“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy Birthday!

I wanted to wish a very Happy Birthday to Gideonmommasita at Hope and a Future. God's blessings to you!

Also born on this day... my Grandmom!

May your day be filled with reminders of how precious and treasured you are... by me... friends and family... and most importantly... God!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

6 Words: Lord, to Whom Shall We Go?

Dearest sisters... thank you for bearing with me. I realize my journal notes from the Beth Moore conference have been a dry read... and somewhat selfish on my part to share them so publicly... with no gift wrap of my own. But will you hang in there? Will you be a witness to what is transpiring within me?

God is dealing with me ever so intentionally with my ego. I knew that, but it was at this conference that He decided it was time to go all out with me. Since I hadn't caught on to His gentle nudgings, it was time to get in my face. And I want that. Ever so much.

I'm nothing without Him, girls. In all honesty, I would be dead (not figuratively) without Him. And so, I want to love Him, serve Him, trust Him and obey Him with ever fiber of my being. Seem extreme? I think it must be... but it is all I have. And it is all I have to give.

It is not something I have entered into lightly. It has been a slow 41-year progression. But I can't turn back. I have to go forward.

One of my life verses... that so often rests on my lips and heart are the words of Simon Peter in John 6:68, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." Some of the disciples of Jesus had turned back... they would no longer follow Jesus... they were dismayed and couldn't handle the Truth. So, Jesus asked the ones who remained, "Do you also want to go away?"

Can you imagine? The Lord asking you if you want to leave Him?

Really, where would I go? What else is there? Money, success, my own fleshly desires, drugs... No, I mean really... what else is there?

You have the words of eternal life.

And then Simon Peter says, "We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."

It's all I've got, sisters. I believe and know that He is the Holy One of God. It's all I've got...

No, Lord, I do not want to turn back.

No, Lord. I Won't Turn Back.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

6 Words: Page 4

This is Page 4 in a series of 12 pages of notes that I took at the Beth Moore Living Proof Live Conference in Portland, April 17-18. My intent is to review my notes... and by blogging them... I am holding myself accountable. See 6 Words for more details.

Sheri's Journal Notes

Friday Night Continued

Supporting Obstacle
I've Been Through Too Much.
What to do with what we've been through?
Instead of repression or rebellion, we need reformation.
Repression will end up making you sick.
Rebellion will end up making you stupid.

Underneath your mad is your sad.

They only heard the report:
"The man who formerly persecuted us
is now preaching the faith
he once tried to destroy."
And they praised God because of me.
Galatians 1:23-24 NIV


Supporting Objective
My Past Morphs Into Present Praise.
Can you believe it? Could your past be morphed into praise? Are people praising God because of you? You had a difficult past by your own choice or the choice of others... yet God has brought reformation... restoration.

Or maybe you're still repressing or rebelling the hand you've been dealt. How do we move beyond our past?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Are You Miserable in a Good Marriage?

Hi, sisters! I just have to share with you a phenomenal resource on marriage. Focus on the Family had an audio clip of Beth Moore speaking about her marriage. About how we as women try to idealize our marriage and think that we should have a GREAT marriage, and so we become dissatisfied with a GOOD marriage. Is that you? I have to admit that it is me, too, sometimes.

She also spoke an anointed word to those who feel that their man is not being the spiritual leader in the family like "he should be"...

I wish I could summarize it, but it's one of those things that you just have to hear for yourself!

I'm challenging you... if you're miserable in your GOOD marriage, take a little time to listen Beth tell of her GOOD marriage... it's not GREAT, but GOOD is well, GOOD!

Focus on the Family Broadcast (or Podcast) from April 23rd & 24th. Make sure to listen to both broadcasts/podcasts.

I love you, sisters... We all struggle. And when we find something that can bring each other encouragement... I just feel like I have to share it. I don't think Beth Moore has all the answers... but she serves a God who does...

6 Words: Page 3

This is Page 3 in a series of 12 pages of notes that I took at the Beth Moore Living Proof Live Conference in Portland, April 17-18. My intent is to review my notes... and by blogging them... I am holding myself accountable. See 6 Words for more details.

Sheri's Journal Notes

Friday Night Continued

There is someone within us who has the power to forgive ANYONE.
There is someone within us who has been where we want to go.

God is looking for trustworthy, humble people who can handle the anointing of God.

I want to live a life -- ALERT! "There ain't no life like this vivacious abundant life of Christ in us."

Do I want a "God DROP"? Do I want to experience God -- more than this?

My counsel is this:
Live freely,
animated and motivated
by God's Spirit.
Then you won't feed
the compulsions of selfishness.

