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October 2006
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December 2006

Re-Entry

As of late last night, I am back from the Cove (Billy Graham Training Center).  Words cannot express the spiritual filling all of us who attended Anne Graham Lotz's "Filling Up to Overflow" received.   When I boarded the plane to come home yesterdayafternoon, I truly felt like I needed to re-enter the world I had left.   I am still so overwhelmed by the teaching, the worship and how God touched my heart.  And...I haven't even told you the rest of my experience at the Ladies' Retreat yet.  I am so far behind!!

So for today, since I still need to spend some time alone with God to process these things, unpack and start getting my house in order, I will just share the "theme" song of the seminar because it really touched my heart with what my purpose is in this world.  Many of you probably know this song, but I don't believe I had heard it until this past week, and I'm so glad that I did.  Won't you pray it with me?

One Pure and Holy Passion - by Mark Altrogge

Give me one pure and holy passion
And give me one magnificent obsession
Give me one glorious ambition for my life
To know and follow hard after You

To know and follow hard after You
To grow as Your disciple in the truth
This world is empty, pale and poor
Compared to knowing You, my Lord
Lead me on and I will run after You
Lead me on and I will run after You.

I want so much for this to be my one pure and holy passion...my magnificent obsession so as Anne so elegantly said (which I may not perfectly quote it):

If we embrace the magnificent obsession we will...

  • be blessed and become a channel of blessing to others
  • know Him and make Him be known
  • fulfill the potential He has for us.

Powerful words from a wonderful woman of God.  Won't you embrace this magnificent obsession with me? 


Old Favorites #4

I'll be home tomorrow night late, but please check out an article I wrote for our church's newsletter back in October 2005.  God smiles on us, even when we aren't perfect, because His heart is warmed by our efforts and His unending love for us.   I hope you are blessed by this one today.

When God Smiles


Old favorites - #1

I am going to postpone my reflections on our women's conference for a few days because I am leaving town this morning to attend Anne Graham Lotz's "Filling Up to Overflow" at the Billy Graham Training Center for the next several days.    I will have to give a report on that when I get back, as well as finish my "report" on our Women's Conference.

With that said, I would like to share some of my favorite posts from 2005.  Many of you have not seen them anyway, so I hope you enjoy.   Honestly, I can't believe that I've kept up this blog for almost a year and a half!  But I've had a great time doing it!

From August 20, 2005... Better is One Day.  I just love thinking about how much better one day in God's presence is than 1000 days without Him.     I shudder to think where I would be without God in my life.


Our Life's Landscapes-Part II

The Promised Land.  We learned about this landscape on Friday night of our conference.   Keep in mind that I am primarily reflecting here on what the these lessons mean to me.  My thoughts do not necessarily portray or summarize what we were taught.  What do you think of when you ponder those three words?  Does your mind veer to the promised land of biblical times or do you let your imagination wander to what this might look like in your life?  Does your promised land consist of wondrous material things or is it filled with the happiness of friends, family & the full life that money cannot buy?  Do you even dare to dream about it? Are you in yours?

The promise land is "home".  In her presentation, Beth Booram played for us a beautiful  rendition of "Over the Rainbow" by Eva Cassidy.  We were reminded about how Dorothy's (from the Wizard of Oz)  "promised land" was home.  Remember the quote: "There's no place like home".   So again, I ask, what is "home"?  We are home when we are living the life we were created to live.   How do we get home?

For me, I'm learning that home is not a place, an occupation or a way of life, but a state of mind that is focused on seeking God's plan and purpose for my life.  I am at home when I'm in the center of God's will, whatever that may be in whatever time of life it may be.  If the promised land is indeed prosperous, then I know how to get there because the bible says in Psalms 1:1-3 that:

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.

He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

The promised land is indeed a land of blessing.  But we should not get so comfortable in it that we start "worshipping" this "land".   After all, we got there by worshipping God, right? 

Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
Let not the mighty man glory in his might,
Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
But let him who glories glory in this,
That he understands and knows Me,
That I am the LORD, exercising
        lovingkindness, judgment, and
        righteousness in the earth.
For in these I delight, says the LORD.

I love this passage from Jeremiah 9:23-24.  To me it just sums it all up.  I don't have everything down perfect, but I am trying to give my whole heart to Him so that He will direct me to my promised land.  What about you?


Our Life's Landscapes-Part 1

I have so much to say from both the past weekend and the last month and a half of my life that I don't know where to begin.  So I'm just going to start writing and see what pours out of my mind through my fingers and on to the keyboard.  Where do I start?   I think I will start with the ending, or maybe it is the beginning.  After all, isn't every ending also a new beginning?

My church just held its 9th annual women's retreat (this year we called it a "conference") this past weekend, of which I was the coordinator and emcee.  Needless to say, I am relieved that everything went as planned, our speaker was well-received, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  Most importantly, I believe that God moved hearts in a mighty way through the messages we heard.

Our journey on Friday and Saturday through Beth Booram's "Wide Open Spaces of God" took us on Friday through the landscape of the Promised Land, and Saturday up and down the Mountain of God to the Wide Open Spaces of God.  If any of you need a retreat speaker, I would highly recommend Beth Booram for you. 

