When I Sat in Seat 29D

When I Sat in Seat 29D

Ever have those moments where you’re faced with two choices, but have to make a decision within a split second without much thought at all?

Seat 29D was one of those for me.

I was traveling home from Chicago on September 21, 2019. One of my coworkers happened to be on the same flight, and I almost offered her my seat to trade because the circumstances may have been more convenient for her. Within the moment I was about to offer, something in my spirit nudged me like I wasn’t supposed to. I had no idea why, but I just had this discernment not to — it was just a seat anyway, right?

As we took off, nothing appeared out of the ordinary, and I just rubbed off the feeling of needing to be in this seat for some distinct reason.

Midway through the flight I took out my book, Faithfully Fervent, and began to take notes on certain quotes I could make teaching or inspirational points out of. I could feel the gaze of the man sitting directly to my right, and he inquisitively asked me what I was reading. In my response of telling him it was my story I wrote, he appeared to be taken aback. He shared with me that the back of the cover was what initially caught his eye because of the words, “It’s Time to Stand”. Once he peered over my shoulder and caught a glimpse of my chapter on radical love, he stated he felt inclined to inquire.

He shared, “We need more of this bold faith in the world.”

As he asked me to share my story, we mutually were stunned because he proclaimed to also walk an incredibly similar journey to mine. The man unraveled the details of his testimony, and I came to learn he became a pastor that traveled all over the world to share the gospel. His opportunities he had been blessed with all derived from his bold decision to ask God to use him and his story – for HIS glory – and He DID.

I will never forget the most powerful thing he spoke over me. He said,

“You just watch. Your faithfulness and obedience is about to open doors you couldn’t imagine. God’s going to use your story. You can quote me now.”

“This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.” Revelation 14:12

There is no other explanation for this encounter on my flight other than God. All I can say is I’m glad I chose to keep my seat after all.

Sometimes it’s a scary thought to want to share our story. It’s vulnerable, it’s messy, and it’s real. With our story we will face opposition and more than likely condemnation from some.

But let us not forget that our most difficult opposition will never equate to the power behind an even greater opportunity.

The opportunity to share the gospel. The opportunity to bring hope and healing by pointing people to the ultimate healer. The healer who resurrects even our darkest deepest pains and shames. The opportunity to show people what true freedom is — Jesus.

Gladly take the seat God ordained for you. You never know just who may be sitting next to you as you share your story, and how His glory will be brought out of you.

“But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.” 2 Timothy 4:5

Faithfully Fervent: On Sale Now

Faithfully Fervent: On Sale Now

Summary:

Faithfully Fervent takes you along the journey of how Christ resurrected a once-dead life inside and invigorated a radical fight for love and redemption. This journey is rooted in what it means to truly stand for Christ and His promises when faced with the most debilitating adversity. Faithfully Fervent takes you through a transformative process to equip you to stand firm as a child of God despite the world’s invitation to run.

This book empowers you:

To say yes to becoming a fierce warrior.

To run your race with endurance and chase the prize that is Christ.

To faithfully choose to become victorious when, against all odds, the world pressures you to do otherwise.

Strip off all your pride. Deny self, Pick up your cross. Get ready to live free and do a mighty work to bring glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Your story serves a mighty purpose because God isn’t finished with you yet.

Come along on the journey to being Faithfully Fervent.

Continue reading “Faithfully Fervent: On Sale Now”

All-In Faith or Security-Blanket Safe?

All-In Faith or Security-Blanket Safe?

Tell me — do you have an “all-in faith” or are you reaching for “security-blanket safe”?

In all fairness, and to extend some grace, it’s not in our innate nature to reach for or cling to something we physically cannot hold or see.

Grasping and believing in God’s promises, without seeing, is the product of faith, obedience, discipline, and trust.

I know there are moments this can be so incredibly difficult. The ugly truth is, what is physically in front of you is almost always more comfortable than blindly believing in something that can’t necessarily be assured before you.

Before you know it, you’re bound by the cycle of control.


