Purposeful Faith

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5 Ways: Calm the Inner-Rumbles of Rejection

Rumblings of Rejection

I am joining Lysa TerKeurst’s Uninvited Book Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers.

Her belly stuck out like a balloon, her shoulders slumped and she wore a skirt like a table cloth. Face as cute as a button, no doubt, this girl was ready to pop.

I remembered those days. Sweaty, in the summer heat. Eager, to be done with it. Waddling, in discomfort. I remembered the odd feelings, the circles in front of the mirror, the clothes wedged up in the small parts of my body. The discomfort.

Striding into the coffee store, I determined to – make her day!

“You look beautiful. Just beautiful,” I declared with oomph, power and confidence.

I waited. She stared.
I hoped. She looked confused.
I felt awkward. She shifted her eyes away.

I put my head down and flew that coffee store door wide-open.

She hates me!
I made a fool out of myself!
She thinks I pity her!
She thinks I am one of those weird “I-want-to rub-your-belly-types.”

Why do I try to be kind?
Why do I always mess up?
Why can’t I do things right?

In that moment, I signed an internal declaration stating I would no longer do dumb things. I put my initials on the blank line, agreeing, “I will not risk, when the greatest one at risk of getting hurt – is always me!” The deal was done. I was over feeling like the loser, who couldn’t succeed at making others feel like winners.

sting of rejection

Oh no! Here she comes. Just 4-feet away. I fumbled around in my purse, trying to find safe refuge (a.k.a. my phone). Heart beating faster and faster, I swiped, clicked and typed. I did anything to remain unseen, until…

…her friend arrived and they mumbled in some foreign language I could not understand.

I stared.
I looked confused.
I shifted my eyes away. 

What I declared as rejection, was never her intention.

She likely couldn’t understand my words. She likely felt insecure. She likely felt alone and afraid in a foreign country, where everything in her world was changing before her very eyes.

For every backslap, there is usually a backstory.

What if I considered what others see,
rather than letting responses be declarations of me?

In Lysa Terkeurst’s latest book, Uninvited, she says,Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said to me.”

Well, Lysa, you get me thinking, really thinking. Rejection not only steals, he plunders my greatest opportunities to love others. He makes me hate myself sometimes. When I hate me, I tend to only think about – me.

Yet, what I am realizing is the inner-mumblings of rejection, well – they almost always lie. Man doesn’t define who I am – Jesus does. Let him define you too.

5 Things to Remember when Rejection Stings:

  1. You are chosen by God to do great things.
  2. You are royal. Daughter’s of God are always taken care of.
  3. You are holy. God sees your heart, knows your desires and delights in you.
  4. You are God’s special possession and treasures you.
  5. You are called to the light and being led to greater places.

Essentially, remember this verse: You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Pet. 2:9)

sting of rejection

With God’s ownership over me, I am no longer the byproduct of whom others declare me to be – now, I am an escapee. In God’s truth, I am set free.

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Even when you’re overlooked by others, you are handpicked by God. In her new book, Uninvited, New York Times bestselling author Lysa TerKeurst will help you live like you really believe that truth! Order your copy.

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If you liked this post, you may like:

When You are Rejected, Rejected and Rejected Again

The Promise Inside the Sting of Rejection

10 Ways to Develop Rock-Solid Faith

Keep Going

That place that you are desperately scared of? God has already gone there.
The people you are afraid to confront? God knows your best approach.
The doctor’s appointment you can’t stand to think of? He has the answers.
The relationships that you don’t ever think can be healed? God sees the way.
The rejection you deeply fear. God knows how to take it from there.
The positive mindset you can’t seem to claim as your own. He is working on your behalf.

While today you may see all that – is not, God sees all that – will be. It doesn’t scare him. It doesn’t shock him. It doesn’t look impossible. He knows he can do it all. 

He’s not one to waver, to toss and turn about whether or not to care about you. He cares because he is the completeness of care. He works, because he can do it all.

