Capturing God’s Heart – Love – Volume 36

I write these God’s Hearts as the Holy Spirit leads me. I don’t have an agenda of topics chosen months in advance, I simply write in accord with the Lord’s leading. And these last few weeks I’ve been brought back to the central truth of God’s love for us and am compelled to pass that on.

It feels to me that the Lord wants to remind all of us that while we are working and serving alongside the Lord in His kingdom that we must not forget how much we are loved.

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For Men

Some weeks ago we had a specific request from one of our pastors in India,

“Sister I need a study or a sermon on husband and wife relationship according to Bible or marital life with Christ because in our church we have many broken families. Women are hard working and their husbands are fully drunkards and they beat their wives like anything. Kindly I need a sermon like how they can change their husbands”

We acknowledge that without the inner transformative power of our Lord Jesus Christ none of us can ever be changed. This material simply seeks to take men through a short study of the scriptures in regards to the value of every human being, forgiveness and redemption found at the cross of Christ, the heart of God over each of us and how these things play out in the roles and responsibilities of leadership and within the context of marriage.

We pray the Lord’s quickening of our words, but we particularly agree to the quickening of His words found in scripture. This we have sought to faithfully give.

We share the entire content in this post. Please find the pdf for your easy downloading HERE

 

Stewardship

In this life everything we are given is a gift from God. Right from the beginning of the world God put Adam and Eve as overseers and stewards of all He had made.

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” Genesis 2:15

To be a steward is to be given a trust, to be entrusted with something. As stewards of God’s kingdom we will all answer to Him one day for what we did or didn’t do with what we were entrusted. Our actions matter, the choices we make matter.

We have responsibility to God for how we live our lives and the manner in which we go through our days. We have responsibility in regards to how we treat each other. We will give account for how we brought the Spirit of Christ into all of our dealings.

Yet right from the beginning things have gone wrong. Adam and Eve sinned in not believing God and ever since men and women have tried to do life apart from Him. It hasn’t turned out so well.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

There has been much conflict and difficulty. We use and abuse each other. We hurt and cause harm to others and ourselves. It is easy to see that we are lost without God’s touch upon our hearts and minds and lives.

Thankfully God stepped in by sending his son Jesus Christ to take care of our sin natures.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:16-17

The good news is that Jesus takes full responsibility for the things we have done to each other. He bore the burden of our sin on the cross. We are told that we can now take hold of this new gift of life and grace that Jesus made possible for us.

We simply receive Christ and the gift of life that he bought for us,

“Jesus I realize that there are many things I cannot make right. There are many things that I struggle with and on my own these are just too much. But I hear that you are interested in walking alongside me and within me. I’d like this. I agree today to your redeeming my life and me. I want to do life with you. I welcome you to guide me and to show me how to live. Amen”

As we turn toward Jesus Christ He enables us to live different kinds of lives with ourselves and with others.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Our spiritual eyes are opened in new ways and we begin living differently.

Women are Equal Partners

One of the first ways that God’s heart begins to show through our hearts is in our treatment of each other. Receiving God’s love and grace and forgiveness into our own lives enables us to show God’s love and grace and forgiveness to others. We are supernaturally equipped to do life.

“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2

For men this begins at home with your wife and children. Whenever any of us come to God, turning to Christ, we realize every single human being has incredible value and worth. God has made every single one precious in His sight.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

We find in fact that men and women are created equal in God’s sight and we recognize where we have been unjust in our treatment of the women around us.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

At the same time we are often stuck in patterns of ill treatment towards each other. Here too we turn to Christ and invite and rely on Him to change us from the inside out.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”  Psalm 51:10

We are all entrusted with the hearts of each other to care for, to nurture, to love. A man is gifted and entrusted with a wife; she is his most important stewardship opportunity. One day each man will stand before God and answer for the way he treated her and her children.

