Monday, December 21, 2009

Divine Detective

So lately, I admit it, I have lost my mind! No really, it's true...along with my credit card, my cell phone, and other assorted items. In one week my entire world began to crumble as one thing after another began to disappear. I don't believe in ghosts, so I guess I can't attribute it to the paranormal! It all began with my cell phone. Gone. Then I got the flu, so for days I didn't care who sent me a text! After I was well I began to search for it again... I had my husband searching, my daughter, my friend, my assistant, and even in a moment of desperation I asked our dog Bella. No one could find it. Ok, so I teach on prayer ALL the time, so it was time to ask for Divine intervention...God, where IS my cell phone? I kept getting the word "car" in my head. I checked the car even though I had checked it a couple of times phone. A few days later... "God, where IS my CELL PHONE?", again the word "car"...again NO phone! A few days later... Ok, you get the idea.
The weekend came around and my friend Debbie walked in the door asking if I had found my phone. She said she knew where it was. She went out to my car which I emphatically let her know was thoroughly searched MANY times... I let her go, eat your heart out girl and search my car if you want to! A few SECONDS later she marches back in and says, "Here!" and yes, she hands me the phone!
Of course I wanted to know where she found it and how she knew! Under the seat, where I already looked, and God showed her!
So glad God cares about every detail of my life...even my cell phone! Have you lost anything? I bet Debbie would be willing to rent out her Divine Detective Services!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Make a fashion statement...come dressed as the plates!

Ok, so I'm going to start telling my ridiculous stories, which you all seem to want to hear...
Yesterday, was sick all week...felt a little better, took everything I had to get it all together...shower, hair, make-up and a very cute outfit. My daughter Sarah took me shopping a few weeks back and brought in this really cute black and white sweater jacket...large fun buttons in the front and a cute damask print. I never would have brought this in for myself, but I have to admit...I could pull it off! It was my close friend's daughter's bridal shower and I couldn't miss it. I was ready, suck it up, you aren't feeling that bad...
It was pouring, did I mention that... but... I went, and felt good about my appearance...
Then I walked into the front door, they had tables set up with beautiful centerpieces on mirrored glass with votives lit and beautiful black and white plates. We all commented on the place settings and people commented on my jactet, then the plates, then the jacket...then...
Oh, my gosh, your jacket matches the plates! Oh yes, my damask design on my jacket in black and white was the same damask design on the plates! No, exactly! Now, I am not sure what deep meaning is behind all of this, but, I matched the dishes! And, no, it wasn't planned!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Blogging, I don't get it...

Ok, so I have a blog, because everyone has one. I have a blog, because the pastor's on staff with me all have one. I don't really think anyone cares what I have to say. My latest antics are usually an embarassment to my family so why would I publish those. I am not a great thinker, so my verbage will most likely not engage you, so why blog?

What do you all want to read about? What makes you turn to a blog and follow it? Are you sure I would have anything worth sharing? Any insight would be helpful...I figure I need a direction and perhaps I will get some focus! Maybe then, I will have something insightful to share!

Help...I really want to do this thing!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Wonder of Christmas

Snow bubbles floating through the air, fireworks lighting up the sky, music thrilling the ears and people all mesmerized by the wonder of it all. As we prepared to watch the Christmas Parade, I was surprised to find that others had already arrived curbside way before we had even considered it...blankets spread out saving valuable space, strollers parked with perfect view, food purchased and onlookers poised waiting for the moment that another wonder filled experience for the day would begin. The whole day I couldn't get the smile off of my face! My childlikeness was blooming all over the place...I was giggly! Disnyeland, the masters of wonder-making! Or are they?

An angel appears to young a glory filled atmosphere it is announced that a package was being delivered within her pure, virgin, belly! This baby was a long awaited promise from God, His Son, God/Man ready to burst onto the scene in the most powerful form He could come in...a baby! When baby's come, everything changes, everyone changes and life is never the same. Add to that the "God's Son" effect and you have one powerful little bundle! Throw in the brightest star ever recorded to shine leading wise men from afar, shepherds heralded by an angelic host, and an evil king seeking to destroy said baby and you have one incredible wonder filled event!

