Thursday, September 28, 2006

Who Are You Not To Be?

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson
Source: A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles", Page: 190..1

Laomai Petra Cherry

We could clearly see (thanks to this active baby) that she is a girl. She is healthy and moving!

Her name will be Laomai Petra Cherry.

Laomai (Lay -oh- may) is Hebrew for spiritual healing. Petra is from Matthew 16:18 where Jesus says,"upon this rock I will build my church (the rock,"Petra," is Him referring to His being the son of God). Petra is also my paternal grandmother's middle name.

She is due March 1st.

Denbigh was screaming and crying. He actually hasn't stopped yet. It is quite endearing. Everyone in the family is excited. My mom is going nuts! Denbigh's mom is going nuts! I am excited about pink! Decorate!!!!! We must decorate!

Now that you have a name, please continue to pray for Laomai as she develops, and that God would place an anointing on her life.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Myriad of Emotions

In 2 short days, Denbigh and I migrated through Hays, Travis, McClennan, and Bosque counties. In the span of forty-eight hours, I felt the high and low of my existence. Let me lay out for you what I experienced.

Picture it, Monday 12 p.m. in Meridian, Texas. Meridian is your typical small town- quaint and filled with historic old buildings. Denbigh fell in love with this old run down Bed & Breakfast.

Entering the scene- my dad. Imagine an incredibly handsome, well-aged, older gentleman who is part Denbigh Cherry and part John Wayne. I guess that would look like a gun toting teddy bear. We eat at Zapata's for some Excellent Mexican cuisine. I give them four gold stars.

Leaving there we see a car we recognize. It is my maternal grandmother who has pretty much disowned our family since my grandfather died a few years ago. My husband thinks it will be fun to force our way into her life and take some pictures with her. She acts like nothing has ever happened and everyone has been avoiding her. All I know is that God desires to love the sinners and the selfish. I will continue to love as He tells me to even when it is never returned.

Off to my other grandmother who has just had her pacemaker (sp?) replaced. She is napping. She is doing well. She has always been the fiesty one. Her life which is now winding down has been one full of Life. She and Daddy Bo used to trade his oil paintings for bread and meat so they could live. Now they hang in the White House. They have entertained 4 presidents in their home and it is full of artifacts of a life passionately lived. I am grateful to have seen them live.

My dad's house is set upon a hill overlooking the most beautiful hill country I have ever seen. It inspires me to creativity. It is a place I easily connect with God because of the beauty, silence, and solitude. I miss it more than I can say.
I realize that I have a great need for it in my life.

Tuesday~ my high~ Seeing my friend Kyna filled with the Holy Spirit as she teaches passionately about the Word of God to a community Bible study where women from all walks of life gather. She is learning to trust Him. Her anointing moved me to tears. God is at work. Her oldest daughter, Shelby, also accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. God is beautiful and gracious to us. My friend Colleen and her husband have taken in foster children and God is stretching them. I am blessed to see Him at work in the lives of friends.

God, you amaze me.

Denbigh and our nephew, Cooper. Credit Denbigh with his hairdo.

I Hate Victoria's Secret

First, let me say that there is nothing clandestine about what our skanky Miss Victoria is doing. I see it on with advertisements in bras and underwear. I write them a letter and quit going. I see it on MSN and in pretty much every news magazine and paper I pick up. It's nasty. Why would any respectable publication want to mingle with something of their quality?

A few years ago I got really convicted about shopping there because I heard countless tales from my Christian friends who have husbands who are attacked by their publication & ads. There is nothing discrete about them. They flaunt nudity and incite lust in public places. Yesterday I was moved to a new level of incense! I went into the mall and in all their big open windows were mannequins in disturbing poses wearing thong underwear and tiny bras. I want to complain to everyone I know. I would NEVER take my child to a place like that. I don't even want to take my husband. Christian men get attacked enough. They don't need strippers who say they are upscale in their view everywhere they turn.We bought the lie. Basically, there is no such a thing as a "Gentleman's club." That's the view you get through their window-except you don't have to tip. So, I will write some letters and state how appalled I am and continue my boycott!
I also have now informed you nice people.

