When I Don’t Get My Way

when i dont get wat i want
With four kids running around my house, it’s almost a daily occurrence that someone is unhappy about something or someone at least one time per day.  Most times, regardless of the context of the situation or the people involved, it comes down to the same underlying principle. . . . I didn’t get my way.

As a mom, I consistently hoped that my children would someday grow out of this, but I’m not sure they will.  I’m not sure that I have.  I’m not sure that many adults do, for that matter.  Selfishness is a nature issue.  It comes right along side with sin and that sin is all around us.  We believe we deserve things, to be happy, to have the “simple” things we want, down to silly things like we deserve to pick the movie or get the last cookie.  The fact is, we are selfish by nature.

Each of our levels of selfishness and points of growth are probably different.  There are days when I feel I’ve really grown, then there are days where I reflect on the day and realize I did a lot of pouting, if to no one else, God.  God, why didn’t that friend ask me to go get a pedicure with her?  Why did she choose that other friend?  God, why is everyone annoying me today? God, why didn’t you answer my prayers and heal my friend, my grandma, my uncle . . . ? I end up doing a lot of pouting to God.  Now before you gear yourself up to read about how this isn’t okay, take a look at what the David wrote in one of my favorite verses, Psalm 56:8.

“You number my wanderings;   Put my tears into Your bottle;   Are they not in Your book?”

God listens to my pouting and my crying, and frankly, my whining.  He cares about my feelings and the way things and people make me feel, even when those feelings seem immature and all about me.  But, just like with my own children, He doesn’t want me to stay there.  Feelings are just feelings, it’s what we do with them that matters.  When I stay in that spot of crying, whining, pouting, or complaining, I begin to slowly doubt that God is who He says He is.  I begin to slowly, subtly believe the small lies that maybe He doesn’t care about me and everything that goes on.  I begin to slowly fall into the trap my children do when they are convinced that they never get their way and that everyone is out to get them.

It’s in those times that I need to read what David wrote before verse 8.  I need to remember that he wrote this after being captured.  He wasn’t whining to God that he didn’t get his way.  He was declaring that no matter what happens, he knew he had given control over to God.  He knew that he could trust God, NO MATTER what the outcome was.  He knew God wasn’t just the super hero that would come in at the end and make a happy ending.  He knew that he gave control to God and that he would trust God, NO MATTER what happened.

“Whenever I am afraid,   I will trust in You.   In God (I will praise His word),   In God I have put my trust;   I will not fear.   What can flesh do to me?” Psalm 56: 3-4

One of my new favorite songs is “I Will Trust in You” by Lauren Daigle. There are two parts that get to my core and remind me of my God who I can trust.  The first part says,

“Mighty Warrior,

King of the fight

No matter what I face,

You’re by my side”

NO MATTER what I face, He is by my side.  From the small things like my children arguing and my never ending to-do list not getting smaller to friendships changing or ending and my uncle dying from cancer, He is by my side.  He will not leave me nor forsake me, even when I doubt, cry, pout, and whine. (See Deuteronomy 31:6)

The second part of the song is a daily reminder for me.  It’s the reminder that even when I don’t get my way, I can and will still trust Him and who He is.

“When you don’t move the mountains I’m needing you to move,

When you don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through,

When you don’t give the answers as I cry out to you,

I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in you.”

Dear God, thank You for who You are.  Thank You that You are a good Father that loves us, cares for us, and guides us even when we falter.  Thank You that we can trust Your guidance and plan, even when we don’t get our way.  Help us to give up the control of having to have everything our way and trust You to guide us.  Thank You that You have good plans for us.  Thank You that You love us.  Thank You that we can trust in YOU!

