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BIG Life Devotional | Daily Devotional for Women
12 minutes | 14 hours ago
857 Made For This
You have a destiny … have you dismissed yourself from it? You’ve disqualified yourself from more, while God is still quite certain he designed you for more. Girl, get in agreement with what God says about you! You’ve been so busy disagreeing with the truth, that you’ve thoroughly bought into a lie. A lie, believing anything you may have done in the past has limited your future. A lie, believing that which you feel unequipped to do now will remain unattainable for you. May I remind you that our God absolutely loves to pour out his unending grace and ridiculous power on his girls daring enough to believe it’s possible? Why have you put limits on what God can do with you, through you, and for you? Whatever God wants to do, he can do and your little thinking needs to get out of the way and make room for destiny now. When God formed you, he didn’t have little, mediocre things in mind for you. I promise he didn’t make you and then say “Heather, I hope you don’t expect much.” “Jennifer, you’re always going to be defeated because I just didn’t have anything extra to pour into you.” “Kim, I’m going to need you to be okay with settling.” THAT’S CRAZINESS! NO!!!!!! God looked at you, his miraculous creation and said “I choose her for my power to work within. My eye is one her. I will never give up on her!” You have assumed way too much of your own negative power. Who are you to stop God’s great will? Who are you to be able to detour his plan? Honey, you’re not that powerful. You haven’t screwed this thing up beyond God’s ability to work it all together for good. Repeat after me: GOD CAN! He is not limited here. He can move mountains. He can break chains. He can part seas. He can bring miraculous prevision. He can do the impossible in your life. In Matthew 19:26 Jesus said “”With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. That’s pretty darn clear. There are no limitations on what God can do. There isn’t a single situation in your life that’s too far gone. There’s nothing about you that is without hope. With God, ALL things are possible, and that includes YOUR things. Your impossible things. Your ‘too late’ things. Your ‘too hard’ things. Your ‘too big’ things. ALL of your things are possible with God, so girl, get out of the way. What’s in the way? Really, what of you is in the way of God? Your doubts. Your excuses. Your delays. Get in agreement with him here. God is asking today if you trust him enough to just agree with him. Seriously, do you trust God enough to believe what he has said about you? Do you trust him enough to release your doubts, give up your excuses, and end your delays? That’s a big trust, but it’s totally doable. Just get in agreement. God, I’m going to put an end to my disobedience of arguing with you, and I choose right now to just agree with you. I agree with everything you say about me. I accept it as my truth. Romans 8:37 tells me you are more than a conqueror through Jesus. What does it mean to be MORE than a conqueror? It means you’re than just a girl who showed up and somehow pulled off a win. More than a girl who got lucky. More than a one hit wonder whose glory days have already passed. Being more than a conqueror means you don’t just win once, you’re destined for the championship. It means you have a track record of overcoming, a history of winning battles, a destiny of rising up to new and higher levels. Honey, this is who you are through Jesus. This is the life he has for you. Not a losing life, a winning life. Deuteronomy 28:13 “The Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom.” This is his plan for you. Believe it! While you may not feel good enough for it, God says you are. While you may not feel ready for it, God says you are. While you may not understand how it’s all going to happen, God has already made a way for it to happen. The enemy always comes in with a question and plants his seed of doubt. His attacks are relentless on that which is a threat to his confusion and twisted ways. If you ever ask why life seems so hard for you … that’s why! You are a threat. There’s power within you to display God’s ability to do the impossible. YOU ARE A WARRIOR, MADE FOR THIS BATTLE! Here’s your truth bomb for today: You are fully equipped and right on time. All the days of your life have brought you right here where everything is now going to be used for ridiculous goodness. You were made for this! It’s time to rise up and declare your victory. Assume your position. Yes girl, get in formation! Get in agreement with all God has declared is possible for you. It’s not too late. You haven’t screwed this thing up. You haven’t missed your opportunity. You’re not destined for failure. Expect great things of yourself because of the greatness in you! With God ALL things are possible.
17 minutes | 2 days ago
856 I’m Freaking Amazing
I’m amazed by God’s creation. Sea creatures always leave me in awe over God’s creativity. The seahorse is my favorite … well it was my favorite until yesterday I discovered one of the cool characters in Finding Nemo is actually for real! Remember the fish lurking in the dark with a glowing bulb above its head, luring in it’s prey, and Nemo says “I see a light”? I assumed that was created in the imagination of some Pixar genius … no, that was created in the imagination of God Almighty!!!!! Y’all, I was yesterday years old when I discovered the Pacific Footballfish is a real thing. I read that one of these bizarre creatures washed up on the shores of Southern California this week. Pictures show this flattened football shape fish with a huge mouth and thousands of razor sharp teeth, with that legendary stalk on top of it’s head and bio-luminescent tips that glow. This creature lives 3,000 feet below the surface, in the deep, dark depths of the Pacific Ocean. How absolutely amazing!!!! Our God is capable of creating absolutely anything, his imagination has no limits, anything he wishes can and will be made, and with all his creativity and all his power, he decided to MAKE YOU! He designed you with his greatest powers at work. Every detail of you was considered and chosen with the greatest of care. Within your mother’s womb he knit you together in miraculous ways. This week I was talking with one of my sweet podcast listeners in Asia. She finds herself in a tough situation and an unplanned pregnancy. She was questioning if this new life forming within her for the past 9 weeks is God’s will for her to carry. Is it real at this point? Is it alive? Can she undo this seeming mistake? Did you know at just 9 weeks after conception, the color of the baby’s eyes has already formed? God’s miraculous design has already begun. Sometimes we don’t understand the timing or the circumstances of God’s creation, but we can ALWAYS trust his plans are good and he knows exactly what he is doing. We can take the next step in confidence and know what he started has a purpose. Is that baby a mistake, NOT AT ALL! There was a time when that baby was you! A time when you were forming and growing just as God imagined. A time when your life was being created and your purpose was being designed. Have you forgotten what a truly magnificent creation you are? Have you lost your identity in the mundane repeat of all the days of your life that look painfully the same as the one before? Have you been avoiding the reflection in the mirror because you’re not proud of her, forgetting the reflection in the mirror shows one of God’s most treasured creations. Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” You … a masterpiece! You are the creation of the master artist who he declared as perfection, just the way he wanted you. Every detail of your design is for the purpose of the good things he planned for you from the beginning. And honey, if it’s not good yet, then God’s just not done yet. There are some things about you that are still a mystery. Some parts of your story that still don’t make sense. Some details of your unique design that seem random and misfit. But the same God who decided the Footballfish should have a glowing light hanging from the top of it’s head to attract dinner in the deep dark depths of the ocean, decided you should be unique in your own ways as part of his bigger plan. I grew up on a small farm. The bigger and chunkier the animal, the more beautiful it was considered to be. Isn’t that funny? Heck, we even love to see fat rolls on a baby. We grab those chunky legs and declare them perfection. Those chubby cheeks are irresistible. Give me all the fat babies!!!!!! But somewhere along the way we decide rolls are no longer desirable and chubby is a massive insult. We then spend our days obsessing about any hint of previously adored chub showing up. We suck it in, we starve it, we punish it, we neglect it, we hide it. Girl, in the pursuit of that perfect body, have you forgotten you are a masterpiece?!!!!!! You have the fingerprints of God Almighty on you! How about you start loving yourself and appreciating your design instead of constantly trying to change everything about you. With all that waxing, coloring, microblading, injecting, and contouring, do we even know what you originally looked like anymore? Maybe Michael Jackson’s nose was just fine before … no one even remembers. And maybe you don’t need all that extra, you were great in God’s original design. Now, here’s what this isn’t … this isn’t a license to be a slob. This isn’t permission to give up on becoming the best version of yourself. This is a call to take care of what God created. A masterpiece should be cared for, don’t you agree? You don’t just throw a masterpiece in a dark corner to collect dust. You don’t hide the masterpiece concerned someone might find a flaw with it. You don’t abuse or neglect a masterpiece. No, you take pride in a masterpiece. You give it the greatest of care and honor the creator’s purpose for it’s design. I’m tall. That doesn’t always come across in my voice on the podcast. You likely don’t hear me and think “that girl sounds ridiculously tall.” I am. I come from a tall family and I lived up to the tall genes swimming around in our pool. I HATED the way God made me for the first 30 years of my life. I tried to shrink myself and play little. I even prayed the most ridiculous prayers as a teenager asking God to somehow miraculously overnight make me shorter. Every day I woke up to discover I was still growing and my jeans were always too short. I’m pretty sure I invented crop tops and capris, and it wasn’t cool back then! But now I see, God made me this way. I may not have a stalk growing out of the top of my head with bio-luminescent tips to glow in the dark, but I’m kinda awesome in my own way! And so are you! Why do you forget that? Oh I know why … remember what this week’s devotionals are about … they’re about the battle we’re all in. The battle with an enemy who’s primary weapon is a question. His question of why are you different and why can’t you be like someone else, plants a seed of doubt. That self-doubt causes you to lose your confidence, shrink back, play little, and sit it out on your God ordained purpose in life. The battle begins with a question, but victory comes with the truth. So, what’s our truth in this particular battle? I AM A MASTERPIECE CREATED SPECIFICALLY TO DO GOOD THINGS! Every detail of me was intentional and for a purpose. I’m still in the process of becoming all I was created to be, and there are parts of me that are unfinished, but God’s still working on me and in me. I’ve decided to be okay with that! Philippians 1:6 “God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished.” This girl right here … the one staring back at you in the mirror … well she’s really something special. Magnificent actually. Miraculous in every way. She was created for a purpose, now I’m going to unleash her to fulfill it. And we have a theme song for today as we giggle over God’s creative design of the Footballfish and ourselves … Mandisa’s “Unfinshed”: He started something good and I’m gonna believe it He started something good and He’s gonna complete it So I’ll celebrate the truth His work in me ain’t through I’m just unfinished
15 minutes | 3 days ago
855 Let’s Get Dressed
There is a battle to keep you from knowing the truth. The truth is what sets you free and there are forces at work fighting against your freedom. Your freedom means you live in power, you walk in confidence, you love with your whole being, and you become exactly who you were created to be. That’s God’s plan. But the enemy’s plan keeps you in bondage, keeps you playing little, keeps you fearful, and holds you back from your greatest potential. The devil’s questions of your worth, your ability, your identity, and your future plant seeds of doubt. Doubt creates the chains that hold you hostage. This is why every day this week we are dropping the truth. Truth that sets you free. Truth that demolishes strongholds and breaks chains. We call them truth bombs. Yesterday’s truth bomb was 2 Timothy 1:7 “God hasn’t given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline.” If you walked in that truth yesterday and used what God has given you, my guess is you had a pretty darn powerful day. But here’s the rest of that truth. Yes, God has given you a spirit of power, love and self-discipline, but that doesn’t mean you’ve been using it. Having it isn’t enough, you have to decide to use it. You can HAVE air conditioning and still be a sweaty, miserable mess. You have to USE it to feel the difference. If you have a 4 wheel drive vehicle, you know there’s a little button you press that makes all the difference in getting you unstuck. It’s always there for you, but you have to turn it on. If you choose not to turn it on, then you’re not using the power available to you and you may not be able to get where you need to go. God has given you power, he has given you love, and he has given you self-discipline. That is absolute TRUTH. But what you do with it from there is your game changer. Did you use that self-discipline yesterday? It was there for you, just like the 4WD button, but if you didn’t tap into it, you may have felt lacking. Do you feel lacking? That could be a sign of not using what you have access to. Today, remember you not only HAVE it, but you must USE it. Turn it on and move forward girl … you were made for this! That brings us to today’s truth bomb. I’m about to drop a truth that will blow up the fear the enemy has been dealing and maybe you’ve been buying. Ready? Here it is … God has good plans for you. His plans are to prosper you, not to harm you. His plans are perfect for your future and you can get your hopes up about all things working together in great ways. You do not have to fear anything about the future, God has already gone before you and you are covered. Nothing and no one can derail God’s goodness for you. Study his word, it’s all there: Jeremiah 29: 11 “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.” Romans 8:28 “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Deuteronomy 31:8 “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Proverbs 21:30 “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.” There is absolutely zero reason to worry about what might happen next. What good does all that worry do? There’s always something to be worried about … watch the news. Better yet, DON’T WATCH THE NEWS. God knows every single thing that is happening and he doesn’t need your worry and fret in the middle of it. Stop it. Turn it off. Get out of it. The newest threat here in the US is the gas pipeline. People are freaking out worried about gas prices and gas shortage. Could it happen … absolutely. Yesterday I caught myself considering the fact that we’re getting ready to hit the road for big travels next week and we just traded in our little 35 miles to the gallon car for a big 4 wheel drive truck. Crap! My thoughts quickly ran to being stranded in the middle of nowhere with no gas, sleeping in a hot truck, missing all my upcoming speaking engagements and retreats. Suddenly my mind is running off into problems and troubles I have no business even tip toeing in. But, that’s how it works. The enemy loves this game because while you’re over here worried about crap you can’t control, you’re missing the goodness God has available to you in this moment. He wins … you lose. Let’s get back to our truth. Here’s the offering of God for you. Proverbs 31:25 “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” You can be clothed in strength and dignity. That means GIRL PUT IT ON. Just like you would go to your closet and select your outfit for the day, you get to intentionally select strength and dignity. What does that mean? That means you get to choose to be a go-getter here and seize the opportunity in today. You get to show up with the best of you and move forward in excellence. You get to live today well and not worry about tomorrow. You can be filled with joy regardless of circumstances because you know God has good plans for you and those plans cannot be stopped. So come on sister. Let’s get dressed for this day with strength and dignity. Hold your head high and give this day your best effort and attitude. The fear jumpsuit doesn’t look good on you. Don’t put that on. It’s not flattering on you because honey God didn’t make that for you. The enemy is a sucky designer and that fear is his design. Now, laugh with me without fear of the future. It’s a choice, and it’s the right one for today. Repeat today’s truth bomb with me: God has good plans for me. His plans are to prosper me, not to harm me. His plans are perfect for my future and I can get my hopes up about all things working together in great ways. I do not have to fear anything about the future, God has already gone before me and I am covered. Nothing and no one can derail God’s goodness for me. Boom.