Modesty is a beautiful thing.
It is not celebrated enough.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tutto fumo e niente arrosto!

"Tutto fumo e niente arrosto" is the Italian equivalent to the American saying,

"All smoke, no fire."

Do you ever ask yourself if your current situation is what God has intended for you? I would almost always say that this is not what God has for you. It isn't because of our spouse, children, parent, friend. It is because we have not taken hold of what God has already laid out for us to equip ourselves with. We desperately try to do everything in the power of our flesh. The problem, we need "mas fuego." More fire! We cannot manipulate or contrive this fire by any human means. It is a result of asking and asking again to be able to receive.

In Romans chapter 15 Paul asks for prayer for protection from the unbelievers and acceptance from the believers. John Piper explains that this means that, "By prayer, the wills of unbelievers can be restrained from murder, and the wills of believers can be constrained to receive his gift."

Our wills must be subdued to receive.
That is accomplished by prayer.

We must wrestle against self and rest in Him. Wrestling and resting—both of them define the Christian life in this fallen world because here we will always have to wrestle against what destroys our rest.

Ask to receive and take hold of what God does have for you.

Matthew 7:7 (Amplified Bible)

Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Thing That Hurts The Most

In the day to day of my life I experience one thing repeatedly. It happens to me as a pastor's wife, a counselor, and friend. I am sold out and desperate to help people in need find the God who offers them complete wholeness. I find that people are always seeking this. When they are in deep need they will call you 15 times a day and want to meet and find out what God is saying to their situation. I take my part of this relationship seriously. I say what I am told to say. I write what I am told to write. I love where I am told to love. People, however, rarely want what God is saying to them and when they feel like they get a hold on their situation they will throw you out with last week's trash. They don't answer your concerns. They could care less that you have spent hours a day listening, counseling, praying. I have become deeply involved with their welfare.

As I was telling God my heartache today, He made me realize I was just being allowed to see a glimpse of what He gets from millions of people every day. We all need Him and cry out to Him when things are tough, but what about when we can manage? We forget His love, grace, and giving. How His heart must break. It is a stark reminder to me that our relationship with God must be sought after and pursued at all times...Today in my relationship, I sat down and I wept with Him as I understood the agony He is in for His people.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Be Obedient To Your Calling

Are you in such a place of being lukewarm that another believer has to give, serve, or speak to make up for you not doing what you are called to do?

from A.W.Tozer

Revival: Poured-out Devotion

Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem; because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.
--Philippians 2:29-30

That many Christians in our day are lukewarm and somnolent will not be denied by anyone with an anointed eye, but the cure is not to stir them up to a frenzy of activity. That would be but to take them out of one error and into another. What we need is a zealous hunger for God, an avid thirst after righteousness, a pain-filled longing to be
Christlike and holy. We need a zeal that is loving, self-effacing and lowly. No other kind will do.

That pure love for God and men which expresses itself in a burning desire to advance God's glory and leads to poured-out devotion to the temporal and eternal welfare of our fellow men is certainly approved of God; but the nervous, squirrel-cage activity of self-centered and ambitious religious leaders is just as certainly offensive to Him and will prove at last to have been injurious to the souls of countless millions of human beings. The Size of the Soul, 81-82.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Ask Yourself This

The basic question for all of us - will you take from the hand of God all that He has provided?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Soft, Resonating Voice of God

Why is it so easy to hear the voice of the enemy? Do you ever notice this? The other night as I was under attack, I heard the enemy tell me that if I spiritually fight for a person in need that he is going to take my baby. Those words rang out loud and clear to me. I heard him clearly. Shortly there after, I heard another voice that was soft and quiet as though it was resonating and echoing within my being. That voice said, "2 Chronicles 20:15." The verse reads," Do not fear or be dismayed . . . , for the battle is not yours but God's."

