Thursday, October 31, 2013

Why You Can't Give Up ~ {Day 13}

Welcome to day 13 in a 31 day series

31 Days To Becoming His Pearl 

This is a repost meant to bring encouragement…..

You aren't going to give up are you?

You can't quit. You can't throw out the pearls yet.

You can't hold back.

Shrink back.

Or look back.

You could be right on the edge of something incredible!

You could be right on the cusp of the dream coming true.

Tomorrow, everything could change.

Right now, this very minute, your new job, position, title, paycheck, book deal, dream client, good bill of health, or positive pregnancy test could be headed your way!

Right now, this very minute, someone may be typing you an email that is going to change your life- forever.

It happens every day.

Why not you?

Right now, this very minute, people may be gathering on your behalf to help deliver your dreams.

I say this all the time- but listen....

It is not over.

Not by a long shot.

You could meet your dream guy tomorrow. Be engaged in 6 months. Be married in a year and
get pregnant on your honeymoon.

It happens every day.

Why not you?

Remember that God is a God of "suddenly."  Need a reminder? You can read that post here.

The script, book, song or piece you've written may actually be read by exactly the right person today, even right this very minute.

You can't quit.

And neither can I.

In a moments notice we can go from merely surviving to thriving in life!

I am praying for that and believing that for myself and shared that on Instagram yesterday.

Everything can change.

It doesn't have to be the way it has always been.

The first day of this glorious brand new month can be the start of something amazing!

Today I made a list of everything and anything that I am believing God for during the month of May.

I am believing God for the new and beautiful things!

I am attaching my faith to God's promises.

So many times, we attach our faith to our fears. Or we attach our faith to our circumstances.

We have to attach our faith to God's promises. To His word.

Faith is believing those things that are not as though they were.  Romans 4:17

God says to write the vision and make it plain. Habakkuk 2:2

Write down what you want. Write down the vision and the desires of your heart. Whatever it is that you are dreaming about. Whatever it is that you are believing by faith to receive.

Decree it and declare it. Make the declarations until you start to believe it with everything within you.

His word tells us to "decree a thing and it shall be established."  - Job 22:28

You can read previous posts on that subject part one here and part two here for encouragement for your heart today.

We are going to start out the first day of this glorious new month believing by faith for every, single desire of our heart.

For beautiful and life giving friendships. For every need met. For our health to prosper. For our marriages to thrive. For our families to be blessed. For divine connections. For there to be more than enough financially to care for our families and to give into the kingdom. For an outpouring of creativity and new ideas. For our businesses to be blessed. For God ordained relationships and favor and friendships. Just to name a few...

So many incredible and amazing things are waiting for you beautiful friend.

Today is just the beginning.

Don't give up. Don't quit. Keep going!

The miracle may be in your hand tomorrow.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Weight ~ {Day 12}

Whatever it is. Let it go today.

Ask Him to make the divine exchange.

The weight of your burdens for the weight of His glory.

We can hold onto it. Offer it up to Him. Then take it all back on again.

Let it go for good.

Whether it is expectations. Unmet needs. Unhealed hurts. Or Unforgiveness.

Let it go.

If you knew what He had for you on the other side of all that you are holding onto....

You would let it go.

We were not created to carry that type of weight.

We were created to carry the weight of His glory and nothing else.

"For our light affliction, which is for the moment, worketh for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory." 2 Corinthians 4:17

It Shall Be Established ~ {Day 11}

Welcome to Day 11 In A 31 Day Series

31 Days To Becoming His Pearl

One of the things that I learned early on in my faith walk was to speak life and speak His word over my life and over my circumstances.

I do my best to try and remember this powerful truth daily. We all make mistakes and fall short in this area..I have to remind myself hourly some days.

One way many people remember this scripture from Job 22:28 is to remind yourself in this way....

I just placed an order.

Whatever you just spoke. Whatever you just decided to decree and declare into the atmosphere...

whether it be true or a joke or out of a moment of frustration...

You just placed an order.

Our words are so powerful that God created the world and everything in it using words.

He spoke things into existence and we are created in His image. 

He has given us that same tool.

