Warriors Of God (poem)

A faith that won’t waver
that stands like a wall
Strong and tight we’re united
Standing each to protect all
We will face down fear
We will fight back
Our sword and shield are mighty
against all that tries to attack
We won’t turn away
We won’t run
Forever looking forward to victory
Made warriors by the Lord’s Son
Empowered by the word
Made righteous by the blood
Our souls united the world over
in a fight that’s already been won
We may get knocked down
But we’ll rise back up
We’ll fight to spread the love of God
Every tribe and nation will hear of the Son

By:  Carrie Leigh
10.30.14

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Eyes opened anew

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I had a moment this evening that made me chuckle, look up, and say, “alright, God, I know that was you.”

Last night I was driving home from church and feeling a bit low because of the events of our first service at our newest campus.  You can read about it here.  I had been so hoping that at least one person would come.  Just one.  I couldn’t let go of the thought that somebody in that community is waiting for us to reach them.

That’s when my best friend popped into my head.

I didn’t think much about it at the time.  He’s my best friend.  He pops into my head often.  But this time was different.  It wasn’t a moment like, “oh, I can’t wait to tell him this funny story, ” or “I have got to share this picture on his Facebook page.”  He was just sitting there in my head just hanging out.  I got my phone out and sent him a text telling him how happy I am to see the way he is letting God work in his life.  The change in him over the last few months has been so amazing to watch, and it fills me with so much joy to know that I will get to spend eternity in heaven with my best friend and brother in Christ.  I can only imagine that this is how Brandi felt the Sunday I went to church with her and accepted Christ as my savior.

I got home last night, talked with my husband, wrote a new post, and went to bed.  Before going to sleep I asked God again to lead me to just that one person, to show me one person who wants and needs and is eager for Jesus in their life.  I just needed one person so that I could know my efforts weren’t in vain.

Today I was in my studio at work doing my on-air shift and my friend (the one I texted last night) walked into my studio.  His premise for coming in was to give me back a couple of commercial scripts that he had recorded for me.  But then he sat down and started to talk.

My friend had found a new christian bookstore and asked if I had ever heard of it.  It is not near where I live or work.  I generally shop at the christian bookstores near me.  He went on to tell me that I really needed to go check it out sometime because it is amazing.  Then he told me about his new bible.  It’s the first bible he’s ever had that has solely been his.  He’s got other bibles but they were his moms or hand-me-downs from other people.  He was so excited because this one is all his, has never been read or marked in by anyone else.  He told me all about it’s features as a study bible.  His girlfriend even had his name engraved on it.  I’ve seen him get this excited over comics before, but never over a bible.  This was a whole new side of my best friend that I was seeing.  I almost started crying.  I have been praying for him for months!

When he left my studio I just sat in my chair and took a moment to digest what had just happened.  When I met him 5 years ago either of us talking about God would have been preposterous.  2 1/2 years ago when the son of a mutual friend of ours passed away I had to beg him to come to the funeral service.  He was so lost, as lost as I was, and at the time neither of us knew the way home.  Honestly neither of us were ready to find our way home.

But then this year started.  What a year of change it has been.

I was sitting on my couch tonight after I got home from work, my best friend still on my mind.  Hearing him speak so excitedly about a bible and a christian bookstore, and to hear how he has gotten involved in his church . . . that’s when it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I asked God to show me just one person who was eager for God, who wanted and needed God in their life, just one person so that I could keep going with the new church campus.  God said, “That one person has been right in front of you all along, Carrie, but I will open your eyes and your heart so that you can see him anew.”  I asked God to show me one person.  God showed me my best friend.  What an amazing blessing.

Despite all that I have said here there really are no words for how I feel right now.  How do you adequately describe the feeling of knowing that someone you love will be right there with you in heaven?  How do you put into words the way it feels to know that someone who was just as lost as you turned around and gave their life to God?

There is really only one thing that can be done.  Give it to the one who did it all.  I praise God for everything.

I praise God.

Until next time . . .

Our most important job from God . . . Spread His word.

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And it is our job to go out into the world and spread that word . . .

