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The Gospel and Disney World

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We just spent a memorable, fun week with my family at Disney World. A wonderful gift from my parents that I am very thankful for. I shared several pictures on social media from the trip and God has put on my heart to tell you my real thoughts on Disney World, “the happiest, magical place on earth.”

A couple of years ago Matt and I took our oldest son when  it was just the three of us. When I got home from that trip I had this amazing amount of guilt that we would spend so much of our resources to vacation together when those resources could have been sent to the take the gospel to the unreached or serve the vulnerable. It’s a battle I still face in my mind and heart really every time I spend money on any luxury. Please know I am not saying its wrong to vacation…we just did it! It’s always the longings of the heart. What/Who am I chasing after? I battle all the time should we move to have a less mortgage so we can give more. I have to check my heart in the why am I spending money on whatever it may be from a $5 coffee drink to a house. I have to ask am I making that luxury an idol on my heart to satisfy me? Where am I laying up my treasures? Last year I had to turn from buying any article of clothing for a whole year because my heart attitude in the why I was buying something was all about me. No thing, no vacation, no person, no meal, nothing can quench the thirst in my soul except for Christ himself. And if we try to fill up on the things of this world we will be so distracted, so full that we won’t be hungry for the Bread of Life that alone satisfies the longings of our souls.

A trip to Disney World with your kids might be the epitome of the American Dream. Let me tell you though, dreams end and what’s only in Christ remains. For I have tasted and seen and there is something far better in Jesus. As I walked the streets in Disney World what I saw at times broke my heart. I saw so many parents yelling at their kids in the worst of ways and the Holy Spirit convicted me that I also do the same in different ways even at Disney World. You see special kinds of tantrums. You experience hot, crowded streets and long bus rides. Matt’s activity app said we walked about 10 miles average each day and our backs felt the effects of it. In the “Happiest place on earth” there is much brokenness. You see the effects of the fall of man when Adam and Eve listened to Satan in the garden.  God had told Adam and Eve if they ate of the tree in the garden “They would surely die.” God is always true to his Word. He always keeps His promises. And so after this first sin we see sickness, death, sorrow effect man. The wages of sin is death and we are all born under the curse of sin. God alone is holy and sin can not be in his presence and this first sin separated all of mankind from God.

The moment we are conceived we are sinners, born children of darkness. No one is born a child of God. Now each person is made by God, knit together in their mothers womb by God and known by God but no one is born his child. We are only adopted into Gods family by grace through faith in Christ alone. It is because of what Jesus did on that cross in Calvary 2,000 something years ago and rising from the dead that we may live when we turn to him in faith. While we were still sinners Christ died for us.

So as I walked the streets of Disney I thought about all of this as I looked at all the people God has created in his image, that he loves, that Christ paid the death penalty for drinking the cup of the wrath of God wondering if they had ever heard of his great love for them. I wondered if they had turned to Him or wondered if they were still filling the longings of their heart with things of this world, that can never satisfy and only lead to death. And I pray, Lord your Kingdom Come quickly.

For I have been to the happiest, places on earth and it’s not Disney World. The happiest places are the places you see the Light shining in the darkness. The places you see children who were once in darkness stepping into the Kingdom of God becoming children of Light. And there is no magic to it. It is the power of God bringing people into his eternal family. It’s reality. And there is nothing else that can hold a candle to it.

May you have a wonderful weekend worshipping our Risen, Lord and King!

~Lane

 

Also if you are unsure what the gospel is this 20 minute video from David Platt is very well worth a listen. It starts at about 30 second mark:) https://www.facebook.com/Radical.net/videos/1468852606556626/?hc_ref=ARS1s6rn_T9e1MzCK3afMvg_ChWmzNVVUL4esYHYH9LD8Bpwx91uvcBFAXHV7txLcFI

 

 

 

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Mama heart

Hey friends~

Before I even write another word I must be upfront and honest.  I battle my own selfishness daily in motherhood. What happened in my house yesterday is nothing but ugly. I’m scarred to let you in this picture but I feel compelled to before I write more. So welcome to Sunday afternoon in my house.

