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Play Date with Jesus

13 Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” 15 
And He laid His hands on them and departed from there. Matthew 19:13-15 NKJV
The parents had brought their children to Jesus hoping for a chance that He might put His hands on them and pray for them. The disciples must have thought that Jesus’s schedule was too busy for this because the bible says that they rebuked them. I am thinking in my imagination with something like, “Hey, Jesus is much too busy to be bothered with little kids. We have a schedule to keep” Children were just considered property during that period of time but Jesus loved them. He took time and blessed them.

If I close my eyes I can play it all out in my mind… Jesus smiles when He looked into the eyes of each little one. He knew them well…He knew little John with his big brown eyes and little Ruth with her nurturing qualities. I can see Jesus tilt his head back and laugh when He looked into the eyes of the mischievous Matthew and maybe even whispered in his ear about the funny joke that he had played on his brother. When Jesus looked into Hannah’s eyes He tells her that He can see the fire that burns deep in her heart and she just beams with pride. I can see Jesus tickle their bellies and then I see the compassion and love in His eyes. He starts to speak blessings on each and every one of them. He speaks of the great things that He knows that each one of them will do in their lives. They would remember Jesus for their whole life and so would their parents.

Jesus knew that His time would be well spent with these kids. Oh how He loved them. He didn’t think of them as a nuisance or a bother. He didn’t think of them as just another mouth to feed. He treasured them! He invested in them. We should think of our children in the same way that Jesus did. We need to value them, take time for them and teach them. They are little sponges soaking up whatever is around them. We need to make sure that they are protected and surrounded with sound doctrine, love and goodness. We need to make time to bring them to our Lord and know that He will touch them. We don’t want to be the ones who shoo them away from Jesus…we want to make the way for them to meet Him just like those parents did in that passage.

We are God’s kids. He loves us and desires to spend time with us. He is willing to make time for us if we are willing to spend time with Him. He wants to laugh with us, look into our eyes, encourages and bless us!  
Making Time With Him,


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

No One is Disqualified

As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.
10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Matthew 9:9-13

I was talking on the phone with my girlfriend early this morning and she was laughing at the wide variety of friends that I have and have had during a course of a lifetime. I had been sharing with her about my most favorite Aunt in the whole wide world.  She laughed and told me that she was once shocked to hear who I had befriended over the years, know their past and still love them and be a pastor's wife. I love this friend and when we first became friends, she led a totally different life than she does now. She had thought that she had managed to hide this side of herself from me and was surprised when she found out that I had known the truth the whole time. But the Lord had shown me her value long before she realized it herself. You see, Jesus loved my girlfriend long before she ever knew him.

This section of Matthew shows a side of Jesus that a lot of  people don't know. Jesus and his disciples hung out with the tax collectors and sinners. He knew who they were and what they did but he loved them. It was the Pharisees that were all "judging" Jesus for hanging out and eating with the party crowd or the less desirable! The Pharisees were sure to point it out and asked, "Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"

I love Jesus's response when he had heard what the Pharisees were asking,  “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Jesus didn't disqualify anyone! He came for everyone, he loved everyone. Jesus knew very well who and what those people did...just like he knows me, what I do and what I have done. He desires mercy. He desires  for you to know Him, so much so that He will come right where you are and hang with you.

Jesus just didn't hang out in the synagogues all the time in a suit and tie (shocker, he didn't own one or even invent the pinstripe suit). He went to the people where ever they were and what ever they were doing. Jesus didn't come just for the "together" people or the "church" people, He came for everyone, He came for us, He came for you and me. He didn't disqualify anyone from following Him then or now! He will take anybody regardless of their past or present. All you have to do is tell Him that you love Him and that you are sorry for what you have done. Jesus is the real deal. You do not have to wait to have it all together to start fresh with Jesus. He already knows.

I want to be like Jesus. I want to be able to love everyone, where ever they are in their lives. That means sometimes you might be surprised at whom I am friends with and if that offends you, then you will have to talk with Jesus about that :) BTW did you know that Jesus's closest twelve friends had a past when He called them? Pretty awesome, Jesus set the example.

Hanging with Jesus,


Monday, January 7, 2013

Evangelism At Its Best!

28 When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. 29 And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”
30 Now a good way off from them there was a herd of many swine feeding. 31 So the demons begged Him, saying, “If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of swine.”
32 And He said to them, “Go.” So when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water.
33 Then those who kept them fled; and they went away into the city and told everything, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their region. Matthew 8:28-34 NKJV

I love this passage. Two scary men who were demon-possessed had dominated this area so much that people didn't come around that area. Did I mention that they were scary? Yep. Anyhow I love it because the demons knew Jesus. No one had to tell them who He was! I love the second question that they asked Jesus, "Have You come here to torment us before the time?" The demons knew... Jesus dealt with them with one recorded word, "Go."  He cast them into the pigs and the pigs ran into the sea and drowned. Great! Two delivered men, right? They were once scary and tormented and now they could live normal lives! But there was a witness. The pig tenders.

The peg caregivers fled or ran to the city and told everything that had happened INCLUDING what had happened to the demon-possessed men. What a witness! Now you know that everyone knew who these two scary guys were! It is like any other town or city, they knew these guys. The people probably even had common used nicknames that identified the two scary guys like the "keepers of the tomb" or something like that :) (use your imagination). Every town has some "weirdo of creeper" that people stay away from because they are scary!

Anyhow, so Jesus casted the demons out and they ran into the pigs making them go berserk and suicidal. Good news right? I would think that this would be impressive stuff! This Jesus can take the insane or demon possessed people and bring them to their right minds and "normal!" The WHOLE CITY came out to meet this Jesus! Talk about evangelism at its best! Wow if a whole city turns out for an event I would call that a success! But the next part is what amazes me...they begged Him to LEAVE? I thought, are they out of their minds? Jesus just healed the outcasts! He took the creepers (the stuff that people make movies out of) and healed them and He gets this great turn out and they ask him to leave? This broke my heart when I read it this morning. I have read this passage like a million times and today it broke my heart. Why?

Because we invite people to meet Jesus and they do not want Him. He can heal them and they reject Him. So much so that it "offends" them. Don't even mention His name in your workplace unless you use it in a swear word. I guarantee you that it would offend someone and a complaint could be filed against you.

I began to read the passage again. In this case the people begged Him to leave because He affected their economics. He drove the pig market down so to speak (giggle.) if this Jesus was to do something like this again it could devastate their lives financially. I think of this being so petty but, is it if we were to put it in context with today? How many people are offended at church (or even the ones who have never gone to church) because we pass an offering plate around? All God asks for is 10% gasp...there He goes dabbling in the economics. What if Jesus were to come to your city and heal all of the cancer patients? Truly heal the sick? Would everyone be happy? Wouldn't that be so cool that we wouldn't need hospitals, insurance companies or doctors or pharmacies? I am thinking that would be HUGE! However, I am betting that the people who profit from that line of work would not be happy at all because He would change their economics or their livelihood.

Would you take a moment and be truly honest with yourself and ask what area does Jesus offend in your life? Would you be willing to give up that offense so that Jesus could visit your life and heal whatever area you are broken in? Would you be willing to be effected economically? Would you be willing to be offended if He asked for you to give up something (whatever that is) in your life? Or will you ask Him to leave?

I am hoping that you don't reject Him :) Let Him impact your life! I promise you that He will rock your world but in the long run He will change your life for the good! Don't confine Jesus just to one area in your life. Give Him free reign!