Christmas is filled with wonder and it is so easily captured as we take time to remember Christ. The wonder of His coming, His life, His love, His sacrifice...and His incredible gift of saving grace.
Oh the Wonder of it all!

Friday, September 18, 2009


This summer I have been down with illness for weeks. Often stuck in a hospital bed tied to IV's and poles and oxygen, etc. It has been confining at times and can easily get depressing unless we begin to look for the possibilities.

My first room-mate, Maria, became someone I was able to pray with, come back to visit, bring flowers to, and watch as girls that came to visit me also prayed with her and brought her gifts. I watched as a procedure that could have been detrimental to my health get stopped by a nurse that was determined to do the right thing and then find out she was a Believer. To meet nurse after nurse and a woman cardiologist that all communicated how they wished they had a woman pastor at their church to speak with. The stories continue as I watched little moments turn into possibilities for one person to connect with another.

How many moments in our day, or seasons in our lives do we miss the God opportunities? I am realizing more and more that it isn't in the big things that we see God, but in the daily little moments that we make ourselves aware of Him, invite Him in, be willing to be used by Him and watch the possibilities unfold before our very eyes.

Walking with God is not boring, even when we are in the trenches! What is possible in your life because of God's intervention?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ask and keep on asking...

Jesus teaches that we are to ask and keep on asking, knock and keep on knocking, seek and keep on seeking...when did we stop? The last two weeks I have had three conversations, all with young women from 19 to late 20's, and they have asked a ton of questions. I have felt alive and awakened by their process of thought, their persistence in seeking, and their interpretation of life. It has been eye opening, stimulating and challenging. Simple questions that I take for granted like what is Good Friday and Easter, isn't it just a holiday? To actually simply deep questions, "What is all that singing in church about?" To the complex, "I heard preached at another church that we are made in Adam's likeness, is this true?"

Questions stir the thoughts and soul of the person we are asking. I was touched and moved that in my own circle of influence there are people that do not know the Gospel. I was challenged to theologically and scripturally explain that our identity is in Christ, for those that Believe...we no longer have the identity of "sinner", but are now children of God, co-heirs with Christ, adopted, sealed with the Holy Spirit, we are the Body of is no longer we who live, but Christ alive within each of us!

Questions evoked passion in me as I realized the responsibility we have been given to truly spread the Gospel in our own back yard. I was jolted by the reality that the truths I take for granted are not even on the radar of this generation or world today. Have I fallen into the "cage" of Christian Country Clubs? (Listen to Pastor Tony Wood's sermon at Crossroads 4/19...awesome!)

As Jesus teaches us to ask and keep asking, do our questions also evoke and stir the heart and passion of God? What are you asking? So often we think of asking God for the things we need, or we ask Him why... But what questions could you or I ask Almighty God that would stir Him, move Him, and bring out something amazing in Him, just as these beautiful young women have brought out in me?

Lord...teach us to ask...You are the God of the universe, what would stir you, move you, impassion you, and excite you to be asked?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Caught off Guard

God sneaks up on us at times when we least expect it. This week I have experienced His intervention in so many ways, and so many situations. There has been no doubt that God is working all around me, and I have loved all the sweet surprises, confirmations, and loving touches. I have been gently soaring on His wings of grace all week and truly loving how God works...and then it happened, I was totally not prepared for the way He was going to move next. My guard was down.

I was in our Good Friday service when precious little Taylor began to sing. The song is about a little girls perspective with her daddy as she watched Jesus go to be crucified. At one point at the end of the song, Father God is speaking and says something like..."Look at that little girl trembling, this is why you have to die". Why would God do this to me in the middle of the service? It took me right back to a very traumatic time in my life where I was a trembling little girl being misused and mistreated, and that sentence of the song spoke right to her.

