Letters

The Ministry of Broken People

Here's an interesting observation. I've been with a number of broken people recently. Some of them are regular folks, and some broken people are leaders, occasionally famous leaders.

I'm noticing a trend about some of the broken, messed-up and damaged Believers: God doesn't appear to give a rat's hindquarters about their brokenness. He doesn't seem to be offended by the outcasts, the rejects, the jerks.

If they’re hungry (and that seems to be a clue for all of us!), he is really happy to fill them and use them and empower them. He makes a freakin' mess changing the world through them. He's downright extravagant in showing out through them.

I've been with a number of clean and tidy and well-educated people recently. I'm noticing a trend about some of them, too. They look good, they sound good, they are comfortable to be around.

And there's a whole lot of us in between there.

But really, I see more of God's signs and wonders, more people healed and delivered, more completely unexplainable "coincidences" in the aftermath of the first group. They go places I don't like to go. They take on circumstances that make me uncomfortable. And the glory of God drools out from their brokenness, their foolishness, their awkwardness in ways that most of us aspire to.

It's interesting how our culture labels the beautiful people as the big successes. There's more of us in-betweeners, so we win the popularity polls.

But it's the broken, socially inept, rude, crude and socially unacceptable ones, the ones who actually believe God and His Book, the busted ones trying to do the stuff: these are the ones I think are actually getting it right.
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Letters

The Ministry of Broken People

Here's an interesting observation. I've been with a number of broken people recently. Some of them are regular folks, and some broken people are leaders, occasionally famous leaders.

I'm noticing a trend about some of the broken, messed-up and damaged Believers: God doesn't appear to give a rat's hindquarters about their brokenness. He doesn't seem to be offended by the outcasts, the rejects, the jerks.

If they’re hungry (and that seems to be a clue for all of us!), he is really happy to fill them and use them and empower them. He makes a freakin' mess changing the world through them. He's downright extravagant in showing out through them.

I've been with a number of clean and tidy and well-educated people recently. I'm noticing a trend about some of them, too. They look good, they sound good, they are comfortable to be around.

And there's a whole lot of us in between there.

But really, I see more of God's signs and wonders, more people healed and delivered, more completely unexplainable "coincidences" in the aftermath of the first group. They go places I don't like to go. They take on circumstances that make me uncomfortable. And the glory of God drools out from their brokenness, their foolishness, their awkwardness in ways that most of us aspire to.

It's interesting how our culture labels the beautiful people as the big successes. There's more of us in-betweeners, so we win the popularity polls.

But it's the broken, socially inept, rude, crude and socially unacceptable ones, the ones who actually believe God and His Book, the busted ones trying to do the stuff: these are the ones I think are actually getting it right.
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Letters

The Ministry of Broken People

Here's an interesting observation. I've been with a number of broken people recently. Some of them are regular folks, and some broken people are leaders, occasionally famous leaders.

I'm noticing a trend about some of the broken, messed-up and damaged Believers: God doesn't appear to give a rat's hindquarters about their brokenness. He doesn't seem to be offended by the outcasts, the rejects, the jerks.

If they’re hungry (and that seems to be a clue for all of us!), he is really happy to fill them and use them and empower them. He makes a freakin' mess changing the world through them. He's downright extravagant in showing out through them.

I've been with a number of clean and tidy and well-educated people recently. I'm noticing a trend about some of them, too. They look good, they sound good, they are comfortable to be around.

And there's a whole lot of us in between there.

But really, I see more of God's signs and wonders, more people healed and delivered, more completely unexplainable "coincidences" in the aftermath of the first group. They go places I don't like to go. They take on circumstances that make me uncomfortable. And the glory of God drools out from their brokenness, their foolishness, their awkwardness in ways that most of us aspire to.

It's interesting how our culture labels the beautiful people as the big successes. There's more of us in-betweeners, so we win the popularity polls.

But it's the broken, socially inept, rude, crude and socially unacceptable ones, the ones who actually believe God and His Book, the busted ones trying to do the stuff: these are the ones I think are actually getting it right.
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Home & Garden

Be-YOU-tiful in 2017

As the new year approaches, I find that God is giving me a new goal.

It's a simple goal really, and something I've worked on my whole life, but I feel like in this season God is telling me, and you, that it's very important that we get this one right this time.

The goal is to be myself.

