No Fully Alive Kids this Tuesday, April 1st

Hello Fully Alive Moms!

It has been a great Spring semester! We have cherished our time together this semester as we had the privilege of studying God’s kindness and wisdom in our great salvation! We saw the free gifts of God’s grace that were bought by Jesus on the cross: our sanctification, our adoption and our justification. How amazing and delightful! While we are canceling our last meeting this coming Tuesday, April 1st, we hope you take the time to continue to discuss, delight and worship over this great salvation with your children over the break.

We look forward to meeting together again this coming Fall. Remember to stay posted on all starting dates, announcements and Fully Alive Kids community events here on the Fully Alive Ministry blog or at our Facebook page. We will have the new catechism questions up on the blog soon but for now, the first twelve questions are available for use in reviewing with your children here.

Many Blessings!

Fully Alive Kids

The Fully Alive at Five Spring Retreat!

Friends!

These past two semester’s God has given us a taste of finding our soul’s deepest delight in Jesus Christ!  Many of you have testified of your joy in encountering the LORD’s presence and experiencing His faithfulness and all-sufficiency in life-changing ways!  Praise the LORD; He has done great things for us!  I can say that my mind and my emotions have been shaped by our study in the Psalms!  Although our summer break is fast approaching, I am praying that you will continue to pursue Christ in the study of His Word, fervent in prayer, boiling hot in spirit and steadfast in service!

Meanwhile, we have our last city-wide gathering of Alive at Five this coming Tuesday, March 25 at 5:00 am at Christ Church of Knoxville.  Once again, Gals, win the blanket victory and rally all your warrior-women friends who are hungry for God and join us!  We will be waiting for you at the door with a hug and cup of coffee!

Finally, I want to personally invite you to join me in spending a day retreat with Jesus for spiritual refreshment, restoration and meditation!  The Fully Alive Spring Fling will be held at our family Lodge near Crossville, TN. Here is a preview:

Think about the delight  of being in the presence of God all day long!  You will be completely surrounded by our Creator’s majesty through the sights and sounds of wide open fields, bubbling creeks, waterfalls, walking trails, and gorgeous mountain ridges.  We will spend the morning together in worship and the Word, followed by a delicious lunch and several hours for you to be alone with Jesus.  You will need your Bible, your journal and/or your art medium. The day of prayer-filled worship and meditation will end with a time of sharing, testimony and ministering to one another in prayer.

Click here for the Spring Fling webpage for all the details and registration!

Jesus – Deliverer in Pits and Bogs!

This morning at Alive at Five, I began our study in Psalm 40 like this, “Our most devastating struggles in life are our most valuable friends in teaching us to wait on the Lord.” We all know what it is to experience the misery of “pits” and “bogs.” These are the analogies David uses for circumstances or relationships where we feel stuck in anxiety, fear, pain and confusion. The challenge from God’s Word today was: Will we embrace these hardships as sacred invitations to freedom from the bondage of self and into intimacy with Jesus? Struggles are designed to be opportunities for sacred encounters. Will we learn, by His grace, to wait on the Lord in the place of prayer?!

Ashley Butler sent this testimony of her response to the Spirit’s move this morning:

All of us face places of struggle and suffering and I am not different. Whether it be relationships, finances or physical issues, I am often discouraged. At times these struggles threaten to take me out. This morning at Alive at Five the Lord arrested my heart! The truth that my struggles are not to be avoided or feared but embraced as friends because they can lead me into deeper fellowship with Jesus was so encouraging! On my drive home, I got real and honest with God about these issues! I told Him how very much I need Him to come. I need His help and deliverance! I desperately long to be a woman of faith who trusts Him in using my circumstances as pathways to knowing Jesus deeply.

Ashley’s testimony echoes verse 7, “I delight to do your will, O, my God,” and is an encouragement for all of us to apply the rich lessons we learned today from Psalm 40:

• The reality of waiting on the Lord is not a passive, but an intense activity of the soul.

