Tuesday, April 11, 2017

One Boot at a Time



". . . Jesus told them.  I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there', and it would move.  Nothing would be impossible.  Matthew 17.20-21
What’s your mountain?  You know, the thing that’s standing in your path that feels insurmountable! 
A Master’s Program you need to begin?  Finding a new job in a new town?  A pregnancy?  Writing a book?  Caring for a needy loved one?  An autistic child?  A financial crisis?  A health issue?  Forgiveness?  Drug addicted teen?  Loving unconditionally.  Giving up control?

As you stand at its base and gaze upward, its presence is overwhelming and you wonder, “How will I ever get over this monstrosity?  Do I have the energy and the fortitude to even try?  What if I fail?  What if it’s too difficult?  What if . . .

I have a mountain!  Some days (very few I must admit), my mountain seems “manageable” but most days it is my “impossible prayer”.  I have observed something . . . when I focus on the mountain I’m easily overwhelmed by the enormity of it. 

One weekend, I stood gazing at this gargantuan thing  standing in my way and thought, I can’t do this.  What was I thinking?  This is insanity!  I was in the “depths of despair” as Anne of Green Gables would say and I just couldn’t seem to pull myself out of the pit.

A few days later, I was having a conversation with my sister and she shared with me what her son told her while he’s been climbing his own mountain – Army Basic Training. 

“Most people are just hanging on until this is over.  But I’m not looking at it that way.  I ask myself, can I just get through this one hour?  If I can’t get through this one hour than can I just get through this one minute and if I can’t get through this one minute, can I get through this one boot?”


How do you climb a mountain? 

One. Boot. At. A. Time. 

So, simple, yet so profound.

This resonated with me.  I had been doing it all wrong.  I was focused on my mountain, instead of focusing on my God.  I had been thinking I could climb this mountain in one gigantic impossible leap, instead of one boot at a time. 

I don’t have to worry about failing, falling, or fainting because God is with me.  He’s got this mountain!  I still must climb it but my perspective has changed.  I see God, not my mountain and I walk one boot at a time.

Mark Batterson asks (Circle Maker), “Is your dream too big for you?  Well it better be!   Because that’s when you will pray circles around it.  And when you pray circles around it that’s when you begin to see your impossible prayer is nothing for an Almighty God!” 

What’s your mountain?

Fix your eyes on Jesus.  Pray circles around your “mountain”.  And climb one boot at a time.

Kristi

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Witholding Nothing


http://www.freeimages.com/photo/studying-ahead-1421056
How do you feel about tests?  I know there's a few people out there who like tests but I'm not one of them. My palms get sweaty; my heart races a mile a minute and then the panic sets in. Have I studied enough?  Did I study the right stuff?  Will I remember what I studied?
Life often can be a series of tests, written and otherwise:  driver's tests, college exams, medical tests, aptitude tests and even God tests us.
Abraham was one of many that God would put to the test. 
Abraham had a dream.  A promise from God that He would make Abraham’s descendants as numerous as the stars in the heaven.  Abraham waited and waited for this dream to be fulfilled.  Days and years and decades passed but it wasn’t until his old age that God finally satisfied this dream in the gift of Isaac, his son. And then one day God asked Abraham to give up the very thing he loved most in this world.
It was a test.  This test wasn’t in written form but it was a test all the same. 
When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it.  Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice.  At that moment the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, “Abraham!  Abraham!”
“Yes,”  Abraham replied.  “Here I am!”
“Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said.  “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God.  You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.” (Genesis 22.9-12)
God is a jealous God.  He desires full, complete, and total surrender from those who follow Him.  Each of us who claim to follow will have an “Abraham moment” at some point in our life.  Where God will ask us to lay on the altar the thing we hold most dear. God wants to see if what we say, is what we really believe. Are we true followers or just fans. Do we love Him more than anything else?
God created an Abraham moment for me with a dream I had held close to my heart for years. One day He asked me, “Kristi, will you follow me if I never let you go to the mission field?”
There was no middle ground with God. He is an all or nothing God and He wanted all of me. 
His way seemed so hard and my dream felt honorable and right.  How could He ask me to give it up?   But I felt much like Peter did when Jesus asked him if he would leave like all the others, “Lord, to whom would I go? You have the words that give eternal life.” (John 6.68) How could I do anything less than surrender my dream to Him.
What happens so often, with these tests, is that often God is just waiting for us to surrender it.  And then He returns our dreams and hopes back to us in ways we never would have imagined or even hoped.  These new dreams are bigger, brighter and more beautiful.
There is fear in letting go, giving up, and surrendering to God’s ways but that didn’t stop Abraham from being obedient and neither should it stop us!
Are you a true follower or just a fan?  If you claim to follow Him, God will someday put you to the test.  What will your answer be?

