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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!

Go Deeper

I finally broke the pattern in my dreams. I used to have a pattern in my dreams where I would consistently be late for or miss something entirely. From missing a mid-term to missing a flight, this theme had recurred in my dreams for years. In 2014, I embarked on a healing journey with 6 other women. One of our exercises was to write down and consider our dreams. Through this exercise I came to understand why I was having those dreams. But that story is one for another day.

 

This story is one of breaking the pattern and completing what I started.

 

I dreamt that I had to swim across this vast ocean holding onto a mini replica of my car. In fact, when I went to pick up my car, it wasn’t there and I was instructed by the Director to take any car of my choosing. I chose a Mustang (I am so NOT a Mustang girl, more like a Volvo/Mini Cooper hybrid; conservative yet energetic). Nonetheless I took my Mustang in hand and began to swim across this wide channel. I started out strong, arms slicing through the water like a Ginsu knife through a tomato. I just knew I was strong and powerful and I believed I could and would make it across. Then the Lord spoke to me and said, “Come deeper”. I couldn’t make sense of that. Even though dreaming, I thought I couldn’t go deeper. I thought I wouldn’t be able to breathe, just keep slicing through the water I told myself. Again the Lord said, “Come Deeper”, to which I quickly obey.

 

And wouldn’t you know, I could breathe underwater. And instead of exerting all this energy stroking through the water, I began to do the dolphin kick. My legs seemed to become as one and my body arched up and down in a fluid motion propelling me right through the water. I went deeper still and continued the dolphin/mermaid swim. I could breathe, I could feel the depth of cold of the water but I was making it across that great expanse. With the car held in my two hands out in front I me, I rocketed to the other side. I obediently went deeper and the pattern was broken.

 

For months the Lord has been calling me to come deeper.

 

When He had stopped speaking,

He said to Simon, “Launch out into

the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”

Luke 5:4

 

 

I believe it is the mark of discipleship to have an ongoing, vibrant relationship with the Lord in which He continues to make mysteries known to you. He wants to lead you and guide you in paths of righteousness for His namesake. And to traverse some of those paths requires us to go deeper. And when we obediently take up our cross and follow Him deeper, He makes His mysteries known to us.

 

Diving deep into the ocean we find mysterious sea creatures that stand in stark contrast to their present reality. In the inky blue/black of the deep sea live bioluminescent sea creatures. 12,000 feet below are astounding animals that shine bright in stark contrast to their dark surroundings. Chemical reactions in their bodies cause them to glow.

 

As you go deeper in the Lord, His glory shines, flooding you with light and causing you to glow even in the inky blue/black situations of life. Because of your willingness to follow Him into the deep, He makes the mysteries of life know to YOU. This type of revelation is not for all but for His TRUE disciples because TRUE disciples follow and obey His commands

 

 

He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given

to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven,

but to them it has not been given.

 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear;

for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men

desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear,

and did not hear it.

Matthew 13:11, 16-17

 

This topic of going deeper isn’t new to me. In fact, one of my top 5 favorite movies, The Abyss is about going deeper.

 

In the movie, one of the lead characters, Brigman goes deeper than deep to detonate a nuclear bomb. He thought it was the end for him. In fact, he said going down deeper was a one-way ticket. And we may feel like that sometimes when trusting God and walking in faith. We may feel like we are plunging into darkness with no way of escape. But as happened with Brigman, he was standing right on the brink of breakthrough. He was just feet away from the light. Saving himself, his loved ones and the entire planet was within his reach.

 

Oh friends we would do well to trust God. To walk out in faith and not give up before our breakthrough. It’s right there on the brink. You are standing on the precipice of deeper revelation, deeper knowledge, deeper love.

 

In addition to Israel Houghton’s Deeper, I’ve been blessed to have a song that encapsulates this journey of going deeper. The song is called Oceans by Hillsong. The lyrics read:

 

You call me out upon the waters

The great unknown where feet may fail

And there I find You in the mystery

In oceans deep

My faith will stand

 

And I will call upon Your name

And keep my eyes above the waves

When oceans rise

My soul will rest in Your embrace

For I am Yours and You are mine

 

Your grace abounds in deepest waters

Your sovereign hand

Will be my guide

Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me

You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

 

So I will call upon Your name

And keep my eyes above the waves

When oceans rise

My soul will rest in Your embrace

For I am Yours and You are mine

 

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever You would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior

 

Oh, Jesus, you’re my God!

