Stephen - Crazy hair day at school

Ask, Knock, Seek

Speak from Rachel Smith on Vimeo.
At the mom's conference I went to last fall Cheri Keaggy was the worship leader. Now, I'm not really a fan of hers and I'm a little picky with my worship music, but ... Can I just say that the woman knocked my socks off! She was SO sweet and SO authentic.

One song she sang was called "Speak (the listening song)."
Women at my church have been meeting to pray every other Tuesday evening - after the Precepts class I teach. It has been the most amazing time.

There are no prayer requests. No sharing time. We just sit and pray together.

And I've come to realize what's happening.

When a group of women who love Him gather and together begin to knock at His door, when they persistently ask, seek... -

He opens the door! He SPEAKS! He is SO faithful to us!

You can feel His pleasure that His children are in agreement seeking to be with Him. It's unlike any other experience I have ever had.

Our little group of women will be increasing our meeting times to every week. We're hoping that our numbers will increase as well - because this opportunity HAS to be shared.


Fish Lessons

A few months ago I was given a large reality check.  Or should I call it a humility check?  I wrote a blog after a fairly long, tiring day (ok, half day.  I wrote it at like noon).  It was a way to vent ... to be a little creative ... well, ok, I was complaining to an audience I considered fairly small (thanks for reading, mom).  

In this blog I compared myself to a witch.  Umm Hmm.  I did.

In said blog I also mentioned that I had been to a recent mom's conference.  And here's where the humiliation came in.  The woman (author, notable speaker, pastors wife ...) who founded the conference READ THE ENTRY.  AND COMMENTED.  Ahhhhhh!!!!  I could just envision her copying the link and sending it out to the prayer partners ... "here's a gal who really needs some prayer.  ASAP."  Oh my gosh.  I've never been so embarrassed.  *sigh*

I decided some serious prayer was needed.  If God was graciously putting me in my place in such a public manner, maybe I had some serious pride issues going on.  This girl got on her knees and begged Jesus to reveal weeds of hidden pride (it's always hidden, right? When's the last time you thought, "oh, I'm just so stinkin' proud!"?)

And He said to me:
Loaves and Fish, Rachel.  What you have, anything you have, is the same as everyone else.  You can come to me with your loaves and fish, and I will do miracles.  I will multiply your gifts, talents, blessings in amazing, exciting ways.  But remember - I will.  Keep the focus on the miracle worker who gave you the loaves and fish in the first place.  
Whoa.  That's been ringing in my ears for 2 or 3 months now.  He's the One.  He's the giver of all things.  I had developed a few small weeds and sweet Jesus gave me a weed puller.  

Now here's part two.

This last week, an unexpected whisper came in my ear.  Ready for it?

What are you doing with all your fish?
What are you doing with all your fish?
Uh.  Whoops.  

I got the weed out of my garden, but now I am sitting with a pile of 5,000 fish and bread - and if I don't use it the way it is intended, I'm pretty sure they will start to stink.  And me with them.

Oh Lord forgive me.  Is anyone else this slow to learn?  Seriously!  Does it take everyone else this long to learn lessons from Him?  I am in a constant cycle - frustration at my slowness, then gratitude with His patience.  

Now that He has shown me these lessons, I'm waiting for the application.  (One other lesson I learned the hard way over a long period ... wait for His timing.)  He's usually setting me up so that when I see the opportunity for obedience I won't miss is.  So I'll keep praying, and waiting.  And bringing Him every fish and loaf of bread He provides.

I'm hoping that you'll all tell me when I start to smell a little fishy.