The sun was out Sunday!  The tremendous beauty of God’s creation is found on a sunny PNW day. I spent my afternoon cleaning out my closet which apparently is my last vestige of my teen years.  Why I let is get so messy is beyond me but it happens, every time!

I attempted to go out and play but since my sister was too busy for a walk, I concluded I was supposed to focus on my to-do list, mainly said closet.  So I opened the windows as wide as I could and I enjoyed the sunshine from the whole that is my closet.

I have never kept a house plant alive but I have a Wandering Jew my step-mom gave me back in 2015 that seems almost impossible to kill. It is on the brink of death at the moment so I positioned it to enjoy the sunshine too and made sure it would soak it up all day.  Staring the the sad little dying branches I pondered Pastor Cindy’s message.  I am in awe of the way the Lord speaks the same message to our team in complete different ways.  For me, proclaiming the goodness of Jesus in my life began to take shape a few months ago.  I started blogging again after a very long hiatus because I couldn’t contain my excitement about what God is doing.  I recognize that my close friends and family may be the only ones reading it but  who cares. To me it is Acts 14:2, reporting ALL that God has done. I’m giving God what I have and we’ll see what he does with it. I think it is pretty cool that God put it on my heart to start doing it long before He put that same message on Pastor Cindy’s heart.


Now back to my sad little Wandering Jew. Much like Paul who was stoned and dragged out of the city, I’ve been dealt a few blows that have left my life resembling this plant. Dried out, shriveled up and on the brink of complete annihilation. But if I make a perspective shift I can see that even branches that seems completely dead often have a little green leaf at the end. I see a parallel here between my life and this plant. How weird is that? What I see is this; when I am primarily focused on my circumstance, no matter how much I cling to Jesus and stand on his promises, I have very little capability of being close to my source of life: Jesus. He’s still there but I can’t access His life-given power when my problems are bigger than He is. Focused on my stuff, I can never reach the full potential of who God created me to be. Thankfully, I also know what is it to walk hand in hand with Jesus through really tough stuff.  It is place of fullness, abundance and joy. As you can see from the picture below, my Wandering Jew is a beautiful plant. So is the life that Jesus has given me when I’m focus completely focus on Him. That’s my report or proclamation, if you will.


One more quick story; Sunday while dropping off my youngest at youth group I ran into one of my youth kids from years back.  He was playing basketball with some of the youth boys when I pulled in and as soon as he recognized me came over and gave me a huge hug.  This is a young man who struggled with drug addiction in high school, always looked like somebody forced him to be there and it was really questionable whether he liked any of us (or maybe just me). He told me that he was helping out at youth group because it was what saved him.  Somewhere along the line he found Jesus and it changed his whole life so much that now he’s spending his time helping other youth experience the presence of Jesus.  Let’s not miss the miraculous here folks.  This is it.

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Finding Joy

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  James 1:2-4 

Last weekend I had the privilege of spending the weekend in Redding with my dad.  He moved there a few years ago because he found his home at Bethel.  Admittedly, my trip to Redding was primarily for the purpose of going to Bethel and spending the weekend with my dad was an added bonus.  For a while, my dad had been sharing incredible stories of friends that came to visit and left completely changed by the presence of Jesus. I am all about experiencing Jesus so I had to check it out for myself.  I was not disappointed at all.

We met a handful of new friends during our short trip but one really stood out to me.  She was a young lady from another country who was attending Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry.  In the short time we were able to spend with her she shared her story of tremendous faith.  It was Sunday morning and in two days she was being evicted from her apartment because she couldn’t afford to pay her rent.  She told us that she was thankful because the Lord had used this to show her that she was spending too much on housing.  She went on to say she was excited about her circumstances because it gave her the opportunity to see God come through for her in miraculous ways.  She quoted James 1:2 with complete confidence, adding that even if she ended up on the street she would continue to choose joy.

I was in awe of her faith.  The last  few years have been fraught with intense trials for my family and while I am clinging to Jesus like never before my attitude has never resembled anything close to hers.