I think for every one of us living in this media-saturated world, it's very hard not to compare ourselves to others. And so much of advertising and media is exactly that. The magazines and television ads want you to compare yourself with the person in the ad and feel like you don't measure up. So we set out to be that false person. A person that truly does not exist.

Or we see someone who has had success in an area and decide to do it their way. We become a poor imitation of them and lose our individuality. Or even worse, we look around and see a version of the same person everywhere we go. Sheep leading sheep.

Or we listen to an amazing woman or man of God and start to become fascinated with them instead of God. We start to get all our knowledge of God 'second-hand' instead of going right to the source. We regurgitate food that was already chewed before we ever ate it. We need fresh manna which only comes from God.

God has made each one of us so uniquely different. We are the very expression of God. He is so infinitely vast in all His personality, character and attributes and we are - each and every one of us - an expression of some part of Him. Without 'you' being 'you', the Body is incomplete. You and your uniqueness is very needed and such a wonderful asset to the Body. When we each become 'ourselves,' we fit so well with everyone else!

I know that if I spent as much time with God discovering who I am as I do admiring others or trying to copy them, I would be much further along in this thing. I know that if I finally valued God's opinion more than anyone else's, I would step into a zone that I have never encountered before.

The other morning I sat down to spend some time with God. I have wonderful friends that read a lot of books and listen to a lot of video teaching and I do, too. So, I started to look up something that a friend had suggested we listen to, and I felt God pull on me so hard and insist that I just listen to Him. Spend time with Him. Quit counting on anyone but Him to teach me. Find out what His heart was for me and what He wanted to tell me.

And I realized all over again that God wants to form me in His Image. That 'me' in His Image is needed by 'you.' And vice versa. I need you to be 'you!'

Moses was not called to gather grain for a famine and Joseph was not created to part the Red Sea. Mary was called to give birth to the Messiah and she wasn't very good at building a boat. If each one of these people had modeled themselves after someone else and not sought God and become 'who they were in Him', things would be very different right now.

We're entering a new season right now and I sometimes I feel like my skin can't contain my spirit. I feel like I'm going to burst with expectation. I sense 'change' coming both in me and all around me. I am filled with fresh hope and so encouraged by God. I feel like some pieces have fallen into place and the shift is happening. I hope you're feeling it too!

My prayer group and I are going to be doing some fasting and praying - both individually and corporately. My expectations are high. I am praying for transformation - that God purify my heart and change me into His Image. That He corrects my wrong-thinking. That He gives me fresh revelation of Who He is and who I am in Him. I am praying for salvation for loved ones and that they have a life-changing encounter with the living God. That they step into who they are in Christ.

Because that's the key to everything - knowing who we are in Christ. Because He is everything and everywhere in our lives that we have valued anything outside of Him is anti-Christ.

So this year I want to encourage you. Turn off the TV. Put down the book. Find a quiet place and get alone with God. Saturate yourself with His Word. Ask Him who you are. Ask Him what He wants you to do. Learn to lose yourself in worship.

Find out who you are.

Love and blessings for God-filled 2017

"But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, 'With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.'" Matthew 19:26




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Home & Garden

Be-YOU-tiful in 2017

As the new year approaches, I find that God is giving me a new goal.

It's a simple goal really, and something I've worked on my whole life, but I feel like in this season God is telling me, and you, that it's very important that we get this one right this time.

The goal is to be myself.

I think for every one of us living in this media-saturated world, it's very hard not to compare ourselves to others. And so much of advertising and media is exactly that. The magazines and television ads want you to compare yourself with the person in the ad and feel like you don't measure up. So we set out to be that false person. A person that truly does not exist.

Or we see someone who has had success in an area and decide to do it their way. We become a poor imitation of them and lose our individuality. Or even worse, we look around and see a version of the same person everywhere we go. Sheep leading sheep.

Or we listen to an amazing woman or man of God and start to become fascinated with them instead of God. We start to get all our knowledge of God 'second-hand' instead of going right to the source. We regurgitate food that was already chewed before we ever ate it. We need fresh manna which only comes from God.

God has made each one of us so uniquely different. We are the very expression of God. He is so infinitely vast in all His personality, character and attributes and we are - each and every one of us - an expression of some part of Him. Without 'you' being 'you', the Body is incomplete. You and your uniqueness is very needed and such a wonderful asset to the Body. When we each become 'ourselves,' we fit so well with everyone else!

