The Lenhart Family

Friday, June 20, 2008


After two weeks of camp, weeks of camp preparation, and perpetual busyness…. I desperately need a Sabbath day of rest. So today, I will stay in my pajamas all day and be completely lazy without any guilt. I will play with my kids and snuggle up with a few good books and movies. Rob Bell describes day of Sabbath like this….

Sabbath is a day a week (as if) to remind myself that I did not make the world and that it will continue to exist without my efforts.

Sabbath is a day when my work is done, even if it’s not.

Sabbath is a day when I am fully available to myself and those I love the most.

Sabbath is a day that I remember when God saw the world it was good.

Sabbath is a day when I produce nothing.

Sabbath is a day when I remind myself I am not a machine and I am fully human.

Sabbath is a day when at the end I say “I didn’t do anything” and I don’t add “I feel so guilty”.

Sabbath is a day when my phone is turned off, I don’t check my email, and you can’t get a hold of me.

I am freeing myself from the need to be supermom, superwife, superyouthpastorwife and whatever “super” I have tried to be lately… I am taking the day off and it starts now :-)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Lessons from my 6 year old

I have three of the most precious children in the world but I’m not gonna lie, they can really get on my nerves every now and then. Somehow when I am with them with 24/7 in the summer time, those annoying tendencies are a bit magnified. Yesterday it was only about 10:00 am and I had reached a breaking point already. Jimso has developed this annoying habit of screaming at the top of his lungs “MOM! MOM! MOM!” whenever he needs the littlest thing regardless of where I am in relation or proximity to where he is. So after explaining to him (for the 100th time), that when he needs me for something he is to walk into the room in which I am in and kindly make his requests known rather than yell for me across the house I got to thinking…. “Man, whenever I need help, I wish I could just stop what I am doing and yell out a distress signal and then someone magically would come running to where I was and provide whatever assistance I may need at that time. Boy that sure would be nice!” But in some ways we never have to outgrow that kind of child like dependence because we have a faithful God who never tires of our calls for help and has promised to hear us each time we cry out to Him. In fact, scripture is full of promises that speak to this matter...
· “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.” ~ Psalm 34:17
· “Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.” ~Psalm 55:17
· “For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help.” ~Psalm 72:12
· “For a long time I have kept silent, I have been quiet and held myself back. But now, like a woman in childbirth, I cry out, I gasp and pant.” ~Isaiah 42:14
Lately I have been listening to some of my old CD’s like Nicole C Mullen and I love the lyrics to this song called “Call On Jesus”….

I'm so very ordinary, nothing special on my own.
Oh, I have never walked on water,
And I have never calmed a storm.
Sometimes I'm hiding away from the madness around me
Like a child who's afraid of the dark
But when I call on Jesus,
All things are possible
I can mount on wings like eagles' and soar
When I call on Jesus,Mountains are gonna fall'
Cause He'll move heaven and earth to come rescue me when I call
Weary brother, broken daughter,widowed, widowed lover, you're not alone
If you're tired and scared of the madness around you
If you can't find the strength to carry on
When you call on Jesus,
All things are possible
You can mount on wings like eagles' and soar
When you call on Jesus,
Mountains are gonna fall'
Cause He'll move heaven and earth to come rescue you when you--
Call Him in the mornin', in the afternoon time
Late in the evenin' He'll be there
When your heart is broken,
And you feel discouraged,
You can just remember that He said He'll be there
When I call on Jesus,
All things are possible
I can mount on wings like eagles' and soar
When I call on Jesus,
Mountains are gonna fall'
Cause He'll move heaven and earth to come rescue me

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Struggling with the "GO" part

"Jesus never says to the poor and the lost, 'come, find the church.' but He says to the church 'GO into the world and find the poor, hungry, homeless, and imprisoned,' Jesus in His disguises." ~Tony Campolo

I'm still struggling with the "GO" part and how I can practically do that as a little stay at home mom trying to love on my kids but also change the world...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Where would I be if the Lord had not...

Ever had one of those times when you are reading the Word and something just stands off the page, grabs you, and hits you right in the heart? Today I was reading Psalms 124 and this part of verse 2 just hit me hard… it says "if the Lord had not been on our side". It got me thinking where would I be if God had not became real to me and had not delivered me from the pit I was living in before I knew Him. I have no doubt that my life would suck to put it bluntly. I would be divorced and probably making a mess out of my life with the help of "substances." I would be a horrible mother and I shutter because I know that Jimso would not be a part of my life. I would not have finished school and would probably be repeating the same dysfunctional cycle of life that my family has been trapped in at times. I would be contining on my quest searching for love and satisfaction in all the wrong places.

