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!


want to win a free copy of “rise up”? see instructions at the end of this blog for a chance to win.

hebrews 11 is my favorite chapter in the Bible. i wish i share that as a confirmation of my great faith and trust when times get tough. instead, i believe that chapter speaks to me so personally because i, too, long to be like the ordinary names listed, putting faith before my fears. i must be honest and share that faith often falls short of my fears – many of which are completely fiction and made up in my head. please tell me i am not alone?

it isn’t easy to admit that, especially when you are in church leadership. somewhere we have gotten the idea that we are supposed to pretend we are perfect, but we all know that isn’t true. sometimes we just need to be authentic and share the battle we fight with fear. that’s why i highly recommend this new book by my friend vanessa myers “rise up – choosing faith over fear in Christian ministry.”

i was so excited to get an early release copy of the book to write an endorsement. below is what i shared. 

we have all been there. we’ve been paralyzed in fear at the thought that God wants to use us in ministry. that is why i am thankful for vanessa’s new book, “rise up.” she shares her journey with a transparent lens that not only captures you but challenges and convicts you to evaluate your fears as they correlate with your call to ministry. i am so grateful for her real life examples as well as her constant use of scripture as her source for truth and encouragement. “rise up” will be a great resource for one new in ministry as well as the seasoned servant..

because i believe in the truths shared in this book, i wanted each of you to know about it and hopefully we can dialogue more openly about the struggles we share with fears. i also want to offer you a chance to win a free copy shipped right to your door. all you have to do is comment below. just share where you serve in ministry and the role in which you currently serve. on monday, september 17 i will enter all all the names in the comment section into a drawing to win a free copy of this book. that’s not hard, comment below for a chance to win!

and if you are in the kidmin world you will also want to check out vanessa’s blog here. she offers great ideas and insight as a children’s ministry leader.

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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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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