Hate & Love Come In All Forms ~

My husband came home last night and asked if I had heard of the riots that were going on in different states around the country.  I had intentionally decided to stay away from the news to focus on the tasks that were in front of me.  When he shared the synopsis, I turned on the tv to find an active shooter who had targeted, killed and wounded police officers, with a bomb in a parking garage in Dallas, TX.  My heart became heavy with a deep sadness. As I watched live as well as recorded video footage, I saw a multi-colored, peaceful protest frantically disbanded into a multi-colored police force protecting their city.  This situation was not about color or culture.  This was about good in a standoff with evil.

This morning I woke up to find out the latest reports through the news outlets, Periscope, and Facebook.  I was intrigued by all of the opinions and prayers I scrolled through on my IPhone.  One stood out to me among the rest.  It talked about the fear for the safety of a black family.  As I read the post, I related on a different level.  There was a fear for my family’s safety, but we are white.  I realized at that moment, that this wasn’t a battle against color.  Our country is fighting a battle against the dark forces of this fallen world.

You see, hate is able to come in all forms; within a police uniform, an american citizen, a teacher, a doctor, a mom with her child, a dad, a cleric, a government official, a neighbor, a family member, an employee, an employer, an organization, you get the picture.  I read about the black man being shot in front of his girlfriend and four year old by a white police officer.  What a horrific situation.  That poor mother and poor child.  The damage that was done to their eyes will forever be etched into their memories.  But I also read about the white officers who were trying to protect the innocent people who were protesting down the Dallas streets, doing what was right and good, being unrightfully targeted because of their color and killed.  The sniper didn’t know who they were, what their stories were, he just chose to be racist back.  I thought about their loved ones and how devastating and frightening that must have been for them to learn that the people they held so dear, who went to work everyday to protect their multi-cultural city, were killed in a senseless act of violence.  Both stories were unbelievable and unjust.

The focus of reconciliation and healing should be directed towards evil being brought to justice, instead of the color of our skin.  Hate is hate.  Love is love.  The bible says, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9.  It also says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

multi colored hands

Let us not judge people for what they look like on the outside.  Let us not judge people period.  Love comes in all forms too! What we need to do is love our enemies, love the unloveable, pray for justice and peace.  What would happen if we fought back with kindness.  What would happen if we replaced our fears with faith.  What would happen if we looked past our differences and embraced our similarities? Would these horrific stories fade away?  Would the news be filled with stories of hope, love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control?

I wonder…

Lara~

RESET

For the past couple of weeks I have been in a funk.  There are so many things in my life to be thankful for; however, I am finding myself melancholy most of the time.  It amazes me how our emotions can really take control of our minds and paralyze us.  Have you ever felt this way?  Instead of being proactive about my life’s situations, I have wanted to crawl back in bed and sleep.

I know this is not a healthy behavior and so I am wanting to get to the bottom of it!  Here are a few things I have been pondering lately that I wanted to share with you.

  1. I’ve allowed myself to get into unhealthy daily routines.  Instead of working out in the morning and taking a shower, I have instead scratched the working out part completely and waited until the middle of the day to get ready.  I have told myself and my husband that I am too tired in the mornings to work out and that our kids need me in the morning, hence I take care of their needs before my own.  This routined behavior has not been for my benefit or the benefit of my family.
  2. I’ve forgotten how I used to have fun before having kids.  This sounds awful I know, but it’s true.  I am 38 and my life has been consumed with meeting the needs of those around me instead of figuring out what I enjoy doing as well.  There was a day recently when I took my daughter out to have our nails manicured.  I NEVER do this!  It’s too much money. I could be using this money to buy clothes for the kids, etc.  But I have to tell you, it was a really nice experience.  We also took my husband out to go zip-lining for his birthday.  He asked me to go on it with him and the kids, but I chickened out and became the picture taking, items holding momma that watched from the sidelines, wishing I would have said yes.  I need to be more intentional about scheduling fun into my life.
  3. Water & Vitamins!  I didn’t realize how amazing water was until I found myself in the backseat of my car dizzy and dehydrated because I drank a huge cup of coffee and barely any water that day.  That one “little” episode cost my husband to come back to the church to drive me home, which put me in bed lethargic for three days!  That behavior cost me and my family a lot! I also had forgotten the importance of taking vitamins everyday.  Hey, I’m a busy homeschool mom, I don’t have time to remember everything on my “To Do” list!  Not a good enough answer!  When I was younger I didn’t need to think about taking vitamins.  The bouncing back rate was extremely high.  Now, I need to have a reality check. I am getting older.  My body is changing and it needs to be replenished with water and vitamins daily in order to function properly.
  4. Sleep.  Oh sleep, how I’ve longed to be in your arms all night long!  This has been a great struggle for me this past year.  Our sleeping environment is not the greatest right now.  Plus, again I’m not who I once was when I was in my 20s.  The biggest culprit for my sleep deprivation has been my cell phone.  If I can’t sleep, it’s like my phone is whispering into my ear, “Come check me out.  You can listen to podcasts, you can read the Bible, you can go on Facebook. I don’t care what you do as long as you look into my screen and wake up your brain!”  This bad habit has got to stop immediately!
  5. Spending more quality and quiet time with the Lord.  I do have times throughout the day when I am worshipping Him, reading His word, and praying, but I can do more.  I need to schedule alone times with God daily that are not on Periscope 😉  He is my Rock!  He is the manna I need in order to be nourished and refreshed.
  6. Lastly, trusting God COMPLETELY with EVERY detail of my life.  Ever time I do this, I feel His peace that surpasses all understanding.  Fear is a daily struggle for me that loves to come and torment my emotions, but trusting in God dispels ALL fear!

