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: May 2012


Your Dream: Small Beginnings Big God

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

“Who despises the day of small things?” Zechariah 4:10

I wonder? 

I have been guilty of this. I think there are so many times when we look back (hind sight being 20/20) and say ‘who would have thought all of this would have started like that?’ 

Recently, at my mom-in-love’s 75th birthday party, someone asked her that very question as they looked around at all of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her reply? 

“God did.” 

God is a God of small beginnings. 

The Bible is full of examples of small beginnings. 

· The manger
· A shepherd boy becoming a king
· A widow picking left over grain on the edge of a field 

Everyone starts somewhere. 

Joseph started his journey to greatness in the bottom of a well, cast aside by his family, alone, hungry, in the dark and damp. He had a dream. God gave it to him. His small beginnings were not just a way to keep Joseph humble; they were a way to bring God all the glory. 

There are moments when you will feel the momentum of the Spirit pushing you. You will know that there is something brewing. Change in the air and sparks of creativity and clarity are lighting up your world. 

Then there will be those moments when your but is bigger than your faith. I get it. I have been there. These moments are the important ones. These are the make it or break it moments of your dream. 

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9

More so than the great triumph of getting started, the real victory is in follow through. 

For me I have had plenty of starts. I have started books numerous times, I have started hobbies that never really go anywhere, but at the start I had all the hope and excitement I could muster. I threw myself into whatever project I had going. I became compulsive to the point that I was consumed with the work rather than the process. 

Aesop had something right. “Slow and steady wins the race.” Be the turtle, not the hare. 

Do not get worn down because you get bogged by details. Do not sweat the small stuff. God sees where He has you and where you are going. 

God is not confused. 

His plans for you are the same in your moment of doubt as they were in your moment of clarity. He has not changed his mind about you. 

So do not look around at your small beginnings and mistake them for “smallness”. Your dreams are bigger than you. The only way they will come to pass is by relying on God to add to your humble offering and multiply it into something that brings Him glory. 

Do not despise your small beginning. Get excited. The widow in the field married well and lived happily ever after. The shepherd who became king made mistakes, but God called him a man after His own heart. That manger housed the most amazing gift of all: a Savior for mankind

Small beginnings means there is plenty of room for God to do BIG things. 


Like what you read here? More great content is available several times a week, but I understand how busy you are. That is why I offer a free newsletter that sends you an email of the same great content straight to your inbox! You won't have to worry about missing a thing. I will never share your information with anyone, and if you sign up today, you can get a free copy of my children's eBook The Gardener and the Sapling: A Modern Parable. Click the link below and subscribe now!

Join the Conversation

What is your dream? (Leave a comment below)

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


God is Bigger Than Your "BUT"

Photo credit Creative Commons

Look at the size of her but! 

What have you wanted? What have you focused on? What has stood in your way?

Your But? How big is your But? Because my God is bigger.

If you just thought "But you don't know my circumstances" STOP! There  you go, showing your but again!

Of course I may not know, but God does. 

It is all a matter of perspective. 

When the children of Israel were on the edge of the Promise land, Moses sent 12 spies into the land to figure out what lie ahead. Ten came back with news of giants and other obstacles and only 2 came back with the amazing news of milk and honey! 

Are you a glass half empty or half full person? 
Perspective matters, just ask the rock climber. Climbing the sheer face of the side of a cliff or mountain may seem madness for some, but pure joy for others. Regardless of how you feel about it, climbers all have one thing in common: they have all had that moment of "now what". 

Where do I put my hands now? Is there going to be a place to put my feet in three moves if I follow this line? 

Move a little to the left or the right and the face of the mountain changes. There is a perfect path to climb just inches away from where there was no path before. Perspective. 

If you have ever questioned yourself about stepping out and doing what you have always wanted to do, followed by 'what will people say' or 'yeah, but I don't have this or that' then you are letting your but stand in the way of something great. 

I have been there too!

Right now I am beginning possibly the scariest thing I have ever done: I am writing a book. 

Didn't I already write a book? Yes, yes I did: a children's book. Now I am writing a book that has a totally different feel, a new market for me, and a book that makes me think "who am I to write this?" 

I struggle with my "But" just like anyone else. I am preaching to the choir, soloist Dayna Bickham, pay attention please! 

There is one thing I want to say to myself and to you: 

Those God calls He equips, Those He equips He sends, Those He sends He holds. 

