Out to Lunch


I will be in Israel from April 27 until May 13 on Precept Ministries’ Study Tour — a dream come true for me!  Since I will not have access to a computer, I wanted to get a couple of articles posted and ready to post but, alas, I am running out of time.  I’ve been ill a couple of days this week and, thus, I’m having to cut some things from my to do list, this being one of them.  I’ll make up for it when I get back; I’m sure there’ll be LOTS to write about!

I rejoiced with those who said to me,

“Let us go to the house of the LORD.”

Our feet are standing in your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is built like a city that is closely compacted together.

That is where the tribes go up…to praise the name of the LORD…

There the thrones for judgment stand, the thrones of the house of David.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:

“May those who love you be secure.

May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.”

For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say,

“Peace be within you.”

For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,

I will seek your prosperity.

(Psalm 122)

Living Up for Christ: A Personal Testimony

“…you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.”

(Psalm 61:5)

 What a blessing to grow up in a strong Christian household, where my father and my older sister modeled Christ for me.  At the ripe old age of 8, I knew who Jesus was and what He had done for me, and I loved Him.  I accepted His sacrifice for my sins and asked Him to save me.  And He did.question mark

 Because He died for me, I wanted to live for Him. I wanted to be like my sister and be a living testimony to others.  But I kept messing up, causing feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness to plague me.  Thus, at every revival or youth trip, I walked the aisle and rededicated myself to Christ with the promise of doing better.  But, alas, I couldn’t do it.  Mistake followed mistake followed mistake…

 Just after I turned 15, I attended a youth retreat to Mt. Nebo, Arkansas.  There God revealed to me the nexus of my problem: I was saved but not surrendered. I still thought of Christianity as a religion not a relationship, and I was trying to live by a set of do’s and don’ts instead of by the Spirit. 

 So on August 21, 1974, I stopped living for Christ; instead, I started learning how to let Christ live through me. I stopped wanting to do good for God and started wanting to know God.  What a difference!  Since that time, I’ve been perfect!  No, not really.  I still mess up — quite a lot actually — but rather than pursuing perfection, I’m pursuing a Person and my perfection rests in Him.

 God is not only my Savior and my Lord, He’s also my friend – and what a friend He is! 

When I fall, He catches me. 

When I sin, He chastens me.

When I feel anxious, He calms me.

When I’m hurt, He comforts me. 

He never fails me,

never disappoints me,

never ignores me. 

He’s my protector and my provider,

my strength and my song,

my love and my joy. 

Oh, how I love Him!exclamation  mark

 And that’s what I try to pass on through Live Up! Ministries. I want help Christians know this mighty God of ours, to grow in their relationship with His precious Son, and to learn to walk in the power of His Spirit. I want to encourage “question mark Christians” to stop walking around with eyes downcast, heads hanging, and hearts burdened and to start looking up, living up, and being exclamation marks for God!

“Only let us LIVE UP to what we have already attained [in Christ].”

Philippians 3:16 (emphasis mine)


Only let us LIVE UP to what we have already attained [in Christ Jesus].

Philippians 3:16

Has anyone seen God lately?

It’s amazing to me how you can take a Bible study several times and it’s like a new study each time.  That’s the way Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby has been for me.  I first took the study about 15 years ago.  Since then, I’ve taught it twice and am now taking it again. 

One morning I was doing my homework and read something that really struck me.

What our world often witnesses today is a devoted, committed Christian or church serving God.  But they are not seeing God.  They don’t see anything happening that can be explained only in terms of God’s activity.  Why?  Because we are not attempting anything that only God can do. (page 143)

Ouch!  The truth of that paragraph cut me all the way down to the quick!  No one was seeing God through me because I wasn’t attempting anything God-sized.  I’d been doing a lot of little good things for God, but I wasn’t asking Him to do anything God-sized through me.  (I walked around for days with a spiritual black eye from that one-two-truth punch!)Note pad - small

After I apologized to God for hiding Him from others, I asked, “Lord, what would You like to do through me?”  Almost immediately, God gave me a list of 5 Impossible Things.  I hurriedly wrote each item down, looked at the list, and exclaimed, “You must be kidding!  There’s no way! Well, that’s what I get for asking!” 

After reflecting on the list for a while and realizing that these 5 Impossible Things could only be done by a powerful God through a willing soul, I made one more request, “Please, Lord, open my spiritual eyes. Far too often I have asked for something and then gone about my day, forgetting what I had asked, blind to Your movement upon the request.  So please, Lord, keep these 5 Impossible Things fresh on my heart so that when You begin to move, I’ll see it and move with You; so that when You begin to supply what is needed, I’ll see it and use it for Your purpose; so that when You open the door of opportunity, I’ll see it and step right on through.”

My friend, let me tell you something: God did those 5 Impossible Things — and He did them in less than one month!  I even faltered on the 5th item, the biggest challenge, but you know what?  He did it for me!  Amazing!

I’d love to tell you what those things were but other people are involved and I need to respect their privacy.  Did they see God?  I have no idea, but I sure did.  And seeing Him move so clearly has given me a renewed sense of strength, a refreshed taste of faith, a restored heart of devotion.  Now, whenever I approach a hill that seems too high to climb or a valley that seems too low to cross, I’ll just remember those 5 Impossible Things and the All-Things-Are-Possible God who did them.  At the top of my spiritual lungs, I’ll sing with the Psalmist:

I will remember the deeds of the LORD;

yes, I will remenmber your miracles of long ago.

I will meditate on all your works

and consider all your mighty deeds.

Your ways, O God, are holy.

What god is so great as our God?

Psalm 77:11-13

Has anyone seen God lately — through you?