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BY FAITH...IT'S HERE!!!

byfaithpost

Aaahhh!! Yep, that’s a scream. I’m nervous. I’m scared. But, most of all I’m excited. Praise hands emoji.

So, what Is It?

Friends...it’s my first book, By Faith, and it releases on April 4th...but pre-sales start TODAY!

By Faith is my first book about the exchange of a known journey to one that says, “I don’t know where I’m going, but I trust you, God”. In our own way each of us is on an unknown journey. A journey where only God gives us turn by turn directions on His time.

But, let’s get honest, how many of us struggle with obedience or following directions?  Uh, hands lifted emoji inserted here. Don’t you ever wish sometimes you could get a LIFE road map showing you where to go and a GPS telling you how long before you get there? This girl, too!

Then By Faith was created for you!

By Faith looks at the journey of Abraham and how we, too, can live a life of obedience that requires loving our enemies (yeah, that), sharing the gospel, forgiving those who hurt us (oh, we are so going there), and battling that ugly word, sin.

My goal with By Faith is to have you follow wherever God leads you. Believe whatever God promises you. Trust wherever God tests you and share however God blesses you.  If I don’t do that, then I fail, that’s how much I believe in this book!

Ready to pre-order?

We have it ALL on one fantastic page! What do you mean, Michelle, ALL?

Well, we are a going out of the box and offering five different levels of pre-order goodies (like, I’m talking stuff that goes above and beyond fun!).

It’s explained better on the one page we created for you at:

byfaithbook.com

Three and ten are my favorite, but whoa!, one hundred, come on somebody!

Can I tell my friends?

I would be honored.

You can use this graphic if you want to help us spread the word.  Link it to byfaithbook.com and use the hashtag #byfaithbook when you share on social media.

by faith instagram
by faith instagram

My heart

Y’all, I sure would love your prayers. Pray that it gets into the hands that God has it written for.  Pray for lives to be impacted through these words and that every person would follow, believe, and trust Him in the journey.

blow kiss emoji.

by faith book
by faith book

Let's Do Life Together

life
Things look a little different around here :). I’ve been wanting this makeover for a while. It just feels more unified and I feel like I have a clearer direction.  Make sure you take a look at the Home page. I decided I didn't want the confetti or the giveaways, I just wanted to be true to who I am and the purpose behind this space.

My first writing was in May of 2009 and gosh, was it awful.  As the years went by, I’ve been so thankful for all of you.  You truly have given me an incredible opportunity to pour into you and encourage me to keep on doing this writing thing.

When I receive emails that something hit you in the words that were written or asking for prayer because some way some how in your darkest hours, you find peace in knowing that someone out there understands.

I give all honor and glory to Him when I see others set free from their pain and life circumstances that point them back to Christ because words shined a light on their situation.

All I’ve ever prayed for this space to be is for others to walk in victory and walk out of a victim mentality.

That whatever is said in this space would be out of obedience to God and would be a lamp for others.

And most of all, that you would know that you know, that You are who God says You are. That when you look in the mirror, that you don’t see what the world wants you to believe or what the devil wants you to think, but that you can walk in confidence knowing that you are a child of the Most High God.

So this year, I want to continue on this journey with you.  I want to walk with you doing life together. Where the computer screen feels small and the love of Christ wraps around you so big.

I want us to dream big this year.  I want us to not just finish our race, but finish it well.

Let’s do it. Let’s do it together.

Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty – Zechariah 4:6

How Happy People Stay Happy

Happy People
In Hebrew, the word “morning” means “to break forth”. For many of us, morning also means alarm clocks and an unsettling rush. But, do you ever wonder what makes happy people so happy? I'm sure happiness can be found on a remote island with beautiful ocean waves and impeccable first-class service meeting your every need or maybe their bank account is full of money, leaving them with no worries to their future. But, you and I know that doesn’t make a lasting life of happiness.

I find as I get older that the early mornings are the best time to focus on the day ahead and what I’m to do in it. Each morning is truly a brand new opportunity. Each day is a new day “to break forth” and set out all that needs to be accomplished.

There seems to be a pattern with happy people and successful mornings, they have consistency and discipline. You sense a well-being and contentment around them. So I began to really think about what makes someone happy? What makes them get up and have a “break forth” attitude? Here is what I found:

They wake up with a Thank You on their lips – They start their day with gratitude. There is something about saying Thank You for another day that brings a joy to the day. They lean over and lean into their spouses, dogs, children, whatever it is, with a heart of thankfulness for the morning.

