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Embracing the Impossible

      The person who lives completely yielded to Christ will often find themselves taking on tasks that feel utterly beyond them. Or perhaps to put it another way, we can’t live Spirit-empowered in our comfort zones. God continually calls us to step outside of those nice, safe walls we’ve positioned around ourselves, and into the area of insufficiency and need. Where we know, without a miracle, we’ll fail. Lives will go untouched, hearts unhealed, tummies unfed. As a high school dropout, former homeless girl, turned ministry leader, I often find myself in that place. Holding conversations with those …

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Following the Holy Spirit From Start to Finish

    I have a tendency to run ahead of God. I’ll sense a call to action and a surge of His Spirit within, then race ahead, without divine clarity on the how. Do you ever do that? Do you ever assume that first nudge is all you need, only to discover, once you’ve landed in a mess of your own making, that you were missing a few crucial pieces? Details and insight God would’ve provided, had you had the patience, humility, and self-control to wait? One Sunday, I came to church super frustrated regarding a particularly confusing and exhausting …

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Trusting in the Power of Christ

  Early in my ministry, I often exhausted myself trying to manage everything. Though I knew with certainty my assignment came directly from God, I routinely behaved as if He expected me to carry the load alone. As if results came through sheer grit rather than the works of His hands. When one of my team members forgot or failed to complete a task, I felt responsible to step in and catch every ball that happened to get dropped. Though I talked a great deal about faith-filled, surrendered living, I routinely behaved as if our results depended on me. Unfortunately, …

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Fearless When Ill-Equipped

  God wants those who belong to Him to be brave and fearless. He Himself shows how weakness of the flesh is overcome by the courage of the Spirit. ~ Tertullian I felt squeezed. In every direction. Sleep deprived and with more on my to-do list than I could possibly accomplish, pressing deadlines, and an upcoming speaking engagement I hadn’t begun to prepare for, I felt ready to explode. Or hide. My brain, held captive by my insecurities and fears, refused to function. When I most needed it to shine. My fear—that I’d fail, and in failing that I’d let …

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Filled to Overflowing

    For years, I was a stale and stagnate Christian. Christ had deposited His living water within my sole, but it was more like a trickling creek than the gushing river He desired. I wasn’t thriving. In many ways, I was barely surviving. Then one weekend, I went on a women’s retreat and heard the account of the Samaritan woman (John 4) who’d gone through a string of relationships and, I felt certain, lived as empty as I was. She may have been widowed numerous times, abandoned by her past husbands, or she may have chosen divorce. Regardless, she’d …

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And A Whole Lot More Seeking and Receiving Than Doing

In Galatians 5, the apostle Paul phrased it this way: “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (v. 16, NIV). I’m reminded of a battle the Israelites faced in Exodus 17. Scripture tells us the Amelekites launched a surprise attack on the nation. In response, Moses sent Joshua and some of their men out to fight while he stood on top of a hill with the “staff of God” in his hands. According to verse 11, “As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever …

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How Jesus Responds to Our Doubts

What happens when God doesn’t intervene? When circumstances grow worse, doors close, and illness lingers? Is He still good? Does He still love you? Intellectually, we know sometimes bad things happen to good people, but sitting in the middle of chaos and catastrophe, doubts take hold. A couple years ago, while on her first college coop, our daughter’s depression spiked. She did all the appropriate Christianity things. She went to church, read her Bible, meditated on Scripture, and prayed. She prayed and prayed and prayed. And yet, her depression remained. And though she knew they were lies, comments she’d heard previously tore at …

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Anxiety, Distorted Vision, and the Power of Christ

You may have heard it said that each of us view our world through rose-colored glasses, which means we perceive situations or perhaps events as being better than they actually are. I disagree. I think, most often, our perceptions are distorted by a combination of garbage-splattered lenses and curved reflections similar to those displayed by carnival mirrors. Our vision is tainted by past hurts, pride, fears, sin, and deception, making it hard to see God’s hand and clearly discern His guidance. This spring, as all my vision distorters fight for dominance, I’m combatting them with truth. This is the only …

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Resting in God Our Rock When Attacked

  In 2006, my husband stepped into an ugly power struggle that nearly cost him his job. In the span of a year, he’d changed employment three times, landing, precariously, at the company he’d started with, but in a different location and with a pay cut and demotion. The organization he initially quit, with zero notice. Therefore, though my husband’s former boss, through God’s grace, invited him back, Steve’s position felt shaky at best. Like he was one mistake away from unemployment. Adding to this mess of uncertainty was the fact that my husband was coming in both equal and …

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Sharing God’s Love in the Face of Fear

  Fear is a destructive, enslaving emotion that, when fed, pushes us farther from the life God desires for us. The more we give in to it, the uglier and more selfish our behavior becomes until we bear little resemblance to our generous and loving Savior Jesus Christ. We remember the Great Recession of 2008 that leveled countless Americans. Banks collapsed, over 2.6 million lost their jobs, and almost four million saw their homes in foreclosure. We were living in Kansas City at the time, and though our neighborhood hadn’t been hit as hard as those in Los Angeles, Detroit, …