Small steps in faith

Monday, December 31, 2007


These are my notes from the sermon at Apex on Forgiveness that Brian Pelphrey(a house church leader) did. A very timely sermon at the end of a year. He did a great job with his real life examples.

Matthew 18:21-34

"Have you ever withheld or are you withholding forgiveness from someone?"

The New Testament is full of verses in the gospels telling us to forgive.
The Lord's Prayer
Luke 6:37 "If you forgive others, you will be forgiven"
Mark 11:25 "But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins too"

1. It's not how many times or even what the offense need to forgive continually.
When Jesus says "seventy times seven" he isn't being literal...he's saying continually forgive no matter how many times

2.You need to remember that you yourself need to repent and be forgiven and you need to forgive others who ask for forgiveness None of us are perfect.

3. No one's debt to us is anywhere near what our debt is to God. We owe God our lives. If you don't forgive as a're a hypocrite.
"Wicked slave" Wicked in translation is "evil one" which is the same term used for Satan. You are on the same level as Satan.

4. If we have God's grace we need to be changed and grow in God's grace
Those who have been forgiven much.
If you struggle with need God to help you forgive..sometimes it can't be on your own strength. Cry out to God and ask for his help.

If you withhold forgiveness.then Satan outwits keeps you at the same level that he's at.
It slowly destroys you.

He used an example of a house that from the street looked fine but when you got close you realize that water is pouring out the window and when you look in you realize that a pipe has burst. When you open the door the water rushes out and you realize that the beautiful woodwork has been damaged because of the water.

As humans...from the outside...people may not always pick up on lack of forgiveness but as you open your mouth and people get closer ..they realize that it has a destructive effect on you. The goodness inside you is slowly destroyed and it shows through eventually.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Breathe.....just breathe

This song is stuck in my head today.

"Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing. But a curse will come upon those who close their eyes to poverty." Proverbs 28:27

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Making a change

"You must be the change you want to see in the world."
Mahatma Gandhi

I am realizing this more and more. I haven't figured out how but I trust God will show me. I don't want to be someone who looks on and does nothing.
I'm looking forward to a challenging New Year.

Monday, December 24, 2007

This is my Christmas Prayer

This is one of the most beautiful songs and expresses what I pray for my friends and family. Enjoy and have a great Christmas :^)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"A Charlie Brown Christmas"

This was the title of a paper that was in my mailbox at work today. It's a research collaborative on coping and stress during Holiday Seasons. I found the timing actually pretty interesting :^) It had reasons and tips for dealing with grief,depression,stress, etc. Most of what was in here I've heard,read before. The last part of the article is something I hadn't heard so I'll share it

"Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have actually found that three days in particular are the most deadly: Christmas, the day after Christmas and New Years Day


1 Emotional Stress. " The highs and lows and pressures we all experience during the holiday season.
2 High-fat feasts can affect your heart within 30 minutes--arterial inflammation
3 Forgetting to take medications
4 Less exercise
5 Ignoring heart attack symptoms.
6 Delay seeking medical care

Staying healthy over the holidays may be as simple as
common sense
self control
calming down

Honestly, I don't think it's that simple and I wondered if the people who did the study had ever felt how Charlie Brown felt .. "I just don't understand Christmas. Instead of feeling happy, I feel sort of let down"

I did like their "How to Help" :
1 Listen
2 Provide Comfort
3 Be a trusted confidant
4 Be available
5 Support without preaching
6 Encourage and support self care

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dan Fogelberg...always a good memory

I found out this morning that Dan Fogelberg died at age 56. How sad :(
I like to connect certain times of my life with music and he was definitely one of those that brings back good memories of my high school/early college years. His album "Souvenirs" was probably one of my favorite records(yeah as in vinyl) to play.
When I was 5 months pregnant with Kristen ..1986... I got to see him in concert at Timberwolf at Kings Island. One of my favorite concerts.
This New Year's Eve will be bittersweet when I hear "Same Old Lang Syne"

Sunday, December 16, 2007

"People Gifts"

These are my notes from the sermon I heard last night based on Ephesians 4:11-13

11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.

"People Gifts"

When you look at these gifts, one isn't more valuable than the other. It takes all of them. One of the big mistakes that we have made is to feel that the pastor up front is "the best" at all of them.
The church today is a train wreck in western culture. We put so much emphasis on the person of front and not on the ones in the pews. It's why the mental health care field deals with many pastors in churches and why you see pastors leaving after a short period of time in a church.

We need a "second reformation"
We need to give the church back to the people for the work in the kingdom of God
The role of the pastor in a church is to equip their people to do God's work and service.

God's Intent For the Bride

Is tangible servanthood
a. works of service for the community

That would result in the building up of the bride
a. the church is full of broken people

Which achieves unity in trusting Jesus and develops a maturity that resembles the character of Jesus
a. This work is never done
b. You can't just sit in a pew and expect that to happen
c. There needs to be leadership


Apostles...Many churches believe there is no longer apostles
There are apostles(not as in the 12 with Jesus) They don't write scripture
Apostle means "send forth" they go...they are concerned about the bride moving into new territory...these are your church planters...missionaries

Prophets.. They are concerned about the bride's obedience into God's word. They don't "predict the future" They have a knack for saying the right thing that parallels God's word at the right time.

