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

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


Doing versus Being: The Mary/Martha Question

photo credit: Creative Commons


This is a BIG problem for me. 

I turn on the computer to write and the next thing I know I am playing a game, watching a video on YouTube and checking my Facebook. 

Life is full of distractions. 

Kids, spouses, broken down cars, illness....I could go on, but you get the point. 

What is important? What is essential? 

Mary and Martha learned this lesson from Jesus himself. Martha was distracted. Martha was busy cooking, cleaning, preparing and in general serving her guests (Jesus and the crew) while Mary just wanted to spend time with her friend and Lord. Jesus said Mary got it right. Martha missed the mark. 

Been there. Done that. Didn't even get a T-shirt. 

Recently, talking to a friend, we discussed the "busy work" of ministry. He kept saying "I've seen more done with less." He meant that our bulletins, video productions, and other "stuff" of ministry are not the things that change lives, but Jesus is. An encounter with God is what grabs our attention and keeps it: not the stuff we get handed before a service starts. Sometimes the "production" of ministry can be a distraction. 

So why do we get caught up in the doing, when getting into God's presence the thing we should be seeking. 

I know I risk sounding a little too "zen", but we are humans and we need to be a little more "be"ing (human be-ing).  

We should be getting into His presence and just being ourselves. All that entails. The good, the bad and the ugly. Let God change us from the inside out. He knows when we are "faking" it for everyone else anyway, right? 

What people see, (the busy work- the distracting things) has nothing on the time we spend in our Father's presence. It has nothing on communing with God in spirit and in truth. It is putting on a show. Real life lived in God's presence is more important than living with the stuff you have or think you should have as a Christian. 

So let go of the distractions for a moment and really just be. Welcome God's presence and just sit there at his feet for a moment. Choose what is vital and important and let the busy work go. 

Now, how does that feel? 

Join the Conversation

Are you easily distracted? 


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Before and After

The goodness and newness of God 

Too many people think God is mean, and unfair. I know He is sweet, and loving, and fair and kind and holy. A holy God demands righteousness. On our own we cannot be righteous enough. 

On our own we are like filthy rags. No amount of self-help, or self-actualization will change that. We are not capable on our own to reach God. 

This is why He made a way. A bridge between Him and us. This is why He sent Jesus to us. In Jesus Christ, we can be forgiven of our filth and cleansed spiritually. This renewal cannot be explained in words. It is supernatural. But the effects can be measured some. 

Before I knew Jesus, I was lost. After Jesus, I am found. 

Before I was hard. I am softer now. Before Jesus I was mean. Now I live with more compassion. Christ changes us from the inside out. 

Before Jesus I was a zero waiting for a hero. I was nothing. But God saw I could be more. HE made me for more. He made you for more too. 

God adds value where there was none because He loves. He loves us like a Father should love. Completely, wholly, and with undying devotion God chases us. He is unrelenting. He is faithful. 

He will never leave me. He will never hurt me. He will always be my answer, because He is my source. I want more of Him than anything else in this world. 

He wants us too. He chose us. He loves us with a holy jealousy. A righteous concern over our love and well being- that kind of holy jealousy. He is holy and he wants a holy people. We can only be holy as he is holy. When we surrender...when I surrender to all he is and has for me, then I am continually being made holy, like Him. 

Not so I can lord it over others, but so I can shine the light of His glory and draw men and woman, young and old to him. His heart is for us. He is not against us. He loves us. He cares. He sees everything and He waits on us to come to him and call on him.
"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." Acts 2:21

This is what I know. My God is good. He is kind. His mercy is new every morning. He is my home. He is my love. He is my life. 

"O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusts in him." Psalms 34:8

 Join the Conversation: 

There is no place I would rather be than in God's presence, as one of His. What about you? 

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NO MORE LIES Part 10: Stop the 'Lie' Cycle

Today is the last installment in this Ten-Part series "No More Lies" and I think it is the biggest lie yet. 

Lie 10: I don't lie. 

Whether in small ways or big ones I have battled with lying my whole life. After all, we live in a broken world whose prince is the father of all lies

When I was a kid, if I feared consequence, I lied. If I wanted attention, I lied. If I was ashamed of myself or someone else, I lied. If I forgot my homework, I lied. If I wanted something, I lied. 

My competitive nature did not help this tendency. 

At twelve I was a gangling girl who'd rather play sports than with dolls. One day, at softball practice, I got caught in a lie. I do not know where this lie came from, or why I told such an extravagant or obvious lie, but I did. The other girls were whining about how bad they had it and I had to one up them. So I opened my mouth and out popped a lie so bad I am a little ashamed to tell you. 

I said "My dad was so mad at me once he chased me around the kitchen with a knife.


But, I thought it had a sense of flare and was sufficient to be the most dramatic thing said that day. In other words, I topped all the other stories those girls were telling and that meant I had won.  

Except I hadn't. 

When my dad came to pick me up from practice he was surrounded by well-intentioned and extremely concerned parents. As he should of been if what I had said was true... but it wasn't. The shame he must of felt for being lied about was probably completely overshadowed by his righteous anger....or at least I imagine that is how he felt. As a parent myself now, I think that is the least of how I would feel. 

