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Friday, December 23, 2011

My, What a Difference a Year Makes!

As I get ready for Christmas this year I find myself in a much different place than I did a year ago.  As I looked back at what I blogged last year, my heart was filled with PEACE!  I didn't know what 2011 would bring me when I wrote these words but they have such sweet meaning today! 

Here is what I entered a year ago:

"For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." ~Isaiah 9:6

I came across this verse in my quiet time this morning. I have always heard it and even sang it a few times in Jr.High and High School choir growing up. But this morning a new meaning.

I was reading in Matthew chapter two where this specific prophecy (Isaiah 9:6) is fulfilled. A baby is born and the Magi come to give Him gifts and they bow down and worship Him.

What a magical moment! The King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Peace coming to earth!

But what I had never really realized came next...Herod sent out men who went from house to house searching for Jesus to kill Him. They took every male under the age of 2 yrs old and killed them. We hear a mothers lament in Matthew is Rachel weeping for her children because they are no more.

Can you even imagine? My heart aches just thinking of someone coming to my door and taking my sons and killing them right in front of me. All because a proud king, King Herod, refused to acknowledge a higher King than himself.

What happened to the Prince of Peace. Where is the peace?

Well...I realize now that peace is not in our circumstances. It is in our hearts!

Right after our Savior was born, there was pain. But after the pain, there is a promise!

This is Jeremiah's prophecy about Rachel's pain.
This is what the Lord says: "A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more."
This is what the Lord says: "Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded," declares the Lord.
"They will return from the land of the enemy. So there is hope for your future," declares the Lord.
"Your children will return to their own land." ~Jeremiah 31:15, 16

God is sovereign. There is purpose in our pain. When you walk through the fire, He promises His children that they will not be burned. When they walk through the water, they will not drown! (Isaiah 43)

In Bethlehem there was weeping and wailing because of King Herod's evil plot to kill innocent children. But God has given us a promise..there will be a day when He comes for His children and there will be weeping no more!!! Praise God!!

You may have pain right now. You may be going through one of the toughest times in your life so far. But be encouraged that there is Hope! God is Sovereign! There is Peace! Peace in knowing that we have a loving Sovereign God who holds our hand through every pain in our life. He never leaves us! Our precious Savior was still the "Prince of Peace" in the midst of Rachel's tears for her children. He is ever-present! He never turns His back.

I need to be reminded of this because my heart hurts with pain sometimes. Sometimes I want to bang my head up against a wall and scream, "WHY?" In all honesty, at times I bought into the lie that I must deserve such pain.

The truth life is simply a path that God has orchestrated to draw me closer to Him and the purpose He has for me.

So this Christmas I am reminded of a sweet baby, Jesus! But I am also reminded of the cross. And in both, we have a Prince of Peace!

These words are an encouragement to me today because I was in the midst of a pity party saying to God, "Why Lord?  Why such pain?  Why do I find myself facing another Christmas without parents to share it with and family hundreds of miles away and a circumstance that I feel I didn't sign up for?" 

And...He reminded me that in the midst of the pain there is a promise!  This WILL be used for HIS glory!  No matter my circumstance I will praise my GOD because He is faithful and true!

So even though this is a Christmas that is very different from the ones I have experienced in the past, I will choose to rejoice in the fact that we have a savior that cares about every detail of our lives and wants to use them to transform us into HIS image!

Merry Christmas my sweet friends and family!!

Monday, December 19, 2011


One of the things I have learned over the last 7 months is that transformation is a process.  Whether it is physical or spiritual, it is a process and it is HARD WORK!  I never thought that I would like lifting weights but I do!!!  Someone once told me that women my age should actually be focusing on weight training and not so much cardio.  Now, I don't know if that is an old wives tale or not but I started doing it.  At first I didn't see the results right away.  Then one day...I started noticing that I was actually increasing weight after getting on a machine that a grown man had just gotten off of.  I started noticing muscles popping out of my body.  I looked at my arms one day and actually thought that they may be too veiny.  Never thought that before. :) 

My blog today isn't so much about lifting weights as it is doing the hard work to get the results.  It takes discipline and determination.  It takes time.  It takes patience.  It is so much like our walk with the Lord.  Sometimes I want to just throw my hands up and give in and just lay on the couch eating chocolate and watching sappy girly movies (which I do sometimes I have to admit).  But I know that in order to get the reward I have to stay the course and focus.  My focus is to be on the One who created me and knows me so well.  To be so in tune with His spirit that I know when I hear His follow His guiding and to TRUST His hand.  This doesn't just happen over night. It comes through faithful pursuing Him in His Word. 