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV)

Somewhere out there is a person who is in the same place I was in February.  They are lost.  They are empty.  They are searching but they don’t know what they are searching for.  Maybe the word has been shared with them, but they have never really heard it.  That is what keeps me going.

My church is starting a new campus in an area that is very unreceptive to anything (and anyone) new.  We have reached out the people on many occasions through various means:  door knocking, service projects, flyers.  A few connections have been made between members of my church and members of that community.  This afternoon we went down for our first service in that community.  Everyone from my church eagerly gave of their time to help do the work God gave us as his children and spread his word.  When the time came that we hoped to see people from the community arriving . . .

I fought off the feeling of discouragement that tried to creep into my heart as our pastor stood before us and saw only the people that had come from our campus.  He hoped . . . I hoped . . . We all hoped . . .that at least one person would come.  I went to the bathroom and cried.

I am not discouraged.  I am not ready to throw in the towel.  If anything the lack of people at our opening service in that community has given me more motivation.  It showed me how hard we must fight against Satan to spread the word of God, and how hard Satan will fight against us to keep us from doing that.

Somewhere in that community is someone who has never heard the word of God.  Somewhere in that community is someone who is lost and doesn’t know how to get found.  Somewhere in that community is someone who is in the dark and doesn’t know where the light is.  Somewhere in that community is someone who is looking for us just as hard as we are looking for them.

Satan will fight us in our search, but God will lead us ever forward.  Satan will try to stop us from spreading the word of God, but God has put in it our heart to keep moving forward in that community.  He will show us the way to get to the person who is waiting for us.

He will lead us to the person just as He led someone to us to show us the way when we were lost and in the dark.

We were lost and now we are found.  We heard the word and we heard God’s command to us . . . To go out and continue to spread His message.  We will keep moving forward because God has our back every single step of the way.

Until next time . . .

Lost (poem)

Living a lie
Not who I pretend to be
Faith is just words,
a mask for you to see
Inside lurks the truth
clawing to get out
It hides even from me
but appears with a vengeful shout
Fighting to hold it in
Fighting to beat it down
Before it overcomes me
Before in Hell I drown
Everyone else can see it
I’m the only one that believes the lie
The truth will pull me so far down
on it’s deadly ride
Mirror, mirror in front of my face
reflecting back my soul
So black, so dark, so empty
Turns out nothing can make it whole
Satan can attack with his worst weapons
He can try to do his worst
But I am my biggest enemy
knowing I can’t live The Word
Accepted, redeemed
Forsaken, forgotten
Lost on the path to Heaven
Stuck in my own Hell
 
By:  Carrie Leigh
10.15.14

How can I pray for you today?

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SAVE MY LIFE
SIDEWALK PROPHETS

We’ve met half a dozen times
I know your name I know you don’t know mine
But I won’t hold that against you

You come here every Friday night
I take your order and try to be polite
And hide what I’ve been going through

If you looked me right in the eye
Would see the pain deep inside
Would you take the time to

[Chorus:]
Tell me what I need to hear
Tell me that I’m not forgotten
Show me there’s a God
Who can be more than all I’ve ever wanted
‘Cause right now I need a little hope
I need to know that I’m not alone
Maybe God is calling you tonight
To tell me something
That might save my life

I’m the pastor at your church
For all these years you’ve listened to my words
You think I know all the answers

But I’ve got doubts and questions too
Behind this smile I’m really just like you
Afraid and tired and insecure

If you look me right in the eye
Would you see the real me inside
Would you take the time to

[Chorus]

Save my life

I am just like everyone
Jesus I need You, I need Your Love
To save my life

[Chorus]

(Lyrics courtesy of www.azlyrics.com)

