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The Power of the Pen

“I don’t have any talent”.

 

I vividly recall saying that to my father when I was about 13. I was a decent dancer but not good enough to compete. I was on the softball team but spent little time on the field. I didn’t play an instrument. I couldn’t sing. Yup, talent-less.

 

But….the notebooks, the journals, the legal pads filled with writing.

 

Poetry. Short stories. Endless journal entries. Later news stories , articles, essays.

 

One spoken word piece I wrote 20+ years ago starts, “The pen and pad is all I ever had…”

 

I always thought that writing was just my way of escape; a coping mechanism I developed in early childhood to disconnect from what was happening in my environment. But with my father’s insight, I came to see that my writing was not only an escape but a vehicle by which I could bless others. My Dad said writing was MY talent.

 

The power of the written record.

 

The power of the pen enables you to go back, reflect and see the progress you’ve made. Two nights ago I stumbled upon a large binder with notes from when I was a new Christian. I was completely in awe of how God had taken all that Word, pages and pages of material from classes, workshops and bible study and stored it in my heart. I sat in amazement as I reflected on how those words are now my LIFE. Those words have been inextricably written on my heart.

 

From written records we learn about people, their cultures, and their habits. We learn about our planet, its variations and its inhabitants from maps, a form of written record. And we learn about the Most High God from the best-selling written record ever, The Holy Bible. The written record has POWER.

 

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

 

Today we have access to a wealth of information. The Library of Congress has more than 162 million items in more than 470 languages in its collection. And while that is a large breath of information, it is not all applicable to us individually. God has divinely wired us to receive information in ways that are specific and relative to us. There is a saying, “There is nothing new under the sun”. And be that as it may, God has attuned our eyes and ears to see and hear message in ways that we can receive and perceive. God has a group of people whose eyes and ears are attuned to hear from Him, through YOU. Click To Tweet

 

Yes, God has a people who are waiting specifically to hear from YOU. You and I may have something similar to say but your background, age, race, and life experience will color the message differently than mine. So don’t you ever doubt, not for one minute the value of your message. Don’t you ever question if the marketplace is saturated. Don’t second guess if you’re supposed to step into the already flooded arena. If God has called you to it, no matter how many others are doing it, there is only one with YOUR voice and that’s you. So take your wealth of knowledge, understanding and wisdom and write it down!

 

Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. Revelation 1:19

 

God is looking for writers.

 

Who will chronicle the great and mighty acts He performs?

 

Who will leave a written record of hope for future generations?

 

Who will inspire those currently in despair?

 

I know you can do it. In a matter of months, I wrote 57,000 words and that finished product will be in your hands in late Spring 2017. In fact, I actually have a ridiculous goal of publishing 3 books this year. Yes 3 books in 2017. God is pouring His oil out on writers. He will give us supernatural grace to record His testimony. He simply needs our obedience.   As a busy mom of 6, I too wondered how I’d find time to write a book. From shuttle kids to and fro all day, ministry commitments, along with a nursing baby attached to me constantly, I wondering how I could get it done. He simply told me, “Just follow My lead”. I obeyed and watched him perform the miracle of writing the first of many books. And He can do it for you too.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Write on my friends, WRITE ON. The Holy Spirit flows healing out of your pen.

 

Have you heard the call to write? If yes, are you obeying? In the comments below tell me what you’re working on so I can pray with you and hold you accountable.

 

Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News Mommy Moments, Purposeful Faith, Grace & Truth, Chasing Community

 

Listen Up

One then done!

Maybe two then I’m through!

 

Those were my plans as related to having children. I’ve always liked kids but when I envisioned family life it revolved around my husband and me, our careers and perhaps a child or two. That was until I heard Him say, “Your womb belongs to me.”

 

The birth of my first child was a carefully calculated event. Like everything else in my life at the time, having a baby was placed into a little box of my own making. I was used to meticulously planning every facet of my life. Throw in my professional training of facilitating time management courses and it made for a well-plotted life.