• The essence of waiting on the Lord is heart-felt, honest prayer.

• The problem with waiting on the Lord is our self-focus.

• The reward of waiting is experiencing God’s transforming power, causing me to hear and delight in His will.

Friends, our times together in the presence of Jesus in these early mornings is incredibly unique and special in my Christian experience! I cherish these times with increasing joy and thanksgiving!!

Treasuring Him,
Kathy

Click here for this mornings message!

This Tuesday: Learning to Wait from Psalm 40

Hey Gals,

Let’s be honest, waiting, is not something we do well! Whether it is waiting a few months for our next vacation or two minutes at a traffic light we overwhelmingly prefer “getting it over and done” to waiting. However, when it comes to intimacy with God and our own spiritual transformation, the lack of ability to wait on the Lord is deadly.

At Fully Alive at Five, Tuesday morning, March 4, 5am, we will worship, listen and pray as the Holy Spirit speaks to us from Psalm 40 about the wonder of waiting. This Psalm is a comforting and convicting word that confronts the pragmatistic lie in all of us that satisfying success and fulfillment in life depend on working long and hard rather than on waiting long and hard on the Lord. It gives us a clear picture of what waiting is and what is isn’t!

Call a friend, forward this email, spring out of bed and let’s meet with Jesus this Tuesday morning! I can’t wait to be together with you in His presence! He is always worth waiting for!!!

In and For Jesus,
Kathy Tarr

photo

Declaring War on Shame

Hey Friend,
Every woman you know has it!  It’s an epidemic!  You and I, along with every other person alive has experienced the crippling effect of this emotion on our souls.  Trust me, it is a vicious grinch that, unless exposed and overthrown by the Holy Spirit of God will steal your joy, erode your courage and weaken your faith! I am talking about the powerful emotion of shame.
According to the Bible, shame is more prevalent and more powerful than you know.  Likewise, according to the Bible, our culture is confused and misguided as to the its true identity and remedy.
Tomorrow morning, at Alive at Five, we will learn from Psalm 25 how we can escape from the shackles of shame! So, rise and shine, bring a friend, grab your coffee at the door come ready to worship Jesus, our Freedom Fighter from the Shackles of Shame!
If you are feeling bold today, pass this email along to some friends!
Love you Gals!
What: Fully Alive at Five
When: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 starting at 5a.m.-7a.m.
Where: Christ Church Knoxville
3108 Basswood Rd
Knoxville, TN  37921

Fully Alive Kids Review

fakWhat a joy it was to see Jesus come and meet with us last Tuesday! He softened, stirred and shepherded the hearts of our children to know Him and grow in His ways!!! fak 1fak 3fak4

Here is a quick review of what we learned:

Catechism:
•Question: How do we become one of God’s chosen ones?
•Answer: First the Holy Spirit must work in our hearts and cause us to trust Jesus as our Redeemer.

Motions:
•The Holy Spirit (Arms up and outstretched)
•Must work in our hearts (Pull arms in to chest)
•And cause us to trust Jesus as our Redeemer (Then back out and up)

Song:
•Enjoy worshipping with your kids at home. You can review our theme song here.

Review:
•Also feel free to review the questions from last few semesters with your kids!

Fully Alive Kids Spring Semester

Dear Fully Alive Moms,
It is with great excitement that I write you, to remind you that we are resuming our regular schedule after the holidays! I have missed you all and pray that through the holidays (although they are most certainly a busy time!) you and your family were able to dwell on and delight in the saving Gospel as you marveled that a perfect God would come to earth to be man. Jesus came to do what we could not do by living a perfect life and then saving us by paying for our great imperfection on the cross! I pray that even now, this truth would stir in your hearts to enliven you to be Fully Alive in your partnership with God as you parent your little ones today!!!
This Tuesday, January 14th, we will be meeting together at 10:00 am to begin our Spring semester of FAK.
This semester we will be studying God’s kindness and wisdom in our great salvation! We will be learning how the work of His Holy Spirit in our salvation opens our eyes to see our sin and causes us to trust in Jesus as our redeemer. We will see the free gifts of God’s grace that were bought by Jesus on the cross:
  • Our Justification – How our sins were forgiven and made right with God!
  • Our Adoption – How God brings us into his royal family as his sons and daughters!
  • Our Sanctification – How God is committed to make us more like Jesus!
Could there be anything more marvelous?!? Let’s come together this Tuesday having prepared our own hearts and the hearts of our children to delight in this great and hopeful truth!
Many Blessings in Jesus,
Kathy Tarr

Dancing in Worship and War

DSC_0061“Let them praise His name with dancing”  Psalm 149:3

When we are in excruciating circumstances and at our wit’s end, Jesus, our greatest Treasure, is still worthy of our whole-hearted worship.  Andthe rejoicing of genuine, whole-hearted worship is the sustaining strength of our hearts in the midst of the battle.  These are the dual lessons we have been learning in the book of Psalms.  The following two testimonies, from Alive at Five this morning, thrill my heart!  You gals are living proof that He is alive!  The more trials we face, the more boldly we run to Jesus, joyfully declaring our hope in His Word!  The more we cling to Him, the more we grow in the joy of knowing Jesus as our greatest Treasure!  I love His perfect ways!

FROM KELLY TARR:

As Devon spoke on the last morning of our fall Fully Alive at Five meeting, my heart was bursting to the point that I had to exercise restraint in not shouting or jumping up to dance right then and there. I also couldn’t stop the tears that were flowing down my face.

We were learning that dance is a key to spiritual warfare.  We saw in the Bible that dance is an appropriate response of praise to God. He is worthy of receiving worship with every fiber of my being.  Even in my weakest moments; in times of sadness, or when I don’t “feel like it,” God is moved by my offering of whole-hearted worship.  This is my testimony.

You see, a few years ago, God allowed some painful circumstances in my life.  It was very hard.  Although, at first, I did not understand, He was awakening my heart in love for Him in a new way.  He was removing false comforts.  He was making me desperate for an encounter with Christ!

I had allowed depression to become a way of life.  This deep pit was the hiding place where I was held captive for years, unable to express my deepest pain, unable to express my heart to God.  Depression often turned to despair.  It was during this desperate season that Jesus reached down into my pit of despair and loosed my chains by teaching me to dance before Him!

Opening the Word of God and declaring God’s love and His promises with my heart, with my mouth and with my feet set me free. Set me free!  I am free to worship the Lord Jesus with everything I have, no matter who may see, simply because He is worthy, and He has shown me His worth. Oh, my testimony is that I cannot keep from dancing anymore!   I now have many testimonies of how Jesus has transformed my heart in the midst of difficult circumstances, as I have danced before Him with His Word on my lips.

I am not a trained dancer, nor am I the most graceful. But I know that it moves the heart of my God,  when I dance.  I also know that He meets me when I dance. I am changed.  My heart is aligned with His Word, and He takes His rightful, preeminent place in my heart. I can say along with David, “You turned my mourning into dancing, you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness” (Psalm 30:11).

praise the lord

FROM BETHANY DEWITT:

I listened to Kathy speak of the battlefield of life, the invisible war…and I know. Oh, I know!  I remember how just the night before, my heart had been thrown against the wall, breathless, anger rising from the huddled heap on the floor. I remember how I felt powerless against the Enemy’s lies. I had awakened this morning at 4 am to attend Alive at Five.  I doubted that my battered heart, full of hardened ancient stone, would even respond to the Jesus whom I love in my spirit.  I wondered if I had let myself go too deep back into despair and confusion.  Then the Sword found its mark, splitting marrow and bone and I could see!

For though we walk in the flesh, we are NOT waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to DESTROY strongholds. We DESTROY arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every though captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

The yearning of my heart to please Him began to surface—true reality shining through my dim eyes. When Devon spoke, I saw who I really am, really.  I am royalty in the court of the Living GOD, beauty desired and seen by Him and led to His chambers in robes interwoven with gold.  What JOY and GLADNESS!  I entered the palace of the Fairest One, Majestic in Righteousness, Valiant for the cause of Truth and Goodness. I could see once more, and oh, how quick I am to forget! Instead of praise so often shame surrounds me, a dirty cloak.

“Precious are you in My eyes, and honored, and I Love you with an everlasting Love.”

This is the voice of my Beloved!  How could I not know? Does He not cherish me every day, and still I look to the perceptions of man for my acceptance, bound by worthless shackles of my own choosing, and passed over by everyone but Him. How could I not choose Him?  I made my choice.

I had learned from the Psalms to lift up my voice and cry out to God in prayer.  I had learned to worship Him with singing and dancing. This morning, I became impatient to try out these tiny wing-buds.  I was eager to express what the Spirit in Grace had revealed!  YAHWEH is the Holy One of Israel, Everlasting King and Intimate Lover of my heart—I felt the fire within and the words tickling my lips. I had the urge to SHOUT: “RISE UP FOR ME, O GOD!” I wanted to cry out to Him in faith.  And then, I did!  I cried out from the darkness that held me and I rose up in faith!  I moved toward the back of the sanctuary as we began to sing.

Hallelujah! 

Hallelujah! 

You make all things new!

All things new!

 And then, I twirled. I twirled and twirled and twirled!  My arms moved and my heart moved and my feet left the ground as I danced with my all my might in the house of the LORD my King!  His beautiful one seeking after His Beauty. . . I could see, and I was seen and something in me is was made whole.

I am free.  And He has made me glad!

Fully Alive at Five Info:

When: Every other Tuesday morning starting new semester on  January 7th. See full calendar here.

Time: 5:00a.m.- 7:00a.m.

Where: Christ Church of Knoxville (Click here for a map)

Follow us: on Facebook and on Twitter!

*photo credit: Talitha Piper

He Answers When We Call

DSC_0257Friends,

The Lord who lives and gives great victories met with us Tuesday morning at Alive at Five!  I can’t remember a season in ministry when my heart has been more joyful over the activity of God in the midst of His people!  He is putting His enemies to flight and showing the saving might of His right hand among His people! I praise Him for the testimonies of His glory on display in your lives!  Ashley Baker shared the following testimony with me. I asked her permission to share it with you. He will answer us when we call!

I pulled into Christ Church while the sun was still asleep. With my Bible and coffee in hand, I quickly found a seat. As God’s word was opened, I quickly began to see my need. I have a circumstance that I have been wrestling with for some time, and this morning it was right before me. My need in this situation is great before the Lord.

My heart was stirred by the command in Psalm 18, “Call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.” I needed to get real with God!  I needed to lift up my voice, audibly out to God.  I needed to go ahead and pour out to God ugly, honest, authentic need to Jesus in prayer – out loud!  I didn’t need to think about my situation before God.  I needed to have a heart to heart, gut-wrenching conversation.

On my way home,  I encountered the Lord as I thought about the observations on Biblical prayer that Kathy had shared from the Psalm.  With tears spilling down my face, I opened my mouth and attempted to pray out loud in my car.  I managed to whisper a prayer to the Lord. A lump formed in my throat as I began to tell the Lord my deep need for Him.  The words began to tumble more freely out of my mouth. I spilled out the details and the pain of my situation, exposing a deep place in my heart before my heavenly Father.

As I drove, the sun began to rise into what looked like a painted blue sky that was interspersed with feathered orange and rosy clouds. God was using the rising sun as a picture of what was happening inside of me.

By stuffing and ignoring my need for such a long time, it was like I was waking up every day while it was still dark outside. I was stumbling around, tripping over my feelings because I couldn’t see where I was going. I was trying to walk in the dark.  But as God’s word was opened to me Tuesday morning, I began to see the light; I saw the reality of my situation. Although I am carrying a tremendous burden and have great need, I don’t have to stay “needy!”  When I really take all my screaming pain, raw emotions, confusing questions and deepest longings to my God, He comes!

Psalm 18 dramatically describes how the conquering King listens to my every cry and comes to “rescue me from my powerful enemy!”  He “confronts me in the day of my distress…He lights my lamp.”  Prompted by His word, my heart spilled over into a flow of prayer. As I cried out and meditated on God’s word, Jesus began to wash away my blindness and carry my pain. My Creator was using the power of the literal sunrise to show me a picture of His internal miracle in my heart!

As I prayed this morning, I found Jesus to be my strength. My heart began to align with the truth of God’s word, “This God—his way is perfect.” My heart is safe with Him. I could say over my situation, “The word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him” (Psalm 18:30).

I can (and I do) cry out to my God, “For it is you who light my lamp; The Lord my God lightens my darkness” (Psalm 18:28).

As God brought light I felt a new song rising in my heart. Instead of tears, I felt joy. Instead of despair, I had a song of praise to sing to God. His salvation is great and His steadfast love is amazing.

Friends, God met with us Tuesday morning at Alive at Five! He brought victory and answered us when we cried out to Him. If you have a testimony from Tuesday I would love to hear it. Feel free to leave a comment or email me. I can’t wait to see you again on the 19th!

Fully Alive at Five Info:

When: Every other Tuesday morning. See full calendar here.

Time: 5:00a.m.- 7:00a.m.

Where: Christ Church of Knoxville (Click here for a map)

Follow us: on Facebook and on Twitter!

JESUS CHANGES EVERYTHING

Coffee is just not the same without a splash of cream! I’m sitting here with my coffee, a candle and my Bible open to Psalm 18. As I study and pray over this chapter in preparation for Fully Alive at Five next Tuesday, I am minimally distracted by the bitter taste in my mouth; having forgotten the Half n Half yesterday!  That Half n Half would have made for a perfect fall morning spent in meditation and prayer!

The truth of the matter is, I will drink my coffee today without the delicious luxury of cream that an extra trip to Publix would bring. Some longings can wait. But, as I sit here staggered by the massive, heart-throbbing truths of Psalm 18. I cannot tolerate living today without encountering, touching, knowing, experiencing the presence of the very great and living God who so dramatically COMES TO US and changes everything! Everything in my life takes on a different flavor when God comes! You have to meditate on it for yourself, but here is just a taste:

The cords of death encompassed me…in my distress I called upon the LORD…my cry to him reached his ears…then the earth reeled and rocked…He bowed the heavens and came down…He came swiftly on the wings of the wind…He rescued me from my strong enemy …for they were too mighty for me… (You just have to read the entire chapter!)

Let’s stop right there. Friend, do you have any strong enemies today that are just too much for you? I sure do! For starters, I am filled with pride, selfishness, fear and a lack of love more often than I want to admit. I need help in the battle against my own horrendous sin and pathetic weaknesses!  Furthermore, I am deeply concerned for several folks I love very much.  People who are very close to me, whose eternal life hangs in the balance. Other dear friends and family members are being confronted today by devastating circumstances that threaten their life of faith.

The Almighty’s action on behalf of those who call upon Him blows my mind!  When God comes, devastation gets overthrown by the One who enables me to leap insurmountable obstacles and do battle against my adversaries with supernatural, bronze-bending strength!

I am shouting at this point, with a full heart and an empty coffee cup, “Who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?” (v. 21)!  And I am expecting our wonderful King to “ ride on a cherub” and fly to join us this Tuesday morning at 5am!  But, until then, I will not live today without crying out for a personal encounter with Jesus Christ!

Fully Alive at Five Info:

When: Every other Tuesday morning. See full calendar here.

Time: 5:00a.m.- 7:00a.m.

Where: Christ Church of Knoxville (Click here for a map)

Follow us: on Facebook and on Twitter!