Thursday, April 7, 2011

Back and Being Filled!

Well its been a while and I've been planning to wait until things got a little more normal in my life to blog again but things have gotten less normal and the girls are ready for me to post again so here we go! ;)

The past weeks we've been allowing the Lord to work really hard in us to uproot those stubborn weeds of self and flesh. We've talked about strongholds and sin, some we were aware of and some that we didn't even know were hiding in us. We finished this uprooting by a lesson on the spirit of Jezebel. We learned who she was and if any of her was in us. We decided we wanted no characteristics of that spirit in us and opted for a quiet and gentle spirit instead. :)

This week we decided to put our studying into action. We learned 4 steps to being filled with the Holy Spirit. But before we could jump in we heeded a WARNING! (These 4 steps are not a magic spell to be filled with the Holy Spirit, you cannot manipulate God. These are merely some ways to get our hearts emptied and readied to make room for the King.)

1. Humble your self- "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" Jas 4:6  We must realize that He is the vine and we are the branches apart from him we can bear no fruit in fact apart from Him we can do nothing. John 15:4-8

2. Deny your self and crucify the flesh-2 Cor. 5:15  If self is reigning on the throne of our hearts the Holy Spirit can't. So we must die to self...Gal 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me..." Luke 9:23-25 "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross DAILY and follow me...."

3. Confess your sins and lay down your burdens-  The fact is if something is already full it can't be filled. If we are already so full of our own junk the Holy Spirit doesn't have room to fully expand. So we lay it all down burdens and sins...1John 1:9 "If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." We mustn't be afraid to confess our sins...1 John 2:1 "...But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ the Righteous One." Jesus speaks for us and desires our freedom and that's what confession gives us!  And not just our sins but Jesus even cares about our worries...1 Peter 5:7 "Casting all your cares on Him, for he cares for you"  Can you believe that! He dies for us, speaks for us and cares for us!

4. Ask - Now that your empty simply ask your loving Father to be filled with Him. Luke 11:11-13 "Which of you Fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those ask him!"  Just ask him...he wants you to be filled with the Spirit more than you want to be filled Spirit...because if you really are do you know who gets the glory...He does!

Now, all this being said we don't earn being filled with Spirit, its a grace, a gift...that is why they are called spiritual gifts. These step aren't a magical spell to make it happen, they are to make your heart right. If you want to be filled with Spirit so that you can be awesome and thought much of then you won't be filled, because self is still on the throne. But if you know you need to be filled to bring the Father you love any glory at all, then you will be filled, because Jesus is on the throne of your heart and He always seeks the Fathers glory.

.....And our special feature this week is my baby sister BRENDI  POYNOR

Brendi is an amazing leader in our group and has channeled her passionate spirit into a God glorifying gift. She's artsy, musical, theatrical, hysterical, and about as athletic as her older sister ;)    

For her scripture she chose Proverbs 2:1-5
"My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding and if you look for it as silver and search for it as for hidden treasure then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God."

Brendi said, "This verse means a lot to me because I remember a lot of people pointing me towards every which way, and never being sure which arrow to trust. The Lord spoke to me in verses like this telling me "This is the one true way". He has given me definite direction and promise, and I will be forever grateful.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Two Things....

So......Kelsey and I moved last week resulting in no blog for lasts weeks class and no special feature youth girl.  I'm barely back on my feet and my brain is still shorting out as I explained to you girls last night in class. Not that things have been stressful or negative just overwhelmingly wonderful and flat out exhausting. I no longer have my beloved high speed Internet but thanks to Mineral Wells getting 3G  my parents air card is pretty fast and I am grateful!