He can do it all. Do you know that?

Rock-Solid Faith

Don’t lose hope.

Don’t back down.

Don’t lay down and give up.

Don’t see life only through your eyes.

You have a King behind you.
You have the #1 Ruler favoring you.
You have glory around you.
The Comforter assisting you.

Don’t look at who you are, look at who He is.

Don’t see impossibility, see the inevitability that He’ll show up.
See with certainty, the soon-to-be miracle in your heart.
Walk with surety, he’ll direct you to his goodness in this land of the living.

God sees the end in sight and it is not far. All loose ends, with God, tie up in goodness. He has a vision. A hope. A work of love being worked out on your behalf. It all makes sense to God.

Grab hold.

BELIEVE.

Declare not only these truths in word,
but, believe – in your heart.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Ro. 10:9

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Ps. 19:14

The heart holds the difference between love that endures and love that fades after it slips off the tongue. It is the wellspring of life (Prov. 4:23).

If you are talking the talk,

but losing the battle in your walk,

the issue comes down to your heart.

What’s in there? Fear? Guilt? Shame? Doubt? Anxiety? Uncertainty? Disappointment? Discouragement?

Let your heart:
1. Be honest with God & return to God.
2. Stand on guard. Not every voice is a needed voice.
3. Be full of praise.
4. Make way for more holy.
5. Take a firm stand in belief.
6. Return to God throughout the day.
7. Hope in Christ’s love.
8. Meditate on truth.
9. Stay humble.
10. Remain open to God’s growth.

Rock-Solid Faith

When we give God our heart, what we find is, our eyes widen – we delight in his ways (Prov. 23:26). Suddenly, we don’t only speak, but we believe, because God kindles us in his love. We step out as bright temples that representing faithfulness that never ends.

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Have Courage!

Have Courage!

I am delighted to welcome Deanna Fields. God has put a message on her heart that we all need to hear. Her words remind me to press into all that God has for me. Thank you Deanna for joining us for Ministry Monday.

Post by: Deanna Fields

In Disney’s newest Cinderella movie, there’s a scene where Ella’s dying mother shares a secret with her daughter, “Have courage.”  Ella’s mother knew it would be difficult for her to grow up without a mother and that she would need courage.  In the same manner, our Heavenly Father has been whispering this same secret to us throughout time.  Now if we’re honest, I think that most of us would confess that we struggle with fear…having no courage.  I know I have!

Many years ago I struggled with fear in many areas.  Our church had launched the first of many short-term mission trips.  It didn’t cross my mind that God would want me to be a part of one of those teams, but while talking with my husband he asked if I was planning to go and I said, “NO…but I haven’t really prayed about it.”

The instant I spoke those words, I felt the Holy Spirit impress upon me to pray.  The next day, I went to the prayer room and the whole time I was thinking “Lord, I really don’t feel like you’re calling me to this, but if you are please be specific with me.  Ireland…it’s really pretty there, and I love working with children.  Israel…hmmm, that’s kind of scary, but whatever you want Lord.”

Boy was I surprised when my Bible opened to Matthew 10:5-6, which basically says Do not go in the way of the gentiles, but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”  Really God?

sand

Fear gripped me.  The next few weeks the Lord continued to send confirmation and I really couldn’t run from Him anymore.  So back to the prayer room with all my excuses.  “We don’t have the money…My kids are too young and I can’t be gone that long…I’m so busy with the ministry YOU gave me…I’m afraid to fly…It’s scary over in that part of the world!  Basically, I was begging God to change His mind.  Again I was blown away when my Bible landed on Luke 1:11-13, which basically says…

 “then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said
‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard….’”

God had heard my prayer.  He knew I was afraid and guess what…He still wanted me to go to Israel.  My husband and I didn’t understand why, but we knew we had to face our fears and walk in obedience.  Then something amazing happened!  With the help of the Holy Spirit, we stepped over that fear, and later released our family into 16 other short-term trips and two study abroad trips.  God dealt with that fear in us…but it was a battle for me!

