This page has moved to a new address.

A Year in the Spiritual Life... Discover Your Purpose

A Year in the Spiritual Life... Discover Your Purpose: December 2012


Discover your Purpose? You May Already Know!

Marc Alan Schelske 

Maybe You Already Know Your Purpose!

What am I here for? It’s one of the fundamental questions that each of us have to answer. It’s right up there next to “What’s for dinner?” No, wait. It’s far more important than that. That’s my five-year old’s most important question. But you’re not five, and you’re trying to make sense of your life and do something significant with it.

That question is about purpose, which is one of the main topics here on Dayna’s blog. She writes regularly about discovering and living out your life’s purpose. She’s right to write about it. The pursuit of purpose is one of the most important and meaningful things we can do with our lives. But today I’d like to suggest to you that you may already know your purpose. It might not be the vague mystery that you think.

Why Is it this way? Why is it not another?

I’m a bit of a geek. Before I became a pastor I went to design school. I care about things like fonts and white space. I have certain pens that I’m partial to. (I’ve been known to pick up offending pens that make it onto my desk and chuck them into the hallway.) I’m also a big computer nerd, and love things like web design.

All of these interests come together in a technology class that I teach at a local school where I live. The class content lives at the intersection of computers, design, and communication.

In a recent class project, I asked the students to look at household items in their lives and ask two questions: “Why is it this way?” and “Why is it not another way?” These two questions can reveal a lot about the design behind common items, and their purpose. 

For example, look at a spoon. Why is it that way? 

  • A long handle. 
  • A concave bowl that’s only so large. 
  • Smooth edges. 

The answer is obvious, right? A spoon’s purpose is to lift food to our mouths. It needs a lifter. That’s the handle. It needs a scooper. That’s the bowl. The whole thing needs to be of a size that will fit our hands, and will comfortably fit into our mouths. 

Why is it not another way? Why no slots? Why only one handle? Why not a much longer or much shorter handle? Certainly you could design a spoon that has these things. But would those choices compromise the spoon’s purpose?

Why is your life the way it is?

So why this little commentary on the design of a spoon? Here’s why. I believe that you can learn a lot about your purpose by examining your own life in a similar way. I come to this belief from these assumptions:

  • God created you, and did so with a good purpose in mind. In fact, the Ephesians 2:10 says that you are a piece of artwork, created for a good and beautiful purpose. More on this idea here. God knew all about the circumstances that would become a part of your life, shaping your story.
  • Psalms139 makes it clear that there is no part of your life that is a surprise to God.
  • God has been with you all along through the course of your journey, even when you didn't know or weren't aware. Psalms 23 paints this picture.

If these these things are true, then it also means that your story contains within it clues to the purpose God has for your life. I’d like to share some examples from my own life to illustrate what I mean.

The Clues in my own life.

In the past couple of years I've been able to do quite a bit of work looking back at my own story. With help from a coach, a great therapist, a good bit of journaling and prayer, and a number of supportive friends, I've learned more about myself in this recent season, than I ever have before. There are lots of reasons why... that’s a whole other blog post. (That’s a whole other story. If you’re interested in hearing me tell some of it, you can watch that happen here.) 

But one of the results of this work is that I've been able to see my life and story much more clearly than I ever have before. In this process I picked up some pretty important clues about my God-given purpose.

Four central themes kept cropping up. Each one shaped me and my choices. Each one ties back to significant events in my life. I want to share two of them with you here.

I was able to spot a theme centered around being included and creating inclusion for other people. This showed up in painful ways, like not wanting to disappoint people, and trying hard to be liked. But it also showed up in powerful ways, like creating healing community for broken people. I named this theme “belonging.” Looking back through my story I can see that it is life-giving for me to create spaces where failing isn't fatal, and grace allows people to be their very best selves.

I also identified a theme in my life of creativity. Every time in my life that I can remember that was positive and engaging was when I was making something. This drive has had a lot of different expressions: drawing, building, designing, writing, speaking. The most powerful times for me were when the things I created made a difference in someone else’s life. I named this theme “Creative Intentionality.” I have seen that my life is the richest when I am able to create things that serve others well.

