Two Things We Need To Be Proactive

armor of God
As some of you know, I’ve been leading a Life Group using Jennie Allen’s Restless material. Briefly, it is a study on finding your gifts and talents and weaving them together for God’s purpose. I find myself asking this question to these fifteen women - What are you going to do next with your assignment, your gifting as we get closer to digging into the meat of this study?

Will you do what others have done throughout their life and wait for things to happen?

Will you be proactive instead of inactive?

I don’t know, only they do.

Only we know ourselves.

I believe today’s complacency is tomorrows captivity.

Sitting on the sidelines waiting for things to happen cannot happen any longer. We cannot be a people that are looking for the pat on the back from our peers, but are looking to fight for something bigger than ourselves.

Even with today’s ISIS situation and another beheading, we can no longer have a “kumbaya” Christianity. We must be Christ-followers that are ready to fight an enemy. There is a war out there that is fighting against Truth, God’s Word, Holiness and Righteousness.

Jeremy Courtney is someone who is one of the most knowledgeable on this issue of ISIS, Iraq, Islam and Christianity. I urge you to take some time and read some of his posts. He knows there is a spiritual battle going on and how important it is for us as Christian to be proactive. We can pray, we can give, we can fast; there are things we can be doing to help.

But, that’s not the question. The question was what are you going to do next with your assignment?

You have three choices:

Be Proactive Be Reactive Be Inactive

The devil likes the last two!

Two Things We Need To Be Proactive

Walk around with people who will arm you for battle, not pat you on the back. I can say in my entire Christian walk I have learned more from sitting across the table with someone who I look up to or am mentored by. You may say I don’t have anyone that I can talk to or that can encourage me. Begin to pray. Ask God to bring people into your life who can be mentoring voices. Chances are God has already brought someone into your life that’s ready to be a voice of wisdom and encouragement. Pray for eyes to see.

Stop treating the Word of God as a butter knife. The Word is not to butter you up, but to produce a faith in you that is unstoppable. Most of us have heard the verse from Psalm 119:105 - Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. God's Word illuminates. It reveals to us the good and the bad, the wise and the unwise. It is the greatest tool in learning how to live the best possible life, free from the restraints of stumbling in darkness. God's Word is truth, plain and simple. We can have perfect confidence in the fact that His words are accurate and true. When followed, they guide us without fail in the paths that we need to walk. Sometimes though in our comfortable Christianity, in our feel-good churches, we forget what we hold in are hands.

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. -  Hebrews 4:12

A sword.

Growing up in church a lot of us heard the song - Armor of God. Unlike all other pieces of the armor of God, which are solely defensive, the sword is uniquely suited for both defensive and offensive roles. A solid defense is invaluable, but the sword is the only way we can complete the work we have been given to do. We become proactive.

sword of the spirit

Swords are used for close combat, not long-range warfare.

The Romans relied in part on invading their enemy from a distance with javelins and darts, but God does not give us that option as Christian soldiers. If we were able to fight our battles from a distance, we would never experience an actual trial.

Paul only lists one weapon because we only need one weapon: There is no enemy the Word of God, coupled with His Spirit, cannot defeat. And so, armed only with our sword, we step out to fight our enemies head-on. The struggle is real. It is immediate, and it is in front of us.

Our future in God's Kingdom is on the line, and we take up the battle so that we may hold fast to the future He has promised us as we become proactive in our assignments.

So take up your sword because butter is bad for your heart anyway!

God Promises Hope For Your Future Despite the Pain Of Your Past

God works all things together for good. You were created for a purpose.

God has a plan for your life.

Do you believe these promises or doubt them?

Do you find yourself doing both sometimes?

 

ashamed of the past

For many of us, we have been knocked down and for some we can get back up and continue to walk in confidence that God will see us through. For others it takes awhile.

We doubt our purpose. We doubt God’s plan for our life. Yet, over time we find this incredible strength in Him.

God wants to heal the pain of our pasts and use what we have experienced to pave the way to His plans for our future. It’s when we are in the midst of the pain when we ask God – why did this happen?

It’s in the moments that we draw near to Him, a love that surpasses all understanding, sweeping in and a redeeming love takes place.

[Tweet "God wants us to live in the promises of tomorrow despite the pain of our past."]

Why?

Because He knows our past and the pain of it leads us to His plans and our hope in Him for our future.

Some of you, like me, have been through the process. You know that your past does not define who you are today. It may be steps that define your future, but God’s grace has been sufficient.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners - Isaiah 61:1

This verse is incredible in that we find four types of people God sent His Son Jesus for - the brokenhearted, the captive, the prisoner and the darkness.

(So here goes some honest moments)

What is your brokenhearted place? For me it was my family. I had so much hurt and hate in my heart as a young girl only to find myself broken wanting to remove myself from the world because life wasn’t worth living if I didn’t have a family that didn’t love me. I hated life. I hated me.

Webster’s dictionary defines captive as someone who has been taken prisoner. What is or was that thing that keeps you bound? Is it a secret you haven’t told your husband? Is it an addiction you can’t seem to quit? For me it was bad decisions in my past. Going through those brokenhearted places I found myself making decisions that weren’t nine times out of ten the right ones. Oh boy was the devil good at reminding me of that.

Maybe you are a prisoner in your own cell. I was a prisoner of failure. I hated to fail. I hated to lose. I grew up playing sports and there was nothing more than winning. Winning championships, winning the title, winning the position - failure was not an option. Then when you feel like you fail in this thing called marriage with one already failed, you are afraid to fail again. Or when you have children and you are afraid they might feel the same way you did growing up about you. You become a prisoner.

What about darkness? What kind of darkness are you living in? What secret are you hiding? Maybe like me you lived feeling dirty and ugly about yourself. Ashamed as a child because you had a secret that you could tell no one. It feels like a dark cloud over you and yet you’re scared to say anything because you’re afraid of what others might think.

I lived these for so long.

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God - Isaiah 61:2

But just like God remembered Noah, He remembered me (yet, I realized He never forgot me).

I picked myself up out of that pit of self-pity and began to proclaim the favor of God over my life.

You can begin to do the same.