We ALL must continually seek to be a people
who walk in the courage of God.

God wants to impart His courage to us.

How do I know this?

In 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17, Paul prays a blessing that says, “May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”  

If you take a look at the focal point of these verses, which is the word encourage, you can find the intent of this prayer.  The actual meaning of the word in this instance is deeper than the meaning of comfort (which is what we think of when we hear the word encourage).  In this instance, this is like God giving us Himself, His Holy Spirit, so we can actually walk out courage in our lives.

Courage is a constant theme throughout scripture where the Lord continually encourages His people with phrases like “fear not” “have courage” and “do not be afraid.” We need a constant reminder that God is in control of our life, and we CAN do all things with Him and through Him!

What areas do you need courage to say yes to God? 

Don’t allow the enemy to intimidate you into doubt and fear.  You will miss experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit by trying to live a safe and comfortable life!

So today I’m planning to lead a women’s retreat to Cambodia next summer…and I’m excited!  This is a new adventure for me.  We are travelling to a place where the culture is extremely different from ours, and the treatment of women can be oppressive in many instances.  The harsh reality is that I won’t understand what these women have experienced or how they feel.  I really don’t have a clue of what’s in store, but I know that God has prepared the way.  So I can walk with courage, not fear, into this incredible opportunity.

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DeAnna Fields bio

bio picDeAnna Fields has been the Women’s Ministry Pastor at Beltway Park Church in Abilene, Texas for almost 16 years.  She loves women of all ages, and works to connect the generations at her church. She and her husband, Doug, have been married for 30 years, and are blessed with three daughters. DeAnna graduated from Texas Tech University in 1984 with a BBA Marketing degree, and is amazed that the Lord wastes nothing she learned in that environment to reach out to the women in her church and community.  It is her passion to encourage women of ALL ages to seek the Lord in every area of their life and understand that we serve a God of resurrection power and healing.

Take Courage

Take Courage

Post by: Karina Allen

We live in a beautiful world. But, we live in a scary world that appears to be becoming increasingly so. To be honest, it has been a bit difficult to navigate but I must. We must. We cannot rely on our emotions or even our perceptions of what is going on around us. We cannot allow that to dictate our lives/behavior. We are only to rely on the God who never changes and whose Word is a sure foundation.

The world we live in and actually my very city is in a state of pain and anger and frustration. I don’t have any answers or advice to offer but I do know that I am not to fear. I am to rise up and stand strong in the midst of confusion. I am to be a light in the midst of darkness.

How we do this is simple, not easy, but simple. We look to God. It sounds cliche but really, it’s not. Jesus is the solution to EVERY problem.

He is our anchor.

He is our hope.

He is our truth.

The key to not living in fear is to remember the truth of who the Lord is in spite of circumstances that surround us.

Trust the nature of God.

John 4:8 says that God is love. Ephesians 2:4 says that God is merciful. Ephesians 2:8-9 says that God is gracious. And Psalm 136:1  says that God is good. The nature of God never wavers or falters. He cannot be anything other than Himself. I love that! He doesn’t change according to circumstances or moods. He is not a man that He should lie. He is who He is and that’s all there is to it. He is peace in the middle of our storms. He is our rock when all around us is shaking.

Trust the faithfulness of God.

“But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3

There are countless verses about the Lord’s faithfulness but this is one of my favorites! I live in Baton Rouge and as you’ve probably seen on every media outlet, the atmosphere here has been tense and angry and hostile at times. I need to remember this. Our enemy is not flesh and blood but Satan. It is God who works within His children and gives us strength and causes us to stand strong in the face of any opposition. He never leaves us to fight battles alone. He encamps us on all sides.

Trust the sovereignty of God.

