Category : Blog
Category : Blog
Are you facing a life roadblock right now?
When experiencing a frustrating delay or impasse, the easiest thing to do is throw up our hands and quit. Who would blame us? But before we walk away from a scenario, we have to ask “Was this a call of God or did we bring this on ourselves?”
As many of you know, I’m in school, and started a new class a week ago, on top of doctoral work. One of the requirements in this class on antisemitism is to produce a ten-fifteen minute presentation on the subject. When praying about this project, a twenty-eight minute documentary unfolded in my mind. Every section. Every detail. It would require some work, but it could be done. I believed it was a direct download from above.
But I’ve faced a few unexpected roadblocks. I have found that many Jewish people do not want to talk about antisemitism, perhaps due to fear, and this is an important part of the documentary. So this morning I am asking myself, “Was this a call of God or was it my idea?” I remembered how the details unfolded and I thought, God wants me to do this so I need to trust him and endure.
Even though I am discouraged, Philippians 4:13 reminds me “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” When the Apostle Paul prayed for the Colossians, he not only prayed for their wisdom and understanding, but he also prayed that they would be strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that they might have endurance and patience.”
Job, who we are probably all familiar with, was stricken with health issues and lost his family, but in Hebrews 5 he is called “a man of great endurance.” Job’s life was restored, and James says the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy” (James 5:11).
Are you needing a little extra help to endure?
The Lord God, our provider can impart what is lacking. Romans 15:5 refers to our heavenly Father as “the God who gives endurance and encouragement.” If you need endurance, turn your scenario over to God and ask Him to work on your behalf. You are not in this alone.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19 NIV)
You’re invited to our monthly POP Chat on October 27th at 6:30 p.m. CST where Aurora Ortega Geis will be speaking about “33 Days in the Valley.” If you are in a valley right now, or have been in one in the past, join us for one hour on POP Chat to be encouraged! Debra Camp will provide our worship. Email us at: email@example.com for the Zoom link.
I thought I was distracted.
A detailed plan for a unique television program interrupted my thoughts during my morning quiet time. I kept pushing what I thought was an interruption away, but the download wouldn’t stop. Then it hit me. Maybe the Holy Spirit was trying to speak, and wanted me to record what He was saying. It was at that point I began writing this plan down. I always know when something comes from God because it’s often bigger than what I could accomplish in my own power, and like Peter, I begin to sink when I take my eyes off Jesus. In this case, both happened.
This directive from God came during my time of prayer where I had also created space to listen. I am trying to do better with listening because it is a desire of my heart to hear the voice of God. What about you?
Through my studies this semester, I’ve learned a lot about the importance of creating space to hear the voice of God, so at our Level-Up Conference I provided a formula for doing so, using the acronym SPACE. I thought I’d share.
S- Set aside a time of solitude to just listen and hear God’s voice. A voice can be an impression on your spirit, it could be a thought that you know is not yours. That’s how I often know that it’s God’s voice because I would have never come up with the idea myself. It’s rarely an audible voice.
P- Put away your to-do list, or any thoughts that might interfere with hearing from God. For myself, the best time to stop and listen is after I’ve worshipped, read the word and prayed. At that point, I am in the presence of God. I shouldn’t get up and get busy. I need to just “be.”
A-Ask God what he wants to say to you. When the prophet Samuel was a little boy training under the guidance of the Priest Eli, God spoke to him while he was in his bed, and he didn’t know who it was at first. He thought Eli was calling him, but he wasn’t. Eli, who figured it out, told Samuel to say: “Speak for your servant is listening.” We can do that as well.
C- Come empty. Don’t come into God’s presence with any agenda. When we pray, we are seeking direction for specific things, but the Bible says God’s ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. Be open to whatever He has to say. The download I received for a television show was clearly not my idea. I thought, More work! I am in ministry today because I was open to His leading. I am in school again studying about my Jewish roots, because I listened to the voice of God.
