Friday, February 17, 2012

The Storehouse Sessions

The Best of the Best.

Malachi hit me pretty hard this morning. I wasn’t expecting it. I was just reading there because I know there’s a verse about the storehouse – and I’m starting a new worship event next week called The Storehouse Sessions. I was diving into scripture with selfish desires, but I think I got more than I asked for.

“’When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be please with you? Would he accept you?’ says the Lord Almighty…’When you bring injured, crippled, or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?’ says the Lord. ‘Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and my name is to be feared among the nations.’” (Malachi 1:8 & 13-14)

At first glance, it’s not a warm and fuzzy passage. Actually, it isn’t at second or third glance, either. It’s easy to skim a passage like this because in the glorious light of Christ, God does not ask us to make these kinds of sacrifices. It is hard for us to relate to a God or a people who are arguing over crippled and diseased animals, but God kept nudging me as I was reading this morning.

God may not be frustrated with the lack of quality livestock that I offer at His feet, but what exactly am I offering? What have I been given versus what I am willing to give back to Him? For me this morning, the passage wasn’t even about finances. God speaks later in Malachi about tithing and finances, but I was struck thinking of my gifts and talents, my services, and my heart. Who is getting my best today? Do I have talent and gifts that I am offering to the world before offering them to the service of God? Am I hiding and protecting what He has given me for fear of losing it? Is the heart behind my offering simply to fulfill a religious duty? Who around me could benefit from what I have or what I can do, but hasn’t because I’ve kept all the good stuff for myself and only given the mediocre to God?

God knows my best because He created my best. He knows my finances. He knows my gifts. He knows my talents and my skills. He knows my heart. He’s the One who equipped me with all that I have, so shouldn’t it seem logical to give back to Him the best of it all? Who is getting the best of me today?

Later, in Malachi 3, God claims that His people are robbing Him. “’Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,’ says the Lord Almighty.” (Malachi 3: 10-12 Emphasis mine.)

This wrecked me a little. Can you hear His heart? God, in His anger, asks the people to test Him. However, what I hear is not just anger, but a passion for us to see that He desires to give back to his people more than they can ever offer to Him. It is as if He is also shouting, “If you would only listen, you would be overflowing with wealth. If you’d only commit to give me your best, you would see that I can multiply what you think is your best into ten times what you already have. I have so much more for you that you wouldn’t even be able to contain it. But you won’t get to taste of the overflow until you are willing to offer to me your best. The blessing starts with what you are willing to offer Me.”

So here I am, trying to get some vision for this worship night starting next week, and I’m convicted that I often keep the best for myself. I am convicted that I often offer my best to the world as a way of impressing others or proving myself to the world. When really, God’s offer is that if I will give to Him my best, then my “best” isn’t actually my best at all, because He will continue to multiply and transform it into more than I am able to contain.

This is the essence of The Storehouse Sessions. If we are willing to come into God’s presence, lay down our own junk, worries, anxieties, stress, sin, burdens, etc, He will meet us in a place of our deepest need. If we are willing to lay aside the things that we have put first, and offer to him our whole heart, our entire storehouse, He will not only fill it, but cause it to overflow. And in that place of overflow, we will have the grace and the power we need to offer our best, then, to those around us, allowing impact and transformation to happen out of God’s overflow rather than our own strength.

The Storehouse Sessions
4th Friday of the Month

February 24th, 2012 @ 7:00pm
Message me for the address or look for updates on

Monday, February 6, 2012


I am a horrible blogger. Or maybe the last few months have been crazy. Or not crazy enough to feel the need to post. The world may never know. But you know what I realized about not blogging? There are a few lives that I haven't been keeping up with the way that I used to and I miss that. SO, here are some updates about me to tide you over (and by "you" i mean the 2 people who may possibly read this) until I write a real entry. I have a few brewing.

- God is good. All the time.

- Jesus bought be a car. I'm pretty sure i'm getting it this weekend, including a visit from my dad. Pictures and stories to come.

- I got my tattoo fixed. My tattoo is a story i've been dying to write about. Because it sure is a story. One that has been brewing for over a year now. More to come soon.

- We had our missions conference, World Mandate, this past weekend and it was amazing. So amazing. I'm exhausted and still processing all the things I feel like God downloaded this weekend, but man am I encouraged.

- I am consistently blessed and blown away by my community here and by my friends. I hope I don't jinx it all by saying this, but I love my friends and I love this place where I live. I love community. I love being close to the water, close to the city, and in cutesy New England. And I love walking to my friends houses. I love spending all day Sunday with friends after church, making meals and being lazy and living life together.

- I am intentionally trying to get my Spanish skills back. Or more skills than I ever possessed. I switched my Facebook settings to Spanish. I bought a Spanish verbs workbook. I stole Rosetta Stone from my friend. I bought a killer looking headset with which to work on Rosetta Stone. I google and wiki different cities and villages in Spain and the Canary Islands all the time to learn about the culture and the amount of outreach happening there. Did you know that Spain is the least evangelized Spanish-speaking country?

- I'm a little sad i'm not going on a missions trip this summer. I'm getting the travel bug - trying to figure out where else I can get to in the near future.

- I'm still raising monthly support for my ministry role. God has been super faithful, and i'm currently at 65-70% of my  monthly support-raising goal, but still need to work hard at getting these numbers up so I can keep doing what i'm doing.