As I sat there I pondered why the voice of the enemy is so clear and the voice of God is something you hear only in your stillness. The voice of God is something you feel more than you hear. Something in you recognizes it and you have a knowing. That something is obviously the Holy Spirit. It is as if the voice comes from within and being heard within. Satan is like the loud relative that no one can help but hear.

A few days later I received a devotional dealing with the same subject. I enjoyed seeing the easy to understand reasoning it gave and I am thankful that I can discern God's voice from the enemy.

""Satan Yells, God Whispers"

Marybeth Whalen
Speaker Team Member

Key Verse:
Isaiah 30:21, "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.' " (NIV)

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is found in I Kings 19:3-13. In this passage Elijah has run into a cave and is hiding from King Ahab, afraid for his life. He is at a real low point, with which we can all sympathize. He wants to know if God is really there. Have you ever asked that question in your heart?

Unfortunately, I don't struggle with knowing whether Satan is in my life. He announces his presence with authority. I see him in my own sinful nature. I sense him lurking, waiting to strike. He crawls up on my shoulder and says horrible, crippling things in my ear. His voice is loud and persistent. I want to silence him forever but I must wait for God's timing for that. In the meantime, I know that I must contend with my enemy.

Unlike Satan's shrill hiss, God's voice is a gentle whisper - something I don't so much hear as feel in my soul. God is the great lover of my soul. He does not enter uninvited but is always the gentleman, waiting to be asked in. He says, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me(Revelation 3:20). In His graciousness, He seeks permission to enter our lives and does not barge in unbidden.

Back to the passage in I Kings, we see God did not come to Elijah in the wind, the earthquake or the fire. He came in a gentle breeze that soothed and comforted Elijah's troubled heart. He comes to us in the same way. Remember this about His character when you are facing tough times. Just because He is quiet does not mean God isn't there. He will not yell at you and condemn you. That is the Enemy talking. Get to know God's character so you can recognize His sweet voice.

My Prayer for Today:
Dear Lord, thank You that You care enough for me to speak to me. Help me to know You so well that I instantly recognize Your voice. Help me to know when it is Satan speaking to me and to learn not to listen to him. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Application Steps:
Determine what God is asking you to step out and do. Don't go by ability or emotions. Go by Truth and God's leading in your life. Set a goal to practice whatever that is and watch God work on the rest!

Get out your Bible and read I Kings 19:3-13.

Reflection Points:
What can you do to better hear God's voice and silence Satan's? Do you recognize the two distinct voices? What does each voice say about their character?

Power Verses:
Deuteronomy 30:20, "And that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."

Psalm 29:4, "The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic."

John 10:3, "The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.""

Monday, September 11, 2006

Leading With Love

Isaac from "The Love Boat"

*This is the loot of a blog heist. I saw it on Justin Childer's blog and had to share.*

"Alexander Strauch has a new book called Leading With Love. It is fantastic!

The first chapter is an exposition of
1 Corinthians 13:1-3. His outline is penetrating and powerfully faithful to the text. The point of this text is that love for other believers is indespensible to please God and build His Church.

1. Without Love Even Heavenly Language Sounds Annoying

2. Without Love Knowing It All Helps No One

*{my fav}*
Knowledge without love inflates the ego and deceives the mind.

*Strauch describes what I want to avoid: "His theology was as clear as ice and twice as cold."

3. Without Love Risk-taking Faith is Worthless
*Too often Christians are concerned about hidden truth, but indifferent about loving difficult people.

4. Without Love Giving All One's Money to the Poor is Unprofitable

5. Without Love The Ultimate Sacrifice of One's Life is Pointless"

  • Pastor Justin Childer's Blog
  • Saturday, September 09, 2006

    très vivant

    People always tell me that my husband is fabulous and a rare find. I would have to agree. This brings me to our yesterday. First, he turned off all our alarms and hides our phones so I get to sleep until 11 o'clock! Then he sweeps me off to Chic-fil-a to satisfy some pregnancy induced craving. Following that we head to my favorite jewelry/accessory store...only to be followed by a trip to Hobby Lobby to buy artist paint and a new wooden palette. After that it was off to see Hollywoodland with buttery popcorn and Coke. As we come home, Denbigh says we should spend the rest of the evening painting (He said I had inspired him to paint- which I find to be the greatest of compliments). He opened the windows to the rain trickling down, put on some soft classical music, and we painted for 3 hours. It was lovely and extravagant. I am blessed.
    I am rested.

