Barreness, Destiny, and Faith

Maybe you already knew this, but I just learned something in Scripture that I had missed my whole life. I grew up hearing all of the Bible stories from the time I was very little. I was even able to win Bible trivia as a kid playing with adults, but somehow I missed this!

You know how God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations? He promised that Abraham’s descendants would outnumber the stars in the sky and the sand on the earth! That, my friend, is a lot of babies.

We know that God cannot lie, but wow, Abraham and Sarah had to wrestle through and partner with God in faith, to see their one son of promise come into the world. Ok, that part I was very familiar with, but I hadn’t put it together in my mind that Abraham’s son Isaac and his wife also struggled with infertility for many years until God at last opened Rebekah’s womb. (Genesis 25:21)

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Then… Isaac’s son Jacob went through the exact same thing with his favorite wife Rachel! Three generations in a row struggled year after year with the pain of infertility when God had promised to make their family into more descendants than anyone could ever count!

This tells us a couple things:

  • We often face great opposition in the area of our promise

  • Standing in faith brings breakthrough in our destiny

If Abraham and his sons had stopped believing, we would not call God the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob today.

How Some Horses Taught Me To Pray

I want to tell you a little story. When I was growing up we lived in at least 22 different houses that I can remember. My parents were missionaries, so we were very mobile. This is a story about something that happened at one of the places we lived in Texas.

I would’ve been about 12 years old, when a family we were friends with decided to go to Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Belize for a 6-month school. They were looking for people to house sit for them, and we happened to be looking for somewhere to live. That was that. They moved out, and we moved in. No big deal, right?

Well, what made it interesting was the little fact that the family owned 4 horses, and we had to take care of them! Not one of us knew anything about horses. I was really excited about it though. I mean, what 12-year-old girl doesn’t want to “own” a horse!

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The family gave us a crash course on how to feed the horses, and then they left us to it. Fun fact, they neglected to tell us that one of the horses was pregnant!

One day after school, I asked my mom if I could get one of the horses out to go for a ride. She told me to wait until my dad got home. If only I would’ve listened instead of hassling her! Instead, I begged and bothered her until she gave in.

When I went over to the field to get the horse, I couldn’t close the gate behind it fast enough. A second horse came right on out with it, and they both ran straight to the barn. When I got over to the barn door, all I could see was the backsides of the two horses blocking the doorway as they chowed down on horse feed.

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That was the moment that I wished I had listened to my mom. My anxiety level spiked, and I started to cry. You see, I really didn’t want to get kicked by a horse, and there was no way those horses were going to come out of there on their own anytime soon.

In my desperation, I went over to the swings and sat there praying for God to help me. I remember that I started singing worship songs as I cried. My 12-year-old self needed a serious miracle, or I was going to be in big trouble.

After a few minutes, a neighbor we had never met walked into our yard. I’m not sure what made her come, because the neighborhood was very spread out and had a lot of large, leafy trees. It’s not like she could’ve just walked by and seen what was going on.

Well, this girl knew right what to do. She walked right up to those horses, slapped their hind ends, dragged them out of the barn, and put them right back into the field. I couldn’t believe it! God had sent help!

Call to Me, and I will answer you. Jeremiah 33:3a

 
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This is the first time I remember worshipping and praying for a breakthrough. It may seem like a small thing looking back now, but I learned an important lesson. God listens when we humble ourselves and cry out to Him. He knows exactly how to help us clean up our mess.

Is It Time To Update Your Playlist?

Have you seen the Pixar movie Inside Out? It shows the inside workings of a little girl's memory bank. From time to time an annoying bubble gum commercial ditty randomly pops into her head.

Get a copy of the movie here!

This basic memory function is what advertisers who write jingles depend on. If they can plant messages in our minds, we can definitely do it to ourselves too.

It’s so great to have scripture playing in the soundtrack of your day instead of negativity. As you meditate on God’s Word, the enemy’s lies and accusations get blocked out.

When I was a kid we used to sing this verse to a fun, little tune. From time to time it pops into my head and sticks around for a while.

He that dwells in the secret place of the most High

shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge

and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.