I find myself seeking to discover how to go from desperately trying to convince myself that no matter what my circumstances I can stand on the promises of the Word of God to actually finding joy in said circumstances.  When I pick up my bible I can read story after story of people who found joy in the presence of Jesus no matter what the reality of their circumstances.

This young lady was a present day example of those stories.  She didn’t let her circumstances become bigger than her God.  Her story strengthens my faith!  As I see others experience Jesus and walk through really tough stuff I am deeply encouraged.  I see Jesus using it to pull me a little closer to himself.

In his book Overflow, Chris Gore poses the question, “What would it look like if we discovered that joy is simply an inside job?”  Lasting joy can not be found in anything but Jesus.  The more we focus on Him, the more we begin to see a heaven perspective and we are not as easily destroyed by reality.  It is an amazing place to live!  I am only just beginning to experience it myself but I can tell you so far is it is soooooo incredible.

So here’s my question to you, what will it take for you to respond to Jesus?  He is drawing all of you in the same way He is pursuing me.  My circumstances got me to the end of myself and my only choice was to respond to Jesus. Sadly, it has actually happened twice in my life.  Oh how I wish I could have respond to Him long before my breaking point but I’m a stubborn girl. You don’t have to be. Jesus is calling you today.  How will you respond?


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Until very recently, I have only used or heard the word triggered used a handful of times in my life. My middle daughter has a knack for finding a word she likes and using it FOR everything.  Triggered is one such word. This word comes out of her mouth numerous times a day in all kinds of different situations.

In my walk with Jesus I have found that the Lord often uses crazy things like a simple word to teach me something.  Does this happen to anyone else?

So this word; triggered.  In this context, I’m referring to anything that serves as a stimulus and initiates or precipitates a reaction.  By that definition, I was triggered this week.

I have been studying the struggle between the flesh and the Spirit.  My heart’s desire is to function more in the Spirit than in the flesh so I was soaking it all up. I took copious notes so I could spend more time pondering the fact that the flesh is my default mode of operation but I can daily choose to allow the Holy Spirit to change that default setting and empower me to live in victory.  I get excited thinking about the fact that I was created by God to operate under the power of the Holy Spirit. But I’m also painfully aware that my fallen flesh is always present.

Galatians 5 gives a solemn look at what operating in the flesh looks like and I want NOTHING to do with it.

“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures,  idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,  envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.”  Galatians 5:19-21 

Doesn’t the world and particularly our society have enough of this? Aren’t we called as followers of Jesus to be a light in this very dark world?  How can I be a light if I choose to function in the same way?

Praise Jesus, then God!  While that may be my default mode of operation it doesn’t have to be WHO I am.  When I make that daily choice allow the Holy Spirit to be my helper, He “produces this kind of fruit in (my life): love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23

I know I often get overly excited…but, I LOVE THIS!  Not only is that exactly who I want to be, but the amazing thing about walking with Jesus is the heavy lifting falls on him, not me.

In Romans, Paul talks about not understanding why he does the things he does.  He has a desire to do one thing (Spirit things) but he ends up doing what he hates (flesh things.) He’s triggered. Man, I can relate to this!  I do not have the power to make my flesh get in line, but I know who does: Jesus. It’s not a matter of willpower but His power in me.  Thank you Jesus!

I love what Jimmy Evans says here in the 21 day Inner Healing Journey,

“To be emotionally healed and healthy we must understand the nature of our flesh and it’s negative potential in our lives everyday. Every morning when we wake up we must reject the default settings of living by our fallen nature and decide to walk by the Spirit. This occurs as we acknowledge the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives, acknowledge our sin nature and ask for help both generally and specifically for each challenge we face.”

Are you wondering what all this has to do with being triggered?  Well, almost as soon as I was done studying this flesh vs. Spirit thing I was challenged to put it into practice.  Sadly, I failed because I was triggered. I desperately want to be a person who can respond in the Spirit all the time but my wounds got in the way and  in that moment they fueled my flesh in the wrong way. It’s happens to the best of us.

