I believe that there is a divine story being written and we play a vital role in the outcome. Over the past 5 years I have personally been set on fire for revival. I have a passion to see the church arise. If those warming the pews knew the power they carried and the authority they have been given, if they understood the purpose resting within, I believe they would arise. One encounter could change everything. I should know, I was a church wallflower most of my life. But no longer. What I have received, I give away. The church, awake and active, is unstoppable.
I believe I am called, not just to see the church arise in America, but in Europe as well. Right now prophetic destiny is being released into people who need to realize that they are not just another face in a sea of sameness. God has called them each by name. I want to be a part of the Awakening that is happening even now in Europe. God is calling prodigals home, calling warriors to the fight, and awakening those who don't even know they're sleeping.
It’s one of the reasons I came to Bethel. My life appears to some to have taken a detour, but the passion of Christ within me drives me onward. Deep down I know that God can use any detour as a launching pad. So I have been pressing in, allowing God to rework mindsets and rewire my heart. It is challenging. everyday. But hope is being restored. everyday.
All students at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry are given the opportunity to be placed on a team and assigned a specific missions assignment, to both be trained and to be sent. It’s just one more way we are putting into practice the things that Jesus taught.
The sign ups were made available on line and each student got to apply for their top 5 choices of assignments across the globe. For me it wasn’t a tough choice at all. I was drawn to one geographical area entirely. For the past 5 years or so I have studied and taught on past revivals. The Bible tells us, “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10) and if I want to see revival in myself, in my family, in my city, in my nation, and in the world, these stories are step #1. Stories of the outpouring of the Great Welsh Revival that began in 1904 have been spotlighted in my spirit.
I applied for England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, any trip that would put me close to that spot where Evan Roberts set the world on fire. I have longed to go to Moriah Chapel and lay on the floor, to feel the stone under my hands, to press my face against this holy ground, to feel the earth that has been saturated with the prayers of generations, and touched by the very fingerprint of God.
I received the exciting news this week that I was chosen to go right to the heart of the Welsh Revival, to Wales. In fact, Moriah Chapel itself will be one of our target destinations. I will be part of a team that will be touring Wales taking part in conferences, evangelism, prophetic ministry, healing services, and much more.
For me, and for hundreds of others like me, this is just one more step of obedience into a life fully surrendered to Jesus, called to bring the love of the gospel to the nations. If you think of my story at all, could you do one thing? Could you pray? Pray for me, for the teams being sent, and the places He is preparing even now. Precious people around the world who don’t even know they need a Savior, are about to encounter His love.
If you would like to sow seeds into my revival journey, financial gifts may be made online at trips.ibethel.org. This gift is tax-deductible and you will receive a statement at the end of the year for your tax records. If you wish your gift to be anonymous, please check the anonymous box. This will allow you to receive an end of year statement, but will not allow me to see your name.
You, by the way, are writing your own revival story. He is using you, right now, as his writing instrument, leaving etched hearts and brilliant beauty by the love you express to those around you. I pray that God renews your spirit today and fills you with overflowing joy and expectation.
Kids just instinctively know how to do it. Whether is a compliment, a treat, or a gift, they readily hold out their heart and their hands and they receive. With a gleeful smile, and hopefully a "thank you", they run along.
How good are you at receiving? When someone says, "You are lookin' good", do you immediately deflect by turning the spotlight back on them? When someone offers you chocolate, do you smile and say, "Yes, please!" or do you carry on an inward dialogue, not wanting to take any prized delight away from them, so you say, "no", while you secretly want it so bad?
I know to you "easy receiver's", this whole line of questioning seems ludacrous. I mean, if you want it, take it, right? But it's not so easy for some of us. I honestly think mom's have the hardest time receiving. We get used to filling our plates last, sharing our last bite with anyone who asks, using our saved new shoe stash for yet another lost retainer or broken glasses, or spending countless late nights helping with college applications for the kids while your own dreams remain on hold.
Yep, I am a "hard receiver". This is a term coined by one of my Bible teachers, and I face this issue every single day. Why is it so flippin' hard to receive? Jesus warned His followers, "Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." Luke 18:17 (NIV)
For some of us who grew up steeped in religion it was ingrained within us to sacrifice, to fast, to contend for the promises of God. Where does receiving like a child fit into that?
