Dear Friend,

Dear Friend,

I assume that you, like me, are facing some form of difficulty or hardship in your life.  Whether your current challenge is a circumstance outside your control, a relationship in pain or your own struggle with temptation and sin, you crave a spiritual oasis where your soul can find refreshment. You crave God!   Friend, I know how you feel.

Through a recent trial, I found the shaken places of my own heart crying out in need for three things: peace, hope and joy.  Now, I know that Jesus Christ, by His Holy Spirit, has promised these blessings to believers, but I needed these grace gifts to “happen” in my own heart! In desperate need, I turned to Psalm 16.  What I found there is so precious!

Psalm 16 is a video clip of David in one of his intimate moments in prayer. We get to see him up-close in relationship with God in a time of crisis.  We don’t know specifically what David was facing.  In the inspired writing of Scripture the Holy Spirit saw to it that the historical context is unmentioned.  I’m so glad!   Whatever David’s context, the crisis in David’s life can readily be applied to our situation, whatever it may be.  What we do know is how the man after God’s heart responded.

Oh, how I love the Lord!  How I love the Bible! I have been greatly helped and wonderfully instructed by Psalm 16!  I can’t wait to be with you Tuesday morning at Alive at Five and share what I have seen and heard!  God has met me in a profound way and I am asking Him to meet with you as we all come together….in desperate need of Him!

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)

 

 

Jesus the Cosmic Champion

FA- Bible“This morning my entire life suddenly made sense! Why did it take me so long to see this?” My enlightened friend had been struggling with frustrating issues at work, multiple ongoing health issues, frightening financial strain and the devastation of relational pain among family members and friends that seemed beyond repair.  Where is victory in all of this? Why is everything so hard?

These were some of the questions that ruthlessly pummeled her heart and her faith.  She was stuck in the muddy marsh of unbelief. Tuesday morning at Alive at Five, the Holy Spirit graciously opened her eyes to see the invisible realm that is dramatically unveiled in Psalm 2.  She saw, in the words of C.S. Lewis. . . “this universe is at war!”  More importantly, she saw the living Christ installed as King over every other power and authority!  Suddenly, the personal battles all made sense.

The banner verse for Fully Alive Ministry is from John 10:10, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  It’s true. The wonderful news of the gospel is that Jesus came to make us fully alive! However, we make a big mistake when we skip over the first half of that verse. Jesus gives the context of His redemptive mission to earth like this: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  Did you hear a clarion call to battle? Did you hear the guarantee of victory?

Psalm 2 pulls back the celestial veil between heaven and earth so we can see. What we see is not only the battle but how the battle ends.  The Holy Spirit reveals to us an incredible sight through David’s inspired song, the very throne room of God! There we hear the intimate conversation between the eternal Father and His cherished Son as Jesus is crowned uncontested King of the universe!  That’s great news for us!

In the midst of universal chaos and rebellion, Psalm 2:2-4 portrays the Father sitting in heaven unmoved and unshaken.  The decree is irrevocable, His Son, the cosmic champion of the whole earth, has won!  “He who sits in the heavens laughs.” ( Ps. 2:4).  Every strategy against the King’s edict is laughable vanity from the Father’s perspective!  His divine heart of joy is unaffected.

We can have this same unaffected joy, confidence and peace, even in the heat of battle, if Christ is allowed to live His invincible life in us; if we bow down on the battlefield of life and let Him have His way.  This is what the Bible calls faith. This is what it means to be truly Christian.

The universe is at war, but for Christians, the war has been won! All glory to King Jesus!! The warning to all outliers is clear in verse 10-12: Worship the One true King!  Fall at His feet! Obey Him!  Reverence Him! Rejoice in Him! Stay close to Him!

In the kingdom of heaven, Jesus rules!  In the kingdoms of this world, rebels attempt to throw off His life-giving restraints.  But, “the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our LORD and of His Christ.”  Therefore, the real struggle in our daily skirmishes is:  In which kingdom do I live?  In other words, am I allowing Jesus to live His life and exert His rule in me?  The vicious but vain rebellion that rages “against the Lord and against his Anointed” (Ps 2:3) creates war zones in our lives every single day.

The battles are too fierce for me, but Jesus has destroyed the destroyer!  We must surrender to the power of His indestructible life within!  This is the only way we will ever be fully alive! If we don’t see this, we have no chance of victory.  I’m so glad the Lord opened my friend’s eyes to seeI  All praise to “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation!” (Eph. 1:17)

“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” (II Cor 10:3-4).