That is the kind of stuff I pulled as a kid. As an adult, those kinds of "whoppers" became less of a problem and were replaced by something more sinister. The little insidious lies that became part of my lore, my "back story" and then those horrible little lies I told myself. 

"It won't matter if you eat this whole bag of chips, you are an adult. You can do what you want." or "What right does your husband have to tell you what to do? You are a grown woman." 

Lies like these mask themselves as "independence" and "individuality", but they are dangerous. When I choose these lies over truth I am choosing death over life. 

Choose Life

"This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." Deuteronomy 30-19-20 

I may not be a child of Israel, but I am a child of God, and God never changes. His character and very nature is love and truth. When I lie I am counteracting the very nature of God, which He put on the inside of me when I accepted Christ. 

So how do we stop this cycle? 

The answer is in those verses above. 

1) WE CHOOSE - this is harder than it sounds, but obviously it can be done, or we would not have received free will in the first place. God has always given us the choice. He has always wanted us to choose Him, because He is life. 
2)  LOVE GOD - this means taking the time to get to know Him and spending time lavishing your love on Him. Spend time in prayer and worship. Spend time reading the Word. We are blessed unlike the generations before Christ in that we have the Spirit of God dwelling in us. This allows us to know God like never before. By communing with God we love him, but more so we love Him by loving others and sharing His love. 

3) LISTEN TO HIS VOICE- I just touched on this, but it needs to be said again. THE SAME SPIRIT THAT RAISED CHRIST FROM THE DEAD DWELLS IN YOU. There is nothing that you cannot face because the very Spirit of God dwells in you. Life and truth are in your spiritual DNA now. By choosing to listen to the voice of God, we stop listening to the lies of the enemy and the lies we tell ourselves. We become free from them and dependent on God. This is what is called a "Mystery" because in Christ real freedom means complete dependence and surrender to God. 
4) HOLD FAST- The world will bombard you. The enemy will try and shake you. Hold fast. Hold fast the profession of your faith. Stand tall knowing that God is your Father. He is faithful. His love never fails. God may not remove you from your circumstances, but He will give you the strength to get through them. This is  one way to bring God the glory: by doing the hard thing and taking it on the chin in faith.  Knowing that God has our lives in His hands, we can trust and hold fast against any storm or fiery dart that is flung our way. 

Join the Conversation

True Confessions Time: I came clean about one of my lies. What about you? What lie have you told you want to "come clean" about right now? Tell us your story in the comments below.  


If you liked this you may like the rest of the series. Here are the links for the other posts: 

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Yeah, I am "borrowing" the Top 10 from a popular late night show on Television, but I have to say this week it is worth it. I hope you enjoy your holiday and for those of you that take advantage of the Black Friday deals, be safe and have fun! 


I am thankful for another book review of The Purpose of Chosen. It is nice when other people like your work. The launch is going slowly, but I wrote a book! How can I not be grateful for that? 


I am thankful for tow truck drivers who do not try and run me over. This was in fact, in question yesterday and that whole story will be for another post for another day. Suffice to say that it was traumatic and I am still recovering 


I am thankful for budgets. I can hear some of you groaning right now, but for the majority of my married life we did not live with one and we were miserable with money and over money way more than we should have been. Now when my husband and I work out a budget for the next two months together I have peace about knowing what I cannot plan, spend, and or do because it really tells me what I CAN plan, spend and do. The freedom of this simple act and the discipline to follow it is one of the most freeing experiences of my life and it has happened this year. This Christmas season will not be about stress, but about "bless"ing others. Thank you Lord! 


I am thankful for my home. We are renters. In this economy that may seem crazy, but owning a home (in this tax climate in the US) may be more crazy for some than renting. Regardless of how you may feel about renting versus owning, this will be our second Thanksgiving here and our third Christmas and I am loving how at home we truly feel here. The house is in a great neighborhood on a cul-de-sac, and minutes from my kid's school. The rent is extremely cheap as well, so Thank YOU Lord for your favor! 


I am thankful for my blog. This year I started this blog. It began in January and it was something I did to obey God. Less than 30% of bloggers actually stick to blogging more than three months, so I feel honored and a little proud (the good satisfied-with-my-work-ethic kind of pride) of myself. Through this blog I have met incredible people, gained friends from every walk of life imaginable and written a book like I always dreamed of doing. By obeying God in a "little" thing back in January, I have had a year of blessings beyond my wildest imaginations. 


I am thankful for you. You are in fact one of my top five things! I cannot type another word without thanking my Father for you. You have read my blog, encouraged me, challenged me, prayed for me, and laughed and cried with me. You are a benefit of my obedience to God. The impact you have had on me and the other readers of this blog can only be fully measured when we receive our great reward. Thank you for being a part of my life and my ministry. 


I am thankful for my church. Now, no church is perfect. If it was, it would be spoiled the minute we showed up, right? But my church family is kind, welcoming, open and giving. It is an honor to attend there, worship there, laugh there, volunteer there and grow there. My pastor is a great communicator with a huge heart for people, a great wife and kids and a decent sense of humor. The staff is down to earth and I never feel out of place. It has become HOME too and I am so glad my Father has planted us there. 