You will begin to see that despite the circumstances, you believe and are confident in knowing that you are who God says you are. That His redeeming love removes all the lies, the bitterness and anger of the people or things that have hurt us. You begin to see what he talks about in the last part of verse 2 of how vengeance instead becomes a place where you look at the devil and say bring it. Let’s fight this fight because we already know who wins and with God on our side nothing is impossible.

What darkness or shame are you fighting? Have you talked to someone about it? I want to pray for you!

Things The Devil Hates

Tried and tried and to no avail the 20 minute video was stuck in YouTube. It took 2.5 days to upload and at 4am Wednesday morning I should have our first interview with Vanessa Maddoux posted and ready to encourage others. I got up at 6am to copy and paste the YouTube embed code and instead the video was processed 95% and was stuck there for hours. Long story short, we will be airing the interview next Wednesday on August 27th. I am still reloading the videos now as I type this after editing down some more and splitting it to two videos. (Pray this does it!)

Here is one thing I have learned – when you step out and do that thing that God has put on your heart; you better expect an attack from the enemy. As I have shared with you before, I purposely wanted to take pieces of Wednesday Wisdom and interview people that are doing amazing things for God. People that may have a small platform but serve a big King. Men and women that are out there in the world serving and loving others, building homes, or digging water wells. I didn’t want it to be the same people we see out there with large platforms or big blogs, I want it to be about the person serving the one, meeting the need with little resources, and that have faith that moves mountains, which seems hard to find in the Christian-sphere unless you follow the 5 or 6 that are.

We need more people; we need hundreds, if not thousands, talking about Jesus and His Word. We need people that begin to challenge who we are in Christ, challenge us to grow, to mature, not serve babies milk all the time, but can serve a well-cooked piece of meat. Meat that leaves us chewing for days, meat that keeps us full only to go back and refill ourselves when we are empty all while pointing us to Christ.

When a message is that good, the devil will do anything he can to stop it.

This interview is good. It is inspiring and filled with hope.

Things the devil hates.

But my God is BIGGER!

We will get this video up. We will get this video seen by those He wants it to be seen by.

This video will touch those that want to be a part of a ministry.

Who knows what these videos will look like in the weeks to come. I have interviews coming for the next few months. It may change to The Beyond Brave Show or something like that. I don’t know, but God does and I’m just asking Him to continue to order my steps through it all.

So look out devil, you may have won the battle, but you will not win the war!

He Just Wants Us

There are days when you feel overwhelmed and not quite sure of some things. Your faith is strong, but you wonder if it’s enough. For me, I know I need to get alone with God. I need to seek His voice during those times. So what do I do? I always love to take walks. I talk out loud, pray out loud, and listen silently as awkward as it may look to the neighbors driving by.

Walk with God

Something that came out of those words was, “God, what do you need me to do for you today?” then I asked myself, “Or is it what do you want me to do for you today?”

Then in His still small voice, He let me have it.

“See, I don’t need anyone to do something for me. I fulfill my own needs, because I am the need-filler. But, give me someone who wants to do something for me. That has a want; a desire to fulfill Me is who I am looking for, what I am looking for.

God is looking for someone ready, willing, and able.

Someone that wants God.

Someone that God can use because you want Him too.

Sometimes our needs become so much greater than our wants because our desires or passions in life get covered up by our needs.

Mortgage, utilities, kids clothes, cars, car insurance (especially for 4 teens) and on and on.

God's Mail

But didn’t God say that he even feeds the birds?

That He knows your needs before you even know them.

birds

I think God gets tired of us asking for our needs and He just wants us. He just wants our wants. He is a smart God. Why would He write a Book to remind us of His promises and yet doubt them at the same time? He says, He will fulfill your needs, do you believe Him? He longs for your wants for Him to be greater than your needs.

He wants your mind in Him, not the need

I promise you that God wants all of you without the worry, without the doubt, without the fear and just you.

We could easily ask God “What do you have for me to do for you today?” revising the question and I think God refreshes from both. He then breathes a sigh-of-relief with a smile on His face gently saying:

“Here is someone ready, willing and able.”

Then watch what happens next.

How To Have Friends That Believe In You

christian friendships
Yesterday in church I was sitting in service observing the people around me. Some were mothers, grandmothers, husbands, wives, widows, singles, families and friends. It made me think of those of whom are in my life that are next to me spiritually. Peers in the Lord. People God has brought in my life to help me live in accountability and to help sharpen me in my walk with the Lord through the years. It reminds me of the story of Paul and Timothy. How Paul had told Timothy to “run with the righteous, those who were pursuing God out of a pure heart.” Timothy needed Godly peers. People that he could live out his Faith with. Paul also encouraged him to “flee youthly lusts, leave those things that were not of God and pursue God” – the key was not to do it alone.

In my own life, I consider myself fortunate to have a few that I can relate and walk with. We challenge and encourage each other.

I want to inspire you today to find others whom God has put in your life to run next to them. Maybe you, yourself, are fortunate to have those people around you. There was a time in my life that I didn’t. I felt alone and didn’t know where to turn or what circle I was going to fit into. What did I do to change all that?

I prayed.

I asked God to bring me friends. To help me find friends that He wanted in my life.

Plain and simple.

There is nothing better when you are running a marathon or, in my case recently, learning to write calligraphy than to have someone who believes in you, who is there for you and who is helping you to run or write at your best. It is certainly true in our spiritual life too. God has called people to come along side us. And if you were like me wondering where they are or where to find them, all you have to do is ask.

As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend – Proverbs 27:17

We Tend To Get In The Way Of God

This week I want to challenge you with something that is so simple…write a letter. But not just any letter, I want to challenge you to write a letter thanking God for your future AS IF you are already there living it. Write a letter thanking Him for prosperity, health, promotion, productivity and the pleasures of life. Tell Him how grateful you are for the accomplishment(s) that have come forth. Make it as vivid and tangible as you can. The more you place yourself in this conceivable future and live life AS IF you were already there, with humility and gratitude of course, the more likely you are to rewire who you are and the goals you set for yourself.