I knew I needed to write a new blog post, but I was stuck until I decided to be completely honest and transparent with where I am finding myself right now.  Today is a new day!  I made myself workout (I hated every minute of it), take a shower, had lots of water, and took my vitamins.  I do have a bag of caramel popcorn right beside me that I have been chomping on (baby steps), but I feel better moving a few steps forward in the right direction.

No matter where we are in life, there are times when we will somehow get into a rut like I have, not knowing how we got there or how to get out.  Thankfully, our lives are made up of seasons and marathons, not snow storms and sprints.  God is so gracious to give us do-overs every 24 hours to start again.  I am committed to moving myself in the right direction. Please hold me accountable.  If you are going through the same thing right now, you are not alone.  Please let me know and I will be praying for you, encouraging you to keep moving forward towards joy, peace, hope and love.

God Bless,

Lara

 

 

Spirit of the Lord

Spirit Of The Lord

c2013 Lara Marriott

Spirit of the Lord You are welcome here

Spirit of the Lord You are welcome here

Come in wisdom, knowledge, counsel, and grace

Fall on us as a burning flame

We are waiting

We are waiting

Spirit of the Lord You are welcome here

Spirit of the Lord cast out every fear

Come in glory, healing power, and strength

As we choose to follow Your great Name

We need You now

Bowing down and broken, oh we’re broken before You

We’re crying out

Come and move in us with Your love

We need You now

Bowing down and broken, oh we’re broken before You

We’re crying out

Come and move in us with Your love

Spirit of the Lord You are welcome here

Spirit of the Lord You are welcome here

Lara ~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

Song Requests from Periscope

I am a HUGE Periscoper!  I LOVE IT!  I get to meet and talk with people from all around the world about all sorts of things that I love.  One of them being “Worship.”  On Tuesday of last week I did a broadcast asking my viewers for worship song requests. Oh boy, I didn’t realize that there were a total of 27 worship songs!  My job now is to go and listen to all of them and learn them so I can Periscope another broadcast leading worship with those specific requested songs.  It will probably take me 4 broadcasts to share them all, but I am excited!!

Here is the list of songs if you are interested.  I want to encourage you to go and listen and learn them to and then follow me on Periscope so when I do my Worship Times you can join in and sing your heart out right alongside me!

Worship Song List:

  1. I Will Follow – Chris Tomlin
  2. Why Me Lord – Kris Kristofferson
  3. The Anthem – Jesus Culture
  4. Lift Your Head Weary Sinner – Crowder
  5. Where I Belong – Building 429
  6. Shout To The Lord – Darlene Zschech
  7. Oceans – Hillsong
  8. In The Presence of Jehovah
  9. Revelation Song – Kari Jobe
  10. Indescribable – Chris Tomlin
  11. No Other Name – Joel Houston
  12. Jesus I Come – Elevation Worship
  13. Closer Than You Know – Joel Houston
  14. Holy Ground
  15. You Will Never Run – Rend Collective
  16. I’d Rather Have Jesus
  17. I’m On The Battlefield
  18. What A Day That Will Be
  19. Sweet Victory In Jesus
  20. I Bless Your Name
  21. Victory Is Mine
  22. Steady Heart – Steffany Gretsinger
  23. Come As You Are – Crowder
  24. Blessed Redeemer
  25. Up Calvary’s Mountain
  26. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
  27. You’re Beautiful – Phil Wickam

ENJOY!