Comfort —> Complacency —> Control

08/06/19 I was reading in Genesis and came across “The Tower of Babel” passage:

“Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” Genesis 11:1-4

In all honesty, this seemed like a passage I was just “reading through” because I didn’t really understand the context. Something had spurred my curiosity, and I felt The Lord tugging on my heart that there was something in this passage I could learn from. I went over to, my all-time go-to, Enduring Word Biblical Commentary , to gain perspective and understanding.

Sure enough, I was heavily convicted.

This passage reveals the desire of man to take things into ones own hands because of the fear and uncertainty found in trusting in God’s plan.

Enduring Word states:

“The heart and the materials relevant to the tower of Babel show that it was not only disobedient to God’s command to fill the earth (Genesis 9:1), but it also shows man did not believe God’s promise to never again flood the earth. A waterproof tower was made to protect man against a future deluge.”

When I read this, my conviction came as I began to relate to the way they responded; they responded out of fear. I recognized how easily I can still find myself reaching for what is in front of me, planning and organizing things that are in my control, and finding comfort in what I can physically see. Trusting in what is unseen can still to this day be incredibly hard for me.

Just as the people used their bricks to build their tower wall high, our wrestling for control builds up our own wall that keeps God outside. While we think building up our own walls is for our own protection, at any instance God can still tear it right back down. Defying His will, by fighting to figure things our in our way, only leads us to disappointment. Our vision of what is best for us taints and morphs our trust in believing God’s way is what is best for us. When “our” outcomes don’t come to pass, we immediately resort to feeling and believing the lie that it has to be because God is against us…

Yet, time and time again…when I’ve taken those leaps of faith, trusted in God’s hand, and or taken Him up on His call’s for me to act in obedience to “go”—

He has proven

EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

to be FAITHFUL.

And ultimately beyond greater than my original plan.

I’m simply reminded, I’ve just got to trust Him.

“A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

Un-clench those fists that persistently grasp on to that security blanket, and trust that your God has this. Having an “all-in faith” opens up the floodgates to experience His mercy, His goodness, and His grace. Things may not come to pass in our time or our way, but scripture declares that God’s way is promising and will never fail you on any given day.

“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11

“However, as it is written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’—the things God has prepared for those who love him—“ 1 Corinthians 2:9

Lay It Down

Lay It Down

What does your crown look like?

Are you securely fastening it to your head?

Would it be insane to ask if you’d be willing to lay it down, instead?

The crown of logic filters and shields to protect the heart.

The crown of planning keeps the focus forward to prevent from failing.

The crown of free-will declares things will happen in my time and my way to prevent the agony felt in the wait.

What if Jesus told you, “lay it down”.

Oh, but the crown…it feels confidently sure…it fuels determination of worth…it protects against the hurt…

Over time that beautiful, glistening, tempting crown…fades away.

It instead becomes a crown of thorns; pressing in and keeping you captive in your bondage — day, by day.

——— What if I told you there was another way.

Jesus laid down His crown for dark, depleted, desolate sinners because He knew the price He had to offer: light, fulfillment, redemption, and freedom.

If He laid down His crown for me — an imperfect sinner who could do absolutely nothing worthy to deserve it — can I not lay down my crown for the infinitely perfect King?

My plans, my will, my way — are what I have to die to every single day.

What is The Lord calling you to lay down today?

Lay down your crown, and pick up your cross.

You can confidently trust, genuinely declare and believe that, “Jesus has me”, and walk away completely free.

“Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:8

Rejection is a Projection

Rejection is a Projection

Rejection has the potential to bury pain into the deepest depths of your heart, and entices you to believe the lie that you were never worth it from the start.

You’ll never get that job.

You’ll never have purpose.

You’ll never have a friend.

You’ll never be loved.

You’ll never get back up.

You’ll end up failing, again…

As I was writing this post, the story of David and Goliath came to me. Below, read the following scriptures:

“‘The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.’ Saul said to David, ‘Go, and the LORD be with you.’ Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. ‘I cannot go in these,’ he said to Saul, ‘because I am not used to them.’ So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine. Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome, and he despised him…’You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me…All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.’ As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone.” 