In all things I remember James 1:2-4.  I love the way the Message words it...

"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.  You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.  So don't try to get out of anything prematurely.  Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way."

Becoming mature and well-developed is my hearts cry!  It is painful getting there but I pray that through it all my true colors would be an honor to the Lord! And may I hear Him say on that glorious day, "Well done!"


Sunday, November 20, 2011

A New Normal or His Story?

Life is ever-changing!  I am constantly having to learn a "new normal" it seems.  But what I really end up learning is that I am stronger than I think I am, I am very loved by many people, and I have the sweetest boys in the world.  But ultimately I am learning more and more how awesome God is!

I am reminded of the circumstances that brought me to the end of myself in college.  I was a wretched woman crying out to God.  And He heard my cry!  I pursued Him like crazy and fell deeply, passionately in love with Him.  Since that day I have been faithful to study His Word to get to know Him and learn how to live with integrity in this crazy world.  Have I been perfect?  No!  But my heart and motives have been pure.  My journey has been one that has been very painful at times.  Sometimes I even questioned God.  But in the end I was able to see His purposing in it all.  Today I will choose to believe Him to be faithful and true....not just because I have seen it in His Word, but because I have experienced it!  In every circumstance God has shown Himself to be TRUE, CONSTANT, and FAITHFUL! So today, I choose to believe!

I can tend to get anxious and want to know what happens next.  I want answers. I want confirmation.  I want a definite road map!  Paul Millers words in A Praying Life encouraged me today...

"When God seem silent and our prayers go unanswered, the overwhelming temptation is to leave the story--to walk out of the desert and attempt to create a normal life.  But when we persist in a spiritual vacuum, when we hang in there during ambiguity, we get to know God.  In fact, that is how intimacy grows in all close relationships."

"When we suffer, we long for God to speak clearly, to tell us the end of the story and , most of all, to show himself.  But if he showed himself fully and immediately, if he answered all the questions, we'd never grow; we'd never emerge from our chrysalis because we'd be forever dependent." 

I choose to stay in the story and to trust God to be my guide.  I trust that in the end I will be more and more like Him.  That is all I need to know.  The new normal is actually His STORY!


Saturday, November 12, 2011


"Strange as it may seem, this disappointment is something God allows in our lives after filtering it through His sovereign fingers of love. It's something He has deemed necessary and of long-range value in bringing you, His beloved child, toward His personal goal for you-- Christlikeness and fruitfulness." - Kay Arthur in As Silver Refined

Definitely been encourage in this. Realizing as I get older life gets harder. The heat might get turned up a bit but it is refining, making us more like Him. In everything I cling to Him knowing "He is a shield about me, my glory the lifter of my head." Ps 3:3

I am also reminded of lyrics from a song. I am not sure who sings it but the lyrics are...
"I need you Jesus to come to my rescue. Where else can I go? There's no other name by which I am saved. Capture me with your grace. I will follow you. This world has nothing for me."

Don't know where your heart is today. But know this sweet friends, I have witnessed the faithfulness of God. And His steadfast love is like none other. He is my everything. Life is hard. But life without Him is spiritual suicide.

Thank you Jesus for being the light to guide us.


Thursday, September 22, 2011


Fall is in the air!!!  I LOVE FALL!!!  I lit my pumpkin spice candle the other day while I sat in the chair and read a book.  It was heaven!

A different season brings with it new life.  I am learning so much about myself that I think sometimes that my head is going to explode with all the info.  Sometimes I have to take a break and say, "Okay God...let me sit for a minute and process this, it is blowing my mind." Or like my little Hispanic mother used to say, "that just blows my head off."  I think she is head feels like it is blowing right off my body sometimes.  :)

The summer was tough for me to say the least, but I am gaining my footing once again.  The words from one of my favorite songs came to me yesterday and I teared up a bit. It is called "Every Season" by Nichole Nordeman

And even when the trees have just surrendered
To the harvest time
Forfeiting their leaves in late September
And sending us inside
Still I notice You when change begins
And I am braced for colder winds
I will offer thanks for what has been and was to come
You are autumn

And everything in time and under heaven
Finally falls asleep
Wrapped in blankets white, all creation
Shivers underneath
And still I notice you
When branches crack
And in my breath on frosted glass
Even now in death, You open doors for life to enter
You are winter

