I’ll Praise You amidst the Storm

Take this mountain weight
Take these ocean tears
Hold me through the trial
Come like hope again
Even when the fight seems lost, i’ll praise you
Even when it hurts like hell, i’ll praise you
Even when it makes no sense to sing
Louder then i’ll sing your praise

Even when the morning comes, I’ll praise you
Even when the fight is won, i’ll praise you
Even when my time on earth is done,
Louder then i’ll sing your praise

It’s really been a while since i wrote something down. Lately so many things haven’t been going as planned!  So much has been going “south”. Most plans, most ideas, decisions, health among others have all not been good to start with I’ve had times where i felt prayer and praise was useless…i felt no connection with the Almighty. “Where’s he when i need him most?”

I know he hears, i know he sees, i know he feels but why isn’t everything okay?… why is everything going south? Then i  remember, He never promised us this life would be easy, but He does promise that He is bigger than any storm we face… and He’s always working for good. He promised to walk with us through it all. He is with us. Right in the midst of it all.

He is there with you!

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An open letter from Mr. Right

So, please wait for me. For your sake and my own, wait. Wait because God is telling you to wait. Wait because you have more growing to do. Wait because I have more growing to do. And wait because it will be worth it. Because at the end of the day, the reason I’m not pursuing you yet is because I’m just not ready. And the reason you’re not being pursued by me yet is that you’re just not ready. So join with me in individually submitting to God…Even if that means that there actually isn’t a Mr. or Mrs. Right waiting for us… Can we be ok with that? Can we trust God and be okay with whatever the outcome, knowing that we have already received all we need in His Son? That’s a hard question, but until you’re in a place where you’re okay with never getting married, you won’t be in a place where I will be able to pursue you. Thinking of and praying for you,

#UNFILTERED

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Dear daughters of God,

Contrary to what you have heard, I do exist. I’m no fairytale hunk with big muscles and thing for chick flicks (although, I may or may not have a man bun). So, put your daydreams of love off to the side for a minute and let me tell you what makes me, “Mr. Right” and why people keep telling you to wait for me.

The first thing I really want for you to understand is that I was not born your Mr. Right. I promise we weren’t destined to cross paths and lock eyes from across a crowded room and fall hopelessly in love. God has been working in my heart for YEARS! Do you realize what was in my heart before Christ saved me?! Of course you don’t because we haven’t met yet, but I can promise you it is equally as crazy and sinful as…

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Why some Christian Leaders Fail….

successnfailures

I’ve been a way for quite some time but i’m back. For the time i was a way i came across a message, “God will never be Handcuffed by your failures or unleashed by your success” and i just quickly thought about some of our Christian leaders today.

Celebrity is the worst drug in Christian leadership right now.The problem is, it often starts from a good place. Most of our Christian leaders really aren’t leading….They are busy assuming their new “celebrity” status.

You’re a young Christian leader with a platform that starts to grow. Your church does well. Your blog blows up. You start speaking at a lot of events. And in the midst of that swirl, you quietly start to think to yourself, “If I get a bigger platform, God will get bigger glory.” But eventually as you start to believe your own hype, that mutates into “If I get a bigger platform, I’ll get bigger glory.”

This happens for a lot of reasons. Sometimes it’s because Christian leaders refuse to have people in their lives who can tell them no. A church where the word “no” is off limits is doomed. Sometimes the leader is trying to heal an old wound with new attention. I’ve done that. One day a friend said to me, “No offense, but if the attention you’ve gotten so far hasn’t healed whatever wound you think you have already, none is going to.” He’s right. That’s one of the reasons I go to counseling.

But I think there’s also a part of us that thinks God needs our platform. He needs our abilities. He needs us to win. Here’s the truth about that:

God will never be handcuffed by your failures or unleashed by your successes.

He doesn’t need me to complete him. He is already complete. He doesn’t need me to play my role in his story or it won’t be told. It will be, his plan will be done, regardless of my ability to do it. He doesn’t need me, he loves me. He invites me into his story and allows me to be part of it as an act of love not desperation. There’s a big difference.

Let’s Watch it!!!!

Just so much Joy in The Lord

I stand amazed in your presence
There is nothing you cannot do
I stand amazed in your presence
There’s joy peace and hope

There’s no one like you, Jesus
There’s no one like you, in all the earth
There’s no one like you, Jesus
There’s no one like you

You do mighty things,
You do glorious things
You’re a faithful God
Awesome is your name

I woke up to that song “Stand Amazed” by Sinach this morning and my heart was filled with such great joy. When I got to work, I was wearing this huge smile and a colleague said, “Eve is always happy, she probably has no worries no problems or even deadlines like some of us.” “It’s the Joy of the Lord”, I responded with a giggle.

We often forget that Joy is not a fruit of our circumstances but of The Spirit. God desires that we find our joy, happiness, peace and purpose in Him. When we have done so – HE is glorified!

