Putting the Basket in the Water: Trusting God in the Next Phase of Your Child’s Life

In the Christian faith, Easter is the crescendo of our year.  It’s our Super Bowl.  The day that makes it all worth it.  It’s the time that marks the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The day He burst forth from the tomb and conquered death.  But this past spring, as I sat in church after Easter yet still meditating on those days of old, a thought entered my mind:  It’s over now.  Jesus had been reunited with the Father.  The disciples were on their own.  The Bible gives us an account of what the disciples were thinking and doing after Jesus ascended into heaven, but what was the Lord thinking?  Was he watching over them, wondering, ‘Was it enough?  Did they get it?  Did I teach them everything they needed to know to do this on their own?’  As these thoughts continued to run through my mind…

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The Stories We Don’t Like To Tell

What’s going on?  I mean, what’s really going on?  Not on your Facebook status or your latest Instagram pic.  What would happen if we shared what was really going on?  What if we talked more about the messy middle?  What if we talked about the unfinished parts?

We love a happy ending, don’t we?  We love the finish line.  The final product.  The end of the story, but you know what I’m finding?  Most of life is that “in the process” part of the story.

The part of the story where we’re not sure it’s going to work out.  Where we wonder if we will fail?  Where life gives us a big plot twist.  Will I be able to make it?  Will my circumstances ever change?  No one wants to sign up to share this pep talk!

What would happen if I did share the middle of my story, the…

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Keep Dreaming

Jesus Reliant

When I was a little kid, not 100% certain what age but under 10 years old, I watched a movie called Godspell. It was filmed in New York City (NYC) and it immediately just captured my heart! In the opening scene of the movie, there is a song playing calling people our main characters out of their daily lives and into Central Park’s Bethesda Fountain. There they find John the Baptist who baptizes them all in a lovely, fun water-fight type moment. There is complete joy and total acceptance in that scene. There is also deep and rich diversity. I fell in love with NYC in that moment and only grew to love it more over the years.

Fast forward 4 decades or so and I found myself this past April in NYC for the first time. I’ll admit, I was nervous about going there because I had built the…

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And Behold…YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Global

In Matthew 28, we hear an all familiar passage of scripture called, The Great Commission. In these verses, we hear Jesus talking to His disciples saying, ” Go, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all that I am commanded you. And Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Listen with me again…

And Behold…Listen. Observe what I am about to say. Don’t miss this, Jesus is saying…

I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, TO THE END OF THE AGE.

Be clear, this is post crucifixion and resurrection.  The 11 have shown up in Galilee, as Jesus directed, to get His direction.  He meets them there and he says, GO. Make Disciples. Baptize. Teach. AND BEHOLD. I got you. I’m with you. I’m for you. I will never leave you. There is nothing you will ever have to do, bear, walk into or through where I won’t be there.

Someone needs to get that down in their spirit so far, it will never again find it’s way out.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE. He sees you. He hears you. The One that formed you, fancies you. The One that created the universe is calling you to your destiny. TODAY. But never to do it alone. Everywhere you go and everything you go through, Jehovah God is on your side.

A year ago, I determined that freedom was mine and I declared right then and there that if God be for me, I would no longer allow excuses, fear or past failures to keep me small, keep me HIDDEN. And He’s been with me, like He always was, since. What’s this year been like, you ask…let me tell you.

Days following my declaration of freedom at the Northwest Women’s Conference, my husband’s office got word that it was closing and everyone was out of a job shortly thereafter. He is still unemployed and GOD IS WITH US.

Eight months ago,  in the middle of a vertigo episode that ended up lasting the first eight months of 2016, I fell and ended up in knee surgery. HE WAS WITH ME and healed me.  I was walking the next day.

Four months ago, while on a missions trip, I had a medical emergency and found myself lying in a South African hospital experiencing what could have been the end of my life. AND HE WAS WITH ME and saved my life and used me to love on the woman in my room and her daughter.

20 days ago, I had cancer and was having major surgery and I sit here, writing this now, cancer free. HE WAS WITH ME.

6 days ago, I laid off 24 people on my team. HE WAS WITH ME.