Go for it. Trust that God has given you this dream, He has gifted you with the tools you need to pursue your dream. I bet if you look around, there are even people being lined up to help cheer you on as you chase that dream. Step out. To quote Nike, "Just do it!"  To quote myself, "God's got this!" 

Don't let your big but stop you! 

Buts are like snakes in the grass. You are walking along and everything seems fine, and out of no where a "But" lifts it's ugly little head and you are frozen in your tracks, afraid to move. STEP ON THAT BUT! 
Squash it, grind it to little pieces, chop it's head off! Do what you have to do to get over the objection and on to the objective! Keep going! 

I will. 

Question: What "But" will you kill today? 

Labels: , , , , ,


A Mom Moment: The Pre-Graduation Meltdown

She is graduating! 

I am a little freaked out right now. 

In less than four days, my 16 year old daughter will be graduating early. 

She has earned it; she has worked hard to overcome a learning disability and done four years of high school in one year. By the end of today she should have all her course work done. 

I am proud of her, but I am also a little overwhelmed with the idea that my life is about to change as I know it. 

She is my baby. I remember bringing her home from the hospital and the 2:00 am feedings. Now she is nearly grown and has accomplished so much. She has such a bright future ahead of her. 

This is one of those moments. You know the ones: that moment when I will forever look at her differently and things change forever. 

My role as a mom will be changing in the next few years as well. I will begin the process of letting go. 

I am not sure how to do that. 

I was a horrible mother to her in the beginning. I was demanding, borderline abusive, and mean. It took counseling, prayer, and a lot of love and work to win my daughter. I say win because I had lost her through bad parenting and had to reclaim her as mine and earn a relationship back with her- all in 16 short years. 

Now I cling to the prize fiercely. I was given Sarah by God, and now I must begin to let her go, just a little, and trust God that He has her and knows what is best for her. 

She is only 16. Life is just beginning for her, I am just glad she still needs her mom- at least, for a while. 

This is just one of those moments, and I want to remember it forever. 

Have you had a moment you want to remember forever? Share it with us in the comments below.

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


What a Veteran Looked Like to Me

My Grandfather Wilson was a veteran. 

He never did talk about war to me. 

He was a fisherman and a hugger. The man who taught me to swim off the pier in Lake Chicot. 

He was the one who would venture out into the yard to get me out of the pear tree when I had run out there for fresh pears bare foot and did not want to brave the painful cock-a-burrs on the way back to the house. 

My grandfather wore overalls and welder's hats and smelled sweet and sticky like stale beer and sweat. He made swings on clothes lines and caught fire flies in jars with us. When he died in the eighties, part of my world died too. 

He was barely a man when he braved war, but for his sacrifice and the men and woman who sacrificed before and after him, I want to say thank you. 

Thank you for believing in America. Thank you for risking it all. Thank  you for giving when you did not have to. Thank you for making me safer. Thank you for standing up and changing the world. You made a difference. You are a veteran. You are a hero. 

Do you have a veteran in your life? What is your favorite thing about them? 


Walk the Talk: Learning to Shut Up

Photo Credit:Creative Commons
Out of frustration we “give people a piece of our minds” or we “let it rip”. The convenience store clerk, the toll booth person, the umpire at your kid’s little league baseball game: no one is safe from your wrath when you feel like you have a point to be made. 

I am so guilty of this. 

Once, in my anger, hurt, and frustration with a pastor, I “let it rip” and told him everything I thought of him and the church staff. 

This was not done in love. It was a shouting match in the foyer of the church that cleared the room except for someone on staff there. 

At the time I felt justified. At the time I felt right. At the time, I felt slightly vindicated. 

I told him! 

In reality I was prideful, haughty, contentious, and just plain wrong. 

There were things that needed to “be fixed” in that church, but it was not my place to say so. 

Want to know why? 

Because I am not the HOLY GHOST! 

That’s right. I am not that still small voice that tells people what to do, where to go or how to change. That is God and it is His job to change people, not mine and not yours. 

I was wrong in what I did. 

Here is scripture to back that up: 

Proverbs 10:12 (Amplified) 

“Hatred stirs up contentions, but love covers all transgressions.” 

Proverbs 15:1 (ESV) 

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” 

James 3:13-16 says it plainly: 

“Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here's what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It's the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn't wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn't wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn't wisdom. It's the furthest thing from wisdom—it's animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you're trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others' throats.” 

For me there are three things I need to think about before I speak up when angry. 

1. Is this a kingdom issue? 
2. Is this me just wanting to be right? 
3. What will my speaking do here? Clear things up or muddy the waters more? 

James says “It is the way you live, not the way you talk that counts”. I understand this is harder than is sounds. 

Holding our tongue takes practice and patience and a soft heart. 


When learning something new: try, try, try again. Then, put a little “Umph” into the try and you will get “Triumph”! 


Love keeps going, Love cares for others above even themselves, Love doesn't say “I want that”, Love doesn't strut around, Love doesn’t have a big head. Love doesn’t have to be right all the time, say “me first, or fly off the handle. Love doesn't “get even” or get excited when others fail. 

LOVE DOES take delight in the truth, PUTS UP WITH ANYTHING, Trusts God always and has a positive outlook on life and the world around them. Love does not look back, but keeps going to the end. 

I may have written this in plain English, but the bible said it first

Soft Heart 

“The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.” 

“Good people have good things saved in their hearts. That’s why they say good things. But those who are evil have hearts full of evil, and that’s why they say things that are evil. What people say with their mouths comes from what fills their hearts.” 

So ask God to soften your heart. 

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalms 51:10.

So instead of open mouth and insert foot, I want to close mouth and point foot in the direction that love walks in. How about you? 

Have you ever flown off the handle at someone and then had to go back and apologize?

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


Why I Believe Everyone Needs a Platform!

Confused yet? 

I write about spiritual issues. So why am I so excited about a book that isn't about that? I am excited because Platform: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World has opened me up to a world of possibilities in ministry. 

This book is written by Michael Hyatt, chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishing, author, blogger, and Christian. Michael blogs about intentional leadership and social media at

I got a free copy from Michael in hopes I would review it here, on this site, and to be honest I was thrilled. (I have not been paid to say all these flowery things, I honestly believe them, and fully endorse this book without monetary gain) I poured over this book and took copious notes. 

I wept at the insight Michael has into writers, and I squealed with delight over both the small and big things I can do to improve and grow this ministry: all of which I learned reading this book. 

There are so many things I have done right and many I have done wrong on this blog. Michael has been there too! I identified with him every step of the way because he has been where I am: just starting out. 

Now he speaks to hundreds of thousands every day! I want that! 

But this book is not just for writers! 

This book is for anyone who wants to sell a product, grow a brand, share a message, or just be heard in this noisy world! Since everyone needs to be heard, this means YOU! 

Learn how to: 
· Start with a WOW 
· Prepare to Launch 
· Build your Home base 
· Expand your Reach 
· Engage your Tribe 

I honestly believe every youth pastor, pastor, marketer, musician, artist, actor, writer, or (fill in _______ here) should read this book! 

Get Started NOW!

Buy this book today through midnight May 25th, CDT, and you can receive $375.98 worth of free tools and resources direct from Michael Hyatt, himself. This is not a gimmick! Time for this offer may have passed, but you can still buy a copy here.  I got a free eCopy and I am still investing in a hard copy! I believe in this book that much! 

Don’t you have something that you want to share with the world? 

  • A message? 
  • A talent? 
  • A product? 
  • All three? 

You have something unique to give and a purpose for your life. This book can equip you with practical step by step instructions to get from where you are now to the fulfillment of your dream. 

What are you waiting for? 

I was intimidated at first too. I love to talk, but the idea of marketing my “brand” and message seemed self-aggrandizing. Believe me, I understand your trepidation, but I hope you will buy it anyway. No one can make your dream happen but you. 

You have the talent. You are called with a purpose. Now you need the tools. 

What could you accomplish if you had the Platform?

Labels: , , , , , ,


Facing Your Giants: 6 Steps to Becoming Your Best You

Wow, I love this movie! If you haven't seen it, I suggest you watch the whole thing. Facing the Giants (Sherwood Pictures, Destination Films) was made on $100,000 budget and is not going to win academy awards, but what it lacks in budget and acting, it makes up in heart and message. 

This scene is my favorite. 

Here are the things I want you to take away from this scene today. 

1. You cannot look at the circumstances. Put your head down and just go forward. 
This coach blindfolded Brock for a reason. When we can see what is around us, we focus too much on the limits we give ourselves, the limits others give us, and the reactions of those around us.

2. You have more to give than you think! 
When everything is burning, every muscle, every heartbeat aches, we often stop and say enough, but you can do it. There is more in you than even you know. 

3. Do not give up! Your best is yet to come. 
When we persevere through the challenges, the rewards are more than making it to the end zone. The rewards begin when we understand what we "know" can change. Brock said "if I know we can" at the beginning of this clip. What he needed to know is that he could. He had it in him to go farther, to be more, to push himself and to succeed. The end zone was just the beginning! 

4. We all need a "coach". 
A support system is invaluable. When we feel like giving up, having someone to remind us of the goal can move us forward. "10 more feet, 5 more, you are almost there!" Jesus sees you as you are, yes, but He sees you as God meant you to be. He wants only the best for you and He is leading you, coaching. You can do this, keep going, just a little farther! 

5. People are watching. 
There are those who are waiting for you to fail. Those people you just have to put out of your mind. You need to think about the people who are on the sidelines. The ones who want to go where you are, but are afraid, or doubting. They are watching you. When they see you inch your way to success through amazing circumstances they will become inspired. By doing you are LEADING! 

6. Alright, who's next? 
Share what you learn, coach someone else. Lead by example. God has gifted you, do not waste that gift. Are you a singer, a writer, an artist? Create. Are you an engineer, an administrator, an accountant, then lead in your field. Do not discount what you are passionate about. God has given you these talents and abilities for a reason!

It won't be easy. Brock's muscles burned, his back ached, his heart doubted. BUT HE KEPT GOING! 

What is holding you back? What giant do you face? What is waiting in the end zone for you? Where would you go if you knew that you could? 

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Take Responsibility (for Your Platform!)

Today's blog is written by Dana Pittman and gives you a peek into a book that is changing the way I blog forever! Read what she has to say. 

The problem: You have a product (i.e., book, organization, service, etc.) you want to share in this extremely noisy, overcrowded world. The solution (per Michael Hyatt) is (1) a compelling product and (2) a significant platform. 

“This book [Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World]is all about attracting that audience, turning on the brightest lights you can find, and building passionate loyalty so your audience stays with you through every line, every scene, every act” (Michael Hyatt). 

In the book Michael presents the platform building process in five steps:

1. Start with WOW
2. Prepare to Launch
3. Build Your Home Base
4. Expand Your Reach
5. Engage Your Tribe

The book has 60 chapters. Yes, 60. But much like his blog, they read quick with lists and packed with information. 

I also like that the sections can stand alone. I can easily see myself going back and reading the chapters as I work through the steps. 

As the reader, you feel like Michael sits comfy on your couch or at your desk and walks you through the process--step-by-step. He takes a practical approach to a problem that is heavily addressed with theory, numbers, and somewhat illusive for a non-celeb, small business owner, small publishers…(fill in the blank). 

“It [platform building] is about…finding the most powerful way to getting that message to others who can benefit from it” (Michael Hyatt).

The book captures Michael’s strength as a visionary, a leader and he does not take a haphazard approach to attracting and engaging your potential audience. This book will limit your excuses because he literally walks you through the process. Additionally, you get a great view of how individual components work to affect the whole picture. Meaning, for example, how does using Twitter benefit your overall marketing plan. 

His approach is realistic and what I appreciate most is it wasn't all about throwing money at the problem. It is all about focused work toward reaching and winning over the audience you desire.

I highly recommend this book. I believe it will quickly be your go-to book for building, maintaining and/or expanding your audience.

Dana Pittman is a blogger, a mother, a homeschooler, and a Christian. She blogs at 

Labels: , , , , ,


6 Ways to Combat Stress

She was my first child; my learning curve. 

Sarah was seven, just a small tiny thing, when she had her first seizure. 

I was in the middle of a difficult year in college, in the middle of mid-terms, when that morning changed everything. 

She had been ill in the night. I had not awoken when she had vomited on herself in the early morning hours. I was new in town, hadn’t made many friends, and had just started to flirt with the idea of going back to church after years out in the world. I had no support system nearby. 

My husband worked for a new company and having a sick day was not really an option. I would have to miss midterms and risk failing, or make it work. 

I chose to make it work. 

I called a new acquaintance from church and asked them to watch her for a few hours. When they agreed I was relieved. I drove to meet them and drop off my pale, oddly quiet, sickly girl. As I put her into the other car it happened. She had a grand mal seizure. 

In my arms. 

If you are a parent, then you know the fear and the anguish I felt in that moment. Even now, I tear up at the memory of her face, contorted and pulled oddly to one side. Half of her body was limp and the other half pulled, jerking, struggling in all the wrong angles.   

I had one thing to say in that moment. It is a word I cannot repeat here. EVER. 