Thankfully, it doesn’t happen nearly as often as it used to and I’m much more quick to recognize my failures.  I have learned to acknowledge it, ask for help and move on.  Seems simple enough, right?  This time, yes! But that hasn’t always been the case. For me, it’s been a lengthy process of allowing the Lord to deal with my wounds so I don’t live in a constant state of being triggered.  I believe it is a process that will continue until I get to heaven. The beauty here is that each time I fail, own it, ask for help and move on I inch a little closer to being like Jesus.  And that is my ultimate goal!

Can you relate to Paul and myself?  Do you find yourself doing the things you don’t want to do? Do you find yourself asking over and over for God to fix same things in you?  Are you able to recognize your triggers?  If so, you’re not alone!

I found this verse to be encouraging today.  My prayer is that you will as well. The answer is the Power of Jesus in us!

You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.”                             2 Chronicles 20:17



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Working through Setbacks

I’d like to say “Thank you” to Dr. King.  I believe Jesus was about equality for all people and in that way you did Kingdom work.  Thank you for all you contributed to our country as well as the extra day to take a break from school.

I love homeschooling so much and one of the things I love the most is being able to let my kids dictate, somewhat, when to take a day off.  My youngest decided today would be a good day since everyone else is off too.  So that means mom get a day off too.  Woohoo!

Truthfully, I have a limited understanding of the life of MLK.  I know the basics and those facts confirm that he had many setbacks in life.  He wouldn’t have made the kind of impact he did if he’d let those setbacks cause him to give up.  I believe there is something here that we can apply to our spiritual lives.

The message I hear the Lord speaking to me today is: Don’t give up!

I have had a setback.  They happen.  Even when we seek Jesus with everything we have. Even when feel like we’re cruising along just peachy.  They can come out of nowhere and knock us down.  But no matter how surprised we are by the setback, Jesus is NEVER surprised.  He’s always present with us and He has a Sovereign understanding of the every situation.

Saturday night I went to church with my parents.  The message was on the rebuilding of the wall in Nehemiah 4.  In the points I took from the message, I hear Jesus whispering, “I’m here, I’m working even in the setback.  Don’t give up just because your perception is clouding the progress you are making.  Don’t devalue what I’m doing just because you haven’t reached the place I am taking you. Sit in this moment with me. I can use this for your benefit.  Don’t quit.”

Then in His word he says this; “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:4

My heart so desires to bear lots fruit.  I have a solid understanding that apart from Him I really can do nothing.  But it’s just so hard sometimes and I’m often inpatient.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go: I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Psalm 32:8  Thank you Father that all of your instruction comes with your loving eye on me.

Much like Pastor Gary mentioned yesterday, the Spirit is always working on our behalf.  I can see Him at work here.  In the midst of my setback, He is lovingly reassuring me He is present, guiding me in the way He wants me to go.

It’s pretty black and white. I don’t have a choice.  I can’t give up. Instead I have to find Him in the waiting. I have to trust that He IS working through the setbacks.



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Making Way For Ministry

Lately, the Lord has been speaking to me about ministry…a lot. This last week I had the privilege to do “ministry” in several different settings.  One day it was catching up with my team and then going to someone in need and ministering the presence of Jesus. It was powerful and it left me so overflowing with the awesomeness of Jesus that the people I worked with that night could tell something was up.

The next day I had my first women’s group at my house.  Such a seriously difficult and awkward thing for me. But because of Jesus I have only excitement about it.  All the expectation is on him.  I just said yes.  The group didn’t really go the way I saw it going in my head but I am completely confident that God will work through everything I see as a failure.  I know it because I’ve seen it over and over. The outcome was again a spiritual high that translated into some much needed downtime.

And then there was Sunday.  Pastor Gary brought it.  His message was on healing.  What the what?  There is no denying that this is a God thing.  He’s doing something…something in the way of healing.  For me, it was effortless to hear God’s voice and respond.  Again, IT WAS POWERFUL!  I was so filled with the presence of Jesus that when a flaming arrow was launched at me, my shield of faith was easily able to extinguish it.  Ephesians 6:16

I want more days like this.  I want to be about my father’s business. ALL THE TIME!  The Lord is showing me that my hearts desire is to be in full-time ministry.  Silly me, I had my own idea of what that would look like and when it would start.  I was thinking it could be my only paid job and I could see it happening 10 years or so down the road.