My Authentic Core Values

I came to these two themes, and two others, through a process of reflecting on the events of my life and observing what was life-giving and what was not. It turns out that these themes are deeply motivating to me. They are, essentially, personal core values.

They are not core values in the sense that I sat down and compiled a list of qualities I wish were true of me. That kind of list is aspirational. It can serve as a motivator. But it’s not really connected to who I am.

These motivations are authentic core values that emerge from my story. They are a part of who God made me to be (my wiring), and how God has led my life (my circumstances). Taken together, I believe that these authentic core values are a very big clue about the kind of purpose God has for my life.

When I am creating belonging, when I am making things that move people and serve their spiritual journey, I am living in alignment with God’s purpose for me. In those times I am using my gifts and my life experience. In those spaces God is redeeming my broken places and using them to bless others. In those moments, I am fully alive.

Now, Look for the clues in your life.

As 2013 approaches, I want to encourage you to look at your own story for the clues for your purpose. You can do this in a lot of ways. A good counselor or coach can help you. You can do it through personal journaling. 

If these ideas intrigue you, I’d love to give you a copy of my little book, “Discovering Your Authentic Core Values.” It’s available on Amazon in both e- and dead-tree versions. But I’d love to give you a free copy of the eBook right now.This little book is a step-by-step guide for looking at your own story to discover the core values that are authentic to who you are.

About Marc Alan Schelske 

Marc Alan Schelske writes about the intentional spiritual life at He’s served as a pastor full-time for eighteen years, currently in Portland, Oregon, where he gets to encourage people in living the inside-out life following Jesus. He’s deep into a journey of emotional recovery after near-burn out, and is excited to share this discovery: You are a piece of art handmade by God, with a good and beautiful purpose to accomplish in the world.

Join the Conversation: 

How do your core values help shape your purpose? 

Labels: , , , , , , ,


A Year in the Spiritual Life Review

Let's Look Back

This year, with its tragedies and its triumphs has been a year of discovery. I have looked at myself, at the world, and at the Word. I have grown so much. 

This year I have begun teaching young girls about God, I started this blog, I volunteered at my church, I joined the worship team, and I wrote a book. This year I discovered so much about myself and my purpose. I hope I have helped you discover something too. You and I were made for more than the everyday ordinary...we were made to live the extraordinary. 

Our everyday lives: the run to the mall, drop the kids off to school, grocery shopping lives do not stop, but there is more to life than blindly driving from point a to point b. In the in between moments there is opportunity. There are chances to see God in others, to share Jesus with the wounded, and to bring light to the darkness. 

A year ago I was a bitter smoker walking around with a chip on my shoulder. I was unpleasant and thought I was funny, when I was really only cruel and cold. 

Surrendering to God changed all of it. 

I am not all! There are days I mess up. Things I still need to let God have. As long as there is breath in me there will be flaws too. But God is faithful to work on us, to love on us, to change and perfect us. Why? He does all this because we are His workmanship. 

Imagine yourself as a lump of clay, waiting for something to happen. As a lump of clay we get rained on, we dry out in the sun, and we sit there....doing nothing, letting life happen to us. Until we get up on the potter's wheel. 

When we put ourselves on the potter's wheel we submit to His molding and making us. It is a trans-formative experience and it is not always comfortable. Yet, somehow, we go from ordinary vessels to extraordinary vessels of honor in the Master Potter's hands. Now, we have a purpose. We have been made for something. The potential was always there, but now we are becoming. In Christ there is fullness of joy, and part of that joy is knowing we have a purpose in this world. 

I know that God has done some extraordinary things this year. Next year is already shaping up to be equally amazing, if not more so. Soon, I will be leaving the states to go on my first missions trip to Guatemala. I will continue to write and I am praying that this year will bring some wonderful adventure. I pray this, because I believe God loves a good story, and my life is just another story written by Him. 

Join the Conversation

How has your life changed in the last year and what are you hoping for in 2013?  

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


A Christmas Letter

Dear Reader, 

All the things I dread about Christmas are left to do: cooking, cleaning, and traveling.

I know, I know, I have left so much until the last moment., but the house is decorated, and the gifts are bought. Almost everything is wrapped.