You are Enough in Christ

This is a big task and the most important work of all. You have been gifted for the task as you live in God. You are enough in Christ for all the difficulties that might come your way. We are told,

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,”   2 Peter 1:3

In regards to difficulties and this life we have some great promises of God to hold onto and to give us strength.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” John 14:1

“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day.” Psalms 91:1-6 (read all of Psalm 91)

Life has Problems and Pain but also Healing and Redemption

It is not easy of course. Life is difficult and we as men and women have grown up receiving our own hurts and harms from our parents and those who raised us. Sometimes we take the pain in our own hearts and pass it on to those around us. In fact, it is often those closest to us that get the worst of our behavior.

Sometimes it is our own bitterness and hatred that drives us to hurt others. Whether it has been hurts given us by others or the bitterness that we carry, these things we can give over to God. Here too, instead of managing poorly in dealing with hurts and hatreds we simply turn to God with them. We give ourselves over to God.

“Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out.” Acts 3:19

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8

And as we turn to God with our hurts and our hatreds God relieves us of these great burdens; we were never meant to carry hurt and hatred and bitterness. This is the great news of Jesus Christ; we can be new people because Jesus came to carry our pain.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

We must remember that Christ died not only to remove our sin but also to cover over the sin of others against us. As we give our hurts to God and he replaces them with peace and patience and with gladness and joy. We can learn to treat others with the peace and patience that we ourselves have received from God.

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32

One day at a time

We live this new way one day at a time. Change comes bit by bit. Sometimes we still hurt over our past but as we come close to God we are told that he comes close to us. In this way we are changed into the image of God. He tells us we are loved.

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

Each day we begin with, “God I invite you into today. Welcome into my relationships today. I give you my pain and my sorrow. I receive from you your peace and gladness. May I walk in you today. May I treat my wife and children as you would have me treat them. Help me to love them as you love them; thank-you for the gift that they are in my life. Amen” 

Commitment to a bigger way – gentleness, vulnerability

Walking each day with the Lord grows our awareness. We begin to understand things that we never thought of before. We realize that we don’t know everything like we once thought we did. And we see that we have made mistakes.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16

These new insights can make us feel vulnerable and unsafe. “What if others reject me?” we may ask.

Before we thought that powerful was being scary and mean. Now we begin to see that the most powerful people are those who are gentle and kind. We realize that to influence and to grow others, that we must have bigger thinking and understanding. We begin to see that we can have a good impact in this world.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” John 15:12-14

Loose off Guilt by the Power of Jesus Christ

But it is hard to take on new ways when we are burdened by the guilt of the old ways. The good news is that Jesus Christ died to carry your guilt. He became the scapegoat that takes away the sins of the world. No longer do we look at each other, nor ourselves with wrath and hatred and contempt.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

We therefore give our guilt to God, “God I see this day all the wrongs that I have done. The guilt of these things are too much for me. I am tired and worn down by my guilt. Today I renounce this guilt in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and I put all guilt at the foot of the cross. I declare my guilt covered in the blood of my Lord Jesus Christ, washed away. I simply stand as a new creation in Christ and I receive your forgiveness God. Thank-You.”

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

And as we do this we are told that Jesus comes to us and eats with us. He initiates forgiveness and restoration and peace to community and family.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9

Take on His Compassion and Sacrificial Service

Once we have given our guilt to God and felt the release of His Spirit over our lives we can enter into compassion and sacrificial service. Where before we condemned others for our bad things, we now release others to be as God created them to be. Then we find ourselves released to love and serve them.

“For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2

We realize that we are all sinners. We all make mistakes. The difficulties of this world have impacted all of us. We are no better or less than anyone else. Because of this we find new compassion flowing over us and we are now able to be compassionate to others.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

Our eyes and understanding are opened to the good that others are trying to do. We see people with grace and understanding and this includes our wife and children. We begin to treat them better too.

All of this is possible because we remain in Jesus Christ, turned toward Him each day.

