Sunday, December 27, 2009

Open Heart Surgery

You know those times where you feel like the Lord has given you a small revelation and then something happens and it is actually bigger than what you thought it would be...

Well, that happened today.

*Rediscover yourself lesson #361-Worship

In September 2002, we were invited to a church by a friend. At that point in my life I couldn't see any good in myself...but God did and He had a plan.

I remember walking in this church and feeling a different feeling that I had never felt before. We walked into the sanctuary of the church to a band playing on the stage with contemperary music uplifting the Lord. People freely raising their hands and laying their heart out in worship. This was new to me. I had never attended a church where this was okay. The one thing that stuck out to me the most was the worshippers on stage. I heard myself say, "I am going to be up there someday" and I immediately got excited. The thought of using my God given talent on the stage where people can hear you. I mean, I had a voice. Not just a singing voice but a VOICE. I had earned medals in high school for my voice. Superior ratings for my solos. I had main roles in choir concerts and attended choir camp for 2 summers. Why not have me up there?

Well, I never made it up there. Two weeks after commiting to a class at this church to get to know God more and myself, I got sick. An overactive immune disease called "Lupus" had plagued me. I had been completely healthy my entire life until this moment. It had crippled my walk, fatigued me, made my hair fall out, and taken my voice. I lost my voice for 1 week and when it returned, it wasn't the same. I could no longer carry high pitches or finish a whole sentence without clearing my throat. It was then that I had to learn and discover how to use my heart for worship. God didn't want to hear my voice, although He delights in what He created to be used for His glory. He wanted to hear ME. After getting over the fact that I lost something that I thought defined me, I was able to open up to the Lord with my heart...and I embraced it! I felt so free to show God how much I loved Him. I didn't have to say anything, I just allowed my heart to say it all.

Here it is over 7 years later and its still the singing voice. I have learned to worship with my heart, soul, and mind. While I am still learning just like you, I still makes mistakes but I understand grace and strive to move closer to the Lord.

Christmas time has wonderful music and it led me to reflect on my favorite song of the season. That song is "Little Drummer Boy." It reminds me of how I don't have much to offer but what I do have is my heart and I will worship the Lord with all I have. There have been times that I have been dry and not much in my heart to give but I believe that God sees a little as a lot given what we are going through. If I am not really feeling the love at that moment I express it to God. I let HIM know how alone I feel or sad I feel. Even if I am angry, HE knows. I cannot hide from the true feelings that I am going through, I have to let HIM know. God is so gracious with me and loves me through every process.

This weekend I was sharing with a friend my need to reach out more. The feeling I felt after Christmas Eve service was a feeling of wanting more in my relationship with Christ towards the lost. My desire to grow up more in the church and my need to be around other believers sharing in the same vision. I know God wants that for everyone.

This morning we had to teach. We teach 3 year olds every other Sunday and I leave there feeling purposed. As we were getting our lessons and room ready I noticed a different teacher in the 4 & 5 yr old class. I walked over to her and said, "Hi, are you in here today?" She said, "yes, I will be leading this group." I see her every Sunday because her son is in our class so I jokingly asked her, "well, are you leading worship today for the children?" A nervous smiling look came across her face and said, "I can't do that. I have no idea what I am doing." We both laughed and said bye. I walked back to my room.

A few minutes later the childrens pastor came in our section to check on all areas with cirriculum and materials. She came over to me and asked, "Is there any way you can lead worship today? I forgot Kim is out and I have no one." I got nervous but then immediately God said 'yes' and I just said, "sure! I have never done this before but it isn't me, its HIM." She was thankful to me and showed me how to operate the songs.

There are 3 rooms of children (up to 24 children), 5 teachers, and 5 youth (that help the class) to lead worship for. I had to sing in front of them and use motions. I said to God (like He was hanging out with me for the day), "I can't do this but YOU can...let's go!"

I started out with our morning greeting song, our lesson song, and last, a soft worship song by Hillsong. It's called "Your love is deep" and consists of many motions. Everyone was sitting and worshipping with their hearts and it was amazing. Four 4 & 5 year olds were sitting in front of me singing their hearts out. I could feel every bit of their innocence while singing to Jesus. As I looked down at one of my 3 year olds, Maggie, said to me, "my love is long" and she did a long motion. One of the lines in the song says, "my love is love is wide." I lost it on the inside. I was crying with my heart and telling the Lord..."my love is long." While I had tears in my eyes, it was then that I remembered worship and what it is supposed to feel like and how much God loved that moment. That was a feeling like we weren't even in a building...we were in the presence of the KING.

I do not always "get it", I do not always "understand it", and I do not always "see it" but I am learning that that is faith. Faith happens by worship. Its believing in something that is unseen and when you believe in something unseen, worship is what grows it up into that relationship. You don't have to do any rituals or outrageous things to get Gods attention. Just seek Him with your heart. Worship consists of the way you talk to others (about HIM or not), how you love, reading the Word, and singing/worshipping...with your heart. You don't have to go out and put on a show, just be you. That is how God made you and for you to be any different is only critizing what HE has done.

