Monday, March 12, 2007

Step By Step He's Leading Me...

So the recording is done, and wow, the Lord is so faithful. What a great God we serve. Thank you to everyone for their prayers on February 24th when I recorded. I felt the prayers, and the Lord definitely showed up in a huge way. I picked up the final cut of music this past week and when I listened to some of the songs, I was almost brought to tears. The Lord's presence is in these songs, and I truly believe He will use this music to minister to believers and non-believers all over the place.

How good is the Lord? So good that He orchestrated my mom and I getting to meet Steven Curtis Chapman, give him a copy of the cd, and tell him about this project for Shaohannahs Hope. Steven is such a humble man of the Lord, and you can see his humility and love for the Lord in the way he carries himself, interacts with people, and even when he performs. He is not about getting the glory, but about giving all the glory to God. It was such a blessing getting to meet him and I pray that he and his wife would listen to the cd and help uplift this project, so that more people could know about Shaohannahs Hope and money would be raised in order to bring more children into forever families. Please continue to pray.

God continues to lead me, step by step. He has been faithful from the beginning when He birthed this vision in me, and I am confident that His faithfulness will continue. These are some scriptures that have come to mind in the past couple days regarding the Lord and His faithfulness to His children.

Psalm 136:1-"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever."

Psalm 37:23-25-"The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, for the Lord is the One who holds his hand. I have been young and now I am old yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread."

Psalm 55:9-"For this I know, that God is for me..."

Psalm 34:10-"The young lions do lack and suffer hunger, but they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing."

Amen, praise the Lord. He is so good to His children, and He definitely blesses obedience. My prayer as this process continues (mass production, finalizing details of the cd artwork, etc) is that with every cd that is distributed, those that hear it would be blessed and drawn into intimacy with the Father, for awareness to be spread about Shaohannahs Hope and for more believers to pray about adoption and potentially being a forever family to a child, and that the body of Christ would be united to live out James 1:27 and live out true religion and faith in Christ. Join with me in praying for God's glory and fame to be spread. He is so worthy.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

It's Really Happening

Ever since I went to Latvia in the summer of 2005 to work with orphans, my life has truly been changed forever. After that trip, God birthed in me a vision for how to use my gifts to help orphans all over the world: to record an album of hymns and worship songs and use all of the proceeds for Shaohannahs Hope. Wow Lord, You are so good to reveal that to me. heart for recording was no longer selfish, it was God-honoring and about furthering His kingdom.

So almost 2 years later, I now have the opportunity to actually record. God has given me the gift of time, some sweet resources, and some knowledgable people to help me along the way. I've been practicing a lot for the big day: February 24th. I would appreciate yalls prayers so much. Please pray that God's hand of favor would be on this recording project. I know that God could seriously open huge doors for this and raise a lot of money for these orphaned children, and I pray that every penny raised would be for His glory.

If you think your church or organization would be interested in selling these cds, contact me and I'll let you know details. I have a lot of things to work out, and I'm just praying that the Lord continues to direct my steps. There could potentially be a lot of places that would help me sell these albums and be on board with it: Breakaway, Austin Stone, Living Hope, other area churches, Steven Curtis Chapman, but it's just a matter of time and prayer and the Lord being at work. On March 10, I have an opportunity to meet Steven Curtis Chapman at his concert and share with him my heart for this project. Please pray for that conversation. Steven and Mary Beth Chapman have done so much for the adoption ministry over the years and their lives are pretty much about adoption these days, so to have them be excited about something that benefits their organization could open some big doors.

Ultimately, I would just ask you guys to pray. Pray for God to move through this and for His Spirit to be all over it. Pray that these songs minister to the lost. Pray that the kingdom of God is expanded because of it. Pray that even just one child gets a forever family through the money raised from this project.

I will let you guys know once the cd is done and completed and ready to be bought. I'm so excited about what the Lord is doing.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Friend of God

"'No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.'" (John 15:15)

Me? A friend of God? For real?

Who am I that You are mindful of me
That You hear me
When I call
Is it true that You are thinking of me
How you love me
It's amazing

I am a friend of God
I am a friend of God
I am a friend of God
He calls me friend

Wow, that song almost always makes me cry when I hear it. I remember the first time I heard it, at Living Hope in College Station, TX. It's such a song of celebration. A song with words that celebrate God's great love for His children, His saints. So often we as Christians walk around like zombies with our heads hanging low because we are ashamed, upset about our sin, and are obviously unaware of the power of the Holy Spirit within us, the Holy Spirit that has sealed us for eternity and gives us the power to say no to ungodliness and YES to righteousness. There is victory in the power of the blood of Jesus, sweet friends, and we've got to walk in faith and believe that truth. It does no good for us to simply read the Word, we MUST believe in its power to transform us, its power to conform us more into the likeness of Christ, its power to transform our lives to dwell on eternal things and to erase bad thoughts from our past, and we must believe in its power to show us our sin and bring about victory in our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit. Verses that come to mind are Romans 8:1-2-"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death." There is no need to walk around ashamed....shame is not of the Lord, but of the enemy. Satan wants us to be afraid of coming to God, to fear opening up our mouths and confessing our sins to the Lord. Satan wants to isolate us and fill our minds with lies from the world, so that he can keep us far from God. No, my brothers and sisters, don't believe his lies. Turn to the Word that you may find life and life in abundance! Like Heather says, "Our only hope is God's Word and obeying it." That is so true. We have to stop believing the subtle lies of the world as well as the big obvious lies and turn to the Truth from God's Word. How will others see the joy of the Lord in us if we are walking around ashamed and beaten down? They won't. Satan is a joy-stealer. But check out Romans 16:20-"The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet." That is so tight. Amen to that.