I knew what epilepsy looked like. My great grandmother was epileptic, and died having a static seizure. I knew what could be down the road. 

I did not stop, I did not collect $200, I swooped her up, ran back to my car, prayed for all I was worth, and drove to the hospital. 

It was one of the most stressful, fear-filled moments in my life. 

The most stressful moment however, was the one when I realized she had been seizing in the early morning hours while I slept just 20 feet away. 

By herself. 

She could have died, aspirating on her own vomit. I could have lost her and never known she needed me. For me it was a low moment. 

Since then, Sarah has grown out of her epilepsy and has been seizure free for six years now. Of course, there is always a chance she could relapse with a pregnancy or some other severe stressors, but for now she is a healthy 16 year-old and those things are something we acknowledge as future possibilities and then move on. 

Why am I telling you this? 

I am telling you this story because I want you to know that no matter what is going on, that moment of fear and stress will pass. 

Whatever you are going through, as hard, as difficult, or as scary as it may be, life will keep going on. There is only one thing you can control. 


Your words, your actions, your thoughts, these are the battleground right now. 

Here are six things you can do to get through this time without self-destructing physically/emotionally or losing faith: 

1. Get rest. When our bodies are stressed there are more hormones being poured into us. These hormones cause our hearts to beat faster, our muscles to tense up and mess with our digestion. Stress can even mess with sleep patterns. So slow down and get a nap in. The world will not come to a crashing halt while you catch a few moments of rest. 

2. Mind you words. The enemy loves an ambush. What better time to attack than when you are distracted. Remember the bible says give no foothold to the devil. Be careful that your words are faith filled, prayerful, grateful, and kind. 

3. Pray. Prayer allows a rest of a different kind. Emotional and spiritual rest. You need to keep your tank full. Get some face time with God. Get in His presence and let him renew your mind and spirit. 

4. Get physical. Don’t forget to take care of you. Go for a walk, hit the gym for 30 minutes, or do some other physical activity. When under stress our bodies tense up. Muscles need exercise to release lactic acid that can build up and cause those aches and pains you may feel. 

5. Pay attention to what and how you eat. When we are stressed, we are often on the go. Grabbing fast food may seem like a simple solution to your time crunch now, but in the long run, fast food can make the effects of stress harder to overcome. Eat well, taking time to spread out your meals and snacks into small portions of healthy fruits and vegetables. 

6. Celebrate the good. When we are in stressful situations it can seem like nothing is going right. Take the time to pay attention. Look for those moments to be thankful for. A colleague buying lunch, a friend calling at just the right time, or a stranger’s smile can make all the difference if you are paying attention. Stay grateful. 

Remember that no one is perfect. Do not be too hard on yourself during this time and keep in mind that this is just a season. Seasons change. 

How do you like to combat stress?  

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

Life was Life and Death Had a Price

I don't know about you, but this Praise and Worship is amazing. Listen to the words of this song. It is less than 10 minutes. Let the words and the message in them wash over you.

There is freedom and in Jesus there is life! Celebrate that with some one on one time with God right now. Put aside all the stuff going on and just worship. 

Our God is good, He is faithful. He loves you where you are and wants only the best for you! 

So, turn the volume up, sit up and take notice of what the Spirit is doing and worship! 

What did this song mean to you? 

I have no rights to this, it is the property of John Mark McMillan. No Copyright infringement is intended. 

Labels: , , , ,


Finding Your Voice

Mr. Special on AGT/NBC

Why We Need People

Last night, as I watched America’s Got Talent on NBC, I was saddened by something most people laughed at. 

Mr. Special. 
This 50-something man, dressed like an Angry Bird ™ gave a poor performance and a lackluster audition. He obviously was not going to make it through to the next round. 

The thing that saddened me was not his talent (or lack of) but his heart. He stood there in front of the audience and judges, with his heart on his sleeve, screaming to be heard. 

“I need to be heard, I need to be heard!” he barked into the microphone over and over. 

We all need to be heard, don’t we? 

That is why we need people. 

The Importance of a Voice

I am a loud person. My friends all know it and expect it. My family is used to it, but the public is unprepared for the volume of my laugh. If you need me to whisper, you better not be asking for a secret because everyone will hear me. 

At church one time, after a particularly funny delivery of the message, a new member of the church came up to me after the service and asked me how much I got paid to be the laugh track for the pastor? 


I have tried to pull back the volume, but never the joy that bubbles up. Why? 