Tonight is one of those nights where God really seems to be speaking to me through music.  It would make sense that He would do it that way.  Almost my whole life has been centered around music.  What better way to reach me when he has something to say.
As Christians our biggest and most important job is to spread The Word.  God wants us to lead others to Him just as we were led to Him.  But I will be honest when I say that there are times when I don’t know if I’ll know an opportunity to share God’s word even if it is staring me right in the face.  It’s not that I’m not ready for those opportunities, but will I recognize them?
Have you ever wondered the same thing?
How many people do you come in contact with everyday?  The people at your gas station, fast food restaurant, coworkers, people at the grocery store, babysitter, the person standing in front of you at WalMart, your next door neighbor.  How many of those people need to hear the word of God?
Maybe the better question is . . . How many of those people do not need to hear the word of God?
The ALL need to hear it!
It can be as simple as saying, “How can I pray for you today?”
Everybody has SOMETHING that is weighing on their heart.  Illness, financial troubles, legal issues, unemployment or career change, marriage problems, insecurity, and the list goes on.  Think of all the times you felt troubled and weighed down.  Now think of all the times you were too afraid, ashamed, or embarrassed to voice those troubles.  Wouldn’t it have been nice for someone to come to you and say, “How can I pray for you today?”
A year ago I was lost.  I was cheating on my husband.  I was putting work before my family.  I knew that God was there but I didn’t want Him in my life because I thought He wouldn’t want me.  How many paths do you cross in a day of people who might be thinking the same way I was?
But what about you, my brother or sister in Christ?  Do you have moments where you feel like you are so far away from God that He can’t hear you?  Just because a Christian is saved doesn’t mean that they don’t need to have the word shared with them.  Yes, we go to church.  Yes, we pray and do our bible study. Let’s be totally honest though.  Sometimes we just don’t feel God there with us.  He hasn’t left us.  We just get so mired in our own life that we can’t see past ourselves to see God right next to us.  We may be on the path to heaven, but sometimes it feels like our GPS took us on a wrong turn.
That is why we must share the word of God.  He wants us to go out and help the lost find their way to Him though His son.  He wants us to help our brothers and sisters with misguided GPS get back on the right path.
We are not meant to travel the road to eternity alone.  When we are alone we get lost.  When we are alone we become targets for Satan.  When we are alone we can’t find God.
So the next time you see someone share with them the word of God.  Share with them what someone shared with you.  Show them the road that someone showed you.  The next time you see someone all you have to do is ask . . .

How can I pray for you today?

I Am New – Jason Gray

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I AM NEW
JASON GRAY

Now I won’t deny
The worst you could say about me
But I’m not defined
By mistakes that I’ve made
Because God says of me

I am not who I was
I am being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy
And I’m dearly loved
I am new

Who I thought I was
And who I thought I had to be
I had to give them both up
Cause neither were willing
To ever believe

I am not who I was
I am being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy
And I’m dearly loved
I am new

Too long I have lived
In the shadows of shame
Believing that there
Was no way I could change
But the one who is making everything new
Doesn’t see me the way that I do
He doesn’t see me the way that I do

I am not who I was
I am being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy
And I’m dearly loved
I am new

I am not who I was
I am being remade I am new
Dead to the old man,I’m coming alive
I am new

Forgiven beloved
Hidden in Christ
Made in the image of the Giver of Life
Righteous and holy
Reborn and remade
Accepted and worthy, this is our new name

This is who we are now…

(Lyrics courtesy of www.azlyrics.com)

It’s so easy to doubt our faith, or even completely lose it, because we forget that God is making us into someone new, into the person that He wants us to be.  We get reminded of things we used to do or say and it can make us doubt that we’ve overcome our past and keep us from moving into our future.  It’s really easy to look in the mirror and see the person that we once were.  But no matter what we see God sees who we are right now.  He sees the new person inside of us that was borne of the blood of His son.  He sees us the way a new parent sees their minutes-old baby.  He sees our potential.  He sees our talents and heart.  He sees our love and faithfulness.  He sees His plans for us.  He sees the person inside of us that we will become.  And he is excited about who we are right now, but He is even more excited about who we will continue to become through Him.
Never will He say, “I don’t know who you are trying to fool.  You used to sleep around.  You used to drink.  You used to do drugs, steal, and lie.”  He looks at us and says, “Yes, you used to do those things, but that person is dead.  You have been born brand new and who you are today is what matters.”
He doesn’t want us to look back on our past with regret.  We are to look back on our past, find our testimony, and share it with others as a way to lead them into their future with Him.  He led us out of our dark days and into the light, and through us He will lead others into the light as well.
You are not who you once were.
You are being made brand new.
Until next time . . .

