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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Gomer's House

This Blog is updated each Tuesday.
Where do I start? People keep asking me what Gomer's House is, where the idea came from, and if I knew what Gomer was. Gomer, in case you don't know, left her godly family to pursue a career as a cultic prostitute. Her husband, Hosea, went after her and bought her back. She was up on the auction block as a slave. He chose to bring her back, clean her up and restore her to her place in the home. Gomer represents God's people. We always choose things opposed to the Lord's plan for us. We buy the shiny lie. We buy it in addiction, affairs, control, and complete lack of faith in who God created us to be. 

Our heart is to give clear direction and a lifeline to Christ to every "Gomer" God brings our way. 

I have always wanted a Bed and Breakfast. If you have ever stayed at our house, you know that is true. We love having people over. I thought that did not fit into our ministerial life and that it would never happen. A few years ago God put the vision in our head when He orchestrated something for us. Every year for the past three years we have been taken to Colorado by a ministry. Current Elijah flies us to Colorado, pays for everything we do there, prays over us, and loves on us. We are always dry by the time we go and refreshed by the time we leave. God has put in our hearts to do the same thing. Our hope
is to offer anyone in ministry a no cost retreat to rest and revive. Counseling will also be available to anyone who needs it. That's part one.

Part two is about restoration. Over the years I have seen most of my family ravaged by addiction. It has not just been that I have watched my family die far too young. I watched them not truly live. Our ministry is opening it's doors to offer the healing love of Christ to those in need of counseling. 

A few weeks ago while I was traveling with Denbigh I saw someone who I loved more than any of the other people we ran into. He was a man who did not drive, but had a bike. I would guess his age was somewhere around my own. He was different. He wasn't anything like your average church goer. He told of how his mother never loved him. The church he had been attending a few weeks prior ran him off with taunts and jeers as he would come in. I am not kidding. Every day I would tell him how glad I 
was that he was there and I would touch his arm. He would cringe. My guess is that he was beaten by his mother and has never recovered. He went to church and no one wanted him. Maybe they didn't hit him, but they abused him. We want to give people like this man a safe
place to worship...a place to find healing. Abused, addicted, discouraged...you have a safe place 
to come.

There is a house in Buda we are praying for. It would be the perfect place for this ministry. If you are interested in supporting us, helping us, or praying for us, please contact me.

We are part of a CDP that controls all donations. We don't draw big salaries from our ministry. In fact, we don't draw any at all. I give back everything I make speaking and from book sales. One hundred percent goes back into investing into the lives of others. Help us give back a tiny portion of what God has given us. Kindness.

God always amazes me. I was looking at this Amaryllis in our yard the other day and I noticed flakes of gold all throughout the flower. I don't know if you can see it, but I thought I would attempt to share. Have a wonderful week!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Thank You, Lord God

I really only have one thing to say. Thank You, Lord God.
Our house sold for full asking price. What's next?

Please take a minute to pray for God's perfect provision for this vision.
                           

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Rest in the Blood Bought Grace

This Blog is Updated each Tuesday.
It was around Easter when I first saw this pile along the road way. There is major construction going on around us and this is fencing that was taken down to make room for something else. Each time I see it, I think it looks like a pile of crosses and it feels like a spiritual punch in the gut to me. Constantly seeing this has raised some questions in my mind. Did they pile up the bloody crosses after they killed Christ? Did 
people pass them on their way to work or school? What happened after it was all said and done? Did all the people who went to the churches (temples) that the Pharisees presided over just go back to church? Did they just go back to church as though nothing had happened? Were they thinking that this is just the way the world is?" Too bad we had to lose Jesus." Did they just go back to normal life? How many walked away humbled and broken? How many were unable to sit at the feet of the men who would crucify the Christ? Did those men who strung Him up convince them it was really the Romans who killed Him and lull them back in to spiritual sleep? I dare say for many that was their story. We later see in 70 AD when Rome destroyed the city that they strung up those leaders on crosses of their own... thousands of them. Over one million Jews were killed. The Christians took God at His Word and fled 4 years before this happened.

