Beth Moore, books, love, spiritual

Audacious Love

The non-fiction book I read for June was Audacious by Beth Moore. May I just say…”Wow”. This book stirred my soul and gave me a thirst and a hunger for more. You know how you get in a rut and are just going through life and everything is just gray? Then you glimpse a bit a color on the horizon, a vivid burst of warm color that drives you forward to bask in its beauty. Well, that was what this book did for me. It helped me see once again the rich love of God…audacious love….and reminded me of the audacious love I once had and have been missing.

“The love Jesus longs for is not just devotion. It’s also emotion. It’s not just volition. It is also affection. It is not just discipline. It is also passion. It’s not just routine. It is also romance. And not just for Christ’s sake but also for ours. Love is the catalyst. The holy cause and effect.”

Following Jesus isn’t just doing church. It’s a relationship. It’s a love for Him…and audacious love.

“The person you are when you love Jesus with everything in you – with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength – is the real you. The brilliant you. The bring-it you. The breathtaking you. The born-for-this you. The person you were born to be crawls out of the shell of a heart cracked wide-open to the audacious love of Christ.”

I want to be the real me. The me that loves with audacious love…a love filled with vitality and verve.


“Every one of you who earnestly asks God to grant you a bold and daring answering-love for Jesus, marked by originality and verve, are going to receive it.”

All I need to do is ask…and keep asking. Loving Him passionately, audaciously, is His will for me and so he will definitely answer my prayer with a resounding YES!

Beth Moore has a beautiful way with words and this book is filled with beautiful word pictures that grab your heart!

“The sentences of our stories are meant to be penned from the inkwell of the supernatural.”

Who doesn’t want God’s supernatural power writing our story? We want His Spirit to be active and powerful in our everyday lives, helping us see Him at work around us and inviting us to join Him in His kingdom work.

If you are ready to have your heart re-charged and spurred on to love Jesus audaciously, then get Beth Moore’s book, Audacious, and savor each and every word. You won’t be sorry.

God, love, spiritual

Hearing God

Photo by graurraznationut
freedigitalphotos.net

I miss God. I mean, I know He is with me all the time, but I miss feeling His presence. I miss hearing from Him. What happened to shut that off? What have I done to hinder that feeling?

There was a time when I reveled in God’s presence. I could feel Him close. I could see Him at work around me. Every day was an adventure in what He might do. I felt I was part of His kingdom, doing His work…the most fruitful and fulfilling work there is. And now….nothing.

In Amos 8, the Lord says He will send a famine through the land – a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. People would stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it. People were running away, turning away, pushing away from God. And so God let them be.

A famine of His presence…His word.

What can we do to fix that? What can we do to stop the famine and hear Him again?

PRAY. In one of Beth Moore’s studies, she said that God would grant every prayer that was in line with His will. And would could be more in line with His will than loving Him more? Pray that you would desire Him above all else. Pray that you would want to read His word daily. Pray that God would give you a passionate desire for Him. Pray that you would hear Him daily. How could he not grant such a request?

READ. Be in the word. The Bible is God’s words to us and it reveals His nature, His power, and His love. We must know God in order to love like Him and be like Him. So read it daily. Spend time with Him.

SIMPLIFY. We are bombarded daily with materialism. Commercials trying to get you to buy more stuff. New gadgets and technology. Entertainment abounds. Just so much STUFF that woos us away from what is really important….God and His kingdom. We get so busy and the world gets so loud that we cannot hear God anymore. Tune out the world and listen. He is whispering to you.

What are you doing to hear God more? 

*This post was inspired by John Ketchersid’s sermon on July 21, 2013.


love, purpose, spiritual

What Is Your Purpose?

Photo by Victor Habbick
freedigitalphotos.net

God has used doves to speak to me at various times. You might be rolling your eyes at me, but it’s true. Once I was going through a hard time and asked God to show me He was really there with me. I was on the front porch swing and a dove across the street flew right toward me and swooped up at the last second. My heart just about stopped with awe, because it was such a tangible way for God to show me His presence. Since then  He has continued to use doves in the the same way. It always happens when I am troubled or hurting or upset about something, and it always reassures me of God’s presence in the midst of my angst.

