About cisnjer

Wife, mom of four, but foremost a child of God, daughter of the King! 7 years ago, God transformed my walk & marriage & I cannot keep silent about His unconditional love, endless mercy, & amazing grace! There are seasons in my life where He just begins to pour into me & I write so I write & share :) none of these blog entries are my own! I am just a vessel...hope they speak to you & give you a desire to know Him more & make His name known ♥️

Every Step….

It certainly has been quite a bit since my last entry.  Much going on in this heart of mine as time seems to be ticking away. Time stands still for no one and I find myself looking around at these children of mine who continue to grow quite rapidly.  Yes, I know that is what they do.  I am beyond grateful to have been given a second chance at being their mom, sober this time…that God has redeemed the time with them and I am able to impact them for eternity’s sake.

If you have at all followed the anchored life, you would know I am perhaps extreme to some and probably down right radical to others.  I am learning to not apologize for that anymore and to live in the light of eternity as Jesus and His disciples did.  In doing that my time, talent, and treasures are spent much different than most, not to mention, my perspective, is well, different.  That perspective causes me to choose obedience over comfort, at times, obedience over good standing with the world, most of the time, & obedience over what the world tells me I should do, all the time.

We, as believers, are to preach the gospel to ourselves, reminding us of what Jesus saved us from…eternal separation from Him.  That is truly one of the only things that wrecks me…for God so loved Cissy.  Five words that changed my life forever and continues to shape and mold me in ways I never thought were possible. As I step into things that aren’t comfortable and that are contradictory to the worlds ways, I am finding such joy and such peace that its almost comical.  I am finding joy and peace with every step of obedience…not always easy, but I am finding them.

There is a song by Jesus Culture “Where You Go, I Go” that with every step I “go”  and every step that gets me down on my knees strengthens my perseverance to run this race with the endurance and joy given only by a Holy and awesome God that desires me to finish what He started…and that is to share the gospel with as many as I can and to make disciples who make disciples.  There is a phrase in the song that states :
“When every move that Jesus made was in surrender.”  I cannot help but think that should be how we ought to live…every step Jesus made, led Him to the cross, surrendering His rights and His life for the sake of others…its a radical way of thinking, again, contradictory to the worlds ways, yet that is exactly what Jesus did.

I challenge you to look at the things in your life that you are still holding onto and not surrendering to Christ…you know what they are.  Instead of every step leading you to a place of surrender, it leads you to your own devices of trying to do things your way as you try to maintain the perceived control you think you have.  Take that step…surrender!

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“The Insanity..” of not knowing the Word!

Have you ever read a book or watched a movie that just completely convicted you to the core or clarified your focus on what you were doing in your life. I have certainly had one book convict me to the core, the Bible, but as of late, “The Insanity of God” clarified my focus to what I am doing in my life.  If you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil it too much for you.  It is a documentary of Nic  and Ruth Ripkin’s missionary trips and interviews he has had with persecuted believers all around the world.  Two particular stories really stood out to me and I want to share why.

In Nic’s trek to find out if Jesus was worth it, he came across a man from Russia who began teaching his family the Bible.  This man felt led to “train up his children” in it and soon his neighbors wanted the same and asked if he would be willing to teach them also.  The gathering become large enough to attract the attention of the KGB and the authorities came in and arrested him.  He spent 17 years in prison for being a believer of Jesus Christ.  At one point, after the guards tried to bring him to his breaking point by bringing in a woman dressed to look like his wife, tortured her and killed her, he agreed to sign papers denying his faith in Jesus.  The next morning, though, after he said the Holy Spirit spoke to him assuring him that woman was not his wife and that she and his children were safe, he refused to sign the papers. It wasn’t what He endured that convicted me or clarified my focus in what the Lord has called me to in my life, but that every chance he got to find paper and something to write with he would jot down as many Bible verse he could recall and post within his jail cell.

I began memorizing scripture about a year ago and I sat there in that movie theater moved to tears because I know that would be the only thing that would help me in my time of distress. Scripture after scripture, verse after verse, filled my head of the ones I would jot down and I sat there, though, wondering about my brothers and sisters here in the comfy, non-persecuted U.S. A.  Would they be ready when persecution came & Bibles were burned or illegal to own? How many would be able to begin jotting down every scripture they know to comfort them in their time of distress? It made me all the more persistent and consistent to continue memorizing scripture so that when, not if, persecution comes, I would be so filled with His Word, that I would be able to stand firm to the very end.

