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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Absolute Awe, Absolutely

Sweet Friends,

I have so much to share with you tonight, that I don't quite know where to begin.

Today was a banner day. I haven't had a lot of those as of late, so I especially appreciated today.

It began with the study of Daniel. I've chosen to work through "You're A Brave Man Daniel," a study of Daniel chapters 1-6 with the kiddos this quarter.

Next we'll do the rest of Daniel, and then we'll dig into Revelation.

That is, unless Janna Arndt writes 1st & 2nd Thessalonians first. :)

That's my plug, by the way...if you're from Harvest House Publishers...we need the study of Covenant, and 1st & 2nd Thessalonians.

But, I digress...

Oh, a quick aside to tell you, I won't be proof reading tonight...I'm exhausted, but you know me...I gotta rattle when there's something worth sharing.

And today certainly was.

Our homeschooling morning ran later than expected, and it was a late lunch for us. I was starving, the kids were starving...you get the picture.

Add to that, I haven't been to the store since, I don't know....May, maybe?

So, we had an errand to run here in town...Dr.'s office...and I was going to drive through Taco Bell (again!), but then thought...hey, we're learning about the Middle East..why not go try middle eastern food?

I gotta admit, I was scared to death.

I'm a Texas girl, you know..I don't even like BBQ from anywhere north of the panhandle!

But, we were brave...and ventured into Cafe' Afify here in Anthem.

We were greeted by the most wonderful man, a fellow believer in Christ Jesus...and from Jerusalem.

You know I wanted to hop out of my seat and hug his neck, and pick his brain for hours on end!

Which is pretty much what I did..sans the hopping out of my seat and hugging his neck. :)

Today was homeschooling in it's purest form.

We studied a culture in the AM, and then we ate their food for lunch.

Our host at the Cafe' even gave us history lessons and geography lessons of the Mediterranean.

He walked us through every dish on the menu, and graciously allowed us to look at all the items of interest hanging on the walls.

I especially liked the picture of the cedars of Lebanon, having just studied about them in Kings & Prophets part 1. Then we got to look at maps of Tyre and Sidon.

I was totally beside myself with excitement!

I could go on and on.

It was amazing.

And the food...delicious!

I could eat lamb forever....and ever...and ever...and my kids could too! I was stunned!

Brennan and Caedmon are going to turn INTO pita bread, and I found that grape leaves stuffed with rice are De-Lic-ious!

OK...so that was part one of the day.

Then we came home, and I barked out orders like a mom with no grace whatsoever....for goodness sakes, there were women coming over tonight...for our fellowship night from the Kinsman Redeemer study, which wrapped two weeks ago, but which I've been absent from for that long due to illness upon illness here.

So, quite interesting isn't it?

Mommy acts like Mrs. Bossy pants to the kids, so that I can hostess the ladies that usually only see me at my best?

Um, I think I'll be asking for forgiveness of two sweet young kiddos tomorrow.

Yes. I know...upside down. Got that one wrong!

But, on to tonight...

These precious women who have been in the KR study of Ruth, all came for our wrap up dinner. They didn't let me do a thing, and even made me sit down while they made my plate of food.

They just came in like the loving swarm of little happy bees that they are, and took over my kitchen, whilst I sat on an icepack...

Then, it got really good....

I asked them the questions I'd been dying to ask for weeks...

Remember, although we've been studying Kinsman Redeemer, this has been a study for those being called into leadership....so it's been a different level of study...

I don't know how else to say it but to tell you that when you're studying with 10-12 other women who all do their homework and show up prepared, it's awesome to see what God does.

I've been the weak link in this, but thank the Lord that my friend D took over week 3 and led it. That was one of the main purposes of this class...to raise up other leaders/connect current leaders so that when life hits (as it will for all of us) we'll have someone else to call upon to lead our classes.

SO...here were the questions:

HOW has this study changed your life?

IS God calling you to lead?

If so....tell us....

To Whom?
When?
Where?
What?

You get the picture....

I kid you not when I tell you that I sat here and wiped many a tear as we went around the table and these precious women of God, from many different churches in the area, shared how deeply studying about their Kinsman Redeemer has changed their lives.

Then, glory be to God Almighty, from whom all good and perfect gifts come...they blessed me beyond their understanding!

You see, for 5+ years, I've been praying...begging God to raise up others who would go forth and lead.

There is such a need in our community.