Psalm 91:1-2 KJV 2000

Singing the scripture is such a great way to get God’s Word in your heart. Once you’ve learned a verse to song, it stays in a place in your brain for years. At any moment the Word can spring forth into your memory.

Do you have a certain tune that pops into your head from time to time?

Putting scripture to song is a fun way to fight back. It really is a powerful weapon for you. Think of it as part of putting on the full armor of God.

Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

Ephesians 6:11

Intentionally get God’s Word into your heart and mind, then meditate on it as you go about your daily routine!

Which piece of armor do you think singing the Bible best represents? Helmet of Salvation, Breastplate of Righteousness, Sword of the Spirit, Belt of Truth, or Shoes of Peace?


I just listened to a podcast by Joel Osteen about this very thing. It was so good, that I decided to share it with you here! After you click the button below, select the episode called The Right Recording.

 
 

My husband’s first book is now available on Amazon!

  Has your heart been filled with longing to know how to enter God’s presence? Has there been a desire to not just touch His presence, but learn how to cultivate and abide in His presence? Come On In To Papa’s Presence teaches theologically and practically, with Scripture and stories, how to live life in Papa’s presence.    Through this book, allow the Holy Spirit to take you on a journey of overcoming barriers that keep us from His presence and experiencing the depths of His love. As you go on this journey, don’t just read about the encounters in this book, but invite the Lord to take you into your own experiences with Him.    If you’ve never experienced His presence, let this be a tool in the hand of God as you begin your journey. If you’re already acquainted with God’s presence, let this book be an invitation to go deeper than ever before.

Has your heart been filled with longing to know how to enter God’s presence? Has there been a desire to not just touch His presence, but learn how to cultivate and abide in His presence? Come On In To Papa’s Presence teaches theologically and practically, with Scripture and stories, how to live life in Papa’s presence.

Through this book, allow the Holy Spirit to take you on a journey of overcoming barriers that keep us from His presence and experiencing the depths of His love. As you go on this journey, don’t just read about the encounters in this book, but invite the Lord to take you into your own experiences with Him.

If you’ve never experienced His presence, let this be a tool in the hand of God as you begin your journey. If you’re already acquainted with God’s presence, let this book be an invitation to go deeper than ever before.

 

Don't Spew On The Ones You Love

I bet that if you had a stomach virus, you would never intentionally walk up to your loved ones and puke in their faces. Gross! Who would ever do that to anyone, much less than to the people who really matter to them?

Reasonable people try to stay away from others when they're sick. They do it out of mercy and kindness. They stay away until they are well, and no longer contagious. If the sickness doesn't seem to be passing, they get to a doctor to do their best to resolve the situation. Being sick is no fun for the one who is sick or for the rest of the family.

Why is it that we let emotional issues go unsorted for years and years? When the emotional pain buttons in our lives get pushed, the fallout hurts the people around us at least as much it hurts us. It’s time to disconnect those buttons.

You know, the secret areas of pain that you keep hidden and hope that no one ever finds out about? I have news for you, people may not know the specifics, but they can certainly feel the painful symptoms.

If you aren't willing to get healthy for your sake, at least do the hard work of getting yourself sorted out for the sake of the people you love. You really don't want people around you to feel like they have to spend their whole lives walking on eggshells.

Don't delay. Get the help you need. Make an appointment with a counselor or reach out to get with a mature, trusted mentor. If you live in central Iowa, you could come to Freedom Ministry at Heartland Church. It's held the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 6 - 8 pm.

In the video below, my mom and I discuss what she wished she would’ve known before she got married. Much of the content of the video is directly related to today’s theme of getting your heart and mind healthy.

 

I was recently in Ohio with my mom, and we recorded this video WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THIS HEALTH JOURNEY.

If you’ve been following my blog for any time at all, you know that I’m passionate about helping you live in peace and hope! That’s why I’m so excited about this health journey. I know that so many people live exhausted and worried about their overall health.

This program is a game changer if you have concerns about your:

  • Energy level

  • Inflammation

  • Excess weight

  • Diabetes

  • High blood pressure

  • Sleep problems & more

    If you have questions about getting some peace and hope in your health, I’d love to talk with you to see if this program would be a good fit for you!

