The Sideline Shuffle

I came home from work a few months ago to find this little guy in front of our house.  As I walked up, his tiny head turned, and we locked eyes. The second I saw him, my heart hurt. It felt like it was 110 degrees out and the sun was beating down on his little body. I had no idea where he came from. No nest in sight, panic washed over me. Tears filled my eyes. My mama heart took over.

Yes. Yes. I know. It is a bird. But all I could see was this helpless little creature who looked lost and scared.  As I shifted my position to look at him closer, his eyes followed me.  He didn’t look scared.  It is like he wanted me to rescue him. Wherever I moved, his little neck turned. I knew he was young. He still had those sweet soft fluffy feathers. I wondered if he was hungry. I’m sure he was thirsty. I didn’t know what to do. But I knew I couldn’t leave him there.

At this point my husband had joined me to see what I had found. He too looked for a nest of some sort but saw nothing. It was landscaping day so I knew the guys had been through the area with the leaf blower and might have quite possibly blown this little guy right out of his nest.

We decided to walk into the house and watch from the front door to see what might happen next.  And when we moved, he moved. He hopped his little body right toward the front door.  His little mouth was open wide as he began to cry.  I thought I was going to burst into tears. The mama in me couldn’t stand it.

At this point, my husband had begun googling what to do with a lost baby bird and he discovered we had come across a fledgling. This was a not a baby bird in distress, but instead one that was learning its way. The article my husband found suggested that the mother was most likely close by watching her young one, making sure it was okay. But she did so from a distance. I was fascinated. I watched longer as he began to hop and attempt to flap his tiny little wings all while crying out for help.  

As he hopped, he headed for the direction of the bushes and this time when he flapped his wings, he gained a bit of air and landed himself on a branch in the bush. Finally, I felt better and was able to give him the room he needed to do his thing.

Over the course of the last week, I have thought quite a bit about that little fledgling.  How much my heart hurt watching this little bird try to figure out its next move and not knowing what waited ahead for it. It made me think about my children.

Watching your kid struggle is never an easy thing. Especially if they have placed people in their life who add to their struggle.

Four of my five children are adults. They don’t need mom anymore to prepare their meals or do their laundry or keep them safe.  They are on their own and much like that fledging, they are navigating the world around them as I sit in the background and watch from a distance.  I don’t get to pick what they eat, who they choose to allow into their lives or what activities they participate in.  Instead, I watch. I attempt now and again to offer advice or direction when asked, but I know, the only way they will truly figure things out is to let them make mistakes and live out the consequences of those mistakes.

Parenting is hard. But as parents we must know when to let go and allow them to navigate their journey.  And as badly as we want to intervene and overstep, we can’t. Taking a seat on the sidelines and doing what I like to call the Sideline Shuffle all while letting them find their way is the most selfless and loving action we can take. Even when it’s hard.

About 18 years ago, my youngest son became very ill while we were on vacation. He had a very high fever and his breathing had become labored. We found our way to the nearest urgent care where we were told we needed to get him to a hospital.  As I sat in the back seat with my less than a year-old baby, I held him close.  The entire way I prayed.  I thanked God for allowing me to be his mom and that no matter what happened next, I knew my child belonged to God and that He loved my child far more than I could comprehend. I knew God’s plans were greater than my own and that He was in control.  I trusted Him.  But at the same time, I was afraid of what might happen to my little one.  But God.

As parents, we must recognize that our children do not belong to us.  They are His.  He gives them to us for such a short time and our mission is to point them towards truth and to Jesus. To teach them Who should be first in their life. To encourage them to turn from the things of the world that would distract them from following Jesus. To not encourage them to worship idols or material things. We have only been given a few short years before we must push them out of the nest and let them learn to fly. 

Over the last few weeks, I have been able to share this story with a few of my friends who have littles still at home. The wonder and fear that fills their eyes when I say, “those babies don’t belong to you” always makes me smile just a little bit. The moment that realization sinks in becomes a moment that will forever change your perspective and parenting strategy and will forever change the course of not only how you see your children, but the way in which you see your Abba Daddy!

Pushing them out of that nest is a scary move but sending them on their way without Jesus is far scarier. Be confident!  God has them and He loves them!  He’s watching and waiting to catch them! And His love and His provision for their lives is far more than anything we can ever give!