"Decree a thing and it shall be established." Job 22:28

"Life and death are in the power of the tongue."  Proverbs 18: 20-21

Start speaking to your circumstances and decree and declare over your life His word.

Command your circumstances to line up with biblical truths.

You have that authority.

Speak God's word.

Speak truth.

Speak life.

Try making a declaration about the way you want things to be.

Try praying and giving thanks for things and circumstances by faith.

The only thing that is going to happen when we talk about our unfortunate circumstances and situations is simply more of the same.

We just place the same order over and over again.

Sometimes we may need to break free from the old words that we have spoken about ourselves and also the negative words that other people may have spoken about us or our circumstances too.

I will share more on this in another post but this holds true for those who make a declaration about their fears as well.

Never, ever decree and declare your fears.

God's word tells us over and over again DO NOT FEAR or DO NOT BE AFRAID.

His word also tells us in Job 3:25 " For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me."

Your words are super powerful.

I've met many people over the years who are still trying to do life operating out of negative words that others have spoken over them a decade ago.

Break free from those words.

You are not the sum total of what everyone else declares that you are.

If people are not declaring the word of God over your life- if they are not speaking truth- move on.

Every morning when I wake up I pray this as part of my daily prayer.

I break the power of any negative or ill intentioned words spoken over me or about me, my husband and our six children in Jesus' name. They will not prosper. I thank you God that NO WEAPON formed against me, my husband or our six children will prosper and that EVERY tongue that rises up against us in judgement, you shall condemn in Jesus' name. 

Isaiah 54:17 says this:

"No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you
in judgement You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord."

Speak God's word. Speak life. Speak His truth and saturate your life with it.

For a little more encouragement today, you can find two other posts I've written on this subject here. 

The Work Of The Cross ~ {Day 10}

Welcome To Day 10 Of A 31 Day Series

31 Days To Becoming His Pearl

I am so thankful for the work of the cross.

So thankful for Jesus Christ. The true pearl of great price. 

I am so thankful that it is for freedom that we have been set free.

Jesus is the reason I invite women to experience The Pearl Event.

He is the centerpiece of every, single outreach.

We are so blessed to teach others that Jesus loves them, no matter what their past looks like and that the gift of salvation is made available to every, single one of us.

It isn't reserved or set aside for the perfect people.

Perfect died on a cross over 2000 years ago.

Jesus isn't waiting for you to become close to perfect or waiting for you to get your life straightened out or waiting for you to attend a worship service before you can have a relationship with Him. 

He bids us to come. Now. Just as we are.

In all of our weaknesses. His power is made perfect in our weakness.

In the midst of all of our burdens. His yoke is easy, His burden is light.

In the midst of our suffering. He asks us to simply trust.

In the midst of our wounded hearts. He asks us to forgive. 

In the midst of things we do not understand. He asks us to worship Him.

Did you know that He will meet you right where you are?

In the middle of really hard things or really good things.  In the middle of parenting out of exhaustion or waiting for two pink lines. In the middle of sitting alone in a dorm room or driving home from another party.  In the middle of walking through an illness, sickness or disease or the picture of perfect health. In the middle of overcoming financial hardship or job loss or losing in life in any number of ways.

Jesus will push past your mess to get to your heart.

Again and again.

No matter what.

He is an ever present help. He is our counselor. Our comforter. 

You are not too old or too young or too messed up or too far gone for Him.


May this encourage you to read about the work of the cross and point you right into the arms of Sweet Jesus today....

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." ~ John 3:16

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." ~ Romans 10:9-10

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Daddy's Girl ~ {Day Nine}

Welcome To Day Nine in a 31 Day Series

31 Days To Becoming His Pearl.

I love this beautiful demonstration of a Father's love for His daughter.

Some of you have never experienced this type of love here on earth.

There are days that I mourn the fact that I have never experienced this myself.

Some days, I can't get past it.

But God.

He sees and He knows and He loves and pours and covers and heals in the most incredible ways...

Today, I want you to imagine that this is you with your Heavenly Father.

This is how much He loves you .....

He loves you.

He adores you.

He cherishes you.

He thinks you are the most beautiful and most incredible gift on the face of the earth...