My kids are filled with anticipation and after my sixteen year old gets home from work today it is FAMILY time for sure.

Except, dad won't be there. He will be in the house, secluded in his room, sick as a dog. Even the smell of a honey roasting ham is making him sick. He has the flu. I feel horrible for him. This is his favorite holiday. My husband Randy giggles with excitement and quivers with anticipation every year: not because he wants gifts, but because he cannot wait to give gifts. His generosity is only stopped by his wallet. If he had it to spend, he would spend until my girls and I burst with gifts.

Since gift giving is one of my love languages, I adore this characteristic of my husband's. I love how selfless he is as he plans and plots to bless us. As soon as I know he has something for me, I begin to squirm with the "not-knowing".  I feel the need to have the present right then. I have to have it. I long for it. I dream about it. I think to myself all the different things it might be. Yet, every year, my husband makes me wait. He says Christmas comes once a year, and that I have to wait for what is to come, otherwise it would not mean as much.

How wise he is. 

Our Heavenly Father must have felt the same way. He longed to give us a way back to Him. For so long the earth and all that was on it groaned for salvation. God planned and He plotted - to bless us. We waited in anticipation, dreaming of what God had in store for us: thinking of all the things it might be. We longed for it. We cried out for it. We waited.

Then, nearly 2,000 years ago, everything changed. 

The gift was on its way. Wrapped in humanity, placed with care with people who raise him. Jesus was given to us. This was not on December 25, or May 25th or any other "day" recorded precisely in history, but tomorrow we celebrate what the gift of a Savior means to the world.

Among the presents and the smiles and the servings of Christmas ham, and seconds of cake, remember why we gather together. The gifts, the family time; this would be another day, like any other, had we not received the greatest gift of all first, all those years ago.

As my family gathers around the tree tomorrow, I will be thinking of a man who hung on a tree for me, who first came as a tiny baby. Sweet, soft, fragile, and meek, Jesus came to save us - to redeem us back to the Father- the price for our brokenness.

Merry Christmas, and may the joy of the Lord and the fullness of His love, Jesus, be with you today and everyday.

~ Dayna

Labels: , , , , , , ,



Today is my birthday. I am 38. Apparently, it is Jon Acuff's birthday too, though I am a year older. That is kind of cool.

This post won't be a long one. It won't be about much. I just want to tell you that I appreciate you, and as a way to celebrate my birthday I am giving away a FREE Kindle copy of my book, The Purpose of Chosen.  

If you don't have a Kindle, do not fret, you can download a Kindle reader to your computer, tablet, or smart phone. Yep- there's an app for that! 

Also, I am still raising funds to go to Guatemala. I need just $800 more. If you want to donate, be sure to click the widget with my picture to the right. It is safe, secure, and all the funds go to paying for the trip, the airfare to Miami and items that I need for the trip. (Like a backpack, first aid kit, rain gear, etc) 

Your gift would be an amazing birthday present, but would really be more of a sowing into a ministry, so the rewards are greater. 

Today, be sure to love the ones in your life, and spend time with Jesus. He was the first and greatest gift of all. We will be celebrating His birthday soon! 

Be blessed and be a blessing! 

~ Dayna

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


The 7 Rules of Self-Discipline

"Pouting" Photo Credit: Creative Commons

I don't wanna. 

That is how I feel in this moment. 

I don't want to write, I don't want to read. 

I just want to be left alone to chill (aka be lazy) and to rest on my laurels.  

Then I hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. He talks very plainly to me. He says one word: "tough". 

I get the message. 

Sometimes we have to do the things we don't want to do in order to do the things we want to do later. This is called discipline. 

This is not a fun word: discipline. 
Paul told Timothy in his second letter to him these things: 

"So, my son, throw yourself into this work for Christ. Pass on what you heard from me—the whole congregation saying Amen!—to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others. When the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did. A soldier on duty doesn't get caught up in making deals at the marketplace. He concentrates on carrying out orders. An athlete who refuses to play by the rules will never get anywhere. It’s the diligent farmer who gets the produce. Think it over. God will make it all plain." 2 Timothy 2:1-7 The Message

Overcoming Distraction

Let's face it. We have all been distracted in our lives before, or have felt lazy. I get it: we are human, but there is work to be done. The fields are ripe with harvest. 