I am thankful for my kids. Sarah (16) and Connie-Lyn (14) are the biggest challenge/blessing that I have ever received. Talk about a mixed bag! One minute I want to pull their hair out and the next I am laughing, loving, and learning with them what it means to be a parent, friend, teacher, mentor, instructor, policeman, authoritarian, and tons of other things that make my head want to explode! No one save the Holy Ghost can strip me so bare as my children. They expose me for the lack luster parent I am on a regular basis and make me hit my knees in prayer more than any other single issue in my life. Because of them I have grown as a person and my life has been so richly blessed. They fill my heart with love and gratitude in equal measure. 


I am thankful for my husband Randy Bickham! When I met the man I have spent the last 18 and 1/2 years with, I thought he was a bit dorky. Truth be told, he was. But he is the most loyal, forgiving, gracious and giving man I know. My exact opposite in so many ways he balances me. God gave me a miracle when He brought me Randy. Someone who loves me,  leads me, challenges me, and corrects me, my husband is a wonderful friend, lover, provider and father. My life would be unimaginable without him, and I thank Daddy-God for the perfect fit of a mate for me. 


My Father. God is so good. His mercy is new every morning. His love never fails. He provides food to eat, shelter to sleep, seed to sow, and increase to grow. I am thankful for His love, His kindness, His faithfulness and His grace. I have messed up so many times and in so many ways and my Lord still loves, still forgives and still sings over me. Without God, nothing is possible, but with Him all things are possible. He is amazing. 
I could go on and on. I could fill volumes of books extolling His goodness. Maybe another day.... 

Enjoy your holiday, and be blessed as you are a blessing. Count it all joy and claim your Victory in Christ today! 

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Join the Conversation: 

What are you thankful for?  

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No More Lies Part 9: "What do you say?"

Lie #9:  I am grateful...enough

When my kids were small I would always ask them this question after they received a gift: "Now, what do you say?" 

The answer of course was "Thank you." 

We expect gratitude when we give gifts, but are we very grateful as a people? 

'Tis the Season....

This season is all about being grateful. Yet, when I think about it, I feel I fall short. 

I have so much to be grateful for yet I find myself complaining about the stupidest things. 

The internet is slow....I complain. 

I have a book get published, and sales are slow...I complain. 

My kids have attitudes about cleaning their rooms...I complain. My husband forgot to take the trash out....I complain. 

Instead I should be grateful that I have is the way I minister and talk with you. I should be grateful I have a published work, and let God give the increase....

My kids and husband are definitely something to be grateful for and I should show them and God that on a regular basis. 

I fall short.

Gratitude is Paramount to Our Relationship With God

First God is our Source. Psalms says " For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my trust from my youth and the source of my confidence." 

In God we find our supply. "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19 

If we are not grateful we displace God in our lives. If all we do is ask ask ask and never thank thank thank then we make God equal to Walmart or Santa Clause. 

He gives to us because he loves us. (John 3:16

This is why the word says "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name." Psalms 100:4

When the people of Israel were not grateful God called them "stiff-necked". Lord, please forgive me if I have been stiff-necked. 

When Paul began the closing of his letter to the church in the book of Colossians he says this: 

"Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts." Colossians 3:16

My Prayer

Father let me always have a song of gratitude in my heart. Forgive me for believing the lie that I am grateful enough. Soften my heart and may thanksgiving always be on my lips. Let this scripture be my life...

"That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works." Psalms 26:7

I thank you for your faithfulness to me and your love and mercy. Thank you for everything that you have so richly bestowed on me and mine and help me Lord to never forget your goodness. 

Join the Conversation: 

What are you grateful for? Leave your comment below. 

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No More Lies: Part 8: "I'm a Nobody"

The Life of a Creative

You may have noticed I have written a book. This undertaking was a big deal for me. Nerve racking only begins to cover the whole process. If you are creative, you may understand what this is like. The moments before you "ship" your creation are exciting. 

The anticipation builds and the nerves do too. Then there is the moment you "reveal" your great work to the world. Will people "get" it? Will people "get" you? 

Then, you begin to doubt. You doubt yourself, your ability, your calling, and your talent. That no-man's land between shipping your work and people consuming (buying) your work wreaks havoc on your confidence. 

In comes lie #8: "I'm no one special, so who would listen/read/watch me?" 

Counteracting the Lie

This lie is hideous. If we believe it, creative person or not, then we run the risk of denying our value. The value of any one thing (or person) is not in what someone charges for it, but in what someone is willing to pay for it. God paid the ultimate price. He laid all of creation, the very universe, on the line and gave his only son (John 3:16) to save us. Our value was that high. 

So I must believe I am who God says I am.  
  • Luke 4:18 says I am called to preach, lay hands on the sick, and set the captive free
  • Matthew 21:21 says I will be able to do what Christ did and more

O Wretched Worm That I Am... 

There is a part of me that remembers that verse in Matthew 19 that says "there is none good but God" and I am immediately down on myself again. But, and this is something we would do well to remember, the enemy knows the Bible too. He will always lie with a bit of the truth mixed in. 

Tricky little demon. 

The whole passage is about God being holy and our lack of goodness to meet him unless we give up ourselves and follow Jesus. 

