This is Why I Run!

  • me at statehouse

Several months ago, I wrote a blog post Battle Cry “It’s Time Christians”.  I wrote of an experience I had with God.  It was a message He gave me during a time of prayer.  After months of wrestling with all He told me that night, some of which was too personal and frankly scary at the time to share, I have been moved into obedience.  It’s taken months for me to come to grips with what He has called me to do.  Honestly, it was a calling I did not want.  As I wrestled though, I went to scripture and found that person after person in the Bible were given assignments they did not want.  Each person dealt with those assignments in different ways, but I did notice a pattern.  Most of them when given the assignment were not eager to be obedient.  It also took them some time wrestling with God and coming to grips with what He was asking them to do.  Moses made excuses, Sarah laughed, Jonah ran, Elijah hid, Peter denied…and I argued.

I’ve had many “conversations” with God over these last few months.  Let me just tell you, we serve a very patient and compassionate God.  He knows our hearts and He knew mine.  He knows my weaknesses and insecurities.  He knows my doubts and graciously walked through them with me.  I still have some to be honest, but I am confident that He is in this with me and will be by my side the whole way.  It is amazing how connected you can be to God when you truly seek Him.  These last few months have been like a roller coaster and I keep leaning in and holding on.  No matter the twists and turns that have come my way, He is keeping me on track.  There have been moments of apprehension, anticipation, thrills and excitement and I know the ride is just beginning.  There’s a long way to go, but I’m resting in the fact that I’m just along for the ride and He is the one in control.

If you didn’t read my previous blog post that I mentioned above, let me give a brief recap.  I watched a movie with my husband called “Fury.”  It was a WWII movie about and American tank crew in Nazi Germany.  The depravity of the human race weighed heavy on my heart long after the movie was over.  As I went to bed, I cried out to God in the heaviness of my heart.  As I poured out my questions to Him and tried to understand, I finally asked, “What can I do about all this?”  (Just FYI-Don’t ask God this question, unless you are truly prepared for the answer!)  In the stillness of my heart I heard, “Politics.”

Let the argument begin… “But I don’t know anything about politics.”

“I will teach you.”

“I don’t know anyone in politics.”

“I will introduce you.”

“But, what about my family?”

“I will take care of them.”

“I don’t want them to get hurt.  Politics can be brutal.”

“I love them even more than you do. I will protect them”

Every question, every concern was lovingly answered, but I still wasn’t convinced.  I shared my experience with my husband and with a friend.  Both were very encouraging to me, but also had lots of questions.  As the next few weeks and months went by and the questions and seeking continued, God began to change my heart and my perspective.  I made a deal with God.  I’m not sure if this is allowed…non-the-less, I did.  Here was the deal…If you open the doors, I will walk through them, but if you close the doors, I will stop.  And He did.  The doors that have opened and the people that I have met has been, well…life changing.  I never would have guessed I would be on the path that God has placed me.  The doors continue to open and I continue to go through.  I am walking in obedience; one day at a time and one door at a time.  I don’t know where this will end up honestly, but with God at the helm of this ship, it’s bound to be an adventure.

Me and Amy in Senate Chambers

Over the last few months I’ve spent multiple days at the State House, a building I had never stepped foot in before.  I’ve stood in assemblies of people praying, singing and standing for religious freedom in the atrium of that great building.  I’ve walked the halls, sat in committee meetings, sat on the floor of the House of Representatives during session and learned the ropes of a representative spending the day with my Representative.  I sat in the seat of a Senator in Senate Chambers, as I witnessed the proceedings of the first reading of SB344 and SB100 and prayed for the preservation of religious freedom.  I’ve walked alongside my friend Amy as she has fought tirelessly and lobbied for the Heartbeat Bill in Indiana.  I’ve sat and talked with representatives, senators, councilmen and other candidates not only voicing my opinion about certain bills and issues, but most importantly listening, learning and getting advice.  God has certainly been opening doors and so I keep walking through.    People have even been contacting me and offering to help.  God is good and faithful, there is no doubt about it!

filing papers

So, what does all of this look like for me right now?  I am currently running for a Wabash County Council, At Large seat.  There are three seats coming up for election.  I am one of five Republicans running and there is one Democrat.  Three are current councilmen.  I know I have my work cut out for me.  It’s going to take a lot of time, resources and commitment, but with God on my side I can’t lose.  I don’t mean that I know I will win the election.  What I mean is…if He has called me to this and I am obedient in answering the call, no matter the results of the election, I win!  Will it be easy? No!  Will I get a little stressed out at times?  I imagine I will, because I already have.  The good news is…no matter the outcome, I am walking in confidence that this is the path to which He has called me.  God willing, if I win this election, I will serve for Him.  I will do my best to represent Him in the halls of government locally and who knows, maybe at the State House someday?