He adores you with engraved hands and kisses on the forehand and tears for all the love that swells inside His heart for you....His amazing, incredible, gifted, talented, beautiful and intelligent daughter.

He loves you with this same deep Fatherly love and adoration.....

In spite of what this world has offered us or withheld from us, we each have the opportunity to know and love and grow close with our Heavenly Father. 

What a beautiful gift.

Draw near to Him today and He will draw near to you beautiful friend.  (James 4:8)

I promise He will meet you right where you are.

With all of our flaws and shortcomings and messes and mistakes, He will meet us and pour out His great love right in the middle of it all.

His love is a healing balm.

But we have to lean in and press in and push past everything else in order to receive it.

Think of a Father on His daughter's wedding day.

Think of the sweetness and the tender heart and the beautiful words.

Think of the fact that there isn't anything that would keep him from seeing his daughter that day.

Think of how he waits for her to turn the corner, walk in the room, or grace the staircase.

Think of all the love that he lavishes on her that day.

This is exactly how your heavenly Father feels about you....every, single day.

Only magnify that about ten thousand times.

Today, turn to day nine in your journal and let your heart spill and allow His love to fill...

Every space and place inside your heart where there is a Father wound.

You are not an orphan.

You are a daughter. 

Allow Him the chance to show you how much you are loved today.

I pray that He would chase after you and pursue you in the most incredible ways today. I pray that He would absolutely open up the flood gates of His great love and saturate you with answers to prayers and that He would pour out miracles, signs and wonders today to prove to you that He sees you, He knows you and that He absolutely loves you more than you can think, hope or imagine....

You can follow along with Moment Junkie here for more incredible photographs.

And also a beautiful post on first look with Dad by the Southern Weddings Team here.

If you would like to follow along with this series you can find the landing page and all posts here.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

They Owe You Nothing ~ {Day Eight }

Welcome to Day Eight in a 31 Day Series

31 Days To Becoming His Pearl

One of the things that I struggled most with for a very long time was extending forgiveness.

It is also something that I believe  many others struggle with in relationships too. 

Offense is such a trap.

If the enemy can just get us offended, all manner of things can start to take place to unravel God's purposes and plans.

Earlier this year, I was quietly offering things to the Father in prayer. 

And He responded in this way.

I want you to forgive this person.

I responded that I had forgiven them. 

And He responded in this way.

Say these words....

"They owe me nothing."

I sat there completely stunned. I could not say it. 

I had no words. Only tears. Because I could not fully comprehend what He was suggesting.

They owe me nothing?

Not an apology.

Not an explanation.

Not ownership for the wrong doing.

Not remorse or sorrow.

And not even a single attempt to try and make it right on their end.

He was teaching me true forgiveness, that to fully forgive also means this......

They owe me nothing. 

So if they never, ever, apologize. Or take ownership. Or try and make it right on their end....

They still owe us nothing.

Because once the offense comes, we can try and forgive but,  we can also still feel in our hearts that the person owes us something.

And if we do in fact, have any ought in our hearts and we do in fact, feel that they owe us - anything. We can rest assured that we have not fully forgiven. 

Because if we hold onto things and we feel justified and we harbor bitterness and resentment toward a person and try and reconcile it in our hearts that once they apologize and once they fix their mistake or once they are truly sorry....

Then we will forgive them.

And on and on we fill our mental card catalogs with every offense known to man. 

This is completely opposite of how the kingdom works.

He asks us to fully forgive anyway.

He knows that holding on to unforgiveness will cause us so much harm.

It will also block our blessings.

Peace. Joy. Happiness. Healing. Mercy and Grace for our own life.  And on and on....

Here is the truth....

God wants to right the wrongs. He wants to fight the battles. He wants to be our defender. He wants to make it up to you. He wants to heal our broken places and bind up our wounds. He wants to turn the key to the King's heart on your behalf. He wants to offer us a recompense. One that we've never imagined in our wildest dreams.....

Extending forgiveness to the offender does not mean that what the person did is okay. It is not okay.

It does not mean we are giving them permission to cause harm again. We may need to remove ourselves from this person.

