Friday, August 20, 2010

One Year Ago Today...

Today is the one year mark of when my mother passed away suddenly from a heart attack. But I don't live this day dwelling on her death... today I will celebrate her life.

I spent the day with my sister Theresa: hanging out, lunch at one of our favorite Korean restaurant, going to the grave site. It was great sharing that time with her.

There's no doubt that my mom had a huge impact in my life. Can't imagine all the prayers that she prayed for us kids... they are still being answered to this day. That's the great thing about prayers; they are not limited to space nor time... so keep praying people!

If you're a parent, don't minimize the importance of each day. Your impact will be felt for life! I have my mom's voice recorded inside of me... every funny saying she had, every soap box she ever stood on, all those moments when she was transparent about her feelings toward us... they don't go away. My mom desired for great things for us, wanting us to have a better life experience in every way. There's no parent that exists who did everything right... but the greatest parents give their best efforts as they continue to surrender their kids to God's will and plan.

If you're a child, don't minimize the importance of each day either. Honor them... esteem value, grace and the benefit of the doubt to the heart behind what you don't understand. Variables such as: culture, upbringing, or the era in which they were raised (war or economic stresses) that can be different from anything you may know or have experienced. Each parent is dealt a different set of cards than you have been given. Just because you don't understand or even agree, doesn't make them weird, wrong or out of touch. Instead of complaining or arguing with them... pray. God knows them much better than you do! Besides, you are planting seeds for your future by the way you treat them... YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TRUE THIS IS UNTIL YOU'VE BEEN A PARENT!

I thank God for my mom. I'm grateful for the impact she has made in my life. Although I miss her, I know we will be reunited again because she knew Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord. This is the greatest impact she had made in my life... that's an impact I'll experience for eternity!

Love you mom... someday I'll see you again. Until then... God help me to live each day with impact... especially for my girls.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Impact of Adversity

Acts 9:1,2 "Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem."

The tension during these formative years of the Church was so thick that many of the followers of Christ (ones on the Way) scattered themselves abroad among the country just to stay alive. However, this adversary Saul, was used by God to scatter the believers to preach the message of Jesus Christ as the resurrected Messiah to accomplish Jesus command of "go into all the world" (Matthew 28:18-20). Instead of creating a massive bonfire in one location, the flames of Jesus were scattered in other regions to increase its effectiveness and impact.

Our impact prayer has been: God interrupt my life, disturb me. Push me off of complacent and comfortable. Fill me with compassion - for Your glory. How will God do that? Many times He will use the many adversities of life.

During adversity we all have considered whether or not we can "handle the heat". But God is wanting to build up His Church... that's us, not destroy us. If we give ourselves to the process of adversity it build us up and accomplish great things.

Adversity reveals true Character.
Adversity tests the heart of its true Convictions.
Adversity strengthens ones Commitments.
Adversity allows the sovereignty of Christ to be made known.

What's our prayer during times of Adversity? Ask for boldness to stand strong and expect God to do above and beyond what's normal!

Acts 4:23-30 "...Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them... and now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching our Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of Your holy Servant Jesus."

Monday, August 9, 2010

Impact... Expecting Something?

Acts 3:1 "One day Peter and John were going to the temple at the time of prayer..."

Throughout the book of Acts, we see numerous accounts of miraculous things taking place through the first century Church. In Acts chapter 3, we see a man who was crippled from birth be healed. We'll be looking at this portion of scripture this coming Sunday in our iMpAct series... but here's just one thing that stands out in this written account.

Notice the simple way this unfolds: "One day..."  This was a day just like any other day. Peter and John were in their regular daily routine, heading to the temple to pray. There at the entrance to the temple, there was a crippled man, who probably was there like every other day prior, begging for money trying to survive another typical day. He wasn't able to work, and learned to live with his "illness" that he had since birth.

The bible doesn't say what turned this ordinary day into a extraordinary day; but I believe that recent outpouring of the Holy Spirit (a baptism of love/compassion) opened Peter and John's eyes to see their surroundings and this man differently. There were no fireworks or angels that knocked on Peter and John's door that morning say "You are going to heal a man who has been crippled from birth today", just an ordinary day that became extraordinary because they ceased the opportunity to meet a persons need.

Our iMpAct prayer has been: "Lord, interrupt my life and disturb me; push me off of comfortable and complacent - fill me with compassion, for Your Glory."

The greatest impact is typically wrapped in the ordinary. Ordinary people like you and I, moved by extraordinary love, during any ordinary day.

Verse 5 tells us: "So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them." WOW!

What are the people in our world expecting from us?
Are they expecting us to walk by as we live out our ordinary day?
Do we live our days expecting them to leave us alone, not to bother us?
Do we expect someone else to be the answer?
What does God expect us to do when we are faced with such an opportunity?

God - help us not to just pray this prayer with our eyes closed... may we pray with our eyes open wide to the extraordinary potential throughout our ordinary day. INTERRUPT OUR LIVES!