Category : Blog
Category : Blog
We are making plans for our annual Level-Up Women’s Conference October 9th but this week we found out there are two other events on the same weekend. This could cause worry, but I choose to trust in God’s provision and to remember how He has blessed this event in the past.
This morning I was reading in Mark 8 about Jesus’s feeding of 4000 people, using only seven loaves of bread and two fish. After the disciples witnessed this miraculous event, they got back into their boat, and realized they only had one loaf of bread for their journey. They fretted. Had they not just seen how Jesus multiplied the bread? Didn’t they understand He could do it again?
Sometimes we forget what the LORD has provided in the past, and we focus on the potential problems rather than the problem solver—Jesus.
I have been reading a book by Kris Valloton and Bill Johnson, pastors at Bethel Church in Redding, California. It’s called The Supernatural Ways of Royalty. In this book, Vallotton talks about the “pauper” mentality he had to overcome, due to his dysfunctional childhood. He says “a pauper is born into insignificance. He grows up, he learns through life that he has no value and his opinions don’t really matter. Therefore, when he becomes a king, he is important to the world around him, but he still feels insignificant in the kingdom that lies within him.”
Even at this point in my life, I have to fight a pauper mentality due to my own dysfunctional childhood, as in the case of our Level-Up Women’s Conference. I could believe that our numbers will be down, or that we don’t compare favorably to other events, but Jesus promises abundance to us as daughters and sons of the King. It is the enemy of our souls who wants us to think differently. In John 10:10 Jesus said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
We have a royal inheritance and we have to expect that He will provide as He has before, and this royal provision will be more than we ever imagined. I refuse to have a pauper mindset.
What about you? As a believer in Christ, do you let the circumstances around you rule your thinking, or do you trust the God of abundance who wants to shower you with His provision because of your royal standing? It’s a choice we all have to make.
I received a marketing card from a Washington D.C. hotel this week, “The Mayflower.” It’s a beautiful place where Jeff and I stayed several years ago to get in place for a book awards ceremony—a great memory.
And on the back of the card the words, “Return to the Nation’s Capital…” appeared and this recent job scenario went through for a position in the nation’s capital came to mind. After numerous repeat messages that made me think I was going to get the appointment, I did not even make the top five. I’ve written about this before, but have not shared about the spiritual plunge that I took afterwards. Previously, when God wanted me to make a directional change He spoke to me in unmistakable patterns, probably because I did not get the message the first time. This situation reminded me of the time I was called to seminary. There were so many confirmations that even my husband could not deny the call.
My faith crisis was not about not getting the job. It would require many sacrifices and a laying down of self that would be difficult. No, my troubled spirit was about not hearing God correctly. How would I ever know when the LORD is speaking to me after getting this wrong?
And that led to a questioning of who God is. Was this exercise part of a cruel joke? I didn’t have time for rabbit trails. Was it designed to make me feel unqualified, less than or disappointed? All of those thoughts came to me.
Ultimately, I had to return to the character of God as found in the Bible.
The Lord is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works (Psalm 145:9, NKJV).
You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you (Psalm 86:5, NIV)
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God (1 John 4:7, ESV).
This morning I was reading a devotional that said, “Praise God for Who He is—not the what.”
Returning to the truth about God’s attributes was a sharp turn from where my mind was headed, but I had to trust that the job situation had a purpose even though I am not seeing it now. I had to believe that the LORD is good and wants the best for me. I could not change my beliefs about God based on circumstances.
Perhaps you are going through something difficult, and because of it you are retreating from an intimate relationship with your heavenly Father. The enemy of your soul wants you to see the LORD in a dark light, rather than the glorious light of love that He is. Maybe you are starting to question God’s care for you. Come back to center. Study all the attributes of God in the Bible, and know that He is for you, not against you. He is love and He abounds in love for you.
It feels good to be back in the saddle again after being out to pasture for a while.
I’m in San Antonio, Texas preparing to share my personal testimony tonight at an event, one of the first times I’ve spoken publicly since the pandemic began in March 2020. There are a few concerns. Will I remember everything? Will people respond? Will God’s presence be felt?
However, this morning, the Holy Spirit reminded me through a simple visual that His light cannot be contained.
As I saw the sunshine peeking through the blackout curtain in my hotel room, I realized that we cannot put a lid on God’s radiant light. It will shine through one way or another, and often we are the vessels God uses—if we are willing.
