Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jesus is the Reason for All Seasons!

January 2, 2010
No matter what season of life each one of us is in, JESUS should be the year-round reason we're livin', lovin', laughin, breathin', workin', and playin'! Anyone who KNOWS Jesus as their Lord and Savior knows that everything comes from HIS hand -- every moment not JUST every December!

The "Christmas Season" in the U.S. usually begins the day after Thanksgiving and lasts through the whole month of December ending January 1. During that time it's OK to sing and say the name of JESUS in stores, restaurants, shopping malls, grocery stores, and piped-in Christmas carols croon in elevators and doctors' offices, and so on. Often, corporate offices have "Christmas parties" where gallons of alcohol generously flow and the foyers of office buildings are embellished with "Christmas" decorations.

The U.S. "Christmas" season also includes lots of spending of "gifts" for "good little girls and boys" who are brain-washed by our culture that they MUST have the latest electronic gadget, newer car, better clothes....whatever the passion is according to worldly traditions. Don't forget the backwash of debt, debt, debt when this 'delightful" Season ends in January! :)

Do I sound cynical? Maybe just a little but my Bible tells me that JESUS desires to be first and foremost in my mind, heart, body and soul. If I let worldly wealth, obsessions with what other people think, and my own self get between me and God, well then I have problems --serious problems -- because it means I'm not being who and what God created me to be and I'll never have peace living like that.
I was leading a devotional study with the Creekview High School cheerleaders one Friday in December, just before the break for the 'holidays'. I named the devotion "Jesus IS the Reason for the Season" and I shared some of these same thoughts.

What happened to me in the days and weeks afterward shows me that when we hear God speaking to us through His Spirit -- by giving us thoughts and desires to do something for HIM -- and we take steps of faith in the direction He's leading us, amazing things happen. Here's my story and I'm stickin' to it! :) The devotional message I shared with the precious Creekview cheerleaders included two verses:

Matthew 1:21 -- "She (Mary) will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name JESUS, because He will save His people from their sins.

Matthew 1:23 -- "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him 'Immanuel' -- which means, 'God with us.' "
I stayed on those two points with them and said, "If you KNOW Jesus you are forgiven & free to live AND you will never be alone. He will always take care of you and be with you. The only reason we (I) can act silly and laugh often and love lots is because JESUS lives in us and we are confident that He loves us and will never leave us and He really is Immanuel to us. And that's why we celebrate Christmas....and all we really should be celebrating Christmas all year long!"

Well, that was my devotional message to the girls. Then God visited my heart and pierced it with the truths I shared with them. In a new way, I saw, "JESUS is the reason for the season."

I was looking forward with great anticipation for our daughter Grace to come home, too, for a couple weeks in December and she was going to even be here for my birthday (Jan. 1). It meant both of our precious daughters, Mary and Grace, would be here with us to celebrat

My message to the cheerleaders stirred me up to enjoy the 2009 SEASON more than ever and in a new way: to focus on what really matters.....and stuff doesn't matter!



I praise God our daughters are also daughters of the King so we could and did celebrate HIM together for a couple of weeks with: Christmas concerts, baking our traditional Christmas cookies for us and to share with our neighbors,



worship services at church, singing of Christmas hymns in the car and hearing them playing constantly at home, eating together, reuniting together with family friends, celebrating my birthday together, taking a trip to Alabama for a family reunion, reminiscing about when the girls were younger and laughing every day together about the hilarious personality of our littlest Balint: Lexie, a year-old rescue dog.
What have I learned through my own devotions? Relax and realize the most important thing is this life is RELATIONSHIPS. My relationship with Jesus Christ is first and then my relationship with my family and others are a very close second! :) Nothing is more fulfilling and joy-filled than to love and serve God alongside your brothers and sistas!
I have learned that what enriches our lives is when we learn from Christ what unconditional love is and what HIS grace means and then appreciating each of our differences and gifts and talents instead of criticizing the differences and gossiping about them.


I've heard someone recently say that we must stop envying each other and realize that our God designed that we each have different gifts that others do not have for a reason and we must develop our own God-given gifts and work with the body of Christ so HIS purposes can be fulfilled!
I pray this New Year will be one filled with an overflow of thankfulness in each of our hearts for the blessings that we do have and filled with hope for what HE will do in each of our lives for HIS glory in 2010!!!
With love & blessings,
Polly

Monday, November 30, 2009

Loaves of bread & ..... hotdogs???? Yep! Eph. 3:20!

Ever since I heard about the ministry Church on the Street I was intrigued even though all I knew about it was that it was a ministry of our church, First Baptist Woodstock, that a family friend named Don Landy headed it up and that they took hotdogs and the Gospel to downtown Atlanta in a church van. I thought, 'that's a mission trip and that's really cool our church is doing that.'

As time passed I heard that the Church on the Street ministry that went downtown was taking donated winter coats with them when the weather changed. They already were receiving my prayers and our financial support.


Until a few weeks ago when I bought up Church on the Street (again) my hubby reminded me that the ministry expanded to the Canton area. Hmmmm. I think that's when God's tapping on my shoulder became a gentle shoulder hug that said, "Polly, just check it out. Just once. You know you're drawn to it."

So last week when I couldn't resist any longer and I called our church office and got Randy Richardson's number, the leader of the Canton ministry. I told him, "I'm a church member and I'm curious about the ministry." What he explained to me sounded exactly like our church's ministry in downtown Atlanta.
I once again took just one step of faith to see if God would part the sea. Can you say, "On Dry Ground???" :)
This morning I showed up in our church kitchen and met a handful of the Canton ministry's faithful servants and they quickly got me involved in the hot dog assembly line. My job was to squeeze a narrow stripe of ketchup on the hot dog bun. (Someone else did it with mustard.) Randy, standing in line next to me gently said to me -- since he was wrapping the dogs in foil -- "You might want to put the ketchup in the center of the bun so it won't squeeze out when it's tightly wrapped in the foil. But since you're new at this, it's really OK. We want you to come back and I know you can learn quickly." Then we both laughed.


Still standing in the kitchen, Randy said, "We need to go see the Prayer Warriors, come on everybody." I thought, "Wow, Lord, what is this?" We walked across the hallway to the Prayer Room and found saw six silver-haired saints --men and women -- sitting in a tight circle, deep in prayer. When we walked in they hugged us and then we all stood in a circle holding hands. These precious Prayer Warriors were richly seasoned with God's grace and power. They prayed for us, for the ministry, for salvation for those we would serve, and on and on. I got tears in my eyes. Then we got more hugs and love and walked back across the hallway to the kitchen to finish food prep. I'm not sure my feet felt the ground because the presence of God was so strong.

