Friday, September 9, 2011

Rock This House!

Another one of those Encounters with God! I rose very early one recent Saturday, threw on clothes, gulped breakfast, brushed teeth, and with Bible and notebook in hand headed toward Ash Flat, AR. About midway I picked up two delightful teen girls, Lindsay and Jaycie.

What could be going on in Ash Flat, AR, that would cause teen girls to roll out of bed early on a Saturday?! Or for that matter a woman of age? We were about to find out.

Ash Flat is a small town - we're talking small. It's just on the other side of Evening Shade (remember that one?), settled in among the hills. The Church of Christ there - also small in number - has stepped out of the proverbial box, gone beyond expectations, and allowed the Lord to extend their horizons regarding "Ladies' Day."

On Friday evening the God-filled weekend began with local speakers, storytelling, drama, music and snacks! Although I wasn't there on Friday, I believe a potter highlighted the session by throwing a pot, applying a spiritual lesson while doing so. About 600 filled the fellowship hall!

The keynote speaker for the weekend, Jennifer Rothschild, has been featured on Dr. Phil, ABC’s Good Morning America, and the Billy Graham Television Special, and on other national TV and radio programs including Hour of Power, Life Today, Family Life Radio, TBN, and others. Her life story and message has been the cover story of numerous national publications including Today’s Christian Woman, Virtue magazine, Becoming Family magazine, HomeLife magazine, and others. She has authored six books, including Self Talk, Soul Talk, and Lessons I Learned in the Dark; you see, Jennifer has been blind since the age of 15.

Another young woman, her traveling companion, assisted Jennifer to the stage, then returned to her seat. We would never have guessed this lovely lady could not see if we hadn't already known. She was poised, graceful, looking out on us as if she had faultless vision. I did not detect a smidgen of self-pity; only intense thankfulness to God for his blessings on her life. She is a fan of Jesus Christ!

We were so blessed also by the worship sessions led by the praise team of the Ash Flat church. Composed of 8 or 10 men and women, they helped us lift the roof with songs of adoration for our Lord.

Lindsay, Jaycie and I left with our hearts full! (Our tummies too, a delicious feast was spread for us.)

Here's few excerpts from Jennifer's lesson:

Speculation and assumption never lead to faith in the Lord.

Sometimes God calms the storm; sometimes he calms my heart in the midst of the storm.

We are sometimes delivered through trials - not out of them.

REST versus RESIST: the only letter not found in REST is "I."

Jesus' response to unanswered prayer was commitment. When God didn't deliver him from the cross, he set his face to obey the Father. So should be our response to unanswered prayer.

The Ash Flat church hopes to have Max Lucado for next summer's Rock This House. Check their website for updates, and make your plans to attend!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Mixed Bag of Thoughts

God calls me to be completely satisfied by Him – not by any outward circumstances. If I have to live in a certain location, possess specific objects, or participate in this or that activity before I am content, then would God alone really be sufficient if everything else vanished?

Shouldn’t I be able to “be at home” anywhere – in any kind of situation because the God I love is with me?

I want to constantly examine myself and adjust my mind lest I grow so attached to my routine, home, possessions, way of life, health, even my loved ones, that I would be unable to function if any one or all of these were taken away. I’m not talking of normal sorrow or disappointment, but to be so crushed and bereft that I would conclude my life was over.


Lord, open my eyes to my subconscious idols. Don’t have to search very much before one pops to mind: wanting to call the shots when I “sacrifice.” I’m prone to cautiously outline (silently) just how this “sacrifice” will be implemented: how long, how far, how many and how much. All wrapped up in a neat little selfish package.

Synonyms for sacrifice are to give up, forgo, forfeit, let go … surrender!? Surrender means to “lay down your arms.” Could that have any meaning here? Boy, does it ever! When I assemble my arsenal of conditions to insure that I won’t be trapped into more than I want to do, I just took up arms. One who has surrendered to the lordship of Jesus Christ has no need for protective weapons. He isn’t the enemy!

O Lord, empower me to fully rest in you, trust in you, and abandon my will to yours.


Jesus was eager to celebrate the Passover with his disciples even though Judas would certainly be present, and even though the Lord knew Peter would betray him and all the others would run away in a very short time. He not only spent the evening “rubbing elbows” with them, he washed their feet.

What about us? Do we ever avoid fellowshipping certain people because we think they’ve behaved badly toward us or those we love? How arrogant!! Do we think we’re too good to be offended? Or that God has appointed us to activate the shunning of one who has treated a friend badly? If so then we must consider ourselves better than Jesus. Also, who knows how God will choose to work out his purposes through our association with that person – in both our lives.

Is my heart and spirit so in tune with my Lord, so intertwined with his heart, that I am eager to be with others, all others, especially my brothers and sisters in the Savior?


“Prayer is the first act of war when under attack.” – Beth Moore