Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bold and Stouthearted

Isn’t it interesting that when God wants to tell you something He will keep repeating it until you hear it?

He can be specific to you even if it is in an arena with 8500 other women. That is exactly what happened a few weekends ago at the Beth Moore conference. Imagine if you will how my jaw hit the floor when she stated the topic for the weekend...Fulfilling Your Ministry. I know those sitting around me had to have heard the loud THUD!

Travis began by reading Psalm 138:1-3. Verse three says,

“When I called, you answered me. You made me bold and stouthearted.”

Stouthearted means brave, resolute, dauntless. What a way to call me to worship and seek what God had for me that weekend. I want to be bold and stouthearted. I want to be brave in what He calls me to do. I want to resolve to give it all to Him. I DO NOT want to be intimidated by what lies ahead.

Over the course of the weekend, Beth’s message was on 2 Timothy 4:1-8 and she gave the following 7 points.

1. Adopt a succinct life goal. God had already been working on this with me. I was challenged by a friend to ask others what they saw as my passion and then to create a short phrase capturing what I felt described my ministry. I came up with the tagline…”Stepping out of the Shadows, Into the Word”. That has now become my life goal, to help others step out of the shadows and fall in love with His Word.

2. Acquire the appropriate tools. Her questions that hit home were, “What would it take to do what God has called you to do? What self-discipline would it take?” I have to make up my mind that I will do whatever it takes!

3. Endure the hard for the sake of the good. Learn the art of pure perseverance.

4. Embrace the necessity and complexity of community. We can’t do ministry without people.

5. Accept God’s willing and healing. This was crucial to me. I had to be open to God’s will but not only that I had to let God fully heal the past hurts that I keep getting hung up on.

6. Entrust yourself to a divine “so that”. I have to accept that I went through things “so that” I can minister to others and glorify God.

7. Always and forever, come what may…Keep the Faith.

God is speaking to me ladies. How is He speaking to you? I would love to know what He is saying to you over and over.

Seeking to be stouthearted!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fear! Just plain ol’ fear!

As I have been posting about this journey I have been leaving one thing out. What I feel God is calling me to do.

Recently a couple of readers have seen me in public and stated, “You just leave us hanging.”

Jokingly I think, “Well that will keep you coming back.” But deep within I know that isn’t the logic at all. It is pure FEAR!

You see if I never post it or say it out loud you can’t hold me accountable or better yet, you can’t shake your head and say “No Way” or look she failed. Believe me, you won’t have to do any of these because I already will have beaten you to it.

What God is calling me to do is so far out of my comfort zone that I have already tried to throw in the towel. I have wanted to crumble what I was working on and throw it in the trash and then walk away. It has been the most trying and humbling experience I have taken on. Then God gave me another verse (don’t you just love His timing!)

“Be strong and courageous and do the work.
Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God is with you.
He will not fail you or forsake you.
He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly.”
1 Chronicles 28:20

That first line got me! As if He were yelling at me “Do the WORK!”

Then He went on to encourage me and although at the time this verse was written it was about the temple in Jerusalem, He assured me that since I am His temple that He will make sure that it is finished correctly.

A friend told me that either I will have to say it on my own or God will make me say it.

So here it is…

God has placed two opportunities in front of me. One not as hard as the other but both are challenging.

The first is to facilitate a blog for women’s ministry leaders within our state. I will be an encourager to ladies that are in leadership and provide training and information along the way. This is very near and dear to me because I see that is a need that I did not have while I was a leader in women’s ministry.

The second is to go into churches and other gathering of ladies to share God’s Word. I lived much of my life in the shadows, the shadows of others and even my insecurities. God gently (ok not always gently) pushed me to step out of the shadows and into the Word. Now He is calling me to share with other ladies how to no longer be shadow dwellers but to live in His light and fall in love His Word.

I do covet your prayers! If I fall on my face please just extend a helping hand up without a shaking head. However, God has been doing some mighty BIG things regarding this so I might get a few scraped knees along the way but I don’t think He is going to bring me this far to let me fall on my face.

Stepping of the Shadows…Into His Word.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Journey or Destination?

I love to travel.

Someone mention road trip and I am trying with everything I’ve got to figure out a way to go.

Recently as my sister and I were talking about a get-away we are taking with our mother, we joked about how our husbands are all about the destination. We on the other hand are just as much about the journey as the destination. I guess we come by in honestly. Our dad is the king of the journey.