But thankfully God had another plan for my life. Thankfully he saw me, delivered me from the pit, and is creating something beautiful from what was the mess of my life 12 years ago…..

"You are Everything" by Matthew West~

I'm the one with two left feet
Standing on a lonely street
I can't even walk a straight line
And every time you look at me
I'm spinning like an autumn leaf
Bound to hit bottom sometime
Where would I be without someone to save me
Someone who won't let me fall
You are everything that I live for
Everything that I can't believe is happening
You're standing right in front of me
With arms wide open
All I know is Every day is filled with hope
You are everything that I believe for
And I can't help but breathe you in
Breathe again
Feeling all this life within Every single beat of my heart
I'm the one with big mistakes
Big regrets and bigger breaks
Than I ever care to confess
Oh but, You're the one who looks at me
And sees what I was meant to be
More than just a beautiful mess
You're everything good in my life
Everything honest and true
And all of those stars hanging up in the sky
Could never shine brighter than
Jesus, You are You are everything

Winter is my least favorite season

The last few days have been absolutely freezing cold. We have had glimpses of spring but right now we are in the middle of another winter blast of artic air. It's cold and another ice storm may hit tomorrow.

Everyone has seasons to their life. Just as I can not wait for winter to be over…. There are seasons and storms we go through in life that we can not wait to be over because we can hardly stand to endure another moment of that present season. Spiritually difficult seasons are times in which we have to fight to remain rooted in Christ. Why does God allow seasons like that in our life? God uses those times that require all the fight we can muster to strengthen muscles we will need for the next season of our life.

Today I read in my bible study, "If yesterday's wimp is going to become tomorrow's warrior, something has to happen today!" Psalm 126:5,6 says "those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy. Though one goes along weeping, carrying the bag of seed, HE WILL SURELY come back with shouts of joy, carrying his sheaves."

God has been reminding me over and over that I will never endure a season of tears that can't turn into a harvest of joy and no matter what kind of season I am presently in…. He is right there with me in the midst of it. Sometimes I want to give up but God promises me that there is a harvest on the horizon at the end of this season. Winter is my least favorite season of all but this season will not last forever and what is being sown is priceless. Paul says in Galatians 6:9 "Do not grow weary in doing good for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." So I'm not giving up but He never gives up on me.....

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back
I know You are near
And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth

When I am overwhelmed...

I am a person who gets overwhelmed easily. If I am trying to juggle too many things or have a big "things to do list", I am the first person to throw in the towel and quit. Flying home on Monday, looking outside the airplane window made me realize how small I am and how small the little world I live in is in comparison to how big God is. The everyday stress I deal with is nothing in comparison to what others are dealing with or have dealt with. And NOTHING compared to what God can do if I just let Him deal with whatever I am facing that particular stressful day. I have nothing in my life, no need that will require more strength or more power than God exerted when He raised Christ from the grave.

Ephesians 1: 18-20 says, "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.

I love this new song by Sara Groves called "When the Saints" because it reminds me of biblical examples and even examples of modern generations of people who were faithful and pressed on. It reminds me not to give up when small little things seem like great big impossible things……

When The Saints - Sara Groves
Lord I have a heavy burden of all I've seen and know
It's more than I can handle
But your word is burning like a fire shut up in my bones and I can't let it go
And when I'm weary and overwrought with so many battles left unfought
I think of Paul and Silas in the prison yard
I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars
And when the Saints go marching in I want to be one of them

Lord it's all that I can't carry and cannot leave behind
it all can overwhelm me but when I think of all who've gone before me and lived the faithful life, their courage compels me
And when I'm weary and overwrought with so many battles left unfought
I think of Paul and Silas in the prison yard
I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars
I see the shepherd Moses in the Pharaohs court
I hear his call for freedom for the people of the Lord
And when the Saints go marching in I want to be one of them
And when the Saints go marching in I want to be one of them

I see the long quiet walk along the Underground Railroad
I see the slave awakening to the value of her soul
I see the young missionary and the angry spear
I see his family returning with no trace of fear
I see the long hard shadows of Calcutta nights
I see the sisters standing by the dying mans side
I see the young girl huddled on the brothel floor
I see the man with a passion come and kicking down that door
I see the man of sorrow and his long troubled road
I see the world on his shoulders and my easy load
And when the Saints go marching in I want to be one of them
And when the Saints go marching in I want to be one of them I want to be one of them I want to be one of them I want to be one of them