It is because of the evil in man, the darkness of soul, the emptiness of spirit that brings us to places of trembling that Jesus had to die. With my heart undone, tears running down my face, I was so grateful for God's forsight to see that I would be trembling under the tyranny of darkness and would so desparately need a Savior.

In moments when we least expect it, God goes deep, to our core, to our darkness and brings His powerful light. It might undo you, it might blind you for a moment, it might even catch you off guard...but in those moments His prevailing love rescues us yet again.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Surrendered Friend

Have you ever experienced humility, true humility...the kind that leaves you knowing you have been in the presence of God? I have a dear friend that has wrestled with herself for months. God has joined in on the wrestling and together the process of stripping of self began. It looks different for all of us. The time it lasts depends on our determination to stay in the process with God until He is done. It has happened to me many times...I guess the more pride, the more stripping opportunities God has in our lives! So He has His work cut out with me...but back to my friend...
It is painful when you are going through it personally, but I have never felt so helpless as to watch someone I love so much struggling and battling thoughts, feelings, and perspectives that God was trying to change. All I could do is pray...
The day came when I felt like I was truly on Holy Ground. We met together in the park at her request, I listened and I began to watch as Jesus took over. The months of pain and struggle brought forth a selfless act of complete surrender on her part. She gave away something that has been a part of her life for a very long time, something that is so dear to her, and something that has allowed her to serve in a mighty way. But the final result of her battle, was to surrender to God something dear to her heart into His hands. From that moment on, she has had a new freedom and peace...and she has continued to be a great blessing in my life with her words and kindness in spite of her own stripping.
To experience the moment when someone is letting go out of surrender to God and walking in obedience to Him was truly a Holy Ground moment. I realize that we miss these opportunities with each other for two reasons:
1. Do we hang in the fight and wrestle with God until His process of transformation is complete for that moment or season or thing?
2. Do we let ourselves get close enough, and vulnerable enough with another person to share that moment with?

I have gained more as I have experienced this process with her than if she had kept it to herself. It was difficult at times, and we have had to get honest about ourselves and our friendship in the process, but the richer I am for it. Holy Ground moments...Surrender Shared. Thank you friend.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Still celebrating a wonderful day with 300 women last Saturday. When we were led to use the title Unmasked, we knew that God would be working to remove the things we hide behind, but I wasn't prepared for the amazing testimonies that are coming through! Lives were brought to salvation, marriages being saved, the demonically oppressed recognizing freedom in Christ, the self conscious, the self loathing, the fearful, those in pain, those in need, all finding something amazing in the testimonies of transformation through Christ.

The Gospel Message continues to be the most powerful message available to mankind. It doesn't matter that it is over 2000 years old, it is still relevant, still powerful, still able to break the chains, give sight to the blind and set the captives free!

Just sharing stories of how Jesus changes the Gospel message. Never underestimate what your story can do to touch another life for Christ. We all have a story! How has Jesus changed your life? How has he met you? What do you love about Him? Now go and tell someone and watch the power of the Risen Christ change a life through you! It's contagious!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Like Daughter, Like Dog

My beautiful 21 yr. old daughter has always been quite the joy...she is loveable and truly is a people person. In preschool I already knew we had a connector on our hands, she knew every persons name in her preschool class. Another amazing attribute is that she is a little one it was quite cute and who knew what it would develop into when it came to staying out later than curfew or acquiring a cell phone or pretty much anything else she wanted...she hung in there until she wore me or her dad or both of us down, and it was always with those beautiful eyes and that irresistable smile! As I write she is working on her dad at this moment about buying a doesn't end.

Because of her tenacity, we have added a dog to the family and our poor old dog, angel has had her world turned upside down. Angel is well trained, she knows the rules and is quite content with the way things are. Now we have Bella, a 2 year old, semi trained dog with the cuteness of my daughter, but more importantly her tenacity! Bella also knows the rules, but she continues to bat her eyes, wag her tail, and keeps popping up on furniture, sneaking up the stairs, jumping on the bed, etc. until she wears us each down and gets her way. Unbelievable, just like my daughter!