Another part that convicted me and clarified my focus is when he visited a Chinese house church.  The only question they had for Nic was if Jesus had reached the other nations of the world.  Because of there seclusion in that country, they had no idea if the great commission was being accomplished. Tears filled my eyes as I recalled my trips to Cape Verde, West Africa and the work we are doing locally….incredible joy and gratefulness filled my heart to be such a small part of fulfilling the great commission, but that wasn’t the part that convicted me.  Nic answered their question by telling them of the persecution in Somalia. He told them an entire generation of believers have been wiped off the earth because of their belief in Jesus.  Not a sound came from them as they listened.  When Nic was through, he went to sleep only to be awoken by wailing a weeping. He had thought the authorities had found the house church and were gathering them all up, but what he found convicted me to the core.  They all had gotten up, all 150+ of them, to pray for their brothers and sisters in Somalia.  His translator told him they all have committed to getting up and hour earlier every morning to pray for their persecuted brothers and sisters in Somalia.  How many believers in the U.S do that? How many really care about their sisters and brothers across the sea?

I didn’t write this to make anyone feel guilty, bad, and to bring any condemnation to believers in the west, but to encourage the believer.  I get very discouraged when I look around at those who call themselves believers, but yet don’t look any different from the world.  I get discouraged when many are so distracted by the things of this world and could care less of fulfilling the great commission. But there is hope because I know God’s promises are true and has laid out for us what we are to do. Be encouraged, stand firm, and take heart. Hide His Word in your heart, pray for the persecuted and know the One you serve is coming again 🙂

Up to my old Shenanigans

I was reminded by a comment posted on my blog that I hadn’t written in quite a while. I skimmed through the last time I posted on my blog and got taken back 8 months ago when I was doing the “Move the Gospel” challenge. It brought me back to a place where I was intentionally leaving index cards with scriptures on them on random peoples cars. Perhaps random to me, but perfectly planned by the Holy Spirit. I have to admit, I felt convicted re-reading some of the blogs, realizing I wasn’t doing that anymore, but then I was lovingly reminded by the Holy Spirit how that challenge led me to the next thing He had for me…literally sharing the gospel w/my mouth! Interesting how something like that helps prepare you for the next step, almost like God chiseling off that kind fear to get you to step on the next stepping stone He has laid out before you.

So, tonight as I had to stop at the grocery store, with the “Move the gospel” challenge fresh in my mind and a scripture strategically placed in my purse, I did whatever an up to no good girl like me would do…went back to my old shenanigans, placing an index card in the window of the car next to me.

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I don’t know why I stopped as it brought me such joy especially seeing the man who got into this car stop & read the scripture.

I want to encourage you if the Lord is telling you to do something, even if it is just something small, do it! There is a reason for it & a blessing behind it 🙂

 

 

Move the Gospel Challenge Day 13

I thought about skipping today in light of the heinous and cowardly attacks in Paris, but isn’t that exactly what this ideology wants?  To silence us and make us afraid of standing against moral filth and evil that is so prevalent! To prevent us from speaking out and standing for what is good.  It was difficult to quiet my mind and search my heart for what He would want from me today in this challenge.  Let’s just be honest here for a moment.  I know this is not a struggle against flesh, against someone in a hijab or any other head garb, but against the rulers, against the authorities, and against the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12).  This attack is not the first and according to scripture, surely not the last, but knowing all this does not make it easier to be a follower of Christ.  The more things like this happen, the harder it is going to be as the wheat will begin to be separated from the tare (Matthew 13:30).  Being a Christian business owner and seeing how France reacted to these attacks with martial law and closing its borders, gave me a glimpse of what could happen here and made me realize all the more how short of time we really have to openly share the gospel! So, with a new day of His mercies, I hold fast to the confession of my faith without wavering and press on to day 13!