“I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will.” Isaiah 46:10

This one of those verses that blows my mind! God knows the end from the beginning. He’s knows everything that would ever happen before even the foundations of the world. I don’t know about you, but that can be trusted. Nothing in our lives or in the world around us comes as a surprise to Him. He is faithful to make a way when there is no way. Often times, our pain and struggles and hardships catch us off guard and we wander around dazed and confused. The Father isn’t. He knows every detail inside and out, upside down and right side up. He never causes tragedy, but He does sometimes allow it. I’m not sure we’ll ever know why but I am willing to live in that mystery knowing that He will bring about the outcome that brings Him the most glory and is for our good.

He is our anchor.

He is our hope.

He is our truth.

He is our very present help in our time of need. Let’s praise Him! And let’s stand up boldly and take courage…not in our our own strength, but in the strength of the one who placed it inside of us.

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Karina AllenKarina
is a devoted follower of Jesus from New Orleans, Louisiana, but has made her home in Baton Rouge for the past 15 years. She spends much of her time leading worship at church, writing, reading, dancing and mentoring the next generation. She has a huge heart for serving and missions. She is an advocate for the local church especially the one that she attends, Healing Place Church. She also enjoys working out, traveling, photography and going to concerts/conferences.

Karina believes that every woman has a God-sized dream on the inside of them and it is up to an encouraging community to help nurture that dream. Her goal in writing is to see women get a revelation of God’s Word and discover how to apply it to their lives in order to walk in freedom and live the life that God intended. But the most important thing to her is to live out the call of Isaiah 26:8…For His Name and His Renown are the desire of our souls! You can connect with her at “For His Name and His Renown.”

A Hidden Stressor: That is Likely Stressing You Out

Life Stressor

I watch the evening news. And, I’m convinced they shouldn’t no longer call it evening news, friends, they should call it: The Anxiety Hour.

Do you watch it too? Do you feel it crawl all over you?

The Anxiety Hour is the time of day where a day’s work is done and you are looking for a little reprieve. In these 60 minutes, you  grab your treat, you exhale, you grab the remote and then you plop down, thinking, “Time to tune out.” Except you don’t, you can’t – because up there, on this little rectangle, mounted like a trophy in the heart of your house, mayhem, mania and madness pop off.

You see the tears.
You see the evil.
You see the injustice.
You see the pain.
You see the prognosis.
You see no answers.

You feel helpless.

If you could do something to change anything, you would. But, you feel small, unable. You assure yourself, even your loudest call would ring hallow and uncared for, in this echo-chamber called the world.

The decks are stacked, so why bother?
“What does a man gain for all his efforts 
that he labors at under the sun?” Ec. 1:3

Absolute futility. Everything is futile.” Ec. 1:1

Plus, you know things aren’t going to end well. Talking heads can talk, but you have to figure out a way to stay safe – or sane for that matter.

There is an undercurrent of fear. The tensions under the surface of forced calmness are like riptides. They are rising. We all see them. We want to turn away. Pretend. Run. Hide. Shiver. Shake.

Yet, is this what Jesus called us to?

Self-preservation and dread?

Worry and anxiety?

Might we consider: The news is not evil,
but how our heart distrusts God easily could be?

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Phil 4:8

If we fill our mind with the grim, we can hardly keep our mind set on Him.

We can’t see if we are blinded by the anger that boils over in our heart. We get distracted and what emerges doesn’t look like love. It doesn’t look like Jesus. And what hits me is this: Jesus never called us hone in on what’s wrong with everything, he called us to remember God is in control – of everything. This is peace.

Am I believing Jesus reigns over everything?

5 Verses to Reclaim Calm when the World makes you Nervous:

  1. Christ Jesus who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Ro. 8:34
  2. The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?  The LORD is with me; he is my helper. Ps. 118:6-7

  3. …for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Ro. 13:1
  4. …in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. Col. 2:10
  5.  And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Mi. 6:8

Prayer:
Dear God, I am prone to worry. I let the happenings of the world, the elections and the economy sit heavy on me. I need to find your peace. I invite you to restructure my thinking. May my hope be you. May my peace be you. May you help love flow out from me. Give me clarity. May I change what I am able to change and release what I can’t. May I know that the greatest joy is staying where you are. God, thank you that you have the whole world in your hands. I need not fear because you are the best manager, orchestrator and caretaker. You made it all. I believe in your plan. Amen.

