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 ♥️

Move the Gospel Challenge Day 6

Having to leave an index card in front of my children and take a picture of it allowed me to evaluate my motives and agenda in doing this challenge.  My oldest loves to point out my flaws, which I have many, but today she gladly pointed out that taking a picture of these cards and using them in my blog is, in her opinion, boasting.  I believe she attempted to quote the scripture in Matthew 6:5 when Jesus speaks of praying in secret, not like the Pharisees who do it in plain sight and she is right, without a doubt.  We shouldn’t parade our good deeds for all to see, but we should surely parade His goodness within our lives.  Saying that, my motives behind this challenge are definitely not, “look at me”…and if that is what is portrayed, please forgive me.  At first, as He was leading me to do this, I felt this was surely a way to encourage complete strangers on a daily basis, attempting to get people out of their comfort zones and challenge them to do the same. Then, as I began to blog about it, I realized this challenge was more about taking me out of my comfort zone and taking inventory of my daily comings and goings…who I saw, where I went, what did I see, and how would I respond to what I saw?  Would I just put my head down and plow through my day, keeping His Hope inside me or would I really start looking for opportunities to encourage complete strangers with this Hope on a daily basis in real life situations?  If you really know me, then you know I just can not, NOT share the Hope that I have…it is just not possible anymore! So, onto day 6…

Busy day for this mom of four, restaurant owner, and short-term missionary as we got to meet with a couple who desired to know more about what we do in Cape Verde.  If there is ever a time my face has a permanent smile it is when I am talking about where God is working and the opportunity we have to join Him where He is working! As time ran short, we had to quickly get to our kids and then to the restaurant so I could get payroll in before a certain time. So I found myself unable to leave any cards in my comings and goings this afternoon and I thought I’d just have to try again tomorrow, no big deal if I skipped a day.

Seems God wasn’t having that and so after church we headed to the mall to grab some supper for the kids since this mom failed to plan out her day properly.  I was happy in the thought I had been given the opportunity to leave a card, hoping that perhaps it would be left on the window of someone who might had just watched “Woodlawn” and needed that extra encouragement, but I will really never know.  Thankfully, because His ways and his plans for my day were not my own, I was able to, even in my busyness and in my poor planning, He directed my steps to be able to encourage in the least likely of places in my day…the parking lot of a movie theater 🙂

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Where have you left encouragement? I would love to know!  Or am I the only crazy one that is doing this? It wouldn’t be the first time lol 🙂

Move the Gospel Challenge Day 5

Well, day 5 and I realize to some this challenge is really no big deal.  I mean, whoop tee doo, so I write verses on index cards with a phrase from the scripture and leave it on car windows….some challenge. Easy for someone like me, who has supposedly been called as a missionary to preach the gospel to those who have never heard…wrong! Its easy for someone like me who is completely and utterly bankrupt without the love of Christ, who has experienced a grace and love that has captured my heart and life in such a way that I will never be the same and can not be silent knowing the kind of life I live can be lived by others…and so on day five, I press on….

I had to work today so my husband could get to a doctors appointment.  Our restaurant is in a strip mall accompanied by the Dollar Store, Planet Fitness along with other stores catered to our community’s needs. Before I headed to the back of the strip mall to park, I was already aware the Lord wanted me leave an index card with someone before work so I slowly approached the Dollar Store’s parking lot, parked and began to pray.  I only had three index cards with me today and as I looked at each one, I was reminded immediately of a post by a friend of mine wrote that morning on Facebook that said “There are about 5,000 gods worshipped by humanity, Jesus is the simplest, most powerful and only true God.” I knew then, that seeing that before I left for work wasn’t a coincidence. See, the index card I kept struggling to leave was 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.” On the very top of this index card, I wrote “There is no other Name.” I have no problem voicing that to anyone who asks, but most the time when I am voicing that statement, it is to people who know the work Jerry and I do in Cape Verde or it is 6000 miles away on foreign soil, testifying to someone face to face of who this amazing Savior is, not to a complete stranger who may or may not have preconceptions of who Jesus is…leaving this verse was a struggle for me and I know if I didn’t leave it, I was being disobedient. Please let me be clear, it wasn’t a struggle because I don’t believe there is no other name under heaven by which men can be saved, but because it is a very strong statement for the kind culture we live in and I have no idea the impact leaving that kind of scripture would have on someone in this culture. I am grateful, though, for Isaiah 55:11 that reminds me in my doubting that God’s Word does not return empty, but goes out and achieves the purposes for which it was sent!