 

Can A Godly Person Have Boundaries?

Boundaries indicate limits. They are the fence around you that keeps good things in and bad things out.  

I have a chain link fence in my backyard. We paid good money to have it built because we had small kids who we wanted to keep safe. We also wanted to keep the neighbor’s large dogs from walking right up to our back door and trying to come inside our house.

 Boundaries are not:  

1.     An excuse to be selfish or rude.

2.     A way to turn you into me.

3.     A way to control other people.

Making demands is a form of control. You cannot demand of someone and show honor to them at the same time.

 
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Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Phil. 2:3-4)                             

Healthy boundaries are:

1.     A way to be healthy in order to love God and others well.

2.     A way to protect other people from you.

3.     A tool to give you power to control yourself.

You do not get to control other people. You are the only person you can control.

You are only responsible for the things in your own yard. The kinds of things that are in your yard are YOUR:

  • Feelings

  • Attitudes

  • Beliefs

  • Behaviors

  • Actions

  • Choices

  • Thoughts

  • Values

  • Limits

  • Talents

  • Strengths

  • Desires

  • Passions

  • Love

You are not responsible for these in other people. You only get to control YOU.

It is not your job to keep everyone around you happy. You cannot afford to work harder on other people’s lives than they are willing to.

Boundaries are all about self-control. They are about having a plan so that you can be who you need to be, to accomplish the call God has on your life.

 An example of a good boundary with time is:

Don’t let other people push you to make a quick decision. Take the time you need to think things through. Tell the person you will get back to them, then be sure to show them honor by following through.

An example of a boundary with your words is:

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe. (Phil 2:14-15)

You get to choose what comes out of your own mouth. You do not get to pick what other people say. Let your words create life.

An example of boundaries with your attitude is:

If you're grumpy, send yourself to your room, go for a drive, or take a walk. You need to protect other people from you. This is a great way to preserve a peaceful atmosphere in your family. You can just tell your family that you need a time out.

Here is a clear boundary for your thought life:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. (Phil 4:8)  

 
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What can you do when someone hurts you? Matthew 18 lays out the solution very clearly.

1.     If your brother sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.

2.     But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

3.      If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

When you go to talk to the person who has offended you, your motive needs to be to restore unity, not to pick at the other person or try to make them be just like you.

Always assume the best about the other person. Say something like, “I am probably missing something, but I feel like (insert the feeling and specific incident). Can you help me understand the situation better?”

If you do not feel that the situation is resolved, pull in an impartial, mature mediator to help you.

If you still cannot get to a place of unity, you will want to bring the matter to your pastor or leader. 

Can a godly person have boundaries? Did Jesus have boundaries?

1.    Jesus often went away alone to pray even though the crowds were pressing in for His attention.

2.     He did not get off track with other people’s agendas for His life. He said that He only did what His Father was doing and saying.

3.     He said that He is the ONLY way to the Father. No one can get to the Father except through Him.

Key Idea: Ask Jesus to show you any boundaries you need to make or any walls you need to tear down.

They're Just Them

It can be easy to think that other people can do things that you can't do. It's easy to look at people who are doing the things you wish you could do and think that they have something you don't have. They do: a different mindset.

You see, I can sit back thinking that I can't do the really cool things that other people are doing because I'm just me, or I can realize that they're just them

If you want to go to Italy or some other dream destination, go ahead and get your passport. That's the first step. Next, ask Jesus how He wants to provide the plane ticket. Maybe there's a temporary job He wants to open up to bring in the resources you need for the trip.

 
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If you want to start a business, google how to write a business plan, and then write it. You don't have to have everything figured out right away. The first step is to do some research. If you are reading this, it shows that you have access at the tips of your fingers to loads of helpful information to get you started.

If you want to improve your relationships, you can. You might have to be really vulnerable and have some awkward conversations, but what's on the other side of that is better than living with unhealthy patterns of behavior for the rest of your life. 

If you want to make some changes towards good health, you can do it. I'd even be happy to coach you along your health journey. 

Key idea: Don't disqualify yourself and think that you can't do the awesome things that you see other people doing. You are just as much of a person as they are. You truly can take steps towards your destiny starting today! 