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The Beauty In Imperfection

Beauty In Imperfection

I am delighted to welcome Pamela Mercer, from CrossLife Church in Florida, to the Women’s Ministry Monday Series. Pamela’s words are honest and thought-provoking. It is a pure joy to welcome here words today…

Post by: Pam Mercer

Several years ago, my life as I knew it ended with three little words. “You have cancer.” The events that followed were rushed and intense. Suddenly, everything that, by definition made me a woman was taken from me. Within two months time, I lost both breasts and had a radical hysterectomy.

imperfection of beauty

These were moments that could define me as someone who lived by faith or who took the easy route. I could have believed I was inadequate. Instead, I made a distinct choice to believe the truth of God’s word and my relationship with Him. He was my hero when He died for me and He was still my hero when I needed Him in extraordinary ways. He is the beauty in our imperfection both in the ugliness of life and in our humanity.

Through all of this, I realized things:

1.  I never felt like I quite measured up. 
There was always someone prettier, smarter, had more things and seemed to have it easy.

2. Despite our feelings, we have the ability to choose how we think and feel. 
We can focus on eternal things or we can focus on temporal.

3. If we solely follow our feelings, we will live a miserable existence. 
As women, there are not enough emoticons to describe our feelings in a 12-hour period. Our feelings run a 100-yard dash with no sense of direction. Yet, when we choose to follow the principles of God, we recalibrate our hearts toward Him. Our life, our relationships and our feelings follow. Our heart choices will dictate our feelings. What we believe and who we love will change the way we live and the choices we make.

We can believe fleeting feelings or we can believe all-consuming truth, like this:

Ephesians 2:4-5 say, “Because of His great love for us, even when we were dead in our sin made us alive in Christ, so that, by His grace we are saved.”

Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.”

Psalm 107:8-9 says, “Let them thank the Lord for His steadfast love; for His wondrous works to the children of man. For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul, He fills with good things.”

No matter how you may feel, the Lord our God is always in our midst.

Beauty In Imperfection

He alone can save us from our sin. He rejoices over and loves you (individually) with a never-ending love. He feels a lively or triumphant joy; rejoices exceedingly; is highly elated or jubilant over YOU!!

His love is steadfast. I love the meaning of the word steadfast. His love is loyal; faithful; committed; devoted; dedicated; dependable; reliable; steady; true; constant; solid; trustworthy; firm; determined; resolute; relentless; single-minded; unchanging; unwavering; unhesitating; unfaltering; unyielding; unflinching; and uncompromising.

With truth so amazing, why do we feel unloved or inadequate?

The key to remember is this: When satan feeds our heads with lies, our heart follows.

Yet, if we fill our heart with Christ, then Satan has to go.

They cannot occupy the same space.
The light cancels out the darkness.

Darkness must flee.

C.S. Lewis has said about seizing truth, “We are afraid we will lose something, but we lose nothing, we become the greatest version of ourselves. We fear we will have no more personality, no more distinction. That is so untrue. The truth is, we will never be more ourselves with the fullness of our personalities and the uniqueness of our giftedness as when we wholly give ourselves over to our faithful God.”

Let truth grab hold of your imperfections to replace them with beauty!

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About Pamela MerceThe Beauty In Imperfectionr

Pamela Mercer is the wife of Dr. Dwayne Mercer, Senior Pastor of CrossLife Church. When Pam and her husband came to CrossLife in 1993, God gave her a vision for the women in the Oviedo and
surrounding areas. This passion led to developing a team, from which, CrossLife Women’s Ministry was created. The ministry has grown significantly and God has changed many lives through retreats, rallies, mentoring and Bible Studies.

