Monday, June 30, 2014

Day SIX: Your Eno~Your Altar

Do you see how hard it is for me to do anything for 21 days in a row? Whatever the definition of routine is…I’m the opposite. 

It’s ridiculous. At this rate we will be doing this 21 day challenge until the year 2017. For the LOVE of all things competitive in my bones we are doing this…finishing it even.

Listen let me plug in my excuses here for a second. Life happens. Things get in the way of cozy warm blankets, fresh coffee and Bible reading. Sometimes, when you allow yourself to feel things deeply, as I do, your “quiet time” with God is more like taking long walks hashing out verbally to Him why you are grieved.

Lamenting.

And then He whispers…press on. And you do. Because that’s the choice I made. Christ follower first, logic last. And I’m not turning back. Join me?

Day SIX
Genesis Chapter 12

This is the story of Abraham being called by God to leave his country and his family and move to a new land that was unfamiliar to him. Abraham was a descendant of Noah’s son, Shem. This is matters because he would have heard his father and grandfather speak about the miracles of God. Personal stories that happened directly to them.

He knew he could trust God.

Yes, it was a HUGE act of faith on Abraham's part. Moving is VERY d-i-f-f-i-c-u-l-t.  Leaving everything familiar and everyone whom you love makes your heart pound for months. But I’m only suggesting it was a pretty sweet deal to hear the voice of God directly, AND know how well it worked out in the past for family members who had also obeyed the voice of God when it didn’t make since.

Verse 1-3:
Now The Lord said to Abram:

“Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land I will show you. I will make you a great Nation; I will bless you and make your name great: and you will be a blessing, I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you: and in you all the families on the earth will be blessed. “

The next verse says “So Abram departed as The Lord had spoken to him…”

WELL I GUESS SO! Did you read what God said to him? God basically said if you go I will make you famous and wealthy and happy, and whoever isn’t nice to you…I will crush.  I don’t know about you but I’d pack my bags and say peace out!

So off he went with his wife and nephew and what I truly love about Abram here is that during the journey when he heard Gods voice, he stopped and built an altar to The Lord.

Verse 7:
Then The Lord appeared to Abram and said “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to The Lord, who had appeared to him.

That’s something else isn’t it? He was in the middle of his travels, loaded down with bags and he paused to build a place to worship the living God. 

In my car on a road trip you are lucky if we stop to let you use the bathroom… building an altar…not a chance.

But God appeared to Abram and spoke. That’s nothing to take lightly. I’d give anything for that.

The journey continues and things take a turn, as life does. There was a famine and Abram found himself needing to enter Egypt. Read with me here the bad decision making skills of Abram.

    Verse 10 and on…
Abram kept moving, steadily making his way south.
 Then a famine came to the land. Abram went down to Egypt to live; it was a hard famine. As he drew near to Egypt, he said to his wife, Sarai, “Look. We both know that you’re a beautiful woman. When the Egyptians see you they’re going to say, ‘Aha! That’s his wife!’ and kill me. But they’ll let you live. Do me a favor: tell them you’re my sister. Because of you, they’ll welcome me and let me live.”
When Abram arrived in Egypt, the Egyptians took one look and saw that his wife was stunningly beautiful. Pharaoh’s princes raved over her to Pharaoh. She was taken to live with Pharaoh.
Because of her, Abram got along very well: he accumulated sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, men and women servants, and camels. But God hit Pharaoh hard because of Abram’s wife Sarai; everybody in the palace got seriously sick.
Pharaoh called for Abram, “What’s this that you’ve done to me? Why didn’t you tell me that she’s your wife? Why did you say, ‘She’s my sister’ so that I’d take her as my wife? Here’s your wife back—take her and get out!”
Pharaoh ordered his men to get Abram out of the country. They sent him and his wife and everything he owned on their way.

YOU GUYS IS THIS MAN KIDDING ME? Did you read what he did to his wife? God had been SO faithful to Abram. Provided for his every need, gave him fantastic instructions, appeared to him and spoke blessings over his life and his future descendants…THIS IS THE PLAN WHEN TROUBLE COMES? Really?
If this is true, and it is, what can we learn from Abram?
I’d like to suggest that even when we are extremely close to The Lord, talking to him regularly…when trouble arrives, and it always does sister, the FIRST thing we should do is build an altar and seek out what God wants us to do. Meaning…find a place, the closet, a corner, the car, the woods, a hammock, a bench, your Eno. Just go. Sit still. Ask Him for a plan.        
Don’t throw the people you love under the bus in an effort to save yourself. God didn’t look favorably on that decision Abram made and everyone paid a severe price.