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

Finding Time In The Mess To Worship~

I Periscoped some worship time with some news about my husband’s and my Facebook page called, “Not Just Sunday.”  You will be able to find encouragement, ideas, and ways of growing deeper in worship not just for Sunday’s but for everyday, developing a lifestyle of worship!  I hope you’ll join us!

https://www.periscope.tv/w/aOc_7jExOTQ0NzZ8MVlxS0RXbHFtRG94VlHRHf-sp8JHH1obuNLgdaP6vM57JeQBdaJ5Jj2dwjry

 

Lara ~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

Holy Spirit Summit

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Today is the 1st Official Periscope Summit in New York City.  It is being broadcast right now as I write this.  All of the famous periscopers are giving their keynote talks as the heightened excitement continues to drive the historic event.  As this was going on this morning, I was simultaneously leading my Jesus Calling DevoScope and we got on the topic of the Holy Spirit.

It is my hope and great passion to see Christ-Followers get excited again about their relationship with the Holy Spirit.  I want to see His power and authority take over our lives in such a way that there will be an epic Holy Spirit Summit of awakening that will happen around the world, illuminating the darkness, leading a great revival in God’s people as well as bring many people to salvation.  I want to see this movement periscoped by thousands!!  This would be the greatest summit I could ever be apart of!!

Here is the link to the “Jesus Calling Devotional” from this morning.

http://katch.me/embed/v/cf2d70d3-e329-3a7a-99a6-c3012ff2a7aa?sync=1

Holy Spirit come and make Your home in our hearts.  Change us from the inside-out.  Show Your Glory and Light!!  It is time!!

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

Periscope Bible Q&A (part 2) –

I don’t know if you have heard of the new live streaming app called, “Periscope” yet, but I have been leading daily bible studies on it at 6:30am P/T, going through the “Jesus Calling” devotional. Well, because it broadcasts globally to anyone who wants to join in, I have had a few people ask some amazing questions about God, Jesus, and why I(we) believe in Jesus. During our study time, others can tweet responses, questions, and prayer requests that we all can read and reply too. I don’t usually have time to try and answer some of the questions, so I am using my blog as a tool to do so. Usually, my husband (who is a worship pastor and who is currently taking Theology in University) helps me answer the questions, but he hasn’t been able to, so I am going to try my best to answer them. Please, feel free to comment or add to these answers if you think I missed anything. =)

Questions: (for Amin)

What is the meaning of worship?
– The meaning of worship is to give honor, reverence, and adoration to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. It is a way to thank Him for all that He has done and has yet to do. It aligns our hearts with His.

What has God done for you?
– God has given me the assurance of knowing that He is with me by showing Himself to me in very specific and personal ways. He has helped me be more peaceful, than angry; more bold, than fearful; more faith-full, than uncertain. He has blessed me abundantly.

What is the reason when a kid is born with flaws?
– It is because of sin that we are flawed. In the beginning when God made creation He rested and looked at what He had made and called it “good.” All of creation was once perfect in His sight. However, humans were given the freedom to choose. Unfortunately, through the first man and woman, we chose our way, instead of following God’s way. Because of their choice, everything was cursed by sin. That is why there is suffering, heartache, unfairness, flaws, etc. But, there is hope! Jesus, is coming back again to make things right and to bring justice to the world. Through Him, we will be saved from the curse of sin. In heaven, everything will be restored and we will be able to walk with the Lord just like Adam and Eve did in the garden in the beginning. All we have to do is give our lives over to Him and believe Jesus is the Son of God.

Why do we have to live with flaws?
– A good read would be the book of Job. There are probably many different reasons why. Only God knows the specific reasons. Sometimes, they are used to teach us something. Sometimes, God can use them to draw us closer to Him. Sometimes, there is no logical reason. It says in the bible, it rains on the good and the bad. We live in an imperfect world. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.” Thankfully, through Jesus, there is hope.

So you believe in heaven and hell?
– Yes. Why? Because, the God who loves me and whom I love talks about heaven and hell in the bible. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt there is good and there is evil. They are always at war with each other all around us. That is obvious. So to think there is a heaven and a hell isn’t that difficult for me to believe.

Who will go to heaven?
– Jesus said in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 3:16 says, “For God loved the world so much, that He gave His one and only Son. That whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.” So, those who believe in Jesus and ask Him into their hearts will go to heaven to be with Him forever.