Because that is my voice: it is who I am. 

Stop Trying to be Heard and Just Serve

We all need people, we all want to be heard, but this life is not about you. It isn’t about me. It is about other people. 

When we lay our lives and our egos aside, real love happens. 

You know that kind of love that doesn’t boast, or crowd others? The love that lifts others up, and is always kind; you know, THAT love? 

I Corinthians 13 says this:
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

Real love serves others because that is what Christ showed us by his example. He loved and he served

A quiet man from a backwater town, with hardly anything to call his own on this earth, Jesus served and loved others and his voice; his words are still being heard today. 

Be Iron

We are meant to be the light of the world. Drawing people to us not just by our words, but by the warmth and authenticity of our love we serve with purpose: to win the lost. 

In the middle of all that serving is when we emerge as who we were designed to be. Serving is work, but as we get busy helping others, they are helping us. 

The bible says iron sharpens iron

 Like taking steel wool to a blade, with careful, deliberate application, it sharpens the blade, removing the rust, and buffing it to a high shine. 

Serving people comes down to one thing: relationship. 

Start where you are, with those people around you that you are closest to. Serve them. Love them. 

Then you will notice, that somehow, without you realizing it, people are noticing, they are seeing the changes that are happening in you and they are listening to what you have to say. 

Call it serving, favors, love, or work, if it is done with a cheerful heart, it can change the world! 

How can you serve someone today?

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


Five Steps to Eureka

Do Not Let the Moment Go

A light bulb went on!

You had a Eureka moment and something snapped into place like never before.

When little breakthroughs happen it is important that you write these down, make a video, create a memento of some kind, or otherwise memorialize it.


Because in the next dark moment of doubt, you will need to pull that moment out and look at it.

Revelations 12:11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony” 

Building Up Your Faith

Faith is like an under developed muscle that has to be exercised in order to grow. How do we build up that faith muscle?

We strengthen it little by little, line upon line.

Recently I was reading and meditating on all the things God was showing me when I had my Eureka moment. I immediately began writing it down. But I needed more than just a journal entry. I needed a marker. Like Jacob at the ladder.

So I began making Post Its™ that had a 2 word phrase that meant something to me and I plastered my house with them. 

 In my room, at my computer, on my bathroom mirror, the fridge, the fireplace, all over I posted these markers.

These things will act like faith motivators. I will see them and remember the moment God spoke that thing to my heart. 


How Jacob Did It

Jacob was not expecting to go to bed in the middle of nowhere with a rock as a pillow and have an experience with God.

But God will meet you where you are. He has plans for you and in order for you to succeed you need to be on the same page with Him.

That is what Jacob’s dream was all about. God already had a covenant (contract) with Jacob’s dad, but Jacob was being brought in. 

Here are the five steps Jacob took that we can apply to our lives in those Eureka moments.
1 · He needed the dream in order to obtain a vision for his life. (Eureka!)

Without a vision God’s people perish.

2 · He recognized God in that moment.

It wasn’t just the late night pizza and coffee combo. God spoke to him and Jacob knew immediately! (Do Not Doubt!)

3 · He memorialized the moment

Jacob knew that this moment was a pivotal one. He took the stone and made it a pillar. A pillar is more than rock; it holds something greater than itself up. In Jacob’s case, this pillar was his faith in God’s promise.

4 · He named that moment

Jacob knew that giving things a name is a powerful faith tool. He called the place “Beth El” (Bethel) The place God dwells. This is the most prophetic and perfect name. God began his promise with Jacob here, and fulfilled it in Bethlehem with the birth of Jesus (whose name means God with us).

5 · He made a vow to remember

He would return to the place that changed his life forever. He would remember it and know that no matter what circumstanced said his life had meaning. God had a plan.

What about You?

God is not a man, He cannot lie. He has been the same since before time. He makes plans and guess what?

He has a plan for you!

Ask Him to show you. Seek God first above everything. When you least expect it, you will have that Eureka moment. Maybe you already have. Have you memorialized it or did you discount it as a pipe dream?

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.

Matthew 6:33

What is one Eureka moment you have had that changed your life forever? 

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Does Social Media Affect Your Walk With Christ?

I am a self-professed geek! 

I love the internet, gadgets, and social media. 

If you have somehow come across this blog and do not understand social media then let me explain. Social Media is made up of communities like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Pintrest, MySpace, and many other sites

Your use of these sites is self-determined and voluntary. Like anything, it can be over-used. Each community has it’s own purpose, and there are benefits to each site. I do not use all, though I have tried every one at some time or another. 

