What If?

I keep asking myself the question, What if I lived my life as if I believed everything the Bible said is really true? What would THAT look like? I actually do believe that, but I know that through the years of life’s experiences I have unwittingly allowed little lies to creep in or built up protective walls to defend myself that can also be a barrier to real truth. Life seems to have brought one trial after another the last several years and this week dropped another bombshell. My initial reaction was not a calm reflection of the truth I …

It’s All About Jesus

  An evangelist friend of ours coined a phrase “It’s all about Jesus” for his region several years ago. Although we’re not in the leadership of this evangelist anymore, we still use the phrase often. Especially times when we feel that things are chaotic or we get into issues. Breathing this simple phrase can be a prayer of sorts to remind us, “It’s all about Jesus”. Oh beloved, for the believer “It’s All About Jesus” is more than a phrase. It’s our banner! It’s our comfort, our shield and our fortress. When the gates of hell whisper prevail we say …

Jesus: Exceeding Expectations

  It was all too familiar. Here she was walking the stony rugged path outside the city gate once again. A familiarity she never wanted, never asked for but yet she was retracing those same steps that she had taken before. A trip that seemed to had only been yesterday. Just like the last time, she kept her eyes averted to the ground. She could sense all the people around her but at the same time felt completely alone. She could barely even hear the professional mourners over the cries of her heart. “What now?” “How could this have happened?” …

Here I am send me

There was a time in my life when I felt I just wasn’t good enough for God to use. No matter how hard I tried I just kept messing up. I had read books, done recovery, and had friends I talked to about it, but despite my best effort I continued to screw up. At one point I went to a friend from church for accountability and help in this particular area, but instead I received condemnation. I knew what I was doing was wrong, that wasn’t the issue. I wanted help to be victorious over this thing, instead I …

An Anchor on the Bridge

It was a little over a year ago that I was able to call Little Rock home. Last summer, I spent a lot of time running around the Big Dam Bridge. I specifically remember, despite my excitement of being in a new place and “starting over” I was feeling slightly apprehensive and a part of me was afraid. I specifically remember hearing this song (which I have heard many, many times) but this time the line of lyrics toward the end of the song stopped me in my tracks. I knew that everything would be okay. “Take courage when the …

Beautifully Broken: Learning to live

As I write this article I am sitting on a roof top patio in Nairobi, Kenya at the home of our missionary family. I close my eyes and smell the savory meat grilling nearby as the warm African wind is blowing my hair and I can hear banana tree leaves clapping in the wind. I opened my eyes to watch the sun set on Western Kenya. I am in awe of the tranquility and peace my heart feels in this beautiful country. As fulfilled as my soul is here, I am unable to escape Jesus’ call to follow Him. This …

And So We Wait

Waiting: stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or until something else happens; used to indicate that one is eagerly impatient to do something or for something to happen. A few weeks ago, I was up at 4am busily getting ready to travel to a conference. I had almost forgotten about the pregnancy test I had taken that early morning, but thankfully, I happened to glance at it before walking out the door. Expecting to see only one line, I did a triple take when I saw not one, but two obvious pink lines. I didn’t …

The Journey of a Church Plant

I wish that I could say that I have always jumped right in with complete faith and no fear to whatever the Lord called me to do. Or that I joyfully followed my husband without any hesitation or doubt. But somehow God in His gentle and patient way has brought me through an unforgettable journey to where I am now. In 2004 my husband, Stephen, and I embarked on what we thought was our lifetime ministry to Malawi, Africa. We sold everything we had and went with the IMB to Malawi (the third poorest country in the world). God had …

The Lord Showed Me

A 2016 Repost from My Journey of Faith Magazine by Katie Clifton This past year, the Lord showed me that I don’t need to make plans. He showed me His ways are best and that I am strongest and most pliable when I am on my face before Him. I spent most of 2014 fighting God on church planting. I ran from it. I cried over it. I begged God to call someone else. Then, I surrendered with excitement and joy. In 2015, we launched Renew Church. It is wonderful. It is a gift. It is refreshing and reviving and …

Unshakable Thanks

We are all on a journey.  And as Paul says, we do not travel that journey as those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4: 13). We know that we have a Savior sitting at the right hand of the Father who delights in us.  We have the Word of God that is living and active.  We have the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, giving us gifts to make the best use of our time here on Earth.  And we have the fellowship of other believers to offer friendship, prayer, encouragement and council.  We have hope, and …

Hearts of Gratitude

In looking up the word “gratitude” from various sources, most of the definitions were very similar and what one might expect: thankfulness, the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness; a natural expression of thanks in response to blessings, protection, or love, etc… One definition, however, significantly stuck out to me: gratitude is a joyful commitment of one’s personality to God. In researching gratitude chronologically in the Bible, it took me a while to find it, which was surprising to me! Although we don’t see a “thank you” in the first few chapters of …

Moving to HOPE

When you cannot find the light at the end of the tunnel, what is there to cling to? When the daily struggle of life seems too much to bear and you have nowhere to turn, what keeps you going? At the end of the rope, when the covers over your head are too thin to drown out the nastiness of the world, what is your blanket of protection? Sometimes the answers to these questions seem too difficult to think about, and the rainbow at the end of the storm seems too hard to reach. What keeps us moving forward? Growing …