 

That was until baby number two came outside of the plan. You see, my plans were written in ink and not pencil. As a new believer, I hadn’t learned Proverbs 16:9, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” My veneer of planning and control had been cracked and out oozed fragility and vulnerability. As I came undone, I clung fiercely to my new faith, praying for answers.

 

And the answers came. God showed me that He loved me just as I was. He taught me that my works wouldn’t get me into heaven. He modeled for me how to love and accept others. And He was very clear that discipleship was a high calling. I understood very early in my Christian walk that He seeks for believers to be wholly committed and that’s what I intended to do. Yes, that’s what I intended to do, until He called me to do something that made no sense at all.

 

Join me over on Katie M. Reid’s blog as I share what God revealed to me, as part of the Listen Close, Listen Well series…

God’s Multiplication Principle

In God’s economy, 1+1 ≠ 2.

 

The God of this universe is not bound by mere mathematical equations as we’ve come to know them.

 

My God, our God is a God of multiplication. He wants to be and do more than we could ever calculate.

 

Staring into the face of my sweet week old baby boy, I began to think of how this addition would impact our family.

 

1 more mouth to feed.

1 more person to nurture.

1 more person to pack up.

1 more person to be responsible for.

1 more way to split the financial resources.

 

As these thoughts bombarded me, the Spirit gently led me to pray. As I began praying, the Lord began to speak. His words ministered grace and truth. He said, “With your natural eye, you may see subtraction or division, but in this blessing of baby #6, I bring compounded blessing. Indeed children are a blessing and the fruit of the womb is a reward”

 

I look up once again into the sweet face of my baby boy and sensed a surge of oxytocin, the love hormone flowing through my body. The Lord continued saying, “The surge of love you feel staring at this baby is but one example of how I multiply. This overflow of love is not just for your new baby, but it overflows to your other children. The patience, gentleness, kindness and love that are bonding you to your new baby will be compounded and shared with your other children.

Love Multiplied

 

So what brings about God’s abundant multiplication in your life?

 

OBEDIENCE

 

“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God” Deuteronomy 28:1-2

Blessings Multiplied

 

God can take our “not enough” and multiply it exponentially

 

“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. John 6:9-11

Provision Multiplied

 

God longs to empower you so that you perform mighty works in His name

 

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. 2 Kings 2:9

Anointing Multiplied

 

God’s economy is not what we see

In God’s economy 1+1=3

More akin to synergy

Not seven times,

But seventy times seven

One could chase a thousand

And two put ten thousand to flight

Divine multiplication

Blessing, anointing, power & might.

 

God’s desire is for you to experience His divine multiplication. What He wants is your willingness to surrender your wants and your desires for His will, His way. He wants to know if you are willing to freely give your time, talents and resources.

 

Has He been calling you to surrender more?

Has He been calling you to give more?

 

Try Him and see if He will not open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing you cannot contain.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News Mommy Moments, Words With Winter, Purposeful Faith, Grace & Truth

Participating In A Miracle

Yes, every.single.day miracles are still taking place.

 

Right before our eyes.

 

Perhaps even in our own backyards.

 

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Maybe even right where you stand.

 

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EVERY DAY.

 

Heaven touches earth and miracles abound.

 

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Are your eyes open to see them?

 

Have you been chosen to participate in a miracle?

 

I feel so honored to have been chosen to participate in many miracles. I’ve been afforded the distinct honor of welcoming SIX children into the world. Conception is a divine visitation from the Lord and to me qualifies as a miracle. To grow, nurture and carry a human being is another miracle. To birth a fully developed, healthy little human is indeed a miracle.

 

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And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. Luke 1:46-49

 

There have been times I’ve nearly forfeited being a participant in a miracle.

 

There was a time when I thought I’d have one…maybe two children at most. My reasoning for such was purely selfish. I’m grateful that I opened my heart. In doing so God took out my heart of stone and gave me a heart of flesh, granting me access to be used as a portal for a miracles.

 

Miracles.

 

Happening around us every.single.day

 

Are you open, willing, and obedient to participate in a miracle?