It does not mean that we are in agreement with the offender. We can disagree and still fully forgive.

Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves.

It releases us from the bondage of constantly rehearsing the offense over and over again and feeling those bad feelings every time we hear that persons name or every time we see that person.

I want to leave you with this encouragement today....

Look specifically at one tiny word in this verse from Acts 7:9-10


But God was with him AND delivered him out of all his troubles, AND gave him favor AND wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; AND made him governor over Egypt AND all his house.

Here's the thing.

We know that Joseph was wronged and mistreated and even hated by his envious brothers.

But he chose to forgive them anyway. For all of it.

This story is a beautiful picture of what God can do when we truly and fully forgive.

God can do amazing and incredible and big things that are beyond our wildest dreams.

And it's always MORE than one thing.

Look at all that He did for Joseph. God is no respecter of persons.

He wants to use those three little letters in our life too.

What is the "and" you are waiting on in life?

Maybe He is waiting on you. 

Maybe He is waiting on you to empty the card catalog you have filed with 35 years of offense- all nicely and neatly categorized- and extend forgiveness. 

Maybe He's waiting on you to fully release the person and the offense. 

Today is the day to empty that card catalog.  There is no need for any of us to waste another precious day offended.

Today, turn to your journal and list the offenses you've been carrying and list those who have caused the offense.

Then try writing these words to Him.

Today I choose to forgive __________ for ____________ and I release them to you Lord.

I ask for forgiveness from You Father, for harboring unforgiveness toward the following individuals.

I ask that you would fill those places in my heart that still ache with pain and sorrow because of the offense, with Your great love and healing power, in Jesus' precious name.

He is faithful to pour out in the most unimaginable ways beautiful friends....

"You intended to harm me, BUT GOD intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. "  ~ Genesis 50:20

"And the patriarchs, becoming envious, sold Joseph into Egypt. BUT GOD was with him and delivered him out of all his troubles, and gave him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; and made him governor over Egypt and all his house. " Acts 7:9-10 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Your Gift Will Make Room For You ~ {Day Seven}

Welcome to day seven in a 31 day series

~31 Days To Becoming His Pearl ~

"A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men." ~ Proverbs 18:16

This scripture offers great encouragement for those of us who are still wondering what on earth our gift could possibly be.

A truth to cling to when we are convinced that when He assigned gifts to His daughters we surely must have been absent that day.

We know better than to live a life of comparison, but there are days when it can feel as though we honestly have no idea why on earth we were created or what on earth we are called to do or what in the world our gifts are, if there are any at all.

Here is some encouragement for you today.

What do you love to do?

What makes your heart sing?

What do you love to do so much that you would do that for the rest of your life- for free?

What brings you tremendous joy?

Here is some more encouragement for you...

I am convinced that it is more than one thing.

Because our Heavenly Father is incredibly generous.

He did not create us with just one gift.

There are layers and depths of giftings inside you.

We discover our gifts as we follow Him and pursue the things we are passionate about.

We were created to use our life to bring glory to God by pursing our purpose with great passion.

We discover our gifts when we create a life that we love.

We may need to make some changes. We may need to change lanes in life, so to speak.

Some of us may need to make a five lane change.

A complete life makeover.

Where we change, jobs, cities, friends- all of it.

Sometimes this is necessary in order to move forward into a life that He is has called us to.

The other part of the truth behind this scripture is this...

We do not have to climb or push or manipulate our way.

Our gifts will make room for us.

There is more than enough in the kingdom.

Including making room for every, single person and her gifts.

So what if you love to write and sing and dance?

 Do what you love.

Be you.

You are amazing.

And the world needs your amazing self.

Who has convinced you that your passions are ridiculous? That you are too old? Or that it is too late?

Who has convinced you that if you were going to do something like that- you should have started a long time ago?

Who has rejected your writing gift and told you to stash that dream?

Chances are that you are called to write something that is going to change the world.

The more we are rejected in an area, the chances are that we are actually called to the very thing where we have experienced rejection.

Rejection is a purpose destroyer.

Destroying our purpose is the only reason it exists.

So today, write in your journal every possible thing that you love to do.

Write the vision and make it plain.