Thank You Letter
Thank You Letter

I see so many times other people take on tasks or make decisions that affect their future only to find themselves going backwards in life or delaying the journey God has them on. They then question as to why they are where they are or why did it take so long to get there.

We tend to get in the way of our own selves.

By writing a Thank You letter to God with all the plans and visions we have of ourselves AS IF we are already there, will keep us focused on those tasks and decisions that we make.

pie
pie

For example, I love to bake pies and there were times a few years ago that I would have loved to have opened up a pie shop. Now, who knows I could open up a pie shop because I have an entrepreneurial spirit and love to start successful businesses. I also know that it may only be a piece of the puzzle that God has for my life (Read my About page to find out a little more). We just have to be careful that WE don’t get in the way of WHERE God has us to go.

Me getting in the way of me.

To refocus, we now have a letter that reminds us of our life AS IF we are already there. It helps us in our decision making process. Where we can look at this letter and say Yes to something that is going to move us in the direction towards those accomplishments or No because it will cause our eyes to be off the prize.

The prize being Jesus Christ.

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. Ephesians 1:18 NIV

Here are two AS IF key points:

1. Prayer – When we say the word prayer, it sounds at times so formal to me. The kind of prayer I’m talking about is the ones that you’re alone in your car and you begin to have a conversation with God. Now, the driver next to you might think you’re crazy but it’s likely you’ll never see him again. Whether in the car, cleaning the house, or cooking dinner, God longs to talk with you, to have a conversation with you. He wants to tell you your AS IF moments.

2. Reading His Word – The Bible is so rich with stories of successes, tragedies and triumphs. We can learn from Solomon, the wisest king that walked this earth and a great business man. We can learn from Abraham, David, Joseph, Jonah, Ruth, Esther, and all the disciples and how God made something out of nothing in each one of them. We can read all the books out there and gain knowledge and insight from each one, but I know that if I don’t have the Word in me, I wouldn’t be able to fight the fights I have fought, have discernment when I need to say No instead of Yes, or have prayed prayers that took Scriptures to remind me that I have a hope and a future in Him.

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans 15:4 NIV

What if we begin to see ourselves living AS IF and act as if we are already there? What if we begin seeking God in prayer and scripture to find our future?

Share with us your future AS IF you are already there.

God Keeps His Promises

I love falling in love with God’s Word.  I encourage you to read, study, listen and see God work in your situation. Monday, we talked about our faith in God.  Today, I want to look a little further into His promises.

We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. - Hebrews 6:12 NIV

God has given each of us a promise over and above the promises he gives us. For instance, He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deut 31:8) or my God shall supply all my needs (Philippians 4:19) but He put in each of a promise or what some say is a calling or a purpose.

We need two things to inherit these promises – faith and patience.

Each of these producing for each other maturity in our walk with Him. Patience matures faith and faith matures patience.

A perfect example of this is Abraham.  Abraham had to endure with patience and faith to inherit his promise. Abraham is known as a friend of God (James 2:23). To be someone’s friend you have to know them.  You have to know their likes and dislikes, what makes them happy and sad.  God knew Abraham and Abraham knew God.

When you know Him you don’t doubt His promises. During trials or circumstances, your faith should build up because you know God and how He keeps His promises.

So many times I have seen God fill our bank account with our daily bread (need). I’ve seen and heard testimonies of children coming back home from a life of hell and misery or women that sold themselves as objects of affection to find the one true Love.

promises

Like we talked about Monday, God created you, He knitted you together.  It’s as though He was saying - this is who you were, this is who she is, and this is who she will be.  Understand you that have received Christ in your heart and may have forgotten Him, know that He never leaves you because of His oath, His promise.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. – Deuteronomy 31:6

He wants to pull you out of your pit, love on you and become your friend.  The question is – will you let Him?

An Unstoppable Promise

When you study the lives of those in the Bible, do you every wonder how they did it? How did they have so much faith to climb out of the boat, to fight an army, to build an arc, to kill a giant, or to die on a Cross? How?

Faith in Him.

But not only did they have faith, they had a promise.  A promise that God would never leave them nor forsake them (Deut. 31:6).  Where He makes a way where there seems to be no way (Isaiah 43:19) That God causes all things to work together to those that love Him, to those called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Each of us has a promise; a purpose that God put in us.

See, we ask Him, “Lord, what am I to do? What have you called me to do?” Yet in His very Word He says,

I [He] also brought me up out of a horrible pit,

Out of the miry clay,

And set my feet upon a rock,

And established my steps.

Psalm 40:2

You need to know that your purpose, your call, was already established in you.  Maybe you were pulled out of a horrible pit of sin and you don’t know how to do this "Christian" thing or maybe you’ve been a Christian so long, yet you don’t know what truly God has put you on this earth to do.

Know that you have a promise that was already established in you when you we created in your mother’s womb.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; - Jeremiah 1:5

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. - Psalm 139:13

This is when our faith needs to be awakened. Where the journey from the Authoring of faith to the Finishing of our faith matures (Hebrews 12:2).

And when it matures we have a faith that is unstoppable.

A faith that moves mountains (Matthew 17:20).

A faith where our steps become ordered, therefore, ordering your steps to be all that He has called you to be (Psalm 37:23).

And sometimes in those steps may come delays or trials, yet we find our answers not in books or listening to podcasts (not that those are all wrong) but we have to begin to look for our answers in His Word.

I promise you this is where you find your answers; this is where you will find your revelation in your circumstance, in your situation.

It’s in these moments of desperation we find our revelation and it’s in that moment our faith grows bigger than before.

promise

And when you mature in this knowledge of who He is, you begin to have a faith in what He says.

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

 

Tell Your Story

storyIt’s time for us women to rise up in 2014.  It’s time for us women to take hold of our dreams and make them a reality.  It’s time for us women to not only listen but to apply what we hear. 2013 was a great year.  We saw new voices come out all over the country.  We read new books that inspired and encouraged us.  We also saw old names cast new vision. But, I believe 2014 is going to be a year of our story.  From these stories will be boldness and freshness from the typical blog post, the traditional memoir written or conference spoken.  This year, I believe, will be the year new faces and a new message will be given.