1 Samuel 17:38-42; 45-50

David didn’t conquer Goliath because of his strength, his own will, or his weapons. He was ridiculed for even attempting to defeat Goliath, and was set out by people to perceive him as a fool and a failureRemember, it was all perception.

David was so steadfastly fixed upon The Lord, that he had NO doubts in his mind that God was going to deliver him as promised. He EVEN took OFF the extra armor to boldly proclaim that much more power in his faith in his God.

All he had was his slingshot.

Take a moment and imagine yourself holding a sling shot. The rejection in our life can be depicted as the act of pulling back the sling. In the moment, all you see and feel is being pulled down and backwards. The stretching and straining undeniably feels as if it’s never going to cease — until, you come to find there’s either a forced or unintentional release.

I came across a scientific study about how sling shots work by Wolfram Demonstrations. The study stated:

“David defeated Goliath by striking him on the forehead with a stone from a slingshot. How did David do it? The key quantities are the energy and speed of the stone. The greater the energy, the greater the damage to the target.”

Isn’t it interesting that the further something is stretched backwards actually increases the projectile of heights and distances reached?

Here’s the thing you have to remember about the release – you’re always projected forward.

What we feel is breaking us, by stretching us, is actually strengthening the power behind the release.

Before you know it, your rejection has become a projection.

In times of rejection, we catapult into the arms of our loving Savior. I think we forget just how powerful this act in itself really is. When we’re full force chasing after Jesus, that submission and surrender transcends into power. A power that boldly moves in such a way that what once was utilized as an attempt to break you, cannot even come close to the power behind where God is going to project you.

It’s time we stop allowing the potential of rejection to bind us so tightly in fear. The truth is, rejection just may be your greatest projection.

David, physically, may have only had a slingshot, but David had a mighty God who used his faith, despite his own rejection, to project straight into victory.

Embrace rejection, and get ready to open your arms to the incredible projection God has waiting for you on the other side.

 

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in as much as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:12-13

 

Show Me Your Scars

Show Me Your Scars

We all have scars.

Some, more prominent than others, yet none serve as a lack of significance.

Our scars tell a story.

Where we’ve been. The trauma we’ve lived. The fire we’ve walked through. The pain once rooted deep within.

We’re quick to cover up our scars out of shame, or the potential of dimming the beauty that’s found within. Scars usually aren’t pretty. We don’t want people to see them because we don’t only want to be seen by them. Our initial response is more than likely not to be proud of them. Depending where you’ve been, you may feel they’re best to never be talked about again.

We don’t have to be proud of where we’ve been. More times than not we’d probably wish those circumstances or decisions would’ve never existed.

While you don’t have to be proud of the events, things, or places that created those scars, I do challenge you to be proud of what they’ve made you, and who you are because of them.

Some scars may be superficial while others are deep gashes that took what seems to have been forever to mend.

I want to share a significant portion of John 20 about Jesus and His scars. When Jesus was resurrected He came back to see his disciples, and they knew for certain it was Him because of His scars.

“…He showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord…Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.’ A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’ Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!'” John 20:20, 24-28

When I came across this story, I personally was inspired to write about it from a different perspective of the scars we bear in our own lives.

Jesus wasn’t ashamed by His scars. He knew His people would know it was HIM by witnessing the scars He showed them!

My friends, why don’t we do the same!

Why don’t we instead take a bold stance and tell the world that our scars are just fruitful testaments that God faithfully fulfills His promises!

Jesus’ scars from the cross didn’t just define Him by where He’s been. It wasn’t left at crucifixion – It was boldly glorified by His RESURRECTION! The story of the gospel lives and breathes because it didn’t stop at the cross. He was meant to do what God ultimately destined Him to – to RISE, LIVE, and BREATHE so He could powerfully live on in each and every one of you.

Your scars don’t define you by where you’ve been. No, instead, they give you the opportunity to share the gospel by faithfully proclaiming of what Jesus has done WITHIN!

Your scars may have really hurt, and still may. But friends, it cannot even begin to compete with the testament of what Jesus Christ has done in you, and the legacy you now leave behind you.

So, show me your scars.

Share your story.

Proudly be bold to bring God all the glory.

 

“You restored me to health and let me live. Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.” Isaiah 38:16-17