How in the world can a house get so messy in two days is what is running through my mind? I don’t pick up for two days and now we can’t seem to see the floor. So I start my cleaning in a fit of rage. Going from room to room I pick up and put away while at the same time my one year old was in the process of literally emptying out baskets of toys all over the place(so really just doing what one year olds do). I let my husband get an earful that this is what I do everyday. I told him I was going crazy and how defeated I felt. I am not one to usually curse aloud but feeling that it was my right too I let out a word that I shouldn’t have. And that only made me feel worse. That’s what sin does. Sin enslaves you to shame. I then move into the kitchen that was now the clean room to find my child throwing everything out of his diaper bag. I tell him no. He doesn’t stop and so I only get louder and yell no again. Now he’s in tears and I feel like the worst mother on the planet.

I share all this with you because I’m in the trenches too. I fail daily and that is when I preach the gospel to myself. God’s grace is always greater when my heart wants to condemn me. Jesus took the wrath I deserve for my sin and it is finished. I am no longer condemned because of what Jesus did. And as a child of God I hate the sin that I still turn too because it keeps me from walking in the Spirit and in truth and reflecting his image to a dying world. I can’t walk in the Spirit if I’m choosing to walk in sin.  We experience freedom only in abiding in Christ and dying to self walking in his ways.

Wow so that was my intro to lay the ground work. I wanted to share the above because I’m in the trenches too.

Now to this post…

I shared this with a group of moms in my church fellowship last summer and it’s been on my heart to share it here. I keep seeing so many articles about what is wrong with todays kids. As a young mom they really aren’t encouraging at all.

We live in a world where we are constantly hearing about all that can go wrong and seeing how our peers are doing. We hear about moms who lose their child and they end up in a gorilla cage in the zoo or remember the child attacked by an alligator at Disney. Those moms are then attacked in the media. And then on the other hand  we can daily hear about being a helicopter mom or a lawn mower mom and how we need to let kids learn and be kids. We live in a world where we constantly read a new article on facebook about new dangers in the world…electric shock drowning, the toxicity of sunscreen, slides being covered with glass, a child swallowing a fidget spinner, the reality of human trafficking, the new drug of child pornography, children being shot and killed. This list goes on and on. As moms we are constantly being told things to fear and everything we need to do to help our child succeed. On tap of that we we read things posted about everything thats wrong with todays children blaming the parents.

Hear this: the fear of man is always a trap.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Proverbs 9:10). It is only in having a right view of God and who we are in Christ can we find rest. When our eyes are looking at Jesus the fears of this world fade and our thoughts are taken captive to Christ. For we can take heart in Christ for he has overcome the world. Yes, in this world we will have trouble but we rest in the truth that Jesus has overcome the world.

It is a daily battle field for my mind in this world but God continues to faithfully meet me in His Word. God transforms me and renews my thinking in His Word. God transforms my desires, my longings, my thoughts and my fears.

So Mama’s lets encourage each other and build each other up and pour into each others little ones like they are our own. Because they are. When you are in Christ we belong to each other in Christ(Romans 12). Let us rejoice, mourn, encourage, rebuke in love, and serve one another all for the glory of God. Lets not invoke fear of man or shame but encourage and build one another up in love. We need each other. Older women pour into and teach younger women in love and younger women listen. There is no room for judgement or condemnation only serving each other in love all for the glory of God.

Wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord. Wisdom is the right application of knowledge. We get lots of knowledge in our day of all the dangers in this world as our finger tips scroll through news feeds. We can’t apply anything we learn without first seeing that apart from Christ we cant do anything good. We must first remember and see we are sinners who deserve nothing but the full wrath of God. BUT God in his great love and mercy saved us while we were dead in transgressions. We are dead apart from Christ and without him we can’t do anything good.  Christ dwells in us through the Holy Spirit when you call on his name turning to him and you are sealed in Him. So when I think about walking in the fear of the Lord I think about surrendering in reverent worship and walking in full dependency on Jesus.

Wherever you are friend lean hard on Jesus. And when you feel you can’t go on lean harder on Jesus and don’t hesitate to reach out to sisters in Christ. For we belong to one another(Romans 12:5).

I can’t begin to get this motherhood thing right unless I first take each day walking as who I am a child myself…A child of God depending fully on Jesus and resting fully in the truth that Jesus is making ALL things new. And in the meanwhile I am Christ’s ambassador here in a dying world and that includes first being an ambassador to my kids.