I share all this to tell you to GO and trust that He is with you, WHATEVER YOU GO THROUGH!! The nations are waiting, Church.  If we step into what we know God has called us to and He is our traveling companion, there is nothing we cannot do!! AMEN?!?!  It is time we link arms with God and others. Throw off every fear and step!  Just one. Decide today that you are going to put all that is behind you and press on to the call of God in Christ Jesus. Sisters…ALL that is behind.  Good, bad and everything in between. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Gear up, take up your sword (Bible). Put on the full armor of God because this Jesus following life is not for the faint of heart.  It is for the faithful follower who has a Father in heaven that calls every resource to battle with you, for you and enable you to take ground for the kingdom!!!

Decide, as you read this, that you are going to posture yourself appropriately before Him to hear his direction as the disciples did. The demons of hell cannot prevail but stop helping them!!  Throw off every hindrance that you know is contrary to the call.

Friends…WE CANNOT DEFEAT THE DEMONS THAT WE CHOOSE TO DANCE WITH. 

In Isaiah 6:8, we read, “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”

The nations are waiting….GO. MAKE DISCIPLES. BAPTIZE. TEACH.

AND BEHOLD, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. ♥♥♥♥♥

All my love, Tribe. B~

 

 

When God Sends a Text

“God trusts you, Bren. He told me He does”

*Whew* Doesn’t that just floor you?! It did me as I read the text message laying in a South African hospital preparing for surgery on what was supposed to be a short term missions trip with a dose of vacation. 🙂

He trusts me.  I didn’t even know how to process that but the truth of it resonated in my spirit and shook me to the core of my soul.

What was I to do with this other than believe it to be true.  I was in a hospital in Cape Town, South Africa and what came was surgeries, days in the hospital and a long 26 hour trek home to Seattle with my body bandaged and a healing process that would take me weeks into the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons because He trusts me. As I cried big tears, I simply replied to the text, “Thank you.” and I headed into the operating room.

The days that prefaced this moment was spent traveling to Johannesburg then Rustenburg to work at a local bible school and even that was nothing like I expected.  I had been to this country and taken these trips for 12 years and I knew what to expect.  We work on projects that were needed, develop relationships with the students and missionaries and get to do some cool sightseeing that made us fall in love with the beautiful country that it is. This particular trip kept me away from the work the team was doing and I spent a good share of my time tucked away by myself in the administration office working on things that called on my attention stateside. As one of the EquipHER discipleship coaches for the #IamHER movement that has ignited in the Northwest Ministry Network Women’s Ministries, December’s theme was The Heart of a Leader.  It was my responsibility to write the blog and share God’s heart on this particular topic and in my study time, the Lord had taken my to 2 Colossians chapter 20 and the prayer of King Jehoshaphat as armies are closing in around Judah on every side. In verse 20b, the King simply says, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”  In some translations, it says, “Our gaze is fixed on you, oh God.” I finished the blog while I was there and sent it off to be bundled in the resources for the coming month.  I had no idea what the coming days would bring but that reminder, to keep my gaze fixed on God and not my circumstances, would be the very thing that carried me through and kept a God perspective that led to His text, and my assurance, that the God of the universe trusted me.

On my fourth day in country, I begin to not feel well and my husband, who was back in the states, would note as we FaceTime that I didn’t look like I was feeling well.  I assured him I was just tired and feeling slightly off but otherwise okay. That continued over the next couple of days and as I begin to feel worse, physical signs that something wasn’t right began appearing. On our sixth day in South Africa, we hopped a flight for Cape Town and I couldn’t stay awake…my body was sweating but I chalked it up to the heat of the plane and the hot temperatures outside. Days earlier, I had let another woman on our trip know I wasn’t feeling well and she checked in and I said I was feeling okay.  Self-Care was not a priority, just getting the team to where we needed to be and not disrupt anything was. Not awesome as I sit now making adjustments, post trip, but all part of God’s plan.  Within 24 hours and additional personal decisions not to seek medical attention, an internal yet growing external abscess would rupture and I would find myself in the emergency room with quick decisions made for surgery to remedy.

As I battled with the surgeon for another option, he quietly said, “Madam, You cannot leave the country without this fixed and if you had waited to come in or I delay long in performing the surgery, you could be dead.” Whoa, WHAT?!”  DEAD?!