When the huge coolers of tea were filled and almost 200 dogs were wrapped and stored in a cooler, the church van was loaded and the group got in the van. Since I had a previous appointment before I knew God was going to send me to this ministry, I had to follow the church van in my car so I could leave in time to meet my previous commitment.

Did I mention the temperature was high 50s and it was raining? Well, it was. I was closely following the church van and the Church on the Street trailer and as we were getting within 500 yards of the parking lot where we'd be serving, the men standing outside and lining the storefronts began waving and smiling as the church van passed by. Then I got very teary. It was like they knew Jesus had come to see them again since Randy and his team do this every Monday at lunch time. I started thinking about the 'loaves of bread and the fish passage' in Scripture.

The light, cold rain didn't stop the Spanish-speaking lunch guests who continued to be drawn to our location and who very slowly wandered near. They were greeted with our smiles and cups of iced tea and invited to come closer for some food. A woman from another church backed up her van and Randy helped her open up the back to reveal boxes of breads and cakes from Publix. Yep, this really is like Jesus, I continued to sense His strong presence. Whew.
Part of my title of this blog post is "Ephesians 3:20" which says, "God is able to do far more abundantly more than we can ask or think of asking Him" and I saw that magnified today when a woman named Vicki wandered over to our little gathering. She carried an umbrella. She told me she walked over from another ministry and that her family sent her to us hoping to just get a turkey sandwich!? In fact, Vicki said that they asked her to bring back a hoagie sandwich!

We talked a while and she shared her hardships and I prayed for her. Then Randy came over and we invited her to church on Sunday. Then I gave her the bag of hoagie/french bread and Randy walked away and quickly returned with a 20ish-pound uncooked turkey and he said, "Do you think this will help your family?" He didn't know she told me her family requested her to bring back a turkey sandwich!!!! I didn't ask him if that huge defrosted bird was just another donation from somewhere...but God knew what was needed.


I began laughing....laughing out loud (This is the Ephesians 3:20 part) because I saw God in this and saw that Vicki said they just wanted a turkey sandwich and instead she was given a huge turkey and LOAVES of bread!!!! She shed tears of joy and was overwhelmed. Then when she realized WHAT I was laughing about she began to laugh, too. I said to her, "Jesus will always give us bigger and better than we ask!"
Vicki shared her heart with a couple of the other ladies on the team and they prayed for her, too, walked her back to her family and loved her in Jesus. Vicki came back again and she said, "Don't forget about me!" We told her we'd be praying and she was invited to come back next Monday at 11:30 for lunch.

The gospel was shared in the church van and it became a sanctuary to several men while they were eating hot dogs. I was told that two men gave their lives to Christ! Hallelujah!

Yes, it rained on us today......but you know what??? Jesus reigned today, too!
If you become 'curious' as I did, and want to know more about Church on the Street please contact: http://www.fbcw.org/ or http://churchonthestreetwoodstock.org/
I'd love to hear from you, too!
With a very thankful heart,
and love & blessings,
Polly

Monday, October 26, 2009

HE is speaking all the time!

It took me a very long time to realize that God speaks to His children all the time. Day & night. He speaks to us through the reading of His word. He speaks to us through the beauty of creation: we see His heart when we look at the glorious sunsets, breath-taking mountain views, hear and watch the mesmerizing waves that rhythmically roll up and down the shoreline of the beaches. And on and on. Creation is as limitless as HE is. But this is one way He speaks to us. We see His greatness and His majesty in all He has made. No one is like Him either. Nope. No one.

He also prompts other people to speak to us about His will...and most of the time we don't even realize we have been part of His plan for someone else's life! Another way He speaks to us is through His Holy Spirit -- to prompt us to do things, too. But we have to be listening. We have to pray and spend private, personal time with Him on a regular basis. Eventually we get in tune with Who He is and What He wants. Then He puts desires in our hearts to do His will.



The way I discovered the fact that God speaks to me all the time came from looking back over my journals....thoughts and ideas I write down while I spend my mornings with Jesus and His word. He inspires me with His presence in my life. He gives me a love for people that is really His love that comes out of me. How do I know that? Because the love is unconditional. I find that I care. I just simply care. It's heartfelt. It's deep.

For example:
Recently I was invited to possibly be a part of a devotional/Bible study with the cheerleaders at Creekview High School. I had a desire to find out more so I accompanied the Cherokee County Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Female Sports Director Amy Turcotte to a meeting with the cheerleading coach Meagan Biello and the senior/junior cheerleaders. We met in Coach's classroom at 7 a.m. The girls were in their cheerleading uniforms because they were cheering for a game that night. They were pretty girls with beautiful smiles. A couple of them began sharing their hearts...and then when they were asked to raise their hands if they would like to have a regular Bible study, all 25 girls raised their hands!


It was precious. They were "hungry" and my heart was willing. I said I would lead a brief study on Fridays at 7:15 a.m. -- just before our group goes to the school auditorium for a FCA assembly each week. Awesome.

I asked Amy if I could bring Chris Tomlin (just his CD!!!) so we could sing before I led the studies. "Sure!" was Amy's answer. I warned the girls before we began to sing that I only make a joyful noise, that I wasn't a song leader. After we started singing I know they believed me! :) My relationship with the cheerleaders is not even a month old and I already have Jesus' love for them.

One week one of the girls showed up at 7 a.m. before anyone else and as I was walking up to the locked classroom door I saw her sitting in the hallway with a huge basket. When I asked her what was in her basket she told me they were her mom's freshly homemade sausage biscuits, and egg & cheese biscuits for our little group. In past weeks other girls have been voluntarily bringing donuts and jugs of orange juice. And God is always evident when we get together. These girls do not have to attend, they are choosing to come before school even starts!
When we get together God teaches us and reminds us that He is what true love is all about. There is nothing more amazing than that. He's inspired me to keep telling the girls that He knows them and He is the only one who knows all things and controls all things and has power over all things.

I have told the girls that God knows everything about them --all the time-- whether each one of them is a Christian or not. "He knows YOU!" I said to them. Then I said, "But the life-changing blessing is when you know HIM!!!!"


I am so thankful to God for this blessing to my heart and to my life.
Love & blessings to you all!
Polly :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

"HE's Got Your Back!"