As I look into the eyes of my children and all the kids that I influence in my everyday life, I can say with confidence, “ I am doing all I can to preserve the future of this county, state, and great nation for you and future generations.”  I may be but one small cog in a great machine, but I will do my part.  I will fight for my values which are my faith, my family, and my freedom.  If we can preserve our right to live out our faith in all areas of life, promote traditional family values, and protect our constitutional and God given freedoms, then we have done well for future generations.  They deserve to enjoy those freedoms as we have and I want that for them.

girls at state house

Teaching, mentoring and growing the next generation is intertwined in all aspects of my life.  It’s who I am and what I’m called to do.  The funny thing is that I didn’t even realize it until I started examining this new path.  I’m a mom of two girls who are almost twelve and fourteen.  I have been and am currently a host mom of two exchange daughters from Germany.  In my seven years of owning my own business, I have employed and invested in seven girls ranging from Jr. High to college students.  I’ve been involved in our church’s youth group as a leader and helper for the last four years.  Serving on Faith Quest, which is a teen spiritual retreat weekend for the last eight years has given me the opportunity to speak into the lives of countless teens and watch them grow into adults, marry, and have kids of their own.  I can’t think of anything more rewarding that investing in the lives of the next generation.  Now I have the opportunity, God willing, to help preserve their futures in the halls of government and will be able to say with confidence and sincerity, “I did all I could to preserve a good future for you and generations to come.”

So when people ask me “Why are you running for office?” this is my answer.  I am running for office because God called me to do it.  One day in the future I will stand before Him.  When He asks me what I have done with the gifts and abilities He has given me, I want to be able to say, “I was obedient in the tasks You gave me and completed them for Your glory.”  My greatest desire in all that I do here on earth is to one day hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”  And this is why I run!

 

In His Service!

“Go to Hell, In the Name of Jesus!”

victory mountain

This past weekend, I was blessed to serve on a women’s spiritual retreat.  I attended this retreat 13 years ago and it was life changing for me.  Unfortunately, I was under the delusion that this was the end of my spiritual troubles.  I truly believed that I had left my baggage at the foot of the cross and now Satan had to leave me alone.  I had experienced God in such real and amazing ways that weekend and being young in my faith, expected smooth sailing once leaving that mountain top.  Little did I know that my enemy knew where I had been and was waiting to pull the rug out from under me, when I least expected it.  Over the years I’ve found that after mountain top experiences, often come the lowest valleys.

This weekend, as we were in the chapel, I was praying for the ladies that were experiencing this weekend for the first time.  I was praying for them to really let go and let God have control of their lives.  I was praying for release of those things that were hindering their walk with Christ.  During that time of prayer, I was reminded of the struggles I had when I returned home from my weekend all those years ago.  I had returned unwarned and totally unprepared to deal with the attacks of the enemy.

So, as I sat and prayed, I felt impressed by the Spirit to share the reminder and give a warning to those leaving this weekend on a spiritual high.  I wasn’t quite sure who the message was intended for, so I shared it with the girl sitting beside me.  She agreed and said she had experienced that before as well.  After the service, I mentioned my thoughts to the pastors.  To which one replied, “So when do you want to share about it?  God gave the message to you, not me.”  I was not expecting to share with everyone, I was simply asking if it was going to be addressed before the weekend concluded.  Next thing I knew they were lining up a time for me to share the thoughts that the Spirit had impressed upon me.  It would be the following morning.

That night, long after everyone else was in bed, I was praying and writing the words the Spirit laid upon my heart.  I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to turn out, but figured if the Spirit spoke, I should listen and obey.  The next morning, when the time came I was shaking from head to toe, totally scared out of my mind, but confident that God was in control.  As I began to speak, the Spirit took over.  This is the message He gave me…maybe not word for word, but something like this.

“Ladies, we have had an amazing weekend thus far.  I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve spent the weekend in the lap of Jesus, my Savior.  We have be truly blessed.  We serve a wonderful God and this weekend, I believe we have walked on Holy ground.  There is still more to come, but soon we must leave this sacred place.  We will leave this cocoon and return to our worlds.  I don’t know what you are returning home to.  You may be returning to family, friends, work, school… life, but we are also returning to the adversary of our Lord.  Trust me…he knows where you’ve been.  He knows what you have done and he’s not happy about it.  He knows what you’ve learned and the power you have been given, but I guarantee he is banking on you not using it.