I know that if I spent as much time with God discovering who I am as I do admiring others or trying to copy them, I would be much further along in this thing. I know that if I finally valued God's opinion more than anyone else's, I would step into a zone that I have never encountered before.

The other morning I sat down to spend some time with God. I have wonderful friends that read a lot of books and listen to a lot of video teaching and I do, too. So, I started to look up something that a friend had suggested we listen to, and I felt God pull on me so hard and insist that I just listen to Him. Spend time with Him. Quit counting on anyone but Him to teach me. Find out what His heart was for me and what He wanted to tell me.

And I realized all over again that God wants to form me in His Image. That 'me' in His Image is needed by 'you.' And vice versa. I need you to be 'you!'

Moses was not called to gather grain for a famine and Joseph was not created to part the Red Sea. Mary was called to give birth to the Messiah and she wasn't very good at building a boat. If each one of these people had modeled themselves after someone else and not sought God and become 'who they were in Him', things would be very different right now.

We're entering a new season right now and I sometimes I feel like my skin can't contain my spirit. I feel like I'm going to burst with expectation. I sense 'change' coming both in me and all around me. I am filled with fresh hope and so encouraged by God. I feel like some pieces have fallen into place and the shift is happening. I hope you're feeling it too!

My prayer group and I are going to be doing some fasting and praying - both individually and corporately. My expectations are high. I am praying for transformation - that God purify my heart and change me into His Image. That He corrects my wrong-thinking. That He gives me fresh revelation of Who He is and who I am in Him. I am praying for salvation for loved ones and that they have a life-changing encounter with the living God. That they step into who they are in Christ.

Because that's the key to everything - knowing who we are in Christ. Because He is everything and everywhere in our lives that we have valued anything outside of Him is anti-Christ.

So this year I want to encourage you. Turn off the TV. Put down the book. Find a quiet place and get alone with God. Saturate yourself with His Word. Ask Him who you are. Ask Him what He wants you to do. Learn to lose yourself in worship.

Find out who you are.

Love and blessings for God-filled 2017

"But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, 'With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.'" Matthew 19:26




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Home & Garden

Beating the Holiday Blues

The holidays can be a lot of fun or they can be very stressful and painful. If you're missing loved ones, like we are, it seems to be even worse at Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

I want to tell you, first of all, that you are not alone. God knows our hearts and our thoughts even better than we know ourselves and He's aware of our pain and our sadness. Give it to Him.


I hope knowing that helps, but I wanted to share some things that we all can do this time of year when we're hit with sadness or even just the blues.

1. Get your praise on! You can literally war against those bad feelings by praising God. We praise Him not for what He's done, but for Who He is and He is a good, good Father. Open up your Bible and find a Psalm that expresses your heart and ends in praise. Turn on some praise music and sing at the top of your lungs. Yell. Stomp. Get it out in a positive way.

2. Be thankful. We all have something to be thankful for. Gratitude draws God and the heavenly host to us. When we begin to verbally express our thanks to God, the angels literally gather around us and begin to minister to us.

3. Spend time with the loved one you're missing. My dad died two years ago right before Thanksgiving. He loved to cook and I remember many huge meals that he prepared with joy at the holidays. When I'm missing him, I sit down and talk to him. I tell him how I'm feeling. I tell him the sweet things I remember about him. I celebrate his life. If I cry, that's okay too. It helps to look my grief right in the face and express it.

4. Watch what you're eating and drinking. What you eat affects your body and your moods greatly. Too much sugar, pastries and alcohol throw your body off balance, and cause you to feel bad physically and emotionally. Gluten causes inflammation and inflammation can cause depression. Take a few days and eat clean. Juice. Drink lots of water. Bless your body.

5. Get some exercise. It's 5 degrees here in Michigan today and we have a foot of snow. I'm not leaving the house - lol. But if you can, get outside, shovel some snow, sled down the hill with your kids, take a walk and breathe some fresh air. If you can't get outside, bounce on your mini-tramp, turn on an exercise video and dance  - do something to get your heart rate up. You'll feel better.

6. Give yourself some grace. If you're exhausting yourself trying reproduce that perfect holiday you see in the media~News Flash! It doesn't exist. If you don't have a perfectly decorated house, tons of presents under the tree and a gourmet meal planned, you don't have to!