Without sounding to “Christianese”, we need more women telling the truth as it is then “sugar-coating” what we think is only acceptable.  Let’s not complain about why there were not more women at a conference then men and instead plow through the barriers with our message, our stories.  Stories change people.  They change lives and if you are a writer, a speaker or even a reader of this today, isn’t that what the goal should be anyway?

This year I want to be like the women in Matthew 8:1-3.  I want to be like Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Susanna.  These were women that ministered along Jesus and His disciples.  They went along the cities and villages telling their stories. Using the sins of their past and the healing of their bodies as words to inspire those listening.  Changing lives and pointing them to the one that has the best Message of all.  This year let’s not be ashamed of who we are or what we believe in.  Let’s make 2014 the year where our story can change a life of one or many.

What is your story?

Fighting Depression this Winter

springI wanted to write a quick post on what is on my heart today.

How many of you are ready for the sun to come out with some warmer temperatures? I know I am.

There are some that are dealing with depression around this time of year.  The days are shorter and its seems as though all we have been doing lately is staying indoors because of the cold arctic temperatures.  For so many this can lead into depression.

I remember when the kids were little and days like today seemed to never end.  You would get up, make breakfast, clean the house, keep the kids in one place, usually the toy room because you can’t go outside with four little ones under 2 1/2 in negative degree weather, make lunch, dinner, clean the house, have a conversation with your husband when he gets home from work as you try not to be jealous that he gets adult conversation all day, put the kids to bed, put yourself in bed and do it all over again the next day and the next day and the next day.

I remember those days and can I just be honest….

I HATED IT!! (Don't judge me :-( )

Cold weather, dark skies, holidays are over, family is thousands of miles away, and you’ve turned into a hermit.

Or maybe you’re depressed this winter because you’re worried about money which means you can’t go anywhere or do anything,  you’re overwhelmed, feeling left out because all your friends on instagram are going places and doing things while your home with the kids sipping your fourth cup of hot chocolate.

So today I want to encourage you with this:

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

In those times you feel alone, He is with you.

In those times you feel as though this season will never end, He is with you.

In those times you feel as though you can’t go another day, He is with you.

But there is a promise in that verse – I will strengthen you and help you

Believe it.

Know it.

Let it pierce those feelings of sadness and depression.

Allow Him to bring you joy and hope for the season of sunshine that comes ahead.

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

How We Can Show Love in 2014

This week will begin our annual Christmas baking and then the kids are out of school for the next two weeks.  I’ve made a list of cookies the girls and I will be baking:

  1.  Snowballs (my favorite)
  2. Sugar Cookies (saving these for the family to decorate)
  3. Snickerdoodles
  4. Peanut Butter Kisses
  5. Rice Krispy Peanut Butter Balls
  6. Christmas Fudge
  7. White Chocolate Fudge

It seems like a lot but with a family of six, neighbors, and friends, I love to spread a little of His Love this time of year.

This will be my last blog post for 2013 as I enjoy some family time.  I want to leave you with these 3 thoughts that have been on my heart as we enter into 2014:

1. Your children are your ministry.

Let me say it again, your children are your ministry.  I have met so many women with young kids (under 13) that wonder what God has put them on this earth to do and sadly, their ministry is right in front of them, their children.  I don’t ever want to be the mom that my daughter is in a friend’s driveway in tears as she is in her twenties having a family of her own wishing that her mom was there for her when she needed her as a child and later on as a teenager.  That even in her twenties she still struggles connecting with her mom. That my daughter continues talking in the driveway to her friend and asks her friend “why is it that people call on my mom for advice? Telling me she’s such an incredible mentor in their lives, but as her daughter I can say I don’t know that women you are talking about.  I really wish I did because she sounds amazing”. (True story)

I had an great friend of mine that is in a season of enjoying her grandbabies and has an incredible ministry that goes all over the world.  We had breakfast a few days ago and I asked her, “do you remember telling me 5-6 years ago that your family, your children are your ministry?” She said, “Yes”. “Remember how I sat across from you and wanted to travel with you and preach the gospel and tell my story to women and you stopped me and told me your kids must be your priority”. I told her that it was the best advice I’ve ever received.

So I tell you the same thing.  You only have your children for such a short time.  When I was raising 4 babies under 2 ½ years old it seemed as though the time wasn’t going fast enough.  That my identity of who I was was lost.  That I was forever going to be changing diapers and wiping snotty noses.  Then they were in elementary and I thought I couldn’t shout from the rooftop “Hallelujah!” loud enough. Freedom.  Elementary turned into Middle School where awkwardness and the hurts of finding true friends.  Now it’s High School and figuring out what colleges they want to go to.  I am so thankful that God has trusted Jose and me to raise these kids to be mighty men and women for Christ.  That we can give our children back to God as they come of age and tell God that our hope is that we put everything in them that you asked of us.  That we used every measure of what you gave us to use as parents.

For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. – Romans 12:3

love

I can’t imagine now that if I followed my own ambitions, my own thought of what I thought God was calling me to do, that I would have so much “measure” left over; love, patience, faith, hope.

When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. - 1 Corinthians 13:11-13

 2. Success is not a bad thing

John Bevere in his book Relentless says, “God desires to call you great in His sight (Luke 1:15). He is for you and no one wants your success in life more than God Himself.” Let me add that He wants the one He put in you, not the one you create for yourself.

The Bible says He is the Author and Finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2).  He knows your end from your beginning (Isaiah 46:10).  Then my question is why are we trying to change our success story?  We dabble in this and dabble in that trying to find our way.

Changing courses; changing directions.

forest

When all along if we would just have surrendered our success to God it would have been so much easier (speaking from experience).  When I find myself wandering in the wilderness, not sure of what direction to go, I find my head wrestling with my heart. {Tweet This}  In those moments is when I lay my wants and desires before Him leaving them with my words changed to only wanting those desires and wants He has for me (1 Peter 5:7).  Success isn’t a bad thing, but it must be the one He intended us to have.

