A twisted “witness”

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My head is so full of thoughts and inspiration I feel like I am going to explode. So I decided to relieve some pressure…. I recently have been made ever more aware of the extreme importance of relationship. Relationship are so important that Jesus chose relationship over position. He could have come as a King that resided over the people, that gave decrees, that set rules and made the masses follow him. By his power and eloquent speaking he could have wooed crowds, and won their hearts with his charm and wisdom. But instead he chose the way of relationship. He plunged into relationships with men like Peter, who one minute would say “I will NEVER turn on you Jesus!” and the next min, Jesus would be saying to him, “get behind me satan!” Those are strong words to say to a friend. Peter was a zealous young man, who jumped out of a boat with all his clothes on to swim to shore when he saw his Master only to be asked “Peter do you love me?” If I was Peter I would think, “what??, I just jumped in the ocean and swam to shore to come see you and you are asking me if I love you? Did this amazing, passionate, outward expression of my love not speak loud enough?” Yet Jesus asked him 3 times, “Peter do you Love me?” Each time it was followed by “feed my lambs Peter, tend my sheep Peter, feed my sheep Peter.” (John 21)

I believe relationship is the most effective and natural way to “go into all the world and make disciples.”  In a culture full of noise,  with people who want to have a voice so people will listen to them, like Martin Luther King Jr., preachers that want to preach a message that shakes you to the core, like a Billy Graham and singers that want to sing that one song that moves your heart to tears, like a Michael W. Smith. Sometimes we fight the life we have been placed in looking for something with more sparkle or position. We are taught that as follower of Yeshua that we should be evangelizing the lost world. And maybe we think we need more power, more position, more money or more sparkle to do so.

Then there is another side, the really awkward, un-natural approach to evangelizing we have been taught. We are suppose to sit down next to someone at Wendy’s and strike up a conversation with them ask them if they know Jesus as their savior, lead them in the “sinner’s prayer,” then finish our Jr. bacon cheese burger, say “see ya” and go on with our day. Who does that? How many of us when we see boys on bikes dressed in suits ring our doorbell, act like we are not home? Why do we respond this way? Because it is NOT natural. I believe this is a twisted idea of “witnessing.”

Christ’s way was simply this; 12 men, pour everything I have into them, period. Along the way others got touched by his ministry, by his love, by the passion of his followers, yet he did not seek crowds or position he just simply WAKLED with 12 men.Who are your 12? It starts at home. I have a Koby, Zekiah and Levi and they need to KNOW Christ. This is a totally skewed take on this verse, but I keep thinking about Matthew 16:28 what difference does it make if I “save everyone in the world” and lose my own soul, my own DNA, my own flesh and blood, my sons. (“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”) Then from home it goes to the people around you. Are we being good stewards of the relationships God has placed in our hands right now. The Lord has challenged me in this season were I am right now to “care for people.”  I am honored to be in a season of life were I have time to think about and care for other people. With everything I am I want to embrace the call or the command Christ gave to Peter, “If you love me, take care of my people.” Be careful that you don’t put your Christian glasses on and think that only means “people in Church.” There are a bunch of people on this Earth that need someone to take care of them. Don’t get the message twisted, WALK with some folks and watch the Lord make disciples. Remember Jesus did not hang out at “church” he was found “eating with sinners.” (Take out the word sinners and replace with people) Jesus hung out with people, he ate with people, he walked with people!

One last thought. I was watching the Pixar movie “UP” last night with my boys. If you have seen it there is an older man and a young 1293925667546boy in the movie who both need someone! The older gentleman is on a mission and he is going to accomplish his mission, because that is the MOST important thing!!! The young boys is just in the way and if he can move fast enough and do what he is told, he can stay around but he better not interfere with the mission. As I am watching this movie I am asking myself, how many times a day do I do this, to my family, to my co-workers, to the people around me? How many times am I more worried about verbs than nouns. (Doing things Vs. the people/nouns in front of me) By the end of the movie the older man realizes that this little life, this little boys was his mission, and he has to let go of what he thought was MORE important. God’s heart beats for people, always has always will…Take care of my sheep.

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I want an answer…”Christians, Why are people looking to other religions, ways of thought, and atheism to escape guilt, hate, hypocrisy, and judgement? What has happened to the followers of “The Way” meaning Christ’s way?” Someone please answer!

I want an answe…

To worship or not to worship?

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images“Why should we join together on Sunday mornings in an old building? What is the point? Why do we need this? You saying I have to go to church is so legalistic and Jesus was all about breaking the rules, right? I am a Christian, but I don’t go to church, the “church” is people anyway, not a building. I can have church at home by myself.” I have been studying the topic of IDOL worship or Self-Worship and have come up with a few ideas to these questions.