This weekend we are hosting seven high school girls and two leaders in our home for a D-NOW conference and so I spent my morning serving and getting them off to their days’ activities.  Once they were gone, I needed to head to the bank for the restaurant to grab change for tomorrow.  As I drove, I thought about 9/11 and how those line of events changed the very fabric of our society; how people, including myself, lived in fear after the incident.  I began to run through my daily memory verses in hopes one would speak truth into my heart at that very moment.  I smiled as two jumped right in my head and down into my heart, calming the fears that has so paralyzed me in the past.  I knew then, the ones I would need to share and leave behind on windows in the coming days.

Once I dropped off the change at the restaurant, I went around to the front of the parking lot and slowly made my way in front of Planet Fitness, watching the healthy and fit make their way to and from the gym.  I stopped my van and just prayed, still trying to quiet my mind long enough to just hear a whisper or a nudge, but I got nothing & realized my mind was still thinking about Paris.  Shaking my head at myself, I took a long breath and let it out and visually took the anxiety I was masking as peace and laid it before His throne, praying for His Will.  I looked up and began to move my car to another part of the parking lot when I saw the front of a car that had a New York license plate.  My thoughts immediately turned to 9/11 again & so I thought perhaps this might be a nudge.  I parked, got out of my van, and went to place the index card between the window, but I could not find the little space to leave it in.  I tried all around the window to no avail.  I began to think, “We’ll maybe this just isn’t the car and as usual you really aren’t hearing Him, you are not as discerning as you may think.”  With those thoughts badgering and distracting me, I didn’t notice a guy coming towards me.  My heart dropped to my feet thinking this actually might be the cars occupant and I might be getting caught by not just anyone, but a New Yorker!  As I kept trying to find a spot, the guy walked right behind me and into another car that was parked to the left and my heart rate began to return to normal.  At this point, I began to realize there was no way I was going to be able to leave the index card on the window. So, I looked down at the handle of the car and saw that it was perfect for leaving it in between the door handle.  I carefully made it so it would not be blown away or missed by the person that would find it.  Satisfied, I made my way back to my van and drove away.

move the gospel challenge 13

I join many whose hearts hurt for those effected by the attacks in Paris.  I know the propaganda spewed out on the MSM is not calling for us to love one another, live in harmony with one another, or to persevere through this, but that is exactly what we must do.  We are not American, French, Arab, Asian, Canadian, Australian, Russian, Brazilian, Italian, South African, or Irish, but we are all human beings and need to stand together through whatever the enemy throws our way.

1 Peter 3:8-9 ” Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another, be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.  Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”

Move the Gospel Challenge Day 12

Today was just like every other day for me.  The sun peeked out from behind the curtains earlier than I wanted as I threw my arm over to my phone to turn off my alarm. Out of the bed I stumbled to go and wake the kids for school. After the early morning drop off, I’m back at home going through my memory box of scriptures where I set time aside to meditate on scriptures the Lord has given me to memorize.  It has been quite an adventure with these verse and passages of scripture, learning the melodious way they flow through my lips and into my heart.  This morning as I was going through them, one seem to jump out at me for the day’s challenge and so I set it aside.   I was a bit unenthusiastic on leaving this particular scripture because it just seemed different from all the rest that I have left…kind of like the Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else.  There is no other name, under heaven, given to men, by which we must be saved.” Once I was finally through my morning routine of my quiet time, I wrote out the scripture on an index card, prayed to be able to set it up to leave with someone that day when I was given the opportunity.