I believe That Girl's Lunch has been in the process of being transformed into an on-going/seasonal Community Bible Study for Women. It will continue to be hosted outside of the four walls of the church because That Girl Marketing has always sought to reach sistas/clients of all ages, all backgrounds and denominations and all locations! This Community Bible Study for Women is for ALL women and will begin, Lord willing, in January 2010 with the 11-week study on Max Lucado's Facing Your Giants. More details to come soon so please check http://www.thatgirlmarketing.biz/ for updates or have questions please contact me at polly@thatgirlmarketing.biz.
The following is an excerpt from the message, "HE's Got Your Back!" that was shared at the October 2009 That Girl's Lunch at Woodmont Golf & Country Club (pictured above). The pictures in this blog post are part of a photo collection of the precious sistas who have touched my life in very special ways over the past few years and I believe God has been building HIS Network with all of these relationships and associations -- to name just a few: Woodmont Ladies Bible Studies, Fore HIS Glory Ladies Bible Study, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Cherokee Christian School, F.R.O.G Discipleship Group, Cherokee Chamber of Commerce, First Baptist Church Woodstock Women's Ministry Bible Studies, AWAKEN Women's Conference, Cherokee Tribune, Cherokee Living magazine, Chick-fil-A Canton, and my little sistas on the Creekview High School Girls' Golf Team, and just recently Creekview High School Cheerleaders!
Now here's the message: "HE's Got Your Back!"
When you're a true follower of Jesus Christ then you've realized you're a sinner in dire need of a perfect Savior who will rescue you from a life filled with darkness, sin, and total misery. When you repent of your sins, turn from them and turn your life over to Jesus you find that this is the One and Only Savior who has the power to bring you to a place in your life where you are "clothed in strength and dignity" and you "smile at the future/laugh at the days to come." (Proverbs 31:25)
When you're a true follower of Jesus Christ you strive to live for HIM instead of living for yourself. You learn that you've gained an inheritance of ALL the promises of God that are found in the Bible. When you become this follower of Jesus Christ the doors have already swung open for you to have privileges of: the knowledge of the secrets of HIS kingdom, the power to overcome, and favor in your circumstances.


Jesus calls His own by saying, "Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men." (Matthew 4:19, et al).
Then, after Jesus called His disciples He began to teach them the Good News and how to live for Him: "treasures in heaven", "do not worry", "judging others", "ask, seek, knock", "wide & narrow gate", "wise & foolish builders", etc.
He taught them truth about how to live a life that brings Him glory and brings them 'good'!!!

GIRLFRIENDS! SISTAS! As HIS followers we are taught these exact same truths, too! Think about it....it's been written down in our Bibles in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John....where Jesus is quoted speaking directly!



Jesus spoke to His disciples in parables: "Then He told them many things in parables...and the disciples said, '"Why do you speak in parables?" Jesus said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you but not to them."' (Matthew 13:3)
The NIV Bible commentary on Mark 11:-12 says, "The "secret" is something God has revealed to HIS people. The secret (thought previously unknown) is proclaimed to all; but only those who have faith understand. Jesus likens His preaching in parables to the ministry of Isaiah, which gained some disciples, but was also to expose the hardened resistance of many to God's warning and appeal."

Hey, just think about when you talk about the LORD to someone who gets angry with you .... same thing...a hard heart....but God can soften it.

Mark 4:33-34 -- (Jesus telling the parable of the mustard seed) "With many similiar parables Jesus spoke the word to them as much as they could understand. He did not say anything without using a parable. but when He was alone with His disciples He explained everything."
How's your time alone with Jesus? Do you have a 'prayer closet' where it's just you and Jesus? He can speak to you like that in Mark 4:33-34. ...the way He did when He got alone with His disciples.
He has our back!!! He is here! He will never leave!
We can see Jesus' heart up-close in John 17 because we read that He is praying what's in His heart: for Himself, then He is praying for His disciples and then He is quoted praying for all believers! Whoa. He really does 'Have Our Back!" Awesome! Check it out!
He has our back. We need to fight the good fight of faith to keep anything and everything from coming between us and God. This is really all about a very powerful and loving relationship that is truly supernatural. Nothing is greater.

Love & hugs to ALL my Sistas,
Polly :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Walk Out of the Darkness to Help Others Walk into the Light of Life


No one likes to talk about this: Suicide.
Why? There's a stigma because it's dark and mysterious and scary and is a painfully excruciating subject to talk about -- ESPECIALLY for those who have lost loved ones to suicide. For the surviving family members there is always the question of "WHY?" And what follows is usually something like: "What could I have done to stop it?" And then something like: "How am I going to go on without ____?"

Depression is the cause of suicide. It's giving up on living. It's existing with on-going thoughts of helplessness and hopelessness. It's like living in a dark room and you can't find the key to open the locked door. There are windows in the dark room but the depressed person can only peer out from the personal tormenting darkness into the outside world where there is light, but cannot get out of their own personal prison. Many times they don't know why they feel the way they do and many times depressed people believe the lie that no one else feels the helplessness and hopelessness they do. So they keep their depression a secret and live in sadness and darkness on the "inside" while on the "outside" they sometimes even portray a happy-go-lucky personality...and they become very good at masking their depression from everyone who loves them. This is what is so dangerous and life-threatening about undiagnosed depression.
But there is hope and there is help. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is not afraid to talk about depression and suicide. Their goal is to study and research these issues and then educate the public of the warning signs and reveal the latest study findings -- to save lives and prevent these tragedies.

AFSP is a national organization headquartered in New York City http://www.afsp.org/ and has established Out of the Darkness Community Walks all over the U.S. to raise awareness and remove the stigma.
Metro Atlanta has its own AFSP Chapter and is hosting
The Atlanta Out of the Darkness Community Walk
on
Sunday, October 4th
at
2:00 p.m.
at Chastain Park
in Atlanta
Registration and check-in will take place from 1-2 pm.
This 3-mile walk is along a path around Chastain Park.

The AFSP Metro Atlanta Chapter is headed up by Area Director Chris Owens. She's a woman of action and she's amazing. It was a delight to work with her on the AFSP Metro Atlanta Chapter's Board of Directors and to help with marketing and publications, too. It's obvious Chris has a call on her life to help raise awareness in metro Atlanta through her focused and endearing, yes, endearing leadership of the Chapter. Chris has worked at Duke University Medical Center for five years as a staff nurse specializing in Psychiatry and also as a Research Nurse for an Alzheimer's in Twins Study. After moving to Metro Atlanta in 1991, she stayed home to raise her two children. In 2004, she took the job as walk coordinator for the Atlanta Out of the Darkness Community Walk. She was promoted to Metro Atlanta Area Director in May, 2006 and helped start the chapter here. And she is always in need of volunteers! (By the way, this is one of my favorite pictures of Chris....please note her enthusiasm and energy!!!!) :)