So many hurting marriages.

Streets full of homes that people have lost due to foreclosure.

Kids deep into drugs.

Young women who dress like prostitutes because they have no clue how loved they are by the King of Kings.

Babies having babies.

Domestic violence.

So tonight, as we went around the table and each woman shared, I was in awe to hear how God is preparing them to go forth and lead.

3 of them go to the same church and have an amazing team between all of them...oh, how I'd like to be a fly on the wall when God gets them rolling....

1 is a veteran homeschooler, with a heart for young women and discipleship, and basically said that she's open...she just needs to know where the need is

1 knows that she's been called to lead teen girls through "Sweeter Than Chocolate" in January

1 has graciously agreed to be backup for me, as we will begin "Sweeter Than Chocolate" at my church on Oct. 1, and she's been studying with me for quite some time...

At the end of the year, she plans to approach her church about leading there in January

1 is following God's lead in ministering to her grandchildren right now, and wants to share Christ with them and with others, without fear (love that! love her!)

1 has been leading for quite some time, and is on a brief time of rest in God, but is faithfully praying about what to lead next/God's will for her church's body of believers

1 wants to open her home up for a neighborhood study

1 wants to minister to the new believers in her church

1 wants to reach out to women in marriages that are hurting

1 wants to obey God...is she to be ministering outside of her home right now? How can she love on her husband and family as God wants her to? Is there "more" she's to be doing for the kingdom? (Her questions and openness ministered to all of us!)

I put more into quotation marks because I think it's often the devil's lie to us as women....I think he wants to keep us busy, so we aren't there to minister to our husbands and families first.

They are our first ministry. Win the world, lose your family? Upside down. Not God's way.

Several are afraid...me included!

Truly, I could go on and on.....

But, what I want to leave you with is this....I love these precious women so much, and not just because they cleaned my kitchen and didn't comment about my piles of stuff in the kitchen...

And not just because they went upstairs to say hello to my dogs so they'd shut up, and never mentioned the condition of the 2nd story of my home....

And, not just because they love me, and love each other....

I love them because they are HUNGRY for GOD.

They are hungry for the lost to come to know Jesus Christ.

Some are scared to death to step out....but many of them are ready to do so....

I cried tonight, because hearing their passion for others to know God's Word the way that they've come to know Him through learning to study for themselves is INFECTIOUS!

You know, babies get colostrum when first they are born.

Then they get mother's milk.

Then rice cereal.

On to pureed green beans.

And one day, they get hamburger and steak....

We've got sheep in our churches who are hungry for steak...the meat of God's Word.

They are starving for it.

Even if our pastors are wonderful, one day a week is not sufficient for dining at God's table.

If you think it is, then try eating only one meal on Sundays.

Try it for a few months.

One meal...Sunday morning.

That's it.

Nothing more.

See how it sustains you.

Try it for a few years...

How would you do then?

And, this is considering that you have a pastor who is teaching the Word in Spirit and in Truth.

What if you don't?

What if you're just getting a jellybean thrown out to you on Sunday morning, and your sugar high is spent by the time you drive out of the parking lot?

And still, no food for you the rest of the week...the rest of the month...the rest of the decade....

How are you going to weather the storms of life then?

People, please hear my heart on this....people need to know the redemptive love of Jesus Christ.

If you know it, and you're not sharing it....

Then really, aren't you just being selfish?

Would you keep food from a starving man?

Would you refuse water to a person lost in a dry desert?

What do you think the Word of God is?

Living Water.

The Bread of Life.

You don't have to be eloquent...God's Word speaks for Itself.

Just let Him use you to teach others how to study It.

Oh, how in awe I am that He is raising up others from within this community for which I've prayed so long and so hard.

His goodness never ends.

Please pray for Cindy Wyatt tonight...she is the wife of Pastor Steve Wyatt from Crossroads here in Anthem. Her Caring Bridge site is caringbridge.org/visit/cindywyatt .

Please pray for these precious women who were in my home tonight...that they'll allow the boldness of Jesus Christ to propell them.

Please pray the same for me....I've been feeling a little sad as of late...I'm a late processor, and this whole MS thing just hit me a few days ago.

Tonight was healing water for a parched soul, as was my time with my new friend at Cafe' Afify.

That was rich.

I'd never seen an Orthodox Cross before. The cross with a crown on top, because Jesus is King, and the word "Jerusalem" on the back. Does it get any better than that?!

