Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Come on in and take your shoes off...

5….4….3…..2…..1…..BLAST OFF! Today I launch my first-ever, brand-new, girlfriend-designed, thank you, Jilian, BLOG! If you are anything like me or are deciding whether or not to subscribe, let me share how MY LAUNCH DAY has gone...complete with clown nose. You have seen the news right?!

6:30 a.m. I woke up with sniffles, sneezes, and sinus pressure. Great! Flu season!
9:00 a.m. I grazed another car in Hardee’s parking lot where I promised our son we would have a breakfast date before swimming lessons this week. Oh no!
10:15 a.m. I ran my right shoulder into the footrest of the lifeguard stand as I read NO RUNNING printed on the pool deck, but resumed walking ever-so swiftly to get to the potty. Oooocccchhh!
12:30 p.m. I laughed out loud as our son finally yells “I spy Jesus!” in the Vietnamese pedicure salon after he said he didn’t want to play anymore! What a barefoot moment! Jesus WAS there, ceramic, right above the door!

But back to Hardees! After circling the parking lot twice debating what to do, there wasn’t any damage done to the other car…just ours, I much more carefully pulled into the same space. I prayed. God whispered, I don’t know why you are stressing out about this, don’t you think I’ll take care of you? Into Hardees we go. As I told the Hardees employee that I hit her car, she interrupted me and said, “Don’t worry about it honey!” Thank you, God! Sorry, God!

As I got home with a scratched car and new fresh coat of paint on my toes, I ran to get my camera for a barefoot picture on Launch Day! After several attempts inside, I ran out onto our back deck. I thought, this is has been Fall for two weeks and I am freezing out just trying to get a picture! As I rested my newly pedicured toes on the ottoman, the autumn breeze nudged the clouds from where they hovered and the sun broke through and shined on my tiny toes! See the shadow behind it all?! It was like the largest star in our solar system was just shining on me...right where I was...on September 30th...days into Autumn...Launch Day! Snap! My beautiful barefoot picture!

It got me thinking...see why I need a blogSeasons change! A morning like today would have consumed me in a different season. Now, although excellent fodder for the blog, I am reminded of whose Light I am in NO matter what is going on around me. Whether in public needing to ask for forgiveness, in a pool trying to follow the rules, or smack-dab in a pedicure salon pampering myself, I reflect the one true Light of the World! If His shadow supports me, then I should reflect His Light in all I do and be a light for all to see.

What a great summer! So much of this past season has lead me to this point...the point of going public with all my ramblings of faith this Fall. I'm flattered that you have even read this far! I look forward to sharing my seasons with you! Come’n into the new site, take your shoes off, stay a while! My prayer is, Lord, if not a blinding light, let me be a flickering candle to go light Your World.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ministering Music

Official Theme Song for Barefoot Offering Blog! My Offering by 33 Miles
Launching and Lighting the World! Go Light Your Candle by Kathy Troccolli
Tunesday 10/6/09 You Are For Me by Kari Jobe
Tunesday 10/13/09 My Desire by Jeremy Camp
Tunesday 11/3/09 Natalie Grant's song Perfect People
Tunesday 11/17/09 Addison Road's What Do I Know of Holy
A New "Christ"mas Song! How He Loves Us by the David Crowder Band

Defining Definitions

Self-sufficient: to be adequate without My [Christ's] help. ~ Sarah Young's devotional Jesus Calling

is believing the lies that Satan is trying to tell you. ~ Church marquee

is accepting to be led. ~Unknown

Patience is accepting God's timing. ~Pembrook UMC marquee

Sorry looks back. Worry looks around. Faith looks up. ~ Dr. Tim Clinton, President AACC 8/21/09

Myths are what we believe when we don't understand the mysteries. ~ Jennifer Rothschild

Saturating Scripture

"...because He always lives to interceded for them [me & you]. Hebrews 7:25

"But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst;
but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." John 4:14

"For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness." Psalm 18:28

"Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than of him." Proverbs 29:20

Be Barefoot

Does life have defined, holy spots where you have stood and met, felt, and/or ever experienced God?