If you read on…you will see that God kept His promises to Abram even when Abram blew it. And sister…the same thing remains true to this day. All the “greats” in the Bible screwed up. Well most of them and the story is the same. God forgives. God renews. God allows us to move forward. GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISES.

But man we can save ourselves some serious heartache if we will pause first before we come up with absurd plans. Hey Abram…she was your WIFE, not your sister. Rolling my eyes.

~Allison

Day SEVEN
Hebrews 11

Click HERE

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Our Drummer Boy

He sings off key, he would never admit it but he does, and the girls and I glance at each other and giggle when he gets to the chorus. He is a confident man, I wish I had a dose of it to share with you all, it’s a gift really…to think you are good at well, everything and yet still remain a humble human being.

He works hard, day in and day out and on Sunday that alarm still goes off well before the sun has peeked over the mountain. He leads us well…by serving. We want to be near him, the strong man who sings slightly out of tune.  

He’s the traditional type but he knows his wife connects with the Holy Spirit best when loud electric guitars and a solid set of drums are pounding out the Gospel. So he gives up his staccato How Great Thou Art for the free spirit who needs to take off her shoes to feel the Holy Ground while she sways to the beat of band.  

Mostly, he likes it. To him God isn’t so much a *feeling* but a fact, a Truth that Is. The music doesn’t so much take him anywhere...funny how two worshipers of the same God can tick so differently. He patiently waits for the sermon and to me, by the time the preaching has begun my heart is already full.   

It was a Sunday like all the others, the lights dimmed and the worship leader, began by reading his Bible from an iphone, the other hand making the beginnings of a song and I stood to my feet and closed my eyes…

He leaned over and whispered “Allison he’s here.” I opened my eyes and replied “Who Chad? Who’s here? Jesus? I know.” He laughed and said “The drummer... My drummer. Watch him during the song. I promise you won’t regret it.” I agreed by nodding my head and keeping my eyes open, which is a huge risk for me because I am distracted so easily.

I watched as this young brown shaggy haired boy effortlessly ruled those drums. His arms did their own thing while his body was fully engaged in something that can only be described as his private worship to his living,listening God… His head would throw back at just the right time and he was leading my tired man into the presence of Jesus Christ by his unique and authentic instrumental praise. 

He compelled our feet to start tapping and before I knew what was going on my husband was singing, loudly…in public.

The girls leaned over to see their quiet father lose himself with this "leader behind the drums."  I didn’t want the song to end, but it did and we were called to a time of prayer. I remember thanking God for creating us all so differently and then laughing at the wonder of a man in a business suit feeling so connected to this drummer boy in a plaid shirt with jeans. 

Only You Jesus. Only You.

I grew quite fond of this drummer who transformed my man on Sunday mornings. He wasn’t there every week which was probably a blessing in disguise for the innocent bystanders witnessing our jam. 

I would get a nudge; an elbow to the ribs, when he was there…it was my cue to worship with my eyes open. To fully engage.  What a treat. What a gift. What an experience I think will be close to what worshiping in Heaven must be like.

I never thanked him. I wanted too; it crossed my mind more than a dozen times. And now, it’s too late. Our drummer boy, who we found out was named Wade, tragically went home to be with Jesus this week.  I sobbed. Selfishly weeping. Grief grips us all the same, fingers around the throat. Jesus I asked you for a miracle...I believed You would give us one. Your will not ours was done, and now the suffering for those left behind. 

Selah   

Dear Wade,
You lead me right up to The Throne of Jesus Christ, to the Holy place I couldn’t find on my own. You found a way to free my husband’s hands from his pockets and clap to the rhythm you provided him with your sticks on the cymbal. You allowed us to come with you on your journey of worship from the first note to the last. Thank you for not hiding your talent. Thank you for sharing your gifts. How robbed we all feel that you went home before we thought it was time…how sorry I am for not expressing my gratitude when I had the chance. When I get to heaven, will you lead us again? Will you play for your Father and can I watch? In the waiting, when I hear the drums…I will whisper a prayer of thanksgiving and another pleading comfort for your bride.  