Pam currently serves as Director of Women’s Ministry at her church.
CrossLife provides consultation for new Women’s Ministries, as well as,
Existing ministries. This involves speaking at various events.

Pam is a woman with a heart in pursuit of God. Her passion is to lead
women to reach their full potential in Christ. She seeks to live
authentically and with intentionality. She shares in an insightful and humorous way that
connect with women of all ages. She and her husband are the proud parents
of 3 adult children, 2 daughter-in-laws, 3 granddaughters and 3 grandsons.
All of their children are serving God in their own ministries.

5 Ways to Deal with Self-Seekers

self-seekers

She threw out the eloquent answer before I could even breathe a letter. This girl pre-empted my open mouth with just the right juicy tidbit. It moved like a hot juicy bone in front of a dog. Except, this dog was my boss. He bit and savored it all – bite by bite.

I squinted. She knew what she was doing…she was trying to one-up me –  again. She always did. She had a bag full of treats.

She went to the boss’ office first thing in the morning with coffee.
She walked the halls to talk to the “important” people.
She sent emails that carbon copied the whole world and their bosses bosses.
She sat down in the chair right next to me, without even saying hi.
She rose her shoulders and typed away…

You know the type:

One who will do anything to get in with the right people.
One who keeps a count on who matters and who doesn’t.
One who doesn’t like you so much for you, but what you can do.
One who will step on your face to reach a little bit higher…

A Self-seeker.

What do you do with those types?

Jesus encountered them too.

Judas. (Luke 22)
Self-seeker.
Cash was king. Jesus was his disposable means to obtain it.

Pilate. (Luke 23:13-23)
Self-seeker.
He chose popular acclaim, so as not to have to endure public disdain.

The thing about self-seekers is, many times, they think their maneuvers are sly and under the radar, but they aren’t. They are as obvious as day and as dubious as night. They really get to me.

I could go on and on about them…but, some wise person, whose face and name I can’t remember, once told me, “If something really irks you about someone else, it is probably because that something is you.”

Am I a self-seeker?

This thought horrifies me. I can’t be like – them. Can I?

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? Mt. 7:3

My own critical eye boomerangs.

I say, “It’s them.”
God says, “No, Kelly, it’s you.”

I say, “It’s them.
God says, “No, Kelly, it’s you.”

God, even more says: “It is you, my darling, and I don’t tell you this because I want to punish you, but because I want to redeem you.

(The gates of my heart open…)

I tell you this, Kelly, because when you are so set on looking at them, you miss me and you miss how I call you to love. You get bent out of shape instead of molding to my shape. You get protective instead of proactively offering out my best. You head off the rails of mercy and grace.

Be unconcerned with them.
Be uncontrollably infatuated with me.
What is holy.
Blameless.
Righteous.

Over here!

Do you see me?

Your shape will take shape as you do this.
Even if they diss you, I never will.

Even more, Kelly, the opportunity is never found in what you do; the opportunity is me. Plain and simple – I am the ropes set over that impassable river. I am the rubble changed into a road. I am a flicker of light in your darkness. 

Don’t look left, don’t look right, don’t judge others, don’t fight to be heard, don’t act out to be seen, don’t fear, don’t worry…I AM the I AM.”

And so it is settled.

Starting today, I will:
1. Thank God for them.
2. Ask God for eyes to see from their perspective.
3. Give graciously to them.
4. Keep my focus on the wrongs within my own heart.
5. Pray that God fills both their heart – and mine – with security and assurance in him.

And, finally, I will turn to God and say, “I am sorry.”

Forgive me for the ways I have tried to get ahead.
Forgive me for my judgement of others.
Help me love those who I am prone to pick apart.
Help me sacrifice as you have, with no strings attached.

Amen.