This is a heart issue. My body may be tired, but my heart (my inner will and person-hood) is the thing that drives me. If I have the will, the discipline. then I can get over being "tired" and do what I have to do anyway. 

Proverbs 4:24-27 says "Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust." 

Let's Break it Down

1) Guard our Hearts- our Spirit, the core of our essence. This is the innermost part of us and the thing that God longs to possess. If we give it over to lusts (and laziness is a lust of the flesh) then we lose life. We begin to die from the inside out. Jesus came to give life, and life that is abundant, overflowing, and never ending. 

2) Do What You Say You Will Do- let your yes be yes and your no be no. I have been guilty of breaking this rule. I call it the "big talk, small walk" syndrome. We are afraid of displeasing people, or we want to impress them, so we say yes to things we have no business saying yes to. This sets us up for failure when all God wants for us is success

3) Avoid the Big Three: Careless Banter, White Lies and Gossip- What comes out of our mouths can either help us or harm us. No name it claim it here, just a spiritual law God put into place. Our words have power to create. "God said 'Let there be....and there was'"   We are made in His image. He tells us over and over to pay attention to what comes out of our mouth. The carelessness with which I so easily say things then quickly add "just sayin'" at the end is ridiculous. I know better. Saying ugly things, even in jest, should not be a habit I keep. Then there are the 'white lies' we tell. These are little seeds. They grow into choking vines that squeeze the life out of us: cutting off the supply of TRUTH directly to our hearts. Finally, there is gossip. Veiled as a prayer request, or just shared over coffee, the little "did you hear's" are dangerous territory. They give others the chance to be offended, they weigh us down and if we participate too often in this kind of discourse we lose credibility as Christians. 

4) Eyes on the Prize- I am not a runner, but I am familiar with goals. I know that the finish line is ultimately the goal for every runner. Yet, in a race, as in life, there are markers that let us know where we are in the race, and how far we have yet to go. If we do not keep the ultimate goal in mind, (the finish line) then we can run the chance we get distracted with the "this is far enough" mentality. We are on a journey. Paul says he presses toward the prize at the end of the race. 

5) Stay on Target! Stay on Target!- If you are a Star Wars (TM) fan you just got that reference: congrats! We have a path to victory. Is is a narrow path, but it leads to some amazing adventure. Your path can be illuminated and clear. You do not have to walk around feeling in the dark and wondering where to go next. Psalms 27:11 says "Point me down your highway, God; direct me along a well-lighted street" (The Message)
Follow the path God has for you and you will always be in the will of God for your life. 

6) No Turn Signal Needed- Not right, not left, but straight ahead. Be wary of distractions. Where our eyes look, the rest of us follows. You learn this principle in driver's ed. The many trials and errors of learning to walk resulted in falls, scrapes, and even some bruises. So why do you think your life would be any different? The most successful athletes, business people, and even movie stars will tell you that focus is essential. Don't look right, don't look left...just keep looking toward the goal. 

7) Leave Evil Behind- Do good. Love with your actions. Do the work of Christ. Love the widow and the orphan. Stop talking about your neighbor, or coveting her husband. Walk away from the things that entrap and ensnare us. Evil is fun....for a season, but it always leads to death. Shake the dust off your feet and leave your old ways behind you. 

These seven "rules" can be summed up if we live one verse above all others: "For in him we live, and move, and have our being" Acts 17:28a 

Dwelling in God's presence everyday is the ultimate way to overcome distraction. When we are focused on Him, everything else fades. 

Join the Conversation: 

What things distract you? 

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,


Sadness, Questions and Hope: A Response to the Tragedy of Sandy Hook

Photo Credit: Associated Press 

The Pain of Tragedy

Sitting around the TV watching the news yesterday was a painful experience. We felt the fear, the panic, the immense sadness of tragedy. Children died. Men and women died. This brought tears and sadness and questions.

We Ask Why

No one person, or government, or doctor, has all the answers to why someone would walk into a school and kill 26 people, most of whom where children between the ages of 5 and 10.

