Thursday, April 30, 2009

Yearning For Heaven

I'm yearning for Heaven today and I'm missing my dad. I've been thinking about him a lot lately. It's funny how it goes in spurts where I will all of a sudden get to talk about him a lot. I love when that happens. God gives me opportunities to tell his amazing story.
I heard the new MercyMe song on the radio the other day called "Finally Home" and caught some of the lyrics and started listening and found myself with tears.
Here are the lyrics:

I'm gonna wrap my arms around my daddy's neck
And tell him that I've missed him
And tell him all about the man that I became
And hope that it pleased him

There's so much I want to say
There's so much I want you to know

When I finally make it home
When I finally make it home

Then I'll gaze upon the throne of the King
Frozen in my steps
And all the questions that I swore I would ask
Words just won't come yet

So amazed at what I've seen
So much more than this old mind can hold

And the sweetest sound my ears have yet to hear
Voices of the angels

Here is their video of this song:

There are so many things that I wish I could talk to him about. I wonder all the time what he would think about what God is doing in my life, the opportunities that God has given me. What would he say about it all!? What would he think of my fun crazy friends? What would he think about me worshiping and singing at church? How would he love me, like I am today? How would he love and play with my nephews and niece?
I wonder how He would have loved and lived for Jesus these last 12 years. He would have lived crazy for Him.
My heart hurts when I think of him not being at my wedding someday. My heart hurts when I think about him being goofy and doing funny dances...I miss that a lot.
At the same time, I wouldn't want him to be anywhere else. He is more alive and more crazy now than he ever was or ever would have been. His big smile is going non-stop and I'm sure he has some new dance moves. The thought of him with Jesus brings me so much joy, even when it hurts to miss him here.
The thought of him getting to worship with all of heaven in full view of Jesus is overwhelming. I love it.
There is a deep yearning for heaven in me. It's going to be sweet.

Thank You Jesus for loving me and desiring Your glory that You make it possible to have life here on earth, but also for eternity. It is by You alone that I will get to see my dad again and get to share Heaven with him and all the other saints. It is by You alone that I will get to worship You face to face. Thank You for the cross and thank You that it didn't end there. Thank You that Your power is complete and perfect and timely. I yearn most of all to see Your face, to talk to You, to sing with You, to cry out Holy Holy Holy with the angels, to see You on Your throne. It will be most beautiful.
Thank You Jesus. YOU are beautiful.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Man Spurg.

Y'all know how I love Charles Spurgeon. He's the man.

I read this and wanted to share it...
Psalm 138:8 "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me."

He who has begun will carry on the work which is being wrought within my soul. The Lord is concerned about everything that concerns me. All that is now good, but not perfect, the Lord will watch over, preserve, and carry out to completion. This is a great comfort. I could not perfect the work of grace myself. Of that I am quite sure, for I fail every day and have only held on so long as I have because the Lord has helped me. If the Lord were to leave me, all my past experience would go for nothing, and I should perish from the way. But the Lord will continue to bless me. He will perfect my faith, my love, my character, my lifework. He will do this because He has begun a work in me. He gave me the concern I feel, and, in a measure, He has fulfilled my gracious aspirations. He never leaves a work unfinished; this would not be for His glory, nor would it be like Him. He knows how to accomplish His gracious design, and though my own evil nature and the world and the devil all conspire to hinder Him, I do not doubt His promise. He will perfect that which concerneth me, and I will praise Him forever. Lord, let Thy gracious work make some advance this day!

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's a Beautiful Thing

Wow...oh wow.

Yesterday was a powerful day at the Stone. Sunday's are incredible. Something that I love that we have started doing is after we sound check in the morning, we gather in the green room to have a little devo/worship/communion time before the service starts.

On Easter Sunday Todd Agnew led us in a devo/worship time...it was a sweet sweet time preparing our hearts for worship. We then took communion together. Matt went around with the cup to dip our cracker in and he got to me and looked me in the eyes and said, "Emily...this is the greatest thing that has ever happened in your life...this was done for you."
Oh my heart.
The GREATEST thing that has ever happened in my life...JESUS.

