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What Do We Do in the Wait?

February 07, 2019
By Kimberly Oden ~LCA Mama & Co-Founder

As I read my one year Bible this morning I asked the Lord for a word of encouragement, revelation or even correction regarding an area of my life that needs His help…an area that Markel and I have been praying for quite some time.  You see, I have been wrestling with a specific prayer, a plea really, and yet it seems like everything remains at a stand still…the wrestle for me personally is what to do in the wait...

Well, when I came across Psalm 27:14, I had a sense that this is where the Lord was calling me to camp for the morning, but if I am being honest, it wasn’t really what I was I hoping to hear...

It’s a command to wait.  In fact it tells the reader to wait two times!


    WAIT on the LORD: 
    be of good courage, 
    and he shall strengthen thine heart: 
    WAIT, I say, on the LORD.

 

WAIT

The root word of WAIT means to twist and stretch => which leads to a bit of tension & enduring during the wait.
 

As it is used in this verse, WAIT means to patiently gather & tarry together as we look eagerly towards the thing/person for which we are waiting;

BE OF GOOD COURAGE
This phrase means to grow strong, courageous and confident by fortifying and fastening upon Whom we place our hope.

HE SHALL STRENGTHEN THINE HEART 
The gist of this phrase is that the Lord shall then strengthen and fortify the seat of courage within us (our hearts)

As I pondered my personal trial in light of the defined intent behind this verse, I had a visual of Markel and I tarrying together as we eagerly wait for the revelation and provision of God - and that as we do, our faith becomes collectively fortified as we fasten it to our Living Hope Who promises to save us for the sake of His name.

…regardless of
• however
• whenever 
• & in whatever fashion our Provider tangibly appears


As we choose to patiently stand still when things are at a standstill, we allow our Father to strengthen the seat of courage within us until the day arrives when we too can proclaim like Isaiah did the in Isaiah 25:9:

            On that day, it will be said, 
            ‘Behold, THIS is OUR GOD; 
            we have WAITed for Him that He might save us.  
            THIS is the Lord for whom we WAITed and trusted.  
            Let us be glad and rejoice in His salvation!’

 

As I closed out my time with the Lord, I also read Isaiah 8:17 only to find two more commands to WAIT:


I will WAIT for the Lord, Who is hiding his face from the descendants of Jacob, I will WAIT for Him.

 

Did you catch that all three verses reference the word “WAIT ” two times each?!

Ok, last definition…WAIT as it is used in the last verse means to tarry and wait through piercing or adhering to…

That initially sounded awful to me, but then suddenly I had a visual of adhering my hopes and prayers to the cross as I await the almighty and perfect-timing of the salvation of God.

 

I mean there are times in life, times of trial when this is all we can “do”:  affix the difficulties we face to the cross, choosing to tarry as we allow our Savior to carry.  He becomes our burden bearer as we simply wait in His Peace and His Presence until He informs our approach regarding next steps. 

 

Once we are on the other side of a trial, it is easy to see how they are good as they keep us humble and on our knees before The Only One Who saves! The One who strengthens our heart! The One who powerfully carries as we restfully tarry!  Yes, the One who sometimes hides his face and intent until the perfect time that He sees fit...

For the most part, isn’t a lot of our time this side of heaven spent waiting?  The wrestle we face is what do we do in the WAIT.  We can wrestle with the what ifs and how’s and whys, or we can choose to be of good courage, letting the Lord strengthen our hearts as we choose to trust Him and his perfect timing.

 

Father God, we trust You! We don’t know what to do but our eyes are fixed on You! When we only see in part, when everything is at a standstill, we will choose to stand still therefore and not be shaken by what we face or even by the lack of what we face.  You are the only One worthy of our trust and today we affix our burdens to the cross and choose to tarry together at your feet, praising you for your faithfulness as we allow You to stretch our faith as we 
    wait for, 
       wait on 
           and wait upon your deliverance and salvation!