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The Catcher, The Change-Up, and Summer Preparedness

ready for the change up

Softball is usually a major part of our summer activities. The kids and I pack up the van and head over to the local park to cheer my husband on as he plays. Adam usually plays shortstop—he’s quite good. But between wrangling kids and catching up with friends, I often miss some of the key moments of the game.

The position that amazes me is the catcher. I’m always worried about his knees. How does he hold that position for so long? 

A lot of game-changing moments take place in front of home plate. The game can be going along in a predictable pattern and then whack! the catcher has to be ready to spring into action.

The catcher is ready for anything—even the change-up. Flexibility is his strength. His body is limber and his mind is engaged— ready to respond to whatever is thrown at him. When the pace changes, he adjusts.

I want to be like the catcher:

I want to be marked by adaptability, ready for the unexpected, and not thrown off balance when it comes.

When the pace of life changes I want to adjust and learn to embrace what’s in front of me.

I want my knees to be strong because they are bent often, in prayer.

When God brings a change-up, I don’t want to be thrown off balance.

Summer will soon be upon us. Are we prepared for this new season? Are we ready to be flexible? Are we willing to bend low so that we’re ready for what’s coming? Will we adjust to the change of pace or experience burnout from running ourselves ragged?

Come on over to Katie M. Reid’s blog as she continues this discussion and hosts the #RaRaLinkup…

 

Broken Perfectionism

Broken Perfectionism

I could not be happier to have Angela Craig joining us today for Ministry Monday. Angela is on fire for the Lord; her passion exudes from her (and I have only talked to her online, so this says so much!). She is a gift sent by God to this world and I am excited to honor her here today. Welcome Angela!

“A dangerous leader is one that has great familiarity with their skills and gifts
but cursory knowledge of their inner brokenness.”
– Dan White, Jr.

I will admit it. I want everyone to like me. The two things I have struggled with most of my life are people-pleasing and perfectionism. In the past, if someone didn’t like me or critiqued my work, I would spend an unhealthy and disproportionate amount of time lamenting on where I went wrong. Then I would make a plan to fix it. The problem was, no matter how hard I tried, I still disappointed people and made mistakes.

It could be because I am human. As far as I know, human beings can strive for excellence but they can never be perfect. Having the hope of perfectionism is like having a boat with a hole in it and thinking you can stay afloat if you can just keep the water out of the bottom. Eventually, you will take on more water than you can bail out and get tired of trying to fulfill other people’s expectations. This leads to burnout or drowning. Neither, a good option.

But what if I was perfect? Would everyone like me then?

Actually, the answer is no.

Listen for a moment to this story of Jesus. On Palm Sunday, Jesus made his triumphal entrance into Jerusalem on a humble donkey. The people were so enamored by Jesus they lined the street with their cloaks and palm leaves in honor of who they believed to be the next royal King from the line of David. Jesus could do no wrong. Five days later, that same King hung on a splintered wooden cross with a crown of thorns on his innocent head – naked, accused, mocked, beaten, hated, and judged – but still perfect.

As the story ends, we see it was obedience, not perfection that changed the world forever.Broken Perfectionism

As leaders, it is easy for our interactions with others to become performance driven. We can become actors on a ministry stage. Our actions being guided and directed by audience approval and recognition. If left unattended, the approval and recognition of others will eventually affirm or challenge our identity and self-worth, leaving God’s opinion back-stage.

We must maintain the ability to embrace our gifts, God’s words, and our brokenness at the same time. For me, a broken perfectionism has been the path to being a healthier leader.

You are unique and distinctive. Your leadership matters. Live fearlessly for Jesus today, my friends, and be encouraged by these last scriptures and a quote from Brennan Manning. I will be here cheering you on!

Brennan Manning wrote: “God loves you without condition or reservation and loves you this moment as you are not as you should be!
Real freedom is the freedom from the opinion of others. Above all, freedom from your opinion about yourself.”

“Man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (I Samuel 16:7 NIV).

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10 NIV).

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8 NIV).