2 Week Notice

One of the hardest concepts for me as a spouse and parent is fighting the temptations of this world to do life (marriage and parenting) the world’s way. I struggle to embrace truth at times because the world is often offended by God’s design and the people pleaser in me wants to make those around me happy. Sadly, I oftentimes do go the way of pleasing others at the expense of being obedient to what I know Truth to be.

Between movies, tv programs and books, the world spends countless amounts of time attempting to paint a picture for us as to what marriage, parenting and family should look like. A portrait that most of the time is far from the way in which God designed any of it to be. The Bible paints a much different picture than the world and throughout my 27 years of married life and 24 years of parenting, I have learned that following God’s design instead of my own or the world’s leads to blessings and joy that this world has yet to offer me.

A few years ago, I listened to a sermon titled Time’s Up (The Summit Church, JD Greear, 11/10/19). I decided I needed the reminder and listened to it again. As the sermon began, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect but it hit the nail on the head for me and where God is trying to take me as a spouse and parent.

I have spent years praying and asking God to reveal Himself to my children the way in which He has revealed Himself to me throughout the years. I want them to know Him the way I do. To experience the joy of walking in His way and living life by His design instead of what the world would offer. To live the “best life”, a life experiencing the goodness and faithfulness of God and not the life (plan) I want or think they should live. God has purposely designed each of them for a part of His story and I desperately want them to know the joy that comes from walking with Him.

As we listened to the sermon yesterday the pastor talked about a conversation that took place between himself and his mom when he decided to have a conversation with her about what God was doing in his life when he was in college. It was a conversation he was nervous to have because he was afraid she would be disappointed in him.

He began by saying, “Mom, I know this is probably really disappointing. I know you must have had this vision of me living close, making a comfortable living, and raising your grandkids in a place where you could see them every day. But I feel like God wants me to go live overseas where people don’t know about Jesus.”

And here was his mom’s response, “J.D., your father and I have been praying for God’s will for you your whole life. And if this is how God wants to use your life, we won’t stand in your way. There’s nothing that would make us prouder than knowing you gave your life back to God for his service. We’ll have all eternity to enjoy the blessings of our family,” she said. “So, if we miss out on some of them down here, that’s ok. We’ll have all eternity for that. We’ve only got a few years to ensure that people’s sons and daughters around the world have a chance to be included in our family.”

Only one life to live… That’s the legacy JD Greear was given by his parents. And he said it was greater than anything else they could have given to him. THAT is the legacy that I want to give to my children! That is who I want to be for them. I want them to know that the eternal destination of those around them are far more important than anything else. That following Jesus and sharing Him with the world is by far, more significant than a full table on Thanksgiving.

JD Greear followed up his story with this: “So, one simple question for you: What legacy are you leaving? What kingdom are you leveraging your resources for?” He said, “You see, there is one thing we CAN’T do there (eternity in heaven) that we can do here: tell people about Jesus.”

That is the message I want my children and the children I love as my own to hear. That is my heart for them. I LOVE being a wife. I LOVE being a mom. But both for me are completely worthless if both of these titles are all about me and my happiness. I want to leave this earth knowing that my husband and children know/knew that following Jesus and leading others to follow Him were the MOST important things.

As JD Greear said in his message, we have all been given a two weeks notice. The death rate is 100%. We never know when our last day will be so we must live as if that day is today.

Our notice has been given. What are we going to do with it? “In that last day, when Jesus returns, the ONLY thing that will matter is whether we were a faithful steward and used our resources for His purpose.”


Everything or Nothing

Christianity is free, but it will cost you your entire life. Nobody ever changed the world by living safe.

-Banning Liebscher

Scroll social media and you’ll see post after post about what people think is wrong with the world today. People pointing fingers and blaming people, things, ideas for all that is wrong with the world.  But at the end of the day, this world is the way it is because of sin. Because we all are sinners. Sinners who came into this world full of selfishness and pride.  We weren’t trained to be this way. We were born this way. We were created with the ability to think for ourselves, make decisions for ourselves and do those things we want to do in order to get what we want. No one had to teach us how to live or think that way.

God created us with free will and a whole lot of responsibility to live out our lives but most live a selfish life. Lives focused on self and sin. We want what we want, sin and all, and when we don’t get it, we throw a fit and blame the world around us.

This world is headed for disaster. It is headed for disaster because people have turned away from God. People are choosing sin. People are focused on self, pleasure, and gratification. And we were NOT created for those things.

We were created for a greater purpose. We were created to do great things! We were created for God. We were created to glorify God in all we say and do.

