Awe of the Creator

Christmas can be such a “magical” time of the year.  One that brings hope, joy and something new.

It can also be a time of sorrow in missing those we love.  Those who have passed away from this life as we know it and into an eternal one.  Maybe it’s finances, health or family issues that bring you stress.  I want to encourage you that Jesus is still Prince of Peace and Lord of Lords and He’s bigger than whatever pain you may experience.

Don’t lose your sense of wonder and awe of The Father.

Psalm 139, shows David’s wonder of the Lord.  He recognizes that God has known his heart, He’s intimately acquainted with all of his ways.  He’s everywhere, All knowing, He’s not bound by time and nothing is hidden from Him.  David recognizes the power and he’s in awe of God Almighty!

He then goes on to say he recognizes that He made him fearfully and wonderfully.  Wonderful are the works of the Father.

David is brutally honest about his hate toward his enemies in verses 19-22.  If the Lord already knows your heart, He knows this too.  If you’re struggling, tell it to God.  David says he hates them with the utmost hatred.  That’s a lot of hate.  And yet, he shared it with the creator.

But through all of this, acknowledging God’s greatness and goodness and yes, even hatred, we see David coming back to a place of asking the Lord to continue to search his heart.  Try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.

An everlasting way…  a way that lasts forever, for ever and ever.  As your family celebrates the advent of Jesus’ first coming, may we never forget He is everlasting.  And one day, He’s returning for His church. May we all be ready to reign with the Prince of Peace and Lord of Lords.  May we know Him intimately.  May we be in awe of Him. In Jesus name, amen.
photo credit: Unsplash

Why the Bible is Important to Me

rtstowellI was asked recently to share why God’s Word is important to me.

Although I could speak for days on how His Word has truly transformed my life, I thought I’d include 4 points and then share the video shown to my church family.

  1. Hide the word of God in our hearts so that I may not sin against Him

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Fear or Faith

Luke 8:22 Now on one of those days Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they launched out. 23 But as they were sailing along He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger. 24 They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm. 25 And He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?”

 

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One of the biggest things I struggle with is fear. I’m fearful of failure and ironically enough, I’m fearful of success. I’m often hesitant to share my fear of success with people because inevitably I get looks of shock, surprise or that I’m a circus freak of sorts. I mean, why would anyone be afraid of success? Don’t we all want to succeed?

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Father’s Love in a Ford Fiesta 

When I was a teen, I drove the family car until I got my own car.  I couldn’t wait to have a car that I could call my own.  I mean, driving a 197(?) Chevy Impala was a little much.  I felt like I was driving a ship or something.  While still in high school, my parents bought me a 197(?) Red Ford Fiesta!  Now THAT was more my style…  well not really, but it was “mine”.  It was mine, yet my parents did everything to give it to me….  Sounds almost like a toddler..  Mine, mine, mine.
 Ford Fiesta

 This picture makes this car look all sexy and romantic.  Who wouldn’t want to take a drive out to the beach and raise the hatchback and enjoy each others company?  It looks like a dream!

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I Do Declare, These Women Are My People!

people-woman-coffee-meeting

This past weekend I attended the Declare Conference in Southlake, TX. This conference was a fantastic opportunity to meet many women who are blogging and/or writing for God’s glory.  These women are truly an inspiration.

I went with two main purposes in mind:  1) to learn how to blog in a way that shares God’s truth and my journey.  2) to connect with other christian women who love Jesus and are sharing their passion on a digital platform. My expectations were met in a BIG way. Moreso than I ever expected.

A few takeaways from this experience….

Erica Boutwell and her husband Stephen led us to the cross daily in worship. One of my favorite songs was Here As In Heaven. What a blessing worship was to me during this time.

Lara Williams brought us truth about Living Water for Thirsty Souls as she shared from John 4.  This passage reminded me that Jesus graciously pursues my heart so that I can intimately commune. I was overwhelmed with excitement to be at my first writers conference and make sense of this call, Lara shared that I’m not called to change the world, I’m called to give a drink.  Baby Steps.  I need to start with baby steps.

Michele-Lyn Ault shared how we are Developed In the Secret Place. The devil can not take my identity or purpose, but he will try. This last year and a half I’ve struggled with finding who I am or what I’m really called to do.  Michele shared briefly the story of Mary & Martha and how Mary lingered in the presence of Jesus instead of working frantically to make things perfect.  What we give up in the waiting is nothing compared to the wisdom gained.  What a blessing this was to hear.  I don’t have to have it all figured out, but to practice presence over productivity.

Kristin Lemus hit home for me as she shared about being FEARLESS. OMG!  This has been one of lifes biggest hangups for me.  Fear of failure and fear of success… why does one have to struggle with both?  I do!  I have!  Kristin shared truths from Psalm 23 and John 14.  PEACE I give to you.  Jesus comforts his disciples as He tells them in John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” Oh how sweet this was for me to hear this weekend.

Rachel Martin was full of wisdom and power.  I had the privilege of spending a little one on one time with her and what a blessing she is/was this weekend.  Here are a few takeaways from our time together: “be willing to get messy”, “if we look the same on social media, where’s my story, my impact?”, “post intentionally and with authenticity for my community”.  Rachel, thank you for everything!

Heather MacFadyen shared about hearing the voice of the Lord and discernment.  This is wisdom I also needed.  Sometimes I get so busy with everything, that the noise of the world can be overwhelming and I find it difficult to hear and discern the voice of the Father. One piece that she nailed for me was “only the creator can name the created”.  No matter what the world (or me) may say about me, only God can define me.  /shama/ – I’m listening.  May I be obedient.

Alli Worthington shared good points on how to break busy.  “God says I’m already I’m already enough and I don’t need to sacrifice myself or others in order to achieve more.”  She gave an analogy between my phone and I, my phone tells me when it’s at the end of it’s rope (out of power/space).  I can plug it up, delete apps, etc – I need to learn to do that for myself.  I need to plug into my power source and eliminate that which is taking up space without adding value to my life.

Anne Watson was fabulous as she spoke about being Insecure & Overwhelmed!  A few quotes worth remembering: “Failure is nothing but an opinion”, “satan uses discouragement to unwind us”, “I can’t control life but I can manage it”. Insecure and overwhelmed is where I am and her wisdom rang loud and clear.  And by all means I need to remember, “do the work and God will do the miracle”.  

Jen Weaver encouraged us to Unlock the Power of Your Story.  She shared how “my voice is my personality through writing” and how “God wants to reveal himself through my writing”.  Although my story may not be pretty, I need to “embrace my testimony” and “forgive myself”.  

Jenn Sprinkle shared wisdom on How to Dream and Do Well.  She shared 5 key points that I will be practicing in the days to come.  1) Dream with boldness 2) Pray with courage 3) Redefine Success by preparing myself and realizing everything isn’t for everyone 4) Predictable Insecurity – after the call I can expect insecurity.  5) Obedience over Outcome – don’t let the hustle take over my heart and my home.

Kat Lee shared Practical Action to developing my calling.  1) Map the End Goal 2) Acknowledge Boundaries 3) Zero in on Progress 4) Embrace Focus – stay on the bus 5) Ask Jesus – start my day by asking Jesus his plan for me. There is NO ONE LIKE ME – NOT EVEN QUITE LIKE ME!

I do DECLARE these women ARE MY PEOPLE!

To say this weekend was eye opening and life changing is an understatement!  The ladies I met, the wisdom & encouragement received to begin this journey was incredible!

As I trek upon this new terrain, may I be like Samuel and ask, Speak Lord for your servant is listening.  Oh how I want to not just be a hearer of the Lord, but a doer.