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!