So, after I prayed, I looked up and my eyes fell upon this scooter.  It was dusty, and looked like it had a lot of miles on it.  I thought to myself that there was no way I could leave one on there, I would be right in the open, right where everyone could see…fear began to creep in and my heart rate increased a bit. Again, a scripture came to mind…about denying me before men and I will deny you before my Father. I pushed that fear aside and set my heart on what He has called me to do.

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I am realizing this challenge has much to do with chiseling more things out of my life that is hindering the purposes He has for me, allowing me to confront fears, doubts, and insecurities each day that He brings me to leaving these scriptures with strangers. I can only hope I am aware and discerning enough to pick up on which things He wants to chisel off.

I leave you with “God’s Chisel”

Move the Gospel Challenge Day 4

Its kinda crazy how God has used my normal everyday errands to help me be more aware of the people around me, to slow me down and help me be more intentional with my faith on the local mission field. I have found that when you put your time, talent, and treasure in the One who desires your first fruits, He always redeems your time, grows your talent, and blesses your treasure!

Today, I had to go to the north end of town to fill our water jugs and stop to grab some groceries for dinner that night.  He has been reminding me lately to be content with planning for my daily bread and not tomorrow’s bread.  Since Winn Dixie was on my way, I stopped in there and scoped out the parking lot, parking a little up front, getting a little bolder I guess.  I glanced around at the 1/2 empty parking lot and then looked down at the index card, and then back up watching people go in and out of the automatic doors of the grocery store.  I didn’t really sense a certain car He wanted me to leave it with today and since I never placed it on a car right next to me I decided today would be the day I did.  A grey grand Jeep Cherokee was parked to my left and so I hopped out of my van and left the index card in between the window of the drivers side.  As I came around the Jeep, a man was putting his groceries in his car and stopped what he was doing and looked at me.  I smiled and said “Good morning!” as I walked back to my van to get my things to begin shopping.  He just looked inquisitive at me and continued his task without returning a comment.

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As I walked across the parking lot I looked up at what you can partly see in the picture..a salon with the name “Relentless.” Immediately I thought of my Savior who is relentless in so many ways. Relentless in His pursuit of me, relentless in His love for me, relentless in intercession for me, and relentless in His grace and mercy for me.  Imagine if we were relentless in the same manner Jesus is.  What would that look like?  How would the world react? Would we care? Relentlessly pursuing, loving, praying and relentlessly showing grace and mercy to a world who finds the message of the cross as foolish…May we be relentless as Jesus is 🙂

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Move the Gospel Challenge Day 3

The more I go through with this challenge, the more He reveals to me just how many are hurting and how many are lost in this world.  I am reminded how lost I once was, the person I once was, the person I am now, and the person I am becoming due to His grace and the incredibly abundant life I get to live in Christ. It is this abundant life that leads me to encouraging others in anyway the Lord guides me.

On this third day of the challenge I had time before church to treat my kids to Dunkin Donuts. When I entered the parking lot it was bustling with traffic as many trying to get their caffeine fix for the day.  The positioning of the parking lot could be clearly seen from the windows of DD, so I made a mental note not to leave a note in that area of the parking lot when leaving, but ask God for guidance of another area He would prefer me to go in.

As we left I began looking at the vastness of the parking lot and noticed a “loner” kind of car parked under the shade of a tree.  My kids kept asking why I was going so slow and questioning my direction.  This was a little different from the other two days, since I wasn’t concerned with having to answer to anyone of what I was doing and why I was doing it.  Side note here for those who don’t have children: Children want to know everything you are doing and why you are doing it even if it doesn’t pertain to anything they are doing, their needs, or wants…they just have to know or they’ll explode with the thoughts of not knowing! So, after I quickly explained what I was doing to my children, I parked next to this car and silently prayed for the person who would receive this next card, got out of the van, and stuck it in between the car window.

