Monday, April 28, 2014

5 Ways to Worship God...Besides Singing, of Course.



Singing....Singing is my passion and a fun gift that God has given me and so many of you. I get to do it every Sunday, leading in worship at Logos Community Church, but really, I do it all through the day...in worship...and just in fun...super loud...and soft and hummy (Josh's favorite. Josh's nemesis.). Ask my family. They'll tell you how annoying I can be. (Wink.) 

When I sing to my LORD, I feel such a closeness to Him. It's definitely my favorite mode of communication and way to praise Him. It feels like a special part of my relationship with Him, but it is not the most important part! It is just one part. One day, I may not be able to sing...for whatever reason. This can't be the only way I worship Him. I have to offer Him praise in other ways...1) because He deserves more than just singing from me...and...2) because I would be missing out on a lot of sanctification and on the massive blessings of knowing Him in other ways...and...3) because I want a relationship with him that is 10-dimensional! What's amazing and humbling is that He wants a 10-dimensional relationship with me!...with us!

If it helps you to put these "Ways to Worship" in your calendar, for different times of the day, then you should. Usually, if we're reminded to do something enough times, it will, at least, come to mind more often.
I want worshiping Him to come to mind more often. You?

1. Praise Him for his goodness.

He shows us His goodness in times when everything is going right, by allowing us to have peace and by allowing us to get into His Word and spend more time with Him with more straight-up worship of Him and who He is. This is also a great time to grow as much as we can, knowing that there will be future sufferings. We must know the TRUTH aka scripture before we go into battle...We've got to Arm Ourselves!
He shows us His goodness when we're in times of suffering, in that He allows us to go through difficult times, because He knows that our lives and hearts will be changed because of it. He knows that His goodness and His mercy and His grace will be so much more evident to us when we are in need...and that He'll receive more and more glory through our every praise to Him.

2. Speak the name of Jesus, because there is power in it.
       
There is power in His name. JESUS has been given all authority over heaven and earth (Phil. 2:9-11 ..."the name that is above every name"...). In His name, great things have been done and will be done. 
Also, say his name during a conversation today. I guarantee that someone will have a surprised or awkward look on their face...or start staring at you like you've got a big ol' booger hangin' out your nose. When we say the name of Jesus, people will either praise Him with you or they will be slightly, if not completely, offended. 
People have many gods, so people are comfortable with the term "God", but Jesus...that's a whole other thing. The fact is that we're called, as followers of Christ, to TALK ABOUT HIM. When we talk about Jesus, He is made more famous!!

Word of mouth...the best.

3. Pray.

Pray to Him in the morning when you wake up. Pray for people you know who are hurting. Pray for those you love. Pray against the works of the enemy. Pray to be open to the Holy Spirit, to let Him work in your heart and to lead you where He wants you. Pray that you will be effective for His heavenly kingdom.  
He wants to hear from you. He loves you. Do you want to hear from your loved one today (husband/child/sister/boyfriend/mother/father)? How about Jesus? Is He truly your loved one? If He isn't, why isn't he? If my husband ignored me all day, I'd be sad. I wouldn't feel very loved by Him. Does Jesus feel ignored by you?

Talk to and listen to Him today.

4. Remember and tell of His great works.

Recount all of His wonderful deeds (Psalm 9:1) and make them known among the people (Psalm 105:1). He has done so many great things and deserves all glory, honor, and praise. Remember these stories of grace and redemption and then tell others about what God has done...in restoring broken marriages, in His healing of people, in opening barren wombs, in His provision for those in need, in his bringing families together. When people hear of his works and see how He loves, they just might wanna know this Jesus...to have hope in Him, to receive grace from Him, to know His Love!

5. Have joy in Him.

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.  Isaiah 12:3

When we have joy in our hearts, because of our relationship with Jesus, we are full...full of life. When you received salvation, did you have joy? How could we not?! Receiving salvation from the One who is never empty, the One whose well will never run dry, gives joy. We can keep on and keep on drawing life from the never ending well, if we have joy in Him! Because...He is the LIVING WATER.

The joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) He makes us strong when we have joy in Him. Whenever I'm dealing with a rough situation, if I have joy in the LORD, I have hope, no matter how difficult the time or how wonderful the time. Our joy in Him isn't necessarily a happiness, but is more like knowing that He is our hope in everything and so, we can rest in that! We can rejoice in His great faithfulness! He is always faithful...forever faithful. I don't know about you, but...
My joy can ABOUND in a faithful God.
Knowing that someone (especially a perfect God) loves me, goes with me, will never leave me, nor forsake me, makes me feel filled and whole.

Take SO MUCH JOY in Him today!!

Worship of God is DAILY...not when we're feeling desperate for some "God time" on Sunday. Don't just GIVE him some of your time.
Your time belongs to God already. It is His.
What will you do with His time today?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter's Over. Now What?

Guest Blog by Pastor Josh Stockel / my super cool husband
(Initially posted on www.logoscommunity.com)

Easter is exciting isn’t it? I mean think about all the craziness around Easter. Americans buy more candy on this holiday than any other. Churches are giving away free cars and BBQ’s are blazing in almost every backyard and park, not to mention, the Easter Bunny has visited every home to deliver plastic eggs and marshmallow Peeps. It’s an amazing time we all celebrate and my family is no exception.
Now the truth of Easter is that we are celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Sin and death could not keep him in the grave. Jesus laid down His life on the cross on Friday and was raised to life on Sunday! This is truly why we celebrate and I’m working hard to understand that myself and teach it to my kids.
So now it’s Monday….

Easter Sunday has come and gone…. Now what?


As a believer, we spend a lot of time studying, praying, reading, and preparing for this huge Easter weekend. If you are a part of Christian ministry, you spend months preparing for this event but when it ends, what are we suppose to do then?
Church, this was the same question that the first disciples had to figure out as well.  In Acts 1, Jesus ascends into heaven and two angels appear to address the disciples as they stare up into the sky.
Acts 1:10-11 “And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’”
Jesus rose from death to life, he revealed himself to his disciples, and then he ascended. He went back to be with the Father who, as scripture says, “made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places.” Jesus was no longer walking among them and they had to begin a new chapter.
The Holy Spirit Filled Them
Before anything really began, the disciples were given the gift of the Holy Spirit who would lead them into all knowledge, truth, and good works. They were empowered to make disciples, lay hands on the sick, and preach the gospel boldly.  We, too, have been given the Holy Spirit and its time for US to look to Him for empowerment to make disciples, lay hands on the sick, and proclaim the gospel boldly. We, too, are part of the bride of Christ, the Royal Priesthood, the ministry of reconciliation through the blood of Jesus and the power of the Spirit! Its time to trust in the Lord and watch amazing Kingdom things happen!
They Proclaimed the Gospel & Walked in Good Works
In Matthew 28, Jesus gives his disciples their mission: to make disciples, baptize, and teach. And this is exactly what they began to do. Peter has his repentance sermon on the mount, the disciples heal in the streets, and the church EXPLODES!! Thousands are coming to salvation!! What an amazing time! You see men and women sharing the gospel and souls being saved and then these new followers of Jesus begin to live life in community. Does this sound familiar??
Church, this is our same call. Easter has come and gone and now it is time to look around and begin to share the gospel. Its time to walk in humility and live lives of holiness, not perfection. Its time to love and care for those around us who are lost and hurting.  This was Jesus’ desire for His followers as He ascended into heaven, that they would continue the work He not only began but completed on the cross:  the salvation of sinners across boundaries, cultures, races, and socio-economic groups. He desires us to make disciples, be unified, and be prepared for His second coming. Lets get to work and see what happens.

_________


Lets pray the biggest prayers of our life.


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Lets finally speak to those neighbors across the street.


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Lets finally share with our coworkers that we follow Jesus, even if that casts us out of the inner work circle.


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Lets trust the Spirit’s leading and make much of Jesus and see Him build His kingdom.


_________


Who knows what might happen… It’s Monday.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Our Stockeleaster Sunday

What a long and wonderful day! I got up so dang early to grab a Earl Grey with honey and steamed half n half with Ms. Kerrie before our early call time for a little band warm up at Logos Community Church. So glad we did though! It was delicious. A good way to start our Easter Sunday!
A little band...then, Josh showed up with my precious babies, all of them looking sooooooooo freaking cute, including my hubs! He definitely gets credit for having them all looking great...in spite of a completely backwards romper on Addison and no bow on my baby...they were still lookin' good.
Dads...listen...TRYING is where it's at. That goes for all husbands! We appreciate it like nobody's business.



