The gift of your story

The Truth of our unique personal encounters with the Spirit of God, will speak to the immediate hunger of a person’s spirit more effectively than the eloquent dissertations of doctrine.

When I was younger I wanted to be a social worker. I wanted to help rescue children out of devastating trauma and secure a healthy home & family life for them. Then I discovered that God had given me a gift of writing and a heart – deep ability to articulate emotions and situations. I began writing with a depth of imagery that drew the reader into the moment. I began crafting from a place of persuasion, colorful mystery & romanticism and {I later came to discover} manipulation. These two “gifts” became tainted by a very dark, dismally desperate desire to be rescued and redeemed from my own existence; with an unquenchable thirst to find something to belong to and someone to blame for my chaos.

Ironically, the quiet desperate search for significance pushed me into hiding; far away from the people who promised to “pray for me” as I saw their concern morph into piercing eyes of judgement as if I was the cause of my demise and their righteousness should be my goal.  Anytime Satan comes after our identity it always comes with shame and condemnation.  But when Christ comes calling us by name it’s to redeem us back to our original design.

Shame called my name for most of my life.

It still continues to challenge my existence but it’s rarely bold faced neon signs; it’s hidden under the familiarity of the voices of recognition, memories, and repeat offenses that I haven’t handed to God. See when someone repeats an offense that was either done to us or that we’ve been the instigator; shame has a way of labeling us with the scarlet letter. Do y’all remember that story form High School Literature class?

Hey… can I ask a quick question?

The other day, something really cool happened. I connected with a new sister-friend that I’ve never met or even exchanged Facebook conversations with before.
God brought this unique conversation together over an ‘issue’ that she and I were both seeking His wisdom. This led to a full out “hey can we talk, I can’t wait to get to actually know you” conversation.

The vulnerability of owning our story runs a risk of being found out and that risk could offer the possibility of stones being thrown at us, but what if your willingness to step up to the line offers redemption? (John 8:1-11)

Who in your  ‘circle’ do you not know? Maybe it’s someone you’ve connected with through social-media or work that it’s one of those God-sent relationships but it’s been too scary or risky to truly let them know you?

Are you willing to put down your stones and see that Jesus has actually invited YOU to claim your place as His son/daughter & step to the line?

Conversations with my kids this morning about the realities of this world and their understanding about where they would spend eternity if tomorrow never happened… Sobering to hear their truth and trust in God’s sovereignty. After reading the YouVersion verse of the day it compels me to #keepmovin because #freepeoplefreepeople #iamtheonejesusloves

Acts 20:28-35

So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood[h]—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as leaders.[i] 29 I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock. 30 Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following. 31 Watch out! Remember the three years I was with you—my constant watch and care over you night and day, and my many tears for you.
32 “And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself.
33 “I have never coveted anyone’s silver or gold or fine clothes. 34 You know that these hands of mine have worked to supply my own needs and even the needs of those who were with me. 35 And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Where might God be asking you to share the gift of your story? Have you accepted the exchange of shame for redemption? If not, I’d love to chat with you and hear your story. Contact me or comment below

Further study:

Join us for the next Wellness Revelation small group. An opportunity to learn your story, unpack the truth of your identity and lose what weighs you down so you can love God, yourself and others. Click here to register

 

February FOCUS: Roots & Repentance

ESTABLISH ROOTS & REPENTANCE –
HEART HEALTH & SPIRITUAL DETOX 101
For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble.
You surround me with songs of victory. Psalm 32:7
stop glorification of busy
For years I just thought I was shy. But recently the Lord revealed to me that in fact I’m not shy, I’ve been living a fear-motivated guarded and highly defensive life.
A highly defensive person is an easily offended person.
Have you ever said, “well that’s just who I am” or whispered to yourself “I wonder why I keep doing that”. I keep asking myself why we are the way we are, why we react to certain situations one way and then like Jekly & Hyde we become some other person with a totally different response.  Different situations, people and circumstances can cause us to shrink back or rise up trying to prove something (not sure what) but I’m convinced that every reaction or response; what we say and do; is connected to the truths and lies that have taken root in our hearts. If this were not the case, why else would God instruct us ABOVE ALL ELSE guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23).
This past month our church participated in the Daniel Fast.  The one word He gave me to focus on was ESTABLISH but throughout the fast, He would give me instructions on what it was I needed to establish. Actually, they weren’t new things; they were virtues He had already been teaching me but He was showing me where in order for His truth to be present and tangible in our lives, we need to remove the obstacles. So much of the richest seeds that have been planted in our lives is hidden beneath the garbage of lies we believe. It makess me think of the community service projects when volunteers remove the garbage, weeds and graffiti at a community playground only to uncover a beautiful space that needs a little TLC. Friends, our hearts are no different. God brings people into our lives to serve us for the purpose of cleaning up the space. Would you be willing to let Him come in a do some weeding and garbage removal?
I’ve gathered a few tools to help us get started. I pray these will bless you today.
Weeds & Roots