I invite you to contact Chris to get more information about the Atlanta Out of the Darkness Walk on Sunday, October 4, 2009; and WALK TO SAVE LIVES... In the United States, a person dies by suicide every 16 minutes, claiming more than 32,000 lives each year. It is estimated that an attempt is made every minute; with close to one million people attempting suicide annually. It's easy to sign up for the Walk: http://www.outofthedarkness.org/

Please consider giving Chris a call or e-mail her to volunteer to help and/or learn more about the vision she has to bring those in darkness into the light of life in the metro Atlanta area through the AFSP-Metro Atlanta Chapter. You'll be glad you did. I sure was and as you can see, I am obviously still very supportive of this major effort!
Contact Information:
Chris Owens, RN, BSN
Metro Atlanta Area Director
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
404.374.5197

Love & blessings,
Polly

Warning Signs of Suicide
Suicide can be prevented. While some suicides occur without any outward warning, most people who are suicidal do give warnings. Prevent the suicide of loved ones by learning to recognize the signs of someone at risk, taking those signs seriously and
knowing how to respond to them.
Warning signs of suicide include:
Observable signs of serious depression:Unrelenting low moods

Pessimism Hopelessness Desperation Anxiety, psychic pain and inner tension

Withdrawal

Sleep problems

Increased alcohol and/or other drug use

Recent impulsiveness and taking unnecessary risks

Threatening suicide or expressing a strong wish to die

Making a plan: Giving away prized possessions

Sudden or impulsive purchase of a firearms

Obtaining other means of killing oneself such as poisons or medications

Unexpected rage or anger


The emotional crises that usually precede suicide are often recognizable and treatable. Although most depressed people are not suicidal, most suicidal people are depressed. Serious depression can be manifested in obvious sadness, but often it is rather expressed as a loss of pleasure or withdrawal from activities that had been enjoyable. One can help prevent suicide through early recognition and treatment of depression and other psychiatric illnesses. ---Source: AFSP

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"Visions Becoming Reality" AKA "After the Battering"

One of my spiritual mentors, Oswald Chambers, wrote in his book My Utmost For His Highest: "We always have a vision of something before it actually becomes real to us. When we realize that the vision is real, but is not yet real in us, Satan comes to us with his temptations and we are inclined to say that there is no point in even trying to continue. Instead of the vision becoming real to us, we have entered into a valley of humiliation."

Here's what happens to us and I have to laugh out loud at this description because I can clearly identify with this:
"God gives us a vision and then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of that vision. It's in the valley that so many of us give up and faint. Every God-given vision will become real if we will only have patience. Just think of the enormous amount of free time God has! He is never in a hurry. Yet we are always in a frantic hurry."

Get the "battering" part? Uh-huh. But oh, after the battering, oh, oh, what blessings come from His loving hand! Ephesians 3:20 comes to mind: "God is able to do more than we can ask or think of asking Him according to the power that is at work within us." And that's God-power!

But until we actually stand still on the Potter's Wheel, we "while still in the light of the glory of the vision we run out to do things, but the vision is not real in us yet," continues Mr. Chambers. "We have to go through fire and floods in the valley [yes, more battering] so God can batter us into shape and then He'll be able to trust us with the vision. Ever since God has given us the vision He has been at work. He is getting us into the shape of the goal He has for us and yet over and over again we try to escape from the Sculptor's Hand in an effort to batter ourselves into the shape of our own goal."
What's the matter with us???? Oh, yeah, our flesh rears up! Here's why our fleshly desires never accomplish anything worthwhile: Psalm 127:1 says, "Unless THE LORD BUILDS THE HOUSE its builders labor in vain." It's got to be done HIS way. So I'll take this verse as a warning: Don't make plans without God.
Instead, Scripture tells us: "Commit your ways to the Lord, trust in Him and He will do it. He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn and the justice of your cause like the noonday sun." Psalm 37:5.
Mr. Chambers continues: "What is my vision of God's purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and His power NOW. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is accomplished in me. It's the process, not the outcome that is glorifying to God. "His training is for now." It's our DAILY walk with Him. "If we realize that moment by moment obedience is the goal, then each moment as it comes is precious."



God speaks to us all day, every day! Are you hearing Him? Listen. Pray. Study His word. Tune your heart and head toward Him.

"'Seeking to do the will of my Father" was the one dominating concern throughout our Lord's life. No matter what came into His life He never wavered," says Mr. Chambers.
OK, there is our example! I believe if we will 'seek to do the will of our Father' daily we will reach His goal for each one of us. If the focus is Him instead of Self or Success or Money or Material Things, then all of a sudden -- one day --- we're going to find ourselves in the midst of our heart's desire because it will be HIS desire/goal for us! Our vision became a reality because we were standing still on The Potter's Wheel and letting Him shape us and and batter us into HIS vessel! Yeah, there is a very good reason for this battering!!!!
I am so encouraged by the following story and I seem to tell it often.....and now I'm going to tell it again...to hopefully encourage you because it has everything to do with where to go for help when we don't know what to do next!!!! When King Jehoshaphat was told that a vast army was coming to attack, the first thing he did was to pray to God. (2 Chronicles 20:12). This was part of his prayer: "...for we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you." Do you know what happened??? Jehoshaphat prayed fervently, he and his men went out into battle praising God and by the time they got to the battle field ALL of the enemies had turned on each other and were dead! Not only did God take care of the enemy(problem) but since God's power is limitless, HE also gave Jehoshaphat's army all the plunder....and because there was so much bounty it took them three days to carry it off!
Now that doesn't mean we're all going to have to get Hummer Limos to carry away all the money we're going to get from the services we provide for others but it DOES mean that as we cast ourselves and our prayers at the feet of our Lord, he will do more than we could even think of asking.
His vision for each one of us is already established: Acts 17:26: "He determines the times set for them and the exact places where they should live."


God gives all (wo)men life and breath and everything else! If God isn't our life and breath and everything else then He needs to become that to each one of us today! :)
Acts 17:27 reads: "....for in Him and through Him we have our being." God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him though He is not far from each one of us."
When seeking God's vision and direction for each life's calling, Mr. Chambers exhorts, "Don't be afraid to be different from other people.....the path God has called you to is exquisitely right for you...develop your gifts..".