3. Write for the one

In 2014, I encourage those of you that are bloggers, writers, and speakers to not just look at your platform as a mass multiplication of numbers, but to begin speaking life into the one.  When you write, write as though you are writing to the woman sitting on the other side of the screen asking God “where are you”? When you speak, speak as though you are speaking to the one anxiously waiting to go back to the hotel room where she can taste the alcohol that washes all her hurts and sorrows away.

In 2014, let’s begin speaking to the Ones.

The ones that are on a brink of divorce and become another statistic of a failed marriage.

The ones that are sitting in a closet crying in fear, screaming at God, please Lord, don’t let him do this to me again.

The ones that have had their innocence taken as a child and have lost trust in those that are supposed to protect her yet longs to be loved.

harvest

I challenge you to begin speaking life.  Show more of God in your writing.  Speak words that pierce the heart of those in the room.  Tell the world how great God is through your stories.  Show God’s Love in it all.  Love is War and showing it is a battle we must be willing to fight.  Are you ready?

"Love Is War" – Hillsong United

In Your justice and Your mercy

Heaven walked the broken road

Here to fight this sinner's battle

Here to make my fall Your own

 

Turn my eyes to see Your face

As all my fears surrender

Hold my heart within this grace

Where burden turns to wonder

 

I will fight to follow

I will fight for love

Throw my life forever

To the triumph of the Son

 

Let Your love be my companion

In the war against my pride

Long to break all vain obsession

Till You're all that I desire

 

Turn my eyes to see Your face

As all my fears surrender

Hold my heart within this grace

Where burden turns to wonder

 

I will fight to follow

I will fight for love

Throw my life forever

To the triumph of the Son

 

And I know Your love has won it all

You took the fall

To embrace my sorrows

I know You took the fight

You came and died but the grave was borrowed

I know You stood again

So I can stand with a life to follow

In the light of Your name

 

Turn my eyes to see Your face

As all my fears surrender

Hold my heart within this grace

Where burden turns to wonder

 

I will fight to follow

I will fight for love

Throw my life forever

To the triumph of the Son

 

And I know Your love has won it all

You took the fall

To embrace my sorrows

I know You took the fight

You came and died but the grave was borrowed

I know You stood again

So I can stand with a life to follow

In the light of Your name

Mary Wasn't Told the Whole Story

Christmas is upon us. It’s the time of year we reflect on who Jesus is as we celebrate His birth. December is filled with 30 days of remembering our incredible Savior that came upon this earth from the Virgin Mary. He was born in a stable and put in a manger.  They named Him Emmanuel, God with us, obeying the angel that visited Joseph in a dream.

I can take this blog post and talk about how we should be in constant communion with Him 365 days of the year.  I can discuss the beautiful name of Emmanuel and how God truly is with us.  But, my mind dwells on Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Mary birthed a child in what generations today think is so young; she was between 14-16 years of age.  To have an angel, Gabriel, visit you and tell you not only have you found favor with God but that you will also birth a son who will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High (Luke 1:26-38). She had purpose; she had a plan.

But God didn’t share with her the rest of the story that night.  Where her son would be mocked and spat on.  Where he would be tempted and tried yet without sin. Where her son would endure blood stains and walk the Via Dolorosa.  Where He would be nailed to a cross for the worlds sins; generations after generations.

JesusHe didn’t tell her that part.

I’m glad He didn’t.

Any mother would not want the pain and suffering for any child, let alone their own, that her son would have to endure.

The next few days leading to Christmas, I want to talk with you more about Mary.  Let’s talk about her bravery and sacrifice she made as a mother.  How she had to let go and let God.  Grab your mom friends and let’s talk about this one-of-a-kind mother who made the ultimate sacrifice.

What does the birth of Jesus mean to you? When you think of Mary, what do you think about?

Become Brave in Your Faith

faith[quote]1 Peter 5:5-7 – All of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.[/quote] I love that last part of verse 7, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

As some of you know, I am in the midst of transitioning from an Executive full-time job to being obedient to the future.  I was talking with a friend of mine that I actually miss depending on God. What I mean when I say that is I miss Him feeling in the voids when it comes to our finances.  I miss those moments of sweet embrace knowing that God saw us through yet again.

I know, crazy, but I do. Especially looking back.

Why?

Because I had total and complete dependence on Him and not a paycheck. As scary or unknown the future looked like, I knew He was in complete control of our future.

Now don’t get me wrong. If we are in a position that we need to work to provide for our family, to put food on the table and a roof over our heads, then that is what we need to do and God honors that.

I’m talking about when you know God has put a desire in your heart that you know is what truly you are supposed to be doing, but depend more on the stability of knowing what is constant in your life instead of having the might (Isaiah 11:2) to take a step and trust Him to be your constant.

It’s as to imagine that God put something inside you, a calling, a gift, a story and you put it to the side.  You say to yourself, I’m just going to put it over here because I know this paycheck, this food binge, this prescription, whatever it is I need, allows me to know that everything is OK.

When we do this we disappoint Him.  God wants us to see Him bigger than that paycheck, that food binge, that prescription.  He is the Author and Finisher of our faith.  Not faith in the tangible but in the intangible.

[box]Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1[/box]

Today, I want to talk about 1 Peter 5:7. God says to cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.  I love what John Bevere said in his book Relentless.  He talks about as moms and dads we have a natural tendency to provide for our family.  To put food on our tables or take them to the doctors for good reports. Those are natural tendencies of being a provider.  John then explains how the word of 1 Peter 5:7 becomes active when we allow that natural provision to become a weight and how we need to put those cares upon Him. He says it this way, “to provide for my family was a valid and godly concern. However, if I had made this care my top priority, I would never have stepped out in obedience to God. That concern or care would have been the weight that would have greatly hindered my race."

Did you catch that?

How many want to finish their race with no weight, no concern, but a trust in Him to help you finish the race?

[box]Hebrews 12:1 (NLT) - let us strip off every weight that slows us down…. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.[/box]

If you are in that place where you’re not quite sure what your next step in life is or where to go from where you are, know you’re not alone.  My hope is that this has nudged you or served as a reminder to stay faithful to His desires. We may not understand all that's going on or wonder what's next; just know that you serve a God that is faithful and if God be for me, who can be against me.

What can I pray for you during your journey?