E- Expect to hear from God. I am not saying you are going to hear from him every time, but if you create space in His presence, you are going to receive more divine messages. That’s exactly what I do when I blog. Often, I will sit at my computer without an idea for a blog, and I just wait for the Holy Spirit to speak into my soul and provide a topic. He always does.
Creating space to hear from God could potentially change the course of your life. I know it has mine. God loves you all so much, but He doesn’t want a one-way conversation, and He desires to share some exciting things with you. Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
I want to know what’s on God’s mind! What about you? Let’s do this together. Let’s start creating space.
“So my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless” (1 Corinthians 15:58, NLT).
That’s the answer I heard in my spirit when I asked, “How many folders should I purchase for the Level-Up Conference?” Sixty seemed like a lot since we were only a few weeks out from our event and our numbers were hovering in the twenties. However, I trusted the voice and obediently bought sixty folders. When our registrations approached sixty, I was tempted to buy another ten just to be sure we had enough, but once again I trusted the Holy Spirit. He said sixty women would come to be refreshed and encouraged so I needed to believe that’s what we would have.
So we set up sixty seats at our venue, Northview Baptist Church, and on the day of the conference, my heart felt great joy when I scanned the sanctuary and saw almost every seat filled. God knew, in advance, how many would attend and He blessed this conference, that had been bathed in prayer.
Today, as I reflect on Level-Up, I want to provide some thank yous and a short synopsis of what happened on Saturday.
Thank you Sandy Storm for showing us that even the worst of situations can be redeemed, as you shared about your rescue from human trafficking.
Thank you Dr. Lynnette Simm for teaching us that while people may let us down, we can always trust God.
Thank you Rosemary Legrand for a powerful time of healing prayer.
Thank you Rebecca Carrell for showing us that things may not get better in the world but God can help us endure and have joy as we maneuver through life.
Thank you Elizabeth Settle for reminding us that we are never alone—Jesus is always with us.
Thank you Gina Wright for encouraging those who have been through painful divorces and rejection, that God will lead them through it.
Thank you Alexis Arellano for telling it like it is and not being afraid to share truth.
Thank you Renee Rollins for stepping in at the last minute and ushering in a powerful worship experience.
Thank you Katherine Legg for providing those beautiful moments of peace through your flute playing as we reflected on what we’ve heard.
Thank you Aurora Ortega Geis for your wisdom and powerful transitions in your role as emcee.
Thank you Andrea Gibson for welcoming us into your church and making the planning so easy.
Thank you Prayer Team and Volunteers for serving. We could not do this without you.
Most importantly, thank you LORD. You are the one that brought all this together. We do it for you and to provide women the hope only you can offer.
In the process of putting the conference together, I was often discouraged and thought, I am not sure I want to do this again. COVID impacted our numbers. We lost a speaker after her husband succumbed to COVID and we lost our original Worship Leader who fell ill, two days before Level-Up. But after seeing the hand of God the day of this event—how He leveled this event up—I believe Level-Up 2022 will happen. He’s already downloaded many of the details. Level-Up Faith, Level-Up your Future, and Level-down Fears. See you all at our 2022 Level-Up event. Don’t miss out on the blessing!
Our online POP Chat is back in October! We want to invite you to our POP Chat on Wednesday, October 27th from 6:30-7:30 on Zoom. Aurora Ortega Geis will be speaking on “33 Days in the Valley.” We will have worship, a message, prayer and discussion. Join the entire POP Team for this powerful get-together. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
The trip up to Three Lakes, Wisconsin couldn’t have been more perfect. Easy flights up. I walked up to the rental car counter at Rhinelander Airport, and before I could say anything, the attendant said, “Are you Mrs. Worley?” I asked, “Am I your only customer today?” “No, there’s one other.” It had been a long time since I’d flown into a small airport.
I presented the message: “Seven Things Fatherless Girls Need” at the Psalm 68:5 Fatherless Summit at Honey Rock Camp. While I think my information inspired the summer camp leaders who attended, I received so much more.