For there is a root of
sinful self-interest in us
that is at odds with a free spirit,
just as the free spirit
is incompatible with selfishness.
These two ways of life are antithetical,
so that you cannot live at times
one way and
at times another way
according to how you feel
on any given day.
Why don't you choose
to be led by the Spirit
and so escape
the erratic compulsions
of a law-dominated existence?
Galatians 5:16-18 The Message


What if we were driven by the compelling love of Christ... as opposed to our erratic compulsions?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

6 Words: Page 2
Ego Crucified. Christ Formed in Me.

Impatient...

This is Page 2 in a series of 12 pages of notes that I took at the Beth Moore Living Proof Live Conference in Portland, April 17-18. My intent is to review my notes... and by blogging them... I am holding myself accountable. See Page 1 and intro for more details.

Sheri's Journal Notes


Friday Night Continued

Beth Moore shares that she will be using 6 word phrases to summarize her key points. There had been a post on the LPM blog, Sum up YOUR Life in Six Words, that she felt was insightful.

I have been crucified with Christ
and I no longer live,
but Christ lives in me...
Galatians 2:20a NIV

The Supreme Objective of our lives:
Ego crucified. Christ formed in me.
Crucified so we can be raised. Our complete distinctiveness and uniqueness are not crucified.

The Supreme Obstacle of our lives:
My Life. My Way. That's it.

We want to try on the new life and then decide whether or not we want it. God doesn't work that way.
But when the time had fully come,
God sent his Son,
born of a woman, born under law,
to redeem those under law,
that we might receive
the full rights of sons
.
Because you are sons,
God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,
the Spirit who calls out,
"Abba,Father."
So you are no longer a slave, but a son;
and since you are a son,
God has made you also an heir.
Galatians 4:4-7 NIV

We have full rights of sonship. We must claim our inheritance.
Something is wrong when our lives don't match our theology.
When our ego is done -- then the power of Christ can begin its work.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Christopher's 10th Birthday Party:
Not-So-National Treasure!


Christopher’s 10th Birthday


Find the hidden treasure!

Clue #1:
There is a store on SW Washington Avenue and SW 1st Street that contains a word that will give you a clue to your next location on your map.


Stamps!



On the map! The Post Office! So, we head down the street...


Clue #2:
Use this money (42 cents) to buy something that lasts forever.


The Liberty Bell Stamp!

Clue #3:
Now look at your clue… and find the year that this was originally cast. But on your way to find the next clue… stop by SW 2nd Street and SW Tucker Avenue to fill in the blanks:

First Time Buyers _________________ For… – alfy = ____ _____ _____

________ Brooks



Ooops... looking at the wrong building... here's the sign!



Now, down the street to the library to find out the year when the Liberty Bell was originally cast!

The Dewey Decimal System!



1752!


Clue #4:
Now that you know the year the clue was cast… subtract 778.48 from the year to get a new number.

First Initial of the First Name in Clue #3
The New Number found in Clue #4
The Three Letters found from Clue #3


J 973.52 QUI

Clue #5:
Add the name of a man in this book to a financial institution… and use your map to get there.



It's a book about the Star-Spangled Banner! Francis Scott Key! Let's head to Key Bank!


Clue #6:
Use this money ($2) to buy exactly one roll of coins.


A roll of nickels? Huh?

Clue #7
These coins are to be used at a place that is like a land full of wonder… and will deliver a treasure to those who are willing to trade what they discover…


Wunderland! The Nickel Arcade!

Congratulations! You have solved the mystery of the hidden treasure!


Well, it's not exactly National Treasure... but is sure was fun!

Happy 10th Birthday, Christopher!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

6 Words: Page 1


Living Proof Live - Portland Oregon from Rich Kalonick on Vimeo.

I was thinking about the fact that I spent $60 for a ticket to see Beth Moore. And how the two 3-hour sessions go so quickly... and often forgotten just as quickly. I am trying to be intentional about what I learned at the conference, so I decided to share some of my notes from the event.

I also bought you something... you know, a freebie giveaway! It is an audio CD set of one of Beth Moore's Living Proof Live Events entitled, "Spiritual Mapping: Egypt, The Wilderness and Canaan." I bought myself a set... and I thought you might like it, too! More details to come... but it will have something to do with 6 Words!

Sheri's Journal Notes

Friday Night

We find out that 7,300 women are sitting in the Coliseum... In Portland, Oregon... 7,300 women wanting to learn... hear... experience... go beyond... 7,300 christian sisters. Praise God!

Beth shares that we will be looking at the two questions,
"God, what do You want from me?" and "What is the point?"
Or another way to put it... "What is the objective?" and "What is He after?"

We read from Galatians 2:17-21. Specifically from verse 20 "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me."
and Galatians 4:15-20. Especially verse 19 "My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you."

Beth shares about the recent birth of her granddaughter, Annabeth. How she loved her as soon as she found out she had been conceived. She loved her when she found out she was a girl. She loved her when she was born. She could not love Annabeth anymore than she already has... but now that Annabeth can respond to her... Beth feels sheer bliss.