So yesterday Matt preached on the recession, suffering and trusting God.
(Isaiah 45:5-7)
HEAVY and GOOD.
You need to go and listen to it. now.
With a message like that and the set list that we did. MAN! Powerful day.
Here are some quotes from the sermon...
"In light of suffering...Sometimes trusting God means that we don't come down from the cross."
"As believers we have got to come to a place where we suffer well."
"Christians never suffer without purpose."
"God will bring us to the doorstep of death so we will turn our eyes to the only one who can raise us from the dead."

After the message we sang "It Is Well With My Soul".
It is humbling to be on stage looking out over the people worshiping. People with their hands up, light in their eyes, people on their knees, faces to the ground...and tears.
During one of the services there was a gal sitting in the front row right in front of me and when we got up to sing the last set I noticed that she was crying...hard. I heard her in my in-ear's. My heart moved as I saw her face and her body shaking from crying.
As we started singing It Is Well, she leaned over with her head down crying harder. Pretty soon people around her starting laying their hands on her back...praying for her...showing her that they were there, that she is loved & being prayed for. Her body continued to shake as she cried harder.
I immediately started praying for her as I sang "When peace like a river attendeth my way...when sorrows like sea billows roll...whatever my lot thou hast taught me to say...it is well...it is well with my soul"
God is glorified.

Another service I saw a mom and daughter sitting together. I don't know their situation but I know that she was hurting. The mom was crying hard and the daughter had her arms around her hugging her and kissing her cheek and wiping her tears away. I saw the mom's lips moving as she sang through her tears, "It is well...with my soul...it is well, it is well with my soul"
God is glorified.

I heard more stories and saw more faces with tears throughout the day and night. God broke through to a lot of people yesterday. What I love is that it doesn't end there. God doesn't work like that, He doesn't just work for a day and be done. He will continue to use the craziness that happened yesterday to stir in hearts and move people to live for Him fully and be conformed to His image.
God is glorified.

During the 7:00 service (I LOVE the 7...they go nuts.) after we sang It Is Well, Aaron went into "Our God Reigns" (not planned...love it!)...it was awesome. Proclaiming that God reigns FOREVER. In light of suffering, He REIGNS! We ended with Blessed Be Your Name. "...my heart will choose to say...Lord blessed be Your name."

We sat down at the end and Aaron and I looked at each other and gave the look of "what in the world just happened." and the nod of "that was crazy". In Aaron's words..."Things just got silly".
It was one of the most powerful days. So humbled and grateful to be in the midst of what God is doing.
It's a beautiful thing.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I Miss You

So I'm "missing" a lot lately. I'm missing my short hair, I'm missing my truck, I'm missing my family, I'm missing my nephews and my niece. Thankfully my personalized google desktop countdown says that there are only 29 days until the Wild Ward Women Weekend. I'm not sure if Austin is ready for it. As excited as I am about seeing my mom and my sisters, the kiddos won't be along :( Which will make for some late nights and sleeping in...that I KNOW my sisters are excited for...but no kiddos. :( I miss them. They grow up fast, when I'm not there to see them everyday. Laura has some amazing Noah stories on her blog. CLASSIC. Jill has a video of sweet Sam doing an amazing job on a song about John 3:16. There's all sorts of good stuff on their blogs. I'm thankful that they do a good job of updating it with stories, pics and videos. That helps. But sometimes you just need some hugs, snuggles and smooches. Sam likes to send me some "love" in the mail. That helps too.
Here are some recent pics of the sweet ones...
The oldest Jackson Davis...I can't believe how grown up he is! SO handsome!Noah Joseph...this pic is actually old news...he now has BOTH front teeth missing!My sweet lovely Lily Margaret giving the thumbs up! That's my girl!
William Parker, I seriously can't get enough of that smile...Samuel Asher...he's a stinker can you tell?!Little man Maxwell Thomas...his dimples are the best!
oh man...I need them all. right now would be great.

