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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Let us not conform but be TRANSFORMED!

Today I was reading a book that had some pretty startling information.  A poll done in 2004 showed that while 42 percent of Americans claim to be born again Christians only 10 percent of  all those polled can point to a transforming encounter with Christ.

Very convicting to me!

I reflected  on my own  journey with Christ and wondered which percentile I might fall under.

I was reminded of the apostle Paul's plea regarding transforming our lives:

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, [which is] your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what [is] that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." ~Romans 12:1-2

Does my life really look any different than the world?  I must admit that I get caught up in the things of this world.  If you have read my earlier posts you know that there are some exciting things going on in our lives that involve ministry.  But I have to be honest and say that there are several times during the day that I start to think, "What are we thinking, we can't just pick up and move.  What about Parker's school.  What about our Christian neighbors.  What about the security of knowing that my kids are safe in this neighborhood.. And what about our 'stuff.'  I don't want to have to sell anything.  It is all very sentimental.  How will I part from it?" 

While I am not saying that God doesn't care about those things, it is not to be the driving force behind what we do.  I struggle with this.  I want so much to take care of my children and make choices that will keep them safe, protected, out of harms way. 

But here is the TRUTH.....we are not "secure" or "safe" if we are not following Jesus.  To be governed by the world is actually the most unsafe and harmful place to be.  And as far as our 'stuff' my mom used to say, "you can't take it to Heaven with you." 

You know, I don't know where we will live next?  But I know that I don't want to get caught in cycle of never having enough.  I desire to live my life for Christ and make a difference in a BIG way.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I would be THRILLED if God chose to keep us in this house.  But I would be just as thrilled if we lived in a shack near the UT campus sharing the gospel with college students! 

Desiring a pure and holy passion,

Monday, June 28, 2010

Lessons from a Hairy Situation

...preach the word, be ready in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears form the truth, and will turn aside to myths.    ~2 Timothy 4:2-4

(Continuing from my earlier entry, "Why do I speak before thinking?")

Here is what I learned through the hairy situation with my best friend:

1.  There is a way to communicate TRUTH!
I have a lot of my mom in me.  She was a very spunky Hispanic women that would just say things the way she saw them.  She would call a spade a spade and continue to tell you what she thought about it (and with some spanish words thrown in here and there).  There wasn't a lot of grace in her delivery but we all [me and my 3 siblings] learned to understand that she was wired a little differently and she meant well.

I don't think that God calls us to "mean well" but He does call us to "love well."  And loving is speaking His Word and allowing His Spirit to work in and through us.  My prayer is that I would hide God's word in my heart and would be prepared in season and out to handle the curve balls that are thrown my way.

"For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joint and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."   Hebrews 4:12 

2. I forget that their are people who are dealing with big sin issues in their life and need to be gently steered toward/back to the Father.  I guess you could say that I live in kind of a "christian bubble."  My friends all have pretty much the same values.  So when someone shares with me some of the things like my best friend shared with me, I am at a loss for words.  Okay, so this is where I begin to sound judgemental.  However we are not talking about having different opinions on issues.  It is flat out SIN!

3.  I am a people-pleaser and don't like it when people don't like me or think I am "judgemental." 

But as one dear friend always says, "God didn't call us to be best friends with everyone but He has called us to disciple."  God's Word is TRUTH and we are NOT to stand for anything else.  Does it mean that we have it all together and we are perfect?  No!  But when God reveals a truth to us, we are to live our life by it.  We are to be transformed.  Which leads me to......

4.  Not everyone knows the truth! 
...a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised  ~1Corinthians 2:14

This is why the apostle Paul speaks to the church at Corinth as "men of flesh, as to babes in Christ."  He gave them milk to drink and not solid food for they were not ready for it yet.  They were not able to receive it. 

Here is where I struggle!  I talk to people like they should a "duh" kind of way.  I seem to forget my own journey with God and what He did for me.  I didn't just automatically wake up one day and decide that I was going to follow Jesus and everything was "happy ever after."  No.  It's a journey, a process!  God is still working on me.  He is refining me daily! 

