Saturday, December 31, 2016

Permission to Hope

We buried our sweet cat in the back yard today. Each of us thanked God for how he loved us through some rough times this year. Watching your kids grieve is truly difficult. It's an ache multiplied. As I sit here and think back over the year, I realize how hard it's been and equally how lovely. God has grown us all. The thing is that when you get wounded or things don't go how you would like them to, you are afraid to trust and dream. I keep hearing this phrase in my head.

You have permission to hope.

By definition, you have authority, authorization, sanction, approval, blessing to hope. There's beauty in all of this. Through grief and hurt, God will come and meet with us. You can plan for good things in the year ahead with out fear. You can trust Jesus with the secret things you yearn for. Mark tonight a sacred new beginning. Start asking what you would like to do and give in the year ahead. May you find balance in your work, play, prayer, and rest. Enjoy those around you. One of my favorite Christmas cards read, "The true ornaments of a home are those who frequent it." Love people in 2017.

I love doing Jennie Allen's Dream Guide. It asks several simple questions in different areas of life. It's a great visionary and retrospective tool to give clarity and focus. You can download it from her blog.

You are always welcome to the table. Holy things can happen when friends and family gather around the table for a meal.  

I love y'all. Thank you so much. You have helped us build and pay for all of our dreams of loving others. Don't resist giving to those around you because of fear. Of course some people will take advantage of your generosity. Love them anyway. That's the beauty of the gospel.

If you would like to support us one time or monthly in 2017, we are grateful to receive from you.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Declare a Year of Beauty

I have sort of abandoned my post here. I think the last few years of children and homeschool have taken a toll on my brain. I also spent my year redoing most of our house because I love my husband and his dream has been to have a family reunion here. More than that, I have been dealing with some hurts. I completely opened up my heart to several people for friendship and came face to face with deep hurt. Another pastor cut me to the core and I watched as pain spread through a group of people. Oh, Jesus, not again. We constantly throw open our doors to love people only to have a huge hunk of our ministry budget stolen. So many personal things are gone. During all of this, we notice that we have an area of termites in our dining room floor. Several pest guys later and they all say they have never seen anything like this. It's a coastal termite. It must have been brought in via infected wood or furniture. They may have to tent our house and fill it with toxic chemicals to the tune of ten grand. 

Through all of this, I kept writing myself a note in my day planner. "Write the words, my dear." Even if it is just a few every day. I have been trying. It's sometimes the longest journey and the most painful to pursue what you love. These are the days you just have to be brave. So. I'm here. I'm writing the words. Sometimes with tears and others with joy. Often both. 

Then God gave me a picture and pressed it on my heart. 

I became a bit obsessed with the idea of beauty this year because I wanted to see it so badly amidst my hurt. I kept asking the Lord what this beauty from ashes looked like. Surely it could not be this fluffy idea that the world holds up as beauty. I think when you have been through throbbing, guttural pain and you have been scorched and charred and made to be ash, something fierce emerges. Surely this is a beauty that is mildly terrifying in power. I mean. It has been hurt so badly that it was charred to ash and then it was resurrected. That sounds pretty intense to me. Show me, Abba. 

You know. Beauty is everywhere. I see it. I see these people wounded and hurting who are raising weary hands to restore justice. People without the capacity to care anymore are caring by the power of the Holy Spirit. His hope drifts in like a butterfly carried by the wind. He dwells among us. 

I have a vision in my heart to declare a year of beauty among the churches rising from the ash of internal hurt. Beauty over rogue pastors and beauty over the wounded. Your shrapnel is seen, beloved. Now, we rise to declare the fierce, humble, merciful beauty of the One who made us. You belong here. You are not alone. Gather in. Desperately seek the healing. 

If you think about it, pray for us. My business is doing well at we are about halfway to replacing some windows that are falling out. Also pray against termites. We have been spraying the house with beneficial nematodes (they eat their brains) and praying for an organic solution that doesn't involve tenting our house and filling it with toxic chemicals for 7 days. Our hearts are heavy after being hurt badly in ministry this year. If you would like to help us replenish our budget, we would greatly appreciate it. Thank you for your love and care as we have served and loved and been fortunate enough to be in cahoots with the Holy Spirit as he restores and revives his chosen people. We truly are humbled to get to be involved in serious and sacred areas of hurt in people's lives. Thank you kindly from the bottom of our hearts.

Donate one time or monthly to support Gomer's House:

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Intercessory Healing by Dutch Sheets

This book was much different than what I expected. I believe in miracles and healing and many things that nature because I trust who God says he is and I have seen too much to deny it. That being said, any Reformed book reviewer would chew this up and spit it out. It's full of the miraculous that the cessasionist would refute. I believe in the miraculous. As I traveled through this book, I saw it as much more of a biography of this man's prayer life than anything else. I think it should be seen as such. God is different with each one of us. I don't really see a need to name personality traits anointings, but to each his own. I don't see a need for things like prayer cloths or other tools, but I also can't say God would refuse to partake in the symbolism. I think it's just important that we remember where our hope and our healing come from. Christ alone.

That being said, I have to say I was thoroughly impressed with how our author preached the gospel relentlessly. He kept the focus on Christ throughout the entire book. I read story after story of prevailing in prayer. I was deeply encouraged by many things he had to say. I greatly appreciated his work to keep us focused on our real enemy. 

We are reminded over and over that our enemy is not flesh and blood in Ephesians 6. We also can rest and be challenged by the fact that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal. (2 Cor.10:4) 

Thanks for preaching the gospel, Dutch. Even we who know need to hear it.

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...