One year our family had had a bad year. hmmm - we'd had a couple of bad years. I had bought all the food to prepare a large meal and after the presents were opened, I just didn't have it in me. I fixed a large brunch of French toast and bacon. We all ate like it was amazing just because it was unexpected, and then we went to the movies. One of the LOTR's was out so it was a long movie and my kids were thrilled. It was such a fun day even though we broke all our traditions. There are no rules about what to do on Christmas. Spend your day in your pajamas if you want to. And remind yourself that others might be doing the same thing.

7. If you're so down that you can't make yourself do any of these things and nothing is helping, call a friend and ask them to help you and pray for you. If you don't have a friend, email me and I will pray for you. lyndabrandly@gmail.com

I hope these things help. We all have times that we need to really focus on what's bothering us and then stop thinking about it and focus on our blessings. You are greatly loved by Our Heavenly Father.

love and blessings for a Merry Christmas~

"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." Psalm 56:8

"The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18
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Home & Garden

Beating the Holiday Blues

The holidays can be a lot of fun or they can be very stressful and painful. If you're missing loved ones, like we are, it seems to be even worse at Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

I want to tell you, first of all, that you are not alone. God knows our hearts and our thoughts even better than we know ourselves and He's aware of our pain and our sadness. Give it to Him.


I hope knowing that helps, but I wanted to share some things that we all can do this time of year when we're hit with sadness or even just the blues.

1. Get your praise on! You can literally war against those bad feelings by praising God. We praise Him not for what He's done, but for Who He is and He is a good, good Father. Open up your Bible and find a Psalm that expresses your heart and ends in praise. Turn on some praise music and sing at the top of your lungs. Yell. Stomp. Get it out in a positive way.

2. Be thankful. We all have something to be thankful for. Gratitude draws God and the heavenly host to us. When we begin to verbally express our thanks to God, the angels literally gather around us and begin to minister to us.

3. Spend time with the loved one you're missing. My dad died two years ago right before Thanksgiving. He loved to cook and I remember many huge meals that he prepared with joy at the holidays. When I'm missing him, I sit down and talk to him. I tell him how I'm feeling. I tell him the sweet things I remember about him. I celebrate his life. If I cry, that's okay too. It helps to look my grief right in the face and express it.

4. Watch what you're eating and drinking. What you eat affects your body and your moods greatly. Too much sugar, pastries and alcohol throw your body off balance, and cause you to feel bad physically and emotionally. Gluten causes inflammation and inflammation can cause depression. Take a few days and eat clean. Juice. Drink lots of water. Bless your body.

5. Get some exercise. It's 5 degrees here in Michigan today and we have a foot of snow. I'm not leaving the house - lol. But if you can, get outside, shovel some snow, sled down the hill with your kids, take a walk and breathe some fresh air. If you can't get outside, bounce on your mini-tramp, turn on an exercise video and dance  - do something to get your heart rate up. You'll feel better.

6. Give yourself some grace. If you're exhausting yourself trying reproduce that perfect holiday you see in the media~News Flash! It doesn't exist. If you don't have a perfectly decorated house, tons of presents under the tree and a gourmet meal planned, you don't have to!

One year our family had had a bad year. hmmm - we'd had a couple of bad years. I had bought all the food to prepare a large meal and after the presents were opened, I just didn't have it in me. I fixed a large brunch of French toast and bacon. We all ate like it was amazing just because it was unexpected, and then we went to the movies. One of the LOTR's was out so it was a long movie and my kids were thrilled. It was such a fun day even though we broke all our traditions. There are no rules about what to do on Christmas. Spend your day in your pajamas if you want to. And remind yourself that others might be doing the same thing.

7. If you're so down that you can't make yourself do any of these things and nothing is helping, call a friend and ask them to help you and pray for you. If you don't have a friend, email me and I will pray for you. lyndabrandly@gmail.com

I hope these things help. We all have times that we need to really focus on what's bothering us and then stop thinking about it and focus on our blessings. You are greatly loved by Our Heavenly Father.

love and blessings for a Merry Christmas~

"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." Psalm 56:8

"The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18
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Letters

Stupid Chickens

Chickens.

I have some chickens. They make good eggs and good soup.

But chickens are dumb. Stupid. Completely unintelligent. Goldfish are smarter than chickens. And so I learn a lot about myself from them.

These chickens are domesticated. Really domesticated. They know me as their provider, almost as if I were their god. Any time I open the back door, which they can see from their chicken yard, they cluster around the near side of their pen, eyes on me.