There was one message, in particular, that I am still chewing on. It was given by retired Wheaton College Professor Emerita of Christian Formation and Ministry, Dr. Scottie May, who also happened to be my cabin suite mate. In her talk she spoke about the importance of creating “space” for the camp children to have an encounter with God. She gave practical ways to create that space. This may have been for the camp leaders to implement, but the idea of “creating space” was a repeat message.
I am in the middle of my first semester of doctoral studies at The King’s University and this semester we are focusing on Christian Spiritual Formation. One of the books we are reading is Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership by Ruth Haley BartonShe talks about this same concept and shares about the importance of space or solitude as a key discipline for leaders to strengthen their soul. Barton says, “One of the reasons solitude is so challenging for leaders is that the activities and experiences associated with leadership can be very addicting. The idea that I can do something about this, that or the other thing feeds something in us that is voracious in its appetite.”
On Wednesday afternoon, we had free time to take a walk or tour the camp. I really wanted to create space by choosing one of these options but duty called. I chose to work on a television show. It was work that had to be done, but would carving out space have been the better choice?
God often speaks to me in patterns because I don’t always get it the first time. I see this as a pattern. I need to be intentional about creating space.
Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God!”
I know that “space” is what is missing in my morning quiet time. I worship, read the Bible and pray, but then I’m off to accomplish what’s on day’s list. Instead, it should look more like this: Worship, Read, Pray, Silence/Space. It’s generally in the stillness and solitude that God speaks.
How much “space” are you creating in your own life to hear from God? Perhaps you can join me in making it a priority to put away the agenda for a few minutes and just “be.”
“The greatest among you must be a servant” (Matthew 23:11, NLT)
Over the past week, I have watched God’s hand move mightily over our Level-Up Women’s Conference. He is calling people to attend who I don’t know, and then some of the women I serve with in leadership from another organization, have come forward to either attend or help. One of those leaders said, “I’m just coming to serve. What can I do?” That touched my heart because she’s traditionally published and speaks all over the country. She should be speaking, and probably will be in the future. That’s when I thought of the passage, “The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Matthew 23:11–12). When God has promotes us to a position of high standing, it takes more humility to serve—yet that is what Jesus calls us to do.
What I’ve concluded is: The “greatest” thing we can ever do is to be the “least.”
I am about to speak at two other conferences before Level-Up, and I am praying I go in with a servant’s heart, even though I will be in front, sharing a message. If the conference facilitators need help moving chairs or putting food out, I want to be available. And when any of my friends hold their own events in the future, even if I am not chosen to be a presenter, I desire to have a servant’s heart and do whatever I can to help them.
God has been working on some areas of my life through the battle I had with COVID, as well as the preps for our Level-Up Women’s Conference. Around the time I felt discouraged about our conference, I received messages like “Don’t waver in the waiting” “Trust me” and “I am working behind the scenes.” I see that happening now, and I am humbly grateful to my great and compassionate heavenly Father, who loves and cares for me and desires to give me success in the work I’m called to accomplish on His behalf. One of my favorite verses is “God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful” (1 Thessalonians 5:24, NLT).
I know you’ve probably seen this happen in your own life. What about you, when have you seen God work on your behalf behind the scenes?
It’s not too late to register for our Level-Up Women’s Conference on October 9th at Northview Baptist Church in Lewisville. Right now we have a “Buy One, Get One Free” (BOGO) Ticket available on Eventbrite. Here’s the link: https://levelupdallas2021.eventbrite.com
Join us as we “Level-Up Truth, “Level-Up Trust,” and “Level-Down Trials.” Guest speakers include KCBI Morning Show Host, Rebecca Carrell, Gateway Church Pastor, Elizabeth Settle, Human Trafficking Survivor, Sandy Storm, Austin-based Ministry Leader, Gina Wright, and Newcomer, Alexis Arellano. Worship Leaders are Debra Camp and Katherine Legg. The entire Pearls of Promise Team, Rosemary Legrand, Dr. Lynnette Simm, Aurora Ortega Geis, and myself will also be on hand as speakers, so please don’t miss this opportunity to be renewed and refreshed during a difficult season.