17 minutes | 4 days ago
854 Dropping Truth Bombs
A single question plants a seed of doubt, and that doubt can lead to a derailed life missing the mark for which it was destined. We have an enemy in this life and his best attacks are questions. You need to be aware of the danger of his questions and be ready to respond with your truth. If you’re not, then honey you may just be stuck in a downward spiral of disappointment with no hope of things ever changing. Listen to me … it doesn’t have to be that way! The devil showed up as a snake in the paradise called the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were living in bliss, enjoying all God had created for them and in comes the slithering snake. He doesn’t come in with a deadly attack, he slithers his way in with just a question. He asked Eve, “Did God really say that you must not eat from any tree in the garden?”(Genesis 3:1) The question seems so harmless, but it lead to a conversation. Listen to me, YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH THE DEVIL! He asked Eve a question, Eve engaged with a reply. This question led to doubt and a twist of the truth, then the next thing you know Eve is eating the fruit God told her not to eat, sin entered the world and screwed everything up. The fall of mankind all began with a question from the enemy. Question plants a seed of doubt, and that doubt led to a derailed life missing the potential it was created for. So, surprise surprise my sister … that slimy snake is still slithering around attacking with his greatest weapon … a question. His question makes you doubt who you are. It makes you doubt your value and worth. It makes you doubt your purpose in this world. It makes you doubt your ability. It makes you doubt your future. And here we are responding to the question with a full-blown conversation, just like we were never supposed to do. We’re still doing it! We’re entertaining the doubt and stacking up evidence to support the attack. The enemy whispers “who are you, you aren’t enough,” and we engage in a conversation of agreement. You’re right, I’m not enough. Everything I start, I give up on. I never finish anything. I’m nothing but a failure. I’ll never change. There’s something wrong with me. I’m broken. Everyone else is better than me. I just can’t do it. I’m sleepy. I have no energy. I have no support. It’s too hard for me. And girl, you just talked yourself into a total derailment of the good plans God has for you! So sister, we need a new game plan. Look around in your life … do you see how the questions have caused you to doubt, shrink back, and play little in your own life? Do you see how the enemy has been stealing what was yours? Well it’s time to take it back, and thankfully God gave us a clear battle plan. James 4:7 “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” But today we need it in the strong and real language of the Message translation. Listen to this “Shout a loud NO to the devil and watch him scamper!” NO Devil! NO your lies will not be entertained here! NO your questions will not cause doubt in my life! NO I don’t believe a word you say! Just NO! Shut down that conversation and mental chatter. Don’t play out the scenarios of negativity and defeat. That’s not God’s plan for you. That’s the plan of the enemy and he knows if he can get in your head, he can sneak into every area of your life. Shout a loud NO when he shows up with his questions! Doubt is deadly. Eve engaged in conversation with the enemy and began to doubt what God had told her. Why could she not eat from this one tree? What would happen if she did? Was God keeping something great from her? Would this apple change her life? And my guess is the enemy has slithered his way into your life and asked a few questions. Those questions have left you doubting if you’re enough. Doubting your value and worth. Doubting if God really hears your prayers and really cares enough to answer. Doubting if you are loved. Doubting if what you have within is good enough to do what needs to be done. NO! We are shouting a loud no to the devil here. End of conversation. NO! He’s a liar from hell, he doesn’t get to plant his deadly seeds of doubt. Don’t you welcome him in and let him parade through your mind for one more moment. Slimy sucker … you and your lies are out! The battle begins with a question. And we all see how we’ve been under attack with the questions. Do you want victory here? Are you ready to rise up and be the champion you were created to be? Here’s how … TRUTH! VICTORY COMES WITH TRUTH. You need to know the truth about who God says you are, his plans for you, and the hope for your future. This is your route to victory. For the next few days I will be throwing down some ‘Daily Truths’. Truths that dispel the questions that have been rocking your world and causing you to doubt. Today’s Truth: God hasn’t given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7) That fear is not from God. He’s not a dealer of fear and doubt. Recognize where it comes from. Fear holds you back in uncertainty and renders you incapable of the next step. Fear leaves you stuck. Fear has you fighting threats that most times aren’t even real, so they’re impossible to defeat. NO Devil, I will no longer lay down and cuddle with fear. I will no longer replay the fear driven scenarios in my head. You’re no longer my go-to. I’m not turning to you any longer. My decisions will not be influenced by you. I’m better than that! Why? Because God has given me a spirit of POWER. I’m not helpless or hopeless. There is power dwelling inside of me. God’s power that breaks chains, parts seas and moves mountains is now living inside of me. I can change. I can get better. I can survive. I can handle this. I have power and I’m rising up to use it, darn it. God has given me a spirit of love. I don’t have to grow cynical and hardened. I can endure the hardship, I can take the insults, I can survive the attacks, and I can come out better because I am driven by love. Love trumps all. I am created to be loved and created to be loving. This will not turn me into someone I’m not. I will not lose myself going through this. I have the spirit of love within me and it will be on full display. God has given me a spirit of self-discipline. Actually, I can overcome bad habits. I can break old chains. I can make changes and stick with those changes. I’m not lacking willpower. I have it within me. It lives in me, now I’m tapping into what has always been there. I can do exactly what I need to do, one day at a time. One choice at a time, I can be trusted to do the next right thing. I can’t control anyone or anything else, but I can control me … and I will! Those are some TRUTH BOMBS! We just blew some lies up! We just lit the enemy on fire and his attacks were shut down. Yes, the battle begins with a question. Victory comes with truth. Remember your truth today. You were not given a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-discipline! BOOM! Anything less than that is playing little when you were created for a BIG Life. And bonus … today’s truth bomb comes with a theme song! Francesca Battistelli’s “The Breakup Song” Fear, you don’t own me There ain’t no room in this story And I ain’t got time for you Telling me what I’m not Like you know me well guess what? I know who I am I know I’m strong, brave And I am free Got my own identity So fear, you will never be welcome here
16 minutes | 5 days ago
853 One Powerful Word
There’s one word I’ve added to my prayers that seems to have shifted so many circumstances in my life. One word that has moved mountains, and moved me. One word that has changed my perspective and opened the doors to God’s unlimited power. What is this one powerful word? A V A I L A B L E Every morning I simply tell God I AM AVAILABLE. And I’ve discovered God can do a whole lot when we just make ourselves available. Are you available to God? Looking back I realize as much as I wanted God’s will in my life, I simply left no room for it. As much as I wanted his power to be at work in every detail, I crowded him right out with all my details. There was no space for him. With all the noise and distractions, I was unaccessible. I came to God with a list of requests, but got up and left the conversation with no time for his reply. I’m busy with no time to waste, so quite simply I would call on God, but then not allow any room for him when he showed up. My alarm would ring and the race was on to fit as many things in the day as possible, and let me tell you, I could fit a whole lot. Isn’t it funny though, with all the cramming you do in a days time, you can come to the end of it and feel so empty. Have you ever questioned what its all for? Like is it even making a difference? Does it matter at all? Was there purpose in the routine of doing the same thing today as you do every other day? Life is miraculous. Every detail of it should leave us in awe and wonder … but it doesn’t. It grows dull and unimpressive. The end of another day, another week, another month comes and it doesn’t feel miraculous. It feels exhausting. It feels overwhelming sometimes and quite underwhelming others. I’m left to wonder if maybe we’re missing the point sometimes. If maybe we’re rushing through and passing the potential possibilities God has aligned for us, on our way to the same mindless destination daily. Have we become so focused on checking the boxes of our to-do list and gritting our way through to the next thing that we miss the God ordained possibilities all around us? I wonder if God has been trying desperately to talk to you, but you haven’t paused long enough to really listen. I wonder if He has been trying to show you the way to the desires of your heart, but you’ve been dead set on your own way. I wonder if His answer is already YES, but you won’t even look up to see he has made a way. One word can change that. It sure has for me. A V A I L A B L E One of the first teaching I remember as a new follower of Christ was “Here I am Lord, send me.” That seemed so big and scary. I prayed it once and assumed he would immediately send me to the far corners of the earth to do some unheard of work. And well, when he didn’t, I thought it was because he didn’t need me, want me, or choose me. So, I was essentially off the hook. Dismissed. I prayed it once as I held my breath, and I was done. He didn’t send me, and I was grateful. But what if this isn’t about “sending” you anywhere? What if this is more about exactly where you are already? Listen to this story in Luke 10:38-42 “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'” Can I just first give a shout out to the woman we pick on a lot in this scripture? Hey Martha, good for you for opening your home to Jesus. We just skip right on by that fact. Martha is the one who invited Jesus over! Would we even do that? Or would we be so worried the house was dirty or the furniture was old and not suitable for guests? Martha opened the door and said “come on over Jesus, my home is available.” Could we just start there? Could we just be available? Then we can work towards being more like Mary who sat at Jesus feet, but let’s start by just opening the door. Let’s start by saying “Lord, I’m available.” Could you be available for 30 seconds on your knees? That’s exactly where it started for me. Just 30 seconds. An invitation to come on over. Now admittedly, I didn’t leave much time and space after that as I rushed through my day, but it was a start. I’ve found if you will give Jesus a start, he will eventually take over! Maybe you’ve been hiding from God afraid to pray the old “here I am Lord, send me” prayer because you don’t want to go anywhere. Well maybe God isn’t wanting to uproot your entire life and send you somewhere you can’t even pronounce, far away from your family. Maybe what he really wants is just a little space right where you are to do what only he can do. LORD, I AM AVAILABLE. We think ‘well I’m just too busy for God. I’m already too overwhelmed. I’m too stressed and stretched and I can’t handle anything more He may ask of me.’ But honey, God is not the author of confusion and chaos. He does not orchestrate stress and overwhelm. He is the Prince of Peace. He is the calm in the storm. When you make yourself available to him, he brings peace. He calms you in the middle of the storm and reminds you he has made you more than enough. So maybe we’re not ready to be all Mary up in here and just sit at his feet all day, but can we start by being Martha and just inviting him in? Can we start with making a little of what we have available to the Lord? Could we start with 30 seconds of availability? I’m here Lord … I’m listening … I’m seeking … I’m available to you. What could God do with the little bit you begin making available to him? Oh girl, he could change your whole world. He has mine! And it all started with just deciding maybe I’m not ready to go somewhere crazy, but I’m ready to be available right where I am.