About Angela Craig

image001 (1)Angela’s 10 years of international speaking experience covers leadership and women’s conferences, non-profit events, and on-line leadership training. Angela is the Director of the women’s department at the Northwest Ministry Network where she has the honor to lead a team who is responsible for the development and empowerment of female leaders in over 320 churches. Angela is an ordained minister and a certified coach with Gallup Strengthsfinder, SLTA 360, and AGC. A life-long learner, Angela has a Ministry Leadership degree from Northwest University and a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga. Angela is honored to teach as an adjunct professor at her alma mater, Northwest University. Angela is also the founder of the GIVE GOOD Awards Foundation, an organization that recognizes inspirational people and promotes volunteerism.

Devoted to helping others reach their fullest potential in life and leadership, Angela has authored two books, The Story of Leah: When life is not what you expected it to be and Pivot Leadership: Small Steps – Big Change . You can read her weekly blog encouragements and leadership tips on angelalcraig.com and  on hervoiceblog.us, a blog specifically designed for women in leadership.

The Value of Getting Quiet

Getting Quiet

Today, I am delighted to welcome Suzanne Vel from Christian Fellowship Church in Virginia for our Ministry Monday Series. Clearly, God brought our paths together, for Suzanne has a powerful story and a message to be shared. I hope you enjoy it!

“You have everything you need to have freedom and you aren’t doing anything with it.”  God wasn’t yelling at me, or condemning me. He was just calmly encouraging me.

To give some background, at a recent family reunion, I had listened in on a conversation where my husband was explaining to a cousin that our church had started encouraging people to experience God’s presence through a daily quiet time and that the end result was true, personal freedom.

This got me thinking…

My cousin’s heartfelt response was, “freedom that’s what I want!”  But, it wasn’t until the very next morning that God spoke into my spirit and encouraged me to get started.

Due simply to my desire to be obedient to God’s prompting, I started. The initial goal was to keep going for fifty days, but almost immediately the results were too good to stop.

Fast forward 600+ days, now, I have met with God every single day. Can I tell you? My life is a new creation, the old has passed and the new has come. I feel it.

I did not know fear controlled all of my decisions
until I started letting God and His Holy Spirit speak. 

Now when I am prompted to give, I give and it brings me peace.
Now when I am prompted to serve, I serve and it fills me with indescribable joy. 
Now when I am prompted to encourage another, I speak words of life over them and watch us both find our true identity in Christ. 

My journey is overflowing.  Each day, I ask God what He wants me to talk about and I post the words on Facebook.

The devotionals led to many friends encouraging me to write a book.

The book idea led to me thinking it was impossible but instead of choosing fear and worry I let God take the lead and show me the way. 

He led me to a website where I could easily publish an ebook. The ebook website led me to another site where I could self-publish an actual book, and that website led me to the next step (which I plan to take soon) of creating an audio book as well.

As you take it step-by-step by and through the Spirit,
you realize, nothing is impossible with God.

What seems impossible for you? 

Might you consider, what you can’t do – the Holy Spirit might equip you to do? It happened with me.

Jesus’ sacrifice for you and me, it was costly – on that cross. Please don’t make His sacrifice for you a waste because you never take the next step and find personal freedom for yourself. 

Walk in. Step deeper.

I started the journey and it has led to the most peace, joy, hope, love and patience than I have ever known. Will you?

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About Suzanne

FullSizeRender (1) (1)Suzanne is a wife mother and believer in Christ.  She has a passion and dedication to anything she puts her heart to; from early morning quiet times with God to training for five full marathons.  She learned about God on her second date with her future husband, Randy, when she was 22 years old.  She grew in her faith continually, but it wasn’t until she learned why she really wanted to know God as her personal friend and confidant that she found out what it truly means to have faith in the one true King.  Suzanne’s goal now is to show others how to find their why so that their lives can be as dramatically changed as hers was on August 11, 2014.

Check out Suzanne’s book, To Show His Love: Fellowship with God Changes Everything.