Missing my Short Hair

I miss my short hair.
What do I do?!
Short hair:Long hair:wow. I'm really cheesy.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Signature Dance Moves=Good Times

Kate and I are heading out today to lead worship for a women's retreat with some people from her home church. We are heading west to a retreat center.
I'm really looking forward to getting away for the weekend and spending lots of time with God. Leading worship is still sometimes scary for me...I just don't like the talking part. I'm learning more and more about releasing it all and letting the Spirit lead and trusting Him that when He wants me to talk He will give me words and when He wants me to just sing...I'll just sing.
I like to just sing and worship.
We practiced last night at Jimmy's, since we needed a keyboard, and it was a sweet sweet time. Kate and I are both dealing with some crazy allergy issues, she was dealing with some nasal blockage and I was dealing with some crazy throat weirdness. So it made for some interesting sounds...but it is so fun to do music together. God has gifted her with amazing talent and creativity...it seems that when we get together to work on stuff, God gives us sweet creativity in putting songs together. I'm excited about how this has come together.
It also seems that when we get together to work on stuff...we get REAL silly. Let's just say that some fun music was being played on the piano while I pulled out one of my signature dance moves, water was spit out from laughing so hard, opera singing to It is Well, wheezing and on the ground laughing all took place. We thought we were safe being in the laundry room with the door closed on one end of the house...but when we were finished we walked out to Jimmy shaking his head saying, "y'all are hilarious!"
BUSTED.
Whatevs. You know how we do...
I'm tired today and the craziness that has been non-stop the last two weeks has started catching up to me. I'm praying for unbelievable strength and energy. Please pray!
I fell asleep going to the bathroom at work. No joke! I'm not quite sure how long I was in there, but I'm sure my co-worker was wondering what in the world was going on!
That's definitely not normal.
I'm loving this song lately, I sang it Tuesday night when Jimmy, Poetry For a King and I led worship for Texas Lutheran University's FCA group.
We're singing it this weekend too...

None But Jesus

In the quiet, in the stillness
I know that You are God
In the secret of Your presence
I know there I am restored

When You call I won't refuse
Each new day again I'll choose

There is no one else for me
None but Jesus
Crucified to set me free
Now I live to bring Him praise

In the chaos and confusion
I know You're sovereign still
In the moment of my weakness
You give me grace to do Your will

When You call I won't delay
This my song through all my days

All my delight is in You Lord
All of my hope, all of my strength
All my delight is in You Lord
Forevermore

There is nothing I want more than Jesus. He is all I need and all I desire. ALL my delight is in Him, ALL my hope, ALL my strength.
HE IS GOOD!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Relevant Magazine Features Malatya!

The Malatya film is featured on the main page of the Relevant Magazine website! AWESOME! I posted about this the other day.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Kids Stuff Video

This video was played for the kids @ Austin Stone for Easter. So thankful for the children's ministry there!

(HT Becca)

Malatya

A couple of my friends from church have put together this amazing documentary called Malatya. It's about the first martyrs of the Turkish church. Here is an article that Justin Taylor put on his blog about it...
April 18, 2007, two Turkish Christians and a German missionary were tortured and killed inside a Bible Publishing house in Malatya, Turkey.

Summer 2008, two young filmmakers from Texas set out to create Malatya, a documentary exploring how three Christian martyrs have shaken the nation’s roots.

Necati Aydin, U─čur Yuksel and Tilmann Geske were tied to their chairs, tortured with butcher knives and killed for worshiping Christ. Semse Aydin and Susanne Geske, the wives of Necati and Tilmann, both contributed to the film. Echoing Christ’s words from the cross, they’ve publicly forgiven those guilty of their husbands’ deaths. Resources for Christian counseling are scarce in Turkey, a country of nearly 72 million, 99.8 percent of which is Muslim. This has left their surviving families and friends with little human support to lean on in a nationwide church of around 3,000 believers. The joy they find is purely in the hope of their sovereign God working through this time of trial for His glory and their good.

