Tuesday, August 04, 2009

My Very Own Contest - YIPPEEEEE!

Contest has ended, but please feel free to add your story!!! :)

Before I get to the contest details, let me tell you that this brainstorm was brewed up yesterday. There were all kinds of plans stirrring around in my mind, and I couldn't wait to wake up to a new morning, with renewed energy (yesterday's long day of stuff zapped all I had), and get with it. Well.....

At 3:30am the lights in our bedroom popped on. Dang, daylight already?! No, just my husband making as much racket as a three-year-old with pots and pans. Ok, not that much noise, but at that time in the morning...come on!

Anyhoo, half our our house lost its electricity. It was there when we went to bed... Wierd.

Mike grabbed his trusty flashlight, headed out the back door, and I could hear him clomp across the cobbled path of my secret garden's path. I knew when he reached our electrical box, because, bang, click, pop, off and on went the lights, beep went the phone. It didn't help. I didn't care. All I wanted was to dream again, geting that beauty sleep I simply must have.

So, this morning, a bit groggy, but cheerful, I walk into my office and turned on all the essential switches to life. No computer. No electricity. A slight panic arises, but is quickly quelled when I remember my battery-powered laptop (I just made a typo, that said, "BATTER-powered", then realized, that's me, not the laptop!). Setting it upon my desk, I'm happy once again, and all is at peace. It loads up, and then, drats!, no net connection. That subdued panic? It hit the top of the thermometer. Yes, I'm that addicted to my online traipsing and chattings!

During this time, my BF called. After complaining for quite a few minutes, she said, "Ummm, do you want to play the glad game?" (What? I didn't think she read my blog!!!) Immediately, I told her, "No! I really just want to complain." Truly, she has no idea what it means to think up a fun contest and then not be able to follow through with it. Silly BF. I'm leaving off the other "F", the 'forever' one, because if she can't understand the import of this great event, well then... I just don't know! :)

So, all's well now, the turmoil of my heart is calmed, the lesson learned, that once again, I see that I really am so good at being a fair-weather Christian. I'm not proud of it. My heart desires to say, "Yes, Lord," in any and all weather, but this mini test revealed that I still have a long way to go. If you ever pray, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24), know that HE IS GOING TO ANSWER, and it might just be that your lack of electricity will shine a light on what is lurking deep in the dungeon of your heart!

Now, if you will look below, you will see that thick orange extension cords are now my lifeline to you! (I'm glad the bedroom still has electricity! Lord, I'm glad I had one room left with electricity. Thank You!) There, glad game accomplished! Maybe next time, I'll actually play the game right, and be glad in the midst of all life's outages!

And so...drumroll... on with the contest.....

My friend Debbie Alsdorf's book, above, just got released in July. I bought two copies. One for me, one for you. I figure we can read them together, and have a mini book club (comment boxes make that so easy). Wouldn't that be fun? You can take a peek at the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Different-Kind-Wild-Your-Faith/dp/0800733665/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1249407605&sr=8-2 or visit her webiste here: http://www.design4living.org/ .

The back cover's enthusiam encourages us to "Grab your cheetah-print gear and start living the WILD life God has imagined for you - a life bigger and grander than you ever thought possible." I might just tie a cheetah-print ribbon around my ponytail when reading through it!

All you have to do to be entered into this contest is leave a comment telling me the wildest thing God ever did for you. For me, it was at a Bible study in Fresno. Sad as you can imagine, because someone had said some truly awful things about me, I got to the study late, and chose a seat near the back. Every minute of that morning my converstation was with God, pouring it all out to Him. This continued as I sat there singing the worship song on the overhead.

One of the lines of the song said, "No weapon formed against you shall stand... I'm washed in the blood of the Lamb." And then, all of a sudden, as those words flowed out of my mouth, in rushed some silent words only the Lord can whisper to our hearts: "Not even the word of that person."

I knew that portion of song was from Isaiah 54:17. Visions of gangs with knives always came to mind when I heard it, not someone's words! I was thinking that what I heard was not from the Lord, when all of a sudden the women's director stopped the music. Normally, she stays at the back, a silent support to all her leaders up front. This time, she seemed a bit shaken. She said, "The Lord has deeply, strongly, impressed upon me to share the entire verse that this song is based on." As she read the verse aloud, for the first time, I heard the entire verse, "No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me," declares the LORD."

It still causes a lump in my throat, to know that our jumbo God takes such thought for His hurting children.

Anyhoo, after worship, before going to our small group, I told the woman the whole story. She was dumbfounded, and said she had never felt such a burden before. She said, "God must really love you!" I answered the only truth I knew: "He does!"

So, your story of God's wild love for you does not have to be elaborate or fancy. Just share from your heart and proclaim His wild love for you!

I will put all comment-leavers' names in a jar, and have my husband draw one out. The winner will be announced on Friday morning (because I love Fridays!).

I can't wait to hear from you!


Lift Up Your Hearts said...

Oh, our God is so big and yet he cares about wee little US! How neat! I think the wildest thing He ever did for me was to give me my marriage. We really were looking at the end at one point but He cared enough to pull us through, and I am so thankful that he did!!

an encourager said...

I'm so glad He did, too, 'cuz you guys are a neat family!

Natalie said...