Christ Alone, Cornerstone…


~Allison   

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Day Five: The End Of Your Rope


 I'm so proud of you. (I'm saying that like it's in all caps.) I mean I can’t even tell you how happy I am that you are taking time out in your day to reconnect with the pages of Scripture. If God is whispering to you grab it...wrestle with it...figure it out, but don't let it go. Hang in there with Him. Keep reading, praying, writing it down...

It is not a waste of your time..."My word, which comes from my mouth, is like the rain and snow. It will not come back to me without results. It will accomplish whatever I want and achieve whatever I send it to do.”  Isaiah 55:11 See there? Told you. 

Matthew chapter 5 begins some INCREDIBLE teachings from Jesus Christ. I mean listen, lots of people give good sermons. I've heard thousands, but who are we following? If you hear yourself quoting your pastor more than you quote Jesus...time to remind yourself where Salvation comes from. (It isn't your preacher)  
                                      
This is a chunk of Scripture that is the very breath of God...and I adore how it starts off.
"Seeing the crowds, He went up on a hillside and sat down..."

Jesus was drawing CROWDS sister. Think Justin Bieber times a million. Nah. Think Justin Timberlake. (Much better visual) He was bringing something different to a group of people desperate for change. He was healing people who were on deaths door. Word gets around pretty fast when blind men see and handicapped from birth jump out of wheelchairs and run. Dead people got up at the command of His voice and demon possessed people...total freaks...were made normal. 

So He saw the crowds and went on a hill... (Because He is brilliant.) There is a debate among the people who make it their business to study the Bible for a living over whether Jesus was talking to only His disciples or the entire crowd. I have two opinions on this. Grin.

1. He started the teachings speaking only to the disciples and then as the crowds got closer the mountain allowed His voice to be projected well. I think He climbed up there because you know; He didn't have a sound system and lights. Of COURSE He wanted everyone who came to hear...He was all about the sharing the Good News, not keeping it secret. Also, in chapter seven, at the end of the sermon, it says in verse 28 "And when Jesus finished the sayings, the crowds were astonished at His teachings..."   
How could the crowds be astonished if they didn't hear the teachings?

2. Who cares? The disciples heard it for sure and it is now in the pages of our Bible so we heard it. The bigger debate should be about what are you going to do with the information? Moving on...

What was He teaching about? Glad you asked... He taught us about who exactly is blessed, why you are here on the earth, how He stands on the issues of Gods law, murder, adultery, empty promises, loving your enemies, being humble, praying with simplicity, worshiping only God and a simple guide for how we should be behaving.

It's rich with information, it’s anything but boring and I would highly encourage you to know what He said if this is the God you claim to "follow".

Are you still here? I sure hope so. Its long I know...I'll end today with the first part of His message. He starts off telling us WHO is blessed. It’s not who you think...I will give you my personal favorites here...

Verse 3. You are blessed when you are at the end of your rope. With less of you, there is more of God.

Verse 5. You are blessed when you are content with exactly who you are no more and no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that cannot be bought.

Can we pause here for a minute... soak up what He just told you ^ ^ ^ 
  
Verse 7. You are blessed when you care. At the moment of being "care-full" is the moment you are cared for. 

Verse 9. You are blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are.

Verse 10-12 talks about being blessed when people reject you or make fun of you for loving God and following His ways...He warns us that this WILL happen and that Heaven is clapping for you when the rest of the world is laughing. 

Heavy load right? Not all rainbows and butterflies for sure...but we are blessed.

Blessed- When God extends His benefits. In a position to receive His favor.

I want that more than I want my next breath. His favor, His benefits. Don't you? I know you do. 

Write those "who are blessed" parts down on paper today. Put it in your car or on the kitchen table. Ask yourself this..."If this is true? How can I change my current behavior to make sure I get Gods blessings?" 

He wants so badly to give you all His favor and benefits...go get them baby girl.  

~Allison

Day SIX
Genesis 12
Click HERE.

    


  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Day Four-Don't Forget To Ask

Day Four

Psalm 51

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God

You are either good at apologizing…or you’re not. #sorrynotsorry isn’t a good apology.  

