Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Friday, June 12, 2009
God, I stand here in awe of you, not fully comprehending the magnitude of what has happened. You brought together in a few short months our Sunday school of mixed ages, colors, and backgrounds for one purpose – to show our church what unity is. You chose me of all people, who has no music experience and never led anything like this before, to start a Spanish/English worship service to unite our church.
You had already brought us through so much controversy even before the night of worship. So many people not understanding what God was doing, wanting us to stop, telling us we couldn’t do it. But with this adversary, instead of dividing us, knit us together as a family.
As the day of the worship service approached, the tension continued to grow. You could feel Satan trying to stop us at every corner. But in all that, you refused to allow him touch or get to the band and singers. You were always there, prodding, pulling, telling us to not fear and just trust.
It soon became clear that it was going to be Your night. We were all very scared about what would happen after the service, but you gave us peace. A few minutes before the show, we met together in prayer and gave it all to you. We knew that no matter what happened you would be glorified, for us doing the service at all proves that we are united in you.
Even before the service began you could see the division as all the whites sat on one side and the Hispanics on the other. But as the band began to play and sing, walls tumbled down and disappeared before our eyes. Within a couple of songs, even I, the director, was swept away and it was just you and me, God. The most powerful and moving part of the service was by far the dance to No Orphans: An amazing visual representation of the division that was and proof of the unity we now have.
Now that it is all over, I am still overcome with awe and wonder at what you have done. You picked our Sunday school of misfits, rejects, and outcasts to unite this church. You chose us to destroy walls of division that not even our elders and pastors have been able to conquer. You have hidden these things from the wise and have revealed them to children. It still makes me chuckle as I marvel at the indescribable wonders you performed on Pentecostal Sunday 2009.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
My greatest fear... Failure, Disappointment, Rejection.
Where will you be in ten years?
Sorry all you Yank fans, but down here in Texas we don't take to kindly to those who bad mouth us behind our back.
Thank you to all the men and women who have given their lives in the service
"When spring is dancing among the hills, you can't stay in a little dark corner."
What do you see? Broken glass?
And you thought your living room had a lot of seats!
"If music be the food of love, play on." - William Shakespeare
Crazy friends that hang with you... a big bottle of Diet Mountain Dew...
What is your tool? What will you use? Good or evil? Hate or love? Bitterness or forgiveness?
Monday, May 25, 2009
So God, last night you surprised me. There was no class for me this Wednesday, so I went to the Kidmo party to hang out with the kids and I had a blast! While we were in worship, the first song we sang was Your Grace is Enough. At that moment something dawned on me that I had missed so many times before. Your grace is enough. It is all I need to make it through another month of cancer, another month of fear, another month of trials. No matter how weak or incapable I feel, your grace is all sufficient and all I need to live, let alone keep going.
I don’t remember the name of the next song but the lyrics were talking about coming before the throne with arms raised high and heart abandoned, surrendering my soul to Him who gave His all for me. As I fell before your throne, with hands raised and heart abandoned, I felt my spirit being lifted as my heart was drawn out of myself into your hands. As I sang it and meant it, I felt it and knew it.
Then I was surprised by You – surprised by joy. As the band kept playing and began to sing Mighty to Save, I found myself surrounded by my fifth grade girls, silently hugging, praying, and crying with me. You can move the mountains in my life. You can stop the cancer, the trials, the swing – you can stop it all. But I now understand you have something greater that I can’t see right now. I know that you love me and I can trust you. You know how much I can handle and I know if I fall you will always catch me. “Savior, He can move the mountains. My God is mighty to save!”
Friday, May 15, 2009
Leadership is influence -- everyone has influence. Your sphere of influence encompasses you wherever you go, and consists of the people you know, see, and come in contact with (such as family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, classmates, and even the clerk at the store). If you do not believe you impact people, take a look at how your friends influence your thoughts, actions, and more importantly your attitudes.
So, what is the purpose of becoming a great leader if you do it for the wrong reason? Hitler, Stalin, and Nero may have done “great” things, but they changed the world for the worse because of wrong motives. The key to being a great leader is a servant attitude; Jesus Christ was a successful leader because He led in love and service for others – not Himself.
There are five pillars that hold up an effective leader. The first is meekness. Real meekness is bridled power – great power under great control. With influence comes leadership, with leadership comes power, and with power comes responsibility. Your success as a leader will be determined by how you use this power and responsibility, and if you control your feeling and attitudes, verses letting them control you.
The second pillar is integrity, which will reveal the inner character of a person. It is leading, not by popularity but principle, and shows people what you are really made of. We cannot skim over a person’s character simply because they can get the job done well. True integrity’s price is self-discipline and personal sacrifice, but the lack of has high consequences.