    *très vivant is French for "very much alive."

    Thursday, September 07, 2006

    Pay Attention

    Recently, I was roaming about on the internet as an unusual ad happened to catch my eye. The ad looked like every other ad and sign you see to entice you to vote...except the canidate's name happened to be Tacky Ceramic Rooster.
    < sidebar>I only noticed this because I once had a tacky ceramic rooster that I received as a gift and hated then fell in love with...then it got broken. I have been on the hunt for one ever since.

    So, the point of my story...the ad was for a website entitled
  • I found it most humorous (and I enjoy a good laugh)...and enlightening. The point of the website is to help you pay attention to what you vote for. I then decided we (as a Christian people) should hijack this website to get Christians to pay attention. I keep coming across people in church that believe some crazy stuff. They haven't paid attention to the God of the Bible or the inerrancy of His Word. So, they vote for pretty colors and feel good things. That's my rant. Why aren't we paying attention?

    *We do not actually condone hijacking of any sort.

    Wednesday, September 06, 2006

    The Death of Spiritual Arrogance

    The rain trickled down and ushered in a cool breeze through my windows yesterday. God's cleansing power is always an inspiration to me. As His creativity overcame me, I began to type away at these keys. For months I have been watching, listening, learning from the Holy Spirit about Himself. I have been moved to document this journey in a new book (the title will remain secret). That led me to Chapter 1, the first place the Spirit of God led me.
    The Death of Spiritual Arrogance.
    I wrote several pages and will enclose a paragraph here. Enjoy.

    "“What makes you better than anyone else? What do you have that God hasn't given you? And if all you have is from God, why boast as though you have accomplished something on your own?
    1 Corinthians 4:7 (New Living Translation)

    Often when asked how we have gotten to our level of maturity we like to talk about how much we studied, we decided to meet with God, we developed discipline and ritual. That may make us seem like spiritual giants to others, but it presents the newborn saints with an unattainable goal. The reality is that we did none of this. God’s Word says that no one seeks Him, not even one (Romans 3:11). That means, He sought us. He granted us knowledge. He calls us to relationship. He leads us to repentance. That is what we need to present to our fellow Christians. We must not be presumptuous about our position telling others to be like us. We must keep pointing to the supremacy of Christ and the gifting of God. The key is not follow me, but ask Him."

    © Stephanie Cherry 2006

    Tuesday, September 05, 2006

    With A Longing That Has Become Pain

    From A.W. Tozer

    Revival: The Arrow of Infinite Desire

    Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
    -Matthew 5:6

    These words are addressed to those of God's children who have been pierced with the arrow of infinite desire, who yearn for God with a yearning that has overcome them, who long with a longing that has become pain.

    "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled."...

    A dead body feels no hunger and the dead soul knows not the pangs of holy desire. "If you want God," said the old saint, "you have already found Him." Our desire for fuller life is proof that some life must be there already....

    In nature everything moves in the direction of its hungers. In the spiritual world it is not otherwise. We gravitate toward our inward longing, provided of course that those longings are strong enough to move us. Impotent dreaming will not do. The religious urge that is not followed by a corresponding act of the will in the direction of that urge is a waste of emotion. The Size of the Soul, 17-18.

    "Oh, God, I have that longing to know You, that hunger and thirst for righteousness, that 'desire for fuller life.' Move me along in the direction of that hunger, Lord, and give me the strength to follow 'in the direction of that urge.' Amen."

    Miscarriage | Infertility | Hope

    I encountered Jesus as a young child in a church pew in the balcony of an old country church. Through a lifetime of trial, I knew he was the...