Category : Devotion of the Week
Category : Devotion of the Week
I was speaking with a national radio show host about Pearls of Promise yesterday who was considering doing a story about our ministry, but he needed a news hook.
I thought, Is what we do newsworthy?
Pearls of Promise is all about helping people heal emotionally through Christ’s strength, so I decided to look up statistics about emotional illness. I found that almost one-half of all people will struggle with some form of mental illness in their lifetime (mentalhealthfirstaid.org). This could take the form of depression, anxiety, fear, panic, or extreme insecurity. I believe all of these are byproducts of a period of dysfunction in a person’s life.
If that many people need a little extra help, wouldn’t what we do be considered newsworthy? Wouldn’t someone who overcomes a past wound be a good headline?
Read all about it. Woman Set Free From Life-long Battle with Father Wounds.
Extra. Extra. Forty-Year-Old Woman Increases Self-Esteem by 50%.
On October 5th in Lewisville, Texas, we will be hosting the Level-Up Conference to provide some tools, love and support to women who are ready to heal from past emotional pain.
It will be a time of beautiful worship with top inspirational country singer, Mary James.
And wisdom from former Women of Faith great, Thelma Wells, who will talk about how to find the light when we’re in a dark place.
Popular Christian film actress, Jenn Gotzon Chandler has a heart to build women’s self-esteem up, so she will be presenting a message on “Divine Beauty.”
I will attempt to counteract some of the lies we’ve believed about ourselves, lies like “I’m not beautiful” and “I don’t have value.”
Prayer author, Sharon Hill will share about the importance of “Expectant Prayer.”
And Ministry Leader, Liz Morris will speak about how we can press into “Transformational Change.”
God does not desire for us to live in defeat each day. It is His heart to heal us when we are emotionally distraught. Psalm 147:3 says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” However, sometimes we have to physically plant ourselves in a place where we are flooded with His truth.
One separation from the outside world.
I hope you will join us this year at Northview Baptist Church in Lewisville, October 5th. If you read this blog today, I am going to give you a special offer of 50% off your tickets to Level Up. Just use the promo code: Levelup50. To make it easy, here’s the link: https://pearlsofpromiseministrieslevelupdallas.eventbrite.com
Every year lives are transformed at Level-Up. If it doesn’t make news on Earth, I know it’s a top story in Heaven.
Any time we have a new adventure or journey to endure, God says to us, “Be strong and courageous.” In Joshua 1, God explained to Joshua why he needed to be both strong and courageous because Joshua would need to be physically and morally strong to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. Joshua’s moral resolve meant that he would need to follow the Torah and make sure his followers did the same. Finally, emotional strength and courage would be needed so Joshua would not be terrified or stressed while he led the tribes of Israel into unknown, and possibly hostile territory.
Recently, I had to watch as my mom struggled to be strong and courageous. She’s has been battling cancer for the last two years, but just in the last month had to have her kidney removed. The surgery was more invasive than expected and the recovery more difficult, given her other medical issues. But the Lord spoke to her and said, “Be strong and courageous and I will be with you always.”
With help from doctors, my dad, and from us all, she continues to heal and rehab. We are all called to endure things in our lives that we feel are impossible to live through. Physical, moral, and emotional traumas may seem like they are going to crush us, but the Lord says He will never forsake us or leave us. God promises in Deuteronomy 33:25 that He will give us enough strength for ALL our days. This verse struck me when I first read it because I just thought, “Wow, I will have strength to handle everything, every day of my life!” It’s a promise.
Today, may you feel the Lord’s hand of strength, courage, and love.
“The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze, and your strength will equal your days” (Deuteronomy 33:25).
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4).
I was out of town and my cell phone screen saver was so cracked that I struggled to type on the keyboard. I had an hour window so I decided to hunt for a cell phone store close to where I was staying and found a “T-Mobile” store down the street. While T-Mobile wasn’t my carrier, I figured they’d probably carry an i-phone 8 screen saver.
There were two friendly twenty-something young men working at the store that day, Carlos and Josh. After Carlos found what I needed, I told them I was grateful for their store because I was visiting from out of town and needed something nearby. They asked why I was in San Antonio. I told them I was doing two different book signings. They asked “What kind of books do you write?” I told them “Christian books” and then shared about my most recent book to help the fatherless, The Only Father I Ever Knew. That’s when they both, almost simultaneously said, “I had a bad father.”
At that moment my heart poured out to these young men with father wounds and I knew what I had to do. I asked them if they’d like a complimentary copy of the book, and they both said an enthusiastic yes! So I ran to the car to pick up two books and by the time I got back in the store, Josh was already looking me up on his phone and then perused the book while I paid for my screen saver.
I said to them, “I don’t think I am here for a screen saver, although I thought that was why I walked into this store. I am here to tell you that God loves you and wants to be your Father.” They both were silent as they processed what I said, but they seemed to receive my words.
As I left the store, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was a Divine Appointment. I am seeing more and more that if we are willing to share about the Lord with others, He will open up doors everywhere we go—whether it’s in cell phone stores, nail salons, or airports. But we have to be looking for the openings. We have to be aware.
Today I am wondering, Did Josh and Carlos read the book? If so, what kind of impact did it have? I am also burdened as I think, Should I have taken our encounter to the next level? Should I have asked them to pray a prayer so they can begin a relationship with God as Father?
