Knowing Him, Making Him Known
My sweet friend and encourager, Lauren at FaithFuel, honored me with the *Mathetes Award. Mathetes is the Greek word for disciple, and the role of the disciple is to make more disciples. What I love about Lauren is that she loves Jesus passionately and that she doesn't give up on me even when I get swallowed up by life and God, and disappear from blogger world. By the way Lauren, and friends, I am setting aside Monday mornings as "journaling my journey" day starting next week! I have so much to catch you up on, so ya'll come back now!

Back to the Mathetes award....a few years ago I asked God to give me a mission statement for my life. He wrote these words on my heart: To make Jesus famous.

More than anything, I want to know Him and be known by Him so deeply, that in knowing me - others will know HIM! Jesus said, "this is eternal life: that they may know You (Father God), the one True God and Jesus Christ whom You have sent (John 17:3). Friend, let's make that our prayer today - to know Him and make Him known.

I'd like to take the opportunity to award six other bloggers with this award for the creative and life-changing impact they are making as disciples and disciplers of Christ:
* The originator of the award is Dan King of management by God. If you know someone you'd like to honor with this award, please start a new string on your blog. Just be sure to list the originating site.

My Image of God

I love taking pictures! The funny thing is I don't always like seeing them after they’re developed. I always pitch the ones that aren't good. I'm especially quick to get rid of those where eyes are half-closed or a mouth is crooked. And you can just forget about the ones where the camera adds 10 pounds. These are not the images I want in my photo album or hanging on my refrigerator.

I was editing my digital photos and began to wonder if God sees the way I picture Him and wants to edit or delete a few of my images. There have been many times when my image of God didn't accurately portray Who He is. Times when my image of God conjured feelings of fear and condemnation instead of protection and assurance.

My childhood experiences played a big role in shaping my earliest images of God. Growing up, we went to church on and off but God wasn’t talked about at home. He seemed distant and unapproachable. I thought if I wanted to talk to Him I needed to go to someone who knew Him a little better, like a church leader. We didn't talk to God at home except to pray before meals, mostly at holidays. I guess we had religion, but not really a relationship with God.

I wanted God to like me or to be pleased with me. So I tried to be a "good girl" by working hard at school and following most of the rules at home. I didn’t want God to get mad at me like my parent's did when I disappointed them. (No fault of theirs - just my own impression).

I also thought God expressed love the same way my father did. My dad showed love by taking me shopping. If God brought good things in my life, such as recognition at school or tangible blessings like a car when I turned sixteen, I felt His love. When life was hard and I was lonely, I wondered where God was and what I had done wrong.

I basically saw God on the sidelines of life keeping score. I had created Him in my image and some photos needed restoration. A few images needed to be deleted permanently.

Hebrews 1:3 tells us, "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being." I've found this verse is powerfully true. The more I get to know Jesus by spending time with Him, the more I know the heart of God and the truth about His heart towards me!

So, when you close your eyes and think about God, what do you see? Is He approachable and loving or distant and demanding? Do you run to Him when you’re hurting? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Also, do you have a favorite verse or story that has shaped your image of God?

My thought for today: When God looks at my images of Him, does He want them hanging on my refrigerator for friends and family to see?

The Pumpkin Prayer
I love the fall. It's my favorite season. My kids love it too, but that is because Halloween is right around the corner and "candy lane" will soon open on our street. I want to encourage my kids to see it as a time to share sweet treats and God's love with others. I have been looking for creative ways bring Jesus into this sometimes controversial holiday. Here is something my friend Micca shared with me from a bookmark she has.

God has called us to be light in the world so we can shine for Him and give glory to our Father in Heaven! Make carving every pumpkin with your family a prayer.

Open my mind so I can learn about You,

(Cut the top of the pumpkin.)
"Set your mind on things above..." (Colossians 3:2)

Take away all my sin and forgive me for the wrong things I do.

(Clean out the inside.)
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive..." (1 John 1:9)

Open my eyes so Your love I will see;

(Cut eyes shaped like hearts.)
"Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good ..." (Psalms 34:8)

I'm sorry for turning up my nose to all You've given me.
(Cut a nose in the shape of the cross.)
"It is good to give thanks to the LORD..." (Psalms 92:1)

Open my ears so Your word I will hear;
(Cut ears shaped like the Bible.)
"Incline your ear, and come to Me..." (Isaiah 55:3)

Open my mouth so I can tell others You're near.
(Cut the mouth in the shape of a fish.)
"I shall ... declare the works of the LORD." (Psalms 118:17)

Let Your light shine in all I say and do! Amen.
(Place a candle inside and light it.)
"Let your light so shine before men..." (Matthew 5:16)

Ask God to fill you up so He can shine brightly through you. Share your faith with your friends and neighbors as they see your special pumpkin! "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven." (Matthew 5:16, NKJV)

My friend Leslie Nease is on Survivor and I have been meaning to tell you. She is an amazing woman, a Christian radio morning show host, a wife, a mom and a friend who lives her life out loud for God's glory! She has made it through two weeks and we are all so excited here in Charlotte. Be sure to watch tonight.

On the past two episodes Leslie has given God major air time by proclaiming her faith in Jesus and refusing to be part of a Buddhist worship service. Last week she shared how hard it is to be there and not have her Bible. Then she was chosen to receive a clue about a hidden immunity idol in their camp and she said it was God's way of helping her. It has been so encouraging but I also know she is getting some major criticisms from non-believers so please pray for her and her kids. If you want to know more about Leslie, click here!