Do You Matter?

Do you ever feel insignificant? The world is a big place and it can be easy to blend in.

I want to remind you today that YOU MATTER!

  • The way you walk into a room matters.
  • Your presence matters.
  • Your smile matters.
  • The words that come out of your mouth matter.

You can literally shift the atmosphere around you wherever you go!

  • People need you.
  • They need what you have to offer.
  • They need the wisdom you have gained from your many life experiences.

Put your peace and joy on so you can show up powerfully.

Don’t be afraid to show up in other people’s lives.  Don’t sit down and shut up.

 


 

 Click here to listen to the song for today!

I have given you a purpose for living my child,

I have called you by name,

I have chosen you to do something special for Me.

No one else can do it just like you can,

For the gifts I have given to you,

they are unique, my child.

So don’t go your own way,

And don’t serve your own plans,

For I,  your God, will cause a new day to dawn,

Just rise up and walk

And listen to my voice.

(Peter Warren)

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Friendship & Betrayal

 

Have you ever been betrayed? In order to be betrayed you have to have loved and trusted someone deeply.

It is stunning to me that Jesus knew from the beginning that Judas would betray Him, but it did not hold Him back from including Judas in His inner circle and risking His heart.

I think that if I knew ahead of time that someone was going to betray me, I would not even introduce myself much less bring the person into my inner circle.

Jesus is so different from me. He blows my mind. He keeps His love turned on towards all people 100% of the time.

For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. (John 6:64b NASB)

Jesus’ life illustrates this truth: even if you do everything absolutely perfectly, you will still experience rejection.

Perfection does not equal acceptance from the people around you.

You might even say that the more Christ like you become, the more you may experience rejection.

Jesus walked in confidence because His sense of self worth did not come from His companions.

When the Jews wanted to kill Him He said,  “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing. (John 5:19-20 NASB)

Jesus’ identity was completed wrapped up in what the Father thought about Him and in living according to His Father’s wishes.  

You won’t be healed of your rejection by analyzing the source of your rejection but by looking at the source of your acceptance. (Bob Sorge)

Your Father loves you with the same exact love He loves Jesus with. Make living your life in Him your highest aim and the acceptance or rejection from people will lose its hold on you.

 

Any pain you have stored up in your heart from betrayal belongs to you. You can choose to own it and to let it go. Choose to let it go today!

I bless you to live in peace.

P.S.

Our family watched a movie this week that I would love to share with you. It sucked all of us in because it is a fascinating true story.  I also liked it because it shows brothers laying down their lives for each other.

I checked it out for free from our public library, but here is the link to check it out on Amazon:

The Good Lie

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The Solution to Lack of Community

What lies do you believe that keep you from connecting with friends?

I used to be held back from spending time with people because I was afraid of awkward silent moments. I felt like I was innately boring and wouldn’t have anything interesting to talk about.

I found that one solution for this was to get together to do an activity. Working on a project together or playing a game can help make connecting easier.

Here are 7 tips to help you foster community and practice hospitality:

  • Practice smiling at people and looking them in the eye.
  • Practice making small talk. This doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but it is the starting point for deeper conversations.
  • Don’t wait until your house is perfect to invite people over for dinner. If your house is messy your guests will just feel better about their own home. You will be doing them a service.
  • Don’t wait for someone to invite you for coffee. Take the first step.
  • Make a phone call or text instead of waiting for someone to call you.
  • When people make room for you in their lives, take it, even if it’s just hanging out with them and helping them with whatever project they are working on.  That may be all the time they have available, so honor it.
  • In order to make meaningful connections you must be intentional. Get out your calendar and make a plan.

YOU are the solution to lack of community!

Strangers are just friends waiting to happen. -Rod McKuen

 

A man who has friends must himself be friendly (Proverbs 18:24a NKJV)

 

 

 

 

 

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What Brand are You?

