This simple Life

1/27/2009 Estreitta de Kluetz 0 Comments

Last weekend, I decided to watch a PBS documentary by Ken Burns about the Shakers (1985) on Netflix. The Shakers are well known for the song "Simple Gifts" and enthusiastic style of Worship during the late 1700s and early 1800s. It was an amazing movement that touched the the lives of 200,000 people. They took a vow of celibacy and spent their time in prayer, farming and inventing kewl things such as the wheel driven washing machine and the circular saw. To read more visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakers.

Although I think they were a little legalistic and had some major doctrinal issues, i totally appreciate their commitment to live a Holy and righteous lifestyle. There was even a great revival in the Appalacian mountains that the Shakers had been involved with during the early 1800's.

They lived a very simple life and yet they pursued God earnestly. What they did was Radical. They lived communally, took in abandoned orphans, and took a vow of celebacy. I love the fact that they were passionate about their faith that they were willing to give up everything for God. While I don't think their many of methods are totally biblical, I think the legacy they have left with our country and even Christianity is something to be admired.

How many people do we know that are so dedicated to their convictions that they are willing to give up and change their a cushy lifestyle for one of simplicity and pursuit of God?

I can count on both hands the few friends I know that have stepped out in faith to become missionaries, ministers and pastors.

I think that a lot of the problems we see in our country and world is that we have (Christians and non-Christians) such a desire for bigger and better and latest and greatest.

Bigger houses with Bigger Mortgage (some pay $3500+ a month not including utilities), Bigger car with Bigger Car payment (some pay $500+ per month not including insurance), Bigger TV with Cable, DVR, Blue Ray/DVD Player (TV's depending on size range from $800 to $4000 not including the monthly electricity, cable bill and blue Ray/dvd rentals or purchases). Latest cell phone with all the bells and whistles (About 300 bucks for the phone then the service fees can be as high at 250 a month)

Seriously why are we spending our money and time on these frivolous things? I get caught up shopping for stuff I don't need all the time while racking up my creidt card bill I just recently paid off.

Why can't we live a simple life and save, store up and support the Church to help advance the kingdom of God. If a catastophic disaster ever happened would we be prepared?

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I have wondered what things in my own life I can do to cut the fluff out of our lives. As things start to get worse and we hear the news of more companies going bankrupt and laying off of thousands of employees, we need to think about what minor changes in our lives to help advance the kingdom. People are scared, weary and searching for hope. Many are putting their hope in the Obama Administration, but We as beleivers need to keep our Hope and Faith in Christ.

Isn't the body of Christ supposed to offer hope, peace and love and point them to the simple yet profound message of Jesus, the saviour of the world?

Simple Gifts
Simple Gifts was written by Shaker Elder Joseph Brackett, Jr. in 1848. It was first published in The Gift to be Simple: Shaker Rituals and Songs. Simple Gifts was a work song sung by the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing (more commonly called the Shakers, an offshoot of the Quakers).

Verse
'Tis the gift to be simple,'tis the gift to be free,

'tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,

And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

It will be in the valley of love and delight.


Refrain:
When true simplicity is gained,

To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed.

To turn, turn will be our delight,

'Til by turning, turning we come round right

Verse
'Tis the gift to be loved and that love to return,

'Tis the gift to be taught and a richer gift to learn,

And when we expect of others what we try to live each day,

Then we'll all live together and we'll all learn to say,

Verse
'Tis the gift to have friends and a true friend to be,

'Tis the gift to think of others not to only think of "me",

And when we hear what others really think and really feel,

Then we'll all live together with a love that is real.

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Expanding beyond our limits

1/05/2009 Estreitta de Kluetz 1 Comments


Philippians 3:14 (Amplified Bible)
I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.

So much has changed and so much is different than where i was at a year ago.

Nothing really makes you realize that you are alive until when you are faced with your own mortality. October 28 marked the 1 yr anniversary of my first lumpectomy. Then January marks the anniversary 8 weeks worth of radiation began.

Last year, Erik and I were still looking for a Church, now we have been regularly attending Shady Grove Church in Grand Prairie Texas for over 6 months now. There we have been building friendships and it has been good to be connected again with a great body of believers who are truly passionate for the Lord. We have started making new friends and connecting with a great group of people.

Last year I was working 40-50 hrs a week for a Construction company in Fort Worth. Now I am working on figuring out what is next for me. Erik and I are in the beginning stages of starting a
Worship band (click the link to see our craigslist ad). We hope to get started soon and we are starting to meet with people over the next week or so. We are really excited about How God has been expanding and increasing our vision for worship.

For 2008, God impressed on us that it was the Year of Rekindling. Rekindling dreams and visions. For 2009, we feel the Lord impressing on us that this is the Year of Expansion and Increase. We believe God wants us to expand and increase our vision and continue to step out in faith in areas that we haven't before.