I want to learn to pray for discernment and wisdom in how to speak to someone.  Do I speak to them as a "spiritual man" or a "natural man."  It makes a difference in how we speak to each one.  With the first we can maybe speak in a "loving duh" kind of way.  But with the last we need to break it down and take it back to the basics.  This is where my dear best friend is.  Oh I pray that I would have discernment to speak.

Oh Lord Jesus forgive me for making _______________ feel like a fool the other day with my duh kind of attitude.  I can tend to write people off if they are not "getting it" instead of relying on Your Spirit to guide me.  I realize that this is going to be a long road of more conversations with ________________ and it can get hairy.  I pray that I would not shrink away from the TRUTH about her sin because of feeling "judgemental" but I pray that I would remember where I have come from and speak in terms that she can understand. Bring scripture to mind that I can gently speak and I pray that through the sharp two-edged sword _________________ would return to you.  Lord I also know that speaking TRUTH and standing on it could mean a loss of a 24 year old friendship.  And even thought it saddens me, I would go there with You because I know that the motive is LOVE.  Thank you for Who You are and all that You do. ~amen 

Still learning and processing,


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Why do I speak before thinking?

So what do you do when your best friend of 24 years decides she no longer wants to talk to you because you are "judgemental."  O, my heart hurts right now.  She is my one friend that I could talk to that no matter how much time went by between phone calls, we would just pick up where we left off.  We have history, deep kindred spirits.  Over the years we both have gone through our struggles but the one thing that was beginning to get blurry was that I was choosing to walk my life out with the Lord while she was beginning to make decisions that were not so much in line with God's Word.  I can't really tell you the details but I talked to her today and unintentionally let my words sting her.  I truly didn't mean for them to.  She was wanting some advice and prayer and I told her that it was hard to tell her what I thought she should do because we had different values.  Okay, okay, so if you knew the details of the situation you would definitely tell me that my words were flaming arrows to an already wounded heart.  My downfall is when things seem black and white to me, I tend to just say what I feel. Although what she was wanting advise on was undeniably against God's Word, I could have chosen to rely on the Spirit to respond.

Why do I do this?  I even had a quiet time today about going to the Lord before responding to a situation and asking Him to give you the words to say.  Why did I just blurt out hurting words that, to be honest with you, did seem judgemental at the time.  What hurts the most is...that after all these years she is choosing to believe that I am judgemental instead looking back over the history we have together to gather her opinions about me.  In one fell swoop, I managed to break up a 24 year old friendship.

My prayer now is that God would use this in both of our lives to teach us more about Him and draw us closer to Him and closer as friends.  I have learned that I can tend to be harsh in my delivery instead of being gentle and kind and lovingly sharing the truth.  I need to take the time to say, "okay God, you know how I feel, but what is TRUTH and how do I deliver it in such a way that reveals You and Your gentle and loving heart." 

And do you know that my first reaction after the heart-wrenching text (yes, this was all over texting) was that I was "right" and she was so wrong to even think such a thing.  So gross for me to even admit but it is true.  Pride at its best! 

To bring true restoration, I must admit my part and ask her to forgive me.   

"Lord, you know my heart and You know the deep love I have for __________.  I pray that you would put Your healing hand on our friendship and make known Your wonderful and awesome character of love and forgiveness.  I pray that this one comment I made would not ruin a 24 year old friendship but would be a platform for revealing who YOU truly are.  I ask for forgiveness for thinking that I was in the right and justifying why I said what I did.  Lord I pray Proverbs 3:6, that in all my ways I would acknowledge you and you would make my path straight.  Show me the next step to take in this situation.  Be the guard over my tongue.  Bring restoration!"    Thank you that Your steadfast love never ceases and Your mercies never come to an end             ~In Jesus name, amen.

Not perfect, but being perfected!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Some of you have emailed me and shared your heart with me. I was honored to beseech the Lord on your behalf last night and ask Him for covering over you.   I am truly honest when I say that I want to hear from you. Last night the Lord brought a song to mind.  It is on Amy Grants new Album, Somewhere Down the Road.  My good friend and mentor reminded me of it when she was sharing with me some hurts of her own yesterday. The Lord brought it back to mind when I was pouring out cries to Him last night.  I just started crying.  I have friends that are hurting and struggling.  Not losing hope, but hurting hearts. 