Testimony from leaders of the Turkish church shows even before the martyrdom, Turkish Christians faced persecution. They were unlawfully jailed, interrogated about their activities and even tortured. The deaths of these men have crossed a new line. Attacks and attempted murders have increased since the Malatya martyrdom. The current leader of the Turkish Protestant Alliance, Zekai Tanyar, told the filmmakers, "Before this, I would have said that we do suffer, but I wouldn't call the Turkish Church 'the Persecuted Church,' but all of a sudden, we are the persecuted church."

Turkish pastors revealed to the filmmakers the rise in persecution following the martyrdom has led many in the church to quit attending their fellowships or fall away from their faith all together. Others however have grown bolder in ministry, both in the sharing of their faith and serving in their churches, fully aware any church could be the next victim of violence.

Malatya also covers how the ongoing trial against the murder suspects has gained nationwide coverage in Turkey, where religious freedom is established by law. While some Turks think any Christian in Turkey must be a foreigner, and likely a subversive, thus championing the martyrdom in the name of patriotism, others despise the martyrdom as a hate crime. Turks now face a cultural dilemma: for the first since the founding of their republic, Turkish Christians were martyred.

Malatya is scheduled for DVD release across the globe April 18, 2009, the two-year anniversary of the martyrdom. Screenings are scheduled from Austin to Brazil, the UK, Germany, South Africa, Australia and more.
They have rented out Galaxy Highland Theaters on Saturday April 18 to show the premiere! You can get tickets on the website.
Also, you can watch the trailer, schedule a screening or buy the DVD on the website.
www.malatyafilm.com
I had the amazing honor to be a very small part of this documentary. My friend Jimmy and I recorded a version of the Rich Mullins song "I Will Sing". The song is played at the beginning of the movie. It's powerful.
God is very much glorified in all of this, and it's amazing to think that this story is going to be told all across the world.
Voice of the Martyrs has come under this project and has been supporting them and will be distributing it all over the world as well.
God is HUGE.
Check it out and get the word out.

Easter Sunday

Sunday. Easter. Jesus.

It was a beautiful day. Probably one of the most powerful Sundays we've had at Austin Stone.
We led worship with a choir and it was amazing. Matt brought a strong message of defining what a Christ follower should look like. You can listen to it here.
Here is a quote from his sermon that I loved:
"We all have sinned against an infinite God and we all deserve an infinite punishment...But God stepped in and took on infinite punishment through Jesus Christ...so we can have infinite life."
It was a crazy Sunday...with the first two services in the morning we had already reached around 4,000 people! We still had our two evening services to go! They were both packed out too! So many people that got to experience the power of God and many unbelievers who got to hear the truth of the gospel!! God is GOOD!!
Here are some pics that some people took of the day...At the end of Matt's sermon there was a video done by Jeremy Rodgers of different people in our church who have experienced the power of Jesus in their lives.
It is SO powerful. I've seen this done before, with the cardboard signs...and I have always been so moved by it. This time they are people I know....I seriously cried um...4 out of the 4 services!
So beautiful to see lives that have been changed by the power of the cross and the power of the resurrection! I love it!
These people are real. They truly have been captivated by Christ's love and have been transformed by HIS power.
Here is the video...