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” John 15:4 

Jesus Models Regard for Women

When Jesus was on earth he modeled a very different kind of respect and regard for women. Traditionally all over the world and all through time women have been treated very badly. It is as though Satan has a particular hatred for women. But Christ came to show a different way.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

  • Jesus’ own ministry was supported through partnership with women.      Luke 8:1-3
  • He refused to condemn the woman caught in adultery. John 8:1-11
  • He took the time and risk to speak to the Samaritan woman. John 4:5-42
  • He visited and taught women, most particularly Mary whom he commended for her heart to learn from him. Luke 10:38-42
  • A woman anointed Jesus (Jesus came under her authority to anoint him). Mark 14:3-9
  • After he was raised from the dead he showed himself first to the women. John 20:1-18

His was a special relationship with women, one of full regard and respect and love for them. Jesus counteracted the culture of his day, and of ours, where women are ill treated, abused, and considered a throw-away commodity. Consider this,

“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7

There are four vital principles for husbands in this one verse:

  1. Live with your wife in an understanding way
  2. Show honor to her as a weaker vessel
  3. Know that women are heirs also to grace and the kingdom of God
  4. Do this so your prayers will be answered

Principle one and two is a practical suggestion based on the physical ability of women. We know today that physically women are weaker than men; men have three layers of muscle while women have two layers of muscle. From a purely physical stand point women simply are not as strong as men.

Because of this Peter is admonishing men to recognize this and to relate differently with their wives, to live in understanding of them.

Where two men might ‘fight it out’ we are told in the Bible that this is not the way between men and women. To beat a woman is to overwhelm her with violence both to her body and her heart.

Do not beat your wife. To do so is to dishonor her and it is a dishonor of God who made her; she is equal to you, treat her as such. Show her honor and regard and love.

For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain.”  Titus 1:7

God feels so strongly about this that we are told that a man’s prayers will be hindered to the same degree that he dishonors and ill-treats his wife. (1 Peter 3:7 as above)

We find similar admonition towards care for wives in Malachi,

“For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.” Malachi 2:16

In many cultures around the world women are treated as disposable commodities. They are cast off at the least little thing and regarded as interchangeable and considered to be made only for man’s pleasure and convenience. We know this to be false for every single person, man, woman, child is made in the image of God.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

God is saying to not treat your wife as less than yourself. God declares her equal before Him. To cast her off, to beat her, to dishonor her, is to curse your self with layers of violence. By dishonoring her you dishonor yourself. Men, rather, are to serve their wives as Christ served the church.

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” Ephesians 5:25

“In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” Ephesians 5:28

“Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.” Colossians 3:19 

Men head of the household – leaders take 100% responsibility

“For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” Ephesians 5:23

We know today that to be the head of something is to take 100% responsibility. The one in leadership is entrusted with the care and outcome of that thing and this is in regard to business, organizations, churches, and relationships of all sorts including marriage.  You are responsible.

We also flip this around and assert that the one taking 100% responsibility is the one leading; for authority and responsibility go hand in hand. To have authority is to have responsibility. To have responsibility is to have authority.

Yet not authority to lord it over, to belittle, to put down, to curse, this type of authority is that of Satan. The authority of Jesus Christ, and of all those who follow him, is that of lifting up, of honoring, of encouraging and bringing blessing where there has been cursing.

“But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.” 1 Timothy 6:11

Quite simply we can tell the quality of a man by the look in his wife’s eyes. A woman well cared for shines. A woman despised carries grief and sorrow and it shows on her face and in her posture.

If your wife is your crown we ask, “how shiny is your crown men?” How bright eyed and lovely is your wife. A woman’s beauty comes from deep inside her soul. This beauty is released as she is regarded, respected, with genuine care and concern.

As leader and head of his wife a man will stand before God one day and answer for what he has done to her. Does she reflect beauty and confidence or is she sad and despondent?

Like all actions in leadership this is a place that refuses to cast blame and refuses to make excuses. Rather men of leadership quality seek answers and solve problems, remembering the grace of our Lord.  They remain in Christ as we spoke of earlier. Most of all they lead well and take great care of the hearts that have been entrusted to them. 