The pain and torment the shooter must have been in to perpetrate such a horribly evil act must have been unbearable. The pain mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters are feeling right now as the reality sets in their child or sibling is dead will seem suffocating. The community of Newtown, Connecticut, will never be the same. As a nation, our response will be because of the pain and shock we feel right now. We will cry, we will mourn, we will call out for more gun control, we will focus on anything but the real problem: we live in a broken world.

We live here on this earth for a short time. Then we die. The loss of children though, is our worst nightmare, because in them we see the innocence we have lost and hope for a future. When they are cut off we feel our own fragility more acutely.  

I do not have the answers to the why's being asked right now, but I have some hope.

God is Just

I have hope that there is a God who loves justice and hates evil. I have a hope that God can take any circumstance and bring it about for good.

I am not saying that the deaths of these children was orchestrated by God. God does not bring death, but life. This world, (who God gave us, mankind, dominion over) is broken. We have not done well by His creation, including how we deal with each other.

But God is a redeemer. He can take these heartaches and remind us of His faithfulness and goodness. For when we stare into the face of evil, as this act of murder and rampage was evil, we can turn to God and see His goodness never fades, or changes, He is faithful no matter what.

He made a way for us, through Christ, to have peace, hope and rest even in the most horrible of circumstances.

My Prayer

Father I ask for peace for these families, rest for their hearts, and hope to soon be restored in their brokenness. Father, I ask for wisdom as a nation, on how to move forward, and I stand on your promise that you can take anything and everything and turn it around for good for those that love you and are called according to your purpose. Lord, forgive us as a nation for turning from you, and let this tragedy serve as a reminder not of the man who perpetrated the sin, but of a God who loves us and who comforts us in our times of trouble. You who are the lifter of our heads, the lover of our souls, and the healer of our hearts. Father bless this nation as it mourns this tragedy and restore peace to the hearts and minds of the families who lost loved ones yesterday at the hand of a mad man. Let us not lose sight of how good and faithful you are, and help us remember the words of Job: "Though he slay me, I will trust him." You are sovereign and I will trust you. As we move forward let us understand that the time is drawing short, and the fields are ripe with the harvest. Help us to remember that everyone should hear of your great love and mercy and let this tragedy be turned to our good and Your glory. In the name of Jesus, who died to give us victory over death this very day, Amen.

A Call to Action

Words have power, but sometimes action is called for. Can you join me in donating to the families of this horrible tragedy? Here is a tilt campaign that is raising money for the families. The families will get nearly 98% of all money raised (the website keeps a small fee for processing the credit cards). 

Join the Conversation

How did you discuss this tragedy with your family? 

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


The Beauty of Redemption

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

There is Hope

"In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life." James 1:21 The Message

What a beautiful vision of God’s love for us: that he would take the barren, dark, desert landscape of our lives and turn them into lush gardens of beauty, and wholeness. Lives filled with light and life. This is what God does: He creates.

I know that there are places in my life that still need a remodel, a do-over so to speak. That is why what God does is so amazing. He makes all things new.

My hard, lonely, and dying heart can be made whole. That is the beauty of Jesus.

He has loved us from the beginning and He pursues us even now.

Watch this video and hear the message: God is calling you….

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,


Apathy: The Silent Faith Killer

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

Start the Day Right

In the quiet of the morning I wipe the sleep from my eyes and greet my Father. “Good morning, Lord.” 

This may seem strange. To some, it may even be cause for a psychiatric evaluation, but I believe that God is there, listening, waiting, and longing for me to acknowledge Him in my life. 

Beyond this, I also believe that He is waiting for me to listen to Him and wants me to long for Him as He longs for me. This is my relationship with God. 

In the bad times I can call on Him and He gives me strength, but I need Him even more in the good times than in the bad. Why? Because in the good times I run the chance of forgetting; I run the chance of becoming apathetic. 

Apathy Leads to Hard Hearts

Apathy is a silent killer of faith. It allows us to ignore the obvious and dismiss the good things and special people in our lives without second thought. Apathy does not just happen. It builds slowly, like a scab across our consciousness. 