 

Weekend Siesta

It’s been a cold and rainy week here in Nashville so I’ve been cozying up with some of these greats: Blog Posts

On Being Divisive | Rachel Held Evans shot this eye-opening post this week and raised a few eyebrows along with it. You go girl!

Come to Christmas at the Farm | Ann Voskamp I’m thinking of getting some girls together in Nashville during her webcast. Who wants to be a part? Think about having one in your area.

Books

Relentless | John Bevere I can’t say anything more about it but that everyone should have this in their library.  I should be finishing it up this weekend.

Photo

Linda Seidler and I have been meeting on Twitter for over 2 years.  She came in for the Leading and Loving It conference in Nashville and we had a great conversation over Thai.  This right here is one of things as to what Social Media is all about.

linda

Thought for the Week

[box]Courage is contagious. When a brave man (or woman) takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened. - Billy Graham[/box]

We Need More of the Brave

braveThe Baptist got it going on!

From churches to conferences, it seems everyone is a Baptist.

I don’t think you can step into any Christian bookstore anymore and find more than half of all authors from the Baptist church. Then these incredible conferences they offer. I mean seriously who can beat their speaker lineups.  Dang, it makes me want to become a Baptist only so I can start speaking with them!

Now don’t get me wrong, we moved to Tennessee from Colorado and I was born and raised in California, so the West is in my blood.  When this girl moved to the South, let’s just say I learned quickly how many Baptist and Church of Christ churches there were. Then to hear about all the programs they have, missions work they do and amazing conferences, my husband and I were jealous wishing our denomination would stop and learn some things from them. I’m simply stating what so many of us Charismatic, Pentecostal, Holy Ghost people in the South are wanting to say, but don’t.

I grew up AG (Assembly of God) where we went to church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night and where mom and dad had a home bible study during the week.  Church was a way of life for me.  Seeing people go to the altar, tears falling down their faces, asking Jesus into their heart.  Where if you wanted to receive the Holy Spirit that it wasn’t an automatic through water baptism but through, possibly, someone praying with you to ask the Holy Spirit to come into your life and the way you knew you “got it” was a language that no one could understand but God Himself.

I grew up in tent revivals, around Azusa Street believers, Kenneth Copeland and going to college at Oral Roberts University.

I was saved, sanctified and set free.

So I guess my question is - is where are all those speakers?

Those that dare take a chance to stir people’s hearts, their spirits.

Where are they?

Those that are not ashamed to point people to Jesus not just through their actions but their words?

Where are they?

Those that are not afraid to ask from the platform “Do you know Jesus?” and pray with them as though it is just the two of you in that room.

Where are they?

Those speakers and writers that challenge you to look in the mirror and see how God see’s you.  Maybe it’s beautiful, maybe it’s messy and dirty, but the message that has been delivered has you running to the altars wanting to have it all washed away.

We need more writers that are brave; that won’t hold back and allow God’s hand to control the pen as they write. - Tweet that!

We need more speakers that won’t sugar coat things with 5 steps to how to organize whatever it is we are organizing that week. We need voices that will challenge us and inspire us; that leave us with an encounter of God serving us Meat and Potatoes versus Milk and Cookies.

So where are they?

I’m not talking about those that have screamed their heads off getting their point across wanting us to say Amen! after every sentence or the one’s in the mountains that are handling snakes. I’m talking about those that when I read their writing or hear them speak, I begin to ask myself what is it that they have that I want?  People that are living it, loving it and leading it.  One’s that take the focus off of them and gives all honor to God.

Where are they?

I believe they’re out there.  I believe God has each one of them pointed out for “such a time as this” moments. I think in the behind-the-scenes, God is allowing us to have a good time.  Getting fat and sassy in the pews, sipping our coffee, meeting people we have never met before.

Then God will begin to ask us, no matter what denomination, “What have you done with your time that I have given you for Me?” Then we look around and tell Him that we are making a huge impact because I mean “Lord, have you seen all the followers I have and the retweets.  I mean, man, I’m telling some really good stuff here.”

What if He asked again, “But what did you do for Me with the time that I gave you here on earth?”  One might say, "well I read every blog post that I subscribed to and made sure I left a comment on each one to inspire them to continue on their journey."

But then His Holy Spirit asks the same question differently, “What did you do for Me? Did you obey me when I told you to hand that mom a $20 bill because you knew how expensive twins were and you offered to pay for her diapers? Did you pray with that woman that I asked you to pray with that just needed a reminder that I hear her prayers?  What about the time your restaurant bill was $2.50 and you had a $5 and a $10 and I told you to give her the $10 and she looked at you with tears in her eyes as though that $10 was like a $100 for her?”

See, it’s not about how many followers we have or the conferences we attend or speak at nor the blogs we may read or write.  It’s about what we do with what we have been given.

I couldn’t do life without the Holy Spirit; I need to hear from Him daily.  I love having conversations everywhere I go with Him. No, I’m not crazy because in each of those situations I gave a little bit ago; I walked through each one and let me say this…It Was Awesome.

What is it…showing Love.  Showing the love of Jesus by being His “physical” hands and feet. Those are the moments that God created us for.

Yes, I’m a God-fearing, Bible- thumping, tongue-talking woman but I’m not crazy.  It’s just my beliefs may be different than yours and yours may be different than mine and that’s OK.  The Holy Spirit may operate differently for you then He does for me, but what binds us together are the three things He has asked all of us to do - go out make disciples, follow Him and to show His love to others.

You just have to be willing to let His Holy Spirit set up each encounter and become brave.

[box]

Galatians 5:13  For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

“We should be more concerned with reaching the lost than pampering the saved.”― David McGee

“The best measure of a spiritual life is not its ecstasies but its obedience.”― Oswald Chambers

[/box]

 

This Story is Messing Me Up

I am on my third go around reading Pursuing Justice by Ken Wytsma.  It’s an incredible book and one you need to put on your reading list before 2013 comes to a close. Ken talks about a friend of his named Erin and how she is living an example of how the best way to find happiness isn’t to chase it…it’s to give your life away to others.

This is why I love Erin’s story.  Erin is smart, articulate, and energetic, and for ten years she worked for high-end golf resorts.