You are More Powerful than you Know

You have the power to make your wife shine. Each day ask your wife how she is doing. See if there is anything she might need help with. Thank her for all she does for you and for your household. Bless her for being the mother of your children.

Touch her in non-sexual ways, with simple touch let her know that you see her as a human being and valuable to God. Tell her how much you appreciate her. Thank the Lord for her daily.

Be a safe person for your wife. Do not make her responsible for your fears, your insecurities, your anger, and everything that has gone wrong in your life. These things, and we all have these, are to be taken before the Lord on a daily basis. Find your center in the Lord and become a blessing to your wife and children.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Look into her eyes and acknowledge her. Listen to her. Take time to just sit alongside her for a time each day. You do not have to fix everything. Simply assure her that you are for her and not against her. She will begin to shine.

God has made women to pour out to all those around her. Women are wired to be generous and to give their lives away. Who is pouring into her? Who is filling her up so that she can continue in this life-giving manner given her? You, her husband, are to be the one pouring into her.

Just as Christ loved the church and gave his life for her, so too are men to be sacrificially giving their lives to their wives. What and how might you encourage and strengthen and gladden your wife’s heart? Serve her. Help her. Offer her your strength so that her strength may not wither away.

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 

Stand before God, well done!

One day we will all stand before God and we would like to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.” As husband and head of your wife and home, as the one taking on 100% responsibility this is both an awesome and terrifying opportunity.

The first thing to do is found in Proverbs,

“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3

The second thing to do is to receive from your wife. She has been uniquely wired to help you be widely successful. God has given her special gifting to help you. Listen to her. She has wisdom, insights, and understanding that you do not have.

It is a foolish man who will not receive (from his wife) all that she has to give him.

“Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21

Submission is in many ways about receiving. Submission is about coming under the unique gifting of each other for mutual benefit and blessing.

Receive from your wife and you will be more successful than if you try to do life on your own. It is the wise man that walks in understanding with his wife, creating for her safety and security that she might share her heart, her insights, her wisdom.

For when a man listens to his wife in this way he becomes wiser too. And he benefits from this gift given him called a wife.

The quality of a community, a church, a home can be determined by how the women and children are treated. Be a quality man, be part of a quality church, lead a quality home that treats women well. Bless them and do not curse them. Give to them, serve them, help them.

How might your wife be best served today? Ask the Lord and ask her. She will tell you. The Lord will direct you.

“Who is the man who fears the Lord? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose. His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land.” Psalm 25:12-13

Whatever good you think of doing for her do it! Each and every day do the thing that comes to mind that will help and care for her. In this way you will find God’s particular favor coming into your life and home.

For God has entrusted your wife and children to you as most precious gifts. She does not belong to you. Your children do not belong to you. They are created in the image of the most high God and belong to Him. Treat them well for they are Gods.

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good? Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. Yet the Lord set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn.”     Deuteronomy 10:12-22

Capturing God’s Heart – Holiness – Volume 30

Holiness is the call of those who claim to know God.

Holiness is the work of the cross done first in our own lives.

Holiness is our personal proving ground before we head out with the gospel to others.

Before Christ we were enslaved to our flesh. Our hungers were focussed on our physical body and our heart sins. We lied, we cheated, we were licentious and gluttons.

It was easy to hate. It felt good to slander. We brought others low so we could feel big. We were consumed with how we could bring pleasure to ourselves.

Then we came to know Christ.

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The Narrow Way

When I was growing up in the church I came away with the impression that the narrow way was the compilation of our habits, our holiness, the choices we made and the things we did and didn’t do.

If we were careful enough then we had found the narrow way.

If we were holy enough we had found the narrow way.

You get the picture. The focus was on actions. Where we went and what we did. Who we hung out with and the things we exposed ourselves to.

Always with a focus on the negative. We were to be taking things out of our life. Rarely was there ever any sense of how to be in the world. We were defined by what wasn’t, not what was.

I’m now well into my forties and thank the good Lord above have come to a little more sense. And while it isn’t a bad thing to remove bad things from our lives I have come to see that the Kingdom of God is about so very much more than this.