14 minutes | 8 days ago
852 On Its Way
There are seasons in our life where things seem to all be going wrong. Where our efforts seem to be in vain because our progress is so little. Where nothing seems to be changing. A season where the days seem so long. Are you there? Is this your current season? There’s an important word I’ve used here, and it’s a little word with potentially massive impact. You likely missed it, as we do in life. We miss the little things which can make a big difference. Things SEEM to be going wrong. Your efforts SEEM to be in vain. Nothing SEEMS to be changing. The days SEEM so long. It may seem a certain way, but it may not actually BE this way. It may feel like it and look like it, but what if there’s so much more going on in this season of your life that you cannot see. And what if it’s all for a great purpose. A purpose that will make all of this totally worth it. 12 years ago I journaled my questions. I was questioning if my work was really worth it. Questioning if I could really do all I was dreaming of doing. Questioning if I was on the right path. Here’s what I wrote: What if I’m already doing this thing right, but I’m not sure right now? What if the surprises along the way are really speeding things up, even though it feels like they’re slowing me down? What if all I want is barreling towards me, even though I can’t see it right now? And what if when it arrives it will exceed my every expectation? And now, with the gift of perspective and 12 more years of living under my belt, I look back and say YES. I couldn’t have even imagined how all things were going to work out. I couldn’t have imagined the process and the path, but God has been faithful on the journey to today. I couldn’t see it, but it was there. Honey, you can’t see it right now … but it’s there. It may SEEM hopeless, but it’s not. You may feel like you’re being held up and delayed, but you may very well be on the fastest track to a beautiful future. It may not look like things are coming together for you, but it may very well be barreling right towards you and you just don’t know it yet. And the dreams you have today may seem big, but maybe, just maybe, your great big God has even bigger plans. Don’t be discouraged by what you see right now. Don’t be overwhelmed by your feelings today. What it “seems” is only what you can see and imagine, but 1 Corinthians 2:9 reminds us “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” You haven’t seen it yet, but girl it’s coming! It’s not what it seems. I wonder what 12 more years may look like. What growth you will have experienced. What breakthroughs you will have made. What level God will take you to. It’s there. In fact I bet it’s barreling towards you right now. Yes, right now when it seems like absolutely nothing is happening. Right now when it seems your efforts are in vain. Right now when every step forward seems to turn into two steps backs. Right now, while you’re totally unsure, something absolutely sure is coming. Your destiny. What is your destiny? Where is God taking you? Ahhhhh, it’s going to be good because God promised it will blow your mind. But the process … yeah, about that process. You’ve been warned that would sometimes suck. How many of us know that’s the truth? I’m not so sure I would be willing to go through the process of the past 12 years again. Whew, those were some hard times. And my guess is, the process of the next 12 years won’t be a cake walk either. But God has given us the key in moving forward and not being overwhelmed in our circumstances so we can reach our destiny. Here it is. The key to moving forward without being overwhelmed. 2 Corinthians 4:18 “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” You’ve got trouble … alright, stop staring at it. Do what you can do, do it the best you can do, and girl keep moving. There’s so much more that you cannot see. There’s more to this and you can’t even imagine how all of this is fitting together in your destiny. Your mind cannot fathom how this process is preparing you, how this fire is refining you, how this situation is strengthening you … but it is. What you’re going through today is NOT WHAT IT SEEMS. Don’t become fixated on your circumstances. They are temporary. God is using it all for something eternally good. Yes, the currently bad for the eternally good. So, what I documented as my thoughts 12 years ago, I now see were absolutely accurate. I was doing it right, even though I wasn’t sure. What felt like a pull back was actually propelling me forward. I couldn’t see it then, but it was all there all the time, heading right towards me. And yes, in many ways, it’s exceeded my expectations. But in the process, I couldn’t see any of this. It just seemed to be unattainable, and honestly not even worth it. My sister, if you’re in that season of life which I know so well, that season where things are just dang hard… That season of delay and defeat… That season of a little dream and a big disappointment… Let me speak life into you today. What if you’re already doing this thing right, but you’re not sure right now? What if the surprises along the way are really speeding things up, even though it feels like they’re slowing you down? What if all you want is barreling towards you, even though you can’t see it right now? And what if when it arrives it will exceed your every expectation? We serve a good God who loves us personally and individually. You can be assured he is in the middle of your circumstances and while you may not see it right now, and it may seem all wrong, He is working on something eternally good.
15 minutes | 9 days ago
851 Do You Trust Me?
It’s easy to trust when the path is clear and the way is easy. But what about when things get dark and you’re stumbling hard? Will you still trust then? Will you trust the God you knew was for you when things were all going right, is still for you when things are going wrong? Will you trust when you don’t understand? Will you trust when there are no answers to your questions and no solutions to your problems? God wants to know, will you trust him? Last month I hosted the BIG Life Ranch Adventure Retreat. 100 women gathered for unknown adventures. They didn’t know all the plans I had for them. The truth is, some of them wouldn’t have shown up if they would have known. Some things are best kept secret. They came to find out when I asked the question “do you trust me”, I was about to challenge them to do something really hard, really scary, or far outside of their comfort zone. I led them on a tour of the ranch. It was raining and 50 degrees. They faithfully followed with their little rain jackets and umbrellas, huddled together and shivering. I giggled because I knew exactly where I was leading them, and shelter from getting wet wasn’t part of the plan. I took them to the edge of the spring fed river where the water is deep and frigid year round. We gathered there for a group photo, and then I said “do you trust me?” Sweet little souls just excited to be at retreat and finally meet shouted “yes!” They had no idea the invitation of adventure that awaited them. I took off my rainboots and jacket and said, “if you trust me, follow me.” You could literally hear the air escape their lungs as they gasped. Yes, we were going in that water. We would begin retreat with a Polar Bear Plunge. I’ve done dozens of plunges in waters of all kinds, but I must admit, this was the most brutal of all. It was ‘take your breath away cold’. One by one, the women walked to the edge of the dock and jumped in as I waited for them in the water. They trusted. They trusted it would be fun, although it sure didn’t feel fun at the moment. They trusted it would be powerful. They trusted it would set the stage to a life-changing weekend. And it did. The women who jumped experienced a level of impact others could not. Trust does that to us. Today, you may be standing on the edge of something so totally uncertain. In fact, you may have been standing here for a really long time. How much longer will you stand there and wonder? How much longer will you think about it? Are you going to do this or not? Will you trust if God has brought you here to the edge, there is purpose in the jump. This will change you. Trust him here. I remember the day 9 years ago when I felt God tell me to host my first devotional call. Yall when I say I was unequipped to do this, you don’t even know. I couldn’t say the name Jesus without crying. I was an emotional wreck, I didn’t know any scriptures, and I honestly had never even done a devotional for myself, so what exactly was that supposed to look like? I was certain God had made a mistake by choosing me, but when he asked if I trusted him, I decided to say yes. Yes, I’ll trust you for 1 week. I’ll do this for 1 week and then you’ll see I’m not your girl. So I jumped. After I jumped, I discovered I’m made for these waters! But I would have never known without first trusting and jumping scared. God has a way of calling the unequipped, then equipping them after they answer the call. You’re taking inventory of all the reasons you can’t, and God says you only need one thing to get you to the point you can … just TRUST HIM. Can’t you hear him today? He’s calling your name. Rachael, Brooke, Tatti, Dona, Alex, Ginni, Ashley, Elisha, Mallory, Cameron, Lauren, Katy, Carrie, DO YOU TRUST ME? Jesus said in John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled; trust in God, trust also in me.” When Jesus said this to his disciples, he was preparing them for what was ahead. He was going to be crucified. Everything they had stood for and worked for with him, would appear to be defeated. They would question. They would hurt. They would suffer. But Jesus knew what they didn’t know. There was a greater plan at work. He’s basically saying, “this is going to suck, but trust me, after it sucks I’m going to show you something even better.” Honey, you will have every reason to doubt. You will not understand what is happening in your life sometimes. Nothing will make sense. But do not let your heart be troubled. Don’t lose hope here. Trust God. He know exactly what he is doing and what he is doing is ultimately good. When God called David to rise up and be a champion, David had every reason to dismiss himself from the mission. He could have easily sat on the sidelines, shook his head at what was happening, and like everyone else, done absolutely nothing to change it. He could have stood there waiting to be better equipped. But instead he showed up exactly where he was, with what he had, and did what he could do to take down the threat. The giant named Goliath had been threatening for 40 days, and for 40 days no one would even try to do anything to take him down. But little shepherd boy David trusted God enough to show up for the battle and step in the middle of the unknown. And the rest is history, a slingshot and a rock defeated the giant, and he came crashing down. How? David simply trusted God. What giants could fall in your life if you trusted God enough to show up and fight? What victory awaits when you decide you no longer require all the details and just give up control? Trust isn’t supposed to be easy. You don’t learn anything by cheap and unremarkable trust. If I would have lead those women on the retreat to a pillow and said “Do you trust me? Okay, lay down your sweet head and take a little nap honey I can see you’re tired”, that wouldn’t have shown them all they’re truly capable of. That wouldn’t have built their confidence, strengthened their resolve, and created growth. They had to be lead to something hard, something they would have never done on their own, something they never planned for. That’s trust! And those that trusted will never forget the growth they experienced. God knows what you do not know. He knows this hardship and trial will strengthen you. He knows this darkness will prepare you to be a light bearer. He knows this battle with the snake will make you a snake slayer. He knows his glory will be best revealed in this storm. So, he allows the hardship. He stands by in the trial. He is silent in the darkness. He lets the enemy get close. He permits the storm to rage. All so that you learn to trust him. So that you discover what he has put within you. So that you find confidence in who he created you to be. So that you see His hand at work and you never, ever doubt again that it was indeed Him. God is proving himself trustworthy and he’s proving who you can be through Christ. Trust him here. He knows what he is doing. You do not know the plans God has for you, but He does. If you knew, you likely wouldn’t show up. So it’s kept a mystery. Following him isn’t easy and it is very uncertain. But God can be trusted. He is trustworthy. He has an invitation for you to follow him on this adventure, step into the unknown and see his power at work in ways you never imagined. I really hope you go for it.