Today Bill Johnson explained it like this: There are two main ways to advance the Kingdom. One is to receive like a child, the other is to take it by force. ("From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force." Matthew 11:12 (ESV) He said you can tell which way the Lord is wanting you to approach Him by how He responds to you. If you are fasting and praying and nothing is working, maybe He wants you to simply rest in Him and receive. If resting and waiting isn't bringing breakthrough, maybe in this season, you need to contend for your breakthrough.
I have become pretty good at contending. I have fought for my kids, my family, my church, my city, my friends, my healing, but how often have I just sat back and received? Very rarely, I must admit.
As I was sharing my day with my daughter this evening she looked at me and said, "God just wants to rain down on you, Mom. It's time to take down the umbrella."
Wow. It will take some practice.
How about you? Maybe you should ask God what He is desiring from you in this season. If it's childlike faith, then I cheer you on, and say, hold out your hands, put your umbrella away, and let it rain! May He put HIs love on display just for you!
PS. It's been awhile since I have marked the trail. I have been processing so much, letting God retrain my brain. This blog is just a snapshot of my journey the last couple of weeks. I hope it blesses you. XOXO
Have you ever had good motives but got shut down anyway? I was reading the account of David, when he was finally settled as king and he lived in a big fancy house, one befitting a king, of course. The prophet Samuel came to visit and David declared, "I want to build a house for God! It's not fair that I am in here while God is out in a tent." The passage doesn't infer what Samuel really thought about it, he simply told David, "Go ahead and do what you want. God is with you." But that night God decided to tell Samuel what He thought about it.
"But that night, the word of God came to Nathan saying, “Go and tell my servant David: This is God’s word on the matter: You’re going to build a ‘house’ for me to live in? Why, I haven’t lived in a ‘house’ from the time I brought the children of Israel up from Egypt till now. All that time I’ve moved about with nothing but a tent. And in all my travels with Israel, did I ever say to any of the leaders I commanded to shepherd Israel, ‘Why haven’t you built me a house of cedar?’ 2 Samuel 7:4-7 (Message)
Clearly God isn't asking for much. Then He says this, "So here is what you are to tell my servant David: The God-of-the-Angel-Armies has this word for you: I took you from the pasture, tagging along after sheep, and made you prince over my people Israel. I was with you everywhere you went and mowed your enemies down before you. Now I’m making you famous, to be ranked with the great names on earth. And I’m going to set aside a place for my people Israel and plant them there so they’ll have their own home and not be knocked around any more. Nor will evil men afflict you as they always have, even during the days I set judges over my people Israel. Finally, I’m going to give you peace from all your enemies." 2 Samuel 8-11 (Message)
Usually when you're life is going well there is at least 1 or 2 people that make it their mission on earth to protect you from becoming arrogant and puffed up, so they will remind you where you came from. If you are someone who came from nothing, then you know that reminder doesn't feel very good. In fact, it often feels like a slap in the face, as if they will never allow you to enjoy flourishing. God begins His message to David with a reminder, only the motivation was something entirely different.
God was not judging David, or condescending, or accusing, or putting him down. In fact it was quite the opposite. His reminder that reduced him to nothing more than a shepherd came from a position of love and of relationship. He was upgrading David with a worldwide promotion! Just read what He said next!
“Furthermore, God has this message for you: God himself will build you a house! When your life is complete and you’re buried with your ancestors, then I’ll raise up your child, your own flesh and blood, to succeed you, and I’ll firmly establish his rule. He will build a house to honor me, and I will guarantee his kingdom’s rule permanently. I’ll be a father to him, and he’ll be a son to me. When he does wrong, I’ll discipline him in the usual ways, the pitfalls and obstacles of this mortal life. But I’ll never remove my gracious love from him, as I removed it from Saul, who preceded you and whom I most certainly did remove. Your family and your kingdom are permanently secured. I’m keeping my eye on them! And your royal throne will always be there, rock solid.” 2 Samuel 7:12-18 (Message)
Wow! I had always heard that God wouldn't let David build God a house because he was a man of war, or because his sin was too great. I heard it through the lens of punishment not promotion! There is not a hint of that attitude in this passage. It feels more like a one-up situation. "You say that you love me? I love you more! You're wanting to build me a house? I'm gonna build you a bigger one. You think you live in luxury now, just wait and see what I will do!"
