A Full Heart

Monday, July 26, 2010  ::   6 important comments

I pray for my family Second Mile family consistently. I pray for authenticity, unity, and vulnerability among us. I pray that we will be very aware of what God is doing in our lives on a daily basis. I ask God to make us ready to engage in worshipping him together during our Sunday gatherings. Specific people from our church to pray for come to my mind on a regular basis. I love praying for my church family.

Last night I was allowed to see specific answers to my prayers. Four people stood and shared with us something God has been teaching them through the Acts series. The authenticity and vulnerability was rich. These four people shared tangible ways that God's word was alive and active in their lives. The stories were genuine. None of the sharers were trying to impress us, only to encourage and be part of a true community.

Musical worship was unified. People stood and sang... loudly! From the stage, which often feels terribly distant from my family, I could literally hear everyone raising their voices to the Most High God. It was a beautiful sound. Second Mile engaging in uninhibited worship will be a continual request I bring to God. Last night was a beautiful step in that direction.

I love my Second Mile family. Last night I was reminded of the specific reasons I love these people. I'm so thankful God has allowed me to be part of a wonderful, imperfect, continually growing community that seeks to love God and love people. My heart is full.

Making Psalm 124 Personal

Monday, July 26, 2010  ::   Be the first to leave a comment!

I have a new understanding of You being on my side!
I want to sing and shout it! God is on my side!!
And if you hadn't been...

-I would have been swallowed alive.
-I would have been bitter and angry.
-I would have been overtaken by greed and sex.
-I would have been an over-bearing angry wife and mom.
-I would be drowning in ministry.

Praise you, Covenant Keeper! You haven't let me be ripped to shreds, but through the circumstances of my life you have made me more like Jesus.

I've escaped the enemy that hunted me. I've escaped my own self-destructive ways.

I am free!

My help comes from the One who keeps his promises.
He is the Maker of heaven and earth.

Invisible Magnetic Force Fields

Thursday, July 22, 2010  ::   2 important comments

I love floating in the pool… alone. No one else around. In the quiet. By myself. Yesterday as I enjoyed gloriously floating on my brand new mesh floating device, I realized that I was actually thinking about nothing. It was such a surprising revelation. I never ever think about nothing. There is always something swirling around in my head, conversations I’ve had with Chad, conversations I would like to have with my kids, strategic ideas for Second Mile, Moxie work that needs to be done, character issues I need to work on, counseling and prayer that I’m having with women I invest in. This only skims the surface of my never-ending thoughts. On a really busy brain day, I’m pondering creation, the depth of my own depravity and being a full-heir with Christ. I wonder sometimes about the existence of God and the deep issues of my own faith. Often I’m praying and praying and praying about every thing that comes to my mind, a friend I had in kindergarten to the new women I met in my spin class, a missionary I know in Thailand to the people undergoing devastating weather in a third world country. My brain almost literally neverstops. Until I’m in the pool. Alone. No one else around. In the quiet. By myself. On my brand new mesh floating device.


I think there is a invisible magnetic force field around the perimeter of the pool that silences my thoughts. Or maybe it is the Holy Spirit allowing me some peace and quiet.

Thursday, July 22, 2010  ::   Be the first to leave a comment!

When our lives are immersed in Him, every ending, everything we believe to be the death of us is instead a hand-engraved invitation to a new beginning. God is so much better than He has to be. The kinds of things God chooses to do in our lives that are “immeasurably more than we ask or imagine” (Eph. 3:20) are not out of obligation. They gush from unbridled affection.
Beth Moore

Making Psalm 123 Personal

Thursday, July 22, 2010  ::   Be the first to leave a comment!

Psalm 123

On my knees I look up to you

Because you are the King on the throne!


I will hold your hand like a servant girl,

And keep my eyes on you,

And not give up until you show me favor.


Grace our family, Covenant Keeper, Grace our family!

We need your favor, help, sustaining power.

We’ve had more than enough ridicule and disrespect.


Sometimes the mocking is simply feeling alone, but we aren’t.

You are our King. We lift our eyes to you.


Keep my gaze on you, Covenant Keeper.

Remind me to pray when disrespect takes place towards anyone.

Remind me to pray before I take action.

Finally Stepping Upward

Thursday, July 22, 2010  ::   Be the first to leave a comment!


My soul has been in a very dry place for the last few months. Turns out, I have the terrible habit of fixing my gaze on circumstances around me instead of on Christ. Hearing the deep troubles of those I have the privilege of ministering to, as well as my own deep struggles caused me to feel empty, lack luster, and worn out. The timely arrival of this study proves God’s unyeilding, personal pursuit of his children. Each day I spend time studying one of the Psalms of Ascent (Ps 120-134), I literally feel like I’m ascending out of the dump that I’ve been in. Can I tell you that it is such a great relief?

Beth Moore wrote the study in such a way that we would spend two days on each Psalm symbolizing taking steps up to meet God putting both feet on each step. During our own personal study time, we read the Psalm out loud, work the Psalm by underlining, circling, highlighting the meaningful words and descriptions, and then at the end of the second day, we re-write the Psalm in our own words as a prayer. The last step was the most intimidating to me. I’m not much for re-wording things I read that are already perfect. I can quote Psalms as prayers fairly easily, but for some reason re-writing them as my own prayers revealed some insecurity in my spirit. Well, good news! This is turning out to be the highlight of my study time. God is truly making each Psalm so personal in my life. I study them for two days, gain a rich understanding of the history and purpose of the chapter, and finally, make deep personal application to what God is revealing to me.

I’ve decided I’m going to share a few of my prayed through Psalms. It is personal, but I believe that God teaches me to make me more like Jesus, but not to just to keep it to myself. I won’t type out every Psalm, only the ones I feel the Spirit asking me to share. Again, I’m so grateful for the timing of this study. He always knows exactly what I need, exactly when I need it. Psalm 30:6-12

Making My Way Through

Thursday, July 22, 2010  ::   Be the first to leave a comment!

Making my way through...

The Old Testament is not the place in the Bible I’m drawn to, especially the parts about the law, the offerings, the genealogies. But, alas, I choose to not neglect half of the Bible. I’ve actually been contemplating the complicated matters of the temple quite a bit. It is true that I do not understand most of it. I mean, why in the world did they have to rub blood on the priest’s big toe? Seems very strange. Thankfully, God in all of his glorious detail understands my inability to sift through the nitty-gritty and teaches me in big moments with big concepts.

This last Easter weekend I had the privilege of reading Isaiah 53 to forty of my closest Cord of Hope partners. We were about to worship God together through singing, giving gifts to people who may not know Jesus, and praying. As I was passionately reading this beautiful description of Jesus, I was struck by verse 10 that says Jesus made his life our guilt offering. Leviticus talks a lot about guilt offerings, and I, on some intellectual level, understand why they were necessary. But, in that sweet moment of remembering Jesus on the cross I was struck in a new and fresh way that Jesus is my guilt offering.

The big moment in front of my closest partners moved me straight to a huge concept. The reason the old testament is so full of detail in how to approach the Most High God of the universe is because his holiness is far too great for us to understand. Jesus, the one and only Son of God became my guilt offering because the holiness of God demands meticulous detail just to simply approach him. Saying that I wanted to fall on my knees in that moment is an understatement.

God teaching me in big moments like these is such grace to me. Making my way through the Old Testament has not been an easy journey. I much prefer James, Romans, one of the gospels. But, the desire to see deeper into his holiness draws me to my reading each day. I confess there is so much I don’t understand. But, my thankfulness to Jesus for becoming my guilt offering intensifies as I see the attention to detail demanded of people just to approach God. I will make my way through…

Wednesday, July 21, 2010  ::   Be the first to leave a comment!

If you ask me, the separation of truth from meaning is a dangerous game. I don’t think memorizing ideas helps anybody unless they already understand the meaning inferred in the expression of those ideas. I think ideas have to sink very deeply into a person’s soul, into their being, before they can effect change, and lists rarely sink deeply into a person’s soul.
Donald Miller

Wednesday, July 21, 2010  ::   Be the first to leave a comment!