In December, Erik and I attended Fire by Night Worship Service at Convergence Church in Fort Worth, Texas. The presence of the Lord was so strong. During the Service, Pastor Steve gave us the following word from the Lord (if you'd like to hear it
Click here otherwise read below)


“You’re a Catalyst in this Region
God’s given you influence
He’s given you authority
He’s given you favor
He’s opening doors in front of you.

This couple back here…

God’s opening Doors for you
It’s a time of Favor in your Life, there’s increase
And you have begun to see it as the end of this year has been opening up
Early in the year was a very very difficult time through the middle of the year
Then here at the end of the year some things have begun to break
And God has begun to open things up for you
And there is tremendous favor on you
There’s a creativity on you on both of you
And both of you are just shining with the favor of God
And there is promotion for you guys in the Spirit
There’s increase
New avenues of provision that are set up for you
I believe in the First and Second Quarter of 2009
And we just bless you

I see on you my sister here
There is a prophetic anointing on your life
There’s this creative prophetic thing that God has put on you
And it is going to be breaking forth even more
And you are like a boredom destroyer (everyone begins to laugh here)
If you go into a place where there’s black and white
And it’s dull it ain’t staying that way once you got there
It’s coming to Life, God loves that about you
And That has been on you all of your life
But there’s an ability right now it’s like your capacity to impart that has increased
The level of influence in your life
Because I feel like you guys both passed a test in this year
I so there is a definite increase on you

And I see on you sir, a mantle of wisdom
There is wise counsel that is stored upon you
There’s a teaching anointing that has been on you all of your life
Even when you were a little kid, you were going around teaching people how to do things
‘And here’s how you do it, here’s how you play with this toy’
I mean some people didn’t even like it (everyone begins to laugh here)
But there is a teaching anointing
And a Wisdom that is going to come forth on you in a greater way
And I see God [giving] you wisdom on how to put numbers together for this season
And you are going to have that wisdom on you for your personal life and your family
And I see it going beyond your family
The wisdom of numbers like falling into place
I see like columns of numbers and things really coming into place for you
And I see like these numbers are really wet and they are very anointed
So I believe there is a fresh anointing on you in that area
There is something that God is doing in the first part of 2009 in your family
It’s like God is giving a fresh stirring of the Spirit of God
And it’s like the things that you that you guys have pressed through this year
Is causing a drawing on your family line
Increase, so you need to be on the looking for Kingdom Increase on your Family as you come into 2009

Father we bless this couple in the Name of Jesus Amen!”

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Radical for Christ

1/02/2009 Estreitta de Kluetz 0 Comments

On my way home from Church on New Years Eve, I was thinking about when I was a young teenager in Youth Group and my Youth Pastor, Dave would encourage us all the time to be Radical for Christ. I believe Dave was teaching us to be true followers of Christ that went against the grain of the ways of the world and man that it was seen as Radical.



And As a Young teenage Girl I did my best to be Radical for Christ.  I created a Bible Club called Students As Living Testimonies (SALT), I would share my faith with everyone I came in contact with, I prayed at the Flag Pole every Monday Morning before school whether I was alone or with a few.  I used to be called a "Bible Thumper"  a nickname i proudly wore.  I was't ashamed when It came to Talking about Jesus.  When friends at school were going through anything like family stuff or relationship stuff, they would come to me for prayer and encouragement.  If Friends were struggling with areas of sin and compromise, I would call them on it and also Pray for them dilegently.

I remember I wrote this LONG Prayer list and posted it above my bed so I could read the list and Pray before I went to Sleep. But somewhere along the way my Radicalness for Christ quieted down.

I am not sure if it was because I went to a Christian College or not but something changed when I was in college for me. A friend from college commented to me once that it embarrased them that I always talk about God when I was in public places.  I wasn't aware that I did that but I maybe became more self conscience about it and my Radicalness for Christ slowly stopped Showing.

I think as we get older we start to care more about what others think about us more than Serving God and Sharing God's Love to the Lost. We get so busy with Life that we allow ourselves to become not only stagnant but also irrelevant. When that happends our Faith becomes something "personal" and we start to slink into being more comfortable, safe and tolerant of things, that if we were "Radical Believers" I don't think would be so "open" to things we know does not align its self to the word of God.


Jesus was Radical. He stirred the pot amongst religious Jews and yet would talk to, pray for, heal and restore the person that everyone thought was a sinner, low-life or unimportant. We as believers are Called to Live out our lives Radically as Christ Did.

When I chose to quit my Job to pursue God more and seek his direction for my life this August, It kinda was the first "radical" Thing I've done since High school.  I am looking forward to makeing More Radical Choices  for Christ in 2009, Will you Join me?

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