~Lane

 

 

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A letter to the Christian after Vegas shootings

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I write brothers and sisters as that is what we are in Christ for all eternity. I thank God for you! I write this letter with a heavy and tired heart. But fixing my eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen, I am certain that these light and momentary troubles are achieving an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

My first initial reaction to the Vegas shootings this week was one of numbness. Day by day we wake up to the horrible realities where children are killed and ripped from their mothers wombs by choice, children are sold as sex slaves, the average refugee lives in a a refugee camp for 17 years, child pornography is a new drug, children in the city I live in have to walk past an “adult bookstore” on their way to elementary school, Heroin is easily accessible for teenagers in local schools, and children are living in places eating pies made out of mud. We see the effects of sin in us all and the effect our sin has on each other. I used to work in a skilled nursing home in Tennessee where I would cry in the bathroom regularly on my lunch break. I would go home and have night terrors during the early part of my marriage because the images of my patients laying in stone lonely rooms day after day simply surviving until the next day rocked me to the core. But eventually I had to learn to grow a thick skin to what I would see day after day. I found myself having the same response when I opened my email for the day to see that the deadliest shooting in U.S. history had happened. I simply went on to check my inbox.

I do not like my response and I grieve I had that response initially and where my skin is thick. But I have to see my response as very similar to the church in the west in our day but to thousands dying daily. Every day. Followers of Jesus are sitting back and watching approximately 70,000 people die daily without ever hearing the gospel. Without receiving the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ one faces an eternity receiving the full wrath of God. We sit in our church buildings week after week and consider missions just a side ministry that we might wear a t-shirt for every now and then. Less than 1% of the American churches money is going to spread the gospel to the unreached having more money spent on dog Halloween costumes than what is sent to the reach the unreached with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

God in his sovereignty could open up the heavens and reveal Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to all but this is not what God in his sovereignty has chosen to do. God has chosen to use his people to GO and share the gospel so people can hear the call and be reconciled to Him through Jesus Christ our Lord. This is amazing, God has chosen to use His people to share His great love in bringing a people to himself from every tribe, nation, and tongue through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Brothers and sisters lets please don’t grow a thick skin and let us encourage one another as the day draws near. May we be a people that do not sit back and watch Billions of people perish for all eternity because our hearts were too hard to pray, send missionaries and Go ourselves.

Let’s take seriously Jesus’ words where he tells his disciples “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20). “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)

Step back American follower of Jesus and let us weep and mourn with those who mourn and walk in the reality of the great hope we have in Jesus Christ our Lord and share that hope with a perishing world around us with great eagerness and joy.

“And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. ” (2 Corinthians 5: 19-20)

The real gospel never ends with you!!! An imposter gospel will end with you but the gospel of Jesus Christ never ends with you.

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48) We have been given much!!! We have been given the gift of sonship for all eternity in Jesus Christ our Lord and what are you doing with the gospel, the greatest gift ever given?

Always preaching to myself too brothers and sisters.

In Christ,

Lane

 

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Hurting

Last week I went to a course on treatment in adult neurogenics. As I sat and listened to the presenter speak way over my head in an area that I am supposed to have great knowledge in my thoughts were turned to God. Think a moment about all the different professions that study how God made us. Cardiologists, dentists, podiatrists, neurologists, pathologists, oncologists…this list goes on and on. All different fields that go to years and years of schooling and spend a life time learning about how God made us when he “formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed life into his nostrils”(Genesis 2:7)

I sit back in awe that we can not even begin to grasp the complexity of how God made us. We have to have a specific field to specialize in. There is no way to even begin to understand them all in full. God breathed and man was created. That is a glimpse at just how powerful God is. We have to rest in the truth that God is not like us and that is a good thing and quit trying to compare him to anything.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8)

We can not comprehend and we need to rest in that and let that fuel worship. If one was ever able to fully comprehend God then God would some how have some kind of measurement and therefore have limits. And if God has limits then He would not be worthy of worship for all eternity.

One truth about God that my small group talked about tonight is how God does not change. Think about this truth about God for a moment. God does not change his mind. We however change constantly. God never changes his love for you poured out in Christ. In fact today God feels about sinners “exactly as He did when He sent His only-begotten Son into the world to die for mankind!”(Tozer)  Wow!!! We also have to see that God does not change in His just wrath.