With the world becoming more and more digital, soon there will not be any generation that is not tech savvy, though usage declines with age

So in a world were digital media is on the rise, and we continue to use things like smart phones, tablets, and laptops do we have an obligation to impact this digital age for Christ? 

For me the answer is YES! 

Facebook is littered with “Like if you Love Jesus” messages, and there are Twitter accounts dedicated publishing a scripture an hour, but are these things effective? 

Recently, I ran across a blog post that said the author was “criticized by a pastor for promoting my blog on Twitter and Facebook. He said these sorts of actions made me guilty of self-promotion”. 

Then I read in Michael Hyatt’s new book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, (more on that later) that Twitter actually made him more aware of his online reputation and impact. 

So I want to ask you this, how does social media impact your Christian walk?

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Happy Mother's Day

If it weren't for you, who would we be? 

Happy Mother's Day to all of the woman who have raised us, nurtured us, and strengthened us just by being who God called you to be. 

Our lunches were always made, our clothes cleaned, our friends welcomed, and you did it so often without a thank you. So thanks. 

If you aren't a mom, honor one today. Give a widowed mom a hug, give a single mom a hand, and call your mom if you haven't already.

Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises he 
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
If you grew up without a mother, God will and probably has brought a mother figure in your life. Call her and honor her today for all she has poured into you over the years. 

Be blessed, be a blessing, and remember that honor is a verb.  

Can you share one memory of your mom today? 

Labels: , , , , ,


Have You Lost Hope?

My daughter had given up hope. 

She had learned in the last few years just how financially strapped we had become and thought to herself "there is no way I will get a Kindle for my birthday".  We had said no when she asked. We knew we couldn't afford one. I had one that was a few years old, but next to my kids, my phone and my Kindle were my most prized possessions.

Then, I decided, that giving my daughter hope again was more important than a thing. I cleaned the Kindle up, a friend bought a skin, we put it back in the original packaging (my husband obsesses about keeping the boxes of everything!) and wrapped it up.

The look on her face was amazing.

"Are you for real?" was the first thing she asked.

We were and in that instant, her hope was restored.

What the Bible Says 

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.   Proverbs 13:12 (KJV)

If you have lost hope, you are in a dangerous place. Lack of hope is disheartening. It will cause you to doubt, and make you vulnerable to despair. 

Lamentations, (the book of mourning) tells us this: no matter how bad the circumstance, there is always reason to hold onto hope. 

I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed.I remember it all—oh, how well I remember— the feeling of hitting the bottom.But there's one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up.They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness!I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left.
Now my daughter's circumstances were not all that dire. She has a roof over her head, two parents that love her, friends, and so much more. Maybe she even has things you don't have. Your circumstances may be mounting up and crowding in on you. You may feel overwhelmed and without recourse or hope. 

Do not give up!  

God's mercy is new today! Just for you. 

Job lost everything. Every piece of livestock, every acre of land, his house, and every child. All of them were gone. He had reason to despair. He had reason to give up. Then he became ill. So ill his friends and wife were baffled by it all. Job was a righteous man. He had done good things all his life, including loving and serving God. Why did these horrible things happen? 

Because he was afraid they would, and the enemy hit Job in his most vulnerable area- his family. His friends questioned him. His wife begged him to curse God and die. To her, nothing could have been worse. She had lost hope. But not Job. 

Job had hope that the God who he had served so faithfully all his life, (the one who had kept and blessed him all those years) would again save him. 

"Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him" 

Hope brings us alive. When we dream of the future, hope bubbles up like a fountain of life. When I think of the things God has done for me in the past, I know my future is  brighter than anything I could actually dream up. I have hope. 

What gives you hope? 

Labels: , , , , , ,


Meet Michael Hyatt

I have not shared with you any new Ministry Highlights because in all honesty, I have not come across any recently that just gave me a “wow” experience. 

This is not a ministry per se, but God has used Michael Hyatt to minister to me, and I have definitely been wowed! As a Christian and former CEO of the oldest publisher in the US and the leading Christian publisher (Thomas Nelson) Michael knows his way around writing. 

He has a blog, tweets with regularity and to great advantage, and has a speaking career that has grown so much in recent years that he now speaks and writes full time (exactly what I want to do!). 