So, for me I think its seeing where my girls and I are this year compared to last. I work with sophomore girls at our church. Last year none of them wanted to be in my small group. There was so much drama. Nobody wanted to have anything to do with me and didn't want to be in my group. We had summer camp and I felt completely out of my element. I am so excited because we just came back from camp last week and its like night and day. God took (at that time) 5 girls that wanted nothing to do with me and this year (I had 9 come to camp...two that just showed up brand new the day we left) and boy did he work in their lives! I was really bummed because I wasn't able to stay for all of camp. I had to leave a couple days early for work. I had been praying that the leadership team would find the right person to take over my small group for me when I left because I didn't want just anyone. Having just anyone would never fly with my group. My girls are very closed lipped and they don't share much...especially with new people. I was surprised that on the second night of camp they shared some serious hurts and troubles that they were going through (suicidal thoughts, anorexia, divorce, losing their virginity). These were things that I never thought that I would have to deal with as a leader because I never had to deal with them when I was in high school. I was even more surprised that they shared these things knowing that two girls they hadn't really gotten to know where there (and sharing as well), but also the girl that was going to be covering for me. When I left I had such a peace. I knew by the time I got home that I was not supposed to be at camp the rest of the week. I was EXACTLY where I was supposed to be. I knew that Katie (the girl who took over for me) was who they needed and that she was hand picked by God especially for my girls. They shared more things with her while I was gone and I know without a doubt that they wouldn't have shared those things with me had I still been there. While at home, I prayed so hard for all of them. It was interesting to hear when they came back who shared what and when because they were the same times that I was praying for specific girls. God completely knew what he was doing and even though my girls weren't thrilled that I had to leave early, they all agreed that Katie was the only person that could have done the things that she did. And only God could have made my girls share in front of not only me, but people they barely know. :)

an encourager said...

That is so special! It is wild how God knows every single heart, and exactly what we each need. I loved your humble and thankful heart, and that you completely saw God's hand in it all. That is a blessing. And, yes!!! It is God's wild love for those girls that He had you at home praying for each one of them, specifically. What is more important than interceding for His beloved kids?!! I am praising Him for every detail! Thank you for sharing!

Wife of Rob said...

Oh I LOVE this!

Well, when i was going through the fairly typical teenage rebellion, away from my walk with the Lord, I was given something that I felt to be "miraculous", even if no one else on the planet ever thought so. As i was driving and crying my eyes out...just driving around, I remember praying to the Lord and just pouring my heart out to the Savior that I KNEW in my heart was my Father and had been since age 14. Suddenly, it was almost as if He were in the passenger seat with me. I felt Him prompt me to just "look up". It was as if the Lord had taken out giant paint brushes and just stroked the sky with the most vibrant shades of pink that you have ever seen. I felt Him say to me that if He could do that just for me, and just at that minute, then why didn't I let Him do everything else for me?

Believe it or not, but to this day, whenever something is going on that makes me feel somewhat of that same "out of control, driving and crying kind of attitude", YOU GUESSED IT....it's like clockwork. I can almost blink my eyes and it will be another "pink sky day". My Father still does those paintings, JUST for me and JUST when I need that gentle reminder that HEEEEEE is still the One in control...NOT ME!

Love your post....keep up the great work!

an encourager said...

OOOOOH!!! I love that!! Our God loves us - and even though He proved it by sending Jesus, He proves it again and again, in His most amazing and personal and powerful ways! I loved your story! Thank you for sharing it!!! This is the verse that came to mind: Psa 34:3- "O magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together." And that is just what we're doing! :)

Angela said...

One Sunday morning, about 15 years ago, my husband was driving us to church while I read the daily devotional for the day to us aloud. The devotional was based on Luke 24, the walk on the road to Emmaus. After I read the passage, I was imagining my own grief and downcast attitude because of an estrangement from a closse family member.
As I closed my eyes and prayed, it was if Jesus was walking next to me, asking me what was making me so feel so much despair. I opened my heart and poured out my sorrow.
Within moments, my sorrow lifted; a cloud of grief and depression I had labored under for many years. When I got home from church that day, there was a message on my machine from my family member telling me that I could come for a visit.
During the visit, we were able to mend and strengthen our relationship that endures to this day.
I am so grateful to God for the work He does through His word and His Son.

an encourager said...

God is real and He is good! King David, when pondering the abundant mercies of God's care, asked Him, "What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?" Psalm 8:4. I've often asked the Lord the same question, coupled with lots of thanksgiving and praise, that He is wonderful Father and Awesome God! Your story just shouted out the truth of His care! I am so blessed to hear how His nearness was your good, and that He brought a happy resolution to the riff with that person!!! he is worthy of our trust! Thank you for sharing!

an encourager said...

Oh, P.S - Angela, I finally did get the newsletter sent off to your email, so I hope it reached you...and not a spam folder. I don't have a way to check. Thanks.

Celina & Adam said...

My parents were two weeks from being divorced. Mom cheated & left the family. During the time of their separation my Dad, brother and myself found Jesus. We prayed every night for my mothers salvation. Then, two weeks before the divorce was final we found out that mom found the Lord. God had answered our prayers. My parents marriage was reconciled. God was real... he loved me.... and still does!

an encourager said...

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound! Salvation, restoration, God's own wild love! Oh, how He loves you and me!!! God is amazing, and I am so thankful He corralled you guys in His arms of love and saved you all!