- God is stirring and moving in worship at the harbor and i'm in the process of dreaming/vision-casting for a new worship series. Get pumped.

Ok, that's good for starters.
Go do something that makes you smile.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

bah humbug.

This was my desk when I got back to work today, because I'm the Bah-Humbug who won't let anyone listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

bolt bus blog.

Kaley said that if I wanted to be a good blogger, I just have to start writing. That's what Anne Lammott always says. 

“I know some very great writers, writers you love who write beautifully and have made a great deal of money, and not one of them sits down routinely feeling wildly enthusiastic and confident. Not one of them writes elegant first drafts. All right, one of them does, but we do not like her very much. We do not think that she has a rich inner life or that God likes her or can even stand her. (Although when I mentioned this to my priest friend Tom, he said that you can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.)” 

It has been quite the crazy couple of months, or however long it has been since I wrote a blog that wasn't a contest entry. (whoops.)

I am currently on a bus. a bolt bus. writing a blog. there is a power outlet at my feet, and precisely 3 other humans on this bus, including the bus driver, of which i am the only female. i suspect this will be a fairly dull trip - but who knows. i may have a streak of blogging genius here. 

I just finished a whirlwind trip to NJ then SC for a wedding then NJ again for a support raising party (#3 this month). I saw sooo many people I hadn't seen in forever. Ocean Grove friends and 'family,' my high school best friend Jaime, my Flagler friends. It was an amazingly encouraging time and I can NOT believe that we're already at the end of October.

The biggest "win" for the weekend was an answered prayer.
Before the trip began, I woke up one morning last week feeling led to pray that after this trip, I would have some kind of provision (how it was going to look, I didn't know), but I quickly stopped praying for fear that if I didn't get what I dreamed of, I would be so disappointed. So I put it aside, not wanting to get my hopes up only to be let down. But at work that day, a friend told me that he had been hoping that after this weekend, I would have what I need to get a car, or at least move toward that goal. So i took that as enough of a prodding to be obedient and pray for big things. and I emailed my friends, both for my own accountability and for their help. I asked them to be obedient with me and pray for big things. I decided that i'd rather be obedient and be wrong then not pray for anything at all.

monday, as I am driving with megan and her brother to lunch at surf taco (garlic shrimp taco is where it's AT), i get a voicemail. i had somehow missed the call, but the voicemail was from an acquaintance who i have never approached about financial support. but through the grapevine and the faithful prayers of my friends, they found out I was in need of funds for a car, and have decided to send me a check totaling about $3000 to get me started in that direction. I was floored. I mean, I believed that God would answer my prayer in some way, but as an attempt to protect my heart from disappointment, I was submitted to however He wanted that to look, even if it meant that it wouldn't be in the form of money. 

I'm humbled and honored and blown away, yet again, at my Father's desire to provide far beyond what I am willing and able to dream and ask for myself. Why do I always doubt that He will do this for me? I'm not sure that I walked away from this weekend with any increase in monthly support, but I sure did walk away feeling encouraged and cared for. Just another confirmation that I am walking in the right path even when it seems so risky and uncomfortable. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Reading Rainbow

There aren't really a lot of things I need.
Sure, I get a little anxious about finances sometimes. Especially now, while i'm support-raising. Life right now kinda feels like a balancing act. I'm the gal balancing the spinning plates on her chin. While juggling flaming oranges. On a unicycle. On a tightrope. Over a pool of ravenous snakes. Surrounded by lions.

Ok, maybe that's a little dramatic. I'm not scared. I just have a lot of different things on my plate that i'm trying to learn how to juggle. But the truth is, in the midst of it all, I don't need a lot. God has provided for me in awesome ways. Finances may get tight, but I have food. I have shelter. I have amazing community. I have a loving God. I can't really ask for much more.

But while we're on the subject of asking, I was playing with a friend's Kindle a couple of weeks ago and thought to myself, "Wow-how far away is Christmas? And how can I get me one of these?"

Fast forward to today, and I stumble upon this glory of all glories. A nook being given away for free. A color one at that. And all I had to do was write about it in my blog - perfect because i've been lacking in content ideas lately. Who wouldn't wanna win a nook?

I do. And i'm in the mood to make things happen.
Let's get this party started.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

a riley day is a good day.

i got to take a little trip back in time today and hang out with riley all day long. what a sweet day to get out of the office and outside in the sunshine. first, i painted her nails with glitter polish that i bought, admittedly, for myself last night at target. it's amazing. i wish i got to be 13 in the 80s. this will have to do. then we went to dane street beach where she was super happy just to play in the sand and splash around for a while.

then we went to atomic for lunch. classic. always delicious.
then to stop and shop and farmer brown's for some errands for her mom. now we're home. we split a whoopie pie and she's napping. i'm catching up on emails, but can't wait to snuggle up with this guy:

some classic riley quotes:
Me: No, silly, you're not tired yet.
Riley: Jenna, I am a girl who KNOWS when she's tired.

there was also a pretty priceless moment at the grocery store when i was looking at the pies for her mom and look over to find that riley had slipped a box of cookies under her arm. I asked her what she was doing and she said with all the confidence in the world, "oh, we're buying these."
"oh, no we're not."
because we got split a whoopie pie instead. 

sweet day.

Monday, August 8, 2011

summery things.

Just sending some photos along with updates from the summer.
Trip to India....

and some other fun summery things that have been happening:

i have's just a matter of getting them up here.
just a little taste for now. :)