First, we forget to be thankful. Gratitude reminds us who we are in comparison to who God is. He is our savior, our healer, our friend, and our Holy Father. He has provided all we have need of and is the one who takes delight in actively blessing us. When we forget to be grateful we forget to acknowledge all God has done, all He is doing, and all He can do. 

Then, when there is no gratitude, we turn from compassion. We were once aware of the active grace of God in our lives, but since we have left our gratitude behind we now forget how far we have come. Now when we see someone who is desperate, lost, hurt, and in need of love, we are no longer moved. We do not feed the widow or the orphan any more. Instead we walk in our own righteousness, and say callous things like “get a job” or “it’s their own fault”. We feel superior to others and we lose the one thing that set us apart from everyone else: love. 

Finally, after the gratitude is gone, and the compassion of Christ is almost non-existent in our lives, then indifference to God begins. After all, we have relied on our good fortune and ourselves for so long, why do we need to acknowledge God at all? Perhaps, in our prosperity and wholeness we forget that we are truly poor in spirit and broken. We trade the truth of our need for God for a lie (that we are fine without Him). Apathy has set in and now only tragedy will shake us. 

We see it in the Bible over and over with the children of Israel. Recently we saw it in 9-11. For a moment we forgot our quarrels, we forgot our agendas, and we came together: grateful that we were still here, and we called on God for guidance and help. 

So I say “good morning, Lord” and I will be grateful every day because I can never go back to the way I was without God. I will strive to maintain an attitude of gratitude, a soft heart toward my fellow man, and a humble nature that says “there but for the grace of God go I”. I will personally and publically acknowledge the God of the Universe in every aspect of my life. I may sound crazy to some, but to God this is the sound of my worship. 

Join the Conversation

What are you grateful for today?

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,


The Power of Love

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

Confrontation that Rewards

There are times when I love confrontation. Truth be told, I have a warrior personality and love good debates. The problem is that "debate" usually devolves into argument and argument devolves into fighting and sometimes fighting can begin wars that seem to go on for ever. 

I believe this is why James cautioned so strongly against strife. "For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." James 3:16 

Yet we know from Jesus's life there is confrontation that is acceptable. He did not begin overturning tables in the Temple because he needed the exercise, though this was the extreme version of confrontation. Actually he confronted opposing ideas with almost every encounter with the "religious" people. Then, in the desert, when he fasted for forty days, he confronted the enemy directly. Every time we see Jesus confront something (like an idea) or someone (like a Pharisee or even Satan himself) he did so with the word. 

So how are we to handle confrontation? With the word and with love. 

'No, we will speak the truth with love. We will grow to be like Christ in every way..." Ephesians 4:15 ERV

It's All About the Love

Love is counter-intuitive to our human nature. We expect love from loved ones, but from strangers? From enemies? No. 

This is the thing that makes us different from the world.  Jesus said

"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, To show that you are the children of your Father Who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the wicked and on the good, and makes the rain fall upon the upright and the wrongdoers [alike]. For if you love those who love you, what reward can you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? And if you greet only your brethren, what more than others are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles (the heathen) do that? You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity], as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:44-48 AMP
I confess I have not always lived up to this standard. As a matter of fact, I cannot say I have ever fully lived up to this once. But I strive to. My prayer is that I will love like God, and begin to see the value of others even when they are rude, crude, or downright mean to me. 

Where is the Disconnect?

 Jesus commands us to walk in love. It is clear as day. And if we are to be like Christ, who asked for God to forgive the very people who were murdering him as they did it, we have a long way to go. Why do we have such a difficult time walking in this love? 

I don't know about you, but for me it is ego

Somehow I have believed the lie that I have a right to be angry. I have a right to stand up for myself. I have a right to speak my mind. As a citizen of the USA, these may be true, but as a citizen of heaven, a child of a Godly kingdom, these things are NOT true. 

I have been bought with a price. I am not my own anymore. I represent more than just myself. The old "Dayna" is dead and therefor all of her rights have passed. Now I have an advocate named Jesus who stands in the gap for me. I have no right to my body, it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I have no right to be angry at another person to the point I become bitter. My heart (and the emotions of it) belong to God. I have no right to think I am better than someone else because I was lost and dying and but for the grace of God I would be no different than anyone else. I am no different than anyone else

To think of myself more highly than I ought to is sin. It places me (my rights, my thoughts, my opinions) above what God says. No wonder I have a hard time loving others, I am too busy with self-aggrandizement. 