When I know this I can become free from the lie "I am not valuable".

The thing that gives me value was the price God paid (his son's sacrifice) and the Holy Spirit living on the inside of me. 

The same Spirit that hovered over the face of the earth to create (Genesis 1:2) now lives on the inside of me. Creating newness and inspiring me to create too. He is the One who brings life (1 Peter 3:18 and John 16: 12-14) and He is the One who calls to the deepest parts of me.(1 Corinthians 2:10) He knows me like no one else. He sees enough value in me to choose me to dwell in. (1 Corinthians 6:19)

My Prayer

Father, forgive me for believing a lie. Help me become rooted and grounded in your truth. I am special, because I am yours. You are my Father, I am your child. You have called me out of darkness and into the light. Let your light shine on all the ugly parts of me that cling to the darkness: the lies that keep me held back from fully experiencing the life you called me to. Father I believe, now help my unbelief. Strengthen me and make me sure of you. I place my trust in you. In Jesus Name, the name above all names, in whom we have VICTORY this very day, Amen. 

Join the Conversation

Have you ever struggled with a lie about your own personal value to people or to God? 

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No More Lies Part 6 & 7: "Good Wifey"

I have been married 18 years and sometimes I still don't get it... 

I still don't get that I am not the band-aid  The fixer: the solution to all his problems. 

Meet lie #6 in my life: If my husband is not happy, I should "fix" it. 

The flip side of this is lie #7: If my husband is unhappy, then it is his problem. 

I have been at one extreme or the other several times in our marriage. I've had many opportunities to swing like a pendulum between them. The problem is that lie #6 goes back to being a control freak and lie #7 leaves no room for compassion or partnership. 

I married a soft-spoken, laid back guy. Opposites do attract! 

The problem with that is sometimes I need a firm hand. Not that I believe a man should lord over a wife, but I do believe a man is the spiritual head of a family and any relationship you enter into, even friendships, should make you sharper, not duller. So a marriage should make you stronger, and make you more capable of facing life. It should not be a "ball and chain", but should free you to really begin to flourish into the person you were made to be. 

"And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12 KJV

 What I mean is I need someone to bounce ideas off of who isn't afraid to tell me no. I need someone who reminds me of the call of God on my life when I am discouraged or upset. I need someone that reminds me that anger may be a legitimate emotion, but acting in anger is not a good course of action. Between my husband and the Holy Spirit, I have the best teammates for life I could possibly have.

Likewise, I am to be the same for my husband. After all, this is not the Dayna Show. I should be someone who he can trust with his secrets, laugh with, cry with, pray with, and stand with against any storm.

When my husband, (who battled depression for years) had to be hospitalized for depression  ten years ago, I went into "fix it" mode. I wanted to do everything I could to make him happy. Until I realized his joy is not my responsibility. His happiness, or lack of it, is temporary and joy is a spiritual fruit. I was not the one in control of that....he was. This was a freeing thought, but a scary one too.

If I could not "fix" him then that means I might have to live with his humanity. I might have to walk in grace more. I would have to love him the way he was. That was scary, because no matter how much a girl hears "you can't fix a man" we all to some degree believe we can.

Now what? 

Now that I know it is not my job to "fix" him, I have to be careful not to become callous to his emotional needs in an effort to not live lie #6. If I am too stand-offish, then I run the risk of making him feel alone and isolated. Then I begin to live lie #7.... 

The old saying is "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" but honestly, if Daddy ain't happy, Momma won't be happy either. I have to live with intent when it comes to my marriage, after all, a strong marriage is the foundation to a strong family. If Randy and I are in sync, then it is easier for our family to be in sync. 

Here are three things I think are important and will help me balance my life with my husband: 

1. Communication - I am a talker, but not a great listener. I can work on listening to him when he expresses his thoughts/emotions about things/situations in our life. 
2. Prayer - We need to pray together. This time with each other and God helps build unity. This will help eliminate any confusion down the track about what direction we are headed or how to get there. 
3. Create Moments of Intimacy- I am not talking just sex, though that is very important. (For a great blog on that check here)  I am talking about conveying my love and honor of him in his particular love language. For him, that is quality time and words of affirmation. I want to make sure he feels loved and fueled. 

My Prayer 

Father, help me to be a better wife. A wife who loves completely, with Christ-like grace and mercy and who lives with intention when it comes to my marriage. Help me be patient. Help me remember that you are in control, and let me have a good and Godly attitude toward the man you have given me. In the name of Jesus, Amen. 

Join the Conversation: 

Do you have any helpful hints on a happy marriage? Share them in the comments below! 


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Understanding My Calling: a Discover Your Purpose Moment

Time Out 

I want to take a moment, just a little break from the "No More Lies" series. I will get back to it, but I have to say something.

I love Jesus. I will not be ashamed of that. I will not back down from that. I will not apologize for it. 

This week I have been called a hater, a racist, a heretic, a liar, deluded and yesterday I was called mean for posting things about Jesus on the internet.

Yesterday I wrote about rejection: I said "I am supposed to count it a blessing when people hate me for the gospel's sake.  But sadly, that is not the kind of rejection I have felt and dealt with the most in my life." 