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Having to do this in front of my children made me realize all the more what kind of example I may be setting for them.  They already see their father and I leave them for ten plus days to a foreign mission field every 60 days and now something as simple as this challenge.  I can only hope the example set for them is one that will prepare them to stand firm in His Word and in their faith no matter what others may think. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 1:18 “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”

This challenge may very well be foolishness to many that either read this or those that receive one of the index cards, but if it helps one person, just one person out of the 100’s of index cards I plan on leaving, then it was worth it.  Worth it to me, not necessarily for unselfish reasons, but for the reasons it made me slow my life down to take note of the those around me, for the reasons it made me dig into scripture, and for the reasons it made me pray for a complete stranger. Yes, worth it indeed 🙂

Move the Gospel Challenge Day 2

I am sure some have read the last couple of days blog posts and are beginning to question my sanity or perhaps it is just the same doubts that start to rise up when my mindset begins to contradict the way of the culture or when I begin to try and use the gifts I know He has given me to encourage others.  Either way, I cling to the hope that this world is not my home and the more times I step out my comfort zone and share the good news of the gospel to encourage those around me, it makes me all the more confident that I am NOT normal to this worlds standards…and that is okay with me.

I found myself having to go to the Dollar Store to pick up a couple of things and my mind immediately thought about the index cards…which one did the Lord want me to leave behind? Who would He want me to leave it with? I pulled into a parking spot, but instead of trying to get a closer spot, I strategically began scoping out all the cars and found myself in the middle of the parking lot, with an old ford mustang with a skull on its dashboard and an American flag drooping from the roof to my right and a brand new jeep wrangler to my left.  I kept looking over at the Ford mustang as the skull kept grabbing my attention, but I saw one word in my head…”plain.” “Plain?” I asked to no one and closed my eyes and just prayed for wisdom.  I opened my eyes to see the Jeep backing up and realized that helped narrow it down for me.  I turned to the Ford and through the drivers seat window I saw the plainest light blue van I have ever seen.  This van had no tinted windows, no leather, no roof rack, no power windows, no bling, no nothing, just a plain as they come light blue minivan.  There was something that drew me to the plainness of this van that I cannot describe.  The van looked as if it had it all together and didn’t need anything to make it stand out, except confirmation that all was going to be okay. So, with those thoughts in my mind, I looked around the parking lot made sure it was clear of patrons, grabbed the index card He had chosen for this person and slipped it in between the window. I turned around to see someone glance my way in another car, but then act like they didn’t see me.  I smiled and just went along my business towards the Dollar Store.

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Second day of intentionally encouraging a stranger through His Word, of intentionally seeking wisdom in things I know nothing about, and of intentionally stepping out of my comfort zone and I have to say….why didn’t I start doing this earlier? 🙂

Move the Gospel Challenge Day 1

With a family of six, I am bound to end up at the grocery store, the produce stand, the bank, or a school parking lot, at least once during the day.  Today I brought five index cards with me that I had already prayed over and just asked God’s wisdom on where and to whom I was to leave it with.

I needed to pick up a couple of things for dinner so I pulled into Winn Dixie, parked the car and just watched the parking lot for a moment, looking around at those coming and going and listening to that still small voice.  A couple was putting their groceries in the back of their car, another was grabbing a cart getting her list ready.  I watched an elderly man struggle to get out of his “old faithful” pick-up and truck, leaving his cane behind, wobbled the best he could to get to the nearest cart. “Him…I am His strength in his weakness,” I heard. I had noticed he left down his window on this beautiful, blue skied, fall day in south Florida. As he made his way into the grocery store, I quickly got out of my van, walked over to his truck and placed the index card on his steering wheel, hoping not to draw attention to what I just did. There, I did it. I took a deep breath and made my way into the grocery store to begin my shopping. “That wasn’t so bad,” I thought, “Not as hard as it seemed in my head.”

When I finished up at Winn Dixie, I got in my van and began to pull out of my parking spot when I noticed another beat up old truck parked in the farthest part of the parking lot. “There..head there,” I heard. I pulled up behind the truck and questioned the Lord “Really? I thought I was only doing one a day?” He said “I thought you said ‘in your comings and goings’.”  Okay, you got me there…So, I slowly got out of my van and wedged another one in between the window and drove away.

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As I drove home, my mind stayed with those verses and the people who would come across them….I found myself praying for them and reiterating the verses within my heart.  Yea, this isn’t as bad as I made it out to be 🙂

Move the Gospel Challenge, Accept it if you dare!