Getting Packed For The Promised Land

Now is not the time to just sit around and wait for your promised land to come to you. It's time to get up and forcefully move into your promised land. 

It may seem like the process of getting to your dreams is taking too long, but the process is actually more about you becoming the person you will need to be, so you can stay and thrive in the promised land once you get there.

Before you enter, you need to pack. You need to take some steps to get prepared.

So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.' Joshua 1:10-11

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This is the time to form new habits. What new habits do you need in order to be able to rock it when you get into your promised land? Maybe you need some:

  • new habits of health
  • new habits in relationships
  • new habits in your connection with God

Some of the things I've been doing to get ready for my next season are:

  • organizing my email and digital files so I have a clear place to work from
  • getting healthy so I have the physical and mental stamina for the journey
  • making sure I am keeping strong heart connections with my husband and kids

Do the work today, build your spiritual, relational, and physical strength now, so that you will be able to fulfill all of the things God has for you in the future.

Now is not the time to sit back and be passive. It's time to take one step at a time in the direction of your promised land!

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How To Break Free From The Power Of Shame

Living under the weight of shame is a weight that no one should ever have to live under. Unfortunately, we tend to stay stuck in that place year after year because shame causes us to hide. To break free from it, you have to come into the light. You have to take a risk and be honestly seen for who you are. 

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When you choose to be vulnerable and honest, you are choosing humility. God promises that He gives grace to the humble. This grace is the power to break free from all that shame. It is the path to freedom. 

You can turn your heart toward the Lord today, and He will be right there ready to take you into His heart. 

When you turn to Him and choose to stop doing the things that are separating you from Him, He will remove your shame and heal your heart. 

You haven't gone too far that God can't redeem you. There's no place you can hide from His love. Even if you were to run to the ends of the earth, He would still be right there chasing you down to embrace you. 

His love for you is so big, bigger than your mind could ever grasp. It's not too late for you. You haven't gone too far. 

Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double: everlasting joy shall be theirs. Isaiah 61:7

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When It's Taking Too Long...

What do you do when it's taking too long? When the things you've been dreaming about or the things God has promised you don't seem to be getting any closer. You can imagine them, but they always seem to be just out of reach.

You can either start to think God is teasing you by dangling the thing you need just out of your reach, or you can choose to trust the process He has you in.

The father of our faith, Abraham, fell into the trap of not trusting. God promised to make him the father of many nations, but he didn't even have one kid! He and his wife decided things were taking too long and decided to take matters into their own hands. If you don't know how that worked out for them, you can read all about it in the book of Genesis in the Bible.

God knows just what you need and exactly how to get you to the right place at the right time. All you need to do is submit your heart to Him and follow His lead.

Don’t worry if it seems to be taking a while, just keep doing the next thing that He sets in front of you. This is the path to living in true peace and joy!

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Health journey update: in one week I lost 2 inches off my waist and my pants are really baggy. More than that, the inflammation and pain are gone! I'm going to save so much money on Tylenol and ibuprofen! I also have so much energy! If you want to join me on this journey, send me your phone number. If you live in the U.S. I will give you a quick call. 

 
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I'm excited to let you know that my new book about dating is now available on Amazon.com

 
 A must read for anyone in a season of singleness or those walking through life with other singles! This book really changed my perspective on what a season of waiting is truly intended to look like. Beth speaks Biblical truth and peace over singleness and dating while providing practical ways to reflect, guard your heart, and prepare for dating.   -Jessica  This book is the confirmation that you’re not wrong for being patient. You’re not wrong for being undecided or particular. Set your standards high to the value that God sees you as having. He knows how to pick ‘em. -Sam  Dating - Keys for Christian Singles is a quick and fun read filled with keys of wisdom and stories of individuals who have navigated singleness, dating, and marriage. -Megan

A must read for anyone in a season of singleness or those walking through life with other singles! This book really changed my perspective on what a season of waiting is truly intended to look like. Beth speaks Biblical truth and peace over singleness and dating while providing practical ways to reflect, guard your heart, and prepare for dating.   -Jessica

This book is the confirmation that you’re not wrong for being patient. You’re not wrong for being undecided or particular. Set your standards high to the value that God sees you as having. He knows how to pick ‘em. -Sam

Dating - Keys for Christian Singles is a quick and fun read filled with keys of wisdom and stories of individuals who have navigated singleness, dating, and marriage. -Megan

 

How Big Is Your But?