Half way apologizing is an insult to the person you are delivering it too…”Hey sorry I broke your phone but whatever it’s old and you should have had a better case on it but hey sorry.” Um, no.

A personal pet peeve of mine is when someone apologizes and before you get a chance to respond they are already backing out of the admission and blaming other people…who usually aren’t even there to defend themselves. “I’m sorry I told her you said that, I totally shouldn’t have let that slip out but really it wasn’t all me._____ actually said it too so I don’t know how she knew but she did and now that I think about it she was mostly the one who told your secret.”   

Not an apology.

It’s not fun to apologize, nobody enjoys it. But it frees you from *it* and we need that to function. Sleepless nights wondering when the thing that you have done will be found out…not fun. Admitting it and apologizing…not fun. Suffering the consequences from your actions…not fun. 

Being able to look at yourself in the mirror, breathe deeply, sleep soundly, and walk down the hall proudly without guilt or shame…worth it.

When you have something to hide…something to confess…your body literally has physical reactions. Upset stomach, a heart that races and nervous ticks like bouncing your leg or biting your fingernails. It’s not pretty and you know what? It’s not necessary. 

You weren’t created to live in turmoil. God hates it for you sister…It’s not freedom. Not at all.

So Psalm 51 is a heart wrenching plea to God from a man named David. When you read his words if you don’t stop after the passage and think “What in the world did he do that was so bad?” then you need to re-read it. 

This guy is p-o-u-r-i-n-g his heart and soul out to God. Terrified really that God will “remove the Holy Spirit from him” Jeez. 

What part sticks out to you as most sincere? I highlighted the lines that made me put my hand over my mouth and raise my eyebrows…

     Have mercy on me, O God,
    because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
    blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt.
    Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my rebellion;

    it haunts me day and night.

Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
    I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
    and your judgment against me is just.[a]
For I was born a sinner—
    yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
But you desire honesty from the womb,[b]
    teaching me wisdom even there.
Purify me from my sins,[c] and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again;
    you have broken me—
    now let me rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins.
    Remove the stain of my guilt.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    Renew a loyal spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence,
    and don’t take your Holy Spirit[d] from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and make me willing to obey you.
13 Then I will teach your ways to rebels,
    and they will return to you.
14 Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves;
    then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness.
15 Unseal my lips, O Lord,
    that my mouth may praise you.
16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.
    You do not want a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.

    You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
18 Look with favor on Zion and help her;
    rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit—
    with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings.
    Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.



David, the author of this chilling confession, is the same David who killed Goliath as a young boy. The same David who is by and large known as the greatest King of Israel and was given the very prestigious title “A Man After God’s Own Heart.”

He was tight with God…listen to what God says about David in Acts 13:22…

God removed Saul from office and put King David in his place, with this commendation: ‘I’ve searched the land and found this David, son of Jesse. He’s a man whose heart beats to my heart, a man who will do what I tell him.’

God made him King and said I’ve searched and found this man whom I trust will do what I say and whose heart thinks like mine…THIS guy wrote Psalm51?

Yep. He sure did. After a quick study of his life you will find that he was a HUGE SINNER. He did the big ones like adultery and murder and he makes an episode of Jerry Springer look goooood. His family life was a mess; his kids were disobedient and rebellious to say the least. His son raped his daughter and he did nothing about it. This stuff is nasty y'all. NASTY.

But David loved God. No doubt about it. He did. He wanted to please God and yet he made bad choice after bad choice with a few victories that got a lot of fame and then more bad choices.

All that and God still forgave him? Yes. What kind of God is this? What does He require? According to David’s example…He wants an honest apology. A confession. A real one…

What can we learn from David? More than you want to know…truly. But there is a reason God allowed it to be on the pages of what He calls Holy. We need to become better at a genuine apology, confession of sins.

“Now I lay me down to sleep I pray the Lord my soul to keep…” weak. “God is great God is good let us thank Him for our food…” all very sweet and true, but not an apology.

In a relationship, confession and apology is a daily event. (That is if you care about that person at all and desire something deeper than surface level.)

So when is the last time you laid it all out on the table for God and said…”Take it. All of it. I can’t carry it around in my mind for one more second. I’m sorry, I really am and I love you…please don’t turn away from me.”  