“We must fight for joy. We must fight for the relationship that God has called us to. Fight to become the person filled with joy.” – John Piper
Fight our natures. Fight sin and countless distractions. Even fight against the ones who discourage you, so the pursuit of joy becomes your priority.

Joy was created in the character of God. Joy was born in the person of Jesus Christ.
Gospel means “message bringing joy.”

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.’ I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you, he is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10 – 11)”

In our obedience to God, his word, the prompting of the Holy Spirit – there is greater joy.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Ultimate Satisfaction

So I’ve been studying the book of Ecclesiastes and it’s pretty amazing how a man who had all the money, the time and all the wisdom anyone could ever wish for could be so unhappy and dissatisfied with life. Solomon was the wealthiest and wisest person and oh, he was a king (aren’t these supposed to be the happiest people alive??? Hmmmmmm.)

“………Vanity of vanities, says the preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What is the profit to a man in all his labor which he labors under the sun?” Eccl: 1:1-2

“..Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done, and on the labor that I had labored to do: And, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit; and there is no profit under the sun….” Eccl: 2:11

“..Therefore I hated life; because the work that is done under the sun is sad to me; for all is vanity and vexation of spirit…” Eccl: 2:17

Clearly, Solomon was sad. Nothing satisfied. There was nothing he saw, discovered, attempted, produced, initiated or concluded as a result of his lengthy search that resulted in lasting significance or personal satisfaction.

But wait…..before we allow ourselves to accept his desperate sweeping admission, we must ask why. Why was it such a pointless, empty treadmill? Why wouldn’t the man who was king, who had such an endless supply of financial resources find something…anything…that would have purpose?

Solomon’s perspective is the same perspective most people operate from today. To quote from his own testimony, it is the “under-the-sun” perspective. Because he seldom looks “above the sun” to find re-assurance, life seems drab and depressing, hopelessly meaningless. Despite the extent to which he went to find happiness, because he left God out of the picture, nothing satisfied, nothing ever will. Satisfaction in life under the sun will never occur until there’s a meaningful connection with the living Lord above the sun.

Nevertheless, we, like Solomon, continue to try to find meaning in life, only to wind up on a dead end road called EMPTINESS.

Talk about a relevant book! Ecclesiastes has today’s world woven through the fabric of every page. Whether or not we are willing to admit it, deep with in most of us there is this restless, irresponsible, adventuresome itch. Deadlines and responsibility grate at us. We find ourselves ready to run – to escape into the back roads of our memories, to travel down the blue highways of life under the sun. “Surely, there I will find what it takes to fill the void.” Before we are able to crank up the car, Solomon’s advice brings us back to reality. “Don’t bother, it’s a pipe dream, empty as a puff of smoke, lacking in substance. It may look like it’s worth the effort, but don’t bother….life without God under the sun is despair personified.” Nothing ultimately brings satisfaction if it is limited to life under the sun.

Sooooo…..do you want meaning? Are you looking for purpose? An investment that will yield lasting dividends? Something to fill the void? Something that will give real satisfaction? Do you want to have real fun that is really enjoyment (without hangover of-course)?. Then you need only one ingredient in your midst; you need a relationship with the living God.

The final destination, if God is absent from the scene will not satisfy.

NO JESUS NO SATISFACTION!  #justsaying

Falling in Love with Jesus Christ

“The Christian walk is not so easy, one has to let go of several things they actually love”, said a sister in Christ during one of our many Christian discussions.
That statement took me back to Mark 8:34-37

And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mark 8:34-37 KJV)

When I first read this a few years ago I thought about what things I needed to do to serve the Lord to carry my cross. For many, Christianity has become a “Work Oriented Religion”. Many are having a hard time living as Christians claiming it’s hard work.

Christianity began with Christ n we really need to learn to fall in love with Him
There is a love so deep, so strong, so powerful that absolutely nothing can ever stop it. It comes from the One who is love itself. You were made for this. He created you as the final object of His love. And this is not a gender issue. Whether male or female, every Believer is being invited into an eternal love relationship that far exceeds our wildest hopes and dreams.

Falling deeply and completely in love with Jesus solves many other issues and simplifies everything else. He keeps drawing me back to this one thing – intimacy with Him. He is the goal … not power or ministry gifts or even ministry itself. Of course He has work for us to do but fruitfulness will naturally flow out of intimacy. We do not choose to spend time with Him so that we can get power or revelation or have our needs met or get instructions. We spend time with Him because we are so in love with Him that we long to be near Him. We do not seek Him for secondary rewards…they are a poor substitute. He is the reward. All of these things are a part of Him but we are given all of Him.

How does one fall in love? We are often initially attracted to another person physically. Then the more we find out about them and get to know them, the more we like them. As we share things back and forth we begin to see their hearts, their motives, their desires. We begin to be more comfortable and trusting with them. Soon, the more we are with them, the more we want to be with them. The relationship begins to grow stronger.