So when a dove practically led me to church yesterday (the dove flew in front of my car on the street to our church, leading me for several blocks, then lit on the the telephone line directly above the church’s entrance), I knew God had something good in store for our church gathering. As we walked into the church building, I told my boys how God speaking to me through doves made me feel like my life had more meaning being connected with God like that…that my life had purpose.

And then guess what the sermon was about? PURPOSE. Yes, indeed. Don’t you love it when God orchestrates an awesome string of circumstances to speak to you directly?

Basically the sermon hit upon the very thing I told my boys…being in tune with God, loving Him with my whole being gives me purpose in this life.

Every inventor creates something for a specific purpose. If you used a light bulb to make a flower arrangement, you are not using the light bulb for its intended purpose…a purpose that would be glorious in its illumination…a purpose that would benefit the world in darkness.

God created us for a specific purpose and when we don’t use our lives for that purpose we miss His glorious presence and will never be fulfilled on this earth.

So what is our purpose? You know it, really.

Our purpose is fulfilled in loving the Lord.

    “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. …” Matthew 22:37-38

When you love Him…truly love Him and spend time with Him…you fulfill His purpose for your life. For when you love someone, you want to spend time with them. You admire them and want to be like them. And that is true with God. When we spend time with Him, we learn how to be like Him. And when we are like Him, we can love others better.

Loving God and loving others. Simple really. But so often we stray from our purpose. Oftentimes we think our purpose in life is the talent or abilities that God has given us. That may be our calling in life, but it isn’t our purpose. We can be a great artist and make our living at it, but it is not our purpose in life.

Our purpose is simple. Love God with your whole being. 

So how do you do that? How are you going to grow in love for God? Here are some suggestions:

  • Spend time with Him. You prioritize your time to spend time quality time with Him. He is important and deserves our time above all other activities in your life. During this time, talk to Him, read His word, meditate on His goodness. 
  • Go to church and worship with fellow believers. There is something special about the collective worship of people to the same GOD. There is unity and there is purpose in it. 
  • Spend time with other believers. There is much encouragement to be found when you take the time to be with others who love God like you do. 
  • Seek God throughout your day. He is working around you each and every day. Try to find Him in your day to day activities. You will be surprised at how He is at work in the small details of your life.
How are you growing in love for God? I’d love to hear what you do!

**Thanks to John Ketchersid at the Plymouth Park Church of Christ for an awesome sermon!

birthdays, God, Jesus, love, ministry, personal, spiritual

Birthdays and M&M Living

Look what I got from my sweet momma for my birthday! A Vera Bradley bag! It is awesome, isn’t it? I can use it for soooo many things: hauling books to and from the library; carrying my computer and books for study; taking an overnight stay somewhere; carrying snacks to various events, etc, etc… Isn’t it lovely? Mom came from Granbury and picked me up for lunch yesterday. She took me to Hoffbrau Steakhouse and I got a Steak Salad. Oh my goodness, it was delicious. And spending time with Mom….priceless!

In my Bible reading this morning, I read about the two greatest commandments, and I had jotted some notes from one of John’s sermons. Here are the greatest commandments:

  1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.This is the first and greatest commandment.
  2. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.     (Matthew 22: 37-40)
In my notes, I jotted down these two words: MAGNIFY and MINISTRY. 
When we love the Lord our God with our whole being, we magnify Him. We make him bigger than anything else in our lives. We let him shine brighter than all the other “stuff” in our hearts. He is “IT”. He is The One. He is the one thing our lives centers around. When we magnify Him, everything else fades in comparison. 
And when we magnify Him, we can follow the second greatest commandment: Love others. Loving others is not always easy, but when we see the world through the magnification of the LORD, then the job gets a bit easier. Loving others is a Ministry. It is the mission of Jesus to love others and bring them to Himself. And it is our mission as well. Loving others brings them in contact with The One and Only. Loving others spreads God’s love throughout the world. Loving others plants seeds in the lives around us, and the fruit of it will one day become a harvest.
I don’t know about you, but I love the idea of M&M living. Living a life of Magnification and Ministry is an exciting life! Not only that, but God is an M&M God…He can do imMeasurably More than all we ask or imagine, as Paul stated in Ephesians 3:20-21:

20 Now to him who is able<sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(D)”> to do immeasurably more than all we ask<sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(E)”> or imagine, according to his power<sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(F)”> that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.


