Saturday, April 5, 2014

My Blog is Moving!

Hey there! If you haven't had a chance to check out that is where I am now blogging.  I have moved all my resources over there too, so please subscribe to the blog on the link:

I look forward to hearing from you over there!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Praying the Bible Over Your Pre-Teen and NEW Book

It started a few months ago when I was having a talk with my young teenager. She was telling me all the worries in her heart, which seemed very dramatic at the time. All the while, I was thinking, "these are lies from the enemy she is believing!" Then it hit me. I spend time each day praying the scriptures, declarations, and blessings over myself and equip others to do so, and here my own child has not been equipped.

So I asked, "If I made you a book you could use with scriptures that would help you pray about these things and prayers to help you get started, would you do it? Would you pray the scriptures over yourself and believe God will strengthen you through them?" I was so pleased, the answer was "yes".

In my journal I have a section where I pray for each of my kids, noting scriptures and specific prayers over them based on their unique personality & needs. I used that as a launch pad and prayed through what areas my pre-teens were struggling with and what areas of strengthening they were needing.

As I was working on this little book, I realized that this was not a unique topic to my own child, but how many 11-14 year olds are out there that are probably feeling this same way? Worried about the future? Worried about the way they look, will they be accepted, will people like them? Is it enough that God loves them when they don't feel pleasure from the peers around them? And how do they even know how God feels about them? How do they know He really does care? He really does listen?

In this little book I have included an "Identity Proclamation" to read over themselves each day,  promises from the Bible, prayer starters to read/pray those specific scriptures, a journaling section, and several pages of specific promises from God to get deep in their heart such as; "God thinks I'm beautiful", "God hears my cries and answers me", and "I was bought at a price". In reading these over and over, I believe the Word of God will go down deep and they will begin to really believe how much they are loved and valued by God. I believe that this is the root of many issues for teenagers and if they can get their identity in Christ settled before they are 14, how much more successful will they be in walking in joy and peace as a teenager?

So here it is, I really hope you will do this with your young teen, teach them how to pray scripture over themselves, and set them up for a successful personal devotional life.

Order Here: Prayers & Promises for Young Teens: A practical tool to develop your identity in Christ  $5.69 on Amazon.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Voice of the Lord

The voice of the Lord is always speaking, I truly believe that. Have you ever looked up passages about the "voice" of the Lord? You may be familiar with Rev. 1:12, "His voice like rushing waters". 

This painting was created along with a song that came out of prayer and meditation on how God speaks. Creation was birthed by His breath, and continues to exist by His breath and Word alone. (Gen. 1, Gen 2:7, John 1:1-4) Stick with me here for a few moments and slowly consider the following.

The natural thought process that would follow is this; If God's breath began all things into existence, and we were made by Him, for Him, and exist for His pleasure (Rev. 4:11, Prov. 16:4) then His very breath continues to create and hold everything together. If this creator-breath is what continues to sustain all life, then that wind of His breath is moving, blowing, even now, even in the unseen, holding everything together. 

That thought, then leads you to this picture. The unseen "Kingdom" coming to earth will soon be what is seen. What is unseen, though we cannot see, it yet very real. So real in fact, that I can almost reach up and touch it, feel a gust of the breath, the wind, of God.

A passage for meditation and contemplation this week; Psalm 29: 1-9

Give unto the Lord, O you mighty ones,
Give unto the Lord glory and strength.
Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name;
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
The God of glory thunders;
The Lord is over many waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
The voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars,
Yes, the Lord splinters the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes them also skip like a calf,
Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord divides the flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
The Lord shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth,
And strips the forests bare;
And in His temple everyone says, “Glory!”

I would LOVE to hear  your revelation on the Voice of the Lord.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Worth of Jesus

People everywhere give their time, their money, and their resources to what they deem "worthy". We judge what is "worthy" by what we give to it. Maybe is is unconscious, but we do make judgements which cause us to behave. The idea that something is "valuable" is per-determined in our mind before we give of our resources to it.

For example, we watch a tear-jerker video about starving children in a nation, and then we decide this cause is "worthy" to send money to. We hear some one preach and share the stories of their Mission's work, and decide to give to them. We decide what we think is worthy, or valuble and then we act on behalf of those value systems or mindsets we've agreed with. 

At the foundation of the world however, stands on man who is WORTHY to receive ALL power, blessing, honor, and glory. (Rev. 4:11) Though all men may not "see" His value, He alone is worth all we have. He alone is worth in fact, more than I can give Him. Actually, I can not give to Him what He is worth. In and of myself I do not have power, blessing, honor, or glory.  These things all come from Him. He must first deposit these things into me so that I have something to give back to Him. 

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17

He alone holds every good thing, and He gives to us, that we could have something to give back. 

This reminds me of when I take my children shopping. When they are really young, and do not have money of their own, we let them "pick out" something to buy for Dad for his birthday. Then when they get to the counter to pay, I give them the money. "How cute!" the store clerk says as they reach up to hand them the money. Then my child feels as if they bought the gift. In fact, they are so glad to run up to Daddy and say, "look what I bought for you Daddy!!" 

Because Jesus is worth more than I have to give Him, it can feel as if it's so much and I have so little, so why try? Why even try to give an expression of "worth" to Him? How can I even try? 

Recently, at our House of Prayer, cHOP, Allen Hood visited and spoke on this topic. He did a beautiful job of explaining clearly WHY God is worthy of 24/7, night and day prayer and worship, in every nation. If this topic is pulling on you, I encourage you to listen to that message here.