The apostle James must have known or been like my else could someone write, James 1:2-4 (NASB) 2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Endurance, tenacity...same idea! I have watched as this same quality in my daughter has helped her to press through tough times and situations, and continue hanging in there with people trusting the Lord through to the other side. There are times we all want to give up, a little tenacity, and some holy perserverance is a great thing to have, and what I really love is James promise that if we hang with it, we will be complete and lacking in nothing! It is working for my daughter and Bella!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Stirred Hearts

Today in our devotional reading, Ex. 33 and 34, it mentions several times that the people's hearts were stirred to give, or stirred to serve, or stirred to respond... the result, they had to stop the giving, they had too much! It made me think about my heart. Do I respond when God stirs it? Do I even feel it being stirred, and if so, do I recognize that it is God?

My greatest fear is that my heart will become callous, cold to God, unresponsive to His stirring. David cries out to God, "Lord, do not take your Spirit from me!" If we ignore the stirring of God enough, are we receptors of His movement any longer? How many opportunities have I missed where God has tried to get me to move out in His name?

My prayer is that I gain sensitivity to the stirring of God, that I respond to His movement, that I not hinder or ignore Him, and that my response will be part of a movement to overflow the storehouse of the Body of Christ. Wouldn't it be awesome if we were all stirred to the point of having to be asked to stop giving of our gifts, our time, our talents because our church had too much?! What an awesome day that would be...will you join me?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wild Beasties in the Trees

Have you ever wondered what lurks around Corona in the middle of the night, while you are safely tucked away in your warm bed? Well, I don't wonder either, but maybe we should!
My husband let the dogs out to wander in the front yard before bed, and our pit/greyhound Bella, tore through the garage and was trying to make dinner out of something! We yelled her back into the house and Richard went out on a rescue or security mission, depending on your perspective. A few minutes later he was calling me outside to come and look. Picture me trying to get out the door with Bella, determined to finish her pursuit, pressing through my ankles with me trying to squeeze my tiny self through the door, and keep our brave watchdog pinned in the laundry room.

I finally get outside and Richard is standing there with a flashlight pointed in the tree. There, precariously perched, with heart beating a million beats a minute, looking very innocent, was a Raccoon! It was fairly small, and Richard has seen a pretty large one run across the street another night, so this must be her baby. Ok, so now I live in the wild. The poor thing was looking at us like, "What did I do?"

Have you ever felt completely out of place? It feels like you are in the wrong neck of the woods, so to speak, and everything is strange, abnormal, doesn't fit. I am realizing more and more that we are not of this world, and like the raccoon I press on with my heart racing, staring with disbelief at what I see and experience at times, and clinging for dear life. I love life, and I love people...but this world is definitely not our world. For those of us that Believe in Jesus, our spirit is longing, groaning, aching to be with Him constantly. This world is more and more not our home, and like the unsuspecting raccoon, we can easily become devoured!

As I pray weekly with people struggling to navigate this world and keep their loved ones safe...I am so grateful for fellowship with other Believers that keeps us connected, worship that keeps our hearts hopeful, teaching that keeps our perspective based in truth, and the Holy Spirit that serves as our daily counselor and teacher. As we all daily journal and get into the Word, I am so thankful for the grounding and truth that God has preserved for us until we are safely home. So when you feel like the raccoon, hang on tight, and know that God has made a way for you even in this foreign land. Beware, out there, there truly are things lurking in the night!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Small Beginnings

Seeds have to start the process of a giant oak. A tiny egg and sperm begin the process of an amazing life. Why have I found myself struggling with small beginnings? I am so amazed at all that God is doing in our midst and yet I find myself so desiring the seeds I have planted to grow faster. I want an oak overnight! Do seeds not need watering? Do they not need seasons to mature and develop?