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." ~ Hebrews

Sticks and Stones

Jake and I took the kids to the zoo yesterday. Because it was cold outside, we got to see some of the animals up close as they were inside the buildings rather than outside. We briefly went into the Pachyderm exhibit (oh my goodness, it smelled sooooo bad). But I was fascinated by the rhinoceros' skin. Looking at one up close for the first time, I noticed how incredibly thick and hard its skin was. I'm sure God made it that way for a reason…. As a mean of protection from some kind of predator or harsh element. It's was pretty cool

But just earlier this week, I was telling a friend of mine that sometimes I think I don't have thick enough skin to be in ministry. I was frustrated by some hurtful comments said that I had taken too personally (it's hard not to take anything said negatively about our ministry personally because we pour our hearts and lives into it). But unfortunately God did not make us as humans the way he made the rhinoceros. Sticks and stones do hurt and wound us at times.

I am reading a book about Mother Teresa and came across this quote that speak volumes on this subject. It says…

"If we were humble, nothing would change us- neither praise nor discouragement.
If someone were to criticize us, we would not feel discouraged.
If someone were to praise us, we would not feel proud."

Unless I can somehow miraculously grow rhinoceros type of thick skin, I am pretty much out of luck. But since that doesn't seem to be an option, I guess I will have to settle for working a little harder at humility and applying this quote into my life come praise or discouragement.

Fight Club~ Y'shua 2008

Fellow Fighters~

This weekend was incredible! I want to hold on to everything we learned and experienced but I hate how quickly I can forget what God is trying to teach me. Just thought I’d put out some fight club truths we learned this weekend. Please add some more to this list if you can remember any I already forgot…..
  1. If we are going to win this fight, we have to remember our focus. We will NEVER win this fight of faith if we do not stay focused... Remember "BREAKDOWN"
  2. The moment you start saying "yes" to God, you enter this fight. And the more you say "yes" to God, the more intense the fight will get. Once you say "yes" to God for the first time, Satan places a target on your back. He chooses you and you have to fight at that point. If you have accepted Christ as Savior, consider yourself enlisted into the battle. Now you must fight and you must choose whether you will become a soldier or a warrior.
  3. A solider is a position and a warrior is an attitude. Historically a solider is someone whose profession was fighting. They are paid and trained to fight. There is nothing wrong with being paid to fight. Our soldiers in Iraq are currently engaged in battle and they are drawing a salary. But if we are going to win a war, soldier must become warriors. A warrior possesses the dedication money can’t buy. A warrior is someone who fights not because of what they can get but because of what they can give. A warrior is a solider with a "die for the cause" attitude. A warrior will do whatever it takes to win or obtain victory. A solider signs up to join a fight, a warrior stay until it is finished.
  4. 2 Timothy 4:6-8, "As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing." Paul poured out his life in fighting for his faith!! And it’s apparent from this verse that at the end of his life, he didn’t have regrets about it. He didn’t say "man I wished I would have taken more time off, taken more naps, rested more." NO WAY! He said "I have fought the good fight, I finished the race, and I remained faithful!" When I stand before, I pray that I can have the same kind of confidence Paul had and say to God "man Satan may have thrown some punches but I finished strong, I fought the good fight, and I remained faithful to you and your cause God!"
  5. Because when we are in the middle of a fight it is easy to forget WHO we are really fighting and who is really the enemy in the battle. Satan wants to confuse us! He wants us to think each other is the enemy, when in fact he is your only enemy!! Warrior Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12 "for we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against might powers in the dark world, and evil spirits in the heavenly places."
  6. Remember "you are not my enemy!"
  7. Jeremiah 20:11, 12 says "But the Lord stands beside me like a great warrior. Before him my persecutors will stumble. They cannot defeat me. They will fail and be thoroughly humiliated. Their dishonor will never be forgotten. O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, you test those who are righteous, and you examine the deepest thoughts and secrets. Let me see your vengeance against them, for I have committed my cause to you." If we have committed ourselves to this fight and to this cause to become warriors, we have been promised that God will always stand beside us as the GREATEST warrior. We can not be defeated! The enemy may be able to throw some pretty powerful punches that hurt and wound us but he will NEVER be able to defeat us!! In fact he will be humiliated in the end!
  8. YOU ARE NOT AN ARMY OF ONE!! If I had to face some of my battles alone, I would have surely failed. I am and will be forever grateful for the warriors that I have the privilege of being in the platoon with!!! If you see a fellow fighter in the midst of a battle, lift up his arms for him as Aaron and Hur did. Encourage each other as we are running. Not try to trip each other. Friendly fire kills. And we need all of us to finish strong!! We can not finish this fight alone.
  9. We are on a battleship not a cruise ship. Both are vessels that float on water. But their purposes are VERY different. Sometimes as Christians we dress ourselves in sundresses and sandals (spiritually speaking) when we should be in camoflauage and boots. It is time for us to get our gear on and prepare for battle!! God would never send us into battle without armor on. It is armor that we should be very familiar with.
  10. The helmet of salvation WILL save your life one day. Roman soldiers never forgot their helmets before going out to battle. The helmet protects your head and your mind. Most battles truly begin and end in the mind!! Every behavior we exhibit begins in our mind. Make sure your helmet of salvation is on. Just like Anna shared each night at campfire, the enemy wants to bombard us with lies and deception. But the key to take every thought captive!
  11. The next piece of armor is the breastplate of righteousness. Got any of those in your closet? Romans soldiers used those to protect the tender part of his body much like the bullet proof vest police officers use today. The breastplate protects vital organs including our hearts. If we are going to win any battle, our spiritual hearts must be protected. What are you putting into your heart?
  12. Next we are to put on a belt of truth. For the Romans soldiers, the belt was really important because it held the weapons that the soldier would need. Truth has a way of holding things in place. His truth must be our foundation if we are going to wage war against the enemy.
  13. During the times of combat, the enemy would launch arrows, not just arrows but arrows on fire, at the soldier. These flaming arrows could inflict serious damage but the Roman soldiers shield was leather soaked in water so that when the arrows hit the shield, it was extinguished. You and I have an enemy that throw flaming arrows at us and the only way we can extinguish them is by raising our shield of faith.
  14. Last year at Y-Shua, we came home as a body of Christ. This year, we came home as an army ready to win this fight of faith.

