Can I be in your Shelfie?

Straight up, I have a lot of books. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to many of you. At Christmas, most of my presents are fresh printer-and-ink-smelling rectangles in tacky Christmas wrap, simply because I make it easy for my husband to guess what I want by constantly adding a pile of Marissa Meyer, Veronica Roth, Marie Lu, Lindsay Cummings, Kate Quinn, and Kiera Cass volumes to my Amazon Wishlist, along with the random other authors I decide to obsess over. And don’t even get me started on my Bill Johnson collection.

With technology and self-checkout robots dominating society, I’m relieved that real books with paper pages are still a thing. Gone are the days where Christmas shopping was as easy as purchasing a CD, or a DVD that you knew someone liked. Now with Spotify and Netflix, who needs stuff like that?

And now here comes Kindles and e-books, rising up from the guts of the literary world with its robot tentacles to scoop up as many of us as they can. Some people love reading on a Kindle or their phone, and I’m sure that’s where the future is headed. But it’s just not my thing.

Don’t go dying on me book-lovers. We need our libraries to live on!

In the midst of the buzzing technology that runs this world, I find my happiest place is still sitting by the window in a plush chair, with a cup of something only slightly less hot than burn-your-mouth temperature, with all the other sounds turned off, holding open a book and getting lost in a great story. And since moments of rest are sort of God’s thing, something He holds high on the list of valuable things for your life, I hope some day I can be responsible for the story that brings someone else into a place of peace.

Because, really. After all these years of raising babies, it’s about time I kick-start my writing career, wouldn’t you say? I’ve been telling stories since I was a little girl, and now that I have kids of my own I want them to go on adventures and live a life with all the magic of getting carried away into other worlds. So please pray for me, friends! Shoot one into the air right now if you can. I need all the faith-fuel I can get as I start to send proposals to literary agencies. And you can bet your buttocks I’ll keep you in the loop as much as I can!

Now tell me, what kind of story would you want to read about?

  1. Parallel universes on the brink of war with a psychologically unstable (but hilarious) female lead that has totally fallen head-over-heels for a guy who hates her guts.
  2. A chilly Christmas tale that forces an uncoordinated faithless female protagonist to face off with villains from old Christmas legends.
  3. A fairy-tale retelling with a twist that pits two sisters against each other in a dangerous competition to hunt down the greatest threats their historians have ever recorded.

Let me know! I’m sharpening my pencils to take notes…

 

 

Catching the Fire of Revival: Part II

CATCHING THE FIRE P2

I wrote Part I of this series back in October of 2014…legit. But recently God started to stir this in my heart again, encouraging me to add another building block to this series. Maybe one day these stacked building blocks will start to look like a house. Or even better, a church.

The Calvary Road by Roy Hession, is a little book that dates back to 1950 when it was first published. To learn more about this little gem-of-a-book, venture back the first post: CATCHING THE FIRE OF REVIVAL: PART I

As a recap, Part I is about brokenness, or to be more specific, recognizing our sin and admitting it, instead of trying to justify it to others, to ourselves, and even to God, because only when we can acknowledge where we have failed will God come in and take over to do the things we cannot.

I didn’t think I would come back to this series, mostly because the thought of a revival, which once sprung a well of excitement within me, now just makes me feel tired. I’m not entirely sure why, but I recognize that if God wants me to come back to this, then I must first recognize that I am in the wrong and He is not. So okay then. Let’s do this.

This post will be on Chapter 2 of The Calvary Road, a book about sparking a revival, firstly in our own hearts, then in our homes, and then beyond.

My buddy Roy Hession calls this Chapter “Cups Running Over”. And its about just that – the realization that all we have to do is to present our empty, broken self and let Him fill us, and keep us filled. When God finds us empty, in the same way that water trickles down into every crevice and crack, His glory and power flow in. As He passes by us in all of His grace and glory, He looks into our cup. And if it is clean, He fills it to overflowing with the Water of Life.

Something you should know, is that Jesus is always passing by. And your cup can always be running over. A revival is having the constant peace of God ruling in our hearts, simply because we are full to overflowing. And when we are overflowing we share it with others, sometimes even without our knowledge. Our mere presence when our cup is overflowing can change the atmosphere around us, because of what Jesus is doing.

People are under the ridiculous delusion that dying to ourselves will instantly make us miserable. What a lie from hell. Because it’s exactly the opposite – its the refusal to die to ourselves (dying to what the body wants, holding onto the sin) that makes us miserable.

Jesus, alive in us, will overflow through us to lost souls as true concern for their salvation comes over us, along with the passionate desire for our fellow Christians to receive blessing. How amazing is that? Sometimes I feel like most of the time I don’t really feel anything at all. There are days that I wonder if there is something wrong with me because I don’t feel such a deep concern for all others the way certain people around me do. Am I a bad person? Sometimes it seems so. But it makes so much more sense when Jesus gets involved. People are driven to compassion by His spirit alive in us. We change, becoming so much better, when He is involved.

Gimme some-a-that, please.

There is only one thing that prevents Jesus from filling our cup as He passes by. And this is sin, which comes in a thousand forms. Jesus doesn’t fill dirty cups. Sometimes we like to sugar coat things when ministering to others and avoid the reality that their sin is wrong, just to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. But we aren’t doing these people any favours by trying to justify their sin for them. That’s no different than us trying to justify our own sin to ourselves.