Lexibug and my beautiful grandma (her great-grandma), BJ after our Easter service:)

We got to worship Jesus together yesterday, as His church, for coming back to life after three days of willingly being dead. Death had no hold on Jesus and so we will not be bound by it either. We can live in eternity with Him, because he paid for it all! He took all the suffering that I SO deserve for every act of sin I have committed and will commit....for yours too! He deserves all of our praise and worship for what he did on the cross. It seriously blesses my soul when I get to hear God's people praising his name with their voices on Sunday...every Sunday. It really does feel like a snippet of what Heaven must be like! Getting to hear everyone singing in one direction (which happens to be in our direction)is huge...and so special...loud...and beautiful. It's not to us. To His name be the glory.

After church, we got together with some family and friends at our casa and had a little BBQ chicken, corn on the cob, baked beans, jalapeno poppers (a staple at EVERY RGV bbq...gutted and halved jalapenos with cream cheese in the middle and bacon wrapped around them)...not to mention the delicious things other people brought! (Thank you Anthony for your delicious little key lime pies, and Christie for your deviled eggs and salsa/chips!) We eat REeeeAL GOOD here in the Valley. I'm jus' sayin'.



After we ate, we did some spoon egg races with the kids and no Easter Sunday Celebration would be complete in the Valley without Confetti Eggs aka Cascarones! We may have had a few real egg "incidents" too.



And Bear...he looks like he hasn't been into a thing, except for his mouth gives him away. I mean...please....the cuteness!



So, after all this fun and craziness, cleanup, and getting kids into bed, Josh, nor I, wanted to cook, so I had him pick up some Taqueria El Zarape tacos...charro beans and all. And it was SOOOOO good while we vegged and watched a show. It was nice, so nice.

I love getting to celebrate such a special day with such special people!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

What Kind of Friend Are You?
















Ugh.      Suffering.     Suffering sucks.
We have all been through seasons of it. Other seasons are ones of blessing and in those, we have opportunity to prepare for our future sufferings.

Some of my friends are suffering right now...intensely...in different ways. They are hurting...some physically some emotionally...some both. I hurt for them. My hurt for them, you will see, is of God.

I'm going to go ahead and admit that I am not full of compassion for others. I want to be compassionate, but it's definitely not a strength of mine...at least, it hasn't been. I absolutely have had moments of it in my life (obviously works of God in me) for a hurting friend or family member, but just in general, I wouldn't describe myself as a compassionate person. But, I'm a Christian. I'm supposed to be!
FAIL. But, isn't that the point?! I fail. I fail badly.
But...Jesus is perfect!! The Holy Spirit in me moves in my soul to do things I can't move it to do.
Jesus IS compassionate.
He cares about us and knows the pain that we all experience at times. In fact...
He laid down His life for us.
Jesus is a friend to sinners. So dang...He's definitely a friend to me.


Jesus said in John 15:12-14...

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 
You are my friends if you do what I command you.


We so often think of "laying down our lives" for another as dying....maybe dying to protect someone. It can certainly mean that, but it isn't very likely many of us will ever have to do that. I was reading these verses recently and I realized that elsewhere in the Bible, when it talks about us "dying" to ourselves (Galatians 2:20) and considering others more significant than ourselves (Phil 2:3), it's really talking about us putting others needs before our own self-interest, so these verses about laying down my life for my friends are not only about, literally, physically, dying for them. They're also about dying to myself for the needs of others. If there is no greater love than this, I want to follow in the footsteps of my Jesus.
We have to put our own desires to death to live for the desires of the King. 

Right now, through the suffering of my friends, the Lord is strengthening His compassion within me. He is teaching me how to love and serve those in need. I love these women and hate seeing them suffer. I have been blessed to see the body of Christ (the church) step up to care for them in different ways (caring for kids/taking meals/keeping company/giving counsel/encouraging/running errands for them/advocating for them). I want to be available to serve however he will allow. I want to have great love for these ladies...laying myself down for their good.
I want to be a good friend. Jesus in me has been bringing about love for others, compassion for others, and a desire to die to myself for others, but wow...the Holy Spirit has SO much work to do in my heart, but I'm so grateful He is working on this weakness and giving me clear opportunity.


