Daily Archives: December 30, 2013

my wish for you in the new year

Even in the midst of turmoil, trial and strife.

“I am not alone, for my Father is with me. I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – Jesus, John 16.32b-33

Jesus never said this life would be easy. It will be hard.

It is hard.

It would be even harder without him.

This world, not to mention Satan, has a tendency to play with our minds, offering things that seem more alluring and spinning lies about how this thing or that person/relationship will fill the void that we all have.

Everything this world offers (thing, money, relationship, job, etc.) will not last. They always change and I can guarantee that at some point or another, that thing will cause you more heartache than you ever thought it could. 4e606f0877a23b8d40255bfb307320b8

Believe me, I’ve been there.

Some days, I’m still there.

Only in Jesus can peace, hope and the ever-constant state of being of joy be found.

Only Jesus lasts….from beginning to end; Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1.8).

Only Jesus is constant. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13.8).


Satan is also very good at creating doubt where a firm foundation should be. One of his most effective traps for robbing Christians of peace, joy and hope is to convince them that they need to earn these gifts from God.

Grace doesn’t work that way.

There isn’t a price to pay.

Jesus paid it all on the cross and we don’t owe a single thing on that debt.

It has been paid in full.

And yet


We fall for it all the time.

If you’re struggling with this, I encourage you to find time during those moments when you’re about to fall for Satan’s claims – hook, line and sinker – or even when you have and turn to God.

Get into the Word.


Read the Psalms and praise him for all that he has done and continues to do.

Find an accountability partner.

Walk through life with other believers.

Listen to/for him.

And believe the truth that you can’t earn God’s love. There isn’t anything you can do to earn his love or make him love you more than he already does. He loves the same, ever constant.

My prayer, my wish, for you in 2014 (and beyond) is this:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15.13 NIV


with the new year comes a new lens

ef707021510966629c883de78cdff843I’m all about keeping my readers up to date with any upcoming series/writings that my creative mind is currently spinning. January 1, 2014 kicks off a new year.

Another new beginning

A fresh start

Chances to begin again

That being said, I’m going to attempt taking a fresh, new perspective (for me at least) in reading the Bible.

Most people read through the Bible in a year. Sadly, I’ve tried and failed, but what good is there in not getting back up and trying again?

I’ll be doing so again, but will be adding a character study with each reading.

Each character

Not just the big ones.

I’m talking about Enoch and Seth, Mordecai and Tamar (both that are mentioned in the Bible).

There are more than 365 characters, so what follows may be longer than a given year and I can guarantee I won’t be writing one up every day. Some may need more study than others. After all, Moses has more than one “story” connected to him.

For example, there’s the way he was found in the basket among the reeds in the Nile by Pharaoh’s daughter, the way he was raise in the palace, the burning bush, the ten plagues, the crossing of the Red Sea, water from the rock at Mara, the Ten Commandments…the list goes on.

There may even be more than one write-up per character, especially the big ones.  

I’ve also been reading through Nichole Nordeman’s Love Story (found here) and her creative writing and fresh perspective forces the reader to look at scripture differently.

I want that.

A changing of my mindset

A different perspective

I grew up reading the Bible, starting at a very young age. It’s easy for me to allow it to become commonplace; for me to go through the motions.

I’ve read this one before…nothing new since the last time I read it.

What now?

Do I really need to read it again?

And when it comes to books like Leviticus, I inwardly cringe (sorry God). In my opinion, it’s one of the most boring books of the Bible…all numbers, whining and complaining…most of it seems repeated from Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. I’ve often wanted to rip my hair out with how bored I get with that book (I highly recommend pairing it with another book – it will make it that much more bearable).

That being said, I hope you enjoy my findings as well as any research put into this project.

Happy New Year!

all that hinders

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12.1-3 NIV

The world we live in believes that how you play the game isn’t nearly as important as winning or losing.

God’s way is quite different.

In the end, He wins.

His disciples win.

It all comes down to how you play the game or, in this case, run the race.

The first thing we must do is cast off everything that hinders. God isn’t talking about sin here as that opening statement is followed with “and the sin that so easily entangles.” If I want to be a starter in this game (and I don’t want to be sitting on the sidelines, watching it all unfold – I’d rather be in on the action, thank you very much!), you need to cast off everything that holds you back from what God would have you become – the person you were created to be.

The things that hold me back differ from the things that hold you back.

These are the things that get in the way of what you feel you should be doing.

For instance, it used to be the four to six hours of television or movie time I used to put in every night. During that season of my life, I didn’t have the “time” to spend with Jesus each morning. Since then, I’ve chosen to spend an hour or two reading Christian literature or my Bible each evening, limiting my TV/movie intake and choosing to go to bed earlier so I can get up earlier. It took some discipline (it still does some days), but I did it.

I am doing it.

The fact that I’m most definitely not a night owl makes the going to bed earlier that much easier.fc0cd4467a5ad1c81fb9ef7c24886fa3 What a perk! My mom even confirmed this weekend when I asked if I was that way as a kid. The answer: yep. From the time I was a baby, I was in bed by 8 PM and slept soundly until 5:30 the next morning. Like clockwork.


But if that was something that hindered me in the past, what is holding me back now?

A number of things:

  • worry over finances has held me back from using what I do have for God’s glory
  • a light case of depression has held me back from making healthy choices
  • a past relationship that I have struggled to let go of has held me back from moving on and being open to receiving what God has for me right now
  • and more I have yet to uncover, I’m sure.

Did you know that there is no rule in the book of life stating that you have to hold onto a relationship with an ex, even if they ask? You don’t. If it is something that stops you short of receiving God’s best, let it go. Release it.

He/She wasn’t yours to begin with.

Let it go. Release it.

No matter what that looks like – changing your number, deleting the contact from the phone, getting rid of all email/letter communication, putting photos away, stop using Facebook – do whatever it takes to let it go. You can’t move on if you don’t. I couldn’t. Some days I find that I can’t. So I’m letting go.

I’ve been getting a log of encouragement in that department from my mentors, many of my friends and Mandy Hale…a positive voice for single women. I have to take a moment to give thanks to God for a couple of my brothers who stood alongside me in removing all traces from my life, for the time being. Their actions make me appreciate and respect them even more – so, boys, if you’re reading this, thank you for being an encouragement in my walk with Jesus. You are appreciated, deeply respected and admired.

I am not less of a person because I don’t have the titles of girlfriend, wife or mother attached to my being.

I am me and that’s awesome.

I have Jesus and he’s all I need.

He is enough.

And because he is enough, I am enough.

I’m embracing it…or learning to.

The Holy Spirit’s message is clear: there is faith available – even that the size of a mustard seed – let go and go get it. Do whatever it takes to seek that faith, to have it and to hold onto it. Jesus, through the work of the Holy Spirit, can do that for you. He can help you overcome sin and cast off all that hinders.

I’m set to run the race before me. I don’t know what 2014 holds, but I do know who holds my life. Come rain or shine, I’m his. I’ll cling to him, I’ll strive to continue to do so, even as he reveals what he has for me and I know it’ll be better than anything I ever had planned or could dream up for my own life.

My prayer for you is that you choose to do the same. Enjoy the run!