Cardboard Stories from The Austin Stone on Vimeo.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Gospel Centered Living

I have been blessed over and over by the The Stewart family and how they live out their lives in view of the gospel. It is a beautiful thing and I pray that God would continue to teach me and mold me into a woman who lives out and responds by covering the gospel over my life. I also pray that if the Lord blesses me with a family some day that I would raise them up and train them in godliness and with the gospel. Kimberly does an amazing job of sharing her process with this on her blog. She is real and honest, it is so beautiful. Please check it out!
When I think about having kids someday... as much as I can't wait and am so excited...it freaks me out. I have this thought that I'm going to totally mess them up.
Here is a little excerpt from a recent post where she was talking about how God redeems our failures, and she was sharing a story (a poop story...awesome!) about how she responded to her son, WesleyGrant, and how she had to ask his forgiveness, for not responding in a way that was in line with the gospel:
But the good news about the gospel is that it leads me to my savior who for freedom set me free (galatians 5:1) I am no longer bound to work for my approval...but I am fully approved in Jesus! My idol will always condemn me... it can offer no forgiveness...as I continue to look back over the same thing with the idols of my heart, it seems so crazy that I would ever turn to them...my savior gives not only forgiveness, but grants me righteousness guaranteed to be a right standing with god. I am free!
So, as the Spirit disclosed the things of the Father...I knew I was wrong and needed to make it right with WG. That is what is so hard about being a parent...seeing your failures effect your own children. Stew always tells me,
"Don't worry...you will scar them...but Jesus will redeem all their scars!"
And so with that hope, I went back into WG's room. I told him why I got angry and that the bible instructs me differently and I did not obey God. I told him that it was not his fault that mommy got angry. I told him I was wrong and sorry for my actions. I told him that Jesus is our only hope. He may not fully comprehend...but more we are starting habits...I guess tha is part of the redemption happening in my failures...we are passing on "I was wrong" and leaving behind "silence and lack of confession". So then I can hope in Jesus...that as he is making me more like Him, he will point my son to Himself as well...so know that you will scar your children...but our savior has a great redeeming plan both for our lives and theirs...hope in Jesus, the redeemer of all our failures.
SO good!
Another thing that she had posted at some point was a list of things that they were passing on in their family and things they were leaving behind. Such a great list and reminder of living in a way that is glorifying to Jesus...here is the list...

Passing On-- Family traditions
Leaving Behind -- Individualism

Passing On -- Worldview through the Gospel
Leaving Behind -- Worldview through man-centeredness

Passing On -- I love you
Leaving Behind -- Silence/Assumption

Passing On -- Failures are okay
Leaving Behind -- You control everything

Passing On -- Trust Jesus
Leaving Behind -- Worry

Passing On -- You are just like the poor
Leaving Behind -- There are no poor

Passing On -- I was wrong/Forgiveness
Leaving Behind -- Anger & Bitterness

Passing On -- World outside of America
Leaving Behind -- World is America

Passing On -- Security in Christ
Leaving Behind -- Security in Money

Passing On -- Others are first
Leaving Behind -- Others are second

Passing On -- Acceptance of suffering
Leaving Behind -- Comfort is true life

Passing On -- Courage is trusting YAWEH
Leaving Behind -- Safety is in your hands

Passing On -- We are sinners
Leaving Behind -- We are good

Passing On -- Jesus is the way, truth & life
Leaving Behind -- Your way is truth & life

That is gospel-centered living.
Thanks Kimberly for writing these posts! You are beautiful and such a blessing!!!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

He Is Good.

Unbelievable.
This last Tuesday night was our First Tuesday Prayer meeting and it is always a powerful night...but there was something different about that night. Still trying to process through that one.
I seriously thought Jesus was coming back!
I really thought that I was going to open my eyes and see Him right in front of me. It was a powerful, powerful night.
Aaron led the night with worship and prayer and I had the privilege to help him lead worship. I'm always so humbled when God calls me to do this, He is so big and I am so small. Leading people into His presence seems like a huge deal when you think about the greatness of God.
It is a huge deal...He's famous and I am not.
Seems crazy that He would use a broken, messed up, unfaithful sinner like me.
But He likes to do that.
I came Tuesday night broken...my heart and my soul sort of felt like it had been crumpled and ripped up. God has been showing me the condition of my heart and it has not been fun. But it's good...because God is good.
In God showing me the condition of my heart, there was a sweet brokenness that led me to a deep place with Jesus of desiring Him more. I have cried out numerous times this week, "You are all I want...You are all I need". I knew coming to prayer and leading worship was going to be intense. When there is a deepness in your heart for Jesus in the middle of brokenness...He is going to do amazing, powerful things in worship. And He did.
One of the songs that we did was a new song that Aaron wrote. God is all over this song. It was POWERFUL! SO good. The name of Jesus is beautiful.
Here are the words:

There is a name that moves
A name so wonderful
The pow'r to rend the Heavens
And the peace to still the storm

His name is Jesus, Jesus
The Lamb of God the Lord Most High
He is Jesus

There is a name that loves
A name so wonderful
The One that loves the sinner
And heals the broken heart

His name is Jesus, Jesus
The Lamb of God, the Lord Most High
He is Jesus

All glory and fame
Be unto the One who reigns, Yes You reign
All Heaven and earth
Rejoice at the sound of Your name, of Your name

There is a name that saves
A name so wonderful
His blood has sealed our pardon
Through the triumph of the cross

Oh man...my heart is welling up with Hallelujahs as I type this out and sing it in my head! Just want to dance!
It's a beautiful thing to be on the stage looking out over the jam packed room full of people SHOUTING out songs to Him, hands raised, people getting after it. It's humbling and it makes me so full. God is truly truly amazing.
God's timing is funny sometimes.
I also got to lead worship last night at my Recovery class that I'm taking. With all that God is doing in my heart this week and through this class I felt God leading me to do two songs that talked about God being enough. The first song was "This is Our God" from Hillsong. (I mentioned this song in a previous post)
I encouraged them to fall at Jesus' feet and what a beautiful thing it is that we can come to Him as we are.
"Your grace is enough, more than I need"
"I am restored, I am redeemed by Your Spirit I am free"
"I will fall at Your feet, I will fall at Your feet...and I will worship You here"
"Freely You gave it all for us, surrendered Your life upon that cross, Great is the love poured out for all...this is Our God. Lifted on high from death to life, forever our God is glorified Servant and King, rescued the world...this is our God"

God is so good. He has called me to worship Him, to lead in that and be used by Him with my life. I love that during a time where my heart is being refined and torn apart to get at the junk...He is allowing healing and beauty to happen in the midst of the call He has put on my life. It is putting a great confidence in me that God is the controller and that He is capable of using me despite being weak, broken and incapable of holding it together. That is when He gets GREAT glory!
I LOVE IT!
These next couple of weeks are going to be crazy. Crazy good.
Leading worship for Easter services with Aaron, Andy and a big choir...leading worship with Jimmy and a band next Tuesday night down by San Marcos...Kate and I are leading worship for a women's conference just outside of Houston the weekend of the 17th...then a Mom's prayer night for the Stone on the 21st.
whoah.
God is good!!!
SO GOOD!

Monday, April 06, 2009

This Is Our God

This song is touching my soul last night and today. SO good!
"Your grace is enough, more than I need, at Your word I will believe.
I wait for You, draw near again. Let Your Spirit make me new"

Friday, April 03, 2009

Struggle

My friend Kate shared this song with me, and it wrecked me.
I've been getting wrecked out a lot lately...can you tell?!
SO GOOD!
Her friend Jamie Lipe wrote and recorded this song "Struggle". She is on staff at River City House of Prayer in San Antonio...