Glorifying God with our lives means giving up everything.  It means total surrender.  To give up our lives means it will literally cost everything. EVERYTHING. But giving up everything means that in return you receive His grace, His love, His forgiveness, an eternity spent with Him and so much more. So much more than you could ever hope or imagine. But free will allows us to choose our own story and own way. But in the end, if that is the choice you make, you will most definitely end up with nothing.

The next time you see another news article blaming some other issue as being the reason the world is falling apart, take a minute, take a breath and pray.  Ask that God would open your eyes to see this world as He sees it and then ask Him to show you the part you play in His story. Ask Him for a heart that sees, loves and speaks His truth and not the “truth” that this world wants us to follow. And be willing to give it all away for something greater!

“That is why He warned people to “count the cost” before becoming Christians. “Make no mistake,” He
says, “if you let me, I will make you perfect. The moment you put yourself in My hands, that is what
you are in for. Nothing less, or other, than that. You have free will, and if you choose, you can push
Me away.

But if you do not push Me away, understand that I am going to see this job through. Whatever
suffering it may cost you in your earthly life, whatever inconceivable purification it may cost you after
death, whatever it costs Me, I will never rest, nor let you rest, until you are literally perfect—until my
Father can say without reservation that He is well pleased with you, as He said He was well pleased
with me. This I can do and will do. But I will not do anything less.”

-C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Peace over Pride

Being that this world is shouting at me how I should think, believe and live, I took the time to sort through all the noise and reflect on my own beliefs. This is what I discovered.

In a world that celebrates pride and uses the rainbow as a way to promote that pride, a symbol given as a reminder of God’s protection, His faithfulness, and a sign of the covenant between God and man, I cannot and will not celebrate pride or any other sin that cost the life of Jesus. I cannot celebrate something that ultimately leads to destruction. Someone said, “by God’s grace, I strive in the Spirit’s power to put my pride to death and one day, my God will put a full and final end to any pride which remains in me.”  Until that day when I see Him face to face, pride will be an ongoing sin I struggle to overcome but not one I will celebrate.

Believers are told in Deuteronomy 6:5 to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.” This truth is so important that it was repeated by Jesus (Matthew 22:37). We cannot be focused on pride or sin or the things of this world and truly love God. He should be the priority! Joby Martin explains it like this when he says, “when Jesus is preeminent, when He is before all things, He doesn’t make top of the list. He is the paper on which you write the list so that everything in your world points to Him and Him alone!”  That’s the life I want to live and reflect. A life not based on a religion or a doctrine but a life reflective of an intimate relationship with Jesus. A life surrendered to the Holy Spirit that brings life and peace. A life that demonstrates a love for Him that is so great, that there is no need to fill a void in my life with worldly desires or sin. I know I will never be that person completely on this side of heaven because of my sinful nature, but I will, to the best of my ability, run this race as I have been called while pointing those around me to the true prize, a personal relationship with Jesus and to the Truth of His Word and His Grace.

In our home, we will choose to celebrate His grace, His Truth and His love because it is His grace, His Truth and His love that will win in the end! Today I am thankful for a God who is faithful to His promises and who gave the life of His Son for me. His love is the greatest love I know and the only love I need.

He is the paper on which you write the list so that everything in your world points to Him and Him alone!

““He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). “He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5). Therefore, “in him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses” (Ephesians 1:7). “Everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins” (Acts 10:43). The cross of Christ declares my depravity, and delivers me from it. The Christian heart is a broken and forgiven heart.

But something else happened when Jesus died. All his people died with him. When we are united to Christ by faith, his death becomes not only the punishment of our sins, but also the death of our sinful nature. Our old, rebellious, selfish, arrogant nature dies. “You have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11).

A new creation comes into being. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Therefore, “put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). Being loved by Christ with self-sacrificing love, and dying to our old selfish nature, shapes us into the image of our heavenly Father: “Be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us” (Ephesians 5:1–2).

A new way of disapproving of sin is built into being forgiven, dying to our old nature, and being recreated in Christ. Christians do not stop disapproving of what will destroy people (sin). They start desiring the good of self-destroyers (sinners). Forgiven Christians want others to join them in being forgiven. Hope-filled Christians want others to join them in the hope of glory. Christians rescued at the cost of Christ’s life are willing to sacrifice for the sake of rescuing others.