 

Tangible Tool -  Worship While We Wait

Prophesy Your Promise by Bryan & Katie Torwalt

Remaining Whole When Things Feel Harried

February 01, 2019
By Kimberly Oden ~LCA Mama & Co-Founder

Do you ever have one of those days where you awaken to something that sets a feeling of anxiousness in motion?  I had one of those today.  I know better but for some strange reason I checked email at 4am.  Yep, you read it right – 4:00 in the morning…I was going to rise early to spend time with the Lord before Markel and I headed to the gym but then I did what I knew not to do – I checked email only to read one that set my heart a pitter-pattering.

I went to the living room to open my Bible and yet my thoughts kept wandering back to the email.  As I pondered the email, I thought about the verse in Philippians 4:6 that simply says, “Be anxious for nothing.”

 

Its four simple words that are packed with a lot of power.  I LOVE it because it’s a positive command to be anxious for nothing – no thing.  Nada, Zip. Zilch. Zero…Not even an email communicating frustration when your heart's desire is to serve well...


Some versions of the Bible say, “Do not worry” or, “Do not be anxious”, but the original context was, “be anxious for nothing”!  Like not a, “do not”, but simply “be”. (I think a whole sermon could be written on that!)

On a sidenote, whenever I work on communication for LCA, consistently from the beginning, the Holy Spirit prompts me to change words around so it’s positive - like instead of, “Transcripts will not be released until fees are paid”, He whispers, “How about, ‘Transcripts WILL BE released WHEN fees are paid.’”

It’s a minor detail but it ministers encouragement to my own heart, so I think that’s why this revelation about a positive command speaks so intimately...

The word for “ANXIOUS” comes from a Greek word that means:

  • To fracture a person’s being into many parts
  • A part as opposed to the whole 
  • To be distracted
  • To be divided
  • Figuratively  => To go to pieces!


AND the word “NOITHING” comes from two words:

  • Not a possibility and
  • One

So literally, NOTHING means

  • not even one 
  • no basis
  • forbidden
  • have nothing to do with & without delay

As I thought further about this, my mind wandered back to the email awaiting a reply in my inbox…how one of the enemy’s schemes is to distract us through any means necessary in order to divide our thoughts away from Peace who resides within! And ultimately, from one another.

Even when we choose not to, “Hold our Peace”, Peace is patiently residing within us! He doesn’t go anywhere but our own anxious thoughts divide our insides causing to forget that Peace the person within trumps any hand we are dealt!  WOW!

Yes, as I thought further about the morning, I confessed and asked forgiveness that I didn’t follow the Holy Spirit to spend time with Him and instead followed the flesh to check email.  When I stepped outside what I knew was obedience its like the enemy took full advantage and hurled a circumstantial stone into my midst that tempted me to become anxious. I bit.  Isn’t this His MO?  He likes to tempt us to forget who we are (protected royalty) and Whose we are!

And when we do, our worrisome thoughts fracture our inner being into many parts, causing us to forget that we are WHOLE because of the work of the HOLY Son in us!  The bottom line is that we have ALL we need because of Him even when circumstances scream otherwise.

And in that moment when the stone comes hurling towards us we have a choice to hold our Peace or to drop Him and pick up the anxiousness that is trying to take His place.

As I think back on my morning, I wished I had the wherewithal to “be anxious for nothing!”
No thing!
Not even one!

That I would remember that despite what I’m facing, there is NO BASIS for me to fall to pieces and that in fact, by definition it’s forbidden!

Father God, help us to have nothing to do with anxious thoughts and everything to do with praise and thanksgiving! Forgive us for the moments this past week when we have allowed our thoughts to fracture our inner being, dividing us from Your Peace!  When we are tempted to fall to pieces, Holy Spirit would you remind each of us to hold our Peace? To speak little? And to love well despite what is unfolding before our very eyes?

You are our Peace Maker - You are the very essence of peace...let the fragrant aroma of peace permeate from our insides and fill the very air around us with your Presence!  And may your holy Presence be an ever-present reminder to remain whole when things feel harried.