And so... God loves us. He has always loved us. He couldn't love us anymore than He already has... but when we respond to Him... imagine what He must feel towards us.

The image of Paul as a "laboring mother" or nurse saying until Christ is formed in you. As if we want to see the embryonic form age into the full form of Jesus in us.

"Morphoo" - to be fashioned, shaped... as by an artist...

Okay... so page one of twelve is done...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Six Word Phrases Are Too Confining!

Beth Moore just loved us!

See blog to get great laugh!

Yao Ming. BFF. Photos and all.

It will be difficult to describe.

Must only use six word phrases.

She spoke on Galatians 2:20, 4:19.

Obstacle: My Ego. Objective: Jesus Morph.

My six words at six o'clock:

"Trying to help God. Not working."

My six words by event end:

"God's approval exceeds approval of man."

More to follow. I'm not crazy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Weary... but not giving up!


Siesta Scripture Memory: Verse 8

Let us not become weary
in doing good,

for at the proper time
we will reap a harvest

if we do not give up.


Galatians 6:9 NIV


Dear sisters, I may not be around much the next couple of days. This weekend I'm coordinating a mini-retreat at our church to coincide with a Living Proof Live Event aka Beth Moore Conference. And if I wasn't blessed enough, my natural born sister arrives in Portland tomorrow to join me!

I have heard that over 7,000 women will be at our event. I can't wait to see what the Lord has prepared... I'll make sure to bring something special back for you... hmmm, that sounds like a freebie!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

...but God!


It's not the one who plants or
the one who waters

who is at the center
of this process

but God,
who makes things grow.

1 Corinthians 3:7 The Message

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Good Friday 1999


A note to Christopher written 10 years later:

April 2nd, 1999
Good Friday

I am three weeks away from giving birth to you. After months of pre-postpartum counseling, I am still afraid of the change that is to occur. Terrified. FEARFUL.

I attend Good Friday Service at our church. It is a small gathering in the old chapel. I am sitting in the back. Communion is served.

As I take communion, I realize that you are taking communion, too. We are taking communion together. And I think... we would never have this opportunity, again.

After months of feeling distant from you... I suddenly feel as if we have bonded. We have shared something. Something intimate and private.

And I thank God for that moment. That realization. Something now that is embedded in my heart and soul.

And although... you would never remember this moment, I will... the rest of my life. And it would be a remembrance of God's love for me... and you.


...and when he had given thanks,
he broke it and said,
"This is my body,
which is for you;
do this in remembrance of me."
In the same way,
after supper he took the cup,
saying, "This cup is
the new covenant in my blood;
do this, whenever you drink it,
in remembrance of me."
1 Corinthians 11:24-25 NIV

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It's His Gig.

In one week, Beth Moore is heading to one of the least churched states in America: Oregon. She'll be right here in Portland, Oregon with a word from the Lord... specifically for us... and that is why I chose the following memory verse:

The ones who do the planting
or watering aren't important,

but God is important
because he is the one
who makes the seed grow.

1 Corinthians 3:7 NLT

Our church is making this event into a mini-retreat. Although we live close to the event, we're going to be staying just a 1/2 mile away so that we can enjoy a "girls" retreat away.

And here's the thing... I'm coordinating the retreat. And I think things should happen a certain way... and that all our spots should be filled... a month ago.

But it is not happening that way... and I start to get discouraged. And I wonder what I could have done differently... or do differently.

And I forget... that God just asked me to do the planting... or maybe it was the watering, but anyway... He will give the increase.

And so, when in one day, four ladies are unable to attend... I turn to this verse... and it brings me comfort... because it reminds me that it really isn't about me. I can trust God to do what only HE can do. Hey, it's His gig.

This will be my fourth time to see Beth Moore live. And let me tell you... it is not about her, either. It's all about God, and what He does with a humble, willing vessel... whether it is her... me... or you!

Here is a preview from the event held in New Orleans earlier this month.


Living Proof Live - New Orleans 2009 from Rich Kalonick on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

We Do Not Consider Ourselves a Christian Nation

"One of the great strengths of the United States is ... we have a very large Christian population -- we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values." -- President Obama, April 6, 2009
I have to admit that this quote by President Obama struck me hard. I thought, is it true? Do we really not consider ourselves a Christian nation? I thought we had... Well, I guess I did.

And when I did a search on this quote, I found a blog where atheists were commenting over and over about their jubilation that the president would say what they've known all along...

It made me wonder... even more... are we in the "end times"? And I thought you might be wondering that very question, too.

Our senior pastor, Ray Noah, recently completed a series entitled "24: Are We Living In The End Times?" And although a series like this might normally scare people away... I found it comforting and insightful and PRACTICAL.

