“With Me” Discipleship

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“With Me” Discipleship

The truth is, we are all too busy.  I remember when I was a full-time paid staff member at a church.  At that time it was part of my job to disciple others.  The fact that it was a requirement of my job made it more doable for me from a time stand-point.  I just made it a part of my work schedule.  Now I have three kids, a  husband, a business and a ministry…plus all the should be doing’s:  daily yoga, walks outdoors, cooking healthy, reading, writing music, practicing the guitar, practicing the voice, practicing my jazz piano, practicing my classical and good old fashioned leisure. Fortunately, as it turns out, the best kind of discipleship is the only kind that is now possible for me.  That is “With Me” discipleship.  It’s really simple, whatever you are doing, invite someone else along to join.  Discipleship happens through relationship and relationship/trust becomes and grows only with time spent together.  Whatever it is that you are already doing, ask someone to come along.  Jesus did it with his disciples.  Most of their journey was a “With Me” experience with Jesus.  Jesus was doing ministry and invited all of them to go along with him and you can see from Acts and forward how that formed the disciples and their leadership of the first Christians. I’m not talking about just inviting someone to Bible Study or Choir Practice or Church or the Christmas Bazaar.  Those are all wonderful things, but I’m talking about everyday life things.  For me that might look like:   grocery shopping, cooking a meal for my family, visiting my mom, planning songs for worship, writing songs, watching a movie, helping my kids with homework, hiking or walking outdoors, Easter day with my family, getting meals together for some local families in need, trick-or-treating, going up to cut Christmas trees, sledding, ice skating, out to look at the Christmas shops, help me save a stranded horse.  It can be anything, but the main thing is, you are inviting people to become a part of your life and it is in those places that real trust happens.  And when in those relationships, you ask God to move through, give opportunities, courage and the right words at the right time, now that is exciting!  Invite a friend with you this week and let hope rise….  (For I am gentle and humble in spirit and you will find rest for your souls.  My yoke is easy and my burden is...

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Take Courage Take Heart

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Take Courage Take Heart

Sometimes it feels like I’m just gliding in for a landing; all controls are gone and I’ve tried everything I know how to try. It’s no use, I surrender the flight over to God. There are barns and mountains and tips of trees in the way. But God is tilting and guiding so that we don’t hit anything. It feels risky, not safe… I am not controlling the flight, God is doing that. Furthermore, there is enough fog impairing my vision, that I’m not the best guide anyway. God however can see far beyond. “My thoughts are higher than yours and my ways are higher than your ways.” (Isaiah 55:9) “See, I am doing a new thing. I am making a way in the wilderness, waters to flow in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19) I am grateful and amazed at how God continues to take care of me and my family. Through the years in looking at the big picture, so many things have come together that none of us could have “made” happen. So it is with this introduction that I say the truth is… Regardless of our present vision (what we are able to see now), God is doing amazing things. Regardless of our present circumstance, even in the land of the living, we will see the hand of the Lord. That is why the Psalmist and Jesus said, “Take courage, take heart, wait for the Lord…” and “I’m still confident of this: I will see the hand of the Lord. In the land of the living, we will see the hand of the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14) Of all the things we try to accomplish, even in the name of Jesus, nothing can be done apart from God, by our own efforts. (John 15:5) It’s God who opens the hearts of His people to His word. (Acts 16:14) We still must be willing to put His word forth. We still must do everything He equips us to do. But we do it with an expectation that He is going to open hearts to His word. We lean on, trust in and remain confident in Him. (Proverbs 3:5) Confident that He will even open the heart of our friend who we’ve known forever, that has never been open to God. In that case, we step out in faith and lean on, trust in and be confident that He will finish the work that we have begun. (Phil. 1:6) I encourage you to share this song with your friends. It is a powerful song of hope and a song of not backing down; of having faith and believing God for His promises. Help this message to sink into the hearts of believers and those who are coming to believe. If you are in a church, suggest it to your music team and give them the link to this instructional YouTube video and the chart which can be printed for free from here. Remember this, “…the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ!” (Phil. 1:6) To You all praise...