Proverbs 13:10-12New International Version (NIV)

10 Where there is strife, there is pride,
    but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

11 Dishonest money dwindles away,
    but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.

12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

 

Repentance

Romas 2: So you can see there are no excuses for any of us. If your eyes shift their focus from yourselves to others—to judge how they are doing—you have already condemned yourselves! You don’t realize that you are pointing your fingers at others for the exact things you do as well. There’s no doubt that the judgment of God will justly fall upon hypocrites who practice such things. Here’s what is happening: you attack and criticize others and then turn around to commit the same offenses yourselves! Do you think you will somehow dodge God’s judgment? Do you take the kindness of God for granted? Do you see His patience and tolerance as signs that He is a pushover when it comes to sin? How could you not know that His kindness is guiding our hearts to turn away from distractions and habitual sin to walk a new path?[a]

But because your heart is obstinate and shameless, you’re storing up wrath that will count against you. On the day of His choosing, God’s wrath and judgment will be unleashed to make things right. As it goes, everyone will receive what his actions in life have cultivated. Whoever has labored diligently and patiently to do what is right—seeking glory, honor, and immortality—God will grant him endless joy in life eternal. But selfish individuals who make trouble, resist the truth, or sell out to wickedness will meet a very different fatethey will find fury and indignation as the fruit of living in the wrong. Suffering and pain await everyone whose life is marked by evil living (first for the Jew, and next for the non-Jew). 10 But if you do what is right, you will receive glory, admiration, and peace

Psalms‬ ‭32:1-11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!
Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long.
Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.
Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.
For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble.
You surround me with songs of victory.
The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the LORD. So rejoice in the LORD and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!”
‭‭
 

Restoration

Romans 12The Voice (VOICE)

12 Brothers and sisters, in light of all I have shared with you about God’s mercies, I urge you to offer your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to God, a sacred offering that brings Him pleasure; this is your reasonable, essential worship. Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete.

Matthew 6:9-13The Voice (VOICE)

Your prayers, rather, should be simple, like this:

    Our Father in heaven,
        let Your name remain holy.
10     Bring about Your kingdom.
    Manifest Your will here on earth,
        as it is manifest in heaven.
11     Give us each day that day’s bread—no more, no less—
12     And forgive us our debts
        as we forgive those who owe us something.
13     Lead us not into temptation,
        but deliver us from evil.
    [But let Your kingdom be,
        and let it be powerful
        and glorious forever. Amen.][a]

Declarations of freedom

This month the focus is on learning how to #reDEFINE who you are from the inside out. To drop the labels, drop the self-proclaimed ‘personality traits’, to lose the pride that has become a heavy burden to carry, to get rid of the unnecessary weights of guilt and shame and walk so free that it becomes a contagious epidemic that others can’t avoid wanting some of!

Today, in honor of the independence day celebration, we move in freedom making our declarations known both to ourselves and those around us. Not for the sake of them, but I mean if they’re gonna be watching you anyway, why not take that opportunity to point them to the one who set you free!

Here’s your motivation for our #celebratefreedom workout/movement/cleaning the house or whatever you decide to do that needs some encouragement to get you going! There’s music, scripture and motivation tied into this one tiny message! You spirit, soul and body will thank you! #MOVE #getinneractive

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/revelation-wellness-healthy/id671958238?mt=2
Weigh Less Feed More LOVE

Desperate pursuit: Full but not satisfied

Either we are adrift in chaos or we are individuals, created, loved, upheld and placed purposefully, exactly where we are. Can you believe that? Can you trust God for that?

 

 

I will lock eyes with the one who’s chosen me, the one who set my feet to dancing – Steffany Gretzinger & Bethel Music

The mark of a grace filled life is a heart full of mercy freely flowing to forgiveness – Alisa Keeton

God has this crazy way of showing us who we are, the influence we have, the opportunity around us and ability within us.
Just before I left to speak at Refresh Summit and attend the Revelation Wellness – Healthy & Whole instructor training retreat, my Pastor blessed me with these words…
“Don’t be distracted by the projections. Satan knows that you know who you in Christ. Satan knows that you know the voice of God. Satan doesn’t know your future only that God has a plan for you, so what he does is he approaches you the same way he approached Eve in the garden and he presents you with a projection of ‘what if you did this, then that would happen’… If he can get your eyes off of God’s plan then he can get you to make your own ‘projections into the future’ … ”
Friends Satan doesn’t have the ability to change your future or know your thoughts, he simply pulls up something from his old bag of tricks and recycles them on each of us and waits to see how we respond. Our responses determine the outcomes. An unfiltered response speaks life or death into a situation. The Holy Spirit is our filter, left to our own devices we are dangerous to our own spirit, soul & body. Left to our own ‘considerations’ we bite the apple. Don’t bite the apple.