So if I believe in Jesus I will go to heaven? Even when I do something wrong? So I will do whatever I want like killing and raping and believing in Jesus and so then I will go to heaven.
– Yes, If you believe in Jesus with a humbled, reverent heart, asking Him to come inside you and help you through your life, you will go to heaven and be saved. You will be covered with His grace. You will still mess up and make mistakes, but His Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth and will help to transform you so that you won’t have any desire to do something that is not aligned with His heart, like killing or raping.

Who defines the good thing and the bad thing?
– God is the standard. He is Love. He is all good. “There is no one (man or woman) who is good, not even one.” Psalm 14:2-3

So how can I contact God?
– By just talking with Him as if He was one of your friends. Even though we cannot see Him we can see the effects of what He is doing. He is Spirit. So when we call out to Him, He will be there. Psalm 139

The Bible is for 2015?
– Yes! The Bible is the inspired word of God. It has been applicable and relevant all throughout history for the Jews and now including the gentiles (all those who are not Jewish). God can and has used the bible to guide and direct our steps in many different ways. I was reading in Colossians the other day and the Apostle Paul told the church he was writing to, to share his letter with the other churches. The Bible was intended to be shared all over the world.

Other people with other beliefs will go to hell?
– There are many people who strive to be good people. God is Sovereign and knows each of our hearts. Jesus said He was the way, the truth, and the life. He was the only way to get to the Father. He became the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Remember, because of the choice we made back in the beginning to do our own thing, we were cursed to die as a result of our sinful choice. Well, Jesus took that punishment that we deserved upon himself when He came to this earth. He was the only one who could have done it because he was without sin. He was fully God and fully man. He died a criminal’s death to break the curse over us and give us the gift of freedom from that bondage and to allow us to freely live life to the fullest; the way God intended. We no longer have to strive to be good and to do good in order to be with God. Through the grace of Jesus, we get immediate access with the God of the Universe. No more striving in our own effort, just the acceptance of His abundant grace. This is good news! He is the only one who deserves all the glory, honor and praise.

How do you know that the Bible is not modified?
– Great question! (I wish my husband was available to help me out on this one) One of the ways we know that the bible was not modified is to look at the archeological evidence that is out there, for example, the Dead Sea Scrolls were written thousands of years ago and when those books in the bible that were preserved, were lined up with our current bible it showed the accuracy to be in the 90th percentile. That is very impressive!! We can also see how the bible has stood the test of time throughout the centuries. Now, there are translations that are known to have modified the text somewhat to make it more current in tone, such as, the Message Bible. I believe they call that one a Paraphrase Bible. But for the most part, the bible is the most unchanged sacred text in all of history.

What will happen in heaven?
– Philippians 3:20-21 says, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (NIV)”

Revelation 21:1-4 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away … I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God … And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (NIV)

So when there is no crying how can we define happiness?
– Happiness is defined as being in God’s Presence. There was no crying in the garden of Eden when the first man and woman walked the earth. Why? Because they got to be in fellowship with God daily.

Without war, what is the meaning of peace?
– The meaning of peace is what God intended for His creation in the beginning. He is a God of Peace. Jesus was called the “Prince of Peace.” War doesn’t bring about peace, it reminds us that we have a longing for peace and we can find that peace through Jesus.

Questions 5/19

Do you believe in the supernatural?
– Yes

What are your thoughts on the new revival and the great awakening?
– I have had a passion for years of another great revival happening where God’s people will wake up and get excited for His coming again and that many, many more people will come to know Jesus as their Savior.

Can signs and wonders happen for everyday, regular people
– Yes, I was healed as a child. I have family testimonies of amazing supernatural signs happening for them in their time of need. I have personally been rocked by God’s supernatural power. I am totally an everyday, regular person too! =)

Do you think anyone is really the “chosen ones”
– This is just my opinion. No matter what your take is on this, most of us will probably see each other in heaven. But, for me personally, I believe God saw all who were going to chose Him, yet He still gave us the choice to choose. Jesus died for all.

Muslims, Jews, etc all believe they are the chosen ones. Once you have that many who believe that it is not as special anymore
– The one thing that believing in Jesus has that none of the other religions believe is “grace.” You can’t earn your way to God. Because of the unconditional love that Jesus showed and because I have personally been transformed by His loving grace, my faith and relationship with Him is the most special possession I have.

Great, great questions!! I hope these answers helped. Hopefully, I will be able to find some of my pastor friends to help me out. =) These questions are helping me grow in my faith too! Looking forward to hearing more and learning from you all too.

Blessings,

Lara ~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes