Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Zombies are Real!

There are walking dead all around us! The lies they spit are devouring brains one bite at a time, stripping us of our dignity, love, hope, our very souls. 

Don't panic! There is a way to survive. It is His way. He is the way the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the father accept through Him. He came so that we could have life lived in abundance. His Truth will set you free. He came that we might be free indeed! There is Freedom!

Escape the walking death. Accept Jesus as your Savior. Hold tight to your Lord, your God. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. In the shadow of God's wings take refuge until destruction passes by. Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! Christ has overcome the world, and in him we may also.

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,  and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Beware there is a time when death arrives for every man, woman, and child. Stand firm in your faith. Let Him grant the desires of your heart in this lifetime. He rose to prepare a place for you. Live your life with Him and never truly die but rather live with him forever. Believe in your all powerful God who has fought and won the battle for your soul. His victory is Yours. 

May you see the Zombies all around you. May you hold your ground and let your helmet of salvation, in Jesus, protect you from believing the lies spit upon you. You are beautiful, not ugly. You were made for a reason and have a purpose. You are not worthless. Life is worth living. God is for you not against you. May you discern what is truth; cutting through lies with your sword of the spirit, which is the word of God living in you, as you choose to believe in him and invite Jesus into every part of your life. Let Jesus fight your battles for you. Pray unceasing. 100% of every prayer unprayed is unanswered. So pray and don't stop praying. 

What lies have you already believed? It is not too late to replace them with the Truth. Be Victorious! Over come all Zombies in your life. Take back those that the walking dead have tried to devour. Don't Judge those walking with out life inside of them. Love the death out of them with unconditional love. Feed them with truth spoken in love and witness His Life, Jesus,  as he overcomes every dead walking all around us. 

Where the spirit of the Lord is there is Freedom....Fix your Eyes on Jesus...there is Freedom!
He came that we may be free. Be free!

Psalm 8:1, John 10:10, John 3:16, John 16:33, Ephesians 6:10-20, 2 Corinthians 3:17, John 8:36,
John 14:6, John 8:32, proverbs 3:5-6, Psalm 57:1, Romans 10:9-10, Isaiah 40:31, psalm 37:4

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Behold, Believe, Look to Jesus!

Sermon Notes from Real Life 
John 3:1-21

Jesus Is  Greater Than Our Systems!

Jesus is not defined by our earthly human traditions, systems, programs etc. Jesus does not fit nicely in a box to be pulled out when ever we want a nice reminiscing moment of good times. As we turn our hearts towards him and begin to let ourselves believe, not just that he exists or even the fact that he died for us. When we can believe in him as we believe in our spouse to bring home the bacon, or pay  the bills, or believe in our children to have the ability inside them to do the right thing, or accomplish great things. This is the kind of belief in God I am talking about. It begins with a humble heart to approach Jesus in a way that says I need more; I am not enough on my own. Humility comes when we relinquish control and make Jesus greater than our routines we are so comfortable in. Jesus said in John chapter 3 "we can not enter into the kingdom of heaven unless we are born again." We must be born into the Spiritual Kingdom of God and it is only possible by allowing the Spirit of God into our life, trusting him enough, believing in Him enough to let him change us, help us, teach us, and bring new life inside us to shine His light through us.

Jesus is the fulfillment of our Faith.

The goal in our life is not to get better at our routines or our systems. It is to draw deeper into a relationship with Jesus. As we draw closer to the one who created us we come to know who we are and who we are meant to be and this is when we begin to shine. Our dreams God planted deep with in us will come true and our faith in God is fulfilled by our best friend, counselor, prince of peace, Jesus leading our every step.
Behold! Believe! Look To Jesus the author and finisher of your Faith!

Jesus Brings Light  to our Hearts.

As we draw closer to Jesus his light shines on our flaws and we have the tendency to cringe back in fear or lack of comfort. Sin is uncomfortable and not easy to face. Jesus wants us to face it and deal with it so that we can be free of it. He does not want us to deal with it alone. When we walk with him and draw close to him and sin in our life is revealed, he is not condemning us or telling us to fix it or else. He desires to help us, together hand in hand with Jesus we face it, confess it, turn from it,  find people Jesus gives us to keep us accountable to stay away from the sin that is causing bondage. Jesus came to set us free! Free from every thing that is holding us back from being at peace, full of joy, and pursuing all we are meant to be.

1 John chapter 1 verse 7 "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light and not run from exposure Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin."

James chapter 5 verse 16 " Therefore,  Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. the prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

We Conclude with these thoughts

Approach Jesus in Humility, and begin to Believe in him, Place your trust in Him.
Make Jesus the Goal of your Life!
Make a choice to walk into the light.
Choose to stay in the Light walking with Jesus!  

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Walking on Water

      Peter was sitting in a boat rocked by waves. The water was like ice as it slashed at his body. The wind whipped his hair violently against his face.  He was with others, yet at the same time he was completely alone in his thoughts and mind.  He looked up and saw Jesus... Jesus walking on water.  Heart pounding, knowing Jesus believed in him and was calling him out in his heart, he hesitated. Then he dared to believe as he called out into the night, "Jesus if that is you, ask me to come to you?" Jesus Said "Come!" Peter stood in the wind rocked boat and stepped out on to the waves of a stormy sea and he did not sink. He took a step and walked on water. It was only when he looked down, doubting himself that he began to sink. But even then Jesus reached out his hand and saved him from sinking into the violent sea.  ( this story found in Matthew 14:22-33) 

      When was the last time you walked on water? You probably think I am crazy right now asking that question. But I believe we are all being called out to walk on water. It may not be the water of a real stormy sea. In your life it may be speaking up, standing up, stepping out of the boat or sin. It may be all three. Is there some one in your life who you know needs Jesus and you have not shared your story, your hope you've found in God's unconditional Love with them? Is there an abuser hurting someone you love that you just don't think you have the power to do anything about? Is there a sin that you need to confess in order to be done with it once and for all, having someone to  keep you accountable to let it go for good? Jesus stands there before you with out stretched arms holding the power for you to get out of the boat and walk on water. To do the things that you can not do on your own. Will you dare to hope? Will you stand up in belief that nothing is impossible with God? Will you be courageous enough to step out of the boat and walk on water. Yes, the ground is unsteady. Yes, you are going to be completely out of your control to keep yourself from sinking. But that is what trusting in God's power in your life is all about. Sink or swim we are all in when we are trusting and living our lives with Him. 

       Here in Spokane we have a well. It is a place we who rely on Jesus go to find Him and drink from living water when we are thirsty. Right now it meets once every 5 weeks at a church on garland called City Church. I was at the well last night worshiping God and I was called out of my boat.  At first I just stood as everyone else was standing. I knew He had a word that was not just for me to hear. He wanted a mike in my hand and He meant for me to open my mouth and let Him use it. I was shaking inside with uncertainty, my ability in who I am lacks speaking skills. But who He is and His ability lacks nothing.  Praying to God I dared to believe I could do as He asked, that I could walk on water. I told God I would do as he said but only if he made a way. Two seconds later the starter of the Well was standing beside me in the isle. He was about to walk up and grab the mike. I tapped him on the shoulder and beckoned him to talk to me. He asked me what was up and I told him. " I think I am suppose to speak up in front of everyone and tell them what God wants me to say."  He asked "What does He want you to say" When I told him he said "lets do it!" then he looked me in the eyes and asked me "Do you want me to say this to everyone or will you do it?" I could have right then sat back down in my boat of stability and passed on a gift God was trying to give me to someone else. But I didn't. I said "I will do it!"  When the mike was offered into my hand God took over and the words he wanted to say poured out and helped set free those who were listening. 

       You see being used by God is the peak moments in our life that we live for and even though they are scary and involve stepping out of our boats, our comfort zones, they are exhilarating moments to grasp hold of and not pass up.  I compare them to times in my life when I have experienced freedom in short bursts, such as when flying down a mountain on a snowboard not knowing whether you have the ability to stop or not but you don't care for the flying out of your own control moment has astounded you.  For a mom it could be giving birth to a child and seeing him for the first time, so fragile and perfect and wonderful. With your entire being you know you would die first to let anything happen to this precious gift from God. 

      God wants us to live our lives stepping out of the boat. He doesn't want us to have just one moment we can share when we finally did something courageous. He wants our whole lives to be lived unconfined by our own limitations. 

      Dare to pray the prayer:

Lord empower me to do your will. Not for my sake Lord that others may look to me and call me great. Lord I am nothing but the vessel you are willing to use. Use my life to make a difference. Empower me not for the sake of myself to feel empowered, but rather for the sake that Your will be done, and for your name above all names to be Glorified.  Lord I am ready to be called out of my boat. I am Yours, use me! Amen in Jesus Name 

       Peter walked on water. Yes, he did begin to sink when he took his eyes off Jesus and realized by himself alone he could not possibly be doing what he was doing. But when he began to sink Jesus immediately reached down and pulled him out of the sea and they got back in the boat together. Then the storms died down and the sea calmed. What happened then is something to be remembered. The other boat sitters praised Jesus and worshiped him Believing as they stated “Truly you are the Son of God.” 

Your faith in God...the life you live for him is a light for others to see and begin to believe in the one true God, their Savior.  Dare to be willing, to every day, live powerfully on purpose, with God in you, working through you, and by your side leading every step of your way.  

When was the last time you walked on water? Have you ever dared to trust enough to step out of the boat? Look to Jesus. Trust in him. It is time.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Know Who you Are in Christ

     Knowing who you are in Christ is an adventure you must choose to go on. It is the star in your heart that wants to find its way out to the sky to shine for all to see. It is who you are meant to be.  The journey to releasing it and accepting it as who you are is worth every step.

     My whole life there has been a spark inside of me jumping around trying to find its way out. It knew things others did not know. It felt things others did not feel.  It saw things others ignored or were blind to. It heard what others could not hear. There was something in me that said "You are meant to be a great benefit, a hero of sorts." But that spark got ignored much, put down much, kept inside always.

     Today I know who I am in Christ is a pastor. Pastor at its origin means: shepherd, or feeder, servant of others. I have always wanted to help people more than I felt I was able. When I grew older I was told what and how I was able to help others in the church and it felt so very inadiquite to what God was calling me to be. I believed, reluctantly, for the longest time, what people told me my potential was instead of embracing who I was inside. The who God had created me to be. 

"Don't let anyone but God put you in your place. And don't stop forging ahead when you encounter opposition." Steven Furtick

     This is something I learned along my journey of self discovery. When I was young I would listen and cry inside thinking "I wish I knew the bible, I wish the Lord and I were one and  I could know exactly what to say to help everyone who shares with me their struggles." But I did not have words of wisdom such as memorized verses or divine proverbial sayings. I just had my ears and heart willing to listen. I felt like a failure at being all God would have me be. Now as an adult who has taken many bible classes and read the bible many times, and still can't quote much of it, I realize something. I see what people really need is not what I thought I was lacking, words of wisdom, no what people need is my time, love, patience, and for me to shut up and listen, just like I did when I was young. Knowing scripture has helped me to hear God's voice on how to guide people with words of wisdom. But much of what I say is not heard or put into practice. Words of wisdom, much of the time have to  form in the persons heart as they discover for themselves what words are true. It is the time you spend with people loving them, caring about who they are and are meant to be that people remember. It is your belief in them that will spur them on to greatness. 

     Don't think that I am saying when your heart pounds and you know the Lord wants you to speak up its okay if you don't. Nope, you had better say what ever God asks you to say when ever he asks you to say it or you will regret it forever when the moment passes. What I am saying is if you don't have anything great to say its okay and you are probably not suppose to have anything. So, no need to bumble and jumble words as you try and make something up and ruin the moment of just being there for someone in their time of need. 

     God and I, we have gone on some great treasure hunts and I have come out all the richer afterward. We dig in his word together and the discoveries I make are limitless. I used to think it was okay to just write down my adventures I took with God and when I died one day, perhaps, the treasure would be found and put to good use. Now I know better. The jewels God gives me through his word and time with him are meant to be shared. My testimonies are important to others. I have been given opportunities to speak in front of a group of people and share a few of these treasures with others. It is in these moments when I have felt most alive. It is in these moments when the star inside, the who I am bursts out and gets to be all I am meant to be in Christ. But those moments, though are amazing for me, are not my most amazing moments of benefiting others. My most amazing moments have been when I am with someone one on one and they realize they are special, loved, beautiful even. That God does have a plan for them and loves them enough to help them be all they are meant to be. In these moments, my silence is all that is needed or a few words God has me say. Peoples stories shared bring these moments, a gift from above lost if time is never given. These moments I want thousands of, Millions of. I want every person that crosses my path to know they are loved and important. So I smile and I pray silently and I say hello and give people a piece of my time to help them see they are worth the time of day to be recognized and have the potential to be who they are meant to be. 

     I am a pastor, someone who desires to serve others, feed others, care for others. Some very amazing people have spoken some words of encouragement in my life. It is those who believed in me that spurred me on to finding and pursuing who I am meant to be. One such person is Lee Hitchcock who one day said to me, when I was looking to find a pastor to pray for someone, looking me in the eyes, he said "Nora You are A Pastor." 

     You can be anything and do anything God has set your heart to be and do. Have you begun your journey? Who are you meant to be? What is the star bouncing around in you saying you want to do and be? 
 Listen, pray and listen some more then step out on your adventure and pursue who you are in Christ everyday!

Monday, December 10, 2012


 Where is your sanctuary? Is it a special moment sitting at the kitchen table, bible open, and the aroma of God hugging you sweetly with peace unsurpassed? Is your sanctuary a coffee shop, a park bench? We all need sanctuary. A sacred place; a consecrated spot; a holy and inviolable, secure, safe place. We need moments when time seems to stand still losing its weight on us. We sit, we lay, we kneel , in the presence of God and let everything that matters go.  We trust in that moment we are safe, forgiven, loved, able, and free.

Matthew 10:38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
  Matthew 16:19 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

Taking up your cross may seem like a heavy ordeal. It might even seem an unthinkable task to take on every day.  Taking up our cross is not the painful intimidating ordeal we think it is. It is our moment of Sanctuary; our moment of not my will, but yours, not my way, but yours,  not my fear but your victory! 

We sit in his presence, pour out our heart, laying it all down, then we find our selves still and listening...waiting. Then we hear or feel Him. He whispers " You are forgiven, set free, you are mine, I am yours, I am with you, trust me and my will for your life, then my peace and Joy will be yours." 

In the darkest times God is our light to our path. Often we measure our troubles against other peoples troubles. Often we measure our troubles against our own strength. We need to measure our troubles up to the Utmost High God and remember he is our God! With God all things are possible! With God you are free. Believe it! Take up your cross, acknowledge what he did for you on the cross. Acknowledge what he is doing for you as you hand over to him your worry, fear, and sin. Acknowledge how mighty he is and how absolute his love is for you, his child. Claim your moment of sanctuary today. Pick up your cross and follow him. 

1 Peter 5:7 "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
Matthew 11:29-30 "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Walk in His freedom. Find your sanctuary today! Go there daily. Take up your cross and follow him!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Jesus Loves Me, Like His Scars

Jesus Loves Me, Like His Scars?

Ever witness a scar competition between two or more proud guys revealing all the crazy things they have done and showing off their bodily stripes, seeing who's is the best?

Jesus paid a price for me. On his body is a scar that represents my name. He is not ashamed of any of his scars. In fact he is quite proud of each and every one of them. Picture him pointing to the one right above his left forearm. "This one," He says " was for Nora! I'd do it all over again the same way I as before, because I love her and she means that much to me."  Imagine Jesus pointing to one of his millions of scars and saying your name. " This one, I got for saving you. It was totally worth it. This is Crazy, My love for you! It is Real, It is True. Never Forget I bare this scar for You!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

From Center of Attention to Christ Centered

A child young and beautiful praising the Lord, hands in the air waving and swaying to the beat of the music, her voice raised for all to hear.  A painting of innocence, a wondrous moment of pure delight in life.