Do you want a revolution?

some quotes from a book that is sparking an "irresistible revolution"

"I asked participants who claimed to be "strong followers of Jesus" whether Jesus spent time with the poor. Nearly 80 percent said yes. Later in the survey, I sneaked in another question, I asked this same group of strong followers whether they spent time wit the poor, and less than 2 percent said they did. I learned a powerful lesson: We can admire and worship jesus without doing what he did. We can applaud what he preached and stood for without caring about the same things. We can adore his cross without taking up ours. I had come to see that the great tragedy of the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not KNOW the poor."

"But what had lasting significance were not the miracles themselves but Jesus' love. Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead, and a few years later, Lazarus died again. Jesus healed the sick, but eventually caught some other disease. He fed the ten thousands, and the next day they were hungry again. But we remember his love. It wasn't that Jesus healed a leper but that he touched a leper, because no one touched lepers."

"There are congregations on nearly every corner. I'm not sure we need more churches. What we need is a church. I say one church is better than fifty. I have tried to remove the plural form churches from my vocabulary, training myself to think of the church as Christ did, and as the early Christians did. The metaphors for her are always singular – a body, a bride. I heard one gospel preacher say it like this, as he really wound up and broke a sweat: "We've got to unite ourselves as one body. Because Jesus is coming back, and he's coming back for a bride not a harem."

"We try and make the world safe, knowing that the world will never be safe as long as millions live in poverty so a few can live as they wish."

"When the poor meet the rich, riches will have no meaning, And when the rich meet the poor, we will see poverty come to an end...falling in love with each other across class lines that will make the revolution irresistible."

"following Jesus is simple, but not easy. Love until it hurts, and then love more." - Mother Teresa

"The world has seen Christian extremists who will blow up abortion clinics and dance on the doctors' graves. We have seen Christian extremists who hold signs that say, "God hates fags." The world has seen Christian extremists who declare war in the name of the Lamb.But where are the Christian extremists for love and grace?"

"There is something scandalous about grace. It's almost embarrassing that God loves losers so much. It flies in the face of the world's myth of redemptive violence. No wonder the early Christians had such bad reputations and questionable credibility. No wonder they were called 'the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world,' as one of the leaders, a former murderer himself, wrote (1 Cor.4:13)"

"When we have new eyes, we can look into the eyes of those we don't even like and see the One we love. We can see God's image in everyone we encounter. As Henri Nouwen puts it, 'In the face of the oppressed I recognize my own face, and in the hands of the oppressor I recognize my own hands. Their flesh is my flesh, their blood is my blood, their pain is my pain, their smile is my smile.' We are made of the same dust. We cry the same tears. No one is beyond redemption. And we are free to imagine a revolution that sets both the oppressed and the oppressors free."