Can I get an Amen on that? My prayer for you is that you are filled with the love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Eph 3:19) and that He will do immeasurably more for you as you live an M&M life for Him, living out the greatest commandments in joy. 

Have a blessed day!

God, inspiration, Jesus, love, personal, radical, Sherrinda, spiritual

Living A Radical Love

Photo by ramoo76 at flikr

Our pastor set before us a three-fold challenge yesterday.

SIMPLE: Love people.
CHALLENGING: Love people that nobody expects us to love.
RADICAL: Love people that do not deserve to be loved.

We are called to live simple, challenging, and radical lives. We are to live out a radical faith.

What does that even mean? Well, to define radical, here’s what dictionary.com says:

rad·i·cal

  [rad-i-kuhl]  

adjective

1.

of or going to the root or origin; fundamental: a radicaldifference.
2.

thoroughgoing or extreme, especially as regards change from accepted or traditional forms: a radical change in the policy ofa company.
3.

favoring drastic political, economic, or social reforms: radicalideas; radical and anarchistic ideologues.
4.

forming a basis or foundation.
5.

existing inherently in a thing or person: radical defects of character.

Interesting, isn’t it? Fundamental, extreme, drastic. I don’t usually put fundamental and extreme in the same category, but I think when Jesus calls us to live radically, he is calling us to live in a way that mirrors Him…and that is basic. It is fundamental. When we do that, we live in love. We love the unlovable. We love the undeserving. We love like Jesus.

Let’s go out of our way to be RADICAL this week. Who is in your sphere of influence that needs radical love? Who can God bless through you this week?

Matthew 5:43-48 (The Message)

43-47“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
 48In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”

Christian, God, Jesus, love, personal, spiritual

Am I Doing Enough?

I rented Machine Gun Preacher last night and was left with a disquieting question. (disclaimer: this movie is rated R for violence and language) Am I doing enough for God? Now, as a life-long believer, I know that is such a terrible question to ask. The Christian walk is not about doing…it is about a relationship with Jesus. But is my relationship deep enough to where I am actively pursuing His work around me?

If God is all about His mission in this world – to bring people into relationship with Him – then how am I participating in that mission?

My answer is lamentable. Not much. Yes, I am a preacher’s wife, but what have I been doing other than going to church every Sunday, sing in the Praise Team, help out occasionally in children’s class, and support my husband? Nothing. I quit having people in my home because I live so far away from church. I don’t visit others now that I work full time. I haven’t organized anything because, well, I work and am tired.

As for bringing people into relationship with Jesus? Nope.

In the movie Machine Gun Preacher, the main character, Sam, went on a mission trip to Uganda to work on constructing buildings for the people there. When he went to Sudan and saw that mass of orphans there, he was moved to help. He saw the need in front of him and he acted upon it.

So often my eyes are clouded by all the stuff in life that keeps me busy…to the point that I forget that my life should revolve around Jesus. I want to see clearly. I want to see where God is working and join Him in His work.

Not that I have to be doing something big or great, but I want to be His hands, His mouth, His embrace wherever needed. I want others to experience Jesus when they are around me. I want them to taste and see that He is good.

Am I doing enough? Probably not. But I do have Jesus in my heart and He will work His will in me if I let Him.

Have an awesome weekend!

p.s. I lost 1 pound last night at weigh in!!! Finally! I’ve either stayed the same or gained a little the past month…grrrr.

Christian, church, God, love, spiritual

The Bloom of the Cross

Yesterday was a beautiful reminder God’s love. As Christians, Easter is THE day. It’s the celebration of life – true life in Jesus.

It’s the day we are reminded that Jesus has taken our crosses…our burdens, our failures, our sin…and nailed them to the cross. It’s the day we are reminded that because of Jesus’ resurrection, we have new life, a beautiful life.

Jesus has taken the ugly cross of our sin and failure and replaced it with beauty and life. Real life. Joyful life. Life with meaning and purpose.

Yesterday our church came to the front of the sanctuary and placed carnations upon the cross of failure that we created last week. What was once a cross of thorns and ugliness became a cross of velvet beauty.

That’s what Christ does for each and every one who believes in Him. He takes our failure and sin and turns it into success and beauty. He transforms us, loving us into becoming a person for His glory. A person of beauty. A person of joy. A person who oozes God’s love.

What has the bloom of the cross done for you? Are you experiencing His transforming power or are you struggling under the weight of the thorny cross?