1. We need to worship If you read my post, Self-Worship, this might sound familiar. We need to worship, why you might ask? Because we are caught in the cycle of mankind, the cycle that the Israelites found themselves in over, and over again. “Prone to wander Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love.” says the old Irish Hymn. The incitement of Eve by the serpent is the same sin that befalls us everyday, that WE may have a better way to doing things than the great I AM. How absurd, how egotistical, yet it is true. Our actions and our words communicate loud and clear whom we worship. We need to worship for several reasons: a. We need to be put in our place. We need to be reminded that the world does not revolve around “me.” b. We need to fall into the shadow of the most high. It is in His shadow that the “things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of this glory and grace. ” It is easy to throw ourselves pity parties about everything! It is also common to have legitimate concerns, worries & fears. We need to worship to allow the Light of his Glory and Grace to saturate our mind, our perspective and our heart. c. Out spirit longs for union with God the spirit. This is the long lost union that Adam and Eve experienced, this is the union Christ Paid for, that our Spirit may be “one with God, just as the Father and I are one” (John 17:21) d. Our mind needs to be renewed, flushed, cleansed, elevated. Our mind is a battlefield, where the enemy loves to reside. Worship in spirit and truth (we need the TRUTH of the word to renew our minds) is a shower for our mind. e. We need hope. Worship reminds us of God’s faithfulness not only to us but to our ancestors and heroes of our faith. It reminds us of God’s omnipresence and his omnipotence. It reminds us that His Grace is Sufficient.

2. We need Edification and Growth a. Teaching, preaching, prayer, words of encouragement…we need all of these to stimulate growth to cause us to be unsatisfied with our current state of being, to spur us on to Holy Living. b. If we are not growing the only other option is we are decaying. What do you choose, I set before you Life and Dealth choose Life! (Duet  30:19) c. We need our hearts stirred. “If it is stagnant it stinks!” (Karen-girlfriend) Complacency is a sneaky way for the enemy to start seeping into your life. Growth, movement, life are essential in our daily walk.

3. We need to give tithes and offerings a. Tithing is an outpouring of our love for our creator who gives us everything we need. If we are not tithing this is what we are saying to God.

I got this God! I can take care of me better than you can. I do not trust you enough to only keep 90% of everything you give me. I know what is best for me and my family. I will be god over my finances…thanks

When we choose not to tithe we are communicating loud and clear where our trust lies. God never promised his people roses and chocolates all the days of their life. But he has promised us that he looks after the sparrows and the lilies of the field…how much more valuable are you than they? We need to get our butts to church because we need to join together on Sundays to:

1. Worship

2. To be edified and stretched…stimulated to grow

3. We need to give. 

I will rest, You’ve seen Tomorrow

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This is the story behind that single I just released titled “Tomorrow.” I hope you will take a moment and download the song! Thanks for the support.

wholegirls

 page0001I wrote this song in August of 2008. I was in a job that at the moment I “hated”, I was stressed beyond belief and worked long hours only to never finish my work. I was in the middle of adopting our first son and it was exciting and terrifying all at the same time. I was approached by an organization to join their staff. It seemed like  a dream come true, it seemed perfect. Then they told me how much they could pay! It was almost half what I was making, I would loose my benefits and I didn’t know what to do. We were attending a wonderful church in Broken Arrow, Ok (If you live in BA and are looking for a church, go to The Church at Battle Creek). At the time Pastor Alex was doing a series called “Tomorrow”  and the Lord was ministering to…

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Self-Worship

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AmericanIdolI am 30 years old today. I am glad to be 30. I feel like now that I can say I am 30, I “appear” to be an adult. It feels good to have a number to tag to my already “old” soul. I think I have always been “old”, as I played teacher with my 2 younger siblings, teaching them how to read and write, we played “house” acting like they were my kids. Or playing “church” and singing and preaching to them. My dad even built us a pulpit (too cute).  I started working when I was 13 years old at a store called “Mail Solutions.” I remember being so proud when people would ask me where I went to school. I would answer “Whitney Middle School.” “Middle School! I thought you were a college student!” they would reply.  I don’t really now why I have always been “old” but it has served me well. And today I am thankful to be 30!

In my heart today is the churning of a thought that is uncomfortable to many of us. This thought has been unfolding in my heart and mind over the last few months. Slowing more pieces keep coming together. This morning my Pastor preached a sermon that once again reemphasized this thought in my heart.

The blood line God chose to use to bring his son into the world was through a group called the Israelites. The bible tells us the story of the struggle of his people. Recently I have been studying this struggle and it goes like this…The Israelites turned to the worship of false gods, they then get in trouble, they cry out to the “I AM” and he shows mercy and bails them out. The Israelites soon forget the great works of the great “I AM” on their behalf and turn to the worship of false gods, they then get in trouble, they cry to the “I AM” and he bails them out….This cycle goes on for hundreds of years. I propose today, that this same cycle goes on in me, in you, on a weekly, even daily basis.

Idolatry: esteeming anything higher than God.

Why do the words from the old Irish Hymn, “Come thou Fount” ring so true “Prone to wander Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love.” Why are we so “Prone to wander?” I don’t really know the answer except for the fact that this has been the story since the beginning of time.  Man’s first sin was wrapped up in “Idolatry.”  As Adam and Eve placed the words of another before God’s, as they placed their desires before obedience, as they decided they had a better handle on what was good for them than God and as they acted on their lustful desires. This attitude sneaks in, slithers in, and creeps it way into the hearts of God’s children, it is Self-Worship and it is Idolatry.