There is a line in a worship song that I have sung a thousand times before, but suddenly it arrested my heart, "It's your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise, pour out our praise". In y mind's eye everything I had relied on in the past was being stripped away. I was reduced to nothing but the breath in my lungs, realizing that when reduced to nothing, He had already given me all I needed. His breath became enough! His reminder was not a "you're such a worm" kind of word, in fact, it was quite the opposite. It was my Father saying, "My breath is heaven sent and it's all you need. Let's build from here. It is enough, you are enough, and I am able to finish what I began in you."
What a great beginning! After all, creation was formed with nothing more than His breath, wasn't it?
Here's what David had to say about it,
"God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, he’s rich in love.
He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
so strong is his love to those who fear him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
he has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children,
God feels for those who fear him.
He knows us inside and out,
keeps in mind that we’re made of mud."
Psalms 103 (Message)
Maybe as you were reading this, you were condemning yourself with all the you shouldn't have's and if only's. You are forgetting the main point! Our Father sent His son to reconcile us back to Himself so we can have the kind of relationship with God that David had. He was human, he made mistakes, and look what God did! God is an expert at do-overs. Stop telling yourself all the things you don't have and start with your breath. If you have His breath in your lungs, it's the perfect foundation for all God is longing to bless you with. Breathe in. Breathe out. Trust God with the rest.
I turned to the man in line behind me. Seeing that he was not far from my age, and knowing what it took for me to come to Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM), I asked him a rather pointed question.
What did you leave to come here?
It's the same question that could be asked of any person surrendering their life to Christ for the first time or for the hundredth time. To the one who's life, like mine, has been turned upside down, to the one exhausted from trying to keep it all together, to the one who is running from addictions that always seem to linger in the shadows, what did you leave to come to Jesus? What exactly did it take?
Surrender seems to be a very uneven exchange. We get to lay down all the baggage, all the mess, all the shame, guilt, fear, loss, all of it, to receive His unmerited favor, His grace, His mercy, His peace, His love, His all! He withholds nothing! Because He paid for our freedom with His life, we become blameless. It's an unfair trade.
Psalms 84:11 tells us, "For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless."
Wow! How can God really be that good?
Anything good in our lives that we cling so tightly to is insignificant when we finally realize that all He wants for us in this exchange is more good! Why do we prolong our agony by hiding things from Him? Why do we fight so hard to maintain control? And why do we beat the wind with our fearful complaints when we belong to the Almighty One?
This quote from Charles Spurgeon has been lingering in the forefront of my waking thoughts. "I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the rock of ages." What vivid imagery! Like a punch to the gut! What truth! We scarcely value the wave until we get a little further on in the journey. Hindsight, you know. Can I learn to trust Him while the wave is crashing? I want to!
So the stranger, the man behind me in line, when I asked him my potentially painful question, "what did you leave to come here?", without skipping a beat, he looked me dead in the eye and said, "Everything...and nothing." Doesn't that beautifully sum up surrender in three little words?
Someone reading this today is at that pivotal point of surrender. You may feel like you have been forsaken, even abandoned. But let me assure you, He sees. And He's got you. I encourage you to read this beautiful passage of scripture out loud, and insert your name. Repeat it often, until it gets in your bones.
"Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, (insert your name)
or, whine, Israel, (your name) saying,
“God has lost track of me.
He doesn’t care what happens to me”?
Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening?
God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out."
Isaiah 40:27 (Message)
I pray that today you sense the nearness of your God who is standing by you with outstretched arms, ready to rescue you from the waves and set your feet upon the Rock. He will walk with you through surrender, into the greatest adventure of your life.
The first day of school jitters. Ugh, it felt ridiculous. "I'm a grown woman...I'm too old for this nonsense", I kept telling myself. Yet there I was, standing in line with a thousand others, probably thinking the same thing.