 

p.s.The song, My Hallelujah, has been on repeat for the past few weeks...I heard Mrs. Tuinder, our 2nd grade teacher who LOVES Jesus, praising the lyrics at the top of her lungs one day as she prepared to receive her students...and I was like, "YES!  Nothing can take my hallelujah...shadows will fade, darkness will break, I'll keep on singing your praise!"  Such a great song to sing proclaim when we are tempted to let our thoughts be divided from our Peace!

 

My Hallelujah by Brian & Katie Torwalt

 

Tags: anxious, peace
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Remembering Maya: A Portrait, a Mirror & a Window

January 25, 2019
By Eric Hill ~LCA Parent

There are lots of different ways we see God.

I want you to imagine three things: a portrait, a mirror, and a window.

All of Scripture paints a portrait of Jesus. And He also uses his creation and His people to help us get a better glimpse of Him as well.

If you were to visit an art museum, you’d most likely encounter two types of people. Those that glance and those that gaze.

The people that glance, they stop, take a picture, or a selfie, check it off their list and move on … been there done that.

Then there are the people that gaze, they stop, take it in, pay attention to what stirs in them, they want to know about the artist who created each masterpiece. They spend time taking it all in, they linger.

If we’re talking about the portrait of Christ, Maya gazed, she stopped, took it in, payed attention to what stirred in her, she wanted to know everything thing there was to know about her Creator.  She embodied Psalm 27:4

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.

And because Maya knew that she was made in the image of God, she knew she was fearfully and wonderfully made. She was a masterpiece. And because she knew and understood that about herself, it allowed her to see that in others as well. Whether with an old friend, or meeting someone for the first time, Maya gazed, she stopped, took the time, payed attention to what stirred in her, she wanted to know everything thing there was to know about that person.

We feel this so deeply because she always made us feel seen and known. Even those who didn’t have the opportunity to know her, just being here today gives you a profound sense of being loved.

Another way we see God is through a mirror. If we’re gazing upon the portrait of Jesus, we take on more and more of His likeness and begin to reflect His image.

When Maya looked in the mirror, she saw her curly brown hair and radiant smile, but she also saw a reflection of her creator. Because she spent her life gazing at Jesus, He transformed her from the inside out. Simply put, her life mirrored His. And isn’t that the goal?

Because she fixed her gaze on Jesus, and because her life mirrored His, she became a window through which we were all able to see Jesus.

Here’s a really cool story …

A couple of month’s ago, I was sharing these three things (the portrait, the mirror, & the window) with my high school guys bible study…many of whom are in this room.

I asked the question, “In your life, who is a window? Who lives in such a way, that through them, you see Jesus?” Without hesitation, one of the guys said, “Maya Handler!” We all agreed! In fact, Maya is a stained glass window because the light that shines through her life, lets us see the vibrant beauty of God’s love.

The way she worshipped, the way she loved, the way she surrendered, the way she lived … just like a sunflower, open for all to see.

Maya is a window, she helped us see God in her own creative way.

So to honor Maya, and the way she lived her life like a window, we thought it would be fitting to display a stained glass window right here at the school. So when we see it, as we pass it day after day, and look at it, now and for years to come, we’ll remember Maya, we’ll thank God for her life, and because she is a window that helps us see Jesus, we’re inspired to live that way too.

So this window that we’ll have here at the school with us, it’s actually a hand made reflection of an original. There’s a stained glass artisan that created an original, authentic, stained glass window of a sunflower, and Gary and Cindy, that original is on its way to you. And when you see it, our prayer is that you’ll remember that He is with you…we are with you, and Maya’s life is still a window, and even still today, we all still see Jesus through her life.