This includes all others. Our crucified Savior said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27–28). The apostle Paul said, “As we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone” (Galatians 6:10). “See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone” (1 Thessalonians 5:15).

This love for all others is rooted in, and formed by, the sacrifice of Christ. His sacrificial servant-heart forms ours. Paul put it like this:

In humility count others more significant than yourselves. . . . Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant . . . to the point of death. (Philippians 2:3–8)

Counting others more significant than ourselves does not mean approving of what they feel or do. It means becoming a servant of their forgiveness, their rescue, their Christ-exalting hope. Christians do not bear ill will toward any. We live for the good of all.”

-John Piper

Proverbs 11:2

Proverbs 8:13

Proverbs 29:23

1 John 2:16

Romans 8:5-8

Standing confident in His timing

Each day that passes I learn that waiting on God’s time is not always easy.  It is a lesson I am learning through my own waiting.  It is a lesson that I am now thankful for learning.

Patience is hard.  Patience is not something easily practiced.  It does not come naturally for many and a lack of it can cause us to stumble.  Patience is most definitely a fruit of the Spirit and something that we can not achieve in our own strength.

Learning to be patient through difficult times requires total submission to God.  Without His presence and our confidence in His Truth, waiting for an outcome to our needs or wants can be crippling.  We want what we want now and if we do not get it, we tend to grab the reigns and pull that horse in the direction that we want to go.  Instead we must wait for God’s direction or what a mess that we cause!

God has a reason for not always answering our prayers instantaneously.  He is doing a work within our lives and knows that in order for us to become more like His Son, there must be a transformation.  A transformation that requires learning to trust Him no matter what our circumstances.  Learning to trust Him no matter others may be leading us to do.  Learning to pray through a situation with expectation that He knows what is best and knows what needs to be endured in order to come out on the other side changed.

We may never understand why things happen in the ways in which they do.  Whether it be due to the sin in our lives, whether God allows Satan to test or tempt us or because of the bad and sinful choices of others, He has a plan and He offers grace.  

I am so confident in His plan for my life.  I know that He has already walked the path before me.  He has laid it out and provided for my every need.  I have no reason to wake up each day worried or concerned for what will happen next.  Matthew 6:34 says, Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  I wake up daily with the attempt to cling to this scripture as a reminder that God has already provided what I need for that day.  It doesn’t mean that I can lay in bed and wait for money to pop into my bank account but it does  mean that I can go about my day trusting He will provide. He has worked out everything and all I need to do is submit to His will and allow my day to unfold.  

I do not write to you as one who gives an opinion.  I am writing as one who has seen God’s hand move.  I am one who has experienced His divine grace and provision.  God’s promises are true!  We lack nothing when we submit to His will and trust His guidance. It is a work.  It takes focus and we must learn to stop judging others and focus on our own faith struggles, our own sins. We then will have the ability to live a life of submission which is a  lot easier than playing “class monitor”. A submissive and God focused life is filled with great amounts of joy and peace and making us more aware to experience His movement in our life.

Stop turning your nose down at others.  Love the way in which God loves.  Share what you have with others as God commands.  Forgive those no matter what their offence as God has forgiven you. In order to live an abundant and free life, the choice must be made to break free from the religious chains that bind us to laws that we have been freed from because of Christ’s death upon the cross.

Praise God for His grace and faithfulness.  His love is unending!  It is unconditional!  There are no limits to what He has planned for our lives.  The choice is yours to make! Will you choose to surrender, trust and love Him today?

Failed system

And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:32

God is setting me free from my past. He is breaking the chains of  the obstacles that I once found as my security. Those things stood in the way of God being my Father. I am now on a new road surrounded by old signs. God is making it clear that those old signs are nothing more than myths to prop up a failed system.

I used to believe that suffering was a sign of God’s disappointment in my life but then I studied Job.  Instead I’m learning that suffering often indicates something different. It is a new work being done so that I am free to know Him more deeply and follow Him faithfully. Walking by faith and following Him is not easy. It means going against the grain which means our circumstances will not just fall into place and line up to the journey we are taking. There is resistance at every turn.  So God must teach me how to walk with Him. Only through His teaching and my brokenness am I able to experience and know His great joy and peace.

God is leading me on an incredible journey. It is more amazing  than anything I can imagine. If I follow Him in obedience, His work in my life will not only astound and amaze but bring great glory to His name.