Nikki Rasmussen

Nikki is the mother to four and she loves spending as much time as she can get with her greatest blessings.  Together, Tim and Nikki make their home in Tacoma, Washington, a long leap from her home state of North Dakota.  Nikki is a graduate of Trinity Bible College and about to start her Master’s program through the University of Texas at Arlington. “On the day you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.  Live your life in such a way that on the day you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” ~Author Unknown

Nikki is the mother to four and she loves spending as much time as she can get with her greatest blessings. Together, Tim and Nikki make their home in Tacoma, Washington, a long leap from her home state of North Dakota. Nikki is a graduate of Trinity Bible College and about to start her Master’s program through the University of Texas at Arlington. “On the day you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that on the day you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” ~Author Unknown

Renewed Gratefulness

“For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups.” Ephesians 2:14-15

renewed gratefulness

Today I was reading in Leviticus in my devotion time. All of a sudden what Jesus did for me hit me in a whole new way. Here I was reading verse after verse of purification rituals that had to take place in order for the Israelites to be considered clean in the Lord’s eyes. Chapter after chapter details the requirements for sacrifices to be made and the specific order things were to be done and disposed of. The things people had to go through just to be able to make their sacrifices and not be struck dead were incredible.

I began to feel a gratefulness for Jesus that I hadn’t felt before. I was raised in church so I knew that he died for my sins, rescuing me from the depths of hell. That is enough to be thankful for! But today was different as I recounted all the rituals I don’t have to go through to come into God’s presence. Because of Jesus I not only have been rescued, but have an openness to the Father that these I was reading about didn’t enjoy.

Too often I take for granted the ability to come to God through the blood of Jesus and hear from him, petition him, and learn of him. Many days I get too busy with good things to sit and read the Word and spend quiet time with God. I complain of my to-do list when the list of things the Israelites had to do just to have their sins forgiven makes my seemly long list, oh so short.

In that moment I felt the weight of what carrying the law must have felt like. Verse after verse, my heart began to sink farther and farther as being someone God could look upon seemed unattainable. Talk about an uplifting devotion time! But then I turned to the New Testament and read of Jesus fulfilling the law and releasing those in bondage of trying to work to be good enough to come to God. My heart rejoiced in a whole new way! Praise the Lord for Jesus Christ!

I fear that sometimes there are people like me that get caught up with the good things in life and before we know it we have forgotten the privilege of entering into God’s presence. Instead of praying and reading the Bible seeming like a joy and honor, it gets put on the to-do list of life along with many other things. It isn’t until we have an aha moment, like I did today, that we remember others before us that weren’t granted that privilege. I pray that we may feel a renewed gratefulness for this awesome privilege!

Father, forgive us for taking You for granted. Thank You for providing Your Son as a bridge to You. May You draw us into Your presence and help us see You in a whole new way. Amen.

Amanda Keller

Amanda is a homeschooling mother of two great children and wife to Nathan.  While Amanda grew up in Jordan, Montana, their family makes their home in Bismarck, North Dakota.  Amanda's passion for leading others in worship shines through along with her love for Jesus, her family and laughter.  Their family loves to support Compassion International in whatever way possible. Amanda holds associates degrees in both music performance and office administration from Trinity Bible College.  "your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but something you raise." ~Andy Stanley

Amanda is a homeschooling mother of two great children and wife to Nathan. While Amanda grew up in Jordan, Montana, their family makes their home in Bismarck, North Dakota. Amanda’s passion for leading others in worship shines through along with her love for Jesus, her family and laughter. Their family loves to support Compassion International in whatever way possible. Amanda holds associates degrees in both music performance and office administration from Trinity Bible College. “your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but something you raise.” ~Andy Stanley

Because I’m His

From day one of our relationship, my husband has been a beautiful example of God’s love for me. We married after only three months of dating, so we got to know each other in the early years of our marriage. I’ll never forget the first time I learned exactly WHY he loved me. As we sat together one evening in comfortable marital bliss, I breathed a happy sigh and looked into his eyes. “So, babe,” I asked, “Why do you love me?” I thought of all the wonderful qualities I possessed, and waited in excited expectation for his response. He didn’t hesitate as he squeezed my hand and said, “Because you’re my wife.” I looked at him, not sure he’d heard me correctly. “Yes, I know,” I said, “But WHY?” He smiled and pulled me closer to him, as if I should be overcome with emotion at his endearing words. “Because you’re mine!”

sharilyn

Of course this is what every woman should long to hear from her husband, but not me, and certainly not at that time in my life as a newlywed.  I was used to having people praise me for how beautiful my voice was, or how well I played the piano. For how eloquent and powerful my writings and poems and songs were. I once had a potential suitor tell me that I was everything he wanted in a woman, especially because of my heart for God and desire to serve Him. Yet another extolled my musical gifts, as well as my virtues of kindness and compassion for others. So when my own HUSBAND, the one I wanted to praise and love me for these things, did not even mention them in his reason for loving me, I was insulted. Shocked. Even hurt. I must admit, I felt somewhat betrayed by God for giving me a man who did not love me for the qualities of which I was so proud (what a waste, I thought), and in my eyes, those things which made me so valuable as a wife.