The best news is we know how the story ends…God’s love and compassion and GRACE does flow out and cover us. Every. Single. Time. But we need to ask…Don’t forget to ask.

Seventeen is my favorite verse from this and you can take it to the bank girls…
“The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
    You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.

He will NOT REJECT. No ma'am…He will not.

~Allison

Day Five is Matthew 5

Read it HERE.     

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Day Three- What's The Big Deal?

Day THREE
Genesis 3
The Man and Woman Sin

I think it's time to give our sister Eve a new reputation. It's important to keep in mind that the true villain in the story of the first sin..."the fall of man" is Satan... not Eve. She was sought out and attacked.

He went after her in a manipulative way questioning the words of her God. "Did God really say not to eat from that tree? Are you sure you heard Him right?" HOWEVER...In my opinion not only did trick her, but she somewhat knew what she was doing or she wouldn't have gone round and round with Satan...she tested the good nature of her Father and hoped for the best. Sound familiar? (Raising my hand)

What a punk.

Let's hope that Satan himself doesn't hand you a literal apple but come on...you and I both know plenty of people who do his dirty work far better than he ever could.

We know in our hearts when we have caved into the temptation of our personal struggle and it usually involves someone gently shoving us in that direction. "Friends" who take us down the road that leads to hangovers and heartaches.

Interesting that Eve had a full out conversation with Satan before she eventually took the fruit and disobeyed while Adam never even put up a fight. As far as I can see she offered it to him and he took it and ate it...no questions asked. Personalities are *something* aren't they?

But really... she shouldn't have offered it to him. I wasn't there but I'm assuming like any reasonable woman Eve just wanted a partner in crime. No one likes to go down alone.

Both equally sinners. Both let God down. Both ended up with some pretty harsh punishments that affect you and me still to this day. Make no mistake, our God won't be mocked and He will absolutely punish his children...trust me.

I imagine His heart broke that day in the garden. The Bible says He was walking with them...among them. They talked to God, I mean audibly heard His voice. You never know how good you have something until it's gone would be a great cliche for that chain of horrible events.

Even if Eve hadn't been deceived, the next generation would have. It was going to happen...

So set in motion a separation of God and His creation. He knew this would result in the need to send a Savior...what a heavy load. I wonder if because he is all knowing that's why he came down so hard on them. They were thinking what's the big deal it's an apple...and He was thinking my Son will suffer on a Cross for this.

Consequences they could have never seen coming God knew in advance. When he gives us rules, they are placed there for protection, of ourselves and others around us.

So how does his apply for you and me in 2014? I'd like to suggest that the actions we take that are directly against what we KNOW are not Gods desires will not only devastate our own lives, but potentially have a trickle down affect for friends and family for YEARS to come.

Who do you have in your life trying to convince you God's fine with ____. How long will you stick around arguing that with them until you finally give in like our sister Eve? Maybe it's time to walk away from some one or some thing that's whispering bold lies. "But God didn't really say not to do ____ right?" Um, yes baby girl, He sure did and you know it.

Even in the great sadness of God He showed love and mercy to Adam and Eve in the end. And we can count on His grace to extend into us as well. He made clothes for them after all that drama...that's not too shabby.

And as women, let's offer new reputations for people who need them, and want them. Eve sinned. She ate the fruit. She didn't go back and shove 15 more pieces in her cheeks and ruin the entire Bible. She was already punished. Can't we move on? Do you know anyone else who has been publicly caught in a big sin? Is it time to offer them a new "name"? Yes? Maybe? Something to ponder anyway.

Hey look at US! We made it to Friday! Three days in a row of Bible Study! Whoop!
Enjoy your weekend and meet me back here Monday. I love you so much. Be the light in a world who desperately needs it...

~Allison

Day FOUR Psalm 51
Click HERE

Day Two-What A Cool Girl

Day Two

Luke Chapter Two

The Birth of Jesus. 

The thing that makes me sad about reading this is that it truly is remarkable…and we have all heard it so many times that we read it in our minds with the enthusiasm of an 85 year old monotone librarian.
 
"It came time for Mary to give birth to her firstborn son and there was no room for them in the inn" blah blah blah can you please get to the part about the shepherds and the angel so I can open my Christmas presents and see if I got that car I have been begging for?

You know it’s true. Pitiful but true.

