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

Piece By Piece I Found My Peace

Piece By Piece I Found My Peace

We all have a vision. A hope. A dream. A picture perfect idea of everything we hope our person we will someday get to love to be.

Piece by piece we pray and ask The Lord, “will you bring this for me?”


I began journaling prayers for the man I’d someday marry in aspiration to gift it to him on our wedding day. They were dated, timed, intricately thought out, and faithfully prayed over.

I’ve grown to witness that the power prayer holds is something so incomparable and intimate. I undoubtedly believed if God already has and would continue to move massive mountains in my life, then he could and would explicitly create this man I dreamed of — just for me.

10.5.19 I came home from work only to find my husky got a hold of my journal and devoured it to shreds — completely disseminated my heart felt prayers all over the floor beneath me.

Initially, my heart sank because of the weight I placed in this journal, this dream, I had promised to gift one day. Now it was gone.

But piece by piece The Lord began to convict me.

What appeared to be a destroyed dream before me, ended up cultivating a new beautiful perspective.

No matter how specific I pray or how intricately I ask The Lord for my list of desired characteristics and qualities, no man will be perfect — just as I am far from perfect and in need of just as much grace.

These tattered torn pieces in front of me began to speak life as The Lord graciously reminded me of truth.As I started picking up the pieces, I realized the parts of the pages that were not destroyed were character traits and scriptures — everything else in the middle was gone.

It was in this moment I was convicted that The Lord spared the most important pieces after all, and God, as my foundation, would fill in the rest.

He will possess Godly traits, but still remain an imperfect human who will need unconditional love and grace. He may not be everything I’m wanting or longing to see, but this man will be exactly who God created him to be.

Piece by piece The Lord restored me with a newfound peace. A peace in knowing His perfect time and perfect way will pave the path to the man I will get to sacrificially love, extend grace, and serve The Kingdom with someday.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

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

When The Darkness Dissipates

When The Darkness Dissipates

Imagine the darkest, desolate, deserted night.

It surrounds you. It blinds you. It disseminates fear within you.

In the moment you may feel there’s no sense or path of direction to lead you back home. You keep walking, yet you find there’s no escape. All you know is exhaustion is setting in, and you have no idea where to begin. The darkness creeps its way in to tempt you to believe this is complete and utter defeat. What then, could ever make this darkness cease?

Light.

But where? But how?


In the name of Jesus darkness dissipates.

“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:46

When you invite Jesus into your heart, immediately, you are granted victory from the very start. The fear that once disseminated inside you…the darkness that creeped its way in you or around you…begins a mass exodus by the one and only power of the Holy Spirit within you.

While initially you still may not physically see the light around you, you faithfully trust and believe that if your God is for you, a glimmer of hope, a glimpse of light, is surely yet to come.

You may be waiting. Waiting for a really long time. But Jesus will faithfully fill you with perseverance and endurance to keep you pressing on to not give up on your fight.

being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience” Colossians 1:11

Now — enter the light.

Even from the greatest distance, the small faint glimmer catches your eye. The darkness surrounding you is now forced into your peripheral view because there’s a light that’s drawing you. As you continue to reach for the light, you suddenly begin to regain all of your sight. When you finally embrace the light, there’s absoultely no denying the power, the warmth, and the fullness of Christ that ignites your entire being — your entire life.

It may have been a painful journey — searing, and burning the lifeless wick away; but oh, the light that illuminates once it’s finally lit by the power of Jesus’s name.

It’s a light you now carry onto your brand new journey. You can boldly walk before and into someone else’s darkness by carrying and shining this hope in Christ; to be a light reminding them there will be freedom at the end of this fight…despite the darkest of nights.

Your story has a purpose to be used for God’s glory. Whatever darkness you have carried or walked through, I can promise it will never compare to the beautiful story and brightest light God is establishing for you.

Be the light and don’t fear the dark. God has His lighter ready longing to ignite the fire in your heart. You have the power to become this light, when you run towards The Lord with a longing for Him to be the center of your life.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome” John 1:5

“…But I’m Already Dirty”

“…But I’m Already Dirty”

Think about a time you felt you were too far gone. A time you were filled with shame. A time you were broken down by fear. A time the lies of the world were all you could hear.

Maybe it was in the past.

Maybe it is in the present.

Maybe it is becoming resurfaced just as you read this.

A lot of the time our encounters with rejection, faults, failures, and sin taint our belief on how God sees us. If imperfect man can reject us, if imperfect self sees worthlessness, and an imperfect past keeps you in bondage — how can we truly be accepted by an infinitely perfect God?

I had an encounter with a homeless man that perfectly depicted how we allow our fear of unworthiness and rejection to hinder gracious acceptance.

On the evening of October 21, 2018, I was in downtown Fort Worth when this man approached me. I had offered this man a ride to his shelter because he would have been walking the entire night to get there. As I approached my car, I realized it was a complete mess because it was filled with dog hair everywhere on the back seat. I immediately tried to clean off the seat as best as I could. I knew how much I hated my dogs shedding, and I surely didn’t want him to have to deal with it as well. While I was scraping the hair off the seat, he looked at me with the most sincere, yet defeated eyes, held out his hands, and faintly said,

“you don’t have to do that, I’m already dirty.

My heart sank. I told him, “you deserve to sit in a clean seat, and I wouldn’t settle for anything less.”

Isn’t that the exact same response Jesus gives to us? We tell Jesus, “I’m already dirty, and I don’t deserve to be clean”. Now let me clear the air, and tell you the bold and honest truth:

It doesn’t matter how rejected, outcast, or dirty you’ve been, all He’s pleading with you to do is come and let His redemption begin.

