this past weekend i had the absolute blessing of worshipping and hearing from God’s word with over 500 other women at the rest 4 the soul retreat.

in my breakout on “faith in the fallen world” i shared that the only object of our faith is to be Jesus. to prove that He alone is worthy and capable i shared who God showed me Jesus was in each of the chapters in the book of john. i promised some friends in the breakout i would make it easier to find on my blog so here is that list!

  • in chapter one Jesus is the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us. 
  •  in chapter two He is the mighty man of miracles.
  • in chapter three Jesus is Savior and the only way to be born again.  
  • in chapter four Jesus is the Living Water.
  • in chapter five He is Healer and equal to God.
  • in chapter six Jesus is the Bread of Life.
  •  in chapter seven Jesus is the Christ.
  •  in chapter eight Jesus is the Light of the world.
  • in chapter nine He makes the blind see.
  • in chapter ten Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
  •  in chapter eleven He is the Resurrection and the Life. 
  • in chapter twelve He is the Son of Man lifted up.
  • in chapter thirteen He is the humble servant. 
  •  in chapter fourteen Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
  • in chapter fifteen He is the True Vine.
  • in chapter sixteen He is Overcomer.
  • in chapter seventeen Jesus prays for us.
  • in chapter eighteen He is called Jesus of Nazareth and King of the Jews.
  • in chapter nineteen Jesus, our Savior, was crucified for us. 
  • in chapter twenty Jesus is ALIVE!!!!
  • in chapter twenty-one Jesus appears to His disciples, tells Peter to feed His sheep, and we learn that Jesus did so many other things that the world could not hold the volumes of books it would take to record them!

Freedomi am continually awed by God’s Word and how the way in which He worked over 2,000 years ago still applies to my life today. these ancient words are what hit me afresh this morning.

moses answered the people, “do not be afraid. stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. the egyptians you see today you will never see again. the Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
exodus 14:13-14

the Israelites were being set free, but in front of them stood yet another obstacle – the red sea. after countless miracles and mercies through the plagues, the Israelites reached yet another point where their actions could not rescue them. God brought them to this place so He could bring about great deliverance and receive all the glory.

we have all been at a place where we feel bound, confused, and unable to control the outcome. when i am there, my first reaction is to flee, fight, or put one foot in front of the other just trying to make a way. so many times i believe my faith is proven through “doing.” truth is, in my strength, i bring no more to my hemmed-in circumstances than the Israelites brought to the edge of the red sea.

sometimes my biggest “step” of faith is one to stand firm, be still, and allow God to do what i simply cannot.

just as the Israelites couldn’t imagine the scene of the red sea parting before them, we can’t imagine the details of what God is working out for our good and ultimately His glory. so i am going to quit trying to figure things out. moment by moment i long to stand firm, be still, and look to the Lord who fights for me. through surrender and rest in Him, may i catch a glimpse of His worth as He receives all the glory.

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plain and simple, it was sin. i had spewed from the mouth once again and while i felt entitled at the time, after i felt awful. after the outburst that was riddled with pride i kept asking myself, where did that come from? i was speaking to the Lord from my heart and He eventually spoke right back. it was bitterness. this quick lash from the tongue was connected to some deep seeded bitterness and it needed to be dealt with immediately.

so today i sat down in a time of confession and acknowledged i was wrong. i admitted that something i was holding on to really had a hold on me. i thought it was empowering, but really it was ugly. as i talked to God about it, i knew that saying i had “no filter” was no excuse. i literally wrote the following words in my journal and then the Lord’s answer left me swimming in His grace:

“break and open up the bitter root with Your Word and with Your grace.” 

FullSizeRenderthen as i opened to today’s daily light verses, i was simply blown away. i had to read them aloud. i was sitting in my comfy chair and He chose to lavish love and grace once again on my dirty heart.

so, i thought maybe i wasn’t the only one that needed to be reminded of the freedom found in His grace today. here are the verses. how do they impact you today?