Matthew 5:14–16 says, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Tonight, I am placing myself in a position to be a vessel of light and I am confident God will illuminate the room through me. One of the most effective prayers we can pray each morning is, “O LORD, will you give me an opportunity to shine for you?” When I pray to be a light, God almost always gives me an opportunity to glow for Him.
What about you? Are you willing to be a vessel of light today? The warmth of God’s radiant light, in and through you, could make an eternal difference in someone else’s life.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8)
Summer should be a time of rest. A time when we grow spiritually because we have more leisure time to stick our nose in an inspirational book or expand our quiet time in the morning. But what I’ve found is that the summer can be one of the driest times both weather-wise and spiritually.
I’m not sure why this happens, but it may be because we travel during the summer and we get out of our patterns of connecting with God. For myself, over the past few weeks, I was immersed in a convention, spent a week in Hawaii, and I’m now speaking out of town this weekend. Quiet times can be rushed—one-on-one conversations with God can be timed and brief.
So it’s during these stretches that we have to be more intentional about connecting. We have to trust God even in the dry seasons. Trust can be a discipline.
I’m still personally struggling with the fact that I thought I was hearing God correctly about a recent scenario, but discovered I was wrong. Instead of retreating into even drier land when I am disappointed that I did not hear His voice correctly, I have to trust that God sees the bigger picture, that He is a good God and there is purpose in everything. Sometimes the answers will come much later.
We also have to pray that the Holy Spirit will refresh us during the dry times spiritually. This morning, I prayed that He would fill me and that I would experience His presence today. Although I don’t feel as connected, on faith I am certain the LORD will answer my prayer. I also know that I need a day totally immersed in God’s word and prayer in order to saturate the dry land. I am looking for an opening on my calendar and will book an all-day appointment with God.
So if you are also feeling a bit dry on your spiritual journey, be intentional about reconnecting. Don’t pull away further. Be sure to trust God even though He seems very far away. I promise—the dry season will come to an end.
Have you ever thought you were hearing God’s voice correctly, but then you realized you got it wrong?
Recently, an Executive Search firm reached out to me about applying for a media job with a large ministry in a Northeastern city. I wasn’t looking for full-time employment. I was happy leading Pearls of Promise, attending school, and taking care of my other volunteer jobs. This was a life “curve ball,” but the night before I received the invitation to apply, I had a dream. I was carrying a sick baby and a heavy purse on my shoulder when I encountered a major intersection. The purse and the baby, combined, were too heavy to carry so I had to make a decision. Do I lay down the purse at the intersection or do I lay down the baby? I ended up saving the baby. Purses represent your identity. Babies can signify a new ministry or a baby, literally. So in the dream I laid down my identity in order to move forward in a new ministry, or to simply save the baby.
I did not understand why the dream occurred until the next day when I received an email invitation to apply for this media management position for this well-established ministry. The ministry is a lobbying organization that stands for family values and one of the things it does is fight for legislation to save babies from being aborted. If I had not received the message, I probably would have said I was not interested and would not have considered such a move at this stage in my life. But I realized if I took this job, I would be helping to save the babies, like in the dream! That’s the first reason why I thought God was speaking.
There were additional signs. I had another dream pointing to a change. There were several messages about laying down my life to follow Jesus. One morning, the weather forecast for the home city of this ministry came up on my email rather than the forecast for my own city. God placed numerous people in my path who lived in that particular place. I was so convinced God was preparing me for this move, I turned in all the required paperwork, secured seven references and even started looking at homes, planning out the details of a transition in my mind.
But a couple of weeks after the start of the application process, I received a disappointing email from the Executive Search firm. The head of the firm said I had made it into the top ten candidates, but not the top five. I did not get the job. What? What was this exercise about? I wondered how I could misunderstand God’s voice in this way? Why did I believe he was directing me to this position when He wasn’t? I was ready to lay it all down—our POP ministry and school—for a new calling.
That’s when my husband, Jeff, said, “You didn’t miss the message. Abraham heard God’s voice correctly when he told him to sacrifice Isaac. He moved forward, out of obedience, but in the end, he didn’t have to kill Isaac. It was a test and I believe this was a test.”
So if this was a divine exam, I guess I passed. The LORD knows I am “all in” and willing to give it all up for Him, if He asks. Throughout this process, I made that promise to Him numerous times. After all of the repeat messages, I will admit I am still a little disappointed. I thought God was moving me to the “front lines.” My husband was open to the relocation, my adult children were supportive and like a chess game, I had planned out all my moves, but I choose to trust God with this end result.
What about you? What if God asked you to place your livelihood on the altar? Could you pass the test?