The older we get the more responsibilities we carry. Our family, our children, our jobs, our future, our retirement, we fight for these things our entire lives. I have been a mother for 25 years! From a pastoral perspective, I have been the mother of a church for many years too. Charged with keeping a close and careful eye on all who were a part of my church family. It was as if God connected wifi to the precious people there, and only a few of us had the password. What a privilege to carry the code. As I watched with my natural eyes, He supernaturally downloaded to my heart the encouragement and exhortation they needed to grow.
Now there I was standing in line to register for school at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry and it just felt awkward. It felt like I just did not fit. I did not have the wifi password for these people! That overwhelming feeling began making me think about all the people who enter churches for the first time all around the world, and how they must feel. Perhaps it feels like stepping into a secret club where they don't yet know the customs or language of that community. It takes a lot of courage to stay.
We as Christians carry heaven within us. We are to carry the very nature of God, the culture of heaven into every situation we walk in to. It is absolutely counter cultural to society around us. Least is greatest, first is last, week is strong. to the normal human, it is upside down. In fact, Jesus was constantly instilling heaven's culture into those around Him. He said to enter the Kingdom, we must become like children.
Well, I did that this week. I became one of the kids. As I stand back a survey my first day, I am left with 4 thoughts:
1. When I feel off kilter, I can lean on the One who knows me by name.
2. I don't have to carry the weight of the world, I can cast my cares on Him.
3. He wants me to come to Him as a child and begin to delight and wonder as only a kid could.
4. Be patient with myself, fitting into a new family takes time.
1 John 3:2 says it so well, "Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." (NIV)
Maybe you are like me, maybe you have a tendency to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Today I would like to encourage you. Take just a moment and get alone with God. Close your eyes, see yourself as a child and climb up on Papa's lap and just sit there. Let Him hold you close. It is in His presence that peace comes, that your true identity is revealed as a son or daughter of this Father who loves you so very much. He is for you! He is cheering you on. Let Him be strong when you feel weak. Be the kid you were created to be.
I think His greatest desire is for us to enjoy His presence, let Him be in charge, and simply enjoy being one of His kids.
When it was my ministry to lead worship, I became one of those abandoned, crazy loud, holding nothing back kind of leaders. I was compelled and determined to practice what I preached. To teach about the importance of surrender, and then not exhibit it would be complete hypocrisy in my mind. All in. Every time. Putting my heart on display every single time. Vulnerable. Tenacious. Determined to cut through the junk of the world and drag people straight into the throne room. Some would not go. No matter what, surrender seemed beyond their desire or capability, but I went anyway.
After I left that assignment, I remember vividly the first time I sat in a worship service at my new church. I was a just another face in the crowd, just the way I wanted it. But when the worship set began, I knew I had a choice. Just because no one knew me, didn't mean that God didn't see me standing there, about 12 rows back, tucked in between strangers. I was not a stranger or invisible to Him.
Have you ever noticed that the lifting of hands usually means one of two things? One is surrender, of course. As kids we all grew up playing with our friends, mimicking what we saw on tv, we'd play cops and robbers and say things like, "This is a stick up, put your hands up," or "Stop, In the name of the law! Put your hands up," or we'd play war and say, "get your hands up and surrender, or else!" Open palms is actually a universal sign of honesty. It shows we have nothing to hide, no weapons. That's where handshaking came from - I extend my open hand with nothing concealed and no weapons up my sleeve.
So when we worship, hands up often signals surrender, both to heaven who is watching, but mostly to your own heart. Nothing concealed. No hidden motives up my sleeve.
Hands up can mean something very different though, especially seen in sports. When an athlete wins, it signals victory. In DailyMail.com, David Matsumoto, professor of psychology at San Francisco State University, is quoted saying: 'Triumph has its own signature expression that is immediate, automatic and universal across cultures.'
Could the raising of hands also mean the same thing in worship? I believe so. As an act of faith, when times are hard, when we are heartbroken, or confused, or even exhausted, raising our hands can be a signal to the enemy that we have the victory because we are in Christ and trusting Him to complete the work He has started in us.
Remember when Moses was watching the Israelites in battle and as long as he kept his hands up the victory was theirs. But when he got tired and put his arms down, they began to lose! I believe that our hearts need to be postured in this way everyday, we worship from a place of surrender and trust, but also from a place of victory!