 

I will call upon Your name

Keep my eyes above the waves

My soul will rest in Your embrace

I am Yours and You are mine

Yes. That’s where we find Him, in oceans deep. Feet may fail in oceans deep but faith equips us to breathe underwater. Totally immersed in the rivers of living water is where I want to be.

 

Last year He told me, “I need water walkers”. And like Peter I walked out to meet Him. Since then, He’s calling me deeper, deeper, deeper.

 

Yes Lord, I am coming.

 

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

 

P.S. This subject of living waters started out as a single post but it just would let me go. This is part three of the series on Living Waters. Read parts 1 & 2:

Rivers of Living Water

Tapping Into The Source

 

PhotoCredit

 

Happy to connect with friends sharing the Good News #DanceWith Jesus, Grace & Truth

Eat Your Water

Since water comprises 60% of your body weight, you can’t live without it. The body goes through a constant cycle of losing and replenishing that water. Water helps your organs function as designed, eliminate waste, regulate body temperature, aids in digestion and more. Ensure you keep hydrated and supply your body with this necessary fluid.

 

We’ve been taught to drink 64oz of water a day. But drinking water isn’t the only way to get your water intake. Water intake varies for each individual based on height, weight, environmental conditions, health and more. We’re accustomed to drinking our way to hydration, but let’s add eating to that equation.

 

Eat Your Water

 

Fruits

 

Watermelon

About 92% water per volume.

High in lycopene and highly alkaline this fruit is a summer staple. So refreshing and cooling on a hot summer day, it’s a fan fav at BBQ’s and summer parties.

 

Strawberries

About 92% water per volume.

High in antioxidants and vitamin C, also a good source of vitamin A, manganese and potassium, these sweet, succulent berries are best when consumed in season. Their softness, ripeness and sweetness in season can’t compare. One cup of strawberries contains 160% of your daily value of vitamin C. And you were always told to eat oranges for C. Eat these and get your C and water in one swoop.

strawberries 1

Grapefruit

91% water per volume

When eating grapefruit you not only hydrate but also burn fat and control cravings. Now who doesn’t want that?! And grapefruit are encouraged for heart health.

 

Cantaloupe

90% water per volume

One serving will not only hydrate you but also give you 100% of your daily value of vitamins A & C. One of my favorite ways to enjoy is having cantaloupe/sweet potato juice.

 

Vegetables

 

Lettuce

95% water per volume

While iceberg gets a bad rap, it is the lettuce with the highest water content. Other lettuces have slightly lower water but are more nutrient dense. Most lettuces have are high in vitamins A & K and high in folate. From salads to smoothies and juices, lettuce has many uses.

 

Zucchini

Over 95% water per volume

A good source of vitamin C and potassium, this versatile vegetable can be added to nearly everything. From raw noodles to juicing, when these are plentiful during summer, make full use of them. You can even shred one and add to pasta sauce to up the nutritional value.

 

Celery

95% water per volume

High in water and very low in calories rich in vitamins A, C and K. It hasn’t always been one of my favorite vegetables because its flavor is so strong but I always keep it on hand because I know how good it is for me. From soups to juices, celery is a household staple.

 

Cucumber

96% water per volume

High in vitamin K and powerfully fighting free radicals this vegetable is also an anti-inflammatory food. Research even shows that drinking watermelon or cucumber juice after a workout is twice as effective at hydrating the body than water. So post workout grab your watermelon/cucumber juice and drink up. (And it isn’t surprising their so hydrating. They belong to the same botanical family as two above items: zucchini and melons).

 

For more on water, check these out:

8 Benefits of Lemon Water

Life Water {Coconut Water}

 

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

Tapping Into The Source

Their survival depended on it. They needed to access fresh water. This tool would give them access.

 

spile

The Spile

 

Like Katniss Everdeen and her crew from The 75th Hunger Games, receiving the spile was a lifesaver. In the event of a natural disaster, we could use spiles today to tap trees for water.