 

FAK CATECHISM QUESTIONS: Questions 1-12

aliveFAK CATECHISM QUESTIONS:  Questions 1-12

  1.  Why were you created? To know and to show God’s greatness and enjoy Him forever!
  2. How can I know and show God’s greatness and enjoy Him forever? God tells me how in the Bible
  3.  What is the Bible? The Bible is God’s Word
  4.  Did men write the Bible? The Holy Spirit wrote the Bible through men; telling them exactly what to say!
  5. What does the Bible Teach? The Bible teaches who God is, who man is and what God tells us to do!
  6. What does the Bible say about God? The Bible says that God is a Spirit whose holiness, wisdom and goodness are infinite, eternal and unchanging.
  7. What does the Bible teach about Man? God created man in His own image to LIVE in obedience to Him – But Man sinned – Bringing sadness, sickness and death
  8. Is there more than one God? There is only one true and living God. death
  9. What is sin? Sin is disobeying God in any way.
  10. What happened to man when he sinned? Man fell into sadness, sickness and death.
  11. What made sin so miserable for man? Sin separated God from man and brought God’s anger, God’s curse, and hell.
  12. Did God leave man in this miserable condition? From eternity, because He wanted to, God chose some to LIVE with Him forever; free from sin and misery by sending a Redeemer.

Fully Alive Kids Review For Parents | Week 2

alive 4Catechism:

  • Question: How is Jesus Christ our Redeemer?
  • Answer: As our Redeemer Jesus is Prophet, Priest, and King.

Motions:

  • As our redeemer Jesus is (arms outstretched slowly rising)
  • Prophet (arms extend from mouth)
  • Priest (hands raised in front palms raised)
  • and King (stretch right arm out as if extending a scepter).

Song:

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

Review:

The Marvel of Motherhood

fully

Moms, I bless the heart of Jesus in you for the marvelous way you nurture your kids’ hearts for God!  As soon as you read those words, many of your hid under your imaginary fig leaf thinking, “That doesn’t describe me!  I have a wimpy and weary heart for Jesus and I’m failing miserably in training my kids to love God.  I need help!”

I have good news for you!  After more than three decades of parenting, I can tell you that motherhood is the most marvelous (i.e., causing the highest quality of wonder, astonishment, surprise and joy) and the most maddening (i.e., tending to craze; tending to infuriate; tending to vex; tending to disorder the mind) role I have ever been assigned!  That really is good news!  Let me explain.

Think about the first time you held your newborn baby.  No words adequately describe the wonder!  God intentionally designed motherhood to thrill our hearts as we participate with Him in the creation and in the nurturing of human life.  There is no other experience like it!  We can’t help but marvel at the development of our tiny baby in the womb; the miracle of the birth process and the joy of watching our children mature before our eyes from one birthday to the next!  It is marvelous to be a mom!

However, when the first couple rejected God’s Word and sinned, this perfect design was forever marred (Gen 2-3). Our homes, intended to be sanctuaries of delight, were demolished to rubble under enemy attack.  Our relationship with our husband, disastrously damaged by sin, became rife with tension and conflict (Gen 3:16-19).  “Pain” was the word God chose to describe the experience of mothers throughout future generations (Gen. 3:16).  Eve’s disobedience meant that every mother, forever, will experience a lifetime of struggle and grief in the bearing and raising of children.  It is maddening to be a mom!

So, what’s the good news?  The good news is that our heavenly Father has made a way for these tiny, growing bundles of marvel and madness to make us more like Jesus!   We get to lay our lives down for little sinful humans who are prone to spit up, whine, hit, scream, fight, complain, not sleep and throw things.  They are messy and mean.  Yet, we are called to “train them up in the way they should go; (so that) even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6).  They are demanding and disrespectful.  Yet, we are instructed to “open our mouth with wisdom” and speak with “the teaching of kindness on (our) tongue” (Prov. 31:26), that they might grow up and “call us blessed” (Prov. 31:28). In a word, we are called by God to have His living and active Word “happening” on the inside of us in such transformational ways that we are empowered by God to effectively train our children to be Christ followers. (Deu. 6:1-9)

Motherhood means living the Gospel!  You sacrificially offer your life to God on this altar of “motherhood” so that, through you, your marvelous-but-maddening little rebels fall in love with Jesus and become reveling worshippers!   Motherhood is the most privileged role any woman can assume because motherhood is Gospel-partnership with God!  Imagine!  He uses moms as His chisels of redemption in making rebels into revelers of God! That is a high calling and a high privilege that only the God of the Gospel can accomplish!  I praise the Giver of Life for the gift of my children and for the Gift of His Son who restores the marvel of motherhood!