 

Are you forfeiting miracles by placing barriers, guard rails and limitations? Click To Tweet

 

I encourage you to you open your heart, open your eyes, open your mind, and act in obedience to be positioned to participate in a miracle.

 

“He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes”  Deuteronomy 10:21

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

I look forward to sharing my birth story of baby #6. Stay tuned….

 

Happy to join with friends sharing the Good News Mommy Moments, #LifeGivingLinkup, Purposeful Faith, Grace & Truth

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What Season Are You In?

With a God vision and a God plan I had carefully mapped out my 2015-2016. My 2014 ended with working on my vision book for 2015. Yes Lord! Let’s steamroll right ahead into the New Year and into my next level of success.

 

And for once, I was giving myself permission to dream big. Yes, big God-sized dreams. A few months into 2015 and I was working the plan. One of my goals was to be in the best physical condition to date. As a result I bought in 2015 with a 3-day green smoothie cleanse followed by 7 days of eating only raw foods. My exercise regime was great and I was dedicated and focused working out at least 5 days a week. And as always I continued to research new recipes, foods and findings that would support my efforts to maintain a nourishing kitchen.

 

Spiritually I was right where I wanted to be. Then in March I attended a retreat and had several supernatural encounters with God that absolutely blew my mind. Essentially He elevated me, calling me to a higher station and level of responsibility in the Kingdom. I was thanking Him, praising Him and experiencing worship in fresh new ways.

 

I researched pre-schools for my 2 year old with plans to enroll him in school 2 days a week in the fall. I would use those 2 days as office hours, continuing to establish the Inspired Life brand and enlarge my speaking platform. My 4 year old was slated to start kindergarten too, thus creating time and space to work my business.

 

After years of mastering smoothies in my kitchen, I finally decided to write a 30-day smoothie book. Even though I was making a different smoothie almost everyday, I never wrote any of the recipes down. But repeated promptings from friends and one conversation in particular, it finally hit me, yes you must do this project. That first day I sat down to write the recipes the Lord gave me 17 complete recipes in one sitting. Then a few months later, the Lord prompted a photographer to offer to bless me by doing the photo shoot as a deposit into my ministry. First book nearly there. Indeed it was a time to rejoice.

 

Yup, I had it all lined up only to find that the Lord was preparing me for something else entirely.

 

There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens

Ecclesiastes 3:1

 

My husband started a new job and was inundated in getting acclimated to that new environment rendering him unavailable to assist in several ways he normally would. That additional work was to be physically and mentally absorbed by me.

 

The seat that I thought my kindergartener would secure at the same school as his 3 school-aged siblings wasn’t secured after all. In fact, quite the opposite happened. He was denied by the school, denied by the appeals office then subsequently denied by the school board itself. As it stood, he’d be separated from his siblings, forced to attend our boundary school.

 

My brother in law became ill and the fight for his life ensued. My sweet husband spent countless hours by his beside. My father was having a major crisis hundreds of miles away. After hearing the agony in his voice for months on end, I packed up the children to take an emergency intervention trip to visit him.

 

Nonetheless with all the added pressure, I was hopeful that the many God sized dreams in my vision book would come to pass as a few of them were already underway; my spiritual growth and my physical health, yes Lord thank you for faithfully bringing the vision to pass.

 

Then I began a 40 days fast completely surrendering all. Easy to say, but much harder to live out real time. Nonetheless, I surrendered control and my prayer for the 40 days was YOUR WILL YOUR WAY. Yes Lord, together let’s keep the vision moving forward. Little did I know He’d give ample opportunity for me to practice this declaration.

 

The school year began and my son still did not have a seat in the school with his siblings. While I continue to fight and pray, he was enrolled for home school. My pre-schooler was sign up and ready to begin his 2 days a week. My brother in law succumbed to his battle for life.

 

And in his departure, I conceived. In fact, in my brother in law’s passing, I specifically told the Lord, “A baby cannot replace him so don’t get an ideas.”