As I began to cry, I just needed my husband and he was 10,000 miles away. I asked the surgeon to leave for a few minutes and I called my husband, only to hear him echo the words of a man that I just met that I had to trust with my life. And King Jehoshaphat’s words began to weave themselves into my heart and mind…”We do not know what to do, but our gaze is fixed on you, oh God.”  Amen, King. AMEN. We got off the phone, agreeing it was the right thing to do and I walked out to the waiting area where a dear friend and pastor was sitting and waiting and we prayed. And the folks prepared to take me back to the room stood nearby and waited as we prayed…We fixed our gaze, we trusted, we prayed and then we proceeded with the plan. As I laid there waiting for surgery, God sent a text through a very dear friend, “God trusts you, Bren. He told me He does.”

After my surgery, I was taken to what would be my room in the days to follow, and a woman and her child were already there in the bed across from me. As we began to chat and get to know one another, I couldn’t take my eyes of this wee one named Lindi. Her momma white and she, the most gorgeous shade of brown I had ever seen. My girlfriend, Linda, had arrived earlier and as we sat and listened to Lindi’s story, my spirit began to leap and rejoice for this life saved from a threat of atrocities that you cannot imagine. Lindi’s momma, given to her by the courts, loved Jesus but had found herself with her hope lost and a weary heart and mind. I knew why all this happened.  The God who created these precious two brought me to this country, this hospital, in this room, to restore hope and breathe life into this weary momma through the power of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. We laughed, cried, and shared our stories and the Bible with one another. Lindi and her momma were a pure delight and the realest two people you could ever hope to know. Days later as I was preparing to leave the hospital, I hugged Lindi and her momma tight with promises to stay in touch over social media and emails and she, with a hope restored, simply said, “Who is this God that sent a woman from America to South Africa to give another woman her hope and joy back?” My reply simply this, “One who loves you so very much.”

Oh friends, I remember so many years ago when I read in Isaiah 6:8,9a, “And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” And he said, “Go,” and I screamed out loud…”HERE I AM!!!  SEND ME!!!”  And I meant it.  And I still do.  All day, every day. He is my God, my healer, the director of my steps.  And I will follow Him anywhere. But there was a day when even I wouldn’t have trusted myself. My choices were contrary to the word of God, my actions and words were wounding and destroying relationships and missions was the last thing on my mind.  As I matured, repented, healed and stood confident of my restoration, the enemy would attempt to get into my mind that God couldn’t trust me because I was always one decision away from being “that girl” again. Well, as the sum of my parts, I am that girl and her freedom song is sung loud and proud and no devil will throw arrows at her again…because my God trusts me.  He told my friend, Aaron, so.  And He told me so through a text message and has confirmed it to my heart ever since…over and over again. And I do go as He sends me, and I will still go…again and again as He leads because He trusts me to do what His will directs, even to the very edge of my life and back. He is my God and I am His daughter. #IamHER

As I am home healing, back in the states, I have found myself processing all the emotions of my trip and all that happened.  God doesn’t expect our humanity to take a hike when we go through things that are scary and leave us, in our flesh, feeling alone. But He is right there with me, whispering words of love and trust and if I listen really carefully, I think I can hear King Jehoshaphat’s words, realigned just a bit for this quiet time in my life, “When I did not know what to do, my gaze was fixed on you, oh God.” 

I love you, Tribe. I could not be more grateful for you if my mind and heart tried.  Thank you for your prayers, support and love.

 

 

 

 

I am called

If you live in the Ellensburg, WA area and are college age, you don’t want to miss this event. I couldn’t be prouder to serve alongside Charity and just see what amazing things that God is doing in and through her!

 

God is up to something extraordinary in our community.   Many college women from CWU freshmen to seniors are awakening to the call on their lives.  What does it look like when we live out our calli…

Source: I am called

Let Them See You in Me, Lord

It’s my heart’s cry. You know the one. It’s the cry that resonates so loudly in the chambers of you heart that if there were nothing left, it would cry out and ripple throughout every fiber of your being. Let them see You in me, Lord.

Let them see that there Is.Nothing,Left.But.You.

I am a life surrendered to the process of holy sacrifice even in the midst of my humanity.  In the midst of my angst with my thoughts, weariness over career, and the life-changing adventure of marriage and motherhood…nevermind the beckoning of full-time ministry. Let them see you, Lord.  Let them see the God who meets us at our best and worst. The God in the moments that we soar and those we wonder if we will ever find solid footing again.

It’s all I want.  Let them see you in me, Jesus.

Amen.