Philippians 2:12: "....continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who works in you to will and to act accordign to His good purpose." We need to work it out to the finish, NOT earning our salvation by works but to our salvation in spiritual growth and development. Salvation is not a gift received once for all: it expresses itself in an ongoing process of perseverance, humble service, spiritual growth and maturation. (NIV commentary)

We're talking about VISION and God's will for each of our lives...OK, so He points us in a direction and we're prayerful and faithful and we hear HIM and we step.....but then what???? Answer: I Thessalonians 5:23-24: "The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it." (NIV commentary: Paul's confidence rests in the nature of God, who can be relied on to complete what HE begins. :)

WE need to start living like we believe the truth that "we are HIS workmanship created to do good works which HE has prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesisans 2:10)
You are not alone and if you believe that then you believe a lie. God will never leave His child alone. We've got to keep stepping and continue to keep our eyes on Him. We've got to keep listening for His voice. He will help us fulfill His purposes and visions and desires for each of our lives. He is with us! He will do it!

I am closing this with another excerpt from Oswald Chambers: "...the vision that God gives us in not some unattainable castle in the sky, but a vision of what God wants us to be down here. Allow the potter to put you on His wheel and whirl you around as He desires. Then as surely as God is God, and you are you, you will turn out as an exact likeness of that vision. But don't lose heart in the process. If you ever had a vision from God, you many try as you will to be satisified on a lower level, but God will never allow it." Whoo hoo! [my emphasis, of course!]
Hallelujah!!!!
Love & blessings,
Polly
The pottery in these photos are creations of my sister, Julie Brown, potter extraordinare....and those are her hands in the potter's photo!!!! :) Please visit her website and view more of her creations @ http://www.workinclay.com/ or contact Julie @ info@workinclay.com. I love you, Julie!

Friday, July 24, 2009

I Got All My Sistas With Me!!!!!

My good friend and sista in Christ, Annie, and I like to meet each other at the driving range at the golf club in our neighborhood. We say we are meeting to work on our golf swings but it usually ends up as more like a laughfest. Sometimes we go up to the putting green and practice...and giggle. We're still trying to find the time to play 9 holes together, but until then we just squeeze in 45 minutes or so to meet at the range.

Annie and I have been sistas in our neighborhood Bible study, we've been Bible study leaders in the women's ministry of our church, we are neighbors, and most of all we are sistas! (Alternate spelling of sisters and sistahs.)

Last year, Annie invited my hubby & me to her hubby's birthday party at the club. Don was not able to attend so I went solo and stepped into my kind of party: loads of (Annie & Ron's) family members were there to celebrate, there was great food, lots of laughter, and MUSIC with a DJ!!! Whoo hoo! I wasn't about to sit still for a moment when that music started! No way, and Annie knew that was going to happen because sometimes I dance on the golf course and often during Bible study.

But at the party Annie & her sisters saw for themselves the reason people have suggested that I might be part black. Yes, I was on the dance floor with the sistas feeling quite 'at home' and for some reason I am able to dance with the beat. I think it was when I did the "robot" and the "moonwalk" that my cover was blown.

Annie calls me her "Homie" and I am so flattered. Truly.

Annie is a prayer warrior, a very powerful prayer warrior. Being her friend and sista has encouraged me to be more thankful....when she prays she is often saying "Hallelujah, Hallelujah" just to celebrate God in her prayers. Yes, she's my sista and she's a wise one, too.

I had to tell her that in my past people have asked me if I have black family members and she laughed. I told her maybe she's really white and she laughs some more...and said to me one day, "No I think it's the opposite!" I said, "Huh?" She said, "You think you're white!!!!" We both roared with laughter at that one.

I have always loved to listen to music that had a strong beat and the louder the better! If I'm not dancing to it then a part of my body is rocking to the beat--it could be my big toe, my head, or my hands but something is moving whenever I hear music. Even during the praise & worship time at church I'm moving when the full orchestra cranks up and the 250+member choir starts to sing! I love reasons to celebrate and God is the best reason I know!

During the worship service when I'm rockin' and rollin', my close friend and sista, Donna, --who's often sits next to me during the service (and is pictured here) -- just shakes her head and smiles because she knows me...and it's ok that I'm not able to 'keep a low profile'. It's ok with her because she's another one of my sistas. Sistas have the grace of God and we "know things" that God has taught us. Things like unconditional love and grace and other cool and supernatural things like that.

That's what sistas do.

All you sistas out there...check out the words to a classic song with a very important message that is Bible-based. And as I am typing out the lyrics you better believe I'm playing the CD on my computer. And no, I'm not sitting still as I type either! :)

We Are Family
Copyright 1979
By
Bernard Edwards & Nile Rodgers
We are family
I got all my sisters with me
We are family
Get up everybody and sing (Repeat)

Everyone can see we're together
As we walk on by
(FLY!) and we fly just like birds of a feather
I won't tell no lie
(ALL!) all of the people around us they say
Can they be that close
Just let me state for the record
We're giving love in a family dose

We are family
I got all my sisters with me
We are family
Get up everybody and sing
(repeat)

Living life is fun and we've just begun
To get our share of the world's delights
(HIGH!) high hopes we have for the future
And our goal's in sight
(WE!) no we don't get depressed
Here's what we call our golden rule
Have faith in you and the things you do
You won't go wrong
This is our family Jewel

We are family
I got all my sisters with me
We are family
Get up everybody and sing
We are family I got all my sisters with me..

It's God Our Father who makes us family! As His children our faith and hope is in Him alone. So let's celebrate, Sistas!
Love & blessings,
Polly

p.s. Don't be surprised if you hear this song playing at the next That Girl's Lunch on Aug. 13!!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Gospel + Golf = FCA Cherokee County

Hey, That Girl is all about encouraging women in the Lord....in business, in ministry, in life! I'm not talking about reaching out to one particular group of girls, I'm talking about all of the souls and hearts of girls God sends my way!
At my age I still have a girl's heart....I STILL enjoy getting together with my girlfriends to eat, to laugh, to giggle, to shop, to pray, to share, to encourage, to be encouraged, to play golf, to go to the beach, to do Bible studies together, watch chick flicks, to dress up, to dress down, and to talk about and eat chocolate!
The Bible says that outside we are daily "wasting away" but inside we are "being renewed day by day". I agree. I may have more wrinkles and look older on the outside -- but inside, oh, inside I'm still a girl at heart. Hey, we all are, Sistas! Don't believe me? Take a look at all of us girls in the photo below...the Creekview High School Girls Golf Team! I remember telling one of my daughters just two years ago -- as I was about to leave the house in my pjs to go to a Girl's PJ/Movie Night at a friends house --- that "my friends and I really are still girls at heart, we're just old girls!!!" Yes, that night I drove to my friend's home in my pjs and a small group of us enjoyed appetizers, dinner, lots of laughter, a romantic chick flick, and a chocolate fountain!!!!!
We older girls know what it feels like to be girls. We remember the insecurities and the social pressures in high school to be the thinnest, the prettiest, the smartest, the most popular. Ugh. It's really almost unbearable UNLESS you are daily seeking God to be the One who truly and deeply approves of you...just as you are! No one can match the love and fulfillment God can bring to a girl's heart. Little girls and big girls need to know this truth and then live it out.