And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced
Teaching us to breathe
What was frozen through is newly purposed
Turning all things green
So it is with You
And how You make me new
With every season’s change
And so it will be
As You are re-creating me
Summer, autumn, winter, spring

The Lord has definitely been making me new with every season's change.  Becoming more like the Father in all things.  It is not always easy.  Matter of fact, it is during the most difficult times that I find myself becoming more like Him because I have to "take up my cross"---DIE TO SELF!  That is the most painful experience, dying to self!  But I am thankful for the change!  I am learning more and more that it isn't about what I "DO" or what people think about me.  It is about my heart and my willingness to embrace difficult times to draw closer to the Father!

I look forward to the Season's ahead!  I LOVE what the Fall brings....pumpkin patch, crisp nights, bright blue skies, days of cuddling up with a blanket and a good book, smell good candles, spending time with the family going to festivals and fun outdoors events, football games, etc.  And then Fantasy of Trees, Thanksgiving and Christmas!!!  I am so excited to spend time with my family and enjoy them during this season!  I pray, more than that, they would be able to sense the change that the Lord is doing in my heart!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

This summer!

This has been the most challenging summer ever!  God has been working on my heart in so many different ways.  I read this quote in a book the other day.  It describes my summer perfectly!
" you get to know your heavenly Father, you'll get to know your own heart as well.  As you develop your relationship with him, it will change you.  Or more specifically, he will change you.  Real change is at the heart level...As you develop your relationship with your heavenly Father, you'll change.  You'll discover nests of cynicism, pride, and self-will in your heart.  You will be unmasked."
I have been unmasked this summer!  I have been forced to choose.  Do I become cynical, prideful and selfish? I get to know my Maker and allow Him to change me from the inside out?  The transformation has been extremely painful.  I mean EXTREMELY!! Don't get me wrong, I am still in the process and it hurts.  It hurts to see your life being turned upside down.  But then I look at it again through the lens of my Heavenly Father and I begin to see my life being turned right side up.  For the first time I am sensing the Lord doing a work in my life that is bringing about significant change and healing.  There are times that I fight it!  It feels abnormal!  It feels like I am out of control! And then I am reminded....I AM NOT IN CONTROL!!! 

I am learning patience, humility, forgiveness, grace, mercy, love.  All these things I would have been able to explain to you and even given examples of how God has been faithful through out every circumstance in my life to teach me such sweet things.  But this summer the Lord took it to a new level.  A circumstance where I could choose to be bitter, angry, resentful, prideful, unloving, vindictive.  A battle I still struggle with today!

But I know truth!!!  I know the grace I have been extended.  I know where I have come from and where God has brought me.  He brought me out of the miry pit and into a sweet relationship with Him. 
 Another quote from the same book....
"A thankful heart is constantly extending grace because it has received grace.  Love and grace are uneven.  God poured out on his own son the criticism I deserve.  Now he invites me to pour out undeserving grace on someone who has hurt me .  Grace begets grace."
I am invited to live a gospel life.  Christ's life, death and resurrection!  I get to reenact the gospel! It is so hard in the midst of great suffering and pain but it is what Christ has called me to.
"Consequently, gospel stories always have suffering in them.  American Christianity has an allergic reaction to this part of the gospel.  We'd love to hear about God's love for us, but suffering doesn't mesh with our right to 'the pursuit of happiness.'  So we pray to escape a gospel story, when that is the best gift the Father can give us."
Living a gospel story is painful because it exposes us and calls us to a higher calling.  It exposes our idols and reminds us of the only True Love---Our Heavenly Father! 
My life is being transformed!  My heart is growing closer to the Father and becoming more like His!  He is weaving a pattern throughout my life and as I step back to view things from a greater perspective I can see Him doing amazing things. 
"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever."  ~Ephesians 3:20-21
My prayer is that through my life others would see our Mighty God!  A picture is worth a thousand words.  As you look at the pictures below remember that we are all in process of becoming more like our Heavenly Father.  This summer has been hard for our family in a lot of ways....but in the midst of it all we can say...We have a Mighty God and our hope and faith is in Him!!

Here is some of the lyrics from the song What Faith Can Do by Kutless
A song that has been a huge encouragement for me this summer!

Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think it’s more than you can take
But you're stronger, stronger than you know
Don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard
Impossible is not a word
It’s just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody’s scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It’ll be alright
Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Take up your cross!