Any time I come near the chicken yard, they cluster around near me, knowing that I am their provider, knowing that very often, when I show up, I bring good things for them to eat. 

They’re constantly looking to me for their provision: what will I bring them today? They remind me of the apostle’s promise, “Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights,” only in this case, every good and perfect gift comes from me.

The other day, I brought a large handful of their favorite vegetable, kale, and I tossed it into their pen. They ignored the kale. They didn’t even notice that I’d tossed their favorite veggie into their pen. They just kept their eyes on me, knowing that I might give them something good to eat.

I explained to the brilliant birds: “I already brought you something good to eat. I have already provided for you. Go enjoy what I’ve already given you!”

And they clustered even tighter around that side of their fence, watching to see what I’d give them.

They were so intently focused on the fact that I am their provider, focused on what I might provide for them, that they completely missed the fact that I had already provided for them.

And as I watched them, I heard Father clearing his throat, drawing my attention to their actions. And I knew I was guilty.

There have been times that I’ve been so focused on God, who is my good provider, focused on what God is going to provide for me, that I completely miss what he’s already provided for me.

I’m learning to give thanks more, and to solicit provision less.


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Letters

Stupid Chickens

Chickens.

I have some chickens. They make good eggs and good soup.

But chickens are dumb. Stupid. Completely unintelligent. Goldfish are smarter than chickens. And so I learn a lot about myself from them.

These chickens are domesticated. Really domesticated. They know me as their provider, almost as if I were their god. Any time I open the back door, which they can see from their chicken yard, they cluster around the near side of their pen, eyes on me.

Any time I come near the chicken yard, they cluster around near me, knowing that I am their provider, knowing that very often, when I show up, I bring good things for them to eat. 

They’re constantly looking to me for their provision: what will I bring them today? They remind me of the apostle’s promise, “Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights,” only in this case, every good and perfect gift comes from me.

The other day, I brought a large handful of their favorite vegetable, kale, and I tossed it into their pen. They ignored the kale. They didn’t even notice that I’d tossed their favorite veggie into their pen. They just kept their eyes on me, knowing that I might give them something good to eat.

I explained to the brilliant birds: “I already brought you something good to eat. I have already provided for you. Go enjoy what I’ve already given you!”

And they clustered even tighter around that side of their fence, watching to see what I’d give them.

They were so intently focused on the fact that I am their provider, focused on what I might provide for them, that they completely missed the fact that I had already provided for them.

And as I watched them, I heard Father clearing his throat, drawing my attention to their actions. And I knew I was guilty.

There have been times that I’ve been so focused on God, who is my good provider, focused on what God is going to provide for me, that I completely miss what he’s already provided for me.

I’m learning to give thanks more, and to solicit provision less.


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Columns, Devotionals

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Many, many years ago, I stepped out to do something that God had called me to do. The result was not perfect and it was criticized. I went away believing I had failed - failed God, failed myself, let everybody down, etc.

Years later I heard someone say, "Well, it doesn't have to be perfect the first time you do something. You learn and you get better." And I had this moment of clarity and realized that the critical words that I had heard years before had bound me up. I had believed them. And they were not necessarily the heart of God.

When our children learn to walk, or learn to do anything new, we never expect that they will do it perfectly the first time. And neither does our God.

We learn by trying. We learn by obeying. And God knows we will not always get it right. But as we humble ourselves and try again, we get closer to the goal.

It takes courage to step out and try something new. It takes faith and courage. And God sees that and cheers us on! And we may stumble. But it takes faith and courage to get up and try again.

And I think sometimes God appreciates that we tried more than we can imagine.

Think of Moses when God told him to go and talk to Pharaoh. Moses was afraid and asked for Aaron to go with him and speak for him. And Moses didn't succeed the first time he told Pharaoh to "let my people go." What if Moses had walked away thinking that he hadn't done it right? Where would we be now? ;)

Moses was not 'the expert' in freeing the Children of Israel from bondage. He just obeyed. And don't you know he learned a lot along the way. And now he's our hero.

Wait on God. Make sure you don't get out ahead of Him. Be patient. Let Him prepare you. But when He gives you the go ahead - try! Just try! If you mess it up, come home and give it all to Him. Let Him refresh and direct you. If you get wounded, let Him heal you. Forgive.

And then try again.