I was humbled by God's divine appointment yesterday at Sorority. We are experiencing small beginnings after a season off of our I confess, I have been impatient. At 3:00pm before Sorority would begin, I received an email of a young woman inquiring about women's studies. I forwarded the info to my assistant for her to follow through. After I sent the email to Michelle, I felt the distinct nudge of the Lord...respond yourself, and invite her to Sorority tonight. I wrestled a minute because it was so late, noone would come that quickly. The nudge wouldn't leave and I have learned...obey the nudge. I sent a personal invite, said a quick prayer and went on with my day.

That night the gal that had inquired showed up! We were so excited. I felt compelled that day that we needed to have info and Bibles for decisions even though the numbers didn't reflect the need. Michelle put it all together and during my lesson I knew that I had to give the invitation.

After I closed in prayer this young woman walked to the back for prayer and was led to Christ. It was a first time decision. The whole night changed! It didn't matter if she was the only one in the room, it was worth everything. I knew the angels were rejoicing and we were all jumping up and down with them. She is desiring Baptism, and I cannot wait to see her follow through and experience this amazing moment with Christ.

Each Sunday we have been so blessed to see God literally unleash His power and people are flocking forward to accept Christ by the droves. It is amazing, but God truly convicted me last night...even just one is an eternity that was changed. Even just one sends the heavens into party mode. Even just one moves the heart of God, and even just one would have received the sacrifice of Christ on their behalf.

I cannot wait for just one more to respond!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

666 at Starbuck's

I love Starbuck's...I have not thought there was anything evil or suspicious about Starbuck's, except for the conspiracy to get all of America addicted to high volumes of caffeine. I was thrilled when a friend proudly presented me with a Starbuck's Gold Card as a gift. I had no idea what a Starbuck's Gold Card was, but I immediately felt a part of an elete club for the caffeine was exciting! I soon discovered the discount you receive and the other special perks. I couldn't wait to buy my first Starbuck's using this prestigious Gold should see it, quite impressive. Could be something from a James Bond movie, underground network known by the gold coffee cup get the picture.

The day came, I was with a friend, just the perfect time to offer to buy her a Starbuck's, of course mentioning that I would be using my "Gold Card"..."What's a Gold Card?", she asked...perfect, now I could tell her how important I was!

I ordered our two grande skinny vanilla latte's and the total was revealed on the register. It was like a moment frozen in time as I handed my Gold Card to the teller...the quick reveal, I was one of them! I belonged to the secret society! I was in! It was almost ceremonious!

He swipes the card, the discount was taken, and the new total shone brightly like a blaring light...
$.6.66! The teller practically shouted, "Kathryn Leonard got $6.66!", I quickly asked, "Do you know me?" "Yeah, you're Pastor Kathryn, I've seen you speak. I can't believe, you, a pastor, got $6.66!" He continued with, "That's creepy." The other server, a young woman, claimed she also knew me and had heard me speak...she continued telling me that when people get that number they quickly add a muffin and have them recalculate their total. Why hadn't I thought of that! Of course there were others in the Starbuck's who apparently heard the commotion, and who knew me. So it is out there...I have been struck with the dreaded 666.

It gets better...I quickly, ok, not so quickly, sent a text to my friend that gave me the coveted gold card...who is extremely sensitive and superstitious about the number 666...His response?
"Time to buy a venti!"

So here is a warning for all Starbuck's gold card holders, do not under any circumstances buy two grandes, or you too will be marked!

Friday, January 23, 2009

The case of the shedding sweater!

I purchased a very expensive sweater during the after Christmas sales for a minimal price and I scored! It was in a store I would normally not even enter because of the prices, so I had arrived! Yesterday I was invited to a special luncheon and I was excited to wear my special seemed to be appropriate. As I was dressing in the morning, however, hot flashes took over. Now you know my age! The solution, wear a tank top underneath and if I have to get some air, I can slip the sweater off in my office. Problem solved.

I go to work and midway through the morning I noticed that my black pants were covered in fuzz, a lot of fuzz. My sweater is cream...need I say more. By the time the lunch date came along, my pants were almost gray from the knees now I had two toned pants! Later in the afternoon, at my desk, here come the hot flashes! Since I was prepared, I pealed off my sweater and was comfortable in my tank top...accept my tank top had the same disease as my pants! No longer a black tank top, but a fleeced gray looking tank top!

