Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pride Slides In

A few days ago, I was worshipping in the shower. My prayer and praise closed is efficient, I get "washed clean anew" both spiritually and physically all at once. As I was singing to the Lord, the sound of my voice reverberated off of the tile walls, and I heard myself. I have a pretty decent singing voice, and I liked the way I sounded.

I kept singing, I even belted out a few big notes. I really started to listen to how I sounded, and tried to put on a good show for the loofah and the body wash. And then it was as though the Holy Spirit tapped me on the shoulder. "Remember me?" He seemed to be saying. And I stopped and I realized how quickly, effortlessly really, I transitioned to worshipping God, to being completely me-centered. Pride slid right in.

It was actually a profound moment for me. It was a huge "a-ha moment" broken down into the simplest of examples. I apologized to the Lord and asked Him to help me always see that prideful slide in my life as clearly as I did, quite literally, naked before Him.

I'm on a Facebook fast for Lent. Yesterday was the first day, and truth be told, I didn't miss it much at all. For me that ease was confirmation that the Lord has called me to this break. The only time I have ever effectively fasted (food, media, whatever) it has always been when the fast as God's idea more than mine, and it's never with an ulterior motive (like, "I'll fast sugar... and maybe I'll lose some weight.")

The first thing I noticed being off of Facebook was how I felt less pressed, less hurried. I didn't realize how strong my compulsion was to be "out there." I know I like to communicate, but I didn't realize how much I felt the need to. And with Facebook as a non-option, I just simply felt less pressed.

Until today.

Today I got a very exciting package in the mail. I have self-published my first (completed) novel, and when the books came, I was giddy beyond distraction. I had all sorts of intentions to accomplish certain things at work today and instead all I could do was think about the books I was holding in my hand. I left to go pick up lunch for Neal and I and my mind was flying. And I desperately wanted to shout from the rooftops about my accomplishment. I wanted to be on Facebook.

As I was driving back from Chik-Fil-A, I "felt" the Holy Spirit quicken my spirit again. It was like I was singing in the shower all over again.

You see, I've written this book, and it's good. That's not my opinion, that's the opinion of others. I wrote the story because I felt it was important to tell. There is a valuable message to be told. And even as I was writing it, I felt God's hand in it. The book has a purpose. And here I am at risk of getting in the way of it, because if I lose focus of that, I might just let pride slide in, and the book won't be about glorifying God, or ministering to others, but it will be about me. God forbid.

Promoting the book is going to be a careful walk, because promoting me is sometimes a part of it. But there has to be a way to do that, and not let the pride slide happen. It's not going to be easy.

And in as humble a manner as I can muster, let me tell you, for more information about buying my book, you can go to
(And contrary to alleged rumors, I did not go on Facebook at all today, in any way, shape or form. This fast is very serious to me, and obedience isn't optional.)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

100 Verse Challenge - Week 23

We're back! Time to resume the 100 Verse Challenge! Is anyone here? Anyone? Anyone? Just kidding! I am pretty sure there are a few of you still here, and the truth is, if it's just me and you, God says "where two or three are gathered in His name," He's in the midst of us. And I don't think that truth is deterred by the fact we're together through the internet.

As always, God's timing is interesting to me. I love His efficiency. I had intended to do some catch up on the verses that I was not religious about memorizing over the previous few weeks in the Challenge, but I wasn't. So I am going to have to take up the grace I offered to all of you when we started this thing. Just keep going! So I am ready this week to just keep going!

On Valentine's Day, I shared a blog about the impression I felt God was laying on my heart as we are moving toward the season before Easter. I felt strongly that He was observing me to explore new ground by observing Lent. As I prayed I felt more and more certain that He was asking me to give up Facebook for that season. I'm going to be honest, it will be a HUGE challenge for me. But I know it is what God is asking of me. I need a personal revival, to get connected with the Lord, and get my focus righted. It's not that I am in sin or have wandered from the Lord, but there is an impression about going deeper, growing. Like in labor, it feels like it's time to push. And removing Facebook is going to help me push.

This morning the Lord gave me confirmation to exchange Facebook for what my pastor called "Face time," time seeking the Face of God. I am excited and hopeful about what might lie ahead.

Then today I opened 100 Verses Everyone Should Know By Heart by Robert J. Morgan, and interestingly enough, even our scripture fr this week feels like another confirmation, because it is in essence, a scripture about revival.

Typically the verse is referenced to be talking about "national revival," but I believe the promise could be held to on a personal level as well, and as I am meditating on the verse this week and memorizing it as Lent begins this Wednesday, I am even more excited about what God may do since I am confident this fast is one He has called me to.

So here is our verse this week:

(If) My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

Morgan points out in his book that there are 4 requirements of revival, and three promises to it in this passage.

Four Requirements:1. Humble yourselves. Pride (me-centered-ness) has got to go.
2. Pray.
3. Seek His face. (Face-time)
4. Turn from your wicked ways. Sometimes we get blinded to our own sin (remember, sin is just missing the mark) and we need to remove the distractions around us to really hear what the Lord is speaking.

Three Promises:
1. I (God) will hear from heaven. It's nice to know that Face-time is something God will show up for.
2. I (God) will forgive their sin.
3. I (God) will heal their land. I know this is a promise for a nation, but I am believing God will do healing in me and in my life as well. But even if that's not what this upcoming season is about, I know God has some good purpose in it. He is faithful!

So I am glad we are back, and I pray that meditating and memorizing God's Word together is a blessing and an encouragement to you as well!