And realize that we're all doing exactly what you're doing. We're learning how to walk with God - how to do the things He's called us to do. Because none of us have ever done them before. We all have to start somewhere. And as soon as we get comfortable with what God has called us to do, He moves us forward and asks us to do something new.

That's life.

Don't worry that you've fallen behind. Just do the first thing you know to do to catch up. I don't know if God has a Plan B (or C or D?) but I know He knows us better than we know ourselves and so nothing surprises him. Not even our hesitancy.

Start today. It won't be perfect. Maybe it never will be. But start today.

love and blessings~
PS - I wrote this to myself.
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Columns, Devotionals

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Many, many years ago, I stepped out to do something that God had called me to do. The result was not perfect and it was criticized. I went away believing I had failed - failed God, failed myself, let everybody down, etc.

Years later I heard someone say, "Well, it doesn't have to be perfect the first time you do something. You learn and you get better." And I had this moment of clarity and realized that the critical words that I had heard years before had bound me up. I had believed them. And they were not necessarily the heart of God.

When our children learn to walk, or learn to do anything new, we never expect that they will do it perfectly the first time. And neither does our God.

We learn by trying. We learn by obeying. And God knows we will not always get it right. But as we humble ourselves and try again, we get closer to the goal.

It takes courage to step out and try something new. It takes faith and courage. And God sees that and cheers us on! And we may stumble. But it takes faith and courage to get up and try again.

And I think sometimes God appreciates that we tried more than we can imagine.

Think of Moses when God told him to go and talk to Pharaoh. Moses was afraid and asked for Aaron to go with him and speak for him. And Moses didn't succeed the first time he told Pharaoh to "let my people go." What if Moses had walked away thinking that he hadn't done it right? Where would we be now? ;)

Moses was not 'the expert' in freeing the Children of Israel from bondage. He just obeyed. And don't you know he learned a lot along the way. And now he's our hero.

Wait on God. Make sure you don't get out ahead of Him. Be patient. Let Him prepare you. But when He gives you the go ahead - try! Just try! If you mess it up, come home and give it all to Him. Let Him refresh and direct you. If you get wounded, let Him heal you. Forgive.

And then try again.

And realize that we're all doing exactly what you're doing. We're learning how to walk with God - how to do the things He's called us to do. Because none of us have ever done them before. We all have to start somewhere. And as soon as we get comfortable with what God has called us to do, He moves us forward and asks us to do something new.

That's life.

Don't worry that you've fallen behind. Just do the first thing you know to do to catch up. I don't know if God has a Plan B (or C or D?) but I know He knows us better than we know ourselves and so nothing surprises him. Not even our hesitancy.

Start today. It won't be perfect. Maybe it never will be. But start today.

love and blessings~
PS - I wrote this to myself.
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Home & Garden, Tips & How To

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Many, many years ago, I stepped out to do something that God had called me to do. The result was not perfect and it was criticized. I went away believing I had failed - failed God, failed myself, let everybody down, etc.

Years later I heard someone say, "Well, it doesn't have to be perfect the first time you do something. You learn and you get better." And I had this moment of clarity and realized that the critical words that I had heard years before had bound me up. I had believed them. And they were not necessarily the heart of God.

When our children learn to walk, or learn to do anything new, we never expect that they will do it perfectly the first time. And neither does our God.

We learn by trying. We learn by obeying. And God knows we will not always get it right. But as we humble ourselves and try again, we get closer to the goal.

It takes courage to step out and try something new. It takes faith and courage. And God sees that and cheers us on! And we may stumble. But it takes faith and courage to get up and try again.

And I think sometimes God appreciates that we tried more than we can imagine.

Think of Moses when God told him to go and talk to Pharaoh. Moses was afraid and asked for Aaron to go with him and speak for him. And Moses didn't succeed the first time he told Pharaoh to "let my people go." What if Moses had walked away thinking that he hadn't done it right? Where would we be now? ;)

Moses was not 'the expert' in freeing the Children of Israel from bondage. He just obeyed. And don't you know he learned a lot along the way. And now he's our hero.

Wait on God. Make sure you don't get out ahead of Him. Be patient. Let Him prepare you. But when He gives you the go ahead - try! Just try! If you mess it up, come home and give it all to Him. Let Him refresh and direct you. If you get wounded, let Him heal you. Forgive.

And then try again.