Michael lives out his purpose in Christ and the fruit of his life has been like a feast for me. He speaks and writes about leadership, productivity and social media. Michael's latest foray in these areas is the book Platform

I am part of a small group of about 100 reviewers (out of the 400,000 readers of his blog and the nearly 800 that applied) that have been given an early copy of Platform

I am learning so much about strengthening this site and my voice so that I can deliver my message to you with clarity, with focus, and with power. 

In the upcoming week I will finish reading this book and will review it here on A Year in the Spiritual Life. My hope, as is Michael’s, is that you would buy the book (which will be priced perfectly for launch week between May 21 through May 25) so that it can climb to the top of the New York Best Seller’s list. 

I am adding a link to Michael’s blog on the “Worth a Look” section to the right. I hope you check it out, and become a fan as I am. 

Are you a fan of an author or speaker? Share with us who you like so we can check them out too!

Labels: , , , , , , , ,



The Question We All Ask 

Why? Why me? Why not me? Why her? Why him? Why now? Why not now? We have all asked God the one question: why? Why do bad things happen to good people? 

I know I have. When the hurt of my parent’s divorce was too much, I would ask why. When my daughter got diagnosed with epilepsy I asked why. I know when parents lose children why is a question they have too. When we face loss or hardship “why” is the most often asked question. A close second would be, “if only”. 

Questioning God is okay. 

The Psalmist David did it and God called him a man after His own heart. We just can’t stay in that place of questioning. 

My pastor brought this subject up in our Wednesday night Bible Study and I want to share some of the things that were said, and some things I heard in my spirit when we were discussing this age old question “why?”. 

Psalm 13 For the music leader: a song of David.(CEB) 

1 How long will you forget me, Lord? Forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long will I be left to my own wits, agony filling my heart? Daily? 2 How long will my enemy keep defeating me? 3 Look at me! Answer me, Lord my God! Restore sight to my eyes! 4 Otherwise, I’ll sleep the sleep of death, and my enemy will say, “I won!” My foes will rejoice over my downfall. 5 But I have trusted in your faithful love. My heart will rejoice in your salvation. 6 Yes, I will sing to the Lord because he has been good to me. 

Sometimes when I read this passage or ones like it I wonder; was this man bipolar? He goes from despair to rejoicing so quickly, but then again don’t we all do this, just in the opposite order? I know I have gone from happy and rejoicing to despair in no time flat before. It doesn't mean I am bipolar, it means I am human. 

The Psalmist has it right here. 

We can question, (like he does in the first two verses) and we can petition (as he does in the second two verses) and then we need to remember how well taken care of by our Father we really are. We need to recall all the things He has done and rejoice in those things

First, we overcome by the blood of Jesus and the word of our testimony. Secondly, when we pray in faith, believing, then we ask and we receive. The answer is on the way, just believe. 

What if the answer is no? 

What then? You Stand. No one knows better than Jesus what it is like to hear “no” to a prayer. 

In the garden, before the soldiers came, Jesus prayed. With so much fervor that he bled drops of blood. He prayed this: Let there be another way to save the world, “Let this cup pass” from me. Thank God the Father said no! In saying no to Jesus God said yes to all of us! In that one “No” He made a way for salvation, healing and victory for everyone: through Jesus. 

God told Moses no when Moses asked permission to cross into the Promise Land. This is what God said: “…and the Lord said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.”

Sometimes, the answer is no. 

That is just the way it is. 

Being a Christian is not a solution to all your problems. We don’t have a wand to wave over our issues and they magically disappear just because we asked God for something. Trust in the Lord: voluntarily, not begrudgingly, faithfully, not here a little and there a little. 

It’s Raining NOW! 

So when trouble comes, and it will, (it rains on the just and the unjust) remember that our victory is in what Jesus did, not in whether or not we feel better after a prayer. 

Our victory is not in the immediate relief of our pain, but in the fact that we can petition God ourselves and no longer need intermediaries. 

Our victory is in the fact that Jesus already defeated Satan and all we have is a little time on this earth, and all our problems will go away and we will stand in heaven before the throne of God worshiping Him and reveling in His mercy and goodness. 

The Psalmist David did not have his answer yet. But he knew the answer was on the way. He began rejoicing, because he knew that despite what he faced in that moment, God was faithful. God had always answered before, and he trusted that the answer was on the way. 

Be Courageous. Ask why, but don’t forget to trust. God grants peace in the storm

Join the Conversation:  

Have you ever asked why before? Can you tell us about it? Leave a comment below. 

Labels: , , , , ,