The truth is that anything that springs from “self”, regardless of how small it is, is sin. Self-pity during trials or hard times, unfortunately is sin. As is sensitiveness, touchiness, resentment, and self-defense when we are hurt by others, self-consciousness, worry, fear…these all spring from “self” and make our cups unclean. This is difficult to study for most of us, me included, because we’ve all done these, probably even recently. Personally I’ve caved to self-pity many times when I’ve been hurt. But it’s not from the Lord.

The nice part is that Jesus shrank all of these sins already and in a magical puff! they disappeared, the day He died on Calvary. The devil isn’t able to hold these things against us when we are cleansed. And if we will allow Jesus to show us what is in our cups, and then give those dirty things to Him, He will cleanse them in the precious blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus isn’t a thing of a past, its still here, in power, for our use, flowing to cleanse us of all the sins we give Him. And as He cleanses our cups, He fills them to overflowing with His Holy Spirit.

Thankfully, for our sake, the blood is able to perform the same action day after day if need be. And we do need this, because we are as terribly imperfect as ever. Say you are filled one day to overflowing, and then something comes along that really nips at your skin – a touch of anger, or envy, or the need for control. Your cup then ceases to overflow. And if we are constantly being defeated this way, then unfortunately our cup is never overflowing.

However, if we are to experience continuous revival, we need to learn how to keep our cups clean. It’s never God’s will that a revival should stop. But if we go back to Calvary and learn afresh the power of the blood of Jesus, and confess every sin going back right to the start, then we have already learned the secret. Our cups will be constantly cleansed, and therefore constantly overflowing.

In other words, the moment you experience that envy, or criticism, or find yourself irritable, ask Jesus to cover it with His precious blood so you can be cleansed. Your reaction will change, and your peace will be restored. And the more you trust the blood of Jesus to fulfill this, the less you will even have these reactions in the first place.

For example, let’s say you or I are irritated by someone’s “personality” so to speak. It’s not enough to just take our reactions of irritation to Calvary. We must yield to God by accepting that person and his or her ways as being God’s will for us. Then we can be cleansed of our wrongful reaction. And let’s not keep mourning over it, but let’s look up to our victorious Jesus and praise Him for having victory in every situation.

Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts.” Everything that disturbs the peace of God is sin, no matter how small it is. This peace is supposed to rule our hearts. So when we sense that our peace has been disturbed, we should immediately stop, ask God to show us what is wrong, and then cover it in the blood of Jesus. Our peace will be restored and our cup can continue to run over. However, if this happens and God doesn’t restore peace to us, then its because we’re not really broken. Maybe there is someone we need to say “sorry” to, or something we need to make right. Maybe we still feel it’s the other person’s fault. But if our peace is gone, it should be obvious whose fault it is. We don’t lose our peace with God over another person’s sin.

Many times a day we need to avail ourselves of the cleansing blood of Jesus, because unfortunately its not a one time deal. We aren’t perfect, so we will need constant cleansing. But when we make this our lifestyle, we will be walking in brokenness as never before and Jesus will be manifested in all His power and grace in that brokenness.

Some, however, have neglected the Holy Spirit’s conviction for so long that we no longer sense it. After such a long time we start to feel we have little need of cleansing or being broken. When we are in this condition, we are in a worse state than we can imagine. It will take great hunger for fellowship with God to be restored. I’ve been in this place, and I hated every minute of it. But I know what it’s like, like so many others who have been there. All we can do when we find ourselves here is cry out to God to show us where the blood of Jesus needs to be applied. He will show us too, usually starting with just one thing, and it will be our obedience and willingness to be broken on that one thing that will be the first step into revival.

May your cupeth overfloweth-eth-eth-eth, and so many more eths, to overflowing.

 

The Hunted.

I’m all about women taking on bold and courageous roles in their lives. But when it comes to these raccoons I’m starting to turn into a little four year old girl.

In case you’ve been out of the loop, our house has been recently haunted by a family of raccoons living in our attic. It was almost too much for me to believe at first – we just got our mouse problem under control, and that whole adventure was a catastrophe. Now we have something bigger, messier and louder. If I didn’t already know that there were raccoons I would think I was an insane person because I’m constantly hearing noises in the walls. Some of them are so loud they make me jump.

The first three raccoons we caught with ease; bam, bam, bam. One, two, three. Three racoons down and one to go. But this last one is a gift from hell. He doesn’t want to leave.

I’m thoroughly appalled.

When we came back from Florida a short while ago we were coming off of a 20+ hour road trip, and for the last few hours of that trip I had to pee, tremendously. But I decided just to be a champ and hold it until we got home because at this point I just really wanted to be back in my house asap. So the moment we rolled up to our pad I sprang for the door and went straight to the bathroom. But I hadn’t sat down for three seconds when I suddenly heard a horrendous banging sound from two feet away from me in the bathtub. I screamed like a pansy. I’d say I wet myself but technically the situation had me well placed.

Turns out the noises weren’t coming from inside the tub, they were coming from beneath the tub, where at least one, possibly a family, of raccoons was living. I can’t quite understand how unlucky I am when it comes to rodents and other small animals. It’s unfathomable. They must think I’m Dr. Dolittle. Or maybe they’ve mistaken me for Noah and they think another flood is coming. But seriously, my house isn’t a boat and they would be much better off bothering someone that at least had an upstairs.

So this last raccoon that has been living with us for over a month now seems to think he’s got us wrapped around his little finger. I’m calling him “Snickers”, because I hear him laughing at me in my dreams.

Originally I wanted to come up with some sort of profound analogy about the devil invading our space and disrupting our peace. It might have been a good blog post. But nah.

Any advice on how to beam the sucker up into space would be greatly accepted.

Kropf out.