 

But since God has known each of us from the beginning of time, he knew exactly when this baby would be conceived. And conceiving a baby was ONE thing that absolutely was NOT in my vision book for 2015. Trade my four-pack for a fat pack? Umm…no thank you. I’ve been working diligently for you Lord to honor this temple and this is how you repay me? All day, everyday sickness and a swollen belly?

 

Really God?!

 

He has made everything beautiful in its time.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

 

New life. What a blessing and a joy.

 

Extra time with my kindergartener before he had to leave for school.

 

Extra time with my husband to comfort him as he grieved.

 

Indeed He does make everything beautiful in its time. But in order to embrace that, we have to SEE through eyes of faith. We have to be able to see “In Time”. Seeing in time is begin able to embrace the now moment, not living in the past nor pining for the future but being “in time” for IN TIME is where God is.

 

But I wasn’t in time with God. I was on the sidelines of my life, having a temper tantrum. I pouted and whined as I saw the death of my vision book. I threw myself on the floor replete with kicking and flailing as I mourned the death of my God vision.

 

For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.

Habakkuk 2:3

 

But God is faithful. He sheds light, speaks truth, heals broken hearts and hugs you even mid tantrum. I thank Him that He’s not like me because I probably would have left me there kicking and screaming to flounder on my own. But he picked me up, wiped my tears and reassured me of His truth.

 

He whispered:

~Your prayer was MY WILL, MY WAY. I heard your prayer and I answered.

~This delay is not a denial.

~This is not the death of your vision but a pause for character development

~The appointed time for all I am working on will come to pass better than you can imagine or think

~I love you so much I made an in person visitation to touch your womb

 

For a moment my vision was blurry (read more on that HERE). I thought what I put in that book had died. But the truth is, He is working overtime on my behalf, behind the scenes to align the hearts (mine included), the people and the resources to bring the vision to fruition. The vision WILL manifest at its appointed time.

 

And in the interim, I will embrace the process. Oftentimes we want to circumvent the process and take shortcuts but in this there are no shortcuts, just the sure true steps of following paths of righteousness for his namesake.

 

Circumvent the PROCESS and you circumvent your BLESSING. Click To Tweet

 

What season are you in?

 

How do you behave when a season change catches you off guard?

 

Do you react with tantrums, rebellion or fear?

 

Or do you respond with a yes in your spirit and a yes on your lips?

 

It is my prayer that you delightfully obey Him and embrace the now moment as you have not seen, nor have you heard nor has it entered your heart the things the Lord has prepared for you. His thinking is SO vast, deep and wide that we cannot comprehend it. But we do know that His plans are to give us a future and a hope. Be hopeful and find delight in whatever season you find yourself.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!
Happy to connect with these friends  sharing the Good News LifeGivingLinkup, Mommy Moments, Purposeful Faith

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What Do You Do When Your Vision Is Blurry?

Eat Healthy

Lose Weight

Quit Smoking

Stop Drinking

Attend Church Regularly

Workout

Wake Up Early

Write A Book

Start A Business

 

I find that most people start the year with lofty goals. Even for those who’ve renounced resolutions, they still espouse some type of yearly focus or goal i.e. a word, theme or phrase to help guide their choices throughout the year.

 

At the end of 2014, I hosted a small vision board party (CLICK HERE for more on vision boards). A few friends, my daughter and myself sat around my dining room table loaded down with poster boards, a plethora of magazines, scissors, glue, stickers and more. I had such HUGE vision and wanted to not only SEE it represented visually but also to WRITE it out, that I didn’t complete a board but a book.

 

vision book

 

I delighted to see my daughter quickly put hers together, as she has a very clear picture of who she is and what she wants to accomplish. I smiled on the inside as I saw my cousin put the theme of marriage on hers as I vividly pictured her beautiful chocolate skin in a stark white gown. I nodded in agreement as I saw my bestie of 35+ years put changes related to work and moving on her board.

 

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2015-01-03 21.31.26

 

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With guarded trepidation I wrestled over committing some of my images to the page. “Glue them on already!” I had to tell myself. I knew in my heart the images were things I did want to see manifest but what if they didn’t come to pass. What would that mean for me?

