Christy Kennard

What? Pray? March 18, 2012

Filed under: Family,Ministry,My Journey with Jesus — christykennard @ 6:14 pm
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One of my favorite things about being married to a pastor is learning from him every week!  If there is one thing my husband does not lack it is passion!  That boy has more heart than I could hope for!

This week he was teaching on prayer.  No really.  Not just the typical message about how we should pray, but a message about how we MUST pray!  He passed these boards around the entire room having everyone write out something that they needed prayer for.  Then he did the most uncomfortable thing I have ever seen.  He asked everyone in the room to find a partner and actually pray for them.  Out loud!

I was sitting in the back of the room and you could see people squirming in their seats. He took a few minutes to encourage them and talk to them about what prayer was before he set his clock for 2 minutes.  That’s it!  2 minutes.

To be honest  I wasn’t sure if people would actually pray, but they did.  To my amazement I saw people facing each other all over the room really praying.  Sure they might have wet their pants in the process but they did it!

The point of the lesson was not to make these people feel uncomfortable.  The point was that if we really want to see God do something in our lives, we have to SEEK Him.  We have to have a relationship with him where simply talking to him comes naturally. In the Bible we see Elijah call for a drought lasting 3 1/2 years  and Joshua pleading with God to make the sun stand still…….through prayer. Then we read verses like this one:

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent [passionate, boiling]  prayer of a righteous man avails [benefits] much.”  James 5:16

I have so much to learn about prayer.  I long to have a prayer life that I feel is effective and powerful.  I want my prayers to be boiling with passion!

 

It is getting to church that is the problem…… May 22, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — christykennard @ 7:45 pm
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Last night I was tired so I decided not to bathe my crew before bedtime….this was my FIRST mistake.  You see, when you are married to a guy that works at church it means I fly solo on Sunday mornings.  I am not complaining, it just takes some extra planning on my part.  Skipping out on bath time was the first hitch in the plan.

As soon as my eyes popped open my feet hit the floor running.  I got my older girls bathed and dressed before the boys ever got up.  I was feeling ahead of the game!  This did not last long because when I glanced at the clock I realized it was only 30 minutes until go time!  I scoop the baby out of her crib, throw off the diaper and get ready to put her in the tub.  AGH….I forgot to check for any surprises before taking the diaper off……oops!    Drain the tub, clean the backside of the baby and start over!  (Rookie mistake….what is wrong with me today???)  Finally I am able to take a few minutes to dry my hair.   I looked frantically for my straightener when I realized that my three-year old has given it to her sister as a tub toy!  (IT WAS NOT PLUGGED IN!!!)  I freaked out and tried not to yell loud enough for the neighbors to hear!   My 7-year-old then comes down dressed like we are in the middle of a blizzard.  Really?  You need three shirts, pants and a jacket?  Back up the stairs he goes with better instructions from mom! 

FINALLY… everyone is dressed and shoes are on!  We are out the door when my kids discover a dead bird being attacked by ants in the driveway.  You would have thought the circus was performing with all the excitement.  What is it about dead animals that is so interesting? 

As I drive to church I caught myself thinking, “If only Harold Camping had been right….I would be in heaven worshipping Jesus right now!” Alas, the first laugh of the day!

When we finally arrive I got all the kids settled and upstairs just as the countdown reached zero!  VICTORY!

 

CHURCH OR BROADWAY??? June 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — christykennard @ 9:35 pm
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I have only been on this earth for 33 years, but  I am AMAZED at how much technology has changed our world.  I spoke with my husbands great-grandmother a few years ago and we were talking about how much it has changed the way we live our lives.  This woman was born in 1906 and watched the world change dramatically.  She went from outhouses, cars and telegrams to indoor plumbing, mass transportation and internet…talk about transformation!   Most of us would not want to live back in the early 20th century, we enjoy life’s conveniences and praise the people who invent things that make our life easier and more exciting.