Being a missionary, I am always looking of ways to share the good news of the gospel everywhere I go. Honestly, I believe, it isn’t just the missionaries that are called to do this, but any true follower of Jesus Christ. Lately, news of my niece, Taylor Tippett, an airline attendant for American Airlines, who has left encouraging notes taped to the window seats of unexpected passengers for them to find when they board, has stirred my heart to do the same back here on the ground.

Ever since the news of my niece has taken flight, I kept thinking what if believers did this where ever they went, taping scriptures to other car windows as they got out of their cars at the local grocery store or their own mailbox to encourage the postal worker, Christian businesses putting scriptures on their receipts, or encouraging scriptures being placed with tips left for servers? Why not bring my niece’s inspiration to the ground below, moving the gospel in practical, subtle, everyday life situations?

You may not necessarily be called to pick up your family and move half way across the world to share the gospel, but you are called to share, move, or preach the gospel where ever He plants you.  If the gospel has not changed you in a way that has stirred your heart enough to share the simple story of who you once were to who you are now, I am not quite sure you were told the same gospel I was told.  With that being said, I want to challenge you to the “Move the Gospel Challenge.”

In this challenge, I am going to ask you to intentionally share your faith on a daily basis to strangers in the ways listed above, or in any other way the Lord gives you.  It may very well be a note on a window at the grocery store everyday and it may be that very note that changes the direction of someone’s life…you just never know unless you take this challenge.  I very well cannot ask you to take this challenge if I myself aren’t willing to do the same! So, with scriptures written on index cards with an encouraging phrase to go along with it, I am armed and ready to move the gospel!

Each day as I am going, and doing, for the next couple of weeks, I will journal of my intentionality of sharing and moving the gospel in Jensen Beach, Fl. I pray this encourages and challenges those who find it hard to share your faith.  I know it isn’t easy. Getting me to pry my hands from my family, giving up total control, and traveling 6000 miles away to a foreign mission field was terrifying to me as hundreds of thoughts consumed my mind as to how my family would get along in my absence.  It is amazing how one mission trip can change your entire perspective of not just why you are here, but also strengthen your faith in such an incredible way.

So, shall we begin this journey together? Will you be so bold as to approach the throne of grace and ask the Lord what would He have you do locally to share your faith in this manner. Perhaps it might be writing encouraging notes with scripture on an index card, taping it or leaving it for un-expectant strangers or maybe something completely different. All I know is every time I subtly share in this manner, the voice of fear is silenced & I am empowered more and more to share my faith more vocally than before! My prayer throughout this entire challenge for you is found in Philippians 6:19-20 “Also, pray for me; that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me, that I may fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel in which I am an ambassador in chains.  Pray that I may declare it fearlessly as I should.” Let’s begin fearlessly making known the gospel together!!!!

My first note…praying over it as I seek Him to have discernment on which window to leave it on 🙂

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Memorize scripture?! Ain’t nobody got time for that!!!

I have wrestled writing this long enough, not because I feel I have the ultimate answer & authority in scripture memorization, but because, for one, I think “Why would anyone want to use what God gave me to memorize His Word?” And second, because if memorizing His Word is truly your desire, your life is about to take on a whole different perspective & I wasn’t sure many would want that.

Before I left on a mission trip in July, we were asked to journal. Journaling should be easy for someone like me, but I sat in front of a notepad & just stared with nothing to write….nothing! That usually doesn’t happen, but it did & so I prayed. He answered very quickly, “Not what I have for you, I have something different before this trip.” And before I knew it, He led me to scripture after scripture, passage after passage & put before me a method of how to retain them to memory.

At first, I was skeptical at being able to memorize these scriptures, especially when I was given Romans 3:22-24 & 1 Peter 3:15-16, but then it hit me so heavily on my heart. This really wasn’t about memorization, but a way to the Father’s heart. This wasn’t about being a walking Bible, but my walk with Jesus. This wasn’t about being a know it all, but knowing the One that knows it ALL! Each scripture I came across had the gospel all over it. He was preparing me for this mission trip like none other I had ever been on. Every single scripture He gave me was used in specific circumstances I was placed in during that trip!  I knew then this method of memorization was more for me than those I had the privilege of getting to share or encourage. I also began to realize how crucial of a tool it was to effective evangelism & discipleship!