As I examine the last few days, I hear the Lord whispering that this is what He thinks it look like.  Making space in my life to minister to those around me, whether it’s at home, at work, in the grocery store, at school and so on and so on. It’s being in community with people and taking the time to know who people are and where they are at. It’s responding when Jesus says, “there’s someone who needs to experience Me.” Lots of people in my life experience Jesus simply by a big smile and a hot cup of coffee.  Others, an occasional lunch and a few hours to commiserate or a walk and encouraging conversation. Then there are those that God has said, these are the people I’ve put in your life to really invest in.  That is anyone who walks through the doors of my home (and now I know why Jesus told me to have the group in my home.) That is full time ministry and I am committing to making way for more of it in 2017.



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His Plans

Proverbs 16:9  NLT   We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.

If you know me, you know I am a recovering control freak.  Control has been my drug of choice for a very long time.  Thankfully, I can say I’m recovering because as much as I have a need to control things, Jesus has set my free!  I much prefer walking in freedom so I do everything I can to stay focused on Him so I don’t fall back into my old controlling ways.

Today, control has been rearing it’s ugly head from the moment I woke up.  But praise Jesus!  Because today, I am not letting control win. Today, I had plans but I stayed open the steps God laid out for me. I am however asking the Lord to cause the ministry time I had this morning to have the same effect on my physical body as the yoga class I missed.  He is, however, able to do ALL things. 🙂

Here’s what I mean: instead of doing yoga today, as I had originally planned, I had the privilege of doing ministry with a dear friend of mine.  She is struggling; because here’s a stupid truth – just because we follow Jesus doesn’t mean we don’t have struggles.  Sometimes those struggle threaten to take us out.  I’v had a lot of struggles that have almost taken me out. Currently, I am walking with several friends who are experiencing the same.  It’s stupid. Seriously.  But God wastes nothing and what I have learned through my struggles is priceless simply because it has produced a depth of relationship with Jesus that is radically changing me.

I am so very thankful for the women God has put in my life to make this faith walk with me.  Some of them are friends I will have for a lifetime, some of them are only for a season but each of them has held my hand and walked with me through really hard stuff.  They helped me find the Joy of the Lord and a Peace that surpasses my understanding simply by pointing me to Jesus.  My life is not without struggles.  Life is hard people!! But Jesus is freaking A-MAZING!

Will you join me in being willing to let Jesus interrupt our well devised plans?  I promise the result will be 100% worth it.  What do you need Jesus to do for you today?  My heart is to always be someone who is willing to go where ever Jesus says to go and I’d love it if you came along. It will be an adventure for sure.

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Saying “yes”

Ecc 3:11   He has made everything beautiful in his time.

Psalm 62:8 Trust him at all times, pour out your heart to him for God is our refuge.

Phil 4:7  And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

I love what the Lord is speaking to me through His word today. This morning I got a text from my friend that her son is back in the hospital and they’re waiting to find out if the cancer has spread.  My heart is weary today. I could easily focus on my fear  but God lovingly reminds me of His truth in Ecc.  I know this truth.  I’ve seen it in my life.  When I look at my life I see so much tragedy made beautiful because of Jesus. Most recently, I’ve been examining my marriage and the years of hurt I’ve accumulated. Much like my childhood, all I see right now is the hurt and pain, the stolen moments and disappointments.  As I trust Jesus and pour out my heart to him, He meets me in that hurt and I find refuge in Him. My heart understands the peace that Paul talks about in Philippians.

As I prepare to say “yes” to Jesus again and lead this group in my home, I know that it’s not always going to be easy. But, the process will take me deeper with my Savior and the end result will be something beautiful.  My prayer is that Jesus would be in control and lead us where ever he desires each of us to go.  It will be a personal journey but we will make it together. So join us as we seek to say “yes” to what Jesus is doing.



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