Oh my goodness, did you know it is possible to preach with the truth of the Bible at the base yet with such humor those listening hang on every word? It is. Rev. Richard Allen Farmer. Please don’t misunderstand me though. While there was humor, it wasn’t a comedy act on the altar. He lives out Ron Hutchcraft’s teaching to share the Bible and Jesus with others in terms they can relate to and understand.
The first thing written in my notebook, “We need to be Olympian Christians!” Amen to that brother Farmer. My sister was kidnapped on April 3, 1994 and remains missing today, without God in my life I would not be surviving this race and standing with other gold medalist.
My initial message heard reminded me not to worry or entertain anxiety with Biblical references. One of my favorite things was when he would motion us with his hands and point to his Bible while saying, “Come here, I’ll show you.” Then read from the Bible. It brought back memories of my Gram sharing “secrets” with us when no one was listening.
Have you ever made a list of your “priorities”? You know, the things you need to do or places you need to go? I know I have BUT after Rev. Farmer’s message, I no longer will make a list of my priorities. Rev. Farmer explained that when something is a “priority”, it is “first” so this can’t be plural. Only One can be your priority and the rest are posterities. Hmm…What is first on your list?
We were challenged to place God as our priority and then to allow the rest follow. He worded it this way, “Make the Kingdom your priority and the other things will go to bay.” With Matthew 6:33 as his supporting verse.
He ended his weeklong teaching with the following question ~ “Do you want to be made well?” and “Do you have a “treasured affliction” you roll out when the moment is right?” using the Scripture about the healing at the pool as the basis. Think about these two questions for a moment, there is a lot there.
Rev. Farmer also said, “Not everyone will celebrate your transformation and being made new in Jesus.” Check John 5:10 if you don’t believe him.
I will close with the following fill in the blank sentence. The same I returned home with on my heart.
“I am a different ________ because I have Jesus!”
What is in your blank? Wife, husband, mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, teacher, mechanic, truck driver, pastor, friend, clerk, and the list can go on and on.
How are you different because you have Jesus in your live?
People say that men can never understand the woman's mind, and that is typically accurate. But most people don't notice how miss understood teenagers are!
The brain of a teenager isn't a balance of phone numbers, and other stupid things. A teenager’s brain is what controls the teenager’s life and more then that, it controls their beliefs.
Teenagers’ brains are not based on foul things, even though they come up very often. The teenage brain actually consists of very intelligent things. Even though many of the "intelligent" thoughts are just the brains equations to figure out common day things and worst things, like a foul thought.
Teenagers are misunderstood!
Did you know that some people don't even trust teenagers because of their geneology or simply because they are teenagers?
Yet they were once teenagers, or is that the reason?
Don't judge teenagers because they are teenagers!
You were once a teenager;
you need to remember
it's not an easy walk!!!
Teenagers: Post 1 positive thing you think about and strive for in your life or a response to this blog
Adults: Post 1 sentence to share some words of wisdom with us teenagers or a response to this blog
Thanks for reading!
A NOTE FROM LISA:
Some of you have yet to meet our guest blogger on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month. This is Mags. In addition to writing one fabulous blog, this is my daughter. Her target audience, teens and those wondering what goes on inside a teenager’s brain. I continue to be impressed with the wisdom and insight Mags expresses in her posts and the conversation she generates. She truly has a heart for God, her generation, and the creative arts. I hope you will take a moment to leave her a post in response to her blogs and as an encouragement to her. Thank you.
We have some great teenagers in the world. We are only one blog, song, cheer, dance, or whatever creative venue they exhibit their God-given talents with away from seeing a positive change in the years to come.
It has been a beautiful day in Upstate New York. A few hours spent on the deck with my friend Karen. We enjoyed laughter, a couple teary moments, and some homemade carrot cake. As we caught up with each other’s lives, my heart simply warmed on the inside. Although it seems as if life has us going in different directions and we cannot seem to find a time to get together as much as we would like, once together, it is as if we never lost touch. I so love that!