A. If yes, then read on my friend, see if you agree.
B. If you don’t know, then keep reading in curious company.
C. If no, read anyway!

One holy spot of my life was in Grand Rapids, Michigan the irony, I know! where in the nerves of public speaking and sharing from God’s Word, God told me to take off my shoes. Then, and only then, was my ordinary testimony given before an extraordinary God!

What can we learn from our barefoot buddy Moses if we do indeed want to meet God face to face in our everyday walk.

  • LIVE. Just do what God has called you to do right now. Don’t fight it. Don’t complain. Moses wasn’t in the land of Midian under good circumstances, was he? But, pay attention to the present. Where does God have me right now?
  • LOOK. What’s going on around me? Where do I see God? What has me in awe of God right now, today?! Recognize how God is currently getting your attention. What is going on in your life that has you wanting to run toward him?
  • LISTEN. When you hear Him calling your name (because He is always seeking us) answer like Moses. “Yes? I am here.” Yes God, it is April. I am right here in my everyday life doing the things that I feel that you have called me to do…the laundry, the dishes, the vacuuming, the nurturing, the mothering. I am here. Then, because our God is the same yesterday, today, and forever; He will commune and converse with us just like He did with Moses. Trust that further instructions await! Ask Him, “What do you want to say to me, Lord?
  • LOVE. God’s Word says, if you love me, you’ll keep my commandments. So love Him by doing what He tells you to do. Take off your shoes! Cast your crown! Take up your cross! Love Him! Adore Him! Welcome the divine appointment and place in your life. Am I loving? Am I loving my life you have provided, not necessarily the one I want, but been blessed with?
  • LEARN. Moses did. As Moses stood barefoot, burying his face in his hands, God began to talk, tell, and turn Moses’s attention to the call before him. God talked about the mission, not Moses. Moses was the one who turned the conversation around to reflect himself. God knew who He had appeared to. Don’t insult Him. Learn the mission, no matter what it is, accept it, without question and/or hesitation. God might spend months or years detailing your steps, but don’t insult Him and tell Him that He has the wrong person. He won’t. What is your ministry? We all have one. What is your mission? Not all are international and in another language. What is your heart’s mediation? God longs for us. What moves you, nags at you, and comforts you? In learning to question our mission, rather than ourselves, He can provide answers.

Are You Barefoot?

Can you name 3 barefoot people in the Bible? A blog doesn’t feel like a waste of time if it is educational right? And it is learning about you, Lord!

1. Moses – Exodus 3:5
2. Joshua – Joshua 5:15
3. Paul – Acts 7:33

This past summer at Speak Up with Confidence ‘09, I was so moved during the sharing of God’s Word (a King Hezekiah Bible Study coming soon to a blog near you!), that I slid out of my high heel sandals and gave the rest of my speech barefoot! The Holy Spirit moving like that has to be found somewhere in the Bible, right?! It was one of the purest experiences I have ever had. In an attempt to absorb the importance of the moment, this diva comes home to dive in and study Moses being asked to take off his sandals. And now the story in the AIV…April’s Intentional Version from Exodus 3:

On Mount Horeb (the mountain of God), Moses was just doing his job. Shepherding was not glorious. I am sure that Moses reminisced of the grandeur of his previous position in Pharaoh’s palace from earlier years gone by. But now, he spent his days with stinky, woolly sheep trying to care for them at the request of his father-in-law. However, there was one day, where Moses’s ordinary life met the extraordinary power of God and Moses’s life was forever changed.

The angel of God (Jesus in the Old Testament) had entered a bush along Moses’s shepherding route. This was a most unusual sight. The bush was burning, but not consumed. Freak of nature? Moses could have very easily kept on walking saying, “That is really weird and I better not get involved, I am going to keep on walking.” He definitely had a choice to stop at the bush or not. Don’t you think?

Moses, praise God, allowed what was going on around him to grab his attention, but not necessarily consume him. He could have stood afar off and questioned the sight. He could have passed it and then second thought himself for weeks. Can you relate? He was not too distracted with the daily responsibilities of the sheep to be keenly aware of his present surroundings.