Cough…cough!!

Yep…me too Erin.  Maybe not a resort but a private Country Club.

Ken goes on to talk about Erin was living the American Dream: a promising career, growing paychecks, and the time and money to chase her favorite sports and hobbies. She was comfortable and safe.

Cough…cough!!

Yep…me to Erin.

The story goes on about Erin getting involved in her church and how she was asked to come on staff in the intern program they had there as a full-time job mentoring college students. No benefits and no pay.

Ken then talks about Erin hearing a sermon about faith – about how we don’t really need faith and can’t understand it until we literally have no idea what’s supposed to happen next.

She became convinced God was asking her something: Are you willing to walk away from the American Dream and live My dream instead? Are you willing to live by faith?

The next day she resigned from her job.

Cough…cough.

Ok, I’m not young and single.  In fact you know I’ll be turning 40 in a couple of weeks.  My husband and I have been beautifully married for 15 years and have 4 teenagers (we truly are God’s favorite because He has shown us His sense of humor giving us these kiddos!). So many of you know we will be facing cars, car insurance, college tuitions, etc. and like Erin, I’m comfortable and safe.  Comfortable and safe knowing between Jose and I we got it covered.

Wait did I say we got it covered?

It seems I forgot the most important part…Jesus.

We can’t do anything without Him!

See Erin, I went back to work almost 3 years ago now because of this.  It just plain stunk and I don’t want to go back there.  But I can’t help feel as though I got in the way.  That I “cut short” the process God had us walking through.  That the business we have, is and always has been God’s business and that I need to resume back to trusting Him and not trusting a paycheck.

Ken you messed me up when you wrote:

About Erin hearing a sermon about faith – about how we don’t really need faith and can’t understand it until we literally have no idea what’s supposed to happen next.

That statement right there brings a smile to my face.  We all need to have that kind of faith. That we literally don’t know what’s going to happen next but we can rest in knowing that God is in control.  That nothing is impossible for Him.

So I ask you, as I ask myself, are you willing to walk away from the American Dream and live His dream instead? Are you willing to live by faith?

 

One More Conversation

It’s been awhile. A long while and a lot has changed. I say a lot because there is a hole in my heart.

My dad passed away on June 21st.

This daddy’s girl misses him so much.

This daddy’s girl wishes I could take the last year back, especially the last 7 months.

Diagnosed with Leukemia back in November, the family knew it was going to be a long, hard battle. A battle I was not familiar with.  You see I was disconnected.  This daddy’s girl is so much like my father, we often butted heads.  Long story short, in these last moments we were in butting head lingo.  No conversations, no holidays, no happy birthdays, no exchanges…nothing.

Here is where I can begin the I wishes.

I wish I had one more conversation with him.

I wish we both weren’t so hard headed.

I wish we could just forget and start anew.

I wish…

I wish…..

I wish……

But I know this…we loved each other.

When I flew out to Denver to see him in the hospital, he was already in induced coma and on a ventilator.  The days seemed long and the prayers seemed to go unanswered.  After four days, I flew back to Nashville.  That flight back was the hardest flight I’ve ever been on.  My heart was so heavy.  My mom and ours relationship began refreshed but emotions were high and the uncertainty of the future without him was heavy on her heart.  On the plane, I asked God to forgive me.  Forgive me for my selfishness. Asking God that the words I whispered in my father’s ear were heard and loved on.

I was home for one day and that evening, Jose and I packed the kids and drove back to Denver.  My mom called and said dad was at 90% on the ventilator and a decision was going to need to be made within the next two days.

My mom became the strongest woman I’ve met.  She knew that she didn’t want to make this decision alone.  As we made our way back to Denver and went straight to the hospital.  The doctors met with my mom and my siblings and began to tell us there was no hope.  That they have exhausted every avenue and that beyond a miracle, there was nothing else they could do.

Words no one ever wants to hear.

God…please…one more conversation.

I want to tell him I love him.  I want him to tell me one more joke. Make me laugh one more time.

Not this.

As a family, we decided to meet at 10am the next day to begin the process.

It was the longest night of tears.

10am

11am

4:09pm

No more details from this point, but that he is in a better place.  No more leukemia, no more chemo, no more bone marrow, no more pneumonia…WHOLE. Known to some as Papa Bures, I know he is keeping God on his toes with his sense of humor and his signature laugh.

His celebration service was beautiful. It honored the man he was and so many said that he would have wanted everyone doing just what they did, laughing and talking…no crying.

I spoke at the service honoring my father as he was our protector growing up.  When we got robbed on Christmas Eve morning and he heard the robber get in the car and leave, there was my dad running down the street in his underwear and a gun.

How he gave me a good work ethic. My parents married young and had me when they were 20. They didn’t have much and sometimes going without so that we could have more. My dad was a great provider. Working in the pickle factory or taking long trips away to places like Alaska with the Roofers Union to make ends meet. He always provided and felt it was his duty to work and not be lazy. To do things for yourself and not rely on someone to do it for you. He kept this work ethic even as recent as he was battling leukemia.

I got his great looks as some of the photos were seen in the video my brother produced for the service.  Think 70’s, big round glasses! Yep, only him and I.

My dad gave me his strength and his courage and even his stubbornness.

He was an amazing Christian man. He loved God with all his heart. He taught us where our Faith is. Through good times and bad, he never wavered.

Dad, I love you….

I miss you…

Point Them to the Answer, Not the Circumstance

bibleThere are days where I wonder if it’s worth blogging anymore.

The blogosphere has changed in the last four years when I started this blog.  Everyday my inbox is full of blog posts that I have subscribed to read their daily posts.  Unfortunately, a lot of them have shut their blogs down to spend their time doing other things. Part of me wonders if their story was finished or felt as though no one cared about their story.

When I started this blog I titled it “Michelle Sarabia”.  A few posts into writing, I knew this wasn’t about my story but His story.  The best, most famous, Author out there.  I committed this blog to writing His story.  Words that would pierce hearts just like Peter did in Acts 2.  Where words would change lives in an instant or keep the reader coming back for more because his heart needed to hear more.

