Friday, December 24, 2021

Merry Christmas!

We just returned from an early Christmas celebration with family. 

There's just nothing better than having all your kids together in one place...can I get an amen?

We spent two days doing Christmassy things in North Carolina...playing, baking, laughing, eating--all the best was delightful. 

I adore those people. They make my heart sing.

I hope your Christmas is filled with all the best things: Love, laughter, family (if you can stand 'em), friends, good food, fun surprises, and most importantly, peace, joy, and more peace.

May you know the most valuable gift of the season: Jesus. May His perfect peace fill your heart--edging out the fear peddled by the world. 

I love the words of the second verse of Joy to the World:

He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove, the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love. 


Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

A Continuous Feast!

Proverbs 15:15

All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continuous feast. (NIV)


Our enemy (human and spiritual) would like nothing else than to keep us in a state of oppression—in fear—to keep the soundtrack of anxiety and anger repeating through our mind. 

Why? Because it makes our days wretched, evil, miserable—keeps us in bondage.

But wise King Solomon, who asked God for wisdom and received it in abundance, gives the answer to oppression: But a cheerful heart has a continuous feast.


But, I deserve what I’m due…an apology, things made right…I deserve to be angry!

Then you’re free to stay in the first part of the verse.


But a cheerful heart, 

A heart that chooses to ignore those who tell you, “You can’t,” or “You’re less than,” and a heart that rejects being lumped in with people who look like you, but aren’t you, THAT heart enjoys a continuous feast.


A heart that forgives when no one apologizes, a heart that rejects the lie that forgiveness is a pass—a heart that understands forgiveness heals the forgiver and heaps burning coals on the head of the oppressor, THAT heart is filled to overflowing.


A heart that rejects hate, even when hating feels justified—a heart that understands that hate in all of its forms is straight from the pit of hell, THAT heart is at peace.


A heart that builds, rather than tears down—that unifies, rather than divides, THAT heart is filled to overflowing with love.


A heart that rejects the world’s economy of getting what we deserve, and embraces God’s economy where wealth is found in emptying oneself for others, THAT heart will have more bounty than it can store.


It’s time for us to live in the second part of that verse. The first part is too burdensome to bear. We cannot change other people, but wise King Solomon knew that we can change our perspective, our attitude, ourselves. We can see others through the lens of God’s love, and reject the lens through which others choose to view us.


Enjoy the continuous feast, friends!

Friday, February 12, 2021

I’ve shared this story with several people and I am compelled to put it out into the ether to encourage others too.


All of the turmoil in our world started having a physical affect on me last fall. 

Tummy trouble.

Big time.

I saw a doctor and endured a battery of tests…they could find no reason for my issues.

But I knew what it was all along. 

It was stress.



With every anxious thought, my stomach clenched…I felt it real-time.

I’ve never struggled like that before.

My heart grieved and my gut responded.


This went on for a few months.


Then I had a dream.

A vivid, sensation-filled dream.

Some may consider it a nightmare. 

I never did.


The dream lasted all of 10 seconds as most dreams do. 

This is what I dreamed:


My hand gripped a doorknob.

My heart was filled with joy.

I was smiling inside and out – eager to burst through the door.

I never saw what was on the other side, but I know it was probably my family, friends, the people who bring me joy.


I pushed open the door, joy spilling over now, and began to take a step inside. 


Someone grabbed me around the waist and propelled me backwards, away from the room I was about to enter.

I was moving so swiftly backwards that my arms and legs flailed in front of me.

Faster, faster, faster.

My only thought was: “Here we go…” 

Fight or flight. 

I was determined to fight to survive.
I took three quick, panting breaths and I woke slightly, but the dream continued.


As I’m moving backwards, legs and arms flapping in front of me, I was pulled through a wall. 

I didn’t crash through, 

I went through it as if a ghost.


It was then that I knew I was dealing with an evil spirit …a demon…the enemy—pulling me swiftly from joy (typical).


I was filled with relief. (Yes, you read that right.)

My only thought: I have Christ in me.

“NO!” My voice was firm and confident.

And the backward motion immediately stopped and I stood.




I woke up.

The reality of what happened filled me.

I was in the midst of a power struggle.

Not the power struggle that was giving me tummy trouble—witnessing the struggle of our country, our families, and our churches.

It was a power struggle within myself.

I struggle to believe I have the power of Christ in me.

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve truly believed it, nor acknowledged it until now.


All of this (the virus, the oppression, the deceit, the division, cancel culture) is a spiritual battle.

Nothing new.

Same old battle, closer to home.

But I have Christ in me. 

I am powerful.

I do not need human strength, ingenuity, or intellect to defeat the enemy.

I have all that I need.

As I lay there, processing, truth seeped into my heart. 

Into my soul.


I began to pray.

I prayed differently, though.

I didn’t ask God to do this or that.

I prayed against the enemy of my soul.

As I prayed, my heart was calmed, confident.

I eventually fell back to sleep and woke the next morning, well-rested, the dream still vivid in my mind and heart.


Until that dream, I felt like a weak nobody, unable to do anything to change the brokenness, division, deceit, and the seeming surrender of believers and the church.


But I’m not weak.

I have Christ in me.

Maybe you do too.

If so, we are powerful.


Do you believe it?


How do we harness this power?



Pray against the enemy.

Pray against evil in specific ways.

Pray against fear.

Pray against confusion.

SO IMPORTANT: Pray against deceitful speech and lies.

Pray FOR our leaders, in government and in the church.

Pray FOR wisdom.

Pray FOR clarity.

Pray FOR opportunities to share God’s love and encouragement, and the courage to jump on the opportunities as they come.

Pray FOR protection from fear when reasons to avoid those opportunities present themselves as valid. When God calls, no fear (not even the fear of a virus) is valid

Finally, pray for other believers. 

The division is real, y’all.


Back to my gut. 

Since my dream, my gut is calm, healthy, restored.

This truth from God’s word reminded me that my striving is useless in this war: For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:3,4)

When God corrected my perspective, my understanding of what was true and important, my heart healed, and my gut followed.

I’m so thankful.


I hope this encourages you to pray in a new way with new confidence—to boldly utilize the power of Christ in you. 

To go and do with power—the power of Christ in you! 

The enemy is no match for the omnipotence of our God, or the power of Christ in you!


Amen? Amen!







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