I honestly barely remember last week's lesson so we will talk of last night's...."Two Things" ...there are multitudes of books and teachings some full of truth and wisdom, but with so many options we can easily lose focus. So we talked of  "Two Things"    1.To know God in revelation of Christ Jesus and    2. To know ourselves in light of that revelation.   We looked at Jesus' response to the 5,000 that awaited him after he and his disciples tried to get away for some restoration after the beheading of John the Baptist. Mark 6:30-42.  Exhausted and wounded Jesus tells his disciples "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." What beautiful words to hear from the Prince of Peace. Right before he calls them away it says they didn't have a chance to eat. I don't know about you, but I need to eat. I'm thinking... hungry, broken hearted, probably scared and definitely exhausted is not the condition you want to be in when you try to get away and then get faced with 5000 people, people hungry in every way. But instead of the many responses that we as humans can imagine ourselves having we see something different. We see a glimpse into the heart of God. vs. 34 says "When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things." When most would consider us a pain and an annoyance Christ looks at us with compassion. Even concerned by their physical condition,  Jesus provides a miraculous meal for the 5000... Beautiful.   We next looked at our own hearts in light of Christ's...We came face to face with the truth that we often lie to ourselves when it comes to the condition of our heart. "Our fallen thinking processes automatically justify our actions and rationalize our thoughts." We all agreed that it was time to wipe off the cosmetics covering the true soul within us, the soul Christ seeks to know, save and set free.

This weeks special feature! Summer Gage
This pic is my favorite...Summer in action!

I made her turn around so we could see her cute vest!

Summer is a joy and a delight to have. She is very intelligent and amazing combination. She knows much of the Word but keeps her knowledge to herself much of the time. When she speaks she is always right on and very wise.  Here is the scripture she selected....

"Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord"- and you forgave the guilt of my sin.  Psalm 33:5
Praise the Lord! He forgives the guilt of our sin!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Do you ever miss Jesus?

Do you ever just feel homesick for Him?  Kelsey and I have been packing all day and sorting through our stuff for a garage sale...He's in bed now and Im sitting in our packed up living room just marveling at the grace and mercy of Jesus.  It's been a weird past couple of weeks...haven't had youth girls in 2 Wednesdays (I miss yall so much) due to snowy weather. I've been very preoccupied with the move from our house, not so much productively but mentally.  I've done my normal routine of reading the Word and reading my books and even praying but I've just been missing Jesus...ya know missing his presence.  I told Kelsey before he went to sleep that I was feeling weird and just felt disconnected from the Vine....withering spiritually and as soon as I confessed that I felt the Lord calling. I came into the living room and got on my knees and poured out my confessions and told Jesus I am completely dependent on His grace even to have a relationship with Him. I asked for eyes to see and ears to hear, that he would lift the fog and fill me with the Holy Spirit as I emptied myself of self and flesh. And before even a minute passed Faithful and True was  pouring His love and presence on does He do it...I'm just overwhelmed with gratitude and emotion thinking of his grace on me. His nearness truly is to us our good.  As I opened my eyes and looked up at the empty walls and moving boxes I was overtaken by His goodness...His hands are all over our lives...He's answering long lifted prayers of my heart. The reality of all Christ is to us and offers us is more than our minds can fully grasp but by His grace he gives us glimpses and they knock us off our feet.   Ya know that song "I can only Imagine"...overplayed and over sung I know, but I think about the part that talks about how we will react when we are finally fully in His presence..."Surrounded by your glory what will my heart feel? Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still? Will I stand in your presence or to knees will I fall? Will I sing Hallelujah or will I be able to speak at all?"  Well if how I react to his Presence on earth is a glimpse of heaven then I'll be on my knees speechless for sure! How about do you react in His glorious Presence?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Humbleness before Holiness

Hello my crazy little note-takers! I joke with yall about taking too many notes, but seriously I am impressed. I love that yall are so eager to soak up the word and knowledge of God. I used to take notes and write prayers when I was your age and sometimes I look back at them and am amazed at what God has done since those times and what he has built upon those truths.

So the whole goal and focus of this new year for us has been to empty our selves of our flesh, to make room for the Holy Spirit to reign. We first had to lay a foundation of understanding... of the gospel, our salvation through grace and not works and the reality of our identity in Christ. As we have traveled through Romans we have layed this foundation and are now ready to up root that flesh and self that keep us from fullness in Christ.  We learned Wednesday night that the first step in that up-rooting is the removal of PRIDE...that "God oppose the proud but gives grace to the humble." James 4:6. We had to "settle this truth once and for all: It is the nearness of God that produces our good.Ps.73:28. Christianity was never designed by God to be sustained by nice people trying to appear good. We're not that good. We're not that clever. And we're not that nice. THE ONLY THING THAT CAN SUSTAIN TRUE CHRISTIANITY IS TRUE UNION WITH JESUS CHRIST. It is nearness to Him in all things that produces our spiritual fruit....Therefore, the strength of our walk does not originate from within our selves; rather it comes from our relationship with Christ. Our virtue, if it can be defined as such, is that we have learned to prioritize seeking God and developing our oneness with Him.""And I Will be Found by You"- Francis Frangipane.