As disturbed as I was that night, it set me thinking upon and considering God’s love for me. Amazingly, there seemed to be a parallel between the two. Who would have thought? J Awhile later, I had a dream that I had to choose between two men who wanted to marry me.  I was terribly confused and conflicted, but then my husband walked up to me and gently took my hand. When our eyes met, every doubt I had vanished. It was like I was looking into the very eyes of Jesus, and I nearly melted with the love I felt. Not mere romantic love, but an all-encompassing and unconditional love so much more powerful and deep and intimate.  I awoke with tears in my eyes, knowing without a doubt that God was trying to show me through my husband just how much He loved me. And that it wasn’t for what I could do or accomplish or become, but simply for who I already was—HIS. In Song of Solomon 6:3, the Shulamite woman euphorically states, “I am my Beloved’s and He is mine.” Of course here it’s a romantic picture of the love between Solomon and his bride, but we know it also relates to us as belonging to Christ. We are His, and He is ours. We have been bought with the precious blood of Christ, who died for us while we were still ungodly. While we were still sinners, unworthy of love, unreconciled to God yet destined to be His very own. 1 John 4:10 says, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” He loved us first. He wanted us. He longed for us before we even knew of Him, or grew to love Him in return, or could do or be anything to please Him. We were His beloved creation, made in His image, and for that— and nothing else—He loved us.

It has taken me awhile, but in the years since that discussion with my husband, I have seen how true and right it was for him to respond as he did. How divinely appointed and Christ-like. How breathtakingly beautiful and utterly life-changing his words were. Because they freed me from having to do or even become something in order to earn his love or acceptance. I don’t have to fear losing his love even if I lose my voice or my ability to play the piano. I don’t have to worry that his love will fade if I am struggling spiritually, or lack inspiration to write songs and poetry.  I am loved just as I am and because I belong to him; everything else is just a bonus. I possess his love because I am HIS!  And that’s exactly why my Father God loves me, why He loves YOU.

So be encouraged today, because true Love doesn’t love you for your beauty or your talents or your actions, He loves you because of who you are in Him, WHOSE you are, all past or future accomplishments and becoming’s aside. Be set free from trying to perform, or become, or do in an attempt to earn God’s love. You can come to Him just as you are and know that His love for you won’t (and cannot) change, whether you have it all together or your life is a mess. It won’t wane and it will never fail, because it’s not based on your doing, but on your belonging. The cross was more than sufficient proof of that! If you know Jesus, you belong to your Father God, and you can be confident that who you are is His beautiful child. His perfect masterpiece.  His cherished creation.  YOU are His beloved, and He is yours. So as unglamorous as it may sound, the amazingly liberating and profoundly wonderful truth is this: He simply loves you because you are His. You belong to Jesus. And that is, and always will be, enough.

Father God, what joy and freedom rises up in my soul, knowing that I am loved because I belong to You! Help me to truly grasp how deep and how wide Your love is for me, not because of what I can accomplish or become, but because I am Yours. Help me to come to know who I am in You, to understand that my identity in You is what defines my worth. I am a daughter of the King, Your beloved child, Your very own unique and beautiful creation. I am loved because I am Yours and You are mine, and no one can ever take me out of Your hand. Thank You that I can trust You with my life and my future, knowing that You are good and Your love for me endures forever.
In Jesus’ Name,  Amen.

Sharilyn Edgerle

Sharilyn is the mother to two adorable little boys and met her husband, Enoch, through eHarmony in. She grew up and graduated high school in Montana. Together they make their home in Michigan. Sharilyn’s passion rests in sharing the love of Jesus with others through evangelism, music and writing. She has recently been asked to lead worship for a local church and started writing for the Titus II Woman blog team. Sharilyn is a graduate of Trinity Bible College with an Associates of Arts degree in Music Performance. Jeremiah 29:11-14, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord.”