They are intentional about the day – It’s the after they get out of bed that their “to break forthbegins. The more we ask God what He has for us today seems to bring a happiness to serve. Each morning brings a new day. It’s during the day where we are intentional sets us up for a good day. You find happy people because they see their life’s purpose in the day to day.

They pray – Some of the happiest people are spiritual. Prayer is a way to give thanks to God for our blessings He has given us. Waking up with a heart of gratitude and speaking thankfulness establishes a peace within us.

They read – Whether they grab their Bible, a devotion, or a blog of affirmations, happy people are readers. Starting the day with the Word in you tells your day who is in charge and whose path you seek to follow.

They eat breakfast – They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is. Feeding your body a bunch of carbs will have you sluggish for most of your day. Connect your body to real foods that we were intended to eat. You will find your mind sharp and your body healthy.

They exercise – Morning people are great with adding exercise to their daily routine. Taking a walk or jog gets the heart pumping and stimulates the body. Walking is also proven to stimulate creativity in the brain, which isn’t a bad way to start the day either.

They are present in the moment – You won’t find too many cell phones around happy people that are in a conversation or at one of their kids ball games. They are there in the moment. To be present is to be in the now. [Tweet "Happy people don’t capture the moment for what is seen, but in the unseen conversations of life with others."]

At the end of the day, its people that enjoy the moment that seem to be the happiest.  You will find them with their family and friends soaking in each minute of the day, living as though it was their last.  Happy people are grateful people.  Happy people live life to the fullest with what they have and what they are given.

"This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."- Psalm 118:24

“Joy is the serious business of Heaven.” - C. S. Lewis

How many of these habits do you do in the morning? Add some in the comments below that you would like to share?

A Challenge to the Church and its DNA

church
It’s been over a month since I wrote something here. I didn’t do it on purpose or set out to “take a break from blogging”. I guess it just happened. These last few weeks I’ve been observing. Observing this “Christian” thing. Observing how we do church with, I guess you can say, a new set of eyes and open ears.

I’ve been re-reading Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love. It is a definite must read.

A couple of things written had hit my Spirit and challenged the very core of my heart:

“I quickly found that the American church is a difficult place to fit in if you want to live out New Testament Christianity. The goals of American Christianity are often a nice marriage, children who don't swear, and good church attendance. Taking the words of Christ literally, and seriously, is rarely considered. That's for the 'radicals' who are 'unbalanced' and who go 'overboard.' Most of us want a balanced life we can control, that is safe, and that does not involve suffering.”

“Our view of the Holy Spirit is too small. The Holy Spirit is the One who changes the church, but we have to remember that the Holy Spirit lives in us. It is individual people living Spirit-filled lives that will change the church.”

The church has been on my heart lately. It’s as though an awe, a reverence if you will, has been burdening my heart.

Do you ever wonder if God looks down at the church on Sunday mornings and wonders why we have put Him in a box?

Why we sing 2.5 songs? You know the routine 2 fast, 1 slow, all to stay within the timeline of getting the congregation out for lunch, when God says "I don’t remember a schedule, I remember a suddenly (Acts 2:2)."

I don’t want to talk about denominations or get into a conversation that divides us.

I think... [Tweet "God just wants the simplicity of what He designed the church to be."]

When we decide, what Chan said, to allow the Holy Spirit to change the church through us, is when we begin to unify as one body, one accord. And when this happens, God will change the atmosphere of the house, the atmosphere of our church, our home.

I remember a day when we invited the Holy Spirit into those places.

Remember the Holy Spirit isn’t an IT. He is the third person of the Trinity (1 John 5:7).

We have created a place where Jesus is the One that sits with us at Starbucks or in the hospital, but really we are in the dispensation of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16).

Jesus is at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:33), but the Holy Spirit is the One that wants to walk in the door of your house, sit at the foot of the bed in your hospital room, ride in the car with you.

And when He is in the room with you, He will remove burdens and destroy yokes, He will heal your body, bring peace to your mind, He will be an unspeakable joy in your life.

We must not forget, yes, He was not Word made flesh, Jesus was (John 1:14). The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Living God (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).