Pride is a fascinatingly sneaky sin, yet it rest on the fact that it is self-absorption or self-worship. Don’t be fooled, the one who thinks they are so awful or the one that thinks they are so wonderful, are both caught in the trap of self-absorbtion. Lonely people be cautions, for when you are lonely or just flat out alone, it is easy to sit back and think about yourself constantly.

The world we live in propitiates and teaches these practices, self-esteem, self-love, “you can’t love others til you love yourself,” get what you deserve, indulge yourself, I will stop there for now. The problem with all these ideas is that they are the complete opposite of Yeshua’s teachings and life style. I feel like Paul in writing this blog for I feel like I may be the “Chief” sinner in this area.

Does this sound like you at all? Sometimes I just want to feel like someone cares I exist, so I post something cute on Facebook and hope people “like” it. I check email often and my facebook page hoping someone needs me. I have dreams and desires in my heart and maybe I worship them more than God. I keep myself busy doing things and filling my mind and heart with everything but the worship of God. I find myself discontent with my current job or situation and life and I want more, more, more. Here I am, a modern day Israelite, I forget the works of the Great I Am, I wander and allow myself to place anything and everything higher than my God and the next thing I know I am in trouble and I am calling out to the Lord, help! The thing that we need to be cautious of is this. Our God who is rich in mercy and his goodness to us last for a life time, also disciplines and teaches hard lessons. One thing for sure, he will not allow pride to go un-delt with. He will humble the proud.

I will rest, You’ve seen Tomorrow

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 page0001I wrote this song in August of 2008. I was in a job that at the moment I “hated”, I was stressed beyond belief and worked long hours only to never finish my work. I was in the middle of adopting our first son and it was exciting and terrifying all at the same time. I was approached by an organization to join their staff. It seemed like  a dream come true, it seemed perfect. Then they told me how much they could pay! It was almost half what I was making, I would loose my benefits and I didn’t know what to do. We were attending a wonderful church in Broken Arrow, Ok (If you live in BA and are looking for a church, go to The Church at Battle Creek). At the time Pastor Alex was doing a series called “Tomorrow”  and the Lord was ministering to me so much through his preaching.

It was a Sunday afternoon and I was sitting on my porch with my journal and writing to the Lord. That morning Pastor Alex had encouraged the people to pray explicitly, for example, if you are worried about something pray it out…”I am worried if I take the job that pays less that it is going to be a huge burden to my family. I am worried that if I make less it might compromise our adoption process, I am worried…..”  I was sitting praying all these worries out and the Lord gave me these words.

Just like your mercy is new each morning
Just like your grace never fades                                                            
Just like the rain falls on the underserving
You will sustain me

Just like redemption shouts and sings
Just like you’ve clothes the lilies
Just like the trees will clap their hands
You will sustain me, You will sustain me

And I will rest knowing you’ve seen tomorrow
I will rest knowing you’re here today
I will rest knowing you’ve seen the dark nights
I will rest and know the sun will rise again

Creator of time, sustainer of life, You calm the raging sea
Creator of time, sustainer of life, You calm the storm in me

So my husband who was gone at the time, arrived home to me sitting on the porch. He sat down and I said, “Let me play you this song I just wrote.” He sat down and listened when I got to the end he said “Keep singing you will sustain me.” He began to sing “You even calm the raging storm, you even calm the raging storm.”  Together we created the “BOMB” ending. I tell him I always give him credit. I hope this song lifts your spirit and reminds you that the God who clothes the lilies and feeds the birds, sees your tomorrow. Be Encouraged.

 

Click the crazy link below…it will take you to my Single on iTunes. Also available on Amazon or any other music site.


<a href=”http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=eH8NOY8fBFE&offerid=78941&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=1826&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fphobos.apple.com%252FWebObjects%252FMZStore.woa%252Fwa%252FviewAlbum%253Fid%253D645916180%2526s%253D143441%2526partnerId%253D30″><img height=”15″ width=”61″ alt=”Emily French – Tomorrow” src=”http://www.tunecore.com/images/buttons/badgeitunes61x15dark.gif&#8221; /></a>

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With the start of a New Year, I thought this might be a very timely thought for many who might find themselves in a job or a place that they were wishing was different. Be Encouraged!

wholegirls

Do you feel unfulfilled? Do you feel as if you have so much more to offer the world? Are you in a season that causes you to question if there really is a “plan” for your life? If that is you, stop fighting.

Wednesday I sat at my desk and my eyes filled with tears as I was overwhelmed with gratitude for my “job.” I work at East Cross United Methodist Church in Bartlesville, Ok as the Contemporary Music Director. My degree is in Music Ministry and I always felt that one day I would be working in a church, yet the journey there was a little unexpected. When I think about how long many people in the bible had to wait for the promises of God to be fulfilled in their life, I can’t help but feel embarrassed, as if my wait of 6 years was a long time?…

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