We will all stand before the Lord one day and God will not change His mind about His plans and purposes in Christ. There will be no excuse for anyone. There will be no telling God I went to church, my grandfather was a pastor, I lived on a deserted island and never heard about you, or I was a good person. The truth is every single person in this world is without excuse for worshipping God for who He is.  “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Our only right response is worship and thanksgiving. We all have gone our own way though and fallen short of His glory therefore are separated from Him deserving his full wrath for all eternity. There is no one innocent not one.

But God has reconciled sinners to himself through Jesus Christ our Lord who took the full wrath of God in our place. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21). “Jesus says “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14)

God will not change his mind about this as God can not change. It is only by grace you are saved through faith in Christ alone. This is such good news but should bring the follower of Christ to great urgency!!!!! Currently there are billions of people that have never heard the gospel. And “How, then can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without preaching to them?” (Romans 10:14)

There is a football stadium full of people daily dying without ever hearing the good news that Jesus has come to reconcile sinners who receive him to a Holy God while we sit in church pews week after week. May the follower of Jesus walk in reckless abandon to make known the mysteries of His gospel because Jesus is worthy of all praise.

Hurting deeply for the unreached tonight,

Lane

Some Scripture references: Isaiah 55 8-11, Isaiah 46: 9-10, James 1:17, Romans 1-3, Romans 10, John 14, Colossians 1

Recommended book reading that goes along with this post:

Radical by David Platt

None Like Him (Jen Wilkin)

Knowledge of the Holy (A.W. Tozer)

 

 

 

 

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In response to the most popular tweet

It’s the early hours of a new day but I sense the urgent need to write. I pray these words only cause you to look and examine in scripture for yourself.

The headline I just read as I was checking my email was about the most liked tweet ever on twitter. This tweet was by Barack Obama in his response to Charlottesville where he quotes a portion of Nelson Mandela “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion,” Mandela’s full quote finishes “people must learn to hate, and if people can learn to hate, people can be taught to love.”

Before I go further I must say first the Christ follower must fully condemn white supremacy. This is not a time to be silent. I love Beth Moore’s words on this one “We cannot renounce what we will not name. It’s called white supremacy. And it is from hell. Call it. Condemn it.” See Tim Keller’s article here for further explanation. That is not my reason for writing tonight but I see the need to say that upfront. I also need to say this is in no way a post to bash Obama in any way or to bring up political debate.

I want to simply state why the quote contradicts God’s Word that was referenced in the most liked tweet. Mandela’s quote says that we are taught to hate that no one is born hating.  However listen to what God’s word says:

There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. ALL have turned away, they have become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3: 10-18).

We are all born sinners. Worse than being born hating people for skin color we are born in complete opposition to God. We have all turned. We have all strayed. We all fall short of the glory of God. And in this we all are born sinners that hurt one another and oppose one another. Yes. Every single one of us. We don’t earn our sin scars we are born with them. We are born seeking pleasure for self and self alone. We each deserve the full wrath of God for our own hate against God. That’s what sin is. It’s full rebellion and opposition to God. We are born enemies of God.

But God….

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him. For if while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” Romans 5:6-11

We have to first see that we are all born haters. We are born haters of God himself whether you realize it or not. We are born in full separation of God since the fall of man(Genesis 3). And since the fall we have all personally rebelled against God. This opposition of God we are born into crosses all races, genders, cultures, and families making us all born separated from God who alone is righteous and good.

Then it becomes clearer I can’t be taught to love. Because we are born enemies of God we cannot be taught to love. Now you can be taught to obey rules and laws but one can not be taught to love. We have to be changed by love himself to actually be able to love.

You ever wonder how much God hates sin? Look at the cross. You ever wonder how much God loves you? Look at the cross.

Jesus he has redeemed our rebellious, hateful hearts receiving the full punishment for our sin drinking the cup of the wrath of God that we each deserve. There’s a catch though. To have a Savior you have to see your need to be saved. A Savior saves from something. There’s this seeing your need to open the gift first. We have to see and confess our sin against God seeing our own deep need for Christ. Jesus himself is our peace with God. He has paid the penalty.  In Christ justice has been served. It’s all about Christ and without him there is no life.

Thankful for the blood of Jesus that saved a wretched hater like me.