Sharilyn is the mother to two adorable little boys and met her husband, Enoch, through eHarmony in. She grew up and graduated high school in Montana. Together they make their home in Michigan. Sharilyn’s passion rests in sharing the love of Jesus with others through evangelism, music and writing. She has recently been asked to lead worship for a local church and started writing for the Titus II Woman blog team. Sharilyn is a graduate of Trinity Bible College with an Associates of Arts degree in Music Performance. Jeremiah 29:11-14, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord.”

Beauty In Brokenness

Have you ever gotten in your car, started to drive, and the next thing you know you are asking yourself “how did I get here?” As if the last five miles didn’t exist or you just passed them by without any recollection.  Far too many times we find ourselves in these “how did I get here” moments where we started at point A and somehow landed on point F wondering how in the world did I pass point B-E and we start asking the hard questions that sometimes never have answers.  We all have these moments but some “How did I get here moments” don’t always have smiles, laughs and love but rather they have hurt, pain, and despair.  I have had one of those “moments”.

beatuty in brokenness

In 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 scripture states “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” So basically we are all clay pots and when we accept Christ as our Savior we then have this amazing power inside of us like the old Sunday school song says, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine”. This scripture also reassures us that God will always be by our side in every “moment” of our life.  So picture with me a clay pot, it is beautiful and whole, smooth and perfect without blemish, this represents us. Now place a candle inside, this represents Christ in us and His light that shines in us.  What a beautiful picture to draw of our life with Christ.  So now comes the fun part…life and all its “moments”!!!

So there I was this beautiful clay pot shining Christ’s light for all to see when life happened… I was driving home and my phone rang and I noticed it was my husband so I proceeded to answer it.  The next few minutes and words that were spoken and received on that phone that day would forever change the course of my life.  The words that were spoken were words that no wife ever wants to hear, it went a little bit like this, “honey, I have something I need to tell you.” The tone in his voice was filled with fear and regret, yet with love and remorse.  Before he could say another word I reassured him that I loved him and there wasn’t anything that would change that.  There was an awkward silence and then the truth came, the words were spoken, he confessed that not only was he addicted to pornography but that he had been unfaithful in our marriage…

BAM…it was as if he had picked up a hammer and took a big ole slug at my clay pot and his clay pot.  As I sat there in my car completely numb to what had just happened I thought to myself “How did I get here”?  It had felt like just yesterday I was in high school dreaming about the beauties of my future and today I was literally trying to pick up the broken pieces of my life.  What happened?  How did I completely miss point B-E? What do I do now? In that moment I felt like Isaiah did, in Isaiah 45:9 it states “What sorrow awaits those who argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?”  I grew up in a Christian home, I was not only a pastor’s kid but I was a pastor’s wife as well and I felt betrayed but not only by my husband but by God.  I began to question God, why God, why me, why are you letting this happen to me, what did I do wrong, I didn’t deserve this.  I am your vessel, your clay pot and you are letting my pot get demolished.  I was seriously questioning God and asking him “how clumsy can you be?” “STOP!!!” “You are doing it all wrong!”  With every repercussion of my husband’s poor decisions came another slug of the hammer to my clay pot…BAM…to his clay pot…BAM…to our clay pot…BAM!!!  Before we knew it we were sitting in a pile of broken pieces that could never be put back together.

What do I do now God?  Where do I go from here?  I am broken, hurt, lonely, full of pain and anger. I not only have myself to worry about but 4 little kids (at the time) who need me to be strong.  I felt betrayed, used, ugly, and worthless.  My husband felt ashamed, full of guilt and was hurting inside. How could God ever use me again, my husband again, us again?  The Bible says I can leave him for what he has done. Lord what do I do, I put all my trust in you, please Lord show me the next step.  In His gentle yet passionate voice he whispered to me “Danielle, DO NOT GIVE UP!”