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it.  For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?" ~Mark 8:34-36

Wow!  I am daily reminded of how selfish I truly am.  "Deny myself"...can I really do that?  That means putting aside my agenda, my need for justice, my selfish desires...ultimately...CONTROL!

This has been a very trying season for me.  I am learning so much about the grossness of my wicked heart.

I am learning that I am good at denying myself when things are going my way, but when I encounter painful circumstance, I run back to the "old way" of doing things....SELF PROTECT!

This morning the Lord has so gently been dealing with me and I sense Him speaking to me in a HUGE way and it has to do with "the cross."

The cross to a person in the first century meant one thing and one thing only: death by the most painful and humiliating means human beings could develop.  In Jesus day the cross represented nothing but torturous death.

Now, if I would look back over my life...I would say that I have taking up my cross and endured suffering in more ways than I would like to count...a traumatic childhood, death of both parents, infertility, financial stress, marriage difficulties,etc, etc...

But what the Lord brought to my attention today is the fact that "take up your cross and follow me" means being willing to die in order to follow Christ.  This is "dying to self."  It is a call to absolute surrender.  The call is tough but the reward is matchless.

Following Christ is easy when life is going smoothly but our true commitment to Him is revealed during trials. Just going through trials is not "suffering."  It is what we do during the trials.  Do we put our hope and trust in the Lord?  Do we put aside our need to take control of the situation?  Do we address the circumstance as the world would or do we look to the Lord to intervene in way unimaginable and transform us more into His image? 

There have been times that I felt as the apostle Paul did, "Indeed, I [we] felt that I [we] had received the sentence of death" (2 Corinthians 1:9).

This has been a hard season for me and there are times that I just feel like I am going to die, that I can't handle it anymore.  But the Lord steps in and reminds me, just as He did Paul..."But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again" (2 Corinthians 1:9-10).

I rest in the truth of God's word...He WILL deliver us! 

Once again...
The cross to a person in the first century meant one thing and one thing only: death by the most painful and humiliating means human beings could develop. In Jesus day the cross represented nothing but torturous death.

Part of being delivered is daily dying to myself.  And in dying comes LIFE.  May I be found faithful in my pursuit of the Lord and follow hard after Him.  And may I find LIFE in the most painful of circumstances.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Press On!

"I am just a women trying to make since of this crazy world and stand for Christ. I have several character flaws but realize that I can't change without Christ. I make mistakes and I have failed at a lot of things but I learn from them and press on!"

This is what I said in my "about me" tab.  As I read back over that page I was overcome by all sorts of emotions.  One, because I realize that my heart was sincere at that point.  But, Two...this is one of the hardest times in my life and I realize that I am called to press on.  Yes, this world is crazy!  But, I am called to live out the gospel in every area of my life on matter the circumstances. 

Have you ever cried out to God and said something like this?..."Have I not hurt enough already?  Why this hurt too?" 

Well, that is right where I am! 

But I can say that in the midst of great pain, God shows up in the most wonderful ways!  He gives me peace and rest that is unexplainable.  He gives me support and sustenance. He gives me wisdom to walk this out.  It is only by HIS grace that I am able to stand each day and say, "today will be another day that I show Christ to the world, no matter how hard it is!"

You know when we are hurting, and especially when we feel we deserve something better, we become bitter and our hearts become hardened.  Then we are unable to have the character and qualities of Christ.  It is hard to be loving and forgiving when you feel you got the raw end of the deal.  I want to say, "BUT GOD..."

But what the Holy Spirit has been revealing to me matter how hurt I am, I must keep my eyes on the Lord and allow Him to show me TRUTH so that I can walk in a manner worthy of His calling!!

Ultimately I want God to get all the glory in every situation!  It is HIS to have.  He is the only one worthy! 

But in order for HIM to get the glory, I must align my thoughts and my heart with His.  Only when I am aligned with Him will I ever experience true healing and a heart that becomes more like His!

So yes,..."I am just a women trying to make since of this crazy world and stand for Christ. I have several character flaws but realize that I can't change without Christ. I make mistakes and I have failed at a lot of things but I learn from them and press on!"

May I press on even in this!


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Peace for my weary soul

I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.  He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.  Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.  Ps. 121:1-2

Just when I think I can't go on any longer, God steps in and upholds me!  He sustains me and gives me rest and comfort for my weary soul.

