Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cool God Moment

I learned a lot from the Girl’s Retreat, but one of the coolest moments was when God revealed something to me in my quiet time Friday morning. I had been working on my talks for the retreat for a while, and by Wednesday of that week they were ready to go. The second talk was focused around Psalm 139:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made – Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Earlier in the week I had looked up the word “wonderfully,” and in Hebrew it is palah. It actually has a fabulous meaning.

פלה - Palah
1) to be distinct, marked out, be separated, be distinguished
a) (Niphal)
1) to be distinct, be separated, be distinguished
2) to be wonderful
b) (Hiphil) to make separate, set apart
*Reference: Blueletterbible.org

That’s a great thought. In English we use the word “wonderful” to say things like “that was a wonderful dinner” or “I saw a wonderful movie last night.” Palah means so much more than that. God considers each of us a miraculous creation. It's easy to look at 6 billion people on earth and think, Why am I any different than anyone else? In the grand scheme of things, I don't matter.

But God challenges that idea. Psalm 139 talks about how each person is set apart from birth. The same care and passion that God created the Himalayas and the Grand Canyon He used to create us. That’s just amazing to me.

But it gets better.

Friday morning I began my Beth Moore study called “Believing God” about having the faith to take God at his word. When she discussed people of great faith, she used the example of Joshua leading the people into the Promised Land by taking the city of Jericho.

She said, “Look at Joshua 3:5. Joshua is speaking to the people before God parts the Jordan river to lead them to Jericho.

Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.
~Joshua 3:5 NIV

“The word ‘amazing’ in Hebrew is ‘Palah’”

What! I freaked out when she said that. She went on to describe the same word that I had just looked up. The same word that is used to describe God’s miracle of parting the Jordan River and conquering Jericho is used to describe God’s creation of each of us as His miracles! What an amazing lesson. It was really cool that God showed me that connection last minute so I could share it with the girls on Saturday.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

This is why.

So, anyone who's spent time in a church, or any organization for that matter, will know that politics is unfortunately inevitable. Sometimes the bureaucracy required to run a church makes me so crazy I could just scream. There are times that personality clashes or miscommunications can divide whole churches.

But then there are times where all that junk gets stripped away, and God reveals himself in an astounding way. This weekend has been God revealed.

26 middle and high school girls delved deeply into understanding what God has to say about our beauty. No girl walked out of this weekend unchanged. God reached these girls in ways that were written in the truth in their eyes, no words were necessary. It was an honor to be a part of.

Sometimes serving in a church is hard. Sometimes I ask myself why I keep running in circles. But this weekend reopened my eyes. Why do I do this?

This is why: So 26 girls can see the love of their Maker.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


National Community Church in Washington DC is one of my favorite webcasts to watch when I'm looking for really deep spiritual nourishment. One of their pastors in particular, Heather Zempel, has a fabulous wealth of knowledge and wisdom about the scriptures and their relevance. I love to feel that at the end of a message I know more about scripture than I did when I started.

But the series the church is in now is called "One Prayer." At first it sounded so basic. National Community Church is joining with churches around the world and spending time praying for unity among Christians. There are many times I hear messages and think, yeah yeah, same scripture, "be unififed, don't quarrel... yada yada yada... same message, different speaker."

But tonight I heard it with renewed eyes. Unity is not a message it's the message! Imagine the possibilities if we sold ourselves out in pursuit of the Acts 2 church. Craig Groeschel spoke the message about unity and he talked about these possibilities. We as a Christian community could single-handedly eradicate hunger, provide medical care to everyone in need, and most importantly, show the power of Jesus around the world. Not just tell the world about Jesus, but show Him and His love through a bowl of rice or a well of clean drinking water. The physical implications of spiritual unity are greater than any of us could envision.

If you'd like to watch the webcast or download the podcast about praying for unity - you can find it here.
And to know more about One Prayer - check out oneprayer.com

So, as I have been humbled tonight about this, I ask you to join me in praying earnestly for God to intervene with His people, and unite us for His mission to change the world.