There is a pile of crosses right outside my neighborhood. Each time I see them I think of the
injustice done to the people of God. I think of Christ saying,"whatever you do to the least of them...YOU DO TO ME." Most of my life has seen abuse and most of it by Christians. I have every reason to be cynical. I have every reason to shake my head and say, "too bad about Jesus." I think if you can do that you have to ask yourself a series of questions. 

If I don't believe I can take Christ at His Word and live it out in this modern world, am I truly regenerate?

If I can't take Christ at His Word in my current situation, did I ever take Him at His Word at all?

I keep asking when did we trade in surrender for commitment? When did we start trying to fit Jesus into our lives? When did we cheapen Christ to a self-help guru?
I think we always have... from the beginning. God is continually pouring out His grace and mercy and leading us away from this idea. Some will cling to self-help Jesus, but some will be so desperate that they cry out to see Christ in His reality. If you claim to accept Him, live it out. He has given you all authority to live out the counter-cultural Christian life. It's time we started looking like we say we are. It's time we asked what hardened our heart. What made our fire go out? It's time we take Him at His Word

My husband has this wonderful thing called "Bad Demos." It is a cd compilation of people who sent in some very interesting things to a Christian recording label. One woman includes an intro to her song and informs the company that they should record her song because "pretty much all she does is go to church and do good things." I, of course, want to put that on a t-shirt.

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

It is time we took on the righteousness of Christ 
and truly rest in the blood bought grace 
He offers.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

"Rattlin' Sound"

This Blog is updated each Tuesday.
There are moments when we hear a Scripture we have heard a hundred times in a new and different way that makes us listen as if for the first time. I am enthralled by the book of Ezekiel.
It blows me away. The passion. The severity. The intensity. 

Only people moved to desperation seek to preach out of Ezekiel. There are no meager words there to stroke our egos. I have several times heard sermons on
 The Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones as laid out in Ezekiel 37, but as I heard Robert say the words in verse 7 it sent chills up my arm.

Ezekiel 37:7
"So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone."

Every other time I have heard "a rattling sound" (probably even when I say it), it has sounded very 'clinical.'
Rattling, like a baby rattle. Imagine a little bit of drawl and an whole lot of authority.
 "A rattlin' sound!" I thought I heard 
the bones coming together. 
This Scripture is often used to point to a need for a revival among us. We are the dry, disconnected bones. Ezekiel is plopped down into a valley of dry bones that are not even connected. God tells him to prophesy to them and they come together. 
This is where the children's song about the bones connecting comes from. "The head bone is connected to the ...")
We have omitted the first part of the song where it says, "Ezekiel cried, "Dems dry bones" and the last "hear the word of the Lord."

I find that we omit a lot of things and  keep ourselves spiritually stagnant. As I have stared out at my own valley of dry bones and looked upon the vast spiritual desert that surrounds me, I believe I heard a "rattlin' sound." I asked the Lord, 
"really?" Could it be time for revival for us? For those I love? Yes. 

Ezekiel 37:4-14

 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.' "



9 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.' "
10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.


11 Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.' 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.' "

May God speak life into your dry bones this very moment. 
I pray you hear a "rattlin' sound."

E-ze-kiel cried, "Dem dry bones!"(x3)                               Oh hear the word of the Lord.

The foot bone con-nected to the (pause) leg-bone,
The leg bone connected to the (') knee bone,
The knee bone connected to the (') thigh bone,
The thigh bone connected to the (') back bone,
The back bone connected to the (') neck bone
The neck bone connected to the (') head bone
Oh hear the word of the Lord!

Dem bones, dem bones gon-na walk a-roun' (x3)
Oh hear the word of the Lord

The head-bone connected to the neck-bone,
the neck-bone connected to the back-bone
The backbone connected to the thigh-bone
the thighbone connected to the kee-bone
the kneebone connected to the leg bone
the leg bone connected to the foot bone
Oh hear the word of the Lord
*Saw this fabulous guy after leading worship at Austin Baptist Church on Sunday.
**all pictures taken around the Buda area and are the © property of Stephanie Cherry.