Kristi

Sunday, January 1, 2017

One Word


A few years ago, I gave up making New Year’s resolutions.  I was sick of the guilt.  Instead, I chose to pick one word to focus on and allow God to develop in my life.  It’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done and it has literally changed my life.  

Who new one word could be so powerful?

This past year my word was DARE. 
I’ve never been a daring person.  Fear, for much of my life, has been the driving force.  Fear of failure. Fear of what people might think of me.  Fear of the future.  Fear of what God would ask me to do.  Fear for my children.  Fear of the unknown.  On and on it goes about anything and everything. 
Sometimes fear lies in wait below the surface of my life and I taste its rancid lingering effects but other times it screams its way onto center stage; lurking around every corner, waiting for me in every room and stalking me in the middle of the night.
So picking this word DARE in January, was a big step for me and I confess the old familiar fear sent shock waves through my body as I wondered what God would ask me to do. 
But the amazing thing was the fear did not stay, instead it was immediately followed with an excitement as I began to wonder, “What would God ask me to do and where would I go?”   And somehow I knew without a shadow of a doubt my life would be completely different come January 2017.  I had no idea what or how but I knew my life was radically going to change and the miracle?  I wasn’t afraid!
My daily prayer became, “Lord, I dare to go where you want me to go.  I dare to do what you ask me to do.  I dare to say what you want me to say.  I dare to be who you want me to be.”  
From the moment I started praying that prayer God began to reveal His plan for me.  He used a pastor in the Dominican Republic who didn’t speak my language and knew nothing about me, to give me a message, “God has had you in the background but He’s moving you to the front.  He has big plans for you!”
He had a friend from elementary school reach out to me and invite me to go to India with him to help train women in discipleship.  He had numerous friends confirm the joy and passion they saw in my life for those around the world and opened wide the doors of ministry for me to travel this year to encourage and speak truth into the lives of women around the globe.
As the year progressed God made it clear He was calling me to expand my ministry to women worldwide.  What I have been doing for years in my church community has been a training ground for what He is now calling me to do around the world. 
I have recently been accepted with EFCA Reach Global as a missionary.  In February, I am resigning my position as women’s ministry director of the Knapp Street Campus of Ada Bible Church (after almost 10 years) and moving into a ministry that will enable me to disciple women- teaching them how to share the gospel, study the Bible and lead others to Christ in countries all over the world.  There is no doubt that this is what God has been preparing me for all along.
I confess, this change feels a lot like standing on the edge of a cliff. There are times when I wonder, “What am I doing??  – I’m leaving a good paying job that I love, where God is using me and stepping out into who knows what??”  But I am no longer allowing fear rule my life!  I truly believe . . .  The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear.  What can mere people do to me?  Psalm 118.6
So here’s my challenge for you:   What’s the word God wants to develop in your life?  Take some time to think and pray, choose your word and then step out in faith and watch what God does!   You’ll never be the same again.  I'd love to know your word of the year!  Please reply to this blog and let me know.
If you are interested in partnering with me, I would love to have a conversation with you.  Please feel free to email me at kristi.huseby@efca.org
 Kristi