 

Would it say I was a failure?

 

Would it say I have no right to dream so big?

 

Would it demonstrate my shortcomings?

 

Would it expose my lack of faith?

 

In reflecting over the last year, I rejoicing in knowing that my 11-year-old daughter has lived the fulfillment of some of her vision. She has travelled to Texas and California with a competitive STEM team. She has spoken at the Department of Agriculture and at the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals annual convention. She has developed significantly in her flute playing and has just begun playing guitar. She was also voted student council vice-president.

 

I celebrate with my cousin for completing her Master’s in Divinity and landing a job that on paper she wasn’t qualified for. She travelled the country and grew emotionally and spiritually.

 

I give a shout of praise for my bestie for packing up and leaving all that was familiar and relocating out of obedience to Christ. I am in awe of her bravery to approach her job and outright ask for certain conditions and have had those requests granted.

 

vision board copy

 

Then I look back on my own 2015. It started with such great hope and promise. Dreams of writing a book, growing my brand and filling my speaking calendar.

 

Oh what dreams may come.

 

As I turn the pages on my vision book, it is difficult not to allow depression to reel me in. It is challenging to SEE the promise and feel like sand trickling through my fingers, that it’s not within my grasp. It takes ALL of the Jesus in me, to redirect these thoughts so that a toxic brew of self-condemnation doesn’t overtake me.

 

So how do you respond when you feel like your visions, goals and dreams for the year have not come to fruition?

 

So what do you do when the vision tarry’s?

 

What do you do when your vision is blurry?

 

You take your eyes off self and keep them focused on Jesus who is the Author and Finisher of your faith.

 

You remember the truth of His word that his promises are YES and AMEN.

 

You remember that indeed there is a time and place for everything under the heavens.

 

For the vision is yet for an appointed time;

But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.

Though it tarries, wait for it;

Because it will surely come,

It will not tarry.

Habakkuk 2:3

 

You vigilantly stand armed with TRUTH as to ward off the lies that the enemy wants to recite over and over and over in your head.

 

There is therefore now no condemnation

to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do

not walk according to the flesh, but according

to the Spirit.

Romans 8:1

 

We also have to grant ourselves some grace for crying out loud. We can be our toughest critics. While my speaking calendar for 2015 was not FULL and my book was not completed, I did have several speaking engagements. I did write and facilitate a 5-week course on Honoring The Temple. I was the healthiest I’ve ever been. I was the fittest I’ve ever been. I may have read more books in 2015 than I’ve read in any other single year. I did write and nearly finish a book. I did minister to the hearts of my children. I did support my husband as he grappled with the loss of his brother. I did pack up my children and drive hundreds of miles run to my father’s aid as he suffered loneliness. I did minister to the women I’ve been called to lead in the women’s group for which I serve as director. And in 2015 I also managed to have a womb that was ripe and ready to produce new life. Yup! Kingsland Baby #6 is growing in that secret place as I type these words.

 

It is with the MIND that one thinks, decides and acts. And we’ve been assured that we have a sound mind.  So I will focus my mind on TRUTH and think, decide and act according to what HE instructs me to do.

 

And finally, we can rest in knowing that with man things may seem impossible but with GOD nothing is impossible.

 

For nothing will be impossible with God.

Luke 1:37

 

So my friends I rejoice over the possibility that 2016 holds. I am listening attentively to hear, and looking to Him to see what wondrous things He has planned for me this year. I already see that what “I” would have planned for 2016 has already been altered. But I yield, surrendering my will for the will of Him who orders my steps.

 

His Will. His Way.

 

I pray your 2016 is off to a great start. I pray your year is filled with the blessed assurance that Christ is indeed Lord over all and that His love for you is immeasurable and that with Him all things are possible.

 

What is your vision for 2016? Do you have resolutions, goals or a word that will direct your goals for this year?  I’d love to hear about it.

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!
Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News Purposeful Faith, Mommy Moments, Words With Winter

Your Will, Your Way

“You can go your own way, go your own way”, sings Fleetwood Mac. The song rings in my mind as it was used a few years back in National Car Rental TV ads.