It is like this with Jesus as well. The real Jesus is more attractive than the most powerful magnet or the pull of gravity. All it takes is one encounter in His presence and you can never be satisfied with anything less again. The more you fall in love with Him, the more the pull of this realm’s gravity will lose it’s hold on you and the pull of His love will draw you away into His heart.

The Apostle Paul often described our relationship with Jesus in terms of a marriage. 2 Corinthians 11:2 says that we are betrothed to Christ and destined to become His bride. I believe the reason for this terminology is that as humans we need a grid of understanding to help us. The love between a man and a woman is one of the highest bonds in the earthly physical realm. While this kind of love and family are given to us as gifts for this life, it is only a shadow of things to come in eternity.

In actuality, the relationship between us and the Lord goes so far beyond any earthly physical love that everything else pales in comparison. It is deeper than … higher than … and completely other than. There is no gender issue and it is not a physical relationship but, as Paul describes in 1 Cor. 6:15-17 by comparison, it is an intimate and powerful joining or bonding of our spirits with His Spirit.

But He will never force the issue. This is the ultimate love affair and He waits for us to respond to Him. “There is no fear in love” for He will never overstep His own holiness or the free will He has given to us. As we keep taking baby steps closer to Him we will learn to allow His perfect love to cast out our fear. (1 John 4:18) The more you get to know Him, the more you will love Him and the more you love Him, the more you will be able to trust Him. It’s hard to completely trust someone you don’t know well. And it’s difficult to fully love someone you don’t trust. Love and trust are intertwined and He is the One most worthy of both.
This isn’t complicated. He is inviting you to dinner. (Rev. 3:20) Just open the door and say “yes”!

Let’s fall in love with JESUS!

Eve
x.o.x.o

THE LOVE OF GOD

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Many people struggle to believe God loves them because of a dysfunctional mom or dad.

This past weekend I spoke to a 19 year old college student who had no idea why the God we worship would let His children suffer. His parents got a divorce when he was 5 and his mum left him to his dad who got married again. His step mother mistreated him till he was immune to beatings…so he says.

“What about you? Do you have emotional wounds resulting from your upbringing? If so, these hurts can block your understanding of God’s unconditional love.” I encourage you to not only forgive your parents but also to renounce unhealthy mindsets you may have adopted because of trauma. Make sure you believe the following:

1. Your heavenly Father will never abandon you. Nothing is more traumatic to a child than a family breakup. Children often blame themselves for divorce and they experience acute feelings of insecurity. They can also develop the wrong idea that if their father or mother was willing to walk away from them, God will do the same.

Believe the truth: God says, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). Earthly parents may break promises, but God is always faithful. He is a faithful God.

2. Your heavenly Father will never verbally berate you. I recently met a girl whose parents wanted her to be a boy. As a result of their disapproval, they criticized her constantly, told her she was ugly. As a result of this constant criticism she struggled to receive love and found it difficult to believe God could ever love her.

Believe the truth: The Lord is a loving Father who speaks tenderly to His children; and even when He must discipline us, it is for our good. James 5:11 says: “We have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.”

3. Your heavenly Father will never abuse you. I have an Itesot friend, George, whose cruel, domineering father beat him with the same stick he used to beat his mother. George still has scars on his back, chest and stomach from his father’s angry outbursts. Finally, his father piled the family into a car, drove them to the village and ordered them to get out of the vehicle. He cursed them and left them to die. His father’s behavior made him angry and vengeful until he found salvation in Jesus.

Believe the truth: God is not an abuser. He is a good Shepherd who protects us. If you were abused by someone, either physically, sexually or verbally, recognize that God did not approve of that behavior and He wants to heal you from the pain of that experience.

4. Your heavenly Father will never withhold affection from you. I’ve met dozens of men whose fathers never once said to them, “I love you.” Many of these guys struggle today with addictions to alcohol, drugs and other mind-numbing substances because they don’t know how to process the lack of security they feel. And women who never received healthy, non-sexual affection from their fathers often end up trapped in a promiscuous lifestyle because they’re searching for the love they were denied.

Believe the truth: God is crazy about you and He wants to shower you with love! Isaiah described God as a Shepherd who gathers His lambs and carries them in His bosom (Isaiah 40:11). As a believer in Christ you always have access to the Father through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18). He wants you to be close to Him.

5. Your heavenly Father will never abandon you financially. A loving parent, no matter how small their income, can make a child feel secure by providing food on the table, a warm bed and clothes to wear. Unfortunately, in these days of deadbeat dads and struggling one-parent families, many people grow up financially crippled. God doesn’t automatically give people Cadillacs if they tithe, but any follower of Jesus can bank on God’s promises of provision.

Believe the truth: Jesus said the Father knows we need food, clothes and shelter. “Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:31-33). We serve a generous God.

No matter what fatherly wounds you may have suffered, and no matter how long ago the pain entered, God can heal your heart and fill in the gaps. Reach out and receive the Father’s embrace.

Think of the purest, most all-consuming love you can imagine. Now multiply that love by an infinite amount….that is the measure of God’s love for you.

xoxo

Eve