15 minutes | 10 days ago
850 The Running Off Mind
Everything you need is here in this moment. The problem is, we find it nearly impossible to stay in the moment. Your mind is always running ahead to all that could be or might be next and there it drowns in overwhelm. Or you wander backwards to what has been, replaying the same story over and over again, making it worse each time, yet you can do nothing to change it. But God’s provision is right here my sister. It’s here in this moment, exactly where you are. This is where you find him. This is where you find strength. This is where you find guidance. This is where you find his grace and mercy. HERE. Just be here. Could it really be that simple? ABSOLUTELY! People who are filled with peace and confidence have mastered the ability to be in the moment and keep their thoughts there. They’ve learned how to receive exactly what is needed moment by moment. And they’ve found God to be faithful in those moments. You too will find God to be faithful in this moment if you will stay here. He is here with all you need. Strength, energy, focus, willpower, joy, wisdom, courage, confidence, direction, patience, peace, goodness, it’s all here. It’s enough for right here right now, but if you’re trying to cover yesterday’s needs or tomorrow’s request, you will feel lacking. Worry and regret set in when we wander off from today. Do you know who the author of that worry and regret is? It would be so easy to blame the enemy. Oh no doubt he dwells there and he plays in that darkness, but you write that script. You author that story. You’re responsible for your worry and regret. And once you know you’re responsible for it, you have the power to change it. You can now write a new story, one that tells you the TRUTH … the truth that God is here with you in this moment, you are fully covered with every single thing you need right here. Now don’t go running off girl. Stay here. Today is where it’s at!!!!!! Where what’s at? God’s power and provision in your life! Be here for it, mind body and spirit! Jesus taught us to pray the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6: 9-13. He said, this is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Give us THIS DAY our daily bread. A prayer focused on the needs of today, not the regrets of yesterday or the worries of tomorrow. Just today. Keep me here in today. As a teenager I had a little problem with my mouth. I would get sassy and my Daddy always had a way of bringing me back down. He would say “girl, don’t let your mouth go running off without you.” I learned to reel in my words, taste them before they spewed out of my mouth and consider if what I was about to say was remotely productive. Now as an adult, I’ve been learning to not let my thoughts go running off without me. When crap happens, and oh it does, our thoughts so quickly race ahead and go running off into deep, dark, overwhelming waters where we haven’t been equipped to swim yet. We get overwhelmed in all that could be and might be, and become paralyzed here in this moment. Yip, your thoughts ran off without you. Reel them back in honey. You don’t know what will happen. You may be painting a picture that isn’t even close to reality. God doesn’t need your help with what will come, He wants you right here living this moment with the best of you. Here you have bread for your needs. Your daily bread has been provided, but it is for today, not tomorrow. When we go through a traumatic experience, that memory is ingrained in our mind. We have a tendency to return to the trauma again and again, each time replaying the story, feeling the hurt all over. God provided what you needed to get you through it when it happened, but his intentions were for you to step into today without returning back there again. Have you been using today’s provision on a replayed hurt from the past? You don’t have to do that anymore. You’re here to live. Live now. Remember the Israelites stuck in the desert? Remember how in Exodus 16 God provided for them with manna that fell from heaven onto the ground each day? It was miraculous provision that showed up each day giving them exactly what they needed. When they tried to gather extra to cover the needs of the next day, it would rot and be filled with maggots. God’s provision was only good for that day. He never failed to show up and meet their daily needs. And he won’t fail to meet yours either. But honey, you’re trying to account for tomorrow, next week, next month … heck you’ve wandered off into concerns over 5 years from now! Your mind is running off with you again. Bring it back here. Yes, right here where God is teaching you the to stay close to him and dwell in your life moment by moment. Don’t miss this moment. He has you perfectly covered here. Right here everything is okay. You have everything you need. Dwell here. Breathe here. Receive here. This is your daily bread. This is where you’re supposed to be. Choose this story. The story of now. Explore the pages of today and see how God’s fingerprints are all over every detail. His provision showed up for you today, as it always has. You can trust he will cover tomorrow when tomorrow comes. There’s an old song my grandma used to sing, maybe you’ve heard it before. It says: One day at a time, sweet Jesus That’s all I’m asking of You Just give me the strength to do everyday What I have to do Yesterday’s gone, sweet Jesus And tomorrow may never be mine God help me today Show me the way One day at a time May you stay right here in the moment today and see just how good your God is. May sweet Jesus give you the strength to do what you need to do today. May you let yesterday go and trust if tomorrow comes, it will be covered too. May you harness your thoughts, reign them in, and keep them here in this moment.
12 minutes | 11 days ago
849 His Marvelous Plans
You used to dream of something, but it never happened. Your prayers were once centered on a specific request, but with the delay came your resignation of believing things would ever change. You once believed. You once hoped. You asked. But nothing. So you moved on with your disappointment, accepting this is all there is for you in this life. BUT WHAT IF THIS ISN’T IT? What if there’s so much more for you? What if the answer wasn’t ‘no’, but it was ‘not yet’. What if the purpose wasn’t for you to sacrifice the dream, but to surrender it. Surrender your way. Surrender your timing. Surrender how you thought it would happen. But not sacrifice it, kill it, and walk away empty. I think of the story of Abraham with his son Issac, preparing for a sacrifice. His son, whom he had spent his whole life waiting for would be the sacrifice on the alter. But at the last minute God provided a ram as the sacrifice. You see, God wasn’t asking for Abraham’s dream to be sacrificed, he was only asking for a surrender. It may look like a sacrifice that ends in complete loss, but this is only a surrender. God isn’t going to kill this, he’s going to use this. You can trust him with your delay and disappointment. You can trust his silence while you continue to seek. You can trust he is working while you can’t see it. What is God doing here in the in between? Between the hope and the healing. Between the promise and the provision. Between the dream and the delivery. What is he doing … and what are you doing? Are you giving up here? Are you losing hope here? Are you dismissing yourself from the promise and allowing the dream to die? Healing is on it’s way. Provision is coming and delivery will happen. Now isn’t the time to give up. There was a man who was born crippled who for 40 years being crippled was all he knew. Every day someone would carry him to the gates of the church where he would beg. This was his life. It was all he knew and all he had grown to expect. But one day everything changed for him. A day when he wasn’t expecting anything different than any other day where he lay begging. On this day, two men named Peter and John who had been hanging out with Jesus walked by him. The crippled man begged for money, but that day he would receive so much more than money. Acts 3: 6-8 “Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk.” It was the most unexpected thing for this man. He had given up all hope of things ever changing for him. He had resigned to the life of laying on the ground and begging, but God had so much more for him. And the same God who did the impossible for this man, can do the impossible for you. For 40 years he never saw change … how long have you been waiting? Your wait has not disqualified you. This isn’t over. No, not with a God like yours! Honey, is there something you’ve given up on? What is it? What is it you’ve dismissed as too far gone, too late, and too hard to ever happen? If God can make a man who was crippled for 40 years to rise and walk, don’t you think he can do something pretty darn awesome for you? Maybe you’ve given up on something God still wants to give you. You’ve stepped down when God only asked you to bow down. I know it’s a whole lot easier to just give up than it is to keep hoping, but have you given up on an unlimited God who has the power to do more than you could ever ask or imagine? This crippled man laying at the gates of the church had likely given up on life ever looking any different for him. But he was wrong … soooo wrong. Life was about to radically change in every way with one encounter. And you think for some reason your life is beyond changing? You think your situation is too far gone? You think it’s too late for anything different now? Girl, you’re wrong! God can still work here. God can still do it. What if God is fully prepared to give you something you gave up on a long time ago? What if now is the time? But what if it doesn’t look like what you dreamed it would? What if he works in the most mysterious ways you never imagined, but it will bring you to that which you used to hope for. Would you trust God with this? You sacrificed it, gave up on it, killed it and walked away dismissing yourself from the dream, but God is here breathing new life into that dream only asking for your surrender of it. God, I will not give up on you. I will never give up on the miraculous work I know you can do. I will surrender my every dream and trust that you are working in the unseen during this darkness. I will trust the wait. May all that is possible but so NOT probable be revived within you. May the breath of God be breathed into that which you have given up on. May the day come when you look back and see all your mighty and loving Father was doing on your behalf while you waited, and may it be better than anything you could have ever imagined. Ephesians chapter 3 in my Bible is titled “God’s Marvelous Plans”. Woah girl … have you ever thought of God’s plans as marvelous? He has marvelous plans for you. But to be marvelous, it has to be so extraordinary that it causes wonder. You’ve been wondering what the heck God is doing, and that wonder is the perfect set up for his marvelous plans specifically for you. Within this chapter of the bible is a prayer. A prayer perfect for you as you have this dream that’s taking way too dang long and been way to hard to hold on to. A prayer over the dream you’ve maybe given up on, but God still has marvelous plans to give you. We close with this prayer Acts 3: 16-21 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will dwell in your heart through faith. I pray that your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him forever and ever! Amen.
18 minutes | 12 days ago
848 Sea Monkeys and You
Have harsh conditions caused you to put living on hold? Are you waiting for more favorable circumstances to show back up for your life? Is your plan to really start living this life of yours once the fires are put out and the smoke has cleared? Girl, don’t you know you were made for this storm? You are built for tough times. You’re like a 4 wheel drive truck with big muddin’ tires … you can get through this honey because you were designed for times like this. If you should choose to lay low and wait for another day, just know your life isn’t waiting for you. As the days pass, opportunities pass with them and they won’t come back around for you to grab them again. It’s now. Living is here. You don’t have to wait for more perfect days to show up and use what God has put in you. But hard times cause us to let dreams go stale. Let talents go dormant. Let hopes fade. Have we forgotten we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus, and that means we are made for this battle. We are built for less than perfect conditions. You are fully equipped for the specific hardship you face. Now is actually the perfect time for you to show up and live. Right here in the middle of this is the ideal setting for you to decide you are more than what happens to you because you have the power of God living inside of you. These ashes are the ones you’re supposed to rise from. Here, where it seems you’ve let things slip too far gone … Here, where life is freaking hard and you don’t know how you’re going to make it through this … Yes, right here is where you decide you’re going to live! Why? Because girl you’re not some packaged science experiment. You’re not a sea monkey. That’s right … I said sea monkey. Remember those miraculous little creatures in a packet that would come to life when you add water? Like for real, they go from dust to tiny little living sea creatures that grow? I always thought it was some kind of trick. How in the world is that even possible? Sea monkeys. That can’t be real. BUT IT IS REAL! And yes, they come to life when you add water. Sea monkeys are a breed of hybrid shrimp created in the 1950s by a scientist. This living creation is derived from crustaceans that undergo a process called “cryptobosis.” Cryptobosis is a physiological state where all activity is reduced to an undetectable level without disappearing completely. It’s life with a suspended animation brought on by times of adverse conditions. Survival has been adapted to basically put life on hold until things get better. And these sea monkeys can stay in this state of suspension indefinitely, waiting for better conditions. Better conditions for them is water. The moment water is introduced, they spring to life, and begin eating and growing. I just have to say, GIRL YOU’RE BETTER THAN THAT! You don’t have to wait for conditions to improve to spring to life. You were designed to continue living right through this. How do you get through this? How do you face the reality of your life when things are unbelievably hard and incredibly uncertain? Just like the sea monkeys, you need water. LIVING WATER. Remember when Jesus met the woman at the well? A woman who was an outcast from society because of the choices she had made and the way she was living. A woman ashamed of who she had become. But Jesus knew exactly who she was and everything she had ever done. He met her there at the well that day as she was drawing water and asked her for a drink. She basically tells him to get his own water, she’s busy with her hard life. Then Jesus says in John 4: 10-14 “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water. Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Jesus is the living water we need. He is the answer for your drought, for your hardship, for your harsh conditions and unlivable circumstances. You’re right, you can’t do this. This is too much. It is too hard. How could you ever be expected to carry this heavy weight on your own? Honey, you’re not alone. Jesus is right here with his living water to give you life in this hardship. You don’t have to cease living while going through this. You don’t have to shrink back to minimal existence. You don’t have to wish this away or sleep it away. You don’t have to take that bottle of pills to numb out the reality of your life. You are equipped to go through this and keep living. Just as water brings the sea monkeys to life again, Jesus is the living water offering you life right here today in the middle of this mess. Won’t you accept it? Won’t you let him fill you, strengthen you, renew you, and guide you? You have a choice to make. You choose whether you melt back into minimal existence and wait for this to get better, or you choose to accept all Jesus is offering you and rise up and live your life. You CAN live well today. You CAN find strength today. You CAN be filled with joy and peace today. Or you can wallow in the hardships. You can spend this day examining and categorizing all the reasons why this is insanely unfair, and you would be right. You can make a list and alphabetize the list of people who should have been there, but weren’t. Add to that list every bad thing that’s ever happened to you and all that could go wrong next. It’s a long list isn’t it? But remember this, as you do this, life is passing you by and the opportunities to live are limited. This isn’t living. This is a state of undetectable activity without disappearing completely. This is suspended animation. This is a waste. Don’t waste what God has given you. He has given you life, but are you going to live it? Jesus has offered you living water and he is exactly what you need to keep living during this hard time and not go back into a state of non-existence. Let’s go back to the woman at the well. The woman who’s life was a mess after going through 5 husbands and lining up the next one. Jesus offered her water and she questioned. Why would I need something you have? Who are you? You don’t know me. But he proved he knew her by telling her everything she had ever done. However, what she had done did not disqualify her from what Jesus was offering her. You are not disqualified from the offering of Jesus. Your sin isn’t too big. Your problem isn’t too far gone. This is all workable in the hands of the Almighty. Won’t you trust him here? Won’t you receive his living water and be strengthened? This is exactly what you need to get back to living here. Take a drink. Jesus is offering you life right now, and this life is worth living!
