Archive for category Faith
I was driving in my car tonight on my way to get a diet peach tea. It has become a favorite of mine, since I quit smoking almost five months ago. The only place that has the diet peach is Walgreens across town. But I don’t mind driving the entire two miles to reach the other side of this city. It’s kind of fun, because I can roll down the windows and sing in the car. While driving, The Motions by Matthew West came on the radio. It’s just impossible for me to sing the song. Nope-my passion for building God’s Kingdom kind of consumes me yet again, and I have to belt it out, singing loud, with my hands in the air (safe driving, eh?). It’s just so awesome to worship that passionately from anywhere.
Anyhow, back to the subject. I was thinking about how God takes an ordinary woman and changes her into someone who is fearless and ready to do whatever it takes to grow His Kingdom with her gifts, time, and talents regardless of the cost. I’ve never known a passion like this. I’ve never had such a large vision as this either. And I remembered the map.
Earlier in the evening I had visited my parents, and they have a wall sized (very large!) map of the U.S with hundreds and hundreds of push-pins in it representing everywhere a target sale had been made at a specific company. I mentioned to my parents that I wanted a map like that someday to put in my home office to represent every place that I had presented the life balancing workshops and taught Christians and churches how to maintain their focus on Christ while living a balanced life. Yes, I was already visualizing a huge map in my office with massive amounts of push pins representing every place I am priviledged to teach covering the entire thing! That’s a big vision!
In an instant I could just see how ridiculous that sounded to everyone on the outside. Here I am-one absolutely amazing and passionately crazy woman, with a massive vision to reach the world to heavily armor the churches and it’s people through proper life balance and alignment to grow the Kingdom and move them all into action for the glory of God. And here’s a map of the U.S with thousands of pins in it. The map is larger than I am. It weighs more than I do. And I have started this from ground zero.
But I see it, I believe it, and I am called to do it.
It’s a God sized vision to reach His people in this manner.
I know I can’t do it on my own. I will need the power of God to accomplish it. Between me and every city on it will be the opposition just waiting. But still, I believe and have faith. And most importantly, I have the passion to carry out my calling. Accepting my calling means relying on my faith in God.
Because as I drove, I thought about how we as believers can try to cap what God is trying to do. We think too logically and forget to include something called faith in our vision.
How logical was it that the Red Sea would part?
How logical was it to build an Ark of the size and magnitude that Noah built?
How logical that David would beat the giant Goliath?
How logical was it to believe that our Savior would be born from a virgin?
How logical was it that our Savior would be sent as an infant and not a brut?
How logical was it to believe that the son of God himself would rise from the dead?
My point is that we as Christians say we believe in a holy, powerful, and almighty God. But when we have God sized visions about the expansion of His Kingdom, we tend to want to cap it, because it is illogical and risky! That’s WHY it is FAITH!
Without risk, faith is not required.
It makes me want to stand upon a mountain and scream, how big is our God? Do we not think He is big and powerful enough to carry through the vision to expand and conquer?
HOW BIG IS OUR GOD????
How big is our God that we imperfect humans with limited mind capacities and creativity and of such small faith, feel WE have to be HOLD BACK to protect the God of the Universe and limit the very visions He has given us, simply because we don’t have the capability to comprehend the awesomeness of what He IS absolutely capable of!
Our we forgetting who God is?
Our we forgetting what He has already done?
Yet, when it is time to EXPAND, GO FORTH, AND LIVE BOLDLY for Christ by doing what we are CALLED by God to do regardless of how big the vision, we become pansies and put a cap on it!
Maybe you will not be the only person to complete such a large or expansive vision. Maybe God will bring others into the picture to work with you, or complete and carry on a legacy that you are building. But, if you do not start the project the way He intends, because you won’t lift the cap off, you’re limiting the potential of the vision you have been given.
In summary: Don’t let FEAR dictate what you can and can’t do. Let God determine that.
When I left my parents tonight, they informed me that they don’t want that massive map consuming the side of their foyer, so they gave it to me. So, as soon as we have a truck big enough to deliver it to my house, I will have the map I envisioned.
And I can start the uncapped journey God has set before me. One push pin at a time.
I am so excited. My vision is the earth and where ever God sends me in it.
What’s your vision?
Have you ever had a time in your life when you felt that you were called to something bigger than yourself, but everyone else around you thought that you were insane, irrational, or an ignoramus? What I’ve learned over the past few months takes me back to a quote I heard once:
God doesn’t call the equipped,
He equips the called.
So even if you’re going through life and are content just doing what you’ve always been doing, when God calls, you will be equipped for what he has called you to do. Prepare for spiritual boot-camp, because He will get you ready. But will you be willing?
I was reading my Bible on my way back from a family reunion and a few things *hit* me like a hammer hits a finger: painful, swift, and powerfully on target. (Most of you know what I’m talking about…those hammers never miss the finger!)
1. In the book of Matthew, Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee when he summoned two brothers Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were working as fisherman. That was their livelihood…their pay-check. They did not waste time thinking: “Well, how will I pay the electricity? The cable? Provide for my family?” Instead of questioning, they responded to their call immediately. (Matthew 4:18-20)
And what they received instead of a routine pay check was so much more. They traded their pay-checks for a passion.
HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!
So, what’s so awesome about the passion of a calling?
But the first thing to jump out at me in response to that question is:
Becoming passionate and living a life around Christ is founded on a love that cannot be put into words. Because Love in any relationship is not founded on words alone. LOVE must accompany ACTION.
I have to say that again.
Love MUST accompany action. Action behind it is what DEFINES it!
It’s easy to say we love someone. But if our actions behind that word won’t support it, it falls flat. Love becomes just a meaningless word. If you truly care, you have joyful action to support the love you proclaim.
Think about this for a minute: How much could our marriages and relationships improve if we LOVED in ACTION! We’d be helping, encouraging, pampering, and listening by focusing on the other person and HOW we could love them instead of focusing on what we should be getting out of it. We tend to self love. Jesus was about loving others!
So, we say we can love. But, can we continue to follow and love even when the loving gets rough? How will we know if we can do it or not? The answer is simple: Just do it. Until you do, you will never know how much you love until the circumstances become challenging. I know first hand!
When the less than ideal circumstances arose, I learned that there is nothing that I wouldn’t do to live out my faith and calling. And I also had to learn that I had to be careful not to fall into anything that would take my focus off that same calling when the difficult tests began!
I learned that by following Christ I could lose it all. And in the same aspect, losing it was the only way I could keep it all. Yes, I would lose things in this world. I would lose certain comforts, certain relationships, certain expectations people had for me. But, I was keeping the only thing that mattered after all the clutter was removed. I was getting to keep my love and passion for Christ, and He became my all. Because essentially, nothing else matters if I don’t have my passion. Take the every thing, but don’t touch my passion. And I mean that. Where God guides, he also provides. This is a true test of obedience, faith, and trust.
When you are called from the business world and into the field of ministry regardless of the circumstances, stay laser focused on your mission and answer the call. Risk it all. Because after all, even if everything was taken away from you, you’d still find you have it all without regret.
You cannot regret loving God. And sometimes you don’t know that until you have to risk it all. The risk helped me to define the depth of love I have for Him.
Oh, and if you’re worried about screwing up, don’t worry. I can tell you first hand that you will make some mistakes. But, if you stay plugged in to the mission that Christ has set before you, you will only grow deeper in your relationship with Him as you work through it.
Enjoy song and lyrics 😉
I was sitting here thinking about a few things I am so anxious to do…like return to school to earn my Master’s Degree in Biblical Leadership. And I thought about how sometimes what we want to do gets put on hold for a little while. It’s similar to wanting to play a sport in a way.
You’re playing baseball and you’re up to bat next. It’s finally your turn. The excitement is mounting as you picture yourself taking the action you’ve been waiting for, striking the bat against the ball, watching it sail outfield, and you finally have the chance you’ve been waiting your whole life for…to run the bases and slide into home plate.
You see it,
You feel it,
You hear it,
You feel rain drops…
It’s your turn, but you have to wait as a storm approaches and runs it’s course.
Sometimes in life we encounter set backs. And maybe when those rain delays hit and our plans are postponed for awhile, God is busy working out the details. Maybe he’s building an opportunity. Maybe he’s building a bridge by connecting people that we don’t even know yet who will eventually connect to us. Maybe he has a solution that is being put into motion as we speak (or write). And even though we can’t see or feel it right away, we can be certain that God can use a delay to benefit us…prepare us…bless us in ways we would never guess.
So instead of crabbing at clouds that we can’t control, go out an play in the rain. It just may be the break you need to see clearly when the skies clear. After all, who can follow a rainbow if they can’t even see where it starts? Play in the rain and praise God for His blessing as you wait on Him.
Yesterday, I woke up bright and early. And again today, I woke up earlier than normal. In fact, today I woke up just in time to see the clock change from 6:59 to 7:00am. Had I woken up and looked at it one second later, I would’ve missed it. That’s how I know precisely what time I opened my eyes. Instantly I sat up, and began to think about the day ahead of me. I checked my email, glanced at my web stats and sales reports, and stopped.
I needed to wake up and prepare for a meeting. I grabbed my morning Pepsi, my Bible, and headed out to my deck. I read and reflected. And after a period of time, I closed my Bible, closed my eyes, and laid out all of my thoughts to God. And then I got quiet. I just meditated, with my eyes closed, and took turns thinking, and then listening to the quiet sounds around me.
I had a meeting with God. It was just me taking time to sit and listen. Yes, I could hear the busy birds chirping happily in my Maple tree and the sound of the winds rustling through the leaves, but it was just the sound of Nature and the things that God created that I was hearing. I’d think, stop and listen. And think a little more, listen for a longer period of time, pray, and listen. And then it was eventually just a stillness in my head where I found myself lost in my listening.
What I noticed more than anything was that I became completely focused on Christ in that time. I focused on what is important to me-my priority which is living for Him, becoming more like Him, and being used in this life for His purpose. I feel balanced. I feel prepared. I feel confident and hopeful as I start today. It’is what will help me stay focused as I encounter thousands of distractions, temptations, and otherwise unimportant things that will approach me at any given time during my day. I must stay laser focused to achieve the mission God has placed before me. To do so requires balance and focus.