Worship is how we love. Open your heart...God is ready to do some work!

Jesus replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your HEART and with all your SOUL and with all your MIND." Matthew 22:37

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Google it...

Tonight is one of those, "I can't sleep" times. I fell asleep about 10pm but had a nightmare and awoke to Maddy smacking her lips in her sleep. Yes, she has been sleeping with me lately. Since Jeremy's schedule is here and there, I have been appreciating the time we all have to spend.
After waking up to lip smacking, I began to think about a conversation I had on IM on Facebook with a good friend. We were talking about the Lord and how great His love is for us. Reflecting on our past and things we had to go through, my friend said, "I wish I knew how deep God's love was for me." I began to think about that. I responded to her by saying, "well, I gave up trying to figure it out. I wonder if I did know, would I appreciate His blessings? Would I know how to love Him back? Would we keep searching for more of His love IF we know all of it? We can never know the extent of God's love. He wants us to keep searching for Him."
It then made me think of Google. That is a great site that I use on a daily basis. I feel somewhat smart after thinking upon something and getting the answer on Google. I then told my friend, "not even Google has the answer for how much God loves us," and it doesn't. No one does. God is the only one who can give even a glimpse of love to you. That joy you feel when you see seasons change, when your child says 'I love you', and the joy you feel when you read the Word. That is love. How about that feeling when you feel far away from God? That is love too. It's a feeling of emptiness and 'love' sick. You see, Jesus wants to be our first love. He wants for us to get our hearts filled with Him. He delights in you and wants you to have all the things your hearts desire.
"Delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart."-Psalm 37:3-5
I mentioned earlier that this is a "rediscover yourself" tour and I am willing to hear what the Lord has to say. I may and will fall at times but I am willing to admit it and move forward. I believe the Lord has more than just "set backs" for me. He will use those experiences to mold me for His purpose. So, if you feel like you are just "idling," just hang on...your open door is coming! He isn't going anywhere and you know what, He wants you!
"I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine"-Song of Songs 6:3
His love is more than we can fathom. You can Google it...but only God can give you the real meaning...and it's free!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I think God is taking me on road trip. These past few weeks I feel that He is leading me on a "Rediscover Yourself" tour. I definitely do not have all the answers but I am willing to see what it is the Lord is showing me. I am also willing to lay out my faults as well as my victories.

I have a "picture box" that I hold dear to my heart. While I call it a "box" it is more like a rubbermaid tub. It contains memories that go back to my childhood.

I love to sit and look at them from time to time. Looking at those pictures makes me happy and I feel loved. To be honest, my favorite pictures to look at are those of my mom and dad. The ones where they went to prom together, a wedding kiss, and a family photo of US. I feel so much love when I look at those photos and I am thankful that God made me.

Madelyn came up to me the other night and asked me if she could get a baby picture of herself out of the box. She said she needed it for school. I told her that was fine but not to make a mess. All of a sudden I hear her say, "oh mommy, you look so cute!" She brings me a photo of my hospital picture on the day I was born. I hadn't seen THAT photo in a long time. She then brought me one of me when I was 4 months old. I smiled immediately at the thought of what I was like when I was a baby. Then I thought of my parents and I sat in that happy feeling for a minute.

As I stared at the newborn photo I thought to myself, "and I didn't know I'd grow up to have Lupus." Then I said it to Jeremy and Maddy, "I didn't know I'd grow up to have Lupus." They then reached out to hug me. I jokingly laughed and took no pity. I am okay with it, I am at peace.

God had shown me that although that baby, Wendy Marie Makepeace...ME, did not know life would bring pain, tears, and sorrow, HE knew. HE knew how painful it would be and I would cry out. HE knew how angry I would be at the affliction and cry out. HE knew how sad I would feel when I felt alone and how I'd cry out. How did HE know? Because, HE was there.

HE cried for mercy before carrying the cross on HIS back. HE had nails driven through his hands and feet. A painful crown of thorns placed on HIS head in mockery. HE understood everything I went through.
HE understands everything you go through too. Rejection, sadness, heartache, loneliness, anger, frustration, etc.-HE knows.

Like I said earlier, my most favorite pictures to look at are those of my family. It makes me feel good to see them happy, joyful, and (at that moment) in love. I love to stare at them in photos and see who they are, what they are doing, and how they are interacting. It makes me proud to call them my parents.

Did you know God does that with you? Your life is a photo and God is the photographer. HE took a picture of you and stares at it with pleasure. HE made you and HE is proud of what HE made. HE doesn't see the hair loss, scars, rash, ailment, handicap, etc. HE sees YOU. HE loves YOU. HE delights in YOU. Like a parent, HE brags on YOU. Those "happy, excited, loved" feelings we get when we see a photo and it takes us back, God feels that every minute of the day for YOU.

Psalm 139:1-16 know when I sit and when I rise...for you created my inmost being;you knit me together in my mothers womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made...your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Say...Cheese! Jesus is going to frame YOU!