When Moses started to focus, absorb, and inquire about what was going on…then, and only then, did God Almighty speak out from His Dwelling Place, temporarily a burning bush, and called Moses by name. What must of that been like!?! I believe that God was pleased that Moses took notice of the miracle God was doing during his ordinary day.

Then Moses answered God, “Yes? I’m here” (MSG). How did Moses know that the voice he heard was that of God? Moses was standing in the very presence of God. Was it undeniable? How could he be sure? The Bible doesn’t mention that Moses had fear or question in that experience. He just listened and conversed. God told him, “Don’t come any closer. Remove your sandals from your feet.” Doesn’t that imply that Moses wanted to get closer to the burning bush after he heard God speak through it? Would I have wanted to run to it? Are you sure that it’s God? You? God paced Moses with instruction and explanation. “Remove your sandals from your feet. You’re standing on Holy Ground.” What a beautiful picture that is! The very spot that Moses stood while doing just the ordinary things of life turned into a holy, divine, Godly place. I love that!

Once God made Moses aware that this meeting was holy, divine, miraculous and Moses gave Him his attention and podiatry obedience (we assume Moses quickly untied those sandals) God identified himself. “I am the God of your Father: The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.” Moses could barely take in what was happening. Moses need no further instruction, he voluntarily hid his face. How humble! Moses understood the soberness of the moment and the humility it required.

From there, Moses’s life was forever changed with God placing a call on Moses to set free the captives, lead His people, and worship the one true God. An ordinary day held an extraordinary call. How about ours?

What's Barefoot?

Ever thought what would God’s Facebook would look like? What would God’s blog look like if it were about me, even?! Would it be pink hearts, lavender flowers, and bright rainbows or short tweets like “R U there?” with lots of punctuation marks.

It’s a little daunting to think that I want to blog about God –
The Almighty!
Maker of Heaven and Earth!
Creator, Sustainer! Affirmer!
and Omega, too!

However daunting, I make sure that I always blog barefoot! Barefoot simply means when your ordinary life meets the extraordinary power of God that you recognize His holiness and the need for direct obedience. Not sure if Webster defines it the same way, but a good working definition for the blog.

He is everything to me! A children’s song says, “Give God Something to Bless.” I want Him to bless this blog. I give it to you, Lord! As I chronicle and share my journey of faith, I invite you to join me. Not to attempt to resolve every theological debate, but to interact, e-converse about God apparent in our lives. Malachi 3:16 says when we talk about God, he writes it in a book of remembrance. It pleases Him. Take off your shoes! Search or subscribe. Leave a thought or start a thread. Click for communion or find some food for thought.

Whatever or however He uses this blog…To God be the glory, great things He has done.

I’m Barefoot!

Two Truths and A Lie. Have you ever played that game?! You tell 2 truths and 1 lie for friends to guess which is which. Here are mine:

1. I am a rookie blogger.
2. I’m “April” because I was born in April.
3. I once went barefoot in public on purpose.

If you guessed #2, you are right! My blog and I share the same birth month…September, not April!

This September, also marks the first time I won a door prize. “Give the girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world” scrolled the top of the designer stationary. Well, I thought…I am slaying a number of pretend dragons sword fighting with our 3 year old son, trying to conquer the commandment “submit” in Greek and Hebrew because the Lord knows that after 11 years of marriage, I haven’t “mastered” it in English, and if my stay-at-home mom world isn’t hectic enough, I have decided by choice and without pay to conquer the world wide webs through blogging.

But you know…all shoes set aside (Neatly by the door, please!), instead of conquering the world, I am captivated by the Word! I am a huge Bible study nut. I love to read it, meditate upon it, and share it. The more in-depth…the better and the more chain references…the more Bing-Bing, in my opinion.

Despite being a diva (coined by friend, not author) who dives (into the Word, not the waves), I prefer to do it without shoes, BAREFOOT infact!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

About Barefoot Offering

Post Here.