(As a side note: for pete's sake, surround yourself with people who will hold your arms up when you get tired. Tell somebody you need help!)
Jehoshaphat was leading the people of Israel against a frighteningly barbaric enemy and the Lord instructed him to do something remarkable.
"The Levites (both Kohathites and Korahites) stood to their feet to praise God, the God of Israel; they praised at the top of their lungs! They were up early in the morning, ready to march into the wilderness of Tekoa.
As they were leaving, Jehoshaphat stood up and said, “Listen Judah and Jerusalem! Listen to what I have to say! Believe firmly in God, your God, and your lives will be firm! Believe in your prophets and you’ll come out on top!” After talking it over with the people, Jehoshaphat appointed a choir for God; dressed in holy robes, they were to march ahead of the troops, singing,
Give thanks to God,
His love never quits.
As soon as they started shouting and praising, God set ambushes against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir as they were attacking Judah, and they all ended up dead."
2 Chronicles 20:18-23 (Message)
So as I stood there, lost in the crowd, I willed myself to worship. I determined in my heart to live the same way hidden as I had lived on the stage. Full on, battle ready, fully surrendered, totally engaged. The victory was mine. Not because I won it, not because I deserved it, not because I earned it. Victory is mine (and yours) because HE WON IT!
Jesus fights for you and He sees you hiding there in the crowd, and He even now, is watching over His word to complete it in your life. Lift your voice and your hands and shout to the God who saves, who's love never quits.
Let this video inspire you to live in victory today. Will to RISE. (That's what I'm doing.) Come on, we can do it together.
Have you ever written a song? It can be an incredibly vulnerable experience. I suppose one gets better at it, more comfortable with having their innermost thoughts exposed for public scrutiny, but song writing has never been my favorite thing.
I am slowly learning about the kind and attentive nature of God. When times are really tough, (and they have been), when things don't seem to be moving in the right direction, (and the haven't), I was reminded how important it is to convince myself of who God really is. The Bible tells us that He has counted every hair on our heads. That He takes such attention to detail to clothe the lilies of the field and that He will also provide for us. It says that He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.
So I realized if I am not experiencing His provision at this moment, it's not an indictment on His character, it MUST be something God wants to mold and change within me. Something very deep He wants to etch upon my heart.
So I stopped my complaining spirit. I ended the worry and fear. Surprisingly, it wasn't a huge thing I had to do to change this habit. You may be wondering what I did.
I began to sing a new song to the Lord.
I began using my voice to declare His goodness. His provision. His care for me. His love and kindness. It encouraged my heart. It changed the atmosphere around me.
Honestly, I have been practicing this new habit for about a week. By myself. No one but my dog Lily can hear me. Oh, except my own spirit, and God, of course. I have not been particularly impressed with the melody line yet, and my words have been intentionally simple and descriptive, far from eloquent. But what a difference a few days of singing a new song can make!
Not only has my atmosphere shifted, but financially things are starting to shift as well. Yesterday I had two lovely surprises from unexpected sources. One was as simple as a friend buying one of my books, but padding my account so I could get a Starbucks. How sweet and kind is God to care for me in the smallest detail?
At Bethel Church, every time the offering is taken, we hold our money in the air and make some extravagant declarations. They put the words on the big screens and we recite together, declarations of "jobs and better jobs... unexpected blessings... checks in the mail..." I must admit that at first I felt like a phony reciting these profoundly wild declarations. In my head I would be asking, "do I even believe these words? Is God really this crazy-good?" But then I thought, well, it couldn't hurt and week after week, I have felt my own hope rising and my own ideas about my Father changing.
Today I want to encourage you to try it. It doesn't matter how it sounds to your ears, God loves the sound of your song. No one else can sing it but you. Could He be waiting to hear your song to release what He has been storing up for you? I will close today's blog with this amazing passage of scripture out of the Psalms.
"O my soul, bless God.
From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name!
O my soul, bless God,
don’t forget a single blessing!
He forgives your sins—every one.
He heals your diseases—every one.
He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence."