And realize that we're all doing exactly what you're doing. We're learning how to walk with God - how to do the things He's called us to do. Because none of us have ever done them before. We all have to start somewhere. And as soon as we get comfortable with what God has called us to do, He moves us forward and asks us to do something new.

That's life.

Don't worry that you've fallen behind. Just do the first thing you know to do to catch up. I don't know if God has a Plan B (or C or D?) but I know He knows us better than we know ourselves and so nothing surprises him. Not even our hesitancy.

Start today. It won't be perfect. Maybe it never will be. But start today.

love and blessings~
PS - I wrote this to myself.
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Home & Garden, Tips & How To

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Many, many years ago, I stepped out to do something that God had called me to do. The result was not perfect and it was criticized. I went away believing I had failed - failed God, failed myself, let everybody down, etc.

Years later I heard someone say, "Well, it doesn't have to be perfect the first time you do something. You learn and you get better." And I had this moment of clarity and realized that the critical words that I had heard years before had bound me up. I had believed them. And they were not necessarily the heart of God.

When our children learn to walk, or learn to do anything new, we never expect that they will do it perfectly the first time. And neither does our God.

We learn by trying. We learn by obeying. And God knows we will not always get it right. But as we humble ourselves and try again, we get closer to the goal.

It takes courage to step out and try something new. It takes faith and courage. And God sees that and cheers us on! And we may stumble. But it takes faith and courage to get up and try again.

And I think sometimes God appreciates that we tried more than we can imagine.

Think of Moses when God told him to go and talk to Pharaoh. Moses was afraid and asked for Aaron to go with him and speak for him. And Moses didn't succeed the first time he told Pharaoh to "let my people go." What if Moses had walked away thinking that he hadn't done it right? Where would we be now? ;)

Moses was not 'the expert' in freeing the Children of Israel from bondage. He just obeyed. And don't you know he learned a lot along the way. And now he's our hero.

Wait on God. Make sure you don't get out ahead of Him. Be patient. Let Him prepare you. But when He gives you the go ahead - try! Just try! If you mess it up, come home and give it all to Him. Let Him refresh and direct you. If you get wounded, let Him heal you. Forgive.

And then try again.

And realize that we're all doing exactly what you're doing. We're learning how to walk with God - how to do the things He's called us to do. Because none of us have ever done them before. We all have to start somewhere. And as soon as we get comfortable with what God has called us to do, He moves us forward and asks us to do something new.

That's life.

Don't worry that you've fallen behind. Just do the first thing you know to do to catch up. I don't know if God has a Plan B (or C or D?) but I know He knows us better than we know ourselves and so nothing surprises him. Not even our hesitancy.

Start today. It won't be perfect. Maybe it never will be. But start today.

love and blessings~
PS - I wrote this to myself.
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Columns, Devotionals

Increasing Your Faith (Part Two)

If you have not read, "Increasing Your Faith - Part One" yet, please read yesterday's post.  

As I shared yesterday, to know God, we first need to know His Word.  He and His Word are One. His Word establishes a 'boundary' in our hearts and minds as to the character and nature of God.  




As we spend time in His Word, we begin to recognize God's voice. (John 10:27) His Word begins to rise up on the inside of us and lives. His living Word begins to easily expose the lies in our mind and thought-life that disagree with His Word and then we tear them down with the truth of God's Word.

And as we begin to get a picture of Who God is, the natural outcome is love and praise.  Praise and thanksgiving begins to rise up on the inside of us. We begin to praise Him for Who He is and thank Him for what He's done..

Praise is declaring Who God is!  The Seven Hebrew Words for Praise. Praise comes out of our mouth and is expressed with our bodies. Praise causes us to sing, to raise our hands, to dance, and to shout. Praise is not praise until it comes out of our mouth. Our hearts may be filled with all kinds of good thoughts toward God but that's not praise.  Again, praise is not praise until it comes out of our mouth.

I love the words to Matt Redman's song, "Dancing Generation."

"Your mercy taught us how to dance
To celebrate with all we have
And we'll dance to thank You for mercy


Your glory taught us how to shout
To lift Your name in all the earth
And we'll shout to the praise of Your glory


It's the overflow of a forgiven soul
And now we've seen You, God

And our hearts cannot stay silent!!

And we'll be a dancing generation
Dancing because of Your great mercy, Lord
Your great mercy, Lord"


It's the overflow of a forgiven soul and now we've seen you God...and OUR HEARTS CANNOT STAY SILENT!!  That's praise!