I know that God says He works all things for my best, but........ things just never seem to work out for me.

I know that God is good, but........ only to other people.

I know I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength, but.... I don't really think that applies to me. 

Pay attention to the words that come to your mind after that sneaky little word "but." This is how you can tell what you truly believe. 

Don't let your thought life drift along with the natural current of the world's patterns. Be intentional to make your thoughts line up with God's truth.

The Bible clearly teaches us what we are supposed to think about.

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8

The fact that we are given this instruction shows that we don't have to be captives or victims to our minds, but that we are powerful to decide which direction our mind goes in. God never commands us to do something without giving us the grace to do it. 

Once you start to realize what your true belief system is, you can start to cooperate with Holy Spirit to transform your thought processes. 

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

KEY IDEA: READ THE WORD OF GOD EVERY DAY TO REDUCE THE SIZE OF YOUR BUT.

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Why I've Decided To Let My Mom Tell Me What To Do

I'm 41 years old, and I've decided to start letting my mom tell me what to eat. They say that the older you get, the more you realize your parents actually know. I guess I've reached that age.

You see, there are a lot of areas of my life that I'm doing really well in, but nutrition is definitely not one of them. My mom is a certified health coach, so I've decided to lean into her wisdom and move to a new level of health.

 
 My mama,  Leanne Goff

My mama, Leanne Goff

 

I'm not one to jump on board with whatever the latest craze is, so when my friends and family started their health journeys, I didn't jump in like the rest of them. But after watching them for quite some time, I've come to the conclusion that now is the time for me to get with the program.

  • Do I want to lose weight? Sure.
  • Do I want to have more energy? Yep!
  • Do I want to be able to live well for years to come? Yes!
  • Do I want to put an end to the aches and pains? YES!

Maybe you do a really good job with nutrition but have other areas of your life that need shoring up. Maybe you need to strengthen your relationship with God or people or do some hard work on your finances. Taking care of these areas will allow you to live in peace. Why not take some steps to all around health today? 

I'm into my 40's now, and the aches and pains are increasing right along with my age. I'm finding myself walking with stiff joints the way my granny used to walk! So, that settles it. I'm starting my journey of taking my health back now!

What To Do When You Just Can't Decide

Do you ever have a hard time making a decision? It can be especially hard if you're the type of person who really wants to get it right. The higher the stakes, the harder the choice.

Things can seem so foggy when you're looking at your own life, but when you look into someone else's situation it's often very clear. We tend to either be really hard on ourselves or go too easy on ourselves. If you can't make a decision or you just don't know what to do, imagine yourself advising someone else in your situation. What would you tell them? 

It can be really hard to make a choice when you highly value doing the right thing. As long as you aren't choosing to do something in violation of God's ways or your conscience, you can move forward with courage and confidence. Even if you choose "wrong", God is able to make everything work out for your best.

When you have a decision to make:

  • Pray about it
  • If you're married, get into unity with your spouse about it
  • Bounce it off the people in your inner circle
  • Say no to fear
  • Pick the "scary but exciting option"

To break free from gridlock, you will have to choose to let go of all of the "what if's" and move forward.  If at some point the peace leaves, you can choose to make a change.

KEY IDEA: PRAY, SUBMIT TO GOD, GET IN PEACE,

AND CHOOSE THE "SCARY BUT EXCITING" CHOICE!

 
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Our family has a brand new store on Amazon! It includes many of our favorite things! Visit the olson family store here.

Moving Past the Pain of Rejection

Have you ever been betrayed? In order to be betrayed, you have to have loved and trusted someone deeply.

It is stunning to me that Jesus knew from the beginning that Judas would betray Him, but it did not hold Him back from including Judas in His inner circle and risking His heart.

I think that if I knew ahead of time that someone was going to betray me, I would not even introduce myself much less bring the person into my inner circle.