So how do I not give up?  Well I would love to say that it was as simple as just saying those simple words… “Ok God, I trust you, I am going to give you all these pieces, do with them what you will.” …but it was so much more than that.  There were nights of crying myself to sleep, there were days where I was face down on the floor crying out to God, there were those moments where I found myself so desperate that I almost couldn’t move.  Making that decision to “Not Give Up” took patience, time, energy, diving into the Word, praying when I didn’t feel like it, worshiping when I had nothing to give, but also yes to God, yes to His power, yes to His unfailing love.  It took days, months, years of those daily little steps.  I took little steps every day.  One thing I learned is that it was ok to cry, it was ok to be angry, it was ok to not know what to do.  God gave us tears to use, emotions to show our feelings and an innocence of not knowing what needs to happen next.   The scripture I stood on every day was Jeremiah 29:11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  I wanted that hope and future and I knew the first step I needed to do was forgive my husband. This was by far the hardest yet most rewarding and freeing experience of my life.

After I forgave my husband something magical happened not only to me, but to my husband, to our marriage, to our family, that only God could do; He began to put our clay pots together.  I knew at this point that our clay pots would never look the same again but I was not ready for what the Master was preparing.  My clay pot is no longer beautiful and smooth or without blemish, it now has ugly cracks and huge chunks that are missing.  To be honest my clay pot is pretty ugly to say the least, but remember in 2 Corinthians 4:7 scripture states “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”  When you place that candle in my clay pot now, His light shines through every crevasse, every crack, every huge chunk that is missing.  In my brokenness, God’s all powerful, beautiful and perfect light can shine brighter than it ever could in that smooth, perfect clay pot without blemish.  Through my brokenness came beauty.  Through your brokenness comes beauty.  You are beautifully and wonderfully made.  God is not only there for every “moment” of your life but he is waiting for you to give Him ALL your broken pieces so he can make a masterpiece.  Although it has been a road less traveled I never gave up on my husband, on our marriage, on our family or on me! God has restored what the enemy thought was his.  Not only did God restore our marriage, our family and our ministry but he made it more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.  Never Give UP! You are not alone, you never were and you never will be. Your beauty shines through your brokenness!

Lord, I pray right now for any woman out there who is struggling to figure out the “why” in their brokenness.  Whether it be self-inflicted or hurts caused by others, Lord you see it all and you see every little broken piece.  I pray right now for a healing to begin and restoration to begin and a faith to begin that can move mountains.  By your grace we are saved and it is by grace and mercy and the untainted love you have for us that will make our clay pots beautiful.  You are the Maker, the Potter, the Healer and the Restorer.  I pray for your light to shine through every woman out there right now.  Make our brokenness Your beauty.  In your precious and holy name.  Amen

Danielle DeBoef

Danielle, a graduate of Trinity Bible College, is a woman whose passion is driven by her family. She is the mother to five awesome missions and her heart to provide hope to women who are hurting is fueled by her “never give up” moments. God has brought Danielle out of darkness into hope for a beautiful future with her husband and through that experience she has unique experience that can help other women walking through brokenness.  Together, Danielle and Derrick started a ministry called Finishline Ministries where they spread hope to seemingly disqualified.  Danielle and her family make their home in Illinois.

Danielle, a graduate of Trinity Bible College, is a woman whose passion is driven by her family. She is the mother to five awesome missions and her heart to provide hope to women who are hurting is fueled by her “never give up” moments. God has brought Danielle out of darkness into hope for a beautiful future with her husband and through that experience she has unique experience that can help other women walking through brokenness. Together, Danielle and Derrick started a ministry called Finishline Ministries where they spread hope to seemingly disqualified. Danielle and her family make their home in Illinois.

 

 

The Woman, the Prophetess, the Wife

deborah

We’re all familiar with the saying, “The man, the myth, the legend”. Well, I believe I found the female version of it in the Bible. We meet her in the book of Judges. She is Deborah-The woman, the prophetess, the wife. Her name means “Bee” and a busy bee she was. We learn from scripture that she had a family, ministry and a job. And when her plate seemed full enough, God brought a new challenge to her. I have found a new admiration for Deborah reading Judges 4 and 5. Here’s what I observed:

1)      SHE FOLLOWED GOD- Israel was doing evil in God’s eyes. But Deborah chose to follow God and not the crowd. She remained faithful while surrounded by evil.