I’ll close with this scripture that adequately describes the way Maya lived her life…

14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:14-16

Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

We’ll close by doing what Maya loved to do most … worship.
-Eric Hill, 1/17/19

p.s. Eric and his wife Kristin are parents to three lovely ladies, one of whom graduated from LCA and two who are current students.  Eric and Kristin are also co-founders of Withyou Mnistries.  Eric shared this message during Maya Handler's celebration service at LCA on January 17, 2019.  Our community was so moved by the way Maya lavishly lived her life for the pure glory of Jesus and by Eric's spot-on message, that we felt led to share the message again.  We love you, Mighty Maya, and we cannot wait to see you again on the other side of heaven!

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"Lord, Lord..."

January 18, 2019
By Kimberly Oden ~LCA Mama & Co-Founder

Last night, we had one of Isaiah’s mentors over for dinner.  He is one incredible young man who loves Jesus and has a heart to disciple!  As the night unfolded the conversation turned to his walk with Jesus and he began to share about the moment when Jesus moved from “just” Savior to becoming “Lord” of his life.  He said something to the effect of, “Its like a shift in perspective…rather than approaching life through the lens of what I can and cannot do as a Christian, I became so excited about following Jesus as Lord that I joyfully give up the things that were hindrances so that I could follow Him on the great adventure He had in store!”   Now those were not his exact words, but the gist of what I remember.   Regardless, I was so thankful that the Lord saw fit to place such a godly guy in my son's life...one that truly understood Lordship.  As I thought about what he said, I thought, “YES!  Lordship is like a holy upgrade!  Trading in what we think is pleasing and fulfilling, like a glass of cool water on a hot day, for The River of Living Water that is full to overflowing!

 

What’s so cool about the conversation is that, this week the One Year Bible had me in Matthew & the first verse I read on Wednesday stopped me in my tracks because it had to do with Lordship.  I had read it on so many other occasions but for some reason I kept reading 10:24 over and over and over: 

 

Students are not greater than their teacher and slaves not greater than their master. 

 

A question immediately popped into my thoughts but before I wrote it down in my journal, I decided to see how the King James Version phrased the verse…it confirmed the challenging question that was burning within.  KJV says, The disciple is not above his master nor his servant above his lord.  Are you ready for the question?  I wasn’t and I didn’t really want to write it down, but I did and it was this: 

 

Is there anyone or anything that is occupying the place of my Lord?

 

You see when I read the verse, a fresh light from the Lord shed new meaning and I thought, “Man, I don’t want to be mastered by anything or anyone but Jesus, my LORD and Savior.”  Then the above question followed…ouch.  I decided to look up the word, Lord, in the Interlinear Bible (This is a GREAT tool if you want to take a deep dive into understanding the words in a verse!) and discovered this:

 

LORD – derived from the Greek word kurios

  • Lord; Sir; Master; The Lord
  • A person exercising absolute ownership rights
  • He to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has the power of deciding

 

Ok, in light of the definition, I began to ponder if there is anyone or anything that I am allowing to crowd out my Lord and Savior from His throne of absolute ownership in my life?  Is there anyone or anything about whom/which I am allowing the power to decide how I use my time, talents and treasures and have at times surrendered the rights of my mind, will and/or emotions??? My mind began to spin with the things that creep in and out of my day or week that I allow to occupy the place of my one true Lord…my husband, concern for my sons, LCA, finances, emotions, Netflix, sweets….I think I could fill a paragraph with little “sirs” or “lords”  that encroach upon the throne of my King, but I will stop there!

 

I thought to myself, “Oh how I do not want to become like the lost Jesus spoke about in Luke 6:46.  The one who thought he knew Jesus as Lord and Savior, but when he met Jesus face to face, he heard Him say, “You called Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ but I don’t even know you.  Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord’, and do not do what I say?’” Luke 6:46

 

I looked up the word, “Lord” in that verse (Luke 6:46) and discovered that it is the same Greek root that is used in Matthew 10:24!

 

Oh boy!  At this point I decided to have my morning biocoffee and as I passed the refrigerator, I read the whiteboard wisdom I had written on the door a few months back. I usually write a fresh word from the Lord on a pretty consistent basis as a reminder each time we go to the fridge, that Jesus is our Bread of Life and Living Water, but at the direction of the Holy Spirit, these words have remained for quite some time and perhaps it has to do with a total surrender to Lordship?