I guess I was wrong. 

As I began recounting to my husband some of the things that have happened I realized something: I am called to teach and preach. Not because I desire to be a teacher, but because the love God has bestowed to me is too much to hold back.

I tell others about Jesus because I cannot contain it. I tell others about my personal struggles and life because it is an example of God's grace at work in my life. By sharing my story, my hope is that someone will recognize their self between the lines.

Do I have the Right to Teach? 

So I have also been told I am in direct violation of God's word. That no woman should teach. 1 Timothy 2:12 "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent." But when we cherry pick out one or two verses we do not get a full picture of who God is and what He has to say about us. We have to look at the overall character and intent of God and we must look at context.

The Character and Intent of God

In Genesis it says, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

Galatians 3:28 says, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

Hebrews 13:21 says, "Strengthen (complete, perfect) and make you what you ought to be and equip you with everything good that you may carry out His will; [while He Himself] works in you and accomplishes that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ (the Messiah); to Whom be the glory forever and ever (to the ages of the ages). Amen (so be it)." (AMP)

Philippians 1:6 says "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."

Deborah was a judge. Mary Magdalene was the first to spread the word of his resurrection. Priscilla had a church in her house.  Actually, not only did she teach at home, she taught those who wished to teach.

In Titus Paul instructs women to teach. Is this one of those contradictions in the Bible that people are always throwing at Christians as an excuse to not believe? Yes...and no.

It does seem to conflict, but let's look at Paul not as a saint, not as perfect (only Christ is perfect) but as a man of his times and culture. In a word: fallible. He says "I do not", not "God does not".


When Paul instructed women to be silent, you have to remember how services were conducted and what the tradition was.

Here is an excerpt from a great website: Bible Headquarters.
"As stated previously, in Yeshuas' time, women participated fully in the religious life of the community. This included participation in synagogue services and in the regular study sessions that were conducted in the synagogue's bet midrash (house of study). There was no separation of the sexes in synagogues and women could be counted as part of the required congregational quorum of ten adults. There was, however, one inequality. For social reasons, women were not allowed to read the Scriptures publicly.
In the Babylonian Talmud and the Tosefta, we find an early rabbinic (tannaic) ruling: "All are qualified to be among the seven [who read publicly from the Torah in the synagogue on the Sabbath], even a minor or a woman; however, the sages ruled that a woman should not read from the Torah out of respect for the congregation."21 This is apparently a reference to the same social custom or decorum that we find mentioned in Paul's letter to the Corinthians:
Women should keep silent in the churches. They are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Torah states. If they want to learn anything, they should ask their husbands at home, for it is a disgrace for a woman to speak in the congregation.22
Paul felt it necessary to issue his corrective because in early Christian congregations, following Jewish practice, it was permissible and customary to interrupt the preacher to ask questions. In first-century synagogues, a sermon followed the reading of Scripture. This exposition of Scripture was more a lesson than a sermon, and congregants were encouraged to ask questions. In fact, the asking of questions was so central to the rabbinic teaching method that often the preacher-teacher began his sermon by just seating himself and waiting until someone from the audience asked a question. There is a whole category of Jewish literature called ye·lam·DE·nu (May [our teacher] instruct us). It is similar to what we now call "Questions and Answers." Today public speakers often employ a Question-and-Answer period, especially as a means of clarification at the end of a lecture. In first-century Jewish society this approach was usually the main method of instruction.
From Paul's injunction we learn that at public religious gatherings of early Christians, women sat with men in the same hall, perhaps even next to their husbands or fathers. Paul's command itself implies a mixed audience: there would have been nothing indecorous about a woman asking a question in a group composed entirely of women.
If there had been separation of men and women in first-century synagogues, it is likely that the early church would have continued the custom. However, the New Testament gives no indication that the early church had such a custom." Were Women Segregated in the Ancient Synagogue?


So I will keep doing what I feel God has called me to. I will share my life and teach others what I know of God. I will always be careful to rightly divide the word to the best of my ability. I am not ashamed. I will not back down from who I am, who I was designed to be, who I was called to be and who I am constantly being equipped to be.  This song comes to mind and is my anthem!  "I will not be silent!"

Join the Conversation: 

Have you ever felt you had to justify the call of God on your life?

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No More Lies Part 5: "Shoulder Meet Chip"

Can I be Honest Here? 

This series is not the most comfortable to write. This is the half way mark in the ten part series and at this moment I do not know if I am going to make it all the way through. 

Writing these posts means I have to get really honest really fast and then let go of myself and let God do a new, and sometime uncomfortable pruning in me. In front of all of you. 

I have stared at this screen for the better part of ten minutes not knowing how to say what I need to say. 

Bandaid...just off!  

Lie #5 (it is a 2 part-er) 

"If people don't like me it is their problem. (flip the coin) If people don't like me it is my problem." 

I have struggled since childhood with this. I wanted to be liked, even loved, by everyone. Rejection (especially after my parent's divorce) was intolerable to me. I learned quickly (albeit wrongly) that if I immediately rejected someone who did not like me then it diminished  the effect of their original rejection of me. 