Psalms 103:1-5 (Message)
Sing these words with your own melody. Release God's presence into your situation. Release your own heart and feel hope rise within you. Things will begin to shift. I promise.
Regardless of your genealogy, who your parents were, what town you came from, or how much (or how little) money you make, you have a destiny to fulfill. In America children grow up hearing about men who did great things, or became amazing people. These rags to riches stories provoke a kid to wonder, "What am I going to do what my life?" Men like Trump, Gates, Walton and Jobs. There are historic names like Carnegie, Rockefeller, Ford and Hershey. Examples of men who pulled themselves up by the bootstraps and made something of themselves.
No pressure though.
Yaron Brook and Don Watkins, when writing "To Be Born Poor Doesn't Mean You'll Always Be Poor" for Forbes .com, wrote,"... developing ability and ambition is a challenging, uncomfortable, even scary process. Relatively few people in any era choose to do it, and as a result, few capitalize on life’s unlimited opportunities."
Unlimited. Think about it, after you passed the age of puberty, did you ever once think your possibilities were limitless again? We just begin. Life comes at you hard and fast and one thing leads to another, and you hope for the best. Why is it, that unless we are forced by a life circumstance such as death, divorce, or losing a job, we choose to play it safe?
An article in Forbes Magazine states, "The average worker today stays at each of his or her jobs for 4.4 years, according to the most recent available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but the expected tenure of the workforce’s youngest employees is about half that."
I found that number to be staggering. I know from experience it's never just about money. And it's never that cut an dry. With a career change typically worry, anxiety, fear, sadness, shame aren't too far away. But it doesn't have to end that way. What I'm talking about is purpose, passion, and calling.
Many times your job pays the bills but it doesn't give you a thrill to get up in the morning to run out and do it. So back to the beginning, "...few capitalize on life’s unlimited opportunities."
I want to be one of those few.
Today I read such an interesting quote by Lou Engle. He said, "God does not create a man and put a dream in him. He creates a dream and wraps a man around it." We spend much of our lives trying to get to that core dream, don't we?
Maybe you haven't thought about this stuff in a long time, and truthfully, maybe I wouldn't be asking these questions all over agin unless I had to, but here's a start:
1. What issues in life make you the angriest?
This is often a good indicator of what you are passionate about and it rarely has anything to do with your current job. Is it social justice? Is it politics? Is it customer service? Whatever it is, you should write it down and start giving it some attention. If you are passionate about it, chances are, there's a solution in you.
2. What is you most favorite hobby?
You know that thing, maybe no one else in your family gets it, but it lights your fire. It could be sports, or needle crafts, it could be fishing or stamp collecting. You should begin asking God to help you think outside the box. There is probably a way to make money doing what you love.
3. When you were a kid, what was your favorite thing to play?
Did you play house? Play store? Play office? Play teacher? You just might find that dream you were wrapped around when you think about the childhood you.
Whether you dislike your job or not, ask God how you can love those around you really well, even the unlovely ones, because once you start asking these questions, you will be given answers and your time could be very short where you are.
I hope this got you thinking. Our limitless God created you in His image and wants you to live in freedom. Let this be the era, let us be the few, as we learn to live unlimited.
Lately I have been filling out job applications every day. Seriously, every single day. The last time I actively looked for a job the internet barely existed. (By the way, happy 25th anniversary, internet!) Back then it was a different ball game entirely. It was more like hand to hand combat, less like a computer chess match. You physically had to put on your pantyhose (do they still make those?) and your 4 inch pumps and you went from place to place, actually talking to people. Nowadays nearly all applications are submitted online which has its' pros and cons.
The pros? You can stay in your pajamas all day long, and you don't have to nervously psych yourself up to go introduce yourself to people.
The cons? The computer program Du Jour may have glitches and you may have to start over. Again and again. Like I did today. You also may never hear from the company you apply to. You may take it personally. You may not.
Also, this is the first time I have job hunted as an old person. Really old. (That comes with it's own list of pros and cons.) The whole procedure is hard on the self esteem. You have to ask yourself not just where you've been and why you are here, but also where do you want to be. More importantly, WHO do you want to be. The process of applying for a job introduces the most unwanted influence. The very thing most of us try to avoid in life. Rejection.