Recently I got into a conversation with someone who was complaining about the church and how much it has changed over the years.  He argued that churches now days are all about putting on a big production.  To a certain degree he is right.  My church for example has cool backgrounds, huge screens and flashy lights.  Gone are the days where you walk in, sit in a pew, pull out the hymnal and dress to impress.  These are not the only changes we have seen; people no longer go to church because they are obligated to go, businesses don’t shut down simply because it is Sunday, and our society has strayed far away from biblical principles.  As a result of these things the church has been forced to change!  Some might argue that they do it because they are concerned about their bottom line, but I disagree.  I think that churches have changed because they are passionate about their message and that they will do whatever it takes to reach the masses.  If you have good news to share, you will do go the extra mile to make sure that people hear it!  Technology is everywhere!  People are used to things flashing in front of their eyes and information being at their fingertips instantly.  If the church doesn’t represent Christ in a way that is relevant to people, they will not see their need for Him.  Just because church may be more “entertaining” doesn’t mean the truth presented has changed.  Turning the lights down and reading worship songs from a screen doesn’t alter the life-changing truth of scripture. 

Many people like the serene, traditional ways and I am certainly not saying that there is anything wrong with that.  As long as the message of Jesus is being presented I don’t think it matters if it is from a man in a long robe standing behind a wooden pulpit or a tattooed man in jeans walking all over the stage.

 

SEALED DEPOSIT! May 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — christykennard @ 2:02 pm
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I was reading my bible the other day and ran across a verse that intrigued me: 

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”  Ephesians 1:13-14

After I read this I went and did a little digging, here are two of the coolest things I discovered…….

1.  A seal in the first century when this was written is important.  A seal was a mark of authenticity, it marked ownership.  Just as a rancher will burn its mark permanently into the flesh of its livestock to make sure that ownership it is not confused, a seal guaranteed that something was official business and could be trusted.  Most often the ring  of the official was used so there would be no confusion as to who had authenticated the letter.   

 

2.  This verse says that believers are given a deposit as a sign of the promise of eternal life.   Back when I got my first apartment the electric company required me to give them a $500 deposit before they would turn the lights on.  I didn’t have any credit and they were not willing to take the risk of me not paying my bill.  They wanted me to put up some money in order to back up my promise to pay.  This deposit is nothing in comparison to the one we have been given:  The Holy Spirit.  We are given this gift as a small “down payment” for what we will receive in heaven.  This gift is life changing on earth, the presence of God dwelling inside of you!

As followers of Jesus, we are not sealed on the outside but on the inside.  The Holy spirit comes into our lives and takes residence.  It is a permanent mark guaranteeing eternal life.  This is the fulfillment of a prophecy found in Joel 2:28-29,  “I will pour out my Spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.”  

I am always amazed when I read things like this!  God is so incredibly HUGE and he is so complete!  He makes an investment in me and gives me the ability to experience his presence on earth.  I LOVE it!

 

SCRUBBIN’ May 23, 2010

My six-year-old son has officially been given the job of cleaning the toilets.  As I was mulling over who to give this job to it occurred to me, he is the one who struggles most to hit the target so he gets the job!  Many of you are probably thinking that I am cruel……I am okay with that!   He has had this job for a couple of months but he still struggles now and then.  I have to go in every single time and make sure that he has really cleaned it.  More often than not we have to go back over it and re-clean at least one part of it.   Either he forgets to lift the seat to clean under it, doesn’t wipe the floor around the toilet or uses the toilet scrubber as a sword and forgets to actually scrub!   We have trained and trained and while he has improved DRAMATICALLY, he still doesn’t have it quite right.

To be completely honest, it would be much faster for me to just clean the toilets myself.  I could get in there and not have to go back over it.  There have been several times when that is exactly what I have wanted to do.  I realize that if I did this that my son would never learn how to do it.  He would grow up, move out, and I would have to come and visit him to clean the toilets for him until he married some sweet unsuspecting girl who could do it for him.  This might be easier, depending how far he moved away, but is that really the best way to go about things?  Should I avoid doing difficult things  just because it is inconvenient? 

I think this is the reason that God gave us free will.  It would have been much easier had he created an earthful of little robots ready to do whatever he ask, people who loved him and didn’t know any different.   Despite this, it is not how God chose to do things.  Although I have no doubt that it is significantly more painful for God to watch his creation choose to please themselves rather than to choose to honor him, he did it anyway.  He longs to have a relationship with us and it is worth all the pain and rejection.  He teaches us lessons and we don’t get them right the first time….or the seventh time!  He doesn’t reject us because of our lack of competence, he lovingly embraces us and patiently reminds us!  He loves us enough to forgive us and receive us when we miss the target and can’t get our lives cleaned up without his assistance!

“May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.”  Psalm 33:22

 

Who needs toilet paper when you have hands??? May 14, 2010

This morning I was cleaning up the kitchen when I heard cries of panic coming from the bathroom.  I ran in and found my two-year old holding her hand out exclaiming, quite loudly, that she had poop all over it.  Apparently she struggled a bit as she made an attempt to complete her toilet duties.  I went and got a baby wipe, came back and made an effort to explain that this is something that requires parental assistance!

I must be honest that while I haven’t had to clean hands like this before, this is a common battle I fight with my sweet little girl.  She is the most independent of all of  my children.  She won’t let me help her get dressed, I can’t wash her hair, and she began feeding herself about the time of her first birthday.  I think her first words were, “I do it!”  I have had to decide what is worth the battle and what is not!  Many times she will come to me with her head through the sleeve on her shirt and ask for my help.  Other times she completely surprises me at the tasks that she is able to complete without any help at all. 

I get incredibly frustrated with her at times, my patience is tested more than I care to admit!   If you ask my mom she will tell you that my daughter comes by this independent streak very naturally.  When I share one of my moments of insanity with my mom she reminds me that I am simply paying for my raising.  It is such a challenge for me to let her go and make mistakes, but in the midst of my frustrations I try to imagine how God must feel.  I am often guilty of doing similar things to Him.  He tells me how to do something, I think I know how to do it on my own and then when I end up with poop on my hands I come back begging for help! 

I am so incredibly thankful that God is not as impatient as I am!  He doesn’t sigh deeply in frustration or raise his voice when I get out there and do things my own way.  He lets me go and then welcomes me back when I realize my need for Him.   He doesn’t have an agenda or pride to feed, he just wants me!  He wants me to want him and to trust Him to lead me in the right direction.   Man……I have a lot to learn!!!

About Benjamin he said:  “Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.” Deuteronomy 33:12

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. ”  Proverbs 3:5-6

 

Pee in a cup??? April 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — christykennard @ 5:48 am
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I have a confession….both of my potty trained daughters pee in cups.  I know that is disgusting but there have been a few 500 mile road trips to my parents that I have made without my better half.  When you have five kids, 8 hours, and 6 bladders you do what you gotta do in order to survive.  It is complicated to get all the kids out to go into a convenience store to use a bathroom that is significantly dirtier than dirt.  There is nothing “convenient” about these stores when you are traveling alone with five kids.  It literally takes me 30 minutes and $30 to get everyone out and back on the road.  After my last little trip I decided to keep the sonic cups for emergencies…they got used!

So last week when I was pruning my half tree I had all of my kids out helping me.  They were moving the limbs from the grass to the back of daddy’s truck.  I had to get into the van to get something and accidentally left the door open.  A few minutes later my two-year old comes running to me, cup in hand, declaring that she had filled it up!  I literally almost peed in my pants I was laughing so hard.  The bathroom is 10 feet from the front door, but what fun is that???

I love convenience!  I love drive-thru’s, microwaves and internet shopping!  I am not knocking convenience but what about in my spiritual life?  Am I called to always do what is easy and convenient?  As followers of Jesus we are asked to do some pretty inconvenient things, some stuff that does not follow the public opinion.  In Matthew 5:38-42 Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.  And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.  If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.  Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” 

This is some pretty hard stuff to swallow!  I for one don’t like to idea of offering my left cheek to someone just slapped the right one!  If someone forces me to do one mile I am going to be ready to say “sayonara”, I am not going to be eager to “go the extra mile.”  I think that in our culture I would be completely justified to punch the guy who punched me first or to stick it to the one who forced me to go with them…why then did Jesus call us to live in a way that is totally against this line of thought?  I think the answer comes in the sacrifice that he made on our behalf.  He didn’t deserve to be spit on, beat or killed; he deserved to be worshipped!  Jesus got what he didn’t deserve so that we can give to others what they don’t deserve…it is a little thing called grace!