This is how we should be with God, never losing touch with Him. Yet it seems to be one of the first, if not the first thing removed from the day’s agenda when life gets busy. John Stumbo taught the morning Bible message this past week during the Delta Lake “Family Camp” and his teaching was from the book of Jeremiah. The top of my notes read, “God for a LIFETIME with a lifetime PURSUIT of God!” Amen. We need to be purposeful in our relationship with God.
If Karen would have called this morning to see if we could get together and I didn’t make it a priority to see her, precious moments and conversation would have been missed. God wants our precious moments. He wants your time. He wants my time. Most importantly, He deserves it because without HIM, we are nothing.
As I prepared this blog I wanted to share some of John Stumbo’s powerful message yet with so many notes and thought provoking things to share I have decided to list a few of John Stumbo’s words of wisdom with some Lisa commentary . How does this sound?
“God does some amazing stuff when we’re in the time out chair.” John Stumbo
In case you think he is making this up, check out what the book of Hebrews 12:7, 10-11 NLT tells us:
“As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”
My thoughts: I have learned in life that I can go and go on adrenaline, lack of sleep, and pure motivation for so long before the Lord tosses me in bed for a few days. Until listening to John Stumbo’s message, I hadn’t thought of this as a time in the “time-out chair” BUT this has helped to give me a new perspective. I was a busy child and liked to be moving so the last thing I wanted was to sit for any extent of time, as an adult, I am no different. So here is my new goal: instead of pushing myself too hard, too long, and too often – I will slow down, take some time, and work in God’s strength and will, not that of Lisa in order to avoid the “time-out chair” or bed as in my case.
“Stop living tomorrow, live today…wherever you are, be there!”
“Cling to God in times of Crisis.”
“Accept today for what it is and battle for a better tomorrow.” once again rooted in the Bible: Jeremiah 29: 11 – 13 NLT “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”
“Our old nature doesn’t get any better, it is what you do with it…when the old self shows itself, rebuke it in the name of Jesus.” (Not verbatim b/c I couldn’t keep up when taking notes, sorry Mr. Stumbo)
“The Sabbath is NOT a law BUT A GIFT OF GRACE!”
“God is in this journey and God can only be good!”
Wow…such strength and devotion in this man of God.
John Stumbo’s amazing story of life in and after the “time-out” chair will bring tears to your eyes and hope to your heart.
To purchase John’s book & read of his amazing journey: http://www.echristianstore.com/inspirations/default.aspx?tabid=19764&Item=33304&scid=1
Oh Happy Day, I am home from a wonderful 2-day writers’ conference. The Upstate New York Writers’ Gathering was once again a success. Although attendance was down a bit, the fellowship and instruction were plenty.
I arrived early Thursday morning in order to participate in the morning worship seminar with Pastor Charles Jones of the Kenmore Alliance Church. His heart for worship is an encouragement. He shared one analogy to emphasis his mental state when he is preparing for each week’s worship. This is a paraphrase, my apologies to Pastor Jones if I don’t get this just right. “As I prepare the worship order I want songs to touch the heart. I look at it as if I am opening the chest cavity of the worshippers and inserting lyrics into their hearts. What message does God have for their heart?”
Can you imagine if all our worship leaders felt the impact of their gift to put together a worship order and bring it to fruition? Worship is about you and God, not you and the worship leader. Pastor Jones understands and exercises this.
“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:19
In addition to the title of church worship pastor and leader, Pastor Jones travels to share his thoughts and methodology of transformational worship.
To play music or determine what songs to play and how to arrange them so it flows is NOT my gifting yet to listen and learn from Pastor Jones taught me to appreciate our worship leaders at church even more. Before learning from Pastor Jones this week during the morning worship seminar I appreciated our worship leaders and others with the gift to put together music but after this week, my APPRECIATION is in all caps and bold.