Lane

 

 

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Best 9

At the end of the year a new thing is to reflect back on the “Best 9” moments. The Best 9 moments are measured by the number of likes on an Instagram post. I think this is fun to do, to reflect and look back on. At the end of last year I found myself reflecting and looking back on the year I had just had. Not at the photos that had a lot of likes but looking back and remembering: Did I share the gospel with words faithfully? Did  I love my husband and children well? Did I serve my brothers and sisters? Did I teach and equip people with the Word of God? Did I give sacrificially of my resources and my time? Did I reach out to internationals? All of these questions I’m convicted on.

Your Best 9 moments can not and should not all be seen on a social media news feed. Scripture teaches that we are not to pronounce all over when we give and serve. Listen to Jesus’ words: “When you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right  hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:2-4)

Do the best 9 moments of your year so far have you at the center or God at the center? Are your best moments that trip to the beach? That anniversary trip? The Disney world trip? etc. Now one or two of your best memories or moments might pop up. Thats ok but one thing to ask is how is God at the center of each of those 9 moments that look the best to others in your life? How are you reflecting his character and putting the spotlight on God? It is not the things or the experiences that measure our days it’s the fruit. Fruit only comes by abiding in Christ and walking in obedience to him alone.

I share this to encourage and spur on in August because the year isn’t over. I am preaching to myself too y’all. Can you think of 9 people that you have talked with about Jesus that are not your close friends? Have you shared the gospel one time this year yet with words? Are you taking in God’s Word daily to know and experience more of him? Ann Voskamps words come to mind “Every day you can do one thing you wish you could do for everyone. We will be known for our actual fruits not the intentions of our imaginations.”

You don’t need a t-shirt to put on to produce fruit you just need the armor God gives you DAILY. God’s grace for today is always greater than your yesterday failures. Walk in God’s grace. His mercies are new every morning. Each day is a gift to pour out all you have been given trusting that God is going to fill you tomorrow. He always does. Anything good we have to pour out only comes from God. We can’t do anything good apart from Christ (John 15).

Take a moment to reflect on your year so far. Number your days friends. Scripture teaches us this. “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom”(Psalm 90:12). Know friends God’s grace is greater than our failures always. I fail daily and I only see my need for Jesus more. I find such rest in his faithfulness. Don’t miss out on the joy in the obedience in walking with Jesus.

 “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot

 

 

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I’m going there

I’m going to go there. Honestly my own fearful flesh I battle has kept me from going here sooner with written words for the internet world to see. I think it’s a fear of being misunderstood. A fear of offending someone I love. A fear of being looked at as some kind of religious freak. A fear of my own reputation and coming across as someone yelling scripture to you. If you read further know you are choosing to read so I am ok. I will be ok if I offend you. My heart is not one of condemnation in writing but love. Jesus offended people. He did so much people put him to death.

The truth is I don’t see myself as religious in the least bit. I am a follower of Jesus and he is either just religion to you or reality. He truly can’t be both. He’s either fairytale or truth. Know if I offend you its because I love you and I hurt more than ever for Truth to be heard not someone’s idea of it. Truth is not an idea. Truth has a name. Truth is Jesus. Have you ever thought about why Jesus offended people so much? Jesus came saying he is Lord and he had all authority. Why would people kill someone if all he was saying was to love people and doing good deeds for them? Jesus can not simply be a good person to you and someone’s teaching you like. Tim Keller says it beautifully here.

“I believe you’ll see that in the end you can’t simply like anybody who makes claims like those of Jesus. Either he’s a wicked liar or a crazy person and you should have nothing to do with him or he is who he says he is and your whole life has to revolve around him and you have to throw everything at his feet and say command me.”

 Jesus taught come and die so you can live. Pick up your cross daily and follow me. We are to die to our own self righteousness and come to Jesus receiving his righteousness. This is so radical. Jesus paid a radical price when he died for our sin. Death could not hold him because no sin was in him before his Father and its when we come to Jesus we can come to the Father being adopted into the eternal family of God. Apart from the atoning blood of Jesus the wrath of God lays fully on each one of us for the sin we have committed against God who is set apart, not like us. He alone is without any need  and is all powerful, good, omnipresent, omniscient, and sovereign over all things. To call any sin, sin you have to look at who you sinned against. God reveals himself to us in his Word. We can not choose bits and pieces of what to believe and what is relevant. Truly the whole Bible is true to you or none of it is. You can not pick and choose.