20 minutes | 15 days ago
847 Is It Good?
The key to you having a good day or a bad day isn’t in the weather, it’s not in your circumstance, it’s not in the actions or mood of others. The one key to your day is all in your head. Your THOUGHTS write the definition of this day. Your thoughts are either lifting you up, or dragging you down a dark alley to be beat. Your thoughts are either highlighting all that is good and right, or they’re underlining all that’s bad and wrong. Have you ever tried to reason with a 13 year old boy or a 17 year old girl? After having raised a few kids, I’ve discovered those are the key ages for each. It’s at the point of 13 in a boy’s life, and 17 in a girl’s life, that you thoroughly understand why some animals eat their young. I’ve always loved my children, but this stage really pushed the limits of me liking them. Their thoughts get all infected with hormones and they go temporarily crazy. Everything becomes an argument. Everything is made harder than it has to be. Everything is a battle. They’re not thinking rationally. Every thought they think is solely focused on them being right and everyone else being wrong. Their thoughts are anchored to all things being unfairly against them, so the simplest of things erupt in a full blown war. Now, here’s the good news parents of 13 year old boys and 17 year old girls, as quickly as they changed into this difficult, irritable being, they will change back to a somewhat tolerable individual in your house at some point. I can’t promise when, but eventually their thoughts change and they calm the heck down. If you’ve lived through this stage with your children, you know. You know everything can be right, but they can make it so totally wrong. Well girlfriend, we are no different. Everything can be reasonably right in your life and you can be responsible for making it totally wrong. If your thoughts are focused on how unfair things are for you, how unappreciated you are, and how hard things are for you, every day starts lining up to meet your expectations. You’re seeking … and surprise …. you’re finding! Just like the 13 year old boy looking for an argument always finds one, your search for things being unfair will always bring you to evidence your thoughts were correct. It’s all unfair for you. But then what? What is your reward? Now this day is foundationally unfair. Everyone has it better than you. Your life is unfairly hard, so you drag your butt through the torture of another day where you get a whole lot less than you feel you deserve. But guess what … your thoughts ordered that for you. How about you don’t order than anymore? The 17 year old girl looking for a battle always finds one. It’s as if she hand selects the clothes to start the battle. She plants the evidence for you to find just so the battle rages. Things can’t just stay calm … no, there’s always a battle because she’s looking for one. And you always find something to be stressed about when you look for it. Look at your schedule, the long list of all you have to get done. That’s stressful. Look at how far you still have to go. That’s stressful. Think about what could happen next, all that could go wrong, the disaster that could be waiting just around the corner. That’s stressful. Your thoughts have stressed you the heck out and not a darn thing has even happened. But, what you look for you will find. And if you think about it, your body responds as if it’s happening. You can think yourself into a full blown anxiety attack. You can also think yourself into a state of absolute bliss and peace. You choose. I’ve seen peace in a hospital room when a loved one is dying. I’ve seen bliss in the middle of the biggest mess that doesn’t seem like it will ever be fixed. I’ve seen it and lived it because I’ve chosen those thoughts. I’ve sought it and found it. I’ve learned to control my thoughts and make them obedient, regardless of circumstances. 2 Corinthians 10:5 “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” You, and only you, get to choose your thoughts. You think about what you chose to think about. And those thoughts have power and create a ripple effect in your life. They’re either causing you to feel good or feel bad. Those feelings then impact your attitude and actions. And this is how your entire life changes directions. Your thoughts are like the rudder on a boat, steering you right into chaos or peace. Let me give you a practical example. I’ve been married for 26 years to a truly amazing human being. My husband loves me and every day his love for me is on full display. I chose whether I see it or not. I can talk myself into feeling totally unloved. That’s not his doing, it’s my own thoughts. If you’ve studied love languages, you understand most couples are the result of opposites that attract. You may have a love language of quality time and all you desire is one on one time together to feel loved, but he may have a love language of physical touch that comes across as a physical desire that exhausts you. What you don’t understand is that as a physical touch person, his continual touching, groping, and advances, is his love on display. This is how he speaks love. And if it’s not your own love language it just annoys you. I’m primarily a words of affirmation girl. Just say something nice to me. Silence is brutal. Criticism cuts me. Negativity crushes me. I could count on one hand the number of times this year my husband has told me I am doing a good job. ONE HAND. If my thoughts focus on this, I feel totally unloved. I feel unappreciated. I feel neglected. If I choose to do that what I’m missing is the fact that my husband is an Acts of Service guy. This man spent hours cooking sausage, chicken and ribs over charcoal for me yesterday. He plans our meals, ensures they meet my chosen regiment, then plates my meals perfectly and serves them to me. Why? Because he loves me hard. Yet, if I don’t take my thoughts captive and make them obedient, I will feel unloved. Where have your thoughts been running wild and causing you to feel ways you don’t have to feel? I promise there is someone waking up today to circumstances less favorable than your own, and they’re waking up with gratitude and energy. The only difference is their thoughts have been harnessed and tamed, and as a result those thoughts are now obedient. Where are your thoughts taking you? They’re running off in some direction … make sure it’s a direction you want to go. If I want to feel loved, I only need to get my thoughts in alignment with a different perspective. He may not have called me beautiful this morning, but at this moment he’s out walking our dog praying for me. It’s up to me whether or not I’m grateful. You may be breaking good relationships with untamed thoughts. You may be ruining a job that could be a pure blessing with negative thoughts on a rampage. You may be taking perfectly good days of life and making them feel overwhelming and stressful all with thoughts seeking the negative. God has given you the power to change that. You, and you alone, control your thoughts. Check the trajectory of your thoughts. Where are they trying to take you? Is that where you want to go? Don’t blindly follow every thought that pops in your mind. Honey, your thoughts can’t be trusted. Philippians 4:8 “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
16 minutes | 16 days ago
846 Now, You Wait
Just how impatient are you? Is there a timeline you’re stressed over, feeling time is running out, yet nothing is happening? Things aren’t coming together and the closer you get to the designated time of needing things to have already happened, you start to panic. Is that you? Is that you now? Have you talked to God about this timeline? Have you told him you need something to happen now? That’s good. You should talk to him. You should bring your every need to him. But listen to his response. Has God ever once responded with shock like “Oh my goodness, you’re right … where has the time gone? I was over here goofing off handling natural disasters and world wide pandemics, I forgot about the urgency of your need.” My sister, our God is so much bigger than that! He hasn’t forgotten about your need. He hasn’t overbooked his schedule and depleted himself of time and energy to respond to you. He isn’t running late. He’s not stretched thin or overwhelmed. That’s you. That’s what you do. Don’t push your human tendencies off on a Holy God. Just this morning I was reminding God of a deadline. A required time for him to show up and do something, and while the time was drawing near, he hadn’t made an appearance yet. I hadn’t seen his hand at work. I hadn’t seen evidence of his attention to my details. So I was giving him a friendly reminder of time running out. Uhhmmmmm God … do you know what time it is? Where you at? Hello? It’s time Lord. And his response to me this morning was so clear, so simple and so direct. He said “I made time.” Here I am reminding God of my timeline and he simply reminds me HE MADE TIME. What am I stressed about? Why am I worried about God running out of time to do what I think I need him to do? He made time. He holds time. Time is not a limitation on God. 2 Peter 3:8 “A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.” What does that mean? It means what would take us a thousand years would require one day for God. An entire lifetime of change can happen in a moment with God. Time is your limitation. God is timeless. He has always been and he always will be. His power stretches across all span of time and has no limits. You procrastinate … God does not. God knew every moment of your entire existence before your first breath, and you better believe this moment where you’re waiting and wondering was accounted for. This day where you’re wondering when something is going to happen. This season of your life which hangs on something, anything, coming together but you don’t know when. It is all known. It is all covered. It is all under God’s holy reign and ultimate power. I’m a right now kinda person. I see something that needs to be done and I feel like it should be done right now. I have an idea and I’m springing into action before that idea has time to settle. I’m a sushi kinda person. I don’t have time for this to cook, so let’s just eat it raw. I see opportunity, I seize opportunity. I see a cliff, I run and jump. I see a target, I fire … sometimes I forget to check my aim. It’s a talent and a liability. I’m a get crap done kinda person … I’m also a sometimes make crap worse kinda person, but my intentions are always good. It’s why God gave me my husband. I’m the gas and he’s the brakes. Without me he goes no where … without him I would have crashed and burned 25 years ago. I’m always in a hurry. I have a running list. On that list there’s an urgent column, and there’s a not urgent column. EVERYTHING is in the urgent column for me. If it made it to the list, it’s urgent. And my prayers reflect the same. God, I need you to do something now. I need an answer now. Not later God, now. As I wait, my prayers get more aggressive. Uhmmmm God, hello? Things aren’t getting any better here and I know you’re busy but we gotta get crackin’ with this. You know what comes next? I start running ahead. I start climbing mountains I’m not even sure need to be climbed. In my rush and need for immediate answers, I create messes. I exhaust myself. I see time one way, and God sees it another way. And guess what … he’s right and I’m wrong. Our timelines don’t always align. He doesn’t always move when I want him to move or answer when I want him to answer. Sometimes he makes this girl wait. Is he making you wait? Know that in the wait, God is working. It is for a purpose. And that purpose is greater than your plan. Here in this space where you’re staring down a deadline or an urgent need that’s running out of time, remember this … GOD MADE TIME. He holds time. He’s never showing up prematurely, and he will never arrive on the scene too late. He’s always right on time, because time is his. Our human minds see the need and we allot time accordingly. God sees the need and he is neither pressed nor stressed. He’s got this. You hear me, GOD’S GOT THIS. If he’s waiting, that wait is for a purpose. If he’s quiet, the silence is for a purpose. You have no idea the movement happening in the heavenly realms on your behalf. You don’t see the angels in action on their mission specifically for you. You are unaware of the moment coming where God will reveal what he did in one day what would have taken you a thousand years to do. But it’s happening. It is happening. God is responding to your need. Your prayer has set His power in motion. It’s not too late. This hasn’t slipped through the fingers of God … it’s held tightly by the Almighty and will be released just when it needs to be. God, where are you? I am right here. God, why aren’t you doing anything? I am. Your mind can’t comprehend what I’m doing for you. God, when will it happen? When my glory will be on full display. God, will you help me while I wait? Absolutely my girl. I’ve got you.