1 Peter 5:8 says, “Stay alert!  Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.  He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.”

There is power in knowing our enemy.  He knows us, he knows our weaknesses and he will exploit them.  But guess what girls…our God is bigger!  He’s greater and He wins!!!  And the same power He used to raise Jesus from the dead is in us!!!

In Luke 10, Jesus and his disciples had been traveling and spreading the gospel.  He appointed 72 other disciples to go two by two ahead of Him into every town and place he was about to go.  In verses 17-20 it says, ‘The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”  He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.  However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

Girls, He’s given us the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions.  Use it!  When Satan brings up your old junk that you dealt with here and left at the feet of Jesus…Use it!  When Satan stirs up dissention in your marriage and family…Use It!!  When Satan tries to steal your joy, ’cause you know he will…Use It!!  Get ready for the battle ladies.  It will come.  He loves to try to knock us off the top of that mountain.  Some of my biggest trials, temptations, and personal defeats have come shortly after a mountain top experience, such as a BWOC weekend.

But when that time comes and Satan tries to do what he does best…you have the authority to get all up in his business and in the name of Jesus tell him, “Get out of my house!  Get out of my marriage!  Get out of my job and get out of my head!!!  I am the daughter of The King!  Your time is short and I know the end of the story!  MY GOD WINS!!!!”

And all God’s people said, “Amen!”

You may not have just returned from a spiritual retreat or been on a mountain top experience, but our enemy is the same.  He comes only to steal, kill and destroy.  You too have the power and the authority to tell him where to go.  Use it!  Don’t let him steal your joy.  Our God is greater!  It’s high time we as Christians and children of The King, stop living in defeat!  It’s time to tell Satan to “Go to hell, in the Name of Jesus!”  The battle has already been won!  Praise Jesus!  Let’s start living victorious!!

Living in Victory,

Getting Off the Hamster Wheel

Do you ever feel like a hamster running on a wheel, running as fast as you can, but never getting anywhere?  In today’s fast paced world, you would be an oddity if you said, “No.”  I’ve been feeling this way for quite some time now.  I look at my schedule and shake my head.  There doesn’t seem to be any open spots for anything, but I look at what I have to do and there just doesn’t seem to be anywhere to cut.  It’s not that anything that I’m doing or have scheduled is frivolous or a waste of time.  They are all things that need to be done, so I keep on running.

However last Tuesday, I finally hit a wall.  You see, for the last year, we have hosted an exchange student from Germany, Tessa.  It has been a wonderful experience and she became my third daughter.  On Monday, she left to return home to Germany.  The week before we went camping for the week to spend some quality family time together before she left, without all of the distractions of home and everyday life.  It was a wonderful week, except for the constantly reoccurring thunderstorms.  But as anyone who camps knows, preparing for the trip and unpacking after the trip are both a lot of work!  We returned home on Friday evening in yet another thunderstorm, so most things were left in the camper until we could unload in dryer weather.  Saturday was a whirlwind.  We had to unpack, do laundry, make food for a carry-in after church on Sunday, and did I mention I was having an open house for our exchange student after the carry-in and I had to go set up and decorate.  Also, in the mix of the day, I had to go to the post office to pick up a package from Tessa’s mom before the post office closed and go get groceries to restock the fridge and pantry after being gone for a week!  Needless to say, I was burning the candle at both ends.  Sunday consisted of a day of church, the carry-in, open house and then finishing packing Tessa for her trip home, with lots of goodbye’s all day long.  It was a late night getting her ready to go and an early morning the next day taking her to the airport and sending her off.  It was exhausting emotionally and physically.

This brings me back to last Tuesday, when I finally crashed.  I cannot remember the last time I purposely scheduled myself a day off with nothing to do and Tuesday was no exception.  I had an appointment that I needed to go to, but had failed to write the time down on my grooming calendar, so I didn’t schedule any grooming appointments for the day.  When I checked the time, it wasn’t until 4pm.  God works in mysterious ways.  He knew I needed to rest.  I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.  I ended up cancelling my appointment and vegged out all day long.  Usually, I would feel guilty for sleeping in and then curling up on the couch with a good book for the day, but that day I felt no twinge of guilt.  God had called me to a day of rest.  He had orchestrated it, because He knew in my humanness, I wouldn’t have done it for myself.  I needed that day of rest more than anything.