We learned that the most holy and powerful voice that ever spoke called himself "meek and lowly in heart" Matt.11:29.  We learned that Jesus didn't condemn sinners he condemned hypocrites... people who excuse their own inner sin while condemning the sin of others.  We learned that sanctification "uprooting flesh" doesn't start with rules, but with the forsaking of pride. That purity begins with our determined refusal to hide from the condition of our hearts. Out of self-discovery comes forth humility, and in meekness true holiness grows. We learned that "we will never become holy by criticizing others; nor is anyone brought nearer to God through finding fault! That we are only permitted to judge if we are willing to honestly say, like Christ, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you." That "In the kingdom of God, unless you are first committed to die for people, you are not permitted to judge them" (excerpts from "Holiness, Truth, and the Presence of God"- Francis Frangipane.

Lastly, we looked at Leviticus 26: 19-20 "I will break down you stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze. Your strength will be spent in vain, because your soil will not produce its crops, nor will the trees of the land yield their fruit."  When we are proud the sky above us is like iron, there is a barrier between us and God, our prayers bounce of the ceiling so to speak and we aren't able to receive any of the Lord's presence and blessings. Our efforts to live for Christ or produce spiritual fruit are in vain because we won't receive nearness to God, our only means of producing spiritual fruit.

I read this scripture in Leviticus when I was 16 while reading a book by Beth Moore.  Each chapter of her book addressed some sort of issue and when I got to this particular chapter it was labeled "Pride". I nearly skipped over it because I thought I didn't need to hear about it!lol Well needless to say I was totally infected with the hideous sin of Pride and it was ruining my walk with Christ and my whole life! After I realized that I had the same sin Satan had when he was cast out of heaven and the sin of the Pharisees who killed Jesus I was completely broken and filled with guilt and shame. I remember I had the radio on and right at my lowest moment the song "King of Glory" came on by Third Day and I heard the line "My conscience a reminder of forgiveness that I need, Who is this King of Glory that offers it to me?" as the song continued I felt for the first time God's grace and mercy and I woke up that next morning a changed girl.  I remember for the next few Sundays at church I cried through the whole worship service because I was completely humbled that this King of Glory would offer me forgiveness and endless love. That is when my true walk with Christ began and the transformation really took place in my life. Because of my pride I couldn't even get off the starting block and I bore no spiritual fruit until i realized it.  I still struggle with pride sometimes but when i feel it rearing it's ugly head, I drop to my knees and humble myself before my loving Father, in His presence I am restored into my true position, his helpless child ever in need of his grace and love.

Sorry that was so long but this topic is very personal to me. ;)

And now for our feature of the week Miss Autumn Gage

Autumn is one of our younger girls, she is in 6th grade and is home schooled along with her 4 brothers and sisters.  She is very quiet in class but anyone who truly knows her gets to see her wild side! She is very attentive and impresses me with her ability to stay engaged, being so young.  She has selected  Isaiah 40: 30-31 for her scripture....

"Even youths grow tired and weary, and young stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Great passage Autumn! Thank you for finding that for us! Love you too much!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Our God is for us "being conformed into the likeness of his Son" and nothing can stop Him!

Oh my little kittens ;)! What a great job you did following me all around the word last night. ( I had the girls meow when they got to the scriptures I led them to!) We finally finished up Romans chapter 8! We really explored vs. 31 "If God is for us, who can be against us?" We asked ourselves is God "for us" by bringing glory to us or by allowing us to bring glory to him?  Does God being "for us" mean he's going to make everyone realize how cool and amazing we are and help us to accomplish our will? We decided the answer to that is NO. We looked back at the main text from last week Romans 8:28-29 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son."....vs.31"What, then shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who  can be against us?"  How is God "for us"? He is "for us" by promising us that nothing will stop him from conforming us to the likeness of his Son! This IS his love for us, He will conform us to the likeness of His Son and by doing so allow us to bring Him glory!