 

Yup. That’s what this world tells you.

 

Go your own way.

Do what makes you feel happy.

The world is your oyster.

WYW (Whatever You Want)

 

As a disciple of Christ I want His will to be done in my life. Yes to YOUR will Lord is a consistent prayer of mine. I’ve recently come to discover hidden in the dark recesses of my heart, in a tucked away-cobwebbed corner was a sign that said, “YOUR WILL, My Way”. Those two avenues travel in completely different directions. To bring myself into alignment, I have repented. Jesus has shed light in that dark corner and His light has permeated my ME-ness.

 

You know ME-ness.

 

What I want. What I don’t want. What I’m willing to do. How much I’m willing tolerate. What won’t cause me too much inconvenience. What works within my schedule.

 

I. I. I.

 

Me. Me. Me.

 

Can you relate? Ever suffer from of case of ME-ness?

 

Enough of self. Self take a knee and bow down to GREATER is HE!

 

With clean hands and a pure heart, I say yes Your Will and Your Way.

 

Your kingdom come.

Your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

Matthew 6:10

 

Then ME crept up a little again. And a second time, I asked if I could have my way.

 

Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying,

“O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it,

Your will be done.”

Matthew 26:42

 

He gently answered, “Instead of trying to pray it away, pray that MY grace will carry you through”. Click To Tweet

 

So again I had to declare, YOUR WILL, YOUR WAY. My best-laid plan of my way, gives way to the Lord directing my steps

 

 

A man’s heart plans his way,

But the Lord directs his steps.

Proverbs 16:9

 

Plans with my husband, plans for my children, plans for my ministry, plans for this blog, plans for my future…

 

There are many plans in a man’s heart,

Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.

Proverbs 19:21

 

I really did think I was being obedient to walking out His will. And while that was mostly true, I really desired for His will to be deliver in the way I wanted. I was committed to His will but I wanted it to come dressed in wrapping paper and a bow of my choosing. But what if the gift comes wrapped in newspaper or brown paper bags. Will we receive it or reject it?

 

Yes to YOUR WILL and Yes to YOUR WAY.  While the light that permeated my ME-ness was piercing, sharp and cut right through me like a laser, I give thanks that He loves me enough to expose my hidden me so that HE is free to BE.

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!
Happy to connect with others sharing the Good News Purposeful Faith

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Walking On Water

I am honored to share this space today with my sweet friend, Brittney Carlson. A worship leader at my church has a new song out called I Am (Miracle). Part of the chorus says, “I’m a living, breathing, walking, talking, moving miracle.” And this is what I see when looking at Brittney. I have witnessed her live out her faith. When faced with life threatening illness, I have seen her look death in the face and proclaim, “Oh death where is your sting?” Whether in a class to grow, teaching students & adults or serving, Brittney consistently ministers grace to those who come into contact with her.

 

Having grown up in a broken, dysfunctional, blended family, Brittney discovered the hope, peace, love and security that can only be found in Jesus Christ. With a heart for at-risk youth and broken women, Brittney serves nationally and internationally. This past year she resigned after dedicating 11 years to teaching at-risk children here in the states to pursue her dream of returning to Japan to share the gospel.

 

The Lord had recently been speaking to me about water. So when I read Brittney’s recent newsletter about walking on water, I knew I just had to share it with you. It was confirmation of what the Lord is calling many disciples to in this season. In fact, I was attending an aerospace convention just yesterday and a woman I just met there relayed that she too was trusting God and walking on water!

 

The spirit is moving friends!

 

So let’s hear from Brittney.

 

Stepping out onto the Water

 

But Jesus immediately said to them: 

“Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied,

“tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said. Matthew 14:27-29

 

The story of Peter stepping out of the boat is always brought up in discussion on stepping out in faith vs. waiting and preparing. For the past four years I have gone back and forth wondering if it is time for me to step out in faith. Each time I decided to be smart and practical. I thought about the security and certainty of the things I had: a home, stable salary, medical insurance, retirement, benefits and more. I overanalyzed all the things that could happen to me without those things. As a result, each summer I resigned my teaching contract and each year since has been like Ground Hogs Day. For the past four years, I have moved houses and changed jobs hoping that would settle my restlessness and silence the tugging on my heart and mind, but it didn’t and it hasn’t.