17 minutes | 17 days ago
845 Who Are You?
In the Bible we read about God speaking to people through dreams. Does he ever speak to you through your dreams? I typically wake up remembering my dreams and y’all, they are crazy. My dreams are random and scattered and if God is trying to talk to me through those dreams, I’m going to need […]
15 minutes | 18 days ago
God is in the business of taking what is old and making it new. He’s an expert in restoring what has been broken, reviving what has been lost, and bringing life to that which seemed too far gone. What is seemingly too far gone in your life? What has been lost and claimed to never be found? What has died within you without hope of ever being alive again? This isn’t where you walk away and settle for broken pieces that can never be whole again … this is where you bring the broken pieces to the Master and ask him to begin his miraculous work. This is DIY time. But not DIY the way you’ve been taught. You are not a ‘Do It Yourself’ project. Your life, your hurt, your mess, your brokenness, this is a ‘Do It Yahweh’ project. Yahweh, the name God gives himself. It is sacred, and it is specific to a relationship with you. In Genesis 1, God is called Elohim in Greek, which refers to the God who creates. He is the one who is majestic and powerful, but distant. Then in Genesis 2, God is introduced as Yahweh. He is the same God, but now with a different name. Why? Because now he is in a relationship. He has created humanity, and Yahweh is personally involved with us. Yahweh, the God who desires a relationship with you, the one personally invested in you, the one who delights in the details of your life, is here to move and work on your behalf. May your response be DIY … Do It Yahweh! No more trying to do this all yourself. You’ve tried, haven’t you? You’re exhausted from trying all the things to fix what surely seems too far gone. You’re ready to walk away. But God is ready to make you new again. He is here to restore what has been broken. He is here to revive what has been lost in you. What have you lost? Have you lost your passion? Have you lost your pep? Have you lost your motivation? Have you lost your vision? Have you lost your compassion? Have you lost your purpose? Your joy? Your peace? Has it been so lost for so long that you believe you will never get it back? Honey it’s time to call in Yahweh! Lord, please work here. Do what only you can do. I can’t do this myself. Lord, help us not to settle here. Help us not to throw away what you can still work with. Help us to see your vision for what we have left. Help us to seek that which has been lost so you can restore our lives. Jesus tells us a story in Luke 15: 8-10 about looking for what is lost. “Suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” God isn’t giving up on what has been lost in your life. He’s not willing to throw away what has been broken. He’s here to help you find that passion again. He’s here to help you heal completely and step into the beautiful future awaiting you, whole and complete. He’s here to help restore that which still hurts and doesn’t make sense. And he won’t stop until it’s done. Until you’re found. Until you’re made new again. Y’all, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost given up. I couldn’t see what God was doing. I couldn’t feel him moving. All I saw was an endless mountain of demands and zero progress no matter how hard I tried. BUT GOD. God was working. God was working in unseen places, restoring and renewing, preparing and providing, strengthening and supplying. Then one day it was as if the veil was lifted and I could see what he had been doing and just how perfect his work really was. Do you remember the show Extreme Home Makeover? Ty Pennington and his crew would arrive on sight to a family in desperation with a home in need of a major makeover. They would send the family away and get to work. Sometime later, they would bring the family back and position them in the road in front of their house, but they couldn’t see what had been done. Do you remember what was blocking the view of their new home? THE BUS! Together they would yell, MOVE THAT BUS! And the bus would drive away, revealing their extreme home makeover. Tears. Joy. Excitement. Yes, the reveal after the bus had moved. Girl, there have been some extreme makeovers happening in your life. God has been working, but you can’t see what he’s been doing. From the inside out, he’s been making what was old into something new. You can’t see it yet because something is blocking your view. It’s time to move that bus! God, what have you been doing? Show us your work! Reveal to us the makeover you’ve mastered. Remove the things standing in the way, blocking our vision from your restoration. God has been breaking chains. God has been tearing down walls. God has been doing demolition in our lives. All we could see was destruction and loss. All we have felt is pain and fear. But God has a greater purpose. God is making over our lives. We’re ready to see it now. Lord, show us what you’ve been doing. Yahweh did it! This God who is in a personal relationship with us, He is the one responsible for restoring what was too far gone. For reviving what we had lost along the way. For an extreme makeover. Now maybe you’re not at the reveal stage yet. Maybe you’re in the demolition stage where things are still being torn down. Your life feels almost unlivable right now. Will you trust God isn’t done here? Will you trust he has a vision for how he will rebuild and restore every single thing that has been lost here? Old walls are being torn down and your life is being opened up. New spaces are being created here. Trust the design of the Almighty as he reveals his miraculous plans for your future. Yes it’s extreme and maybe you would have settled for just a little fresh paint over what you already had, but God isn’t in the business of settling. He’s extreme. He’s all the way. He’s all in. He’s here offering his very best because you are his beloved. This is all a process. Yahweh has a way. It’s likely not your way. It’s his way and it’s higher, bigger and better than yours … it’s deeper than fresh paint … it’s a total overhaul. But in the end, the life you have will be of tremendous value and this makeover will be worth it!
13 minutes | 19 days ago
843 God Guide Me
Where does your stability come from? When facing uncertainty, what guides you? What steers you in the right direction and anchors you in a storm? All you have and all you’ve ever known could change in an instant, so what is the one true steady that is never changing? Your creator saw all your days before your first breath. He has pre-walked every path you could possibly take, already prepared for the journey required to reach your destiny, and planned for every wrong turn you could make along the way. There’s nothing he hasn’t already thought of, no problem he hasn’t already solved, no impossible he hasn’t already overcome. This very day of your life, the exact place you’re in and the circumstances you face today were already considered by the Almighty when he set your life into motion. This may be surprising to you, but it is no surprise to God. He saw this coming, and whether you realize it or not, he has been equipping you for it. Step on up sister, now is your time to live this life you have been given as only you can do. Creating fun is my spiritual gifting. Having fun is my skill set. Turning ordinary things into fun adventures is my natural talent. There’s only one problem … I’m always lost. 97% of the time I’m wandering around with no clue where I’m at or what direction I’m heading. And that’s why God gave me a partner in life like Lonnie Crim. He’s like a human compass. He has this extreme built in sense of direction and deep common sense which tells him where things will likely be. Me … I’m just fun. Him … he knows how to get us there. Scripture tells us God created us in his own image. He made me more like the fun side of himself. He made my husband more like the GPS side. Let me remind you, God knows how to get you where you need to go. He is right here with you today, he knows every detail concerning you and his higher perspective allows him to see every possible option before you to take you to the purpose filled destiny he created you for. It’s not too late, you’re not too far gone, and this is not hopeless. In fact, I believe maybe God would say this is perfect. This is the perfect setup for him to show up and show off his power! Girl, watch him work here. Watch him bring together connections and opportunities. Watch him bring this full circle and blow your mind. Watch him use it all together for good. Yes, all of it. I’ve been studying Psalm 37:23. Depending on the translation you read, you may get confused about God’s guidance in your life. I sure did. NLT: The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. NKJV: The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Amplified Bible: The steps of a [good and righteous] man are directed and established by the LORD, And He delights in his way [and blesses his path]. So, I’m left to wonder, what qualifies me as good, righteous or Godly because it’s already been established that this directionally challenged, fun-loving girl needs God’s guidance to get anywhere. How do you ensure you’re good enough? What are the qualifying factors in your life to be called righteous or godly? I will admit, I try to do good, but sometimes my flesh just gets in the way y’all. I try to be godly, but my human runs deep. I relate to Paul a whole lot in Romans 7:15 when he says “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” But wouldn’t we all agree Paul’s life was certainly directed by God? Wouldn’t we agree that God used him for a great purpose? So it wasn’t Paul’s ability to do all the right things and avoid the wrong things that qualified him. He wasn’t good or righteous or Godly in the sense we assume are qualifying factors for God’s direction and blessings. So, that brings us to this … all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. No one is righteous. We’ve all screwed this thing up along the way. Godly … I don’t quite qualify for that … do you? Does that leave us disqualified from the guidance and direction of God? Honey, this is why we have Jesus! Not one, no not one, is righteous apart from Jesus. But with Jesus, we are good, we are righteous and we are Godly. You don’t need a perfect track record or a guarantee of never screwing this thing up again … all you need is Jesus! How do you get him? You simply seek him. Your answer is to SEEK. For God to guide your next steps and direct your path, you only need to SEEK. Seek and ye shall find. God delights in the details of your life. He loves watching you live and discover his blessings and provision along the way. He has hidden treasures for you to discover and unexpected turns that lead you to destinations you can’t even imagine today. And every step of this journey he has declared you are good enough, you are righteous through Jesus, and he sees you as Godly simply because you are seeking. Not because you are perfect. Not because you have it all figured out. Only because you are seeking. When you seek him, he will guide you. When you seek him, he will direct you. When you seek him, he will bless you. Where does your stability come from? When facing uncertainty, what guides you? What steers you in the right direction and anchors you in a storm? All you have and all you’ve ever known could change in an instant, so what is the one true steady that is never changing? Your creator saw all your days before your first breath. He has pre-walked every path you could possibly take, already prepared for the journey required to reach your destiny, and planned for every wrong turn you could make along the way. There’s nothing he hasn’t already thought of, no problem he hasn’t already solved, no impossible he hasn’t already overcome. This very day of your life, the exact place you’re in and the circumstances you face today were already considered by the Almighty when he set your life into motion. This may be surprising to you, but it is no surprise to God. He saw this coming, and whether you realize it or not, he has been equipping you for it. Step on up sister, now is your time to live this life you have been given as only you can do. Creating fun is my spiritual gifting. Having fun is my skill set. Turning ordinary things into fun adventures is my natural talent. There’s only one problem … I’m always lost. 97% of the time I’m wandering around with no clue where I’m at or what direction I’m heading. And that’s why God gave me a partner in life like Lonnie Crim. He’s like a human compass. He has this extreme built in sense of direction and deep common sense which tells him where things will likely be. Me … I’m just fun. Him … he knows how to get us there. Scripture tells us God created us in his own image. He made me more like the fun side of himself. He made my husband more like the GPS side. Let me remind you, God knows how to get you where you need to go. He is right here with you today, he knows every detail concerning you and his higher perspective allows him to see every possible option before you to take you to the purpose filled destiny he created you for. It’s not too late, you’re not too far gone, and this is not hopeless. In fact, I believe maybe God would say this is perfect. This is the perfect setup for him to show up and show off his power! Girl, watch him work here. Watch him bring together connections and opportunities. Watch him bring this full circle and blow your mind. Watch him use it all together for good. Yes, all of it. I’ve been studying Psalm 37:23. Depending on the translation you read, you may get confused about God’s guidance in your life. I sure did. NLT: The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. NKJV: The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Amplified Bible: The steps of a [good and righteous] man are directed and established by the LORD, And He delights in his way [and blesses his path]. So, I’m left to wonder, what qualifies me as good, righteous or Godly because it’s already been established that this directionally challenged, fun-loving girl needs God’s guidance to get anywhere. How do you ensure you’re good enough? What are the qualifying factors in your life to be called righteous or godly? I will admit, I try to do good, but sometimes my flesh just gets in the way y’all. I try to be godly, but my human runs deep. I relate to Paul a whole lot in Romans 7:15 when he says “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” But wouldn’t we all agree Paul’s life was certainly directed by God? Wouldn’t we agree that God used him for a great purpose? So it wasn’t Paul’s ability to do all the right things and avoid the wrong things that qualified him. He wasn’t good or righteous or Godly in the sense we assume are qualifying factors for God’s direction and blessings. So, that brings us to this … all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. No one is righteous. We’ve all screwed this thing up along the way. Godly … I don’t quite qualify for that … do you? Does that leave us disqualified from the guidance and direction of God? Honey, this is why we have Jesus! Not one, no not one, is righteous apart from Jesus. But with Jesus, we are good, we are righteous and we are Godly. You don’t need a perfect track record or a guarantee of never screwing this thing up again … all you need is Jesus! How do you get him? You simply seek him. Your answer is to SEEK. For God to guide your next steps and direct your path, you only need to SEEK. Seek and ye shall find. God delights in the details of your life. He loves watching you live and discover his blessings and provision along the way. He has hidden treasures for you to discover and unexpected turns that lead you to destinations you can’t even imagine today. And every step of this journey he has declared you are good enough, you are righteous through Jesus, and he sees you as Godly simply because you are seeking. Not because you are perfect. Not because you have it all figured out. Only because you are seeking. When you seek him, he will guide you. When you seek him, he will direct you. When you seek him, he will bless you.