At Fully Alive Ministry our desire is to help, support and resource you as the primary teacher in your children’s lives.  Our commitment is to provide an environment where moms and kids  (from birth to age 10) can come together in the presence of God and be taught, trained and touched by the joy-filled, strength-giving, soul-saving love of Jesus!  Bring your little ones and join us!

Fully Alive Kids Info:

When: Every other Tuesday morning, started September 3rd. See full calendar here.

Time: 10:00AM to 11:30AM

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

Who: Kids ages 0-12, pregnant mommies and parents are all welcome!

Cost: $40 per family (You can pay on the sidebar of the blog!)

Click Here To Register.

 

Energy, Joy and Expectation

Fully Alive Friends,

fully alive timeTuesday, I woke up with the energy, joy and expectation of a childhood Christmas morning!  It was only 2:50 am.  My alarm wouldn’t sound for another forty-five minutes, but it was the launch of our new semester together at Alive at Five, and there was no way I could go back to sleep!  I pulled into the parking lot by 4:30am to find it already filling up with cars!  It was evident that many of you gals were as eager as I was to meet God in His word, worship and prayer at our pre-dawn, city-wide gathering. We were not disappointed!  The Holy Spirit, true to His promise, met with about fifty of us in such a sweet and powerful way!  Praise the Lord!

fully alive worship 1

This year’s focus for Alive at Five will be the Book of Psalms.  I love the Psalms!  They are unique among all the other books of the Bible. The Psalms are magnificent Spirit-inspired poems that God graciously gave to teach our minds, to stir our hearts and to shape our actions as God-lovers.  I am asking Him to deepen our love for Jesus in new ways this year!  In seeing you gals all over Facebook the past few days,  I can see the new stirring and shaping has begun!  Praise Him!

The Psalms overflow with God-honoring expressions of human emotion and are meant to be set to music and sung as love songs to God.  As such, they were Israel’s hymnal and a memorized source of teaching, joy and strength to our Lord Jesus Christ, who quoted them often throughout His earthly life and ministry. Jesus was full of the Psalms!

As we learned on Tuesday, the Psalms are dynamic!  They are a precious Treasure House of soul-satisfying delicacies, given to us by God, to be digested in many engaging, active, and self-involving ways.  They are to be spoken (Ps. 45:1), sung (Ps 46:6-7; 81:1), prayed (Ps.141-144), memorized (Ps. 119: 11), pondered (Ps. 19:14; 145:5), shouted ( Ps. 33: 1, 3), danced (Ps.149:3) and obeyed (Ps. 119:34), just to name a few.

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So, Girls, if we are to engage with the Psalms rightly, we must interact actively with these divine words in the presence of Jesus. That is what this year is all about.   Let’s press into this wonderful Book together. I can’t wait until our next Alive at Five, Tuesday, September 24…at 5am!  Oh, may King Jesus, the Lord of the Psalms, be pleased to meet with us again, and again, and again!  I can’t wait!

With Energy, Joy and Expectation!

Kathy

 

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Fully Alive Kids Review for Parents

IMG_9384Catechism:

Question: Who is the Redeemer?

Answer: The only Redeemer is Jesus Christ who became a man but never sinned.

 

Motions:

The only Redeemer: Point index finger on the right hand up and out.

Is Jesus Christ: Both hands start down by your side and extend forward and then up

Who became a man: Hands that are extended up bend in toward self and come down slowly.

But never sinned: Two hands face each other at chest level and then extend fully out to the right and left.

 Songs:

1) Review our theme song here.

2) Enjoy worshipping with your kids at home. Here is the last song we used during worship at Fully Alive Kids.

Fully Alive Kids Learn about Jesus, Our Redeemer

IMG_9384My guess is that many church-going adults would struggle if asked, “What does it mean that Jesus Christ is our Redeemer?” Not so for the youngsters who attended the first Fully Alive Kids session today at Christ Church!  The room was filled with a lively bunch of kids from 6 months to 9 years old, and their mommies, who went home ready to share at the family dinner table all they had learned about our Redeemer, Christ Jesus!fak (Redeemer)

The catechism question for the day was:  “Who is the Redeemer?”  It was an engaged and enthusiastic crowd who eagerly tackled the big word: R-E-D-E-E-M-E-R!   The Fully Alive team used praise and worship songs, creative movement, drama, a dynamic Bible story with age-specific applications, a hands on activity, and group prayer to touch the heads and hearts of kids with the reality that Jesus Christ paid the debt for sin we owed and has set us free!  Jesus bought us back from the misery of sin, sickness, slavery and separation from God!! The result was great joy and high praise among our children!fak (redeemer 2)

If you are desperate to have your child learn to love the Lord “with all their heart, soul, mind and strength,” Fully Alive Kids is committed to creating an environment where parents and children are immersed in the radical love of Jesus Christ through God’s Word and, together, encounter the transforming presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

We would love for you to join us and invite you to see our calendar and/or contact us if you have any questions.