Jesus is so different from me. He blows my mind. He keeps His love turned on towards all people 100% of the time.

For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. (John 6:64b NASB)

Jesus' life illustrates this truth: even if you do everything absolutely perfectly, you will still experience rejection.   -Tweet This

Perfection does not equal acceptance from the people around you.

You might even say that the more Christ-like you become, the more you may experience rejection.

Jesus walked in confidence because His sense of self-worth did not come from His companions.

When the Jews wanted to kill Him He said,  “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing. (John 5:19-20 NASB)

Jesus' identity was completed wrapped up in what the Father thought about Him and in living according to His Father's wishes.  

 
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Your Father loves you with the same exact love He loves Jesus with. Make living your life in Him your highest aim and the acceptance or rejection from people will lose its hold on you.

Any pain you have stored up in your heart from betrayal belongs to you. You can choose to own it and to let it go. Choose to let it go today!

I BLESS YOU TO LIVE IN PEACE

 
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Step By Step

Your life is a journey. It's a marathon, not a sprint. God gives you a dream, a glimpse of your future, and then you have to go through a process to fulfill it.

The process can be a lot like a roller coaster ride. You better hang on because there will be lots of twists, turns, ups, and downs. 

I don't know about you, but I personally hate roller coasters. You couldn't pay me to go on one. I think it's lots of fun to watch other people ride them though. I'm happy to walk around an amusement park for the day and hold my friends' stuff while they ride, but don't try to get me to climb on board.

When it comes to the intense adventure of living for Jesus, I'm all in. Nothing else matters or truly fulfills.

When you lean into the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, you can follow by obeying each prompt He gives you. Some of them will make no sense to your mind, but you will have a deep, peaceful knowing in your heart that it's the right path. 

This is how He leads us: step by step. 

Some personalities seem to be more okay with this than others. If you are a planner, it might be harder for you. It requires letting go of being in control. But as you know, none of us are truly in control of what happens anyway. 

Jesus said, My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. John 10:27-28

 
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When Not To Give Up

There will be days when you will want to give up. There will be times when no matter how much of an optimist you may be, you will come to the end of yourself.

There will be swirling accusations and confusion. Your head will feel foggy and you will wonder why on earth you ever thought it was a good idea to start down this path. 

This is all a part of the process. This is the battle that qualifies you for where you are going. God is building you for your future.

When you get to the moment where it feels like something breaks inside of you and you are ready to let go of your dream, don't let go. The breakthrough is right around the corner.

Remember that guy who gave up? Yeah, neither does anyone else.

When David went out to fight Goliath, he didn't just go up against a huge, strong fighter. That giant was also hurling accusations at him. Not only was Goliath dressed to strike fear, he was running his gigantic mouth trying to intimidate the courage out of David.

It was at that moment that David stood his ground, boldly declaring who he was and what he had come to do. He didn't stand back hesitantly; he ran to the battle and won a great victory! Imagine if he had succumbed to the intense intimidation and given up!

Victory is right around the corner if you stand your ground. Remember who you are in Christ and what He has called you to do, and never, ever give up!

Moving Into Your Promised Land

Lately, I've been reading Joshua chapter 1 over and over. It talks about the time after Moses died when Joshua was installed as the leader of God's people. God instructs Joshua three times to be strong and very courageous. 

  • Verse 6 - Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
  • Verse 7 - Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.
  • Verse 9 - Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

The fact that God repeated this command three times so close together tells us that Joshua was about to face some extremely overwhelming circumstances. The fact of the matter is that he was about to lead a massive group of people into their promised land. 

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They weren't going to be able to just mosey on into the promised land, they had to slay some giants on the way! 

That's the way it is when you move into your promise. There's always work to be done. You don't just stroll on in; you have to fight bravely. You have to know who God is in your life and act from that deep knowing.

Take the Scriptures and prophetic words God has given you seriously and meditate on them so that they strengthen you for the fight ahead. You might want to set a daily reminder of them on your phone.

It's easy to feel overwhelmed when problems and challenges seem to be piling up in front of you, but remember that God has a solution for every problem you face.  