We have wrapped the birth of Jesus up into the month of December and left Him there. It’s almost a little annoying to read Luke without jeans and a sweater on holding hot chocolate while my pretty little matching stockings are hanging on the fireplace.

But let’s stop for a minute and ask ourselves a few things. 

If what we just read is true, and we have all agreed that we are going to live by FAITH and believe the Bible is true, then what does that mean for me?

How should this affect my life?

What was God saying to the world?

Relating to Mary was never hard for me, even as a young teenage girl, I could relate. I remember feeling a pit in my stomach when I heard that she was 12 or 13 years old when she became pregnant. CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE? This had never happened before, conception without sex. What were the chances anyone was going to believe her story? S-L-I-M.

God saw it necessary out of compassion on us, His creation, to send us help. 

Did you know way back then…when you committed a sin you had to sacrifice an animal to be forgiven? GROSS. I would have been thrown into Hell within the first 35 seconds of my rebellious life. Because guess what…I’m not about to get covered in blood. It makes me throw up in my mouth just thinking about it.

Please don’t ask me why God needs the blood. I don’t know. It’s one of those things I don’t understand but that’s OK. It is what it is and God can’t be near sin and sin is erased by the blood of unblemished innocent lambs. Period and the end.  (Just pause here and be glad you weren’t a lamb.)

So God sends His Son to finish this mess once and for all. The final sacrifice. The Holy One giving us His perfect blood so we can be near His Father…God. Praise You Jesus... We. Do. Not. Deserve. You.

The Birth. God could have chosen any method in the world to put Jesus on the Earth. From the dust He formed Adam, from a rib He made Eve; from His spoken voice He created every living creature on the land and sea. And He chose a girl to bring us the Savior. A young, common, not famous…girl.

That’s a big deal sister. It’s a very high compliment. He trusted her. He knew she would *get the thing done correctly* and she sure did. She took this incredibly awkward gift from God and chose to call it a blessing and an honor and a JOY and she walked around her town PREGNANT AT 13 AND UNMARRIED. That’s a reality TV show for ya. Straight up perfect obedience too. 

Jesus was born. God was in Heaven…now God is on Earth walking with us.  

That’s incredible. I wish I was besties with Mary. I am one of those girls who can’t be near a baby and not snatch them from their mama. I am happiest when I am holding a newborn and swaying back and forth humming a tune. I would have held Jesus; I would have defended Mary from the gossips. What a cool girl she must have been…

What does this mean for you and for me? God makes a way. He rescues His people even when it means things are going to get nasty and bloody and feelings are going to get hurt. He comes. He saves.

What was God saying to the world? I’m here. I’m right here. In the flesh …reach out and touch me.

Let this 2000+ old event rock- your- world. 

~Allison

Day Three
Genesis 3
Online Bible readers click HERE


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

DAY ONE...THE GAME CHANGER



Day One
Genesis Chapter One

I already admitted to you that I fall asleep when I read the Bible. That used to embarrass me. I would hear kids in Sunday School brag about how they read two or three chapters every single night…really? OK. 

But then I was handed something that changed my life…a pen. Radical I know. But the caring adult whispered into my young ear…”If you write down thoughts about what you read, you will become interested.”

GAME. CHANGER.

I began to read the Bible and take notes about what I thought God was telling me…I became obsessed. I write on note cards, spiral books, mirrors, hands…whatever. If Jesus said it and it impressed me…its getting ink. The only reason I haven’t gotten a tattoo is because I would literally look like a walking Scripture freak. 

I read it and it stirs…I write it and it takes flight. Give it a try.

I didn’t choose the reading selections for this 21 day challenge.  I am following a sheet of paper handed to me by someone I greatly respect. I saw the first day and I questioned the choice (of course I did…that’s what I do) I thought “Why the first chapter of the Bible? Everyone knows that.)

I asked God to give me fresh eyes and read it as if I had never heard this before and then I grabbed my pen and paper…as I was frantically writing down all the events that happened in the creation of the world…it hit me. 

THIS IS NUTS. THE ENTIRE THING IS NUTS.

So on the first day of my challenge what I have discovered is this…I think most of us lack the faith it takes to truly believe God. AND if we don’t trust that what He says is truth about the creation of the world, will we EVER believe what He says about us? That we are loved unconditionally, forgiven of all sin, washed clean, guiltless before the throne, made by his hands for a specific purpose and always for his glory?