Meet The ‘Sandwich Nazi’

Let’s face it.  We live in a world where corporate greed is the standard.  All we hear about are the CEO’s who make all their money off the backs of the paycheck-to-paycheck workers.  Rarely do we hear about a business owner who feels so blessed by his success that he celebrates it by giving back to the community that made him successful.  He doesn’t do it for the tax break.  He doesn’t do it so that his store can get some good P-R.  He doesn’t do it because he has to.  He does it because he can, because he wants to.  The bag lunches that he passes out to the homeless in his community may not change the world, but you can bet that they mean the world to the recipients.  He is changing the world for them.  That is the definition of giving.

Until next time . . .

Kindness Blog

It was a waiter’s rudeness that prompted a Lebanese immigrant to donate more than 128,000 sandwiches to hungry residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Sandwich Nazi

Salam Kahil, who lives in the poverty-stricken neighbourhood and owns La Charcuterie Delicatessen in Surrey, has brought sandwiches to his hungriest neighbours every month since making a promise to feed them in 1986, but now he’s helping more than ever and celebrating Thanksgiving by donating 500 brown bag lunches.

Kahil moved to Montreal from Lebanon in 1979, when a violent, escalating civil war spurred a mass exodus from the country.

Broke and hungry, he came to Vancouver six years later and took a job at a restaurant where the head waiter treated him so cruelly during a shift, he resolved to quit, but only after earning his free daily meal.

“I was crying all the way to my home,” Kahil told The Province. “And I made a…

View original post 169 more words

Broadway, graffiti, a guitar, and a list

A friend and I were talking at work today about things we want to do before we die . . . yes, the proverbial bucket list conversation.  It turns out that there are several websites offering inspiration to those looking to make their own bucket list.  Try bucketlist.org, bucketlistjourney.net, or bucketlist.net.

What inspired this conversation is that I have decided to rent a plot next year in the community garden in my town.  Last year I set a goal to write and publish an e-book.  I did that.  This year my goal was to grow sunflowers and make homemade pickles.  I did both of those.  Next year I want to have a real actual garden and grow my own veggies.  I believe that everybody should have a goal to work toward.

My friend and I talked for a few minutes and he decided that he needed to write his bucket list right then and there.  He came up with five items, wrote them down and thus his bucket list was born.  That got me thinking about what I would put on my bucket list.  What are somethings that I want to do before I die?

Here are some things that come to mind . . .

1.  See my e-book published as a hardback.

2.  Learn to play acoustic guitar.

3.  See my son and stepdaughter get baptized.

4.  Own a house.

5.  Take a road trip around America in a R-V, taking only 2-lane back roads, visiting mom-and-pop restaurants and stores, rediscovering the heartbeat of America behind all the big-name-chains.

6.  Visit Australia and  see koalas and kangaroos in their natural habitat.

7.  Visit Ireland.

8.  Go to work for K-Love radio.

9.  Produce a radio commercial for national airplay.

10.  Save a life.

11.  Lead someone to Christ.

12.  See Elvis in concert.

13.  See Pearl Jam in concert.

14.  See The Who in concert.

15.  Go on an international mission trip.

16.  Help build a Habitat For Humanity house.

17.  Buy a meal for a homeless person.

18.  Apologize to a former friend for the way our friendship ended.

19.  Write a best-seller.

20.  Meet Stephen King.

21.  Stand on the stage at the Grand Ole Opry and Radio City Music Hall.

22.  See a Broadway play.

23.  Read the whole bible from Genesis to Revelation.

24.  Join a book club.

25.  Kiss in the rain.

26.  Climb to the top of a radio tower.

27.  Create graffiti so awesome that people call it art.

28.  Write a blog post that goes viral.

29.  Find the courage to quit hiding behind a pseudonym.

30.  Become a college graduate.

I’m sure there are more things that I will think of right after I click “post” so I may add to this list later, but this seems like a pretty good start.

What would be on your bucket list?  On your mark, get set, GO!

Until next time . . .