In reality it still hurt. It still made me question who I was, and ask "What was wrong with me"? Over the years I became calloused and hard. I began to expect the rejection before it would come. This hardness became integrated into my personality. 

I was a fighter, a survivor and no one was going to knock me down. Shoulder meet chip.  

Until little by little I realized that this behavior did not make me stronger, but instead it kept me a victim. 

Then I read this and it hit me in a visceral way: 

"I am not trying to please people. I want to please God. Do you think I am trying to please people? If I were doing that, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10 (CEV)

I Won't Win Any Popularity Contests

I am supposed to count it a blessing when people hate me for the gospel's sake.  But sadly, that is not the kind of rejection I have felt and dealt with the most in my life. 

I have dealt with the kind that says other people don't "get" me. I was rejected because I was too loud, too poor, too smart, too something. Or perhaps I was rejected because I wasn't enough, I didn't measure up, or I did not fit in.... 

Regardless the wounds that these rejection caused have been sore spots I have not been too willing for God to deal with. Every time they were poked I withdrew more and more. 

I did it with kids in school, and I did it with my parents. This fear of rejection and need to be accepted has hijacked my life, and robbed me of too much! 

I realize now that by doing this I let the enemy win. I give up the race and quit before I get to the finish line. I hand my life over to someone who would rather see me dead than happy and emotionally healthy. That is the kind of enemy we have. By doing this I was doubting the very character of God. 

But We Serve a BIG God! 

God loves. God gives. God heals. These are the things he does because they are his very character. God is not a man that he can lie.  

So when Jesus said "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will [a]ease and relieve and [b]refresh [c]your souls.]" Matthew 11:28 (AMP) I have to believe him!

I chose now, in this moment to believe him. 

I have been burdened and weighed down too long with the fear of rejection, with the need to be liked. I will not lie to myself anymore. I will not say "it is their problem" or "it is my problem" any more because I am giving it to Jesus. He is my counselor, my advocate, my healer, my savior and I trust in him. 

I will let the living water wash me like so many tears and I will be made new, loved, and COMPLETELY ACCEPTED by a God who paid the ultimate price for me to know him. I will bask in his love and wade in his grace and walk in his sufficiency. 

My Prayer

Father, I know you see my heart. It is bruised. It has been broken. Lord forgive me for not trusting you with my deepest pain. I offer it now. I trust you. I am counting on you in a way I never have before and I know you will surprise me yet again with your goodness. Heal my hurts Father. Teach me what I need to learn from them. I want to be truly free. Free in every way. I believe in you. Your promises are yes, and your promises are amen. Thank you for your faithfulness Lord. Amen. 

Join the Conversation: 

How do you deal with rejection? 

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What it is All About...

My Favorite Tradition

Later today, after church is done, my church family will do one of the things churches do best, we will come together in the evening and as a body, we will break bread together. 

Not as communion, or Eucharist, but as a Thanksgiving meal shared with the people we have prayed with, laughed with, studied with and served with all this last year. 

While we chow down it won't be about the feast, though that in and of itself is amazing and worthy of some attention. No, it will be about the talk across the table. It will be about the 15 third through fifth grade girls who I teach on Sunday nights sitting around me, giggling and basking in the special moment as they eat pie and cookies.  

It will be about the woman who has battled cancer all year, who battles still, sharing her joy and sweet presence with the rest of us who love her and pray for her. About the woman who lost her husband suddenly and found herself alone just a few short months ago. It is about sharing a meal with a family who is about to embark on one of the biggest adventures of a lifetime as they soon leave to plant a new church of their own. 

It will be about the kid who just got saved, and loves my daughter in that sweet and peculiar way first loves do - sitting with us for the first time at a holiday meal. 

It is about saying thank you to the people who have tolerated my loud laugh and quirky sense of humor. To the women who have laughed until they cried because I got the giggles. To the women who have opened their hearts and lives to me and my family. 

It is about celebrating and saying thank you to one of the finest pastors I have had the privilege of sitting under. It is a time of thanks giving. 

You may be thinking, Thanksgiving is a few weeks away, or I live in another country and do not celebrate thanksgiving as a holiday. Both of these may be true, but it does not change the fact that we can take a moment, a meal, a day and be thankful. 

We can deliberately express to our loved ones, the ones kin by birth and those kin by the blood of the Lamb, our gratitude. In the presence of our brothers and sisters, we can share our hearts as we share a meal. 

Most of all, it is a time to thank our Maker, who is matchless in His faithfulness and generous beyond anything we have ever known. 

It is about honoring those who have done all they could to secure all we have. It is about an attitude of gratitude. 

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What have you got to be thankful for? 

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No More Lies: Part 4: "Good Christian"

"Being a 'good' Christian means I should be 'doing' more." 

Somehow, from almost the beginning of Christianity, the pressure to "do" things to prove we are Christians has been an issue. If Christian life has two extremes, then the other side would be to "do" nothing and believe that 1) everything happens regardless of what man does or does not do (then how does free will fit in?) and 2) grace covers everything and there is no "doing", there is only "being" (we are, after all, human).  

The problem with this conundrum is there is a little truth in all of it, but my mind leans more to the "doing" because (if you will recall) I am a control freak

The Bible says: 
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8 KJV
"But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?" James 2:20 NKJV

Where is the Balance? 