We have such an amazing God and I often forget that until a trial comes my way and I am reminded of why it is I study His word and pursue my God intimately.  It's because in the midst of great pain and anguish He reveals Himself in ways I would never have imagined.  He reminds me that He is the One who is in control. He is the orchestrator of all things.  He reminds that no matter the outcome, I am in his loving arms and He will sustain me. 

We have a GREAT GOD!


Monday, April 18, 2011

Here is to "39" is my birthday!  As I celebrate today, I just wanted to take the time to acknowledge my Creator!

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.Your eyes saw my unformed substance: in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them."  ~Psalm 139:13-16

I have not always understood the Lord's Sovereignty!  It has been (and continues to be) a mystery to me.   But as I look back on the last 39 years of my life I am finally at place of seeing God's Sovereign hand in my life and I rejoice today for yet another great year of serving such an amazing God!  The last year has been rough at times and sometimes I questioned God's hand.  But in the midst of it all, I am so very thankful that I was given yet another year of service unto Him.  I pray that this next year would be about HIM and not me.  May I strive to serve Him in all I say, do and think.  May this year of being "39" be a year of loving well those who God has put in my path.  And, can I just add....I am so thankful for my sweet husband who walks alongside my craziness everyday, my sweet boys who for some reason think I hung the moon, my precious family in Texas who I don't keep up with near enough, my friends that I have met along the way, and those of you are in my life today (new and old ).   You all bring a smile to my face today!!  May I be the wife, mom, sister and friend God created me to be!

A Birthday for me has been just another day in years past...but today I see it as a blessing...a celebration of what God is doing in my life each year and a reminder to be about God's business in the year to come.  So...come on "40"!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Living life out of the bubble!

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up.  Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field."  ~Matthew 13:44

Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeit his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?"  ~Matthew 16:24-26

Lately I have been examining my walk with the Lord and trying to make sense of this thing called life.  If you look in my older posts you will see how the Lord has been taking me on a journey of turning my focus from "self" to "HIM and HIS WORD."  It has been a process and will continue to be a process.  My selfishness creeps up daily.  I am not just talking about the selfishness where I find myself washing dishes after dinner and wishing that dinner time could be about serving "mommy" for once.  I am talking about BIG selfishness where I want to just put my little life in a bubble and just be a wife, a mom, and maybe have a couple of friends, go to church a few times a month and maybe even volunteer a time or two. 

But is that really what God has in store for me? 

To be honest with you, there was a time that my life looked just like that... and I was NOT content!  When I made my life all about "me" it best...liveable.  But when I took the focus off of "myself" and started focusing on God and what He desires for me...then it was LIFE! 

It is scary to open up our lives to serve make life about bringing glory to God.  It is continually making the switch to live for God and not for self.  I find myself thinking, "that is what the old Kerry would do, but what about the Kerry who is being conformed to God's image?"  It is like continually having to go in and change the printer option in your computer.  The default wants to live for "self."  I will call it "self2600" since that is what my printer is.. :)  But what God desires is "GOD2011."   Live for him TODAY!!

One of the most important components to living for God is being in community! 

"In our experience, people are often enthusiastic about community until it impinges on their decision-making.  For all their rhetoric, they still expect to make decisions by themselves for themselves.  We assume we are masters of our own lives, "It's my money, its my life, it's my future,"  we say, "so it's my decision."  ~Total Church, A Radical Reshaping around Gospel and Community

God didn't intend for us to live out the gospel in isolation.  That is what I wanted to do by keeping my life in a bubble.  We are created to be communal beings.  We need eachother and ultimately God!  The way we live out life together is how God is glorified and others are brought into the kingdom! 

I encourage you to be in community with other believers as well as non-believers to be relationship with them and walk out your faith for all to see so that your Father in Heaven will be glorified.

Consider the cost of living for Him.  Is it worth it?

You bet!!  But it means change!  We can't claim to be followers of Christ and remain the same.

His Word is a double edge sword and it pierces the heart.  If His Word is not drawing blood, then we might need to examine our hearts.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Life is Not My Own

The Lord is dealing with my heart.  It is almost as if I can feel it being molded.  I can feel it...and it hurts!  It is good...but it uncomfortable!

I hate to admit it, but there was a time when I settled into this thing called "life" and just wanted comfort.  I wanted the cute house with the white picket fence.  I wanted to just settle into "life" and put a bubble around my little family and just "be."