Evangelist They are concerned with the bride communicating and relying on the right message. They preach the gospel....the gospel isn't just a's how we's our's our oxygen

Pastor..They are concerned with the bride's protection...they are the nurturer...the shephard...they are concerned with people's hearts

Teacher....They are concerned with the bride's capacity to learn..they equip the bride to learn how to teach herself. Everything is a learning experience

In all of these roles...some are staff...some are not.

Jesus is all of these

Bottom's about suffering servants for the glory of God.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

"Everything" I loved this video

This video gave me goosebumps...very creative in making a point..and I love this song

Sunday, December 09, 2007

"Grace gifts"

These are my notes for a sermon series Rob is doing on Spiritual Gifts.

Now about spiritual gifts, brothers. I do not want you to be ignorant.
1 Corinthians 12

Human gift giving

1 Gifts are obtained at a cost...monetary as well as emotional. The suicide rate around Christmas actually goes down but the depression/counseling needs go up significantly.

2 Gifts are usually given according to what others want

3 Gifts are given according to the receiver's goodness...

4 Gifts are given at specific times of the year

Grace gifts are something that each one of us is given. We are not in heaven....there is work that is needed to be done for the order to do that work ...we need gifts from God to accomplish that work.

If you are not using your's a "blindspot sin"

Grace Gifts

1 They are given AFTER Jesus rescues you

2 They are given to EVERY follower of Christ

3 They are determined by Christ alone

4 They are kinda permanent...til you get to heaven

5 They have to be developed...If you don't use your become a "flabby Christian" becomes weak

6 They are not for your own benefit 1 Corinthinans 4:12,1 Peter 4:11

7 They are not a definite sign of maturity

8 They are not to replace clear biblical commands or fruit of the spirit....Just because you feel "you don't have the gift of mercy" does not mean you don't show kindness. If you stay in a box with your "gifts" you aren't going to develop..

9 They can be mimicked to hide an unbelieving heart..

10 They give us something to do while we wait for the return of Christ 1 Corinthians 1:7 , 1 Corinthians 13:10

Important questions to ask in order to discover your spirtual gifts

1 Are you a follower of Jesus...not just a talked or someone who professes to your actions back up your words

2 Are you asking Jesus to reveal his gifts that are in you?

3 Are you in continual community with followers of Jesus?

4 What is it that you specifically do athat contributes to a focus on God's glory in that community?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

"Spiritual Practice"

" " Spiritual practice" is a phrase that means what it says. Madeline L'Engle once likened spiritual practice to piano etudes: You do not necessarily enjoy the want to skip right ahead to the sonatas and concertos--but if you don't work through the etudes you will arrive at the sonatas and not know what to do. So too, with the spiritual life. It's not all about the mountaintops. Mostly it's about training so that you'll know the mountaintop for what it is when you get there."

"Mudhouse Sabbath"...Lauren Winner

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Let it Snow

Well, for once the weatherman was right. I woke up this morning and looked out the window and sure enough there was snow. I love freshly fallen snow in the early morning peaceful and beautiful. I didn't quite have the same feeling when it took me an hour to drive to work. I work at the office on Wed and we have the most beautiful view of the river and downtown Dayton. It was a long day...but fun. We had our open house and ribbon cutting ceremony tonight. I was surprised at the number of people who came.
It was nice to finally put faces to names of the family that donated money for our center. They lost 2 family members to who was only in his early 30's.
Mrs Bull realizes that knowledge is power in managing this disease and her wish is that those who are unable to afford the education are given a chance to be educated.
It's nice to be part of the realization of her dream.

Change your thoughts and you change your world.
This is our focus for our patients. Dr. Parilo had it painted on the wall in our classroom and used it in his speech tonight. I think it applies to all of us though.
We get stuck in a rut, absorbed in our own ways, when just thinking differently can make such an impact on those around us.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Well deserved :)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Hard decisions....hard good-byes

Yesterday was hard. After alot of thought and prayer I have decided to leave a church I've gone to for the last 8 years. Yesterday was my last day. It was also the last day for my friend Adam who has led worship there for the last 2 1/2 years and is moving to Colorado to help a new church plant grow.
As with all churches, there have been highs and lows. This last year has been tough. I've had to say good-bye to most of the people that I developed strong bonds with.
I knew that once Adam made his decision to leave, it was time for me to be the one to say good-bye. I feel that God is calling me to serve in another way.
It's a new journey and I'm open to wherever that leads me...
I didn't tell most people that I was leaving. Good byes are hard for me. Those who I'm closest to know...and I will continue my friendships with them.
I don't leave with bitterness. I wish only the best for those who choose to stay. You have to follow your heart and where God leads you and you will be blessed.