Breaking Up With Fear

It's easy to go down a trail of imagining the worst even when things really are going well. It starts with the thought "what if."

  • What if an armed robber breaks into my house?
  • What if my spouse gets killed in a car wreck on their way home from work?
  • What if my kid gets a horrible disease? 

If we're not careful we can get ourselves all worked up about something that may never happen. We can waste our precious time mentally planning out funerals that aren't going to happen anytime soon. This is how you partner with fear. It is vain imagination hard at work.

You can partner with peace by turning your "what if's" into things that agree with God.

  • What if God really, really loves me?
  • What if God wants to use my life to touch the world around me?
  • What if God has given me everything I need to live an amazing life? 

This is glorified imagination. Going down this path will fill your heart with hope!

Key Idea: Worry is a mis-use of your imagination.

 
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Don't Just Google It...

I remember one specific, hard day when my kids were younger. It was one of the times when I felt really helpless as a mom. I was so frustrated because I couldn't figure out how to parent a troubling behavior. I had done everything I knew to do, but things weren't getting better. 

I decided to take a hot bath and talk to Jesus. I remember that He clearly spoke to me in that moment. He brought back to my mind a Bible verse that had the key I needed. 

Note that He brought the verse to my memory. It's important to hide God's Word in your heart so that He can bring it back to your memory at the needed moment.

When you don't know what to do, stop and ask Jesus. He may speak to you through a verse, a whisper, a feeling, or a deep knowing in your heart. 

It's so easy to just pick up your phone to google search for an answer or to text a friend to get advice. I'm not saying you shouldn't do those things at all, but make sure you also stop to ask for wisdom from above. 

You can test what you're hearing from God against this verse: But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reasonfull of mercy and good fruitsimpartial and sincere. James 3:17

Key Idea: God is eager to share His secrets with you; you only need to stop, ask, and listen.

If you want to learn more about hearing God's voice, I recommend Havilah Cunnington's Prophetic Personalities Course.

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When the Enemy Comes In Like a Flood...

The battle is in the mind. The enemy will always try to attack you in your thoughts. That's why he's the accuser of the brethren. His main tactic is to accuse you, try to intimidate you, and move you off your ground.

If the enemy can mess with your head without you fighting back, he knows he can derail you and keep you out of the battle.

The devil is very interested in keeping you from walking out the plans God has for you, and messing with your head is one of his favorite tools.

It is vital that you guard your mind with the truth of God’s Word. You must stand firm. You must put on the helmet of salvation. 

It can be helpful to imagine yourself putting on the helmet. Physically place your hands on your head and thank God for giving you protection for your mind. Lay your hands on your head and declare that you have the mind of Christ, that you will think His thoughts. Resist the enemy’s lies that he’s wanting you to partner with.

God has given you the gift of a sound mind. Thank Him for it and receive it by faith. Peace of mind, not anxiety, is a part of the normal Christian life. You do not have to lose the battle in your mind.

 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV

This is the battle. And if you stand firm, you will win it!

Remember. When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Lord will raise you up!

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Why Your Obedience Matters So Much...

Remember Moses? He was a rock star of a leader. The Bible tells us that since Moses there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land.

In spite of how amazing Moses was, when it came right up to the point of the fulfillment of his life's mission, he wasn't allowed to enter the promised land. Why? Because he had gotten angry and hit a rock with a stick instead of speaking to the rock like God told him. 

That's intense. It shows us that God really means what He says. In spite of the unique relationship Moses and God had, God didn't let him enter the promised land. Moses had to settle for his descendants inheriting the promise. 

As I was reading this story the other day, I was struck by the fact that when Moses died his eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished. To me, this means that it wasn't actually time for Moses to die. His strength was not used up. 

Sin has a heavy price tag. Obedience, however difficult, is always worth it in the end. 

This a matter of the fear of the Lord. When we walk in the fear of the Lord, we walk with an awareness that the things we do today have a direct effect on our lives in the future. 

The fear of the Lord is not an Old Covenant concept only. It is still important in our lives today. It could be that your sin won't end up keeping you out of your promised land, but I promise you it will delay your progress. Don't waste time making laps in the desert. Purpose in your heart to obey God today no matter the cost.

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