God will and always provides. The fact that there is no money in the bank or that others are destroying my reputation with words does not mean a thing. God does not wave a magic wand and make everything right according to my wants and desires. I will never truly experience His love if I question His ways each time my expectations are not met. He knows me better than anyone else. He knows my needs better than anyone else. He provides better than anyone else. He is bringing me into a life aligned with Him. Instead of rescuing me from the things I’m having to endure, He has chosen to use every trial and circumstance in order to show me what true faith, true freedom and life really are when He lives within me.

I’m too busy!!

Day 8 of 21

I have been sick for the past week and this weekend I took some time to sleep and rest but not without having to deal with issues. Satan is always trying to find ways to get in there and makes us doubt. I find that there are times when I am stronger against him than others but often times, fail and feel defeated. From day one to day five of this time of seeking, I have felt true contentment. My eyes have remained focused on truth and there has been peace in my heart from trusting God’s hand and not my own. Each day started with prayer and time in the word, which brought me comfort and confidence. Saturday morning, because I was in a hurry, I missed that time with God and was tested.

Here is one of the biggest things I have managed to learn in the past week. Satan is always looking for a moment of weakness. That doesn’t necessarily mean a moment when we’re down in the dumps and feeling weak but instead when we are at our most confident. That is when he strikes and oftentimes, strikes hard. Saturday morning my faith and confidence was shaken. Nothing traumatic actually happened. It was just the normal someone questioning what God was showing me. The problem arrived because I was unprepared. I was too confident. I had spent five days praying and in the word and felt strong. Though He was calling me to spend time with Him Saturday morning, I said “maybe later because I’m in a hurry”. Just the opportunity Satan was looking for and he pounced.

What came later that day was nothing short of pathetic. I spent the day in tears and feeling totally defeated. I began questioning everything God had confirmed to me over the week. I began to question His truth in my life. I began to question His sovereignty over my situation. I doubted again. Why do I allow this to happen? Here is one thing that I know and that is if I had just taken the time Saturday morning to pray and read I would not have been hit as hard. Though it was a crappy kind of day, God still spoke to me, even when I had my head under the covers and tears were streaming down my face. That is what a Father does. When He knows we’re hurting and scared, He is there loving us and wanting the best for us while reminding us of His truth.

Because of this three-week time of reflection, as you can imagine, I have encountered protest from some, mocking from others and those who just flat out don’t get it. As I lay in bed Saturday, God kept putting stories in my head, reminding me of all He had done for those who followed Him. He reminded me of Moses, Joshua, Noah and Abraham specifically. Out of those four, two were significant to me. Two of those stories left me thinking about what those two men experienced from those around them as they were dealing with what God was showing them.

The world will not always understand why we do what we do. Sometimes the choices we have to make in order to be obedient to God go against everything the world would say making us look foolish.

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.”

Romans 8:5-8

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Romans 12:1-2

Yesterday in church, I was reminded yet again that my purpose, the reason I was created was soley for the purpose of glorifying God. He created me to bring Him alone honor and glory. My people pleasing nature struggles with that purpose as I seek to make everyone happy but I am learning that I am truly content when I am serving my purpose of glorifying Him alone.

When I woke up this morning, I had an encouraging email filled with some beautiful verses that reminded me of where I need to turn when I am dealing with my weak places….

“26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”

Romans 8:26-30

“31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Romans 8:31

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:37-29


Amazing what God’s word can do for the soul. His grace is truly sufficient and when we come to Him, He restores our faith and makes us strong. Please continue to pray. I have two weeks left and all I have asked for is that those who read this blog to pray with me and for me. No decision has been made. It is just a time of allowing God to move and show His plan for me. I beg that you do the same. Pray. Don’t think! Just pray J

Why 21 days?

Day 5 of 21: Why did I choose 21 days? There are three reasons. The first being that God it put on my heart to pray about this situation for 21 days. The second reason would be that research has proven that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit. The third reason comes from a story in Daniel. 


” 2 At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. 3 I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.

4 On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, 5 I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. 6 His body was like topaz, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude.

7 I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; those who were with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves. 8 So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless. 9 Then I heard him speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground.