To get to that place we have to start each day with God....talking to Him through prayer and letting Him talk to us through His word, the Bible. There is power and peace and love and encouragement there. THEN we step out into the world and do what He has called each one of us to do....with our gifts and talents and hearts. Then He will be glorified and we will be fulfilled!


Two years ago I was asked by Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Cherokee County Director Bill Queen, if I would be the chaplain for the Creekview High School Girls' Golf Team. My initial response was, "Huh? What's a golf team chaplain? I've never heard of one." He told me there's never been one. :)


He knew I had played golf all my life and that I've lead Bible studies. And then he told me the girls' team practices in my neighborhood: Woodmont Golf & Country Club!

"Ok, Lord, I hear you," I said to God. Then I told Bill I'd do it but I also let him know I didn't have a lot of extra time to do it. He said that any amount of time I could give to the girls would be a blessing. So, began to sporadically show up at the driving range at Woodmont and see the high schoolers talking about school and homework and how to hit the next shot better.

It didn't take very long before the Lord gave me His love for the girls. I quickly remembered what it was like in high school....and back in high school I didn't know Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Ugh. I remembered what I thought about and what mattered to me most.

But two years ago, after I had time to ask God through prayers if it was His will for me to become the chaplain...His answer was that He had been preparing me to do this: golf and the gospel! He reminded me that I learned to play golf when I was five years old and I was leading Bible studies for the past 8 years. He was showing me that I had learned how to get through each day -- with God's strength and I was to share it.

On those afternoons when I was able to get to the club to see the girls I'd often bring them candy and cookies....and we even prayed together on the first tee before a tournament. It was amazing
Last season I was invited to be their chaplain again and I sporadically showed up...to share a little, or to bring them cookies and fudgesicles and hit golf balls on the driving range and challenge them to putting contests on the practice green. This year I wasn't able to show up very often but when I did I was so glad to see them.

Now it's summer and I've seen a couple of the girls at the golf course....and there is love there and friendship. God does that....it's for Him and for us, too.

I'm a supporter of the work of FCA Cherokee County because it's right here in my community and it's all about sharing the gospel through sports. It's about saving souls and mentoring to help build strong, fearless leaders who will be radiant in this very dark world we are living in. FCA seeks to reach the next generation! Wow. And for me personally, supporting FCA/Cherokee County has providentially tapped into my God-given gifts so I will pour out into the lives of others what God has poured into me. And it's all for His glory. How cool is that?????

He's made us. He's custom-made each one of us with amazing gifts and talents to fulfill specific services for Him. Let's get out there and get busy! We are the ones with the joy and the hope 'cuz we have Christ! Hey, let's celebrate! Oh yeah, we already are!!!!! :)

Love & blessings,
Polly
"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that He considered me faithful, appointing me to His service." 1 Timothy 1:12

If you'd like to know more about FCA Cherokee County GA: http://www.cherokeefca.org/ or to contact FCA's Director of Female Sports Ministry Amy Turcotte http://www.cherokeefca.org/AmyTurcotte.Isp .

God IS in the Marketplace!

A community-wide Bible study for women is starting up on Wednesday mornings beginning August 12, at Woodmont Golf & Country Club in Canton, GA. We'll be using the book, God in the Marketplace by Henry & Richard Blackaby, as our study material....along with of course, our Bibles. And you, Girlfriends, are invited.

I have shared a few choice morsels from this insightful book during one of That Girl's Lunch. Whoo hoo. It's really good stuff -- so good that I have been inspired to share the whole book with you girls who are interested in joining me!


“This book offers solid, spiritual, biblical advice for the deepest concerns of sincere Christians seeking to live their lives with God-honoring consistency. These concerns are: personal life, family life, business life, devotional life, church life, community life.”--The Publishers







This 8-week study meets Wednesdays
beginning
August 12, 2009
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
at
Woodmont Golf & Country Club
(Main Clubhouse Lower Level)
3105 Gaddis Road, Canton, GA 30115



Directions to Woodmont: http://www.woodmontgolfclub.com/sites/courses/layout9.asp?id=471&page=23284

You can purchase God in the Marketplace by Henry & Richard Blackaby at most local bookstores, http://www.amazon.com/ , and http://www.christianbook.com/

There is no charge to attend this gathering because it is a community outreach so you might want to BYOC (bring your own coffee, cola, etc.,) --- and maybe, just maybe consider staying afterwards for lunch! :)

For more information and to RSVP please contact:
polly@thatgirlmarketing.biz
678.773.1973
Hope to see you there!
Love & blessings,
Polly :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Let's Do LUNCH!

When the local school bells ring again in August That Girl's Lunch will be ringing bells on August 13 at Woodmont Golf & Country Club. We'll be meeting in the spacious Cherokee Hall at Woodmont -- just follow the pink and black balloons!

All you girls out there who are looking for encouragement and inspiration in your daily walk, a devotional message is shared during each of our monthly gatherings. If you want to network with other girls who are in ministry and/or business or you're looking to make some dynamic connections......this is for you! You never know who you're going to meet at That Girl's Lunch. Talk about divine appointments! Oh, and the delicious
menu has been customized for us, too.
Woodmont Golf & Country Club
3105 Gaddis Road
Canton, GA



Save the Dates for the Fall Lunch Line-up!
August 13
September 17
October 29

RSVP Required: rsvp@thatgirlmarketing.biz
Cost: $15 per person


Please make checks payable and mail to:
That Girl Marketing, LLC
149 Ardsley Run
Canton, GA 30115

For more information: http://www.thatgirlmarketing.biz/


"Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven." Matthew 5:16



Let's do it together!
Love & blessings,
Polly

Monday, June 8, 2009

Rescue Me!

This month it will have been two years since our precious 13-year old black lab, Puah, (poo-ah)died. She was a loving member of our family. Over the past few months my heart has been telling me that between becoming an empty nester and missing having a sweet dog living with us....it's time to consider getting another one. But this time let's -- for the first time ever -- get a little one. We've always had large dogs: Daisy, the retriever/shepherd mix, Max the boxer/bulldog mix; and Puah, a black lab/retriever mix.

I'm about to go on a rabbit trail for a moment -- kinda like all of our dogs have always done. When our girls were very small, Don used to read the Bible to them at night as he rocked them. Even as very young children, Grace & Mary learned the names and passages from the Bible...and two of the names were "Shiphrah" and "Puah" -- the Hebrew midwives. People always asked us how we came up with the name, Puah, and the girls would tell them, "She is named after the Midrew Hewives in the Bible!" I'm not making this up. They would say, "Midrew Hewives" and it became an ongoing family joke immediately.