Vision is seeing God’s presence, power, and plan in spite of obstacles. It is seeing life through God’s eyes and being willing to take the leap of faith, even when you do not see the landing. Your vision is useless unless those following you are able to get a hold of it. As a leader, it is not enough merely to see the completed product, you must convey it to others and show them how it can be accomplished.
Attitude will either make or break your leadership. Your attitude is what you focus on and is shaped by who and what you surround yourself with. It is the greatest thing you admire in your own leader’s lives: the ability to look past obstacles, stay focused on strengths, and conquer the challenges of today in order to reach the goal of tomorrow. You determine your attitude and you attitude will determine you!
The final pillar is empowerment. The true measure of a leader is not what happens while you lead, but the result after you are gone. Leadership is worthless if you do not enable your followers to continue in your absence, and empower them to lead without you. Empowerment is not solely encouraging others in hard times or inspiring them to overcome challenges, but it is sharing the tools and knowledge you have and imparting your gifts to them.
God is in control, and is using the situations in your life to mold you into the leader He wants you to become. Be steadfast in your beliefs even in opposition, confident that God is in control whatever the circumstance, and focused on the goal of becoming a great servant leader. You may not see yourself as an amazing leader, but are you willing to take the risk to become one?
Friday, May 1, 2009
So God, who am I? How do you view me? What do you think of me? Who am I to you? What’s your purpose for me? Why am I here? What do you want me to be doing? What’s your plan for my life? Who am I really?
Amy, I am your love, your bridegroom, and your soul mate. I am life, joy, peace, and fulfillment. I am your passions, your dreams, and your longings. I am living, resting, and understanding. I am the one who found you at Excel, who held you at Advanced Excel, and the one who carried you through your life.
You are my Beloved, my child, and my precious. You are already perfect, already beautiful, already amazing. You are the pride of my life and the joy of my heart. I point you out to the angels and ask, “Do you see My Beloved? She is mine.” I wish you could hear the pride in my voice, see the sparkle in my eyes, and feel the joy in my heart when I see you!
Who are you? You already are everything you desire and dream to become. You don’t completely understand or comprehend what that means, but that’s OK. You don’t need to know right now. I love you and am with you – that’s all you need to know. All that has been happening to you, is so that I will become your all in all. You already are mine.
I can’t wait to show you everything I have been planning for you and putting into motion for your future! It’s better than anything you can dream up, but go ahead and try – you will be surprised by joy. My purpose and vision for you is that other people will experience Me and My love through you. You think you can’t sing or speak or teach or preach or lead, but you have and you will far above your imaginations. You think this will happen eventually, once you go on the mission field. I’m telling you it’s going to happen sooner!
I will show my love for others through you. They won’t get it when you tell them, or when they see the change in you. It will become real when my love for them comes through you. It’s like a tide coming in slowly, calmly, creeping until you are suddenly knee deep in water, and are overwhelmed by how far you have come and how fast it happened. That is the earth shattering and world changing part of it all.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Ah, my first baseball game of 2009. I am filled with excitement as I enter the ballpark and into an atmosphere of the sport I was born loving. My passion is suddenly reignited, as I close my eyes for my senses to soak it all in… the smell of newly cut grass and fresh dirt mixed with the aroma of slow grilled beef and freshly cooked french fries… the taste of roasted peanuts, tickly covered nachos, and melting cotton candy making the perfect combination salty and sweet… the sound of the crack as a wooden bat hits a 95mph fastball, followed by the anticipating roar of the crowd, and finally the laughter of children chasing after a foul ball.
Why has this game stood the test of time to become an ageless American tradition? Why is baseball so captivating, that you can’t help but want to jump to your feet in amazement when a grand slam is hit? What is it about this sport that brings rivals from all walks of life to meet together on a diamond field to try to hit a small ball with a bat?
Is it the amazing adrenaline rush of turning a double play, perfectly performed as if by instinct? Is it the awesome thrill of a strikeout, the perfected precision flawlessly executed? Is it the indescribable exhilaration of stealing second base, beating the pitch to the plate by a nano second? Is it the unexplainable anticipation of the home run, praying the ball will just make it over the wall? Well, the world may never know why we love the game of baseball.
I love baseball because it relates so much to my life. In the game of baseball, we all play different positions, fighting for a spot on the playing field. Yet the truth is, without a ton of hard work during practice, the support of the team, instruction and encouragement from coaches, and our God-given abilities and talents we have no chance of ever playing let alone starting. Ultimately, what matters aren’t the trophies, or awards, or MVPs, or even winning the World Series. What counts is giving your best effort day after day, and leaving the game, knowing that (win or lose) you left it all on the field. What really lives on is leaving a legacy of.... a ball, a game, and a love.