Life is HARD! We are not promised that things will be easy. Matter of fact we are actually guaranteed that things will be difficult. BUT we have a BIG GOD who is with us. He wants to hear our cries. It felt so good to just let out the tears last night as I went to the throne of God. A wise women once told me that "tears heal." And I must say that I felt a sense of healing last night. Refreshed, revived!

Click and  listen.

We pour out our miseries,
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are,
the honest cries of breaking hearts
are better than an halleluja

I think we can all agree that life is hard.  But what will we do when life gets harder?  Will we still stand for Christ and not waver?  Will we still have faith?  Will we live for Christ and not the world?

In  the book of Jeremiah he (Jeremiah) is starting to lose hope.  The people are not listening to the truth.  They are turning to other gods and chosing to listen to false prophets.  The Lord replies...

"If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out,
Then how can you compete with horses?
If you fall down in the land of peace,
How will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?"    Jeremiah 12:5

In other words, how will you do when the heat is turned up?  The Israelites were about to go into captivity and things were about to get really ugly for them.  The same is true for us.  I don't know when the Lord would chose to come back for His people, but I do know that before He comes it will get pretty ugly.  We have a choice.  My prayer is that we would chose to run with the horsemen. 

Keep the faith my friend.  Let's keep beseeching the Lord on one another's behalf.  Let's lock arms and encourage one other daily to stand for the Lord and not give into the things of this world.  And when things are bad and you don't know how to sing, just cry out to the Lord!  It's better than an Hallujah sometime!

Praying for you,


Monday, June 21, 2010


Okay, so I have to be honest.  I am going through one of my times of feeling totally inadequate. The enemy is attacking from all sides. Let me explain. I will try to make this as short as I can as not to bore you to death.  :)   But I must give you some background first.

I met my lovely husband of 13 years exactly 14 years ago at Rollins College in Winter Park Florida at Staff Training for Campus Crusade for Christ. Soon after training we were engaged, got married and were placed on the campus of UT Chattanooga.   We were on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ for 6 years and absolutely LOVED loving on college students.  In 2002 we felt God calling to leave staff and pursue other opportunities.  

A lot has happened in the past 8 years!  Nothing that we thought would happen which was---make a difference in the work place for Christ and passionately pursue other ministry opportunities.  We pursued ministries over the years but never really felt the passion or driving force behind it.  To be honest with saddens me to say that we got caught up in the material things of this world and let that be the driving force behind all we did instead of passionately pursuing Christ and all He has for us.  When we were on staff with CCC we had to raise our own support and most months didn't even reach our full pay check.  Because you know...if people didn't give, we didn't get paid.  This was very hard for us.  We didn't have children at the time and our rent was $300 a month so we could live off of $800/month....most of the time.  But over time it really took its toll.  So....when we finally got a consistent pay check, we went WILD!!  New car, vacations, nice things (okay, so all this is all relative....but to us we were rich).  Then something happened that no one really forsaw...the economy crashed!!  I will spare you the details because I am sure we all have felt the effects of the economy.  But let's just say....we are worse off now than we were making $800/month with Campus Crusade.  And...with Paul being in the Mortgage Industry, we are never garanteed a pay check!

It reminds me a lot of the book of Jeremiah.  In chapter one God says,  "They have forsaken Me and have offered sacrifices to other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands."  (v. 16)

Now if you know us, you probably would never suspect that we were trying to keep up with the Joneses.  We didn't even really realize it at the time.  But now, looking back, we know that our hearts were seeking other things. 

"My people have changed their glory for that which does not profit."   Jer. 2:11

But the beauty is, Glory to God, is that through the journey our hearts have been turned back to HIM, His Word and the souls of men and women!!  Praise God!!  All throughout Jeremiah chapter 3 the Lord is pleading, "return to Me."  Oh how sweet it is that we heard His cry through the crashing waves.