If you believe the Bible is God’s Word you have to believe everything that’s in it. If you don’t believe the Bible is fully true how can you even know who God is? You see the thing about the Bible is it’s not just an ordinary book and can not be read in an ordinary way. All scripture is God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Bible is God’s Word and if you dismiss away the Word  of the Great I am you are dismissing God himself.

The Bible is all or nothing. It is either foolish or truth revealed in written words. Jesus is all or nothing; he spits out the lukewarm.

You can not explain away scriptures that speak about homosexuality as a sin without changing God’s Word.

You can not ever ever ever say your body is your own and you have the right to kill life that God is creating in the womb without changing God’s Word.

You can not ever say that there is any other way to God through any other than Jesus without changing God’s Word.

You can not say its ok to turn your back on refugees as a follower of Jesus without changing God’s Word.

You can not put your ultimate hope in a countrys’ safety and prosperity as a follower of Jesus without changing God’s Word.

Whew….Did I miss any of the hot topics that Christians are misunderstood about and cause division? Now you know the reason for the title.

 

It was through reading my Bible alone by myself when I was 26 years old that the Lord poured out his grace upon me showing me my deep, deep sin. I saw my sin for the first time because I saw who my sin was against for the first time. Woe is me, I come undone before the Lord God Almighty. The only way to ever draw near, to know him is through coming to him under the precious blood of God himself who took on flesh because of his great love and mercy. It’s all grace so no one can boast(Ephesians 2). Oh how he loves us that we may become children of God!

And if the God who revealed himself to me in his Word has any error about himself or anything in the Bible that I can take at my own understanding and twist and he is ok with then I will say I am to be pitied above all men.

The Bible is either God’s Word to you or its another book with religious ideas. It can not be both. And if it’s God’s Word I have to say reading it might just change your life. Coming to the Bible humbly asking God to help you understand will cause you to fall on you face and rest in the blood of Jesus and not looking back.  If you need to know where to start please reach out.

So friend wherever you are reading this know I love you. I do. Forgive me for being slow to share. It was my own reputation I had to learn to be willing to die too and being ok counting the cost.

Thankful for the precious blood that saved a wretch of a sinner like me,

Lane

 

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Quiet time

Who said that quiet time with God has to always be quiet? We do not have to wait until all is quiet around us to spend time with the Lord. It’s the quiet heart after God that God sees and meets. We do not need to wait for the environment to be just right and quiet to meet with God. If that’s the case we are limiting time to commune with God only to that set apart time when everything is just right. God is right with us 24/7.

For the child of God, Christ indwells IN YOU through the power of the Holy Spirit. When you receive Christ as Lord and Savior you are baptized by the Holy Spirit and are sealed in him. You receive the spirit of Sonship. You are adopted into God’s family through the blood of  Jesus. No one is ever born a child of God. We are only adopted in through the life saving blood of Jesus. God tells us in his Word no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born again(John 3). Just as young children learn to obey their parents and how their family dynamic works the child of God is always learning to walk as a child of God through the power of the Holy Spirit in them. We are always learning.

It would be absurd to think that you are only to hear from your Heavenly Father in a set apart time where you make sure things are quiet. The child of God lives in a moment by moment obedient walk and growing in Christ.

It is very important to have set apart quiet time with God. You see Jesus continually retreating to spend time alone with the Father during his time here on earth. We learn from Jesus the importance of the self discipline of making sure to have set apart time but we are not limited to this time alone with God.

Being a stay at home mom with a 4 year old and one year old I’ve learned to get creative with set apart quiet heart time with God all through out my day. Here are some simple things that have helped me that I wanted to share with you that may help you too:

1.First it is important for your children to see that time in the Word of God and prayer is part of who you are. Let them see you reading the Bible throughout the day and invite them in to that time when appropriate. For example if I’m reading a scripture I often will invite my 4 year old into that time with me by telling him about what I’m reading. This helps me learn and gives a natural moment of pouring truth into him at the same time.

2. The Throne before the phone rule– Don’t touch any social media until you’ve had time to commune with God. This is so helpful y’all. And take days of rest from social media.