I know a lot of people don’t talk about this or for some of you reading this it may seem crazy, but I love what Chan said recently in a Keynote at CLA (Christian Leadership Alliance) :

He’s (Tozer) talking about the angels in heaven. You know how in Revelation 4 it describes the angels around the throne of God and screaming Holy, Holy, Holy, and talks about the big pillars of fire and sea of glass. Tozer than asking (in The Knowledge of the Holy), “What if one of these Holy Ones, one of these Angels, who spent his glad centuries by the sea of fire would come to earth? How meaningless to Him would be the ceaseless chatter of the busy tribes of men, how strange and empty would sound a flat, stale, and prophet-less words heard in the average pulpit from week to week.”

Chan – “What if one of those beings did come in? What if he is observing us after being in the presence of God? What would he think of my words coming out of my mouth - asking, “What are you doing up there?”

To listen to the rest of Chan’s talk, click here. You don’t want to miss his explanation of the clock!

We are not serving a wind, a breath. We are serving, in Him, a Holy Spirit, the One that comforts us, lifts us up, makes a way where there seems to be no way.

God never determined His church to be a place of religious rhetoric.

He never determined the church to be a place of lifeless worship.

He never determined the church to be a place where we get bored or ask ourselves how quick can I get out of here.

He intended the church to be a life-transforming, body-healing, soul-saving, Spirit-filling, mind-changing church that seeks after His presence.

He intended the church to be something that was a transformation out of the old man into the new. But, instead what we are doing is constantly messing with God’s DNA.

The cynics say we don’t need that “Holy Spirit thing” anymore.

Yeah, we don’t need people on the brink of suicide being prayed for and being set free so they can live out their destiny.

We don’t need people that have cancer, dying and the doctors are giving them no hope.

We don’t need to pray for cancer victims, we don’t need to pray for the oppressed, we don’t need to praise God until the glory comes.

We don’t need to preach the Truth because the Truth is offensive to the culture.

We don’t need to be the church anymore.

We need to be surgically altered, yet somewhat close, but not really what it was designed to be.

No... [Tweet "We need to be the church that once again finds it way back to Acts 2."]

What was birthed was not a lifeless, powerless gathering of people.

What was birthed was a Supernatural being that would transform the world around them.

We need the church to resurrect from the DNA God intended it to be.

Let the church get back to what God created it to be.

We, Christians, challenge you because we are the Church.

Wednesday Wisdom - Trusting God

Let's get honest, sometimes the hardest thing to do is trust God.  When we don't see things going the way we want or it seems as though the money isn't coming in as fast, we tend to doubt and fear that God must not be aware of all that is going on.  We don't trust Him that He has everything under control.  Today, I hope these words encourage you to trust the faithfulness of God.

Read the Manual to Find the Answers

wisdomProverbs 4:5-7 - Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. You can’t understand Life until you understand the scriptures.

You can’t understand Marriage until you understand the scriptures.

It’s like buying a new car without reading the manual.  You just start pressing buttons to see what’s going to happen.

Trying new stuff, new people, trying this and trying that, but if you go back and read THE manual you will find out how this thing is supposed to operate.

Get wisdom, get understanding, as you walk with God which can be found in His Word.

What would you like to understand more of?

God Needs the Word in Us Before He Can Start the Molding Process

Gala cheveux 007 Over the next few weeks, I want to continue our conversation on Isaiah 64:8:

“But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay and you are our Potter; and all we are is the work of Your hand.”

I want to give you ten discussions of key points of this popular verse and how I believe God is transforming so many of us to trust the Potter and not ourselves in our thoughts, our ideas, and our lives.

Number one being that God Needs the Word in Us Before He Can Start the Molding Process

When you look at how a potter begins to make a piece of pottery, the lump of clay is put on a wheel to start the process of molding the clay into the piece of pottery he wants to make.  He must first add WATER into the clay in order to make it pliable and soft enough for him to be able to actually use it. If he does not add enough water into the clay, the clay will remain too hard and rigid for him to be able to actually use.

Kind of like the Word of God.

 " … that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:26)"

What this is telling us is that God cannot even begin to mold and transform us in this life unless we are first willing to do our part. And our part has to be to get into His Word and try to read, understand, and do what is in the Bible as best we can, with the Holy Spirit also helping us to understand what we are actually reading.

So begin today doing what the Bible says “to grow in the knowledge of God” so that He can begin the molding process.