Then begin to design your life to be full of the things that you love.

And there, you will discover and unlock and unleash the very reasons He created you.....

The things that you love are attached to your purpose. 

And your gift will make room for you and bring you before great men.

Today is the day to begin....

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Engraved Invitation ~ Day Six

Welcome to Day Six in a 31 Day Series

~31 Days To Becoming His Pearl~

See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands ; your walls are ever before me. ~ Isaiah 49:16

This scripture is a beautiful engraved invitation.

The Father inviting us. Calling us unto Himself, to lean in close.

He opens this scripture with the word, see. 

It is a loving offer, extending relationship to His children.

The truth that the God of all creation wants each and every one of us to be mindful that He
is ever mindful of each and every, one of us is an incredible thing.

Not only is He mindful. But He longs to draw us unto Himself.

He wants us to be still and know. He wants us to trust in Him.

Our names are engraved. Inscribed. They are deeply impressed.

They have been carved. Never to be removed. 

Your name is permanently etched.

He invites us to see. To know. To be reminded of this truth in this scripture in Isaiah 49:16.

This invitation offers great comfort when life becomes too much to bear.

When life hurts and when life leaves us breathless and completely undone.

When we can't for the life of us gather any kind of understanding, but choose Him in spite of it all.

We can hold our hands wide open, fully surrendered to Him and His ways and His great love
because we have a hope and we have faith and although we may not have understanding, we can
trust that the same God who engraved our names on the palms of His hands has our lives lovingly planned.

No matter what.

Even if that means that He may ask us to surrender our babies.

The babies we've prayed for and hoped for and longed for.

The babies we've already called by name.

The babies we've already made spaces and places for in our hearts and our homes.

And sometimes, He may call us to deliver their precious bodies and then He will ask us to surrender.

He will unravel us in the middle of a delivery room and require of us the very thing we never dreamed He would.

He will reach down with the same hands that are engraved with our names and theirs and He will ask of us an offering almost too great to bear.

He will ask of us our children.

The ones who belonged to Him all along.

Sometimes we are the ones who are called to the unbearable sorrow of an offering of that magnitude.

And sometimes we are the ones who are called to walk with the ones who have given that sacrifice.

I have been honored to walk with some very dear friends who gave such an offering.

Our beautiful friends Sarah and Jonathan Cantrell. 

Two years ago on this very day, Sarah delivered their boys, David Casswell and John Wilson.

And the Father asked her for the unthinkable. 

He leaned down with engraved hands and asked that instead, they spend eternity with Him.

And never one day here on earth with their parents.

Glorious suffering.

The weight and the magnitude of what He's asked of them is beyond comprehension.

And I have walked with this precious couple and witnessed first hand the strength of their faith.

Tried. Tested and True.

Tested by unimaginable fire.

I've witnessed Sarah and Joanthan give and sow and pour and love and offer..... to many in the midst of their own grief and sorrow.

I've witnessed Sarah give baby gifts and host baby showers and preach the gospel and give her testimony about the very goodness of God, with two babies of her own offered up as a remarkable gift.

I've heard her voice, countless times, remind me, in the midst of my own suffering, about the goodness of God.

And about how He is faithful and true.

And that He will never leave us nor forsake us. No matter what.

And so I asked Him to help me give them a special gift.

I wanted to thank them for their friendship and to offer a way to honor their boys today.

And because He is a good Daddy and He loves us so much...

He was faithful with a vision.

And Sarah and Jonathan were willing.

They responded with such gratitude and willing hearts.

And they agreed to allow me to photograph the price that they have paid to follow Him.

Two tiny hospital bracelets and two birth certificates with the tiniest foot prints I have ever seen.

They agreed, to allow me to write the names of their children on the palms of their hands.

And to photograph them.

I prayed that I would be careful with the tiny pieces of their babies delivery day.

I prayed that I would be careful as I wrote out the names of their baby boys on each of their hands.

I prayed that He would anoint the pictures and that Sarah would be able to use them when she ministers and when she invites others into a relationship with Him. Many of whom have lost their babies too. Many of whom have tiny hospital bracelets and tiny footprints on birth certificates but who have had to deliver and offer up their babies as well.

