Give Up

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to give up when life got hard.  I wish I could tell you that each time life throws me a curveball I adjust with great ease and am poised and ready.  However, there are many times when I fight the battle in my mind to give up, stop fighting and retreat to places of resentment, anger and bitterness.

Maybe things aren’t going well with my health, a friendship, my marriage or my job.  The thoughts come flooding in, you know them: “give up, it’s too hard, it’s their fault, you deserve better, these people don’t appreciate you, you’ll never get better.”  That place is so defeating, but sometimes, I go there, because I am weary of the journey.  My faith grows weak and I start to lag behind.

“When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and cut off all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God.”- Deut 25:18

The Amalekites came and attacked Israel.  They were their enemies and they took advantage of a nation that was worn out and weary.

We too have an enemy who seeks to pounce on us when we are weak and weary.  Yet, the Lord reminds us,

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.- Isaiah 40:30-31

Whenever we take our eyes off of hope, we have opened a door for the enemy to come in and seek our destruction.  It’s only when we place ourselves back on the front lines with God that we find victory.  We cannot lag behind, because when we do, we’ll find ourselves vulnerable to enemy attack, off by ourselves away from the support of a loving Christian community to stand with us in life’s darkest of times.

Keep your eyes fixed upon grace and when you do grow weary, gather friends around you to help you stay alert and on the front lines, in Jesus name.


The Next Step

It is foolish to think God will use us greatly in “the next step,” if we are not faithful in “this step.”

Be faithful to where God has called you today. Don’t go looking, searching and waiting for the next big thing or opportunity to be used of God. God is looking for people who will remain faithful in the small things. Don’t miss out, because you feel like you’re missing out. It’s not true, if we walk in obedience with God, we are blessed and will be used as a blessing.

Now, go and bless someone today, in Jesus name.

Community: A Deep Need for Transformation

The Christian faith has always been meant to be lived out in community. Sure, it is absolutely essential that each Christian take up ownership for their own faith. However, in order for a Christian to truly grow and experience newness in Christ, they must surround themselves community.

Jesus lived this out during his life. We see the twelve who did daily life together; teaching, preaching and ministering together. To go ahead without deep, biblical community is sure to end in sudden disaster. Left to our own devices we will choose the way of foolishness, but with dear brothers and sisters who will be bold enough to speak God’s truth into our lives, we have built in safeguards to keep us straying from the path too far. 

The problem becomes when we choose not to listen to the wise counsel of the biblical community embedded in our lives. There is no doubt in my mind that we will begin to weave a path of great destruction in our life’s journey as we ignore those voices.

Transparency in community has always been meant to be a beautiful thing. Each time we open up to someone about our own personal struggles, we allow them into the mess of our lives, actively humbling ourselves, our humility invites others in to say, you’ve got a messy life? Yeah, me too.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” – James 5:16

Just Like My Father

I remember as a child how much I wanted to be like my father. I walked in his shadow, because I longed to be just liked him. I had such admiration for my father. He was humble, patient and gentle. Better yet, he was athletic and fun. I loved hearing his stories of the sports he played growing up, how hard he worked at them; his successes and accomplishments.

The more I heard my father’s stories, the more I wanted to be like him. As his stories weaved themselves into my head, setting up a home in my heart I had a much greater understanding of what it meant to imitate my father.

People called me a “tomboy,” but really, I was just a daddy’s girl. A girl wanting to be just like her father, because she knew she could trust him.

Ephesians 5:1 says, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children.” I can’t help but think the best way to imitate our heavenly father is to know his stories, longing to be just like him, with such deep admiration and love, that we walk in his shadow with the hopes that maybe, just maybe we can become like him.

I’ve had people call me overly religious or a bit of a over the top with this whole Jesus thing, but really, I’m just a daddy’s girl, longing to be just like her heavenly father.

Maybe the best way to live out Ephesians 5:1 is not really to do much of anything, except to sit at our father’s feet, resting in the word of God, allowing it to be our greatest delight. In doing so, we’ll have a better understanding of how to imitate our father as we grow in deep admiration for Him and His love for us. Imitating our father flows out of us from his stories, stored up in our hearts, as we rest in his faithfulness for our lives, in Jesus name.


A Man Zealous for God: Nehemiah

Nehemiah was a man who was zealous for God. It is quite possible that because of his zeal and love for God’s word, Israel did not fall back into captivity through their willful rebellion.

In his courage, Nehemiah gathered a remnant to join him in the rebuilding of the walls in Jerusalem. He faced much opposition, but did not give up, because he knew and understood that God would give him victory.