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Ps. 91:1

I wrote all of this long story to say: God calls us into times of rest.  Sometimes we just need to take a break.  Even God rested on the seventh day after creating the world and all that is in it. Genesis 2:2-3 Why do we allow society to feed us the lie that we don’t have time to rest, because there is too much to do to take a break? It’s simple really.  We have an adversary that knows if he can keep us running, he will wear us out and we won’t have the energy to do the work God has for us.  When we are worn out and tired from a life of stress and busyness, we are much less effective at serving God.  I believe God was speaking to me loud and clear on Tuesday, when He told me to rest.  Matthew 11:28 came to mind that day.  “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

So, if you’re like me and you have been running on the crazy hamster wheel of life, maybe it’s time to take a rest.  You will be far more productive in your walk with Christ if you do.  Your time of rest may not look like mine.  Maybe yours is longer than a day.  Extroverts may need to recharge with others, where introverts, like me, need to be alone.  It doesn’t really matter what it looks like, it’s just important to take time to recharge.  If your batteries are on empty, God can’t use you to your fullest potential.  He desires so much more for you than a life running on empty.  So, take time to rest and see what great things He has for you!

Resting in Him,

Lorissa

“No, Because I Love You.”

NO.  It’s one of the shortest words in the English language.  It can be one of the hardest words to say and it can be one of the hardest words to hear.  As a parent of a toddler, this can be one of the most used words in your vocabulary.  It can also be one of the most frustrating words to hear as your child learns to say it back to you as a response to almost EVERYTHING!  As the parent of a teenager, the word “No” can make you one of the most disliked people on the planet.  There is just something about that small, two letter word that stirs up some strong emotions in a person.

As I’ve told you in a previous post, in parenting my own children, I’ve come to learn a lot about God and why He does some of the things that He does.  You see, as a parent there are times when it is absolutely necessary to say, “No.”  For instance, I will tell my children, “No,” when whatever they are wanting or attempting to do will cause them or someone else harm.  If I can see something they are going to do will cause imminent danger, then as a parent it is my duty to tell them, “No.”  There are other times I tell my children, “No,” because what they want is not the best choice and I know there is a better option.  Like when my child wants to sit down with a bag of chips five minutes before supper is ready, I know she will ruin her appetite with junk and not eat the healthier choice of a home cooked meal.  Other times I have to say, “No,” because they have broken a rule and I have to follow through on a consequence.  (That’s a tough one and makes me very unpopular.)  And finally, there’s other times I say, “No,” because I know something that they don’t know and by saying, “No,” I am setting them up for something way better.  One time my daughter wanted to have a friend spend the night.  I said, “No,” because I knew that the following day we were having a surprise birthday party for her.  If I would have said, “Yes,” it would have messed up the plans we had for her prior to the party, which was a special daddy/daughter date where my husband presented her with her purity ring. She was quite upset when I told her, “No,” but said, “It was so worth it,” when she found out the reason why.

On the flip side, hearing the word “No” is pretty hard to swallow sometimes too.  My husband tends to be very frugal with our money.  I, on the other hand, tend to be a free spender.  Over the last several years, I’ve become a little more respectful of his wishes on how we spend our money.  I will ask him before making larger purchases and I must say,  I still get a little miffed when he tells me, “No.”  And don’t even get me started when I tell one of my children to do something and she tells me, “No.”  Even if she doesn’t verbalize the word, but in action says it loud and clear, this momma gets mad!  Then there’s times when someone else tells me, “No,” and it just causes disappointment, like when I ask a friend to do something and they can’t.  It may be for a good reason, but it’s disappointing just the same.  “No” is just not a fun word!

So where am I going with this?  Well, when I think about God and His Word, there are many times He tells us, “No.”  And as I listed above, there are so many different reasons for saying, “No.”  The difference between me as a parent and God, besides the obvious, is that God is always good and He’s always just.  There are times I will simply say, “No,” because I’m in a bad mood.  It may have nothing to do with what I’m being asked, but in my selfishness I will say, “No.”  God is not like that.  In every situation and in every response, He is totally good and totally righteous.  His response is always for our good and His glory.  It’s never just because that’s what He feels like at that moment.  In my good moments, even when it’s hard, I will say, “No,” because I love my children and I know that it is best for them.  God’s response is always because He loves us and wants the best for us.  Many times I think we forget that.  We start to think that God just doesn’t want us to have any fun or that He’s punishing us, but that’s just not the case.