“but may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” 1 peter 5:10

“then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”” exodus 33:19

“then He is gracious to him, and says, ‘deliver him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom’;” job 33:24

“being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,” romans 3:24-25

“for the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” john 1:17

 “for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,” ephesians 2:8

“to timothy, a true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 timothy 1:2

“but to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” ephesians 4:7

“as each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 1 peter 4:10

“but He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’” james 4:6

“but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. to Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” 2 peter 3:18


comment on this post for a chance to win a free copy of “the storm inside.” the book releases tuesday, february 11.  i’ll draw a winner from my blog on the same day. 


if ministry leaders are honest, i believe we would admit that we are some of the best at pretending the storms of life don’t wreak havoc on our hearts and minds.  through ministry expectations and packed serving schedules we can become quite skilled at stuffing the storms in our lives without addressing their real sources.  or maybe it is just me? either way, i am so grateful for the opportunity to preview shelia walsh’s new book the storm inside.

i was immediately captivated by the introduction of the storm inside.  sheila shares about a “beautiful exchange” that took place during a speaking event to women in ministry.  after sharing about how she had been guilty of hiding her darkest feelings behind the veil of ministry, she invited the ministry leaders to write down on a card a burden they no longer wanted to carry.  through what happened that day and her experience of speaking to women all over the globe, she has brought these burdens under the banner of the following ten feelings.  maybe one, two, or many of the words  below represent burdens you also carry.

heartache, disappointment, fear, bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, regret, abandonment, shame, insecurity

with each chapter of the storm inside, shelia, through the truth of scripture, takes us on an honest, self-examining journey of these ten feelings.  she is transparent about her own struggles, grounds her words on scripture, and provides you with personal actions steps at the end of each chapter.  i highly recommend this book to any woman and i would love to hear how God speaks to you through these pages.StormInPic_C1

here are just a couple of my take away quotes from the storm inside. (i had a hard time choosing just five, so you will have to read the book to hear all the other amazing truths.)

  • “The greatest defense against the storm of lies that the enemy would use to drain every moment of joy from your life is to surround yourself with the truth of God’s Word.” – Sheila Walsh “The Storm Inside”
  • “We must replace the lies we have believed for the truth of who God says we are.” – Sheila Walsh “The Storm Inside”
  • “When we drag the weight of unforgiveness to the cross and, by the grace and mercy of God, leave it there, then the enemy is at a loss.” – Sheila Walsh “The Storm Inside”
  • “Our own ‘Esther moments’ will come, when the Lord will ask us to step out of what seems to be a place of insignificance and instead stand with courage for the King and His Kingdom.” – Sheila Walsh “The Storm Inside”
  • “A woman of faith holds fast to the truth, even when nothing seems to make sense to her, knowing there her faith stands (and rests) on the finished work of Christ.” – Sheila Walsh “The Storm Inside”

want to take these truths further? click the image below to sign-up to participate in the free webcasts with sheila and special guests.  (past webcasts are also available.)


don’t forget, simply comment on this post for a chance to win a free copy of “the storm inside.” a winner will be drawn tuesday, february 11.

Basic RGBrecently i attended an all sons & daughters / tim tommons concert in the area.  during one of the familiar worship songs, tim timmons stopped and challenged us.  he asked, “what if we really, whole heartedly believed the amazing words we were singing? how would our worship be different?”

what a simple, profound thought.  we often worship so flippantly, allowing words to casually fall from our lips before taking time to examine our heart.  my worship the rest of the evening was altered.  i could no longer just sing to be a voice.  with each song, i had to consider what i truly believed about each word i voiced.  more often than going through the motions of the song, i fell silent in prayer.

as we enter the Christmas season, i can’t help but think about applying this same principle.  we will have the opportunity to hear and teach scriptures we have studied countless of times.  carols and worship songs we sing are so familiar we could easily sing the last note without ever truly pondering the truth the tune holds.

so, i ask myself this Christmas: 

 what if i lived like i really believed the miraculous truths of Christmas?  

what if instead of “lip service”, i celebrated Christmas with “life service” grounded in deep belief?

what if, as i taught the lessons of Christmas to children, i could support them with examples of where i have allowed Him to be faithful to me?

my Christmas could be different if:

as i pondered the way our Savior and King entered the world, i could eagerly trust that His ways are not like mine.

i believed beyond the shadow of a doubt that “nothing is impossible with God.” (luke 1:37)

i not only taught children about how an angel told mary, joseph, and the shepherds  “not to be afraid” (luke 1:30, matthew 1:20, luke 2:10), but i lived a fearless life trusting God’s plan.

mary’s song caused me to examine if my soul truly “glorifies the Lord.” (luke 1:47)

like the shepherds, my reason to hurry was to spend time with Jesus. (luke 2:16)

i, like the wisemen, may have some valuable gifts for Jesus this Christmas.  i could lay down some idols and my “precious” time. i could tightly wrap up control and trust it to the One who holds me in the palm of His hand.  and, i could consistently lay my future at my Savior’s feet.

one day at a time this Christmas season, may i live more and more like i believe!

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