3.Keep a Bible with you so you can read during those unexpected moments of quiet you get throughout the day and pray God’s Word as you read.

4. Saturate your mind: Listen to the Bible on audio in the car, worship God in song in the car or in the kitchen, Listen to podcasts of solid food Bible teachers, fill your social media with discipleship pages that point you to God so your mind is being saturated with things of Christ when you are scrolling through your newsfeed(I have some of my favorites listed at the bottom of the page).

5. Pray without ceasing. Pray in the car with your kids, while you get ready, while you do laundry, while you are walking to meet a friend. I set globes and maps throughout the house where I will see to remind me to pray daily for the unreached and persecuted and use the Joshua Project App.  We have access to the heavenly realms at all times in Christ Jesus. Go there without ceasing.

6. Make disciples. This is Jesus command to his followers to “Make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and teaching them all that I have commanded and surely I’m with you to the end of age.” Jesus says it right there he is with us as we make disciples. I have such deep communion with God all glory to him alone when I’m being obedient to  his command to his church. He is with me the whole time leading.

7. Sacrifice. That might mean you set your alarm clock really early. That might mean you stay up later. That might mean you skip out on a workout so you can be still before God. That might mean you do a hobby that takes up so much time a little less.

8. Worship corporately with your church family. I so look forward to Sundays not as a time to go and be filled but as a time to worship God alone. Sunday worship is never about us. It’s about exalting God and it is so sweet to do this with other believers.

I hope this helps some that might be struggling to have time with God throughout the day. Know he is with you wherever you go and the environment doesn’t have to be right just the humble heart coming to him. He is so faithful to his Word to meet the one seeking Him with all their heart and soul(Deuteronmy 4).

All for Christ.

Lane

Some of my favorites:

Podcasts I love: RisenMotherhood, Revive our Hearts, Tim Keller sermons

Social media pages to follow: Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, Radical(David Platt), Life Lived Beautifully, Risen Motherhood

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Self Pity

Elisabeth Elliot said it perfectly. “Refuse self-pity. Refuse it absolutely. It is a deadly thing that has the power to destroy you.”

I have found this to be so true.  The root of self pity is pride and thinking we deserve something better. We can never be content when our eyes are fixed purely on a circumstance. Happiness is dependent on a circumstance but joy is dependent in a person. The world will tell you do what makes you happy but God tells us the secret really isn’t in the circumstance at all. “I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13). It all goes back to Jesus himself.

Don’t fix your eyes on the circumstance. The secret is never in the circumstances its in knowing the giver of joy in those circumstances good and hard. And joy has a name….Jesus. Happiness is the worlds substitute for joy and always depends on a circumstance. “You can’t depend on happiness but you can always depend on joy.”(Juanita K.) Joy comes in knowing Jesus and keeping your eyes fixed on him. I have experienced the trauma of self pity, the trauma of  taking my eyes off of Jesus and fixing my eyes on fleshly desires. His grace is always greater than our failures. When our hearts fail, He does not. When we are faithless he is still faithful. The Good Shepherd knows his sheep and knows just how to care for us when things are easy and hard.

Jesus says “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yolk is easy and burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30..emphasis mine)

Here we see Jesus saying come, learn, and rest. It’s a daily learning from Christ once we come to him. The believer has already taken Jesus’ yolk upon them and taken off their own.  You don’t earn his yolk you receive it. Its all grace. Your own striving stops. Then we learn and its the walking in Christ where rest is found. Once you’ve received his yolk you don’t try to go and do your own work with your own yolk, you learn from Jesus and carrying his. A.W. Tozer says its a 1000 deaths to self this learning to walk in Christ. You see all through the New Testament the Apostle Paul will speak and live out this dying to self daily. If we are wearing his yolk but trying to still wear our own we miss the joy in the obedient walk with Jesus. This is why pride, why self pity, is so devastating. When we try to do things our own way we miss fully the joy and the purpose we’ve been made for.

Hear Jesus’ words, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 What is a disciple? “A learner that is learning how to live in the power of and express outwardly the gospel of grace of Jesus Christ”(Al Henson). Even our humbling ourselves, our learning,  is a gift from the Lord that he helps us with. We can’t do anything apart from him. We are always learning daily when we humble ourselves and learn from him.