Our childhood memories are filled with what we did between points A and B. He was notorious for jumping off the Interstate and getting on the back roads to really experience that area. Oh the things we ventured upon and learned will forever be etched in our minds.

One trip my sons and I were on with my parents is still talked about. We were taking a car trip from Arkansas to Washington D.C. My dad would drive out of the way to visit things like horse farms, log cabins and famous bridges. After many side tours my boys begin to think we were really lost and would never find our final destination. Finally my oldest having so much fun, piped up and said, “Papaw we’ve got all summer to be lost.” Both boys were learning to enjoy the journey. They didn’t have their eyes only fixed on where the trip was suppose to end rather they were experiencing the trip.

This is the same with the journey with God. My heavenly Father is very interested in what lies between points A and B. He is setting me out on a new journey that will have adventures and lessons that will be forever etched in my mind and heart.

As I start out on this pilgrimage, God has provided me with traveling instructions.

Stop at the crossroads and look around.
Ask for the old godly way and walk in it.
Travel it’s path and you will find rest for your soul.
Jeremiah 6:16

I know that as I venture down this new path God has set out for me I will come to crossroads. Each presenting decisions in my route and it is up to me to pick the direction in which to continue. If I seek the godly path and make that course my path I will find rest.

Are you enjoying the journey? Are you more concerned about the destination? I want to encourage you to ask for the godly way and walk in it. You will find rest for your soul!

Enjoying the journey!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Freedom in the Desert

Have you ever seen the movie “Braveheart”? William Wallace, the main character, fights for freedom. It is the one constant push throughout his journey. Oppression heavily placed upon his country by rulers and other countries. But no matter what he encountered, William’s passion grew and even to his last breath he cried for freedom.

Through my journey I knew I needed freedom from the shackles that had clasped their bonds around me. I was assured by God that I was still looked upon with favor but within the recesses of my thoughts I was not free from the past, the hurts and discouragement. I needed to cry out and passionately pursue freedom even if it took my last breath.

Then God simply blew me away. You guessed it! It was time for another verse to commit to memory. This time God gave me:

Forget about the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:18-19

God was giving me the directions on how to be free from this desert I was in.

Forget and do not dwell. He was telling me to omit thinking of and dwelling on the past. Ouch! That was exactly what I had been doing. God wanted me to step away but learn from the journey I had just walked through. I don’t know about you but when I dwell on things too long it hinders me from moving ahead. I needed to let go and let GOD!

What I didn’t expect just yet was the “see I am doing a new thing”. I, at first, thought it was just a new thing in my heart. You know the fresh attitude or the clean slate in my thought processes.


God had other things in mind. He really was doing something new in my life. I still have a passion for women and women’s ministry but not being in leadership in the local church I was lost. God helped me to see that had I not traveled down the road and things had not happened the way they had, I probably would have been sitting doing the same thing again and again. He had a different plan for me and wanted me to rely on Him and start stepping out on faith.

Lysa Terkeurst said something once, “I want a faith that requires a little faith.” This was something I so desperately wanted. I knew I needed to have faith for the next adventure God was calling me too.

Cheri Keaggy sings a song with the lyrics, “a faith that has never been tested is growth that is long overdue.”

It was time for growth! God was springing up something within my heart that I knew was only from Him. I was certain that it was from God because it terrified me!

But as I watched God slowly soften my heart and slightly open doors I knew this path was for me to walk down. He is truly making a way in the desert and providing streams in the wasteland.

I am excited and nervous about this fork in the road. I can chose to stay on the path that I am comfortable with or I can step out on the other path and experience something that only God can provide.

I am choosing the unfamiliar path. Some will think I am crazy, others won’t see me doing what He is calling too.  Ha, I don't see me doing what He's calling me to do but I guess that is the growth part.

I want to experience all that God has in store for this Jesus girl!


Thursday, April 7, 2011


Do you remember the story about the little boy that would sing the song, “Nobody likes me, every body hates me. I’m going to eat some worms.”

I felt just like that little boy when God said No.

Dejected. All I knew to do was revert back to what I used to do. Go hide. A long time ago that was something I was very good at. Hide in my room, behind someone that was close to me or even hide behind my fears.

In that hiding, God still worked. He began to convict me that I really didn’t have much of His Word hidden in my heart. About that time Beth Moore started a challenge on her blog to memorize two verses a month. She would not give us the verse, we would have to find those ourselves. The blog was just an accountability site. Up for the challenge, I jumped on board.

After the first verse was chosen which was Psalms 65:11 I began to want to get ahead of the game and find a list of all the verses I would commit to memory.