 

I keep hearing God’s voice: “Come. Step out of the boat. Trust me and come.”

 

So I am.

 

So I will.

 

As of June 24th, I chose unemployment; as of July 1st I chose homelessness; as of Oct. 1st I will chose to be uninsured… I chose all these things to free myself to step out of the boat. After four years of hesitation and storms, I step out in faith, confident in God’s promises. Though like Peter the winds are strong and the voices of nay sayers can be heard… “What are you doing? What about a salary? What about insurance? Where will you live? What if you don’t raise the funds? What will you do? Maybe it is not your timing? Why don’t you wait another year? Get back in the boat! What are you thinking”… I am stepping out of the boat and trusting God to guide, provide, lead, and catch me if I start to fall.

 

I am stepping out onto the water. Keeping my eyes on Jesus. Praying for God’s help as I try to ignore the sounds of the wind and waves around me. Reaching out to Him as He reaches out to me calling me to “Come”.

 

Your Sister and Friend in Christ,

 

Brittney

 

Brittney

 

 

To learn more about Brittney and to partner with her in sharing the gospel with the 2nd most unreached people group on the planet, please connect with her by visiting:

 

www.BJC2Japan.org

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

The Release Of The Spirit

At the grocery store checkout through a pack of gum?!

It’s amazing the ways God chooses to speak to His people. So yes, God did communicated a powerful truth through a pack of gum. And it’s not the 1st time He’s spoken to me in an unusual fashion. He’s spoken to me by vigorously waving tree branches on a still windless day. I’ve even heard His booming voice from heaven audibly call my name. And that happened while I was new in the faith so it was quite unnerving.

 

On my weekly trip to the grocery store, as I stood in the checkout line I glanced over at the gum, My eyes landed right on Mentos Pure Fresh. Mentos Pure Fresh Gum has three layers.   A hard candy outer shell, a chewy, gummy layers then a cool liquid center. And you and I are like the Mentos gum. We are three layered persons. Our hard shell represents our outer most physical body, the gum layer being our mind, will and emotions and the center our spirit. To release the liquid center of the gum, we must get through two tough layers. And the same can be said for releasing our spirit. Let’s journey through the layers.

 

HARD SHELL

Oh how we long to satisfy the desires of the flesh.

 

When angry, we want to holler or play the power move of being passive aggressive.

 

When hurt or sad we may turn to food or other external sources for comfort.

 

That hard outer shell of the gum, the tough, rebellious outer layer of our person, the flesh, MUST crucify its longings to get to the next layer. That outer shell like the outer shell of an M&M can be cracked. Will we embrace being cracked? Do we see the value and benefit of being broken before God?

 

Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12:24

 

CHEWY GUM

When the flesh and its longings have been bought under subjection, we can then reach the next layer of ourselves and that is our mind, will and emotions. And like chewing gum, they are malleable. Just like our teeth and tongue crush, squeeze, fold and turn gum, God takes our mind, will and emotions and turns and squeezes them so that are bought to the obedience of Christ.

 

Therefore do not lose heart, even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16

 

While there are many well meaning, good intentions we may have, unless they are in alignment with the will of the Lord, they are for naught. It is not OUR will but HIS will that must be done.

 

LIQUID CENTER

Now I find there are three camps people fall into when eating layered candies like M&M’s and this gum. Some lick each layer. Some nibble each layer. And the last just bite through the whole thing. Whatever the strategy, each layer is enjoyed yet the center holds the promise, like getting to the center of a Tootsie Pop lollipop.

 

It behooves us to remain aware and sensitive so that we don’t miss Him. Now every time I SEE the Mentos gum, think about the Mentos gum, or even smell minty gum, I am reminded that Jesus is the center and I have to remain centered in Him.