Is it possible to taint such a moment. Sadly, the answer to that is Yes.  As the child grows up she notices she is being watched and smiled upon by others oowing and awing over her faith. To the point, in fact, that she starts noticing when others are not watching her when she is worshiping. This was my moment last Sunday at worship service.  I stopped smiling at my daughter as she worshiped and I entered in to God's presents myself, eyes closed. There was a tap on my shoulder to get my attention, to get my eyes back on her arms raised and this time little dancing jig before the Lord. We were in the front row at church and that was not embarrassing, or what frustrated me and asked her to settle down. No, it was the fact that her innocent worship had turned from telling God "I love you!", to "look at me I know how to worship God." 

I love my daughter so very much and I am seeing myself in her when I was her age more and more. She is very needy in the way that she must have approval of her actions and words and when she fails to please others she is devastated.

One of my prayers for her is for God to help her to learn to be Christ centered and not the Center of Attention. How does this process take place? How can I help my daughter grow in Christ and not in the desire to please others?

I looked inside myself and I asked God to show me my journey and how I have come to place him as my Center instead of being self centered and desiring the crowds of attention?  Then I found myself asking another question. Does that little girl dancing and doing the right things for all to see and admire still exist inside of me? Has she ever grown up, or is she still seeking out attention, to be heard and seen?

I think as adults we have to be in constant pursuit of God's will for our life. That we need to keep ourselves and motives in check by making sure it is our daddy's attention we are seeking not the world around us. But as I say this I realize that even this can be a state of stagnate growth.

Let me explain in child like terms. Picture a child always seeking attention from her momma. She pouts in the corner, interrupts carelessly because her every need is more important than phone calls or anyone you might be talking to. She cries whether she is hurt or not at even the possible need of a band-aid.  Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with this. Children will be children; they are growing and learning. Children have parents because they need them. However picturing these moment with my kids, their attempts to get my attention, I realize in those moments their actions do not prompt my desire to stop everything and pay complete attention to them. A pouting winy child is hard to love and adore. Why? Because life is all about them, their needs and their wants, and all about them getting what they want. As adults we know that is not what life is all about, at least I hope we know.

I think as we grow spiritually, as we draw close to our daddy Jesus, we can fall into this child like behavior.  We talk to him and tell him things and He listens, but when he speaks and it is not what we want to hear we ignore him. We decide to just keep pouting and wining over not getting our own way and complaining about how miserable our life is and asking him to change it. 

The only way for us to change is for us let God grow in our center. For God and his will to be our center. For God, his love, and will for us to be more real than anything the world has to offer, including relationships. When we give our life to Christ it is no longer our own to live. It can no longer be about whether we are comfortable, heard or seen but rather about how God's love can be spread, his word be heard, and His death on the cross to save us lost, be received.

1 Corinthians 14:20 Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.
 1 Corinthians 3:1-3  Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly, mere infants in Christ.  I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?

So how do we go from mere infants in Christ, to living a Christ Centered life? How do we go from always tugging at our daddy's pant leg for attention or desiring the attention of those around us in order to feel good about ourselves and gain a false self worth, to living our lives for the benefit of others and God's glory not our own?

This is the journey I am on through the bible and prayer. Not that I have gone from total infant to adult in the Lord spiritually. I do not believe I have arrived. I think I still say things just to make people laugh, to have a feel good moment, a self pat on the back. Is that wrong?  Heart motives are behind everything we say and do. We are all growing and have not arrived to our full potential. I feel like this journey from here to there and remembering the steps in between I have already taken will help me to know the ones up a head I know I still need to take. Perhaps this is a journey Christ is asking you to take as well. If so pray and ask him to show you through his word and life experiences how you can grow and make him more the Center of  your life.

Lord let us be less and you more. Lord let you be the Center of our lives. Grow in us from the inside out and help us learn to grow from the stage of needy children to servants of others, being your hands and feet humbly, unselfishly out of our love for the lost, not for an empty pat on the back or smile of approval. Bring understanding of your word and help us keep our dates with you to listen to you speak as we read your word and chat together about it.

Praise you Jesus for teaching us how wonderful it feels to serve you unselfishly with out thought of reward.  Praise you Jesus for giving moms and dad's the love their children need even in their most difficult to love moments. Praise you Jesus for being our perfect example of unselfish serving love, and life lived to the fullest for us. Grow me and others on this Journey from Center of Attention to Christ Centered.

Amen in Jesus Name