Most of the stories in the Bible require me to let go of logic. I believe He requires it. He can only be your GOD if you don’t have one yet. If you are your god, insisting that your mind must comprehend *it all* on every level before you will believe…this Book will frustrate you to death.

Day ONE...PAGE ONE of the Bible and God is asking you to believe He spoke and basically every single thing you see appeared.

Verse 3 And God said “Let there be light.” And there was light.//so before He said that it was dark? Yes.

In verse 6 He literally speaks Heaven into existence. Verse 9 He gathered the water together under Heaven and commanded the dry land to appear. It says “God called the dry land Earth.” 

Are you going here with me girls? 

So there was NOTHING except the spirit of God and He spoke and EVERYTHING came into being. Will you believe that?

Do I believe all this…I sure do sister. I sure do. At some point, you must decide to stop arguing EVERY SINGLE THING and just say “OK. If God said it…it’s true. Period.” 

And if by his voice alone He created the land, waters, birds, animals, all vegetation and seeds and by His breath gave you and me life…I can’t think of one single thing He cannot do.

What if we went into each day believing 100% Jesus was FOR us and what if we BOLDLY asked Him to show us He is still alive and active in this place we live called Earth that HE NAMED!

 What if we let it absolutely shock us when we didn’t see or hear from The Lord? And then if we don’t hear from Him ask louder, longer bolder….expectant He will come.

If we can’t believe He made the fish and the trees…just wait till you see what stories are coming! Jonah gets swallowed by a whale and lives to tell about it. Three men are thrown in a lion’s cage and are not eaten. Others are thrown into a fire pit of mass proportion and come out not only unharmed but not even smelling like smoke.  (Lets all stop here and pretend we don’t know anything about getting the smell of smoke off your clothes) 

And there will be blind people, bleeding people, demon possessed people all healed by a mere glance or touch of Jesus Christ….are you really in?

My favorite verse in day one: Genesis 1:27

“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

I have chills…we are the image bearer of God himself. He created you sister…if nothing else He created fascinates you let it be THAT. Let’s don’t question our awesomeness any longer…what a slap in the face of our creator.

I’m in. Be in with me. Re-read the stories you heard when you were three years old with new eyes…and a pen.

I believe every single word in the pages of our Bible is true…do you?  The world will think we are crazy but I’m OK with that…are you?  

I’m not gonna lie, the lyrics from Eminem The Monster just came into my head… Get along with the voices inside of my head… You think I’m crazy? Well, that’s nothing.

Sorry about that…

I love you madly.


~Allison 

What do you think? I'm right here...
justallisonlee@gmail.com

Day TWO of the competition is next...read Luke Chapter 2
Online Bible readers click HERE. 

Side note...please forgive and over look all the grammatical errors in my writing. I know they are there. I'm living on a wing and a prayer over here in the Lee house with ZERO spare time to fix all that. Thank you a thousand times over...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Competition...I Mean Challange #21Days

Lately, I'm watching my words closely. (My published ones at least) I wish everyone else would do the same thing but I am not the boss of them. (I totally wish I was) I see a bunch of people talking about a bunch of things and instead of hearing their rambling n-e-v-e-r- ending words...I find myself wishing someone would invent a pedometer for the human tongue. You know it’s a good idea...some people don't know when to stop talking. I do. I know when to stop, to pause for a minute, a day, a week, months... or how ever long needed to regain my thoughts and speak when it's time.

It's time. 

I was asked to take a 21 day challenge. I'm SUPER COMPETITIVE so that word challenge drew me in. However, the number 21...that's going to be a problem. I don't really do anything for 21 days in a row consistently that isn't self serving. I'm just being honest. I mean I brush my teeth every day, shower, put on mascara, eat, blah blah blah but everything else comes in spurts rather than consistency. It's a personality thing (flaw) whatever.

So this will not be 21 days in a row. I guess that sort of means I already lost the competition, except the actual word was challenge so maybe I'm walking on the fence with this one. (Story of my life. see the rules...bend them to fit my quirks...pray for God to fill in the gaps)

I just realized I never told you what the challenge was about. I'm sure you were hoping it had something to do with weight loss or whiter teeth, that seems to be all anyone cares about. I'm sorry to say I haven't found a magic pill for any of that stuff and if I ever do I will let you know for sure. 