And He reminds us, that we lean not onto our own understanding.

Costly oil. Such a high price.

I'm not sure that I will ever be able to articulate how precious our time together was, as we gathered together in His name to create something that would bring tremendous glory to Him.

What an indescribable gift.

Sarah and Jonathan,

You are Kingdom builders.

Willing and obedient servants who have paid an unbelievable price to point others to Him.

I pray that these photographs cause many hearts to heal and many more to come to know Him.

I pray that they bless you for years to come.

I am completely awestruck by the two of you and count our friendship as one of God's greatest gifts to my family.


I am thankful that God alone, saw fit to weave a beautiful friendship between us.

He went before us.

So that when the suffering came in like a flood....

He had already prepared the pillars to hold up our arms when we simply could not.

You are a beacon of light beautiful friend.

A living epistle of costly oil poured out like an offering before our God.

A sweet fragrance of sacrifice and faith who carries the hope of Glory.

May the ministry He has given you cause great revival to break out in the hearts of His people for a thousand generations.

May He give you a double portion of beautiful children and an abundance of increase so wide that there would not be room enough to receive it all.

Honored to love you.


I pray this song and these pictures bring healing balm to your hearts today.....

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Grace Upon Grace ~ Day Five

Welcome to Day 5 in a 31 Day Series

~ 31 Days To Becoming His Pearl~ 

"And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace."  John 1:16

Here is a thought to start the day today.

"Mercy is not getting what we deserve. Grace is getting what we don't deserve." ~ Pastor Rob

These are the words from our Pastor many years ago and ones that I do my best to remember daily.

They opened up a sea of understanding and made the Gospel come alive for me.

So much so that once I took hold of the grace message, I named my next child Grace.

God created me with a mercy gift that I have had to learn how to reign in, on many occasions and a heart that is completely bent on grace.

Grace is a word that's power and definition and meaning are so near and dear to my heart that I will flood you with dialog and thoughts about it if you don't have anything better to do and hopefully over a cup of southern pecan coffee.

The years of my life with the missing message of grace was one of the key components that kept me from a relationship with Him from many years.

This missing truth was what kept me believing that I was the oyster shell of my circumstances and that the gift of grace was reserved for the good girls and those who had it all together and for those who were blessed with a wedding ring on their left hand.

It certainly wasn't reserved for an unwed teenage mother.

I wore that scarlet letter on my chest for more than a decade.

Years believing the lie that a holy God could never love a girl like me.

The truth is this:

A holy God died for a girl like me. He rose again for a girl like me. He is seated at the right hand of the Father for a girl like me. He is the way and the truth and the life, for a girl like me.

And for you too.

This is the truth.

Now I wear His grace and that scarlet letter is buried at the foot of the cross where it belongs.

Growing up in a part of the country where there is a church on every corner, yet never hearing the grace message preached or really even demonstrated was incredibly difficult.

And even still. Years later....

I'm still bumping up against the missing grace message.

Like the older woman who told me fairly recently, that I could never be a member of her church because I had been divorced.

Really?? Sign me up.

I had to let her know in all manner of graciousness that she stood corrected.

I have never been divorced.

I had my daughter out of wedlock at the age of 18 years old.


I watched as she tried to adjust the missing grace message, the living and breathing gospel,  in her religious mind set and figure out a category for special people like me.

More crickets.

No judgement....

We've all had our moments.

Many years ago in ministry training there was a word that was used to teach us how to walk with
difficult people, I guess you could say.


This stands for "extra grace required."

I truly knew very little at the time so I remained quiet, but my heart really wanted to
to stand up in class and make a public service announcement and say something along the lines
of this.....

I'm sorry, but aren't we all EGR's?

I mean.....


The last time I checked we all have days where extra grace is required.

We are every, single one, either completely forgetting about grace, insisting on withholding grace or simply needing grace~ by the truckloads.

I don't want to label anyone.

But if you need to label me. I'll take that one all day long.

I want to be the one who contains extra grace so that I have extra grace to give away.

You can't give something away that you don't posses.

And to whom much is given, much is required.