Matthew 6 says "Seek ye first the kingdom of God"  not "seek ye first the rights of Dayna"...

My Prayer

Lord, let me love like you. Let me see myself as you do, but always remembering the grace and love that got me here. Father help me see the value in people and remember that if I love like you, then more people will come to know your love and know you as a result. Love replicates love. Forgive me for thinking and living as if I have any rights to put myself before others. Help me to serve others (Christians or not) with love. Help me love lavishly and with extraordinary patience. In the name of Jesus, your son, who gave us victory when He gave His life and in whom I live and breathe and have my very being. Amen. 

This is a scripture I came across last night that I hope gives you hope... 

"Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life." James 1:12 The Message

Join the Conversation

Why do you think it is so hard to show love to other people? 

Labels: , , , , , , , ,



Photo Credit: Creative Commons 

I walk a fine line. 

I am caught between the world and my home. 

I long for moments with my Father: moments when His grace and love are so real that my heart breaks and my knees weaken and my voice cries out. These are the moments I live for. Intimate moments. Moments when I not only tell my Father that I love Him, but I hear Him whisper back to me. 

I hear His song...  of love, of grace, and of change. 

Then there are the times when I am bogged down by this world. Bills, and kids, and salesmen knocking on the door all distract me from what my heart longs to do. 

Now I know why Paul remained single. 

Not that I would give up my husband or my children. I love them and I know they are gifts from my Father. I am grateful for these things. 

I am also human. I am selfish. I want... more. 

More of God in my life. More people hearing about Jesus, More love, more power, more of God in me. I am selfish. 

My heart cries out. My heart yearns to see peoples lives turned around! I want my children to burn with passion for Jesus. I long for my husband to live in the freedom God has designed just for him. 

Opening my heart up, and giving God more of me than I ever have before, I surrender it all. 

My pain. Here it is... 

My joy, belongs to Him. 

My hope, wrapped up in His hands. 

My future, my calling, my life.... all His. 

I surrender. Everything! 

I do not know what will happen. I only know what I want to happen. It won't always go the way I plan. I will face disappointment and heartache. I will have trials, hardships, and difficulties. The difference is now, I am not alone. 

Romans 8:28 says "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

God has a purpose. Nothing that happens in my life can derail that purpose as long as I am surrendered to Him. As long as I seek Him first, all that I need will be added. I will not want. I will find rest. My joy will remain, and even more, it will be full. 

I am amazed. 

I stand in awe of God's goodness and His faithfulness. 

I hope you know this same awe. I hope that you know what surrender is like. Like floating on your back in a  cool pool while the sun warms your face... 

Here is a song that I hope ministers to you. 

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,




The Bible is clear: we are supposed to go.

I know I am called to go. To preach the gospel, to love on and minister to the sick, the hurt and the broken.

That is why I am asking for your help.

I have a hard time imagining a world where there is no running water, no doctor, or no school for my child. Maybe you do too. After all, we live pretty blessed lives. But the world is full of places just like that.

The mountains of Guatemala is one of those places. There is a missions trip scheduled in February to go minister to the people there and I would love to go, but I do not have the funds.

This is where you come in.

Matthew 25:34-40 says (ERV) 

“Then the king will say to the godly people on his right, ‘Come, my Father has great blessings for you. The kingdom he promised is now yours. It has been prepared for you since the world was made. It is yours because when I was hungry, you gave me food to eat. When I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I had no place to stay, you welcomed me into your home. When I was without clothes, you gave me something to wear. When I was sick, you cared for me. When I was in prison, you came to visit me.’ Then the godly people will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you food? When did we see you thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you with no place to stay and welcome you into our home? When did we see you without clothes and give you something to wear?  When did we see you sick or in prison and care for you?’Then the king will answer, ‘The truth is, anything you did for any of my people here, you also did for me.’


I know that this may not be the best time of year to ask for help. I get it. I also know that people frown on giving money to "preachers", but I am not a preacher. I am just an ordinary woman who is trying to make an extraordinary difference in the lives of other ordinary people: people without food, electricity, health care, or hope.