And as always, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this topic - 



Sunday, June 23, 2013

Distractions that Keep You From the One Thing

This topic of "distractions" has been the theme of 2013 for me so far, specifically distractions that keep me from the "One Thing". You can replace the phrase "One Thing" with the "Better Part", which Mary of Bethany discovered, or the "First Commandment", which is to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Whatever you want to call it, it is the place of prayer, connecting with God our Father in the secret place

Because it is so easy to "do things" many of us believers find ourselves doing more ministry to people than to God. I have my theories as to why, and I wrote a little bit about it in the post Martha Got a Bad Wrap, but this post is not about Martha. Let me say that "doing for God" is not bad, but "being with God", I mean just sitting with God enjoying Him, enjoying me, is the better part, and its also the neglected part for many believers. What keeps us from just sitting and spending time with God? Distraction. 

Lets be honest...

Many of us allow ourselves to be distracted, we actually like to be "busy". We like the feeling of importance "busyness" gives us. Busyness is an art-form of juggling life, also known as "multi-tasking" or the non so popular term, "attention deficit disorder". 

Being distracted is not our fault after all, right? After all, life around us is moving fast and enticing us to partake in the busyness. Here is an example:

"I need to take my child to a party the same day as attending a baby shower, then have people over for dinner that night, find a time to get to the store for the things I need for dinner, prepare my Sunday School lesson for the next morning, call my mom, get an hour of time with my husband before we crash, oh and I forgot to return some emails from Friday, because I work full time, and did I mention I have five children?"

I wish I could say this was something I just made up as and exaggeration, or an isolated incident, but this is pretty much every Saturday for me. So when I set out for a 21 Day Fast Unto my family, it was more than just extra time praying for my family. 

I am daily at war fighting against the distractions of life, navigating the clutter and the real life of a Mom in full-time ministry. In the midst of it all, trying to focus my energies on what really matters. 

What really matters?

If you have ever done a specific fast like this for your family, children, or loved ones, you may have experienced an awakening of "what matters most". When we really look at what our family vision & mission statement is, and then we consider how we are spending our time and daily "walking it out", it can be sobering at the very least. 

I have been in circumstances near death where my life was "re-booted" and I was given a second chance, a few times actually. It's in those circumstances we take a cold, hard look at life and make the decision to live on purpose.

I am reminded of this old song by Cheri Keaggy. 

 The chorus goes like this:

What matters most
Is how much we love
What matters most
Is how much we give

What would it matter if we just lived
Without loving our God, without loving each other
Faith, hope and love, especially love
That's what matters most
What matters most

After listening to that, it really puts things into perspective and I am faced with the reality that I have bowed down to the distractions of life, and that I continue to fall victim to them day after day. 

How do I get focused again?

This may or may not work for you, but what I do is go on a fast every quarter or so. This 21 day fast I am concluding was different because of my unique focus and goals. However, I generally will take 3-7 days, or more, and specifically look over my schedule, my family life, my commitments, my ministries, and dialog my "life" with the Lord. 

I will spend longer time in prayer, time in solitude, and try to get away or my family will get away so I have the house to myself. I will increase my private prayer and worship time. And can I tell you how faithful God is? He always shows up. Always. 

If you desire shifting and re-focusing in your life right now, I want to encourage you to set apart time unto God and put it all out there before Him. Weigh and measure all that you do before Him and ask Him for wisdom from on high so that you will get all out of life He created you to have. So that you will find joy and peace in your comings and goings, and He will be the center of it all. 

If this is something bearing witness in your heart right now as you read this, you may want to read my post on The Power of a Focused Life.

And as always, I'd love to hear from you on this topic. 
- Gina

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Love Prefers One Another

During this 21 Day fast unto my family, I have had to put some of my personal goals aside in order to preserve the integrity of the fast. As we are "unpacking" the "Love" in our mission statement, Love, Laugh, and Live Radical,  I have been experiencing joy in preferring my husband's goals over my own. 

One of the fasting conditions for me was that if the choice of my fast or participating in quality family time was up against each other, I take the 'quality family time'. This also has meant preferring my husband's leading when it comes to many things. 

As I have been leaning into "love", and trying to really exemplify God's love in our home, I have found myself allowing God to use me to prefer my husband and children over me, even over my fast. 

I'll tell you what, parenting is H-A-R-D work, but with God's love in operation in our home, I am finding so much more grace!

I would love to hear your thoughts on preferring one another in your home. Is that something you talk about with your children? Do your children understand this biblical principal? Have you caught them in the act of loving each other and preferring one another?

- gina

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Love Fills the Empty Places

A few months ago during a live set in our prayer room, Nina Landis, one of the worship leaders, began singing this chorus about God filling all the empty places. I can't really express the moment and what the Lord was doing in my heart. Music speaks to us all differently, and to me all the cracks and crevices that only He can fill, can be deposited into in a few different ways. One of those ways is through fellowshipping, or communing with the Spirit.

Since I have been on the topic of family this month, I have been exploring this idea in the relationships with my children. My children also have empty places inside that need to be filled. 

Love doesn't wait for someone or something to come and fill the empty places. Love looks for empty places to fill. When I consider each one of my children individually, they each have different "places" in need of being filled. 

For example, I have one child in particular who needs to be held daily, as her love language is physical touch. When I can see she is very "empty", my husband and I will both sit with her and hold her, look her in the eyes, and give her that individual attention she is needing. 

That's what the Lord does for us. He looks at us and His love knows just how to find us and fill all the empty places inside. He is so good to us. I so love Him and want to be like Him. 

I hope this post encourages you to stop and look for places that need filling in each of your family relationships. I truly believe that we were made in God's image, looking to love and be loved. Filling empty places with love is simply finding ways to say, "you are loved".