Which leads me to now:
The Lord is doing amazing things in my and Paul's life.  We have really exciting things going on!  We have opportunity for ministry again.  We have our house for sale and willing to live wherever to passionately pursue that ministry (which is with college students by the way)   :)    We are just wanting to make drastic changes for the purpose of God's Kingdom.  We realize that money, possesions, prestige is fading.  At the end of the day we want to MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR HIM!!!  I am sooooooooooo excited that the Lord has brought both Paul and I on our own journeys to the same point of wanting to live for Him in a big way!

So why are we being attacked?  Take a guess! 

Anytime the Lord stirs the hearts of His people, the enemy is waiting to trip them up.  So please pray for us.  We are starting to feel so unworthy, inadequate, feelings of "can we really do this?"  And the answer is YES but only through the power of the Holy Spirit.  If the Lord does not go before us we do not want to go at all.  We want to follow the steps of our Great and Mighty God!! 

What is the enemy attacking you about?  I want to pray for you as well.  May we storm the gates of Heaven for eachother today!!


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Our Words

I have been reading a book by Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ.  It is called Living Supernaturally in Christ.  I just love how he writes.  It is so simple and yet so convicting.  Today's chapter was titled, "Speaking with the Words of Christ."

Today I read...
"Our words can create harmony or discord, happiness or discouragement, a positive or negative self image in another.  What we say can have a tremendous effect for either good or evil, so we must be careful."

I am saddened only because I realize that I'm not very careful with my words.  It is not even on my radar to relying on the Holy Spirit to guide my tongue.  My day goes by so fast that I just go about life and say whatever I feel and don't think twice about it.  I even spout off at the mouth to my kids.  I think I said something like this yesterday to my youngest, "You are really getting on my last nerve right now and if you don't get as far away from me as you possible, I am going to end up hurting you."  Please tell me I am not the only mom out there that is careless with her words.  I don't want to be so insensitive, it just overcomes me sometimes.  I truly want to learn to "Speak the words of Christ."

How do we speak the words of Christ?  In his book Bill Bright gives the 3M test.
1.  What is my motive? (Ephians 4:15 says we should be motivated by love.)
2.  What is my message? (Zechariah 8:16 says we should speak the truth and be honest)  Relying on the Holy Spirit to not to rush God's timing.
3.  What is my manner? (Luke 4:22 says that Jesus spoke with gracious words.)

Dr. Bright also gives five guidelines that the Bible provides for controlling our tongue.
Stifle the impulse to speak hastily or foolishly. (Proverbs 15:28)
Pray about what to say, especially in difficult situations.(Phillippians 4:6)
Encourage, exhort, and edify others in love. (Proverbs 16:23,24)
Avoid foolish, boastful, obscene, hurtful, or false speech. (Ephesians 4:29,31; 5:4)
Keep your ears open and be quicker to listen than to talk.(Proverbs 18:13)

The one that I struggle with the most  is "avoiding foolish, boastful, obscene, hurtful or false speech."  Mainly foolish and obscene.  There are so many times that I will be talking with my friends and I can allow the conversation to go a little too far on the joking side, all in good fun...but not edifying for sure.  Silly, yes!  But worth the laugh?  Okay maybe sometimes but there is a line.  I pray that the Lord would show me where to draw the line and then help me to stay as far back from it as I can. :)   In Ephesians 5:4, Paul writes that "there must be not filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather give thanks."

If we still are not sure how to speak with the words of Christ, here is one last test Dr. Bright give.
  • Is it the truth?
  • Is it fair to all concerned?
  • Will it build good will and better friendships?
  • Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
For he says that "as we allow Christ to live in and through us, our words should reflect the heart of our Savior."

May we be about God's Word today.  Basking in His glory and soaking it up like a sponge.  Then, may we apply God's word to our lives and learn to "speak with the words of Christ" today!

Not perfect but being perfected,


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lessons of a Six Year Old!

So lately I have been very concerned with my 6 year old's behavior.  He has started this thing where he will say "you're not my best friend anymore" when one of his friends does something he doesn't like.  He did it two times today and the last time was with one of his friends that truly is one of his best friends. 