Those who have been forgiven much, love much.

And maybe this is ringing true with you today....

I want to share these three little words to encourage you today.

The same grace.

The same grace that is made readily available to others, is available for you and me.

It isn't reserved and set aside for the select special people. 

It is our portion.

It is our gift.

It is ours to freely receive so that we will freely give it away.

It is for every, single one of us.

It is for the unwed teenage mother, for the family going through divorce and for the couple who have been married for fifty years.  It is for the father who feels that he is failing miserably and the mother who feels she is the perfect mom.  It is for the marriage that is barely managing and the couple who just walked down the aisle. It is for the the person who makes wrong choices and the person who is full of pride about how they are living right. It is for the mama who struggles with a strong willed child and the mama who never has an issue with her obedient child. It is for the woman who feels failure and shame for having to take anti-depressants and the woman who has never taken anything at all. It is for the man who just lost his job and the man who just landed his dream job and has the world by a string. It is for the woman who works the streets at night and for the woman who is home sitting alone. It is for the man who can't wrap his brain around the gift of salvation and for the man who has been in church all of his life.

The same grace. Made readily available to every, single one of us.

Grace upon grace isn't reserved for a certain zip code or a certain denomination.

Grace upon grace is for all of us.

We just ask and He pours. Daily. Hourly.....

May you feel the extraordinary gift of grace of the living God today and may you radically give it away to others.......

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. ~ Ephesians 2:8-9

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

When Community Hurts And God Redeems ~ Day Four

~Welcome To Day Four In A 31 Day Series~

31 Days To Becoming His Pearl

The church is a hospital.

It isn't always a place where fully healed people gather every week.

It is a place where the broken bring their brokenness and God meets us there.

And there is brokenness in every, single one of us. 

Pastors and teachers and the people. All of us.

And we try and do community.

We try to do life together.

With all of our shortcomings and flaws and faults and unmet needs and unhealed hurts.

We do church.

We gather together in buildings, and gyms and schools and cafeterias and chapels all over the world and try and make His kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

And we fall short.

We all do.

We have church hurt.

The hope is that we allow Him to minister to our wounds and needs and heartache and without the expectation that a person or pastor can fill that place.

The hope is that we can learn to trust again. Overcome our fears and push past anything inside our hearts that would try and convince us that "they" are all the same. 

The hope is that our communities and places of worship would be filled with the tangible love of Christ and with mercy and grace and with love and kindness and true friendship that would bring healing in some way to those places that ache.

I have not been a part of a small group for years. And I have some pretty good reasons.

But isolation can do more harm than good and no glory can manifest when it's just a party of one.

This I know.

So by His unimaginable grace, an opportunity presented itself in the form of a group for us recently and I'm pretty sure I went into a full fledged panic attack on the drive over on the very first night.

Like, "turn the car around, there is NO WAY I am going to put myself through this again", panic attack.

But after the first gathering, I realized that there were some people who were going to be a part of our group whom I absolutely adored.

Like, they are beautiful, living epistles of God's goodness and grace and I just want to sit at their feet and listen to their stories about life and ministry and soak up the wisdom that they carry.

Every shade of amazing.

And so I pushed past the panic and pressed on.

And I am grateful. 

It is still hard for me. I stay quiet each week for the most part.

Fear loves to silence us.

But I feel the Father working. Nudging. Leading.

And I know in due time....

He is going to redeem those places that ache by using imperfect people who worship a perfect God. 

He uses us. To buffer. To balance. To bring grace that we've never in our life experienced. To teach us about love and trust and acceptance and mercy and forgiveness and the hope of glory.....

Part of becoming His Pearl for me personally, was learning how to do community again.

I have listened to many hearts over the years, share their journey with me, about the how and the why as it relates to the declaration of never wanting to set foot in a church again....

Heaps of sorrow.

Just the way the enemy wanted it to be.

But today, I felt led to gently invite you to try again.

If you have made the same declaration because of past experiences....

I'm wondering if you would be willing to open your heart again?