As children we tend to absorb labels. Our parents should be the ones who brand us with good words, calling us up into our destinies. In many cases our parents carried negative labels themselves and had no clue how to brand us or that it was even part of their job description.
Some common labels are:
                                 scatterbrained, shy, dumb, lazy, below average, dramatic,
                                 stubborn, clumsy, or accident prone.
Maybe a doctor or other “professional” labeled you with:
                                 ADHD, DID, PTSD, or some other series of letters.
These labels do not have the power to define you forever unless you let them.
You can move beyond your childhood and be a powerful adult.
You were a child then. You are not nowYou are an adult.
You really can throw off all of those old labels from when you were a child and embrace  new labels.
You have generations of ancestors cheering you on!
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.  (Hebrews 12:1 NASB)
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Key idea: You do not have to be who you have always been.

Key strategy: Who do you need to be in order to do what you want to do? Put it into one sentence. Put it in your reminders in your phone and set the alarm to go off at a certain time each day. Read it out loud each day. Do it until it feels true and natural.

When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.  (1 Corinthians 13:11)

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Help Me Name My Book

On my recent trip to Cuba I spent many hours traveling the countryside on a bus. There were moments where I sat gazing peacefully at the scenery outside. There were moments where I gave in to exhaustion and fell asleep. There were also many moments of wonderful conversation with the other team members sitting around me.

In one of the moments of swapping stories, my friend Kristi pointed out that I had a lot of unusual stories to tell. Honestly, my stories are my stories, and they have always just felt normal to me. The longer we talked I started to realize that my life has not been an ordinary one.

I decided to write a book. I have poured out my heart and soul onto the written page. I am in the final stages of editing, and now I need YOUR help.

Would you please help me name my book.

Click below to vote on your favorite title:

Click here to Vote

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The Story Behind Harry and Larry

My daughter Zoe wrote a book. She is ten years old. Knock me over with a feather! I knew she was a bit addicted to typing on her computer, but when she told me she had written a whole book I was quite surprised.

Having a creative child is really exciting, but it can also be a lot of work. When my daughter told me her news I could not just sit back and say, “Oh, that’s nice, Zoe.”

What’s a mom to do? I had to take action.

While Zoe’s story was very fun and well thought out, it needed a lot of editing to be put into book format.

I started off by editing the book myself.  I spent several hours over several days on this part.

Next I passed the manuscript on to my dad for proofreading. I asked my mom, who is a self-published author a few times over, to help me format the text into the correct page sizes.

Zoe drew a picture for the book cover.  She had very definite ideas about the way she wanted it to look.  Next, my spiritual daughter Ashley went to the drawing board to give the canaries the animated personality that Zoe envisioned.

Overall the process of turning a manuscript into a real book turned out to be a wonderful collaboration with family.

What fun!

Don’t let your dreams just be dreams.

Do your homework and make your ideas come to life!

 Click here to visit Zoe’s Blog

Click here to visit our Children’s Creativity site Fireflies Aglow

Click here to visit Ashley’s Blog

 

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It’s a Bad Moment When You Wreck Both of Your Vehicles at the Same Time

I have no idea how I can drive through a messy snowstorm and make it home unscathed, only to wreck both of my vehicles in my own driveway a couple days later when the weather is totally fine.
I do have a few lame excuses for how it happened:
  1. Our car had been at the mechanic shop for a couple days and I got very used to it being gone,
  2. I was in a hurry to get all the kids and all of our stuff into the van and to church on time,
  3. It was pitch dark outside so when I glanced at the driveway all I saw was black,
  4. Normally on Wednesday nights Christopher would have taken the car and headed to church by this time, but he was in Brazil preaching in a bunch of different churches.
None of these excuses make what happened much easier to bear. The fact of the matter is I just plain forgot that the car was in the driveway. I put my van into reverse, slowly backed up, and crunch! I paused. I was puzzled.  What in the world was that? Crap, oh yeah. 
Judah and I both got out of the van and looked around, but it was so dark out that we couldn’t really tell how much damage had been done. We got back into the van and headed to church.
The fact of the matter is no matter how much damage was done it just wasn’t worth losing my peace. I knew it was an important moment for my kids too. They needed to see mom not freak out over something that was clearly not a fun situation.
It may cost money to have the vehicles repaired, but money is just money. God provides what we need, and we use what He provides to take care of our needs.
Of course I would prefer not to spend money on repairing both of my vehicles, but hey, it is what it is.
The fact that this is the third time in my life that I have backed into a parked car should be laughable. I may not be laughing at it yet, but I am choosing to let it go.
Life is too short to stress over things that are not a matter of life and death.
Word to the wise: don’t park your car behind me!
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Everything Worth Doing is Worth Doing Poorly

 

Do you have big dreams but don’t know where to start? Maybe you lack the confidence that you will be successful.