Going back to the beginning of this post: If we are saved, and children of God, then according to John 15:15 we are called His friends. Wow, the God of this universe, who created all things and in Him all things hold together...He calls us His friends. That is some serious love that I will never be able to fully comprehend, but yet gives me so much hope. Look what it says in Romans 8:16-17-"The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs-heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him." We are children of God, and co-heirs with Christ. Wow, it just keeps getting better.

So....all that to stay, toss out the Cosmo and People magazines you've been reading, along with the E Daily News deal or any other celebrity gossipp news feed and take up the Word. That is where our hope lies and that's where the Truth is. Let's be washed in the water of the Word and made more like Christ. Let's walk in victory over sin rather than defeat.

I've realized that it is so easy for the everyday cares of this world and time constraints (like a full-time job) to get in the way or help make excuses for not reading the Word. But the Word of God is truly my hope. I need it if I want to be fully effective with my kindergarteners everyday. Matthew 12:34 says, "Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks." I have seen that lived out at school...and the days where I'm in the Word and dwelling on the things of God, my speech towards my kids is more fruitful, full of peace, gentleness, and love...and my love towards them is self-sacrificing, rather than manipulative or partial. God's Word is "living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit...joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Heb.4:12) The Word comforts, convicts, spurrs on, humbles us, shows us more of God, and makes us more like Him. (Jn. 17:17, Psalm 19, 2 Tim.3:15-17) But we must believe in its power and Truth or it will just be words.

God Almighty
Lord of Glory
You have called me friend
God Almighty
Lord of Glory
You have called me friend

I love you guys. Until next time, keep reading and believing in the power of the Word.

"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward." ~Psalm 19:7-11

Psalm 55:9-"This I know, that God is for me."

If you wanna check out an amazing website about adoption, go to:

Saturday, January 6, 2007

A New Semester

Well, I started back at school on Thursday, and it was so good to be back with my kids. Thursday brought a new little boy to my classroom, and Friday another new friend came. Now I have 20 kids in my class. I definitely had my moments of being overwhelmed.

Sometimes I feel that there are just too many needs to be met amongst the kids, and there's only one of me. I have found that it is difficult at times to love all of them the same, and that's when the Lord graciously shows me that it's sin and I need to love all my students with His love. I can't love some more than others, and I certainly can't treat some with preference...that's lame. I was talking to the school counselor the other day about a situation with one of my students and she said something that I view as a fine piece of wisdom. She told me that treating my kids fairly means that I make sure every child gets what they need. I guess I had never thought of it in that light. What one child needs can certainly vary from another child. Each one of my kids needs different things at different times and it's my job to try my best to make sure that their needs are getting met while they're in my classroom: from social needs, to academic, to emotional, and even physical needs. I told my students on Friday morning that "fair" doesn't mean that everyone gets the same thing, but that everyone gets what they need. I believe that piece of wisdom will help me out greatly this year and in the years to come.

Another thing I observed in these first couple days back is how perceptive children are. They are so observant and they pick up on everything. On Friday afternoon the kids were busy painting pictures and doing some center activities. One of my kids asked me if he could paint another picture for his dad, because the first one he painted was for his mom. I told him that everyone was only allowed to paint one picture and that he could just give that picture to both parents. His response was, "But my mommy and daddy fight a lot." What an observant child. He sees the discension between his parents and views them as separate and therefore wanted to paint 2 pictures. Wow, I was taken back from that statement. A powerful one from the mouth of a 5 year-old. It's times like those where I want to protect their little eyes from the cruel world around them and I want to take their pain and heartache upon myself. But I can't. That's the world we live in, and their only hope is Christ.

One of the reasons that I love teaching so much is because I truly believe that the Lord is using me to make a difference in the lives of these children for eternity. I believe strongly that when I discipline them according to the Word, that they will see Christ in me. Even if 20 years from now they don't remember my name or anything, my prayer would be that they would attribute Christ's love to their kindergarten teacher...that they would know their kindergarten loved them, and loved Jesus. Lord, save them for Your glory.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Tiny Faces and Tender Hearts

Here I go on my journey of blogging, trying to find some outlet to get out all of the thoughts, ideas, and happenings in my life each day. One of the things that has captivated my attention in this last year has been adoption. First of all, what a travesty that so many children are left homeless, penniless, and fatherless all over the world. Second of all, what can I do to help out? How can I be involved in fulfilling what the Lord talks about in James 1:27 as well as many other parts of the Bible? But there is hope because God is doing so much in the hearts and lives of Christians all over the world and is moving them to open up their homes to orphans and be their "forever families," in the words of Steven Curtis Chapman. Ever since I had the opportunity to go to Latvia in the summer of 2005 and work with orphans, I believe my life is forever changed. I can't seem to get adoption, orphans, raising money, non-profit, and other terms out of my head.

The ministry of adoption is amazing, and I pray that the Lord would have me to play some part in making that a reality for children in some form: whether I adopt a child myself oneday, or I simply go work with them or stay here in the states and help raise money for adoption agencies...I want to be involved. It's not just about helping children, it is about being obedient to the Father and His Word by helping defend the fatherless and take care of them. So as my journey in life continues in Austin as a Kindergarten Teacher, I pray God will show me specific ways to get involved with the ministry of adoption.