Praise is the guy at the football game with no shirt on, his chest painted and a cheese on his head. Praise is the woman who answers the door and finds out she won a million dollars and can't quit rejoicing.  Praise is being so overwhelmed by the goodness of God that you can't contain it. Praise is finding out that even though you deserve to spend eternity separated from God that He paid the price and you get to spend eternity with Him!

Hebrews 4:16 tells us to 'come boldly into the throne room.'  That word 'boldly' means 'with confidence.'  Confidence born of faith. Confidence that comes from knowing we're forgiven and washed clean by the blood of the Lamb. Confidence that comes from knowing that Our Father loves us and gave up His life for us so that we might have perfect fellowship with Him.  

He wants us to come into the throne room!  He wants us to spend time with Him. We were created to praise Him and fellowship with Him! If anything is stopping you from doing this, go back and destroy that lie with the Word! If there's habitual sin in your life, give it to Him - put it under the blood and destroy the guilt with the truth of His forgiveness.  Get washed clean with the Word.

God wants us to KNOW Him. This word does not mean that we know everything about God.  He is infinite.  It means 'to know' someone like a bride knows her husband. It means 'to be intimately acquainted with.'  This word means 'to intercourse' with God.

The Bible says that marriage is a mystery that is an illustration of the Bride of Christ and Jesus, the Head of the Church.  Ephesians 5:32  

We are to be the intimate Bride of Christ. When we come before God with praise, His Presence is drawn to us. James 4:8 says that when we draw near to God, He draws near to us. As we begin to get lost in His Presence, we enter into worship.  In this place of worship, Spirit touches spirit, and we are satisfied and made whole.  We cannot be made whole without this intimacy with God.

It's in this Holy of Holies that we are transformed into His likeness. We are changed from glory unto glory unto glory as we behold Him. (2 Cor 3:18)  It's in this place that He fills our hearts with His Love and His Nature and we become Christ-like. It's in this place that He speaks to us and makes His heart known to us.

When I get up in the morning, I don't have a 'quiet-time.'  I don't DO devotions. I come before God with praise. I enter into the Presence of God through praise and I worship Him. That's not to say that I'm never quiet before God.  I'm often quiet before God - after I get into His Presence.

I typically get my Bible, (a cup of coffee), my journal and pen.  I turn on praise and worship music. And I go to God with praise.

Sometimes when I enter into worship, God will speak something to me that I need to write down. Other times He will show me something in His Word. Sometimes He will 'download' revelation and understanding into my heart.  He will show me visions and pictures of people.  He shows me how to pray.

Sometimes, God will direct me to 'declare' the things He's telling me. At times, I will become overwhelmed with the victory that God is showing me and I have to dance and shout and wave a banner. (This is spiritual warfare - following God's direction and speaking His Voice into the earth... praising God with dance and banners that summon the angels to do God's warfare. I'll try to share some teachings with you on this in the future and the language of color.) 

It's in this place with God that I get healed and restored and washed. God convicts me of sin and I ask His forgiveness and He empowers me to change, to repent. I can't change myself just because I decide to - that's humanism. And it doesn't work.  I need God to change me on the inside. I need God to judge me and correct me and to empower me.  I need God.  I need God, the person!  

I need on-going, life-changing encounters and intercourse with the One Who created me.  It's through these encounters that I begin to understand who He created me to be and I begin to walk in it. 

And that's faith! 

I have gone through seasons and times in my thirty-some years with the Lord when I have not been faithful to do this. And I get weaker. I stop growing.  I become stagnant.  But when I set my heart to seek Him and do what I  know to do, He is always faithful!  He always receives me and restores me and sets me free. He has restored the years the locust have eaten.  He has set me on a rock and I cannot be shaken. He has taken me out of the pit and put me in a wide-open place.  

If I need healing, I often receive it, just by being in His Presence.  Spending time with God will cause all the gifts of the Spirit to rise up in you.  You will become sensitive to His leading all day long. You will hear His voice and His direction.  God will drop things down into my Spirit during the day as I'm doing the laundry. Sometimes the things He will give me during the day are so huge that I will have to drop to my knees next to the washing machine and thank Him and praise Him again.

This is abiding in Him.  This is seeing the world through His eyes and knowing with confidence that He has heard me and is answering my prayers.

This is walking by faith and not by sight.

love and blessings~









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