I know that my time with my Father compels me to change. (That means I do things differently than I have done them before)

I know that the Word of God has some instructions I must follow to live a righteous life. Love God, love people, do your part can sum up what I believe and try to live by. 

I have to remember that this life is not a contest. I am not competing with anyone for salvation. It is a free gift. The mentality that I now have to work to stay saved is a dangerous one. We should strive to please our heavenly Father, not out of fear, but out of love for Him. 

Here are three ways I can live a balanced life of doing and (human) being. 

One: I can do this through obedience. Obedience (of the heart, not just works) is better than sacrifice

I can JOYFULLY obey in these areas: 

Two: I can follow the HEART of the law and not just the LETTER of the law. Remember the rich young ruler who came to Jesus? He wanted to know what more he could do to insure his salvation. (Matthew 19:16-29
Jesus told him to sell his stuff. Not because we must be poor to serve Jesus, but because we must be willing to lay everything down and follow him! 

Three: I can allow God's grace to sustain me (it is enough) while I let His holiness change me.

"Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17 (AMP) 

The lie is not so much about "doing" more as it is about the condemnation I feel. This is brought on by the enemy. He is the father of all lies! I can instead, live out my purpose and passion as I stick to following God's law with a joyful heart. 

It is not about how much I do or do not do, but how much I obey or do not obey. It is about how much I love and live out loud. I am not ashamed of who I am, and I am not ashamed of whose I am. I belong to the Father, and in Him I live, and breathe, and have my "being". There is so much freedom in Him that I can now live my "doing" in Him too. 

When I started this series I knew it would reveal a lot more about me than I was probably comfortable with, but I also knew that I had to work on these things. I cannot believe the lies anymore! You can't either! God made you, called you, saved you, and now He wants to use you. We cannot be effective if we still stumble over the lies of the enemy. 

Join the Conversation

Do you ever feel like you have to "do" more? Please, share your thoughts and leave a comment below. 

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No More Lies: Part 3 "Bad Parent!"

Graphic: Dayna Bickham/Creative Commons License 

"If my kids have problems, I am a bad parent!" 

This lie is one of the most hideous we face as people, because if Satan can destroy our family unity he can win our kids.

I have struggled with this lie since I popped out the first child. Every ear infection I worried that someone would catch on to what a bad parent I was and take my kid.

When Sarah had a seizure in my arms I was bombarded with feelings of guilt. "If you were a better mom you would have seen the signs sooner" and "this is your genetics and there is nothing you can do about it" were just a few of the horrible thoughts that I battled.

Now, my kids are healthy (no more seizures thank you Jesus!) but the issues they have are more difficult to handle.

When my kids were little I did not live for Jesus. I was out in the world living a life the way I wanted to: my life was full of poor choices and bad attitudes. Though I had grown up in church, they have not, because I was too busy thinking life was all about me (another lie) they missed out on the type of parenting they deserved.

Now when I see the fruit of those early years my heart breaks.

The lies begin again. 

So I stop and remember they do not belong to me. To believe they are MY kids is a lie. They belong to God.

They are on loan to me for a season. Where I fall short, God has grace. One of the hardest things for me to do is lay my kids on the alter and then walk away.

I do not know how Abraham did it. No wonder his obedience was counted as such great faith.

When they mess up, and they do, and they will, I have to trust that God can still reach them: His arms are not too short. God can still sustain them, His grace is still sufficient.

I have to seek God, ask for wisdom and trust that even if my kids run from God, He will chase them until He finds them. 

I have to remind myself that God has a plan and a purpose for them and that what Satan has stole God can and will redeem. I have to be like Abraham. I have to trust.

My Prayer

Father, forgive me for not always doing my best. I have fallen short when it comes to raising, loving, training and teaching my kids about you. I know You are faithful. I know you can redeem the time, you can call all men's (girls') hearts to you and I ask Lord that you reach out and touch my kids' hearts now. Father help me to trust. Help me to believe you rather than a lie. Help me to remember that You are in control!
Father I ask that you minister to the ones who read this. The ones who have their own struggles with parenting and who are battling lies right now. Give them strength and wisdom. Father teach me to discern what is best for my kids. Show me how to love like you do. I thank you and bless your Holy name. Amen.

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What kinds of struggles do you have as a parent?

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Book Announcement: The Purpose of Chosen

Click Here for More Info 

It's Here, It's Here!

If  you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you have heard the news! My new book, The Purpose of Chosen is available on Amazon now! (The Kindle version anyway!) 

I have never been so excited and scared at the same time. Not even giving birth was this scary! Putting my work out on the internet for people to discover for "free" is one thing, but asking someone to put their money where my words are is another thing all together. 

Needless to say this is daunting

Still, I know that this is the next thing. I know God has called me to write. That is in part why it is so amazing to me: because on my own I am not enough. 

I am no Hemingway, and I am definitely no Joyce Meyer, but I am me. I can only share what God has laid on my heart and let Him give the increase. 

A Two Part Launch

The Kindle version of The Purpose of Chosen is ready for purchase right now! You can get it for only $3.99. The paperback version will be ready soon and that will be for $7.99. Get the Kindle version now for the lower price! 