There are no perfect churches or perfect leaders. But there are amazing and incredible hearts who
long to meet us right where we are and who will demonstrate His heart for you. Who will pour out an ocean of grace you never dreamed was possible. Who will love you and your family and make room for you and accept you and point you to the One who has loved you all along. There are hearts who can teach you how to learn the scriptures and bring understanding to your broken heart about how much you are forgiven and how God is no respecter of persons. He loves you and wants you connected to the body of Christ.

You have a beautiful gifting inside you and talent and ideas and wisdom that would immediately transform your church community.

You are truly are.

But if we withhold.... If we choose solitude as our path.

We will never know~ you and I, the gift that comes when we gather together in His name and when each believer comes together with his or her purpose.

People who walk together in purpose and destiny bring change to their communities.

I am learning to try again. To trust again. To begin again.

I would love if you would consider that too.

I know He will meet us there. Waiting to pour out. To make all things new. To redeem our past and to give us a hope and a future we never dreamed...

Please email me ( or leave a comment if you would like some suggestions for a place to worship and to try community again. I know lots of friends and bloggers in other cities who are connected to amazing church communities. If you are a part of a church community and would love to invite readers to join you each week, please leave your church information and a link here in the comment section. You just never know how God will send the answer to your prayers.....

Love you sweet friends. Get ready for God to redeem.....

You Are Fully Known And Fully Loved ~ Day Three

Welcome To Day Three In A 31 Day Series

"31 Days To Becoming His Pearl"

You are fully known and fully loved.

No matter what.

No matter what other people have said or done or how they may have tried to convince you otherwise.

You are fully known and fully loved by Him.

He adores you.

He has called you.

He has chosen you.

He has set you apart.

There is a beautiful phrase that I love written in a book titled "The Me I Want To Be" By John Ortberg,
that says this: "You can only be loved to the extent you are known."

Or sometimes people will phrase the same thing this way...

If they really knew me, they wouldn't love me.

Maybe this is true for the world. Because we are human and we are limited in our capacity to love.

But God.

He is unlimited in His capacity to love.

His love is not earned. It cannot be measured. It is not conditional. It is not performance based.

He does not withhold His love - or any good thing from us based on what we may or may not do.

He simply loves us. Fully.

When we begin to walk in that truth and in the magnitude of that revelation-

Our lives will change.

We can freely forgive others. 

We can freely love.

We can release all insecurities.

We can take the limitations and expectations and demands off of friends and loved ones.

We can saturate ourselves by soaking in His truth and His love and His presence every day.

From the moment of our conception the enemy of our souls works overtime to separate us from truth.

He works in and through other people and through circumstances and situations to keep us from wisdom and knowledge. To keep us from walking in the truth.

He does not want any one of us to know that we are fully known and fully loved by God.

Because in that truth there is power. There is breakthrough. There is freedom.

We no longer have to live life like we are orphans.

We are sons and we are daughters. We have an inheritance that rightfully belongs to each one of us.
There is more than enough in the kingdom. 

Ask Him to release your portion today.

He is faithful to pour out in the most beautiful ways at the appointed time.

I know from the depths of my soul how hard life can be when you become your circumstances.

When your life really and truly looks and feels like you are an orphan.

We can take on that mentality.

But that is all just smoke and mirrors.

A tactic the enemy uses to keep us from knowing Him.

To keep us from leaning in and receiving every good and perfect gift.

To keep us from knowing truth and from allowing the truth to set us free.

To keep us bound and broken and burdened with the hard things that life can sometimes bring.

His word says this...

You are daily loaded with benefits. ~ Psalm 68:19

I love this.

Our heavenly father, the God of our salvation, who fully knows and fully loves each and every one of us says that He daily loads us with benefits.

We do not have to live on last years portion.

It is a daily portion.

Daily manna.

Daily benefits.

Ask Him to release your portion today.

What do you need today?

Maybe you need an outpouring of mercy and grace and love.

Maybe you need to tangibly feel loved by Him.

Maybe you need Him to demonstrate that He sees and He knows and He hears you.

Maybe you need a financial breakthrough. A tangible hope that things are going to get better.

Ask Him.

He is a loving Father. He longs to woo us unto Himself and pour out His great love.

Just ask....

"For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”  ~ 1 Corinthians 13:12