Ok, now I'll get back on track. I am continuing to learn how important it is to not act and react impulsively and emotionally, but instead make decisions prayerfully; to wait and pray until I get an answer and if I don't know what to do, I just keep praying until the answer comes. I have been praying about us getting another dog...and asking Don how he felt about it....it had to be right, you know. All I know is that my desire was to have a small female dog. When Don said it was ok with him to get a little dog, I began to prayerfully search for the RIGHT little dog. Mary said, "Mom, we have to RESCUE a dog from an animal shelter. We can save it and give it a good home." I thought that sounded great.

I began to visit our local animal shelter and it was bittersweet to be there. Lots of homeless dogs jumping up and down in their pens begging and barking for someone to rescue them by taking them to a loving home. I kept telling the animal shelter staff that I only wanted a small dog and they were so gracious as I kept coming back to find her. I knew I wanted a female dog. It just seemed right.
During one of my several trips to the shelter I found a sweet, charcoal grey, long-haired terrier mix. She was little and adorable. I couldn't wait to take her with me to get groomed before I brought her home. I filled out all the paperwork to legally adopt her. I had to wait a couple of days because she had to get "fixed" so I went to PetSmart and bought a hot pink leash and collar. The day came and as I was ready to leave home for the animal shelter my cell phone rang: the animal shelter staff member said that the owners of the dog just showed up and said that my dog was their dog. What? She had been a resident of the animal shelter for two weeks, why have they waited two weeks? The people at the animal shelter said that legally the little dog was mine and they knew I would give her a good home. It was up to me if I wanted to give her up to them. Whoo boy!

My thoughts were, "Lord, what is this about? Am I being tested? Hmmmm. Well, Lord, if that is really their dog, then I can't take one of their family members from them. Besides, I understand the providence of God. You rule over every circumstance. You must have something better out there for me." So I gave the dog up and got my money back. Disappointed? Yes. But still, I know God and I know I'm HIS, and I know He loves me and He does not do cruel things to His children. So after I left the shelter I returned the hot pink leash and collar to PetSmart. I knew that if I was supposed to have a new dog the Lord would give me a new dog where and when HE says so. And that's the best thing.
Believing the Lord had something else, something better for me and my family I went back to the web and looked at pet adoptions to see if there was another little one that I was supposed to bring home instead. I found some cute dogs and then in my research discovered that local PetSmart stores have pet adoption agencies show up on weekends with loads of adoptable pets! Whoo hoo. I was on it and still praying for God's will in all of this.

I asked Mary, still living on the KSU campus, if she would check out the pets at the Kennesaw PetSmart while I revisited the local animal shelter and the Canton and Alpharetta PetSmart locations. It was a sunny Saturday during my quest and I couldn't find a little pooch who could fit the description of what I was looking for -- and then Mary called me, "Mom, I found our new dog and she's adorable and she's everything you wanted in a new dog! I'm with Rob & Ryan at PetSmart and I'm holding her right now!"
I zoomed down 575 and pulled into the parking lot. There they were sitting on the sidewalk at PetSmart. Mary was holding her. It took me only five minutes to see she was the dog! I already had a name picked out, too, "Lexie". This decision made Mary's day :) because she's been wanting new pup in the family for a while. She's already planned to take her "little sisterpup" back to school with her for visits!
While I was filling out Lexie's adoption/rescue paperwork , Mary and her buds were in the pet store picking out puppy toys and fulfilling my request for hot pink collar and leash for Lexie. She is a terrier/pug mix , estimated to be about 10 months old. She shouldn't get any bigger than her 13 pounds and that's perfect!

I recently told a friend about Lexie and she said, "She's black and her name is Lexie???? That sounds just like your car -- oh, she sounds like a little black Lexus! Hahahah. That's very funny! Yeah, I can picture that!!!!"

Another friend recently saw a photo of Lexie and said, "Hmmm. All of this seems very familiar, she's jet black with a hot pink collar and leash??? Sounds like That Girl colors!"

Uh-huh! She's become the little mascot of That Girl Marketing as well as a new member of the Balint family! Par-tay!

Ok, so what's the lesson here? There are probably several and as God's children we should always work at being teachable. Personally, through all of this God has reminded me to trust Him and wait for HIS best for me and my family. God really does care about every single, tiny detail of our lives -- why else would He talk about the number of hairs on our head?

I believe rescuing a little black female dog matters to God. I also believe He wants us to live out our lives to the fullest -- for His glory. John 10:10 tells us the Jesus came that we might have life in abundance. The fact is we are here to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. And I'm trying to give Him my best so I will be able to do just that! :)

Love & blessings, Polly

Monday, June 1, 2009

Got Manna?

Getting Spiritually, Physically, & Emotionally Fed

Exodus 16

(This message was shared at the May 2009 That Girl's Lunch.)


These words of encouragement look at how God provided for the Israelites....even when they were whining and complaining about their circumstances. (Ouch. That sounds way too familiar to me!) The truth is He gave them manna. And when He fed them manna it wasn't just simply physical food but it was spiritual food and emotional food, too. That's what He does for us today...He is the One who can feed us and fill us in every way.

Our handbook for life is the Bible. God speaks to us through His word. He has stories, examples, and word pictures to teach us how to live and which step to take next. The people described in the Bible are weak and frail -- as we are -- and yet the ones who sought after God always found their power and strength in God alone. When they would seek Him He helped them and spoke to them and taught them. He'd say things like, "listen to my words", "walk in my ways", "be still and know that I am God", and "remember what I have already done for you".

Exodus 16:2-3 -- "If only we had died by the Lord's hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death." Hmmm...would we Israelites/today's Americans like some cheese with that whine???? :)

If you'll notice God does not teach us everything at once. We have to seek Him daily and be filled for that day. That's what His grace and peace is all about. He says His grace is enough for the day. He will always give us what we need when we need it. With the manna He told the Israelites to only gather enough for the day...and no more. The ones who horded manna -- to be sure they wouldn't run out -- ???---they were not trusting God -- their manna rotted.

Exodus 16:11-12 -- "The Lord said to Moses, "I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, "At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God."

They gathered enough for each person in their households....some gathered much and some gathered little and the outcome was perfect portions. The ones who "paid no attention to Moses" (NIV translation) and kept the extra manna overnight saw it rot and smell by morning. And Moses was mad.