Here are the lyrics:

I was starting to believe the fear that was slowly crippling me
I was starting to embrace all the many things he told me as if it were the truth
he told me I was weak, that I would fail, that I shouldn't even try
Inadequate, not good enough, lacking so much that I needed to succeed.
Oh God, how could you allow me to dream so big, here I sit vulnerable to all
I just want to be held tight in the arms of security knowing everything will be ok
You've given me abilities and therefore expect a response but God it's a big responsibility
Examination of my heart, it's what you've caused me to do
Now I see how much I've been running.
But no more will I run, no more will I run away from the things you've called me to do
NO
NO more will I sit, crippled with fear, I'm tired of not living

Now to you everyone listening, I want to encourage you.
Don't let fear hold you back from what you know God has called you to do
For you have not been given,
No you have not been given a spirit of fear, not not a spirit of fear
But a spirit of power of love and of a sound mind, so take it and run, take it and run.
Reach for the sky and everything it holds for you
Don't look back to the things I've said you could never be.
Someone great lives inside you just waiting to come out
To be made known, you've gotta choose to make Him known.
Take the time to realize who you are

Don't be quiet, don't be silent now

Don't let fear hold you down
Don't let it steal your life away
For in the end when all has ended and you assess, have no regrets
So now, declare him loud, declare him strong
For he has declared His love for you
Declare Him loud, declare Him strong
For nothing else matters now
Declare Him now, declare Him strong, strong, strong
No more holding back

Earthly Comforts Are Loaned

I read this, this morning, on a blog and it wrecked me.
CH Spurgeon does that to me a lot.
Here is what He says:
"Earthly comforts are loaned. They are not gifts, for all that we possess is God's property. He has only lent them, and what he lends He has a right to take. We hold possessions and friends on a lease that can be terminated at the Supreme Owner's option. Therefore, do not complain when God takes His own. In a world where thorns and briars grow, it is natural that some sharp points will pierce you.
The world swarms with thieves, deceivers, and slanderers, with losses in business, crosses in our expectations, false or fickle friends, and with sickness and death. Little wonder our joys are stolen. Our Master warns that our habitation is not theft-proof. "Do not lay up for yourself treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal." (Matt. 6:19)
Beloved, because of these, calamities may be expected, let us be prepared. Hold all things loosely. Hold them as though you did not have them. Look at them as fleeting; never expect them to remain. Never make mortal things your gods. If you do, your heart will be broken when they are taken, and you will cry with Micah, "You have taken away my gods which I made." (Judges 18:24)

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Spiritual Inventory

My friend Fabs shared this article today from Apostles Church. It was VERY convicting.
It's taking a spiritual inventory of your life and asking some hard questions....here are the questions that the author and pastor JR Vassar, wrote:

Do I love Jesus with a demonstrable love? Is there anything or anyone that I love more deeply than Jesus or pursue more intensely than Jesus?

Do I look forward to spending time with Jesus in the Scriptures and in prayer? Do I miss out on other things to spend time with Him?

Am I regularly discovering new things in the Word of God that impact my daily life?

Do I sincerely desire and intend to obey God in every area of my life? Do I sincerely desire purity of heart, mind and body?

Do I sense the Holy Spirit's presence in my life leading me and strengthening me? (If He were to leave my life, would I sense a great loss?)

Do I sincerely confess my sins to God with a broken heart? When did I last weep over sin in my life?

Is there anything in my life I am hiding from others that I am afraid will be exposed?

Is there anything in my life right now that I know displeases God, but I am not willing to repent of?

Do I spontaneously and whole-heartedly give thanks to God for saving me by His grace?

Do I give my resources regularly and sacrificially to see God's purposes for this world fulfilled?

Is my life marked more by thanksgiving or by complaining and criticizing?

Do I sincerely love others and seek their good as passionately as I seek my own? Am I as patient and forgiving toward others' failures as I am toward my own?

Do I show genuine humility toward others? When have I recently sacrificed my time and money for the good of others?

Am I able to admit when I am wrong and able to say to others, "I am sorry, please forgive me." Or, am I slow to admit failure and do I make excuses for my behavior?

Have I forgiven others the wrong done to me? Or, do I have bitterness toward others who have wronged me?

Am I currently grieving the Holy Spirit with unloving attitudes and harmful actions toward others?

Do I truly desire for my friends to know Jesus and honor him with their lives? Do I earnestly pray for His increased fame and renown in my city?