Yesterday I asked God to show me glimpses of my newfound wild freedom, to feel His presence & the opportunity to get lost in the worship I experienced at the revelationwellness instructor retreat.
I came across a passage in the book Wild and Free that reminded me of His promise of freedom & restoration. Today He reminded me just how much I love music and that I’m always worshipping Him when I move.

Then I found my Truth word (we had to write down some of the lies we’ve believed & lived & we were given a word the Leadership teamed prayed over without even knowing what we had written down) tucked in a jacket pocket and He pointed to my back yard as a ‘this feels like retreat’ because it is filled with trees and it’s my own piece of ‘wild’…
Everything that happened to us at retreat, (and ever encounter with Christ) happened through us & He is still with us. When we give Him permission, He will create the space & opportunity we desire & need. ➕ This prayer from #WildAndFree really helped confirm everything.

Father show us, show us how free we are. Show us what that looks like. Will you reveal to us why freedom is important to you? Why you long for us to believe we have it? Will you show us why you broke the chains of bondage in our lives? Will you show us your lavish love? 

The final day of Revelation Wellness – Healthy & Whole instructor training retreat, our small group leaders anointed us with Frankincense oil & pronounced a blessing over us. My precious small group leader Heather Leap Johnson was so ready & available for God to use her. She poured out so many redemptive words over me & my heart is swelling today with gratitude. This song… “Thank You” by Bethel Music This song rises up from the depths of my soul, from a place that I never knew the Holy Spirit wanted access to because it was so deeply rooted in fear, guilt and shame.

God is more interested in my heart

“Thank You”
How do I say thank You, Lord

For the way that You love

And the way that You come
For all that You’ve done

All that You’ll do

My hearts pours out

Thank You
You don’t have to come

But You always do

You show up in splendor

And change the whole room
How do I say thank You, Lord

For the life that You gave

The cross that You bore
For the love You poured out

To ransom my soul

My hearts pours out

This thankful song
You walk through all my walls

Conquered my shame

Stepped into my past

Fill my world with grace

You didn’t have to come

But You wanted to
I say Thank You #noshrinkingback

“So don’t throw away your confidence—it brings a great reward. You need to endure so that you can receive the promises after you do God’s will. In a little while longer, the one who is coming will come and won’t delay; but my righteous one will live by faith, and my whole being won’t be pleased with anyone who shrinks back. But we aren’t the sort of people who timidly draw back and end up being destroyed. We’re the sort of people who have faith so that our whole beings are preserved.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:35-39‬ ‭CEB‬‬
What are you drawing back from or shrinking back from? Where could you allow yourself to open your hand and trust that God is faithful to finish what He started? Is it in the desire to be known? Is it the way you look at your reflection in the mirror? What about the struggles with food? What’s that thing? That thing, yes that, that’s what He wants.

This is the stuff He uses

source: Vrsly app

 

Are we feeding faith or fear: Overcoming Anxiety 

  

Have you ever dealt with anxiety? 

I have. FOR YEARS!!! And here’s where I found the solution! 

And I continue to use it whenever new issues, people, things, and problems try to overwhelm me! 

And yes, you’ll need to continue to ‘work it out’ on a regular basis just like one visit to the gym won’t make you fit, one prayer won’t keep you well! 

  

Surrender 

I started this devotional on the bible app and asked God to help me remove anything that’s a distraction from allowing Him access to my heart, (Psalm 139:23) my life and my mind. I’d love for you to join me. 

The 21 Day Plan – We start TODAY! 

I’m reading the @YouVersion plan ‘Living the Surrendered Life’. Check it out here:

http://bible.com/r/51

No spirit of fear

Friends, Grace covers us and removes every fear, every anxious thought, every regret, every what if, every thought that tries to hold itself higher than the name of Christ, every doubt that says we can’t because we think we are either not enough or too much, every deception & lie that disguises itself as truth and tries to convince us that it’s too late or too soon. Grace is the qualifier. Grace IS the reflection of the cross & the Cross was enough! 

For you, me & her and all the rest of them! 

 
I’ve seen many searching for answers far & wide and I know we’re all searching for answers only you provide and you know just what we need before we say a word. 

➕ And you call me deeper still… (Good Good Father Chris Tomlin) 

““It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭65:24‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Listen to Search My Heart by Hillsong UNITED on @AppleMusic.