But what the Lord has been revealing to me over the last 2 years is that my life is not my own.  It is to be lived for Him.  I was created by Him and for Him.  I have come to realize that my life is not satisfied unless I am living it for Him... and not for myself!

I remember VERY clearly the Lord calling me to serve Him...and He gave me a very specific calling of ministering to college women.  I was 23 years old but I felt it very deeply!  I was on mission for HIM.  I poured everything that I was into seeking out and reaching women on the college campus.  I LOVED every minute of it!

But through the years, marriage and children and hearache and death and disappointments began to deter me from my passion.  It is not that those things in themselves are bad.  They just are...things that happen in life!  But I think what happened is...with each circumstance I allowed myself to believe the lie that I was not called anymore.  I even began to think, and what I think so many think even today, that I was to just be a good Christian and follow His precepts and make sure my family was walking with the Lord but I was not one to be "a missionary" anymore.

But what the Lord has revealed to me is rocking my world a bit.  In a good way!  I was in ministry with a Christian organization for 5 1/2 years but I have never experienced the gospel like I have in the past year.  I am embarrassed to admit that I am just now putting together how the gospel is HIS STORY throughout the Bible and how our lives fit in that bigger story.  It is the redemptive story that is woven throughout the Old and New Testament.  It is amazing!  It is my story....our story...your story.  And as I truly LISTEN to people and hear where there lives have been hurt and how they have turned from God or how they are not living TRULY satisfied in Him....I am seeing HIS STORY revealed!!  His redemptive story in each of our smaller stories!

I no longer want the white picket fence....or the comfort this world has to offer.  I want more of HIM!  I want to be a part of what He is doing in the lives of His people.  I don't want to sit on the side lines anymore!  I was called at 23 years old..I am called NOW...and I am on mission NOW!!

Let's not forget that there is a day when our precious Lord Jesus Christ is coming back for His people. 
"And then they will see THE SON of MAN coming in clouds with great power and glory.  And then he will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth, to the farthest end of heaven."  Mark 13:26-27

Parker and I were talking about this just the other day and he said, "like a holy army?"  And then Tan Tan (Tanner) and I were discussing heaven one day last week and he said, "Oh mommy, I am so excited to see Heaven.  I can hardly wait!  I am so excited I can't stop smiling!"  It brought tears to my eyes because my 4 year old was eagerly awaiting Jesus' return. 

And even in the sweet moment...I thought to myself, "Lord is it real?" 

And the reason I thought that?....Because I am not living my life as if it were REAL to me!! 

My life is not my own!  I am living it for Him!  And there IS a better place where there is no tears, hurt, death, disappointments....It is called "HEAVEN!" And it is where we will spend eternity with HIM, the One in whom we eargerly await!

I have added a "Resource" tab to give you some resources to help you as you are on mission for Him.  Go for it!  We are here to spur one another on to good deeds.  Who is in your life right now that you could LISTEN to?  A lot of times we want to throw the Bible at them before we even HEAR them.  I challenge you this week to just LISTEN to someone God has placed in your life.  Listen for how theire lives connect to the Bigger story.  You will be amazed!

Can't wait to share more!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Total dependence in God!

I am an extremist! 

I am not saying it is right or wrong,  I am just stating the facts!

Now, where it comes to play in my life at this moment is in my relationship with my kiddos.  I have been having a hard time with my 7 year old.  He seems very unmoved by our disciplining.  He continues to live his life thinking that the world revolves around him. 

So, one day we were at jazzercise.  The class had just ended and I had gone to retrieve my kiddos at the childcare room.  We walked back into the Gym so they could get a sucker.  I happened to catch out of the corner of my eye my 7 year old knocking a girl flat on her bottom.  I walked up to him and asked what was going on and he said, "but she was pulling my shirt."  Now, I know that boys will be boys and 7 year olds will be 7 year olds...BUT the attitude!!  Oh my...I was livid!  Everything I said or did was just making it worse.  I told him to apologize and he looked at her with disgust and said, "No, I don't want to."  After demanding that he change his attitude, squeezing his arm, and pulling him closer to her, he finally gave in.  BUT it was a mean hearted, "I'm sorry." 

Enter Extremist!