After searching the Internet I found a list “100 Verses that Every Christians Should Memorize.”

Perfect!!! I hit the print button but can you believe it? Almost as quickly as it took to print them I lost them. I searched all over for that list and still to this day have no idea where it is.

As teenagers say so often now days…Fail.

Then the morning it was time to post the next verse I had chosen to memorize, God gave it to me. It was like He was saying, “I will give you the verses, in my time and in the order I chose.”

That next verse was Exodus 33:13 “If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor.”

Not only did I commit it to memory, this verse became my prayer. I knew God was telling me that He still looked on me with favor and I was to seek to know His ways. I wasn’t to feel dejected and hide from Him or anyone else rather I was to take this time to get to know Him better. I was to seek Him and learn to understand His way more clearly. His direction to this verse gave me the promise that He was not to hiding from me.

No longer feeling dejected, now a strong desire to know Him more began to grow.

With His Favor,


Monday, April 4, 2011

Did HE really have to say No?

I bet you are like me…you don’t like to be told NO! I didn’t like it as a child and really don’t like it as a grown woman. But that is exactly what God told me. NO!

I knew it was coming. I could sense it but I didn’t want to hear it. I loved being in leadership with women’s ministry. To be honest I found my identity in it. Why would God tell me no?

I’ll tell you why. I no longer relied on HIM. I no longer found my identity in HIM. I had gotten into a comfortable place. I knew how to organize events to the last detail, how to coordinate Bible studies, how to research new things in ministry and do many other things a women’s leader did. I just got to self-reliant.

Not only did I depend on myself but I let myself get tangled in a web that led to bitterness and heartache. Instead of sharing this struggle with others and asking for someone to lend a hand to cut the web, I kept fighting until I was so entangled that I couldn’t move. You know much like Frodo did in the spider’s cave during the movie Lord of the Rings.

God knows me better than I know myself and said, “Now is time for you a NO season.”

I panicked and began telling really almost shouting at Him “NO!” But He was so gentle raising my eyes to Him and then repeated the words softly, “No”. Eventually I gave in and resigned. Now What?

First I was paralyzed. I felt I no longer existed or was sent back to stand along the wall like I did some much during my life.

But the Bible tells us that God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. However, one thing it doesn’t tell us is how far ahead that light shines on the path for us. Oh I wanted to see what lay ahead but I couldn’t stretch my neck far enough. My kids laugh because I don’t like being outside in the dark alone. I will never venture outside of the reach of the light. Guess God knew that and knew I would run to far ahead and take things in my own hands if He shone the light very far ahead. Stormie Omartian has a book out “Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On”. Even though I have just recently found the book, the title alone speaks to me. For that is exactly what He was giving me so that I would rely on Him again. My “now what” was just to stand on that step on the path and trust He will shine just enough light for that day. I was to simply rely on Him to direct my path.

This new path has been scary yet exciting. Through it all He has supplied verses in the most unique order for me to memorize. I’ll share those alone the journey!

Until next time “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding,, In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Not stepping beyond His light,


Friday, April 1, 2011

Desiring the Rain….yes that was exactly what I wanted but I felt more that I got a drought. As though I have been buried in the sand but I think I have resurfaced. Incase you didn’t notice but from my post before last it had been 6 months since I wrote something on the blog. It is not that I didn’t log on and try. It was more like I was lost.

I didn’t know how to communicate the journey I was on.

It was such an up and down thing, more downs than ups I think. The blog started out primarily for women’s ministry but since stepping down I wanted to refocus it to what I was going through. Little did I know what that would entail.

I found myself confused and seemingly wondering. I knew without a shadow of a doubt at the time God led me to make that decision but now I was second-guessing myself.

I asked God repeatedly:

If I had made a mistake stepping down from leadership?

If He was finished with me, did I no longer have a ministry?

At first, I dug into His Word but I am sad to say that several times I set it aside for a long periods. Oh how thankful that I serve a God that won’t let me stay away from Him for very long. He at first whispered my name and then at times I know He was in a full out loud voice He was shouting it. Thankfully He got my attention.

So now I just think I am ready to share the journey. To put my toes back in and stir the water to share how God has never left me no forsaken me.

I invite you to join me and I will be as open as I can be.

To end this post I will give you the first verse God gave me to memorize this year. It really set my thoughts on the journey ahead and was an encouragement for me to continue.

“You crown the year with a bountiful harvest. Even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.”
Psalms 65.11

Walking in the Rain again!