Four months and 60+ scriptures later, this skeptic is amazed at her old noggin, but even more amazed at the incredible change in the renewing of her mind, the focus she has on scripture when life gets a bit chaotic, & how much her faith has grown in His Word in such a little bit of time! I have even began to realize there is a melodious rhythm to scripture, almost like a song sung by the Rock of Ages to His people, beating in our hearts for us to just get in sync with. They say people live life to the beat of their own drum. I have found the beat I want to live my life to & cannot keep it to myself any longer.

Ready to see life a little differently, through the eyes of His Word? I’m warning you, this is a lifestyle change, not just a “let me memorize a few scriptures to help me through this tough spot & then I’ll be fine.” This is a “life changing, discipleship making, God breathing, kingdom minded” decision! And don’t think once you begin getting His Word in you that life is just gonna be smooth sailing. Let me give you a heads up now, the enemy does not like it when we begin to equip ourselves DAILY with the Word, armoring ourselves against his pitiful schemes & tactics. If you are still reading this, I’m assuming you are serious or are just curious as to this memorization method. Either way, He has drawn you in because He knows how important & powerful knowing His Word & sharing it to this lost generation is.

Without further adieu, here are pictures & directions. Please let me know if you have questions or another way that helps you memorize scripture!

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You can use a recipe box, a baggy, an envelope, whatever works. I cut an index card long enough to stick up a bit to divide my index cards from Daily, Weekly, & Monthly.

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Whenever I stumbled upon a scripture that spoke to me or I kept seeing over & over I would write the address on one side & scripture on the other & put the letter “D” on the upper right hand corner & place behind my daily divider. Everyday I would say that scripture 10 times for 10 days, using tally marks to record my progress. The scripture chosen to memorize should be easy to flow out of your mouth at the end of this step. After those 10 days, that scripture got placed behind my weekly divider.

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The weekly scriptures get spoken 5 times a day for 10 days. By this time, the scripture should be complete rooted in your heart. If you are still having trouble with it, it should go back in the daily divider till it has been taken root better. Thankfully, I have never had to do that.

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I wrote the day of the week on the upper right corner under the daily tallies. I said this verse 5 times for 10 days in case you missed it.

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Once these scriptures get placed in the monthly, I would say these once a day for a year. I would place that tally on the upper left hand corner with the letter of the month.

Well, there you have it! Simple, right? Yet, statistics & studies show His Church is full of biblical illiterate believers….and we wonder why many believers live defeated lives & the gospel is not being shared.

Let me tell you, this “book” that we all take for granted is the most historically accurate, unique in every way, life giving book I have ever read. Hebrews 4:12 correctly states “The Word of God is living & active, sharper than any double edged sword. It penetrates to dividing soul & spirit, joints & marrow. It judges the thoughts & attitudes of the heart.”

I want to encourage you to read His Word, get it rooted in your heart & mind so that it can renew your mind & help you discern your thoughts & attitudes in a way that will glorify God!  Start beating your life to His drum & I promise you when you get off beat, His Word will never fail to get you back on 🙂

#movethegospel

Intentionality VS Idleness

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As I look at this picture of my team member from my last trip to Cape Verde, it is a reminder of the struggle & frustrations I believe I see in many believers….and that struggle & frustration is a world in need of the hope of Jesus yet so few willing to work the fields, a lack of those willing to intentionally share what Jesus has done in their lives, & those who know Christ as their Lord & Savior, but are comfortable sitting in their comfy sideline game chair with a “I’m not called to play that position” mentality while the game rages on.
When will His Bride rise up & do what He has called us to? When the media portrays every last one if us as bigots & homophobes? When there are no more babies to kill and parts to sell?
We haven’t been called to judge the world, but to preach the gospel into all the world (Matthew 24:14), to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21), to agree with one another so that there are not any divisions among us, perfectly uniting us in mind & thought (1 Corinthians 10:13) & to love people, show grace & mercy just as He loved & showed grace & mercy to us (1 John 4:19, Luke 6:36)!
Church, you have a choice…stay silent, holding His Hope inside, & making sure your chair is all comfy for the next game season, hoping like hell the Coach doesn’t call on you….or you can find your voice, share the hope that lives IN you, get out of that chair & ask the Coach to put you in! We have been silent long enough!