16 minutes | 22 days ago
842 In Your Fire
Sometimes life gets a little fiery. Things go wrong, good is threatened, and you’re left to face an uncertain situation that could get worse. What do you do when you start feeling the heat? What do you do when the flames grow bigger? What do you do when things go up in smoke? Where is God when the fires blaze in your life? Does he not have the power to stop it, or does he just not care enough to do something about it? Which is it, because sometimes we just really want to know why bad things happen to good people. If our God is both powerful and loving, then why isn’t he showing up with blaring sirens and flashing lights in your fire? I’m not one of those perfect believers that has never asked why? I’m going to be real honest with you and tell you there have been times where my 911 emergency prayers seemed to have been unanswered and some one else’s 411 information prayers were immediately picked up. (411 – remember that? The number you called for information. It was the google for rotary phones.) I’m over here praying that 911 prayer of ‘Lord, please save us from losing our home’ while God seemed to be busy answering someone’s 411 prayer of ‘Lord, where should I go to get my haircut.’ What the heck … shouldn’t God have some sort of emergency response system that manages the level of importance? I’m on fire over here and you’re occupying God with your no nothing requests? And it was that thinking that led me to only praying when it was big. God became my 911 call. He was only to be contacted for emergency purposes. And if I called on him in prayer when it wasn’t a real emergency, I might be fined or something. Seriously, that’s the way I viewed prayer. Why? Because in my head he was busy doing bigger, more important things for people in bigger fires than my own. Is that the way you treat prayer? Your knees are reserved for when you really can’t stand? What a trick of the enemy to make us look around in our fire and believe God is answering insignificant requests while ignoring our own. What a nasty twist of the truth to make us believe God can only handle one request at a time, so instead of bringing everything to the Father, we stand at the back of the line as if our needs aren’t important. Honey, there is no line! What are you waiting for? God is omnipresent. While he sees me here in Florida, he sees Becca in California, Melita in Serbia, and Nikka, Marvie and Inah in the Philippines. His presence here with me does not cause his absence there with you. He is here, he is there, and he is everywhere. We put limits on God. He is unlimited. In Genesis 1 we read of God creating the heavens and the Earth in 6 days. Then it says in verse 31 “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” He saw it all. He saw the mountains, the seas, the islands, the deserts, the constellations, the far away planets, the vast depth of the universe we will never even discover, he saw it and decided it was very good. He was here and there at the same time. His eye was on the icy planet of Pluto while he designed the details of the rivers on Earth. Just as he watches me today while he watches you today. He responds to my prayers and your prayers at the same time, and honey he isn’t the slightest bit overwhelmed. You’re not burdening God with your requests. You’re not stealing his power from anyone in greater need. If you have a fire raging in your life, talk to God about it. But hey sis, you don’t have to wait until the flames are a threat … you can talk to God before there’s even a hint of smoke. He cares. He’s here. His power is for you. Remember the story of the 3 guys who were thrown into a fiery furnace by the King because they refused to worship his golden statue? It’s the first Bible story I ever remember hearing as a teen. My family didn’t go to Church, but my boyfriend went to a little country church where the youth met on Sunday mornings in the basement. I went for him … Jesus was there for me. I heard about the 3 guys with funky names, Shadrach, Meshach and Abendnego, and how these guys had so much faith in God. At the time I didn’t even know who this God was, but I was interested in knowing what he could do in my life. So, I listened. I learned about this God who could saved these guys from going in the fire, but he didn’t. I learned about this God who let people of unshakable faith go right in the fire when he could have stopped it. And I learned about a God who used it all for good. A God who had a bigger plan at work and through the fire he would work. THROUGH THE FIRE GOD WORKS. I would rather he never allow the fires. I would prefer a preventative measure and a presoak of water … but guess what … then I would probably complain about the soaking water and ask for it to be dry. Sometimes God soaks us in a torrential downpour, and sometimes he allows wildfires to grow. But this is God working. This is our opportunity to trust. Read the story in Daniel 3. What I love most about Shadrach, Meshach and Abendnego is they had so much faith in God they said to the threatening King “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it … But even if he does not, we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” God is ABLE to save us from this fire, but even if he does not, I will trust him. Whatever you’re going through right now, God sees it and he cares about it. You can ask him to help you here. He’s not too busy. His eye is on you and every detail concerning you. He may put out the fire immediately … or he may not. He may let you walk right through this fire. But here’s the promise … he will be right there with you. You will not walk this alone. When the King looked into the furnace he was amazed to see 4 in the fire instead of just 3. He then knew, their God was in the fire with them. And this changed everything. Shadrach, Meshach and Abendnego walked out of that fire unharmed and the King vowed to follow their God, and as the leader of the country he lead others to faith as well. How you walk through this fire makes a difference in not only your life, but in the lives of others. Others are watching you. Will they see you walking with God? Will they see you struggle and keep going in faith? Will they see how God uses all of this for good? You don’t have to hide your struggles … if you hide your struggles you hide how God strengthens as well. We’re all here struggling together. We’re all staring down fires and fighting flames. And not a single one of us is alone. In this fire with you is a mighty God who sees it all, knows it all, and is using it all for good.
14 minutes | 23 days ago
841 Spirit of Power
This isn’t just another day of life. This is something remarkably special. This is day 112 of 2021. You are now 30% of the way through this year. Here, you stand on the cusp of something – on the cusp of your potential – and God wants to know if you will step INTO it. Will you step into the life he is offering you? Remember, God is offering you a BIG Life. Scripture says “I long for you to enter this wide-open spacious life. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively.” What does this mean … live BIG! And today is an opportunity to do exactly that. But most will miss it and believe it’s just an ordinary Thursday in the middle of April, not quite a fresh start, and not yet the weekend. Will this day go unappreciated and unrecognized as the pure gift and tremendous opportunity it really is? Will you make your God look at you and say “Gosh I’m glad I gave that girl life!” Here’s my wish for you … Today, may you be led by what is IN you instead of what is around you. Around you are all sorts of distractions and drama. The invitation to mediocre living is everywhere. But you don’t have to go through life downbeat, down cast and down in the dumps. DOWN isn’t the direction you should be looking or heading. Here’s how I know … because of what is IN you. As a follower of Christ and daughter of the King, the very Spirit of God is IN you. Romans 8: 9 says “You, however, are controlled not by the flesh, but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. A few sentences later in verse 15 it says “You have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children.” God’s spirit is in you. Do you get that? His spirit is IN you. The mountain moving, sea parting, chain breaking, prison wall shaking, master of the winds and waves, creator of the Universe, IS IN YOU. The enemy wants to beat you down and remind you of your failures and shortcomings all so you forget who is in you. He trips you up with an obsession over your weight, your money, your job, your house, your image … all so that you fail to recognize what is most important and what is truly powerful. God’s spirit lives within you. If you’re obsessing over the size of your butt and the pooch of your belly, then you forget about the power inside of you. Hey if you’re upset about your butt or your belly, your house or your job, then woman DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT ALREADY! You have the ability to change anything you want to change. If you don’t like it, girl get to work on it. Don’t sacrifice your power. I know I certainly have sacrificed my power at times and failed to recognize the most powerful thing in the entire universe living right inside of me. Every single time that sacrificed of power came as a result of a focus on my problems instead of my power. You can be powerful or pitiful but you can’t be both. Why would we ever choose pitiful? Oh dang girl, pitty NEVER looks good on you. But power coming from the spirit of the Almighty living within in … you can rock that! Because of his spirit living in you, you should no longer settle for defeat. You should no longer wake up expecting nothing great. You should no longer be okay with mediocre. Not when the spirit of the almighty is in you. Oh heck to the no! This is why you should be excited. This is why you should get fired up about the new day of life being offered to you today. This is why you should anticipate seizing every opportunity that comes your way and being fully capable of slaying your obstacles, overcoming time and time again, and being more than a conqueror. BECAUSE GOD’S SPIRIT LIVES IN YOU. You are not controlled by the flesh. Your feelings no longer have to run the show. You are not a slave. You are a daughter of the king and quite honestly, being a real life princess is pretty dang awesome. As you go through your day today, remember this truth: nothing you come up against could possibly match the power of the spirit of God within you. You are not helpless, you are not hopeless, you are not stuck. And if you feel any of these things it is a result of the enemies lies and you bought them. Don’t buy what he’s trying to sell you. A real life princess should never settle for the peddlings of the defeated one. The same power which created this entire universe is now living inside of you and I believe that means you are POWERFUL. The same power which raised Jesus from the dead is within you, that means life and healing are inside of you. The same power which shook the prison walls and broke the chains is packed down deep within your soul, and that means nothing can possibly hold you back. The same power that turned water into wine is inside of you, that means you have the power to change. You don’t have to be the same woman stuck in the same old patterns and habits. You can change now. Why? Because the spirit of God can change EVERYTHING, and it’s living in you. Oh girl, don’t forget what is in you. What is around you is just details. That’s just conditions and circumstances. Those pale in comparison to the very Spirit of God dwelling in you. That spirit does not make you a fearful slave of life, just waiting and wondering what could happen next. No, this spirit brings you into the family, places a crown on your head and says YOU BELONG! Girl, straighten your crown. Life just knocked you around a bit, but you’re still a daughter of the king. He has claimed you. He has saved you. And his power now lives within you.