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Taking a Leap: Getting there

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Taking a Leap:  Getting there

I spent the last 9 years as a director of music ministries at a church in Southern California.  We had about 400 worshiping each Sunday with 4 music teams that rotated Sundays.  The cool thing was that the congregation had been fully trained in worshiping freely.  They were fully versed in how God reveals Himself and we all respond to Him through surrendered worship.  Everyone knew and expected the Holy Spirit to show-up at worship and in their lives.  Everyone knew that God is active and powerful today and that we should be praying boldly with expectation.  Together we all knew that God’s power is available to us the same as it was to the disciples who brought people back to life and healed the sick of their impossible to cure diseases.  We knew that church was more than a check box on our list of things to do each week and that following Jesus was a way of life to be lived out with friends, family and co-workers.  The music team I led was rooted and connected as friends and regularly met in my home for rehearsals, worship campfires, parties, talks about how the songs we sung were impactful, what scriptures and deeper meanings were there and how we all could be better leaders of the congregation.  We shared our real lives with each other and gathered as two or more to pray with expectation for God’s Kingdom to come in our lives.   About 2 years ago my husband and I began to experience some unease.  You know, when you feel like maybe you are being called to something new.  At first I would say prayers about God’s Kingdom coming in my life.  I was a native Oregonian who spent the last 24 years living in Los Angeles.  In the beginning I would always come home to LA with that huge sigh of relief as I flew over all the city and stepped off the plane at LAX to the palm trees, smell of jet fuel, crowds of multi-international people everywhere.  I’d get into the car, turn on one of my favorite of 8 great radio stations.  I would immediately get the sense of being where everything was happening, fully current, fully engaged and aware of what’s going on in the world.  It was the smell and sense of opportunity and the slipping into LA and out of Oregon.   Well, after so many years of that, it began to change.  Leaving Oregon became more difficult and coming back to LA began to feel less like home.   There grew a longing in my heart for the trees and the forests I grew up with; crisp air that fills you with energy and makes your eyes open up wide.  Along with all of that, I began to have the idea that I was free to live anywhere in the world.  I saw that everything I did could really be done anywhere.  Just because I had carved out a life in LA didn’t mean I had to stay there forever.  Every time I saw documentaries and movies of other...

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The Promise Is For You

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The Promise Is For You

“Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” Acts 2:37-39 The promise is for you: Sometimes we need to be reminded that the promise is for us. When things aren’t going how we planned and we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. To be told simply that “the promise is for you”, can be met with a soul depth sigh of relief. And thank heavens because I really need lots of help from the Holy Spirit who guides and comforts. Lately I’ve been walking around in this thought that “the promise mustn’t be for me because all of these things are happening and I’m not getting the results that I was intending for my life.” Yet, I think about the scriptures that say to begin your prayers of petition with rejoicing and make your petitions with thanksgiving, think about these things – “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” What wonderful advice and counsel. There are shelves of self-help books that you could read and arrive at the same point. 1. Be thankful. 2. Don’t dwell on the negative. 3. There are tons of wonderful things in the world to reflect on, so do it. 4. Rejoice in the Lord, be joyful, be happy, just do it and the rest of you will follow. But as followers of Jesus, we have more than good advice and we are not alone in this endeavor – we have also here a real person in the Holy Spirit and Jesus and our Father who is walking with us, who knows our thoughts before we think them and our words before we speak. He knows every fear and sorrow and the promise is for us. As believers in Jesus, the Holy Spirit has been poured out into us, the Spirit who helps us in our weakness, is so connected to our true state of being that He prays for us with groans, communicating that which cannot be expressed in mere words…and this all coming from a God of love whose depths we cannot begin to comprehend. No matter what, all praise and glory to You God. May you be glorified by all we do. Even by the way we lean into you in our times of trouble, may You be glorified. For I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I pray for the burdens of this earthly life to be lifted so that all are free from the distraction of them...

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O.B.E.Y

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O.B.E.Y

God loves us beyond our ability to fully receive and understand its depth. But, by the power of the Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ we can begin to be who we are in spirit and in truth and worship the Father. And it is amazing that the most precious sacrifice and the most glorious worship and praise will never be above the power of love through our obedience. 1Sam15:22 But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better that the fat of rams.” So to obey is better; got it. But not really because our rebellion and disobedience seems to be so natural. Perhaps we can think of it like this: (O.B.E.Y.) ‘O’bedience to God, ‘B’ow with reverence and awe, ‘E’mpty ourselves/lose our lives, ‘Y’ield to the Holy Spirit (What is God doing?). It’s important that we Serve Others, Share the Word and Support Each Other. Also, part of our obedience to God is to submit to it. We actively surrender and submit to God’s will in our lives. And since we cannot do it, we fall at the cross and cry for ‘help’ because we can do it by no other way. Because Jesus is the way, he is the truth, and he is the life. Abide is us as we abide in you, Lord Jesus. You are the vine and we are the branches, apart from you we can do nothing....

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