 

In the case of the Mentos, the outer layer seems to hold the most intense flavor. The mint is strong and fills the nostrils. The mint is cool yet fiery. And when eating the gum, one wants that minty outer layer to last forever. And we can be like that, wanting to satisfy our desires forever. But do you not know there is even more intense flavor inside waiting to be released? For the liquid center inside the gum is even more intense, even more pungent. And the same can be said for your spirit. Your spirit man is capable of producing MORE fruit than your flesh ever could.

 

And this is the work of the Lord. Day by day He puts us in situations where we will be challenged to crack the hard outer shell of our bodily desires, where we will have to stretch and squeeze the longings of our will so that our spirit man will be released to flow freely and fly right in line with the Lord.

 

This is His desire for you. This is His desire for me, that we would be broken before Him so that our spirits can commune with Him and with other like-minded spirits to expedite the work of building the Kingdom here on earth. This is truly living. Doing the work that we were purposed and placed here for from the beginning of time.

 

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The Words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63

 

Last year I asked the Lord to move my relationship with Him from my head to my heart. My head knows plenty about the Lord; I have memorized His word, I have seen His work, I have heard and continue to hear Him speak. The first two layers of ME know plenty about Him. Oh but I desire more than just head knowledge about Him. I long to know Him intimately. I long to commune with Him. I pine for the opportunity to hang out with Him and learn from Him. So He simply beckoned me to “COME!” And when I walked toward Him, the desires of my first two layers, my body and my will HAD to fall away. To sit with Him and hear from Him required me to respond. And to respond appropriately, obediently required me to deny myself so that my spirit could receive and act accordingly.

 

In his book The Release Of The Spirit, Watchman Nee says, “Our spirit is released according to the degree of our brokenness. The one who has accepted the most discipline is the one who can best serve. The more one is broken, the more sensitive he can be.” He goes on to say it is, “Through the Spirit’s discipline, that the outer man is broken. And, through the Spirit’s revelation, the powers of the outer man are completely divided from the spirit.”

 

Therefore, through disciplining ourselves and by divine revelation of the Holy Spirit, our inner man, our spirit man is released and is FREE.

 

In what ways are you being broken?

Can you see blessing in brokenness?

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!
Happy to connect with these friends spreading the Good News Purposeful Faith

Condition and Consequence {God’s If/Then}

I was listening to a song a few days ago. I was singing and swaying right along with the melody. But as I listened to the lyrics, I stopped cold. Was the singer proposing, “God if you do THIS then I’ll do THAT”? My praise was cut short as I began to dissect the song even further. Perhaps she was suggesting the thing God had already done then her act of obedience.

 

Conditional sentences give implications and their consequences.

 

God is the author of the IF/THEN clause. It is the method by which He fulfills His promises to us.

 

If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him—  then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you.  Every place where you set your foot will be yours: Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea. Deuteronomy 11:22-24

 

 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”  Joshua 1:8

 

If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? Luke 12:28

 

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15

 

If you give, you will receive

If you die to self, you will live

If you believe, you will be saved

If you are humble, you will be lifted up

If you abide, you will be fruitful

If you seek, you shall find

If you obey, you will prosper

 

So who initiates the IF/THEN? It is God who establishes the condition and it is my obedience that carries it out so that I can reap the reward or invite the consequence. Condition and consequence, that’s God’s If/Then strategy. God is waiting to show himself strong and mighty on your behalf.   But are you delightfully, readily obeying Him?

 

The converse is most often the case. We want God to do something for us 1st, and then we claim we’ll comply afterward. Most people tend to want the blessing without the burden, the promise without the practice. Too often meeting the condition is neglected.

 

But I implore you dear friends, to take God at His word. Do YOUR part and stand and watch God DO His part.

 

So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20

 

I really like the song. I really like the artist. In the song, I truly hope she is suggesting her response to God’s condition. God spells out the condition, we reap the blessing or the consequence with our obedience or lack thereof.

 

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.

John 8:31

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

Happy to connect with these sisters spreading the good news Purposeful Faith, #WordsWithWinter, #LifeGivingLinkup