I learned many things from our speaker in the three sessions of  our conference itself this year, which I plan on sharing in my posts over the next few days.  As God would have it,  much of the message I heard directly corresponded to events and themes in my life over the past several months.  Most of which I have not posted about here.   But before I discuss those things, in today's post I'd like to put my coordinator "hat" on and share some lessons learned.

1) The blessings of a good team - I have been so blessed by having a planning team that worked so well together.  We had such a great time getting to know each other and working together.  It was a very special group.   1 Cor 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.

2) The power of prayer - Without the prayers of many faithful prayer warriors, any event cannot be successful.  I know personally that God gave me peace in the middle of the whirlwind of activity.  He gave me the words to say as the emcee and calm as I stood before the crowd (small crowd of 50) with that microphone in my hand.  When I was weak, He was strong.

3) Go with the flow - It is hard for those who suffer from the disease of perfectionism to just go with the flow.  But if this trick can be mastered, everyone will have a better time.  Over the years, I've had to learn that no one in the "audience" has a script in their hands prepared to grade the "live performance" as compared to the script.  Things will never go exactly as planned.  But guess what, no one knows but YOU! :)   And, God will come through to save the day.

That is all for now.  I will be back next time with my reflections on the Promised Land.    Are you seeking your promised land?  Are you already in it?  Do you know what it is?    Things to think about until next time....


Hide and seek

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."  - Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV

What powerful and intriguing words these are, the promises of God, contingent upon  the mission of our souls to seek God and God alone.  This is the noblest of pursuits, to seek God and His plans for our lives, but it must be done wholeheartedly.

When was the last time you called upon the Lord with all of your being for direction in your life?  Have you ever sought God that fervently?  If you did, I bet you got some interesting answers to your life's questions.  I know that I have.  After all, our earnest quest for God never leaves us feeling empty, now does it?

It is late, or early, depending upon your perspective, and I'm here writing to the "world".   Tomorrow, or today, November 3rd, is the day of our Women's Conference.  This year's theme is the Wide Open Spaces of God, whose key premise is how God is with us throughout every "landscape" of our lives - our promised lands, our deserts, our mountains, and so on.  Where are you in your journey of life?  Are you seeking God no matter where you happen to be? 

I'm looking forward to our conference - formerly known as a retreat - not only for what it will bring to the ladies of my church, but as always, I love hearing what God has to speak to me personally.  After all, I have been earnestly seeking God's direction of late, more so than usual, and I want to hear what plans He has for me.  What I do know is this, that His plans are good, for both me and for you.  Now that is a promise.

____________________________________________________________________________

Janna Rust is a Life Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.


Make Up Your Own Mind

I know I have said this before, but I really do enjoy reading through the old testament stories and picking out personal life applications from them.  I hope that you, my readers, are enjoying this time through the old testament as well.  The bible, after all is part picture book, isn't it, with the old testament being the "pictures" and the new testament being the words? 

In 1 Samuel 24, we come to the point where David is in the early stages of the cat and mouse game that he and Saul are playing.  Saul is looking for David to kill him, not because David did anything wrong, but because of Saul's insecurities.  David is terrified, even though he is a mighty warrior in his own right, and has "accidentally" found Saul in a cave in a vulnerable position.  (Note:  What was Saul doing in that cave?  See 1 Samuel 24:3.  This got me distracted yesterday and I didn't get my post written.  I sparked some interesting conversation with some friends on this one). 

Okay, back to the story.  David could have killed Saul there on the spot and eliminated a lot of fear from his life.  Even some of David's men advised him to kill Saul.  But David did not and instead chose to merely cut the skirt off of Saul's robe, accomplishing David's purpose of showing loyalty to his king in spite of the fact that Saul desired to kill him.  Look at what David said to Saul:

..."Why do you listen when men say, 'David is bent on harming you?  This day you have seen with your own eyes how the LORD delivered you into my hands in the cave.  Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, 'I will not lift my hand against my master, because he is the LORD's anointed.'"  (1 Sam 24:9-10 NIV)

This passage says a lot to me.  When we have big decisions that need to be made, we should seek wise counsel from godly friends.

Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.  Proverbs 11:14)

However, while considering the advice of our counsellors, we still must live with the outcome of our decision.  We ultimately are not answering to anyone else but God.  As we know, David "walked" with and sought after God for all of his life.  He was a man of prayer, seeking after God's ways and not his own.  I believe that David discerned the voice of God over the voice of his men and made the wise choice, even though it was not the popular one.  His men were probably afraid for David as well as for themselves - they were outnumbered after all - and were caught up in the emotion of the situation.

Is there a circumstance in your life where you are laboring with a difficult decision?  Have you taken your problem to God in prayer?  Have you consulted some godly counsel and asked them to seek God for the answer before they open their mouths and give you their answer?  Lastly, are you waiting for God's answer rather than rushing in with your own ideas?  We can hear from God, but it does take time.  Time that we sometimes we aren't willing to give.   Remember, sometimes the stakes are high, and we are the ones who ultimately have to answer to God.