 

Here is a nutshell of the whiteboard wisdom: 

 

  • The Verse: Romans 1:23-24, reads, For only a fool would trade the unfading splendor of an immortal God to worship the fading image of other idols.  This is why God lifted his restraining hand and let them have the full expression of their desires. 
  • The Thoughts Around the Verse:  An idol is anything that absorbs our heart of imagination more than God.  It can be our marriage, our health, our children, our finances, our job, and even a trial that we are enduring!  Good things and even hard things can become little “g” “god” things when they absorb our heart and imagination more than our Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

 

I wonder if that is what Jesus was referring to when He said, The disciple is not above his master nor his servant above his lord

 

We serve a sacred and set apart God who sent His Holy Son to not only save us from our sin but to also become Lord of our lives!  Not by His barging His way into the conversation of our lives,  but by our bidding.  The only way He can remain Lord is to know Him, to seek Him and to be diligent to keep His throne clear of little “g” gods that encroach upon His Lordship.   Praise Jesus that He left us with the residing Presence of the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us through the difficulties and distractions this life has to offer and to help us construct our lives in such an uncommon way that we ourselves can become a sacred offering consecrated to our Father God in heaven!

 

Father God, you have afforded us a blessing place that is protected by your Son’s Lordship, but we must choose to come away with You and meet You.  It is so hard to set aside the distractions of this world and the foolishness of our fleshly appetites.  You are a God who calls us to separation…speak to us right now about the things in our lives that are common…common things that have begun to occupy the uncommon place of the Lord Jesus in our hearts.  Yes, You have called us to higher and uncommon things. Please do not lift your restraining hand from us so that we experience full expression of these little “l” lords.  Holy Spirit, guide and direct us to follow you with reckless abandon because as we do, our children will begin to witness what a life of Lordship looks like. It will be winsome in their eyes.  It will spur them to want to follow!  Oh, Lord, help us as parents to be servant to You alone, yes, help us to learn to lead our children, by choosing to follow our One True Lord!

 

Great Are You Lord - All Sons & Daughters

p.s. I also learned this week that God inhabits the praises of his people! (Ps 22:3) Thought this song so appropriate to praise Him!  "Great are You, Lord!!!"

 

Background image created by Waewkidja - Freepik.com">Wooden Heart Pic

Tags: Follow, Idol, Lordship
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From Resolution to Revelation

January 11, 2019
By Kimberly Oden ~LCA Mama & Co-Founder

When my guys were little, one of our favorite book series was called, “The Adventures of Adam Raccoon.”  There is one story in particular however, Lost Woods that was our favorite.  Adam was invited to go on an adventure with King Aren, a stately lion who is the visual of Jesus.  Adam is so excited for the adventure that he begins packing all of the things he would like to take with him.  He packs his fishing pole, a tiny red ball, a tennis racket and even a television among many other things!  King Aren lets him know that he does not need these items for the journey ahead but Adam insists on bringing them.  I won’t spoil the story, but the short of it is that he ends up losing most of the items along the way, items that became distractions and burdens.  Towards the end, he still has his tiny red ball.  In fact he doesn’t just have it, he clings to it, withholding it instead of releasing it as King Aren encouraged.   Eventually this tiny red ball leads him off the path of following the King and directly into a dark place of trouble.

 

Aside from sharing the link to the book with y’all (as this series is an incredible resource for parents - lots of helpful hints and questions in the back of the book that lead to great discussion as a fam), I am sharing it because the story popped in my head after I read about Abraham and Isaac in my one year Bible this morning.   I mean I have read the one year Bible for the past 22 years, so I KNOW the story of Abraham and Isaac, however this morning, the word, “withheld” caught my eye. 