Do you love you friends? 
Do you lay down your life for your friends? 
Do you have good friends?

...things to consider?...things to change?

Maybe you are a good friend! Maybe you readily put your desires to death and serve others. Then, the question for you is...Do you let your friends love you when you're in need?



In John 15:14 (above), Jesus said...

You are my friends if you do what I command you.

I want to be a friend of Jesus!!!



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Big Thank You

When I thought about starting a blog, I immediately went to this girl!
This is Kerrie Williams from Life on a Mission blog, which, by the way, I highly recommend.

Life On a Mission

PLUS, she's my super sweet friend and band mate at church! She showed up in (I think:) November 2013 at Logos Community Church, where our family attends and serves, and where my husband pastors. She and I connected the first Sunday she was there and she has quickly become one of my very close friends. God opened up doors for her and her husband, Wade, to plug into community unusually fast...seriously fast...she was in the band a few weeks later. THAT is unusual...but has worked out so well in this case! She has a fab voice and I loooove me some duet time with this lady. In fact, I need more!!!




















Kerrie and Wade are living their lives on a mission in Mexico to share the Gospel. They live state-side 4 days out of the week, and in a colonia (a residential area along the TX-MX border that may lack some of the most basic living necessities, such as portable water and sewer systerms, electricity, paved roads, and safe and sanitary housing) 3 days out of the week. They spend time with the families living around them and find ways to serve, love, and just be part of the community there. On top of that, they just built a house for a family nearby!
Um. Yes. I just said they built a house.

They pretty much love Jesus, see needs, and meet them as they can. They have such open hearts to people in need, as we all should, but often close ourselves off to. I just so appreciate their example of how to love like Jesus loves. In fact, I absolutely look up to them in that!

Kerrie offers some great scripture prints and also does blog design, so if you're needing any help in that, let her know! I'm just sayin'...she did my blog design and I'm gonna go ahead and just say it...it's gorgeous! I Loooove it!

Thank you so much KW!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

What is Stockel Haus?

Stockel Haus is home...the one God has given me.
This is the name that stuck for our family home, wherever it may be. For the time being, we're in South Texas...on the border. You probably didn't even know we exist here in the Rio Grande Valley.!



Hey!...Hi!...we do!



Just so you know who's writing...

I'm in my early 30's and I'm enjoying my life right where I am. I'm married and have 3 kids, lead worship, and sell Scentsy. I'm about to start homeschooling my oldest. Whhhaaaaat? I can't ever believe I'm going to do that. Eek.
I'm also a hairstylist for friends...and friends of friends (I did this in a salon before I had kids:). I definitely have lots of opportunity to let my creative side out.

I am married to a super-fun, loving, man, who is the most helpful husband I can really imagine. Very often, he's putting my needs and wants before his own desires.
He is a pastor at Logos Community Church. He has seriously good analogies for everything. He rides a scooter, but would be too happy to drive a monster truck to work every day. PS I love that I'm considering riding a scooter one of the good things, since scooters are not the coolest of all things cool.
So, he also likes electronic music and he mixes up his sayings ALL the time....like a lot. So, he's not perfection, but then, I'm gonna go ahead and admit that I'm not either;)
You'll definitely hear from him at some point. I am so grateful for what Jesus has done in Josh's heart and life. He is one of the greatest blessings of my life!

I have three, little kids, Addison, Barrett, and Lexi. They are one of the biggest calls on my life right now. I love them so much. When I'm with them, I want to enjoy them and their cuteness...I need to do this more! They're precious, little beings. I want to bring them up in the ways of the LORD. I want to teach them that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. I want them to know as much as I can teach them about the good news of Jesus Christ. I, ultimately, want them to follow him. I pray for this almost every day. I want to encourage, nurture, train, and feed them well. I want to show them how I love their Daddy. I want to teach them to care about people and to be generous...to show them these things. I want to be affectionate with them often! By his grace, I might be able to do some of this well!

Most importantly, I love Jesus. I am proud to love him and follow him the best I can. I absolutely love his grace! It's the only thing that keeps me going, because I screw up all the time...seriously...every day. I don't claim to be anything good, except in his grace. In it, I can be a good wife, a good mother, a good worship leader, a good singer, a good blogger.
I can do nothing good apart from Him!


If you want to hear more about my story, check out my About Me  page or my Overcoming Adultery page.