Fully Alive Kids Theme Song

The Fully Alive Kids theme song this year is going to be “We Want to See Jesus Lifted High“!

Feel free to start teaching it to your kids and enjoy worshipping together in preparation for Fully Alive Kids which starts this Tuesday, September 3rd!

“We Want to See Jesus Lifted High”

We want to see Jesus lifted high

A banner that flies across the land

That all men might see the truth and know

He is the way to heaven

(Chorus)

We want to see, we want to see

We want to see Jesus lifted high

We want to see, we want to see

We want to see Jesus lifted high

Step by step, we’re moving forward

Little by little, taking ground

Every prayer a powerful weapon

Strongholds come tumbling down

and down and down and down

We’re gonna see

we’re gonna see

We’re gonna see Jesus lifted high

We’re gonna see, we’re gonna see

We’re gonna see Jesus lifted high

—–

Here is the link to the YouTube video.

Training Them For Heaven

My children are given me to train for heaven. They shall have my vigilant attention.                    -Henrietta Shuck, first female missionary to China, 1840

My heart is burning with a zeal for Christian women to catch God’s vision for the high calling and joyous privilege of Motherhood! The Bible is astonishingly clear. Our children belong to God; are given to us by God and are to be trained to live for God (Ps 127:3; Prov. 31:26-28; Deu. 6:4-5; Eph. 6:1,4). They are good gifts from an all-good God who instructs us that, from birth, our children are sinners separated far from God (Rom 3:23). As the primary influencers of their lives, we, under the leadership of our husbands, are given the non-negotiable privilege and responsibility to train them in the supreme joy of loving and obeying Jesus Christ.

The Lord’s intended outcome of Christ-centered, Bible-saturated, Spirit-empowered parenting is the reproduction of re-created human beings who are passionately in love with Jesus Christ, fearless in their commitment to His Word and faithful in declaring His wonders to succeeding generations (Ps 78:5-8 ). In other words, the outcome of Biblical parenting is to be an increased army of world-changing, gospel-partners who are launched from their homes, throughout the nations, advancing the Kingdom of God wherever they go (Ps. 127:4).

Now, that is a vision for motherhood that stimulates my mind, exhilarates my soul and inspires me to meaningful action! Sadly, however, most women in our culture have adopted an inferior paradigm of motherhood. The rampant idea that motherhood is self-induced drudgery is summarized in the title of a recent New York publication: “All Joy and No Fun: Why Parents Hate Parenting.” by Jennifer Senior. After extensive research, some of her dismal conclusions are:

  • parents suffer from depression more than non-parents (Mom, are you depressed?)
  • children diminish marital satisfaction (Is your marriage less dynamic since having children?)
  • small children have enormous negative effect on a woman’s emotions, with each additional child bringing “diminishing returns,” (Has the addition of a little one brought diminished joy?)
  • as for joy – caring for children ranked sixteenth out of nineteen activities – among the activities they preferred: preparing food, watching TV, exercising, talking on the phone napping shopping, housework! (Would you rather clean bathrooms than dirty noses and bottoms?)

At Fully Alive Kids we want to fly high a banner of hope for women who find themselves caught in the paradox of desiring-joy-but-having-no-fun-parenting. The gospel is wonderfully revolutionizing! As a city-wide ministry, Fully Alive Kids is devoted to creating an interactive environment where moms and children are shaped by the radical love of Jesus Christ through the dynamic teaching of God’s Word using, as a template, a catechism for young children. Together, mommies and kids will encounter the  transforming presence of God’s Spirit in times of teaching, prayer, memorization and worship. It’s encouraging! It’s engaging! It’s enjoyable! …and it’s wiggle friendly!

If you are already in the thick of training your children for heaven, or if you have a desire to understand God’s vision for motherhood, please join us every other Tuesday for Fully Alive Kids.  This semester we will focus on the preciousness of Jesus, our Redeemer. I can’t wait!

Fully Alive Kids Info:

When: Every other Tuesday morning, starting September 3rd. See full calendar here.

Time: 10:00AM to 11:30AM

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

Who: Kids ages 0-12, pregnant mommies and parents are all welcome!

Cost: $40 per family ($35 if you pay in advance on the sidebar of the blog!)

Click Here To Register.