 

Oh friends we are the trees planted by rivers of water and God’s word is the spile that penetrates our hearts and permits rivers of living water to flow. He and His word are one.

 

While water tapped from trees is only good for 24 hours, God’s word is good and true from everlasting to everlasting. But we need to tap into it daily to prevent it from becoming stale in our hearts.

 

In The Hunger Games, wealthy benefactors gift needed supplies. We have the ultimate Benefactor who gave Himself as the gift that we might have life and have it more abundantly. Because of Him we have boldness and access with confidence to not only approach the throne of grace, but to tap into His unlimited power supply. And the combination of His living water coupled with His power will not electrocute us unto death but will act as a defibrillator, creating in us a clean heart and renewing a steadfast spirit within us.

 

So exactly how do we go about tapping into the source? The methodology may be a little different for each of us but here are some simple, practical tips. We don’t have to be SUPER spiritual, or SUPER deep. We just have to come to God with clean hands and a pure heart. I thank God for purging me with hyssop and for presenting me without spot or wrinkle then I eagerly run on to tap in.

 

Tapping In

 

Worship Music

Music ushers me right into the presence of God. For the first few years of my salvation, I didn’t really understand how integral the role of praise and worship was to the Sunday church worship experience. It was one of those things I just didn’t GET until I got it. When I look back now, I can smile and say to myself, “Girl, you really had no clue.” And I follow that up with, “Thank you Jesus for being patient with me.”

 

Today, I can listen to the same song on repeat umpteen times throughout the day. I let the spirit guide me to the song. And sure enough the song speaks to my heart and serves as the gateway to worship and intimate fellowship with the Lord.

 

“Lord I reach for you, lead me to your heart. And I thirst for you, draw me deeper still. Deeper into the water. Deeper until I’m under. Ohhh Oh living water flow and overtake us. Ohhh oh healing water flow and overtake us”, sings Israel Houghton in one my absolute favorite songs, Deeper. Needless to say with all that’s churning in my spirit right now, this song is the current soundtrack to my spiritual life.

He goes on to sing, “God give us a heart, give us a heart, give us your heart. God gives us a heart. Deep cries out to deep.”

 

Mmm. Those lyrics right there. Each time I sing them, it’s like I’m putting on the mind of Christ and I come into alignment with Him. We begin walking step in step and my will becomes His will and we are ONE. Our hearts beat in unison. And the music is the metronome that keeps our hearts beating with synchronicity. And my response is, “Yes Lord. You are calling me deeper. I am coming. Getting closer with every step”.

 

Scrap The Legalism

My daily tapping in always involves scripture. Because I am a systematic, linear person, I tend to use structured materials for my scripture reading. Bible reading plans, day-by-day devotional books, topical studies, etc. My natural nature can hold me hostage to completing these materials in a robotic fashion, blocking up the flow of the spirit. So I’ve had to learn to not be legalistic in my approach to tapping in and to give God room to communicate what He desires in the way that He desires, even if He says step away from those materials and sit still. Sometimes He’ll call a word up in my heart. Sometimes it’s a scripture sung in a song. Sometimes he’ll have me turn to a specific scripture, chapter and verse. But I had to crucify my need to tick off or not skip a day of scheduled reading to not miss Him in how He chose to show up in my quiet time.

 

Dialogue Not A Monologue

When we tap into the source, we have to give Him opportunity and room to flow. If I stick my spile into a tree then fill the spout with debris, I will certainly muddy and impede the flow of water. And the same is true when allowing His truth to flow through our hearts and mind. When communicating with the Father it is not a monologue but a dialogue. There is a time to speak and a time to listen. We cannot hear from the Lord if we have endless internal chatter. It is critical to silence the chatter. This requires much practice and disciple. But God is a very present help. He will help you take those thoughts captive so that you can be quiet and clear your mind so you can hear from Him. For more on quieting your thoughts, CLICK HERE.

 

He longs to communicate with you. His voice will flow.

 

And behold, the glory of the God of Israel

came from the way of the east. His voice

was like the sound of many waters;

and the earth shone with His glory.