Fear of rejection causes us to wonder, "Am I good enough? Do I have what they're looking for? Am I too old? Too young? Am I too fat? Too experienced? Not experienced enough? Not educated enough?" That thing you do becomes your identity, and that is not what God intended.
The application process reduces a person's identity to a list of qualities, highlighted only to expose the things that person chooses to disclose, leaving the whole of who they are neatly tucked away somewhere. Neat. Tidy. Truthful but inauthentic.
I think I approach God that way sometimes, especially when I need something. I have thought, "Let Him see how good I am, yes, I will build my case as I stack up my list of spiritual accomplishments to display how much I deserve that thing," as if I am applying for His approval. As if He can't see right through those disingenuous prayers of mine.
Aren't you glad that isn't the reality of what we can expect as we approach our Father, God? The reality is that there is no need to hide. Anything. Let me tell you what I have learned, He sees you completely and He loves you unconditionally. Who you are is NOT what you have done or what you do. You're identity is found in what He has done. Romans 3:24 tells us that we are, "justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus," (ESV) Justified means that the way He sees you is just as if you had never sinned. God views you through the blood of Jesus, and that means God sees you as perfect. You do not need to tippy toe around Him to show Him your good side, all the while carefully disguising the ugly. He has made you beautiful. He calls you qualified. Fully known and fully loved. Genuinely. All of you.
The Message translation says it so well, "It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone." Ephesians 1:11-12 (Message)
So no matter what you are gearing up for in life right at this moment, remember:
1. He planned for you.
2. He has designs on you for glorious living.
3. You must get your identity from Him.
4. Go ahead and get your hopes up. In His reality, you've already got the job. Run with it!
Stay posted for news of my ongoing earthly job hunt...
If you could do anything, what would you do?
That's the question my family posed to me a few weeks ago.
My mind swirled with possibilities ranging from the absurd to the practical. My top three choices if I could do anything? Travel. Open a store. Hang out at Bethel. All three seemed difficult with no money. But isn't it true that God can do the impossible? Remember the little boy's fish and bread? Jesus can do miracles with very little! (And that happens to be exactly what I have!)
I traveled a lot this year, in fact I sold my car and spent every penny to do it. I have a love affair with Europe. I know it will be in my future so I felt no urgency to choose this as my 'anything'.
Opening up a store might take some time. The name took no time at all. The name seemed to be already in me. Crown Cottage; An eclectic mix of antique treasures, unique home furnishings and European finds. I would shop there! However, I am not in a position to take out a small business loan right now so this 'anything' will have to wait.
And the other thing? The Bethel thing? Well, let me just say, when my life exploded I felt surrounded by death. The last few years have been so difficult that one of the most constant places I felt life flowing from was Bethel Church in Redding, CA. From prophetic words, to positive, faith filled messages, to powerful worship, I knew there was life there.
The anchor holding me fast is the unchanging, never failing Word of God. Ephesians 3:20, "God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!"
That constant reminder helps put courage in my heart and strength in my spirit.
My 'anything' turned out to be enrolling in Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry beginning in September. So I sold everything and moved to Redding, California. In the past few weeks I have asked myself, "How did I get here?" After all, it was almost an instinctual response to move to Redding. It is HOT here! I mean really hot! I only have one acquaintance and I don't even have a job yet. I could get caught up in counting what I do not have, but I choose to fix my eyes on what I do have. Most of all, I have peace. And yes, 'anything' could happen!
As I attempt to make a fresh start here, I'm working on my blog, this website, some new things, as well as my social media accounts. In just a couple days some more of the old will go away as I embrace the new. I want to invite you to follow me.
I have social media links available on the side bar of this page, but if you want to connect on these social media platforms, here are some links.
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100013254843451 (Look for Connies Crown on Facebook.)
https://www.crown.cottage@conniefriend on Twitter
https://www.instagram.com/crown.cottage/ on Instagram
I want to thank you for sharing this journey with me. I also want to ask you, "If you could do anything, what would you do?" We serve a God who makes 'anything' possible!
When you get to a place where you understand that love and belonging, your worthiness, is a birthright and not something you have to earn, anything is possible. Brene Brown