Life balance is not some gimmick. It’s a real way to live your life and completely focus on what your priorities are. And, since mine is living a Christ-centered life, I am designing more and more of my work to reflect that. It seems that with every meeting, I am getting further and further away from just the regular business models. I am working more and more for the Kingdom of God. I am balanced with my priorities, and how I live and spend my time is a direct reflection of my focus through my balance.
Oh, I will continue to teach and present in the business world…I am not leaving. I was thinking after my meeting with God this morning that more and more of my writing is directly related to balancing and the Kingdom of God. That is where my focus is. That is my priority. That is my PASSION. And my life balancing and life management is keeping me there. Truthfully, those are gifts from God, and I am using them for His glory, and I am so honored and humbled.
I am so happy that God reminded me in our meeting of the importance of what I teach in my workshops. And the best part? Teaching in and for the House of God. Very humbling.
Great meeting 😉
Last weekend, I took my daughter for an entire day of fun at the City Pool and water park. I had been working on preparing for a Happy Hour (Life Changing) Workshop tour, so I promised her that Saturday was ALL hers. She chose to start at the zoo and then head to the water park. Little did I know that we’d be at the water park from opening until closing. Yes, we had that much fun. And it wasn’t a relaxing sunbathing day for me. It was in the water, wrestling with her, holding her up so she could jump off of my legs/shoulders, and racing her in an Olympic sized pool. After six hours, I was hungry and EXHAUSTED, and almost too exhausted to cook and eat anything!
I got to thinking about the fun, but very tiring day we had. For those who know me well, you know that I will not get in a pool if I cannot see, stay away from, and never come close to the drain. I am absolutely MORTIFIED of them. Okay, and yes, even worse…when I stay in a hotel and take a shower, I must keep one eye open and on that stupid drain in there. I just don’t do drains. I don’t like them, I won’t touch them, I won’t save anyone drowning near one (just kidding…I think…thank goodness I’ve never had to find out! If you ever go swimming with me take a third person so you have a back up person to save you if I chicken out!), and I flat out will not get into a hot tub unless I can keep my feet off the bottom. Ever. No way, no how, I am soooo seriously terrified of drains.
When my daughter asked me to race her from one side of the pool to the other, I declined. I wasn’t about to swim over one and have to pretend it wasn’t underneath me, and not look down even though I would know it was there. To me it was clear and present danger and I wasn’t going anywhere across that pool. I was staying close to the edge of the pool. I know they won’t hurt me technically (although I did see that they have had to change the design of them in recent years due to safety issues, ha…I was right!), but it doesn’t matter. I’m a chicken.
Okay, to get to the point of what I started thinking about regarding my faith…
I am a prayer warrior.
I’m a little woman who cannot wait to get her Master’s Degree to learn more about Biblical Leadership and use it in the world to change, equip, and help lead growth and create leaders in the Kingdom of God.
I know it will be a battle, but I am confident about putting on the full armor of God to do so. God will equip me with exactly what I need and I trust Him.
I am SO willing, EAGER, and ready to go and DO whatever God asks me to do (and in fact, I feel like Owen Wilson and the other little Roman guy from A Night At The Museum…they were two very tiny guys who were so ready to just go and fight the fight not thinking about how small they really were. They were fearless and ready to go now!!! That’s how much I want to do this!)
So, if I’m that willing and eager, and have faith and trust the Lord to walk blindly and just go…then how come I couldn’t swim across the pool with my daughter because of my drain phobia? I trust God SO much that I can fight a mighty battle and stand for His Kingdom, but I’m afraid of a swimming pool drain that is going to do…what? What’s it going to do? It’s not like there’s a trap door under the grate. Is there?
Regardless, the message hit me. I prayed in the pool, tucked my feet up (never came close to touching the bottom of the pool…man, I kicked like there was a shark coming after me) and swam with my daughter. I swam for six hours with her and had a blast! And after a period of time, I found myself venturing out further, deeper, and getting involved in a lot more of the pool games!
How many times do we let FEAR keep us from doing what we really want to do. And what’s more, how many times do we let FEAR paralyze us and not do what God is calling us to do?
If He’s called us…He’s equipping and strengthening us with every act of obedience. We have to be obedient and go to the first place He calls us, in order to get to the next place. Each successive place we go for the Lord will equip us for the next.
Faith AND trust will ELIMINATE fear.
Amazing what I learned in 3.5 ft of water.
Now I can move to the deeper parts of my faith 😉
After re-reading my journal and my top ten list here on my blog, I’ve had a few additional thoughts. It occurred to me that maybe the church planting in my top ten list is related to traveling to churches and other places to teach a message about life balance/involvement to enhance the churches that are already being planted. AHA! I love those moments. So, maybe I’m not going to be a church planter, but I will be involved in churches planted to move people within those churches into action for the glory of the community and His Kingdom.
God will place me where I am to be. It’s like holding onto an airline ticket with no destination printed on it. Not until after I’ve surrendered and boarded. I’ve done that. That’s trust, man. Let’s see where this thing lands…