16 minutes | 24 days ago
840 Sleeping with Snakes
Today we’re talking about snakes. Sneaky snakes that become normal to us while threatening the life God created us for. I’m not a fan of snakes. My son used to beg for a pet snake and I always told him when he was grown and married he could ask his wife for a snake because mama was a hard no. Heck to the no I’m not willingly and knowingly bringing a snake into my house. But not all snakes look the same, if you know what I’m talking about. What have we willingly and knowingly welcomed into our homes, oblivious of the ultimate threat it poses? Have you heard the story of the woman who slept with her python? This huge snake would stretch out from her head to her feet as she slept in her bed. Every night their routine was the same and she never felt threatened. It was her pet. Her friend. Her bed-mate. One day the woman noticed the snake had stopped eating. No matter what she would do, she couldn’t get the snake to eat. This continued on for a long period of time and she grew concerned something was wrong, so she took the snake to the vet. The vet asked where the snake slept, and she explained it’s bonding with her as it stretched out by her side in the bed. The vet was alarmed and insisted she must immediately get rid of the snake. It was a true threat to her. He went on to explain the snake had been sizing her up as he stretched the length of her body. Once it felt it was big enough, it began starving itself in preparation for it’s big feast … her! He was preparing to eat her, all while she is sleeping with the threat, unaware. Girls, what have we welcomed into our home … what have we allowed to become part of our everyday life … what have we snuggled up next to and made friends with, forgetting it is an absolute THREAT in our lives? This is what sin does to us. It starts small and innocent. Just a little doesn’t hurt anyone. But it grows. And as it grows we become the victim without even realizing the threat. What snake are we sleeping with? What is growing with the intention of consuming? Where has the enemy slithered his way into your life and you’re so entertained by it, you no longer see the threat of it? Affairs don’t usually show up in the form of some beautiful, irresistible human being throwing themselves at you. Affairs are the result of a little flirt, a little thought, a little curiosity, and it’s fed. As you feed it, it grows. And as it grows, it sizes you up for consumption. You never even saw the collateral damage it could do to your family, but the enemy’s intention was always to kill, steal and destroy … you just didn’t see it for what it was. You missed the danger in what became normal. You bonded with the very thing that could destroy you. This is exactly how the enemy works. This is how sin grips us and doesn’t let go. You’ve heard the saying “dancing with the devil” … well girl, sometimes we sleep with the devil. We curl right up next to his destruction and allow it to become normal in our lives. It’s now normal to spend 5, 7, 10 hours a day on our phone. Seriously, check your screen time and see if that number is okay with you. (On your iphone, go to “Settings’ and select ‘Screen Time’. That number may make you a little sick. How much of your life is passing while you’re looking at your screen? Is that really okay with you? Or has this addiction grown to a consuming level affecting your life more than you realized? Just how big has that snake grown, sister? That little sip of wine to relax and unwind at the end of the day seems harmless. Jesus drank wine. But how big has that grown in your life? Has it grown to an unhealthy level and now a coping mechanism for every day of life? Is it now required to keep you calm and happy? Oh honey, be aware of that snake. Its intentions are not good. The crystals and the tarot cards were fun and playful. But those are not of Christ Jesus. They’re a threat to you, an open door for other powers to snuggle up and grow in your life. Don’t close that door honey, SLAM IT. The enemy will sneak in any way he can, and when he does he will seek to destroy every good thing you have. He will have no mercy and you won’t see it coming. Romans 12: 2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Lord, help us to renew our minds and be transformed. Just because the rest of the world does it, help us not to fall into that trap. Set us apart to do your work and follow your will. Show us the snakes and their threats and give us the courage to evict them from our lives. What bad habits, bad relationships, bad thoughts, and bad routines are sneaking into our lives and threatening the future you have for us? Galatians 5:1 “Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you”. Jesus took upon himself the exact thing you’re struggling with. The very sin that threatens with its grip on you. The very temptation that has slithered its way into your life. Yes, he’s already fought it and conquered it. Jesus has overcome to set you free. It’s been banished from your life already, don’t open the door and welcome it back in. You are not a slave to sin, but you will be if you let that sin in. What if we prayed a bold prayer today and asked God to help us see where we’ve allowed potential danger to grow? What if we prayed for clear eyes to see threats that have become normal to us? What if we opened the doors to every room in our homes and hearts and asked God to examine it for strongholds of the enemy? What if we stopped nagging our loved ones who are sleeping with snakes, and began praying for them to be free of the threats as well? What if we became snake slayers through our prayers and our support? What if God used us to help set people free from the grips of sin they don’t even see themselves? What if we lived life truly free, embracing all Jesus came to give us and saw the offerings of the evil one for what they really are … evil. Not exciting. Not mysterious. Not cool because everyone else is doing it. Just evil. And we have no room for that in our lives! No snakes in this house. No snakes in this bed. I won’t dance with the devil and I won’t sleep with him either.
15 minutes | 25 days ago
839 Problems and Perspective
We all come here today with a problem of some sort. Everything is not perfect. There’s a strained relationship, a stress or a mess, a potential threat, a worry, a hurt or pain. Hey, we’ve all got problems. However, it’s our PERSPECTIVE on our problems that determines how we feel at the end of this day. What is your perspective on your problem? 2 Corinthians was written by Paul. Paul was a great messenger of God. God chose him, an unlikely candidate to leave such a legacy, then he changed him. I believe Paul’s past kept him humble and real, remember he was once Saul, the persecutor of Christians who went around beheading people. You think God doesn’t change the people he chooses, oh think again. And just in case you’re wondering if God has chosen you, the answer is YES. Yes, he has chosen you and he can change anything that needs to be changed in you. Anything. Lets read 2 Corinthians chapter 12, verses 7-10. Paul says: “To keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Honestly, that never made a whole lot of sense to me – for when I am weak, then I am strong. So I thought perhaps different translations of the bible would give me some insight. Could it really mean when I am weak, then I am strong. Seems like an oxymoron to me here people. So I looked in the New Living Translation, the New International Version, and the King James Version, and all 3 translations say it the same confusing way – when I am weak, then I am strong. Where are my girls at that are feeling a little weak on this Tuesday morning – a little beat down by the storms of life – overwhelmed by the demands and pressures – stuck in the messes and stresses – WELL GET READY TO BE STRONG. This is a different perspective of your problem. You really never know how strong you are until you have to be. When strong is your only choice, then you come face to face with what’s really deep down inside of you. God is making you stronger than you ever imagined. For when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength]. My human strength won’t get me through this – I must draw from God’s strength. And you must do the same. Perhaps this is why God allows storms in our lives. Maybe this is why he allows our plans to fall apart. Could this be why he allows difficult people and stressful situations? This is the purpose of many of your problems. So you become weak in your own strength and draw from His strength. Paul was given a thorn in his flesh, he called it a messenger from Satan to torment him and keep him from becoming prideful. It wasn’t a literal thorn in his flesh, it was a symbolism of something that continually bothered him. We’re left to wonder what it might be. It could have been a physical ailment, many suggest migraines, epilepsy or seizures. Others believe it could have been a temptation he struggled with or a specific person always stirring up trouble for him. Why wouldn’t Paul tell us what his torn was? I believe it was left open ended to encourage us to consider our own thorn. What is the torn in your side? What is it that continually bothers you? What is it you have struggled with? What is your problem? Maybe you’ve begged God to heal you, take it away from you and yet you still struggle. Why? Because His power works best in weakness. If you could do this all on your own, wouldn’t you? Sure you would. We are vain creatures and we love the credit. We crave the praise. We like the power and control. We want to rise up and conquer on our own AND WHEN WE CAN’T, then we are faced with our own truth – WE NEED GOD. Every day we need him. And, here’s the good news … you need him AND he is already in you. You are lacking nothing. As a follower of Christ, his spirit lives within you, strengthening you, guiding you and preparing you to face any storm, any battle, any obstacle that may come your way. Get ready to be strong. Get ready to be truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength. For you can do everything through Christ, who gives you strength. And he allows the thorn in your side to remind you it’s not in your own power. Let us not get all haughty taughty, high and mighty – girl you’re not all that and a bag of chips. But God is working through your weaknesses, through your afflictions, through your messes and stresses, through all the difficult people in your life, through all the impossible situations to strengthen you and use you for mighty purposes. This problem is not here to destroy you, it is here to promote your surrender, then build your strength. Are you ready to be strong? The only way muscles become strong is to stress them. The only way your spirit and your mind become strong is much the same. Stress, pressure, and problems can break you or strengthen you. A thorn in your side can be the reason you won’t get out of bed today, or it can be the reason you tap into God’s power and become stronger. It’s all a matter of perspective. How have you been looking at your problem? May you surrender to the almighty because of your problem, and may you be strengthened supernaturally to walk right through it and use it all for good.
13 minutes | a month ago
838 The Crappy Plans
Did you know there are crappy plans on this day of life with your name on it? Oh yes, specially designed crapfest of frustration and overwhelm just for you. We can pretend as if it’s not coming, sister we must realize the battle we’re in and gear up to fight. 2 Corinthians 2:11 says ” … Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes.” Are you familiar with the evil schemes of your enemy? My friend, don’t you know he’s been taking notes on you? All your life he’s been studying you and he knows EXACTLY what trips you up. He knows what steals your peace, causes you to flip out, and brings out the worst in you. God has a plan for your life and scripture tells us it’s a good plan, a plan to prosper you and fill you with hope. And you can be assured the enemy’s plans are the EXACT OPPOSITE for you. He wants you to be defeated – desperately defeated until you lose all hope. He wants you to wake up this morning and dread every part of this day of life. He wants you to be overwhelmed with all you have to do so you find zero blessings in it all. He wants you to be stuck in the routine of it all. He wants your first thoughts to be “oh gawd, I don’t want to get up.” Depression, anxiety, worry, jealousy and stress are all on his list of plans for you today. Why? Because they render you ineffective and leave you discouraged. Listen to me right now, don’t fall into the crappy plans of the enemy. Step intentionally into the good plans of your heavenly father who loves you and was up all night creating this day of life for you. Sure Satan is smart and cunning and crafty with his crappy ways, but we are familiar with his evil schemes and darn it, today he will not outsmart us. Remember 2 Corinthians 2:11 says “Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes.” How many days of your life has the enemy’s crappy plans won out? How many perfectly good days have you wasted being angry, irritated, grouchy, lazy or absolutely clueless to the sheer miracle of simply being ALIVE? Sadly we’ve all racked up a few days like that. Maybe we just weren’t aware before, but God is growing this awareness in us now and when you know better, you can do better! What are your triggers? What little things get under your skin and cause you to act irrationally? What trips you up? For some of you, it’s a rough start to the morning. It’s the snooze button and running late. Hmmmmm, did you face that this morning? Yeah, that battle was handcrafted for you by the enemy, part of his all too familiar evil schemes. Or maybe it’s waking up to a messy kitchen, a sink full of dishes and a reminder that the people you live with are 73% pig. That’s always a trigger for the wild eyed crazed ugly woman to come out in me. Yip, another handcrafted battle part of the evil schemes to trip us up. Maybe for you it’s not really things going wrong, but things going well for those around you. You feel threatened by their success and your fear causes you to act in ways you’re ashamed of. Jealousy and bitterness get the best of you and you’re showing up as a version of yourself you don’t even remotely like. This is your button and the enemy has been slamming it hasn’t he? For others the irrational actions are the result of assuming the worst in our overactive imagination. Our minds are filled with negative thoughts and Proverbs 23:7 tells us “as a man thinketh, so is he.” So we think crappy thoughts and of course we start acting crappy. Now who’s plan do you think that was? Ding, ding, ding, you’re right … not God’s! And here’s the sad thing, WE ALLOW IT. We fall for it, stumble right into it, and find ourselves living this perfectly beautiful day of life upset, overwhelmed, frustrated and annoyed over the silliest things. Don’t let Satan outsmart you – aren’t you familiar with his evil schemes by now? Are you really going to let those stupid arguments ruin your relationships? Are you really going to let those dishes ruin your morning? Are you really going to be stirred up and upset that you are going to work at a job you once prayed for? Are you really going to let those negative thoughts float around in your mind unleashed? Are you going to believe the lies that tell you you’re not enough when God so clearly affirms you are? It’s a trap. Recognize these things for what they are! The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. He’s after your joy. He’s after your peace. He’s after your energy. Protect it. Intentionally step into the plans of God by looking around at this moment and seeing all that is good and right in your life and appreciate it. Whisper a thousand thank you’s today. Choose to bite your tongue and not lash out like you normally would over those small silly things. It takes 2 to fight, don’t be one of them. We will not be outsmarted today – We know evil schemes when we see them. Not today Satan – NOT TODAY. You and your crappy plans can get to scooting because ain’t nobody got time for that! God has good plans for me and I’m going to step right into them.
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