The problem is, we are human and we are sinful-each and every one of us.  There are no exceptions.  In the beginning when God placed Adam and Eve in the garden, He only had one “No.” “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:17.  Now God was doing this not because He was holding out on them, but because He was looking out for them.  It was not only for their safety, but because He wanted something better for them.  He loved them.  They were His children and He wanted the best for them.  But, because they sinned and chose to disobey, we too are now sinful and often choose to disobey.  His love for them did not change in their disobedience, but with their disobedience came consequence.  Their consequence was removal from the garden and their ability to walk daily in His presence without shame and ultimately death.

God has not changed.  His love for us has not changed.  He is still the same God that walked with Adam and Eve in the garden.  The difference is the sin in us.  In the garden there was only need for one “No,” but once sin entered in, there was need for more “No’s.”  Once the untainted bond between God and man was broken, the Bible became the most effective way for God to communicate His love to all the generations that have followed.  It isn’t merely a history book or a book of rules, but a comprehensive way for us to learn how God loves us and how we should love Him. 

There are people who claim that “their God” is a god of love and acceptance, and that we must be reading the Bible wrong if we disagree with their interpretation of what is right or wrong.  They can’t comprehend that a “good and loving” God would tell them, “No.”  They can’t believe that a “good and loving” God would have consequences for behaviors that He says are not acceptable.  And don’t even mention that this same God will send people to Hell for not accepting His Son.  Its seems inconceivable to them that a God that says, “No,” could possibly be loving, so they choose to omit the “No’s” they don’t agree with and only focus on the parts of the Bible that fit with what they consider loving.  This is what I must challenge, because I am a flawed human being and I love my children.  I absolutely want the best for them in their lives and because of that, I must at times tell them, “No,” set boundaries, and give consequences.  If I chose to be completely tolerant of any and all behaviors that they chose to participate in, I would be neglectful.  It is not loving to allow my children to play with a loaded gun just because they want to.  It is not loving for me to say, “Yes,” to every request they make just because I don’t want them to get angry with me.  And it is not loving of me to not have consequences for breaking rules, therefore teaching them that they are the most important thing in the universe and they don’t have to respect authority.  So why do we believe the only way that God could be loving and good is by never telling us, “No,” and never having consequences when we disobey His rules?

So when the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who have sex with men, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” God is still loving.  Just because we don’t like the message, does not make it less true.  Because God loves us, He says, “No.”  He accepts us right where we are, but loves us enough to not let us stay there.  Verse 11 goes on to say, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”  Romans 5:8 also says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  He loves us so much that He sent His only Son to pay the price that we deserve to pay for our disobedience.  His only requirement is that we turn from disobedience and accept His free gift of forgiveness.  It’s like He’s saying, “I love you enough to say, ‘No.’  I have something so much better for you, if you will just trust me.  Do you trust me enough to obey?”

As Christians, it’s sometimes hard to address sin in those around us, be it in other Christians or non-Christians.  We can come off as judgmental and intolerant, but I don’t think that is the case with most Christians.  Maybe we just need to change our approach.  Most of us know first hand what it’s like to disobey God’s “No’s” and then experience the freedom of living in obedience.  I used to be some of those things mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6, but thank God for verse 11. Now I know first hand that what God had to offer was so much better.  It wasn’t about Him telling me, “No.”  It was about Him telling me, “Yes.”  “Yes, I love you.  Yes, I accept you.  Yes, I forgive you and yes, now you are free.”  If you are a Christian, you should have had a similar experience.  So maybe we need to talk more about that.  I think it’s ok to say, “No, I don’t condone what you are doing, but I love you.  No, God doesn’t condone what you are doing, but He loves you.  Let me tell you what He offered me in place of those things and how it changed my life.  He is offering it to you too.”  On the flip side, if we choose not to address these things, is it possible that we will “love” people straight into hell in the name of acceptance and tolerance?

There are still times in my life when God tells me, “No.” I still don’t like it, but because I know He is faithful, He is good, and He is just, I will trust Him.  I will trust that His “No” is what’s best for me.  It will keep me safe or it will give me the opportunity to experience something even better.  Do you trust His “No’s?”  If so, share your story.  You never know who may end up saying, “Yes!” to Christ.

Because I’m Forgiven,
Lorissa