Ezekiel 43:2

 

Write

Writing has always been therapy for me. It is the way I receive, communicate, find clarity, vent, heal, and more. Writing helps me think and process. So after I sing and meditate on scripture, I write. I write whatever scripture I’ve been led to. I may write some of the lyrics to the song I listened to. I sit and I listen to what the Lord has to say then I write His response.

 

These are a few of the strategies I employ to tap into the well that never runs dry.

 

You’ve been invited to tap into the source.

 

COME!

 

DRINK.

 

And thirst no more.

 

The Spirit and the bride say,

“Come!” And let the one who hears

say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty

come; and let the one who wishes take

the free gift of the water of life.

Revelation 22:7

 

P.S. I try to keep posts shorter than this as I don’t want you to skim the post but to read in its entirety. But the water has overtaken me once again. To read Part 1 of The Living Waters series CLICK HERE

 

Glory to God I’m going deeper!

 

Will you join me?

 

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

Rivers Of Living Water

What an incredible parallel, a simple two atoms of hydrogen combined with one atom of oxygen, creates the very thing that is necessary to sustain life.

 

WATER

 

Water gives life.

 

Water sustains life.

 

Water is life.

 

 

While our world is almost covered with water, nearly all of it is unsuitable for drinking. With water all around us, 97% is undrinkable as is. And most of that which is drinkable is locked in ice.

 

Such is life. While there are many things that vie for our attention and try to meet our needs, there is but ONE we were created to desire above all. Drinking contaminated water will make you ill. Likewise, trying to fill your longings with people, food, or stuff will make you spiritually ill.

 

Jesus, The One, is the only ONE capable of quenching your thirst.

 

Our thirst, an unquenchable thirst can only be satiated by taking a drink from the rivers of living water. You can survive weeks without food but only days without water. And my soul is thirsty for a tall, cool, refreshing drink delivered directly from the Master’s water pot.

 

You, God, are my God,

earnestly I seek you;

I thirst for you,

my whole being longs for you,

in a dry and parched land

where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary

and beheld your power and your glory.

Psalm 63:1-2

 

And when I beseech Him, He supplies. He supplies all my needs and I am satisfied.

 

A sip from His cup pours:

~Patience in my heart for my children

~Love and affection for my husband

~Words that edify for the women I serve

~Physical stamina to carry my cross

 

His nourishing waters incite action. Trees grow, flowers bloom and succulent fruit hangs heavy with growth.

 

Oh Father, plant me. I want my roots to go deep. Like the mighty, strong baobab tree, let my trunk be thick and filled with your living waters. I am the tree planted by rivers of living water. My leaves will not wither. Rooted in you I am fruitful.

 

And the blessings will flow from generation to generations. As the rivers of living waters flow, they will reach even to your children’s children.

 

For I will pour water on the thirsty land,

and streams on the dry ground;

I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,

and my blessing on your descendants.

They will spring up like grass in a meadow,

like poplar trees by flowing streams.

Isaiah 44:3-4

 

Thanks be to our Lord and savior Jesus Christ for being our Living Water. He alone supplies EVERYTHING we need to sustain life. When we drink deeply from His cup, our thirst is quenched and we are imbued with everlasting life.

 

“But whoever drinks of the water

that I shall give him will never thirst.

But the water that I shall give him

will become in him a fountain of water

springing up into everlasting life.”

John 4:14

 

Even now as I type, the rivers of living water are overtaking me. I go with the flow, go with the current and am overtaken by the sheer magnitude of His love. My heart is so full and I have so much to say on this subject. I have a feeling this will go on to be a series. My spirit is free and soaring and my thoughts are moving faster than my hands can type.

 

beach

 

 

Friends, I pray you do not allow yourselves to become dehydrated. Most often, when we realize we are thirsty, we are already nearing dehydration. If you’ve been encouraged to drink 64oz of water a day, how much of Jesus should you be drinking daily? In fact, if you are a believer, the water is in you. Just like reaching water in the desert, you may have to dig deep for it. Your body is composed of more than 60% water. So dig deep into yourself. Crucify your flesh and it’s longings to release the water (for more on releasing your spirit CLICK HERE).

 

Be proactive.

 

Dig deep.

 

Stay hydrated.

 

Take a deep drink from the Master’s cup.