The Kingdom of God is about where we dare to go, whom we love enough to hang out with, it is about our letting go of ego that would make nice, play pretty, and cover up.

The Kingdom of God is certainly NOT about playing it safe.

How big is our God anyway?

And so too, this concept of the narrow way has taken on new understanding. But before I go any further lets take a look at the original text.

Follow this to read all of Matthew 7 – then come back.

The exact verse about the narrow way is found almost smack dab in the middle of this chapter.

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:13-14

Now to understand a sentence one must look at the paragraphs and the full context surrounding it.

Let’s first pull out the key words in these two verses. I see:

  • narrow gate
  • a wide gate is easy and = destruction
  • narrow gate is hard and = life
  • few find it

Notice that, in these particular verses, we do not have any clue of what exactly this narrow gate is. To determine this we must look at the rest of the chapter and even beyond that at the manner and spirit of Christ (the speaker here) himself.

In the entire chapter 7 of Matthew we find these key points:

  • do not judge
  • be responsible for yourself first and foremost
  • ask for the things we need, admit our need
  • do to others as we would have others do to us
  • we can tell a tree by its fruit, here is the proof of the person
  • prophesying and acting in the name of Christ does not mean we are his
  • we must build our lives on the wisdom of Christ
  • hearing the words of Christ must change our lives or our lives will not stand

So, this list, these are the narrow way.

Think also of the beginning of this Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:3-9:

  • the poor will have the Kingdom of God
  • those who mourn will be comforted
  • the meek will inherit the earth
  • the hungry for righteousness will be satisfied (i.e.: find righteousness)
  • the merciful will receive mercy
  • the pure in heart will see God
  • peacemakers will be called sons of God

These too indicate the narrow way.

Knowing our poverty of spirit (honesty of heart and soul), those who have those with the heart and the courage to mourn (its’ not all fun and game and not all balderdash), the meek among us, those hungry for God, able to walk in mercy, with a pure heart making peace with others – this is the narrow way.

The narrow way is not proving ‘rightness’, condemnation, judgement, critical spirit, jealousy, christian arrogance, paternalism, and its not even things like holiness or purity.

The narrow way is understanding, realizing on a deep level, that we are not able to be holy or pure. We, you and I, are lost without Christ. That the kingdom of God has nothing to do with anyone else. It has everything to do with our own frailty, our own sin, or own slander, our own lostness.

And once we get this, really get it. I mean, allow the love of God down into the deepest darkest pits INSIDE OF US, then and only then do we operate out of a grace and compassion that marks all those touched by the Living God.

Anything less is merely religion and pretence and conjecture.

That is the wide way. The easy way.

Christ calls us to the narrow way. It’s a vastly different product than what many of us ‘christians’ are living today.

God help us.

Capturing God’s Heart – Holy Spirit – Volume 27

In the Amplified Bible we find Jesus telling his disciples,

“But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.” John 14:26

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Nothing

god and us pic 4We used to think that Jesus died on the cross to detour us around our worst case scenarios.

While our years are full of the good and the bad and the ugly, we prefer to bring only our good to the Lord.

Yet this isn’t what Christ died for.

The cross is planted in the darkest pits of our realities, past or present.

After all, life has swallowed up death and the light has invaded the darkness.

If we are detoured around it all, death is not swallowed up and light doesn’t invade.

As believers though, we can often just want to get to the good stuff. We want the high of salvation without the depths of repentance and sorrow.

We want the feel good of forgiveness without ever once really looking our sin in the eye.

But this doesn’t work. Skimming over our darkness means we get a surface coat of Christ.

Wouldn’t you like more of him than that?

How much saving would you like?

How much do you need?

That is exactly how much you will get. I’m pretty sure, there is even more for you, if you’ll just pick up your cross and follow Christ.

p.s. Once you’ve followed Christ into and through your personal darkness, nothing is scary anymore.

Nothing

Investing Mommyness

real emotions and strong livesI began my own mothering journey some twenty-five years ago. At the time I had no idea the years to come and the full hearts and years of being a Mom.