I gotta get one of those...loved it!

Remember..I gave you full disclosure...I'm not proofing...I'm fried, and still gotta take my shot. :(

Love to you all in the King of Kings,
Jes











5 comments:

Stephanie said...

I want to go eat there... and met your new friend... maybe one day we can go together & I'll show some pictures from Israel! Love you!

Kim Green said...

We went to Cafe Affify last year when we were having an Egyptian party. They were SO NICE and SO HELPFUL pointing out the mediterranean food that they would eat in Egypt. They were so nice that I bought my kids lunch while we waited for our to go dinner. The baklava was amazing and I had never had it before. Can't believe I haven't had it since. Must go again. I didn't know that they were Christian. I figured the opposite so that's great.

Last night was amazing, wasn't it? That's what happens when we step back and let God move us. I'm so excited to see what will become of all of us in one, five and ten years from now. I think that it could be big.

You brought us together. It was your vision and your getting yourself together when all you wanted to do was stay in bed. It was countless hours of your prayers and your commitment to keep coming when you know darn well you should have quit. You have earned quite a few jewels in your crown, Missy, and I hope you'll let me hold it someday in heaven just to feel how heavy it will be. I'm sure I won't feel jealous, right? Just ever so glad and happy.

I love you. For so many reasons.

Kim

Anonymous said...

Just amazing! I am so deeply moved and inspired. I am getting ready to lead MWR again and this post has gotten me FIRED UP! Thanks for this incredible post! And thank you for being a piece of iron in my life! Love you more than you know!

Jes said...

To Steph...I think even a couples dinner could be good...Mark & Shane could encourage one another, and you and I could just love on each other..you know, girl stuff....cry...eat baclava...cry some more...eat pita and cucumber salad...live would all be good once we left. :)

Kim - God makes some visionaries, I think so that we'll have to remain humble, should we like to be alive to see what He will accopmlish for His glory. :)

I'd love to let you hold my crown one day, but I assure you, it will fall right off at the feet of my Lord, as I bow face down in awe that one so Holy, so pure, could love one like me..so completly opposite of Him..love deep enough that He would not allow me to become His and stay who I was.

That's love that changes.

I want Him to have that crown...only Him...but if He says it's ok, then you can sport it around as much as you like. Forgive the dinks I may have put in it these past few weeks. :)

And to little MS. Anonymous...I know who you are! A signature won't kill ya, you know?!

THese women NEED to hear about a Marriage Without Regrets, or MWR as you like to call it...couldn't MWR be some supercharged motor oil?

Sounds so Nascar to me!

C'mon girl..throw me a bone...I want some life changed testimonies from MWR!

I love you all!

I need an Affify fix any day, Steph...just call me on the fly...I love you and we're praying for you!

Shelly said...

You are cracking me up! :) Yes, MWR stands for Marriage Without Regrets and for those of you who don't know it is a Precept study. I have led it seven times with women, single and married, in three years b/c in a word...it is revolutionary! Lives, marriages, homes are transformed. Wives that have been married for 30 + years are stunned! And these are women who love Jesus, love the Bible but never really knew what God's word said to them concerning marriage. They sit in class with their mouth dropped on the floor. Lightbulb moments, ah ha moments, weeping, brokenness and also rejoicing b/c they are putting into practice what God says! They get for the first time why God hates divorce, not divorced people but divorce b/c it mars the permanent, covenant relationship between Christ and us His bride. Think about that...God chose marriage to be a parable if you will to show the world Christ's inseparable marriage to His bride the church! Glory! So, that alone will keep you married to a man who you "aren't in love with anymore", keep you married to a man who you say just doesn't understand or listen to you like so and so does or it will keep you married to a man who in YOUR eyes is unworthy, unlovable, lazy, depressed, won't go to church, not a believer...whatever... you fill in the blank. As John Piper says "that is the ultimate purpose of marriage and if you are married that is why you are married." And in my opinion divorce and broken homes are at epidemic proportions... we need to get this message out in the church as well as outside the church NOW. The time is now to save some children from the unstability and insecurity divorce brings, save some children from depression and loneliness they don't even know how to verbalize....well I could go on and on...I feel very passionate about this and pray that God will raise up more and more to lead women, couples through this awesome study. Maybe someone who reads this post will feel led to do so. Shelly <><