You really have to start somewhere. It is like the old question. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

When people ask my husband how he learned to speak Spanish he often responds, “You have to speak bad Spanish before you can speak good Spanish.”

His desire to speak other languages is much greater than his desire to not look foolish. This thinking has served him well.

Pride is sometimes what stops us from trying. We don’t like to look silly in front of other people, but you simply can not be perfect at something the first time you do it.

You have to be willing to try and fail. Fear of looking like a fool is pride.

God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).

This is something that I personally struggle with. I much prefer to do everything as “perfectly” as I can the first time around.

I spend hours studying and researching a thing before I do it. I think there is wisdom in preparing well, but at some point you have to stop preparing and move forward.

I have to remind myself that if I am willing to humble myself and take a step forward, grace will come to me.

Everything worth doing is worth doing poorly….at the beginning.

You have to start somewhere. We have to get right up to the starting line and take that first step.

No one is born knowing how to walk gracefully. You literally have to take baby steps.

 

Take some baby steps towards fulfilling your destiny today!

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Cuba Update

I had a wonderful time on my trip to Cuba. This was my second visit to the island, and it was everything I expected it to be and more.

The first time I went I felt such joy the moment I stepped off the plane and into the immigrations area of the airport. It is like there is something in the atmosphere in Cuba that my spirit connects with.

As I spent time walking along the ocean and riding a bus throughout the island my spirit came alive more and more. The only way I can explain it is to say that the airways feel different there.

Each time I have gone to Cuba I have returned with fresh clarity and vision for my life and my family. It is amazing what getting away to a different location can do for your focus.

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One of the very best parts of my most recent trip was that I was able to take a few people with me. I absolutely loved seeing my team members come alive as God stirred up old and new things in their hearts.

One of the greatest joys of my life is to see people prosper in their souls. I love to see them living life to the fullest. Life is too short to sit back and wait for something interesting to happen.

We have to happen to life!

If you have ever considered going on a mission’s trip, please do it!

Here are some links for ministries that you can join up with in your adventure:

Leanne Goff Ministries

Heartland Breakthrough to the Nations

Randy Clark Global Awakening

 

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“Just Pray I Don’t Die”

It was the first day back to school after Christmas break. The kids were dragging.

As I dropped my son off at his school I said, “Elijah, remember that the kingdom of God is in your hands. You have power in your hands.”

I know my son, and I could tell that he internalized what I said and was in agreement.

Then, as he got out of the car he said, “Just pray I don’t die.”

What the heck?! Why is that phrase even a part of his vocabulary.

Now, he was not worried about school shootings. He was simply referring to the drudgery of math class!

“God help me to just make it through this boring class one more time.”

Two mindsets were crashing against each other in his head: the possibilities of going on a supernatural adventure and the process of living the everyday mundane.

This battle in the mind happens to us all. The struggle is real. The question is which line of thought are we going to choose to run with?

Many times over the years I have had to remind myself of who I really am in the midst of the mundane.

Running errands is not one of my favorite things to do by far. I much prefer to be at home. I have developed a habit while driving around town of praying and reminding myself that I am not a mere human. Even my presence in a public place, my smile, or a kind word holds power to shift the atmosphere wherever I go.

Here is a song I sometimes listen to in the car as I am headed out:  Supernatural by Mark Snider

When we give our lives to Christ and Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us we are not just normal humans anymore. The trick is to get your mind wrapped around that concept. Let’s believe and grow in this together!

 

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