Today I look back and I am simply so glad that I invested years into the lives of my children. I’m also deeply thankful for the profound strengths that they built into me.

The journey of motherhood is fraught with emotion and momentum, with service beyond what we think we can do, and with the unaccountable at every turn. Mothering is hard work.

Yet the privilege of carrying lives in our hearts is just that, a profound privilege.

And it is not unlike our opportunity in service to others around our world. All ministry is the heart of a mother’s heart. It is the courage to carry another in the heart, to resonate with dreams and priorities different than our own.

Being a Mom simply makes our hearts bigger – and into this expanded place of love we have much to pour out into other lives. Once made strong we have strength to give to others.

This is the privilege of being a Mom.

It is meant to take us beyond ourselves, and into the world.

Our bodies, as women, are prohibited from bearing children for our entire lives. It appears that the Lord set it up so our years as Mom would in fact be limited, for there is just so much more of the world that needs the strength of Moms.

The lessons learned as Mom are to be taken out there. While we are nurtured in our homes and with our families, the goal of all nurturing is to make strong people, to instill confidence and skill sets that can serve a wider audience.

This applies to Moms as well. The most resilient and strong people on the planet are Moms.

So, harness up your life, and invest it in something bigger than yourself. You’ve already been doing this for years no doubt, where might you like it to go now?

Fasting Unto the Lord

P1290233 compressedThis is the fasting that God wants: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you.

Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless.

Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.

Then you will call, the Lord will quickly answer, ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.

Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors! Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble.

Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.

The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength.

You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.

Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.

Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.

Isaiah 58:6-12

Come and See

Jesus Christ SavesThis is a reminder to those living in the greater Vancouver area that tomorrow we are having our Capturing Courage Tea, Story & Prayer gathering.

At 2pm – 4pm, Sunday April 21st, we are gathering to share and pray for God’s heart around the world.

It’s been about six months since our last event, and there have been a lot of things going on in that time – Come and get caught up.

Our last few weeks at Capturing Courage have carried some sorrow and loss – Come and honor with us.

The investments are increasing, relationships are expanding, growth is slowly yet steadily taking hold – Come and celebrate with us.

A trip is in the wings, we are praying and planning – come and look ahead with us.

  • Sunday, April 21
  • 2-4 pm
  • 10082 160St
  • Surrey

“Then they were on the road. They preached with joyful urgency that life could be radically different; right and left they sent the demons packing; they brought wellness to the sick, anointing their bodies, healing their spirits.” Mark 6:12-13 The Message – And the task we are about

Capturing Courage Stories & Prayer from around the World

You are Invited - April 21st

Crux of the Matter

Life and LegacyAt Capturing Courage we have been grappling with sorrow these last few days. Some sad things have taken place and we’ve simply found ourselves before the Lord – disillusioned, sad, questioning, in shock.

Concurrent to this I’ve been working on Workbook 3 of our Walking in Spiritual Authority course. Now spiritual authority is all about waging war of sorts. It’s about standing firmly against what should not be happening, and yet, and YET the real fight… is a fight for life.

Sorrow, I find, brings me right back to the crux of what we are about. Who are we in the world? What are we to be about? How might we engage and advocate?

While it takes a certain kind of strength to reconcile death, it takes a completely different kind of strength to fight for life.

At CCI we are engaging the fight for life.

Spiritual authority played out correctly brings about more life, greater strength, deeper affirmations. Just to name a few.

It’s not about keeping others low, its not about micromanaging lives, its not about any kind of say or permission.

It’s all about expanding our opportunities together, its all about engaging that risks to give our lives away, its all about lifting everyone around us to that next level.

We agree with what the enemy is saying about us (and others) or we agree with what God is saying about us (and others), simple as that. This is spiritual authority either gone bad or done right.

The choice is up to each one of us. Where we agree with the enemy we end up with death. Where we agree with the Lord we end up with life.

You and I declare the second witness.

What are you agreeing to?