2)      HER FAITH WAS OBVIOUS- In verse 4 we find Deborah under the palm tree as she ministered to people. Her ministry was not private. Her spiritual growth was evident to all. And her testimony was an open book to many. She was located between Ramah and Bethel. Ramah was a pagan place of idolatry, and Bethel was a house of God. She sat in the middle helping the lost find their way to God.

3)      SHE AROSE- In Judges 5:7, she says, “I Deborah, arose, as a mother of Israel”. She arose to her new challenge. She arose to nurture as a mother. She didn’t arise to replace the ministry of a man, but rather, she brought forth her own motherly ministry. It’s rather natural for us moms to arise and put our own needs on hold to tend to our little ones. But here I see Deborah rising up as a spiritual mother to her people, Israel. What would happen if women everywhere arose as spiritual mothers to those around them? What would happen if we would arise to our calling in ministry? I love the fact that Deborah highlighted her femininity without being a feminist.

4)      SHE CONFIRMED- She reminded Barak the words God had spoken to him already (Judges 4:6). She ministered to him by speaking the truth he already knew. Sometimes the people around us don’t need a new thing, they just need a confirmation. What if we made a point to speak familiar scripture truth to people around us to confirm God’s word to them?

5)      SHE ENCOURAGED- In Judges 4:8, we see that she did not belittle the man; but she “tag teamed” with him. She encouraged him to do his part as general as she did her part alongside as a prophetess. The battle strategy here was Barak’s and Deborah’s unity in ministry. Deborah, “The Bee” used her stinger for the enemy and honey for her own people. We have to careful not to do the opposite.

6)      SHE DID NOT SEEK THE SPOTLIGHT- In Judges 4:9, we see that no one sought the glory of the victory. Neither Barak nor Deborah got the glory because they knew their victory came from God.

7)      SHE ENCOURAGED AGAIN- In Judges 4:12, we notice that encouragement is Deborah’s strength. When we hear “prophetess and judge”, we often assume the worst, expect them to embarrass us, call out our sins in public and make us feel ashamed. But here we see Deborah, the judge, speak words of encouragement to Barak once again. She reminds him how much the Lord has done for him in the past and encourages him to go on. We do not see Deborah shaming him or laughing at him at his weak moments.

8)      SHE PRAISED AND SHE PRAYED- Chapter 5 reveals to us where Deborah drew her strength from. Her song speaks of her conversation with God and gives us a glimpse of her prayer life. This mighty woman of God spent time in God’s presence before she ministered to people.

9)      SHE CHALLENGED THE WARRIORS- Judges 5:15,16 states “There was a great searching of hearts.” Her life, her testimony and her courage caused the warriors around her to search their own hearts.

10)  SHE KEPT MARCHING ON- In Judges 5:21, Deborah sings from her heart. “March on, my soul and strength.” Against doubt, fears, impossibilities, Deborah kept marching on in strength. All of us can have Deborah’s anointing. You and I can be the woman, the prophetess and the wife.

deborah

A prayer of declaration:  

Father, I pray you would pour out Deborah anointing on the women in the Body of Christ. Lord, we desire to live a life that testifies about Your power and Your strength in us. We are not afraid to show our weaknesses and we will not be quiet about the Source of our strength.  Holy Spirit, infuse us with wisdom as we carry out our divine assignment. Let us not get idle and lazy in our spiritual walks, but remain busy and actively growing. At the same time, let us not be timid and afraid to fulfill our assignment.  Lord, we desire to advance Your Kingdom along the side with the strong men of God. May we all utilize our gifts. Lord, I pray we too, just like Deborah, use our mouth to encourage, build up, confirm and bless others around us. May we become women of the Word and worship, just like Ps.149:6-9 speaks, we will march around with praise as our weapon and the double-edged swords. Let us arise as spiritual mothers in our generation. Let our soul keep marching on in strength. Teach us to balance with wisdom our personal walk, our family and our ministry.   In the powerful and glorious name of Jesus, amen.