Confessions of a Friday night-Revisited

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I have a habit of taking screenshots of favorite bible verses on my phone.  I do this for quick reference when I sit down in the evening for my bible study.  Tonight I came across a screenshot I took several days ago of 1 Corinthians 15:33 . . . Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

Earlier this today I wrote a post about seeing the drummer last Friday evening.  It has been weighing heavily on me since that night.  I took the screenshot of that verse last Wednesday or Thursday.

God in his infinite wisdom and love was telling me to stay away from the drummer.  He gave us, His children, free will.  He knew what I would do.  By sending me that verse I can see now that he was telling me to remember why I walked away from the drummer back in June.

When reminding us how important personal bible study is my pastor always references 2 Timothy 3:16 . . . “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”.  What a lesson I have been taught!

Great is God’s love, patience, and forgiveness for His children even when we stumble and fall.  He lifts us up and puts us back on the path to Him.

Until next time . . .

Confessions of a Friday night

This has been weighing so heavily on my heart for the past several days . . . I saw the drummer last Friday night.

Through a post on Facebook from a mutual friend of ours I knew where the drummer would be playing that night.  I knew that morning that I would be sitting there that night.  I drove downtown.  I walked into the restaurant.  I took my seat at the crowded bar.  I can say that I went in there just to hear the music, but that would be a lie.  I went in there on Friday night to wait.

He saw me walk in.  He saw where I was sitting.  I just waited . . . waiting for their break between sets.  I hadn’t spoken to him since June.  I thought I had him out of my system.  I thought I was alright, that I could handle a casual exchange of small talk.

When they took their break after their first set the drummer walked over to me and I KNEW that I was where I shouldn’t be.  What am I talking about?  I knew that the moment I got out of my car that night and walked up the sidewalk to the restaurant.  As he and I stood there talking about absolutely nothing all I could think about was running away from him as fast and as far as I could.

So why did I go there to begin with?

I missed him.  We had become pretty good friends before I realized that his friendship was a VERY bad influence on me.  I missed the way we could talk.  I missed the way we laughed with each other.  I missed the way we argued.  I missed the ease with which we could share each others company.  I missed watching him do what he loves best . . . make music.

I missed the drummer.

It has taken me days to be able to admit that to myself.

Part of me feels guilty for admitting that I missed him.  He was a terrible influence on me.  We were only friends because I first approached him with inappropriate intentions.  But at the same time if he were to call me right now and say, “Let’s go get lunch like we used to do, Carrie,” I would be there in a heartbeat.  It’s scary to know that about myself.

I could go back to that friendship and know that absolutely nothing would be different.  He would still disrespect my faith.  He would still treat me like crap.  He would still belittle the things that are important to me.  He would still expect me to be the faithful groupie with her seat in the audience when he plays.  He would still only want to be friends when it was convenient for him.  I could go back right now because I miss him very much.  I won’t go back because I know nothing would have changed.

How many times can a girl go to God and beg to be pulled from the same situation and then keep going back over and over before He gives up on her or she finally comes to her senses?

I told my best friend yesterday about having seen the drummer on Friday night.  I told him that I wish I had never met the drummer, because he became like an addiction to me.  I can’t shake him.  Just when I think I’m clean and have him out of my system the urge to see or talk to him just one more time hits.  But just a taste is never enough.  A person can go to rehab for drug addiction.  A person can’t go to rehab to get clean of feelings for someone.

I’m angry at myself.  I’m angry for letting myself down.  I’m angry for giving in to the temptation that I had ignored for months.  I’m angry for putting myself into such a position that days later it still has my head messed up.

I am also so very angry at the drummer.  I’m angry at him for not caring where I was or why I hadn’t spoken to him for months.  I’m angry at him for proving that I was a disposable friend to him.  I’m angry at him for not caring about me the same way I cared (still care?) about him.

I wish I had never met him.  I wish I had never gone to watch my friend play bass with his band that night last October and been taken in by the guy who backed him on the drum kit.

How much different would this past year have been had I not met the drummer that night almost a year ago?  But that is a moot question.  I did meet him.  I wrapped my world around him.  And just when I think I’ve got it all untangled . . . another bar, another Friday night.

I am weak.  For the past year the drummer has been my weakness.

Am I strong enough to overcome him?

Until next time . . .