More inspiration, more truth, more love, more Jesus.

It seems as though that all that blogs are about now is the bloggers story.  The story of cleaning, cooking, organizing, conferences, life circumstances being written all “in the name of Jesus”.

Can I ask a question….when does the piercing of the reader’s heart take place?

When the title of my blog was changed to Beyond Brave, I was out to lunch with a friend and I was telling her that I wanted to change the title of my blog to Brave.  As we talked about our stories and all that God has brought us through.  She looked at me and said what about calling it “Beyond Brave”.  I loved it because it was in moments like this, when having lunch with a friend and sharing some of your deepest yearnings for God.  Sharing each other’s hearts of lives being changed all because of Jesus.  Thus the subheading “When ordinary moments take extraordinary Faith”.  We left there feeling inspired, encouraged and excited in what God was going to do next in our lives.

Four years later, I find myself with such an aching for how our stories have affected His story.  See Jesus died on the cross for you and for me and the cool thing is He rose again.  Jesus told stories.  Two thousand years later His stories are still being used.  I’m afraid our own stories have hidden the true story and the Storyteller.

Just like my lunch with my friend, I want you to leave my blog feeling inspired and encouraged.  I want you to feel challenged to be better even as I challenge myself.  I don’t want any of my circumstances or situations to over shadow what God is doing in them. My hope is that I point you to the One who is the True Author and Finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2).

I don’t want to ever feel when I write and you read that you may think, “all she talks about is Jesus”. Sorry, but this isn’t high school and I’m not here to win a popularity contest.  I’m here to write words like David was in song.  I’m here leaving a digital footprint like Paul was when he challenged those to follow Christ.  I’m here to show love from my laptop to all over the world.

Bloggers continue to share your stories but let’s go back to the basics.

  • Pray and ask God what He wants you to write about for today’s blog post, each day.
  • Lead them to Christ not to your circumstance
  • Let your readers see this Amazing God we have fallen in love with.  Let them know why we love Him.
  • Lastly, point every story we tell back to Christ.

Remember this; He is the Author and Finisher of our faith.  He writes the once upon a time and happily ever after. It’s up to us what we write inside the pages of our books.

Hebrews 12:1-3 The Message Translation

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

I Said Yes

fhIn the fall of 2011, I felt God asking me to begin peeling away from some things that I needed to step down from.  That I needed to become raw to Him.  That He wanted the core of my being.  No layers, just less of me and more of Him. In 2012, I began a journey that I had no control over but only knew that I needed to walk in obedience.  I resigned from MOPS International as the Coordinator for Middle Tennessee after 7 years.  I finished up previous speaking engagements and asked some of my speaker-friends to fill in the gaps.  I stopped leading Bible Studies at our church and offering my help to any outside ministries.

Over the year I found myself in unfamiliar territory, an unfamiliar place.  I found the world I created was just that, a world created by me.

It hurt.  I didn’t want to accept it.

Layers.

How could I be so selfish? In the rawness, I saw a ministry I created and how God would just shake His head and wonder, “When is she ever going to get it?”  I wonder how many times He did that.

In my hurt, in my removing of flesh, it was as if a tug of war was going on.  A war of looking back with my eyes (Hhmmm, what does scripture say about that?) and seeing what has been accomplished.  I would ask God, “If I leave everything.  If I stop blogging, stop speaking, stop leading, stop teaching, then what was all of it for? Then I would find myself even more selfish by asking, “Will they remember me? I worked so hard to get where I’m at and you were there with me through it all.”  But God reminded me that He was there, I just put Him in the back seat while I drove.

In the spring of 2012, I began to only focus on my family and my full-time work.  Not looking for the next speaking gig or chasing something that I wanted and not what He wanted.

Peeling of layers, upon layers, upon layers.

In 2013 I couldn’t be more at peace with who I am.  I am so raw. The core of who I am sees herself in a mirror and only sees her as God sees her.  Hands lifted, eyes looking up with a smile on my face as I quietly just listen.  It’s funny how you teach it to others for so long and realize that over time you may lose yourself in the message.  You forget that we have to be a continuous work in progress.  Seasons may change but God never does.

There is peace in that.

In 2012, I threw up my hands and said no more.  If I am to do anything for you, then God you are going to have to open up the doors.  I am just a vessel that is yours to use for however you see fit.

It seemed as though the only thing I could hear was crickets.  Dead silence.

All I knew what to do was just to stay obedient to what He asked for me to do in 2011.

This year I can truly say that God has open every door that has come my way.  Not once did I go looking. Not once did I network to find the next big thing.  I just let God control my life.

When you do that, big things happen.

First it was Blissdom.  Having that incredible opportunity to be a speaker in Dallas was a highlight that I am thankful for.

A few weeks ago I received an email to speak at a Women’s Conference in Scottsdale in January 2014.  My eyes looked up and just smiled.  “God, I am yours to use.”

Now, recently, I won a contest.  The contest was to be on the book review group of Pursuing Justice and once in the group you have been entered to win an all-expense paid trip to a mission’s trip with Food for the Hungry.  When a friend contacted me to let me know I won, I didn’t quite remember entering for anything. I just wanted to read the book. (Which is unbelievable by the way!) I took a little over a week. Talked to my husband and the kids about it.  My husband is my biggest fan and encouraged me to, “just listen to what God wants for you”.  When I talked to my kids about it, our oldest daughter said “Mommy, you should go.  We all need to help those that need help the most.”  My heart was full.

I said….Yes to this.

I don’t know what God has for me but I realized these last few years that that is exactly where God wants me.  Me not controlling the who, what, when, where or even how but just letting God lead me.

I feel like a kid again.  Holding the hand of Jesus as he walks me to and from.  Kneels down, looks at me and smiles, points and says, “there”.

Raw, open and down to the core is where I am and where I want to stay.

Vlog of What I Learned After Teaching My First Bible Study

Sorry...it was a little late and the hair was every which way but I wanted to get on the webcam and talk with you about the results from my Bible Study last night. Here is a little confession of what God showed me while I was teaching a Bible Study class last night.

Don't forget to drop below and leave a comment! :-)