Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Our Senior


I have no words to say how proud we are of this boy and of the man that he is becoming. We are honored to call him our son. He brings us joy every day. He is a gift and a blessing. He is a mighty warrior! He is a worldchanger!


This young man seeks the Lord with his whole heart. He is one of the most courageous people I know. He not only claims to set boundaries, he sets them and stays in them, even when it's tough and even when he is the only one. 



We are and will be forever thankful that the Lord blessed our home, our hearts, and our family with Woodrow. He is living proof that the Lord answers prayers and that He is a faithful Promise-Keeper.


On May 16th, this boy graduates from high school. While our hearts ache, it is with enormous pride, hope, excitement, and joy...with just a sprinkle of sadness. We can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for Woodrow and for our family. This we know, it's going to be huge! 

Momma loves you so much, Woodrow!

  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future." ~Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Speak The Truth In Love

Ephesians 4:15 "Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ."

There are those who speak truth but have no love. There are those who speak love without truth. And there are those who love and believe truth, but don't speak. Church, we need to be people who are sincerely, passionately, and boldly speaking the truth in love.

Without love, our truth accomplishes nothing. Without truth, our love is not really love at all.

Speak the truth in love. This world needs to hear truth and this world needs to see love. Then we will be mature. Then we will be like Christ.



        

An Open Letter of Forgiveness

I have come to the place that I realize that I need to let it go. I need to forgive you, really forgive you. Even if you aren't sorry, and you're not. It's not because you are cruel and hateful, it's because you really don't understand what you did.

"Hurt people, hurt people."

I believe that you live your life hurt and scared. It's this pain and fear that causes you to lash out at and push other people down in an effort to appear brave.

I am sorry you have been hurt by this world. I am sorry that you have been hurt by the church and by religion. I am so sorry that you have never fully seen yourself in the light of how God sees you. I am sorry that you have never understood grace or the power that you have through Christ. I am so sorry that my family and I didn't understand that until now.

You, sir, are loved. You are not a worm in the ground before the Lord. You are not defined by what you have done in the past. You can stop trying to be good enough, because in Christ you already are. You can stop trying to earn God's love by doing religion, He loves you already. Religion, doing the "church thing", won't fix the void in your life, only Jesus can do that.

I know you're frustrated and confused. I know you don't understand, but you will. You will understand soon. This is why I need you to know that not only are you loved by the Lord, you are loved by the Wood Pile, all of us! In Jesus name, we are praying for you and we forgive you. In Jesus name, I am praying for you and I forgive you.

With Great Love and in the Power of the Holy Spirit,
Sara

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hyper-Grace Believers and Name-it Claim-it Christians

They call us these names like it's a bad thing. How about we redefine these titles, shall we? Let's really look at what it is that we, as His church, are considering an insult.

Let's start with Hyper-Grace Believer. People, God's grace, in and of itself, is lavishly extravagant and unimaginably profound. There is no way that we as humans could ever comprehend it fully or be able to make it "hyper" outside the boundlessness that it already is. Jesus Christ came and died to completely forgive us of our sins; past, present, and future; and to free us from the condemnation and punishment associated with them. He paid our penalty in full on the cross. Then he conquered over sin, death, and the enemy forever, when He broke the chains of death and rose again. In His victory, came victory for us and made us overwhelmingly conquerors as well! THAT IS GRACE!!! Amazing, awe-inspiring grace! Grace that is greater than anything I could ever imagine.
I know, I know...they are saying that a Hyper-Grace Believer believes that they can do whatever they want and the Lord has already forgiven them so it's fine. Anyone who believes that this is, in fact, what we believe, has never fully known freedom and doesn't understand the grace under which they themselves stand. Coming into the understanding of what Christ did for me, who I am in Him, the freedom in which I live, and the grace under which I humbly walk every single day, makes me want to love Him better, to love others more, to serve Him with even more passion, and to walk in His power powerfully. This understanding has made me realize that there is nothing I can do that will screw up the plan of God. Sure I am not perfect, and sure I will make mistakes, but I am forgiven. Don't get me wrong, there are consequences to every choice we make, but those consequences don't define us, that choice does not define us, HE defines us, and He calls us forgiven and whole. When He prompts me and shows me where I need to change, that requires me to change, to turn away from that sin and to agree with the Lord that it was wrong, to thank Him for His forgiveness, and then to move on, taking one step in front of the other, knowing that I am fully and completely covered in the grace that fell on me when I gave my life to Jesus and He became my boss, my Lord, and my Savior. That means that when He shed His blood on that cross, it covered me, all of me, my past, my present, & my future in grace. If the knowledge of this makes me a "hyper-grace believer" than so be it.

So be it, friends.

Now, about the title Name-it Claim-it Christian. I know what the insulters mean by this. They think that this means that we view God as a big vending machine in the sky and that we will ask for selfish things like new cars, new houses, more money, etc..... And I understand why you would be skeptical, if this is how you view "name it claim it".
But let me tell you something that you might not realize yet, Jesus Himself tells us that we, in Him and in His power, can name it AND claim it! He tells us over and over again to ask for anything in His name and He will do it, so that the Father will be glorified. He tells us that we can say to mountains to move and they will.

  • John 14:13-15  "And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask Me for anything in my name, and I will do it."

  • 1 John 5:13-15 "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him."

  • Mark 11:24 'Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

  •  Matthew 17:19-21 "Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”


Church, that is awesomely, incredibly, shockingly name it and claim it. Not by your blinded definition, but by His perfect, holy, and oh so clear definition, that is exactly what it is. And that is just THREE verses, there are so many more that this blog post couldn't hold them all. Please, look it up yourself, I beg you! Study this truth! It will completely rock your world! 
"But," you might ask, "doesn't that mean that you will be selfish about it all? Aren't you afraid that you might ask for something wrong?" No. I live in the Spirit, knowing He is in me, with me, and works through me. I understand that I have power in Christ and part of that power is clearly written about in these verses. I am listening for His promptings and seeking truth in His Word. I will ask for and declare freedom for the captives, salvation for the lost, sight for the blind, and healing for the body. But let me be completely clear, if He tells me to ask for a car, a house, or more money, I'll do that too, because He loves me that much and His plan for me is perfect. He wouldn't ask me to ask for something if He didn't want to give it to me. He loves to bless us so that we can bless one another! If He tells me to ask Him for something "impossible" and to believe He will do it, I will, because I've seen Him answer and do the "impossible" before. If He tells me to lay hands on someone and declare their healing, then that's what I'll do, because He told me I could and should, and I've seen Him heal before. I know He tells me my words have power, so I will speak and declare His Word over myself, my home, my family, my husband, my marriage, and my children, fully confident that what I speak over them will come to pass, because He said it would. So, if these truths make me a "Name-it Claim-it Christian", then so be it.

So be it, friends.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Love

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all His mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.
 
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
 
Love doesn’t strut,
 
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
 
Doesn’t force itself on others,
 
Isn’t always “me first,”
 
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
 
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
 
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
 
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
 
Puts up with anything,
 
Trusts God always,
 
Always looks for the best,
 
Never looks back,
 
But keeps going to the end.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7



"Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. 
 But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”
Matthew 22:37-40

Sunday, February 9, 2014

This I Know

This I know; there are a lot of things I don't fully understand. There are a lot of things I still need to learn. There are a lot of things I still want to learn and I can't wait to understand. But there are things I do know now, things I can say I finally understand.

This I know; it's time to be brave. It's time to stop being the victim of some other person's lack of love. It's time to stop letting the words that people have so callously and recklessly spoken into my life, dictate how I live, how I view myself, and how I view the Lord. Those people include me and the words I have spoken out of my own mouth. 

This I know; it's time to stop letting what I was always "taught", dictate what I would continue to believe. It's time to stop being religious. It is time to stop wrapping the chains of condemnation around myself, when Jesus Christ already removed the lock!

This I know; I am NOT a worm in the ground beneath His feet. I am His child. I am His daughter. I am a CO-HEIR with CHRIST Himself! I am NOT nothing. I am NOT a nobody. I am a daughter of the King of Kings. His Spirit is IN me! I am NOT worthless. He doesn't expect me to bury my face in the ground before Him. He does not expect, nor does He want, me to cower in fear and shame in His presence. He tells me I can come to Him with full confidence! I can BOLDLY approach His throne of grace!

This I know; I am called to love! And I know that love is not cruel, harsh, or calloused. It is not mean or unkind. Love does not push others down like a religious bully. Love is kind, patient, and gentle. Love holds to hope and clings to truth. The Lord commands His children to love. He says that the world will know that we belong to Him by our love, not just our words. 

This I know; I do not have to chase after Him. I do not have to beg Him to be near, He already is. He is near because He is my life. He is my actual life! I am in Him and He is in me. He is my very breath. 

This I know; I am NOT powerless. I have the All-Powerful Holy Spirit living IN me. I am OVERWHELMINGLY a conqueror! In this world, I am like Christ. In Him and through Him, I am powerful. He doesn't want me to be a groveling mass of low self-esteem. He wants me to be confident in Him, and confident in me in Him. He set me free so I could hold my head high.

This I know; I pray in the Spirit so that I can be built up and edified through it. I praise in the Spirit so that I can bring Him glory and honor. I walk in the Spirit so I can lead others to His grace and to His love. I am anointed by the Spirit of the Living God and that same Spirit gives me life and breath every single day. He speaks to me. He moves in me and through me  He leads, loves, and prompts me. He motivates, encourages, and disciplines me. He teaches me and He NEVER condemns me. 

This I know; there is power in the name of Jesus and when we, as His children, speak out that name we are unstoppable! In His name, I can tell mountains to move and they will. In His name, I can tell sickness and disease to leave and it will. In His name, I can tell the enemy to get the heck away from me and he has got to leave. PRAISE JESUS! In His Name, fear, doubt, and worry have no place in my life. In His name, I am healed and whole. In His name, I AM FREE! 
 
This I know; He has called me to believe Him. Not just believe in Him, but to fully and completely believe Him! To believe that everything He said in His Word is true! He is calling me to believe He can do ANYTHING! He is calling me to ask Him for the impossible and believe it will happen! He is calling me to talk about His promises and the visions He has given me and to write about them, so that others can rejoice with me and can believe His promises for themselves. He is calling me to risk looking "crazy" to others and that's okay!

This I know; if you have made Jesus Christ Lord and Boss of your life, then all of these things are not just true about me, they are true about you too!!! 

Lord, wake Your church! Help them to know. In Jesus Most Powerful Name, Amen and Amen! Let it be so!
   

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Old Skin

"Sara, you need to learn to shed some old skin."

These are the wise words that came from my sweet husband, the other day, after I had once again drug up an old hurt to prove a point. It stopped me completely in my tracks. I wanted to argue it. I wanted to get mad. I wanted to come back with something stupid like "Don't compare me to a snake!" or "Oh yea...oh yea...YOU need to shed some old skin." (I told you it would have been stupid!) .... But I couldn't, because I knew he was right.

"Sara, you need to learn to shed some old skin."

I couldn't quit thinking about it. It rang over and over in my head. And the more I thought about it, the more the Lord began to speak to me about it. It became clearer and clearer, I need to shed some old skin. Let it go. Move on. I need to wake up everyday giving myself and others the same mercy, God Himself gives to me. He says that mercy is new every single morning. It's a new day, and He wants to do something brand new. That means, I can't hold onto the old skin from yesterday, and the day before that, and the month before that, and the year before that. That's a heavy burden to bear. One that the Lord never intended me to carry. Let it go. Move on.

Let it go! Shed that old skin! Shed that old burden! The new skin is light and easy; it's freedom! He is doing a brand new thing and I want in on it! That's going to require me to get rid of the old. To truly learn to walk in the freedom that is the new. In Christ, I am a new creature and this new creature doesn't need to hold onto the old skin of yesterday.

Move on! I don't need to move on from people; I need move on from the hurt, the pain, the confusion, and the offense that those people represent. Never from the people themselves. I love them. I will pray for them. However, I won't bring them in close to me again. I won't allow them to continue to have a voice in my ear, but I will love them.

Lee is now holding me accountable in this area and he has asked me to do the same for him. We are not going to live in old skin anymore. We are not going to hold onto what happened yesterday, or the day before, or the month before that, or the year before that, or the years before that. We are going to give new mercy every single morning, to ourselves, to one another, to our children, and to others. Every day we can wake up to a fresh new day, in fresh new skin. After all, that is what our most gracious Heavenly Father does for us every single morning, faithfully and unfailingly.

Let it go. Move on. Step into the new skin. There is FREEDOM there. Real freedom, that is easy and light.


Lamentations 3:22-23 "Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His mercies never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness"

Matthew 11:30 "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Isaiah 43:18-19 “Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!"

2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new is here."