If you get the book, will you consider writing a small review and posting it on This will help other potential readers to learn more about the book and make an decision to buy. 

Once there are enough preliminary reviews I will be holding a "launch day" and will be tweeting and posting all about it soon. Of course I want the official launch day to include the physical book, so I will have to wait until that is ready from the publishers. 

More Than Old Blog Posts

The title of this book may sound familiar to you if you have been following this blog for any length of time. The Purpose of Chosen started off as a series I did for the blog, but this book takes that series to a whole new level. New content, stories, and discussion questions for small groups makes this book worth the read. 

The Back Cover

Here is the blurb from the cover, and I hope it helps you decide to buy a copy
"What you believe about yourself affects every aspect of your life---often in ways you don’t even realize. You may be convinced that this is all there is, but there is more for you. You were made for more than a mundane life; you were made to live with purpose. You have been chosen, like David, for more than even you know.
In The Purpose of Chosen Dayna Bickham explores what “more” means. Examining the story of David and Goliath in a new and fresh way, Bickham begins to radically confront the things you have believed about yourself and builds you up to face any giant that may stand in your way.
When you discover who you were designed to be, you begin to see that life is not just a random stream of events, but opportunities for greatness. You begin to see that giants were made for slaying and you were made for victory."

Thank You! 

I know that in today's economy disposable income is not as abundant as it once was. That is just one reason I want to say thank you if you choose to purchase The Purpose of Chosen. This is a big step for me as a writer and minister of the gospel. Your opinion does matter. Your friendship, prayers, encouragement and partnership in this community has sustained me and spurred me to do my best. 

I have not always lived up to "best", but for some reason you kept coming back anyway and I have to say thanks! 

For those of you subscribed to our newsletter, you will be getting a special e-mail from me concerning the book. My way of thanking my most loyal followers... 

I hope you will pray for me and for the people who will read this book. My desire is that they would be ministered to in the most personal of ways and truly grasp what it means to be chosen with purpose. 

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No More Lies: Part Two: The Leap of Faith

Photo Credit Creative Commons: Edited by Dayna Bickham

The Leap of Faith

I am standing on the edge of a cliff: it looks too far, and it looks too wide. There is no reason to take the leap here. Perhaps there is another easier way...a way that guarantees success.  Maybe there is a way that does not produce so much fear.... 

So I walk away. I give up. I don't even try. 

Meet lie number two: Sometimes not trying is better than trying and failing. 

For the longest time this was a mantra for me. Then I realized this is victim mentality and I am not a victim in this life. 

I am an overcomer, and as a child of God I am more than a conqueror in Christ. 

So why do I seem to chicken out at the "big" stuff? Why do the "next" things in my life give me pause? 

Because I am human. So are you. So was Joshua. 

Building Courage

Joshua was the protegee of Moses for a very long time. He had heard the promises of God for a new land. He had also been a spy and seen what lay in the land God had for them.   

When Moses died the task of leading a nation was up to him. In Joshua 1 God told Joshua twice "Be strong and of good courage".  Then the people of Israel told him they too believed in him as a leader and encouraged him to "be strong and of good courage". 

Sometimes we need to hear things more than once in order to "get it". God knows how stiff necked and hard headed I can be. But when we do "get it" big things can happen! 

For Joshua, he became so courageous and full of trust in God's ability to see him through anything that he went to battle against five kings at once. At his words (prayer) to God, God made the sun and moon to stand still until the battle was ended and the victory belonged to the children of Israel. 

It is Okay to be Weak

It is a good thing to need help. If we aren't small enough, how will people see the bigness of God? If we are weak, then He is strong. We have to remember that we are vessels for God's glory. How else will He shine through unless we are "cracked pots"? 

Our job is not to get the impossible done, but to rely on the One who made the universe to make the impossible happen and to give Him the glory for it. 

So when it comes time to stand on the edge of the cliff and take a leap of faith, we know this: there is glory in the leaping. Not in the success or the failure. God is the one that gets the glory one way or the other, because if we succeed it was because of Him, and if we fail, He catches us and teaches us what we need for future success. He has us and our futures in his hands. Under His wings will I trust.  

When we fail, we cannot let ourselves become bogged down with condemnation. We must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and try again. Not in our own power, but fully trusting in God, because He has made a way when there seems to be no way

He is the perfect One in this relationship. If something does not go right, that is not "on" God - that is on us or the enemy. Yet, no matter the situation, there is something to learn and in all things we can be grateful that God is in control and still chose us to begin with. 

"I Knew What I Was Getting Into"

God knew the deal He was making when He chose me. He knew I was weak and broken and He loved me and wanted me anyway. This means I can trust Him with anything because He can see the end from the beginning. He has a plan. His choice of me means my victory in Him. That is the love God has for you and I

I have a video I want you to watch. It is really a song, with the lyrics written out. It is a spontaneous song created in a moment of worship. It is from God to us. I hope you hear the heart of our Father toward His children. Only then can we stop believing the lies and start trusting in Him. 

Join the Conversation

What is one thing you have always wanted to try, but haven't, because you were afraid to try and fail? 

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