Will you join me in prayer for the men and women God has called to organize our music? Their heart to draw us closer to God through the worship in music can only heighten our own experiences with God.
A challenge: After Sunday’s service this week thank your worship leaders for their hard work and dedication to draw us all closer to our Heavenly Father. They spend all week in prayer and preparation so we can have a holy experience.
May we all use our gifts to serve God and draw others close to Him ~ I write and speak and others touch our hearts through song and music.
How has God gifted you to serve Him? Will you share in a comment below?
“Therefore I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God---this is your spiritual act of worship.” Romans 12:1-2
Okay, so here is the deal. I have only snapped a few pictures since my arrival at the Delta Lake Bible Conference Center for the annual Upstate New York Christian Writer’s Gathering. Although the camera hasn’t been snapping like it normally does, the relaxation and absorption of God’s beauty is working overtime.
Yesterday morning started with a worship seminar then a message from John Stumbo. Wow. This is all I have to say. I heard him speak last year too yet his story is so powerful it touches the heart each time you hear it. He has one book out, An Honest Look at a Serious Journey with another to follow this September.
To purchase his first book: http://www.echristianstore.com/inspirations/default.aspx?tabid=19764&Item=33304&scid=1
Mr. Stumbo invited everyone to write a metaphor for life on this quartered sheet of paper, and then he collected them all. I love this type of activity yet my mid was so relaxed, it wasn’t ready to work. How great is that! I continued to think about it during the day and before returning the writers’ conference for “Open Mic” passed my metaphor along to him. Maybe I will share it on tomorrow’s blog, but then again, maybe not. As I worked on it the idea of developing it into a children’s book enticed me so you might have to wait. TeeHee
John Stumbo’s Blog: http://www.johnstumbo.org/blog/
As if all of this serene refreshment wasn’t enough, the afternoon was a similar blessing. Lunch was a wonderful time to reconnect with friends made over the past couple years with the writers’ conference directly afterward.
Some of my friends have already posted pictures and blogs about yesterday yet I am a bit behind the eight ball. No worries, there is more to come. I anticipate a few blogs being developed and birthed after only yesterday, I can only imagine the series God has working within.
So for now…have a great day and I’ll see you tomorrow.
What is one thing you would like to know about this weekend’s writers’ gathering or one thing about my time at Delta Lake Bible Conference Center?
Oh my goodness I’ve prayed and thought since returning home, of my favorite part of the Christian Writer’s Gathering at Delta Lake Bible Conference Center during their family camp but cannot select one thing that would be my highlight.
Of course traveling with a friend for three days of learning is wonderful. Reconnecting with friends of past and making new friends is always a plus. Was it the new friends we met and played “Banagrams” with until 1 a.m.? I can’t show you her picture because she is still a “closet writer”, a wonderful one at that.
Spending three days at Delta Lake in itself is amazing. Was it the walks around the camp? Was it sitting on the swing, listening to the birds sing and peck? Was it breathing God’s beauty in its most undisturbed and pure form?
Was it the messages shared by the missionaries? Was it the message during the morning and evening services with Frank Chan and John Stumbo? Was it the worship? Is it the heightened prayer? Is it the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit on the property?
Was it the heart of Deb T. for planning this wonderful weekend? Was it the presenters and their wealth of knowledge, expertise and love of the Lord? Was it reading our own writing on the platform in the tabernacle? Or maybe attempting to get the Skype working?
Was it the fun found in playing with play-doh or the delicious food?
Is it the writing I accomplished during our breaks (although brief open times, they were used to do some writing for the most part)? Or is it because I relaxed, rejuvenated and reconnected with God in such an amazing and powerful way? Regardless…there is no way to share it all in one blog. Phew…I’ll have to share it sporadically! Yeah, I can relive the Delta Writer’s Gathering over and over as I share it with you. God is good.
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323