“And in this knowledge-in knowing Him-we can finally rest.”

“The rest that Jesus offers only comes when we humble ourselves and submit to Him. This is why Jesus uses the image of a yoke, Jesus is calling us to submit to Him as our true master. But this can only happen when we ‘learn of Him’-when we are humbled as he is humble.” (Taken from Humble Roots  by Hannah Anderson.)

I go back to the beginning of this post.  “Refuse self-pity. Refuse it absolutely. It is a deadly thing that has the power to destroy you”(Elisabeth Elliot). The joy is in the surrendering self and learning and resting in Jesus.

Thankful Gods heart is always greater when I fail,

Lane

For more reading:

Camp in Phillipians and Galations in the Bible

A.W. Tozer  The Crucified Life

Hannah Anderson  Humble Roots

Elisabeth Elliot(anything she writes:))

I’m not a huge fan of devotional readers but this is a great one Keep a Quiet Heart

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

The Court

Most of my weekends as a teen were spent in a gym somewhere in the southeast half the year. Back then, half my age ago, I would have told you it was a good weekend based off if we won and how many three pointers I scored in a game. Looking back there are so many things I would want to tell 16 year old Lane about not being focused on self and to  pass the ball a little more. But one thing I had instilled in me at 16 that I’m forever grateful for today is the gift of the differences I shared on the court with my teammates were only a beautiful thing. Growing up in the suburbs of Birmingham most people looked like me but on the court we had all shades of color…including the season I went orange from too much tanning. I had girls on my team from all over Birmingham…Pleasant Grove, Hoover, Mountain Brook, Pinson, Vincent, Leeds, Vestavia, Alabaster. We all came together for the love of the game and each brought something a little different to the court. Natasha brought a quiet leadership. Martha brought a laughter to all. Tina made sure we all looked good on the court with makeup before the game and always kept me laughing. Ebonie and Laura Leigh brought a work ethic and love for the game that was contagious to us all. Jana just always showed up always ready to play leading us all to give it all on the court. Lindsay and Ashley encouraged us all with the way they loved us. Megan and Mindy brought a humility to us all by their example. I could go on and on here.

We each were different but we all came together for love of the game and it was actually our differences that made us one of the better teams in the Southeast. Color of skin was one difference that we shared on this team but I can tell you this difference in color was only a sweet joy. We learned from each other on those long weekends away. Parents from   the suburbs and city fried chicken together in hotel rooms on overnight weekend trips staying up in conversation. Ebonie if you read this I can still hear your mama yelling “Make your free throws baby.” Conley and Megan I can still taste those oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that you brought to every tournament.

This might be a long stretch but I think I got a little taste of eternity on the AAU basketball court….being in unity with people not like me from all different parts but we all came together for one love. Our differences only made us exalt the love we shared more. Can you see the picture here? Each of us unique in our differences(Im not just talking about skin color but all the differences we all had) but we were the same. Jesus has purchased a people from every nation, tribe and tongue with his blood and for all eternity we will be worshipping God and have a part in the eternal Kingdom of God. We are all the same in Christ(Galations 3:28).

So why does global missions matter? There are about 3 BILLION PEOPLE that have yet to hear the the gospel in the world. That’s Billion with a B and people with a P. Not a statistic. Not just a number but a person created by Almighty God. There are over a thousand people groups that have yet to have any scripture translated into their native tongue. There are people from persecuted nations being scattered all over who have yet to hear the good news of the one they were created to worship some of whom are seeking refuge in our country. Approximately 70,000 people die daily without hearing the saving name of Jesus. “But how can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.” Romans 10:14-15.  Global missions matters because God is worthy of worship from a people from every tribe, nation and tongue that have been purchased by the precious Blood of the Lamb and Jesus has commanded the church to go and tell all peoples.

Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate.” —John Piper

I have had the privilege of worshipping with believers on the other side of the world and though we come from totally different places and look different on the outside there was an instant unity in Christ. There was an instant sweetness in worship with them as we worshiped our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We knew we were immediate family.  Just to think those in Christ will be with thousands upon thousands of people groups all the same in Christ for all eternity worshipping God. The Christ follower has so much to look forward too as we will worship our eternal God who is worthy of all praise with a people from every, tribe, nation and tongue. What a beautiful picture and so much to look forward too!