Thousands of years later, I think most of us would also choose a physical Jesus over an invisible Spirit. But what do we do with the fact that Jesus says it is better for His followers to have the Holy Spirit? Do we believe HIm? If so, do our lives reflect that belief?
Francis Chan, Forgotten God (John 16:7)

Cord of Hope Origins

Wednesday, July 21, 2010  ::   3 important comments

In Sept of 2004, I received a newsletter of a ministry friend who lives in Waco, Texas. At the time, my family and I were living in Lincoln, NE. In her newsletter my friend began to describe a new ministry that she was involved with and how it had grabbed her heart. She described feeling like she had no choice but to join God in taking the message of Jesus to the marginalized of society, the places that the church often shuns or turns from because of shame and embarrassment, the places where Jesus himself would go if he was walking around today. The description of beautiful gift bags filled with fragrant lotions, cute jewelry, pink lip gloss, fancy nail polish, and of course, delicious chocolate taken in and handed out with extreme, non-judgmental, freely given love captured my attention. But, what captured my heart was that they were taking these gift bags into men’s clubs to pass them out to strippers.

As I was reading the article in the newsletter, I began to cry and asked God to give me the ability, means, and passion to take gifts to women in the clubs in my city. The story of the woman that washed Jesus’ feet with her hair and tears continued to come to my mind. You see, I am that woman. I’ve come to Jesus so many times with shame, guilt, and self condemnation. He continually lifts my head, looks at me, and offers his grace and forgiveness. As I was praying for the opportunity to be part of a ministry like this I continued to picture women bowed at his feet, and Jesus taking them, lifting their heads, and changing their lives.

My family along with ten friends, moved to Tucson, AZ in November 2004 to start a church called Second Mile. We were basing much of our ministry philosophy on Matthew 5:41 where Jesus commands that you serve people not in just the first mile, but you go ahead and go two miles. Because I’m a very passionate, outspoken (some say loud-mouthed) person, I immediately started talking about taking gifts to men’s clubs. In Tucson, it doesn’t take long to notice that there are men’s clubs everywhere. As a church, we decided Easter would be our first trip to a club to meet and give gifts to dancers.

I’ll never forget the first time I was sitting in the parking lot waiting to go in and ask the managers permission to bring gifts to the women. It was the Thursday before Easter. We were hoping to bring the gifts to pass out on Saturday night. My friend/accountability support was coming from work, so I had the opportunity to sit, pray, and shake. What would I say? Would the things I had rehearsed easily come out of my mouth? Would the manager know I was sincere with no ulterior motives? Would he believe me when I told him that we didn’t want to preach, just give out awesome gifts? Would he in fact give us permission to come back on Saturday?

The look on his face when I began to tell him that we were from a church called Second Mile and we wanted to bring these gifts (I carried a sample for him to look through) to give to the dancers the night before Easter was priceless. “You want to do What?” I explained that we knew the dancers would work long hard hours and probably wouldn’t have time to do the “traditional” Easter thing, so we decided to bring Easter to them. I again asked permission. Through his shock he said yes, and then showed my friend and me around the club so that we would know where to go when we showed up with 50 beautiful gift bags that weekend. It was the beginning to a journey that I could not have predicted, understood, or imagined.

We have grown to giving out 120 gift bags, 15 manager gifts, and 25 baked good bags for bouncers and male employees. We will be adding another club, 50 bags, at Christmas. Our main gift giving happens at Christmas and Easter, but we will start taking much smaller gifts throughout the year starting in October. We pray, weep, strategize, and continue to ask Jesus to give us his love for these women. We go to them not because we think we are better, not because we think what they do is evil, not because we want to get them out of the business. We go to them because we truly desire for them to experience the extreme, non-judgmental, freely given love of Christ. We go to them because Jesus has asked us to go EVEN IF we never see anyone give their life to him. We go to them because we believe Jesus is on the move and as we are passionately pursuing him we must be on the move with him.