 

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation was come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

It ultimately comes down to our struggle to comprehend and accept grace. Grace doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense because there was and is absolutely nothing we could do to earn or lose it. It doesn’t make sense because it was a complete sacrificial gift to sinners who genuinely do not deserve it. But that’s the point — It doesn’t have to, because it was lovingly lavished upon you by a God who longs to heal and free you.

 

“They will no longer defile themselves with their idols, or with their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. And they will be my people, and I will be their God.” Ezekiel 37:23

Grace is powerful.

Grace defies the odds. 

Grace boldly proclaims, “I see you as a child of God.”

You have an open invitation to come before the throne…yes 100% dirty…to in turn graciously accept your gift of becoming clean, renewed, and redeemed.

 

“Let us then approach God’ throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

 

Instead of living in shame of once, or currently, feeling dirty, freely embrace the truth that Jesus deems you worthy. 

 

“But he said to me, ‘my grace is sufficient for you, for my power if made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

 

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

 

Watch Me Work While You Wait

Watch Me Work While You Wait

Have you ever found out something really good was going to happen to you, or you knew an incredible blessing was headed your way?

You know it’s coming. You see it’s coming.

It just hasn’t happened, yet.

Waiting is hard. Really hard. Especially when you can anxiously anticipate the good things coming your way. You just want it now, why wait?

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” Ecclesiastes 3:1

The Lord intricately places us, and allows us to stay, in particular seasons for a purpose. If we’re not in a season of abundant blessing, it may be a season of tumultous trial. If we don’t find ourselves in either of those, we’re probably in a season of rest or waiting.

In our season of tumultous trial, we desperately seek the day we can finally rest. Yet, when we finally rest, we’re usually pretty quick to long to move on to what’s next.

We don’t want to rest or wait because that means we’re being called to forsake.

Forsake our will. Forsake our plans.

Forsake our timing.

You have two choices to make. Either you wait on God, or make God wait on you. Here’s the thing about making God wait on you – in the end, you still have to wait on God. Now, just twice as long.

You can only go so long fighting to do things in your will power, and in your way, until you finally recognize God’s way is the only promised way.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

I love Galatains 6:9, and here’s why:

It’s a promise.

You don’t find any maybe’s. You find a WILL, and a DUE TIME.

This means, no matter what, whatever you sow in the name of The Lord will reap reward and blessing. Knowing that it will happen, still means you have to trust God’s time of when.

No amount of trial, length of time we wait, or mighty storm can ever compensate or take away from all that God divinely has in store.

I felt The Lord speak into my heart, “Watch me work while you wait“, which is why I felt lead to use it as I wrote this blog.

The beauty in the waiting is we are able to sit back, trust, and watch God unfold all that we’ve been awaiting before our very eyes.

In this season, The Lord has graciously given me the work “steadfast”.

Steadfast means IMMOVABLE.

I don’t know about you, but I want a faith that’s fierce and will never bow down to move.

I want a faith that stands firm so that GOD CAN AND WILL MOVE!

 “These trials will show that your faith is genuine.” 1 Peter 1:7

While this scripture specifically says trial, I feel this also applies in the waiting. From personal experience, in trial, I was more prone to doing WHATEVER God called me to because I was clinging to Him by a thread of desperation.

In the waiting however, we may be more prone to sway our own way because we’re tired of God not “making a move” yet. The genuineness of our faith in the waiting magnifies our actual trust in The Lord. Even though we may not be desperately hanging on God, we confidently and boldly have the opportunity to fiercely trust our God.

We can either worry while we wait or worship while we wait.

When we choose to woship in the waiting, we boldly declare we believe God will fulfill His promises made unto us. It is an act of faith, and proclaims if God is all we have at the moment, than it is exceedingly more than enough.

So, Lord, thank you for working amidst my waiting.

Let us wait. Let us watch.

Let Him faithfully work and move right in front of you.

Believing in the Breakthrough

Believing in the Breakthrough

You know that feeling. Thick heavy clouds weighing oh so heavily down on your heart. Anxiously anticipating the weight of the downpour to break you at any moment. Feeling like the flood of tears could sweep away the faintest ounce of strength you had left.

The weariness.

The darkness.

The hopelessness.

The questioning.

Are you sure, God actually keeps His promises?


12/11/2018 I was walking my dogs and weather outside was on the brink of a storm. It was early afternoon, but you could’ve been convinced to believe it was near dusk by the bleak darkness that filled the entire sky.

Then, I just had this peaceful moment with God. I realized despite the heavy thick gray clouds, I’m still able to see all that’s around me. It couldn’t ever be complete darkness during the day, no matter the clouds, because the sun is more powerful. The sun is so incredibly far above that the storm can never overtake it.

Although it may not be as bright out, we’re reminded the storm will pass and the sun will shine again.

When the clouds begin to part and the sun starts to breakthrough, it slowly begins as single rays.The rays stretch far out across the sky to remind you hope is rising.

When the sun finally, completely, breaks through, it becomes so blinding and powerful that you forget the clouds even exist around you.

Isn’t it beautiful that this is exactly what Jesus does for us??

In our storms, JESUS IS THERE!

He is HIGHER than the storm because He is GREATER than our storms.

I will continue to praise His name and give thanks even when my breakthrough hasn’t happened yet. I believe in this because I know in full truth He will not forsake his promises.

Right now I know your weariness and exhaustion may be holding you down. I challenge you to fight and persevere because your prayers never fall on deaf ears!

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12-13

Your sun will shine again. Friends, your storms don’t have you. Your mighty God does, and He’s GOING TO BREAKTRHOUGH for you.

Choose to believe in the breakthrough.

“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.” Psalm 107:28-31