His basic premise is
Prophecy is given not only for predictive purposes, but to prepare and to purify God's people for the future, and to make them proactive in the world while they wait for Christ's return. Prophecy is practical; it is meant to make a difference in a believer's life today!
You can find the sermon series and print handouts at PCCTODAY.COM.

I wish I would have told you about this series sooner. If you are unable to download the sermons and would like the series on CD, please let me know. Part 9 is a Q&A session about the end times.
To find congruence between a loving God and a place of eternal damnation, believers must realize that judgment is first redemptive before it is punitive. When redemption is rejected, Divine punishment will be irrevocably punitive. Hell will not be filled with those who are remorseful and repentant, but with those who are eternally defiant. - Pastor Ray Noah

Monday, April 6, 2009

I'm Getting Less Younger... and I'm Thrilled About It!


I'm 41 today.

And I'm actually pretty excited about it.

There was a time that I started dreading my birthday... it meant I was getting less younger.

But over the past couple of days, I've been receiving birthday wishes... and you know what?

I kinda like having birthdays.

You know me... words of affirmation. Why did I ever dread my birthday when I receive cards signed like this?

"Girlfriends are great,
But a Great friend is better.
Thanks for being a Great Friend."

So, when your birthday comes around... make sure you let me know! I wouldn't want to miss it!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

For One of the Least of These...


"The King will reply,
'I tell you the truth,
whatever you did
for one of the least of these
brothers of mine,
you did for me.'"
Matthew 25:40 NIV


We have two precious boys in our home from Uganda. Henry and Swaibu... They are from the International Children's Choir. I would love to stay and chat... but going from having one child in my home to three... well, I've got to go entertain!!!

Here's my post from last year's visit.

Saturday, February 23, 2008
Jesus Loves the Little Children


Lawrence and Daniel

Tomorrow the Children of the World Choir will be singing at our church. We have the privilege of hosting Lawrence and Daniel. They seem like regular boys that Christopher might know from school. And for those of you that know Christopher... these boys are actually more active, energetic and out-going than he is! But these are boys who have become orphans due to AIDS. Of course, we do not talk of the past with them. We talk of riding bikes, and basketball, and fun stuff. They call us... Uncle and Auntie. Oh, I love to hear them call me "Auntie"!

They are upstairs having a little "nap"... part of their routine. Tomorrow they will minister to us in song and dance and then be on their way. It's funny... at first I think we're doing them a favor by having them stay at our home... and then I realize that they are they ones doing us a favor... broadening our lives... and our hearts... I know they will not necessarily remember us... but... we will never forget them.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

An Agonizing Word

"...so that it will give grace
to those who hear."
Ephesians 4:29b NASB

Today should be the 64th birthday of someone who should have loved me like a daughter. Instead, he was more interested in fulfilling his own needs then my own.

I would have to say that I have celebrated his death over the last 11 years more so than I ever celebrated his birth. Counting it as a day that I thought would be the completion of a season in my life that could never again be visited.

I had been counseled to try to find something positive about the man. And for the longest time, all I could remember is that he taught me how to make scrambled eggs with cheese.

But today, I ponder on the fact of whether I feel like celebrating his birth. When I look at the things in my life that have brought me closest to the Lord... they have been the most painful times. Times when all I could do was trust in the Lord and remember His promise to be

"a father to the fatherless..."
Psalm 68:5a NIV

And so, if I truly admit to the one thing that has brought me the most pain... and yet, the most dependence on my God... it would be the life (and choices) of this man.

Do I dare celebrate his birth? I have to admit, sisters... this is the agonizing one. And I do not write these words flippantly. Not at all.

Because there are some of you who are still in the midst... and the battle... of someone else's injurious choices. You do not have the benefit of the passing of 11 years like I do.

And my encouragement to you, is that in all of this... the good and the bad... we can make our own choices. Choices that bring life and not death. Choices to rely upon God and His promises. Choices that are in our own control.

Today, I choose to believe that

...God intended it for good
to accomplish what is now being done,
the saving of many lives.
Genesis 50:20b NIV

And His words found in Jeremiah...

I'll show up and take care of you
as I promised and bring you back home.
I know what I'm doing.
I have it all planned out
—plans to take care of you,
not abandon you,
plans to give you the future
you hope for.
"When you call on me,
when you come and pray to me,
I'll listen.
When you come looking for me,
you'll find me.
"Yes, when you get serious about finding me
and want it more than anything else,
I'll make sure you won't be disappointed." God's Decree.
"I'll turn things around for you.
I'll bring you back
from all the countries into which I drove you"
God's Decree—
"bring you home to the place from which
I sent you off into exile.
You can count on it.
Jeremiah 29:10b-14 The Message

God has promised... He will bring you out of the places of exile. You can count on it!