This was a "quiet time" challenge. For those of you who don't speak the language of guilt, it means carving out a portion of your day to read the Bible and talk to God about your life. I am quite sure this is done best first thing in the morning, I'm sure of this because that's what I've been told by important church people. 

The thing is, in my life, early in the morning isn't going to be a productive time for reading or talking...to anyone. I mumble a lot and stumble around communicating by glaring at objects. When I sit really still, I fall asleep...when I read the Bible, I fall asleep. (Honesty is the best way friends.)  So I'm going to let you peak into the window of how a woman (who doesn't have it all together) finds time to have an active relationship with Jesus. 

One way...I speak to Jesus through song. In the car mainly but also in the house. I like loud music, I can sing to Him and when the song is over if you think about it...you just told Him how much you love Him out loud and with passion. Not so quiet time-ish but it works. My new favorite is Jaime Grace, I Get To Love You... look it up. Also, Write Your Story by Francesca Battistelli and This is Amazing Grace by Phil Wickham. I also like Turn Down For What by DJ Snake and Sing by Ed Sheeran although I don't recommend them for your praise and Worship moments. (Laughing) Honesty is a theme here. Oh oh oh one more...Rewind by Rascal Flatts That's a gooooood one. And anything Luke Bryan...OK moving on.

I keep my Bible in my car or in the kitchen. I also leave it open...for me, out of sight is out of mind. I am always in the car and I am pretty much always stalking the kitchen. I read a line here and a line there. Psalms is good for this random reading approach. I figure if I live my entire life only reciting praises back to God...not a waste.       

If you have met me, you know I'm madly in love with Jesus. It's not a thing for me to randomly scream "PRAISE GOD" in a large crowd (or small). There is not a "me" when I'm with my Christian friends and a different "me" when I'm not. Just the other day a dear friend of mine said "Until I met you I didn't think it was possible to love Jesus so openly and cuss out the referee during a soccer game." I took that as a huge compliment. 

Christians, by definition are followers of Jesus Christ. Believers in the greatest event in history...The slaying of Gods Son on a cross, followed by defeating death and rising 3 days later...all to give US life and forgiveness. RIDICULOUS RIGHT? Lavish and horrible and breathtaking all at the same time. 

None of us ARE Jesus Christ. Therefore, calm down. Take a deep breath and lower your behavior bar. We can very much be on a journey with our Creator...in spurts even. The greatest truth you can ever hear is that your Salvation isn't contingent upon behavior. Yikes. You mean even assholes can be Christians....yes friend. Welcome.

I long for a time where we can discuss tough issues without hurling Scriptures at each other like it was life snatching rather than life giving. I've found that the more I know of Jesus...the more at peace I feel, my own skin doesn't crawl anymore. I feel a stirring in my soul to let you in on the freedom. 

Back to the competition...I mean challenge. 21 days of scripture reading. Then writing down a few things...

I tend to write speaking to the age of teenage girls and young women...keep that in mind if you jump on the challenge with me. Mainly because I find them fascinating and authentic.  I'm a huge fan of free thinkers. I believe if you lead them gently to Jesus they will stay, and if you attach Him with a long list of "Do not do's" they will go...When a young girl places herself under the authority of Jesus the rest falls in to place. She cannot be forced. We don't like that.

I leave all judging to God, (I mean I totally judge people but I will only tell my best friend. kidding. ish.) I tried it once and I wasn't good at it...mainly because I have a slight temper and I'm way too quick to be all "Off with your head." So you will find that I speak a lot about Grace...I tend to drown myself in it. I hope you will too. 

I write from personal experiences and whispers from The Holy Spirit. If what I say highly offends you, understand that this is a blog; feel free to not read it. 

If you can figure out how to leave a comment (good luck, I can't find the button) I'd love to hear from you. We don't need to agree on everything HOWEVER any comments that are unkind will be deleted...because truly...I got one less problem without you.
Iggy Iggs.

~Allison  

Day One...read Genesis Chapter 1 and meet me back tomorrow (or the next day) and let’s see what we think about it. Want to talk...justallisonlee@gmail.com 


Online Bible readers click HERE.