I told these young men that this blog would run today, so Josh and Carlos, if you guys are reading this, it was great meeting you and I want to invite you to pray a prayer that will change your lives forever. I promise it will, because that’s what it did for this fatherless girl years ago. Just say these words and your heavenly Father will hear you:
Father God, I need a Father in my life, and I know that you loved me so much that you provided a willing messenger the other day at the T-Mobile store. Today I confess that I’ve made some mistakes in my life called sin, and I have fallen short of your perfect standard. I also believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, came to this Earth to pay the price for that sin. He was crucified, was buried and rose again, just for me. Today, I ask you to come into my life, so that I can begin a Father-son relationship with you.
If you prayed that prayer, congratulations! We’re now part of the same family, and if you pray daily, spend some time reading God’s Word and connect to a solid church, hold on! God will take you places you never thought you’d go and your lives will be more exciting than you ever imagined. Our Daddy’s like that. May the Lord bless you both as you begin this journey. Hopefully, I can drop in and see you the next time I am in San Antonio. 🙂
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12).
How many times have you received a call, text, or email from a friend who is in trouble or going through drama? They are crying so hard that you can barely understand them? Or they begin yelling in anger as they rattle off their grievances against someone or a situation?
It’s important for us to listen and be there for our family and/or friends. When we listen, we are allowing them to vent and get everything out. Venting allows people to expel the negativity and sometimes work through the problem by talking it out. Venting can decrease stress and pressure in a person’s mind, and you are giving them a safe place to open up their hearts and pour out the hurt. Ephesians 4:2 says, “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love.” It may be hard at times, but being there for one another is what life is all about.
As we help one another, we are strengthening our family and community bonds.
Just recently, I received a call from my very distraught daughter. She made it through the hello, but then the floodgates of tears opened up. She was dealing with college issues. She worked hard on a paper and received very good comments on it; but, unfortunately, the grade was 75%! She was beside herself. I had to stop her for a moment and ask what she needed from me.
“Honey, how can I help you right now, listen to you or help you solve the problem?” She said, “Mom, if you could just listen first.” So that’s what I did. She explained all the work she did. How she was very prepared for the paper and how the comments didn’t match the grade. I made soothing comments about my understanding of her angst and frustration. I explained that it’s hard to see your work not recognized. She began to spiral down as to how she’s failing, that she is all alone, and her whole college life was on the line. Then she gave me the opening I needed. Filled with tears and a defeated heart, she asked, “Mom, what am I going to do?”
That’s when I went into problem solving mode. I clarified that she wa asking me for my advice and then started by telling her some major truths. First, I explained she is not a failure. We are all learning new things daily. Failure comes from not even trying. I reminded her that with practice comes mastery.
I went on to explain that she is not, and never will be, alone. The Lord promises to never leave us or forsake us. His presence is with us forever; and He calls us into community for just this reason. It may seem like we are all alone in our lives, but there is always someone else going through the same thing. It’s up to us to reach out for help and for us to offer to be there for one another.
Then, I assured her that life is not defined by mistakes unless we don’t learn from them. Everyone makes mistakes, but if we let our mistakes consume us we are going nowhere fast. If we learn from our mistakes and work to do better, we set the foundation for our lives and build a character of perseverance, determination, and grace.
Finally, I told her that professors are people too, so she needed to go and talk with the professor. It’s important to end on a positive note. So, I asked her to think about three positive things. What has she learned? What characteristics did she display that are positive?
Phil 4:8 tells us that whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, good, if there is any excellence or worthy of praise to dwell on these things. By the end of the conversation, my daughter had learned about herself and had a plan of action. In return I got an, “I love you Mom. Thank you for listening and helping me.” More precious than gold.
Love one another. Share with one another. Reach out to one another.
I didn’t know what to expect when I went to see the movie “Overcomer.” I just knew it checked off some boxes. It had a sports theme, it was a Christian movie, and I actually knew one of the actors, Camy Arnett, who played Thomas Hill, the blind man in the movie.
Camy and his wife, B.J., were involved in the same Global Media Summit that I emceed in June and we ended up at breakfast together a couple of times in the early morning. I will also be speaking at a conference later this month where Camy is the keynote. That, of course, added to the “cool” factor.
But as I watched the movie unfold, there was a connection I did not expect. It was about a quiet little girl, Hannah Scott, who did not fit in at school, was fatherless, or so she thought, and was raised by her grandmother, because her mother was dead. There were so many parallels to my own life.
I was fatherless at birth, my grandmother raised me off and on when my mom struggled, and like Hannah, sports was my outlet.
Instead of cross-country, I was a basketball and volleyball player. A poor girl in a very wealthy school environment, I did not feel like I fit in, except when I was on the court. As Hannah experienced, I also started to go down the wrong path before a friend came to my rescue and introduced me to Jesus. In the movie, Hannah was fifteen. I was fourteen when I gave my life to Christ.
There were some scenes in the movie that made me cry because they were so close to home. There were other scenes where the tears flowed because I wished I had been able to have just one moment with my earthly father like Hannah had.
The one thing I know is that it’s only through a relationship with Jesus Christ that I was able to overcome my childhood and live with more confidence in my life. When I became a Christian in high school, the light turned on and the darkness fled. I had purpose, my grades went up, and I found a group of Christian friends who accepted me, even though I didn’t have all the material things their families had.
What is it you still need to overcome?
God never intended for us to live in defeat. When you know Jesus as Lord and Savior the battle is already won.
1 John 5:4 says, “For everyone born of God overcomes the world.” John 8:37 says, No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” 1 John 15:57 says, “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
These are promises that tell us we can overcome anything through Christ Jesus. We just have to believe them and ask for God’s help to rise above the problems.
While those childhood years are becoming a more distant memory, the transformation I experienced is still as vivid as when it happened in high school. I became an overcomer then. I am still an overcomer now and am confident that with Jesus leading me, I will overcome anything the future may bring. What about you?