It will cost almost $900 for the trip but I will have to get from Houston to Miami first, so that will add another $400. This is a lot of money for me.

$1,300.00 to be exact!  (See how much has been given already and how far I have to go!) 

But you could help send me there. To make a donation of $10 or more, click this link:

This will make a secure and fast donation directly through Crowd Funding and will help me minister to the people of Guatemala.

If for some reason this trip does not work out (space is limited and may fill up before I raise the funds, I will use the funds for another trip) I am going to travel with Adventures in Missions, so there is always somewhere to go and something to do. Should every thing fall through, the donations can be refunded. Just remember this: 
"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." James 1:27 NLT
So please, if you have just three minutes and at least $10 to spare can you give now? Just click the Crowdfunding link now to make your safe, and secure donation now.

If you have questions, feel free to email me at

*** I am not a Charity and do not function as a 501c3. Therefore, your donation is really a gift and not tax deductible. Thank you for sowing into this ministry. *** 

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,


When God Speaks


Dark clouds began to gather. Huge plumes of thunderheads began to roll trough the area.

As I drove I became fascinated with the beauty of the impending turbulence. Then, off to my left, I saw this.

And I heard God say "Be still."

I do not know if you can see it. The only camera I had with me was from my ancient 3GS iPhone. The grey clouds are pressing all around and in the middle is one small white cloud. To me, it almost looks like a person floating on their back in a pool of blue. So when God whispered "be still" I got it.

Then I opened a book I got in the mail from WaterBook Mulmomah publishing (affiliate) A Sudden Glory: God's Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More by Sharon Jaynes. I began to read the first chapter and read these words.

"When I started to get up, I felt God's invisible strong hand holding me back. He wasn't finished. 'Be still and know I am God', He seemed to say. Cease striving."A Sudden Glory, page 6. 

Okay, the message is coming through.


Then I reached down between the seats looking for something and pulled out an old journal. It fell open.  There, written in my own hand was this:

Psalms 46:10a "Be still, and know that I am God."

"Be Still" 

"and Know"
be assured
fully illuminate your inner man

"That 'I Am' God" 
Who made the universe
Who does not change
Who loves you
Who made a Way for you
Who healed you
Who called you
Who leads you
Who guides you
Who has a plan for you 
Who made you for a purpose
Who makes a way when there seem to be no way. 

Be Still and know I AM God. 

When God speaks, He confirms His words by His very nature. He is good and faithful. I am hard-headed and hard-hearted. This is why I need to hear this three times in one day. Now I need to figure out how to be "still" when all my life I have been a "Charge that Hill, and Take that Mountain" kind of girl. 

This is going to be interesting. 

Join the Conversation: 

Have you got advice on how to be (and stay) still in God's presence?  Share in the comments below. 

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


I Surrender-- Again

Confession Time

I haven't written in days. The mini vacation was nice. Yet, I find myself reluctant to get back into the swing of things. I have used the down time to finish reading a book or two and start a new one.

I spent time with the kids, worked at the church, and found out I have time-management issues. I have heard this before but now I see it in a new way.

Dishes, doctor's appointments, tire buying, clothes washing and many other little chores did not get done in a timely manner. Perhaps it is the time of year. I want to slow down and surrender to the quiet family time this time of year brings.

Perhaps it is more to do with the fact that I am just being lazy.

I used to joke about there being a hidden tattoo on my body that said "Inherently lazy", but I was too apathetic to look for it. Yet, out of the mouth, the heart speaks.

So what am I going to do? I do not know. I do know that I have a song on my heart. Hillsong's new album "Cornerstone" is on my heart, but in particular is this song: "I Surrender".

The old hymn "I Surrender All" played as God dropped the idea of this blog into my heart almost a year ago. It seems appropriate that as the anniversary of this blog's beginning approaches that a similar song is stirring in my heart.

Lord have your way in me.

I just wanted to share this with you today and I hope that it will stir you to surrender to what God has for you and what He wants to do in you.

Join the Conversation: 

How can I pray for you today?

Labels: , , , , , , , ,