 

Genesis 22:1 says that God tested Abraham’s faith.  That sentence alone can be fodder for a lengthy discussion, however, what was so winsome to me was Abraham’s immediate response.  God called to him, “Abraham!” and Abraham replied, “Yes, here I am.”  God then told him to, “Take your son - yes Isaac,  the one whom you love so much…go and sacrifice him on one of the mountains which I will show you.”  I mean the Lord knew Abraham, he knew how priceless Isaac was to him and thus…

 

The Bible doesn’t record any further conversation or capture the feelings that must have been swirling within Abraham’s heart, all it states in the next verse is that  Abraham arose the very next morning, gathering everything he needed, including his ONLY son, and set out for the place that God showed him.  Most of us know the story…three days into the journey they arrive at the mountain and Abraham places the wood on Isaac’s shoulders and he himself takes the fire and knife and, together, they make way to the mountain where the sacrifice will take place.  My mama’s heart cannot fathom how Abraham obeyed to the very point of tying up his son, placing him on the altar and raising his knife in obedience to the Lord’s bidding…and yet at that very moment, an angel of the Lord appears to him and says his name twice, “Abraham!  Abraham!”   “Don’t hurt him in any way for now I know that you truly fear God for you have not withheld your son, your only son.”  Abraham then finds a ram caught in a thicket and sacrifices the ram and calls the place, “Yahweh Yireh ” which means, “The Lord Will Provide”. 

 

Did you catch the word like I did?  Now the Lord knew that Abraham truly feared God for he had not WITHHELD his only son… It caused me to question myself, “What am I withholding?”  Not "if", but "what", as I feel that this side of heaven, I will always have an area that could use some refinement or release!

 

So back to, “withheld”.  When I looked up the word it means:

  • Withheld => Hebrew word,  chasak – to hold back, refrain, reserve, to hinder, to keep back or keep for oneself
  • The root of chasak is chashak - it means to darken

Much like Adam Raccoon, when we withhold something from the Lord, keeping something for ourselves, it eventually becomes a hindrance and can so easily lead us to a place of darkness.

 

As the new year began to unfold, the Lord gave me a revelation of something new and it was this:  “Rather than approaching this new year with pull-up-the-bootstraps, git-r-dun resolutions, ask Me for a new revelation of upgrade in your thoughts, words or actions that would result in a resolution in your heart to follow My lead.” 

 

Anytime I make a decision out of what I desire or what I want to see happen, I pretty consistently let myself down.  However the moments in my life where I have chosen to follow the bidding of our Father God through some sort of revelation He gives (i.e. realizing that my body is literally the residing temple of the Holy Spirit and because it is such, I want to create a healthy place for Him to reside and a strong vehicle through which He can orchestrate ministry!), I then receive an upgrade. In this example, the bottom line is that the REVELATION that my body is not my own, results in the RESOLUTION to take better care of myself!  The resolution, then, is not of my own doing, it is simply a response to revelation that causes me to want to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, rather than following the rules I put in place for myself – like it’s a Divine upgrade in thinking and motivation! 

 

I am praying for all of us that this would be year marked by revelation…that 2019 would become a year of upgrade – trading out and releasing the unessential distractions of this world for an upgrade of essential tools and priority that will allow us to live the most fulfilling and faithful life possible!

Recent Posts

2/7/19 - By Kimberly Oden ~LCA Mama & Co-Founder
2/1/19 - By Kimberly Oden ~LCA Mama & Co-Founder
1/25/19 - By Eric Hill ~LCA Parent
1/18/19 - By Kimberly Oden ~LCA Mama & Co-Founder
1/11/19 - By Kimberly Oden ~LCA Mama & Co-Founder
12/12/18 - By Kimberly Oden ~LCA Mama & Co-Founder
12/5/18 - By Suzanne Phillips ~LCA Mama & Co-Founder
12/4/18 - By LCA Faculty and Staff
11/29/18 - By Kimberly Oden ~LCA Mama & Co-Founder
11/28/18 - By LCA Faculty and Staff

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