As I was driving home that day I immediately thought to myself, "You are not spending enough time with Parker.  If you would just _____________ (fill in the blank) then he wouldn't be this way."  So the filling in the blank began...
1.  read more to him
2.  volunteer more at his school
3.  spend more time together as a family
4.  Stop jazzercising
5.  Stop discipling girls on campus
6.  Stop working part-time
7.  make him eat his vegetables (I know this is way extreme)

Then, all of a sudden I sensed the Lord.  And what the Lord revealed to me was so amazing that I started to tear up.  I felt the Lord putting his hand on my shoulder and saying, "Kerry, this too is my doing.  I am teaching you total dependence on Me." 

You see my tendency all my life was...if things weren't working out the way I thought they should be working out then I would work harder at whatever it was that wasn't working.  I would do whatever I could to bring it under my control. 

Did you get that?  "Under my control." 

God is teaching me that I can not control the outcome!  All I can do is "be" not "do."  I am to be in Christ, to be in His Word, to be walking out the Gospel in my life!  This is the best thing for my kiddos!

I am not going to lie.  It is hard! 

In Matthew 7: 14 we see that the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life and a few find it. 
In John 14:6 we see that Jesus is the way the truth and the life.

Total dependence in God is the way to life!


Monday, January 10, 2011

A Look Back Over the Years!

Lately I have been thinking back how I got to this place in my life.

 I have gone all the way back to being born in Lubbock, TX and growing up in a VERY modest 3 bedroom 1 bath home with 3 siblings.  I wouldn't say that my up bringing was the best, but it was all that I knew so it was okay with me.  I do remember going to other friends houses and thinking, "Wow, their family seems to have it all together.  I mean, they actually all eat dinner together."  I was also very impressed with the fact that their houses were big enough for each child to have their own bedroom (and some had their own bathroom).  I grew up always having to share a room.  There was one point where me, my sister and my brother all shared a room.  My oldest sister who is 10 older got her own room.  I still don't understand that to this day...but it was what it was.

I grew up in the same house up to the day I got married.   I mean, I moved out here and there in college and what not but "home" was always the home I grew up in.  Now I am sure that when my parents first bought the house it was probably a decent neighborhood but by the time I reached Elementary School the neighborhood was starting to get pretty rough.  And then by the time I was in High School....well...let's just say, there was a couple of drug dealers that moved in and out of the neighborhood. 

So....this began the journey of embarrassment for me.  If I ever had a date I would have them pick me up at a friends house.  If anyone asked me where I lived I would simply say 52nd street.  You see the streets in Lubbock either went north/south or east/west and they went the whole distance of the city.  Only I knew I really meant east 52nd.  My life was very similar to the movie Pretty in Pink only I didn't have a friend named Duckie...his name was Jason :)

In High School I also met a wonderful couple named Tommy and Maxine at my church.  I called them my adoptive parents.  Through them and a few others investing in my life, I began to see myself in a different light.  Even though my life (materially) was way different than theirs, I realized that they too were human.  And not only that...they had something that I longed for...PEACE. 

To make this long draw out story short...
-I became a Christian in High School
-I went to Texas Tech University
-In February of 1996 my dad passed away
-5 months later I went on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ in 1996 where I met my wonderful husband, Paul.
-In 1997 we went to Chattanooga to join the staff at UTC.
-In 2000 we joined the staff here in Knoxville at UT
-In 2001 we left staff with Crusade and pursued other job opportunities

(In between here is 6 years of having kiddos and trying to figure out our identities)

-In 2007 we bought a new house and moved my mom in with us
-In 2008 she passed away
-In 2009-2010---sweet journey with the Lord of trying to figure out exactly what it is He has called us to.  Both Paul and I were sensing God drawing us back to Him and pursuing things that are eternal and investing in the lives of college students.

Today---I am pursuing my passion of discipleship and evangelism with college girls on the campus at UT.  God had blessed me with 6 sweet girls who all have a heart for the Lord and have been longing for someone to come in their life to walk alongside them.  I count it a blessing to be chosen to be that person. 

So as I sit here today and look back on my life, I can honestly say and believe that we have a sovereign God who is omnipresent, omniscient and all-knowing.  He is in control and I am excited to see what he has in store for Paul and I in 2011 as we reach out to students at UT. 

Did I think that I would be in this place 25 years ago?  Absolutely not! 

Am I thrilled?  You bet! 

Is the journey hard?  You bet!  But it is worth it to be in the will of our Father!

"Look among the nations!  Observe!
Be astonished! Wonder!
Because I am doing something in your days--You would not believe if you were told."  ~Habakkuk 1:5

The journey is hard and the road seems long at times, but He is FAITHFUL!