That opportunity came when my phone rang and was asked to bring something up to the restaurant that my husband forgot. On my way there, I realized I was low on gas and quickly made the decision to go to Sam’s and not wait like I normally do, hoping their prices would be the lowest around town.  I wasn’t even really thinking about leaving an index card at this point in my day.  I thought once I got to the restaurant, there would be a better opportunity to pray and wait.  When I entered the parking lot at Sam’s, I made my way back to where they sell gas and came up on a woman wearing a hijab, getting out of the passenger seat of a car.  Immediately, the  index card came to mind and I slowed down to make like I was going to park. I found a spot right in front of them and  watched her husband help their little girl out of the back seat.  As I watched the three of them head into Sam’s I kept arguing with the Lord.  “This can’t be the scripture you want me to leave with someone who may be Muslim. Wouldn’t Acts 4:12 be better for this situation?” I even tried to find paper in my van to re-write the index card, but to no avail.  Four children and not one single piece of paper in my van, really? As I carried on with my “I know better than you, God” attitude, looking for a piece of paper, three men decided to have a reunion right beside the driver side window of where I would leave the index card. I just sat there, shaking my head, thinking this obviously isn’t who He wants me to leave this card with. I literally sat there trying to justify why I shouldn’t leave this passage of scripture and why that wasn’t the car I was to leave it at. The more I wrestled with not leaving this specific scripture with this specific person, the more the Holy Spirit convicted me of my disobedient, self-righteous, attitude.  I knew there was no way the Lord was going to let me leave this parking lot without leaving this index card on their window.  I  knew it was a losing battle for myself.  So, without any more hesitation, I got out of my van and walked towards the three men.  They curiously looked my way, and became a bit quieter in their conversation.  I politely said good afternoon as I attempted to slide the index card in between the window.  By then, they had completely stopped talking at this point to see what I was doing.  I turned my head towards them and smiled seeing they were all just staring at me, yet trying to act like they weren’t paying attention.  It was quite hilarious to say the least.  One of the gentlemen began putting his groceries in his trunk as I heard the other man say “Well, I guess we’ll be going. Good luck in the car business.” Once I made sure the index card was firmly situated, I glanced at the gentlemen putting his groceries in his trunk and said “Just moving the gospel, hope you have a nice afternoon.”  I walked back to my van and jumped in.  I sat there, praying for His Word to accomplish the purposes He intended it for and then headed off to fill my van up with gas.

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I love it when God decides to remind me of His sovereignty.  My husband could have very well remembered to bring what he had forgotten to the restaurant.  I didn’t have to go to Sam’s for gas.  Those men could have not been there, challenging my boldness. When I began this challenge, there would have been no way I would have left any card in front of a person, let alone three of them. Regardless of being a short-term missionary in a foreign nation, I have the same concerns everyone else has when sharing their faith or putting themselves out there to share ones faith.  I am learning, though, the more I put myself out there, the bolder I am becoming. Honestly, I think, now more than ever, this nation is in need of a little more Christ-like boldness and lot less brashness.  I believe this nation is in need of bold faith that doesn’t quite scream self-righteously from the mountaintops that everyone is wrong, headed for destruction and we are all right, but a bold faith that is so intertwined in love and His Word that it captures the heart of all who hear it. They hear it because the people sharing it literally are practicing what they preach in such a humbled, Christ-like way and  the enemy is completely crushed, having no defense against the genuine, all-encompassing love of Christ shared by those truly abiding in Him! I pray as you read this, seeing my struggles, yet victories through Christ, you are given a boldness to do the same…the world is just waiting for someone like you to be a light in the corner of their dark world 🙂

Move the Gospel Challenge Day 11

If there is anything this challenge is helping me do, it is definitely helping me to not get consumed and distracted with all that is going on in our culture.  There were days a while back, before Christ captured my heart, I would get so frustrated with the issues brought up within our culture and spend too much time being bothered by how people felt about a certain subject.  I have learned, thankfully, how important Hebrews 12:2 really is to a believers walk with the Lord.  Fixing our eyes on the author and perfecter of our faith is such an incredibly important discipline as we navigate through our days in this life.  One misstep off the path He has chosen for us or one time we take our eyes off Jesus and the results could be detrimental to our walk with Him. Some people take it so lightly, as if it is not that big of a deal that they wander off a bit or place Him on the back burner until they get their life “in order” themselves.  I already been there, done that, and let me tell you, the t-shirt wasn’t worth it! So, fixing my eyes on Him, I press on to day 11 in this challenge.

My husband was off today so we were able to go and visit his 93 year old grandmother who is in hospice care, but gratefully, in the comfort of her own home.  I don’t think many like to think about their loved ones moving on from this life, but it is part of life and so we have to face it at one time or another.  For me, it is always easier to handle end of life situations when you know the person has had a daily personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

I remember when my step-father was dying of cancer and it became clear I needed to pray and be somewhat of an instrument in sharing the gospel with him one way, shape, or form.  He already called me a “walking Bible” so it would be no surprise to him that I would at least attempt to share with him.  My husband and I tried twice, but he stopped us each time reassuring us that he would not be one of those people who would come to Jesus just because he was dying…he wanted it to be sincere and genuine.  I honored that and prayed fervently for his salvation.  As I sat there watching him take his last breath on this earth, I was grateful he wasn’t in any pain anymore in this life, but I yearned to have confirmation of his final destination.  I prayed the next couple of days for this and the Lord answered me through my devotion and later through the hospice nurse and mom who told me they came around the corner of his room and heard him call out to Jesus.  After reading in Romans 10:11, I am confident I will see him again.