My fashionable, impressive sweater left quite the impression everywhere I went. I had to explain that I was shedding to my carpool person, the person I sat next to at lunch, my assistant when she came to my office seeing me sporting my fleeced tank top recovering from my personal tropical summer!

I wonder how often I shed? Shed my opinions, my judgments, my attitude, my irritations, my tiredness or even my analizing others. How often do I think I have dressed up the real me with something impressive like a title or a boast of something done well, only to find out when I open my mouth that I am shedding? Words that stick to others and tarnish them, or change their outlook...attitudes that stick in the air.

The amazing thing is that in Christ we are to shed our sins, and He takes them, they stick to Him...He is the proper place for me to shed my attitudes, my twisted views, my weary opinions and my wounded words.

Instead of shedding on others, Christ has willingly become my lint brush! He wipes it all away! I can start each day, each moment afresh and not have to go around explaining my sin that is evident all over me...He takes it and gives me a clean soul. I am so grateful!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Appropriate Sneezing

Ok, so truth be told, I sneeze like a man. It comes from my toes, it is loud, not feminine at all. I don't have the dainty little snicker sneeze, no, mine is a blow the roof off sneeze. So this morning I am in church, and what happens...I sneeze! Now I am sitting next to Taleah, this young, beautiful, feminine, precious godly girl who informed me that she does have a feminine sneeze and people are always trying to get her to "let it out"... In the middle of Pastor Chuck's sermon is NOT the appropriate time to "let it out"...Sorry Pastor Chuck. So why can't I sneeze pretty? Oh, I don't cry pretty, either, and for a sensitive type that cries at Hallmark commercials, crying ugly is not fun when you do it often! So, these are my curses...being a woman that is trying to be feminine, appropriate, set a godly example and yet I sneeze like a man at the most inoportune times and cry ugly. So there you have it. I cannot find any spiritual connection to this it is just info that you probably could have lived without! Any other monster sneezers out there? Where was the worst place you let out a whopper sneeze?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sunshine & Gelato Day

I know that we don't like heat waves in the winter in Southern California...and usually the heat just magnifies the beauty of our smog resting against the local hills, BUT today I took a much needed day off and the sunshine was incredible! Because it is winter, ha, the smog is Gone! I was amazed at how far I could see today. I took my parents for a drive out to Temecula and it was was so warm we even had gelato. Ok, I had gelato!

The gelato took me back to another hot day eating Florence, Italy on the steps of the Duomo! Ok, not quite the same as Temecula! I was amazed at how much a sunshiney day in Southern Ca. with my precious parents and a little gelato could bring a lightness to my soul.

Any gelato lovers? Where is the greatest place you have eaten gelato? Other than the Tyler Mall, people!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Watching God...

So, I've decided my favorite past-time is watching God! I have seen evidence of His presence and power everywhere I go this week! Ignite started the New Year with some girl fun...Oh, I know the guys don't get the Bling thing...but get a bunch of girls together with sparkle, music, laughter, and a few moves; even in Bible Study, well, it is just plain fun! Add almost 50 new women, anointed worship, the Word being preached, and women pouring in just to be with each other and have something to watch!

I walked by the Mom2Mom and Women's Ministry table this morning and saw beautiful women dedicating their time to connecting. Their availability makes room for God watching! Walking through the building this morning between services, a hug from this one, a question there, a request for accountability here, 3 testimonies that prayers were answered and healing received, three teenage girls that came to this ol momma for prayer, a precious gal in need of deliverance sharing her story, and my precious parents in the service today...well it is God watching over the top...

Are you aware of His movement? Are you seeing Him do His thing in your presence! Keep your eyes open, there is nothing like it! I'm heading out for more God watching this evening, can't wait to see what He has in store!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Attitude is everything!