Lenna Rivera

Lenna was born and raised in Volgograd , Russia.  She grew up in a family that did not know Christ. At the age of ten, she and her brother found a Gospel preaching church and became first the generation of Christ followers in their family .  Then, at the age of eighteen, Lenna felt a strong calling for missions and the Lord opened doors for her to become a missionary to the country of Georgia.  Today Lenna and her husband, Zach, reside in Nebraska,. They have 3 children together. Lenna enjoys cooking, spending time with the family and a good harty in-depth Bible study.  Her husband leads worship at their local church. Lenna enjoys writing about the things God reveals to her through the reading of the Word.

Lenna was born and raised in Volgograd , Russia. She grew up in a family that did not know Christ. At the age of ten, she and her brother found a Gospel preaching church and became first the generation of Christ followers in their family . Then, at the age of eighteen, Lenna felt a strong calling for missions and the Lord opened doors for her to become a missionary to the country of Georgia. Today Lenna and her husband, Zach, reside in Nebraska,. They have 3 children together. Lenna enjoys cooking, spending time with the family and a good harty in-depth Bible study. Her husband leads worship at their local church. Lenna enjoys writing about the things God reveals to her through the reading of the Word.

Where Will You Live?

where will you live

Decisions, decisions.  We make millions of them every day. What will I eat for breakfast? What will I wear? Do I want to exercise today? How will I respond to my husband and children? How will I approach this mountain of laundry? Some decisions are inconsequential, but others have the ability to alter the course of your life.

I find that the most important decisions are not the what decisions, but the how.

The Lent season is upon us and many have chosen different things that they want to give up to draw closer to the Lord. And, even in giving up things, I believe this is true: It is not what you give up, but how you respond. In Isaiah chapter 58, the prophet Isaiah relays a message from the Lord, letting the people know what He is looking for in a fast. He isn’t looking at what you are letting go of as much as what you are laying hold of instead.

Our church family is joining many others in doing a Negativity Fast or Positivity Feast over the Lenten season. (see  www.ignitinghope.com) I believe this particular decision is one of those course altering decisions. My husband preached a sermon this week and the statement he used over and over again was, “You live in the world you create with your words.” Because we are made in the image of our Creator God, our words hold power to create. Our words can create calm and peace or stress and anxiety. They can create joy and they can create depression. Our thoughts and our words will determine the world we live in.

But, I believe it even goes beyond that. As women, I believe that we have been entrusted with the atmosphere of our homes. When we live in doubt, worry and fear, it creates a cloud over our family. Likewise, we have the ability to create an atmosphere of peace and joy that can spread to every member of our family. And all this is possible by changing how we think and thereby changing the words we speak. When we speak words of life to other people, we can help to shift the atmosphere over them as well. What an awesome responsibility to steward our words.

So it doesn’t matter what we have or don’t have or even what we choose to give up. What matters is how we live and how we respond. It is those things that can change the course of our lives.

Lord, today we ponder our words. How can they be a better extension of who we are in you? Show us your light in this area of our lives. Lead us to kindness, uplifting and encouraging words. Thank you for setting the model before us so we can follow the right path. Amen.

Jessica Nelsen

Jessica’s passion for revival and worship exude from her every waking moment.  God’s presence is around her as she loves on her two beautiful girls, whom she homeschools.  Together, Mark and Jessica, make their home in Montana where they recently planted a church in a rural community and also where Jessica teaches piano.  Jessica finds great joy in helping others to find freedom through a relationship with Christ.  While Jessica grew up in Minnesota, she graduated with a Biblical Studies major from Trinity Bible College and she is currently pursuing a degree in Natural Health.  Jeremiah 20:9 says, “But if I say, ‘I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name,’ “then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it.”  Jessica’s passion for the love of God starts fires of His glory wherever she goes.

Jessica’s passion for revival and worship exude from her every waking moment. God’s presence is around her as she loves on her two beautiful girls, whom she homeschools. Together, Mark and Jessica, make their home in Montana where they recently planted a church in a rural community and also where Jessica teaches piano. Jessica finds great joy in helping others to find freedom through a relationship with Christ.  Jessica graduated with a Biblical Studies major from Trinity Bible College and she is currently pursuing a degree in Natural Health. Jeremiah 20:9 says, “But if I say, ‘I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name,’ “then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it.” Jessica’s passion for the love of God starts fires of His glory wherever she goes.