 

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

Life Water {Coconut Water}

Better than any sports drink loaded with sugar and artificial color. Coconut water is life water. A natural source of electrolytes, it replenishes the body’s potassium and sodium. This hydrating fluid is rich in Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Copper and Magnesium. It has naturally occurring enzymes that promote gut health.

 

young Thai coconut

 

It is an ideal food for breaking your fast in the morning or replenishing your electrolytes after a workout.

 

Coconut water is sources from young coconuts. If you’ve ever travelled to the Caribbean, chances are you may have seen a truck on the side of the road loaded with green coconuts. The seller will take his machete, hack off the top, and you can sip pure, delicious, nourishing life water right from the coconut.

 

green coconut

 

Today, coconut water is bottled and readily available in most conventional grocery stores and specialty markets. In the states, young coconuts can be found in a market like Whole Food, though they’ll be grossly overpriced. If you have a Thai market in your area, you can find them there. My local international market sells Asian, Hispanic and Caribbean foods and I get mine from there.

 

young coconut 2

 

Hacking into one of these babies is an art. A sharp knife and some wrist action will get you in but you want to do it just right as to not waste one drop of the precious water inside. You can find YouTube videos on how to cut into one. Once you get it open and take that first sip…Mmm. It is an acquired taste. To me it really doesn’t “taste” like coconut. It has a faint coconut taste, more like a coconut aroma than a strong taste. It is slightly sweet and nutty, and thoroughly nourishing to the body.

 

young coconut meat

 

Pick up a few of these gems and fuel your body today with this potent life water. You can drink it straight up or to recover after your workout, try the recipe below. And after you’ve consumed the water, you can even scrape out the tender coconut meat to eat or add to smoothies.

 

Post-Workout Coconut Smoothie

 

1 cup coconut water

1 frozen banana

1 scoop plant based protein powder

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp organic raw honey

 

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

8 Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

Sour. Tangy. And down right thirst quenching. That’s my take on lemon water. I drink it every day, all day and have been doing so for at least 6 years now. We’ve all been taught to drink our 8 cups a day. Why not up the benefits quotient of your daily water by adding lemon.

 

Lemon

 

It’s like holding the sun in your hands. Its color radiates brilliance. From being used in the 1700’s to successfully fight scurvy to today’s lemon water hype, the Lemon has:

 

~51% of your daily value of Vitamin C

~Vitamin B-6, Thiamin, Magnesium, and Potassium, among others.

~Antioxidant Power

 

8 Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

 

It is suggested that lemon water:

~Makes Your Belly Flat

~Improves Digestion

~Helps The Liver Perform Optimally

~Keeps Sickness At Bay

~Helps Improve Acid/Alkaline Balance

~Helps Improve Skin

~Helps Increase Iron Absorption

~Is An Anti-Inflammatory

 

A few studies have been done to substantiate many of these claims. We can also surmise a few things that just MAKE SENSE as related to the benefits of drinking lemon water.

 

~Lemon does contain pectin fiber, which can help control hunger. So chances are that can help curb your eating thus impacting the belly.

~Lemon water can help relieve symptoms of indigestion and increase production of bile aiding digestion.

~The typical American diet is highly acidic. This causes a condition in the body called acidosis. Drinking lemon water can help bring acid/alkaline levels back into balance.

~Vitamin C is important in the formulation of collagen so yes drinking that lemon water would seem to make your skin glow and appear taut.

~Iron is more easily absorbed when paired with Vitamin C so add a squeeze of lemon juice to your protein or spinach for better iron absorption.

~Lemons are antioxidants which cut down free radicals, boost the immune system and help you heal faster.

 

Personally, I find that it quickly quenches my thirst. When drinking lemon water I am apt to do less mindless eating and I am satiated so that could contribute to keeping the belly from getting big. I rarely get sick, don’t have inflammation and my skin looks well. Should I attribute this to drinking the lemon water? All I’ll say is it’s working for me. And hey, even if you aren’t the recipient of all the wonderful things lemon water is touted to do, you can still feel good about yourself for having consistently drank water and adding the lemon wasn’t taking much of a risk. So go ahead and drink your lemon water.

 

For more on the benefits of lemons click here

 

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

 

Photo Credit