On the sixth day they were told to gather twice as much so they wouldn't be working on the Sabbath by collecting their daily manna.....and God PRESERVED manna for two days and it stayed fresh. This fact tells us He is in control of what will spoil and what will remain fresh...and for how long and for whom.....get it??? God is in the tiniest details of our lives. We can't ever say in truth that God can't do something.
About manna: My NIV Study Bible concordance states that no naturally occurring substance fits all the data of the description of manna and the way is was provided. It was a unique food -- in appearance and taste. And there's more:
  • "Manna was the Lord's unique provision for His people in the desert."

  • "The Hebrew word for manna is "what is it" and this suggests that it was something unknown by the people at the time. "

  • "The taste was something unknown by the people at that time."

  • "The daily abundance of the manna and its regular periodic surge and slump (double amounts on the 6th day) hardly fit a natural phenomenon."

  • "Its availability in ample supply for the entire desert experience, no matter where the people were suggests that it was not a natural substance."

  • The keeping of a sample of the manna in the ark for future generations (vv.33-34) suggests it was a unique food.

  • The point is....this was a supernatual provision! Do we believe God can supernaturally provide for our needs today? Here it is again: "With God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26) There is nothing He cannot do! We must believe!

Day-by-day is the way the Israelites were told to collect manna -- and God in His wisdom is teaching us today that we, also, are to be aware of our total dependence of Him. We need to see that the manna from God includes His peace and His grace as well as provision of physical needs, too. He designed us to need Him moment by moment. We just need to come to Him daily and often with prayer, praise, and requests ---with thanksgiving!

Oswald Chambers in his devotional My Utmost For His Highest writes: "Worship is giving God the best that He has given you. Be careful what you do with the best you have. Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift. Take time to meditate before God and offer the blessing back to Him in a deliberate act of worship. If you hoard it for yourself, it will turn into spiritual dry rot, as the manna did when it was horded (Ex. 16:20). God will never allow you to keep a spiritual blessing for yourself. It must be given back to Him so that He can make it a blessings to others.

"When our awareness of our neediness increases, so does the realization of His abundant sufficiency." How cool is that????

  • Deuteronomy 8:3 -- "He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live by bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD."
  • Deuteronomy 8:16 -- "He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you."
  • Psalm 78:24 -- "He rained down manna for the people to eat, He gave them the grain of heaven."
  • Exodus 16:35 -- "The Israelites ate manna for 40 years until they came to a land that was settled; they ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan."

Look at that! Even while they were in their own wilderness of rebellion and sin for 40 years, God still faithfully provided for their needs! On top of that -- the manna did not stop meeting their needs until the perfect time for them to 'move on' to something else, namely when the Israelites celebrated their first Passover in Canaan! He is faithful and true. Always was. Always will be. Let us encourage one another in this truth during these most difficult days we're living in right now!

Revelation 2:17

  • "He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it." (NIV translation)
  • "Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit is blowing through the churches. I'll give the sacred manna to every conqueror; I'll also give a clear smooth stone inscribed with your new name, your secret new name." (The Message translation)

God is our Hope. He sent His Son Jesus Christ who has said, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." (John 6:35)

He is our Manna! :)

Love & blessings, Polly

Monday, May 11, 2009

Made By God; Made To Worship

Last night my hubby, Don, our daughter Mary, and I were part of exhilarating Passion City Church worship service. Several of Mary's buds from KSU (Kennesaw State), along with a few of their parents filled up the first two rows at the Cobb Galleria Conference Center. The theme was Made to Worship.
I don't know much about Passion City Church except it's headed up by Pastor Louie Giglio, and includes Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, and Christy Nockels as the worship leaders. I also know every time our daughter Mary and her friends carpool to a Passion Conference, their lives are changed by the power of God, through contemporary worshipful music and the gifted, motivational teaching.
Last night as Mother's Day was coming to a close.... the presence of God filled the massive room as 20- and 30-somethings dropped barriers to physically, spiritually, and emotionally celebrate their Risen Savior Jesus Christ. Powerful worship music ignited a passionate praise that could have literally blown the roof off the building....but it didn't. Instead these young adults and the older generation worshipped together with tremendous joy.

Then Pastor Louie Giglio came out and the crowd cheered....he's a faithful shepherd to tens of thousands of young adults. It's obvious God has called him to reach this generation and I am thrilled! Last night as he was exhorting all of us he reminded us that God created us and we were Made To Worship.....GOD. The problem is that we have a tendency to worship things other than God -- and we cling and bow down to those things. His main audience and his passion is to reach young adults--those whom I have been calling 20- and 30-somethings.

There are several reasons why this is so important to me....I'm a mom and it's the day after Mother's Day.....and I love and know God and I love my family....and I was privileged to be one of the crowd who hilariously celebrated Jesus last night. I care about our up-and-coming generation. I care a lot!

We are parents of two 20-somethings, precious gifts from God, whom we call Grace & Mary.

When our oldest daughter Grace was a very little girl she kept saying she was going to become an actress in Hollywood to change it for Jesus. Our 20-something daughter lives in Pasadena now so she can shine His light in Hollywood as a model and actress. She is definitely fighting the good fight of faith because Hollywood has not been Christianized...yet. For years she has been praying specifically for the salvation of Hollywood actors and actresses and she wants to make a difference in the kind of movies and TV shows that are produced. She wants to proclaim Christ in her personal mission field, Hollywood, CA.


Mary is a 20-something, too, and also passionate about being Christ's light....right now on the campus of KSU and also to whomever the Lord brings her way. Her recent 10-day trip to China changed her life in such a way that she is seriously considering going into full-time ministry. Mary, like Grace, is hungry for God and He is filling them both because they are seeking Him. Mary's college friends have become her brothers and sisters in Christ and the whole group moves as one force...celebrating Jesus as they struggle to know Him and His will for their lives. God is using the Passion Conferences and Passion City Church to help her...and her friends find their way. We celebrated and worshipped side-by-side last night with Mary and her 20-something friends and I was beyond blessed.



If you know of people of this generation I just described who need godly encouragement, instruction, and the comradery of brothers and sisters in Christ, then visit Passion City Church. Support their work. Attend their services and celebrate with them. It's indescribable because it's supernaturally God!

Louie Giglio and Chris Tomlin encouraged the vibrant crowd that '...this is not an event, we are not an event. We are a church and this is a worship service. We don't know what we're doing and we don't know where we're meeting next -- but keep checking our website as we seek God for our next step."
Concerned about the future of America? About our "kids" and the next generation --- our 20- and 30-somethings? Please visit: http://www.passioncitychurch.com/ and read about what God is doing through a handful of faithful ones.

HE is here!

Love & blessings,

Polly