Our visit with my husband’s grandmother went well.  We ran short of time and had to go pick up the kids from school, prep dinner, and head off to Wednesday night activities at church.  Before I knew it, the day was practically finished and I had not accomplished day 11 of this challenge.  Luckily, my children could not live without their weekly run for ice cream after church and so we stopped in at a Winn Dixie to pick some up.  As we entered the parking lot, I saw a family of 5 getting out of their truck and begin walking towards the automatic doors of the grocery store.  Without hesitation, my heart quietly whispered “There is day 11.”  As my husband headed for the door to the grocery store, I headed to the door of their truck, wedging the card the best I could between the window.

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I am always amazed as I can go into a room and forget what in the world I went into the room to begin with, but have not forgotten one day to do this challenge.  I am praying when this challenge is said and done, leaving index cards on peoples windows will be so ingrained in my daily life that it becomes just part of what I do when I go out from my home onto the mission field. So, instead of it just being written over the door frame of my home, it is actually something I do everyday 🙂

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Move the Gospel Challenge Day 10

I know some of you might be feeling a little cheated from yesterday’s blog, thinking that I didn’t really “get “caught,” because I am sure most of you thought I got caught by the person I was leaving the card for.  Regardless, I did get caught, but thankfully from a person of peace who not only helped me encourage someone, but surely encouraged me as well!!  So, today, after spending sometime in His Word, I felt a certain scripture grab my attention. I felt I needed to make sure I really heard from the Lord in where this one would be placed and so I prayed a little longer than normal.

I had many errands to run throughout my day.  I entered the parking lot of where my first errand was and parked there for a moment and just began to pray, asking Him to please guide me and clearly show me if this was the parking lot I was to look to leave this card.  After I prayed, I kept quiet and as I focused on just listening, the lyrics of the song I was listening to sung “So we wait, we wait for you.” I opened my eyes and just smiled realizing this wasn’t the time or place He wanted me to leave it.  Now I know some might be saying “Really?  That’s how you decipher the Lord’s guidance? Song lyrics?”  With all that I have been through in my life, I have come to recognize how the Lord speaks to me, but more importantly, I have come to know how incredibly sovereign my Savior is in my everyday life. If He knows I am waiting on Him to act and I pray for wisdom for guidance in that action, He is going to provide the wisdom I seek, according to His Word in James.  It is up to me to prepare my heart to hear and be aware of when He speaks.  So, knowing I needed to wait, I went on with my day and continued with the rest of my errands which led me to another part of town.

My son had broken his glasses and I needed to get them repaired.  I knew this earlier in the day and thought about the area in which I would be going later and lifted up a prayer for anyone who might need this encouragement in that part of town.  As I entered the parking lot, I began to scope out all the cars and those coming and going. I saw an SUV next to me, but I heard quietly “wait.” Something just told me this was not going to be a car that had already been there, but one that would soon pull up. Sure enough, there was one parking spot left and a bright, deep, blue car pulled up and parked.  I patiently watched as this woman got out of the car, limping ever so slightly to find a cart. “There, that one,” I heard, “in this life she has had trouble.” As she made her way into the grocery store, I grabbed the index card and my 3 year old and started for her car.  Hoping not to be startled like yesterday, I looked around before I placed the card between her window and noticed a man sitting on the curb under the shade of a tree, watching me.  With cars zooming through the parking lot, I pressed my daughter close to me. I found the nitch between the window to hold the card firmly in place and then darted off towards the eye doctor office.  As I opened the door to the office, I glanced back behind my shoulder to see if that man was still there, but he was no where in sight.

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I have wondered in the last ten days of this challenge if this is really making a difference, if any of this is really making an impact on individual lives, but more importantly, is this making an eternal impact.  I won’t know of the eternal impact, if any, on this side of heaven, but I can honestly say, the more I press on in this challenge, coming out of my comfort zone, I am beginning to feel a boldness that I haven’t had before and more of a desire to daily share His Word in the lives of those God places before me.  Can’t wait for tomorrow 🙂