I have been abundantly blessed with a new team to partner with in ministry. I have been shaken to my core as I experience the power of excitement, the contagious impact of positivity, and the blessedness of service. I am grateful for the gift of these women, sisters in passion and sisters in purpose...but I am most grateful as God has reminded me that joy is a gift! Joy is something we must cling to, and fight to maintain in our lives. The attitude of those that we partner with in life can truly lift our spirits and transcend the minor frustrations of the day...likewise how can my willingness to serve another above and beyond bless those around me? How can my excitement and enthusiasm help to stir passion in others? How can my positive outlook lift a cloud over another? I have fought so many battles of late, that I had almost forgotten the power we have to truly empower each other with the gift of passionate, joyfilled, enthusiasm! These precious women have been a transfusion to my soul! How I love them, and how grateful and joyfilled I am to step into 2009 with JOY!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Putting away Christmas?

I love Christmas...The Christ part of course, but all the fun decorations, lights, food, family, name it, I'm a big fan. I can't wait to get my decorations out and fill my home with all the special decorations that have stories and memories attached to almost every one of them.
After the "big day" I start to get antsy and can't stand all the clutter. All of a sudden the "fun" stuff is now smothering me and it is time to put it all away.

I caught myself describing this to someone as "I am putting Christmas away..." That statement continues to plague me...Do we really do that? Do we really put Christmas away at the end of each December until the following December? Perhaps this is the problem... I love Christmas because of the sense of wonder and awe... and I am guilty! I often put away the awe and wonder of Christmas into boxes and get back to "normal" life.

Christ is with us continually, His very Spirit dwells within those that believe and receive Him...should the awe and wonder continue with me each day? This is my prayer for the new year, that I will not put Christmas away. That Christmas, the mystical gift of Christ, would continue to keep my perspective, my thoughts, my desires, my actions, my words, my expectations, etc. filled with wonder! Christ in us! You can't get any more wondrous than that!

So, watch out, if you find me acting is because I've chosen to keep Christmas out of the boxes and the wonder alive in me!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

What's in a name?

After posting about how I received my "nickname", I began to think about how important names are, period. When we were ready to name our children, my husband took it upon himself to make fun of every name I could come up with. The one's that couldn't be twisted or mocked made it to the top possibility list. As children, often our names are mocked and toyed with, if you insult the name you insult the person. We truly are our name.

One of the greatest transformations that took place in my life was the journey of discovering the names that God gives His children. He calls you blessed, His child, a co-heir in His Kingdom. He calls you Daughter, chosen one, priest, and the temple of the Holy Spirit. He calls you His sheep, His friend, His Bride, and His people. The list goes on...

God's nicknames for you are names of purpose, of hope, of position, of calling and of connection. You are His and He calls you by many names. Do you hear Him calling you?

One of the first things we train a child or a pet to do is to respond to their name. Do you know your name? When God calls you through His you know it is you that He is speaking to? Do you live up to the name He has called you? Do you believe that you are His?

Listen...He is calling you...Will you respond?

Friday, January 2, 2009

What is a pastor mom?

All through school I wished I had a nickname. Nicknames were cool and they were like status symbols...if you had a nickname you were special. Well, the nicknames I remember being given were anything but cool..."daddy long legs", "stilts", others are better left off the page!

My day of truly gaining a "cool" nickname came as my oldest daughter named me after my graduation and ordination. I have always been "mom", which has been one of my greatest joys and callings...but on this very special day, I became "Pastor Mom"! It was cute and endearing and I loved it. Soon I had a desk plate that was proudly given to me by my daughter to display my nickname for all to see. Everyone that comes in to my office eventually reads it aloud..."Pastor Mom"...and they all like it! I am now officially cool!

The thing I love about this is that I can take the nurturing, caring, mothering side of me that God has developed over the last 25 years, and yoke it with my passion for Christ, and my love for His people. Can you get any cooler than this! So now I proudly tout the name, Pastor Mom...

Hopefully, on these pages you will receive encouragement, laughter, love, and God's insights as well as a little mothering along the way! Remember, you were all given a mother for a reason!