10 A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.

12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”

15 While he was saying this to me, I bowed with my face toward the ground and was speechless. 16 Then one who looked like a man[

Christ in me


Day 4 of 21  


“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

I have spent the majority of today reflecting on what I have learned over just the past three days. For the first time in almost two years, I am not afraid. I received an email last night that would have brought me to tears because of hurt and fear but things are changing. I am no longer weak and it is not because of anything I have done but instead of what Christ is doing through me. There truly is no fear in love when your trust and hope are in Christ and Christ alone.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

1 John 4:18


Day three of 21: It is only day three but I am feeling God speaking to me loud and clear. Again, I will wait out the complete 21 days to see what God continues to show me. Here is what God showed me today in my quiet time through two different devotionals that I read.

This is what I read this morning written by Rick Warren…

“We see, then, that they were not able to enter the land, because they did not believe.”

Hebrews 3:19

The saddest verse to me in the entire Bible is today’s verse. It says the people of God were not able to enter the Promised Land because of unbelief.

Think about this: For 400 years, God planned the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt. To convince Pharaoh to let them go, God sent the various plagues to Egypt. He opened the Red Sea and He fed the Israelites with manna and quail. He took care of all of their needs as He brought them to the edge of the Promised Land.

But at the point of decision, God’s people say, “We can’t do it.” And the bible says because of their unbelief, they were not allowed to go in and they missed all that God had planned for their lives.

WOW! Why am I so stubborn and unbelieving? Why do I have a hard time trusting God. He is the same God that Moses served and trusted? Why did the Israelites witness all that God had done and still chose not to believe? It’s like that story I have heard pastors tell repeatedly about the man stuck on top of the building and needing to be rescued. All kinds of people come by with ways to help him but he says no because he’s waiting on God. You know the story. I feel like we are always looking for that “parting of the red sea” moment and often times miss Him.

The devotion goes on to say…

I do not want that to happen to you. I do not want you to miss what God has planned for your life simply because you were afraid or unwilling to take a step of faith. Your unbelief limits God.

We must choose to obey God in faith. Every times we trust God’s wisdom and do whatever He says to do, even when we don’t understand it, we deepen our relationship with God.

Understand, though, we obey God, not out of duty or fear or compulsion, but because we love Him and trust that He knows what is best for us. We want to follow Christ out of gratitude for all He has done for us, and the closer we follow Jesus, the deeper our relationship with Him becomes.

Makes me stop and think about how often we say we will leave it in God’s hands to take care of things but still try to control it. Do we really trust Him enough to lay it all down and give Him complete control?

Here is how Rick Warren ended it…

The greatest tragedy this year would be for you to stand at the edge of your destiny, but to be afraid to enter into all that God has planned for you. Your obedience in moving forward—to take risks and step out in faith- will release God’s power in you.

What are you afraid of in 2011? Whatever it is, it doesn’t stand a chance when you do whatever God tells you to do. There is no reason to be afraid. The Lord is on our side.

I feel like this was written just for me. It is like my own personal message from God but why do I still find myself doubting or unsure? After reading this devotion, I went on to the next, which was titled, God’s daily promise to me about Taking Jericho. Here is what it said…

“Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

Imagine this scene for a minute. You’re a captain in Joshua’s army camped a few miles outside the city of Jericho. You’ve seen the thick, double-layered stone walls surrounding the city and armed soldiers guarding every entrance. You’ve heard tales of the fierce Canaanite army and their ability to hold their ground in battle.

In the midst of all of this, an edict comes down from the upper ranks. Israel is planning to take Jericho. Actually, what the message says is that Israel has already taken Jericho, but Jericho just doesn’t know it yet. The battle plan is really no plan at all. You’re supposed to get your troops together and conduct a victory march around the city. Just once- for six days in a row. Then on the seventh day, you’re to march seven times around the city. That’s when your soldiers can march in and take possession.

The next day you’re marching around the city, and you can’t help but hear the taunts coming from inside the walls. You know how silly this all look, but you keep marching just the same. Because you know that God is on your side, and you’ve seen what He can do.

This is why God reminded Joshua time and again to “be strong and courageous.” God has a way of working that tends to fall outside the norm, and he needs people who trust Him enough to go the distance, no matter how bizarre the game plan. Courage is important to God because courage is a natural byproduct of trust. And the greater we trust, the braver we become. As long as God leads the battle, we can march in confidence, knowing that we’ve already won. God gave Jericho to Israel on the seventh day, just as He said He would. So,…what wall does He have you marching around?

Is anyone else feeling what I’m feeling? Are you in awe of God right now like I am? Could God make Himself anymore clear? Why do I allow people to get inside of my head and make me doubt what God is clearly showing me? These next eighteen days are going to be tough yet interesting. This is so exciting!