It broke my heart that he would say such a thing because Paul and I have tried so hard to teach our boys to put others first and to love them as Christ would.  So I asked him why he would say such a thing.  And as only a 6 year old could say he replied, "because he wouldn't share his cars with me."  He also preceded to tell me that not only did he tell him he wasn't his best friend anymore but he also said, "and that is why I didn't put you as my best friend in my all about me book."   So by this point I am devastated not because of the action itself but because he is telling me in such a mean attitude and with such conviction.  In my flesh I said, "okay, you're not my best friend anymore because my friends don't treat people like that so I can't have you as my best friend anymore." 

And this is what Parker said after a long pause......"but I'm still going to keep loving you mommy!" 

Teachable moment #1-My response (which was only by the Holy Spirit because I was still pretty mad at him). 
"Parker, that is exactly right!  And you know what?  God keeps loving us even when we don't share our cars or we tell people that they aren't our best friend anymore.  Do you think that Sam felt loved when you told him that you didn't want him as a best friend anymore?" 
Which he replied, "No." 
I said,"Don't you think you need to let him know that you still love him?" 
Parker said, "yes."  
I said,"Then what do you think you should do?"
Parker said,"Call him?"

Bottom line.....After some coaching he called Sam and and said he was sorry for hurting his feelings and would he forgive him.  I don't know what was said on the other line but I could hear that Sam was saying something.  I could tell the conversation was coming to an end and then I hear Parker say in his 6 year old voice....."I love you......bye."

Teachable moment #2 was for me!!!  I can't always be there when Parker decides to hurt someone else with his words or his actions but I can point him to Christ and pray that he makes better choices. Without my prodding, my 6 year old ended a conversation with his best friend by saying, "I love you, bye." I think that was a pretty good choice.  What do you think?


Monday, June 14, 2010

Righteousness and Justice

The Lord reigns: let the earth rejoice;
Let the many islands be glad.
Clouds and thick darkness surround Him;
Righteousness and Justice are
the foundation of His throne. Psalm 97:1-2

Praise the Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting;
Who can speak of the mighty deeds of the Lord,
Or can show forth all His praise?
How blessed are those who keep justice,
Who practice righteousness at all time! Psalm 106:1-3

Bitter sweet verses for me! Why? Because although God's love is everlasting, the foundation of His throne is Righteousness and Justice. That means that because God is righteous, He can not let sin go undisciplined. But thankfully His discipline is not meant to push us away but to draw us closer to Him. Psalm 106 says that we are blessed if we keep justice and practice righteousness.

My challange for us today is to chose righteousness in everything we do and experience the blessings that God so richly wants to lavish on us. May we be about God's business today.

Righteousness and Justice is the foundation of God's throne. What is the foundation of your home?

Seeking Him with you and for you,

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Why This Blog?

"His steadfast love never ceases." Music to my ears. And oh how I need it. I am continually amazed at how the Lord has been faithful and "full" of mercies in the White household--my last name not the color of my skin. :)

I renamed this blog because it used to be called "whitefamilyfunnies" and then I realized that everything I wrote wasn't so funny but kinda depressing. You are more than welcome to read older posts at your own risk. HAHA!!

The reason I decided to start this blog is to remind myself that God fills in the gaps in my life. No matter how much I try to be the "perfect mom" the "perfect wife" or the "perfect friend," I fail royally. But you know what? God knew I would mess up and He allotted just enough mercies for that particular day. And I receive new ones the next day. His mercies never cease!!! There is a book titled "God's Mercies are New Every Morning (too bad the kids get home in the afternoon)." Isn't that the truth! Children are the perfect refining tool. Today my patience was tested more than once. Someone once said, "When you pray for patience, does God give you patience or an opportunity to be patient?"

My prayer is that this would be a place you can be encouraged and championed to pursue the Lord with abandon knowing that you have mercies afresh every morning!

Greek--"Mercies"--- Eleeo
-to help the afflicted and bring help to the wretched.

I have a deep affection for the Word and am doing a Precept upon Precept study on Jeremiah by Kay Arthur. This blog will be just a little tidbit of what the Lord is doing in my life and hopefully will encourage and inspire and help you to know that you are normal and not the only one out there that struggles. I am not afraid to share my failures but hopefully there will be a lesson learned with it as well. Please share any ideas or stories or prayer request with me as well. I would be honored to pray for you! May we walk alongside each other willing to appeal, beg, beseech on one another's behalf.