After the walls and temple were rebuilt in Jerusalem, Nehemiah set up everyone in their places to serve in the house of God. Once things were in order Nehemiah returned to serve in the court of king of Artaxerxes in Persia. Then, after some time he returns to Jerusalem only to find that much of Israel had stopped pursuing the Lord.

Nehemiah, to his dismay finds many of the Levites have stopped serving in the temple, not to mention there are men selling goods on the Sabbath and others who have married foreign women. Therefore, he sets out to cleanse Israel of their sudden idolatries to restore the people back to following God’s law.

We are a people quick to fall away from following God. If you’re leading people, do not grow discouraged when they fall away. Remind them of the greatness of God and His word. Be a person of biblical integrity and speak the truth in love, be honest and transparent about your own brokenness and need for grace.

If you’re a Christian, do not neglect the word of God. Make it a priority in your life and live in ways that reflect your love for God and His word. Don’t just study the book, be a person of the book. God will bless you as you earnestly seek Him and walk in obedience with Him.

God, give us courage to walk with you. Convict us when we have strayed from your path and poor out your grace upon us. We need you, in Jesus name.

In the Heat of Battle

I can recall the many times in my life when I’ve wanted to give in and give up.  I remember a few years ago, I was burnt out on ministry.  It was becoming a burden, not a joy.  It had become overwhelmingly difficult for me to serve in ministry.  I was allowing the enemy a strong hold on my heart and my mind.  I was feeling defeated.  I was ready to give up.

I had to start the process of rebuilding my relationship with God, so that my heart started believing truth over the lies that constantly kept trying to destroy me.  Those lies nearly took over me.  Thankfully, God humbled me and by His grace, He showed me that in His strength, all things are possible.

I imagine many of the Jews felt scared and defeated in Nehemiah 4:7-15.  Yet, they had a leader who wouldn’t allow the threats of the enemy shut down the work of God.  Although bad report after bad report kept coming in, Nehemiah did not falter.  He believed in the strength and power of God to overcome that which seemed far too impossible to have victory over.

As the enemies gathered and plotted against the Jews, the Jews did not cower in fear, they, “prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.”(vs. 9)  They also chose to “Remember the LORD, who is great and awesome.” (vs. 14)  They weren’t going to allow some pithy little threat become something that would shut down the work of God.  Although their threats would invoke fear in most, Nehemiah chose to battle this emery from a spiritual standpoint and in the end, he and the Jews had victory.

Nehemiah and the Jews practiced spiritual disciplines that we would be wise to apply to our lives today.

  1.  They prayed
  2. They were on guard against the enemy, prepared and ready for any attack
  3. They remembered the LORD who is great and awesome.
  4. They fought TOGETHER and as family units

What in your life do you feel defeated over?  As if it has victory over your life?  You can’t seem to win over it and it constantly wants to drag you down into a pit of despair and discouragement?  I would encourage you dear friend to pray, be on guard, remember the greatness of your God and invite others to fight spiritual battles with you.  Do not give way to fear, or isolation.  Surround yourself with people who will fight alongside of you and hide yourself in the shelter of God’s, believing it’s truth, allowing God to fight for you.

God, give us courage.  We are afraid.  We do not want to go out and fight against the enemy, we’d rather shrink back into places of despair and discouragement, but we know that in you, we have victory.  We know that in you, we are more than conquerors, so give us courage, you are great and awesome, in Jesus name, amen.  

Fear and Faith


Each morning I am met by two old friends; fear and faith. Fear is often the one that loves to greet me first. Faith doesn’t barge its way through fear on its own, it patiently waits for me to initiate its presence.

What I do with that old friend of fear will determine whether or not I shall meet with faith that day. My next decision after fear greets me will often determine the direction my day will take. Fear has such a strong grip on my thoughts and actions until I release it to the life-changing power of faith. 

Faith places my thoughts, actions and insecurities in safe hands. Faith takes me on a beautiful journey with God, where fear keeps me spinning in circles, with no true direction. Faith encourages me to go deeper, believe bigger and to break strongholds. Faith is where freedom is found. Fear is bondage.

It is but a simple prayer I pray when fear meets me first thing, Lord, I need you, I need your grace, I admit _________ is a fear that wants to overtake me, so today I choose to walk in the freedom that you offer through Jesus Christ, because in Him I am more than a conqueror! I have the victory through Jesus Christ, so today I will walk in the victory, because of your great love for me!