Now! For the special feature of the week Miss Stormy
Miss Stormy is in Junior High and is very sweet and inquisitive...Last week in class she asked "Does God like orphans and poor people?" And we all said "Yes! he loves them!" she replied "Well then why doesn't he take care of them?" By the grace of God we were just talking about Christ being the head and the church being the body and we told her "The orphans and the poor are supposed to be one of the church's top priorities. If the orphans and poor aren't being cared for, then the body isn't doing what the head is telling it to do." she replied "Oh, well it was a good question though, wasn't it?" Yes it was Stormy, yes it was! 

Stormy chose 1 Cor. 13:1-2 for her favorite verse

" If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing."

Stormy said she likes this verse because it says without love you are NOTHING!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Recap of Last night's class & Our first "special feature of the week": Amber D!

First let me say to you girls....I am stunned by you're hunger and absorption of the Word last night!  We talked about God vs. self as the source of our joy. We started the night with a question "Do you feel more loved by God when he makes much of you, or when he enables you to make much of Him?" This was the question posed by Mr. John Piper at the last night of Passion 2011 Atlanta. I got to listen to a live simulcast of his sermon and have been dwelling on the message of it ever since. Piper said, "Whatever the bottom of your joy is, is who you are." Who I am I really? Do I truly in my heart of hearts seek glory for myself or for the Father? Great question and you helped me girls, to really unpack that last night. We learned that when we truly seek to lift up His name instead of our own, He lifts us up! We explored 7 ways God makes much of us...(also from Piper's message) and I think we were on the verge of spontaneous combustion! After our pre-lesson lesson on  the source of our joy, we proceeded to our study of Romans. We nearly finished chapter 8, well we actually only got through 3 verses but they were mighty! "And we know that in all things God works  for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined , he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified he also glorified."28-30  Praise the Lord!  We have been predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son! We all agreed that Christ in us is our only hope of glorifying the Father and that we could use some serious conforming to his likeness!    Up next "If God is for us, who can be against us?"! vs.31

And now for our first "special feature of the week" the beautiful and Holy Spirit seeking...Amber D!

I made her take this second pic because I thought we needed to get her cute boots in the pic!

So every week one of the youth girls will be featured with either her favorite verse or one that has just really been getting her excited! Amber chose a prophecy from Luke 21:12-19 "But before all of this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you, They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in you being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand about how you will defend yourselves . For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. By standing firm you will gain life."        Amber said the reason she picked this passage is because "she thinks it shows God's power and wisdom that he can use through us."

Thanks for being our first to volunteer Amber. I love you dearly and am honored to learn the Word with you every Wednesday night. Keep that passion and here is another verse from Luke that makes me think of you! "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for and egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though, you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"  Keep asking and He'll keep giving and I didn't add that exclamation mark at the end, that is how excited Jesus was to tell us this!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year New Blog!

The time has come for the best youth girls this side of the Mississippi to have their own blog. They love the Lord, they love the word and they love each other. This will be a blog for us to share with each other and for me to encourage the girls throughout the week. We decided in class last Wednesday night that our class time together is like eating a whole stick of beef jerky and this blog will just be like some of those beef jerky nuggets. I actually came up with that and they thought it was pretty gross. ;)  We have been studying the book of Romans and it is lighting us on fire! We just finished chapter 7 and will begin the new year in chapter 8 my heading says "Life in the Spirit". Gets me excited just thinking about it. We actually discussed last Wednesday what I will have to say to the parents if some of the girls actually explode into gold dust because they are so full of the Spirit and just flat out excited! lol

We started the new year together at the church and then everyone came over to my place for the rest of the night. We did some karaoke and played some charades, my girls are amazing at charades...Summer Gage is the best guesser and my little sis Brendi is the best or most creative writer :) ex. "Gandolf roasting smores"..."Cheese Whiz shooting out of a tuba"
Our wonderful chaperons Katie and Callie ( Callie was one of my first youth girls and now she's a "grown up")
Chowing down (FYI: the bottle is sparkling organic pear juice)
Kaycee and Brendi 

Amber and Summer

Jennifer enjoying some hickory farms

Rachel and Leah (Yeah like in the Bible!) and Peyton
Brianna, Autumn and Jennifer
Charade Teams
Team One "Team Awesome"

This is their white girl thug life pose

Team 2 "Team T-Rex"

Wow Brendi Wow